Like clockwork, we like to get our 8 Great Things list out by the first of every month. But having watched the events of the last several weeks unfold, our monthly list seems unimportant. And for that reason, it’s June 3 and we’ve held back on releasing it. We’ve been thinking about how a publication that, by its very mission, is focused on the feel-good aspects of a region addresses the righteous anger and complexities arising out of the last weeks.
Let’s just put it right out there: we don’t know. But we’re talking about it. And we’re listening. If you have any ideas, please reach out in the comments or to [email protected]
In the meantime, here’s the list for you, in time to register for the first event on June 4.
You know how you make the best of what you have in the cupboard these days? In that same vein, we’re doing the best we can with our regular 8 Great Things monthly blog. Usually, we tell you about great happenings on the South Coast in the month ahead but we’ve had to re-tool it for these social distancing times. In April, we gave you 8 Great Walks(which we encourage you to use again this month). For May, we are giving you 8 Great Distractions which features virtual events that you can enjoy from the comfort of home. So for May, entertain yourself with local music, art and culture without even paying a cover charge (or brushing your hair).
We had to retool our regular 8 Great Things blog this month while we all work at social distancing. You know what we realized? We’ve still got outdoor walks (as long as you keep your distance from others) and, frankly, walks have been keeping us sane. So this month we’ve rebranded the monthly column to 8 Great Walks. Having an abundance of beautiful landscapes on the South Coast is a blessing. And like that box of Girl Scout cookies that you unexpectedly found in the back of your cabinet, a good walk can really make your day.
White Eagle Parcel
You drive down a bumpy lane in Marion to get to Sippican Land Trust’s White Eagle Parcel where you’ll see cranberry bogs, an abandoned hearth and hear frogs making their distinct chirpy mating calls. Off Parlowtown Road, Marion. More here.
Across the United States, we’re seeing communities form and share in creative and unusual ways in the midst of the Coronavirus response — singing from balconies in Italy, delivering pitchers of margaritas (with a roll of toilet paper) in Brooklyn, and playing accordions from shop doorways. The same is happening across the South Coast. We’re gathering together a list to help everyone stay connected locally.
March forward, folks! We’re in that sweet spot of the year that’s filled with such wonderful anticipation of what lies ahead: daffodils, short-sleeve shirts outside, bike rides and eating ice cream cones without mittens on. We’ve collected 8 Great Things to pass the time as you marshal spring in with style in March on the South Coast.
1. C’mon! A Rollicking Good Time!
We follow the guys of Barnstar! everywhere because we admire their reverence for exclamation points (just look at their name “Barnstar!” and their first album “C’mon!”). Plus, watching them in concert is like watching exclamation points come to life. They visit the Narrows this month. Don’t miss them!! (with special guest Amy Helm). March 7 at 8:00. The Narrows, 16 Anawan Street, Fall River. More here.
Hey guys! There’s an extra day in February this year! It’s like that extra hour in the Fall when daylight savings ends –you can fit more in! So try one (or more!) of these 8 Great Things to do in February on the South Coast (we actually added an extra thing in there, in keeping with the Leap Year theme!)
1. S-Mitten With This DNRT Event!
Sometimes we need a little extra encouragement to get out there and walk in the winter. The DNRT offers the kids in all of us to a scavenger hunt of sorts. Head out to Paskamansett Woods and count the number of “lost” mittens you find before the stone bridge. Take a picture in front of one of the mittens and email it to [email protected] with your answer. You might win a copy of Jan Brett’s classic The Mitten. Now through February 14. Paskamansett Woods, Chase Road, Dartmouth. More here.
2. Oyster Stew
The Buzzards Bay Coalition continues a Westport Fishermen’s Association tradition with the annual Oyster Stew Supper and Community Presentation. Come together to enjoy a delicious seafood stew and learn something new about your community. February 6. 6:00 supper (includes homemade oyster stew, cornbread, fresh baked apple pie topped with Adamsville cheddar cheese – yum!) followed by the presentation. Community presentation is free but dinner is $15 and requires reservations. See here for more info and to make reservations for the supper.
3. Wine & Convo
The Drawing Room is continuing its monthly Wine Salon Series exploring the art and science of wine. This month, in honor of Valentine’s Day, they present Romance and Wine: Social Lubricant, Impulse Control & Institutional Wisdom. With a title like that, it’s bound to be an interesting afternoon! Sunday, February 9. 2:30 to 5. $35 includes wine, of course, and a bit of food. 36 North Water Street, New Bedford. Purchase tickets here.
