Metafilter Kids!
posted August 23, 2010 9:56 AM   RSS | iCal | +googleCal

Sat September 11 at 2:00 PM, Salem Willows
167 Fort Ave, Salem, MA, USA (Map & Directions)
Okay. So I'm doing it! This is the official thread for the definite North Shore Metafilter Kid-Friendly Meet-up!

Dr.E and I will bring a large garden salad, salad dressing, and veggie burgers.

We need people to sign up for:

*Hamburger banjo_and_the-Pork and/or hotdogs Sublimity
*The buns on which to put the hamburgers and hotdogs and veggie burgers and condiments Sublimity
*Chips and dip
*Plates kpht , cups, silverware, napkins
*Grilling necessities (tongs, charcoal? Is it charcoal at the Willows?)
*Drinks (remember there are kids coming, so an alternative to soda would be great!) kpht and banjo_and_the_pork
*Any toys or games deemed appropriate for outside weather (balls, frisbees, twister, etc., which anyone can just bring with them.)
*Anything I did not think of that you feel should be brought

I think we should be safe on landing one of the grills at the Willows as it will be mid-September, but possibly Dr.E or I will stake a place earlier in the day and just hang around for the party.

How to find us:

Baby Zizzle has red hair. For reals. You can spot him a mile away. If he's not napping, he'll be running all over the place with his 6'2" bearded dad chasing after him. Odds are, Baby Zizzle won't be wearing shoes. You can also call my cell, which you can get by MeMailing me (or Cat Pie Hurts or not_on_display or Robocop is bleeding as they all should have it already (and if not, they should also MeMail me to get it)).

We will select a spot in the area directly across from the Casino, Arcade, and Kiddieland. If we get ambitious, we may make a poster and buy some blue and green balloons. The poster will probably happen. The balloons maybe not so much, but we'll really try.

Now, this is important: BRING QUARTERS! $0.25 skee-ball, lots of drop-in quarter rides for young kids, lots of arcade games, and so forth. The Kiddieland rides are $2 per ride or 4 for $7 or some such thing. The ticket guy will take bills. There is an ATM, but it will charge you a fee. You can also make change in the Casino at one of the windows, but coming stocked is probably a better plan. Two kids are needed to start the Kiddieland rides, so if it's a light day on visitors otherwise, we'll have to make an effort to corall two kids on to a carousel or a car ride or a boat ride....I'm sure that's going to be oh-so-terribly difficult to do. A parent can ride for free on the carousel with a child too young to ride on his or her own.

There is parking at the Willows. It shouldn't be too hard to find some. If worse comes to worse, Dr.E can go with someone to find parking elsewhere. If people are coming on the commuter rail, it's about a two mile walk, and the fastest way will take you by our place, so if you wanted to come in on an earlier train and help get things ready for the party, that would be quite swell.

Most importantly, let's have lots of fun!!
posted by zizzle to Meetup (45 comments total)

Not knowing whether I can come or not, I do want to endorse the Willows. They have an arcade with some modern videogames and old-skool (think "insert a nickel/dime") games, a clam stand, and usually there are cool motorcycles parked there. Disclaimer: I grew up near there and it was one of the few *fun* places to hang out locally as a teenager.

(A few years back, my son won a couple of life-size plastic decoy ducks there--once we figured out how to exploit an error in one of the tickets-for-prizes games.)
posted by not_on_display at 12:44 PM on August 23, 2010

I'd be cool with the Willows as I have not ever been there, and it was something I totally wanted to do this summer but didn't get to.

Either time option is good for me because my son's usually on a "nap from 1-3ish" schedule.
posted by kpht at 7:20 PM on August 23, 2010

Oh, this sounds fun. The Willows also has picnic tables and allow grills! I don't think you can barbecue right on the Common. However, the Common does have a playground!
posted by mkb at 7:20 PM on August 23, 2010

I'm leaning toward the Commons precisely because of the grilling option and the multiple picnic tables. There are a bunch of kiddie rides in Kiddieland, but the arcade and the "casino" all have the little drop-in-a-quarter rides for smaller kids.

We'll see if anyone else pops in with a preference.
posted by zizzle at 6:53 AM on August 24, 2010

You mean the Willows :)
posted by mkb at 6:54 AM on August 24, 2010

Ack! Yes! Willows!
posted by zizzle at 7:08 AM on August 24, 2010

Hey, my fam would be *so* up for a kid-a-riffic MeFi meetup! We have a reservation to go camping on the weekend of the 18th, though, so I vote for another date, if that's possible.
posted by Sublimity at 12:35 PM on August 24, 2010

Woo, sounds good. I'll need to doublecheck with the missus, but our house (in Salem) is also an option. We have even have a playground just down the street!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:40 PM on August 24, 2010

(Although, the Willows are pretty boss.)
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:44 PM on August 24, 2010

Yeah, your place may be better for a rain location than ours, as it is larger. Alternatively, we do have a play/tv room set up full of toys that would be fine for 5 - 6 kids, with supervision (and once the boxes are out of the way).

