Break’s break-down

Crafts for kids at the Martha's Vineyard libraries. — File photo by Lynn Christoffers

The short month of February is coming to a close, and next week the kids are off from school.  Winter isn’t our most entertaining season, and if you’re not jetting off somewhere warm and sunny for the week, you might need some on-Island activities to keep the young ones occupied.  A staycation is good for the soul, so take a break from the routine, sleep-in late, and try one of these afternoon activities.

Starting Monday, Feb. 26, the West Tisbury library has all ages of the community covered all week. From 10:30 am to 4 pm, stop by for a drop-in craft for kids, tweens, and teens. Kids and families can head to the library’s Children’s Room, and teens and tweens can go to the Young Adults Room. Drop by for an hour, or two, and stick around for a free lunch at 11:45 am. All are welcome. At 1 pm, the library will screen a movie matinee. The family film will be held in the Community Room, and the teen film will be in the Young Adults Room. Popcorn is served. The crafts, food, and movies are happening every day, all week, and is entirely free. For more information, visit

The Vineyard Haven library is hosting a craft and movie session on two different afternoons next week. On Wednesday, Feb. 28, kids can gather for a 2:30 pm craft where they’ll use perler beads to make their favorite Minecraft characters and objects. Afterwards, a screening of the film “Wonder” begins at 3:30 pm. The film tells the inspiring and heartwarming story of August Pullman, a boy with facial differences who enters fifth grade, attending a mainstream elementary school for the first time. All are welcome, but kids under 8 should be accompanied by a mature caregiver. On Friday, March 2, the library’s second winter break movie and craft begins at 2:30 pm. Kids ages 8 to 12 will make “Day of the Dead” confetti eggs inspired by the movie “Coco,” which will screen at 3:30 pm. “Coco” tells the story of aspiring musician Miguel who’s confronted with his family’s ancestral ban on music. He enters the Land of the Dead to find his great-grandfather, a legendary singer.

The Island Grown Initiative is offering a community soup and bread lunch at different local libraries each day. On Monday, Feb. 26, veggie and bean chili will be served at the Vineyard Haven library from 11:45 am to 12:45 pm. It’s free, it’s hot, and it comes with fresh bread, veggie sticks, hummus, apple cider, and dessert. Tuesday’s community soup and bread lunch will be at the West Tisbury library, Wednesday’s at the Oak Bluffs library, Thursday’s at the West Tisbury library, and Friday’s at the Oak Bluffs library. You can also try the curried red lentil and butternut squash soup, or the hearty vegetable noodle soup. Who can pass up a free lunch from IGI?

The Trustees of Reservations will host a week-long “February Vacation Exploration” program. All ages are welcome for seasonal games, crafts, and hands-on learning. The adventure begins at the visitors center at Long Point Wildlife Refuge, where a Trustees educator will take participants on a winter wildlife scavenger hunt. Otters have been spotted on the trail, as well as owls and waterfowl, which can be seen from the observation blind. Before you go, you’ll make your own bird feeder to bring home. Register by emailing Rebecca Uva at, or calling 508-693-7662. Come any day Monday through Friday from 10 am to 12 pm. Cost for members is $5, non-members pay $10, and adults are free.

On Tuesday, Feb. 27, Felix Neck kicks off their four-day educational program for kids in kindergarten through fifth grade. The program runs from 9 am to 3 pm. Tuesday’s session is “Mammal-Rama,” Wednesday’s is “Adapt,” Thursday’s is “Feathered Fun,” and Friday’s is “Nature Sense.” Kids will have fun exploring, making friends, and learning through nature play and outdoor discovery. They’ll identify animal tracks, play games, build shelters, interact with live animals, and more. With Felix Neck’s enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff, the kids will be in good hands. Sign up for one day or all four by registering online ( or calling 508-627-4850. It’s $65 per day for members, and $75 per day for non-members. A $10 discount will be applied if you sign up for all four days.

The Martha’s Vineyard Community Horse Center is putting on a Winter School Break Horseplay program on Tuesday, Feb. 27, Wednesday, Feb. 28, and Thursday, March 1. Kids ages 7 to 14 can explore fun, guided, and skill-building activities with horses while making friends, and enhancing their observation, communication, and social skills. The program runs from 10 to 11:30 am every day, and is $35 per session, or $100 if you sign up for all three. For more information or to register, call 508-338-7198 or email

Engage the kids in something different this February break, and see how they learn and grow through these fun and educational Island programs.

This article by Brittany Bowker originally appeared on