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What to Do During Vacation Week In Massachusetts

February vacation week in Massachusetts is quickly approaching. Whether your family wants to enjoy the outdoors or experience history, we have the top things for you to do this vacation week.

Courtesy of the Museum of Science

See Myrtle the Turtle!

There are so many opportunities for families to have fun, educational experiences in Massachusetts. One option is a trip to New England Aquarium in Boston. Their most famous resident is Myrtle the Turtle, a green sea turtle weighing in at more than 500 pounds. Scientists estimate she’s about 90 years old and aquarium staffers say she loves to sleep, eat, and have her shell scratched.

Myrtle, a green sea turtle, is estimated to be 90 years old and could live for decades more. She currently resides at the New England Aquarium.

Cross-Country Skiing

Looking for family fun over February break? One option is a ski trip just 15 minutes from Boston. The Weston Ski Track is close to MBTA and commuter rail stops and offers cross-country skiing. If you don’t have your own equipment, you can get it there.

The Leo J. Martin Golf Course is also home to a cross-country ski track in the winter. The facility makes its own snow.

The Weston Ski Track has rentals for both skates and classic skis, and there’s no need to reserve in advance. They also offer snow-shoeing, and if there’s natural snow visitors can try out the trails that weave through the woods.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

 The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is also a fun place to visit in Boston. At this time of year, their courtyard garden features gorgeous orchids that are native to southeast Asia and Africa. The museum itself is a Venetian palace that was once the home of the late Isabella Stewart Gardner, a famous art collector and philanthropist. When she died, she left specific instructions to turn her home into a museum showcasing her extensive collection of Renaissance Art. The building is also the site of the infamous art heist in 1990.

When Isabella Stewart Gardner died, she left very specific instructions to turn her home into a museum.

Skiing

There is no need to travel far to ski this vacation week. At Bousquet Ski Area, visitors can roam the trails that Olympians like Heidi Voelker once skied.  When you visit the Blue Hills Ski Area, the fun does not stop when the sun goes down. Their trail-lighting means that you can ski at night. At Wachusett Mountain, there are 27 different trails to choose from. At Berkshire East Mountain Resort, you can enjoy the terrain without getting stuck in the crowds.  Visitors can try out 45 different trails for all skill levels at Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort.

Skiers ride a chairlift, top, as a snowboarder, below, makes his way down a trail at Wachusett Mountain Ski Area, in Princeton, Mass., Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012. Areas in the north and west of the state received a blanket of heavy, wet snow on Thursday.
Steven Senne/AP

Hikes

Get outside and enjoy the views during February vacation. The 3,000 acres at Wachusett Mountain State Reserve offer endless hiking opportunities. At the Mohawk Trail State Forest, visitors can explore mountain ridges, gorges and woods as they hike 30 miles of trails. When you hike at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary, you can observe all the wildlife that the diverse terrain attracts. Escape the city at the Blue Hills Reservation just outside of Boston with a scenic view and varied terrain. Whether you are an experienced hiker or are just getting started, the Savoy Mountain State Forest has something for you.

A trail is covered by leaves in the 750-acre Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary in Easthampton, Massachusetts, Nov. 12, 2002.
Chitose Suzuki/AP

Museums

Courtesy of the Museum of Science

Massachusetts has no shortage of museums. At the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum, you can dive into an event that changed the course American history. To learn more about the natural world and how humans impact it, you can visit the Harvard Museum of Natural History. Visitors can engage in research and innovation at the MIT Museum with galleries, exhibitions, demos, workshops, performances and debates. At the Museum of Science, you can explore cutting edge science and technology with interactive exhibits. Children can learn about science, culture, literacy and health through hands-on exhibits at the Boston Children’s Museum.

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