Johnny's List of Quirky Boston Events: 9/29/05

I do feel a little silly writing up the weekend with only 11 livejournal friends. If you like what you see, please spread the word. :)


I went to King Richard's Faire over the weekend and I have to say that it was a disappointment. Apparently they pay their performers very little and the juggling, comedy, and music routines were not worth seeing. Shopping for pewter dragons and wizards is not really my thing, and the food was expensive and bad. Considering that admission is $24 I had really hoped for more, although the jousting tournament was fun as usual and I enjoyed Etienne the comedian.


NEMO and the Big E continue this weekend.


This weekend is the
Roxbury Open Studios, Oct 1-2, Roxbury MA, a local show where artists open up their private homes and art studios to the public. Most of the art is for sale, so it benefits local artists and it's a fun way to spend the day walking around the neighborhood. Unfortunately in this case the neighborhood is Roxbury, and since there are so many other open studios year 'round I would give this event only a secondary recommendation.


Also this weekend is the
National Cranberry Festival, Oct 1,2,8,9, and 10 in Carver, MA, which takes place at Edaville Railroad. I haven't been to either but I'm sure it's worth half a day if you have something else to do in the area. Edaville seems to be mainly a kids thing but take a train ride at Edaville and enjoy the scenery, especially if you do it next weekened as the trees are starting to turn fall colors. Or combine your visit with a trip to Plimoth Plantation or King Richard's Faire.


The best thing going on this weekend is the
Made in Massachusetts Festival at Old Sturbridge Village, Oct 1-2 in Sturbidge, MA. If you haven't been to Sturbridge Village I highly recommend it. It's a recreation town of 19th century New England living, with live actors who show you craftmaking, farming, blacksmithing. It's education and deeply interesting, and there are plenty of indoor activities to shelter you from cold weather. In fact the place is open year 'round so it's a good wintry thing to do. This seems to be one of their 2-3 big festivals a year.


This weekend is also the opening of the
Topsfield Fair, Sep 30-Oct 10, Topsfield, MA, my favorite local agricultural fair. Unlike the Big E, they have every kind of imaginable animal. And while the crafts and vendor tables are hokey they are all small mom & pop organizations you can root for. See a demonstration of wood carving, meet carnivorous birds, go on some cheesy carnival rides. Traffic can be tricky (unlike the Marshfield Fair where we got parking immediately) so go early. This sort of event you don't go because you love the farm lifestyle, you go because others love the farm lifestyle and you can get a taste of their culture. Highly recommended.


This week's bonus activitiy is
Apple Picking at Davis Farmland and MegaMaze, Sterling, MA. Davis Farmland is New England's third largest amusement park, which is to say it's not that big after Canobie Lake Park and Six Flags New England. But they have a petting zoo, hay rides, a water spray park, apple picking, and New England's largest maze, which is a corn field maze. You really can't go wrong visiting Davis Farmland, but it is only a half-day activity so plan to visit nearby
Wachusett Mountain
for hiking as well. Other apple and berry picking places in New England include Connors Farm in Danvers, Lookout Farm in Natick, Smolak Farms in North Andover, and Berlin Orchards in Berlin, MA. If you want the full list of places, check out www.pickyourown.org/massstraw.htm. Buy a cider press and have your own party.