February may be the shortest month on the calendar but there's a TON of family fun activities scheduled to celebrate this longest month of winter! Check them all out here on the February 413 Family Events Calendar on The413Mom.com. #februaryfun #thelongestmonth
February 1-3: Greenfield's Winter Carnival, ice carving, parade of lights, fireworks, fun run, ice skating, cardboard sled race, chili cook off, more, see link for schedule, Downtown Greenfield, FREE admission.
February 2: Connecticut Groundhog Speaks, 6-8 a.m., come see the decision of Connecticut's Official Groundhog at sunrise, Lutz Children's Museum, 247 South Main St., Manchester, CT, FREE.
February 2: Girls and Women in Sports Day, 8 a.m. - noon, chose two sports clinics for girls ages 6-12 (swimming, dance, basketball, volleyball, field hockey, soccer, or softball, use link to register, Athletic Complex, Western New England College, 1215 Wilbraham Road, Springfield, FREE (donations of hygiene products to be donated to local women's shelter are welcome).
February 2: Girls and Women in Sports Day, 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m., for girls in grades grades 3-8, FREE sports clinics and lunch, see link for details and to register, Mass College of Liberal Arts, Venable Gym, 375 Church St., North Adams, FREE.
February 2: Mini Golf at the Jones Library, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., play 18 holes in the stacks, all ages welcome, Jones Library, 43 Amity St., Amherst. Admission: $5/person (supports library programs in Amherst).
February 2: Tracking Fun for Families, 10 - 11:30 a.m., learn the basics of tracking and wildlife in winter, indoor and outdoor program -- dress accordingly, use link to register, Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary, 127 Combs Road, Easthampton. Admission: $8/person.
February 2: Groundhog Day Storywalk, 10:30 a.m. - noon, walk through a seasonal storybook and make a seasonal craft, Agawam Public Library, 750 Cooper St., Agawam, FREE.
February 2: Link to Libraries Family Fun Day, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m., celebrate literacy and books with live music, kids' activities, crafts, face painting, storytime, more, Mill 180 Park, 180 Pleasant St., Easthampton, FREE.
February 2: Ice Harvesting Demonstration, noon - 3 p.m., learn about the history of ice harvesting, museum tours, Noble & Cooley Mill Pond, 42 Water St., Granville, FREE (donations gratefully accepted).
February 2: A Magical Afternoon, 3-5 p.m., members of The Society of American Magicians will be performing a show for the whole family, South Hadley High School, 153 Newton St., South Hadley. Admission: $12/person (benefits the Girl Scouts of South Hadley/Granby).
February 2: Luminaria on the Amherst Common, 5-8 p.m., walk among over 2,000 lit, decorated paper lanterns, live music, food available for purchase, Amherst Common, FREE.
February 3: FREE First Sundays, 1-4 p.m., free admission, Clark Art Museum, 225 South St., Williamstown, FREE.
February 3: Pre-Super Bowl Sledding, noon - 3 p.m., BYO sled, a few will be available on site to borrow, Cherry Hill Golf Course, 323 Montague Road, Amherst, FREE.
February 3: Open Swim, 12:30-2:30 p.m., Chicopee High School Pool, 820 Front St., Chicopee. Admission: $3/residents, $5/non-residents.
Faith LOVES to ice skate and I love to take her; however, paying fees for public skating adds up quickly throughout the winter. So today we headed to the skating path at Community Field in Holyoke where the skating is always FREE!
There is something special about skating outside in the sunshine and the ice path here lends itself to a leisurely skate. You don't really get folks screaming past you on the ice here like you do at public skate in the large indoor arenas. It's the perfect spot for new skaters. The best part is -- if your kids love to skate and you don't, it's very easy to keep an eye on them without having to get on the ice. Also, it's perfectly fine to get on the ice in your boots or shoes -- nobody is going to complain (unlike an indoor ice arena where no skates means no ice) so it's easy to help unsteady skaters. There are benches scattered around the ice path so you can sit and watch comfortably.
If you have your own skates, it is FREE to skate at Community Field. However, even if you don't have skates renting a pair only costs $2. Candy and hot cocoa is available for purchase for $1 each.
There is a warming house available (where you can pick up your rentals and snacks) and the bathrooms on site are open on weekends.
