Search Results for: Nichole's Picks

Nichole’s Picks 3/25 + 3/26

Pick #1: The Boston Flower Show



This year’s show theme is “Superheroes of the Garden”.  You’ve probably heard of Comic-Con, the huge celebration of comic books, video games and popular culture.  This year’s Flower Show will be a veritable Horti-Con, honoring the crusaders, innovative tools and legendary plants helping to make us all champions in the battle for garden supremacy!

Our gardens are created by landscape designers, garden centers and nurseries, farms, florists, schools, and non-profit organizations to delight attendees and introduce themselves and their services.  Gardens and displays feature dozens of examples of plants, methods and materials to increase the beauty, the bountiful harvest and the ecological friendliness of our gardens and outdoor spaces.  The gardens are judged just prior to the opening of the show by prestigious members of the New England horticultural community and awarded prizes based on creativity, use of plants and materials, color and fragrance, and ecological concepts among other criteria. Awards are posted at each garden. See if you agree!



Pick #2: HONK!


The North Shore Players Youth Theatre proudly presents the musical Honk!

The 18-member cast, ages 7 to 14, sing and dance through this retelling of the Ugly Duckling Story, as the Ugly Duckling struggles for acceptance, while avoiding two hungry Cats.  Honk! is presented at Hogan Regional Auditorium, 450 Maple Street, Danvers.  Performance dates are Friday, March 24 and Saturday, March 25, at 7 p.m., and a matinee on Sunday, March 26, at 2 p.m.

Tickets are:  $18/$15 (student/senior) and can be purchased at the door, through cast members, or below, online with PayPal: ($1 per ticket for service fee):

Screen Shot 2017-03-22 at 8.51.00 PM

Pick #3: Healthy Smoothie Class at Whole Foods MarketStreet

Local Fruit Smoothie Competition:

Sign up for a free class at a Whole Foods Market Wellesley! Students learn about healthy eating, and then compete in small group teams to create the best tasting fruit Smoothie, using local fruits, yogurt and 100% juices. Ready… set… buzz that blender.

Reserve your seat on EventBrite  as space is limited, ages 8+. (

About Kid’s Cooking Green:

Kids Cooking Green offers classes and activities introducing children to the importance of eating locally grown food. Through hands-on cooking, and lively classroom presentation students learn about nutrition and the positive impact eating locally can have on the environment, and their bodies.

Parents, we ask that you also stay at the store for the duration of the class.


As always, for a comprehensive list of family activities, please visit our friends at North Shore Kid

Nichole’s Picks 3/18 + 3/19

Pick #1: Wonka, Junior

There’s quite a buzz about East Gloucester Elementary School’s upcoming performances of Wonka Jr.

Shows on Friday @ 6:30, Saturday @ 2:00, and Monday at 6:30.

I’ve been told that tickets are $10 and are available at the door.


Pick #2: Cape Ann Youth Hockey:  Girls Open House Practice on Friday, March 17th at 6:00 pm.

CAYH - Girls Flyer 2017-2018 Season from kristin


Pick #3: Children’s Drop and Shop at the Pingree School in Hamilton

The Drop & Shop offers a unique, extensive shopping experience for families with kids 0-16.  You can shop for complete seasonal wardrobes for all your kids, or stock up on new [different] toys, games, books, DVDs, gear and furniture.  There are sizes, styles and price ranges for everyone.  Moms, Dads, Aunts and Grandmothers are all welcome to shop for the all the children in their life.  Best brands only.  All items are screened, hand-picked and approved from a team of experienced and savvy moms!
Plan for an extensive shopping experience by bringing an empty shopping bag, or three. The facilities offer plenty of room to roam.  We ask – no food or drink, cash and local check only.  Children are always welcome, but please consider others and make sure they stay within arms reach.  Roaming children will be asked to re-unite with their guardian.  It’s not okay to leave children unattended.


As always, for a comprehensive listing of family activities, please visit our friends at North Shore Kid

Nichole’s Picks 3/11 + 3/12

Pick #1:  DownRiver Ice Cream!

One of the surest signs of Spring!  DownRiver Ice Cream in Essex opens at noon on Saturday!  Meet you there!




Pick #2: Cape Ann Museum: STEAM Bird Day

Saturday, March 11th 10:00-12:00

Enjoy a family-friendly tour of the galleries on this bird-focused STEAM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math – Day at the Museum and create a bird-inspired artwork to take home.

This event is free for families. Space is limited; reservations required. Reservations can be made by calling 978-283-0455 x16 or emailing 



Pick #3: Ben Rudnick & Friends Concert

Saturday, March 11th 10:30

Tickets:  $8.50, $13.50

Ben Rudnick and Friends have been bringing families, music and fun together in their own unique style from their first release, Emily Songs, in 2000 to their January 2016 release, A Frog Named Sam, A Musical for Children.



For a more comprehensive list of family activities, please visit our friends at North Shore Kid

Nichole’s Picks 3/4 + 3/5

Pick #1:  Cultural Festival at Harborlight in Beverly

I am pretty excited about this event.  First of all, it is free.  A suggested donation of $10 per family would be appreciated, but is not necessary.

