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Cool sports outings for school vacation week take fun to Olympic levels

A youngster discovers the joy of curling. (Photo courtesy Broomstones Curling Club)
A youngster discovers the joy of curling. (Photo courtesy Broomstones Curling Club)

The Olympic Games are a wrap and if your family is like many in America, you’ve been inspired.

Fortunately, we’re heading into February school vacation week, and there are many ways to keep that Olympic spirit going around the Bay State.

Massachusetts — and New England as a whole — is home to countless past and current Olympians.

It’s also a place where many winter Olympic sports are accessible. Whether you want to try them, watch or honor them, there’s a wealth of choice. Consider these for your holiday week family fun.

Curling up close: Our national fascination with the sport — long a staple in colder climate states like Minnesota — is real. What is curling? How hard is it? And is it as fun to watch in person as it looks on our screens?

The answers are all there for you at Wayland’s Broomstones Curling Club (1 Curling Lane;

First off: Boston lays claim to great history in the sport. The first curling competition in the world on ice made just for the sport was held in Boston in January 1911. Curling had been played around Greater Boston since the early 1800s, with matches in spots like the pond in the Boston Public Garden, Spot Pond, Fresh Pond in Cambridge and Franklin Field hosting regular outdoor curling matches.

At Broomstones Curling Club, you can show up to cheer on a match in real time (The 2022 Gordon-Emmet Bonspiel, a championship held since 1869, takes place there Feb. 24-27, and the public is welcome to cheer on teams), or join one of their many leagues.

Want to test the fun before you join a league? Broomstones is hosting an Olympic Open House April 3 from noon to 5:20 p.m. For $20, anyone 8 and up can try their hand at the hot sport. Preregistration and proof of vaccination is required.

The Pelham House Resort in Dennisport has two indoor curling lanes in their new “Apres Sea” Lounge. (Photo courtesy Pelham House Resort)

You can even plan a curling escape. The Pelham House Resort ( in Dennisport (14 Sea St.) has two indoor curling lanes in its new “Apres Sea” Lounge.

The lounge has that ski lodge decor we love, alongside those curling lanes. You can compete against or with pals, and then sink back into a comfy couch and take in the ocean views.

The lodge and lanes are available Thursday through Sunday through the end of March for parties of up to eight. There are overnight stay packages too — should you want to celebrate your first big curling win. The reservation costs $125 and includes a 45-minute curling time slot accompanied by warm drinks and comfort food.

Hockey glory then and now: Will there ever be a team that captures our hearts like the Miracle on Ice team of 1980 did?

Not only was that team the youngest American Olympic hockey team by age (an average of 21 years old), four of the power players on it — Dave Silk, Jack O’Callahan, Jim Craig and team captain Mike Eruzione — were Boston University players.

You can honor that great team by dropping in on a game at Agganis Arena (925 Commonwealth Ave.;, BU’s home ice.

Boston College plays against Boston University at Agganis Arena in Boston, MA Feb. 29, 2020. (Boston Herald file / Media News Group)

BU plays rival Boston College (another spot that’s sent some great players to the Olympics) on Saturday. The timing is great: It was Feb. 22, 1980, when Eruzione scored the game-winning goal to clinch the win over the Soviet Union and lead commentator Al Michaels to say those historic words, “Do you believe in miracles? Yes!”

Have the family watch “Miracle on Ice” the night prior and then head in to watch the game.

Make sure to visit the BU Hall of Fame and learn more about that amazing team — and others.

Frog Pond: The ice of champions: You know, of course, that Massachusetts’ own Nancy Kerrigan laced up with the Skating Club of Boston. But did you know that more than 25 former international-level champions, including icon himself Dick Buttons, also came up from that club?

A day trip to skate on the Frog Pond will put you on the same ice to taste the blades of the famed Skating Club. Want to make it a full experience? Visit the Skating Club’s new Norwood facilities (75 University Ave.; where you can get on the ice and learn or play, as well as see exhibitions and other fun things — like the U.S Championship sendoff event on Feb. 27.

Figure skater Taryn Burr, of Boston, practices her skills on the Frog Pond rink ice on Boston Common January 11, 2020, in Boston, Massachusetts. (Boston Herald file/Media News Group)

There’s an on-site trophy room, too, where you can view the amazing hardware Bay Stater’s have brought in over the years. It might just spark some Olympic dreams of your own.