Category Archives: Match Activities

A Story of a Fourteen Year Friendship Onboard “Tupelo Honey”

Guest Blog Post By: Erica Brien, Enrollment & Matching Specialist

Big Sister Marisa and Little Sister Susanne matched for fourteen years.

On Sunday, September 15, I had the chance to join five Big and Little Sister matches at Big Sister’s “Come Sail Away” event, the final sailing event of the season. We met at Pier 6 in Charlestown before boarding “Tupelo Honey,” a boat owned by Legal Seafoods’ Director of Communication Ann Flannery and her beau, Captain Don.

“This is the happy bell,” Capt. Don informed us as we boarded Tupelo Honey. “Every time we hear a happy word, we’ll ring the happy bell.”

As the matches got comfortable on the boat, they went around in a circle to introduce themselves. One match explained that they’d been together for 16 months, another match for just about a year. The next two matches had been together since the beginning of 2012.

“We’ve been together for 14 years,” Marisa, the final Big Sister said.

Jaws dropped. Sounds of the happy bell rang in the air. “Fourteen years!” the entire boat exclaimed simultaneously.

“We were matched when Susanne was six years old, and she is turning twenty at the end of this month,” said Marisa as she turned to Susanne and smiled. “So this will be our final Big Sister event.”

Marisa and Susanne have been together since Marisa was in college, and now Susanne is a sophomore in college herself. They have experienced a number of milestones together: Marisa’s college graduation, wedding and the start of her family. They have been matched through Susanne’s most formative years, elementary school, middle school, and high school, and Marisa has even been able to celebrate Susanne’s acceptance to Boston College.

She put her arms around her Little Sister. “And just because we won’t technically be Big Sister and Little Sister,” she smiled at Susanne, “we’ll still be good friends.”

The winds were steady and strong, blowing us out to Castle Island. On our return into the harbor, Jaelin, the youngest Little Sister onboard Tupelo Honey, grabbed the helm of the ship and guided us as we made our way back towards the dock. Confident, Jaelin shared stories as she moved the wheel back and forth.

Little Sister Jaelin takes the helm.

Each of us had the chance to sit on the bow of the boat and stare into the city. We watched as an orange butterfly skimmed the water, and we chatted about whatever subjects came to mind. We disembark Tupelo Honey feeling optimistic about the morning and what the rest of our Sunday may have had to offer. We became inspired by a story of a positive, trusting relationship built through years of dedication and commitment, inspired by the power of human connection and the possibilities of establishing life-long friendships with a Big or Little Sister.

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Little Sisters in Business Makes our City Stronger

Little Sister Dakaja, Lisa Donovan from Kiss 108, and Big Sister Kristen

On May 5th 2012, eight Little Sisters (along with their Big Sisters) participated in Lemonade Day, a national event that inspires children to learn how to operate their own small business by setting up a lemonade stand. By participating in this annual event, children develop leadership and problem solving skills, as well as gain experience in economics. Big Sister was happy to partner with Babson College for the second year in a row to introduce Little Sisters to entrepreneurship as a possible future career option.

This is the reason why Little Sister Dakaja participated this year with the encouragement of her Big Sister Kristen. Dakaja already knows that when she graduates from college she wants to start her own small business. Through Lemonade Day, she had her first taste of this career. Newbury Streetwas a prime location for Dakaja’s many thirsty visitors, including Lisa Donovan from Kiss 108, Suzanne Picher City Director of Lemonade Day at Babson College, and fire fighters from the Boston Fire Department. Dakaja’s favorite customer, Johnny Earle, owner of Johnny Cupcakes, stopped by to applaud Dakaja’s entrepreneurial skills and answered her questions about starting her own business. Dakaja hopes to put the money raised towards new fun match activities with her Big Sister Kristen.

Little Sister Dakaja serving a thirsty fire fighter.

Little Sister Jazmine’s Lemonade Stand on Boylston Street was also a hot spot. She attracted many Red Sox fans with her catchy marketing jingle and dance. One customer even received car window service when she pulled up to Jazmine’s stand. Jazmine plans to add her earnings to her savings and buy something special for her sister in the future.

