Tag Archives: Family

Nichole’s Picks 4/30 + 5/1

Pick #1:  53rd Annual Gem and Mineral Show

APRIL 30  and MAY 1, 2016

The Topsfield Fair Grounds, Route 1 Topsfiend, Ma.

Read all about it HERE

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Pick #2:  8-Mile Hike “The Long Way Around” at the Crane Estate

Read All About it and REGISTER HERE

A little pricier than most of my picks, but what a great opportunity for a beautiful day spent outside before the weather gets too hot.

Saturday, April 30th 10:00-2:00  $28 for members and $35 for nonmembers

This hike explores the wild wonders of the Crane Estate!  We’ll launch our long walk at the Cedar Point Trail and follow it to the Ipswich River, then meander along the beach and through seldom-traveled paths to the trailhead at the Crane Wildlife Refuge. We’ll wander the dunes to Essex Bay, then make our way along the backside of Crane Beach to reach the Essex River. A bag lunch will be delivered to us at the approximate halfway point, and will give us the sustenance we’ll need to finish the hike! Come prepared for a leisurely long-way-around walk of about 8 miles.

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Pick #3:  The Arnold Arboretum

Although I haven’t been in a couple of year, I truly LOVE this place.  Such a gorgeous slice of heaven, right within the city limits, that makes you feel as though you are miles and miles from it all. With more than 280 acres to explore,  you’ll certainly be able to make a day of it.

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READ ALL ABOUT THE ARNOLD ARBORETUM HERE

Explore on your own or take a guided tour throughout the property

This Saturday also brings the event, “Maples, Roses, and More (Oh, My!)”

1:00-2:30pm, April 30, 2016 Arnold Arboretum

Hear about Maples, Roses, and More on this tour of plant families, their origins, and the marvel of springtime.

Arboretum Guided Tour

Experience the Arboretum in a new way–take a free guided tour with a knowledgeable volunteer docent. Tour topics range from Highlights and History to Landscape for Learning and special themes on Olmsted, Arboretum collections, and more.

For more information and possible cancellations due to weather, call the Visitor Center at 617 384-5209.

Location: Hunnewell Building, unless otherwise publicized.

Tours last around 90 minutes, and are geared toward adults. There is no need to register.

Tour Schedule:
The general free tour season runs from April 16 through October 30, 2016. We offer tours Saturdays at 10:30am, and Sundays at 1:00pm. Additional 10:30am weekday tours are offered on Mondays and Thursdays, late April through June, September and October, except holidays.

 

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

Nichole’s Picks 4/23 + 4/24

Pick #1:  Wizard of Oz

Click HERE for all information and to purchase tickets

The Wang Theater, Boston.   April 12-24th

“We’re off to see….”
The most magical adventure of them all.
This new production of The Wizard of Oz is an enchanting adaptation of the all-time classic, totally reconceived for the stage.
Developed from the ever popular MGM screenplay, this production contains the beloved songs from the Oscar®-winning movie score, all the favorite characters and iconic moments, plus a few surprises along the way, including new songs by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

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Pick #2:  Frog and Toad at the Wheelock Family Theatre

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CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS

A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD

April 15 – May 15, 2016

Friday nights at 7:30; Saturday & Sunday matinees at 3:00

School vacation week matinees at 1:00 (Tuesday April 19 – Friday April 22; there is no evening performance on Friday April 22)

American Sign Language and Audio-description are offered on Friday May 13 at 7:30 and Sunday May 15 at 3:00.

All public performances offer open captioning

Music by Robert Reale, Book and Lyrics by Willie Reale, based on the books by Arnold Lobel. Directed by Mimi Katano. Musical Direction by Heather McLaughlin Garbes. Scenic Design by Matthew T. Lazure.

Waking from hibernation in the early spring, the perky Frog and the worrywart Toad celebrate and rejoice in the differences that make them unique and special. These two best-friends plant gardens, swim underwater, rake leaves, go sledding, bake cookies, and learn to appreciate each other’s distinct qualities. Part vaudeville, part make-believe, all charm, A Year With Frog and Toad tells the story of a friendship that weathers all seasons. A delightful story based on the picture books by Arnold Lobel, this musical adaptation is a treat for all ages; children and the child within.

