1 New Year’s Day Walk: Join the Friends of the Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge and the Lancaster Land Trust at noon time on their traditional New Year’s Day Walk. Walk off some of the extra calories gained during the holidays and hike or snowshoe the trails near the main entrance to the refuge at the end of Still River Depot Road in Harvard; a great way to explore the refuge, meet up with old friends and make new ones. Contact Rona at 978-779-2259 for information.
2 Contra Dance: Groton Grange #7 invites you to a traditional New England Contra Dance 7:30-10 p.m. at Historic Groton Grange Hall, 80 Champney St. This will be an evening of live music and dancing with Groton’s own Contra Banditos along with caller Tim VanEgmond, who will teach traditional New England style contra, square, and line dances to the beat of old time fiddle tunes. Beginners are welcome, no experience or partner is necessary. Donation at the door is $5 per person, children under 3 years old are free, and family maximum is $20. Refreshments are provided.
Music: Dan Kirouac will perform live at Bailey’s Bar & Grill, 18 Main St., Townsend, 7:30 p.m. Dan has been part of the regional music scene for 30 years. When not busy with the tribute band Beatles for Sale, his solo performances showcase vocals accompanied by a six-string acoustic guitar. From the one-hit wonders to the lost classics, from the 1960s to today, every show is a different experience, drawing from almost 500 contemporary and oldie songs. More information at www.dankirouac.com.
3 Breakfast: The Ayer Masonic Association will hold its monthly fundraising breakfast at the Ayer Masonic Center, 11 Sculley Road, Ayer. Breakfast will be served from 7:30-10 a.m. Menu includes eggs cooked to order or pancakes with bacon, sausage, or hash and potatoes, toast, juice and coffee. In addition to the usual menu, specials for this month are Eggs Benedict and a Mexican Omelet (onions,peppers, mushrooms, cheese, topped with salsa). Come early and bring your friends.
4 Scholarship Lunch: Harvard Woman’s Club scholarship recipients will be joining us for lunch. They will then share their experiences and activities since graduating from high school and from their first semester at college. Luncheon starts at 11:30 a.m. followed by the program at 12:15 p.m. at Holy Trinity Parish, 15 Still River Road, Harvard. All are welcome! For membership information, contact Carol at 978-456-9645.
8 Art exhibit: Opening event, 6 p.m. for “Coyote, Turtle, the Ark and the Dove,” an exhibit by New Hampshire-native Janet Hulings Bleicken at Lawrence Academy, Groton. The exhibit is on display through Feb. 28. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.
Family Movie Night: 6:30 p.m. at the Harvard Library. We can’t list the title of the movie here, but here is a hint: this recently released animated film features small yellow creatures who work for evil bosses like Scarlet Overkill. Popcorn and water will be served. Seats are limited — please pre-register!
9 Happy Teeth: Ages 3 and up at 10:30 a.m. at the Harvard Library Do you want to know what you can do to make your teeth happy? Come find out as we explore oral health through fun crafts and activities. Led by Elizabeth Durham, college senior and Bromfield graduate. Please pre-register in the Children’s Room.
10 Guided hike: At 1 p.m. sharp, join members of the Groton Trails Committee and the Appalachian Mountain Club on a guided hike through the Rocky Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, owned by Mass Audubon. This is a great area to hike in, with a beautiful observation point on Long Pond, a beaver marsh, hills and impressive ledges, a true bog, and extensive woodlands. The sanctuary supports moose, beavers, and porcupines, as well as nearly 100 species of birds and more than 240 plant species. Our hike will take about two hours and is suitable for families with hiking-experienced children. While our hikes are normally dog-friendly, dogs are NOT permitted on this specific hike per the landowner’s policy. The hike will be held unless it is stormy. Take Boston Road (Rtes. 119/225) in Groton to Robin Hill Road. Meet at the Rocky Hill Sanctuary parking area off of Robin Hill Road in Groton. 42.5811N, 71.5311W. Olin Lathrop, 978-742-9014, email@example.com.
11 Blood drive: Noon to 5 p.m., Devens Common Center, 31 Andrews Parkway, Devens. Register to donate at: http://www.redcrossblood.org/give/drive/driveSearch.jsp. (While walk-ins are allowed, pre-registrations are given first spots available.)
