FRAMINGHAM, MA - Between the towns of Natick, Wayland and Framingham, MA, Lake Cochituate offer many recreational summer activities including swimming, boating and fishing.
Many locals may not realize that just a few hundred yards east of the Framingham/Natick town line, (on Rt. 30), the beach, picnic area, boat launch, snack bar and canoe/kayak rental shop are in Cochituate State Park, (which is operated by the MA Dept. of Conservation and Recreation).
Below is a list of fun, educational FREE summer activities for kids and families available at the park during the month of August 2011, (Tuesdays-Saturdays).
Most of the activities have a different theme each week, so frequent visitors can enjoy learning and doing different things -- and kids won't complain "I already did that last week".
Several of the activities take place at the park's Nature Center which is located to the right of the park's entrance (off Rt. 30).
Although most of the activities are free, there is an admission/parking fee of $5.00 per car, (and a fee for canoe or kayak rental if you choose to participate in the Tuesday paddle program).
The following is a weekly schedule of August (2011) activities.
(See info below to view or download detailed calendar of events and park info)
Most activities last approximately (1) hour unless otherwise noted.
- 11:00 a.m. - Paddle Lake Cochituate - meet at the boat ramp. Bring your own kayak or canoe, or rent one from Charles River Canoe and Kayak which operates the boathouse. (Program participants receive a 20% off discount on rental).
- 2:00p.m. - Learn to Fish! - meets at the Nature Center. All materials are provided! Park staff will instruct kids how to bait, cast and reel a fishing rod! After the lesson, kids can take their new skills and head over to the boat ramp and catch some fish right out of Lake Cochituate!. (Appropriate for children over 6 years old.)
- 11:00 a.m. - Craft making and Stories, (at Nature Center), a different theme each week.
- 2:00 p.m. - "Water Comes to Boston", a historical program about Lake Cochituate, (at beach)
- 11:00 a.m. - "Kidleidoscope", pre-school nature program. New theme each week, lasts about an hour, (meets at Nature Center) For ages 3-6. All children must be accompanied by an adult.
- 2:00 p.m. - Become a Massachusetts Junior Ranger!, (ages 7-11). New topic about nature each week. Kids receive a workbook with activities to do at home or in the park and can earn a certificate and a "Junior Ranger" patch for completing the course! (NOTE: This 8-week program which started in July is halfway over for the season, but kids are still welcome to drop-in and enjoy the weekly activities).
- 11:00 a.m. - Group Sports & Recreation Activities, (equipment is available, meet at field near Nature Center).
- 2:00 p.m. - Beach Exploration! - (meet at beach) Search for living plants and animals around the beach and edges of the picnic area. Appropriate for children age 6 and up. Younger children can participate with an adult.
- 1:00 - 3:30 p.m. - Nature Center Activities, a variety of activities for kids of all ages on Saturday afternoons.
Detailed August Activity Calendar for Cochituate State Park can be downloaded to view or print out, (schedules are in Adobe .PDF format).
Directions to Cochituate State Park: follow Cochituate Rd., (Rt. 30) east, when you pass the intersection of Speen St. and Rt. 30, (near Home Depot) the road will become Commonwealth Rd., (at Natick town line), park entrance is on your right approximately 1/4 mile at 43 Commonwealth Rd., Natick, MA.
Additional information is available on the Cochituate State Park page of the MA Dept. of Conservation and Recreation website, or by contacting Cochituate State Park Headquarters / Business Office located at 93 Commonwealth Rd. Wayland, MA, or by phone at: (508) 653-9641.