Hello and welcome to Thursday! It’s hard to believe we’re already more than halfway through February. Truck Day was last Saturday – that’s the day the equipment trucks leave Fenway Park for spring training in Florida – and meteorologists consider March 1 to be the beginning of spring. So we’ve almost made it through winter! Yes, I know it’s been amazingly mild, but still, I’m always happy to welcome that next season.
For those of you with children in the public school system, next week is a vacation week. Meaning, of course, a vacation for the kids, not necessarily the parents. And if you’re not planning to head out of town, either to hit the slopes or bask in the sun, you might be looking for a few ways to keep those kids occupied, even for a few hours a day. Well, I’ve got your back: take a look for some ideas of what to do.
For the littlest ones
Barefoot Books over on Thoreau Street is a welcoming carnival of colors – even if you don’t have small children, you need to walk in here at least once. The space is just so playful and inviting, you’ll wish you were small again, and you’ll wonder why big people bookstores don’t offer such delightful spaces for perusing books. They have events running all week, starting with a puppet-making workshop on Saturday and continuing with storytelling, games, crafts and pottery, and then finishing on the following Saturday with The Jitterbugs Musical Jam show. Some of the events require pre-registration, some are free, and some have a small fee, so check out their website here for full details.
If your kids love the storytelling, the Concord Free Public Library has several drop-in story times. For kids 3 and older, you can drop in on Saturday at 10 a.m. or Thursday at 2 p.m.; for the 2- 2 ½ set, you can come by on Thursday at 10 am. And on Friday at 3 p.m., there’s a preschool singalong with Ed Morgan. All of these take place over at the main library.
For the slightly older set
As great as they are, stories and singalongs just won’t cut it with older kids, the ones not old enough to have a job but old enough to still need distraction. This is where Dabblers hobbies and café comes in, with a full complement of craft classes to keep even the moodiest pre-teen occupied. Plus mom or dad can sit in the café and enjoy a coffee and a treat, or even a lunch, while the kids do their thing nearby. Yes, it’s a break for everyone! And believe me when I tell you that the choices are truly enticing: there’s painting on glass, needle felting, and paper airplanes, to name a few – I have no doubt there is something for every craft interest. Check here for the full array of classes, costs, and registration requirements.
For the history or literature buff
I’m sure you know that we’re very lucky to live in a town with a ton of history – if you haven’t already, vacation week is a perfect time to take a tour of Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House to see how the writer lived, or to check out Concord’s history at the Concord Museum. Now, I’m not sure there will still be availability, but these two things are being combined with this event: Tea for Two: An Adult/Child Tea with Louisa May Alcott, which takes place Feb. 25 at the Concord Museum. You’ll get to sip tea or hot chocolate while listening to stories of Louisa’s adventures, told by the writer herself in the form of Jan Turnquist, who regularly portrays Louisa around town. For more information, and to see if there’s still space, call 978-369-9763.
If you’re looking for fresh air
All this indoor stuff is nice, but one of the benefits of no snow is that many of the walking trails around town are still – well, very walkable. It’s a great time of year to see who or what is out and about. Check out Great Meadows: take Bedford Road to Monsen, and then look for a tiny sign and a wooden fence at the end of the street. There’s a lovely path that encircles the marsh, with benches for sitting and pondering, should the urge strike you. Or hike all around Walden Pond, stopping, of course, to see the house site of Henry David Thoreau. Or take a walk through the Town Forest, and see if you can find the stone tribute to Dr. Seuss’s story of the lorax.
Yes, all that should keep you plenty busy next week. Enjoy!
And follow us on Twitter: Maureen is @cosmo1162, I’m @stefanie3131.