2018-03-01 / Around Town

March Activities for Families

By Amy Martin

Hooray for March! St. Patrick’s Day is upon us: shamrocks, pots of gold, little green men in top hats (you’re now craving a bowl of Lucky Charms, aren’t you?). My grandmother, Elizabeth Crum, used to whisper an old Irish Proverb to me as a child, “Is minic a bhris béal duine a shrón.” It was not until I went to college that I learned what it meant: it is often that a person’s mouth broke his nose.

As a parent, I now understand the full significance of this warning. This month, Newport offers several great opportunities to keep your children’s mouths from getting them into trouble.

6th Annual JAC Lantern Parade & Festival

The parade begins at 6 p.m. on March 2 at the Jamestown Arts Center with the festival to follow at 6:30 p.m., also at the Jamestown Arts Center. All lanterns are welcome at both the parade and festival. No candles in the lanterns. Use those danger-free battery-operated candles, but don’t forget the batteries! Yes, I have done that before. Lantern making workshop March 1 from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Pre-registration is necessary for workshop. Workshop, parade and festival are free to the public. jamestownartcenter.org

Island Moving Company Presents Mother Goose at Rosecliff

Brush up on your Nursery Rhymes, parents. The esteemed Newport Academy of Ballet will bring to life Mother Goose’s nursery rhymes, including Humpty Dumpty, Little Miss Muffet, Jack and Jill and Sing a Song of Sixpence. Children may even have an opportunity to dance with the Old Woman in the Shoe (the costumed character, not me -- the haggard looking mom in the audience). There will be photo opportunities with the characters from the performance. March 2 at 4:30 p.m., March 3 at 3 p.m., March 4 at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Adults $30 and children under 12, $20. islandmovingco.org

Newport Restaurant Week

So, there is a theme to my activities when it comes to food. Avoid cooking! Grab the kids and head out to eat. This is an affordable way to treat your family to a wonderful lunch or special dinner from March 2 through March 11. Fifty participating restaurants offer $16 three-course prix fixe lunches and $35 three-course prix fixe dinners. discovernewport.org

Swanhurst Chorus Presents “Into the Woods”

Stephen Sondheim’s music and lyrics, combined with James Lapine’s book, make for a modern classic. This tale puts a twist on several Brother’s Grimm fairy tales: think Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and Jack – in twisted versions of their worlds. It’s a clever, funny, but sometimes dark story. I won’t take my 9-year-old as the story would be confusing and potentially frightening. However, this is a great outing for older children (I believe 12 and up) and parents. This special dinner theater show is a wonderful way to fuse the arts with a “grown-up” evening out with your older children. March 2, 3, 9, 10 at 7 p.m., March 4, 10 at 1 p.m. Fenner Hall, Newport. swanhurst.org

Amy Martin is an opinion columnist with a background in family chaos, laughter and a lot of laundry. She writes from a perspective of passion, reality and humor. Amy Martin is an opinion columnist with a background in family chaos, laughter and a lot of laundry. She writes from a perspective of passion, reality and humor. Clean Ocean Access Clean Up

Ah. Manual labor for a good cause in lieu of a domestic cause. Three civic opportunities welcome volunteers of all ages (translation: perfect family outing) to promote environmental stewardship for our community. For God’s sake you can bring the dog! The Brenton Point State Park clean-up is on March 3, Island Park Beach clean-up is on March 10 and the Baily Brook Watershed clean-up is on March 31. All are from noon-2 p.m. cleanoceanaccess.org

Green Eggs & Ham Brunch

Come on!! This is a great way to expand the palate of any pint-sized picky eater. Read Dr. Seuss’s book to your discerning culinary consumers before this event. They will flip their little lids when they realize that they too can try green eggs and ham, and can like them, just like Sam-Iam. This parade fundraiser takes place on March 4 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Hibernian Hall, 2 Wellington Ave., Newport. Live Irish music follows the brunch at 1 p.m. Cost is $10 for adults, children 3-12 is $5, under 3 is free. newportirish.com

