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Here is our list of favorite events for families in March. Enjoy! And we would love to hear about your experience if you chose to attend any one of them.

Connecticut

Piff the Magic Dragon at Foxwoods Resort in Ledyard        
On March 12 and 13, as seen on America's Got Talent, this family-friendly magician and comedian is taking the world by storm. See him for 20.00 a ticket.

Around the World Series at Stepping Stones Museum in Norwalk
In 2016, the Stepping Stones Museum will explore the continent of Asia, showcasing different aspects of this culture through various programs throughout the year. This is an award-winning series: it received the Promising Practice and Replication award from the Association of Children’s Museums and MetLife Foundation.  

On Saturday, March 12, at 2pm visitors have the opportunity to watch Chinese Acrobat Li Liu. “Li Liu began training at Beijing’s Chinese National Circus School at six years old. She will perform hand balancing, plate spinning, trick cycling, foot juggling, ribbon dancing and Chinese water bowl manipulation. Perform ‘amazing feats’ of your own as you learn skills such a ribbon dancing and basic plate spinning.” http://www.steppingstonesmuseum.org/Education/FamilyPrograms/AroundtheWorld/tabid/394/Default.aspx

Northwest Park Annual Pancake Breakfast in Windsor
On March 21st,  wake up and head to Northwest Park for the annual Friends of Northwest Park Pancake Breakfast from 8:00 AM to 11:00 AM in the Warming Shed. Bring an appetite for a full breakfast of pancakes and sausage smothered in 100% pure maple syrup made right at Windsor’s very own Northwest Park. Refreshment choices include orange juice, coffee, tea and hot chocolate. Adults, $6.00. Children under 12, $4.00. Children under 3 are free. Please call 860-285-1886 to register. There will also be a CHIPS (child identification program) sponsored by the Masons from Windsor’s Washington Lodge #70 at no charge. Bring your children from ages birth to 18 to the Nature Center from 9:00 AM to noon.
http://www.northwestpark.org/park_events.htm


Massachusetts

ArtZoo at The Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield
ArtZoo is a family-friendly exhibition on display at The Berkshire Museum through May 1. With winter temps still at our doorstep, an art museum is a wonderful option for March. Through this exhibit, children will “discover a magnificent menagerie of creatures portrayed in photography, painting, sculpture, ceramic, video, and more. This wild kingdom of animals from every corner of the world is grouped by species, as in a real zoo, and displayed with scientific specimens and engaging interactive stations. Activities for kids and families visiting ArtZoo include Animal Yoga (imitate poses such as Downward Dog, Butterfly Pose, Cobra Pose and many more), a live monitor lizard, an animal riddle game, and a zoo quest through the galleries.” http://berkshiremuseum.org/portfolio-item/artzoo/

Sugaring-Off Festival at Lands Sake Farm, Weston
"Pancakes, sugar house tours, and MAPLE SYRUP! Join Land’s Sake, a nonprofit farm dedicated to connecting people to the land, at its annual family-friendly Sugaring-Off Festival from 9am to 12noon on Saturday, March 26." Free

The Merrimack River Eagle Festival, Newburyport

Come to Newburyport and Amesbury on March 5 for a full day of free activities celebrating the return of our Bald Eagles! Mass Audubon’s Joppa Flats Education Center and the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge.” Free http://www.bostoncentral.com/events/fair/p45662.php


Vermont

 LEGO Contest at the NewsBank Conference Center in Chester
On March 5, “participants, grades pre-k through 8, may set up your pre-built creation from 9 to 10 a.m.  No kits.  Judging and exhibition takes place 10 a.m. to noon. Prizes awarded at 12:30 p.m. Refreshments will be for sale. A $10 entry fee is for those who register and pay by Monday, February 29. After that, entry goes to $15.” For more information, contact Lillian Willis at 875-1340 or lbwillisct@comcast.net. http://www.stlukesepiscopalvt.org/#!special-events/mppkg

Vermont Peanut Butter Tasting at The Vermont Country Store in Rockingham
On March 18 and 19, “come to The Vermont Country Store and sample an assortment of Vermont Peanut Butter Company’s famous peanut butter. Vermont Peanut Butter is a locally made and crafted product that is free of harmful preservatives, hydrogenated oils, GMO’s, palm fruit oils, excess sugar and salt.” http://www.vermontcountrystore.com/store/

