North Shore Kid Stories, Events, Activities, Camps and Recipes

Salem Trolley Christmas Carol, Fun Holiday Events north of Boston

Join Scrooge on the Salem Trolley as you ride through Salem Massachusetts in this rolling production performed by the Griffen Theater . Now entering into it's 27th Season, this humorous & whimsical interactive performance reanimates Dickens’ timeless seasonal holiday classic!

Location: Salem Trolley


Shore Country Day School Beverly MA Parent Education Katie Koestner

Please join parents and educators for a crash course on everything a parent needs to know about the troublesome world of the Internet, social media, mobile photo sharing apps, and erasable media.


The Nutbuster is a satirical interpretation of the Nutcracker by Joppa Dance Com

Firehouse Center for the Arts hosts Joppa Dance Company as they put a new twist on The Nutcracker, adding regional themes and humor to the tale of a nutcracker doll that comes to life. Joppa's Mouse King is traded out for a lobster and the mouse army, by green-heads, of course! Instead of Tchaikovsky's, albeit gorgeous, accompaniment, the dance of Sugarplum Fairies, Waltz of the Flowers and others are danced to contemporary versions, ranging from jazzy to hip-hop.


The Nutbuster is a satirical interpretation of the Nutcracker by Joppa Dance Com

Firehouse Center for the Arts hosts Joppa Dance Company as they put a new twist on The Nutcracker, adding regional themes and humor to the tale of a nutcracker doll that comes to life. Joppa's Mouse King is traded out for a lobster and the mouse army, by green-heads, of course! Instead of Tchaikovsky's, albeit gorgeous, accompaniment, the dance of Sugarplum Fairies, Waltz of the Flowers and others are danced to contemporary versions, ranging from jazzy to hip-hop.


Come with friends and neighbors to sing holiday songs to start your holiday seas

Gather your family and friends and come over to the Firehouse for a little old-fashioned Holiday Sing-Along to kick off your Holidays with music!  The Youth Choir from the Immaculate Conception Church (Newburyport), directed by Donna Postle, will be there to lead everyone in singing some well-loved carols, with music provided by John Metrano on piano.  Our favorite elf, Terry Blanchard, will once again read “ ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” while wearing his famous stocking cap knit exclusively for this annual presentation by the North Pole’s very talented Mrs. Elf. 


Kids will enjoy Breakfast with Santa at the Hamilton Wenham Community House

Enjoy pancake breakfast including sausage, juice, muffins, coffee, and cocoa. The Girl Scouts will provide cookie decorating for the children & Santa arrives with his joyful laugh, listening ear, & small gift for each one of our special guests. Santa's helpers will be there to take pictures to add to your family album.


Sparhawk School: Big Art for Little Humans PreK Classes

Join us for this special parent & child art class series on Wednesday mornings at the Sparhawk School with Catherine Kulik, the Sparhawk Elementary & Middle School art teacher. Your child will explore diverse ways of creating art and experiment with new, engaging materials while learning about line, color, texture and notable works of art. This class is sure to engage their sensory skills as well as their innate curiosity about the visual world around them.  Each class is limited to ten children and runs for 5 week sessions.  This class is absolutely free!

Location: Sparhawk School


Holiday Travel tips for families

How did it become mid November?  Wasn’t I just chasing my children around the beach and cleaning up melted ice cream?  Thanksgiving is just days away and Christmas and Hanukkah are a few weeks later.  It’s almost time to break out the Christmas Tree and the Menorah.  Whoo hoo!  Who doesn’t love the holiday season?  Parties, family gatherings, travel…so much fun, but it can be a bit overwhelming for little ones.  I come from a family of 9, yes 9 (it is a combined his, hers, and theirs family, but none the less 9)!  And my husband’s family lives a 4-hour flight away.  While the holidays are a blast for us, and our kids, they certainly pose a challenge to our sleep routines.  So how do I handle it without seeming like our green friend the Grinch?  Here are my top tips to protect your child’s great sleep habits, or at least salvage them post holidays.

