Author Archives: Nichole S.

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

Antique Car Show on the Meetinghouse Green

Finn and I made a point to stop by the Antique Car Show on the Meetinghouse Green this past Saturday.  Unfortunately, we were there at the very beginning and couldn’t stay terribly long so I know we missed several of the beautiful cars that arrived after we departed, but the cars we saw were pretty sweet.

Here’s the link in case you want to visit it to stay posted on next year’s event as it becomes updated.

Come Play Hockey!

Cape Ann Youth Hockey is beginning this year’s seasons of developmental hockey.

Learn to Skate & Play: For beginners or brand new skaters ages 3 to 10.  Saturdays @ 9:00 am beginning November 17th

Cape Ann Cross Ice: For skaters 5 to 10 who have basic skating skills and who have already completed a learn to skate program. They should also be ready for a competitive game environment that uses the width of the rink.   Saturdays @ 8:00 am and Sundays at noon.  Cross Ice began this weekend, but new additions are still welcome!

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Nichole’s Picks 10/13 + 10/14

So many fantastic things going on this weekend right on Cape Ann!   Take advantage of some of it for sure!


Pick #1: Rockport’s Harvest Fest

Saturday, October 13th 10:00-5:00, Downtown Rockport


About the Festival

The annual Rockport Harvestfest celebration features the best regional bounty of the season — all in an unbeatable setting.

Take the train to Rockport and start your Harvestfest experience with the makers’ shops at Whistlestop Mall. Head downtown to T-Wharf for local beer and a showcase of food producers and growers. Enjoy all that Rockport has to offer: beaches, parks, shops, galleries, and restaurants as we celebrate New England  at Harvestfest.

New England food producers gather on one of Rockport’s historic working wharves to celebrate the best of local food with fresh lobster, chowder, pastries, grass-fed beef, wood-fired pizza, small-batch jams, locally-grown produce and more. Craft beers  produced in Massachusetts are on hand, along with Rockport’s own Twin Lights, with soda crafted from the 120-year-old company’s original recipes. Cooking demonstrations take place throughout the day demonstrating the riches of harvest in New England.

Harvestfest features plenty of live bluegrass, jazz, folk, indie rock, cooking demos, a farm expo, and plenty of activities for families.




Pick #2: Cape ann Classic Cars on the Green

NOW SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14th from 1:00-5:00 on Gloucester’s Meeting House Green

Over 30 Classic Cars! Come join us on Meetinghouse Green! Admission to the public is free but donations to the Foundation are greatly appreciated. Hourly tours of the building with performances on the historic 1893 pipe organ. Food and beverages will be available and the Dixieland band John’s Giddy Gang will perform. The audience will judge the cars with prizes awarded at the conclusion of the show.

There will be a 50/50 raffle, GMF caps, mugs, totes and umbrellas for sale, and an available judging sheet with 9 categories for the audience to determine the winners.  John Hicks’ Dixieland ensemble ‘John’s Giddy Gang’ will play for the crowd’s enjoyment, the Causeway Restaurant will have delicious food like their famous chowders and lobster rolls, and there will be hourly tours of the Meetinghouse including a piece performed by Bob Wech on the 1893 Hutchings-Fisk pipe organ. If you or a friend have a classic car you would like to show (entrance fee $25), please register at

The fun begins at 1pm and will include a festive award ceremony at 5:00pm. We are hoping for a beautiful autumn day (rain date is Sunday afternoon), as summer and the 3rd season of Music on Meetinghouse Green fades from memory. Please plan to stop by, bring family and friends, and enjoy the show!

In the spirit of giving back to the community each concert is partnered with a Cape Ann non-profit organization. The public is invited to make a free-will donation (So if you can, please bring cash/check.) This week’s organization is GMF.


rain date Car Show 2018


Pick #3:  Grand Prix of Gloucester

CRAFT SPORTSWEAR Gran Prix of Gloucester | 13 & 14 Oct 2018
Rounds 1 and 2 of the Vittoria Northeast Cyclocross Series presented by Cycle-Smart


BOSTON, Mass. (Oct. 10, 2018) – The 2018 Vittoria Northeast Cyclocross Series presented by Clif Bar and Cycle-Smart begins this weekend with the 20th edition of the CRAFT Sportswear Gran Prix of Gloucester presented by Ipswich Brewing. Taking place this October 13 and 14, in Gloucester’s iconic Stage Fort Park, cyclists of all ages and abilities will take on the twists and turns of the park with competitions culminating with the men’s and women’s professional races.
Union Cycliste Internationale sanctioned (UCI) Elite Class 2 (C2) races will be held both days for professional women and men. Athletes will compete for points on the USA Cycling Pro Cyclocross Calendar (ProCX), as well as for the Vittoria Series overall competition. Winning athletes will be awarded coveted Verge Sport leader’s jerseys at the Gloucester event.
The Vittoria Series includes four weekends of competition on classic cyclocross courses in the Northeast in Gloucester, Mass., Northampton, Mass., Suffern, N.Y., and Warwick, R.I. The longest standing UCI cyclocross series in the United States continues in its mission to drive the sport forward and set an example.


Courtesy of Good Morning Gloucester’s Donna Ardizzoni


Courtesy of Good Morning Gloucester’s Donna Ardizzoni


Pick #4:  Cape Ann Plein Air

Fabulous artists can still be discovered painting all around Cape Ann.  It is such a treat to catch them in action as they capture the gorgeous scenery that surrounds us.


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

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