Ice skate rentals are available Saturday and Sunday from noon to six p.m. During the week, the pathway is open for use; however, there are no skate rentals available and the bathroom and warming house are closed.
The skating path is open weather permitting. You can check specifics on hours of operation on the city's website or on the City of Holyoke Facebook page.
If you want to bring the whole family but not everyone is a skating enthusiast, Community Field also offers an amazing playground adjacent to the skating path, hiking trails, and a dog park, which is open throughout the winter, so even the furry family members can enjoy an afternoon at the park.
Community Field is located on Community Field Road in Holyoke. #getoutside #winterfun
January 25: Academy Hill School Open House, 8:15 a.m. - 3 p.m., attend the Good Morning Show from 8:30-9 a.m. or the Student Forum from 2:40-3:10 p.m. to see students in action, take a parent-led tour, learn about curriculum, RSVP to Kathleen Burke, Director of Admission, 413-788-0300 x131 or email@example.com.
January 25: FREE Day at MASSMoCA, 11 a.m. - 7 p.m., museum tours, performances, hands on activities, MASS MoCA, 1040 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams, FREE.
January 25: First Person Presentation: Harriet Tubman, 7-8:30 p.m., living historian Gwendolyn Quezaire-Presutti performs, Union Meeting House, Storrowton Village Museum, Eastern State Exposition, 1305 Memorial Avenue, West Springfield. Admission: $10/person.
January 25-27: Downtown Ice Invasion, ice sculptures on display throughout Downtown Springfield, see link for map, FREE.
January 26: First Book Friendiversary, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., celebration of friendship and reading, celebrate Mo Willems book characters, every child receives a FREE book, The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, 125 W. Bay Road, Amherst, FREE.
January 26: Dinosaur Discoveries Exhibit Opening Celebration, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., check out the new exhibit, dinosaur games and stories, hands on activities, family science adventures, art projects, more, Springfield Museums, 21 Edwards St., Springfield. Admission: $25/adults, $13/kids ages 3-17, FREE for kids under 3 and always FREE for Springfield residents.
January 26: First Child in the Woods, 10 a.m., on hour long caregiver and infant/toddler nature walk, use link to register, Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary, 127 Combs Road, Easthampton. Admission: $7/adults, FREE for kids 5 and under.
January 26: Who's Been Here?, 1-2 p.m., stories, crafts, tracking adventure, for ages 3-6 and their adults, Great Falls Discovery Center, 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, FREE.
PRO TIP: buy your kid the little fancy clear crystal plastic cups at Dollar Tree to use as rinse cups in the bathroom. Tooth brushing battles will just disappear. (A buck for a package of 5 of these gems...best $ ever spent). 😃 #momwin #dollartreefinds
I'm a little obsessed with this craft. It reminds me of the funny Jib Jab elf videos you can make at Christmas time. These little guys are taking over my house.
It's super simple, it doesn't require a trip to the store for any special materials, and it's a perfect way to use up some of those leftover holiday photo cards or tiny school photos.
This craft is very forgiving. Use what you have on hand around the house which encourages creativity.
What to gather:
Stiff paper -- I used a paper plate (it's the perfect size to make a hand held snowman) but you can use cardboard, a piece of a cereal box, a mannila folder, etc.
White liquid glue
Something to draw with
Scraps of ribbon, buttons, sequence, gems, etc.
Step 1: Draw a snowperson shape on the paper plate and cut it out
Step 2: Cut out face from photograph and use the glue stick to position it in center of the snowperson's head (use the glue stick and not the white liquid glue or it the photo could get damaged):
Step 3: Use the white glue to glue cotton balls around the face and all over the snow body
Step 4: Use the ribbon and other embellishments you've collected to personalize your snowperson. Glue them down with the liquid glue:
Step 5: Proudly display your snow family. Mine is taking over the top of the piano. I'm running out of room but I just realized I haven't made one for the dog yet! Happy crafting! #craftingwithkids #winterfun
(If you make a snow family of your own send me a pic and I'll start a gallery!)
If you haven't already, head on over to my Instagram page where I'm hosting a pretty rad giveaway as shown here. One lucky winner will receive this fun prize pack to help keep the kiddos entertained on snowy days. Entries accepted through Friday, January 25 at 11:59 p.m.
*Please do not comment/enter the giveaway here -- only entries on the Insta page will be considered valid.