Recommended for adults, teens, ‘tweens, youth and children 4+

Pick #3:  Franklin Park Zoo

I’m not always a fan of zoos, but sometimes a day at the zoo can be fairly educational as well as fun.  The Franklin Park Zoo does a pretty good job and this in between weather is nice for spending the day without being too hot…or too cold.

http://www.zoonewengland.org/

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If you have Friday off, they are doing some fun Earth Day activities too.

Friday, April 22, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Don’t miss the Earth Day celebration at Franklin Park Zoo! Visit the Zoo for a fun and engaging day to raise awareness for the planet and all it has to offer.

Learn how you can contribute to a healthy planet and preserve the Earth. Festivities  include opportunities to meet the zookeepers, plus animal enrichment activities, scavenger hunts, eco-friendly exhibitors and much more! Guests will also have the opportunity to learn about the Zoo’s Organic Garden Project and how it provides food and enrichment to Zoo animals in a sustainable way.

 

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

Nichole’s Picks 4/9 + 4/10

Pick #1:  Kite Day at Cogswell’s Grant, Essex

Saturday, April 9, 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (rain date Sunday, April 10)

Cogswell’s Grant, 60 Spring Street, Essex, Mass.

Come fly a kite at Cogswell’s Grant. Bring your own kite or build one with us, and watch professional flyers from Kites Over New England.

Archie Stewart of Kite Education leads an optional workshop with all materials included, where kids and adults can make their own kites and learn how to fly them.

Free for flyers and spectators

$10 for kite-making workshop

Please call 978-768-3632 for more information.

READ ALL ABOUT KITE DAY HERE!

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Pick #2: Rye Airfield Skate and Bike Park

Ever since my boys designed and helped to build their own skate boards, I’ve been dying to get them up here.  On my own spring bucket list for sure.

Check out their website HERE 

 

Pick #3:  It’s That Time of Year!

 Take a Tour of Fenway Park

Read about the tours and book one HERE

 

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

 

WORLD PREMIERE MUSICAL Dogtown Common: Never Try, Never Win ~ Starts today 7pm 4.1.2016

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April 1, 2016
7 PM

The Folklore Theatre Company
169 Main St, Gloucester, MA

Tickets Available
www.FolkloreTheatre.Company

Details

RUNNING THREE WEEKENDS THRU APRIL 17
10% of PROCEEDS BENEFIT GLOUCESTER’S ANGEL PROGRAM
PLEASE TALK IT UP!Synopsis:
Former fisherman Abraham Wharf, now homeless, struggles with heroin addiction. It is midwinter, and he has set up his cardboard bed beneath the Babson “Never Try, Never Win” boulder in Gloucester’s long-abandoned settlement known as “Dogtown.” As he enters a drug-induced euphoric state, he edges ever closer to overdose and hypothermia. Two ghostly children appear through the trees, reaching out to Abraham. Unsure, Wharf decides to take their hands, allowing them to guide him deeper into the woods, and eventually into 1800 Dogtown Common and the home of Easter Carter. Here in her home, the only two-story house in the Commons, colorful residents of the Commons have gathered for warmth, for food, for community. Each character represents something within Wharf that leads him on an introspective journey of spirit survival. Three witches serve as a sort of Greek chorus, reminiscent of the three crones of mythology and Shakespeare’s Macbeth… here, they are the hissing voices of addiction: Dysphoria, Despair, and Redemption.
This groundbreaking inter-generational piece (actors ages 7-80) will raise the question: “What killed a 200 year-old community?” in a way that challenges us to avoid ever letting it happen again in Gloucester & Cape Ann.
Issues that are still universal hot topics today: ignorance, addiction, mental health, sexism, ageism, gossip, gender, homelessness, hunger, poverty and classism are all touched upon in this show.
Programs like The Open Door, Action Inc., The Grace Center, Wellspring, and Gloucester’s new Angel Program are all examples of how a community, through education understanding, and innovation can find healing and sustainability in ways that simply did not exist two hundred years ago. Indeed, if we knew then what we know now, and if these great organizations had existed in that time, Dogtown Commons might still be a thriving community today.
Each of the three production weeks, 10% of box office proceeds will benefit Gloucester’s newest community support organization, The Angel Program. Suggested donation $10-$30, as always, no one is turned away. Consider this show rated PG-13 due to mature theme.

