Saturday, January 19, 2013

Fun Things To Do In State Parks This Winter!

Looking for something fun to do? Now is the time to plan an outing to break out of the house and enjoy the season! No matter what the weather, fun events are taking place around Massachusetts in state parks indoors and out. Here is a selection of some of the most accessible opportunities.

Eastern Massachusetts
Adaptive Skating and Games on Ice, Cronin Rink, Revere: Tuesdays February 19, March 12 and April 2. 11:30am - 1:30pm. Use your wheelchair, an ice sled, or conventional skates on the ice! Spin, slide, race, slalom, socialize and play gently competitive games with others! Ice sleds and conventional skates available. For more info and to attend program, call 617-626-1294 to register or email

Movie Nights at Breakheart Reservation, Saugus: Fridays January 18, February 1 and February 15. 7-9pm. Come to the park for a free family friendly flick - bring the kids dressed in PJs and spread out on a cozy blanket for a fun film. Free parking. Call 781-233-0834 for more information. Call on the Friday prior to find out what movie will be shown. The Visitor Center is wheelchair accessible.

Georges Island Winter Fortress, Boston Harbor: Saturday, February 16. 11am-2pm. Looking for an outdoor adventure for the whole family? Look no further. Come check out Georges Island in the winter! If it gets too cold outdoors, warm up in the brand new Visitor Center and enjoy our short film as well as exhibits about the history of the island. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for kids. Reservations strongly recommended, as space is limited. Be sure to call in advance if you use a wheelchair - easiest access at the docks will depend on tides. For reservations call 781-770-0040 x 102 or visit:

Tracks, Scats and Nests - Interpretative Program at Borderland State Park, Sharon. Thursday, February 21. 1-2:30pm. Animal signs tell stories if we know how to read them. Watch an interactive slide show in the Visitor Center and guess who made the signs. Afterwards, we will enjoy a hike outdoors searching for wildlife and the signs they left behind for us to discover. Please dress in warm clothes and winter boots. Program meets at the Visitor Center at 259 Massapoag Street in N. Easton. Rain, snow storm, or very icy conditions will cancel the outdoor portion of the program. Program is free; there is a $2.00 per car parking fee. Please call (508) 866-2580 x 162 for more information.

Cape Cod
Interpretative programs during winter break week at Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Mashpee:

Skeletons Inside and Out - Tuesday, February 19: 10:00-11:30 am.
Learn all about skeletons and exoskeletons by examining, skulls, bones, X-rays and molts and discover fun facts about arthropods, crustaceans, birds, mammals and more. Together we will explore the beach and woods in search of animal artifacts then create a skeleton craft to take home and share. 

Bunny Trails and Cottontails - Thursday, February 21: 10:00-11:30am.
Meet a live bunny and enjoy stories, crafts and hands-on activities to discover the secret lives of local rabbits. Discover the rare New England Cottontail that researchers are studying within the Reserve and learn how you can help.

Meet at Reserve Visitor Center, 149 Waquoit Highway in Waquoit, MA. Program is free and open to the public. Reasonable accommodations available upon request. For more information, call (508) 457-0495.

Central Massachusetts
Adaptive Skating and Games on Ice, Fitzpatrick Rink, Holyoke, Sundays January 20, February 10 and March 10. 1:30 - 3:30pm. Use your wheelchair, an ice sled, or conventional skates on the ice! Spin, slide, race, slalom, socialize and play gently competitive games with others! Ice sleds and conventional skates available. For more info and to attend program, call 413-545-5758 to register or email

The Holyoke Merry-Go-Round at Holyoke Heritage State Park is open weekends, holiday Mondays and school break weeks from 10am-4pm. Great place to go with the family, with several kid-friendly and educational attractions in the same downtown courtyard. Tickets for the Merry-Go-Round are $2 each or 6 for $10. The Visitor Center at 221 Appleton Street is wheelchair accessible. Call 413-534-1723 for more information.

Western Massachusetts
Comet! Visit Western Gateway Heritage State Park in North Adams where you can learn about the history of the railroad and exhibits and programs take on a monthly theme. January's theme is astronomy - culminating in a program about comets on January 26. February's theme TBD. The Visitor Center is located at 115 State Street, Building 4. Winter hours are Thursday through Monday from 10am-4pm. Call 413-663-6312 for further information.

Check here for other programs and events offered by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). For any state park program, it is advisable to call ahead if you have accessibility needs or concerns. For a full list of DCR's Universal Access Program's outdoor winter opportunities, check tab at the top of Everyone Outdoors or click here.

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