Children will be given a “passport” to go on tour through several different countries (classrooms).  Along the way, they will make crafts and be introduced to a bit of the cultural that makes each country special.  At 11:15 all guests will be invited upstairs to watch the live entertainment.  There will be a Lion Dance troupe and a group named Ballet Folklorico Colombiano Bajucol who will perform three separate cultural dances.  Harborlight students will also sing some songs that they have learned in Mandarin and Spanish…along with American Sign Language.   Baked goods will also be available for purchase.



Pick #2: Sugar Shack Saturdays at Appleton Farms

Saturdays, March 4, 2017 10am-11:30am & 1:30-3pm

Spring is coming and the sap is running! Experience the time-honored tradition of maple sugaring with Sugar Shack Saturdays at Appleton Farms. Spend the morning with us and see how we turn sap into sweet syrup. Start by getting creative with some maple themed crafts in the Appleton Old House then get outside and explore our very own sugar shack! Learn how we tap our trees every spring, see the evaporator in action, and taste the freshly made syrup.  We will end back inside with a farm snack, including Appleton Farms cheese, apple slices, and homemade maple ice cream while we read a story about maple sugaring!

Recommended for ages 8 and under but everyone is welcome! Space is limited. Registration is by the family- if you have 5 or more in your family, please register 2 families.  Crafts and snacks included and we want to have enough for all.




Pick #3: Lego Batman Movie Days at the LegoLand Discovery Center



Every weekend in March!

Super hero. Crime-fighter. Master Builder. LEGO® Batman is all of those and so much more. Come meet Gotham City’s Caped Crusader during this celebration of the Warner Bros. feature film, which will include photo ops with the scene-stealing star, a themed scavenger hunt and a LEGO® Batman-inspired LEGO build activity including:

  • LEGO® Batman Meet & Greets!
    Hi, kids. This is LEGO Batman, the star of his own brand new big adventure, The LEGO Batman Movie. Come meet the coolest, strongest, smartest and best-looking Super Hero of them all.
    Meet & Greets schedule TBD. Schedule of appearances subject to change.
  • Mystery Mosaic LEGO® Build
  • MINILAND Scavenger Hunt: The Villians have escaped

To avoid disappointment, please pre-book your tickets online to guarantee entry. BUY TICKETS NOW

As always, for a comprehensive list of family activities, please visit our friends at North Shore Kid

Nichole’s Picks 2/25 + 2/26

Pick #1:  Maple Sugaring at Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary


Saturday, February 25 & Sunday, February 26

Tours at 12:30 pm and 2:30 pm

Adults: $10 and children over 3: $8

Spring celebrations begin early at the sanctuary with the age-old tradition of maple sugaring. The warm days of late winter awaken the flow of sap in the maples, causing buds to swell and resulting in sweet-smelling, billowing clouds of steam rising from the sugarhouse.

On our naturalist-guided tours, learn how to identify a sugar maple, observe tapping and sap collection methods, watch the sap being boiled down in the sugarhouse, and get a sweet taste of the final product. Afterwards, warm up by the woodstove in the Barn, where hot beverages, hot dogs cooked in maple sap, and delicious soups and desserts made by our volunteers are available for purchase.

Visit our gift shop to browse a selection of maple products, and be sure to bring home a bottle of our own freshly-made maple syrup.

Tours last about an hour and run in all weather. Dress warmly and wear warm waterproof boots because the walk is entirely outdoors.



Pick #2:  Before all the Rinks Close…

Do some outdoor iceskating.  Hit Boston City Plaza for BostonWinter’s skating on the plaza.




Pick #3:  Snow Tubing at New England Sports Park

I wrote about this quickly last month, but it deserves to be written about again….especially before winter is over.  Dare I say?


Friday:  3:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Saturday:  10:00 AM to 8:00 PM

Sunday:  10:00 AM to 8:00 PM


Rates: $25 per ticket, per block.


As always, for a comprehensive list of family activities, please visit our friends at North Shore Kid

Nichole’s Picks 2/18 + 2/19

Pick #1:  Merrimack River Eagle Festival


Presented by Mass Audubon’s Joppa Flats Education Center and the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

“Come to Newburyport and Amesbury on February 18, 2017, for a full day of fun indoor and outdoor activities celebrating the return of our Bald Eagles! Learn more about these magnificent birds and the habitat they share with us.”

Go on an eagle tour, see a raptor show, pose for photos, and much, much more.


Visit Eagle Hot Spots
9:00 am–4:00 pm



Pick #2:  Visit the Sawyer Free Library for Dads & Donuts

Saturday, February 18 at 10:30 a.m.
Enjoy donuts with dad while also enjoying visiting author Jape Payette, author of the Jape the Grape Ape children’s series.

Ages preschool and up. 



