There’s a questionable rumor going around that the tryptophan in turkey doesn’t actually make you sleepy. We have a hard time believing that – everyone knows the post-Thanksgiving torpor is real!
Lucky for us, we’ve got people looking out for us! We’re going to fight that post-Thanksgiving sleepiness by getting out and moving our bodies. Here are four activities designed by our wonderful regional non-profits which will help combat the tryptophan (though – to be clear – we do recommend some good, old-fashioned lollygagging this weekend so don’t skimp on that).
Here comes September — back to school, back to work, back to reality. Lucky for us we live on the South Coast and our reality is pretty darn sweet. Here are our 8 Great Things for the month ahead.
Annual Onset Bay Illumination
One of our all-time summer favorites (postponed by rain earlier this year which makes the start of September that much better!), Illumination Night is truly magical. After dark settles in, a horn sounds and volunteers run the beaches and two islands, lighting thousands of flares as they go. The result of their efforts: fire lining all of Onset Harbor. Stroll along the flares and enjoy the spectacle. Beforehand, spend the day in Onset enjoying its annual kite festival from 10 – 4 and the El Caribe steel drum band performing at 7:30 pm. September 1, Onset Beach (free parking available at Hynes Field, a 5 minute walk from the beach). Free.See more here.
2. Butterfly Census
Help members of the Massachusetts Butterfly Club find and identify different types of butterflies in Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary. The butterfly club guides will lead teams into parts of the Sanctuary and provide their knowledge about butterflies native to the South Coast. The event is free, but pre-registration is required. Wear long pants, sunscreen, and bring water and a snack — butterfly watching can work up an appetite! September 8, Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary, 1280 Horseneck Road, Westport, 10 -2. Sign up here.
The Iguanas are headlining
3. Narrows Festival of the Arts
What better way to spend an early September Sunday than outside, enjoying a variety of live music, perusing selections of work from art vendors, enjoying food truck food and lemonade, and maybe even saying hi to some exotic animals? The Narrows Festival of the Arts promises all this along Fall River’s historic waterfront. The festival is free and has fun for all ages, between the Children’s Museum tent and the indoor and outdoor stages of live music, there’s sure to be something to please everyone in the family. September 9, 16 Anawan St. Fall River. More here.
4. Ready. Set, Run!
Cooler temps means all the more reason to get outside and run the South Coast! There is no better way to start than with a fun 5k, through the gorgeous Fort Phoenix State Beach and Reservation. The 5k benefits a variety of local charities, and registration is $15 prior to the race (and includes a t-shirt) or $20 the day of. So hit the ground running and embrace the start of fall in Fairhaven. September 9, 10 am, Fort Phoenix State Beach and Reserve, Fairhaven. More here.
5. Get your dancing shoes on!
What do celtic music, French Canada and New Bedford have in common? Genticorum! Genticorum is coming to the James Arnold Mansion this September, and bringing with them their jubilant Celtic-based music all the way from French Canada. Join the band to experience music influenced by jazz and Québec folk music with fiddle and flute (seems fun to us!). Tickets at $20 in advance (available online) or $25 at the door. September 14, 7:30 pm-9:30 pm, Wamsutta Club, 427 County St, New Bedford, Get tickets here.
6. Time to get spooky!
What better way to jump start some Halloween spirit than with a day touring cemeteries?! Little Compton Historical Society is opening up all town cemeteries for an afternoon. So get out and explore the beautiful historic grounds (including many which are normally not open to the public!). Volunteers at each site will be available to answer questions and share information. Tickets are $10 for Society members, $15 for non-members, and free for kids 12 and under. September 22, 11-4. Wilbor House Museum, 548 West Main Rd, Little Compton. See more here.
7. Lakeville Arts and Music Festival
September is the month of music and art! If you missed the Narrows Festival (or if one just wasn’t enough), head to Lakeville for its Arts and Music Festival. The festival celebrates local artists and musicians from the South Coast. Rain or shine, the day is filled with fun and entertainment for the whole community and, guess what, it’s free. September 29, 10-4. Lining the intersection of Routes 105, 18 and Precinct Street. More here.
South Coast Almanac Avengers
8. Bike on!
We love Buzzards Bay, South Coast early fall views, biking, clean water, and a good party. That’s why this September, the South Coast Almanac team is biking the Buzzards Bay Watershed Ride for the third year straight! The route has 100, 75, and 35 mile options, so there’s something for everyone. Cyclists each raise $300 (or more!) to support the great work of the Buzzards Bay Coalition. You’ll have access to five water stops, a yummy food truck lunch, and dinner with beer and wine at the party (which features live music and award presentations!). The SCA team is always looking for new riders (and trust us, we have A LOT of fun, see photos of our award winning costumes from last year), email us at [email protected] if you’re interested in joining our team! In the past, our publisher, editor, and advertising director along with board members and friends of the ‘Nac have ridden. We want you to join us!! September 30, start time depends on which route you choose. See more here.
