Mark your calendars! After the presents are open and the extended family heads home, it’s that stretch of holiday break that parents are always looking to fill. This list of 25 local activities will help keep your family entertained. Please note that advanced registration/ticket purchase is required for most of these attractions. Wishing you and your family a healthy and happy holiday break!
This list is generously sponsored by Duffy Insurance. Duffy Insurance is a leading independent insurance agency with multiple locations across the North Shore. Specializing in Home, Auto, Business and Life insurance, the team at Duffy will help you navigate all your insurance needs, no matter the size. Learn more at duffyins.com.
25 Family-Friendly Activities for Winter Break 2022
- Enjoy the Holiday Lights & Illumination set up at Hammond Castle Museum with streaming Christmas music, twinkling lights & festive projections that combine to create a magical holiday wonderland. Daily (12/23-1/1/23) from 4-10pm. No reservations or tickets required.
- Fill those Yeti mugs with hot chocolate and hit the road, driving around the North Shore to see holiday lights. 11 Holiday Light Displays You Won’t Want to Miss in this post.
- Animal lovers will enjoy seeing the zoo animals along with the illuminated animal lanterns at ZooLights at Stone Zoo. Nightly through 1/8/23 (closed Christmas Day) from 4-9:30pm.
- Visit Peabody’s newest museum for kids: The North Shore Children’s Museum. Open special holiday hours for the break: Tues. 12/27 – Sat. 12/31, from 9am-2pm, with a special Countdown to Noon Year’s Eve on 12/31. Tickets are $12, or $6 with a library museum pass (must secure from your local library ahead of time.)
- Jump for joy at SkyZone inside the Liberty Tree Mall. There are attractions for all ages in this indoor trampoline park, open daily from 3-8pm.
- Too cold 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.
- Bounce on in to Cowabunga’s North Reading. This huge, indoor, inflatable playground encourages families to climb, jump, slide and play together. Open daily at 10 am (closing times vary by day) and on Christmas Eve Day, from 10am-4pm, for burning off some energy. On New Years Eve they will be hosting at family friendly bounce party with confetti countdown every two hours, from 10am-6pm. Get tickets here.
- Kids love to sing and dance? Sign them up for a 3-Day Encanto Workshop at A Broadway Kids Co. in Middleton. Workshop runs 12/27-12/29 from 9am-1pm and is best suited to kids ages 5-10 years old. Sign up here.
- Paint your own pottery at Clay Dreaming in Beverly, daily from 10am-6pm during vacation week (10am-9pm on Thurs. 12/29 & Fri. 12/30).
- Book a bay for the whole family to golf one of over 210 courses worldwide on Trackman 4 Technology at Golf Lounge 18. You can also enjoy food, drinks, and music at this fun indoor golf lounge, located at The Northshore Mall. Open daily (except on Christmas Day.)
- Ever wanted to know what a farmer’s life is like? Find out at one of Appleton Farms “Farmer for a Day” drop off programs! Open for kids 5-11 years old, Tues. 12/27 – Fri. 12/30, from 9am-12pm. Each day focuses on a different theme and kids should be prepared to spend most of the day outside. Register here.
- Get the wiggles out in a fun, themed camp at The Little Gym Cherry Hill. Kids will love themes like Holiday Goofy Games, Winter Camping and New Years Beach Bash! Mon. 12/26 – Fri. 12/30 from 1-4pm. Register here.
- Adventurous kids (ages 9-14) might like the 3-day Youth Outdoor Winter Survival Skills Program at Mass Audubon Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary in Topsfield. Wed. 12/28, Thurs. 12/29 and Fri. 12/30 from 10am-12pm. Register here.
- DIScover Vacation Camps gives kids the opportunity to choose from Football Camp or a mix of activities including sports, games, obstacle courses, and more. Both camps are held at Danvers Indoor Sports and are best suited for ages 5-12. Mon. 12/26 – Fri. 12/30, from 9am-12pm or 9am-3pm. Register here.
- Head to Ace Gymnastics in Ipswich for Holiday Palooza Camp, offered full days (9am-3pm) or half days (12-3pm) for ages 4.5+ or Preschool Mini Camp from 9:30-11am. Sign up here.
- If the kids are bouncing off the walls it’s time to head to the Children’s Piazza in Peabody. Playtimes available daily, beginning at 8:30am (closed Sundays). Join them for a Toodles to 22 party from either 8:30-10:30am or 11:30am-1:30pm on Sat. 12/31. Get tickets here.
- Make a mess outside the house at Family Fun Makerspace on Fri. 12/30 from 9:30-11:30am. Messy Makers Community space, in Danvers, will have multiple stations setup that will offer children creative time with a wide variety of materials and tools, we want children to explore, create, and make. (Not a drop-off program.) Register here.
- Create Clay Winter Penguins, Candy Art and more at Art’s Cool in Middleton. Classes available Tues. 12/27 to Thurs. 12/29, times vary. Sign up here.
- The Alchemy Laboratory is where Harry Potter meets real science! Kids 6 and up, will enjoy Ed the Wizard’s Alchemy Laboratory at the Wenham Museum on Tues. 12/27 from 2-3pm. John Higby, the Yo-Yo Guy, will also be performing at the Museum on Wed. 12/28 at 10:30am and 2pm. Sign up here.
- Turn gratitude into a fun activity with Thank You Card Making at the Hamilton-Wenham Library on Thurs. 12/30 from 11am-1pm. Register here.
- Create fun New Years Eve Hats at the Flint Public Library in Middleton on Fri. 12/30, 11-11:45am. Free event.
- Join the LEGO building crew at the Topsfield Public Library on Thurs. 12/29 from 1-3pm. Drop in and build. Ages 4+, not a drop-off event.
- Drop in for Open Paint & Crafting at Hammer & Stain North Shore in Beverly on Thurs. 12/29 from 11am-2pm. Pick from projects starting at $8 and make them on the spot! Kid and adult projects available.
- If your kids can’t stay up until midnight, they’ll love the NOON Year’s Eve Glow Dance Party at In the Game Peabody. Party will include music, games, glow sticks, arcade games and a balloon drop. Sat. 12/31, 10am-12pm. Get tickets here.
- Join Beverly’s New Year 2023 fun and free event (back in-person) on Sat. 12/31 from 3:30-7pm. Enjoy a show by Curious Creatures, magicians, music and more! Downtown Beverly.