Outdoor fun, simplified for those of us who could use some simplicity.
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Outdoor fun. Simplified.
Subscribe to the Boston edition of Outdoor Fun Club and receive expert outdoor advice in your inbox every week. Be ready for the weekend.
August 29, 2012 / Issue #20
Labor Day 2012, The unofficial last weekend of summer
While the Autumnal Equinox is still officially a few weeks away, Labor Day weekend always seems like the last weekend of summer. That went fast, didn’t it? Hopefully, you’ve filled your summer days with beach outings, bike rides, hikes, and other memory making activities with your friends and family. With one last, long weekend left in summer, it’s not too late to get your fill.
Need some other ideas? You’re in luck. We found a pair of fun events taking place this weekend that we’d like to tell you about. They bookend the long weekend so if you’re getting out of town for a couple days, they’re still worth considering.
Once upon a time, iPads, Nick Jr., and fast food didn’t exist
The Highland Street Foundation has been sponsoring Free Fun Fridays all summer. Each week they help provide free access to area cultural attractions. This Friday, you can get outdoors at Plimoth Plantation while saving $80 (that’s about what admission would cost a family of four). Although hours are normally 9AM to 5PM, you may want to consider getting an early start. Free admission does tend to bring out the crowds. There are a number of activities, but a stroll through the 17th-Century English Village is one not to be missed.
Because you definitely want to see thousands of rubber duckys tumble over a waterfall
There’s lots to like about Bullfinch’s Charity Duck Race. First, it takes place at the wonderfully serene Grist Mill at the Wayside Inn in Sudbury. The Grist Mill is something you expect to see on a postcard or as the October photo in a Scenes of New England calendar. But this Monday at high noon, The Grist Mill is the place where 3,000 rubber ducks get dumped into the stream above the mill for a slow float until they tumble down a waterfall to “race” to the finish line below.
Photo Credit: Mass Office of Travel & Tourism
Another thing to like about the duck race is the cause. All proceeds from a raffle benefit the UMASS Memorial Medical Center. For $5 each, raffle tickets let you adopt a duck and win (small) prizes. Luckily for you and your family, it’s nothing like going to the track and betting on the ponies. It’s actually much better.
Because the race only lasts about half an hour, a little advance planning will help you extend your stay. The Grist Mill is and idyllic setting for a family picnic. Toss a blanket in the trunk before you leave. If you need picnic supplies, Stephen Anthony’s Olde Colonial Market is a mile away. Little boys and girls will want to splash around in the stream, so crocs or similar water friendly footwear is a good idea.
Keep in mind, there aren’t any public bathrooms there. At best, there might be a temporary port-a-potty, but those are never pleasant.