This Week’s Distractions: August 23 to 29

By Mary Kate DePamphilis

It’s the last weekend of August, so make it count!  There are some very tasty events going on in NoBo this weekend, in case you are ready to ditch the summer diet.  And why not?  These delicious bites from local spots are entirely worth it.  In addition, there are a couple events that would be perfect to take the whole family to.  So what we are saying here is that you can tire the kids out during the day, get a babysitter, and even more fun at night without them!  Enjoy.


Salem Farmers’ Market

If you haven’t been to the Salem Farmer’s Market, today is a great day to pop in because there are some extra cool things going on.   43 Church Restaurant of Salem will be doing a cooking demonstration from 3:30-4:30pm. 43 Church has some of the tastiest and trendiest foods (not to mention wine bar!) in Salem and the demonstration is sure to be top-notch.  In addition, Patino Vasquez will be providing musical entertainment from 5pm-close.  Patino is a favorite in Salem as his infectious electric Latino dance songs get the crowds moving!

The mission of the Salem Famers’ Market is to enhance the quality of life in the downtown Salem area by providing a community activity that fosters social gathering and interaction.  They strive to provide a convenient and congenial means of purchasing locally grown or prepared products and support local agriculture and producers by providing a direct market of their produce and goods.

Enjoy fantastic stuff like local veggies (corn is great right now!), Monkey Bread (cinnamon yummy goodness), pickles, Mandi’s chowdah, lobsters, cider donuts, Sweet Adeline’s brownies, flowers, and chardonnay from local Rowley winery, Mill River.   This is some of the best stuff NoBo has to offer and sounds absolutely delicious, so get there tonight!

When?  Today, August, 23rd, 3-7pm, and every Thursday until December 20th.

Where?  Derby Square on Front Street, Salem

Cost?  FREE


Wenham Museum Family Festival & Craft Fair

This year actually marks the 40th annual for this event which is considered one of the North Shore’s finest craft fairs featuring over 50 of the region’s best artisans offering unique hand crafted items.  There will be family activities as well as access to the museum galleries.

Feel free to bring your favorite doll to the doll clinic to schedule repair appointments.  If you haven’t been to the Wenham museum, it hosts an exhibit of dolls throughout history.  They range from Egyptian funerary figures (c. 1500 BC) to 20th-century collectible dolls, including 19th-century porcelain European play dolls, international travel dolls, “Whimsies,” American cloth dolls, and the rare 19th-century Native American and Inuit dolls.

In addition to the doll exhibit, there is a fantastic train room, a costume and textile exhibit, and so much more.  This museum is geared towards families and children, so this is definitely a great place to take the little ones on a Saturday afternoon!  There are playrooms and a gift shop, too.

When?  Saturday, August 25th, 10am-4pm.

Where?  Wenham Museum, 132 Main Street, Wenham

Cost? FREE admission to museum


Antique & Classic Boat Festival

This 30th annual unique event will be held at Salem’s marina.   A diverse range of 40+ beautiful antique and classic sailboats, power boats, & hand-powered craft ranging from the 1890’s through the 1960’s will be on display.  You will be able to see some stunning yachts,  mahogany speedboats, sloops, yawls, schooners, and a 19th century gold-leaf canoe.  Many of the boats are considered museum quality but are in fact in the water used by their owners today.  The weather is supposed to beautiful which is perfect for this outdoor event on the water!

In addition, there will be a craft fair, artists and live music by the New Orleans Jazz Band for entertainment.  You can vote for your favorite boat, and the kids will actually be able to get on board some of the, too.  Some of the captains will wear vintage outfits and others will display period décor on their boat’s table settings.  This is truly a fun, interesting, and historical day for all ages.   For more information, log on to

When?  Saturday, August 25th, 11am-5pm & Sunday, August 26th 10am-3pm

Where?  Brewer Hawthorne Cove Marina, 10 White Street, Salem; Visitor Entrance on Turner Street, Salem

Cost?  Adults – $5 donation. Kids under 12 are free.


Calypso Thursday at Keon’s Grille

Before summer completely slips away, why not stop in Keon’s Grille?  You will get your fill of summer as the live steel band Calypso Players, will be whisking guests away on the patio.  To complete the theme, the menu will feature Caribbean inspired cuisine and tropical drinks.

Keon’s Grille serves casual American fare, affordably priced with no item more than $20.  You can enjoy your dining experience in the comfortable Grille Room or sit at the oversized classy bar watching the game on the flat screen.  But tonight, the party will be on the patio overlooking the manicured fairways of Black Swan Country Club.

When?  Tonight, August 23rd, 6pm-close

Where?  Keon’s Grille at Black Swan Country Club, 258 Andover Street, Georgetown

Cost?  FREE entrance


‘Festa del Vino e Formaggio’ Wine Event

Join Mill River Winery for a casual evening with local cheese maker, Luca Mignogna, of Wolf Meadow Farm.  Luca, a 3rd generation cheese maker, from Molise, Italy will join the Mill River Winery team to pair wines with local and international cheeses for you to sample.  During the evening, Luca will talk about making cheese and his experiences growing up in Molise, an agricultural land where cheese is still prepared today as it was centuries ago. He will demonstrate how to stretch a fresh mozzarella cheese, which will then be used to “build your own caprese salad.” The caprese salad will be paired with a rustic pasta buffet and, of course Mill River wines!

Mill River is one of few NoBo’s only wineries and they have so much to offer!  Established by a husband and wife team, Mill River Winery is located on 3.3 acres of the picturesque North Shore.  The winery reflects the history and charm of the area that we all call home. Newly opened in July 2011, the winery has a mission of producing handcrafted wines using the finest grapes from Massachusetts and other notable wine regions.  Their 2010 Naked Chardonnay was awarded a silver medal by the American Wine Society.

The winery is pouring every day Wednesday to Sunday, am-6pm.  Stop by to taste your favorite wine or explore a flight of wines while relaxing in their tasting room.  Specialty food samples, gourmet cheeses, and imported Artisan olive oil are also available for tasting!  What a great new spot to visit in NoBo—and great for the local economy!

When? Friday, August 24th, 7pm-9:30pm

Where?  Mill River Winery, 498 Newburyport Turnpike, Rowley

Cost?  $35 per person, to reserve your space e-mail or call 978-432-1280; call asap!


Children’s Treasure Hunt at The Great House

While The Great House at Castle Hill is a big mansion and popular place for adults to visit and enjoy, it can also be great for kids!  The historical landmark was once the summer home and playground of the Crane children, Florence and Cornelius.

This special, 45-minute guided treasure hunt has been created especially for children ages 4 to 8. The kids will be so excited to try out their sleuthing skills as they search for treasures, both large and small, throughout the Crane family mansion.  Included in the ticket price will be hands-on experiences related to life in the 1920s and the daily activities of the servants who worked here.   Space is limited, so sign up now!

For more information on The Great House at Castle Hill, their new renovation project, and some gorgeous pictures of the mansion grounds, check out NoBo’s feature piece on the property at

When?  Friday, August 24th, 10:15-11am.

Where?  Castle Hill, 290 Argilla Road, Ipswich

Cost?  Members: Adult + 1 child, $8.  Non-members: Adult + 1 child, $10.  Each additional child is $5.  Please pre-register by calling 978-365-4351 x.4049

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