Pick #3:  The New England Boat Show

The Boston Convention and Exhibition Center


Friday 1:00 PM – 9:00 PM,  Saturday 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM,  Sunday 11:00 AM – 5:30 PM

Adults $15, Children $15 and under are FREE


For a more comprehensive list of family activities, please visit our friends at North Shore Kid

Nichole’s Picks 2/11 + 2/12

Pick #1:  Salem’s So Sweet Festival

Salem’s So Sweet Chocolate and Ice Festival – Feb. 10 through Feb. 12, 2017!

Salem Main Streets, the Salem Chamber of Commerce, Destination Salem, and local retailers, restaurants, and businesses invite you to attend the 15th annual Salem’s So Sweet Chocolate & Ice Sculpture Festival. A decadent tradition of delectable chocolate, sparkling ice sculptures, and Valentine’s Day shopping…don’t miss Salem’s sweetest event of the year!



Pick #2:  Karen K. and the Jitterbugs at The Cabot


Tickets are $13.50 for adults and $8.50 for children


9:30 Valentine Making
10:30 Show

Enjoy a special Valentine’s Day concert with Karen K and her imaginary friends, the Jitterbugs: Bumble (the bee who doesn’t like to sting), Stinky (loves playing outside, refuses baths), Hop (working on his patience and self control) and Slug Bug (he needs a LOT of naps).  Named “Best Kindie Band in Greater Boston 2016” by Mommy Poppins (41,000 votes), Karen and her band were also called “power pop that makes them fun for the whole family” by The Boston Globe!

Before the show, join your child in making a Valentine for a “Community Helper” from your town!  We’ll have all the makings for Valentines, plus mailboxes for the staff at PAWS New England, the local Fire and Police Departments, Public Works and more.

Pick #3:  CAM Kids: Be Mine, Valentine at the Cape Ann Museum



11:00 a.m. — 2:00 p.m.Youth and Family Programs

Families are invited to take a look at Victorian Valentines from the Museum’s collection and create a variety of cut paper cards. This event is free for families.

Get inspired! Take a look at some valentines from the Museum’s collection here.

CAM Kids is generously sponsored by David and Lisa Rich.



As always, for a comprehensive list of family activities, please visit our friends at North Shore Kid

Nichole’s Picks 2/4 + 2/5

Pick #1:  Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast at Cherry Hill Creamery in Danvers





Pick #2:  Family Show Shoe and Winter World Hike at Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary


Family Snowshoe and Winter World Hike

Sat, Feb 04, 2017 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm


Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, Topsfield


Cori Brauer – Education Coordinator


All (suitable for children 6 – 16 years)


Adult $8.00, Child $7.00


Adult $10.00, Child $8.00
Nonmembers can join today during checkout and take immediate advantage of member prices.

Have you ever wanted to try snowshoeing but didn’t know where to start? Are you looking for a way to spend some time with your family outside this winter? Join us for a leisurely snowshoe hike through our sanctuary. Along the way, we will search for animal tracks and keep our eyes open for wildlife. If you’d like to join us and don’t own snowshoes, we’ll provide them for you. Snow or no, we will enjoy a wonderful winter hike and end with some hot chocolate to warm up!

Instructions and Directions:

Meets in the Barn. Please dress for the weather.
Registration is required.
Register online or call 978-887-9264 to register by phone.
Register by mail: program registration form (PDF 66K)
For your own security, DO NOT send credit card information via email.

For more information, contact:



Pick #3:  Patriots Weekend at LegoLand Somerville

Show your New England Patriots pride this weekend and save! Visit LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Boston wearing your Pats gear this Saturday and Sunday and you can get $5.00 off your walk-up admission ticket!



As always, for a comprehensive list of family activities, please visit our friends at North Shore Kid.

Nichole’s Picks 1/28 + 1/29

Pick #1: Visit Patriot Place at Gillette Stadium

Get Down and Get Your Patriots Fix While We Have a Week of Rest!




Pick #2: Young Company Winter Festival


January 25 – February 5, 2017

 This year, the young company presents four fantastic Winter Festival shows! Family-friendly The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley Junior takes us on an incredible adventure all across the globe, while The Emperor’s New Clothes teaches us to open our eyes to what’s right in front of us! Mary Poppins uses magic, common sense, and a spoonful of sugar to teach the entire Banks family to value one another. Lastly, the dark and edgy Sweeney Todd shows us just how far some will go for those they love.

This audition-based program for students in grades 1-12 culminates in performances on Stoneham Theatre’s stage. Anyone can audition, and free workshops prepare seasoned actors and newbies alike!

Student matinees available. Please contact Carol Dempsey, Director of Sales, or
781-587-7905 for more information.

Click here to see the Calendar.
Click here to see the Audition & Workshop Calendar. 


Pick #3: Harvard Square Chocolate Festival

Because, well…why not.

Friday, January 27, 2017 – Sunday, January 29, 2017


The Harvard Square Business Association is excited to announce the highly anticipated 9th Annual Chocolate Festival. For three days, Harvard Square establishments pull out all the stops to celebrate all things chocolate! Harvard Square restaurants will feature chocolate appetizers, entrees, desserts, cocktails, cordials and nightcaps while Harvard Square retailers will dazzle you scrumptious chocolate specials and deals.