Baby Animal Day at Billings Farm & Museum in Woodstock
On March 26, the farm “will feature family-centered programs with the farm’s calves, lambs, and more; also horse-drawn wagon rides and heirloom seed and children’s craft activities. Get up close with the farm’s baby animals and learn about their care, diet, and growth from the farm staff. Craft activities including making pom-pom chicks and lamb handprints will be available for children. Start planning your garden, learn about the importance of heirloom seeds, and select a few varieties from the Billings Farm to plant at home. Admission includes all programs and activities plus the farm life exhibits, 1890 Farm House, working dairy farm, and horse-drawn wagon rides.” http://www.billingsfarm.org/programs-events/spec_events/index.html

Magic Hat Mardis Gras 1-mile Fun Run in Burlington           
This race is just a small part of Magic Hat Brewery's Mardis Gras Weekend, running March 4th thru the 6th.  Click here for more information on the Weekend itinerary.
"New for the 2016 Magic Hat Parade is the 1-mile Mardi Gras Fun Run! This all-ages run/walk event will feature YOU, fabulously festooned in your most magnificent Mardi Gras garb. The event begins at the intersection of Church and Main Streets at 2:15. Participants will run or walk to Battery St. and will then head back to Church and Main for the finish. Registration fee is $20, which will benefit the Vermont Foodbank. Register online here or at the Magic Hat tent in City Hall Park the day of the Parade, between Noon and 2:15pm. Registration fee includes: Mardi Gras swag that must be worn during the race; the first 75 registrants will receive a ticket to the VIP viewing area to watch the parade in a crowd free zone which also includes a drink ticket for a free pint of Magic Hat beer to redeem at the Hilton Garden Inn Burlington lounge after the parade; post-race water and snacks in City Hall Park."


Rhode Island

Seal Watch on Prudence Island, Bristol
On March 9, from 9:45am–3:00pm. Bristol Ferry Landing, Thames Street. “Observe harbor seals, using spotting scopes and binoculars, at one of the best haul-out spots in Narragansett Bay! The program includes a presentation on these amazing animals and a van tour of the island, learning about the cultural and natural history of Prudence, as well as some of the current research projects at the Research Reserve.” Members: $8/adult, $4/child; non-members: $12/adult, $6/child; ferry ticket not included. Bring a lunch. Pre-registration is required. (401) 949-5454 x3041; programs@asri.org; www.asri.org

Stargazing Nights at Frosty Drew Observatory in Charlestown
Every Friday night around 6:30pm, weather permitting, the Observatory opens their Observatory, Sky Theatre, and telescopes to the skies and offer free stargazing and astronomy to anybody interested in observing with them. This is a wonderful opportunity for your family to have an exception view of the night sky over Ninigret Park. http://frostydrew.org/events.dc/show/event-434/


New Hampshire

The New Hampshire Maple Experience at the Rocks Estate in Bethlehem
From Mar 12th, 2016 to Apr 02nd, 2016 (Dates are Saturdays, March 12, 19, 20, 26, 27 and April 2, 2016) “join us for guided tours of our sugaring operation including horse drawn and tractor drawn rides, tap a maple tree with the group, tree id, the history of mapling, attend a chef demo about cooking with maple, the NH Maple Museum and sample maple syrup, pickles and donuts.” http://nhmapleexperience.com/

Maple Sugaring at 100 Acre Wood in Intervale            
Saturdays and Sundays in March take a wagon ride through the woods, learn about the history of sugaring, how to identify maple trees, tap for sap, collection and sample tasting.
http://www.believeinbooks.org/maple-sugaring.html



Maine

Farmer for the Morning at Wolfe’s Neck Farm - Freeport
Through March 24, “enjoy a special outing at the farm with your toddler or preschool-aged child. Meet us in the barn on Thursdays at 9AM for an hour-long interactive and hands-on experience that includes feeding and caring for the barnyard animals. Set on the shores of Casco Bay, Wolfe’s Neck Farm is a 626 acre nonprofit demonstration farm just a short, scenic drive from downtown Freeport and adjacent to Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park.” http://wolfesneckfarm.org/farmer-for-the-morning/

Range Pond State Park – Kids' Ice Fishing Derby – Poland
On March 5, from 9am to 1pm, there will be free ice fishing traps for 1st 500 registered children ages 12 & under that arrive before 10 a.m. and 1st 100 Special Olympics entrants compliments of Kittery Trading Post. Free ice fishing basics, drilled holes and bait for kids; first come first serve. And XC-ski trails - 2 miles groomed, sliding hill (snow permitting) and food vendor. Follow the link to register. Special reduced park entry fee of $1.50 for adults and youth 12-64; all others free. http://www.maine.gov/dacf/parks/discover_history_explore_nature/activities/eventinfo.shtml?id=633371

