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Director's Column: Mini Vacations

This week we had a visit from Vivian Birchall, who taught us a little bit about Ugandan culture, including music, dance, and storytelling. The children noticed that some things about Ugandan culture are different from our culture, but there are many things that are the same. Even though the stories, songs, instruments, and toys might be different, children everywhere love playing, listening to stories, singing, and dancing. Our Pre-K class has been virtually visiting other countries, through books, music, videos, artifacts and food. There are also a number of opportunities around Boston to discover other cultures. Maybe you and your children got to experience a little bit of Irish culture last weekend on Saint Patrick's Day! If you are looking to widen your children's horizons without leaving the country, here are a few things you could do that are just a short drive away. 1. The Japanese House at The Children's Museum "The Japanese House exhibit, also called Kyo no Machiya, at Boston Children’s Museum is a well-preserved machiya, a traditional urban house from Kyoto, Japan."

Check the museum's calendar for upcoming events, including; Make a Paper Sakura Cherry Blossom Screen for Hanami Flower-viewing, the Sakura Cherry Blossom Festival, Create Your Own Kami-kabuto - Paper Samurai Helmet, and Meet 90 Kids from Kyoto, Japan.

2. The North End My family used to go to the North End every Saturday so that my daughters could attend the Pirandello Italian school. Afterwards, we would go to Caffe Dello Sport on Hanover Street for coffee, panini, and pastries. It is the closest thing I've experienced to an authentic Italian coffee shop, including locals cheering as they watch Italian soccer matches on TV. Over the summer, you can often attend one of the many festivals held on weekends, where you can get a taste (both figuratively and literally) of Italian food and culture. 3. Chinatown

Boston's Chinatown is the third largest Chinatown in the United States (behind New York and San Francisco). Pass through the traditional opening gate when entering, stroll around the streets, shops, and marketplaces, then stop at China Pearl for dim sum. Chinatown also hosts many festivals, where you can see Chinese folk dance, calligraphy, traditional lantern ceremonies, and other crafts and entertainment. Enjoy your mini-vacation to Japan, Italy, or China! best, Nina

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