Season tickets now available, just $15/mo!
www.FolkloreTheatre.Company

Community Organization


(978) 704-1269

Nichole’s Picks 4/2 + 4/3

With this in-between-seasons weather, if you’re lucky you can get outside and enjoy a nice hike or some time at one of the Trustees of the Reservation or Mass Audubon properties.  Likewise, a good old bike ride is perfect if the sun stays out.  If you’re looking for a good day trip that isn’t weather dependent….here are 3 options for this weekend.  Pricier than most of my “Picks” usually are, but timely in that they’re not always available as options.

Pick #1: 2016 ISU World Figure Skating Championships!

CLICK HERE FOR INFORMATION AND TICKETS

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In 2016, the eyes of the world turn to Boston as 200 of its greatest figure skaters come to TD Garden to compete for the prized title of world champion. The ISU World Figure Skating Championships®, the world’s most important annual skating competition, is coming to Boston for the first time in its 130-year history. This is the event no sports fan will want to miss!

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Pick #2:  The Big Apple Circus

Boston’s City Hall Plaza

THE GRAND TOUR is a circus extravaganza set in the 1920s and featuring acts from the four corners of the globe. Ships, trains, automobiles, and airplanes will serve as the backdrop for breathtaking acts of wonder, accompanied by the seven-piece Big Apple Circus Band playing live at each of more than 100 performances. Acts will include clowns, jugglers, acrobats, and aerialists, from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North and South America, as well as domestic and rescue animals, all creating performances that will leave audiences smiling and cheering. The show runs 1 hour and 50 minutes including a 20-minute intermission.

CLICK HERE FOR MUCH MORE INFORMATION AND TO PURCHASE TICKETS

Here is a LINK to a LIVING SOCIAL COUPON for this event.  Be sure to take advantage!

 

Pick #3:  Watson Adventures: The Wizard School Scavenger Hunt

Harry Potter meets Museum of Fine Arts…..pretty cool!

CLICK HERE TO READ ALL ABOUT IT

Follow in the footsteps of young wizards

…on a field trip to the Museum of Fine Arts, in search of art that echoes characters, places, and enchanted objects in the famed Harry Potter books and movies. Be prepared to track down flying owls, Hagrid-like giants, centaurs and unicorns like those you’d see in the Forbidden Forest, dragons that seem straight out of the Triwizard Tournament, and eerie figures as scary as any Death Eater or Dementor.

Wizards and muggles alike can play and enjoy this hunt. The hunt is not an addition to or variation on Harry’s adventures, but instead references to the books will provide a surprising bridge to many strange and wonderful works of art. It’s a great way to discover—or rediscover—the museum.

This hunt is designed for kids and adults to do together, but all-adult teams will be allowed to compete separately. Kids must be accompanied by an adult. Recommended for ages 10 and up. Click on the button below to see the hunt schedule and get in the game!

 

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

 

 

 

 

Nichole’s Picks 3/26 +3/27

Pick #1:  Egg-Cellent Easter Adventure at Appleton Farms

Saturday, March 26th  10:00-12:00

Say goodbye to the cold and celebrate the arrival of warmer weather here on the Farm! While we often associate eggs with the Easter Bunny, in many cultures eggs symbolize new life and are tied with the coming of spring. At this event, we celebrate spring, new life on the farm, and the bounty of fresh eggs produced by our hens. Go on the Egg-cellent Quest around the farm and learn about the journey from egg to chicken, collecting Easter eggs at each station to complete the Quest! Enjoy homemade refreshments in our Carriage Barn, visit with the calves, and make some fun farm crafts! Quest begins at 10am. Please plan to arrive by 11am and bring a basket of your own to collect the Quest eggs.

Please Note: It is only necessary to register for one ticket per family. If you have more than 6 in your family, please register for 2 families so we have enough eggs and refreshments for everyone.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER!

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Pick #2:  Children’s Drop and Shop

Head over to The Pingree School in Hamilton to score some great spring clothes, toys, sports equipment, and more at this year’s Spring Children’s Drop and Shop.

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Spring/Summer

Children’s Clothing &

Gear Consignment Sale

March 23-26, 2016

CLICK HERE FOR ALL THE INFORMATION YOU’LL NEED

 

Pick #3:  The Walk to the Sea

Enjoy a nice spring afternoon in Boston….and learn something along the way.

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The free walk, beginning at the State House on Beacon Hill and ending at Long Wharf, spans one mile that covers Boston’s historic landmarks and skyscrapers.The Walk to the Sea consists of ten freestanding glass panels located at the eight spots throughout the city.