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Put January behind you! We’re chugging toward spring and we’ve got 8 Great Things to keep you busy in February. March will be here before you know it!
The perfect way to get the whole family into the Valentine’s Day spirit! The Buzzards Bay Coalition’s Saturday at the Sawmill series is hosting a Nature Valentine making program, including a short walk around the Sawmill to find natural materials to create the valentines. The program is free, bring your little ones and learn about wildlife around the Sawmill while getting an early start on your valentines! The Sawmill, 32 Mill Road, Acushnet. February 3, starting at 11 am (the Hawes Family Learning center is open 10am-1pm). Learn more here.
Frederick Douglass Read-a-thon
You know how much we love a good community read-a-thon (see our January pick for the Moby Dick Read-a-thon). If you missed January’s event, you’ve got a second chance! 2018 is the bicentennial of Frederick Douglass’ birth, and the New Bedford Historical Society is celebrating with its 18th Annual Frederick Douglass Community Read-a-thon. Celebrate Douglass’ life (and his connections to New Bedford!) by reading along to excerpts from his Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave. Sunday, February 11, 2-6pm at the First Unitarian Church, 71 Eighth Street, New Bedford. See here for more information. If you’re interested in being a reader, contact the New Bedford Historical Society by emailing [email protected]
Snowshoe the Shoreline!
BYOSS (bring your own snow shoes or rent them here)!! Hike along the beach loop trail of Allens Pond Sanctuary with Mass Audubon. The walk is approximately 2 miles long and promises views of winter wildlife and the channel that feeds Allens Pond. Along the way, you’ll look for migrating snowy owls and waterfowl and track the signs of animal activity. The walk will continue even without snow, in that case, just bring hiking boots! February 11, 10 am – 2 pm. Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary, 1280 Horseneck Road, Westport ($10 for members, $12 for non-members). Learn more here.
It’s Fat Tuesday!
Brass Bands and jambalaya buffets and auctions, oh my! Come out and celebrate Mardi Gras in style with the South Coast Brass Band at the Greasy Luck Brewery. The event benefits the Boys and Girls Club of Greater New Bedford and has a jambalaya buffet and dancing, as well as an auction to benefit the club. So get moving for a good cause! Tickets range from $50-$60 and can be purchased here. February 13, 7-11pm, Greasy Luck Brewpub, 791 Purchase Street, New Bedford.
Catch Some Magic!
As winter trudges on, we all need a little extra magic. Join the Masters of Illusion (the nation’s number one touring magic show!) to get your fill and experience a modern twist on the traditional magic show. Check out this video below for a sneak peek of what to expect! February 15, 8 pm. The Zeiteron, 684 Purchase Street, New Bedford. For more information and to buy tickets, go here.
We love Farm & Coast Market, and we love that they strive to be the front porch, kitchen, and family room of Padanaram. This month, you can get cooking with them and learn how to whip up a French Bistro style menu (including a roast chicken!). The timing of the class is perfect for a late Valentine’s Day date — and we’re sure you’ll continue impressing your friends and family with all your new skills. February 15, 6:30 -8:30pm. Reservations are required, call or email Farm & Coast to make yours (774-992-7092 or [email protected]). 7 Bridge Street, Dartmouth.
24 Hour Theater Project
Scripts written, scenes rehearsed, lines learned, shows performed; all in 24 hours!
The Collective New Bedford is hosting their 2018 Kickoff, featuring original 10 minute plays and performances that are completely created and performed in just 24 hours. You don’t have to be an actor (or a writer, or a director) to get in on the fun (although check out their Facebook page if you want to audition. Auditions are coming up this week!) The day’s creations will be performed twice, admission is $10 and you can reserve seats by emailing [email protected]. February 17, performances at 7 and 9 pm at Gallery X, 169 Williams Street, New Bedford.
A Little Fiddlin’
Every fourth Saturday, fiddlers gather on the South Coast for food, dancing, and jamming. There’s good music, great pizza, and it’s open to all. If you’re a musician, bring your instrument (it doesn’t have to be a fiddle! Guitars, banjos, cellos, and all other string instruments are welcome). Otherwise, come prepared to listen and dance. Check out this video of December’s session (and keep your eyes peeled for the cutest young fiddler jamming along, around 30 seconds in!). This month’s session is February 24 at 4:30 pm at Brick, 213 Huttleston Avenue, Fairhaven. See the their Facebook page for more information on Old Time Fiddle Session.