Little Sister Jazmine with a Boylston Street customer.

Lemonade Day creates an opportunity for budding Little Sister entrepreneurs to learn how to develop a business through goal setting and creating and executing a business strategy. Big Sister Kristen said, “This was a fantastic learning opportunity for both of us – we learned what it takes to be an entrepreneur and all the details that need to be considered.  I think it helped Dakaja have a better understanding for how to budget, how to prioritize, and what not to sacrifice.”

Fun things to do with your Little Sister (April Edition)

Belle Isle Marsh Reservation

Birding Belle Isle

East Boston, MA       

Saturday, April 14, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Bring your Little Sister to Belle Isle Marsh. This is a hot spot for bird sightings! Join a DCR Ranger and look for spring migrants in and around Belle Isle, and also enjoy a leisurely hike. Please bring binoculars. This event is free and open to the public and is for Little Sisters of all ages. Meet at Belle Isle Marsh main parking area, off Bennington St, East Boston, MA. For more information about this event please visit http://www.mass.gov/dcr/events.htm.  


Terrific Tree Treasure Hunt

Saugus, MA

Friday, April 20, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. & 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

 Visit Breakheart Reservation for a fun treasure hunt with your Little Sister during her school vacation week! You will learn about trees and Asian Long Horned beetles while searching for hidden treasure! Drop in anytime during the allotted time periods for the 45 minute hunt. This event is free and open to the public and is for Little Sisters ages 8-14. Meet at Christopher P. Dunne Vistor Center, Breakheart Reservation, 177 Forest St, Saugus, MA. For more information about this event please visit http://www.mass.gov/dcr/events.htm.


Teen Matches Give Back

Dorchester, MA      

Saturday, April 21, 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. 

Big Sister Association is partnering with Boston Cares to help clean Dorchester park on Global Youth Service Day! We are inviting 10 teen matches to participate in this community service match activity. Gardening tools will be provided. Please wear long sleeves, full length pants and gloves. This event is free and is for Little Sisters ages 14 plus. For more information or to RSVP for this event please contact Jennifer Gentile at jgentile@bigsister.org or 617-236-8366. Space is limited to this event so please confirm with your Little Sister before signing up for this event.

Earth Day Recycling

175 N Harvard St.

Allston, MA  

Saturday, April 21, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  

Tour the Harvard Recycling and Surplus Center. Here used computers get refurbished, clothing is bagged, books are boxed, and items of all kinds are stored for donations to charities. Join Rob Gogan, Manager of Harvard Recycling Services, to make and take home your own recycled paper. This event is free and open to the public and is for Little Sisters ages 8-14. Space is limited, and advanced reservations are required. Call 617-495-3216 for reservations and more information or visit http://peabody.harvard.edu/family


Science of Sports

Madison Park High School

Roxbury, MA

Sunday, April 22, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Come learn about the science of sports! Dive into workshops, demonstrations, and activities with athletes, trainers, video game makers, sports medicine doctors, architects, and scientists! Learn how to make ice cream with liquid nitrogen and more! This event is free and open to the public and is for Little sisters of all ages. For more information about this event please visit http://cambridgesciencefestival.org/Home.aspx.

Inspiring Minds: Meet Women in Science

Museum of Science

Boston, MA

Sunday, April 28, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. 

What are the opportunities and obstacles for women in science? Hear from inspiring women who are taking on challenges in science and technology. Meet these extraordinary scientists and entrepreneurs and learn how you can start your own career in a scientific field. This event is free and open to the public and is for Little Sisters ages 14 plus. This event is located at the Museum of Science Blue Wing Level 1. For more information about this event please visit http://cambridgesciencefestival.org/Home.aspx.


Arnold Arboretum Drop-In Activities

125 Arborway

Boston, MA

Sunday, April 29, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Drop-in with your Little Sister for some fun activities at the Arnold Arboretum! Stop by anytime during 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. for activities that may include scavenger hunts, science investigations, craft activities, stories, short guided walks and more. This event is free and open to the public and is for Little Sisters ages 7-10. This event is located under a tent outside of the Hunnewell Building or inside if weather is bad. For more information about this event please call 617-384-5209.

