Tags Posts tagged with "February break"

February break

Stanley the Fox. Photo from Long Island Game Farm
New education programs connect kids to nature
As schools are preparing for their first long break of the year, the Long Island Game Farm in Manorville is inviting families and visitors of all ages to spend time at the farm with the animals, like Nala the African serval cat, Stanley the fox, lemurs, goats, and more.
Nala the African serval cat. Photo from the Long Island Game Farm

The game farm is also offering special programming for infants to children age 12 during the break, beginning February 19. Kids can learn how animals prepare for winter, including adaptations, migration, and hibernation; sketch some of the resident animals; and engage in imaginative play using stuffed animals, music, and dance.

These programs will be presented by the Foundation for Wildlife Sustainability, the game farm’s nonprofit arm that aims to connect people with wildlife and the natural environment through awareness activities and engaging experiences.

“We’re thrilled to offer families educational and fun experiences during February break this year,” shares Long Island Game Farm president Melinda Novak. “The Foundation for Wildlife Sustainability’s programming at the game farm encourages children and adults alike to foster an appreciation for nature through engaging experiences. We also have a great education team to lead these programs, so we’re very excited for all to come this year.”

Animals in Winter – Monday, February 19 @ 9 a.m.

In this program for children ages 5 to 7, educator James Carey will discuss how animals prepare for winter using adaptations, migration and/or hibernation. The fee is $35 per child.

Animals in Winter – Monday, February 19 @ 1 p.m.

In this program for children ages 8 to 12, educator James Carey will discuss how animals prepare for winter using adaptations, migration and/or hibernation. The fee is $35 per child.

Sketch the Animals – Wednesday, February 21 @ 10:30 a.m.

Bring your sketch pad and drawing tools to the Long Island Game Farm’s Woodland Hall to see and sketch select resident animals up close. For ages 8 and up. The fee is $25 per person.

Make Music with Ms. Jenna – Friday, February 23 @ 10:30 a.m.

Spark imagination and create music using stuffed animals, song, and dance in this program for children up to age 5. The fee is $20 per child and adult. Each additional child is $10.

Registration is required and can be booked online at longislandgamefarm.com or by calling 631-878-6644.

For those that wish to spend more time at the game farm, attendees to these classes will receive half-off admission for the day of class. The teacher or staff will meet students at the ticket booth.

Long Island Game Farm, 489 Chapman Blvd., Manorville will be open on weekends in February and for winter break from Monday, February 19 through Sunday, February 25 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. All paying guests will receive a free cup of animal food in February. For more information, call 631-88-6644 or visit www.longislandgamefarm.com.


Children’s Workshops, New Planetarium Shows

During the February school break, Monday to Friday, February 21 to 25, the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum and Reichert Planetarium, 180 Little Neck Road, Centerport will be open every day from noon to 4 p.m. (and Sunday as always) for exploring galleries, guided Mansion tours, and shows. The Planetarium also will be offering shows on Friday and Saturday, February 25 and 26, from 7:30 to 10 p.m.

The Gift Shop and Café will be open. Visitors can purchase sandwiches, salads, and snacks prepared by the renowned Copenhagen Bakery and Café in Northport.

Visitors may purchase tickets for guided tours of the Vanderbilt Mansion and for two recently premiered Planetarium shows: Exoplanets: Discovering New Worlds and Explore. And parents can sign up their children for fun, creative workshops.

In Exoplanets, visitors will be transported to planets orbiting faraway stars. While science has not yet found evidence of alien life, this exciting program speculates on the existence of such life and explores how scientists are currently searching for exoplanets and their potential inhabitants. Recommended for ages 12 and up.

Explore is an odyssey to the planet Mars, seen through the lens of human history and scientific development. This visually stunning fulldome film begins with a look at how scholars and scientists throughout the ages used the sky as a clock and calendar to measure the passage of time. Their charts and star catalogs informed the modern science of astronomy. Dave Bush, director of the Reichert Planetarium, called Explore “one of the finest productions ever made available to our audiences. It’s truly an immersive masterpiece.” Recommended for ages 14 and up.

Children’s Winter Workshops
Portraits and Mixed-Media ‘Selfies’ – Monday, February 21: 10 am – 12 pm
Grades K-4 | $20 / $18 MembersWe will see Vanderbilt family portraits in the historic house, have a special viewing of a portrait of George Washington, and create a mixed-media “selfie” portrait.
Bulb Botany and Winter Blooms – Wednesday, February 23: 10 am – 12 pm
Grades K-4 | $20 / $18 MembersExplore the ways living things get energy, examine plant bulbs, make a bulb forcing container.
The Museum is following New York State and Suffolk County guidelines – wearing masks is suggested, but not required. For more information, visit www.vanderbiltmuseum.org.


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Meet Stella the Cow at Hallockville Museum Farm's Winter on the Farm program. Photo courtesy of Hallockville Museum Farm

By Tara Mae

Suffolk County families looking to give their children engaging educational opportunities during February break have a number of options from which to choose. Local organizations, such as the Huntington Historical Society, the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum, Sweetbriar Nature Center and Hallockville Museum Farm are offering wonderful programs this year.

