Nichole’s Picks 10/20 + 10/21

Pick #1: Essex ClamFest

October 20th, 11:00-4:00

Shepard Memorial Park, Essex
The 36th  Annual Essex ClamFest from 11am to 4pm in Shepard Memorial Park in Essex. Although the highlight of the day is the Chowder Tasting Competition- come taste Cape Ann’s finest chowders- there is a great variety of activities, including arts and crafts vendors, live entertainment and plenty of food vendors on-site!

There is no charge to walk the Festival, listen to music, etc.
There is a $10 fee to be a part of the Chowder Tasting.



Pick #2: Halls of Darkness at Hammond Castle

There is little doubt that Hammond’s favorite time of year was October. He had surrounding himself with objects from antiquity, and felt a connection with the spirits of the original owners or artisans who created these objects. House guests that were invited to visit during October were never quite sure what Hammond had in store for them, especially after the sun set, and the candles were lit.

This year, 2018, marks our 30th year of hosting six evenings of Halloween haunts during the month. The theme this year–the “Halls of Darkness”–will be held on the three Friday and Saturday night sets of October 12-13, 19-20, and 26-27, from 7 PM until 11 PM.  The single ticket price is $15.00 per person.  Visitors must park at Stage Fort Park, and ride the free shuttle bus to the castle.  Please do not drive here directly, as you will be redirected.


Image From Hammond Castle at


Pick #3: Happy Birthday to the Navy!

October 20 @ 11:00 am – 3:00 pm


Photo from

Join the National Park Service, USS Constitution Museum, and USS Constitution in celebrating three birthdays: the U.S. Navy (243rd), “Old Ironsides” (221st), and USS Cassin Young (75th). Participate in hands-on activities for all ages including a Watson Adventures scavenger hunt, watch USS Constitution‘s crewmembers perform boarding pike and gun drills, enjoy birthday cake, and more! There will be a brief ceremony at 1:00 PM with a big announcement from LEGOLAND Discovery Center Boston!

Hands-on History Activities11:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Knot tying challenge – Visitors can try their hand at tying four basic knots that sailors and riggers use in the course of a day

Tattoos & Stamps – Special commemorative temporary tattoos will be available to wear and for those who collect cancelation stamps a special commemorative stamp has been created to add to their passport stamp book.

Rope Making – Discover the techniques to make quality rope and walk away with your own sample.

Rigging – Blocks and tackle make the task of lifting heavy objects easier. Try your hand at lofting a 20 lb weight with pulleys and see which one make lifting easy

Monkey’s Fist – A weighted line called a Monkey’s Fist, attached to the mooring line is thrown ashore to tie up ships. Test your accuracy by throwing a Monkey’s Fist at a target. Challenge your friends to see who is the most accurate

Thank a Sailor – Help the USS Thomas Hudner Commissioning Committee welcome the U.S. Navy’s newest destroyer by creating a note that will be presented to the ship’s crew when they arrive in Boston later this year. Members of the Commissioning Committee will be on hand to answer questions about the ship and commissioning ceremony on December 1st.

Speaking Tube – Whisper a message at one end of an elaborate tube and your friend will hear it yards away as if you were talking in their ear.

Rosie Selfie Station – Take a selfie in front of the famous Rosie the Riveter background and post it on your favorite social media app. #navybirthday, #usscassinyoung

LEGOLAND – Build your own creation activities using LEGO bricks.

Ceremony & Birthday Cake
, 1:00 PM

Hourly Tours (No 1:00 PM tour)

Fantail Talks
11:00 AM – Bringing a Ship to Life: The Navy Tradition of Commissioning a Ship 
12:00 & 2:00 PM – History of USS Cassin Young

Radio Operators
Radio operators will be on the air all day; there will be Morse code from Emergency Radio (on main deck)

Boarding Pike & Gun Drills, every half an hour from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Trouble Afloat! Scavenger Hunt, 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
There are rumors afloat of a pirate threat to Constitution and we need your help to save her! Your group will need about 60 minutes, a cell phone, and sharp eyes to participate in this app-based scavenger hunt created by Watson Adventures. Please email by October 19 to register your group.

Built to Win, 11:00 AM –3:00 PM
President George Washington needs you to build one of the country’s 1st naval ships. Design, build, and test your own mini ship’s strength and speed. Are you up for the challenge?

1812 Games, 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Challenge your friends and family members to a game of “Going to Boston,” “Nine Men Morris,” or “Draughts” – a few favorites of sailors both at home and at sea!

Color Constitution9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
A ship launch is an amazing sight! Fresh paint, bright flags, and cheering crowds in their finest clothes made for quite a spectacle when USS Constitution was launched in 1797. Color in these drawings and show us what you think it looked like!

Mister Roberts Film Screening, 3:00 – 5:00 PM
In the waning days of World War II, the United States Navy cargo ship Reluctant and her crew are stationed in the “backwater” areas of the Pacific Ocean. Trouble ensues when the crew members are granted liberty.


As always, for a comprehensive list of family activities, please visit our good friends at North Shore Kid

One thought on “Nichole’s Picks 10/20 + 10/21

  1. Start to finish all excellent picks clams, the castle this time of year, and ending it out happy birthday to USN thanks Nicole great line-up! 🙂 Dave & Kim 🙂

    Happy Birthday!

    The Sandpiper (1965) opening credits and music


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