Good News from A Great City Haverhill, MA
“Love” might not be the first word that comes to mind when thinking about winter, but do you know what makes winter go by faster? Enjoying the heck out of it! The Heartbeat of Haverhill read of that cringe-inducing whine – “there’s nothing to do” on another Facebook page and decided for the sanity of all, THOH would create a list of things to keep Hillies active throughout the cold dark days. THOH’s list is based in part on the suggestions made to that complaint in a post started by Cyndi Dawkins Minichino on the You Know You’re From Haverhill Facebook page, with input from Heaventown Haverhill’s Victoria Tran.
The problem with Haverhill in the winter is that there is too much to do. This list represents only the tip of the iceberg for cold weather fun. If you can’t find something fabulous to do here, you can always hibernate – but THOH reminds you that that is a choice, not a necessity here in Haverhill. Avoid disappointment and call ahead for specific times and availability when possible, links and addresses are listed at the end of this post.
And now awesome readers, please feel free to submit your own ideas in the comments section of The Heartbeat of Haverhill blog.
GET OUT AND PLAY
Skating on ponds (Check with city for ice thickness for safety), or mini rinks provided by the city at GAR Park (across from the Library, 108 Main St.), Riverside Park (next to the former Building 19 store on Lincoln Ave) and Swasey Field 59 Blaisdell St. Our city-owned indoor rink, Veterans’ Memorial Rink, has indoor public skating on Sundays with rental available for a nominal fee.
Skiing downhill at Ski Bradford http://www.skibradford.com/
Cross country skiing or snow shoeing or hiking on many park trails including Winnekenni, around Plug Pond FREE. Check out the Haverhill city website to locate trails or buy the Haverhill Trails book at the Friends Shop at the Library for more options.
Sledding – City-sanctioned sledding at Swasey Field, 59 Blaisdell St FREE. It’s a long walk to the top from the bottom of the hill, but it’s steep enough that even a half way up start sends sailing a good distance.
Ice Fishing on our 7 lakes and ponds (Check with city for ice thickness for safety) FREE with proper equipment. Note keep off the Merrrimack River it never freezes safely.
Photo safari – bring a camera and look for bald eagles along the Merrimack River or other animals no longer hidden by deciduous tree leaves. Challenge yourself to find a wild turkey, a bison, a llama, a cardinal, a swan. Make a list of 10 pictures you want to take and go looking for them all winter long. FREE
COST SAVING NOTE – Pick up some used cold weather gear at a local school ski and skate exchanges or at consignment shops or at Play It Again Sports in North Reading. Or join the FB page Haverhill Yard sale and post in ISO (In Search Of) listing for low cost gear to try out a new activity.
Engage in an old fashioned snowball fight (be gentle, please)
(To find out what kind of calories you may burn with these activities, check out this post The Cold Weather Burn – Calories and Winter Activities)
RETAIL THERAPY followed by a bite to eat
Haverhill Art Market– Is an inviting and all age inclusive market once a month at 90 Washington Street. You’ll be greeted by friendly people, sweet treats, and high value arts and crafts. Art Market offers themed shows, demonstrations in traditional and newer art forms. There is a HAM right before Valentines Day (hint hint) this year it’s Feb 12, 2016.
The Shops in and around Wingate St – Positive Images, the Color Mint, Lioness Boutique, Modern Review, or the second hand stores on Merrimack Street In a Blue Moon, Salvation Army or that crafty upcycled Shops at 50 Washington St 8 By Design and ReFab Finds
Sweetest idea – get a hot chocolate topped with your favorite ice cream at A Sweet Affair, 38 Washington St. Two straws and a frappe with your sweetie on Valentine’s Day anyone???
A LITTLE INDOOR ACTION
Bowling: Academy Lanes, Pilgrim Lanes. A little exercise, a lot of laughs and some fabulous rental shoes. Join a league or come for a few hours.
Roller Skating at the ever popular Skateland.
Everything offered by the YMCA or Boys and Girls Club
Get in shape physically and mentally at Cedardale might seem expensive but you can sign up for a free 3-day trial and they offer several programs for non-members, try, too, Giving Tree Yoga & Wellness – a variety of classes some with live music
EXPRESS YOURSELF INDOORS Boost your art and crafting skills, and then maybe sell your wares at one of the galleries or shops in town
Artmosphere Arts and Craft Center (Paint & Wine Lounge) relocating to Sage Art Gallery
Be Imagine Music Studios – winter’s an awesome time to pick up an instrument and staying warm inside to practice guitar, piano, etc for hours. Liz Bills and Benjamin Dylan are awesome folks that teach there.
Shoe Town Art Center – hosts pottery and painting classes, a lot of fun stuff for the kids
Reach Fashion – this is great for anyone with a passion for fashion who would like to learn how to sew.
STRETCH YOUR MIND AND YOUR SOUL INDOORS
Haverhill Public Library programs too numerous to mention. Like their facebook page for regular updates. Pick up a book about Haverhill or by a Haverhill author at the Friends Gift Shop, too http://www.haverhillpl.org/kids/
Visit history – check out programs at Buttonwoods Museum. They even host events for 20-30 year olds with their UNButtoned gatherings.
Community Action free programs
HeavenTown Haverhill-will be having a combined art and music at Buttonwoods on Feb 27.
Learn about Chinese culture if you child attends Haverhill’s Nettle or Golden Hills Schools. Sue -Lynn Leung is coordinating a Chinese New Year Celebration on Feb 11, 5:30p – 7:30p. It’s the Year of the Monkey!
Learn about video production with free classes at HC Media
Take FREE and/or low-cost business classes and mentorship at the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce/SCORE. January 27 class is about learning to have a strong business core, and remain flexible are key factors to succeeding into today’s world.
Volunteer – just about every non profit needs help.
THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME FOR THOSE SNOW DAYS
Learn print-making from Linda Germain. Linda teaches online printmaking courses and the next class starts soon but it’s best to sign up early.
Haverhill Public Library – stock up on games, movies, books and ebooks, movies too for the duration of the storm.
Rogers Spring Hill Garden and Farm Center free Spring coloring book. Just add crayons and your memory of warmer days. Rogers Spring Hill Free Coloring Book Download
Declutter with a purpose – get kids to collect stuff from home and bring to Emmaus, Veteran’s Outreach Center, Ruth’s House or Salvation Army, if they are more incentivized by monetary gains, let them sell them at a second hand shop or a winter flea market.
THOH’s mom always said, “If you can’t find something to do, you can always clean the house.” Trust me I always found something to do.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
(c) Alison Colby-Campbell