4. Hike & Hops
Like the DNRT, the Wildlands Trust is also dangling a carrot to get us outside and walking but in this case, it’s in the form of adult beverages. Join them at Wareham’s Great Neck Preserve on a 3.5 mile hike past a varied landscape of forest, marshland, salt water cove, freshwater ponds, abandoned bogs, sheep pasture, and glacial uplands. Follow that up with a post-hike social hour at the Buzzards Bay Brewery taproom in downtown Buzzards Bay. $5 for members/ $10 for nonmembers.February 15 at 1:00 (please arrive by 12:45). Crooked River Road, Wareham. Purchase tickets here.
5. Love & Marriage Game Show
Head on over to the Seaport Inn for an entertaining evening of the Love & Marriage Game Show (think the Newlywed game). Jordan Paiva hosts, dinner is available and there’ll be lots of laughs. February 15 from 6 to 10 pm. Dinner at 6 for $57. If you want to attend to just the show, it’s $25 and starts at 7:30. Seaport Inn & Marina, 110 Middle Street, Fairhaven. Purchase tickets here.
6. Tap, Tap, Tap
Lucky us! We live in New England where maple sap flows freely in late winter/early spring. Come learn more about age-old practice of tapping maple trees with the Buzzards Bay Coalition. Saturday, February 22, 10 to noon. LaPalme Farm, Blain Street, Acushnet. Free, but register here.
7. A Remarkable Home Grown Cover Band
We first saw Morrissey Blvd at the Buzzards Bay Coalition’s Watershed Ride finish line party and thought they were impressive. We were even more impressed when we looked closer and saw how young they were. And then even MORE impressed to learn they were all siblings. Come see these talented New Bedford kids for yourselves at The Vault where they’ll be performing at a fundraiser for the Buttonwood Park Zoo’s music outreach programs. February 22, 5:30 to 7:30. The Vault Music Hall & Pub, Greasy Luck Brewery, 791 Purchase Street, New Bedford. See more here.
8. Uncover the Secret Saboteurs
Some of us (cough, cough) have started sliding from our January clean eating resolutions. The Marion Institute with Southcoast Health may be able to turn things around with their screening of the film Secret Ingredients: which focuses on the stories of people who regain their health after discovering the secret ingredients in their food and making a bold commitment to avoid them. Post-screening, there will be a discussion with Kathleen DiChiara whose family’s story is at the heart of the movie. February 26 at 6 pm. St. Luke’s Hospital McBratney Amphitheater, Page Street, New Bedford. See more here.
9. The Adventures and History of the Tabor Boy
Join Captain James Geil and his Tabor Academy high school student crew as they share their 645-mile journey in the Marion to Bermuda race using only the celestial navigation they learned at Tabor. February 27. Reception at 6:30, presentation at 7. New Bedford Whaling Museum, 18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford. $15 for members and Tabor alums, $25 for nonmembers. See here for more and to buy a ticket.
Our print issues are always chock full of other great calendar ideas…..become a subscriber so you get the full round-up of great things to do on the South Coast. Subscribe right here!
It’s a new year AND a new decade — so we threw a couple of things on the list to inspire you to try new things!
1. Walk Right Into the New Year
There’s 0% chance of precipitation and 100% chance of a good time on one of the local New Year’s Day walks organized by our wonderful land conservation non-profits. Get outside and enjoy nature on your own or on one of these group walks (resolution: make new friends!) on January 1st:
The earliest of the bunch is at 9 am. Join the DNRT for a winter hike around the Frank Knowles/Little River Reserve. Free. More here.
Choose between a shorter hike (2.5 miles) and a longer hike (7 miles) on the 8th annual First Day hike with Friends of the Myles Standish State Park. Meet at 10:45 am. Find out more here.
A 3+ mile walk in the Let Conservation area in Westport gives you beautiful views of tidal estuaries and salt marshes. Meet at 10 a.m. $5 suggested donation to the Westport Land Trust. More here.
Join the Lloyd Center’s Mark Mello for insight into coastal ecology and bird identification at Gooseberry Island. 10 a.m. Free but register here.
The Sippican Lands Trust leads a walk around its White Eagle Property. It’s free and starts at noon (but check the website for any updates).
