Time to Stink and Skate

Decibels Foundation kicks off their Stink Week with dinner; plus Learn to Skate at North Bridge, and check out local ice rinks.


Hello, all, and welcome to Thursday, the third day of the brand-new year! It looks remarkably like the old year, but with any luck it’s actually new and improved. The blanket of snow certainly makes it look clean and bright, and conveniently covers up any blemishes or ugliness, giving everything the appearance of being new. And oftentimes it’s really about appearances, isn’t it?

But things are about to get stinky.

Tthat’s right, Stink Week is coming; the fundraiser run by Decibels Foundation where you’re encouraged to wear the same shirt, no matter how stinky or funky it becomes, for a solid week. It’s all for a good cause: To raise money for programs that support children with hearing loss and their families.

Decibels is headquartered here in Concord, over on Church Street. They offer early intervention programs for babies and children, financial support for hearing aids and cochlear implant parts, and educational assistance for school aged deaf and hard-of-hearing kids.

Last year, the money raised through Stink Week funded a new program for infants, among other things. This year’s Stink Week runs Feb. 1 - 8, but the whole thing kicks off next Tuesday night, Jan. 8, over at Flatbread Company in Bedford. From 5 to 9 p.m., whether you eat in or take out, Flatbread will donate a portion of the proceeds to Decibels. A large flatbread nets $3.50, while a small gets $1.75.

Every little bit helps, so head on over there to start making a stink about childhood hearing loss. Those babies and children with hearing loss will thank you.

Learning to skate 

I’m not a huge fan of winter, but I live here, and so I make sure to do what I can to enjoy the snow and cold. Which, for me, means skiing, both downhill and cross-country, and ice skating. I grew up skating on frozen ponds, which is a fabulous way to enjoy the outdoors, but indoor rinks are certainly smoother and easier to learn on.

And if you, too, like to skate, and have people in your home who don’t know how, well, now’s the time to strap on some blades and learn. The North Bridge learn-to-skate program starts this Sunday, Jan. 6, over at the Pratt Memorial Rink at Middlesex School. This eight-week program runs from 11:40 a.m. 12:40 p.m. Sundays through Feb. 24.

The program is unique in that it starts with a 5-minute warm up, 30 minutes of lesson time, five minutes of exhibition and 20 minutes to free skate – which is what most kids want, anyway. Even more fun, there’s a mini exhibition planned for the last day of class, with any props to be provided by North Bridge.

For more information and to register, click here.

If you already know how to skate…

The hardest thing about skating, once you know how, is to find ice to do it on. The local ponds aren’t frozen enough yet, so don’t even think about it. Your best bet is to check out the local indoor rinks for public skate times. They include Valley Sports at 2320 Main St., which costs $7 per person, and is open for public skating about an hour on most days. To see their schedule for public skating, click here. Just know you do need to bring your own skates, as they don’t have any to rent.

The Edge Sports Center in Bedford also offers public skating for about an hour most days. Cost is $5 per person, $3 for seniors and active military, and $3 to rent skates. They do require helmets for anyone under 12.

And lastly, Nashoba Valley Olympia on Mass Ave in Boxborough has open skating every day for about an hour-and-a-half, $5 for adults, $3 for kids twelve and under, and rentals for $6.

You can also check out the MDC rinks, some of which have very inexpensive ice times. Any of these places should allow you to indulge in a little healthy winter sport, so you can burn enough calories to indulge in a cup of hot chocolate afterward. A just reward for living in the frigid northeast.


Do you have something you would like to share? Contact me at stefanieac@comcast.net and I will be happy to help you spread the good news. And follow me on Twitter: @stefanie3131.


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