Nichole’s Picks 12/15 + 12/16

Pick #1: Rockport Makers Festival

Saturday and Sunday!  Read more HERE

Please read more to learn about all of the fun and exciting activities that will be taking place.  Much thanks to the organizers, volunteers, and participants!  What a fun holiday weekend.

Just some of the fun…

Print-your-own event at Rusty + Ingrid

A book signing at the Paper Mermaid by the author of A Day in Rockport

Meet and Greet with puppies from Cape Ann Animal Aid at the Good Dog Gallery

Jam Making Demo at Seven South Street Inn

Indoor Farmers Market

Horse Carriage Rides

A showing of A Christmas Carol at 7:00 pm for FREE at the Shalin Liu

and much, much more…..  Not to mention all of the great shopping one can do!

A Town-wide Festival

  • Shop local and handmade

  • Maker-themed events in local shops

  • Fun and crafty family activities

  • Festive food, holiday music

  • Special programming at Rockport’s famous art venues




Pick #2: Holiday Ice Skating at MarketStreet’s Rink

With the new warming tent and JP Licks hot cocoa next door, this is a fun way to get the kids outside and knock off some holiday shopping at the same time.



Pick #3: Winter Lights at the Stevens-Coolidge Place



NEW: This holiday season, the gardens at two of our most popular historic homes, Naumkeag in Stockbridge and The Stevens-Coolidge Place in North Andover will sparkle with thousands of shimmering holiday lights. Each weekend features performances and activities for the whole family, from the young to the young at heart.  See something new throughout the season.

Don your coats, pull on your boots and join us for a new family tradition!

Please note: paths may be muddy and slippery, please wear appropriate footwear. No handicap parking available at Naumkeag though drop off at the front driveway is permitted.
Select a date below to purchase your tickets
Entrance to the gardens is ticketed in 15-minute increments between 5-8PM. Upon selecting a date below, you will be prompted to select an arrival time. Please be prepared to arrive 10 minutes prior to your ticketed entrance time to help expedite the check-in process.

Members: $12
Nonmembers: $17
Children 12 and under: FREE



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

The Best Christmas Gift on Cape Ann!

Cape Ann Community

Cape Ann Gift Certificates are the perfect gift for anyone on your list.  They can be used at over 200 local shops, restaurants, service businesses and more! Stop by the Chamber office at 33 Commercial Street today to finish your holiday shopping.  They can also be purchased at Gloucester Shaw’s locations and Tuck’s Candy & Gifts in Rockport.

Gift certificates are available in any denomination over $10. There is a 50 cent charge per gift certificate.  You will receive a list of all participating businesses with each gift certificate purchase.

Not only do Cape Ann Gift Certificates make perfect gifts… they are also a great way to support our local businesses by keeping it local for the holidays!

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New GMG Sticka Unboxing With Chuck Shewbridge At Gloucester Graphics

Last week Cape Ann Museum loaded 5,000+ issues of newspaper published on Cape Ann between 1827-1900 into a truck. The Gloucester Telegraph, Cape Ann Advertiser,


Last week we loaded 5,000+ issues of newspaper published on Cape Ann btwn 1827-1900 into a truck. The Gloucester Telegraph, Cape Ann Advertiser, and many more will be microfilmed, digitized, and then returned. Soon, they will be available online with open access for us all to search and explore…just in time for the 400th!



Emma, Ben, and Lily – note that the snow is nearly as high as is the Duckworth’s sign – Snowmageddon 2015

On Sunday’s podcast we asked our guest, Chris Spittle, the Cape Ann weatherman to predict whether 2018-2019 would be a snowy winter, or not. Judging by the snowstorms of the past that have brought the greatest amounts of snowfall, it is likely that we may very well have a snowy winter and here’s why Chris suggests yes.

Historically, the greatest amounts of snowfall occur when North America’s trade winds are transitioning (Neutral state) from La Niña to El Niño. During the transition, and at the beginning (weakest) state of the transition to El Niño we are most likely to experience the greatest amounts of snowfall. Currently, La Niña (east to west trade winds) is oscillating to El Niño (west to east).

Chris shared the graphic below classifying the ten worst snowstorms of the past two centuries.


On the plus side, El Niño summers are generally warmer 🙂

NOAA website: What are El Niño and La Niña?

El Niño and La Niña are opposite phases of a natural climate pattern across the tropical Pacific Ocean that swings back and forth every 3-7 years on average. Together, they are called ENSO (pronounced “en-so”), which is short for El Niño-Southern Oscillation.

The ENSO pattern in the tropical Pacific can be in one of three states: El Niño, Neutral, or La Niña. El Niño (the warm phase) and La Niña (the cool phase) lead to significant differences from the average ocean temperatures, winds, surface pressure, and rainfall across parts of the tropical Pacific. Neutral indicates that conditions are near their long-term average.


Our front dooryard, in 2015, between blizzards.

Pirate’s Lane East Gloucester 2015

Plum Street 2015

We even had visit from a Snow Goose during the winter of 2015! He mixed with a flock of Canada Geese, staying for about a week, foraging on sea grass at Good Harbor Beach. 

Eastern Point Lighthouse Snowy Day

Nia with Linda Holiday Schedule

Cape Ann Wellness

nia aya 70s shoutout grapgicTomorrow’s Nia class at MAGMA on Thursday December 13 at 10:15 am will be your last chance for your 70’s fix.  Next week, holiday music!  Not just ordinary holiday music, but some unusual pieces including a Klezmer version of Joy to the World or Oy to the World, and the Christmas Can Can.

