Author Archives: Nichole S.

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

Eric Mintel Jazz Quartet

I took the boys to the Larcom Theatre on Sunday night for a holiday jazz concert with the Eric Mintel Jazz Quartet.

I was excited for the boys to see a live performance on the stage of the Larcom Theatre as they’ll be performing there themselves in January for a school concert.  I also was psyched for them to hear some live Jazz….especially since it was infused with some fun holiday tunes.

I’m so glad we went.  The quartet was really quite exceptional and we all had a great time. It was such a wonderful way to get into the holiday spirit.



One of the bonuses of having the boys out until 10:00 pm on a school night to see a holiday jazz concert was stepping outside of the theater, rounding the corner, and being graced with this magnificent sight.

I can’t lie, having been out of the theater for all of 30 seconds, my mind was already beginning to race with all that I had to get done until well past midnight, but this…this…put me at peace.


The Larcom Performing Arts Theatre

If you’re looking for a holiday show, some live music, or even a good laugh….this could very well be the ticket!

The Larcom Theatre, in addition to being full of history and really quite beautiful, has a pretty diverse line-up on deck for your enjoyment.  Do yourself a favor and check out their schedule.


We’ll be going Sunday evening to hear the Eric Mintel Quartet and their Charlie Brown Jazz Tour….

The Eric Mintel Quartet have been thrilling audiences of all ages with their electrifying jazz, on Sunday the Eric Mintel Quartet performs their highly successful “Charlie Brown Jazz” concert tour featuring the beloved holiday cartoon and music by Vince Guaraldi.  Songs include, Christmas Time is Here, Skating, Christmas is Coming and the legendary Linus and Lucy plus many other reworked holiday favorites.  This concert is fun for the entire family

…and we’ll definitely be ordering tickets to one of the performances of A Charlie Brown Christmas.


The wide variety of events planned this month and next also include Suzanne Vega (loved her), several performances of the Nutcracker, A Rolling Stones show called “Satisfaction”, and two great comedians…Paul D’Angelo (on New Year’s Eve…such a fun idea) and Lenny Clarke.

The Larcom is quite the little gem in the community of Beverly and surrounding towns and I know I, for one, need to remember to check out the schedule every once in awhile to see what is happening.


Decked the Halls of the Beauport Hotel

A friend and I went to the Beauport Hotel last night for their “Deck the Halls” event.  We had a really nice time and it was just what I needed to help get further into the holiday mood.  The Beauport, which is exquisitely decorated with what I have previously called Pottery Barn Meets America’s Cup, looks even more beautiful dressed in its holiday best.  Kudos to designer, Dana Markos, who was transformed the hotel’s grand main floor into a winter wonderland.  Kudos to the hotel staff for their holiday cheer and gracious smiles as guests mingled, nibbled, and sipped.

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

But we Never Saw a Tick!

Last night, at 6:00 Kim Smith posted an important blog post entitled, “Rare Tickborne Diseases Arrive on Cape Ann.”  I read it right away and, when doing so, realized that I never shared our experience with Lyme disease this summer….which I had intended to do.

Kim’s post is incredibly informative and important as, in my experience, Lyme disease and other tick borne illnesses are either misdiagnosed or left undiagnosed because, in the absence of seeing a tick or discovering a bite, the person determines they are simply run down or sick with a cold or flu.  Kim’s experiences give proof to that as well.

Read Kim’s entire post about her experiences HERE

Back in July, Thatcher woke up in the middle of the night on a Tuesday evening complaining about knee pain. He had no other symptoms and told me that he had knocked it on the side of the boat while out sailing. Just a few minutes later was sound asleep again, so I didn’t give it much thought.

The very next evening, he woke up in pain again.  Even though he was on the brink of tears, which is mostly uncharacteristic of him, he still demonstrated no other symptoms, so I naively figured it was due to the fact that he had gone paddle boarding for several hours (against the current in Jones Creek and the Annisquam River) and then gone to a 2-hour hockey practice.  The next morning he was totally fine.

Later that day, at Finn’s hockey practice, a friend looked at Thatch and asked, “Why are you limping?”  Thatcher answered, “I don’t know, my knee just kind of hurts.”  It was at that point that my mind began to race a bit but, seeing that I was getting worried, he assured me that it “wasn’t bad.” He was in perfect spirits and, otherwise, a pillar of health.  That evening he slept soundly.

