Nichole’s Picks 12/17 + 12/18

Pick #1:  Elf, Jr. the Musical

Thanks to a post by Kim Smith last week, I am happy to know that Rockport Middle School will be presenting Elf Jr. The Musical this weekend.

Showtimes are December 15th & 16th at 7pm and December 17th & 18th at 2pm. Tickets: adults $10., senior and student tickets $8.

Read Kim’s post here for all information


Pick #2: Rockport’s Christmas Pagaent

Help celebrate Rockport’s 71st Annual Christmas Pagaent.

“Dock Square and Main Street, 5 pm. A torch-lit live re-enactment of the Nativity. (Inclement weather date Dec. 18)” More from HERE

December 17 @ 5:00 pm6:00 pm



Pick #3: Gingerbread Farmer Decorating at Appleton Farms

Join us for some holiday fun on the farm and learn about the origin of this favorite Scandinavian tradition. We’ll start by decorating some delicious gingerbread farmers and cows with a variety of candy and homemade icing. After our creations are complete we’ll snuggle in for some entertaining gingerbread facts and read Hansel & Gretel, the story which spurred the popularity of gingerbread houses. Finish the experience with a traditional German holiday craft to decorate your own home with!

Hot chocolate will be served.

Register for morning event >>

Register for afternoon event >>

Please register one ticker per child.

Saturday, December 17
10-11AM & 1:30-2:30PM

Member Child: $15; Nonmember Child: $25



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

Mermaids on Main Street

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In anticipation of tomorrow night’s special shopping event in Rockport, here’s a little preview of the store The Paper Mermaid, located at 57 Main Street in Rockport, just around the corner from Front Beach.

The Paper Mermaid is a treat, both visually and practically-speaking.  Mary, the owner, carries some fantastic toys – we are faithful fans of the Automoblox line of cars (check ’em out, parents & grandparents – they are inexpensive, well-made, and kids like them – what more could you ask for?), books, and games.  She also covers a lot of ground in the world of paper.  There is a great selection of cards, many of which feature designs by local artists (including Mary herself), notepaper, and art supplies, both for children and grown-ups.  The atmosphere of the store is both modern and vintage, wildly colorful but also somehow very calm.  Shopping for toys and greeting cards can actually be a pleasant experience, shockingly enough, when you do it at The Paper Mermaid.   The store is featuring a discount during tomorrow night’s shopping event – for details give Mary a call at 978-546-3553.

The Arts Scene in Rockport

Yes, we do have an arts scene.  While we love our artistic heritage (William Lester Stevens, Aldro Hibbard…I could go on and on), many people don’t realize that a vibrant community of artists is based here still.  Now.  In the 21st century.  And to underscore the point that Rockport’s appeal for artists hasn’t waned, our village is playing host to one of Cape Ann’s best for the entire month of December: Eugene Quinn.  His paintings are both timeless and contemporary, featuring subject matter that doesn’t seem entirely locked in any place or time.  A few summers ago in Rocky Neck I bought one of his small studies of Back Beach in Rockport and I often myself taking a moment to stare at it as I go through the mundane tasks of the day (it hangs near our dining room table). Even without being a finished painting, it so completely captures the quality of the early morning light (the sun hitting the clock tower of the Old Sloop Church) that for a minute I am someplace else entirely, pulled away from feeding time and all the mess associated with giving pre-schoolers their breakfast.  This fact alone makes the Eugene Quinn painting I have very near and dear to my heart.  Better than a pharmaceutical.  Now if only artists were compensated as well as drug companies, the world would be a better place.

Detail of a Painting

Don’t miss Eugene Quinn’s “2010 Light and Sea Exhibit” for the month of December, located at the Thistle Fine Art Gallery at 8A Main Street in Rockport.  Open Monday – Saturday from 10 – 6, Sunday 12 – 5.  (Call 617-894-1552 to schedule an appointment or reserve a painting).  The artist himself is available for questions and conversation – always a plus – and he makes his process available as well by providing his studies for browsing (and purchasing) as well as his larger works.  An Exhibit Reception will be held on Saturday, December 11th, from 4-9pm.  Below are a few photos from the exhibit, with apologies for my inability to do the work justice:

Gallery View

Clouds Over Lake. (My favorite - not that this matters)

Chickity Check It!- Christmas In Rockport Website


Peter Webber wrote me yesterday announcing the launch of the new Christmas in Rockport Website.

Feelthe warmth of the season in one of New England’s most picturesque towns, where Christmas is still celebrated the way it used to be.
Join us for the tree lighting and the Pageant; the fairs and the festivals; the concerts and the strolling minstrels. We’re easy to get to by car (see map) and train (see schedule). Public restrooms are open and on-street parking is FREE throughout the holiday season.

Over 100 quaint shops and art galleries offer an abundance of unique gifts for the whole family in every price range. And a variety of seaside inns and restaurants remain open for your holiday enjoyment.