CLICK HERE TO LEARN ALL ABOUT THE WALK TO THE SEA

Walk through the city of Boston, stopping along the way to learn about the transformation that made Boston what it is today.

Destinations along the way include:

Beacon Hill

King’s Chapel

Government Center

The Old  State House

Financial District

Custom House

Rose Kennedy Greenway

Long Wharf

 

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

 

Nichole’s Picks 3/19 + 3/20

Pick #1:  The Power of Play Festival

This has received a lot of press…and rightfully so!  What a fantastic event this will be and with such an important message.

See Kim Smith’s post from yesterday to read more

The festival, open to families and children of all ages, will feature games, art projects, dance, sports and other activities to celebrate the importance of play in educating children.  The Power of Play Festival will feature giant building blocks; tiny, 3-D house- and boat-building; Lego-building challenges; sensory play tables with water, sand and goop; giant floor puzzles; collaborative art projects; taekwondo and yoga; puppet workshops and shows; and an obstacle course.

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Pick #2:  The Boston Flower  & Garden Show

March 16-20, 2016

Seaport World Trade Center, Boston

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CLICK HERE FOR ALL NECESSARY INFORMATION!

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The Boston Flower & Garden Show will return to the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston on Wednesday, March 16 through Sunday, March 20, 2016 with the theme “Nurtured by Nature”.   The care we put into our gardens comes back to us a thousand-fold.  Well-designed landscapes rejuvenate by offering places to connect with nature and each other. Floral arrangements, houseplants and containers enliven and refresh our living spaces.  Homegrown food and the results of popular urban agriculture activities like beekeeping fill our tables with nutritious delights.  Celebrate the bountiful benefits of the garden and learn how to keep yourself, and your garden, growing strong!

Please share your photos on our Facebook page and check back often to watch the show take shape!

Package and coat check is available.  There are a limited number of wheelchairs available on a first come first serve basis.

Don’t forget to bring your camera and video recorder to the Show!  There are tons of great photo opportunities and the pictures will help you plan your new garden long after the Show is over.  Share your best footage with your family and friends, and of course with us!

Pick #3  Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade

March 20th at 1:00 pm.

CLICK HERE FOR INFORMATION

Did you know that “the South Boston, St. Patrick’s Parade is Listed as the second largest parade in the country, being viewed by nearly 600,000 to 1 Million people every year!”

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

VIDEO: SISTER FELICIA SHARES HER LIMONCELLO RECIPE STEP-BY-STEP!

Join Sister Felicia in her kitchen with friends and family as they have a blast while showing you how to make limoncello at home. She has 2 recipes for you in this video, the classic and the creamy styles of limoncello!

(click the little gear at the bottom right for full HD video)

Nichole’s Picks 2/27 + 2/28

Pick #1:  Sugar Shack Saturdays at Appleton Farms

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Please head HERE as advanced registration is required and space is limited!

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 day 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! This program meets at the Visitor Center.

Please be aware there are two sessions for this program from 10-11:30 and 1:30-3:00. Space is limited. Registration is by the family- if you have 6 or more in your family, please register 2 families. Crafts and snacks included and we want to have enough for all.

 

Pick #2:  Ice Castles!

I can’t wait to get up there!  I’m hoping that it is still open after hockey season ends…

http://icecastles.com/    Once going to the link, find the Lincoln, NH location.

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Pick #3:  The South Asian Showdown 2016

I’ve never even heard about this, but if your kids are into dance…how fun!

This and a great dinner in the city…seems like an interesting win for the family.

HEAD HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS

Thank you for your interest in the South Asian Showdown competition. After the huge success of the last 6 year’s competitions, we look forward to bringing you an even better show this year! Teams from all over North America & Canada will compete to be crowned the Showdown champion.

HomeThe concept of Showdown is to put the best Fusion, and Bollywood/Hindi-Film teams up against one another and let the judges have the unenviable task of selecting the best team of the night.  Fusion is a combination of any dance style set to a majority of indian music. It is a very creative and unique form of dance incorporating many others forms of dance.  Bollywood/Hindi-Film style of dance is based on the Bollywood film style of dance featuring expression, theme and storyline.  It is a mini-story on stage set to indian music.  This will be an unbelievable show to watch and an unparalleled experience for all the teams to be involved in!

This year’s competition will be taking place on Saturday, February 27th, 2016 @ the John Hancock Hall in the heart of Boston.

