Day Tripper Dispatches

Day Trippers Get Giddy
August 31, 2007, 3:53 am
Filed under: Boston, buy the book, Cape Cod, new releases

“I am absolutely giddy at the prospect of the new Compleat Day Tripper!” says loyal DayTripper Judi McLaughlin. Yes, it’s true – we’ve thrashed though and thoroughly revised the Greater Boston edition and with the addition of the brand-new and equally opinionated Cape Cod Day Tripper by Marlissa Briggett, WE NOWHAVE A SERIES! Both books are due for launch before spring. Sign up for our mailing list and be there to meet the authors, and for great deals on signed books, drawings for free books, and fabulous Day Tripper destination giveaways and discounts!

Please visit us at theĀ DayTripper Books website!

Sea Turtle Rescue on Cape Cod

One of the great things about living on Cape Cod is the tremendous number of opportunities to get involved with ongoing work to preserve the environment and to protect wildlife, reported reader Rick Silva on the Dispatches Gather group. Rick and friends volunteer at the Humane Society’s Cape Wildlife Center, and are involved in saltmarsh monitoring through the Association to Preserve Cape Cod (also see the author’s recent article on fish monitoring with the APCC). On Monday, Rick was among a large crowd of spectators who came to Dowses Beach in Osterville MA to watch a group of sea turtles get released into the wild.


A few of the turtles seemed a bit confused at first, but then slowly headed down the beach…

Stone Zoo’s Amazing Birds of Prey

A Day Tripper reader highly recommends the Birds of Prey show currently at The Stone Zoo. The group putting on the show is from the World Bird Sanctuary in St. Louis. They present all rescued birds and the performance is educational as well as awe-inspiring, according to Eileen E. of Arlington, who adds that the show features about a dozen different birds and audience participation. The birds are majestic and the theatre is so small you get to see them up close. They swoop down from outside the fence and land on the trainers arm, lots of “ooohs” and “aaahs” – even really little ones were engaged. There are three shows a day, and it’s well worth a day trip.

Feed your Dispatches! Click here to get the Feedburner widget for your desktop, so you’ll get Dispatches the minute they are posted!

Nature Educates at Harvard
August 8, 2007, 11:47 pm
Filed under: animals, birding, education, nature walks, science, suburbs, sustainability

This week’s report from Rob Gogan’s Nature Watch:

COTTONTAIL RABBIT hops leisurely through the grass by the Business School’s Cotting Hall.

RED-TAILED HAWKS perching on light towers hunt young rabbits hopping out from beneath the shelter of Newell Boathouse. “Only the cautious survive,” notes a boatman. Another curious red-tailed cocks its head 90 degrees to peer inside Holyoke Center 10th floor windows. Up above the roof of Holyoke Center, two red tails circle together. One of them alights on a cell phone antenna about 20 feet above Holyoke staffer…Cineaste immature red-tailed calls out plaintively for its parents from the tower of Memorial Hall, where Denzel Washington’s large crew films “The Great Debaters.

WILD TURKEY returns to the HBS campus. She trots outside the fenced-in children’s playground at the Soldiers Field Park day care center.

DOWNY WOODPECKER inspects the trunk of a maple on the bank opposite the Weld Boat House. Meanwhile, another downy feeds in a tall maple behind Widener and another patrols the bark of a tree near the Fogg… Black and white checker of another downy flashes into an elm near Memorial Hall.

BALTIMORE ORIOLE comes to light among the plane tree leaves on the corner of Western Avenue and Soldiers Field Road.

WHIPPOORWILL calls just before dawn behind Greenough Hall.

CAROLINA WRENS sing near 5 Bryant Street.

BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE flies about in the branches of the tree in front of the Fogg, calling sweetly.

ROBIN behind Grays Hall pulls up an earthworm and arranges it in his bill before flying off to feed his fledgling in a secure spot. A robin and several STARLINGS happily share the bathing opportunities of a puddle behind Sever Hall.

WHITE BUTTERFLIES flit among the white pine in Harvard Yard, on the ivy of the brick wall in front of Lamont on Mass Ave, and flit across Quincy Street towards the Yard.

RED ADMIRAL butterfly (Vanessa Atalanta) rests on a chainlink fence post by the experimental garden by the OEB Greenhouses. Three more Admirals butterflies also cross Quincy into the Yard from the Barker Center and the Faculty Club, probably after enjoying nectar and the flower garden in full bloom.

Big BUMBLE BEE enjoys a cone flower in front of Loeb House.

