Guest Post by Marketing Intern, Molly Decker
Winter is here, and it’s definitely brought with it flurries, blizzards, and below freezing temperatures. If you’re at a loss for fun things to do with your Little Sister that won’t leave you more frozen than the Boston Common Frog Pond, look no further! Here’s a list of some fun winter activities around Boston.
Boston Common Frog Pond
If you’re bundled up properly and the temperature is in the positives, it’s not such a bad idea to venture outside and try your hand at ice skating. For Little Sisters 13 and under, admission is free, and for the rest of us (who are still kids, just on the inside) it’s only $5. The pond is open to the public daily from 10am until 9pm or 10pm, depending on the day of the week, and skating with your Little Sister (or trying not to fall with your Little Sister!) is always a fun choice. For more information or to check if it’s open, check out bostonfrogpond.com.
John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum
For Big and Little Sisters alike who are interested in history, the JFK Museum is an amazing place to spend the day. Open 7 days a week, this museum features films, recreated settings like JFK’s personalized Oval Office, and a special exhibit that gives insight into Jackie Kennedy, first lady and strong female role model. Admission pricing is as follows: $12 for adults, $10 for seniors (62 and over) and students (with valid college ID), $9 for 13-17 year olds, and free for children 12 and under. For more information, check out the museum’s website.
Since 1991, The Food Project has built a national model of engaging young people in personal and social change through sustainable agriculture. What better way to engage young people than to participate in a workshop with your Little Sister! The “Eat Well” Workshops take place at The Food Project Kitchen in Dorchester, and the “Grow Well” Workshops take place at the Dudley Greenhouse in Roxbury. Advanced registration is required for most of the classes, but it’s worth checking out. If you’re interested, check out this flier and see what’s cooking!
Public Open Night at the BU Observatory
Look up at the stars through Boston University’s telescopes and while you’re at it, learn a thing or two about the night sky! Every winter Wednesday starting at 7:30pm, you’ll get a chance to use these telescopes and see what’s out there. The telescopes are outside so you’ll have to dress warmly, but seeing the sky with BU’s astronomy department is worth it. Weather conditions such as extreme cold and clouds can’t be helped, but check the BU Observatory’s Twitter or call them 2 hours before the event to see if it’s been canceled. Check the website to learn more.
Go ahead and be Alley Cats for a day and have fun bowling with your Little Sister! Boston Bowl is located in Dorchester just off of I-93, and features Tenpin and Candlepin bowling, as well as games, food and pool tables once you’ve had your fill of bowling. Daytime bowling during the week is at a discounted price, so go after school until 6pm and have a ball!
Museum of African American History
With February comes Black History Month, and that makes this museum a great stop for those with a thirst for knowledge. It’s full of great exhibits including one through the end of February highlighting Martin Luther King Jr. and other prominent figures of the Civil Rights Movement. The exhibits are housed in the Abiel Smith School, the first public school in the nation to serve black children. It’s open from 10am to 4pm Monday through Saturday, and children 12 and under get in for free. Check out their website to plan a visit!
In an effort to lessen the vandalism of public utility boxes, Mayor Menino decided that promoting public art was the best solution. We now have, all over Boston and its surrounding communities, a series of painted utility boxes, painted by artists in their local area to make those necessary boxes beautiful. Here’s a further explanation of the project, and here’s a map of where around Boston you can find all of the boxes. They’re outside, but with the map, you can plan your trip around and not do too much excess walking. Plus, finding all of them is sort of like an art mystery, so you can show Sherlock Holmes how we girls do it.
Made By Me
For Big and Little Sisters who would rather make the art than go around looking for it, Made by Me pottery painting studio is a relaxed, fun atmosphere to do it in. You can work on a piece together, or you can choose you own individual pieces and paint side by side. The cost is the price of your pottery piece (they range from $3-$40, usually depending on size) and then $4 per half-hour per painter. It may seem on the expensive side, but on the plus side, you get to bring your kiln-fired piece home with you when it’s done! Check out their website for more info.
Everybody loves to be a kid sometimes, and the Boston Children’s Museum is exactly where anyone can be one. It’s full of interactive exhibits and chances are you’ll be having so much fun, you’ll forget that you’re actually learning a lot. Admission is a bit pricey most days, but on Friday nights from 5pm-9pm, everyone gets in for $1, courtesy of Target, so take advantage of that. If you’re interested, you can see more at their website.
Open Art Thursdays at Roxbury BPL
For people who love art but aren’t so jazzed about pottery painting, there’s always the Boston Public Library. The Parker Hill Branch in Roxbury boasts Open Art Thursdays, which are open to all ages from 3pm-7pm every Thursday. They ask that you call ahead if you plan to come with a group, but they’ll always have fun, creative art projects for you there! It’s also always worth checking out the Master Calendar of Events for all the BPL branches, because they always have workshops and other fun things to do.