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

February Vacation at Appleton Farms

So many wonderful opportunities for the younger ones at Appleton Farms this February Vacation!

Check out their list of activities below or head to this link to see more.

http://www.thetrustees.org/things-to-do/events.html?srregion=&srrelated_property=57425162&srevent_type=&dateType=srevent_start_date&srstartDate=&srendDate=&x=39&y=7

Sign up for one or sign up for all!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

From the Farm Kettle: Stews

Saturday, February 6
Appleton Farms
Hamilton and Ipswich | North Shore

Family Fun, Lectures & Workshops

Sunday, February 7, 2016
Learn to Snowshoe

Sunday, February 7
Appleton Farms
Hamilton and Ipswich | North Shore

Outdoor Recreation

Saturday, February 13, 2016
Farm Inspired Crafts for Kids

Saturday, February 13
Appleton Farms
Hamilton and Ipswich | North Shore

Family Fun

Valentine’s Farm Dinner and Culinary Workshop

Saturday, February 13
Appleton Farms
Hamilton and Ipswich | North Shore

Farms & Food, Lectures & Workshops

Sunday, February 14, 2016
Valentine’s Farm Dinner and Culinary Workshop

Sunday, February 14
Appleton Farms
Hamilton and Ipswich | North Shore

Farms & Food, Lectures & Workshops

Learn to Cross Country Ski: Classic Technique – Level 1

Sunday, February 14
Appleton Farms
Hamilton and Ipswich | North Shore

Outdoor Recreation

Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Families in the Farm Kitchen: Cheese Making

Wednesday, February 17
Appleton Farms
Hamilton and Ipswich | North Shore

Family Fun, Farms & Food

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Farm Inspired Crafts for Kids

Thursday, February 18
Appleton Farms
Hamilton and Ipswich | North Shore

Family Fun

Families in the Farm Kitchen: Bread and Butter Making

Thursday, February 18
Appleton Farms
Hamilton and Ipswich | North Shore

Family Fun, Farms & Food

Friday, February 19, 2016
Families in the Farm Kitchen: Cheese Making

Friday, February 19
Appleton Farms
Hamilton and Ipswich | North Shore

Family Fun, Farms & Food

Saturday, February 20, 2016
Families in the Farm Kitchen: Bread and Butter Making

Saturday, February 20
Appleton Farms
Hamilton and Ipswich | North Shore

Family Fun, Farms & Food

Farm Inspired Crafts for Kids

Saturday, February 20
Appleton Farms
Hamilton and Ipswich | North Shore

Family Fun

Nichole’s Picks 12/19 + 12/20

There’s still time to get your holiday on!

Pick #1:   The Mayor’s Celebration of Lights

I’ve always thought that spending a few evenings in the city during the holiday season is totally special.  Grabbing a nice dinner, maybe getting a bit dressed up, and seeing the holiday lights is a wonderful tradition.  By now, you all probably know about BLINK! at Faneuil Hall, but there is also the Mayor’s Celebration!

 

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Running December 17-20, 2015, The Mayor’s Celebration of Lights, Lights of Boston presented by luminARTZ will transform the Dartmouth Street side of the Boston Public Library with 3D projections sharing the message of peace, hope and unity each evening from 5:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m., looping every 10 minutes. The light installation is the first of its time in the United States, and is produced by artist Anthony Bastic of AGB Events best known for the Vivid SydneyView more

Read HERE for MORE INFORMATION

Pick #2:  

Candlelight Stroll at Strawberry Banke

Strawbery Banke Museum celebrates the theme of “Winter Pastimes” during the 36th annual Candlelight Stroll, December 5-6, 12-13 and 19-20, 2015. The event takes place from 5 to 9 pm on Saturdays and 4 to 8 pm on Sundays.

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Stroll through life in a simpler time as 350 years of American history, winter traditions, and holiday celebrations unfolds around you in New Hampshire’s oldest waterfront neighborhood.

  • Historic houses from four centuries with decorations hand-crafted from natural materials
  • Hundreds of wood and glass candle boxes lighting the lanes and landscape
  • Live music and holiday entertainment for all ages
  • Horse-drawn carriage rides
  • Holiday decoration demonstrations
  • Traditional barrel making demonstrations
  • 18th century holiday hearth cooking
  • Tinsmith demonstrations
  • Ice skating at Labrie Family Skate at Puddle Dock Pond, daily December-February.

