Blueberry Picking on the North Shore

This jumbo blueberry was picked at Russell Orchards in Ipswich, Massachusetts

Blueberry picking is a great way to spend an afternoon outdoors. It's fun, educational and has the added payoff of an abundance of delicious, sweet blueberries to enjoy in all kinds of baked goods and treats.

We headed off to Russell Orchards recently to spend a few hours out in their field picking blueberries (Reminder: It's greenhead season, so bring bug spray!). We were pleased to find an abundance of plump, ripe blueberries awaiting our arrival. 'B' found a bush that was loaded with these monster blueberries - the biggest I've ever seen. Some of them were so big that they were more like pieces of fruit than berries! We had some hardy picking on that particular bush, but we decided it would be best to leave some of the monsters for the other folks who would surely be along in the near future.

We picked a few pints and skedaddled out of there just ahead of some approaching thunderstorms. On the ride home we discussed what we were going to do with our cache of blue gold - blueberry ice cream, blueberry pancakes, blueberry muffins, blueberry bread, blueberry jam, blueberry pie. The list goes on... We decided to make blueberry bread for starters.

I did a little research on blueberries and found that there are basically two kinds of blueberry bushes - low bush ('wild') blueberries and high bush (cultivated) blueberries. While some blueberry picking farms do raise and cultivate some low bush blueberries, it is far more profitable to them to maintain a crop of high bush blueberries.If you find blueberries in the wild, they will most likely be of the low bush blueberry variety - hence the 'wild' reference (although 'native' would be more accurate).

Blueberries also have many health benefits. They have very high levels of antioxidants, leading some to claim that blueberries are a superfood. Many studies have been done with blueberries and the findings seem to show that eating blueberries has a litany of beneficial effects that include:

  • Inhibiting mechanisms of cancer cell development
  • Inhibiting inflammation in vitro
  • Enhancing memory and learning in older adults
  • Lowering brain damage during a stroke event
  • Slowing the rate of cognitive decline for Alzheimer's patients
  • Aiding in lowering blood sugar
  • Alleviating symptoms of depression
  • Lowering Cholesterol and lipid levels
  • Possibly reducing the risk of heart disease
  • Possibly regulating blood pressure

Blueberries are good for you, fun to pick and great to eat raw or as a part of any number of treats. Make sure to head out to your favorite wild blueberry patch or use visit one of the following blueberry picking spots open to the public on the North Shore:

Amesbury
Boxford
Georgetown
Haverhill
Ipswich
North Andover
Peabody
South Hamilton
Topsfield

MarketStreet Lynnfield Outdoor Ice Skating

Outdoor Ice Skating Fun at MarketStreet Lynnfield
Lace up your skates and enjoy the beauty of the New England outdoors this winter season! From mid-November 2017 through February 2018, one of the most popular ice skating experiences in New England can be found at MarketStreet Lynnfield. The MarketStreet Rink offers public skating 7 days a week...

Goddard School Touring Tuesday

Childcare, child care at Goddard School Middleton MA, Danvers MA, North Andover MA. infant, preschool, Pr
Touring Tuesday: Make a date to see Goddard School, Middleton, meet teachers and visit your child's next classroom! Infant, Toddler, Preschool,and Pre-Kindergarten programs. Please visit on Tuesday's to see why The Goddard School is "more than just a daycare".
9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Kindness Rocks Garden at MarketStreet Lynnfield

Kindness Rocks Garden Art Exhibit at MarketStreet Lynnfield
MarketStreet Lynnfield welcomes the return of the Kindness Rocks Garden, an installation of painted rocks with inspirational messages that is meant to encourage random acts of kindness and spread positivity. Participants are invited to leave their own painted rocks, as well as take any that inspire...
10:00 am to 9:00 pm

MFA: Mark Rothko: Reflection

Museum of Fine Art Mark Rothko Exhibit
An immersive display of 11 masterpieces by Mark Rothko (1903–70), on loan from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., invites visitors to contemplate the power of art to shape human experience. Opening on September 24, don’t miss “Mark Rothko: Reflection,” an immersive display of 11...
10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Public Skate and Learn to Skate at Peabody Skating Rink

Learn to Skate with the Peabody Skating Club at Peabody Skating Rink
The McVann-O'Keefe Skating Rink in Peabody is open for Public Skating weekdays from 10-11:45 am, Saturday's at 2 pm, and Sundays at 2:10 pm. Call today to ask about the Learn to Skate program at with the Peabody Skating Club. The ice is perfect. The Halloween and Christmas parties are a blast, and...
10:00 am to 11:45 am

Dog Friendly Shops at MarketStreet Lynnfield

Dog Friendly Shops and Restaurants at MarketStreet Lynnfield
Animal lovers will be glad to learn MarketStreet Lynnfield has over 40 shops and restaurants that are dog-friendly. Use #PupsOfMarketStreet on social media when you are there with your four-legged friend to get a free treat at PolkaDog Bakery. Enjoy!
10:00 am to 9:00 pm

XYZT: A Journey in 4 Dimensions at PEM - Salem

Peabody Essex Museum in Salem MA. Family friendly arts and culture North of Boston
Journey through nature and activate the senses as you explore mathematical paradoxes, typographical illusions and metaphors in motion in our new digital exhibition, XYZT: A Journey in 4 Dimensions, opening Saturday, October 14, 2017.
10:00 am to 5:00 pm

AJH: Mother & Baby Support Class - Newburyport

Mother & Baby Support Groups at Anna Jaques Hospital in Newburyport MA
Mother & Baby Groups Anna Jaques is pleased to offer free group classes for all mothers in our community to provide support, encouragement and advice on parenthood and answer questions that arise after going home. Mother & Baby Groups are facilitated by a Lactation Consultant/Registered...
10:00 am to 11:45 am

