25 Family-Friendly Winter Break Activities - 2023 - The North Shore Moms

Curling image courtesy of the Frozen Fire Festival.


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. Wishing you and your family a healthy and happy holiday break!




This list is generously sponsored by Transylvania Moving Company. Transylvania Moving Company offers customized packing, moving, and storage solutions throughout the North Shore of Boston and beyond. With the acquisition of Hiltz Moving & Storage in 2022, Transylvania Moving Company expanded its operations to include an 8,000 sq. ft. warehouse in Cape Ann for short and long-term storage needs. Visit transylvaniamoving.com or call 857-557-7555 to book your next move or storage space.


25 Family-Friendly Activities for Winter Break 2023


  1. Book a bay for the whole family to golf at 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.) Bay rentals start at $35. 
  2. Fill those Yeti mugs with hot chocolate and hit the road, driving around the North Shore to see holiday lights. 12 Holiday Light Displays You Won’t Want to Miss in this post.
  3. Animal lovers will enjoy seeing the zoo animals along with the illuminated animal lanterns at ZooLights at Stone Zoo. Nightly through 1/7/24 (closed Christmas Day) from 4-9:30pm. $19.95, advanced ticket purchase encouraged.
  4. 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. With GLOW Night for ages 5+ on Fri. 12/29. Tickets start at $18, advanced purchase not required. 
  5. 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, during Mall hours. Three rounds of mini golf start at $11.99, advanced registration not required.
  6. 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 and New Years 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. Admission starts at $15.
  7. Join Tinker for All at the Hamilton-Wenham Library on Tues. 12/26 from 11am-1pm. Free, no registration required.
  8. Salem’s not just for Halloween. Check out the Frozen Fire Festival from Tues. 12/26-Mon. 1/1, 11am-12am. There will be fire and ice installations, performances, curling, shopping and s’mores. No reservations required.
  9. Paint your own pottery at Clay Dreaming in Beverly, open weekdays from 10am-6pm, 10am-9pm on Fri. & Sat. Don’t miss their Mommy & Me Paint Your Own Potter from 11am-1pm on Tues. 12/26. Children 5 and under enjoy free studio fees when painting with an adult during Mommy & Me. Prices based on projects, advanced registration encouraged, but not required.
  10. 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. 12/26 – Fri. 12/29, from 9am-12pm. Each day focuses on a different theme and kids should be prepared to spend most of the day outside. Pricing starts at $60, advanced registration required. 
  11. DIScover Vacation Camps gives kids the opportunity to choose from Football Camp or a mix of activities including sports, crafts, obstacle courses, and more. Both camps are held at Danvers Indoor Sports and are best suited for ages 5-12. Plus there is a Jr. Mini Camp from 9am-12pm for kids ages 3.5-5. Tues. 12/26 – Fri. 12/29, from 9am-12pm or 9am-3pm. Camps start at $40/day, advanced registration required. 
  12. Pumpernickel Puppets will be visiting the Wenham Museum this holiday season with two stories, The Three Billy Goats Gruff and The Lion and the Mouse on Tues. 12/26, at 10:30am.  Ed the Wizard will also be back to the Museum on Tues. 12/26, at 2:00 p.m. for an interactive program on aerodynamics! John Higby, the Yo-Yo Guy, will give two performances on Wed. 12/27, at 10:30am and 2pm. You can also catch Magic Fred’s amazing magic show with music, & puppets on Thurs. 12/28, at 10:30am and 2pm. Last but not least, head to the Wenham Museum for a Kids’ Countdown to New Years Eve on Sun. 12/31 from 10am-1pm. Shows start at $10, advanced ticket purchase required.
  13. Visit the The North Shore Children’s Museum in Peabody. Open 9am-12pm & 1-4pm on 12/27, 12/28 & 12/29. Open 9am-12pm, 12-2pm & 2-4pm on 12/30. Limited tickets available for 12/31. Tickets are $12, or $6 with a library museum pass (must secure from your local library ahead of time.) Advanced registration encouraged.
  14. Beverly Main Streets is proud to present E.T., a $1 Movie, in partnership with The Cabot, on Wed. 12/27, from 3-5pm. Prior to the screening of E.T., Beverly Main Streets will share a brief presentation about the organization’s role in the community, its future goals, and how you can get involved. $1, advanced ticket purchase not required.
  15. Create Unicorn or Elf Dreamcatchers, Puppies or Dinos projects and more at Art’s Cool in Middleton. Classes available Wed. 12/27 and Thurs. 12/28, times vary. Classes start at $35, advanced registration required.
  16. A 2-day Squishmallow Paper-Mache Workshop will be hosted by Messy Makers Community at the Danversport Marina, on Wed. 12/27 and Thurs. 12/28 from 10:15-11:30am. $30, advanced registration required.
  17. Your kids can learn about nutrition and make healthy holiday treats with Whitney Cardosi, a Healthy Hands Certified Instructor, at Paper & Clay in Melrose on Thurs. 12/28 from 11:30am-12:30pm or at Empower on Haven, in Reading on 12/28 from 2-3pm. $25, advanced registration required. 
  18. Get creative at the Topsfield Public Library on Thurs. 12/28 from 2-3pm with Crafternoon for Kids. Free, no registration required.
  19. Enjoy Deck the Halls Tour & Holiday Illumination set up at Hammond Castle Museum with streaming Christmas music, twinkling lights & festive projections that combine to create a magical holiday wonderland. 12/28, 6,7 & 8pm. $20, advanced ticket purchase required.
  20. Create fun New Years Eve Hats at the Flint Public Library in Middleton on Fri. 12/29, 11am-12:30pm, Best for ages 2-12. Free, no registration required.
  21. Celebrate Noon Year’s Eve with Ms. Kim and her friend, Tracy from the Tre-Station, on Fri. 12/29 from 11:30am-12:15pm. You’ll meet in the activity room at Flint Memorial Library, in North Reading, for dancing, stories, and a craft. Free, advanced registration required.
  22. If your kids can’t stay up until midnight, they’ll love the NOON Year’s Eve Disco Party at In the Game Peabody. Party will include music, color your own t-shirt, dancing and 60 credits for arcade games. Sun. 12/31, 10am-12pm. $25, advanced ticket purchase encouraged.
  23. Cruise around The Rink at MarketStreet, open Mon.-Fri. from 3-8pm, 10am-8pm on Sat. & 11am-8pm on Sun. $12, advanced ticket purchase not required.
  24. Head to the newest indoor playground on the North Shore, Savy Little Playhouse in Hamilton, for a Glow Crazy New Year’s Party with open play that transitions to a black light dance party in the dark, where they’ll countdown to “New Year’s” with a neon balloon throw or drop. Each ticket comes with a Glow Crazy bag featuring a glow-in-the-dark headband/ears, glasses, glow sticks, and jewelry. Sun. 12/31, 10am-12pm. $35, advanced registration required. 
  25. Kids of all ages might enjoy attending Rockport’s annual year-end celebration of the arts offers a wide range of entertainment for adults and children beginning at 4pm and culminating with a midnight ball drop. The 12 downtown entertainment venues will include halls, churches, and restaurants, all within easy walking distance of one another. The Beauport Shuttle will circulate among the venues and parking areas. Activities include all kinds of music, dance, poetry, magic, juggling, and puppetry. $10-$20, buy a button for admission to all events.

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