CLICK HERE FOR MUCH MORE INFORMATION! (and to save time and purchase advanced tickets)

CLICK HERE FOR THIS WEEKEND’S SCHEDULE

 

Pick #3:  Zoolights at Stone Zoo

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ZooLights promises to dazzle visitors of all ages this holiday season. Enter a winter wonderland of tree-lined paths lit by thousands of twinkling lights. Stroll through festively decorated Yukon Creek, home to bald eagles, Canada lynx, reindeer and arctic foxes.

  • Meet Stone Zoo’s reindeer up close during nightly photo opportunities.
  • Enjoy holiday hot chocolate with the reindeer (see registration and full details below).
  • Have your photo taken with Santa (see video below).
  • Lights, Camel, Action!
    Known as “ships of the desert,” dromedary camels are incredibly adapted to harsh, arid environments. Learn more about these animals and enjoy a camel’s-eye view of ZooLights!
    Camel Rides: $10 per person
  • Gift Shop Discount on Member Mondays: Members receive an additional 10% discount on all gift shop purchases on Mondays. That’s a 20% savings! Learn more about becoming a member.

– See more at: http://www.zoonewengland.org/engage/zoolights#sthash.QoK7UH5b.dpuf

HEAD HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO BUY TICKETS

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

What Are Your Favorite Holiday Traditions?

Yesterday I wrote about the importance that I place on holiday traditions.

Earlier this month I wrote about Santa coming to Rockport and the tree lighting.  I got a lovely response from a Facebook reader that shared her own Rockport holiday memory.

When we were little Children we lived in Gloucester…we would come in the bus to Rockport …we would get off the bus at Dock Square and join the other lined up kids..watching for Santa… to come down the hill in his sleigh…it was loaded down with …nuts candy and fruit..in a big stocking…for every child ….then we would run ahead of mother and dad to get to our Grandfather’s house on Summit Ave?..he was a night watch man at the railroad round house….he would always give us a report on what Santa had to say to him as he dropped off our presents…he told us how each of the rain deer were ..and …would be happy to get back to their nice warm house back at the North Pole…we believed every word he said ..my sister and I

Her response made me start to think…..  What about the rest of you?

Anyone else up for sharing their favorite holiday memories in a comment below?  Please do….I’d love to hear them!

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Rockport Winter Farmers Market on SATURDAY. Plus more stuff…

Christmas in Rockport this year has been Christmas-ier than I can ever remember it being in the 14 years I’ve been around (now you all know that I’m 14 years old, because of course I was born a Rockport native). You will get in the spirit in spite of yourself, even if the weather is so mild it’s more like June (which is always so freakin cold here) than December.

TOMORROW the Rockport Winter Farmers Market features fresh food from actual farmers who grow stuff and have been growing stuff specifically for this market and the Cape Ann Farmers Market (next Saturday 12/19 in Gloucester!). So don’t let the farmers down and come buy fresh, local food. The market will also feature baked goods, nisu bread, pickles, fruits, granola, nuts, and more more more. 9am to 1pm at the Rockport Community House at 58 Broadway.

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A raffle to support the work of the nonprofit Rockport Exchange (organizers of the farmers’ market) will be part of the fun. A bag of Rockport Farmers Market swag will be raffled every hour on the hour (10am, 11am, 12pm, 1pm) so buy a ticket for just $1 and have a swell time winning stuff, supporting the market, and most importantly, supporting local food producers.

RFM swag bag

Also: Spiran Lodge has the annual Jul Fest tomorrow! This is a fantastic Rockport tradition and a nod to the village’s heritage. Pickled herring can be yours, along with tons of other great food and crafts. 9 to 1pm at Spiran Lodge on Broadway. And Rockport’s annual Gallery Stroll is tomorrow, with Rockport artists welcoming visitors to town.

AND the entire Charlie Brown Christmas album will be featured at the Old Sloop Coffeehouse Saturday night! This is just too much…. come for the Rockport Winter Farmers Market and stay for the day, ending the evening listening to live music, sipping coffee at the Old Sloop Coffeehouse at the beautiful First Congregational Church on Main Street in Rockport.

 

Nichole’s Picks 12/5 + 12/6

Tree lighting in Gloucester last weekend….tree lighting in Rockport this weekend.

Pick #1:  Christmas in Rockport

1:00 Saturday, December 5th

It is only fitting that in the incredibly quaint, picturesque, and perfect town of Rockport, Santa should arrive by lobster boat. This has been a tradition for as long as I can remember, but please note, that this year’s schedule will be a little bit different.

