Friday, April 12, 2002
Living in Carlisle:
Entertaining kids during April vacation
"Living in Carlisle" is a series of columns for newcomers to town and for others interested in the goings-on in Carlisle and neighboring communities.
Carlisle and surrounding towns offer many kid-friendly activities during school vacation week (April 15-19). With a little planning you can enjoy your time with the kids and maybe learn some local history as well.
The following is a suggested itinerary, but many more events are planned throughout the week. Please refer to phone numbers and web sites for complete schedules.
Monday, April 15, is Patriots Day, commemorating the Battles of Lexington and Concord. Get up early and bring your kids to join the present-day Carlisle Minutemen on the Town Green at 6:45 a.m. as they recreate the historic march to join the fight at the Old North Bridge in Concord on April 19, 1774 (in 1774 Carlisle was part of Concord). Companies from all over Massachusetts will gather at the bridge for colorful ceremonies in colonial garb. If your kids are too young to walk five miles, join the march at the beginning of the Estabrook Trail (corner of Estabrook and Kibby Place) for a three-mile walk or drive to Concord on River Road, then park on Monument Street (the continuation of Carlisle's River Road) or at the North Bridge Visitor Center on Liberty Street (off Monument).
At 11 a.m. walk or drive to the Concord Museum at 200 Lexington Road. (Route 2A) for free refreshments, music, and a chance to meet Sam Adams. Then proceed to the Battle Road Visitors Center on Route 2A in Lexington for more information and activities. Contact the Concord Museum at 1-978-369-9763 or www.concordmuseum.org, the Minute man National Historical Park at 1-978-369-6944 or www.nps.gov/mima or the Carlisle Minutemen at www.carlisle.org and follow the link for organizations. If you've got time, head for Boston for the Marathon which starts at noon in Hopkinton. (See article on Boston Marathon for more details).
After an activity-filled Patriots Day, Tuesday is designated "have the first ice cream of the season day" after all, Carlisle is famous for ice cream (and mosquitoes, but their day comes later). Bates Farm, serving Kimball Ice Cream, is open April 10 at 343 Bedford Road (1-978-369-1910), or visit Great Brook Farm on Lowell Road (1-978-371-7083), where you can take a tour of the cow barn or walk the extensive trail network to work up an appetite. If you prefer your ice cream with miniature golf, both Kimball Farm at 400 Littleton Road, Westford (follow Route 225 west to Route 110) and Rangeway Golf at 44 Nashua Road, Billerica (follow Rutland Sreet and go right at Route 4) are open.
If Wednesday is nice, head to Drumlin Farm on Route 117 in Lincoln. This working farm contains wildlife, lambs, pigs, horses, and cows. "What's Happening" activities throughout the week include farmyard, nature, and garden events as well as hayrides from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., weather permitting. In addition, children and teens can pre-register for a variety of nature and farming programs daily (my kids loved the animal programs in which they got to feed lambs, groom ponies, and milk cows). Call 1-781-259-9807 or check www.massaudubon.org for more information.
By Thursday you may be ready to sit down and relax, and the Concord Youth Theater gives you that opportunity. At 10 a.m and 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Theatreworks/USA appears in "Superfudge," a musical adaptation of author Judy Blume's best-selling book. Recommended for ages 4 and up, tickets are $8.50. The theater is located at the Emerson Umbrella, 40 Stowe Street, Concord. Call 1-978-371-1482 or log on to www.concordyouththeatre.org for information and tickets.
If your kids aren't old enough for theater, head to the Children's Discovery Museum in Acton, designed for toddlers and pre-schoolers. On Thursday at 9:30 a.m., the museum offers "A Little Song and Dance" which invites kids to "pour out your energy in creative movement." The Science Discovery Museum next door is billed for "ages 6 and up," but my kids enjoyed it from around age 4. Other programs are offered during the week, so call 1-978-264-4200 for more information.
The Lowell National Historical Park offers free "Kids' Weeks" activities all week, including swimming, arts and crafts, dance, and storytimes for all ages. On Friday kids 8 and up are invited to form teams of five (or come and be put on a team) for a scavenger hunt in downtown Lowell at 12:30 p.m. Prizes will be awarded. Pre-register at 1-978-970-4034. For the full slate of Kids Week activities call 1-978-970-5000 or visit www.nps.gov/lowe.
© 2002 The Carlisle Mosquito