Johnny’s List of Quirky Boston Events: 04/12/06

The event of the week, of course, is Patriot’s Day. Here are a couple of wild ideas if you’re tired of (or in addition to) the Boston Marathon.

Every year there’s a Battle of Lexington Re-enactment, April 17 in Lexington, at the ungodly time of 5:45am. Apparently a lot of Ye Old Battles happened at dawn. But I went last year with my crazy friend Chris, and it’s totally worth it. Bring a blanket and don’t be late. Show up at the Town Green, near 1900 Mass Ave in Lexington, and you’ll see 2,000 other people, bleary-eyed, surrounding the town green. The smart ones have brought ladders, creating sort-of homemade bleachers behind the crowd. The British arrive, a few shots are fired, and the revolutionaries immediately flee! Go team USA! Then everyone gets a pancake breakfast, a parade of kids, plenty of historical tours, and in the afternoon, the real parade with floats and drum and fife corps. The works.

Off the beaten path, meet John and Abigal Adams, as re-enacted in Quincy, with family games and activities. Details to come, but I called and they swear they are doing this annual event again.

If you’re going to be up at dawn, you might as well make it an all-nighter. Boston’s a little lacking of all-night diners, but you can check out these three restaurants open 24 hours. The South Street Diner, at 178 Kneeland Street in Boston, which is the coolest; the International House of Pancakes in Brighton, at 1850 Soldiers Field Road; and the McDonalds at Twin City Plaza at 14 McGrath Highway in Somerville.

Meanwhile, did you know you can get a discount for arriving early to amusement parks? The two largest in New England open soon. Canobie Lake Park, in Salem NH, is an hour’s drive from Boston, opening April 22. And Six Flags New England two hours west in Agawam, MA, opens April 15. You’ve always said you wanted to beat the lines — you’ll have the places to yourself, and Canobie Lake even offers a early season discount. You can get a Six Flags discount through AAA or at Star Market. As impressive as the rides are at Six Flags, consider going to Canobie Lake first. They have a real woods and forest, and aren’t nearly as commercial. Also, you can spend the entire day at Canobie Lake just relaxing if you choose to, with the swimming pool, the Ferris wheel, the lakeboat ride, and the gondola., and