This list is generously sponsored by Real Pirates Salem. Opening April 9,2022! Visit Real Pirates Salem and learn the real-life stories of Maria Hallett, the Witch of Wellfleet, and her beloved “Black Sam” Bellamy, and see the only authentic pirate treasure ever discovered in this interactive experience! Located at 285 Derby Street, Salem, MA.
Are you ready for April school vacation? Seems like this one really snuck up on us! If you aren’t planning to travel, your family can still have a great time on the North Shore. Keep reading for a list of ideas including local camps, shows, exhibits, free activities, drop-off and drop-in events.
35 Fun April Vacation Activities
(Running Monday, 4/18 through Friday 4/22 unless otherwise noted)
- Swing Into Spring Break Sports Camp – This camp at Danvers Indoor Sports, will feature a sports theme and is perfect for kids ages 5-12. Available half (9am-12pm) or full day (9am-3pm). Cost is $45/day for half days and $65/day (members) or $75/day (non-members) for full days. Register here.
- Spring Kick-Off Football Camp – This camp features half (9am-12pm) and full day (9am-3pm) options for players ages 5-12, at Danvers Indoor Sports. Children will work on skills such as throwing, running, catching, cutting, backpedaling and more. Children will scrimmage, go through various one on one competitions and play classic camp style games like Ultimate Football, Flag Football, Capture the Ball, and Dodgeball. Cost is $65/day for members or $75/day for non-members. Register here.
- April Soccer Skillz Camp – Skillz Check’s week-long vacation camps feature both half and full day options for players ages 5-17, at Danvers Indoor Sports. The clinics focus on the technical skills that help players develop critical speed and confidence with the ball and incorporate high-level training with small-side game experiences. Choose from full (9am-3pm) or half day (9am-12pm) programs. Cost is $230 for half day and $330 for full day. Register at skillzcheck.com.
- SHINE Bright Yoga– This popular Yoga Series is back again for April Vacation! This 3-day Yoga class will focus on building strength, fostering balance and encouraging mindfulness in a small group setting. Each class will include teaching kids regulatory strategies for school and home. For kids ages 6+. Tue. 4/19 – Thurs. 4/21, from 9-9:45am. Cost is $75 and this series will be held at kidSHINE in Rowley. Register here.
- Super Quest Camp – Designed for children ages 3-8. At Super Quest Camp at The Little Gym at Cherry Hill, children will spend three super-awesome, adventure-filled hours a day on a unique, exciting quest with their friends. Each day revolves around an interactive learning theme with different, creative lesson plans that will keep your child engaged. Held Mon. 4/18 (1-3pm), Tues. 4/19 (2-4pm) and Wed. 4/20 (2-4pm) with an extra hour of Lunch Bunch available before and after camp on Monday and Wednesday. Camps start at $23 per session. Register here.
Single Day, Drop-Off and Drop-In Events
- Real Pirates Salem – Immerse yourself in the stories of Real Pirates! The experience features the true tale of “Black Sam” Bellamy – the richest and one of the youngest pirates of all time – and Maria Hallett, the love of his life and so-called “Witch of Wellfleet.” See the world’s only fully authenticated pirate treasure ever discovered – including coins, jewelry, and weapons – retrieved from the wreck of Bellamy’s ship, and last touched by the hands of pirates more than 300 years ago. Explore the Discovery Lab where you can dive into the preservation process of these artifacts, become a Real Pirate through the complimentary photo experience, follow the journey with an audio tour narrated by famed underwater archaeological explorer Barry Clifford, and visit the gift shop for a memorable keepsake. Located at 285 Derby, Salem, MA. Great for ages 5+. Open daily from 10am-6pm. Tickets are $13 for kids, $16.50 for adults and $13.50 for seniors. Get tickets at realpiratessalem.com.
- Free Music Show – Head to the Peabody Institute Library, Danvers, on Saturday 4/16, for the Steve Blunt Family Music Show from 10-11am. Best suited for children age 0 – 10. Spots are limited, registration is required and begins on April 9th at 9am.
- Mario The Maker Magician – Head to The Cabot in Beverly for a morning of magic through the lens of the Maker Movement! Mario the Maker Magician brings you a family theater experience full of homespun MAGIC, handmade ROBOTS, and modern SLAPSTICK. Fast-paced, interactive, and hilarious. Sat. 4/16 at 10:30am. Tickets are $7.50 for kids and $15 for adults. Get tickets at thecabot.org.
