Day Tripper Dispatches

Boston Movie Tours
June 25, 2007, 3:27 pm
Filed under: adult activities, Boston, buses, older children, tours, urban, video clip, zoos

Video: BMT stop by the State House at Boston Common

From Amistad, Mystic River, and Good Will Hunting, to such classics as The Thomas Crown Affair and The Brinks Job, Boston is a favorite destination of film makers and actors. Catch a comfy bus with Boston Movie Tours and get a low-stress, fact-filled, behind-the-scenes tour of Boston and its legendary cinematic sites, plus tidbits about TV favorites like Cheers, Ally McBeal, The Practice, and Boston Legal. New information is added daily – contribute your own to the tour guide!

The Word Is the Bird

Did you find a robin’s egg in your yard this year and look up to follow the chirping you heard admid the foliage? Report it to Mass Audubon and help enhance our understanding of how populations of Massachusetts’ breeding birds have changed in the previous three decades. Noted local birder Marj Rines reported that scores of volunteers are now fanning out across 970 ten-square-mile blocks to spot nesting birds and collect data on them for the Massachusetts Audubon Breeding Bird Atlas II. After five breeding seasons, the new data will be compared to that collected for the 1974-1979 breeding seasons, detailed in the first Atlas. MBBA II will serve a critical role in documenting population trends – not only of the rarest species, but of all of the 200-plus breeding birds of the state. For information on how to join this vast and amazing volunteer effort, please visit, which is coordinated by Rines, or contact the Massachusetts Audubon Society project website.

Parlee Will Berry You
June 19, 2007, 3:27 am
Filed under: all ages, animals, farms, food, you-pick
Parlee Farm in Tyngsboro makes a nice family trip, suggests Mary Gilbert of the Busa Farm CSA and farm stand in Lexington. In addition to their pick-your-own strawberries and other fruits, Parlee has a baby animal petting zoo, “Annie’s Goats in the Trees,” and Mary’s Country Kitchen with desserts and ice cream. The Day Tripper Divas request that if you go to Parlee, please report back whether the ice cream is also locally made. Parlee Farm’s website contains a good map and lots more information. – From the Busa Farm CSA Newsletter, June 18.

Ripe for the Picking!
June 14, 2007, 4:39 pm
Filed under: all ages, animals, farms, outdoor activities, sustainability, you-pick

The Divas recommend Tougas Family Farm in Northboro for your share of the delectable strawberries that should be coming on strong now. On June 11, Phyllis Tougas reported “plenty of strawberries in the field.” Hours hours are 8 AM to 6 PM Monday through Saturday and 8 AM to 4 PM on Sundays. Tougas said they expect to pick through early/mid-July. Tougas and many other area farms, while not certified organic, use IPM methods to reduce the use of pesticides. And it really is a family farm, with apple orchards, and store, and field picking for pumpkins in the fall. Take exit Exit 24 off I-290 on the Boylston-Northboro line. For the Dept. of Agriculture’s list of other you-pick farms with strawberries on now, click here or refer to your Compleat Day Tripper for more recommendations.

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Clear Views of Takeoff

If you’ve already been to Castle Island, Winthrop or Thompson Island to view planes taking off and landing at Logan Airport, another great spot is Drydock Avenue. Take the Red Line to South Station then the Silver Line to Boston Marine Industrial Park, and get off on Drydock Avenue. Walk down to the end of the dock by the Harbor Patrol and you can see all kinds of aircraft landing and taking off. Logan is maybe a half mile away, at the most. Thanks to John Galligan, Arlington for this nugget.

Paddle One, Paddle All

Outdoor Recreation of Hopkinton and Spot Pond Boating will be running the Universal Access paddling program in concert with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS) this summer. Outdoor enthusiasts of all ages and physical abilities are encouraged to contact Outdoor Recreation of Hopkinton at or email on or after June 9th to reserve a spot. You can reserve weekly or for the entire nine-week season. Gear and assistance is provided on request.

Zoo Tomorrow, Zoo Tomorrow
June 7, 2007, 2:47 pm
Filed under: all ages, animals, pre-school activities, zoos

Mama’s taking us to the zoo tomorrow – only which one? Local parents report that the Franklin Park Zoo‘s new gorilla exhibit is great, although you can get so close to the gorillas that it might be scary for little ones – “my 2 year old liked it from a distance,” said Dispatches reader Claire Grimble. Folks who recently visited the Providence Zoo (about 1 hour from Arlington) note that the new baby giraffe is a huge hit. The Day Tripper Divas would like to throw in a plug for the less-visited Stone Zoo, if folks haven’t been there recently. It’s small but they’ve done a lovely job of fixing it up, and there are lots of informative little nuggets and byways. Southwick’s “Zoo” in Mendon may be worth a trip especially for little kids, though some adults find it “dreary.” My daughter still talks about her camel ride at Southwick’s. So go to the zoo…and you can stay all day!