Johnny’s List of Quirky Boston Events: 11/11/05

Looking for something outdoorsy to do this weekend? Try going to the
Allston/Brighton Open Studios, Nov 12-13. There are over a dozen open studios in the metro Boston area annually. It’s a chance to walk around and see some local artwork, in private homes and art studios. And you can buy something for holiday gift-giving and help support the local artists.
And it’s all about Star Wars this November. Not only is there the One-Man Star Wars (see last week), but the Museum of Science has a Star Wars exhibit and the MIT Musical Theater Guild is putting on
Star Wars: The Musical Edition, Nov 11-13, 16-20, in Cambridge. Not only did the Lucas people not object, George Lucas saw a portion of the show recently at the Museum of Science bigwig dinner. Apparently as long as you don’t make any real money you can rip of Star Wars, neato.
The cold weather isn’t all that bad. OK, it is, but it’s better to embrace it than to be a big grump about it, since April is 5 months away. How about
Ice Skating Opening Da at Frog Pond, 5:30pm at Nov 16th. Every year there’s inexpensive ice skating and skate rentals at Frog Pond which is near the Boylston T stop at the movie theater in Boston Common. Opening day is free and they’ll have ice skating demonstrations. I went last year and it was a blast!
There are a lot of video arcades around Boston, some of which have mini-carts or bumper cars. There is one place that goes far beyond this to the sport racing level. It’s
F1 Boston, in Braintree, MA. They get you to suit up in an orange jumpsuit and helmet, there are actual rules to the racetrack and they give you a printout at the end of your timing. It’s expensive, but worth it. Make sure to call in advance, same day is fine but you may find yourself unable to get a spot if you just show up, or only call an hour in advance. They have a restaurant there and a pool hall, and a lounge area, although you absolutely cannot drink before driving, and you’ll need your driver’s license with you. Anyone younger than 21 cannot stay past 9pm or something, too, call about that. 290 Wood Road, Braintree. 781-848-2300
Winter is the time for museums and theater and other indoorsy things. OK, technically it’s still Fall but I’ve just decided to shelve my light weather jacket so that makes it winter for me. The museum of the week is the
JFK Museum, near UMass Boston in Boston. As you are aware, former president John F. Kennedy came from Massachusetts and they have an entire library with a cute museum — and it’s free Nov 11-13 in honor of Veteran’s Day. I went last year and it was quite interesting and original, not at all dry like I’d expected. The only problem is that the people who built it revered JFK so much that you wonder if you’re getting a balanced viewpoint. There’s no mention of his numerous affairs, and the Bay of Pigs fiasco gets a tiny mention buried in the text of one exhibit. Well, everybody loves JFK anyway and I’m sure all Presidential libraries are the same. Columbia Point. If you really want to be a savvy Boston area events dog, wait until there’s somebody giving a speech you want to come see, for example a Pullitzer Prize winning author is speaking about LBJ on November 20th. 1-866-JFK-1960.
This week’s bonus event, and in my opinion Boston’s best and most original attaction, is
Tomb at 5-Wits, near Fenway in Boston. It’s an Indiana Jones like experience where you pretend to be an archaeologist and walk through an ancient egyptian pyramid. Once inside you become trapped and have to solve puzzles and explore the place (which has Disney World style special effects) to escape. It’s hard to explain but it’s really a must-see. 186 Brookline Ave. 617-375-9487. WR 11-11, FS 11-12, SM 11-8. Call ahead to reserve a spot for yourself. Great for birthday parties and other large groups.