fb-pixel Skip to main content

No big plans for April vacation week? Fear not: We have ideas.

Mingle with wild animals who aren’t your children, hunt for a Siamese cat, and more.

Kiki holds her newborn on Oct. 14, 2020, at Franklin Park Zoo.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

Sometimes this space focuses on big issues like mental health or the elusive search for inner peace. And, sometimes, it’s all about logistics. No big plans for April vacation week? Fear not: Ahead, find a melange of spring activities for your family, from free sports to ape-ogling. And so, if you ...

Candid conversations for parents.GLOBE STAFF

Sign up for Parenting Unfiltered

* indicates required
Optional: How old are your kids?

…don’t have space for visiting family: Relatives coming to town and no idea where to put ‘em? The Revere Hotel has a “family explorer” package April 18 through April 25: Book a room, and get half off another one (connecting or adjoining by request … or not!), cookies and milk with check-in, and free breakfast for the kids. 200 Stuart St., Boston, 617-482-1800, www.reverehotel.com


…wish you could go on a cruise: Book a whale watch instead! New England Aquarium Whale Watches teams up with Boston Harbor City Cruises for daily whale watches at 10 a.m., leaving from Central Wharf. Book a combo ride and aquarium visit, where you can meet their new rescued sanderling. 1 Central Wharf, Boston, 617-973-5200, www.neaq.org or www.cityexperiences.com

…want your kids to just get lost: The Emerald Necklace Conservancy has scavenger hunts for each of their parks. They’ll also host a bicentennial birthday celebration for Frederick Law Olmsted on Saturday, April 23, at Allerton Overlook at Olmsted Park: Drop in for live music, hula hoops, cornhole, trampolines, lawn games, and healthy snacks from Just Hummus. It starts at 12 p.m. www.emeraldnecklace.org

Wally The Green Monster can be found outside Fenway Park during April vacation week -- in Hingham and Franklin Park.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

…can’t make it to a Red Sox game: Wally the Green Monster hosts an interactive storytime at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, April 20, at Derby Street Shops in Hingham. It’s free, but in honor of Autism Awareness Month, a $5 donation goes toward Arc of the South Shore, a Hingham-based nonprofit that offers community inclusion to kids and families with disabilities. 92-98 Derby St., Hingham, www.derbystshops.com


…need to stop the Minecraft obsession: Play-test 18 physically interactive, electronic games built and designed by engineering students at Northeastern at the Boston Children’s Museum. This year’s themes: Around the World, Space Cowboy Adventure, Video Games Through the Ages (ah, remember the original Super Mario Bros.?), and more. 308 Congress St., Boston, 617-426-6500, www.bostonchildrensmuseum.org

…long to live in a mansion after quarantining with your family: Visit the Crane Estate, which will host an immersive hunt for Mrs. Crane’s missing Siamese. Ptolemy. Kids three through eight can prowl the manse for the frisky feline, with the help of a family servant. The hunt lasts for an hour, and then families have access to the grounds. 290 Argilla Rd., Ipswich, 978-356-4351, www.trustees.org

A curious deer checks out a visitor at the Crane Estate.Stan Grossfeld/ Globe Staff

…would like to see actual wild animals who are not your children: Check out the new gorilla grove at the Franklin Park Zoo, which debuts on Tuesday, April 12. Watch the zoo’s six amiable apes frolic in a cascading waterfall and swing from vines and trees. Sister property Stone Zoo celebrates Princess Day on Sunday, April 23: Dress as your favorite fairytale character and meet princesses at various exhibits. www.zoonewengland.com

…need to blow off some steam: The Boston Parks and Recreation Department hosts the first annual, free Boston Rec Fest on Tuesday, April 19, starting at 10 a.m. Navigate obstacle courses (that aren’t in your living room), measure your pitching speed, take out aggression at a batting cage, play hockey and soccer, and even learn the subtle art of archery from a pro. Wally the Green Monster will be there, too. Playstead Park, Franklin Park, 617-635-4505, www.boston.gov


Kara Baskin can be reached at kara.baskin@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @kcbaskin.