Neighborhood Highlights: Jamaica Plain

Jamaica Plain, founded by Boston Puritans, has a rich history. It holds the oldest community theater in the United States and was one of the first towns to become a streetcar community in the 19th century. Below are highlights of the many diverse activities Jamaica Plain has to offer for you and your Little Sister!


Arnold Arboretum

125 Arborway
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

Visitor Center:
Mon-Fri 9am-4pm
Sat. 10am-4pm
Sun. 12pm-4pm

Now is the perfect time to visit this 265-acre park. View the budding spring foliage, take guided tours to learn about the history of the arboretum or go on a self-guided bird watch. If you are interested in environmental sustainability, check out the Weld Hill Science Building to learn about green research. For more information and for tour times, visit http://arboretum.harvard.edu.


JP Community Center

Yearly Membership: $5 Youth; $10 Teen; $25 Adult
Visitor Pass: $5

With four different locations around Jamaica Plain, these community centers have a bit of everything. Swim, take a dance class, or just shoot hoops in the gym. You can spend an entire day here with so many different activities. For community center locations and schedules, visit  www.jpcommunitycenters.com .


MSPCA – Angell

350 S. Huntington Ave.
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

This is a great place to volunteer if your Little Sister likes animals and is 16 years old or older. The Massachusetts Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals serves over 6,000 animals and is always looking for extra help to feed, walk, or photograph the animals. Check out their calendar of events for one time volunteer opportunities with no age limit: MSPCA Calendar.


Forest Hills Cemetery

95 Forest Hills Ave.
Jamaica Plain,MA 02130

Daily 8:30am-Dusk

This cemetery is not just for those looking for a good spook, but for history buffs as well. Famous authors, such as e.e. cummings, Eugene O’Neill, and Anne Sexton,  are buried at the Forest Hills Cemetery  as well as the abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison. There is also a stunning mile long contemporary sculpture path. Check out the website for walking tour schedules this fall: http://foresthillstrust.org.


Axiom Center for New and Experimental Media

141 Green St.
Jamaica Plain,MA 02130

Tues. & Sat. 2pm-5pm
Wed. 6pm-9pm
Thurs. 2pm-9pm

Right next to the Green Street T station, this gallery encourages experimental art through a diverse group of exhibitions, events, and educational programs. If you enjoy innovative, contemporary art, come to see technology-based sculpture, installations, and live performances.  To view the fall exhibition schedule, visit http://axiomart.org.

Fun things to do with your Little Sister (September Edition)

Cider Apple by Flickr User Steve Bridger

There are so many farms and apple orchards around Massachusetts. Go apple picking with your Little Sister this September. Photo by Flickr User Steve Bridger

Apple Picking!

There are so many farms and apple orchards around Massachusetts. To find the one closest to you and your Little Sister, visit this resourceful website: http://www.mass.gov/agr/massgrown/apple_pyo.htm. You can find other fun events and delicious recipes there as well!


Jazz Fest

Hyde Park, MA
Saturday, September 3, 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Celebrate Labor Day weekend with your Little Sister with a jazz festival featuring local award-winning artists. Bring a blanket and a picnic basket and enjoy this relaxing end of summer serenade! Meet at the Martini Shell at 1015 Truman Parkway in Hyde Park, MA. This event is free and open to the public and is for Little Sisters of all ages. For more information about this event please see http://www.mass.gov/dcr/events/bhhikes.pdf.


Civil War Tour

Boston, MA
Saturday, September 3, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Visit the free Civil War exhibit “Torn in Two” at the Boston Public Library with your Little Sister. Learn the history of the Civil War and view 50 historic maps, and 40 photographs, painting, prints, diaries, political cartoons, music and press from the period. Tours begin in the “Torn in Two” exhibit located in the Changing Exhibits Room on the first floor of the Central Library’s McKim Building (Dartmouth St. entrance) in Copley Square. This event is free and open to the public and is for Little Sisters ages 13 to 18. For more information about this event please visit http://www.bpl.org/news/calendar.htm.