2. Meatballs & Spaghetti
An entree at one of the best restaurants on the South Coast for $10? If you’ve never been to Ella’s Wood Burning Oven Restaurant (winner in multiple categories in our readers’ Best of the South Coast), here’s your chance. Chef Marc Swierkowski is offering his Sicilian meatballs and spaghetti for just $10 on Monday nights. Go! This is a major deal! Dine-in only. Ella’s, 3136 Cranberry Highway, Wareham. More information here.
3. Model Behavior
Bruce Gifford is renowned for the painstaking accuracy of his model boats, down to the navigation books on the shelf in the wheelhouse. He’ll be at the Fishing Heritage Center to display some of his models and talk about this intricate – and fun – art form. January 11, from 1 to 4 pm. 38 Bethel Street, New Bedford. More info here.
4. “Clear Your Mind.” Yoda
Have you been to the Symphony lately? If not, here’s your chance. January features movie music composed by John Williams (think Star Wars, E.T., Harry Potter, Jurassic Park). It’s an entertaining way to ease yourself into becoming a symphony-lover. You can even buy yourself some candy at the concession stand and bring it to your seats, just like at the movies. January 11 at 7:30. Tickets from $10 to $65. See more here.
5. Walking Book Club!
The weather didn’t cooperate last month so we’re trying it again! Join us for an afternoon of literary fun, fresh air and community spiritedness while we walk along Fall River’s waterfront and listen to Paull Goodchild read from and discuss his novel The Case of the India Pale Ale. No need to have read the book already, just come along. We’ll meet inside the cozy Tipsy Toboggan. The event is free thanks to Partners Village Store but please register here so that we can send you email updates if there are changes due to weather. January 12 at 2 pm. Meet at Tipsy Toboggan, 75 Ferry Street, Fall River. See more here and cross your fingers for clear weather.
6. Celebrate MLK’s Birthday
The Z is throwing a big musical shindig for MLK, Jr. with Damien Sneed’s We Shall Overcome. A repertoire from across the African American music traditions that electrified generations of civil rights activists and defenders is interwoven with the spoken word from Dr. King’s recorded speeches. So powerful that a power outage couldn’t stop this show (see what happened here). Very cool! January 20, 7:30 pm. The Zeiterion, 684 Purchase Street, New Bedford. Tickets from $25 to $45. See more here.
7. Board the Entrain!
We saw these folks at the Bourne Scallop Festival a few years back and they are phenomenal! Their collective resume includes stints playing with Bo Diddley, Carly Simon, Chuck Berry, Southside Johnny, James Montgomery, Flor De Cana, and Blood, Sweat, and Tears. Get a preview of them here and then come on down to the Narrows Center to see them IRL. January 24 at 8 pm. Buy tickets here. $28, general admission. $31 day of show.
8. Dance Zone
To round out our month of trying new things, let Paul Wilde introduce you to contra dances, line dances with English, Scottish, and French origins. This monthly Wareham event is open to longtime fans and newbies alike. If you’re a beginner who wants a little more instruction, show up at 7:30 pm. January 25, 8 to 11 pm. Old Methodist Meeting House, 495 Main Street, Wareham. $10. More info here.
Our print issues are always chock full of other great calendar ideas (like our perennial favorite the Moby Dick Marathon at the Whaling Museum or the New Year’s polar plunges pictured above!)…..become a subscriber so you get the full round-up of great things to do on the South Coast. Subscribe right here!
Last thing to do this month? Vote in our photo contest! Check out these great shots by local photographers of South Coast living and tell us which one is your favorite! See the photos and vote right here.
We know, we know! Your December calendars are busy and filled with wonderful activities (and long To Do lists). But, trust us, you can fit in a couple of these things which require nothing of you except showing up. Take time out from a busy month with these top 8 things to do on the South Coast this month. (Pro tip: we’re releasing the list early this month so that when you’re gathered around the Thanksgiving table, you can pick a couple of things to do with friends and family!)
Join us for an afternoon of literary fun, fresh air and community spiritedness while we walk along Fall River’s waterfront and listen to Paull Goodchild read from and discuss his new novel. No need to have read the book already, just come along. The first 40 people who sign up here will get a FREE beer tasting at Troy City Brewery. The event is free thanks to our sponsors at Partners Village Store and Troy City Brewery. December 1 at 2 pm. Heritage State Park, Fall River. POSTPONED UNTIL JANUARY 12 BECAUSE OF THE WEATHER! See more here.