The highlight of this beloved weekend extravaganza is the free Chocolate Tasting Event on Saturday, January 28th from 1pm – 2pm. Please join us on Brattle Plaza (in front of Crema Café at 27 Brattle Street) for delicious, delectable and decadent chocolate treats from Harvard Square’s finest purveyors including Cabot’s Candy, Crema Cafe, DAVIDs TEAEl Jefe’s Taqueria, En BocaFlour Bakery, Henrietta’s Table, Hotel Tria, JP Licks, Shake Shack,  Starbucks,  Toscano , wagamama and  Zinnekens. Make sure to come early! This tantalizing event is very popular and attracts hundreds of sweet tooths!

When you’ve had your fill of chocolate, take a jaunt through Harvard Yard to the Museum of Natural History. Visit the famed Glass Flowers gallery where realistic hand-crafted glass models of Cacao, as well as cashew nuts, mango, pineapple, and other edible plants are on display.

Special thanks to Camp Cody, Seacoast Sweets and Rescom for their support of this tasting event.

Whether you are a serious chocolate aficionado or a fun-loving chocaholic, please join us for the sweetest weekend of the year in Harvard Square.


As always, for a comprehensive list of family activities, please visit our friends at North Shore KidNorth Shore Kid

Nichole’s Picks 1/21 + 1/22


Part of the Family Series at The Cabot in Beverly, this show is at 10:30 on Saturday.  Doors open at 9:30. Tickets cost $8.50 for children and $13.50 for grown-ups.

Buy Tickets HERE


Vanessa Trien has been performing music for kids and families since 2005, many of those years in collaboration with her lively folk/roots/pop band, the Jumping Monkeys.  She has three Parents’ Choice award-winning CDs for kids and families and is currently working on her fourth album, due out this winter.  Vanessa packs concert halls, preschool fundraisers and outdoor venues with dancing kids and families.

She is known for her highly interactive shows, featuring plenty of group singing and movement.  One of her most requested songs, “Tickle Monster” has families sneaking around on tip toe and then on queue, all start tickling each other!

In addition to performing, Vanessa teaches as an early childhood music specialist in preschool and pre-K classrooms in Brookline and has also taught parent and child group Music Together classes for ten years. Originally from New York City.

Vanessa moved to Boston in the nineties to attend Harvard’s Graduate School for Education and has stayed ever since, first diving into the Cambridge folk music scene and festival production and then eventually jumping with her whole heart into the wild and wonderful world of children’s music!

Pick #2:  Snow Tubing at New England Sports Park in Amesbury.

Read all about it HERE


Tickets are available for different tubing sessions. You can choose either from 10:00-2:00 or 2:00- 5:00, or 5:00-8:00 (Saturday only).



Pick #3:  The Cape Ann Museum

Read all about the fabulous Cape Ann Museum HERE

We are so fortunate that the Cape Ann Museum is free to all Cape Ann residents for the month of January!  This is the time to go!  What a wonderful escape from the winter blues.


Be sure to enjoy one of the Winter Shorts during your visit.

Walking Tours, Gallery Tours

Join the docents of the Cape Ann Museum on a variety of themed mini tours. Several twenty minute tours will be offered, beginning on the hour and on the half hour. Each tour will touch on a particular area within the Museum’s collections. Docents have created tours around their favorite topics, including Gloucester Fishermen, Women Artists of Cape Ann and 19th Century Selfies, among others. Participants are encouraged to spend the entire day at the Museum, enjoying one, two or all of the mini tours.

Tours are free for CAM members and Cape Ann residents or with Museum admission. Tours are “first come, first served” (space is limited – no reservations).



As always, for a comprehensive list of family activity please visit our friends at North Shore Kid

Nichole’s Picks 1/14 + 1/15

Pick #1: CAM Kids: Cape Ann Improv at the Cape Ann Museum


Saturday, January 14th at 11:00

What happens when history and fine art meet improv and silliness? Bring the kids and find out for yourself when Cape Ann Improv performs at the Cape Ann Museum. The arts and objects on display in the galleries will provide the inspiration for scenes and characters for interactive improvisational games throughout the Museum. Discover the art, history and culture of Cape Ann and have a good laugh with the talented and witty Cape Ann Improv performers.

Free for families with school aged children. Space is limited, reservations are required. Call (978)283-0455 x16 or email for more information.


Pick #2: Swim at the Newly Renovated Aqua Room

We’ve been anxiously awaiting the opening of the pool and renovated Aqua Room over at Cape Ann’s Marina Resort for a few months now.  We spend a lot of time there…especially between November and April.

Check out my blog post from yesterday to read much more information


Pick #3: Discover the Dinosaurs, Unleashed


Follow this link to read more about Discover the Dinosaurs Unleashed

Tickets also available for purchase at the link above!