Sunset Yoga

Boston, MA
Wednesdays, September 7, 14, 21, 28, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Bring your Little Sister and join a free yoga class on the Esplanade! Each week a different professional instructor teaches the class, allowing you to experience different styles of yoga. Beginners are welcome. This event is located on the Charles River Esplanade on Storrow Drive, Boston, MA. Meet by the Arthur Fiedler Statue. Please visit www.esplanadeassociation.org or call 617-227-0365 for directions or more information about these events. This event is free and open to the public and is for Little Sisters of all ages.


MIT Second Fridays

Cambridge, MA
Friday, September 9, 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Jump start your weekend at the MIT Museum with your Little Sister! You will be able to get up close and personal with Kismet the Robot, see the world in 3-D in the holography exhibit, and enjoy performances, demonstrations, and lectures throughout the galleries. Light refreshments will be served. The MIT Museum is located at 265 Massachusetts Ave, Building N52, Cambridge, MA. Please call 617-253-4444 or click here for more information about this event. This event is free and open to the public and is for Little Sisters of all ages.


Ahts Festival

Boston, MA
Saturday, September 10, 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Channel your inner artist with your Little Sister at this interactive arts festival. Affectionately dubbed Ahts, The Boston Arts Festival features over 60 juried artists from Boston and two stages showcasing Boston’s best performing arts groups. This event is located at the Christopher Columbus Park, on Boston’s Waterfront between Faneuil Hall Marketplace and the North End. This event is free and open to the public and is for Little Sisters of all ages. For more information about this event please call 617-635-2370.


Victorian Fair

Melrose, MA
Sunday, September 11, 11:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Bring your Little Sister to the annual Victorian Fair! A two-block section of Main St. in Melrose will be closed and will contain booths with beautiful crafts, give-aways, mini-golf, face painting and more! Local restaurants will prepare tasty samples for fair attendees. Some games and food will be for purchase. This event is open to the public and for Little Sisters of all ages. Please see http://www.melrosechamber.org/Melrose-Victorian-Fair.html for more information about this event. The rain date is September 18, 2011.


Instruct Inspire Incite

Lexington, MA
Sunday, September 11, 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Join the opening ceremony of the Instruct, Inspire, Incite exhibit of the Lexington Arts and Crafts Society. The participating artists will be on hand to describe the pieces they have created. There will be various styles of artwork on display, ranging from basketry to Chinese calligraphy. The exhibit will be open until September 25th. This event will take place at 130 Waltham Street, Lexington, MA 02421. It is free and open to the public and is for Little Sisters of all ages. Please call 781-862-9696 for more information.


Block Party

Dorchester, MA
Sunday, September 11, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Say farewell to Summer and hello to your neighbors in Dorchester! Enjoy an afternoon of fun at the annual Neighborhood Block Party! A DJ will provide music and entertainment. Food and beverages will be served. This event will be located on Van Winkle Street, Dorchester, MA. This event is free and open to the public and is for Little Sisters of all ages. Please see www.mydorchester.org for more information about this event.


SerbFest

Cambridge, MA
Saturday & Sunday, September 17 & 18, 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church of Boston is organizing the sixth annual major Serbian Festival in Boston. Celebrating the culture of Serbia, this festival will feature live music and performances by the Grachanitsa Serbian Folk Dance Ensemble of Boston. Come enjoy Serbian culture with your Little Sister! This event is located at 41 Alewife Brook Parkway, Cambridge, MA 02140. This event is free and open to the public and is for Little Sisters of all ages. Please call 617-674-4035 for more information about this event.

Big Sister’s Annual Summer Picnic at Camp Harbor View

When asked what were their favorite parts of the Summer Picnic, many Little Sisters exclaimed "the pool!"

It was a picture-perfect Saturday as more than 150 Big and Little Sisters gathered at Big Sister’s Annual Summer Picnic held at Camp Harbor View on July 16. When asked what their favorite parts of the day were, the consensus among Little Sisters was that the food, the pool, and the chance to hang out with their Big Sisters “were the best.”