3. Tea and Scones!
We get to see the beautiful Rotch-Jones-Duff House in its festive holiday attire AND we get tea and scones?! Sign us up! Sundays at 4, Mondays at 2 (Dec. 1, 2, 8, 9, 15 (Note December 15 is a Children’s Tea). Buy your tickets here ($25 for members/$30 for non-members). 396 County Street, New Bedford.
4. Community Sing!
We just love the term “community sing” so we looked up its official definition: it’s the “unrehearsed mass singing of familiar songs by any assemblage or audience.” Yep, love the definition too. Join Midori Creativity for a night filled with candlelight, music, and creative expression. Sing-along to a few seasonal favorites, make new friends, and help support girls’ education in Nepal. Friday, December 6 from 6 to 8 pm. Wild Honey Cafe, Dartmouth.$25 tickets available here.
5. Tree Lighting
We’re fans of quick bursts of holiday spirit so the 2d annual outdoor tree lighting event at Westport Woods Conservation Park is exactly our cup of tea. The Greater Tiverton Community Chorus will sing carols and hot apple cider will be served and it’s over at 6:00 sharp, leaving you plenty of time for dinner! Free. Thursday, December 12 at 5 pm. 573 Adamsville Road, Westport.See more here.
6. The King of Meteor Showers on Friday the 13th
Make the most of the confluence of Friday the 13th and the Geminid Meteor Shower by joining the Buzzards Bay Coalition far away from city lights at the 500-acre Mattapoisett River Reserve. Dress warmly and bring a chair. Warm beverages and snacks will be provided. Free (but check the event page here as the event is dependent on weather and cloud cover!) Friday, December 13 at 8 pm. 138 Acushnet Road, Mattapoisett.
7. Get Crackin’ at Dawn!
(We admit it. This was on the list last year but we overslept so we’re putting it back on.) What better way to celebrate the lengthening of the days than with a sunrise stroll on the winter solstice with the Buzzards Bay Coalition (again, the Coalition! They’ve got great things happening all the time!) This is the year we wake up in time! Free. Saturday, December 21. 6:30 to 7:30 a.m. 163 Fir Street, Fairhaven.
8. Support a Local Phenom
Quinn Sullivan is a young singer and guitarist who grew up in New Bedford and is now making a name for himself nationally. He’s just 20 years old and the list of things he’s accomplished is already impressive: he’s played with BB King; his 2017 release Midnight Highway made it to number 3 on the Billboard Top Blues Album Chart; and, he’s been on the Ellen Degeneres show. See him this month at the Narrows where he performs 2 shows. Friday, December 27 and Saturday, December 28 at 8 pm. The Narrows, 16 Anawan Street, Fall River. From $32.Purchase tickets here.
Feel free to let us know if we missed anything by commenting below. (Our best ideas come from our readers!) Wanna keep up with the coolest happenings each month on the South Coast?! Sign up for our free monthly newsletter right here!
Our Holiday 2019 is filled with even more great calendar events. Get a copy delivered to your door with things you won’t see online, subscribe right here! Or just help us spread the word about South Coast Almanac by sharing this post with your friends on facebook, twitter or by email
Have you put your heat on? There’s a whole swathe of New Englanders who insist on waiting until November before turning the heat on (see here). We’re not here to pass judgment on you if you’ve already put your heat on (mostly because our heat has been on and off for a few weeks). We are here to offer you an 8 Great Things List that is heavy on the hunkering-down-inside type of things to do. We round it out with a couple of outdoor activities, but that’s just to help you realize that, “Hey! It’s okay to turn the heat on now! No one’s going to judge you! It’s November on the South Coast!”
1. Telluride or New Bedford?
You could go to the annual Mountainfilm festival in Telluride or you can see the best of its short films in New Bedford this month. The films festival showcases nonfiction stories about environmental, cultural, climbing, political and social justice issues that matter. November 2, 3:30 to 9 pm. (2 sessions, $10 per session). See here to purchase tickets. 18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford (Hosted by the SouthCoast Film Forum, the Buzzards Bay Coalition and the Whaling Museum) See more about the festival here.