Venture back to a time when the dinosaurs roamed the earth at the ALL NEW Discover the Dinosaurs UNLEASHED! Experience up-close encounters with a lifelike Stegosaurus, Velociraptor and the king T-Rex in this thrilling walk-through exhibit. Kids can also meet a baby Apatosaurus, take an exciting spin in the Jurassic Jeeps at the Dino Raceway and visit the Kids Adventure Zone filled with themed bouncy houses, crafts, face painting and more. Parents and kids can test their skills playing an all-new mini golf course, become junior paleontologists while completing the scavenger hunt as they explore the exhibit and dig for fossils in the Valley of the Bones. It’s family fun of prehistoric proportions!


As always, for a comprehensive list of family activities, visit our friends at North Shore Kid

Nichole’s Picks 1/7 + 1/8

Pick #1: Snowy Owl Prowl at the Crane Estate

Enjoy the Crane Wildlife Refuge on the Crane Estate in Ipswich

Wide-open coastal sites are the location of choice for wintering Snowy Owls; common perches are dunes and salt hay staddles. In winters past, the owls have been frequent visitors to the Crane Wildlife Refuge. Join us as we hike the dunes in search of these magnificent birds. Unlike most owls, snowy owls are diurnal—they hunt and are active both day and night – so we have a good chance of sighting one even in the daylight hours!

Please note: We will be hiking up and down dunes, through soft sand, for approximately 2 ½ – 3 miles. Suggested ages 13 and older. Pre-registration required.

Sunday, January 8    1-3PM

Cost:  Members: $9 Nonmembers: $15

Contact Information



Pick #2: Dorothy Talbot Rink

Head to O’Maley Rink for a few different reasons.

First of all, Public Skate is 2:00-4:00 on both Saturday and Sunday.

Cost:  Adults:$5, High School and under $4 .                                                                                            Skate Rentals $4 per pair, Skate Sharpening $5

Secondly, the Gloucester Girls JV High School team plays Groton at 6:00 pm on Saturday night.  This team is making waves and is fun to watch!

Third, Rockport High School plays Pentucket at 8:00 pm on Saturday night

and Fourth, Rockport JV Team plays Essex Tech at 4:00 on Sunday

See entire Talbot Rink Schedule and future games HERE  because even without a hockey player in the house, taking in a High School game is lots of fun.


Pick #3: Sense of Wonder Walk: For the Birds

Sun, Jan 08, 2017 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm

Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, Topsfield

 Rita Gallant – Lead Field Teacher
 All (suitable for children 3 – 18 years)
 Members: Adult $7.00, Child $6.00
 Nonmembers: Adult $9.00, Child $7.00
Meets in the Nature Center. Please dress warmly since most of our time will be spent outdoors.
Registration is required.
Register online or call 978-887-9264 to register by phone.

Come meet some of the birds that live in our area all winter long during our walk on the sanctuary. Afterwards, make a simple feeder for the feathered friends in your backyard. Bring some edibles such as nuts (unsalted, preferably raw), dried fruit, cranberries, or sunflower seeds, and we’ll supply the rest. Take home a ready-to-eat bird treat and some gourmet recipes to try.



As always, for a comprehensive list of family activities, please see our friends at North Shore Kid

Nichole’s Picks 12/31 +1/1

First of year, Happy New Year.  May 2107 be all that you want it to be.

Pick #1: Rockport New Year’s Eve



The mission of Rockport New Year’s Eve (RNYE) is to broaden and deepen the public’s appreciation for the performing, literary, and visual arts through innovative, diverse and high-quality programs that offer the community a shared cultural experience that is accessible and affordable.   RNYE presents year-round programs that both support this mission and raise funds.  RNYE is also supported by business sponsorships and individual donations.

RNYE’s most important event of the year, and the one for which the organization is named, is the celebration of the arts on New Year’s Eve. The evening is designed to be an impressive, “small seacoast town” version of First Night celebrations held throughout the country.  New Year’s Eve in Rockport is a treasured tradition enjoyed by Cape Ann residents and visitors

Attendees purchase buttons online or at stores throughout Rockport and Gloucester in advance of New Year’s Eve, or at the event headquarters on New Year’s Eve.  A button allows the bearer to attend any events that are scheduled throughout the evening.  The following description gives a good perspective of the depth, breadth and cultural diversity of the entertainment.

The celebration begins at 6PM on New Year’s Eve.  New Year’s Eve entertainment is scheduled on the hour, every hour, from 6PM to midnight, with 15 minute breaks in between each 45 minute session to allow attendees to walk from venue to venue and venue managers to reset for the next act.  The entertainment options scheduled throughout the evening are culturally diverse and suitable for all ages.  Musical acts may include folk, Celtic, blues, reggae, calypso, rhythm and blues, rock and roll, funk, soul, bagpipes, gospel, songs of the sea, 50’s and 60’s doo wop, country, western swing, African pop, New Orleans jazz, big band, and a cappella..  Other entertainment may include clowns, jugglers, puppeteers, story tellers, face painters, dancers, psychic readers, and telescope viewing with the astronomy club.  Children of all ages participate in the drum jam and parade through the downtown streets, with a large dancing dragon and costumes.  At midnight, attendees gather in Dock Square to watch the ball drop from the highest ladder of the town fire truck and sing “Auld Lang Syne”.

