February School Vacation Week is almost here, and Cape Cod is in full swing, whether you’re looking for ways to keep cooped-up kids busy or playing hooky right along with them.

Here are some of our favorite ideas for family fun!

Live and learn
The museums you know and love kick into high gear for School Vacation Week, which makes it a perfect time to rediscover an old favorite or find something new at your tried-and-true. Even better, venture somewhere you’ve never been and always meant to visit.

At Cape Cod Children’s Museum in Mashpee, can try out the music room, explore a treehouse, climb a pirate ship, or get busy with any number of things that zip, spin, bounce, and whirl. School vacation week events at the museum include a family game night, arts & crafts and creative movement. A rhythmic Native American storytelling session and a cupcake decorating workshop for kids are among the school vacation week events at nearby Highfield Hall in Falmouth.

Hop on over to the Thornton W. Burgess Society in Sandwich during February Vacation Week to visit the storybook world of Peter Rabbit, Grandfather Frog, Reddy Fox and other characters created by internationally known children’s author Thornton W. Burgess at the turn of the 20th century. The Green Meadow Forest experience resurrects the Thornton W. Burgess legacy as an environmentalist, conservationist and author of over 170 children’s books and dozens of special animal characters. Space is limited, so make reservations in advance!

In Brewster, break week at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History kicks off on Sunday, February 20th with Trevor the Juggler; kids will be dazzled by Trevor's visually spectacular juggling, combined with silly antics and a message of self-empowerment. Other school vacation week programming includes Moon Adventures, Snow Science STEAM and Interstellar Explorations. Afterwards, take in the scenic winter beauty along the museum's gorgeous outdoor trails - always worthy of a gold medal.

If you’ve never been to the Whydah Pirate Museum in Yarmouth, adults and kids are equally intrigued by the collection of real-life pirate treasures and stories uncovered from the famous shipwreck. Later, make time for an in-depth look at one of the ocean's most magnificent and misunderstood species - the Great White Shark - through interactive exhibits and special programming at the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy's Shark Center Chatham.

Winter Fests
For some good old-fashioned family fun, head over to the Yarmouth Winter Carnival Friday, February 18 through Sunday, February 20 at Bass River Sports World in South Yarmouth. Activities will include an outdoor synthetic ice skating rink, food trucks, face painting, balloon artists, professional ice princess skating performances, a petting zoo, magic and fire shows, an ice carving demonstration, kids crafts' and cornhole. In short, action-packed winter fun!
       
Ready, Set, Action
It’s literally too cool for school—hit the ice at the Hyannis Youth and Community Center for public skating, family stick practice, and yes, “Stroller Skating,” if your little one’s on wheels. At Tony Kent Arena in Dennis, you can take to the skates with your kids or stay warm over a slice or calzone from the full-menu snack bar. 

Once you take off your skates, it’s time for bowling shoes. You’ll see why it’s called Ryan Family Amusements (Cape locations include Buzzards Bay, Hyannis and South Yarmouth) when you spot as many adults as kids high-fiving on the lanes or in the arcade. At The Lanes Bowl & Bistro in Mashpee Commons, the famously good bistro may beckon if you’re rolling gutter balls, but any good Pats fan knows you should never give up on a super-bowling comeback. Bowling is just one option at Ryan's Ten Pin Eatery in Hyannis; the fun also includes a state-of-the-art arcade, escape rooms, virtual reality and laser tag.

When nothing can cure your winter blues, the next best thing to summer is the indoor Water Park at Cape Codder Resort in Hyannis, a 30,000-square-foot adventureland of slides, fountains, wave pools, ships, and fun that will tide you over until June.

Big Picture
No matter how cozy the den or how slick the device, nothing beats the real thing—the Falmouth Cinema Pub can always be counted on for all the comforts of home; settle into a swivel chair, order up something tasty, and dig into the latest feature (added bonus: parents will likely appreciate the cocktail menu).

Or, step right into the action at Upside Down Escape in Mashpee Commons. Think big-picture to solve a series of clues and puzzles that will help your family "escape" from one of several themed rooms, including "The Game of Pirates" and the family-friendly "Gingerbread Cottage" room.

Stay Together
Whether you’re traveling from over the bridge or want a getaway sans airport, many of the Cape’s favorite resorts offer fun School Vacation Week packages. At the Cape Codder Resort in Hyannis, yours comes with unlimited waterpark access and dining vouchers, or you can stay close by at the Bayside Resort in West Yarmouth, where the School Break package includes ice cream socials, scavenger hunts, nightly outdoor firepits and arts & crafts, plus time to relax in the Moby Dick pub for mom and dad.

And Magic School is in session at Ocean Edge Resort in Brewster, where little witches and wizards can stay busy during the resort's  Wizarding Week with fun and games like wand and cloak-making, movie nights, quidditch pool matches and potions classes, while parents kick back and enjoy the spectacular view.