2. A Symphony Matinee!
Maybe you prefer classical music in the afternoons rather than evenings? The Symphony has started to feature Sunday matinees as companions to its evening performances. This weekend’s performances include a Sunday afternoon performance featuring the Magic Circle Mime Co. performing Peter and the Wolf in and around the musicians as they play the score! Saturday evening will feature violinist Yevgeny Kutik who returns to the NBSO to perform both Prokofiev’s violin concertos – two virtuosic pieces that create opposite sound worlds, opening with a new rendition of Peter and the Wolf and topping it off with a suite from the stirring ballet Romeo and Juliet. Pick your day (or pick both)! The Z, 684 Purchase Street, New Bedford. Buy tickets here.
3. Elevate Yourself!
A full day of mindfulness designed for people who embrace it as well as for those who aren’t sure what that all means. The keynote speaker is Tom Curran, the NBC Sports TV personality who is as comfortable riffing about the Patriot’s line-up as the efficacy of meditation in his own life. Morning and afternoon workshops in the soaring space of the Kilburn Mill, overlooking Clark’s Cove, will inspire up to 500 participants to live a happier life. November 6. For more info and to register, go here.
4. Kayak Klatsch
What a way to start the day! Combine a sociable coffee hour with a morning paddle when the Buzzards Bay Coalition hosts a free Morning Kayak and Coffee along Slocums River. It’s free but space is limited and they ask that you register here (also, BYOK — bring your own kayak). November 9 from 9 to 10:30. More here.
5. Just Roll With It
The Carousel Family Fun Center in Fairhaven is closing its indoor skating rink this month. Sad but true. Come out to enjoy it before it closes! November 9, 10 pm to 1 am , you’re encouraged to attend with your best retro costume ($20 at door or $15 in advance here, includes skate rentals). Or come on the very last day: November 11, 2 to 5. $10 admission ($3 skate rental). 4 David Drown Boulevard, Fairhaven.
6. The Great South Coast Holiday Dessert Bake-Off
In our Holiday issue (hitting newsstands in 2 weeks!), we asked 4 local baking phenoms to give us their best holiday dessert. They WOWED us in the pages of the magazine. Now you can taste their creations yourself and vote for your favorite! November 16 at 2 pm. Sbrega Building, Bristol Community College, 777 Elsbree Street, Fall River. Tickets are $25 and all profits go to the Bristol Culinary Arts Scholarship Fund. Buy your tickets here. Learn more about the event here.
7. Travel to India & Back In a Night
The Z brightens up mid-November with a colorful and lively musical Taj Express: The Bollywood Musical Revue, a fusion of film, music and dance. With over 1,000 costumes, this is a capital P Production for fans of “big, bright Broadway shows.” Check out the trailer here to get a sense of its scope. November 17, 7 pm. 684 Purchase Street, New Bedford. Tickets range from $35 to $49, with student tickets just $10. Tickets here.
8. Art, Wind & Water
The Whaling Museum marries art and science in its new exhibit, Under a Stiff Breeze: The Art of Wind and Water, which brings “some of the more tempestuous works of marine painting” in its collection alongside Matthew Fontaine Maury’s Wind and Current Charts which were mapped in the 1850s and .changed the way humankind came to know the oceans of the world. While you’re there, you can check out De Wind Is Opp which highlights the museum’s impressive Golden Age Dutch and Flemish collection. 18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford. More here about Under a Stiff Breeze. More about De Wind is Opp here.
There you go! Our top picks for November. Feel free to let us know if we missed anything by commenting below. (Our best ideas come from our readers!) And let us know if you have a passionate adherence to waiting until a certain date to turn on the heat…
Wanna keep up with the coolest happenings each month on the South Coast?! Sign up for our free monthly newsletter right here!
Our Holiday 2019 is hitting mailboxes very soon and you’ll find it on newsstands soon. Can’t wait? Get a copy delivered to your door with things you won’t see online, subscribe right here! Or just help us spread the word about South Coast Almanac by sharing this post with your friends on facebook, twitter or by email
Turn the page and look what October has in store for us! Here is our monthly reminder of why we’re so lucky to live here –there’s such a lot going on! Here are our 8 Great Things for October.
1. Keep On Truckin’
The Onset Bay Association and the Wareham Village Association are joining forces to give us a Food Truck Festival with live music, local beer and wine and, of course, food trucks. Check out the Facebook page here for more information. Saturday, October 5, 11 to 4 (rain date is October 6) at the Wareham Village Train Depot with additional parking and shuttles from the Town Hall at 54 Marion Street, Wareham.