Be it Over the River and Through the Woods or Right Next-Door, Schedules are Key:

  • Rule #1 is always A Rested Child is a Happy Child:  Whether you are flying across the country or just spending the day with cousins – try to keep your baby’s schedule intact. Bring along a travel crib and set it up in a location as dark and quiet as possible.  Keeping their nap times and bedtimes consistent will help them to better assimilate and will make sure they stay a happy baby rather than an overtired cranky one.
  • If Your Plans Include Several Hours of Travel:  In order to make sure naps aren’t missed, plan your travel times around nap times.  If driving, allow your baby to take their nap on the go but at the usual time.  A few minutes before naptime do a modified version of your regular soothing routine so your little one understands it time to go to sleep.  If flying during naptime, most little ones sleep great on the plane (it must be that constant humming sound ;).  Wearing your baby in an Ergo-like carrier is a great option as they are secure, yet comfortable.  If taking a long flight or a red eye, call your airline in advance and request a sky cot (a small travel bed which is installed in front of your seat – most airlines provide these for free).  
  • Schedule Naps into Your Daily Plan:  Once at your Holiday destination, attempt to have as many naps as possible in your guest or hotel room in a stationary bed or crib.  This will help your baby become more familiar with their new sleeping environment as well as provide them with more restorative sleep.  One day of naps on the go (car, plane) will not disrupt your baby’s excellent sleep habits, but many in a row could wreak more havoc than the turkey’s tryptophan can counter act ;).  If hanging around the house or hotel is not in the plans, make sure you have your baby in their car seat, stroller, or carrier in plenty of time to catch their nap on the go.  While sleeping in a stationary crib or bed is best, a nap on the go is better than going without.
  • Need to Miss a Nap:  If despite your best efforts you are up to your eyeballs in wrapping paper and a nap just isn’t possible, don’t sweat it.  Instead opt for a super early bedtime to make up for that missed sleep.  It will help to make sure your little one stays on track and doesn’t become overtired.   
  • Manage Expectations:  While your nieces and nephews may be left to party along with their parents late into the night, that doesn’t mean your kids have to.  A few eyes may roll when you mention that bedtime is 6:30, but at least everyone will know in advance and your little one will not be fussing through dinner and keeping everyone from enjoying their ‘rare who roast beast’.  

Slumber Party? Be Sure To Recreate Your Child’s Environment:

  • Home Away From Home:  Bring along all your baby’s usual sleep time props – sleep sack, lovey, pacifier, white noise etc.  This will help them feel as comfortable as possible while away from their crib.
  • Make Your Phone Do Double Duty:  If your white noise isn’t portable, download a white noise app on your smart phone and select a sounds option that is similar to your one from home.  This will not only help your baby’s environment similar to home, but it will also help drowned out any post Eggnog caroling.    
  • Darker is Better:  Many hotel rooms (or even Aunt Gertrude’s guest room) lack adequate black out blinds.  As your child will get their best sleep in a very dark room, you will want to come prepared for an unexpected bright streetlight or a window facing the rising sun.  For a quick, easy and inexpensive fix, try these temporary black out blinds from Redi Shade.  They block out light like it’s no body’s business and are compact enough to fit in your suitcase or are easily shipped ahead of time to your destination.  Best of all – at $6.49 each, they are a no brainer.    
  • A Comfy Crib is Easier Than You Think:  Call ahead and request a crib for your room.  Most hotels do have quality full size cribs on hand – you just have to ask!  Bring along your baby’s own mattress pad and sheet for piece of mind.  If you prefer to bring your own travel crib and have not yet made the big purchase, I love the Baby Bjorn Travel Crib.  Or if you already own a pack and play – invest in a mattress topper so your baby can sleep more comfortably on the go.