So what are you waiting for? Go out and have fun in the winter wonderland of Boston with your Little Sister!
Guest Blog Post By: Erica Brien, Enrollment & Matching Specialist
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.
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.
On Friday, May 25, 100 Big and Little Sisters attended the Red Sox game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park, thanks to a ticket donation from Highland Street Foundation. Because of Highland Street’s generosity, all 50 matches received t-shirts, hats, water bottles, The Red Sox Century books, and food vouchers, along with tickets to the game. The donation enabled many Little Sisters to attend their first ever professional baseball game, including Little Sister Sequoia, who visited Fenway Park for the first time last Friday.
Big Sister Rebecca and Little Sister Sequoia have been matched for nearly one year, and in that time they have gotten to know each other really well. They’re comfortable being themselves around one another and enjoy spending time together just talking. They’ve also participated in many interesting activities, including bicycling in the Arnold Arboretum and making Valentines and cookies for Sequoia’s class. “Sequoia and I are both a mix of artistic, crafty, and outdoorsy, which is great,” said Big Sister Rebecca. Little Sister Sequoia’s favorite outing prior to Friday’s Sox game was when she and Rebecca visited the indoor trampoline park, SkyZone. Sequoia said, “We did crazy flips! Even off the wall!”
Rebecca and Sequoia were thrilled to be able to attend the May 25 baseball game. Sequoia got very excited, especially when she and Rebecca walked into the park and she saw Fenway for the first time. “The game was really cool and we were in really cool seats,” said Sequoia. “I could see the bullpen!”
Rebecca and Sequoia loved being able to share this experience with one another. “My Little Sister thought it was a fun activity to do together because I know a lot about baseball and could tell her about it,” Rebecca said. “I especially liked to see how excited she got about the baseball she received from Tampa Bay Ray Fernando Rodney. Sequoia also made friends with another Little Sister, which made the event even more fun!”
Big Sister Association would like to thank Highland Street Foundation for their generous donation!
Little Sister Molly:
It all started on April 12, 2012 when I got the phone call from my Big Sister Alex. She told me that she had BIG news, very big news! She said that we were going to the Boston Celtics game on April 24 and I was going to be a ball kid. I would also get to sit on the court, get a free tee shirt, meet some of the players, and get a signed ball! I was so excited! It was the best news I’ve ever heard. I told all of my friends and they were so happy for me. I couldn’t wait to go to the game, I was counting down the days! But then all the waiting was over and the day finally came.
On the exciting day of April 24, we arrived in Boston to see the Celtics game, but first we got dinner at Halftime Pizza. The place had great food, a mural of famous Boston sports players, and overall a fun atmosphere. Then it was time. We headed over to The Celtics office, which was very well decorated. We saw championship trophies and we took tons of pictures. We met the Community Relationships Coordinator, Ashley. She escorted us to the world famous TD Garden and we took a secret entrance into the building. When we finally saw the court I was AMAZED, I couldn’t believe it! I saw the banners, the Jumbotron, and then I saw the best 3-point shooter in NBA history: Ray Allen! Then Ashley introduced me to the Ball Kid Staff, and I started practicing with the team. I was passing and getting rebounds off of Rajon Rondo! It was one of the most exciting things I’ve ever done! I met #51 Dooling, and he was my favorite player that I met. Then it was game time. The teams we were playing, the Miami Heat was ready to play. During the first half, the Celtics were down, but not out. I got to sit on the court and the camera was on me the whole time! I got to be on TV! During halftime I got to practice with the Miami Heat! It was another important highlight of the night. When the second quarter started, the Celtics made an unexpected comeback and ended up winning by 12 points! It was such a fun night I loved every minute of it. I feel so lucky to have been a ball kid for a night and go to a Celtics game with my Big Sister!
Big Sister Alex:
When I got the news that Molly was going to have an opportunity to be a ball kid, I was so thrilled for her! It reminded me of when I was her age and had the opportunity to go to a UConn game. I really looked up to players like Jenn Rizzoti and Kara Walters. Going to get my basketball signed by them was a highlight of my childhood years and I felt lucky be able to share an experience like this with my Little Sister. She did such a wonderful job being the ball kid! She hustled to get rebounds and pass the balls to the players. She made me so proud out there! The entire experience was wonderful to have and something I can truly say neither one of us will forget.
We’d like to thank the Celtics Ticket Exchange for giving Little Sister Molly a chance to have this wonderful experience. If you are a company or individual who would like to make a ticket donation, please contact our Program Events Coordinator, Jen Gentile at firstname.lastname@example.org or (617) 236-8366.