February vacation is around the corner, and the Freedom Trail has plenty of opportunities for the whole family to have fun and keep learning while school is out! Join in on Walk Into History Tours to explore the history of the American Revolution and beyond, from Boston Common to Faneuil Hall, daily at 11 a.m., 12:00 noon, and 1 p.m. from the Boston Common Visitor Information Center (139 Tremont Street).
Celebrate Black History Month on the Freedom Trail by experiencing the African-American Patriots Tours. Offered at 12:45 p.m. from the Boston Common Visitor Information Center on Saturdays and Sundays in February, these unique tours highlight the many contributions of African-Americans. Captivating stories of bravery, great risk, and defiance by black Bostonians unfold during the 90-minute walking tours, zigzagging through the Freedom Trail. For more information about tours or events, please call (617) 357-8300 or visit www.thefreedomtrail.org.
Official Freedom Trail historic sites are offering a full schedule of engaging programs throughout school vacation week, from Saturday, Feb. 16, to Sunday, Feb. 24. The following is a list of the sites’ exciting activities along the Trail:
Boston Common Frog Pond Winter Camp
Sponsored by the Highland Street Foundation, Winter Camp provides free ice skating for children and families during February school vacation, Monday, Feb. 18, to Friday, Feb. 22, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Admission includes skate rentals, skating aids, and free hot chocolate and donuts. Tickets to the camp will be given away daily on a first-come, first-served basis at the Frog Pond starting at 10:00 a.m. For more information, visit www.highlandstreet.org/programs/community-events/winter-camp.
Boston Children’s Winter Festival
The City of Boston’s annual Children’s Winter Festival will return to Boston Common, in partnership with the Highland Street Foundation, on Wednesday, Feb. 20, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Children and families are invited to enjoy a day of outdoor fun with free games and activities, including a 45-foot-long Toboggan Tunnel mountainous adventure with twin roller lanes, 30-foot-high inflatable Everest Climb N’ Slide, a Ski Lift photo op, and much more. Visit www.boston.gov/news/boston-common-children%E2%80%99s-winter-festival-returns-february-20 for additional details.
King’s Chapel invites visitors and families to “ring in” February school vacation week by celebrating the church bell’s birthday. After being recast by Paul Revere’s bell foundry Revere & Sons, the King’s Chapel bell was installed on Feb. 23, 1816. Visitors are invited to tour the bell tower to visit the historic bell, learn about Revere family members who worshiped at King’s Chapel, create their own bell at our craft station, and hear bell-ringing throughout the vacation week during regular hours at no cost. Bell and Bones and Art and Architecture Tours will also be offered daily, as well as additional tours to the bell tower. For more information, go to http://www.kings-chapel.org/.
Old South Meeting House
Celebrate Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s birthday month with the Old South Meeting House. Perhaps most famous for his poem “Paul Revere’s Ride,” Longfellow also wrote a poem just for Old South Meeting House. Explore an illustrated timeline of fun facts about Longfellow in Boston’s history, and design your own Longfellow-inspired birthday card. Tuesday through Friday of school vacation week, visitors can collect a “Happy Birthday, Mr. Longfellow!” passport and stamp at the Meeting House, and then visit the Paul Revere House to learn more and complete their passport. Visit www.osmh.org/visit-us/events for details. All activities are included with museum admission.
Old State House
The Old State House is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during February vacation week, with free admission for kids. Take one of more than a dozen daily tours with friendly and knowledgeable guides, enter meticulously-restored period rooms, and see rare treasures of the past. Visitors can sit in the seat of the British Empire’s colonial power and stand on the site of the Boston Massacre. The Hands-on History rooms invite children and adults alike to explore the building’s long history and pivotal role in American Independence through interactive exhibits. For more information, visit www.bostonhistory.org.
Crack British codes and solve mysteries to aid the revolutionary patriots, daily from Saturday, Feb. 16, to Sunday, Feb. 24, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This free activity will be held in the Find Your Park space on the lower level. Visit www.nps.gov/bost or call (617) 242-5642 for more information.
Paul Revere House
The Paul Revere House offers two drop-in activity sessions called “Exploring Home,” on Tuesday, Feb. 19, and Thursday, Feb. 21, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Visitors can design their own piece of block-printed wallpaper and explore materials, techniques, and designs used in three centuries of construction in Boston. Facilitated by a staff member, families will have a chance to see historic building materials up close and learn about the architecture found in and around the Paul Revere House. This activity is free with admission to the Revere House. For further information about the Revere House, please visit www.paulreverehouse.org.
Old North Church and Historic Site
The Old North Church and Historic Site is open daily 10:00 a.m. to 4 p.m. during February school vacation week. Visitors can join guided Behind the Scenes Tours to climb the steps into the bell-ringing chamber, learn about its 18th-century bells, and then descend down into the historic crypt where over 1,100 bodies are interred. Families are encouraged to play Prince’s Prowl, an interactive e-adventure created with first-time visitors in mind. Guests will learn all about how colonial chocolate was made from costumed interpreters at Captain Jackson’s Historic Chocolate – and can enjoy a sample of colonial drinking chocolate and experience this rich 18th-century treat. For more information on hours, tours, and activities, visit www.oldnorth.com.
USS Constitution Museum
Inspired by the different ship designs on display in Masters of Miniature the 40th annual Model Ship Show, the USS Constitution Museum’s Maritime Festival invites visitors to build their own ship with LEGO and DUPLO Bricks! In the hands of a creative kid – or kid at heart – a pile of colorful bricks can become an aircraft carrier or USS Constitution. The nautical fun continues with a “Float Your Boat” LEGO Challenge, “Picture Yourself” LEGO Selfie Masks, a scavenger hunt through the Masters of Miniature exhibit, and much more. These activities are offered daily from Saturday, Feb. 16, to Sunday, Feb. 24, and are free with entrance into the museum. Visit https://ussconstitutionmuseum.org/event/masters-of-miniature-best-of-the-best/ for information on the Masters of Miniature and events.
Charlestown Navy Yard
The Charlestown Navy Yard Visitor Center invites visitors to try their hand at tying four basic knots at the “Knot Challenge” from Saturday, February 16 to Sunday, February 24 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Additionally, the Center offers a hands-on drop-in activity on Saturday, February 16 and Saturday, February 23 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. where students can explore translating Morse code, building circuits, riveting a ribbon bracelet, and more tasks done by the shipbuilding women of the U.S. Navy. Call (617) 242-5601 or visit www.nps.gov/bost for more information.
Bunker Hill Monument & Museum
The Bunker Hill Museum invites guests to be the builder of their own Bunker Hill Monument out of paper. This creative activity is offered daily from Saturday, February 16 to Sunday, February 24 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Call (617) 242-7275 or visit www.nps.gov/bost for more information.
For additional information regarding Freedom Trail activities in February, please call (617) 357-8300 or visit TheFreedomTrail.org.