Start your trip off creating together at atac: downtown arts + music’sExplora event. This is a low-key creative drop-in space in downtown Framingham, MA. One Saturday each month, they open their doors to artists of all ages and skill levels for some quality shared studio time. Families with younger kids can create alongside local artisans and grown-up makers. They’re always adding new materials, tools, and resources to their library for everyone to use. Their friendly staff will be there to show you around, and you can leave with whatever you create.
Jump right into fun time with a trip to the award-winning destination: the Discovery Museum. This hands-on museum blends science, nature, and play, inspiring families to explore and learn together. Celebrate National Engineers week with their “Dream City: Welcome to the Future” series. Engage in everyday engineering to help design a future Dream City.
After a day of learning and exploring, make a trip to the quirky and lovable Duck Soup for a sample of the famous Duck Soup Blend coffee or the former NECCO’s Sky Bar candy and a wander of their lovely shop. But you MUST try Goodnow Farms award-winning chocolate bars! Goodnow Farms has received countless awards for their chocolate and recently 27 different bars received award recognition (including 3 bars that won Gold) from the Academy of Chocolate. Have a little extra time? Take a Duck Soup cooking class—available for all ages on a wide variety of topics from pasta to pastries.
Time for some dinner! Check out the award-winning Firefly’s BBQ voted by Hulafrog as the “Most Loved Kid-Friendly Restaurant” for 2022. This casual spot offers BBQ and Southern specialties.
End the evening with a quick swim in the indoor pool before hopping into bed for another full day ahead!
Day 3, Feb. 19:
Start your day at Jam Time in West Natick where the littles can play in their playspace and everyone can enjoy their special President’s Day Magic Show.
Afterwards, explore greater Boston’s destination of choice for family-friendly shopping and dining. The Natick Mall is home to a curated selection of lifestyle and luxury brands, including Apple, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Tory Burch, Louis Vuitton, Peloton, lululemon athletica, Tesla, Tiffany + Co, and Uniqlo. Along with amazing shopping, the mall boasts Puttshack, a tech-driven indoor mini golf course, Level 99, a first-of-its-kind social gaming playground featuring over 50 real-world physical and mental challenges (plus on-site Night Shift Brewing offers local craft brews and great food), and Dave & Buster’s with over 40,000 square feet of arcade games and a great seasonal menu with everything from Manchego Chicken to Smokehouse BBQ.
Day 4, Feb. 20:
Get your morning going with some NY style kettle boiled bagels at Bodacious Bagels. Made on premises and baked fresh every day, this bakery has many different kinds of homemade cream cheese.
When you have fueled up, pop on over to Modelville Hobby where adults and kids alike can play with model cars—it’s the only place around where you can race vintage slot cars. The venue’s slot car racing tracks offer a wide variety of driving challenges. With three tracks designed and built in the 1960’s, one built in 1993, and one built in 2007, you can test your driving skills across decades of track designs.
Then try your hand at an escape room at Puzzle Escape Ashland! There’s only one room here, with a theme that changes every few months, so you can expect a new challenge whenever you visit.
End the day in the hotel restaurant Stone 31 Bar Kitchen. They serve tavern style dishes with a twist on the classics. The bar celebrates local craft brews featuring seasonal and rotating taps along with a unique list of creative cocktails.
Day 5, Feb. 21:
Anyone need to get some energy out? Want to see who in the fam can reign supreme? Head to Urban Air Adventure Park—with a whole world of jumping, swinging, sliding and more, it’s fun for the whole family. Play old favorites like dodge ball, or new ones like their Battle Beam. Challenge yourself on the Warrior Course (can Junior beat Dad?) or see who can win on the Go Kart track. And don’t miss their newest attraction: Flash Pads with games for your feet that challenge your speed and dexterity. This is a whole day of fun, so lucky for you, they have their own café too!
Day 6, Feb. 22:
Start your day with a cool workshop at New England Sci-Tech. Their school vacation week offerings can include Electronic Kits Soldering, Battlin’ Bots, LASER cutting and engraving, Woodworking Projects, Model Rocketry, Planetarium Shows, Shortwave & Ham Radio, Making Kites, Chess/Board Games, Pinewood Derby Racing, Bridge Building Contests, Oobleck, Airplane Design Contest, Chess Tournaments, Billiards tournaments, MIDI keyboard music, and more. Shh, don’t tell them their learning something, just get involved in the fun!
Afterwards, head to the Natick Center Cultural District for lunch and a wander of the charming boutiques and galleries. Grab dinner at Buttercup, an amazing chef-owned farm-to-table restaurant in the heart of the District. Make a reservation, as they fill up fast!
In the evening, watch a series of Live Action Oscar Nominated Shorts at The Center for Arts in Natick (TCAN). This special release features the year’s most spectacular short films and is available to watch on the big screen for a limited time shortly after nominations are announced. See what’s exciting about the 2024 nominees!
Scroll down for the complete itinerary with map and links!
Day 7, Feb. 23:
Next it’s time to explore downtown Hudson, a charming, quintessentially New England town. Once a sleepy mill town, Hudson has come alive in recent years. Main Street is filled with diverse shops and restaurants that make it a fun location to explore. Poke around The Haberdash, a women’s clothing boutique with jewelry, housewares, and gifts. Further down, you stumble upon Mullahy’s, an artisan cheese shop with other specialty foods, wine, and beer, not to mention another opportunity to sample Goodnow Farms Chocolate—the most decorated chocolate maker in North America made right in MetroWest. Make sure to check out CroseNest, a tea and herbal shop with small gifts such as candles, prints, jewelry, bags, and stationery, and Owen + Sage, a lovely children’s boutique.
A must-try culinary destination is the Rail Trail Flatbread Company. The wood-fired, hand-tossed sourdough pizza is the headline here, with a choice of imaginative varieties (gochujang bbq chicken, spanakopita), including plenty of vegan and gluten options. Poutine, tacos, burgers (including impossible burgers), mac and cheese, and other comfort food favorites are also on the menu, along with no fewer than 20 draft beer taps.
Need a little sugary pick me up? Get some ice cream at the New City Microcreamery. This isn’t your standard ice cream parlor, this is a one-of-a-kind shop! After a refrigerated ice cream base has steeped for 24 hours, it’s frozen using liquid nitrogen. This unique process creates smaller ice crystals, which result in a smoother, creamier texture. The Microcreamery features an ever-revolving list of some of the most unique (but tasty!) flavors around. Recent examples include Baklava, Saffron Apricot Almond, Ruthless (similar to a Baby Ruth candy bar), and newly conceived classics like Mint Chip (made with natural mint), Bourbon Vanilla, and Chocolate. While you’re there, be sure to ask for the secret door to Less Than, Greater Than, the hidden speakeasy next door, where the adults can pop in for an impressive cocktail.
Always wanted to learn to fly? Sign up for Earth & Aerial Yoga Studio’s evening Aerial Hoops class. Great for all levels, this class will teach you to fly using a suspended hoop. Already an aerial pro? Try their High Flyers Club class instead using aerial silks.
Day 8, Feb. 24:
Is your family basketball-crazy? If so, rest up in the morning for a jam-packed afternoon at Jack’s Abby Craft Lagers’ Beers & Cheers: A Slam Dunk Brewery Bash, with live music, games for the whole family, brewery tours, beer tastings, and, of course, the Celtics vs. Knicks game. You’ll be cheering, screaming, eating and laughing the day away!
Not a fan of hoops? You can always indulge in all the family fun at Jack’s, then when it’s game time, head to Claflin Hill Symphony Orchestra’s Jazz Concert instead!