Friday morning, even though he hadn’t complained of any pain during the night,  Thatcher’s knee looked a little swollen.  He had no fever and when pressed to think extra hard on the matter, he couldn’t remember any significant injury to it. As I replayed our week in my mind, he had indeed paddle boarded, skated, gone on long bike rides, sailed in his little opti, jumped off the Annisquam Bridge, played street hockey, taken the dogs for walks, and more. During any one of those activities, he could have slightly twisted it or banged it enough to cause swelling.  I wrestled with whether or not to go right to the doctor.  I considered the conversation we would have, the lack of all other symptoms, and the amount of physical activity Thatch had participated in,  and figured there wasn’t much the doctor could/would do. I figured we’d watch it and make sure no fever arose. The day progressed without much incident, but suddenly, almost out of nowhere, Thatcher’s knee was huge.

I called the doctor and they asked if there was a fever.  No, there wasn’t.  They asked if there were other symptoms, there weren’t.  They asked if it was hot to the touch….not at all.  The doctor’s office was closing so we made an appointment for 8:00 a.m. the next day.  They told me that if his knee began to feel hot or if Thatcher presented with a fever we should immediately go to the ER.  Neither of those things happened.

The next morning, however, Thatcher’s knee looked like this!

To avoid making an already incredibly long story longer….I’ll cut to the chase.  The doctor asked lots of questions….and they took lots of blood.  They sent us to the ER for x-rays to rule out drama or injury.  The x-rays showed no injury….which Thatch was thrilled about because, being young and naive to the other possibilities, he was relieved that he could still play hockey.  I, while not necessarily wanting it to be a bad injury, was more concerned with what the blood work would show.  A long three days went by until, finally, on Tuesday morning the doctor called back with the results.  Lyme disease.

By then, with lots of ice, wrapping, and resting (except for a trip to a Red Sox game) the swelling had gone down some.  Thatcher immediately began Doxycycline, and with the exception of extreme sensitivity to the sun, a pretty bad sunburn, and a really wonky issue with his fingernails and toenails growing super thin, turning white, and falling off (yes, yuck) he was on the mend.

Moral of the story is this….  NO tick was found, no bullseye or rash was ever seen, no fever ever presented, no other symptoms at all other than a sore knee that suddenly exploded into a massive swollen joint.  While, in retrospect, it seems obvious that we should have gone to the doctor earlier, it was all too easy to assume that such an active kid had simply overdone it!  I consider myself incredibly lucky that Thatcher’s knee blew up to the point that it could no longer be ignored!  With zero other symptoms it was solely because of the enormity of his knee that we knew it had to be “something”…otherwise we probably would have just continued with life as normal.  If it had been left untreated, things could have become much, much worse.

My little public service message to you remember that sometimes (often) you won’t even know you were bitten….but, in this neck of the woods, don’t allow yourself to not be tested.

Thatch did a four week regimen of the Doxy and is now totally fine….his unfortunate, crazy sunburn healed and his fingernails and toenails are almost back to normal.

Give the Gift of Reading

It is that time of year again.  Time to renew my boys’ magazine subscriptions.  If you are looking for a gift that checks lots of boxes…think magazines.  I know it is kind of old school, but I love it.

What first began as an attempt to boost my children’s desire to work on their reading at home, soon turned into a way for them to learn about some of the things that they had developed an affinity for….  Boats, Cars, the Outdoors.

Each Christmas I renew their subscriptions and they look forward to receiving their new magazines in the mail.  It has been a great way for them to practice reading, spend time together, get off of their electronics, and learn more.   They have also cut up their magazines for school projects and to hang their favorite pictures on their wall.  The jagged and ripped photos taped precariously throughout their bedroom secretly makes me cringe a little bit, but they seem to enjoy it.

While they’ve had magazines like National Geographic Kids, Ranger Rick, and Boys’ Life in the past, right now they receive Automobile and Power and Motor YachtThis year I’m also adding Sports Illustrated Kids to the mix.

Beverly Tree Farm


Are the trees getting shorter….or are my boys getting taller?

Last Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, marked the 7th year in a row that we have driven to the Beverly Tree Farm….Christmas carols cranking…. in search of our perfect tree. Some years we are in search of big….some years small.  Some years we go in search of super full….some years extra tall.

What doesn’t change is how excited we are to enter the Bertolon Family’s gorgeous red barn house to sit by the fire, drink some cider, share some cookies, flip through the “Naughty and Nice” book, inevitably bump into some friends, and head out into the designated field in search of the tree that speaks to us.