Every corner of the site was filled with laughter. At the Highland Street Foundation pool, four girls leap hand-in-hand into the sparkling turquoise water. A Little Sister is overheard encouraging a new friend who is taking her swim test. “You can do it. You have to have confidence in yourself.” Elsewhere another Little Sister challenges Big Sister CEO Deborah Re to a hula hoop contest.

A Little Sister challenges Big Sister CEO Deborah Re to a hula hoop contest.

These were just a few of the sights and sounds on a fun-filled day that included volleyball, sand-castle building, relay races, good food and great friends.

Boston’s Mayor Thomas Menino, who was instrumental in the creation of Camp Harbor View, joined us to share his appreciation for the opportunities Big Sisters provide their Little Sisters.

“Thank you for the difference you are making in their lives,” he said. Ever the advocate for education, Menino also reminded Little Sisters of their summer reading lists and that they should not let the season pass them by without visiting the library to check out a few good books.

Boston's Mayor Thomas Menino joined us to share his appreciation for the opportunities Big Sisters provide their Little Sisters.

We want to thank everyone who made the day so special for our Big Sisters and Little Sisters: volunteers, friends and drivers! Matches were transported from the University of Massachusetts campus in Dorchester and over the old steel bridge to Long Island via the generous help of the MBTA and the Boston Transportation Department. We also want to express our sincere gratitude to The Connors Family, without whose support we could not bring this experience to so many of our Little Sisters.

Matches were transported from the University of Massachusetts campus in Dorchester and over the old steel bridge to Long Island via the generous help of the MBTA and the Boston Transportation Department.

Check the photos from the picnic on Facebook.

Fun things to do with your Little Sister (August Edition)

The Boston Urban Music Festival. Saturday, August 6, 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Free Fridays!

Every Friday this summer, the Highland Street Foundation is providing free admission to various cultural attractions in Massachusetts for families and children. No registration or tickets are required. These are the participating locations and dates for August 2011:

August 5th – Institute of Contemporary Art – Cape Cod Children’s Museum – Concord Museum

August 12th – JFK Library & Museum – Arnold Arboretum – Tanglewood (BSO) – Stone Zoo

August 19th – Boston Harbor Islands – USS Constitution Museum – Basketball Hall of Fame

August 26th – Old Sturbridge Village – New Repertory Theater – Berkshire Museum – Ecotarium

For more information about these events, please visit highlandstreet.org.


Salsa in the Park

Boston, MA

Mondays, August 1, 8, 15, 22, & 19, 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Grab your dancing shoes and learn some new salsa moves! Every Monday night, MetaMovements and the Blackstone Community Center join forces to create a free salsa program with Boston’s youth and community in mind. The courtyard at the Blackstone Community Center becomes a “salsa soiree” with two full dance floors. The events are very popular, so come join the party! This event is free and open to the public and is for Little Sisters of all ages. The Blackstone Community Center is located at 50 West Brookline Street, Boston, MA, 02118. For more information, visit MetaMovements’ Salsa in the Park page.


National Night Out

Boston, MA

Tuesday, August 2, 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Join the citywide celebration! Every year on the first Tuesday in August, Mayor Menino and the Boston Police Department sponsor a night of free fun to promote safety, the Neighborhood Watch, and community partnerships. Activities include music, food, athletic games, moon bounces, and more! The event will be held at the University of Massachusetts Boston Harbor Campus on the student center lawn. This location is accessible by public transportation. Shuttle buses will also be available at the Red Line JFK/UMass stop and from any BPD district station. This event is free and open to the public and is for Little Sisters of all ages. For more information visit http://www.bpdnews.com/2011/07/22/calendar-listing/.


Arts on the Arcade

Boston, MA

Wednesdays, August 3, 10, 17, 24, & 31, 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Bring your Little Sister to some outdoor summer entertainment! The City Hall Plaza Community Arcade (adjacent to Cambridge Street) will feature a collection of visual arts, performing arts, and food vendors, as well as the weekly farmers’ market. All performances start at 12:00 p.m.. This event is free and open to the public and is for Little Sisters of all ages. For more information, please call (617) 635-3911 or visit www.cityofboston.gov/arts.