We can also just pack up a bunch of toys and lug them over to your place, too. :)

Good to have options!

If the 18th doesn't work for people, how about the 11th? I'd like to avoid doing anything the first weekend in October as you know --- chaos and madness.

The 11th would work fine for us.
posted by zizzle at 8:21 AM on August 25, 2010

The 11th works fine for us, this sounds awesome!
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 11:53 AM on August 25, 2010's do it for September 11th!

How about time and place still? Anyone have a morning or afternoon preference?
posted by zizzle at 8:43 AM on August 26, 2010

I'm holding off on confirming this as a definite until folks chime in that it's okay.
posted by zizzle at 7:48 AM on August 27, 2010

The 11th is great for us. I'm flexible about morning or evening, because my kids are WAY past naps...Also, have never been to salem before, so any place will be new and exciting for us.

Thanks for planning, Zizzle--I hope it comes together. I've liked the MeFites I've met so far and I'd love to meet more!
posted by Sublimity at 12:00 PM on August 27, 2010

The 11th is as good as any other weekend for me.
posted by not_on_display at 12:26 PM on August 27, 2010

Fun! I can actually do the 11th! (but not the following week).
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 1:32 PM on August 27, 2010

We should be around that weekend and not busy! Huzzah! Although my kid is a terrible napper so our arrival time is subject to chance.
posted by mkb at 1:33 PM on August 27, 2010

Hooray. There is skeeball and pinball and old school arcade games (Terminator 2: Judgement Day!) and such. Plus big fields to run around in.
posted by Dr.Enormous at 7:39 PM on August 27, 2010

Whee! Sounds like a blast! Thanks again to Zizzle and Doc Enormous for organizing.

I volunteer us to bring hot dogs and buns therefore, and also ketchup and mustard. We can bring our bigass grillin' tongs to handle them on the grill as well. Sadly we do not have charcoal and/or a starter so someone else will have to get the fire started.

"We" will be me and my kids (two girls, ages 6 and 10) and probably the Mr. Sublimity as well.

posted by Sublimity at 4:35 AM on August 28, 2010

Hey, we might drive up in the morning and check out Salem for a while before the meetup. Where's the best place to find witchy-kitschy touristy stuff? Near the Witch Museum, I would guess? I know that October is high season for that kind of thing, but while I'm up there I'd like to get some outlandish witchy trinkets for some friends on the west coast.
posted by Sublimity at 4:42 AM on August 28, 2010

There are a couple blocks of Essex street (right around here) near the Common that are a pedestrian walk with lots of that stuff along the sides.
posted by Dr.Enormous at 7:25 AM on August 28, 2010

i'm down for the 11th, word!
posted by kpht at 7:34 AM on August 29, 2010

Thanks, Dr. Enormous!

I might also invite a friend, who perhaps might bring her elementary-aged kids--she's not a MeFite yet, but I think she'd fit right in with this crowd.

Metafilter: We Recruit!
posted by Sublimity at 7:48 AM on August 29, 2010

Looks like I might have a last minute bachelor party to attend that day. Hopefully it will be later in the evening so I won't miss out!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:10 AM on August 31, 2010

Awww. I hope Banjo and West will still come if you have to head off to that.
posted by zizzle at 6:21 AM on August 31, 2010

I am planning on being there with Baby West! I am not sure yet what I should sign up to bring, but I'll check back here in a few days and see what else is needed and figure it out from there.
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 12:28 PM on September 1, 2010


Banjo, would you like to eat with two hands again? 'Cause I'll totally hold RoboBaby BanjoBumpers while you do!
posted by zizzle at 9:08 AM on September 2, 2010

Okay. So my memory must have lapsed because when we were at the Willows today I didn't see any standing grills. I swear there were some a few weeks ago and they existed, but perhaps that was in my mind.

So, does anyone have a small kettle grill to bring? If not, Dr.E. and I will pick one up as we should have one anyway.
posted by zizzle at 4:55 PM on September 4, 2010

Sadly, no portable grill!

I'm happy to volunteer for baby-holding duty as needed, also. Yay, babies!
posted by Sublimity at 8:27 AM on September 5, 2010

zizzle : "How to find us:..."