January 19-21: Everyone Pays Kids' Prices, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., Connecticut Science Center, 250 Columbus Blvd., Hartford, CT. Admission: $16.95/person.
January 19: Hike the Sanderson Brook Falls, 10 a.m. - noon, be prepared for ice, snow and mud, dogs welcome, meet at the parking lot on Route 20 across from Bannish Lumber, Chester, FREE.
January 19: Tracking and Wildlife Signs, 10-11:30 a.m., learn to read animal tracks in the snow, for ages 5-12, use link to register, Laughing Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, Main Street, Hampden. Admission: $7/person.
January 19: Pirate Party, 10:30 a.m. - noon, pirate themed games, crafts, snack, costumes encouraged, Carnegie Public Library, 201 Avenue A, Turners Falls, FREE.
January 19:Animal Homes in Winter, 1-2 p.m., learn about secret seasonal animal homes, geared toward ages 3-6 and their adults, Great Falls Discover Center, 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, FREE.
January 19: Owl Moon, 5-7 p.m., shadow puppet show, take an owl moon nature walk, cocoa and cookies, use link to register, Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary, 127 Combs Road, Easthampton. Admission: $10/person.
January 20: Family Swim, noon - 1:15 p.m., kids under six must have an adult in the water with them, Wilderness Experiences, 526 College Highway, Southwick. Admission: $6/person (check or cash only).
January 20: Open Swim, 12:30-2:30 p.m., Chicopee High School Pool, 820 Front St., Chicopee. Admission: $3/residents, $5/non-residents.
If you have mindfulness goals for this new year -- maybe helping your kids become more centered, feel less anxious, and deal with stress better, I've got the perfect suggestion for you: the Kids Moving Meditation Class held monthly at the Western Mass Wellness Center in Feeding Hills.
The class is geared toward kids ages 6-10 and meets the third Thursday of each month. The cost is $10/session.
The benefits of mindfulness are not just anecdotal: A growing body of scientific research shows its positive effects on mental health and well-being. Practicing mindfulness has been shown to improve attention and reduce stress as well as increase one's ability to regulate emotions and feel compassion and empathy. -- Ellen Sturm Niz for Parents Magazine
Faith tried out the December class and loved it. Yoga and meditation were in regular rotation in her kindergarten classroom and I know she is missing it now that she is a big first grader. She definitely got what she was hoping for from this class and she can't wait to return!
According to Western Mass Wellness: The Kids Moving Meditation Class helps kids tune into the strengths of Mind, Body and Spirit allowing them the ability to attain useful life-skills throughout our monthly sessions. The hour-long class includes practices of Meditation, Yoga, Chakra Balancing, Breathing Techniques and Reiki.
At the December meeting the kids participated in a meditation circle, worked on a dream book, did some coloring, and learned some simple stretching and breathing exercises. There was a lot of positive encouragement for whatever the kiddos wanted to share.
The class is facilitated by reiki and meditation practitioner, Susan Pettazzoni. She. Is. Wonderful.
Pettazzoni decided to create the class after working with her grandson and seeing the benefits of mindfulness practices that we traditionally think of being necessary only for adults creating less anxiety and more acceptance for children too. She is lovely with the kids -- keeping them on task while being very encouraging and supportive. Kids are welcome to share and participate as little or as much as they want. There is no pressure. It's probably the most accepted your little ones will feel all week.
Participants are welcome to bring their own small pillow and a blanket or yoga mat. There is not much space to wait/watch while the kids do their practice so you should maybe plan to run an errand or bring a book for the car while you wait.
Classes are schedule for the third Thursday of each month. So mark your calendar for the following dates:
Thursday, January 17 at 4 p.m.
Thursday, February 21 at 4 p.m.
Thursday, March 21 at 4 p.m.
You can RSVP to the Facebook event here. BYO pillow and yoga mat. Ages 6-10 $10 per student. Western Mass Wellness Center is located at 567 Springfield Street in Feeding Hills. You can reserve your space by calling 413-244-4660.
Valerie Smart is a average mom trying to raise average kids. She is passionate about unplugged parenting and providing her girls with an old-fashioned childhood full of outdoor play, unstructured time, creative pursuits, and making family time a priority. She is attempting to swim against the tide of hyper competitive parenting that has become the norm today. Comments and suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for visiting!