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March Big Sister Scene

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imagesPlanning for the Future

Written by Kristen Smith, Impact Services Coordinator

How does your Little Sister envision her future? Has she talked about the goals she has for herself? As her Big Sister, you may be wondering how you can help your Little Sister select and achieve her plans for the future. First, keep in mind that there are many paths to success. You may need to widen your ideas about career and life decisions to include trade schools, culinary schools, community colleges, parenting, among many others. It is important to take the lead from your Little Sister about how she envisions her future. If she already has an idea of what she would like to do for a career, help her break it down so that she understands all the steps she needs to take to get from where she is now to where she wants to be in the future. If she is unsure of a future career, help her explore her interests through volunteering, a job, or internships. This will help her get experience in a specific field and decide if it is an area that she would like to pursue.

To help her break down her goal into obtainable steps, it is helpful to start by discussing goal setting. Whether it is a long term goal – like her future career – or a short term goal – like wanting to make the basketball team – it is important to know how to set and achieve a goal. One helpful tool is to ensure tyou are setting goals that follow the S.M.A.R.T acronym: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. If you and your Little Sister are interested in exploring these topics, I encourage you to attend Dream Big! a Real Choices, Strong Voices workshop. This workshop will discuss how to create S.M.A.R.T. goals and how Big Sisters can support and encourage their Little Sisters in achieving their goals. You can contact your Match Support Specialist to find out when the workshop for your Little Sister’s age range is being held. Additionally, here are some tips and items to keep in mind when discussing setting goals with your Little Sister.

  • Let your Little Sister take the lead around discussing her future plans. If she expresses an interest in talking about her goals, try to find fun ways to expose her to her options. For example, getting lunch or playing Frisbee on a college campus, or showing your Little Sister your office space.   These are less overwhelming than taking a college tour or bringing her to work with you for a full day.
  • Help her think through the steps she needs to take to reach her goals. For instance, if she wants to be a nurse, she’ll need to think about what training she’ll need to be certified. If you don’t know, look it up! This is a great activity to do together.
  • You can sharpen your Little Sister’s decision making skills by asking questions not giving answers when she comes to you with a problem. For instance, if your Little Sister asks you if she should run for student council, ask her questions to help her think through the pros and cons so she comes to a decision that works for her.
  • Expose her to new things and encourage her interests and skills. Using positive reinforcement and telling your Little Sister when you notice she is good at something is a wonderful way to help her see her potential. Let her know if there are career options that match her interests. For instance, if your Little Sister loves children, ask her if she has considered working in a daycare setting or teaching?
  • Share your own experiences and how you made the choices you made. Particularly make note of the unexpected obstacles that you faced and how you navigated those challenges.
  • Offer a range of perspective – For example, “Some people think it’s really important to go to college right away, which is why I did, because of x, y, z, but other people think it’s great to work and save money after you graduate from high school, while other people think it’s important to focus on doing volunteer work. What do you think?”
  • Encourage your Little Sister to talk with her caregivers about what she wants her future to be. Suggest that she ask her family about how they reached their own goals.

Talk to your Match Support Specialist if you need more specific help or additional resources.

Upcoming Big Sister Events

BSAFashionShowLogoAnnual Fashion Show

Tuesday, March 19, 6:00pm-9:00pm

Don’t miss your chance to see Red Sox’s Jason Varitek and Patriot’s Zoltan Mesko walk down the runway!

Get your discounted tickets here.

Convos-Among-Women-RealityTV SimmonsA Day in the Life of a College Student

Saturday, April 13, 1:00pm-3:00pm

This is for Little Sisters age 14+. Learn about the college experience first hand from Simmons College students. You will receive a tour of the college, learn about the application process, see a dorm room, and more! Email Jen Perrone at to reserve your spot.

Real Choices, Strong Voices

For more information on the next Real Choices, Strong Voices workshop, email Margot Phelps at

Be sure to “like” our Facebook page to hear about ticket opportunities for you and your Little Sister. Past ticket opportunities include Patriots tickets, Red Sox tickets, museum tickets, and plays.