You may be prepping for Thanksgiving right now, knee deep in peeling apples or wrestling the bird into some sort of brine-y package. Take a break for a moment and look at our 6 suggestions for post-Thanksgiving walks. Think of it as our holiday gift to you. It’s a reminder to all of us that (i) we live in a beautiful area and (ii) we should probably walk off some of that pecan pie. Perhaps most importantly, it encourages us to hop into sweatpants (elastic waistbands, folks!) as soon as possible after that big meal (yes, you’re welcome).
We actually reached out to get suggestions from the experts, the staff and volunteers of our active land conservation organizations. Some of these organizations have even gone to the trouble of helping us off the couch by organizing walks that we can join. Showing your gratitude for these wonderful organizations and folks is as simple as just showing up!
Pick a place (or 2, or 3 – it’s a long weekend!) and get outside.
Carleen Loper, Wareham Land Trust Volunteer
Westgate Preserve. Photo courtesy of Wareham Land Trust.
Carleen suggests the town’s Westgate Preserve because it’s “an excellent choice for Thanksgiving weekend because it’s literally over the river and through the woods!” Featuring a retired cranberry bog and the Weweantic River, Westgate Preserve exudes holiday spirit. Leashed dogs are allowed there as well. More here.
Jim Bride, Sippican Lands Trust
Sippican Lands Trust Post-Thanksgiving Dog Walk
Jim tells us that Sippican Lands Trust is hosting its fifth annual Post-Thanksgiving Dog Walk at White Eagle Parcel in Marion at 10 a.m. on Sunday, November 26th. Just take a look at that picture — how great does that look? Find out more here.
Deb Hood, Events Manager, Buzzards Bay Coalition
Deb says, “for my walk, I’d have to go with The Sawmill, the Buzzards Bay Coalition-owned public park on the edge of Acushnet and New Bedford’s North End.” She says the trails at the front of the park are wide, flat and accessible so the whole family – from strollers to wheelchairs (and everyone in between) – can journey to several scenic river overlooks at the former home of the Acushnet Saw Mill Company. See details here.
Kendra Murray, Development & Outreach Specialist, Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust
Ridge Hill Rainbow. Photo courtesy of DNRT.
Kendra says, “Ridge Hill Reserve is a great place for post Turkey Day walk! This 175 acre property abuts the Southeastern MA Bioreserve. There are several trails, whether you’d like to take a quick 1 mile stroll along the blue trail, or a longer hike on the red and green trails. The Green Trail runs to the top of Ridge Hill, one of the highest points in Dartmouth. There are several beech groves along this trail, and as of last weekend, the foliage was a beautiful rich orange. The red trail is a bit flatter and easier. On the western most portion of that trail you can get a great view of the Copicut Reservoir. We just put in a new set of stairs on a fairly eroded portion of the blue trail, as well.” See more about Ridge Hill Reserve here.
Kendra also mentioned that DNRT is hosting a guided walk on Saturday, the 25th at 9 am at the Destruction Brook Woods (see more about that here).
Jennifer Escher, Board member, Tiverton Land Trust
Pardon Gray Reserve. Photo courtesy of Tiverton Land Trust.
Jennifer suggests joining the Tiverton Land Trust at one of its post-Thanksgiving group hikes at the Pocasset Ridge Conservation Area or Pardon Gray Preserve. For more ambitious hikers, Garry Plunkett will lead hikers on some moderate slopes at the Pocasset Ridge Conservation Area. The newly opened trails will allow those in good physical to experience an amazing forest ecosystem. For the less ruggedly inclined and for families with young children, Wayne Browning will lead a 45 minute trail loop at Pardon Gray Preserve.
Both hikes take place on Saturday, November 25 (Pocasset Ridge starts at 1, Radon Gray Preserve starts at 2). Sturdy shoes, fluorescent orange vest/hats are recommended (orange vests will be provided on-site). See here for more details.
Brendan Buckless, Outreach & Stewardship Coordinator, Westport Land Conservation Trust
Herb Hadfield Conservation Area. Photo by Greg Stone.
Brendan suggests the Herb Hadfield Conservation Area one of the Westport Land Conservation Trust’s most visited spots. With 158 acres and 2.5 miles of hiking trails, the property features the pristine Angeline Brook, one of Westport’s finest coldwater streams. Trailheads are located at 364 Adamsville Road or 255 Cornell Road. See directions and more here.
Make your nature plans and mark the calendars now before your mind is foggy with tryptophan!