Lily Bay State Park – Moosehead Lake
On March 12 and 13, from 10am to 3pm, there will be cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, ice fishing demo, tote sled rides, wildlife exhibit, and a bonfire at the Park. Also, visitors will have access to free equipment (ski and snow shoe) loans. Winter survival skills will be provided by the Boy Scouts. Hot dogs, burgers, coffee and cocoa will be offered, as well as door prizes. $1.50 for adults and youth 12-64; all others free. For More Information call: (207) 695-2700. http://www.maine.gov/dacf/parks/discover_history_explore_nature/activities/eventinfo.shtml?id=633370

Family Discovery Program: Tracks and Scat – Maine Audubon in Falmouth
On Saturday Mar 12, 2016, from 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm, “join us for an afternoon of family exploration and fun. Basic track and scat identification will be followed by an outdoor investigation of who visits Fields Pond forest, meadow and stream this time of year. If the thaw is upon us, we will explore the frog pond for activity. Be prepared for the outdoors.” Location: Fields Pond
Price: $15member/20 nonmember per family  http://maineaudubon.org/events/category/type/family/

I don’t want to move on from talking about wonderful Vermont farms and not miss telling you about our visit to Brattleboro, Vermont, and Retreat Farm. It such a lovely place for families, where your children can feed, pet and groom animals…and even hold them, including baby chicks and bunnies. We will never forget the bull and how close you can get to this majestic and usually dangerous animal.  He will stick his head out and you will just smile in disbelief.  We also saw baby lambs, llamas, and miniature horses and my children also enjoyed driving the toy trucks and climbing on the tractors. There are more than 50 animals on the farm, as well as unique play areas that will make a wonderful addition to your visit.


If your family enjoys hiking, the Retreat Farm offers a nine-mile recreation network that were originally created by the Brattleboro Retreat in the 1800s and utilized for many years. There are several ways to access it, and they are free and open to the public year-round to hike, run, cross-country ski and snowshoe.  Mountain bikers and equestrians are also welcome, as well as pets on leashes. To learn about these access points: http://www.retreatfarm.org/retreat-trails/.

If you plan to explore this network of trails, I would highly recommend The Woodlands Interpretive Trail, a one-mile moderate loop accessed by the Solar Hill trailhead.  It features “18 placards that point out interesting natural aspects of the trail for visitors, such as a spot where lightning struck a tree and the site of granite which traveled there via melting glacier from Dummerston.” This MP3 recording is available to listen to while making the one-mile trek.  Audio can be downloaded here: http://www.retreatfarm.org/nature-trail/.

Next to the Retreat Petting Farm, you will find the farm’s specialty cheese and wine shop. This is a place for families!  Your children will enjoy watching them make the cheese right on site.  And there are numerous sample opportunities throughout the store.  We had fun deciding which one was our favorite and ultimately the one we would buy to take home and enjoy. We couldn’t decide between the maple smoked and the aged cheddar! All wonderful cheeses made by hand using raw milk from small family farmers. This is also a wonderful opportunity to shop for specialty gifts.  And every third Friday of each month they offer special tastings.


I love that Vermont embraces and takes pride in its history and allows us to enjoy such preservation and conservation. You will be happy to know that if you visit Retreat Farm’s cheese shop that you will be enjoying a product that has been made dating back to the 19th century in that area of Vermont. “The Grafton Cooperative Cheese Company was founded in 1892 by dairy farmers who gathered together in a cooperative to make their surplus milk into cheese. In the days before refrigeration, there were many such cooperatives in the rural agricultural communities and an abundance of fresh, creamy milk was turned into a food that could be stored for a longer period of time.”

When we visited Brattleboro, we stayed at the Brattleboro North KOA campground in our motorhome. http://koa.com/campgrounds/brattleboro/ . We have stayed at many KOAs and this one was conveniently located to the activities we planned for our visit and we were only there for a long weekend.  As far as KOAs go, it doesn’t’ have a lot of the typical amenities you would see now traveling up and down the east coast and it is small.  But, it is not small on charm.  The staff is very friendly and welcoming and this will make you feel right at home. There are a couple of small playgrounds and we did partake in the make-your-own sundaes. But the true highlight for us was the goats! Three fun Nigerian Dwarf goats named Chocolate, Caramel, and Butterscotch will be walked around the campground for you to greet and visit with! So different, unique and cute!


