Why not start now on April vacation planning?

If you’re anything like me, sometime around Super Bowl Sunday, the realization dawns that you haven’t made plans for your kids for February vacation. This year, I’m getting ahead of the game and am now planning for April vacation. Here are a couple of neighborhood spots that cater to the younger Spring Break crowd.

• Boys and Girls Club of Dorchester. This long-standing neighborhood institution offers an incredibly cost-effective option for school break: $25 for the week plus a $5 membership fee. Registration dates TBD.

• Dot Art is another fantastic option for your little Van Goghs and Georgia O’Keefes, ages 5-10. Camp is Tuesday through Friday of April vacation week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.. The cost is $225 (scholarships and sliding scales are available). Registration is open now! Check them out on Facebook or go to dotartorg.


• “Ma, the meatloaf!” If you’re tired of trying to figure out what to put on the table for dinner, why not treat yourself and the family to a night out? The Industry on Adams has a fantastic kids menu for $5, which means you can all enjoy a delicious meal (with a fabulous wine menu and service) without breaking the bank. Go to industryonadams.com for full details.

• Tennis, anyone? If you haven’t been to Sportsmen’s Tennis Club and Enrichment Center on Blue Hill Ave recently, you’ve got to check it out. We go every Sunday afternoon at 3 for free tennis lessons and pizza, but the club offers so much more –afterschool tutoring, community resource and meeting rooms, and, in the summer, a garden and summer camp. The organization is an example of what makes our neighborhood so rich and desirable. Memberships are affordable and scholarships are available.  And if you’re looking for a last-minute option for February vacation, STEC is offering a tennis program from Feb 19 to Feb. 23 ($195 full day, $150 half day, single days $55 per day).  To register, contact 617-288-9092 or visit nhouston@sportsmenstennis.org.


Here are some more great things for you and your family to check out in the coming weeks.

• Thurs., Feb. 8, 10 a.m. —Informational event for Foster, MA. Come to learn how to become a foster family to a child in need. Daniel Driscoll Neponset Health Center, 398 Neponset Ave.

• Sat., Feb 10, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Vietnamese American Initiative for Development. 42 Charles St. Join VietAID for its annual Tet celebration to welcome in the Year of the Dog! There will be food, drink, music, and kids’ activities. Admission is free. Bring your family and friends; the more the merrier!

• Sat., Feb 10, 11 a.m. Darwin Day at the Franklin Park Zoo, presented by MIT, BPL, and the National Science Foundation. Visit interactive activities and demonstrations throughout the Tropical Forest that guests can partake in. This event is open to guests of all ages and is free with general admission to the Zoo.

• Sat., Feb 10, 11:30 a.m. Wellness with Animal Tracking and Winter Play at Franklin Park with Outdoor RX. Contact egrilli@outdoors.org for more info.

• Fri., Feb. 16, from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Boston Bowl; 1980’s roll-back bowling prices – $3 per game. 80’s music and prizes!

• Fri., Feb. 16, 6 p.m. Teen Night at the Harvard Street Neighborhood Health Center for ages 14-18. The topic of discussion will be healthy relationships (friends, family, etc.). After the discussion, enjoy a delicious meal while watching an age-appropriate fun movie!

• Wed., Feb 21, 3:30 p.m. at the Uphams Corner BPL. Doll E Daze: African Doll Workshop. A popular workshop designed to “promote self-esteem, cultural diversity and preserve the history of black dolls through collection and education”.

• Sat., Feb 24, 10:30 a.m. “Little Voices Big Change- Black Lives Matter” at the Lower Mills BPL. Join Wee The People for a workshop of kid-powered resistance with the social justice storytime event “Black Lives Matter.” Through stories and activities, kids will explore themes of protest and racial justice, taking lessons from the past to understand today’s Movement for Black Lives. Best for kids 5 and up.

• Sat., March 3, 9:30 a.m.— The Dot Day Parade Committee will be hosting its second annual Character Breakfast to raise funds for the June parade. Characters such as Poppy and Branch from Trolls, Batman, Minions, Mickey, Minnie, Moana, Peppa Pig, Cookie Monster, and Elmo will be on the scene at Meetinghouse Church. A delicious breakfast will be served by Season’s Catering, and ice cream will be available from Chill on Park. $20 per adult, $10 per child 12 and under. Children under 2 are free gusts.

• Mon., March 12, 11 a.m. “Black History Heroes, Soldiers and Spies” at the Grove Hall BPL, 41 Geneva Ave. Track Buffalo Soldiers, including Colonel Charles Young, as they explore and settle the American West. Join the Tuskegee Airmen as they take flight to help win World War II. This play also highlights the work of spies such as Mary Elizabeth Bowser, who fought for the Union during the Civil War. This exciting and interactive production will captivate audiences as they are drawn into some of the most unique and exciting stories from black history.

• Fri., March 23, 7 p.m. Cold Night, Hot Stove presented by the All Dorchester Sports League. At First Parish Church, 10 Parish St., Dorchester.