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!
In February, when most Bostonians are still bundling up and braving the cold, Match Support Specialists are thinking ahead to summer and planning for what our Little Sisters will do with that time off from school. This year, Big Sister Association partnered with several fantastic organizations to offer summertime opportunities for the girls we serve. Little Sisters attended traditional sleep away camps in Maine and New Hampshire, including stays at The Summer Camp, Camp Brantwood, Main Idea, and White Mountain Camp. They also participated in service-oriented internships through Boston Center for Youth and Families SUPERTeens and The Food Project, as well as attending the Dana Hall Girls Leadership Program. Big Sister Association is committed to helping Little Sisters engage with programs that keep them stimulated personally and intellectually over the summer, a time when many feel bored, experience a loss of learning and engage in risky behaviors. By doing something new and different for the summer, Little Sisters also become more independent, more confident, and more aware of the opportunities that exist for them. This has certainly been the case for eighteen-year old Little Sister Roseanne, who participated in Grand Circle Foundation’s Next Generation Leaders Program and who has been matched with her Big Sister Joy since 2005.
Big Sister was invited to nominate Little Sisters who were college-bound high school seniors for the Next Generation Leaders Program. Roseanne, then a student at Boston Latin School and who had always demonstrated intellectual curiosity and determination at school, in extra-curricular activities, and in her match was nominated. Roseanne worked diligently on her application, including essay questions about her strengths and areas of growth in regards to leadership. After an in-person interview with several people at Grand Circle Foundation, Roseanne was chosen to participate in the program, where she completed a seven week paid internship in Boston and participated in a ten day, all expenses paid, leadership and service trip to Kenya and Tanzania. As someone who is more of an introvert, the intense group experience that focused on teamwork and leadership was a challenge for Roseanne—one that taught her a lot about herself and others.
Roseanne is interested in information technology and at her internship, she was able to learn valuable and relevant skills using programs like Excel, Hyperion, and Tableau, and was exposed to a variety of work opportunities in her field of interest. However, nothing compared to the adventures she had in Kenya and Tanzania. She was able to experience the culture first-hand, eating native foods, participating in ritual dances, and playing with kids in a local orphanage. This fall, Roseanne started her freshman year at Harvard University, an experience that will certainly be worlds apart from her time in Africa. However, this latest adventure is something she will carry with her. Her thoughts on the experience, “I’m resolved to talk to more people from different backgrounds and it’s given me another reason to do well in college – so I can secure a well-paying job and travel.”
Check out the video of Roseanne’s travels here!