This Weekend’s Distractions: 1/26 to 1/29

By Mary Kate DePamphilis

Yes, it’s still winter, and it’s still cold out.  And it will be for a couple more months.  That doesn’t mean you have to stay inside all day on the couch, ignoring your New Year’s resolutions!  The NoBo region always has lots of things to see and do, even in winter.  Whether you are a music fan, a drama queen, an naturalist, a historian, or a party animal, there is something in this week’s Distractions for every taste.  I hope you find these events to be unique and fun.  I challenge you to pick one to attend this weekend, and to see how fantastic the NoBo region really is… what we’ve been talking about all along!


A Musical Comedy: I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, so why not get in the mood a little bit early with this hilarious musical, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change?   In the doldrums of winter, we could all use a little humor to shed some light on our relationship glitches.  This play exposes all those stages of our modern love lives as humans, from the one-night stand to meeting the person you want to be with forever—and of course, try to change!  This production has something for everyone, and your ticket fee will support the worthy group Arts After Hours in Lynn.  Book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro and music by Jimmy Roberts.

Date: Friday, January 27th, 8pm and Saturday, January 28th, 3pm & 8pm

Location: Rantoul Black Box Theatre, 25 Exchange Street, Lynn, MA 01901

Price: $20-$25

Tickets are available online or by calling 781-205-4010.


Chowderfest, a Wounded Warrior Fundraiser

You’re a New Englander, you live in the NoBo region, and you obviously love clam chowder! The best way to sample some of the area’s finest recipes is to come to this event and support a worthy cause. The Wounded Warrior Project provides assistance and resources to wounded servicemen and servicewomen that honors and empowers. There will be a DJ entertaining the party while you taste the local goods, including a Sam Adams beer tasting.  Seafood and beer, what more could you ask for?

Date: Saturday, January 28th, 1-5pm.

Location: Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2394, 14 Chipman Ave., Melrose

Price: $10 Chowder Tasting, Additional $10 for Sam Adams beer tasting

For more information about this wonderful event, please call 781-979-4186 or visit their website.


Creature Features: Live Animal Presentations

One of the Trustees of Reservations hidden gems, Ravenswood Park in Gloucester, is hosting a fun evening for the whole family.  Stop by the Cape Ann Center for Learning & Discovery to get a close-up view of the barred owls, foxes, and red squirrels that live in the park.  You will learn about their habits and behaviors, followed by a guided night-time walk in the park in search of nocturnal creatures.  Don’t forget to dress warmly!

Date: Saturday, January 28th, 4-6pm.

Location: Ravenswood Park, 481 Western Ave., Gloucester

Price: $10 per adult, FREE for kids

For more information, please call 978-281-8400, e-mail, or visit the Trustees of Reservations websites.


Winter Weekends at the Phillips House

If you are looking for a cozy and fascinating afternoon this Saturday, come to the Phillips House in historic Salem.  Hot cocoa and cookies will be served as you view film clips of the Phillips family as they engaged in their favorite winter activities.  The Phillips family renovated this historic home with a Colonial Revival style in the early twentieth century, filling the rooms with travel artifacts and items collected by five generations. The collection includes Hawaiian and Polynesian objects, early American furniture, Persian carpets, porcelain, early carriages and automobiles—a collection which blossomed during Salem’s Great Age of Sail.  Following the viewing, you may tour the home and see these items, as well as family sporting equipment, postcards, photos, and artwork not usually on display.

Date: Saturday, January 28th, 3:30-4:30pm

Location: Phillips House, 34 Chestnut Street, Salem

Price: $5 Historic New England members, $10 nonmembers, Registration is recommended.

Log on to the Historic New England website to purchase tickets.


Year of the Dragon Chinese New Year Celebration!

If you want a cultural, uniquely fun, and delicious event this weekend, this Chinese New Year Celebration is it!  The centuries old tradition is the most important of the Chinese holidays.  Celebrate all the wonderful things the Chinese culture has to offer at China Blossom Restaurant, along with the Andover Chinese Cultural Exchange (ACCE).  Enjoy a traditional dim sum buffet, see live kung fu and dance demonstrations, hear live violin music, and have the kids make traditional crafts to bring home.  If that wasn’t enough to entice you, there will be giveaways all evening.  The year of the dragon symbolizes good fortune and intense power, so start your year in good fortune by immersing yourself in this cultural extravaganza!

Date: Sunday, January 29th, 2012 from 4-7PM

Location: China Blossom Restaurant, 946 Osgood Street, North Andover

Price: $25 per person, seniors: $20, children under 11: $15, children under 5: $9

RSVP:  Seating is limited. To reserve, call Richard SooHoo at 978-470-2293 or email


Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles

Straight from Broadway, this production performs the full range of Beatles discography live onstage, from early hits like “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” to later classics like “Let it Be.”  This multimedia concert is said to capture all the magic of The Beatles.  The Associated Press called it “the next best thing to seeing The Beatles.”  You can even upgrade your ticket to a “Meet & Greet” which includes an exclusive meet and greet with the band and a signed program. Don’t worry, the venue serves drinks too!

Date: Sunday, January 29th, 2012 at 7:30PM.

Location: Lowell Memorial Auditorium, 50 East Merrimack Street, Lowell

Price:  Ranging from $22 to $131.50

Purchase Tickets by phone (978) 454-2299 or learn more about the tribute by visiting their website.


Wild Wilderness in the Burbs: Winter Tracking Hike with Dave Brown

Come out and get some exercise this weekend at one of my favorite spots, Breakheart Reservation.  Once you pull into the parking lot, you won’t hear the buzz of Route 1 and you will swear you’re in the wilderness of Maine or New Hampshire!  Expert tracker naturalist Dave Brown will be guiding your hike in search of wildlife signs, including coyote, fisher, deer, and otter that live right here in our NoBo backyard.  The hike will be two miles, covered at a slow pace for most levels to participate, but don’t forget to dress warmly and bring the right shoes!  Also remember that Breakheart offers various free children’s programs at the Christopher P. Dunne Memorial Visitors Center.  This Saturday, January 28th, children ages 5 to 11 can experience a learning adventure about the lives of animals.  This program can be arranged for groups by appointment.

Date: Sunday, January 29th, 1:30-3:30pm for the hike, Saturday, January 28th, 10-11am & 1-2pm for the children’s program

Location: Breakheart Reservation, 117 Forest Street, Saugus

Price: The event is FREE, but pre-registration is required for children’s program. Contact Matthew Nash at or 781-485-2804, ext. 105.


Be sure to also check our Distractions page each as we post other events and entertainment in the area.


Get the Best Local Distractions
Subscribe to our Daily Distraction e-mail to read our latest cover story, product spotlight, or restaurant review from across the North of Boston region!
Pretty Sweet Stuff
Want to learn how you can #GoLocal across the North of Boston region? Sign up for our Daily Distraction email to read our latest & favorite features!
Kane's Donuts - Saugus, MA
Thank You!
For Signing Up!