Some years it has been unseasonably warm…and a couple of times there has been some snow on the ground.  No matter what the weather, we always leave the farm….tree strapped securely to the roof of the car…full of holiday cheer and ready to kick off the Christmas season.

It means so much to me to know that the boys will look back fondly on traditions like this one as they grow older and will hopefully continue them with their own families.  Maybe they’ll let me tag along.

I want to thank the Bertolon family and all of the wonderful staff who, while conscious of it or not, are helping to make memories for countless families each holiday season.

I got such a kick out of looking back through photos of our “Tree Cutting Days” last night and seeing how the boys have grown each year. I look forward to many more years of tree hunting and the memories that they will bring.

I hope that you all find the perfect one of whatever it is that makes your holiday season so special and that happy memory making awaits you and your loved ones this season.

Learn more about THE BEVERLY TREE FARM Here

“Old Friends” and Tradition


I’m a little bit in love with the Macy’s Day Thanksgiving Day Parade.  While watching it yesterday, this commercial came on.  Kind of special.

I’m a huge fan of tradition so this commercial spoke to me.  You’ve heard me say it before (or read me saying it, I guess), but when the boys were super young I decided that I wanted to create traditions that were unique to us and that we would continue year after year. Those fell into place very quickly and continue to be some of our very favorite days each year.

As I type this post it is 6:30 on Thanksgiving evening…you won’t read it until tomorrow (your today)…but now, in this moment, with very full bellies after a wonderful Thanksgiving Day, my boys are snuggled up in their sleeping bags on the living room floor eating (unbelievably) popcorn and drinking hot cocoa while watching the Polar Express. We have, every single year, ended Thanksgiving in this fashion.  Even the couple of times that we found ourselves traveling over the holiday, we still made certain to pack the essentials to continue our tradition.  One year, when spending Thanksgiving at the Steele Hill Resort in New Hampshire, we discovered that the CD case was empty and drove into town in search of a new copy. Luckily we were able to find one.

This commercial is sweet…and sad….and I love it.  I hope that you all had very special Thanksgivings.



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

Live From Dock Square, Rockport

The Christmas Tree has arrived!  Crews are working hard to get her into place and we’re all looking forward to the Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony next weekend!  Santa will be arriving, per usual, by lobster boat and the tree will be lit on Saturday, December 3rd.


Good Stuff! (and stuffing)


If you follow any of what I write on GMG you’ll know that every once in a while I absolutely can’t not brag about the amazing things happening at the school where I am so blessed to work.

Having taught at Harborlight Montessori for 24 years, I left the classroom last year to join the pretty amazing Administration Team as the Director of Communication.  So, more than ever, I feel like not only is it ok to sneak in a post about Harborlight every now and again…but, I’d be remiss not to.  Just doing my job, friends😉

So, this is what went down this week.  Lots.  Some FANTASTIC spreading of holiday joy…for such great causes.  The best part about it all…the teamwork!

The end result:

  1. 17 complete Thanksgiving dinners gathered, shopped for, and delivered to Pathways for Children in Beverly.
  2. A nice pile of cash left over to help with a Toy Drive next month
  3. More than 40 pies donated to Beverly Bootstraps
  4. More than 200 pies purchased to help fund the Middle School Class Trip
  5. A Thanksgiving Feast enjoyed by students from grades 1st-8th and faculty + staff thanks to AMAZING parent/grandparent volunteers

The process:

We have a wonderful tradition called Turkey Chores.  The students do chores at home, their parents give them a very small salary (I know, I know. Some of you will say that they should be doing chores around the house without expecting to be paid…but, this is for charity so go with it), the money raised goes towards buying dinners for Pathways for Children.  At the same time, each student brings in one Thanksgiving food item to supplement the dinners.  Each classroom builds a Thanksgiving Meal Basket. Yesterday morning, the Middle School students gathered the Donation Baskets and money from each of the classrooms, boarded our smaller bus, and hit the aisles of Shaw’s in Beverly.  They divided, conquered, and gathered all necessary items to build 17 Thanksgiving dinners….including, of course, turkeys.  Upon checking out, the Manager-on-Duty at Shaw’s gave us 25% off….hence giving the students the extra money for next month’s holiday store/toy drive.

The students loaded the meals onto the bus and went right to Pathways. Once there, they worked hard to unload and deliver all of the items they had purchased.  17 families, who may not have had a decent Thanksgiving meal, will now enjoy one.

