School break week amid pandemic brings batch of challenges for parents

School break week amid pandemic brings batch of challenges for parents

PRINCETON, Mass. — Staying busy with so many restrictions in place is making it difficult for parents during the school break week.

There are only so many things you can do outdoors in the winter, but that is not stopping people from trying new activities. Skiing and snowboarding are the obvious picks for many families. But with a week off from school and so many restrictions in place on where you can go and who you can see, people are also trying some out-of-the-box ideas.

Wachusett Mountain Ski Area is running with strict protocols. Sarah and Steve Herlihy drove their family out to Wachusett from Westwood to get an afternoon of skiing.

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“We just try to abide by the guidelines, wear our masks and keep distance when possible,” the Herlihys said.

Wachusett Ski Area co-owner and CEO Carolyn Crowley Stimpson said they have been running with strict protocols, including capacity limits. The ski area in Princeton is requiring people to book their block of time online, and right now there is availability during the school break week. Many guests have been committed to staying outdoors even in between their runs.

“We have wind walls, heaters, heated benches. People are loving the dragon benches,” Stimpson said.

We also found families looking for other places to socially distance. Thom Roach, at Gore Place Society in Waltham, said they are booking people online to go snowshoeing on the 50-acre site. The snowshoes can be rented for an hour and the proceeds help fund the site.

Gore Place is also hosting a Star Gazing night this Friday during the school break week.

“They can take the kids outdoors, socially distance and they can get some exercise,” Roach said.

The New England Aquarium and Boston Museum of Science are also open with cleaning and spacing protocols in place. We also talked to Dave & Busters in Natick, where we saw spaced out gaming areas, sanitizer stations and dedicated people cleaning throughout the day.

Of course, there is always the other standby, good old fashion sledding, some parents pointed out.

“We try to stay outdoors, good ventilation, wear masks,” one mother said.

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