April Adventures: 16 Things to do with the Kids This Month

Baystateparent Magazine

Stars Over Springfield 

April 1 

Springfield 

Stars Over Springfield.

Join members of the Springfield Stars Club for skygazing in the Science Museum’s observatory. If overcast, attendees will be offered a tour of the observatory. $3 adults, $2 children. springfieldmuseums.org.

First Friday Nights Free

April 1 

Acton 

First Friday Nights Free at the Discovery Museum.

Explore the Discovery Museum and Discovery Woods with free admission on the first Friday night of each month. Non-perishable food donations for Open Table and the Acton Food Pantry are accepted. Reservations are required and can be made 10 days in advance. discoveryacton.org.

Touch Tomorrow: Festival of Science, Technology & Robots 

April 2 

Worcester 

Touch Tomorrow.

WPI faculty, staff and students along with industry partners host this event at Polar Park featuring hands-on activities, exhibits and demonstrations designed to demystify STEM, and create new passions for students of all ages. wp.wpi.edu/touchtomorrow.

Shen Yun

April 2-10 

Boston 

Shen Yun.

Watch ancient legends, heavenly realms, and modern tales of courage spring to life through classical Chinese dance. See ethnic dances, dazzling costumes, and powerful flips fill the stage with color and energy. And let the orchestra’s exquisite melodies, the singers’ soaring voices, and the dynamic animated backdrops uplift your spirit and transport you to another world. Tickets start at $85. bochcenter.org.

Roger Williams Park Zoo 150th Celebration

April 3

Providence 

RWP Zoo 150th Celebration.

Celebrations for Roger Williams’ 150th anniversary kick-off with $1.50 admission, entertainment and more surprises. See the animals celebrate the day with birthday treats, too! Advanced tickets required. rwpzoo.org.

Family Hike: Vernal Pool Exploration

April 3

Princeton

Vernal Pool Exploration.

These small but mighty water bodies teem with amazing life for just a few short weeks, and Wachusett Meadow is home to several of them. Come hike to a vernal pool and discover the life cycle wonders of the frogs, turtles, and salamanders that live there. Adults $18; children $12. massaudubon.org.

Preschool Story Hour

Worcester & Princeton

April 8, 27 & 29

Preschool Story Hour.

A thematic hour of a story, an activity and a naturalist-led walk at Broad Meadow Brook in Worcester and Wachusett Meadow in Princeton. April topics include birds, wind and rain showers. Children $5. massaudubon.org.

Music Through the Zoo 

April 9 

Boston 

Music Through the Zoo.

Berklee College of Music students perform music for the animals that call Franklin Park Zoo home. Performances will be held throughout the zoo in front of various exhibits. Included with admission. zoonewengland.org.

Big Night: Frog & Salamander Migration Celebration

April 9 

Topsfield

Big Night Celebration.

Each year on the first warm rainy night of spring, wood frogs and mole salamanders begin a mass migration to the vernal pools where they breed. If you happen to be out on one of these evenings, the experience can be like a spectacular amphibian celebration. It's called "Big Night!" On this night, a part of Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary will be transformed into a Big Night scene. Take a one-hour guided walk along the Vernal Pool Trail, and meet some larger-than-life characters who will share interesting facts and stories about themselves, vernal pools, and this special time of year. Some stops will feature live animals to see firsthand and learn about. The trail will lead to a real vernal pool where more animals and their eggs can be seen. $11. massaudubon.org.

Tots in the Kitchen 

April 5 & 26 

Dover 

Tots in the Kitchen

Children ages 2 years 9 months to 5 will learn the basics of cooking at Powisset Farm. Each session children will make a simple recipe – muffins, cookies and more — to enjoy on the spot or take home to share with the family. Adult supervision/participation is required; not a drop off program. $30/$24 Trustees members. thetrustees.org.

Asian Lantern Spectacular

Starts April 13 

Providence

Asian Lantern Spectacular.

The Roger Williams Zoo is transformed into a dazzling evening experience with interactive displays, delicious Asian-inspired cuisine and performances. The lanterns are created by hand with silk fabric stretched over steel frames, and expert craftsmanship embodies tradition as the artisans pass their skills from one generation to the next. Opening April 13, this zoo-wide walk-through event will be open Wednesday – Sunday evenings. Tickets must be purchased in advance online. rwpzoo.org.

Village Earth Week 

April 19-24

Sturbridge 

Village Earth Week

Old Sturbridge Village’s Earth Week features a wide variety of talks, walks, workshops, and activities related to nature, ecology, stewardship, and the climate. Visit the gardeners and farmers to learn about how they are preparing the fields and gardens in the spring planting season. This week will feature a different theme each day. Included with admission. osv.org

Party for the Planet 

April 22 

Boston

Party for the Planet.

Visit Franklin Park Zoo for a fun and engaging day to raise awareness for the planet and all it has to offer on Earth Day. Guests are invited to enjoy hands-on activities and games to learn how conservation happens all around us. Meet exhibitors from local conservation organizations and nonprofits to learn how they can contribute to a healthy planet and preserve the Earth. Included with admission. zoonewengland.org.

Princess Day at Stone Zoo 

April 23

Stoneham 

Princess Day at Stone Zoo.

Come in your fairytale best and meet six of your favorite princesses. Feel like you’re in a fairytale while learning all about the animals that live at the zoo. Included with admission. zoonewengland.org.

Sheepshearing Festival 

April 23 

Waltham 

Sheepshearing Festival

After two years online, this beloved festival is back, featuring music, 100 craft and fiber artists, demonstrations of traditional shearing and herding dogs, and historic re-enactors, on the beautiful grounds of this historic, 50-acre Gore Place Estate. Along with the crafts, demonstrations, and other entertainment, the festival will feature hands-on activities for children and adults, and food vendors will be onsite. $20 adults, children under 12 free. goreplace.org.

Fairy Gnome Discovery Walk

April 23 & 24 

Salisbury 

Fairy Gnome Discovery Walk.

Nearly 200 fairy and gnome homes are peppered throughout this whimsical mile-long walk through a wooded path at historic Pettengill Farm. Homes are created by professionals, families, school children, and local businesses. Enjoy artist exhibits, free crafts and activities, live music, improv theater performances, fairy tales read in the woods, food trucks and more. Tickets $7. fairygnomewalk.weebly.com.

Sensory-Friendly & Inclusive Programs:

Morningstar Program at Boston Children’s Museum:Saturday, April 2. Children with special needs/medical needs can visit the museum with few other visitors. 

Sensory Friendly Hour at Apex:Sunday, April 3. Enjoy all that Apex Entertainment in Marlborough has to offer in a sensory-friendly environment. 

Discovery Museum Sensory Friendly Afternoon: Tuesday, April 5. Group visits and birthday parties are not scheduled, to avoid crowding and support access to exhibits. 

Sensory Friendly Saturday at Springfield Museums:Saturday, April 9. Exhibits modified and sensory-friendly crafts offered. 

Discovery Museum Evening for Families with D/HH & KODA Children:Saturday, April 9. The museum is closed to the general public, ASL interpretation may be available upon request. Dinner provided. 

Mass Audubon Sensory Friendly Days. April 4, 11 & 25. An opportunity for families and children with autism and other sensory needs to connect with nature at Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary in Natick, Drumlin Farm in Lincoln, and Habitat Education Center in Belmont.

Discovery Museum Autism Friendly Evening:Saturday, April 30. Explore the museum and Discovery Woods during this special evening event for families with members on the autism spectrum.