Huntington Historical Society

The Huntington Historical Society will host a Winter Break Camp for children in grades 2 to 6 on February 22 and February 23 at the David Conklin Farmhouse, 2 High St., Huntington from 9 a.m. to noon. Participants will learn about local history through activities, play and crafts, according to Education Coordinator Ivy Van Wickler.  

“During our February camp, kids will participate in a variety of hands-on history activities, including learning traditional weaving techniques on our shaft looms, as well as fun President’s Day crafts and games. The children will have the opportunity to handle historical artifacts, including toys. We will play games and there will be a different craft each day with the focus on the only two sitting presidents [George Washington and Theodore Roosevelt] who visited Huntington,” said Van Wickler. 

The cost is $35 per child per day, $30 members. Pre-registration is required by Feb. 18. A snack for the children will be included each day. Masks are mandatory and social distancing will be observed. Call 631-427-7045 ext 404 or visit www.huntingtonhistoricalsociety.org.

Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum

The Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum, 180 Little Neck Road, Centerport will offer two winter workshops for children in grades K through 4 on Feb. 21 and 23 from 10 a.m. to noon. 

On Feb. 21 children will tap into their inner artists with a workshop titled Portraits & Mixed Media Collage “Selfie.” Partcipants will tour the historic mansion and examine Vanderbilt family portraits. Using the images as inspiration, they will then employ paint, paper, yarn, clay, and other materials to create individual self-portraits, according to Associate Director of Education Beth Laxer-Limmer. 

Bulb Botany and Winter Blooms on Feb. 23 will also provide interactive engagement for attendees, encouraging them to familiarize themselves with the grounds and exhibits while studying flora and fauna.  

“In the wildlife dioramas, we will discuss what animals eat and how they get their food, then walk around the mansion gardens looking for plants and winter-blooming bulbs and discuss photosynthesis. Children will create a forcing vase out of a repurposed plastic water bottle,” Laxer-Limmer said.

Tickets are $20 per child and all participants must be masked. To register, visit www.vanderbiltmuseum.org or call 631-854-5579.

Sweetbriar Nature Center

Sweetbriar Nature Center, 62 Eckernkamp Drive, Smithtown will host Winter Discovery Days from Feb. 21 to Feb. 25 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Designed for children ages 5 to 11, each day of the program incorporates a different natural science theme, with time spent both indoors at the headquarters and barn or outside on the grounds. The activities are curated to encourage awareness and appreciation of the environment. 

Meet Turnip the Screech Owl during Winter Discovery Days at Sweebriar. Photo by Veronic Sayers.

“Kids generally don’t spend a lot of time outside in the winter; we help them discover nature in the winter. For the parents, many of whom may not be off of work, we have the kids during school hours,” said Program Coordinator Veronica Sayers .

Featuring 54 acres of garden, woodland, wetland, and field habitats on the Nissequogue River, Sweetbriar’s winter camp facilitates its mission to offer natural science education and native wildlife rehabilitation.

Ambassador animals, which are wild animals who are generally unable to be rereleased into the wild and include owls, squirrels, hedgehogs, etc., will visit with the campers. “The kids will do at least one craft a day. Sometimes we’ll have them interacting with the animals or playing games, doing scavenger hunts and exploring with their senses,” Sayers added. 

Children may be registered for one, two, three, four, or all five days of Winter Discovery Days. Masks will be worn indoors. The cost is $75 per day or $325 per week for members; $85 per day or $375 per week for nonmembers. For more information, visit www.sweetbriarnc.org or call 631-979-6344.

Hallockville Museum Farm

Hallockville Museum Farm, 6038 Sound Ave., Riverhead a non-profit educational farm, and Farm Hands, a program created to enable hands-on outdoor learning opportunities for young people, have collaborated for Winter on the Farm, a program tailored for children ages 5 to 10 from Feb. 21 to 25 from 9 a.m. to noon. 

Through a tour of the farm and experiential learning, the students will learn about Long Island agriculture as it was hundreds of years ago and as it is today. 

Situated on 23 acres, nineteen historic houses, outbuildings, and barns are preserved on the land; cows, chickens, and other farm animals reside at Hallockville. 

Farm tours will include equipment, outbuildings, and the Hallock Homestead and the Hallock Barn, structures that are more than 250 years old. Camp activities will highlight 19th century farm chores and entertainment, like collecting maple sap for syrup, churning butter, and playing historic instruments and games.

“The age-appropriate activities are based on the children’s abilities and designed to capitalize on the physical and historic resources at the museum farm. Activities will develop an appreciation of farming and local history while creating lasting memories for each camper. Campers will feed the farm animals, collect eggs, and get the farm ready for spring,” said Director and Head Teacher of Farm Hands Jessica de Vera Wells said. 

Proof of negative COVID tests will be required prior to arrival on the first day of camp and temperature checks and screening questions will be administered daily. Masks are required for all indoor activities. Prices is $300/week, $75 per day for drop-in if available, $25 discount for additional sibling for full week only. To register, visit www.hallockville.org or call 631-298-5292.