Blue CHICORY and yellow EVENING PRIMROSE come into bloom up and down both banks of the Charles.

See Ryan Lynch’s fabulous website mapping and identifying (nearly) every Harvard Yard tree!

Thanks to birder and Harvard facilities associate manager Rob Gogan and his “Campus Nature Watchers” including Pete Atkinson, Betsey Cogswell, Marge Fisher, Justin Ide, Sonia Ketchian, Joe Shea, Bob Stymeist and Ray Traietti!

History Comes Alive in Sturbridge

See history come alive in quiet simplicity in Old Sturbridge Village, a little southwest of Worcester. This is a settlement created by gathering together and restoring original buildings from towns throughout New England. Trained guides demonstrate colonial life in this re-creation of an 1830s New England village. There are more than 40 restored structures, including a school, a tavern, a few churches, a meeting house, a bank, some shops, and several homes. In addition, there’s a working farm and a water-powered mill. The costumed staff demonstrates the making of soap, bread,shoes, tinware, and even horseshoes, all in historically accurate costumes. Map

Feed Your Day Trips!
August 6, 2007, 1:43 am
Filed under: blog feed, dispatches subscription, feedburner, sponsors
The Day Tripper Divas are posting new discoveries, contact information, and day trip tips on a daily or sometimes more frequent basis. Click here to get the Feedburner widget for your desktop, and you’ll see the freshest Dispatches, the minute they are posted!

Oceans of Fun in Woods Hole

Woods Hole makes a great day destination from Greater Boston. In the far part of Falmouth, there is the free Woods Hole Science Aquarium run by the National Fisheries Service (check hours) and a museum at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute focusing on underwater exploration and climate change.

Woods Hole and Falmouth also have some neat beaches that usually aren’t overrun with tourists. Our favorite, especially for young children, is Woodneck Beach in Falmouth – part of it is a very calm marsh/sandpit area with tons of hermit crabs, and other creatures. .

There ‘s a fun bakery called Pie in the Sky in Woods Hole with outdoor tables, casual but nice, with great meal choices. Also Falmouth proper, near the center of town, has a brand new large playground with all kinds of cool ocean-related things; including a little
lighthouse you can climb up; it’s very close to the library; by an elementary school.

We have family in Falmouth; so we go there quite often. It’s about 1 3/4 hr. drive, with no traffic (we go down the 128 to Rt. 24 way). It’s best to avoid rush hour, for a day trip, leaving VERY early in the a.m. is recommended.

Many thanks for this day trip tip from Jeanne Wells Hobbie, formerly of the Arlington Family Connection board, and director of Mystic River Musik.

Be a Compleat Day Tripper!

The Compleat Day Tripper

  • New Metro Boston Edition coming in September – completely revised & updated
  • Cape Cod & South Coast Edition due out by October!
  • Vermont/NH and Western Massachusetts editions in development!

Get out and about with these wildly popular, newly revised and expanded guides to family-friendly expeditions. By popular demand, the latest editions will feature sections on accessible activities, birthday parties, and swimming pools. You’ll find some very frank reviews, plus great index, destination websites, and contact information for each family-tested Day Trip. A portion of the proceeds benefit local public schools. The electronic editions make perfect companions to the books, and include clickable website links. Put the PDF on your PDA or iPhone!

Click Here to Order

Take a Nice Jaunt to Nahant!

We’ve had a lot of fun taking our kids to Long Beach, Nahant Because our 2-year-old can generally only handle a couple of hours at the beach, we found the parking prices on the North Shore a bit prohibitive. The great advantage of Nahant is that there’s loads of parking (1300 spaces!), it only costs $3 per car during the day and !bonus! it’s free after about 4.30pm. So it’s perfectly suited to a quick visit. The parking is very close to the beach too. We’re often parked only 30 yards from where we sit, which makes exits nice and speedy. The beach is a relatively short drive from Cambridge/Somerville (map) and is sandy and quite shallow and good for kids. As the name suggests, it is very long, so is much less crowded than Walden Pond or the closer North Shore beaches. Plus, there’s a Dunkin Donuts at the entrance to the car park — great for a parental iced coffee or bagel snack for the kids. – Thanks to Serena Hildenbrand, Somerville, for this beach tip!

Canobie Lake: Now Toddler Tested!

We just took our (22 month old) daughter to Canobie Lake Park last week, and she loved it. Loads of great kid rides, and she loved the train that went around the park. Totally worth it (especially because she was free – up to age 3). Love the Compleat Day Tripper, thanks! – Jess McDaniel, Somerville