Yankee Homecoming Family Day

Newburyport, MA

Saturday, August 6, 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Take part in the action with your Little Sister at this annual Family Fun Day! Maudslay State Park in Newburyport will be hosting an afternoon jam-packed with fun activities, including live performances, tethered hot air balloon rides, kayak lessons, gymnastics demonstrations, face painting, hay rides, kickball, pony rides, and more! Nearly all activities are free. This event is open to the public and is for Little Sisters of all ages. Maudslay State Park is located on Curzon Mill Road, Newburyport, MA. For more information about this event, please call (978) 465-7223 or  visit Yankee Homecoming 2011.


Summer Arts Fest

Hyde Park, MA

Saturday, August 6, 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Channel your inner artist with your Little Sister at this interactive arts festival! The DCR Rangers will be leading creative activities that include chalk art, stamp printing, a group mural, and bead making. This event is free and open to the public and is for Little Sisters of all ages. This event will meet at the DCR Martini Shell at 1015 Truman Parkway, Hyde Park, MA. Please call (617) 698-1802 or visit http://www.mass.gov/dcr/events/bhhikes.pdf for more information.


Boston Urban Music Festival

Boston, MA

Saturday, August 6, 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Feel the beat of the music with your Little Sister at this music festival! City Hall Plaza will be booming with the sounds of Boston’s urban music, sponsored by Mayor Menino’s Office of Arts & Special Events. This event is free and open to the public and is for Little Sisters of all ages. For more information, call (617) 635-3911 or visit www.cityofboston.gov/arts.


ParkARTS Jazz at the Fort

Roxbury, MA

Sunday, August 7, 5:00 p.m.

Enjoy some jazz music with your Little Sister at this free concert! The concert is part of the Citywide Neighborhood Concert series, sponsored by Berklee College of Music with support from the Boston Parks & Recreation Department and Friends of Highland Park. The Jazz Urbane group is opening for Tuffus Zimbabwe. This event will be held at Highland Park in Roxbury, and the rain date is August 14th. This event is free and open to the public and is for Little Sisters of all ages! Please visit www.cityofboston.gov/parks or call (617) 635- 4505 for more information about this event.


Multicultural Festival

Dorchester, MA

Saturday, August 13, 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Bring your Little Sister to a fun street festival! Experience the food, fun, arts and crafts, sports, games, and stage performances, all with a multicultural theme! This event is free and open to the public and is for Little Sisters of all ages. The event will be located at Mary Hannon Park, Dudley Street, at the corner of Howard Avenue and Dorchester Avenue. The location is accessible by public transportation. For more information, call Jose Barros at (617) 442-9607 x160 or click here.


Boston Greenfest 2011

Boston, MA

Thursday, August 18 – Saturday, August 20

Bring your Little Sister to this all-inclusive festival where you can learn about helping our environment! The festival will begin at City Hall Plaza with a Kick-Off Concert on Thursday, August 18th from 5:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m., and will continue on Friday, August 19th from noon to 9:00 p.m. and Saturday, August 20th from 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. There will be live performances, visual arts, environmental exhibits, and educational workshops. This event is free and open to the public and is great for Little Sisters of all ages. The event is accessible via public transportation at the Green Line Government Center stop. For more information, click here.


Sunday Fun in the Park

Boston, MA

Sunday, August 21, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Enjoy an afternoon of activity with your Little Sister and the Esplanade Association! Various activities will take place for kids and families, such as beginner’s yoga, Parkland games, kid’s fishing, a photography class, and more! This event is free and open to the public and is for Little Sisters of all ages. If you would like to take part in yoga, please bring your own yoga mat. For more information contact Chris Timmel at ctimmel@esplanadeassociation.org or at (617) 227-0365.


