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December 2010 - JANET PORCARO

12 Things to do in and around Newton in keeping with the spirit of the season

12 Things to do in and around Newton in keeping with the spirit of the season

Peace on earth

Peace on earth

It’s the silly season. If you are not feeling jolly yet, here are some suggestions to help you find a little peace on earth. 

  1. Take a drive to look at the lights. One of my best winter memories come from the drives we took as a family to see the holiday lights. We didn’t always drive into Boston to see the amazing display on the Boston Commons. Many times, we drove around the neighborhood to our delight, admiring the neighborhood decor. Talk about simple pleasures!

    Sally's House

    My Friend Sally’s House

  2. Check out the family activities at Historic Newton Jackson Homestead and Museum. The new exhibit, “Peeking into Newton’s Toychest”, explores the lessons and values that toys have brought to children through the ages. Historic Newton offers many family events.

    Welcome Home

    Home in Newtonville

  3. Go ice-skating. The Skating Club of Boston, www.scboston.org, is an excellent resource for local skating rinks, activities, and events. In Newton,  The Fessenden Ice Rink is located at 450 Crafts St., West Newton, MA. Admission is $5 for Skating Club members and $15 for non-members. Don’t have ice-skates? See below.
  4. Participate in the Skate Swap in Newton Highlands sponsored by the Newton Highlands Neighborhood Area Council. Between now and January 2, drop off old skates at the Brigham House at 20 Hartford Street, Newton Highlands. On January 2nd,  take the family for new skates for free! Open to all. After you pick up your skates head over to the new skating rink next to the Hyde Center.
  5. Focus on living in the moment–take a yoga class. My biggest find this season has to be The Down Under Yoga Studio in Newtonville,
    Down Under Yoga

    Down Under Yoga Studio

    www.DownUnderYoga.com. The beautiful new studio is located under the CVS on Walnut Street and is designed with attention to detail. You are guided through each class with experienced and devoted instructors who are attentive to all participants. The studio is equipped with all kinds of props, such as blankets, bolsters, bricks, belts, and ropes. Great care is taken to help students learn to come to the postures at their own level and abilities while still challenging your limits. Try the newcomers special: two weeks of unlimited classes for $25 (newcomers only).

  6. Take someone you love out for hot chocolate. There are several local coffee shops who promise to deliver a delicious hot cup. Taste in Newtonville is right across the Down Under Yoga Studio. L’Aroma Cafe in West Newton is a great space with a second floor which is perfect for larger gatherings. Lincoln Street Coffee is a cozy spot in Newton Highlands.
  7. Visit the new wing at the Museum of Fine Arts.
  8. “What would the holidays be without a little music?.” Send some holiday cheer via email compliments of the Boston Pops and Fidelity Investments. For every card sent, Fidelity will contribute another $1 toward musical instruments for schools. See www.futurestage.com/ecards.
  9. Attend the Boston Pops –  Holiday Pops Performances by the Boston Pops Orchestra.
  10. Visit the Mayor’s Open House on December 30, 1:30 to 3:30.
  11. Experience some local theatre. See Godspell this December at the Turtle Lane Players in Auburndale, MA.
  12. Have a family movie night with warm cider and popcorn and watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” with good old Clarence and the gang. What could be better?

 May your fingers and toes stay toasty warm through the winter season!

Skating on Boston Commons

Skating on Boston Commons


Newton Public Schools Where Technology and Innovation Thrive

Newton Public Schools Where Technology and Innovation Thrive

Newton Lab where Newton High School Students Celebrate InnovationThe Newton’s Innovation Lab was launched with electrifying ceremony on December 7, 2010. The collaboration with schools, communities, and business involve Newton High Schools students in learning to make a better world. Students are working with new models of curriculum in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). And they are excited about it. See the video below.

“The goal is to provide students and teachers with an opportunity to innovate, implement, and scale education initiatives that are centered on real world issues and solutions.”

The Greengineers program gives students the opportunity to create studies from start to finish to discover better ways to develope alternative fuels and recycled products. Even before the new building opened, students and teachers worked under less than best conditions to product bio-diesel fuel. The primarly rule is always safety first. Read more about the Greeeningeers at www.Greengineers.wikispaces.com. Read more about The Newton North Greeningers.

The Ligerbots Team is an award winning robotics club. Students from Newton North High School, The Tigers, and Newton South High School, The Lyons, work together with the support of FIRST www.USFIRST.org, to create a robot to participate in national competitions. Read more at Ligerbots.com.

Ligerbots - Newton High Schools' Robotics Team

Ligerbots – Newton High Schools’ Robotics Team

This is a feel good story. The Newton community should be proud. This is something that gives me hope for the future.