Johnny’s List of Quirky Boston Events: 06/22/06

Going straight to the weird! It’s the Sandcastle Festival at Hampton Beach in New Hampshire, with the award ceremony happening June 24th but the sculptures are on display through June 30th. Ocean Boulevard, Hampton, NH. 603-926-8718. Great! Saturday June 24th, awards 8pm then fireworks. Competition is invitation only, looks great. They have fireworks at 9:30pm every Wednesday Jul-Aug, too.

Not weird enough? This weekend see Summer Revels at the Boston Children’s Museum in Boston, June 24-25. 7-9pm performers, plus workshops, stage production and $1 admission. Don’t ask whose idea it was to have a childrens’ performance so late in the day.

Still not weird enough…? See the Western Mass Highland Games & Celtic Festival, June 24. Unfortunately, it is way out in Western Massachusetts at Franklin County Fairgrounds, 89 Wisdom Way in Greenfield, MA. 413-584-9182. Bagpipes, fiddles, falconry, traditional games, dancing, pipe & drum, sounds quite interesting.

Also see The Capitol Steps Musical Revue, which is a comedy troupe doing musical skits parodying current events. These are the folks you may have heard on NPR. June 24th, Cutler Majestic Theatre, Boston. 800-447-7400

At MIT they’re having an Ice Cream Buffet, from 3-5pm, June 23rd, at the Stata Atrium at MIT. All you can eat from Brighams Ice Cream. Get tickets for $4 from MITAC which has a booth on the 1st floor of the Stata Center next to the cafeteria. I’m sure they won’t ask you for a student ID.

The Newport Flower Show is June 23-25 at the Rosecliff mansion on 548 Bellevue Avenue in Newport. Friday 12-5. Sat-Sun, 9-5. It doesn’t look like that big a deal, but a great excuse to visit the Newport mansions and cliffwalk.

If that’s not exciting enough, try a Helicopter Ride. 30 Rowes Wharf, Suite 330. Boston, MA. 617-737-2427. Year-round. $200 each for 30 minutes. Or Ryan Rotors in Plymouth,, $75 for 15 min, $125 for 30 min.

Speaking of vehicular tourism, try taking a Gondola trip on the Charles River., April thru September. Makes a good gift. Call in advance. At the Hatch Shell on the Esplanade. Ride on the Charles River w/music. It’s so romantic, they say a marriage proposal never fails. But that’s partly because if your girlfriend turns you down, where’s she gonna go? She’s stuck on a boat with you, surrounded on all sides by water.

Speaking of the Esplanade, did you know that they have Hatch Shell events on the Esplanade all spring and summer? Movies, classical concerts, and charity walks most weekends, May 1 – Oct 15.

I just went to Walden Pond for the first time ever in daylight. It’s a good experience, here are a few tips. You can get away from the kids by walking through the woods until you come to an alternative beach. The Walden Shop doesn’t sell lunch foods, but the ice cream truck does sell sandwiches heavily marked up… better to bring your own food. Walden’s best feature is that it is close to Boston. But if you have time for an entire day trip, visit another state park instead. See

Finally, try taking a walk (or a guided tour) through the Forest Hills Cemetery (95 Forest Hills Ave, Boston), which is dotted with sculptures. 617-524-0128. Daily dawn to dusk. 275 acres. Or the Mount Auburn Cemetery, which has an audio tour and many famous people are buried there. 580 Mount Auburn St, Cambridge. every day of the year from 8 AM to 5 PM. From May through September the grounds are open to 7 PM. They’re both quite beautiful and calming if you can get around the fact that thousands of dead people are there and someday you and everyone you know will be dead, too. Actually, personally I plan on living forever through technology, so whatever.

To see my big list in full, June edition, check Johnny’s Big List of New England Activities.