The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, July 30, 1999


Summer Outings: Hey, Mom, What are we doing today?

If you didn't sign up your kids for summer camp last April, you may be looking for new and fun things to do with the kids, especially now that July's summer program at the Gleason library is complete. Here are a few ideas for August:

· Rockport on a Wednesday - People take long weekends at the beach here, so you'll find midweek relatively crowd-free. You can actually find street parking in town or on the first sandy beach. You'll be able to spend two hours swimming and sunning, and then conveniently pop a couple of quarters into the meter on your way for another two hours to cover your stroll through this artists' marketplace. There's even a lifeguard on the beach in the summer. Leave the floating devices at home, but take along that shovel and pail. Don't forget quarters for parking, dollars for ice creams, and the checkbook for art. And don't be surprised if you opt to spend another two hours relaxing on the beach after your walk.

· Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology - It may be the summer of Sargent, but scheduled exhibitions at the MFA aren't always the friendliest for children. Try instead the Peabody Museum, a great place for kids in an area of Cambridge where you can still find street parking (no matter what the recorded message says). There's a special Native American exhibit running for the school-age kids, and the little ones will love the regular collections of stuffed animals, impressive dinosaur skeletons, and unusual minerals. You'll appreciate the unique glass flowers. Call for details: 617-496-1027.

· Omni in the morning - The Science Museum in Boston doesn't get busy until the afternoon, so try the first show of the day. There are three running: Everest (excellent, but a little scary for kids under 6), Alaska: Spirit of the Wild (good for all ages), and the new Island of the Sharks (surprisingly, the mildest show of all). As you exit the Omni, check out the children's activity area on your immediate left or the live-animal showcase downstairs. Call for Omni show times and save time by ordering tickets in advance: 617-723-2500.

· Trail hopping - With our proximity to the city, sometimes we forget to look in our own backyard for fun. Pack up a picnic lunch, plenty of water, and your "Trails in Carlisle" booklet (available at the Town Hall for $5). Bet there's more than a few trails you haven't visited yet. Even in the driest weather, you're sure to find wetlands so be sure the kids wear sneakers and not sandals.

· Planet Gymnastics - A newly constructed activity center is opening up just over the Acton line (next to the Four Seasons Tennis Club). Informal hour classes start up in August for the tiniest tots ($12) up to young teens ($14). Call for times or a fall schedule: 263-1900.

· Any day artists - The best way for you to grab a couple of free hours is to set up the kids to paint. This works whether it's rainy (kitchen table) or sunny (picnic table in the shade). You'll never know when you need the time, so get an entire package of printer paper and ensure that you have washable poster paints on hand. Bet you're done with your tasks before they run out of paper....

Okay, so the kids have already seen "Star Wars: Episode One, The Phantom Menace." But have you? Come on, Halloween is only a few months away, and you'd better start thinking about those costumes....

1999 The Carlisle Mosquito