Pick #2:  Noon Year’s Eve at Legoland



Who says you have to wait until midnight to celebrate 2017?

Help us ring in the 2017 a few hours early with our first ever “Noon Year’s Eve” celebration! There will be special activities, prizes and giveaways, and a celebratory balloon drop, all included in the price of admission!

Read more about Legoland HERE

Pick #3: Rocky Neck Polar Plunge

Test your tolerance for icy cold water, have some belly laughs with friends, and (most importantly) help raise donations for the Open Door!


Once again, it’s that time to come and celebrate the New Year with our invigorating celebration. Please join us!! We ask everyone to bring non-perishables to help out those in need. The Open Door will have a van set up at the entrance of the beach !! We also collect cash or checks made out to The Open Door. If you haven’t joined us before, please do so and bring friends!!!!! We start this yearly tradition with a poem from George Sibley and then take our plunge !!

Sunday, January 1st at 9:00 a.m.

Rocky Neck. Stevens Way, Gloucester,MA


As always, for a comprehensive list of family activities, please visit our friends at North Shore Kid

Nichole’s Picks 12/24 + 12/25 (kind of)

Well, hmmm.  Not sure what I’m supposed to tell you to do on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day….other than treasure your time with friends, family, and loved ones.  Enjoy every moment….and be in the moment.  Have a happy holiday, create memories, share some magic, and savor the minutes together.  Please also take some time to reflect on those who are not enjoying their holiday season…those who are sad, sick, hurting, lonely, cold, or hungry…those whose downward days are only more punctuated on these days that we consider special. 

The weather, while not like last year’s 70 degree Christmas, should be in the 40s so get outside, listen to nature, walk the dogs…..and continue the spirit of giving by leaving small treats outside for the wildlife.  We like to sprinkle bird seed and cover pine cones with peanut butter and seed for the critters. Sometimes we drop fruit and vegetables on our favorite paths in the woods.

As the last part of “Christmas in Rockport”, Santa will be visiting Dock Square at 12:30 in the afternoon we hand out baskets full of treats to the town’s children and to give them the opportunity to say “Thank you” for all of his hard work during the holiday season.  The boys will write “Thank you” letters and deliver them to Santa Christmas morning.  It has always been a nice tradition….rather just writing lists of what they want for Christmas…they also get to thank him as well.


Nichole’s Picks 12/17 + 12/18

Pick #1:  Elf, Jr. the Musical

Thanks to a post by Kim Smith last week, I am happy to know that Rockport Middle School will be presenting Elf Jr. The Musical this weekend.

Showtimes are December 15th & 16th at 7pm and December 17th & 18th at 2pm. Tickets: adults $10., senior and student tickets $8.

Read Kim’s post here for all information


Pick #2: Rockport’s Christmas Pagaent

Help celebrate Rockport’s 71st Annual Christmas Pagaent.

“Dock Square and Main Street, 5 pm. A torch-lit live re-enactment of the Nativity. (Inclement weather date Dec. 18)” More from HERE

December 17 @ 5:00 pm6:00 pm



Pick #3: Gingerbread Farmer Decorating at Appleton Farms

Join us for some holiday fun on the farm and learn about the origin of this favorite Scandinavian tradition. We’ll start by decorating some delicious gingerbread farmers and cows with a variety of candy and homemade icing. After our creations are complete we’ll snuggle in for some entertaining gingerbread facts and read Hansel & Gretel, the story which spurred the popularity of gingerbread houses. Finish the experience with a traditional German holiday craft to decorate your own home with!

Hot chocolate will be served.

Register for morning event >>

Register for afternoon event >>

Please register one ticker per child.

Saturday, December 17
10-11AM & 1:30-2:30PM

Member Child: $15; Nonmember Child: $25



As always, for a comprehensive list of family activities, please visit our friends at North Shore Kid

Nichole’s Picks 12/10 + 12/11

Pick #1: The Middle Street Walk

A full day of fun local activities that culminate with the famous Lobster Pot Tree Lighting Ceremony at 4:30!


Middle Street Walk

“Where the Past is Present”

The Middle Street Walk is a community event organized by volunteers and supported by the City of Gloucester, Massachusetts, businesses and organizations in the Middle Street neighborhood, and generous private donors.

This year’s Middle Street Walk will be held on Saturday, December 10, 2016

The program of the day’s events are posted here so you will be able to plan your day and be able to get the most out of everything that will be going on from 9:30AM until the Lobster Pot Tree Lighting after 4:30.

Programs will also be available the day of the Walk at businesses and organizations participating in the 2016 Middle Street Walk.



Pick #2: Buoy Painting at Art Haven




Pick #3:  Charlie Brown Christmas at the Larcom Theatre

THE Christmas classic comes to life!

Everyone’s favorite holiday television special LIVE in BCT’s new stage production of A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS.  Join Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy and all the Peanuts gang as they produce their own Christmas pageant and ultimately learn the true meaning of Christmas.  Complete with the little Christmas fir tree, A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS is a present the whole family can enjoy!  Directed by award-winning Burgess Clark, BCT Executive Artistic Director.

