School’s Out! What Is There To Do?

by Jennifer Sexton-Riley

School vacation is finally just around the corner, much to the delight of the youngest among us. Would anyone like to set a stopwatch to capture exactly how long it takes before the words “I’m bored” are heard?

Have no fear, parents and guardians. Our libraries, community centers and other fun destinations have got you covered. With a variety of local events and opportunities scheduled for the school vacation week, you’ll be sure to find something to occupy the unmoored students in your life. Check out what’s on offer below by town. We’re sure you’ll find a few irresistible ideas to intrigue and delight any small loiterers in your life from Feb. 19 to 23.


The Chatham Orpheum Theater invites one and all to Free Family Movie Week during school vacation. The featured film will be “Charlotte’s Web,” screening every morning at 9:30 a.m. from Friday, Feb. 16 to Sunday, Feb. 25. Did we mention it’s free? Based on the beloved children's novel by E.B. White, “Charlotte’s Web” tells the story of young Fern, a farm girl who rescues a runty piglet, raises it as her own and names him Wilbur. However, after Wilbur grows into a pig, she is compelled to sell him to her Uncle Homer Zuckerman down the street. At Zuckerman's barn, Wilbur meets a host of animals and later learns from them that come winter, he will be slaughtered for food. Fearing for his life, Charlotte, a gentle and wise spider, vows to save Wilbur’s life. Free tickets may be claimed at the box office, 637 Main St.

The Chatham Shark Center will open for school vacation week, Tuesday, Feb. 20 through Sunday, Feb. 24, for some educational fun with everyone’s favorite marine macropredator. The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy’s Shark Center at 235 Orleans Rd. in North Chatham will be open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for family fun and an in-depth look at one of the ocean’s most misunderstood and fascinating creatures. Through interactive exhibits, videos, and displays, the center offers many ways to learn about groundbreaking research and one of our most captivating summertime neighbors. For tickets visit

The Chatham Community Center has three days of fun in store during school vacation week, with February School Vacation Field Trips on Tuesday and Thursday, Feb. 20 and 22, and a Vacation Ninja Clinic on Wednesday, Feb. 21. SIgn up early, as space is limited and these fun activities are sure to fill up fast. First up, on Tuesday, Feb. 20 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., kids in grades 3 to 7 are invited to a field trip to Starland in Hanover, where they will enjoy bumper cars, XD-Virtual Reality Dark ride, laser tag, and a $15 arcade credit. The cost to attend is $50 per child, paid in advance. Be sure to bring a lunch or money to purchase lunch. Participants will meet up in the community center’s second floor lobby. On Wednesday, Feb. 21 from 9 a.m. to noon, kids aged 6 to 14 are invited to a Ninja Clinic! See a historical weapons demo and display by Sensei John W. Morash and Ninja Bill Connors. Students will learn about the ninja ways and some defensive martial arts moves. There will also be jewelry making, Asian calligraphy and more. Children should bring a snack and a water. The cost to attend is $55. Participants will meet in the community center’s large meeting room. On Thursday, Feb. 22 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. don’t miss an Orpheum and Inflatables Field Trip. Kids in grades 3 to 7 will enjoy a movie at the Chatham Orpheum Theater, followed by an obstacle course of inflatables and jousting inflatables, onsite games and activities and a scavenger hunt. A pizza lunch will be provided. The cost to attend is $50. Participants will meet up in the center’s second floor lobby. The community center is located at 702 Main St. To register for any or all of the Chatham Community Center’s school vacation activities, visit

The Eldredge Public Library at 564 Main St. will hold a Tween/Teen Night Vacation Boredom Buster event from 5 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 20 at the library for kids in grades 5 to 12. Come enjoy food and fun with friends to liven up your break! Don’t forget to register at least 24 hours before the event by calling 508-945-5170. A Drop-in DIY Craft event will take place the following day, Wednesday, Feb. 21 from 11 a.m. to to 3 p.m. for kids in grades K to 4. Drop by Youth Services for some crafty fun. Craft supplies will be available. Registration for the craft event is not required.


The Harwich Community Center at 100 Oak St. has some fun in store for vacation week. On Tuesday, Feb. 20 starting at 2 p.m. a Magic Show with Crazy Davy will astound and entertain. The magic show for ages 3 and up focuses on education, laughter and fun, where children are the stars and actively participate in the magic. Do you have the urge to make your creative mark on the walls, but your parents and teachers keep saying no? Come to the community center on Thursday, Feb. 22 for a free opportunity to Lend-A-Hand from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and leave your handprint on a wall! Non-toxic paint will be provided.