Spotlight: Big Sister of the Year, Caroline Kohler


Big Sister Caroline Kohler has been matched with her Little Sister Nadege for over a year through the Boston College/Franklin Field Program. Caroline recently accepted the Big Sister of the Year award. Pictured above are Caroline and Nadege at Boston College during one of their weekly visits.

Guest Post by Marketing Intern, Molly Decker

Q: Initially, what made you want to get involved with Big Sister?

A: I was looking for a way to get involved in an organization I really cared about on campus. I had looked at a couple of different organizations, but none of them really seemed to emphasize service through the development of strong relationships. When I came across Big Sister and learned I would be able to build and develop a relationship with a girl within the context of such an amazing, empowering institution I was ecstatic and immediately jumped at the opportunity to get involved.

Q: What is the most rewarding part about being a Big Sister?

A: The most rewarding part about being a Big Sister is really watching the relationship that I  have with Nadege grow and develop with each passing week. While I see myself as Nadege’s mentor, I first and foremost see myself as her friend. We share our struggles, hopes, and dreams with each other and constantly encourage one another to do our very best. Having only known each other for a year and a half, the mutual respect and admiration that we have for each other is astounding, and I consider myself so blessed to be a part of such a wonderful relationship.

Q: What is something you’ve learned about yourself or about the world since becoming a Big Sister?

A: I have learned that “sister” means so many more things than simply someone you are related to and the role of a sister does not have to be filled by a biological relation. “Sister” means mentor, confidant, teacher, student, listener, helper, and friend.

Q: Who were some of your female role models growing up? What made them such positive role models for you?

A: My main female role model growing up is my grandma. She is an amazing person. An immigrant from Ireland, she came to America by herself at 18. She has taught me what it means to be a strong, independent, and pragmatic woman, and I could not thank her enough for that. She is the strongest, most resilient woman I know. I look at her and am so proud and in awe of her spirit.

Q: What is something your Little Sister has taught you since you’ve been matched?

A: Nadege has taught me what it is like to be a kid again. Something I noticed near the end of my freshman year was that often times I would get so wrapped up in exams, papers, commitments, and meaningless drama that I forgot what it was like to splash around in the pool or play Monopoly for hours or just hang out and paint nails. Over the last year and a half with Nadege, I have learned once again that sometimes it is not about how stressful the week before was or decisions looming on the horizon. Sometimes the only thing that matters is the good company you are in and who owns Park Place.

Baby, It’s Cold Outside!

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.

Frog Pond

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

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.

food projectWinter “Grow Well, Eat Well” Workshops

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.

bostonbowl1Boston Bowl

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!

paintbox1Boston Paintbox Tour

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.

children's museumBoston Children’s Museum

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!

Little Sister Sequoia’s First Red Sox Game


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!

Guest Post: Little Sister Molly – The Celtics “Ball Kid”

Big Sister Alex and Little Sister Molly

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 or (617) 236-8366.

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  

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

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 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

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

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

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.

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.

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!

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.

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!

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.

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.

Related Posts

Boston Neighborhood Highlights: Dorchester
Boston Neighborhood Highlights: Roxbury

Boston Neighborhood Highlights: Roxbury

Roxbury was one of the first towns founded in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630.  It became annexed to Boston in 1868. The original town of Roxbury once included the current Boston neighborhoods of Jamaica Plain, Roslindale, West Roxbury, the South End and much of Back Bay. Though currently much  smaller than its original boundaries, it holds many entertaining and exciting match activities. Below are a few favorites:

Roxbury Center for the Arts – Hibernian Hall

184 Dudley St.
Roxbury, MA 02119

Built in 1913 and reopened in 2005, Roxbury Center for the Arts at Hibernian Hall is a historic ballroom that serves as a multicultural arts  and entertainment venue.  Hibernian Hall organizes a wide range of events, such as master classes in dance and theater,  Thursday night jazz, soul, & R&B  performances, and Friday Flix, a monthly film series. To find out about upcoming events, visit

