Category Archives: School Breaks

Want something to do during April school vacation?

Stories! Movement! Art! will provide students in Grades 3 – 6 the opportunity to tell stories through their art! By using low-tech materials, they’ll create art that physically moves or uses optical illusion to showcase movement! This program runs April 15th – 19th, 1:00 – 3:30 pm in the Carriage House at Gore Place in Waltham . Fees are $20.00 for the whole week, or $5.00/day. Tickets available at

What’s Happening at the Y in April

Try the Y – Sundays in April are free! Present a valid ID at the welcome desk and the daily guest fee will be waived.

Go Lisa and Phil, West Suburban YMCA Boston Marathon Team! – Newton residents Lisa D’Agostino and Phil Stern are running the Boston Marathon for the West Suburban YMCA. Lisa and Phil have spent months training for the race while also raising funds for the West Suburban YMCA. Together they have raised over $27,500 for the Y’s Annual Fund! This will be Lisa’s first marathon and Phil’s 21st. The West Suburban YMCA was provided one official bib number from the City of Newton and one from an anonymous B.A.A. member and YMCA supporter, allowing the Y to have two runners for this year’s event. Go Lisa and Phil!

Kids Night Out –  April 5th, 6:00 – 10:00 pm – Parents, drop off your kids for a fun Friday night with the Y’s staff. They’ll order pizza for dinner and keep the children entertained with games, swimming, movies and sports. $25.00 per child for Y members and $30.00 for the community. A 20% discount is offered per child for those with two or more children. Go out for the night and take advantage of this low-cost alternative to hiring a babysitter.

Poetry Night – April 5th, 7:00 – 9:00 pm – celebrate National Poetry Month at the Y! Organized by Barbara Helfogtt-Hyett of Poemworks, the event features readings by two local poets, then guests are invited to participate in the open mic portion of evening to share their own written work. This event is free and open to the public.

April Vacation Programs for Grades K-8, April 16th – 19th – Spend a fun and engaging April Vacation week at the Y! Y vacation programs offer an active environment for students in grades K-8. Featuring a mix of activities to keep kids happy and healthy all day, including free swim periods throughout the day. April Vacation programs will run April 16th –  April 19th. Full and half day options and daily rates to accommodate your needs!

April Vacation Songwriting & Recording Workshop – April 16th – 19th –  a 4-day collaborative workshop where young musicians (ages 10+) write and record original music. Learn all the tips and tricks that go into recording, mixing, and mastering an album!

Financial Assistance is always available for Y Memberships and Programs – The West Suburban YMCA is a non-profit charitable organization and whose mission is to never turn anyone away due to an inability to pay. Please contact the Membership Department at 617-244-6050 x3653 for financial assistance with membership or program participation.

April Vacation at Newton Free Library

Chocolate Make & Take, April 13th, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm, Teen Area
Interested in learning how to make chocolate creations? Alongside Sadina Shawver, a former chocolatier, you’ll learn to make chocolate as well as take that chocolate home! Online registration (required) starts March 18th. There are four separate 1-hour sessions until 4:00 pm.

Teen MTG, April 16th, 3:00 – 4:00 pm, Teen Area
Meet up to play Magic: The Gathering after school. Moderated by a local Newton South student. Bring your decks or use the ones there!

Official Book Launch for Danielle: The Chronicles of a Superheroine by Ray Kurzweil, April 16th, 7:00 – 8:30 pm, Druker Auditorium
Join inventor, futurist Ray Kurzweil as we explore his vision of an extraordinary future where our brains are connected to the cloud, we have hybrid biological/nonbiological thinking, our human intelligence is enhanced a millionfold and everyone has the power of ideas to solve the world’s grandest challenges. Meet Danielle, the protagonist of Kurzweil’s new book, Danielle: Chronicles of a Superheroine – a precocious girl with super-intelligence who has the courage to question the assumptions that limit our imagination to solve world problems. Imagine if we were all Danielles! A book signing will follow.

Escape Room, April 17th, 12:00 – 7:00 pm, Special Collections/Teen Area
You’ve trapped yourself and your friends in a room. Well done! You and your team must now solve the unsolvable, unlocked the locked, and escape the inescapable within 45 minutes. Think you can do it? Test the Haunted Newton Escape Room, and while you wait, enjoy some snacks. This escape room was made and tested by the Teen/Tween Advisory Board. Online registration (required) will allow teams to sign up for 45-minute time slots. Grades 5-12.

Project Cosplay: Make You Up,  April 17th, 7:00 – 8:30 pm, Teen Area
Looking to dive into cosplay? Step up your game with special effects makeup! Makeup and cosplay enthusiasts, Erica Yuen and Julia Carlaw, will show you tips and tricks on how to make up your face. Grades 5-12.

Teen Movie: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, 2:00 – 4:30 pm, Teen Area
Join to watch the Academy Award-winning Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018). Spider-Man themed snacks and refreshments will be provided. Rated PG. Runtime 117 minutes.

NNHS Science Team Trivia, April 18th, 6:30 – 8:30 pm, Teen Area
Are you a science mastermind? Join the fun and test your mastery of science! The Newton North High School Science Team will challenge players to a night of science trivia from a variety of categories from chemistry to computer science. Stretch your brain and win exciting science prizes! Come alone or with friends! Teams can be up to 6 people, and we can match you with fellow devotees. Pizza and drinks will be provided. Teens and families welcome.

For more information contact Megan Coffey at

Bidding for the NECP Online Auction begins March 28th

The Newton Early Childhood Program (NECP), Newton’s only public preschool, hosts its largest school fundraiser of the year starting March 28th.

Get ready to bid for great deals on restaurants, summer camps, birthday parties, gym memberships, and more! Over 100 amazing items from across Newton and the Boston area. Auction proceeds will fund education enrichment programs, community-building events, and classroom materials for our city’s youngest learners.

Visit NECPPTO.ORG/AUCTION. Bidding ends April 6th at 9:00 pm. Good luck!

Plugged In’s April Vacation Camp

Plugged In’s April Vacation Camp is open to ages 11-18 of all skill levels. Students will get placed in a band with band members their age and skill level. Each band will write and record a song and make a music video. On the last day, bands will perform in a livestream performance from Plugged In for friends and family to watch online.

The Plugged In Band Program is a unique non-profit rock band program in Needham teaching kids of all skill levels and needs about using music to help others. In addition to ensemble band classes, private lessons, songwriting workshops, summer camp and community performances, five times a year students perform in benefit concerts that raise money for causes and organizations chosen by the students themselves. Plugged In provides a nurturing and supportive community to which young musicians of all levels and needs feel a sense of belonging, have an opportunity to express and be acknowledged for their musical interests and a chance to use their music to help others around the world.

Registration is also open for Plugged In’s 2-day Songwriting Workshop on May 25th  & 26th and Summer Day Camps in July and August. Registration for private lessons is ongoing. Registration and more info about all Plugged In programming is at

Founded in 2002, Plugged In now has over 150 students from all over Massachusetts. Some of our students experience emotional and learning difficulties, such as ADD, depression, and low-self-esteem and/or have special needs such as autism and Asperger’s Syndrome. In the loving and non-competitive atmosphere at Plugged In, all differences are transcended through a shared passion for music, the teamwork involved with using music to help others and an atmosphere of compassion and fun.