When You Get Home It’s Back to Business as Usual:

  • The Best Laid Plans:  No matter how well you plan ahead, the holidays bring the unexpected.  The key to getting back on track as quickly as possible is easier than you think – just resume your old routine!  A few days consistently back to the norm and you will have your great sleeper once again.
  • Early Bedtime Saves All:  A great tool to help expedite this process is an early bedtime.  An overtired child has a much harder time falling asleep and staying asleep.  If you opt for an early bedtime the first few nights home, it will be beneficial in helping your child catch up on any missed sleep and get back to their typical sleep habits.

Amy Lage is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a Family Sleep Institute certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant.  She is founder of Well Rested Baby (  She offers a host of services including in person, phone, email and Skype/FaceTime consultations that can be tailored to meet any family’s needs and schedule.  Please email her at with any questions.  Be sure to follow WRB on Facebook too more great sleep tips!


This Year's Snow Ball at Cruiseport Gloucester is going to be Red Hot! Funds rai

The heat is on for the Pathways for Children's Red-Hot Snow Ball at Cruiseport Gloucester! Come for a night of dancing, hearty hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction that features World Series Champion Red Sox Tickets, weekend accommodations in ME and many more exciting items.  This is the perfect opportunity to have some fun, get together with friends for the holidays and buy a distinctive holiday gift and support a wonderful community organization dedicated to helping local families and children!


Burn some calories before the Thanksgiving Feast at Ipswich's Run for the Pies!

Start your turkey day by burning off some calories with a run or walk along the Ipswich River and you'll have a chance to win a pie! Racers, runners, walkers or stroller pushers are incited to the Ipswich Town Hall bright and early on Thanksgiving Day for a 2.8 mile riverside race along Turkey Shore Drive and Labor in Vain Road.  The 1.2 mile kids run starts at 8am.


Gabe's Run is held annually on the Friday after Thanksgiving at Patton Park in H

Gabe’s Run 2014: The 7th Annual Reunion Run to benefit the Gabriel Pacione Memorial Scholarships.

Events feature competitive 5K Cross-Country Trail Races, a 1 Mile Family Fun Run as well as the Team XC Challenge and the Community Cup, a friendly competition among runners from all communities represented. The race is the day after Thanksgiving, Friday November 28, 2014.

Location: Patton Park


Sparhawk School Amesbury MA PreK to Grade 12

Finding the right educational fit is a defining moment in each family’s life. Join us for a campus wide Open House and learn more.

No letter, conversation or brochure can say as much as the feeling of peering into a classroom that feels like home. Our campus wide open house will include tours of the Lower Campus (PreK- 7) at 259 Elm St. in Amesbury and the Upper Campus (8-12th grade) at 196 Main St. in Amesbury. Families interested in boarding can visit the Residential Campus via shuttles from our Upper Campus.  Interested families can register for the open house by visiting or by calling 978-388-5343.

Sparhawk School is an independent, PreK -12 college preparatory day school with a focus on academic excellence in a culture of kindness.

Location: Sparhawk School


Join us as we kick off the Holiday Season at MarketStreet Lynnfield! There will be carolers, exclusive retail perks, ice skating and a visit from Santa - all culminating with the Tree Lighting in Market Square at 6 p.m.


Middle Street Gloucester comes alive with music and fun for the Harvest Festival

There's a lot going during the Harvest Festival on Middle Street in Gloucester!  Come to the Middle Street Harvest Festival for live music, museum tours, the Thanksgiving Cape Ann Farmers Market, a craft fair and chowder luncheon, story time and crafts for the kids, tours of the Gloucester Fire Station and more! A benefit concert will take place to raise funds for the Grace Center at Trinity Congregational Church of Gloucester.  The Middle Street Harvest Festival is sponsored by Bank Gloucester and other local businesses.


Mini moos is for children 2-5 to meet our dairy herd at Appleton Farms.

Got milk? We do! On this special program designed especially for our toddler friends, we'll enjoy calf close encounters, a cow story and costume, milking in the dairy barn and more! For ages 2-5 with an accompanying adult. Please pre-register. For older kids, check out Meet the Cows at Appleton Farms.

Location: Appleton Farms


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