I thought the standard way was to yell "HAY WHERE MY INTERNET NERDS AT!"

At future meetups, we will have to borrow baby Zizzle as a beacon so we don't have to put ourselves through that anymore.

I will try and make it to this with my son (15 years old, probably more interested in the games at Willows than the socializing). I also have a can of larvae I will bring if I come. Can we taste test them on the little ones that don't know any better? Like, to see if these are naturally as icky as Cat Pie Hurts's video would have us believe, or if the ickiness is dependent upon knowing what they are before you eat them.
posted by not_on_display at 10:18 AM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

At future meetups, we will have to borrow baby Zizzle as a beacon so we don't have to put ourselves through that anymore.

This can be done. His hair is very easy to spot from great differences.

But we'll also have a SIGN!!! Has a MeFi meet up had a SIGN before? A SIGN, I tell you!

Also, I intend on nabbing a spot in the flat space right across from the parking lot that's next to the arcade, etc.

(Also, you've met us before. And you do have my phone number, non?)
posted by zizzle at 12:12 PM on September 7, 2010

So, whether we make it depends on whether my parents manage to get their stove installed before the weekend. If we do have the stove installed, we're visiting them on Saturday. Otherwise, they visit Salem on Friday.
posted by mkb at 12:20 PM on September 7, 2010

if these are naturally as icky as Cat Pie Hurts's video would have us believe

Why??? Why, why, why??

I mean...the going back...why??!?

posted by zizzle at 4:45 PM on September 7, 2010

I have to make it a maybe. I'm in the midst of a nasty cold right now (so graciously granted me by He-Who's-Ooze-Runneth-Eternal-From-Every-Orifice, my stinky lil 2 year old nephew). If there is survival, there will be picnicking.

I also have a small, portable propane grill that I could bring (if I don't succumb to the tiny demon-beast's infernal plague. He's lucky he's a cute demon-beast.).
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 6:27 AM on September 8, 2010

I mean...the going back...why??!?

posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 6:30 AM on September 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'll bring burgers and some kind of drink.

We only have a huge non-portable grill, so I am sadly no help there.
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 8:11 AM on September 8, 2010


I have nothing but the utmost respect for you. I don't think I could eat even one. I think you are admirably brave. It's not judgement. It's a lack of confidence in myself to undergo such an endeavor and a lack of understanding of how someone else could have so much courage.

Do not look upon my statement as a judgement upon you, but rather an indictment upon the courage I do not possess.
posted by zizzle at 11:02 AM on September 8, 2010

Sorry folks, I am going to back out of this one, and hope to see you all at another meetup this fall (and I WILL bring a can of larvae to that one if CPH doesn't).
posted by not_on_display at 6:30 PM on September 8, 2010

i'm gonna check the yard to see if we still have a small weber grill. we have a bit bigger one, but it's on tall legs. still reasonably portable, but i'll be alone with a cooler for drinks and a toddler (husband has a bunch of work to do) so if bringing it becomes necessary, i'll probably need some help lugging it out of the car.

i'll bring some juicy juice and half a gallon of milk, as well as plates.

also, my kid is a gingerbaby as well. although sometimes he looks blonde. gingerbabies unite!
posted by kpht at 6:24 PM on September 9, 2010


Dr.E will be picking up a small grill tomorrow. Looks like we're mostly all set for some awesome fun times!!! Dr.E will grab miscellaneous items.

Can't wait to see everyone!
posted by zizzle at 6:53 PM on September 9, 2010

Hot diggedy! Looking forward to seeing you all.

Note to self: quarters.
posted by Sublimity at 5:03 AM on September 11, 2010

Sorry folks, the possibly infectious, certainly cantankerous micro-beasts inhabiting my head and my lungs have voted a hearty "NAY" on my attendance. I hope you all have fun!
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 11:36 AM on September 11, 2010

Well, my morning got taken over by naptime followed by a visit to Grandma and Grandpa's. Sorry, everyone!
posted by mkb at 7:03 PM on September 11, 2010

Thanks for coming, everybody. It's always dicey getting anywhere with the kiddos in tow, so we're glad people could make it.

(And I reclaimed my high score on the basketball shooting arcade game.)
posted by Dr.Enormous at 5:30 AM on September 12, 2010

Hey, we really had a lovely time meeting you all! The site was terrific, the weather wonderful, and the company delightful. Thanks to zizzle and Dr. Enormous for organizing, and for banjo and pork and kpht for showing up too. And to all the MeFi babes! What a great crew...
posted by Sublimity at 2:06 PM on September 12, 2010

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