EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


February 16, 2014

FUN IN FEBRUARY 10 bright ideas for vacation activities with the kids

February vacation: It’s very cold and the kids are home. Television and video games do beckon. However, wise parents know that keeping the kids cooped up inside is not a banner plan.

In Massachusetts, February vacation is this week and in New Hampshire it’s next week. To help fill all that free time, here are ideas for activities you might not consider when school is in session.

All of these establishments are open throughout the month, some hosting special events during vacation weeks.

Snow Safari

Usually off-roading in the mountains of New England in the middle of winter is a terrible idea. However, for Alpine Adventures in Lincoln, N.H., it’s an opportunity to show off what their Pinzgauer vehicles can do.

These powerful trucks originally were developed for military use, but have become available as one of the most effective vehicles for off-road recreational use. Alpine Adventures was among the first civilian owners of the vehicle in the United States, taking adventure seekers off-road up to the top of Barron Mountain. Along the way, you’ll see the White Mountains from a whole new perspective.

“(The tour is) a different experience in the winter altogether,” said Randy Farwell, a representative of Alpine Adventures. “Driving through a snow-laden forest, it’s like traveling through the tunnel with the evergreen trees. People really like it.”

Alpine Adventures also has three separate zip line courses of varying intensity, all of which remain open in winter.

More information and booking is available at www.alpinezipline.com.

Maple Syrup Tour

Pancakes, time outdoors and education: It’s a sweet combination.

If this sounds like a perfect morning for your family, the Massachusetts Audubon society has you covered. Check out the February Flapjack Fling & Sugaring Tours at the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary. It’s the ideal vacation event for anyone looking for fresh air, pancakes and New England maple syrup. Through the tour and breakfast, you’ll see the full journey of the syrup, from tree sap to pancakes.

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