A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS is presented by arrangement with TAMS-WITMARK MUSIC LIBRARY, INC. 560 Lexington Avenue, New York, New York 10022


To read more or purchase tickets CLICK HERE



As always, for a comprehensive list of family activities, visit our friends at North Shore Kid

Nichole’s Picks 12/3 +12/4

Pick #1:  Christmas at Castle Hill

Read more here .  Schedule of activities and Live Music at link

Get into the holiday spirit with Christmas at Castle Hill. We’re celebrating the Twelve Days of Christmas with room decorations inspired by the classic song. Enjoy live piano music from Robert Allison, take a self-guided tour, or get a holiday drink from our cash bar.  Complimentary warm cookies and mulled cider included.

Friday, December 2  5-8PM

Cost:  Member: Adult $10, Child/Senior $5; Nonmember: Adult $20, Child/Senior $10; Ipswich Resident with proof of residency: $10.



Pick #2: Santa Arrives in Rockport by Lobster Boat and Tree Lighting Ceremony


Santa’s arrival and tree lighting ceremony.  READ HERE


Where else can you see Santa arrive by lobster boat? Santa will arrive at Rockport’s T-Wharf on Rockport Harbor on Saturday, December 3, 2016 at 1:00 PM, following a brisk lobster boat ride across Sandy Bay. Then Santa will climb up onto a Rockport Forest Fire truck and proceed along T-Wharf and Mt. Pleasant Street to the Old Firehouse led by Rockport cub scouts. This year Santa will be able to linger a while to visit and have photos taken with the children until the Tree Lighting Ceremony begins. Then Santa will ascend the platform to greet the crowd and kick off the Tree Lighting festivities, before climbing back onto the fire truck to begin his long return journey to the North Pole.

The Tree Lighting Ceremony will get underway at 4 PM welcoming Santa and the public at the Tree in Dock Square with carols and a stirring rendition of “Christmas in Rockport”.

Singers are invited to join the Dock Square Carolers to welcome in the season. A rehearsal for the carolers will be held at the Rockport Baptist Church at 2:30 PM prior to the ceremony.

The Chairperson of the Board of Selectmen will offer official greetings from the Town and then pull the switch to light this year’s Rockport Christmas tree.

Pick #3: Gloucester Stage Company’s Holiday Delights

This is actually happening NEXT weekend, buy you need to play ahead…still sell out quickly!


Performance Dates Include:

Friday, December 9: 7:30pm

Saturday, December 10: 2:00pm

Sunday, December 11: 2:00pm

Photos courtesy of Gloucester Stage Company:

As always, for a more comprehensive list of family activities, visit our friends at North Shore Kid

Nichole’s Picks 11/26 + 11/27

Happy, Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!  I hope that you all have perfect days with friends and family!


There’s some good stuff going on this weekend…

Pick#1:  Gloucester Santa Parade and Tree Lighting

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting

Downtown Gloucester

Join for the festivities on Sunday, November 27, 2016 for the Gloucester Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting. The parade starts at the State Fish Pier at 3:00 PM and travels through downtown to Kent Circle. The Tree Lighting activities will begin around 4:15 PM at Kent Circle.

Read More HERE


Pick#2: BLACK FRIDAY Shopping in Gloucester and Rockport


Shop local on Black Friday! Rockport’s merchants will be opening early and staying open for extended hours, offering a delightful, relaxing alternative for you Black Friday holiday shopping.


GLOUCESTER:  Friday, November 25, 2016 ~ Saturday, November 28, 2015

Shop Local Black Friday

Downtown Gloucester

Starting with Gloucester’s reason to skip the mall, its very own “Shop Local Black Friday” on November 25th and 26th featuring downtown shops opening at 6:00am with special discounts


Pick#3: Charles Dickens Salem Trolley Ride



Salem Trolley & The Griffen Theatre present…

“A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens

Now entering into it’s 30th Season, this humorous & whimsical interactive performance reanimates Dickens’ timeless seasonal holiday classic. Experience Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol with a twist. Ride along with Scrooge on the Salem Trolley as the classic tale is brought to life in a completely unexpected way. Shows sell out quickly and seats are limited. Tickets go on sale Monday, September 12, 2016.  Tour departs from Salemdipity, 86 Wharf Street (Pickering Wharf), Salem.  Please arrive 15 minutes prior to show time.  Show starts inside Salemdipity.


Pick#4: Open Bounce at Boston Bounce in Peabody

If your kids need to bounce off some turkey the day after Thanksgiving…or if they are simply bouncing off your walls…take them to Open Bounce on Friday from  .   Free admission for each child bringing a new unwrapped holiday gift.