- Open Paint & Craft Kit Event – Open Paint at Hammer & Stain North Shore, in Beverly, is a great time to pick up a craft kit (projects starting at $8) and make it on the spot! On Sat. 4/16, Wed. 4/20, Fri. 4/22, or Sat. 4/23, from 11am-3pm, you can choose from fun spring projects or popular everyday ones. You can also select your kit and have it packaged to complete at home. Kids and adult projects available, good for ages 4+.
- Blue Man Group Boston – Take the family on an adventure to Boston and see Blue Man Group during their extra shows added for April Vacation. Mon. 4/18 at 4:30pm, and Tue. 4/19 – Fri. 4/22 at 4:30 and 7:30pm. Tickets start at $48.75 or save 25% when you buy a Family 4-Pack. Located at the Charles Playhouse.
- Art Workshops – Little artists will love these themed workshops at Artcie in Hamilton. Mon. 4/18 from 9:30-11:30am sign up for the Peter Reynolds “The Dot,” Workshop for grades K-2, $35. Or sign up for a 2-day Fine Art Foodies; Plaster Sculpture Workshop on Wed. 4/20 & Thurs. 4/21 from 9:30am-12pm. For grades 2-5, $60. Register for all programs at www.artciestudio.com/workshops.
- Art Workshops – Art’s Cool in Middleton, is hosting two workshops per day on Tue. 4/18, Wed. 4/19 and Thurs. 4/20, times vary by day. Choose from Fashion, Candy Mosaic, Encanto Party, Safari Painting & Crafts or April Showers/Rainbow Art. $35-40/workshop. Register at www.artscoolmiddleton.com/programs.
- Clay Workshops – Kid’s ages 7+ can try their hand at the potter’s wheel at Clay Dreaming in Beverly! Their friendly staff will demonstrate, then help and encourage all participants to create 2-3 pieces that will be fired and glazed and ready to pick up in about 2.5 weeks. Choose from sessions on Mon. 4/18, Tue. 4/19, Wed. 4/20 or Fri. 4/22, from 10-11:30am. Cost $40/session. Registration is required and space is limited. Call 978-927-1414 to register.
- Paint Your Own Pottery – Also at Clay Dreaming, you can paint your own, ready-to-go pottery daily during extended vacation hours: Mon.-Wed: 10am-7pm, Thurs.-Sat: 10am-9pm and Sun: 11am-6pm. Reservations are recommended, call 978-927-1414 to reserve your table.
- April Vacation STEAM Days – Kids will love three days of STEAM exploration and makerspace creativity at Messy Makers Community in Danvers! Signup for one, two or three half-days (9:30am-12:30pm, extended lunch hour available). Appropriate for ages 5-12. Tue. 4/19 – Thurs. 4/21. $35 or $90 for all three days. Sign up on Eventbrite.
- Miss Frizzle’s Insect Show – This free event will feature Miss Frizzle and bugs at the Peabody Institute Library in Danvers! Tue. 4/19, 2-3pm. Registration is required and begins on April 12 at 9am.
- Day of Puppetry – Head to Hammond Castle in Gloucester for a day of puppet antics, laughter and musical numbers aplenty with the Vaudeville Puppets! Tue. 4/19, performances at 11:30am & 1:30pm, $15. Get tickets here.
- A Tiny Teen Craft for Earth Day – Older kids will enjoy creating fake succulent plants in pots that they’ll paint on Tue. 4/19, from 4-4:45pm, at the Ipswich Public Library. Keep nature growing outside but enjoy the look of it inside all year long, and never have to add water! This is a free event and space is limited. Register here.
- All-A-Board Game Night – Families can head to the Farms Branch of the Beverly Public Library for a fun and free game night on Tue. 4/19 from 7-8:30pm. No registration needed.
- Knights & Ladies Day – Bring your little Knights and Ladies to the Hammond Castle Museum for an educational and hands-on introduction to the history of heraldry on Knights and Ladies Day. This hour-long program on Wed. 4/20, is geared towards 7–11 year-olds, and will be held in the Great Hall of the Museum. Sessions at 11am & 1pm. Tickets are $10 per adult and $15 per child. Tickets reservations are required in advance and available at www.hammondcastle.org
- Magic! – The Good Witch of Salem is offering some unique parties during April Vacation. Choose from the 2-day Fairy Magic Workshop on Mon. 4/18 & Tue. 4/19, from 9:30am-12pm (Cost: $105) or Magical Manicures on Tue. 4/19, from 2:30-3:30pm, or Magical Dinosaurs on Wed. 4/20, from 10-11am. Both $25. Register at goodwitchofsalem.com.
- Aleppo Shriner’s “All New” Circus – Ladies and Gentlemen, children of all ages STEP RIGHT UP and reserve your circus tickets today! Held at the Shiner’s Auditorium in Wilmington, Wed. 4/20 – Sun. 4/24, with 2-3 shows per day, times vary. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased on Eventbrite.
