School vacation on Cape Ann is next week, and it's possible to keep the kids out of your hair while keeping them entertained on the cheap here at home.
Two nonprofit organizations, Cape Ann Art Haven and The Trustees of Reservations, have a raft of activities slated, including hikes and overnights.
The Trustees of Reservations is hosting a series of programs "School Vacation = STAYcation!" The Cape Ann Discovery Center will be the base camp for spring adventures at the Trustees' seven properties in Cape Ann.
The center, at Ravenswood Park, 481 Western Ave., Gloucester, is usually open Saturday from 10 to 3 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 3 p.m., but will be open free to the public during school vacation week, beginning Saturday and running through Sunday, April 25.
The Discovery Center offers a Discovery Desk, Investigation Station, and hands-on activities that vary each weekend to help families enjoy outdoor adventures in their own backyards, and has planned a variety of special programs for vacation week, including hands-on, Earth-friendly eco-activities every day.
Special events include:
Beginning Spring Birding, Sunday, 8 to 10 a.m. at Halibut Point Reservation.
Hermit's Tales on the Trails, Wednesday, 1 to 3 p.m. at Ravenswood Park.
Earth Day's 40th Celebration, Thursday, April 22, 9 to 11 a.m. at Halibut Point Reservation. Free demonstrations of green technologies for your home or business plus backyard organic garden tips and techniques.
Project WET—Water Education, Thursday, April 22, 1 to 6 p.m. at Cape Ann Discovery Center at Ravenswood Park. This program is for educators, parents, teachers, scout leaders, high-school students, and the general public interested in learning and sharing what they learn about the importance of our water resources. Space is limited so, please register in advance.
Creature Feature: Meet the huskies Balto & Jenna, Saturday, April 24, 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Cape Ann Discovery Center at Ravenswood Park. Learn about the breed and how they relate to the Iditarod dogsled race in Alaska. Children are free but adults are $5 for members, $8 for nonmembers.
Program prices vary and space is limited so please call for details and to register in advance. Children must be accompanied by their favorite adult. Contact the Trustees at 978-281-8400, e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or registering online at www.thetrustees.org.
Art Haven events
For those who prefer the arts over the great outdoors, Cape Ann Art Haven, 180B Main St., Gloucester, ¬ is offering a variety of youth classes ranging from silk screening to stained glass making. Registration is now open for all classes, starting April 19 through April 23.
"We're offering some unique classes like we did for February vacation," says Art Haven director Dawn Gadow. "We want to be an outlet for students to try new skills at all times."
For those who are too busy during the day, Art Haven is hosting two lock-ins, one for middle-school girls on Wednesday night, and one for middle school boys next Thursday. Students will arrive at 7 p.m., and leave the next morning at 10. During the lock-in, there will be games, movies, and of course, art projects.
"The lock-ins are a great way for kids to relax, make friends, and be a part of the Art Haven community," says Gadow. "This is our first time doing a lock-in, so we can't wait to make it a memorable experience."
Among the class offerings:
Mother's Day Mugs on Monday for fifth- to ninth-graders. In this free two-part workshop, students will create a handmade mug to be painted and glazed on Friday. Hours are 12:30 to 3 p.m. both days.
Block Printing for first- through fifth-graders on Tuesday, 9 to 11:30 a.m. Students will carve and stamp a block-print creation. Fee is $20.
Silk Screening for fifth- to ninth-graders, Tuesday, 12:30 to 3 p.m. For $25, attendees will create their own hand-drawn silkscreen and print T-shirts.
Harry Potter Day for first- through ninth-graders is Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Students will make wands and other magical crafts in the morning, then walk¬ to Sawyer Free Library for the movie in the afternoon. Fee is $25.
Stained Glass for first- through fifth-graders is Friday from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Students will use plexiglass boxes and colored plastic to create a stained-glass effect on a¬ jewelry box or candle holder. Fee is $20.
Anyone interested in registration or for more information, visit www.arthaven.org, call 978-283-3888, or stop by the studio at 180B Main Street in Gloucester.
Andrea Holbrook can be reached at 978-283-7000, x3456, or email@example.com.