The other standout is the farm stand located right next door to the entrance of the campground.  This place is so quaint and yet has everything: local, fresh produce as well as yummy baked goods.  We went with the latter!  And while I am on the topic of food, I can’t forget to mention the local restaurant we ate at that was outstanding and serves local, fresh ingredients.  The views from the restaurant are beautiful too! It is called The Marina (http://vermontmarina.com/ ) and is worth a stop with your family.. 

We finished off our stay with a visit to Bromley, and it wasn’t ski weather so we enjoyed some of the amenities being offered in their Adventure Park.  There is so much to choose from that we only had time to do a couple of the activities. The triple-tracked alpine slide was something we had never experienced before and was a lot of fun. It is one of the longest slides in the world! For a complete list, visit: https://www.bromley.com/summer/attractions/mountain-adventure-park/


It is true. We often think of Vermont as a fall or cold-weather vacation spot. But your family will find plenty to do all throughout the year. And these are just a couple of ideas to get you started. Have you uncovered more?
There are so many reasons to visit Woodstock, Vermont, and its vicinity, but I bet you don’t know about one that I would say is the best of all...especially if you are animal lovers, like we are.  And I would say, so much so, that you should plan your visit around this excellent attraction and everything that it offers in the way of events and activities.  Let me ask you this, how close have you been to a bald eagle?  Have you been this close?


Well, you can experience this up-close-and-personal interaction with one at the Vermont Institute of Natural Science.  This is just one of many that you can encounter there because more than 40 raptors call the VINS Nature Center home.  These avian predators have sustained injuries and conditions that prevent them from ever living in the wild again and, therefore, the VINS take pride in caring for these birds all while providing us the opportunity to observe, explore, and learn as much as possible from them during your visit.


Certainly you will enjoy watching all of these raptors, but it isn’t the only memorable experience being offered here.  When we arrived, we didn’t have a specific plan in place so we explored the grounds and trails and then discovered that there was an informative presentation being offered during our visit.  We decided to join in, and were glad we did, because once again we were able to view the birds in a very intimate way. The instructor brought out a handful of birds, one at at time, giving you ample opportunity for you and your children to ask questions. In addition to the presentation, our children also enjoyed exploring the various stations throughout the property.  There are a lot of opportunities to learn, especially during hands-on play for young children, and yet older children and adults will find it to be an equally enjoyable learning experience.


In addition to the nature trails, nature playground, Rapture Enclosure and presentation, the VINS is currently offering the following exhibits and activities. Through April 2016, Ice Age Mammals on the Meadow will be on display around the VINS meadow.  From April to October 2016, the VINS will run Birds Are Dinosaurs, where through skeletons, life-sized replicas, and hands-on activities you can discover the adaptations acquired through 250 million years to make birds what they are today.  The VINS also offers Discovery Sundays. Children get the opportunity to engage in hands-on science experiments and investigations of science, technology, engineering and math using wheels, towers, and magnets, as well as feathers, water and bubbles.  Finally, your children will also enjoy the Scavenger Hunts, Songbird Aviary, and Feeding Times.  And if you don’t want to tour the facility on your own, your family can join a tour being offered by one of the VINS guides. http://www.vinsweb.org/index.php/visit/exhibits-and-activities


When you plan your trip to the VINS, you may want to travel during one of the many upcoming and continuous events.  Just two examples are The Great Backyard Bird Count on February 14 and 15, from 11 to 2, and the Owl Festival on February 20 from 10 to 4. There will be so many fun activities planned for the children on both weekends.  And they will even have a campfire roaring throughout the afternoon to warm your hands and toast some marshmallows during the Owl Festival.  You can see more of these events right on the main page of their website and they are ongoing: http://www.vinsweb.org/index.php/home


When we visited Woodstock, we stayed at the Kedron Valley Inn (http://www.kedronvalleyinn.com/) and would highly recommend staying here.  It is a beautifully restored historic inn that has been around since 1828 and the character of its age shines throughout, from the front porch to the interior d├ęcor.  The rooms were spacious for our family of four and we thoroughly enjoyed having a fireplace during our stay.  We also had dinner and breakfast at the Inn. Both were worth equally delicious, and the staff was friendly and accommodating. http://www.kedronvalleyinn.com/dining.php Before you book your stay, make sure to check out their current specials for savings during your stay: http://www.kedronvalleyinn.com/special_offers.php


Massachusetts

Jiminy Peak, Hancock www.jiminypeak.com
Stay in a 2-bedroom Country Village vacation home for just $399 per night including two adult lift tickets and two junior lift tickets per night of stay including free night skiing (over $400 in savings). This offer is valid for stays Monday, February 18th through Saturday, February 23rd (2 night minimum stay required). This offer must be reserved by Saturday 2/09/13.