May is a lovely month. Just on the cusp of summer, it’s an exciting time of year. Here are some things to pass the time away while we anticipate the best season of the year.
1. Pass the Popcorn: Fairhaven Short Film Festival
Whoops! This has been postponed and future dates will be announced in the fall — but we’re still leaving it up so you can put it on your radar for later in the year.
Bring your Junior Mints to the third annual Fairhaven Short Film Festival taking place on May 5 and 6 featuring films collected by Asbury Shorts USA. Academy Award nominated director Jason Reitman (JUNO, Up in the Air, Thank You for Smoking) calls Asbury Shorts, “The best short film show I’ve ever seen.” Forget about watching these films on YouTube or your smartphone, enjoy them on the big screen at the Fairhaven Town Hall Auditorium.
Sponsored by Howe Allen Realty and the Fairhaven Improvement Association, net proceeds will fund a scholarship for a Fairhaven student planning to study film and digital media production. For more information on the films or to purchase tickets, go here.
2. Tuesdays with Haskell
A few years ago, the Trustees of Reservations bought the late Allen Haskell’s property right in the heart of New Bedford. Haskell was a lifelong New Bedford resident and a famed horticulturalist. The six acre property hosts a traditional New England style common, beautifully designed historic gardens and one of the oldest homes in New Bedford.
Celebrate spring by dropping in on Tuesday mornings (through October) from 9 am to 12 pm to help tidy the garden and learn new skills. All you need are gloves and water — no previous gardening skills are required. For more information, click here. May 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30th, 787 Shawmut Avenue, New Bedford.
3. Dust off Your Bike
We just formed our team for the Buzzards Bay Coalition’s annual Watershed Ride. We hope you’ll join us! It’s a beautiful course and the camaraderie among riders is pretty wonderful (the party at the finish line is great, too). If you want to join the South Coast Almanac team, check it out here.
The Velofix Van (Photo courtesy of Marianne Lee)
Yes, yes, we know the ride is in October but we’re putting it on our May calendar as a reminder to dust off our bikes, get out there and train for it. To that end, we just emailed Mike Lee of Velofix Southcoast. We met Mike at the Watershed Ride last Fall where he handled bike support and were blown away with his mobile bike repair van. When we learned he’ll come to your home or office with his mobile van to tune up bikes, we took his business card. And didn’t lose it. Thanks to Mike, there really is no excuse for not getting your bike in shape for the season. Check Velofix out here.
4. Take a(n Unconventional) Hike
The Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust (DNRT) has a couple of cool (and free) walks happening in May. First, a full moon walk on Wednesday, May 10 at 7:30 at Slocum River’s Reserve where two DNRT members lead an exploration of the evening landscape. The walk lasts approximately an hour and the DNRT suggests a flashlight or headlamp to help navigate the trails as the moon rises and sun sets. If the weather is questionable, call 508-525-9266 or check here on the morning of the walk.
And throughout May, families can enjoy StoryWalk® which celebrates nature and reading all at once (how many events can boast that?). Paskansett Woods features “Watch the Birdie” by Nancy Cote (featured in the 2016 South Coast Almanac) and Ridge Hill Reserve features “Feathers for Lunch” by Lois Ehlert. Walk the trails and read the story with the family during the whole month of May. See more here.
5. Brahmin Handbags Tent Sale
We’ll have a blog post coming up on this as we get closer to the date because this is more than a tent sale. It’s a great story. The semi-annual sale draws people from all over the country (no kidding!) and has the festive aura of the old Filene’s Basement Wedding Dress sales. Whether you need a handbag or not, you shouldn’t miss it. May 19 and 20, 9 am to 6 p.m and May 21, 10 am to 5 pm. 77 Alden Road, Fairhaven. Tent is located on the lawn next to the Standard Times parking lot. See the Facebook event listing here.
6. Ta Da! It’s launched
Last year’s Almanac launch
On May 18,we officially launch the 2017 edition of our print magazine. On the 18th, copies will be on their way to our subscribers’ doors and trucks will be delivering them to newsstands all over Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Keep your eye out for it!
If you want it delivered straight to your door for 30% off the cover price, you only have a few more days to pre-order. After that, we have to raise the online price to the newsstand price. Why do we have to do that? Because we give our mailing list to the printer soon. After that, we lose out on bulk mailing rates from the printer which means hauling copies to the Onset post office and sending it off by priority mail. If you decide to preorder the issue, we pass the savings straight along to you — because we love our subscribers. If you want to join their ranks, click here.
In the meantime, stay up to date with South Coast events, stories and best-kept-secrets by signing up here.