6.25.2006

Kidscursion: Newtonville

I never used to think of Newtonville as a worthwhile family outing, but in the past year or two I've come to realize that it's a great place to kill a few hours with the kids, especially if the weather is bad. Here's a list of three great things to do with the tykes in Newtonville:

1) Start out with a visit to Newtonville Books and the Lizard's Tale (296 Walnut Street, 617 244-6619, website). They have a special kids' reading room (I assume this is the Lizard's Tale) with lots of comfy chairs and other activities, such as a drawing table, bean bags, a crawl tubs, and wooden puzzles. The book selection is really good for younger kids, and there are quite a few educational selections for those getting interested in science, occupations, and even the Red Sox (I heard one father reading his son a book about the saga of the 2004 World Series while I was there!). For the older kids there are tweener and early-teen oriented novels. Oh, and there's also a super selection of books for adults. The staff are young but extraordinarily helpful.

2) Newtonville Pets used to be known as Debbie's Petland. At some point Debbie moved on but the place hasn't changed much -- there's still the row of plexglass puppy pens on the right, rabbits and gerbils in the center, birds and lizards a little further back, and the dark fish room way in the back. Kids love animals and it's easy to kill a half hour here. Say "hello" to the giant parrot sitting near the window, when you enter the store. I think his name is Harvey.

3) In terms of places to eat, there's no shortage of decent places to grab lunch or a snack in Newtonville. I like the little cafe that's next to Jin Mi and the fitness place that replaced Ritz Camera -- it's cozy, and serves great little gourmet sandwiches and cakes, and you can even by a bottle of wine or Belgian beer (not recommended if you're with the kids, but OK in the evening -- it's open til 10 pm every night!). They also serve about a half-dozen flavors of ice cream. The prices are super. If you want to go across the Pike to Newtonville's northern half, Lam's (Vietnamese) and Cabot's Ice Cream are all kid-friendly places to nosh.

Hope you enjoyed this Kidscursion -- Borderline will identify a few other local kidscurions from time to time.

3 Comments:

Blogger LJCohen said...

The parrot's name is "Harley". We go and visit with him from time to time. And if you get to the pet store before they close, they often have 'puppy time' where they let the puppies out to play/socialize.

The coffee shop is called "Taste" It used to be "Cafe Appasionatto". there's a new place across the street in the old bagel store called "Elevenses". They just opened, but the prices look good and they make nice smoothies. According to my older son, they serve great clam chowder.

:)

7:43 PM  
Blogger Borderline said...

That's right, Harley! He squawks "hello" and maybe a few other words, which is fun for the younger kids. The puppies are very cute, but I am not sure I can endorse buying a dog for many hundreds of dollars when there are already lots of abandoned and unwanted puppies in local shelters.

Thanks for filling in the info on Cafe Taste's name. I noticed it had changed names, but the food and interior are still the same. It's a super spot!

8:27 AM  
Blogger LJCohen said...

:)

Our dog is a beloved mutt rescue from Save-a-dog.

But we love to play with the puppies at newtonville pet.

8:40 PM  

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