Strung out from Christmas lights, stressing about entertaining your house guests, and done in from wrestling your little sugar plums into bed each night? Consider putting a little post-holiday family fun on the calendar. For many parents, the ocean of time between the holidays and when your kids will head back to school can seem insurmountable, so we’ve pulled together some ideas to help make the most of winter break:Sing-a-Long Sound of Music Regent Theater, Arlington
December 26-30th, times vary. See website for information and prices.
Ever want to belt out a tune and let loose while at the movie theater? Well, we’ve got a family-friendly activity that is sure to tickle your toddler and torture your ‘tween. Sing-a-Long Sound of Music is your chance to test your range with several hundred other nuns, Von Trapp family members, and Julie Andrews look-a-likes. The evening begins with a live show in which your host will lead you through a vocal warm-up, judge the fancy dress competition and award the prizes. (Costumes are not required, but recommended–and you’ll be amazed at what people can come up with!) Then watch the original 1965 movie with the lyrics for all the songs on the screen, so you won’t miss a chance to sing your hearts out. It’s a total post-holiday, family friendly catharsis!Kelly’s Kids Night Kelly’s Roast Beef See website. Locations and prices vary
Tired of figgy pudding leftovers? Grab the brood (and their new battery-not-included beeping toys) and treat yourselves to Kids Night at Kelly’s, where kids of all ages can hear some storytelling, have fun with face painting, balloons, design exciting arts and crafts projects, and dig into some ice cream. Activities are free, but the Kelly’s kids meals are not included. With plenty of locations, there’s no reason why you can’t take advantage of this great chance to dine out: Kelly’s Kids Night on Mondays in Saugus from 5-8 pm, Tuesdays in Danvers and Medford from 5-8 p m, and every Wednesday in Natick from 5-8 pm.ZooLights Stone Zoo, Stoneham, MA See website Through January 1, 2012
For those who haven’t tired of the season yet, keep the faith: The beloved holiday family tradition of ZooLights at the Stone Zoo will be up and running until January 2nd. Upon entering the Zoo, guests will visit Yukon Creek, which features dazzling holiday lights as well as bald eagles, porcupines, lynx, a gray fox and a pair of reindeer. It’s a nice way to get outside and experience the wonder of the natural world.Arctic Adventure EcoTarium, Worcester See website Until December 31, 2011
Whether you’ve been to the EcoTarium in Worcester yet or not, you won’t want to be left out in the cold by missing their coolest exhibit yet. Arctic Adventure is a 1,000 square foot travelling exhibition developed and produced by Science North, from Ontario, Canada, that takes visitors deep inside a place few will ever get to visit: the Arctic Circle. This exhibit explores the unique nature of our planet’s polar regions and the life that they support. From the icy landscape to animal survival, children and adults will discover the fascinating facts about the frozen North. Get it while it’s hot, people: the exhibit wraps up on New Years Eve!
SkyZone, Boston See website for additional information.
Here’s an activity for moms who need their kids to be as exhausted as they are. Get yourself to the SkyZone Trampoline Park in Boston, which will be having extended hours from December 26th- 29th from 12-8pm and is open New Years Eve from 10am-5pm. With a special court for toddlers, SkyZone promises to be fun for the whole family. If you would like to guarantee your jump time, you can buy tickets online for a $1.00 reservation fee per person. All jumpers must have a waivers–either filled out online or in person when you arrive. The toddler Court pricing (for jumpers under 40 inches in height) 30 min jump-$6; 1 hour jump-$8. Prices for jumpers taller than the 40 inches: 30 min jump-$8; 1 hour jump-$12; 90 min jump-$16;2 hour jump-$18. Sky Zone recommends younger jumpers (10 and under) jump earlier in the day. You should all sleep well after a visit to SkyZone!
Looking for more ways to entertain the kids and stay sane throughout the holiday season and the tough winter months? Take a look at Boston Baby: A Field Guide to Urban Parents and the newly released North Shore Baby: A Field Guide for Parents North of Boston.