St. Anthony’s Feast

Boston, MA

Friday, August 26- Monday, August 28th

Take part in a weekend full of celebration with your Little Sister in the North End! This festival will be full of food, music, dancing, religious processions, showcases by famous chefs, and fun for all. The festival starts on Friday, August 26th at 7:00 p.m. Saturday’s festivities begin at noon. Sunday’s events start at 10:30 a.m. Monday’s events begin at noon. This event is free and open to the public and is for Little Sisters of all ages. This event would be great for teenage Little Sisters interested in the culinary arts or anyone who appreciates Italian culture! The festival is accessible by public transportation. For more information, visit http://www.stanthonysfeast.com/schedule.html.


Kids Wildlife Safari

Canton, MA

Saturday, August 27, 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Bring your Little Sister to a wildlife safari sponsored by the DCR! Follow along with a DCR ranger as you spot New England Wildlife in the Blue Hills area. This hour and a half long hike ventures into both the woods and the wetlands. Be sure to dress for a hike! The event will take place at Brookwood Farm in Canton, and all event-goers will meet at 11 Blue Hill River Road. This event is free and open to the public and is for Little Sisters of all ages. For more information, visit http://www.mass.gov/dcr/events/bhhikes.pdf or call (617) 698-1802.

Boston Neighborhood Highlights: Mattapan

"Cyclopse" trolley at Mattapan Station. Photo by Flickr user Kingdafy

Mattapan was the original Native American Mattahunt name for the Dorchester area and means “a good place to sit” or “a good place to be”.  Here are some sights in Mattapan that are good places to sit and just be with your Little Sister:

Boston Nature and Wildlife Sanctuary

500 Walk Hill St.
Mattapan, MA 02126

Nature Center: Weekdays 9am – 5 pm, Weekends 10am – 4pm
Trails: Open every day, dawn to dusk

This urban nature sanctuary offers two miles of trails through Mattapan’s wetlands and meadows where you can see many bird species and other wildlife, including the occasional coyote.  See how many plants and animals you can identify with the many “quests” the conservation center offers! www.massaudubon.org


Ryan Playground

River St
Mattapan, MA 02126

Hours: Daily, dawn to dusk

Ryan Playground is a fenced-in Department of Conservation and Recreation park with plenty of activities for adults and children.  Enjoy the large playground or, on a hot day, get wet in the spray pool. If you are interested in playing some friendly games, there are also tennis and basketball courts as well as a softball field.


Mattapan Branch Library

1350 Blue Hill Avenue
Mattapan, MA 02126

Mon, Wed & Thurs: 10am-6pm
Tues: 12pm-8pm
Fri: 9am-5pm

The new Mattapan Branch Library opened in 2009 with technologically enhanced equipment and all new services including book clubs, teen movie matinees and homework assistance. Check out their impressive collection of urban fiction, teen fiction, and anime, popular movies and TV series on DVD. It’s a great place to go on a rainy day.  Check out the different weekly  events the library has to offer. http://www.bpl.org/branches/mattapan.htm


Mildred Avenue Recreational Facility

5 Mildred Avenue
Mattapan, MA, 02126

Daily: 1pm-9pm
Children: Free
Teens: $10
Adults: $20

Mildred Avenue Community Center is a  state-of-the-art facility that includes a gym, an exercise studio/weight room, a dance studio, community rooms, a computer center, a competition-sized swimming pool, a staged auditorium and a dedicated space that is fully wired to support a recording studio. It’s impossible to get bored with the Community Center providing so many activities! http://www.mydorchester.org/Mildred-Ave-Community-Center


Neponset River Bike Trail

Starts: Pope John Paul II Park, Mattapan, MA
Ends: Central Ave., Milton, MA

Open year-round, dawn to dusk

The Lower Neponset River Trail follows the path of a former railroad bed along the shore of the Neponset River. The 2.4 mile path serves to link the Neponset area to the larger network of Department of Conservation and Recreation trails. Over its short distance, this trail goes from urban wilderness through a mill village and a salt marsh to beaches on Boston Harbor. Enjoy the trail’s scenery and beauty by bike or on foot.
http://www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/metroboston/lnrt.htm


Mattapan Farmer’s Market

Church of the Holy Spirit parking lot

525 River St

Mattapan, MA 02126

July 10 -October 2: 10am-2pm

Organized by the Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition, this farmer’s market brings in affordable ethnic  foods and produce from local farms in Canton and Milton.  But don’t just come for the food, there are plenty of events that take place here including Artists at the Market, Youth Day and the Fall Harvest Festival. http://mattapanfoodandfitness.org/farmers-market/

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Boston Neighborhood Highlights: Dorchester

Camels at the Franklin Park Zoo. Photo by Chris Devers

Camels at the Franklin Park Zoo. Photo by Chris Devers.

