November 16, 2012 / Issue #30

Beating The November Outdoor Blues

November can be a difficult month to motivate outdoors but just like every month in New England, it has it’s charms. Fall walks in the woods present open views to stands of white birch. The sun hangs closer to the horizon, creating beautiful colors in the sky late in the afternoon. And then there’s Thanksgiving. A day that is one of the the two most quintessentially American days of the year. No, the other day is not Black Friday. It’s the one with all the parades and fireworks.

This week we present you with two outdoor activities that fit perfectly with the season: A trip to the farmers market and a walk in the woods.

Photo Credit: John Whittington

Photo Credit: John Whittington


A Saturday trip to the farmers’ market 

Getting outdoors doesn’t always have to be about exercise. Sometimes it can be for the love of food and city. Union Square in Somerville, MA feels a lot like Cambridge circa 1983: Lots of family owned restaurants and shops coupled with a true counter-culture ethos make it a terrific walking/people watching destination anytime. But with the perfect mix of vendors selling prepared food and the best area farmers, the Union Square Farmers’ Market kicks it all up a notch.

This Saturday from 9AM-1PM is the last market of the season and a it’s perfect place to buy most of your Thanksgiving dinner. They’ll have winter vegetables, pies, cranberries, salad greens, artisan cheeses and you might even get lucky and land a local bird if you get there early enough.

We like all farmers markets because they give everyone a chance to meet the growers of their food and to support our local economy, so if you can’t make it to this one, here’s a list to help locate one closer to you.

Add a Walk

If you do plan to go to Union Square on Saturday and would like to add a short walk and an interesting diversion(recommended for adults and kids 10+), make a reservation with Taza Chocolate for a tour of their chocolate factory. It’s like Willy Wonka if he used ancient grinding stones and rode a fixie.

Photo Credit: Kristin Shoemaker

Photo Credit: Kristin Shoemaker

A Sunday hike at the Ipswich Wildlife Sanctuary

We think it can be rewarding to revisit places at different times of the year. Kids will be amazed at the difference a few months can make to their environment while also being excited to discover things they remember from prior trips. If you’ve been to the Ipswich Wildlife Sanctuary before, you know it is a beautiful and varied piece of land. From the birds eating out of your hands to the great rockery we wrote about in May, there is a lot to do and see.

This Sunday there will be guided hikes through an old growth forest in the Ipswich Wildlife Sanctuary. The walks last approximately two hours and leave every 15 minutes between 12:15PM and 1:30PM. Advance registration is required. They have all the details laid out for you, but here it is in a nutshell: big trees, nice walk.

What more could you need on a brisk November Sunday? Hot Cider, you say? They’ll have that for you in the barn when you get back from your walk.