Cape Cod Theatre Company/Harwich Junior Theatre (CCTC/HJT) will offer a SpongeBob SquarePants February Vacation Week Program Feb.19 to 23 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. A demonstration for family and friends will take place on the final day of the program at 2:30 p.m. Students will attend a 2 p.m. matinee performance of the mainstage production of “Elephant and Piggie's We are in a Play!" on Wednesday, Feb. 21. Classes will be held Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the theater,105 Division St., West Harwich and Tuesday and Thursday at the Arts Center, 265 Sisson Rd., Harwich Center. Instructors will be Matt Kohler and Emily Murray. Tuition is $480. For more information about SpongeBob SquarePants February Vacation Week Program and to register, visit or call the CCTC/HJT Box Office at 508-432-2002. And don’t miss the School Vacation Matinees of “Elephant and Piggie: We Are In a Play!” on Feb 20, 21 and 22 at 2 p.m.

Brooks Free Library at 739 Main St. has got it all this school vacation week: cookies, Legos, “How to Be Annoying,” and a Stuffed Animal Sleepover! It all starts on Tuesday, Feb. 20 from 3 to 4 p.m. with Cookie Decorating in the Thornton Meeting Room. Decorate a cookie with sprinkles, candy and frosting. No registration is required. This program is free. If you have any food restrictions, email Ann at so alternatives will be on hand. Wednesday, Feb. 21 is Lego Day in the Doane Room all day long! For February vacation the library will bring out tubs and tubs full of Lego blocks. Kids can free-play with the blocks, or ask a librarian for a building challenge. This program is free. No registration is required. On Thursday, Feb. 23 don’t miss “How to Be Annoying: Kids’ Edition” in the Thornton Meeting Room. Did you ever want to learn to how to be absolutely obnoxious? Ready to take your "annoy a grown-up" game to the next level? This class is for you. Learn the basics of making weird noises, conducting practical jokes, and other skills to be annoying! No registration is required. This program is free. The program is designed for school-aged children, but all are welcome. Finish off Vacation Week with a Stuffed Animal Sleepover for your best stuffy pal. Just drop off your stuffie on Friday, Feb. 23 anytime between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. The stuffies will enjoy a wondrous sleepover party. The library staff will even give them a camera so they can document their adventures. Then on Saturday, Feb 24 at 10:30 a.m. you can come to the library to pick up your stuffie and watch a slideshow of the pictures the stuffies took! No advance registration is required. This program is free.


Charles Moore Arena at 23 O’Connor Rd. puts the “ice” in having a nice school vacation! Enjoy gliding across the rink during public skates Monday through Thursday during vacation week from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Bring your family and friends. No online registration is available; public skating is drop-in only. Helmets are required for anyone new to the ice and highly recommended for anyone under the age of 10. Charles Moore Arena does not provide helmets to borrow, so be sure to bring your own if needed. $10 admission, $4 skate rentals.


Cape Cod Museum of Natural History at 869 Main St. has a whole lot of fun planned during school vacation week, starting with Science Rocks! On Saturday, Feb. 17 and Monday, Feb. 19 through Friday, Feb. 23. Don’t miss dozens of hands-on activities and fun ways to explore, build, tinker and discover how science shapes our world. Science Rocks! is free with museum admission. On Monday, Feb. 19 from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Reptiles Rock! Enjoy this fun, dynamic and educational program in which everyone will have the opportunity to handle amazing live reptiles. The cost to attend this program is $20 at Visit the inflatable humpback whale on Wednesday, Feb. 21 and Thursday, Feb. 22! Learn all about the magnificent 44-foot humpback whale, their behavior and their habits from the inside out. Call to register 508-896-3867 or visit

Brewster Ladies’ Library at 1822 Main St. has a lot of fun activities planned for vacation week. On Tuesday, Feb 20 from 2 to 4 p.m. bring your loved ones to enjoy a family matinee of “The Princess and the Frog.” On Wednesday, Feb. 21 from 2 to 3 p.m. show your gaming skills by taking part in a Nintendo Switch Tournament. On Thursday, Feb. 22 don’t miss Tales to Tails: Reading to Therapy Dogs from 2 to 3 p.m. What’s better than sharing a story with a furry friend?

To register for any one of these events, visit

And finally, although it may not sound like as much fun as the other events listed here, there’s nothing like a healthy smile to brighten your day. During this February vacation, in celebration of National Children’s Dental Health Month, the Wilkens Family Dental Hygiene Clinic at Cape Cod Community College (4Cs) will provide free examinations and cleanings for children ages 3 through 17. Children who are scheduled for exams during February vacation week will be provided with an exam, cleaning, fluoride treatment, and toothbrush instruction, all at no cost to the family. A parent or legal guardian must be present. Appointments must be scheduled in advance and are available on Tuesday, Feb. 20 at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m.; on Wednesday, Feb. 21 at 8:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. and on Thursday, Feb. 22 at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. There are also a limited number of appointments in the Dental Clinic available throughout the rest of February. To make an appointment, call the Wilkens Family Dental Hygiene Clinic at 774-330-4371.