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Fun April Vacation Activities

Here we are, and it’s almost April school vacation week. Hopefully some people have information about what they are doing with their children next week, but for those of us who are of the more ‘scrambling at the last minute’ kinds of parents, what is there to do?

Well first of all, you may be wondering if it is ever going to get warm around here. I am wondering this too. My best advice as a scientist is to tell you to consult a weather app. I can tell you that because of climate change, there have been shifts in general weather patterns, leading to more temperature extremes (think: record colds and July heat waves and spring floods) and less moderate changes in weather. This is what we are seeing now, with an unseasonably cold April. But I digress.

Activities for next week:

1. Cambridge Science Festival ( This actually opened today, and has more than 200 fun and exciting science events located throughout Cambridge and other locations in the greater Boston area. Best part? In addition to providing educational and entertaining value for your kids (and yourself), many of the events are free! $0. Check it out today.

2. Franklin Park Zoo ( has all kinds of special vacation week activities, including an Earth Day celebration on Wednesday April 17th. Did you know that Earth Day events are held in close to 200 countries? That’s amazing.

3. Have art-minded children? This is a great time to check out the Museum of Fine Arts and all the exciting vacation day programs that they offer ( Scientists have shown a strong connection between the part of the brain that is engaged in art activities and the part that is engaged in science things, which is why many programs have moved from a focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) to a focus on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) instead.

4. This Sunday (April 14th) we are running a Passover-themed science event in Sharon, together with the Jewish Community Center South Area family connection ( Not sure what Passover and science have in common? Check out this exciting event today.

5. Also it’s the Marathon on Monday. To be honest, I have never gone to watch the marathon, not even when I lived in Brookline and worked in Cambridge. Apparently, though, spectator support for marathon runners really helps them make it through. Having been in a few triathlons, I can attest to how much bystander support can really matter. So if you are in the area, consider going to cheer. If you are in the area and don’t intend to cheer, be aware that getting around the marathon area is likely to be difficult.

Happy weekend, scientists and scientists-in-training!

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