Newport Public Library

Teens: Open Gaming, try out the new PS4, play some video games or stay off the grid and break out Jenga, March 6, from 4 to 7 p.m. and on March 10, see the new “Wonder Woman” movie, there will even be pizza, 1 to 3 p.m. newportlibraryri.org

62nd Annual Newport St. Patrick’s Day Parade

This is the one day a year when everybody is Irish. Kiss the Blarney Stone. Do your best impersonation of Michael Flatley, but please do this last one before your pint of Guinness. You could end up in the ER, otherwise. The parade, showcasing pipe bands, marching bands, clowns, fife and drum corps, police and fire units, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, non-profits, schools and any other organization you can think of will be featured in this parade extravaganza that overtakes our community. The parade begins at 11 a.m. on March 17 from Newport City Hall and ends at Saint Augustin’s Church in the Fifth Ward. This is a rain or shine event, so use your waterproof green mascara. newportirish.com

11th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Family Celebration

This is a non-alcohol event associated with the parade festivities on March 17. From 1-4 p.m. at “The Hut,” enjoy bagpipers, Irish step dancers, face painting and more as they entertain the entire family. Although there is no alcohol, there are cash prizes, so slather everyone green before you head out the door for the “How

Green Am I” contest.

Again, please be careful of your Michael

Flatley impersonation: children are watching.

Parent Tip: bring a bag to hold the giveaways. Entry is free. newportirish.com

Hunt & Brunch at Rosecliff

On March 31, watch your peeps run around the beautiful lawn at Rosecliff, in hot pursuit of candy filled hidden eggs. Brunch inside the mansion will follow the “Hunger Games” of Christian holiday activities, wherein survival-of-the-fittest allows children to deftly (and potentially viciously) hunt eggs in a perilous public arena. Since the real Easter Bunny will already be in hop-and-distribute mode, the Easter Bunny’s good friend who looks just like him/her (has the gender ever been clarified?) will be available for snapshots that will ultimately end up in your album of “Awkward Family Photos.” Since this event is the day before Easter, this is a great way to preserve your Sunday sleep-in on Easter Sunday morning. Who am I kidding? You’ll be up at the crack of dawn anyway. The hunt begins at 10 a.m. Call 401- 847-1000 ext. 140 for tickets. Not available online.

Middletown Public Library

STEM Lab: Leprechaun Traps. Engineer a leprechaun trap on March 10, from 2 to 3 p.m., fun for ages 4 and up. middletownpubliclibraryri.org

Jamestown Philomenian Library

Spring Workshop: paint wooden spoons as plant markers and take home seed packets. March 16, from 3 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. Grades three and up. Jamestownphilomenianlibrary.org

Flashlight Egg Hunt

The Newport Recreation Department has several activities planned for Easter weekend. A flashlight Easter egg hunt will be held on Friday night, March 30. Children between the ages of 8 and 10 are invited to participate. The hunt will be held at Freebody Park at 8 p.m. sharp. Participants must bring their own flashlight, and a bag or basket. Free of charge. Rain or shine.

Breakfast with the Easter Bunny

On Saturday, March 31, children and adults are invited to enjoy breakfast with the Easter Bunny. The event will be held at the Elks Lodge on Pelham Street in Newport from 9 to 11 a.m. Advanced reservations are required by calling the Newport Recreation office at 401-845- 5800. $6 per person.

Touro Park Egg Hunt

There will be an Easter egg hunt for children between the ages of 3 and 7 on Saturday, March 31. The hunt is held at Touro Park and begins at 10 a.m. sharp. Children should bring their own basket or bag and hunt for eggs to be redeemed for a prize. Free of charge. For further information on any of the Easter activities, call the Newport Recreation Department at 401-845-5800 or visit cityofnewport.com/departments/ recreation.

The theme for this month is wear green while you eat out, enjoy battery operated candle lanterns, brush up on your nursery rhymes (both classic and twisted), prep for the big bunny, be an environmental steward and enjoy all things Irish. However, just as with Christmas, it’s important to remember the reason for this beloved celebration of March 17. Saint Patrick, the foremost patron saint of the Irish, died on this day. So basically, this is one worldwide funeral celebration. Nobody does it quite like the Irish or like Newport!

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