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Want to start the New Year off on the right foot? Put that foot down on a wooded trail in one of the town’s nature preserves and walk yourself into a new year’s fresh beginning.
Wildlands Trust, the conservation nonprofit headquartered on Long Pond Road, will lead a New Year’s Eve hike through its Halfway Pond Conservation Area, beginning at Mast Road and arriving at Big Point which, staffer Max Phelps said, “offers a beautiful view of Halfway Pond.”
All told, the hike will go for three miles. It will be fronted by Malcolm MacGregor, former chair of the Plymouth Planning Board. A volunteer with Wildlands Trust, MacGregor “has done work for us with GIS and creating maps,” said Phelps “and leads one hike a month for Wildlands. He’s an excellent hike leader with Wildlands because he has extensive knowledge of the area’s history and knows the lands better than most since he’s been hiking here for decades.”
MacGregor has been active in town government for more than 50 years, serving as a member of the town’s conservation commission and board of health in addition to his role on the planning board.
Phelps (who uses the pronoun ‘they’) is a programming coordinator for Wildlands Trust. They attended the University of Delaware, majoring in environmental and resource economics.
“I’ve always been interested in land conservation and knew I wanted to work in that field throughout college,” Phelps said. “I moved to Massachusetts for this job so I’m very new to the area.”
Phelps said all of the trust’s hikes are capped at 15 participants. As of last week, only five spots were left. You can register online here. The cost is $5 for Wildlands Trust members; $10 for non-members.
If you find yourself counted out of the Wildlands Trust New Year’s Day walk, eager walkers can find an alternative in the “family hike” offered by the Friends of Myles Standish State Forest. The group said it’s offering two option: a shorter (2.5 miles) or longer hike (add four more miles). Walkers for both should meet at the amphitheater behind the state forest headquarters on Cranberry Road at 10:45 a.m. in preparation for an 11 a.m. start.
The shorter hike is described by the Friends as “a relaxing, easy 2.5 mile walk around the lovely East Head Reservoir trail.” That circuit takes about an hour and a half at moderate pace. Fast walkers, the group said, can do it in less than an hour. Those who choose to go farther (weather permitting) may continue for another four miles on the Larch Trail, off of Webster Springs Road. Estimated travel time is three hours, so the Friends advise bringing water and snacks. The restrooms at the state forest headquarters will be open. For more information about the Friends of Myles Standish, visit its website.
The New Year’s Day walk is not the only outing the Wildlands Trust is organizing. Volunteers Skip Stuck and Betsy Hall will be leading this month’s Full Moon Hike this week. Stuck has been volunteering with Wildlands Trust since 2015 and lives in Bourne. A long-time volunteer with Wildlands Trust, Hall also leads the trust’s “Mindful Meditation” monthly walks.
This month’s “moon walk” (apologies to MJ) takes place in the Shifting Lots Preserve, a coastal property at the southern portion of Ellisville Harbor, on Wed., Dec.27, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. “The entire preserve is beach and salt marsh, so the water and moon will be visible for the entirety of the walk,” Phelps said. “There are no formal trails at Shifting Lots, but Betsy and Skip know the property well and will lead participants on a walk along the beach.”
The moons of 2023 have been “super,” due to astronomical conditions, appearing to shine brighter than ever on clear nights. The December moon walk outing has already reached capacity, but those interested in future outings can look for new opportunities on the trust’s website.
And, of course, you can see the moon from anywhere on Earth. The full moon rises this month on Tues., Dec 26, but observers point out that it will look full and bright on Christmas as well. Because of what the Old Farmer’s Almanac describe as the moon’s “high trajectory,” this month’s moon will remain above the horizon longer than other full moons.
Guided hikes are an important part of the Wildland Trust’s public programming, Phelps said. “We do full moon hikes every couple of months,” they said. “We switch off the location depending on the seasons, the weather.”
More to do:
Sunday, Dec. 24
Christ Church Episcopal, 149 Court St., hosts a Candlelight Service with music and Holy Eucharist at 10 p.m. As reported last week, other Plymouth churches are holding special or amplified services on Christmas Eve. You can find details here in last week’s Culture calendar.
Monday, Dec. 25
Christ Church Episcopal celebrates Christmas Day with a service of Holy Eucharist at 10 a.m. Other local churches are also holding special Christmas Day services today, including St. Bonaventure Parish, 803 State Road in Manomet, which celebrates Christmas Day Masses at 10 and 11:30 a.m.; and St. Mary’s Parish, 313 Court St., celebrating Mass at 10:30 a.m. More information here.
Tuesday, Dec. 26
Per the discussion above, the December full moon, known as the “full cold moon,” reaches peak illumination at 7:33 p.m. It appears especially full and bright this month.
Gillis Family Tavern, at 6 Spring Lane, adjacent to Plimoth Grist Mill, offers an open invitation for folks to gather for a walk, followed by a beverage afterwards while mingling at the tavern. Plans call for a 2-mile walk – sometimes coastal, sometimes inland, depending on the weather and the wind. Parking is free in the Jenney Pond parking area. Meet under the big tree at the beginning of the parking lot at 3:30 p.m. Walkers will stay together but keep to their own pace and return to the tavern sometime around sunset. You can reserve a spot by getting a free ticket here.
Here’s one approach to the challenge of piecing together a school vacation week. Families with children of all ages are invited to the Plymouth Public Library from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. to play with the library’s large collection of Lego pieces.
The library’s Chess Club welcomes chess players of all levels on Tuesdays from 6 to 8 p.m. in the library’s Nook Road study room areas. Chess sets are provided, although participants are free to bring their own chess set. Bill Petrillo, an experienced chess instructor, provides guidance.
