Seasonal Activities

  • Winter Family Activities:

    Ice Skating: Featherland Park is on Concord Road. In the winter they make an ice skating rink. Bring your own ice skates and you can use the rink for free.
     
    Downhill Skiing: Downhill skiing is more expensive than the other activities we’ve listed so far but an important part of Sudbury winter culture.
    • Wachusett Mountain in Princeton, MA is the state’s highest mountain. It has 22 skiing trails in the winter and hiking in the summer. They offer many levels of skiing lessons for all ages and rent skis and equipment.
    • Nashoba Valley Ski Area in Westford has 17 trails and also offers skiing lessons and equipment rentals. At their park in Littleton they offer tubing, which might be a fun activity for those not ready to ski.
    • Blue Hills Ski Area in Canton is a beginner-friendly ski hill with 12 trails, daily kids’ lessons, equipment rentals, and a terrain park.

    Families who really love skiing will sometimes drive farther north to the taller mountains in Vermont and New Hampshire, or even take the family on a vacation to Colorado or Montana on the western side of the United States.

    Cross Country Skiing and Snowshoeing: On flat local trails, families also enjoy cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. If you don’t have your own equipment you might be able to borrow some from a neighbor or rent some from the Parks and Recreation Department.

    Indoor Mini Golf: If your family would rather keep warm in the winter, you might like to visit Trombetta’s Farm in Marlborough, which has indoor mini golf. It’s actually a business with three parts. They are a garden center that sells plants, they have mini golf, and they sell ice cream.

    Spring Family Activities:

    Sugar Shacks:  Sugar maple trees have a sweet liquid sap inside them. For hundreds of years, people in this region have collected this sap and boiled it down to make maple syrup and candies. It's a great source of local pride. Many sugar shacks not only produce maple syrup, they also serve as seasonal tourist attractions. Sugar shacks usually offer tours of the syrup making process, have tastings to help you understand maple grades, sell bottles of maple syrup, and have restaurants that serve pancake breakfasts (the perfect food to cover in maple syrup.)

    Maple sap is best harvested in the springtime when there are a series of 70°F (21.1°C) days and nights that dip below freezing. Learn more about the process here. The exact date that a sugar shack will open each year can depend on the weather. Climate change is shifting the sugaring season, making it harder to harvest sap this far south.

    • Hollis Hills Farm in Fitchburg has open houses, breakfasts, and maple sales.
    • Ioka Valley Farm in Hancock has tours, tastings, breakfasts, and a wide variety of other agricultural products.
    • North Hadley Sugar Shack in North Hadley has tours, tastings, breakfasts, and a variety of local products.

    These are just a few. Ask your neighbors if they have a favorite.

    Summer Family Activities: 

    Swimming Holes

    In this region many families swim at beaches on natural lakes. These beaches usually have small fees for parking or admission that help pay the lifeguards and maintenance staff.

    • Wayland Town Beach There are multiple payment options including a $10 day fee or a $75 season pass. You can swim, rent boats, or take swimming lessons.
    • Nara Park Families can enter the park for free but you will need to pay a day fee of $45 to use the beach. You can rent a paddle boat or a canoe at a rate of $10 for 30 minutes. During the summer there is a concert series and you can reserve outdoor pavilions for parties.
    • Walden Pond Fans of 19th century American literature will recognize the name of this pond from the works of Henry David Thoreau. Historic sites about the town's literary history are nearby but when you hear a Sudbury family mention Walden Pond, they're usually just talking about swimming. There is a huge parking lot off of Route 126 and the fee is just $8 per parked car.

    Outdoor Spray Parks: If your kids want to cool down but don’t want to swim, they might like playing in a splash park or spray park. These are paved play areas with cold showers and sprinklers for children to run through. There are no spray parks in Sudbury but you could drive to parks in Marlborough, Belmont, Waltham, or another town.

    Vacation:  In the summer months, especially August, you might wonder where everyone went. Many Sudbury families go on vacation in the summer, meaning that your children’s friends won’t be free to play for several weeks.
     
    Private Swim and Tennis Clubs: You may hear neighbors talking about Greenwood or SS&T. These are private swim and tennis clubs in Sudbury, on different sides of town. The most important thing to know about these clubs is that there is a waitlist to get in. If you sign up for the waitlist on your first day in Sudbury, you will have to wait several years before you are allowed to purchase a membership. Local families say you absolutely want to get on the waitlist for the club in your neighborhood as soon as you move here.

    Once you get off the waitlist, families say that the membership fees are not actually that expensive. These clubs offer swimming and tennis lessons, volleyball courts, sand boxes, pool parties, adult yoga classes, and places to bring food and picnic. Club members sometimes use all of these lessons and activities instead of signing their children up for summer camps.

    Summer Camps for Children:  Most children in Sudbury participate in summer camp programs for all or part of the summer.

    • Camp Fair: The Sudbury Camp Fair is hosted at the high school each year. Representatives from all the local summer camps set up booths so that you can walk around, learn about the programs, and get brochures.
    • Day Camps: Sudbury Parks and Recreation offers day camp programs right in town. Younger kids usually attend “day camps,” which have activities either for full days or for just mornings or afternoons. Their hours are often similar to school hours, which make them a great option for working parents. Day camps usually offer sessions lasting 1-2 weeks. You can sign your child up for just one session, or for several sessions back-to-back. There are different types of camps for every child: art camps, robotics camps, heritage language camps, and sports camps. You will also see some camps that describe themselves as traditional camps. Traditional camps would likely offer swimming, boating, silly songs, nature education, sports, and crafts. 
    • Sleep-away Camps: As young as 8 years old, some children begin to attend “sleep-away camps.” Sleep-away camps are overnight camps for children with activities and supervision all day and night. These camps may offer 1-8 week sessions. Many camps that require longer sessions offer short 4-7 day introductory sessions for first-timers. You can try out the camp one year and attend the next. Some sleep-away camps are hosted on college campuses and children sleep in college dorm rooms. Other camps own their own properties and children sleep rustic cabins or tents. Sleep-away camps usually feature communal meals and a big focus on social relationships and forming a camp community. Some sleep-away camps are even more specialized than day camps, with programs for math enthusiasts, children with diabetes, or all girls. They may offer religious programs, theater, long overnight camping and hiking trips, or specific sports. “Traditional” sleep-away camps offer rustic cabins, nature education, songs, sports, swimming, boating, hiking, campfires, crafts, ropes courses, and silly camp traditions created to build community. There is usually some choice at traditional camps, so one child may focus on soccer and swimming while another may choose horseback riding and crafts.