Ocean Edge Resort, Brewster www.oceanedge.com
Take advantage of the special packages during February break at the Ocean Edge Resort on the Cape. There are several daily activities, including pizza pool parties, cupcake bar happy hours, noodle water polo matches, and family-friendly movie nights. Parents can partake in cooking demonstrations, wine and chocolate tastings, and adults-only pool time. If you book 3 nights, the rate is as low as $109.95 per night.

Bayside Resort offers a full schedule of family fun for families over February break, including scavenger hunts, pajama movie parties, rainforest reptile shows, breakfast with your favorite cartoon characters, as well as pizza parties. Packages start at $129.95/night.

Amesbury Sports Park, Amesbury http://www.newenglandsportspark.com/
Throughout the season, try snow tubing at Amesbury Sports Park and receive $2 off admission by bringing a non-perishable food item for local food banks.

22.00 lift tickets at Otis Ridge, Otis,  MA

Ski Blandford in Blandford MA for 39.00

17.00 admission for 1, 60.00 for 4 to Boston's Ghost Tours, Boston, MA


Rhode Island

Stay for 99.00 at the Omni Hotel, Providence, RI


Maine


Entry for Four or One-Year Family Membership to Southworth Planetarium (Up to 50% Off)

Admission for Two or Family of Four or Individual or Family Membership to Brick Store Museum (Up to 53% Off) https://www.groupon.com/deals/brick-store-museum


New Hampshire

Gunstock Mountain Resort XC - Ski FREE on your Birthday! http://www.gunstock.com/winter/nordic/
On your birthday bring your driver's license and the trails are all yours for the day. Valid every day of the week.

Granite Gorge - Wednesday Night Intro to Racing (Middle School) http://www.granitegorge.com/middle-school-student-deal-race-league/
From 4-6 PM, the Wednesday Night Intro is for any middle school student who wants to get ready to race at the high school level or just want race experience. Must be a level 6 or higher skier according to our level system.
$300 for 6 Weeks / $400 for 8 weeks (with rentals 6 weeks $350/ 8 weeks $470)
Middle School Student Deal- Purchase your Jr. season pass for 15% off –$310

Go-Ahead Pass
Valid Days:  Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Purchase a Go-Ahead trail pass after 1:30p for $32 and ski the next day!

Sunday Junior Lift Ticket
Valid Days:  Sunday
$15 Junior lift ticket. Valid for kids ages 6-12 on any non-holiday Sunday.

Cranmore Ski, Splash and Save
2-night package includes 1 discounted ski lift ticket per person per stay to Cranmore mountain, 1 water park admission per person daily, and breakfast daily. Available through 3/31/16. Call 800-RJACKET and use rate code ‘CRANMORE’ or book online. https://bookings.ihotelier.com/Red-Jacket-Mountain-View-Resort/bookings.jsp?HotelID=6861&ProdID=528408&_ga=1.108783367.440196677.1454022639

Stay at the Omni Hotel at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire for 1/2 price! 

57.99 for a Snowmobile Tour with helmet, Lincoln, NH 


Connecticut

Hilton Mystic Family Aquarium Day Package - Must book by April 28, 2016
Includes an overnight stay, continental breakfast for each registered guest, and 4 tickets to the Mystic Aquarium (2 adults and 2 children). Additional aquarium tickets may be available for purchase.
http://www3.hilton.com/en/hotels/connecticut/hilton-mystic-MYSMHHF/offers/100072451.htm

15.00 admission for four to Lutz Children's Museum, Manchester, CT
https://www.groupon.com/deals/lutz-children-s-museum

6.50 admission for two Monday through Friday at KidsPlay, Torrington, CT

5.00 admission to Open Play at Bouncetown, Canton, Canton, CT


Vermont

Mount Snow, West Dover 
2 lift tickets for 59.00 for Friday, February 12th, online only. 
We are celebrating Valentine' Day early. Come renew your vows or get legally married on our slopes.
http://www.mountsnow.com/your-trip/deals/


Kids Ski & Stay Free at Stratton Mountain Resort through April 12, 2016
http://www.stratton.com/plan-your-trip/deals-and-packages/kids-ski-stay-free.aspx

Magic Mountain Vermont

Bromley Mountain, Bondville
On Nonholiday Fridays, every adult purchasing a lift ticket can purchase up to 3 children's tickets for 20.00