Discover Roxbury’s Neighborhood Tours

183 Roxbury Street
Boston, MA 02119

Discover Roxbury

Discover Roxbury is a non-profit organization that promotes the economic development of Roxbury through tourism. They organize interactive  guided trolley, walking, and bike tours of Roxbury’s arts, culture, and history as well as culinary events .  One of their more popular walking tours is the “Women’s History Walking Tour” where you learn about the historic impact women have had in Roxbury.

Shirley-Eustis House

33 Shirley Street
Roxbury, MA 02119

Adults: $5
Children: $3

Celebrating its 250th anniversary, The Shirley-Eustis House is the only remaining country house built by a British Colonial Governor in America. Learn about the house’s many residents during the 18th and 19th centuries, including William Shirley, the Royal Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and later the Governor of the Bahamas in the 1760’s. The House, adjacent to Dudley Triangle,  is open to the public for tours Thursday through Sunday from  June through September and by appointment on any weekday year-round. Weekend concerts are presented April through November. 

National Center of Afro-American Artists

300 Walnut Avenue
Boston, MA 02119

Tues-Sun: 1pm-5pm
Adults: $4
Children: $3

The National Center of Afro-American Artists serves as a celebration of black visual arts worldwide. Offered in the museum are African, Afro-Latin, Afro-Caribbean and African-American collections and many educational resources for children and adults. Their current exhibit, “Children=Hope” acknowledges the promise of young people by visualizing them through the prism of contemporary art.  It features the work of ten women artists active in Greater Boston  and will be on display through September 18th, 2011.

Highland Park

Highland Ave.
Roxbury, MA 02120

The four-acre Highland Park, home of the Fort-Hill Tower, was the location of the Continental Army’s fortification during the Siege of Boston in the American Revolutionary War.  In the warmer months, it is a great place to setup a picnic, play Frisbee, or just take in the Boston view.  In the snow-heavy winter, it serves as an excellent spot for sledding.

Roxbury International Film Festival

The 13th Annual Roxbury International Film Festival runs from Thursday July 28 – Sunday July 31, 2011. It includes workshops, panel discussions, and film screenings with a focus on films celebrating people of color. Film screenings will take place at the Museum of Fine Arts, Massachusetts College of Art, Wentworth Institute of Technology, Northeastern University, the Roxbury Center for the Arts at Hibernian Hall and the Coolidge Corner Theatre. Ticket pricing is based on event.

In July 2002, 22 Palestinian, Israeli and Palestinian Israeli teenage girls traveled to the United States to participate in a women’s leadership program called Building Bridges for Peace.  My So-Called Enemy is the story of 6 of the girls and how the transformative experience of knowing their “enemies” as human beings meets with the realities of their lives at home in the Middle East over the next 7 years. The film is playing Monday, July 25 at the Coolidge Corner Theatre.
Playing Saturday, July 30 at Haley House is Desert Flower, the autobiographical story of Waris Dirie, a Somalian woman circumcised at age 3, sold in marriage at age 13, who fled from Africa later to become an American supermodel. Now, at the age of 38, she is the UN spokeswoman against female circumcision. Click here for the festival’s full line-up.
Also on Saturday, July 30 at Wentworth Institute of Technology’s Blount Auditorium, a Furious Force of Rhymes looks at the role hip-hop has played as trans-national protest music. Over the course of the 84-minute voyage, the viewer encounters diverse characters—Israeli Jews, marginalized French Arabs, East German skinhead punks and West African feminists—who share a common musical language.

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Boston Neighborhood Highlights: Dorchester

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

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.

JFK Library

Columbia Point
Boston, MA 02125

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!

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.

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!

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:

Commonwealth Museum

220 Morrissey Blvd.
Boston, MA 02125


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.