February break may be shortened for some school systems, but that doesn’t translate into a shortage of things to do while the kids are home:
Bristol: Children ages 6 to 12 are invited to create, play and imagine during the President's Day school break in the New England Carousel Museum galleries. Explore materials like metal-foil, sharpies, rhinestones and air-dry clay and ride the indoor carousel on Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 19 and 20, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. $35 for both days; $25 for museum members. Registration required: thecarouselmuseum.org/book-online and 860-585-5411
Hartford: The Connecticut Science Center offers vacation exploration camps on Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 19 and 20. Those in grades 1 through 6 will experience hands-on science enrichment through activities. Camps include
structured activities with STEM educators, as well as supervised free time to explore the Science Center's galleries and exhibits, including the new “Bionic Me” exhibit. Registration fees: $62 to $68. Reservations: 860-520-2177 or email camps@CTScienceCenter.org.
Hartford: The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, 77 Forest St., offers a family tour daily at 1:30 p.m. Feb. 17 through 19 and 21 to 25 (closed Feb. 20). The tour is a hands-on, minds-on experience that uses storytelling, photographs, and historic letters to bring the 19th century's most famous female author/activist to life. The tour, for ages 5 to 12 with an adult, is also offered year round on Saturday and Sunday at 1:30 p.m. Make reservations at least 24 hours in advance: 860-522-9258, Ext. 317.
West Hartford: The Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society in West Hartford has four creative, hands-on workshops planned for Feb. 19 and 20. Workshops are designed for kids ages 7 to 12 and each is 3 hours long. There will be a morning workshop from 9 a.m. to noon and an afternoon workshop from 1 to 4 p.m. both days. Sign up for one or all four programs. The fee for each workshop is $25 per child, $20 museum members. Pre-registration is required: 860-521-5362, Ext. 14 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Windsor: On Feb. 19 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Windsor Historical Society’s Hands-On-History Learning Center offers a workshop on how to make hand-dipped paraffin candles. The Hands-On-History Learning Center, where children can try on reproduction colonial clothing, try out a child-sized rope bed, or “milk” Flavia the cow, will be open. Scavenger hunts are also available for the Windsor history museum galleries. Cost is $12 per family; or $6 per adult; $5; seniors, $4 children; $3 members. A parent or guardian must accompany children. 860-688-3813 and windsorhistoricalsociety.org
Woodbury: Flanders Nature Center and Land Trust invites kids in grades kindergarten through fifth grade to come to Flanders for its “Amazing Animals” program on Feb. 19 and 20. Centered at the Flanders trail house, kids will hike the trails and learn how to track animals active in winter. Also, visit the animals that make their home in the Flanders North Barn to search for the eggs that the hens have laid and learn new facts about farmyard animals. Flanders is offering three different sessions for each day: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; 1 to 5 p.m.; and a full-day session that runs 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Children should dress for the weather and bring a bag lunch or snack. Cost per child each day for either the morning or afternoon session is $30 members and $40 for nonmembers. Full-day cost for each day is $60 for members and $80 for nonmembers. Early care is available at $8 per hour. Pre-registration is required: 203-263-3711, Ext. 10.
Torrington: A Family Fun Fair will be held on Feb. 18, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Warner Theatre and KidsPlay Children's Museum, 61 Main St. Over 35 organizations dealing with children and their families from the public service, nonprofit and private sectors will be participating. Free day-long entertainment includes stage shows, balloon twisting, face painting, caricaturist, clowns, exhibits and fun activities for all Fair attendees. In addition, included in the admission price ($20 for a family of six; each additional family member is $3 at the door) will be free entry into KidsPlay Children's Museum the day of the event.
Windsor Locks: The New England Air Museum offers an array of family-fun activities Feb. 19 through 23: three hangars filled with more than 60 historic aircraft and hands-on activities including daily hands-on Build & Fly Challenges, interactive Flight Science Demonstrations, computerized Flight Simulators and Open Cockpit Experiences in historic aircraft. Special events are also scheduled during the week. The museum is open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $10 to $15; children under 3 are free. neam.org and 860-623-3305.