Open Bounce & Toys for Tots Bounce

Friday, Nov. 25th . 1:00pm – 3:00pm

One FREE admission with each new unwrapped present


As always, for a more comprehensive list of family activities, please visit our friends at North Shore Kid

Nichole’s Picks 11/19 + 11/20

Pick #1: Faneuil Hall Market Place Tree Lighting

Learn all about it HERE




Join thousands of Bostonians in lighting the city’s first holiday tree of the season! Enjoy a full day of entertainment by some of Boston’s top performers! We kick off the day at 3 pm with The Revels SingersScullers Jazz Club, and Them Apples Band leading up to the live broadcast on WBZ-TV Channel 4 and myTV38 from 8:00 pm – 9:00 pm. Hold tight after the confetti clears from flipping the switch to the tree, The Sugarbabies Band will be performing a concert from 9:00 pm – 10:00 pm! 

The “Holiday Spectacular” will be co-hosted by WBZ-TV News anchors Lisa Hughes and David Wade. The program will feature holiday musical performances by Livingston Taylor, Sons of Serendip, Boston Children’s Chorus and performances of The Nutcracker by Boston Ballet, Blue Man Group and Cirque Dreams Holidaze. Mayor Martin J. Walsh will help “flip the switch” to light the 80-foot+ holiday tree, located at Marketplace Center adjacent to Faneuil Hall Marketplace.

The lighting marks the start of Blink!, a six week state-of-the-art light and sound extravaganza featuring more than 350,000 LED lights with daily performances between 4:30 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. The event also kicks off the New England Patriots Annual Holiday Toy Drive for which Faneuil Hall Marketplace will be a drop-off location for toy donations for needy children.

Pick #2: Sleigh Bell Artisan Fair: Wenham Museum



Friday, November 18 – Saturday, November 19, 2016

10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Free Admission to Fair

Each November, the Wenham Museum hosts a festive fair of hand-crafted artisanal goods for the holiday, hostess, and home. Participating artisans generously donate 20% of their sales proceeds to benefit the Wenham Museum.




Pick #3: Big Woods Hike

Read More HERE

November 20, 2016

Trail through the woods at Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary

There’s a walk in the woods…and then there’s a walk in the woods with a naturalist.

Bring your family and friends for a pre-Thanksgiving guided walk to discover what is happening in the world of nature as plants and animals prepare for winter.

Sanctuary naturalists will lead small groups as they venture out to the “Big Woods” on Averill’s Island. Stop along the way to hear stories of the original settlers and learn about the fascinating cultural history of the sanctuary. Look for animal signs as we hike through the woodlands and marshes, taking in the beauty of the muted colors of late autumn.

We will be out for about two hours, so dress warmly and wear comfortable footwear. Warm up by the woodstove in the Barn upon your return. Hot drinks and homemade soup and desserts will be available for purchase beginning at 11:00 am, so feel free to come early to enjoy a bite to eat before you go out on your hike.

This walk is appropriate for adults and families with children 5 years and older.

Please choose a hike time: 11:30 am, 11:45, noon, 12:15, 12:30, 12:45, or 1:00 pm


$8 member
$9 nonmember
$7 member
$8 nonmember

Advance registration required.

Register Online

Or call 978-887-9264 to register by phone.

Rain or shine. Please dress for the weather and wear comfortable footgear.

As always, for a comprehensive list of family activities, visit our friends at North Shore Kid

Nichole’s Picks 11/12 + 11/13

Pick #1:  Leaf Hunt at the Coolidge Stevens Estate

Autumn Leaves

Date & Time
Saturday, November 12

Member Child $5. Nonmember Child $10. Adults FREE

Contact Information
978.356.4351 x4020

Stevens-Coolidge Place
North Andover, MA

Directions to Stevens-Coolidge Place

Learn more HERE


Pick #2: Three Centuries of Thanksgiving at Strawbery Banke


Trace the evolution of Thanksgiving from the Puritans’ holy day of thanks to today’s family feast and homecoming. In this active, fast-paced, and multi-sensory program, discover how Thanksgiving transcended time, place and culture to become the uniquely American holiday celebrated today. Meet costumed roleplayers, create a harvest craft, and explore homes from three centuries. In small groups guided by a museum educator, find the common themes of this holiday over three hundred years: charity, survival, gratitude, national identity, and the celebration of family and community. Recommended for ages 5 and up. Adults $15, children 5-17 $10, children under 5 free.


Pick #3: Road to Revolution Tour, Boston


From the Boston Massacre to Paul Revere’s midnight ride, Boston is renowned for its inciting events to the American Revolution. Come explore the streets of Boston’s oldest neighborhoods and hear the extraordinary stories preserved in the meetinghouses, halls, and homes where the Revolution was born.

Our most comprehensive Freedom Trail offering, this tour includes such historical landmarks as King’s Chapel, the Old South Meeting House, the Old State House, the site of the Boston Massacre, the Paul Revere House and more.

What famous Boston restaurant originally served as headquarters for a Patriot paper called the Massachusetts Spy? Who devised the legendary “one if by land, two if by sea” signal at the Old North Church before Paul Revere’s ride? How did the British response to the Boston Tea Party help spread the revolutionary fervor throughout the colonies?

Whether you are a history buff or just want a refresher on our nation’s Revolutionary past, our guides will gladly take you down the Road to Revolution on this fascinating tour!


For a comprehensive list of family activities, please visit our friends at North Shore Kid

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