Meanwhile, the same Middle School students were working with Jim’s Bagel and Bake Shoppe.  The Middle School students offered the school community the chance to buy pies…with part of the proceeds going to fund their Middle School Spring Trip. The option to buy an extra buy to give to Beverly Bootstraps was also presented.  More than 200 pies were ordered.  So, the amazing employees over at Jim’s might be extra tired. And, 40 extra pies were purchased.  Another local charity benefitted from the students’ hard work…on the very same day.

While both of those activities were going on, a village of parent (and grandparent) volunteers, like a bunch of magical elves, were busy preparing a Thanksgiving meal on campus for close to 90 students and the entire faculty and staff.  Our 18th Annual Upper School Feast went off without a hitch.  Easy for me to say, right?  Wow…did those volunteers work hard…as did the brave teacher who offers to lead the charge each year.

Did I mention that those same insanely busy Middle School students also worked together to bake TONS of their own pies for all to enjoy at the feast?  Did I mention that the younger students peeled and chopped carrots and potatoes…and made lovely place settings? Oh, wait.  Did I mention that some 3rd Grade representatives began the feast by reciting some traditional words of thanks from “Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message”?

What would be the sweetest way to end an already pretty sweet day?  During the late afternoon hours, with 6 extra pies left for sale and looking lonely on the table…. two young boys came along with their mom and purchased them all…to deliver to their neighbors.  Love.

Kudos to the families for their participation and help in pulling all of this off.  Huge Kudos to the students for their hard work and giving spirit.  I am so incredibly proud of them all.

My Super Talented Friend

Anyone who follows GMG knows how much we love our friends at Cape Ann Giclee, James and Anna Eves. Not only do they do amazing work, but they are incredibly kind and generous.

So, how happy was I to see that one of my favorite peeps in the world now has reproductions of her gorgeous paintings available at Cape Ann Giclee. One of the coolest things about Paula Morgan?  Well, she’s actually Mrs. Morgan.  As in West Parrish’s very own art teacher.  How great for your child to own a piece of their teacher’s amazing artwork.  However, even if you don’t have a child in one of Paula’s classes, you’d be lucky to have one of these pieces in your home.

Check out Paula Morgan’s work here!  Hopefully more coming soon!

Here is a screen shot of the two paintings that are available now.  Obviously check out other work while visiting the site…including GMG’s, Joey Ciaramitaro. Be sure to visit the link above to see these close up…as this photo absolutely does not do them justice.  So much vibrant color and detail!



Coffins Beach by Paula Morgan


By Cranes Beach by Paula Morgan

Coming Soon to a Parking Lot Near You

One week from today, unbelievably, the Schrafft family will make our annual day-after-Thanksgiving trip to The Beverly Tree Farm to cut down our Christmas Tree.  For us, it is more than just getting our tree…. it is about the atmosphere, the ambience, the donations that are made to charitable organizations each year…and the tradition.  Getting our tree at “the farm” is all that my boys know and it is always one of their favorite days of the holiday season…and maybe even the entire year.

All that having been said, I am well aware that there are gorgeous trees to be scored here on “the island”…so, I ask you, share where you get your tree.  Do you have a favorite place?  A well kept secret you’d like to share?  A bargain?  A favorite experience?  A place off the beaten path?  Let us know!


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

Winter Garden at City Hall Plaza? Yes, Please.

Wait…let me get this straight.  A day in the city, a pretty sweet skating track, some shopping, AND a beer garden.  Win, win, win, and win.  So fun!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…can we please get something similar in Gloucester?

According to…

City officials announced Wednesday a three-year deal with Boston Garden Development—owners of TD Garden and a subsidiary of Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs’ Delaware North Companies—to transform City Hall Plaza’s much-maligned, underutilized brick expanses into a “winter garden,” starting this year.

The plans call for 40 to 50 temporary vendor stalls, or “chalets,” to be erected at the corner of the plaza along Cambridge Street, forming a “European-inspired holiday shopping market. There will also be a custom-designed, 11,000-square-foot ice-skating path, the first of its kind in New England, city officials said.

And reported similarly….

The first phase of the plan calls for a beer garden, an ice-skating path, and 40 to 50 holiday market vendor stalls — temporary shacks dubbed “chalets” — to be installed on the plaza along Cambridge Street, beginning in late October.

The area would open to the public on the Friday following Thanksgiving and operate until the last week of February, though most of the vendors would close on Dec. 31 as the holiday shopping season winds down, the company said Wednesday.


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