Plymouth G Pub, 101 Carver Road, hosts “Tuesdays in the Taproom” with comedian Mike Murray & Friends for a free comedy night from 7 to 8 p.m.
Wednesday, Dec. 27
“Wonder,” a members art show, continues at the Plymouth Center for the Arts, 11 North St., through Jan. 14. The center is open to the public on Wednesday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on Sunday, from 1 to 4 p.m. Admission to the show is free.
Plymouth Library celebrates the beloved “Magic Tree House” book series with a party for children of all ages from 3 to 4 p.m. Book-themed activities and crafts are included. Dress up as your favorite character, the library urges. Registration is required.
Plymouth G Pub hosts “Watch and Win Wednesdays.” Patrons catchfeatured sports match-ups and join “watch parties” during the Bruins and Celtics seasons, while playing sports bingo. For more information visit the restaurant’s website.
Thursday, Dec. 28
The Plymouth Public Library Foundation hosts The Yoga Connection, the oldest yoga center in Plymouth, offering a practice session from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. for a fee of $10 per person. No experience is necessary. The practice is open to all. Participants should enter through the library’s side door.
The Manomet Branch Library history book club will discuss “The Wright Brothers” by David McCullough from 4 to 5 p.m. Books are available to check out prior to the meeting date.
Friday, Dec. 29
Plymouth Library invites those on school holiday break to drop in and play some board games in the Fehlow meeting room from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Games include Candy Land, chess, Monopoly, Settlers of Catan, and others. “Come for a short while or stay the whole afternoon!” the library’s invites.
Toronto’s Enter The Haggis, a band that combines bagpipes and fiddles with a rock rhythm section to create a distinctively eclectic sound, will perform at The Spire Center, 25 Court St, from 8 to 10 p.m. For tickets visit spirecenter.org
Saturday, Dec 30
G Pub Plymouth, 101 Carver Road, invites guests for family-friendly New Year’s Eve festivities in the pub’s arcade from 5 to 7 p.m. Features include one $5 arcade game card for each child and entertainment by a kids’ DJ playing family-friendly music to “bop along to.” Kids will also receive free giveaways and prizes during the party. G Pub’s regular selection of food and drink will be available for purchase.
Another Tequila Sunrise, the New England based tribute band to The Eagles encompasses the classics and includes deep cuts from the Eagles’ studio collection, plus the biggest hits from the solo careers of Glenn Frey, Don Henley, and Joe Walsh. At the Spire Center, from 8 to 11 p.m. Visit spirecenter.org for more.
Singer and guitarist Brent Burwell performs at Three V restaurant, in the Cordage Commerce Center at 10 Loring Blvd., from 6 to 9 p.m.
Sunday Dec. 31
The Spire Center, 25 1/2 Court St., presents a comedy night with popular performers Brian Glowacki and Will Noonan from 8 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $27 and $30. Visit The Spire’s website to purchase.
The Shady Roosters will play in the lobby at the Spire Center, adjacent to the main room, at 2 p.m. The calls the lobby “a comfortable and casual room with plenty of space for dancing or simply just enjoying the music” without a bar room ambience. The Shady Roosters’ song list includes a mix of rockabilly, blues, roots, and country with some original tunes that have a Fifties or Sixties aura. Tickets are available here.
Plymouth G Pub hosts a New Year’s Eve dinner and a show with singer and guitarist Ken Monteiro, starting at 7 p.m. Patrons can dine during the performance, then move into the bar to dance to the music of Wut it IZ from 9 p.m. to the new year. You can make reservations here.
Monday, Jan. 1
The Friends of Myles Standish reservation are leading a New Year’s Day Walk. Meet the amis phitheater behind the state forest headquarters on Cranberry Road at 10:45 a.m. in preparation for an 11 a.m. start.
Tuesday, Jan. 2
The Maxwell Theater at the Plimoth Patuxet Museums visitor center is screening “Wonka” today and through Saturday, Jan. 4 with showings at 4:30 and 7 p.m. The new film is another remake based on the extraordinary character at the center of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” Roald Dahl’s most iconic children’s book is one of the best-selling children’s books of all time. Tickets are $12.50; $11 with a Club Card.; $10 for ages 62 and over.
Wednesday, Jan. 3
Plymouth Library hosts the Wednesday Night Writing Group in the library’s board room from 6 to 8 p.m. This recurring event “will provide the space to hone your writing skills” and offer writing prompts to get you started, the library says.
Thursday, Jan. 4
Plymouth Library’s Preschool Storytime is a half-hour story program that gives parents, caregivers, and children ages 3 to 5 the opportunity to enjoy books, songs, rhymes, and movement activities together. The library says it also reinforces important early literacy skills to help children get ready to read. The activity is intended for ages 3-5, but children of all ages welcome. No registration is necessary. Participants are also invited to bring a blanket for your family to sit on in the library’s Fehlow Meeting Room.
Friday, Jan. 5
Comedian Drew Dunn began performing at the age of 21 and “hasn’t looked back,” according to the Spire Center. Located at 25 ½ Court St., the show is from 8 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $18 to $22, and are available here.
Saturday, Jan. 6
Puzzlers of all ages at invited to the Manomet branch of the library for a laid-back afternoon of putting together new puzzles and swapping old ones, from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Come puzzled or without a puzzle, as the branch library has plenty to offer. Light refreshments, including coffee and cocoa, will be served.
To submit a listing, email Robert Knox at firstname.lastname@example.org. Good quality photos (in jpeg format) are welcome.
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