Santa has decided that he would like more time to linger, shop, and visit with the townsfolk so he has cleared his afternoon schedule to arrive in Rockport earlier than normal.

Santa’s boat should be arriving at T-Wharf at 1:00 in the afternoon on Saturday, December 5th. The tree lighting ceremony will begin at 4:00. That leaves a nice amount of time to shop, explore, walk our new breakwater, grab a snack or some cocoa, and maybe get some one on one time with Santa himself.

Read More by Clicking HERE

Pick #2: Family Holiday Present Workshop at Maritime Gloucester

What a great way to get in some family time while also hand-making holiday gifts for those special people on your list.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2015, 10:00 AM TO 12:00 PM

REGISTRATION : $5.00 PER CHILD (MEMBERS), $8.00 PER CHILD (NON-MEMBERS)

AUDIENCE: FAMILIES

Come spend the morning at Maritime Gloucester making nautical inspired crafts..the perfect handmade holiday presents. Ages 5 to 12 years. Cost is $5 per child members, $8 per child non-members. Parents/Guardians are required to attend.  The workshop will take place in the Sarah Fraser Robbins Classroom accessed from the walkway to the pier.

Click HERE to read even more

 

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Pick #3: Christmas at Castle Hill, Ipswich

Surely this event will be gorgeous and should get even the biggest curmudgeon into the holiday spirit….

Kick off your holiday season with us. Tour the Great House beautifully decorated for Christmas. With a nod to the great polar expeditions of the 1920s, you’ll see outdoor adventure paraphernalia, polar-inspired decorations, and a magnificent ice sculpture. Enjoy live music and dance, interactive activities, and warm cookies and cider. On Sunday afternoon, 2 pm-4pm, visit with the North Pole’s greatest celebrity Santa Claus.

Find that perfect holiday gift at the Castle Hill gift shop or the Harbor Sweets pop-up store. Please consider bringing a pair of warm new socks to benefit needy children through Ipswich Caring.

Christmas at Castle Hill Schedule of Events

Friday, December 4, 5-9PM
Acapella singers from The Essex Harmony
Cash bar with beer, wine, and our own polar punch
Special exhibition on Admiral Byrd’s 1928 polar expedition

Saturday, December 5, 10AM-4PM
Fitzy the Snowman carves an ice sculpture
Family explorer activities
Special exhibition on Admiral Byrd’s 1928 polar expedition
11AM String Quartet Music featuring Michael Hamill, Carlos Heymann, Alice Newell, and Ann Ward
3PM Ipswich Moving Company’s Youth Dance Ensemble

Sunday, December 6, 12Noon-4PM
Family explorer activities
Special exhibition on Admiral Byrd’s 1928 polar expedition
12Noon-2PM Sled dog meet-and-greet
2-4PM Visit with Santa
3PM North Shore Bell Ringers

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION

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Courtesy of Ipswich Visitors Center

 

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

Let Your Kids Try Hockey for FREE

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On Saturday, November 7th, USA Hockey and 500 local associations across the country will host Try Hockey For Free Day, presented by KraftHeinz! Participating locations encourage kids, ages 4 to 9, to come try youth hockey as part of “Come Play Hockey Month.”    All locations will have limited equipment available for use.

Head HERE to read all about this great opportunity  http://www.tryhockeyforfree.com/

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Nichole’s Picks 10/31 + 11/1

Well, it’s Halloween.  So, good luck with that.

Pick #1  

Playtime Stories at the Gloucester Stage Company

Fitting…and sounds like a lot of fun.  Thanks to Kim Smith for the tip!

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Pick #2  

Trick-or-Treat Downtown Gloucester or Rockport

Take your little costumed ones down Main Street in Gloucester or through downtown Rockport from 4-6 for some fantastic Trick-or-Treating.

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Pick #3  

Wheelock Family Theatre:  Trumpet of the Swan

One of my favorite children’s books, E.B. White’s Trumpet of the Swan is coming to life on the Wheelock Family Theatre Stage.

Check HERE for dates and ticketing info. and then make a night (or day) of it!

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Can a brass horn be the key to love? Louis, a trumpeter swan, is different from his sibling cygnets, for he was born without voice, but with great diligence, patience, and resilience, Louis learns to play the trumpet and communicate his thoughts and feelings through the power of music. E. B. White’s award-winning story is inspired by the natural world and our own very human need to connect and to communicate.