What do you know about Dorchester? Did you know that the first public elementary school in the country was started there in 1639? Or that in 1915 it opened the first supermarket in the world? Not only does Dorchester have a rich history, it has a rich supply of things to do – especially for match activities. See below for some of the different sights Dorchester has to offer:

Franklin Park Zoo

1 Franklin Park Rd
Boston, MA 02121

10am-6pm
Adults – 16.00
Children – 10.00

The 72-acre Franklin Park Zoo is located in Boston’s historic Franklin Park. Zookeeper, a new family comedy which hits theaters today, was filmed on location at the Zoo.  Check out the Gorilla Family exhibit where you can meet the Zoo’s seven gorillas. You can also see an African lion in the Kalahari Kingdom, tigers in Tiger Tales, Masai giraffe and Grevy’s zebra on the Giraffe Savannah, as well as the many other incredible animals that call the Zoo home. From 10:00 a.m. – noon on the first Saturday of every month, all guests will be charged the children’s admission price. www.zoonewengland.org


JFK Library

Columbia Point
Boston, MA 02125

9am-5pm
Adults – 12.00
Teens – 10.00
Children under 12 – Free

The JFK Library

The JFK Library was designed by renowned architect, I.M. Pei. Photo by Bill Ilott.

Tour the museum dedicated to the memory of the 35th president who, through his work in politics, sought to make the world a better place. At the JFK Library, you will find exhibits on the life, leadership, and legacy of John F. Kennedy, the First Lady Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, and his family.  One of the intriguing exhibits includes gifts given to President Kennedy by world leaders and some of the more eclectic gifts given  by admirers. If you can make the trip on Friday, August 12, museum admission is free thanks to Highland Street’s Free Fun Fridays! www.jfklibrary.org


Savin Hill Park

Grampian Way
Boston, MA 02125

Savin Hill Park is a small, but lovely neighborhood park featuring a tennis court and basketball court as well as different hiking trails.  From the top of the hill, you will encounter many visitors with their dogs taking in the panoramic view of Dorchester, Quincy and Boston Harbor. There are also plenty of grassy areas to bring a blanket and have a picnic. www.cityofboston.gov/parks


Tenean Beach

Tenean St
Boston, MA 02124

Tenean Beach is great if you want to avoid the crowds that swarm Boston’s beaches in the summer. It has a beautiful view of the Boston skyline and plenty of activities for kids including a new playground, boardwalk and promenade. It is definitely one of Boston’s best kept secrets! www.cityofboston.gov/parks


Strand Theatre

543 Columbia Rd
Dorchester, MA 02125

Strand Theatre opened its doors in 1918 to a diverse group of artists. Comedians, singers, plate-spinners, ventriloquists, dancers, musicians, acrobats, and animal trainers have all performed on its stage. Now the Strand serves as a cultural and educational resource to artists and audiences of all ages and types. Most importantly, it works to develop and implement youth arts education programs. Recent performers on the Strand stage have included the Boston Ballet, Ruben Studdard and Frenchie Davis of American Idol, the Boston Children’s Choir and the annual Poetry Slam. To find coming events: http://strandboston.com/calendar


Commonwealth Museum

220 Morrissey Blvd.
Boston, MA 02125

9am-5pm
Free

This newly established museum offers many interactive exhibits where you can view rare original documents and artifacts that tell the story of Massachusetts’ founding. You can enter a replica of the Arbella, the ship that transported the Pilgrims from England in 1630. Also on display are the thirteen original copies of the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights, the Massachusetts Constitution and the 1629 and 1691 charters. This museum is free to the public. http://www.sec.state.ma.us/sec/mus/museum/index.htm