Friday, October 4, 2013


Since Dashiell's school has such weird, early hours (7:30 - 1:45), it means that we often have this huge gaping block of time in the afternoon that we need to fill with Stuff To Do.  And since the weather has been pretty amazing lately, we've been hitting up a lot of the local farms and parks so we can enjoy this weather - it will be winter before we know it!

About a week and a half ago we zipped over to Parlee Farm in Tyngsboro.  On the weekends it's MOBBED with people, especially during apple picking season, so mid-week is the perfect time to head over there, check out their pumpkins, play on/in their hay maze, drive the tractor go-carts, and feed the animals.  Oh, and eat cider donuts.  Lots and lots of cider donuts...mmm...
I sent Aurelia and Dashiell on a quest for the smallest pumpkins they could find.
Both of them LOVED the white pumpkins, but we didn't find any really small pumpkins.

Though he looks kind of freaked out in this photo, he was having a great time driving the little tractor!

Then last week we made a trip over to Great Brook Farm for a little ice cream and a visit with the cows, sheep and goats.  Dashiell needed to get some blood work done for his allergist (which I had put off for two months, knowing that it would be torture getting him to calm down enough to have a blood draw.  I was right - he totally freaked - though afterwards he said, "that wasn't too bad! What was I afraid of?"), and this was his reward.  They have amazing ice cream - Dashiell had chocolate (of course - it's his favorite), and Aurelia and I shared a cup of caramel apple.  Delish!  Once we were done eating Aurelia mooed at the goats while Dashiell and I fed them, then we headed over to the pond to climb on the rocks and throw stones at the lily pads.

That afternoon was also the first day Dashiell had homework from school!  So once we got home he set to work, and Aurelia was right there with him, doing her own "homework".

As for non-school day outings, the day that we all got haircuts last weekend we decided to go on a little trip to the Boott Cotton Mills since it is part of the National Park system and a) it was free that day, and b) we were pretty sure the government shut-down was going to happen and it might be awhile before we could visit a National Park location again.  Dashiell LOVES the Boott Cotton Mills.  It's filled with loud, old machinery and plenty of pulleys and gears - what's not to love?

 Aurelia is maybe not as impressed as Dashiell...

They run a few of the big industrial looms in the weave room so you can see and hear what it would be like to work there.  It is LOUD, and that's with only a handful of the machines running.  I can't even imagine how loud it must have been for the people who used to work there.  At least we have the luxury of wearing earplugs!

In the gallery above the weave room they have a scale model of the mill which was pretty neat:
There was also a small hand loom that kids could weave on, and a bunch of other fiber-based activities to give you a more hands-on experience.  It's an interesting little museum that does a good job highlighting what life used to be like in our little mill city!

It's been fun getting out and about with the kids so much lately!  What's on the agenda this weekend?  Possibly apple picking, or maybe - just maybe - we'll stay home and do nothing.  That would be okay too!

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