For a comprehensive list of family activities check out our friends at NorthShoreKid

Nichole’s Picks 10/17 + 10/18

Once again we have what is called a “No Brainer” for fun family activities.  So much so, in fact, that I’m only giving you two options.  Between Rockport’s Awesome HarvestFest and Salem’s Fantastic (albeit creepy) Haunted Happenings you should be all set.  If you’re still finding yourself with free time get outdoors and take a hike or head to one of the dozen or so phenomenal apple picking locations and get yourself some cider donuts!

Pick #1  Rockport HarvestFest

Scarecrow judging, live music, food, beer (yes, beer in Rockport), cooking demonstrations, tons of family activities, AND a BLOCK PARTY on Bearskin Neck.  Come on, seriously!  Can you think of anything more fun?

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Read More About HarvestFest HERE

Pick #2  Haunted Happenings in Salem

Ok, so I can’t lie.  I have never taken my boys into Salem to appreciate any of the mayhem that is the “Month of Halloween.”  This is the year, however, that I fully intend to go!  I almost made it last year, but our weekends are just, what I’ve come to call, “No Joke Busy.”

Here is a link for all of your Haunted Happenings Needs!  Totally check it out!

http://hauntedhappenings.org/

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

Nichole’s Picks 9/19 + 9/20

There are some fun things going on this weekend.  Seize the moment and enjoy the nice weather while you still can!

Pick #1  Harvest Moon Music Festival

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Read more HERE!

Pick #2  Choate Island Day, Ipswich

Spend the day exploring Choate Island in Essex Bay. With its magnificent vistas, abundant wildlife, and historic buildings, Choate Island is like no place you’ve ever been.

Park at Crane Beach and catch the free bus and boat shuttles to the island. Shuttles run continuously throughout the day (the last boat to the island leaves at 1 pm).

Once on the island, you may visit the Choate family homestead, the historic Proctor Barn, the White Cottage Visitor Center, and the summit that marks the final resting place of Mr. and Mrs. Cornelius Crane, donors of the island.

We’ll also offer history talks, a children’s treasure hunt, and seasonal refreshments. Visitors are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch and spend the day.

Reservations recommended. Day-of tickets will be available on the dock for cash or check.

READ ALL ABOUT IT HERE AND MAYBE MAKE RESERVATIONS

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Pick #3 Appleton Farm Day

While I miss summer already, this is one of my favorite…dare I say the “f” word…FALL…activities of the year.

Come celebrate the fall season with some good ol’-fashioned fun on America’s oldest working farm. Grab your friends and family and join us at Appleton Farms for our annual Family Farm Day!

Visit with our farm animals, climb aboard a tractor, paint your own pumpkin, learn about beekeeping, challenge your friends at the potato spoon relay or hay obstacle course, and make sure to enjoy a pony ride! Looking for more?  There are old-fashioned games like tug-o-war, crafts, face-painting, farm tattoos, and live music by Ben Rudnick and Friends.

All this activity will surely have you hungry for some fresh-from-the- farm food.  Visit the food court where you will find our own 100% grass-fed burgers cooked up by Vinwood Catering , seasonal selections from the Heritage Food Truck, and tasty Mexican inspired dishes from North East of the Border.  Snacks, drinks, and dessert will include White Farm’s Ice Cream, cider donuts, popcorn, mojo cold-brewed coffee, and lemonade.  For the adults in the group, Ipswich Ale and Far From the Tree will be serving up their locally made beers and cider.

Admission includes everything except food and beverages.  This event runs rain or shine. Admission fee is per car so join your friends and come together.  Trustees members don’t forget your membership card to receive discounted admission.   Not a member yet?  Join at the event and receive a free Appleton t-shirt plus $10 off a family membership!  (Promotion available at the event only).

GET ALL THE SCOOP HERE

Pick #4  If You’re Up For Heading Into the City

There are two fun events happening in Boston that involve dancing, music, vendors, food, and good times!

LET’S DANCE BOSTON

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AND

SOUTH BOSTON STREET FESTIVAL

Live entertainment on 2 stages • Over 100 Local Merchants, Artists and Organizations
Great Food • Dance Performances • Children’s Activities • Pooch Friendly

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For more family friendly activities, please visit our friends at North Shore Kid!

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