Arts and Crafts for Little Ones with Colleen Apostolos-Marsh

Art Classes for children with Colleen Apostolos-Marsh
Certified Montessori teacher, artist and local mother, Colleen Apostolos-Marsh will guide your young artist in an exploration of color, shape, and texture. Using a variety of media, your child will be free to express their in a beautiful space while socializing and engaging in cooperative play.
10:15 am to 11:15 am

Enchanted Christmas Village - Avon

Take a stroll through The Enchanted Village, a true New England tradition. Plus, take a picture with Santa and top it all off with a Jordan's Furniture blueberry muffin! The Spirit of Boston’s Holidays Throughout the 1960's and into the 1970's, Jordan Marsh displayed the Enchanted Village in its...
11:00 am to 4:00 pm

Discount Tickets Boston Mayor's Holiday by Highland Street

Discount Tickets Boston Mayor's Holiday by Highland Street Boston Mayors Holiday Special for North Shore families
Running now through New Year’s Day, Mayor’s Holiday Special is a two-month celebration of Greater Boston’s performing arts, featuring thousands of discount tickets to over 500 holiday performances through BosTix, plus dining deals and free festivities.
12:00 pm to 11:00 pm

Holiday Children's Party at Castle Hill

Kids will meet Santa at the Crane Estate in Ipswich MA!
In celebration of the holidays, we’re hosting a children’s Christmas party with Santa. Families will enjoy interactive songs and music from children’s entertainer Jeannie Mack, a yummy edible craft, holiday refreshments, and, of course, a visit with Santa, who will have a small gift for every child...
4:00 pm to 5:30 pm

Wednesday, December 13

MarketStreet Lynnfield Outdoor Ice Skating

Outdoor Ice Skating Fun at MarketStreet Lynnfield
Lace up your skates and enjoy the beauty of the New England outdoors this winter season! From mid-November 2017 through February 2018, one of the most popular ice skating experiences in New England can be found at MarketStreet Lynnfield. The MarketStreet Rink offers public skating 7 days a week...

Noticing Nature Preschool Program at GUS

Preschool programs in Beverly MA at GUS
One day left for the morning preschool program, for children ages 3.6 to 5 by partners Glen Urquhart School and Kestrel Educational Adventures. Each week, our preschool program Noticing Nature will focus on one of the five senses, and we’ll practice waking up that sense to notice the natural world...
9:00 am to 10:00 am

Hollywood Hits: Movies for Moms

Hollywood Hits: Movies for Moms
Hollywood Hits Theater hosts a Movies for Moms showing held on the 2nd Wednesday of each month at 10 a.m.
10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Dog Friendly Shops at MarketStreet Lynnfield

Dog Friendly Shops and Restaurants at MarketStreet Lynnfield
Animal lovers will be glad to learn MarketStreet Lynnfield has over 40 shops and restaurants that are dog-friendly. Use #PupsOfMarketStreet on social media when you are there with your four-legged friend to get a free treat at PolkaDog Bakery. Enjoy!
10:00 am to 9:00 pm

Kindness Rocks Garden at MarketStreet Lynnfield

Kindness Rocks Garden Art Exhibit at MarketStreet Lynnfield
MarketStreet Lynnfield welcomes the return of the Kindness Rocks Garden, an installation of painted rocks with inspirational messages that is meant to encourage random acts of kindness and spread positivity. Participants are invited to leave their own painted rocks, as well as take any that inspire...
10:00 am to 9:00 pm

MFA: Mark Rothko: Reflection

Museum of Fine Art Mark Rothko Exhibit
An immersive display of 11 masterpieces by Mark Rothko (1903–70), on loan from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., invites visitors to contemplate the power of art to shape human experience. Opening on September 24, don’t miss “Mark Rothko: Reflection,” an immersive display of 11...
10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Public Skate and Learn to Skate at Peabody Skating Rink

Learn to Skate with the Peabody Skating Club at Peabody Skating Rink
The McVann-O'Keefe Skating Rink in Peabody is open for Public Skating weekdays from 10-11:45 am, Saturday's at 2 pm, and Sundays at 2:10 pm. Call today to ask about the Learn to Skate program at with the Peabody Skating Club. The ice is perfect. The Halloween and Christmas parties are a blast, and...
10:00 am to 11:45 am

XYZT: A Journey in 4 Dimensions at PEM - Salem

Peabody Essex Museum in Salem MA. Family friendly arts and culture North of Boston
Journey through nature and activate the senses as you explore mathematical paradoxes, typographical illusions and metaphors in motion in our new digital exhibition, XYZT: A Journey in 4 Dimensions, opening Saturday, October 14, 2017.
10:00 am to 5:00 pm

Arts and Crafts for Little Ones with Colleen Apostolos-Marsh

Art Classes for children with Colleen Apostolos-Marsh
Certified Montessori teacher, artist and local mother, Colleen Apostolos-Marsh will guide your young artist in an exploration of color, shape, and texture. Using a variety of media, your child will be free to express their in a beautiful space while socializing and engaging in cooperative play.
10:15 am to 11:15 am

PEM Pals

PEM has a story time in the museum just for kids under 5! Salem, Massachusetts
Heather Tharpe, also known as the Toddler Whisperer, leads the weekly interactive programs at Peabody Essex Museum PEM Pals with songs, movement, music, art, books and hands-on activities is designed specifically for preschool
10:30 am to 11:30 am