Schedule changes for the next few weeks:

  • Classes at Rose Baker Center:  Dec 17 at 1 PM
  • Rose Baker Center is closed on Xmas and New Year’s Eve so no classes.
  • Classes at MAGMA:  Dec 13 and 20 at 10:15 AM
  • MAGMA is closed the week between Xmas and New Year’s Day so no classes
  • MAGMA Classes resume on Jan 4 at 10:15 AM
  • Rose Baker Center Classes resume on Jan 7 at 1 PM

MAGMA Building Access:

You may find MAGMA by either entering the building on the Pleasant St. side or via the Main St. entrance.  The…

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Swans on Ice

We came across two swans trying to make their way across ice recently at Parker River Refuge. They tread oh-so-carefully across the ice, testing their weight and slipping across the expanse until they eventually plopped through a thinner layer.


Maybe it will work better if I sit on the ice.


They seem to be discussing the issue as they form that irresistible heart shape together.


One down!


See what you’ve gotten us into?


Peace restored.


CBD + Yoga Workshop: Sunday 12/16 12:00-2:00

Cape Ann Wellness

Have you heard of the many benefits of the using the non-psychoactive components of cannabis? Scientists have discovered there is one key component of the Cannabis Hemp plant that accounts for most of the plant’s natural health benefits. That component is Cannabidiol (CBD).
Did you know right here in Cape Ann there is a shop that specializes in the sale of CBD products, with knowledgable  staff to help you pinpoint which products might be best for you? They even have an RN on staff that provides consultations for healing with CBD.
Carla from Cape Ann Botanicals in Ipswich will be joining us at Treetop Yoga to talk us through the benefits of incorporating CBD into our lives and yoga practices, and will have a number of samples yogis can choose to apply, ingest, or inhale before class begins.
We will tune into our breath as the samples settle, and class…

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This is why I don’t trust animals. Golden eagle snatches kid

All you crazy wildlife lovers out there.

‘Ohh look how cute the (insert coyote, red-tailed hawk, wolf, raccoon, whatever) is.”

Meanwhile said animal is plotting 24/7 how it’s gonna eat your ass.

Stay woke my friends.  #staywoke

Cape Ann Wreaths Across America

Picture of Laid wreaths 2017

In 1992, Morrill Worcester – owner of Worcester Wreath Co. of Harington, Maine –  found himself with a surplus of Christmas wreaths and decided the perfect solution was to bring them to Arlington National Cemetery in order to honor our veterans during the holiday season. Since that time, Wreaths Across America has grown into a national movement, each December covering close to a million veteran’s graves throughout the United States. Cities and towns across the country raise funds in order to purchase Christmas wreaths to decorate the graves of the veterans who are buried in their community.

For the third year in a row, Cape Ann will honor its veterans by placing Christmas wreaths on their graves. The effort has expanded for this year, and, in coordination with Gloucester and Rockport’s veterans’ representatives, and Adam Curcuru, Cape Ann Veterans’ Coordinator, this year 400 wreaths will be placed on veterans’ graves in Gloucester and Rockport. Last year(2017), 345 wreaths were placed, and the first year, (2016), 300 wreaths.

American flags will be placed on the graves of Jewish veterans.

“It is a testament to the strength and energy of our Cape Ann community that this effort has grown each year,” states Amanda Orlando Kesterson, chairwoman of Cape Ann Wreaths Across America. “I am continually amazed by the generosity of so many in our communities.”

Cape Ann Veterans Coordinator Adam Curcuru concurs, “This is a program which I’ve long wanted to bring to Cape Ann, and it’s a great feeling to see so many come together and volunteer at Christmas time to honor our veterans.”

Cape Ann Wreaths Across America is looking for volunteers to help place the wreaths on Saturday, December 15, 2018. Volunteers should gather at Gloucester’s Capt. Lester S. Wass American Legion Post 3 to check in with Amanda Kesterson as to where to place the wreaths. There will then be a short ceremony at noon at the Legion hall(indoors), and then volunteers will head out to assigned cemeteries to place wreaths. The volunteers will be covering the entire veterans plots at Beechbrook in West Gloucester, and Beech Grove in Rockport, and then placing one wreath at each Gloucester cemetery either by the flag pole or by the sign indicating the cemetery’s name.

If you are able to financially support this effort, please send a donation made payable to Wreaths Across America, PO Box 463, Gloucester, MA 01931.

Please also follow Cape Ann Wreaths Across America on Facebook, where updates and information will be posted.


Walking with Charlotte and out from the trees there suddenly appeared a shadowy bird, swooping very low and closely over our heads. A Red-tailed Hawk!

He perched for a moment on a nearby limb, turning his head in all directions, hungrily triangulating the landscape for a tasty meal. Next he flew to a nearby telephone pole, and then over the houses towards the Harbor.

A few minutes later the Red-tailed reappeared, followed by several crows noisily haranguing and giving him the business, in no uncertain terms!


Project Manager Position

Cape Ann Home

pexels-photo-239886.jpegGrand Banks is looking for a talented and outgoing project manager to join our growing team. The right candidate would enjoy working with people to help them find the right building products for their project. By working with a variety of suppliers and manufacturers, we are able to consult on a wide variety of products. From there we help our customers with design ideas, product questions, quotes, and orders. We support our clients throughout their construction project, from first quote to final build and beyond. We offer a fast-paced, open work environment with great benefits for a creative, enthusiastic candidate who is willing to learn new things. You can meet our team here.

See full post here:

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