- Origami Workshop For Kids – Kids ages 7+ are invited to this fun class in the art of paper-folding by origami master Michael LaFosse, of Origamido studio in Haverhill on Wed. 4/20 from 2-3pm, at the Boxford Library. (Free and paper is provided.) Masks are recommended, and space is limited. Sign up on or after 4/6 at boxfordlibrary.org.
- Construction Zone – Drop in to break and build at the Flint Public Library in Middleton. Wed. 4/20, from 2-3pm, play with a variety blocks and Legos to make unique structures. Building toys are available for all ages, with soft blocks for babies and toddlers, LEGO Duplo bricks for young children, and standard LEGO bricks & Magna-Tiles for older children. Free and registration not required.
- New England Birds of Prey – Wingmasters will host this interesting show for children ages 6+ at the Ipswich Town Hall in conjunction with the Ipswich Public Library, on Wed. 4/20, from 3-4pm. Raptors include hawks, falcons and owls, and this presentation, which incorporates 5 live birds of prey, all native to New England, gives an overview of these different categories. This event is free but advance registration is required.
- Kids Free Day at Hammond Castle – On Thurs. 4/21, kids under 12 get free admission to self-guided tours at Hammond Castle in Gloucester, from 10am-3pm. Adult tickets are $18. Make reservations at www.hammondcastle.org.
- Egg-stravaganza: Library Egg Hunt – Drop in and hunt for colorful eggs throughout the Children’s Room at the Flint Public Library in Middleton on Thurs. 4/21, from 11-11:30am. Eggs containing small prizes will be hidden throughout the room for you to discover. We recommend bringing a small tote or basket to collect your eggs in. Prizes may include stickers, small toys, and tickets to claim a free book to keep. Free, registration not required, open to kids of all ages.
- Let’s Plant Some Seeds – Kids of all ages will enjoy learning about gardening and planting seeds at the Beverly Public Library Farms Branch Lawn on Thurs. 4/21, from 3:30-4:30pm. This event is free but space is limited and advance registration is required.
- Snakes of New England & The World– Kids, teens and adults can join Rick Roth for his Snakes of New England & The World presentation at the T.O.H.P. Burnham Library in Essex, on Fri. 4/22, from 10-11am. Meet and interact with all sorts of amazing snakes-small ones and huge ones!-and learn about where they live, what they eat and their unique behaviors. This event is free but advance registration is required.
- Sea Glass Saturdays – Sign up for a fun, crafty outing to Create & Escape DIY in Peabody on Sat. 4/16 or 4/23 from 9:30-10:30am and make your own sea glass seascape design! Perfect for all ages including beginners and advanced artists! $45, sign up at createandescapediy.com.
- Open Play Sessions – Get the wiggles out indoors! Kids up to 6 years old will enjoy the variety of themed rooms and the indoor playground at The Children’s Piazza in Peabody. Four daily play sessions are available by reservation between 8:30am and 5:30pm, Mon. – Fri. Cost: $12 per child/$8 per sibling, (One adult per child admitted at no charge. Additional adults will be charged the sibling rate.) Register for a session at www.thechildrenspiazza.com.
- SkyZone – There are attractions for all ages in this indoor trampoline park at the Liberty Tree Mall in Danvers. Open daily from 3-8pm. Teens might like jumping during their GLOW sessions with black lights, lasers and glow-in-the-dark shirts. Fri. 4/15 and 4/22, 7-9 pm & 9-11pm or Sat. 4/16 and 4/23, 8-10pm. Cost: $25.
- Glow Mini Golf – Too cold or rainy for mini golf? Not at Aloha Mini Glow Golf. This course is located inside the Northshore Mall (lower level near Nordstrom) and open daily, M-Th. 11am-8pm, Fri. & Sat. 10am-9pm and Sun. 12-6pm.
- Cowabunga’s – This huge, indoor, inflatable playground in North Reading, encourages families to climb, jump, slide and play together. Open Tue.-Thurs. 10am-8pm, Fri. 10am-6pm and Sat. & Sun. 12-6pm. $15 for 1 hour, $20 for 2, adults get in free. Get tickets at cowabungas.com.
- Drop In Play – Kids 6 months to 6 years will enjoy dropping in for a play session at the newest indoor playground in our area, The Nook, in Newburyport! Each session of play lasts 2 hours and is $20. Open daily from 9am-12pm (except Mondays) and Happy Hour from 3-5pm on Wednesday & Friday. Sign up at thenooknbpt.com.