12 Soap-making: What do you get when you combine an herbalist and a chemist? You get natural soap! Please join us at 7 p.m. at historical Groton Grange #7 to meet the multi-talented herbalist and Groton resident Linda Saraco. Linda and her team have developed their company, Zasscelou, to provide an all-natural soap product for people who are choosing a more natural, toxin-free lifestyle. Come learn about their techniques and products. The Grange is located at 80 Champney St., Groton. All are welcome to attend.
16 Cupcake Festival: “Cupcakes Make Everything Better,” 12:30-2:30 p.m. in the gallery at Lawrence Library in Pepperell. The public is welcomed to purchase cupcakes to enjoy and to vote for their favorite ones. Kids, teens and adults are invited to bake and decorate a dozen cupcakes or more and bring them to the library between 12:30 p.m. and 1 p.m. to be sold and judged. Judging will be done by the public by dropping a quarter in the jar of their favorite cupcake. The most favored cupcakes will be awarded prizes at 2 p.m. All proceeds from the cupcake festival will benefit children’s programs at the library. For info: 978-433-5751. In case of snow, contact the library at 978-433-0330.
Lego Club: Ages 5 and up, 1:30-3 p.m. at the Harvard Library. Come have fun building Lego creations with other Harvard Lego fans! Parents are encouraged to join in the fun and assist with supervision. Please see the Children’s Librarian for information and to pre-register.
17 Art Detox Paint Party: Townsend Public Library, 2 p.m. Create a copy of an original canvas painting, no experience with art needed. Registration at townsendlibrary.org is required. There is a $12 material fee.
24 Winter Explorations: On the fourth Sunday of each winter month, join a naturalist or artist for a guided walk through the woods and meadows at Farandnear, 156 Center Road, Shirley, 1-3 p.m. In January, Trustees ecologist Julie Richburg shares insights about the unique features of this special place. Snowshoes available on first come, first served basis in adult and children’s sizes. Storms cancel; call for update if weather is poor. Trustee member adults $5; children FREE. Nonmember adults $10; children $7. RSVP to 413-298-3239 ext. 3016 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Snowshoe: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Farandnear, 156 Center Road, Shirley. Snowshoe through the woods, then gather ’round the outdoor fireplace to warm your fingers and your heart with steaming hot cocoa. Snowshoe rental included. Trustees member adults and kids: $5 rental; nonmember adults and kids: $7 rental. RSVP to 413-298-3239 ext. 3016 or email email@example.com.
27 Sir George and the Dragon: Ages 3 and up at 1:30 p.m. at the Harvard Library. For nearly 40 years, the Pumpernickel Puppets have captivated audiences of all ages with humorous and colorful adaptations of classic folk and fairy tales. John McDonough and his puppets present over 250 shows a year at schools, libraries and private parties throughout the New England area. Pre-registration is required.
29 Roundtable: The Devens Eco-Efficiency Center will hold a roundtable on manual material handling and safe lifting strategies. Dan McHugh, a certified professional ergonomist, will share his expertise on handling techniques, risk of injury, and assistive devices. Registration is $20 for nonmembers. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 978-772-8831 ext. 3304.
30 Pizza and Movie Night for grades 6-12: “Ant-Man” (MPAA 13), 6-8 p.m. at Groton Public Library. Please sign up at gpl.org or call 978-448-1167.
Movie: “Minions” at Groton Public Library, 10:30 a.m. to noon, ages 5 and up. Sign up online at www.gpl.org.
26 Reduce toxic chemicals: Pam Eliason of UMass Lowell’s Toxics Use Reduction Institute will visit the Devens Eco-Efficiency Center to discuss how to reduce the use of toxic chemicals in your facilities, protect public health and the environment, and increase competitiveness of your businesses. Registration is $20 for nonmembers. RSVP to email@example.com or call 978-772-8831 ext. 3304.
13 Railfair 2016: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., in two locations. Railfair: Shirley Middle School, 1 Hospital Road, Shirley; and open house: Association Quarters, Phoenix Park Complex, 2 Shaker Road, Unit E-205, Shirley. Admission fees: $5 adults, $4 seniors and teens (12-18), free under 12. Both locations a short walk from the Shirley MBTA Commuter Rail stop.