Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Vacation Week Activities in Massachusetts 2011

We have family visiting and I am sure others are looking for activities to enjoy. I will continue to post activities as I find them.

Discovery Museums in Acton have special drop in days planned all week including Lego building days.

Freedom Trails Historic Holiday Stroll provides people with an opportunity to experience the Freedom trail with a holiday focus. Learn more about the traditions as they evolved in Boston.

Higgins Armory Musuem has a week of special events planned for the vacation week.

Boxing Day December 26 at The Old Manse in Concord Get a tour of the house and learn more about the British holiday tradition of Boxing Day.

Old Strubridge Village is having a variety of family friendly events and hands on crafts for children that change daily.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Still time to Ride the Train and See the Lights at Edaville Railroad

While the time has passed this year to see the Sturbridge Village's Christmas Celebration, Edaville's Christmas program continues through January 1. We went the first weekend in December. It was a wonderful trip, I have not made since I was a child.

You can find all the information about dates, prices and the available discounts I located in an article on my blog about the event here.

The train ride is a fun and the house windows are great to explore. The train displays were wonderful to see and a good chance to warm up from the outdoor chill. The only thing we did not try out were the amusement park rides, although it seemed there were plenty of kids enjoying them.

They have kept some of my favorite displays from my childhood. I love the houses you can look in to see the old style moving dolls at work. Some are worse for wear, but they still have that Christmas enchantment at work.

We did feel welcome and we plan to come back next year to enjoy the tradition again.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Last Weekend to Visit Sturbridge Village's Christmas by Candlelight

We went the first weekend and it was an event that will be on our calendar for next year. You can read my blog posting for the event information here.

We arrived before it opened and tried to visit as many of the holiday themed events as we could. Each house had different historical holiday themed activities for adults and children to explore. Music and food were displayed. I now know what it means when they sing about chestnuts roasting on an open fire. I have even had the chance to taste them. I also finally learned what Marzipan looks like and how it is made.

The dinner at the Oliver Wright Tavern was very good and I thought reasonably priced considering what I have paid at other tourist destinations for "fast food." This was a very tasty complete meal and the prices were fair.

If you are going to make the visit, I would suggest dressing warmly for the weather and wearing comfortable shoes. The roads are dirt and lit by actual candle lit lanterns. There is a considerable amount of walking to do in order to see all the activities and venues that are offered.

I loved the nativity scene they created by combining multiple sets. I have never seen some of the sets they created there. Learning about Christmas traditions and listening to the music made for a great holiday event.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Pilgrims of Plimoth

The Pilgrims of Plimoth (Aladdin Picture Books)by Marcia Sewall is not a new addition to picture books available on the Pilgrims, but it is one to consider when studying the Pilgrims. The author uses paintings rather than drawings or photographs to illustrate the story. The story is written in the first person reflecting several points of view.

One of the important reasons to include this book in a study of the Pilgrims is that it includes information that many of the other books leave out. The book discusses the original destination of the Pilgrims, Virginia. It explains how they ended up in New England and ultimately how the colony came to be established in Plimoth. This story helps dispel the myth that the boat arrived and the Pilgrims all stepped off and established a colony. It describes how the Pilgrims lived on the ship and foraged for food. It takes the reader through the evolution of the colony as the Pilgrims tried to build some common structures before the bitter cold of winter hit and the loss of life during that first winter. The book explains to readers how the survivors emerged in the spring with the help of the Native Americans to begin planting crops and building structures.

I did not have a chance to acquire this book when I was purchasing Pilgrim books this year, but it will be on my list for next year.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Pilgrims of Plymouth

I am continuing to look for quality children's history books. I came across Pilgrims of Plymouth while searching for a different book at the library. I decided to reserve it to preview prior to purchasing.

This is a book produced by the National Geographic Society. As was done with Samuel Eaton's Day and Sarah Morton's Day the pictures for this book are taken at Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth, Massachusetts. This is great for children who have visited and those who live to far away to make the trip.

This book is different in that it is designed for younger readers. It does not focus on individual stories, but it is a general explanation of life at Plimoth for young readers. The vocabulary is fairly simple and approachable for even young children. The pictures make this a good resource for students to develop a picture of what life would have been like for children and adults living at this time. This book will be on my purchase list.