Community Spotlight: Look Memorial Park

Shawn Porter, Executive Director of Look Memorial Park, a 501(c)3 non-profit park in Florence, MA, shares all of the wonderful opportunities the park offers!

Look Park has always been a place for everyone to enjoy and has activities for everyone. The Steamer Train, pedal boats, miniature golf, Christenson Zoo, ball fields, tennis courts, water spray park, and the Grill and Sweet Shoppe.

On any given day we know people will be enjoying a picnic at one of our six pavilions or picnic sites, celebrating a birthday at our Birthday Party tent, as well as playing volleyball, softball, taking a walk, or enjoying leisure time under a tree.

Special events are another way to enjoy the Park. The Franklin King Children’s Series at the Pines Theater, Northampton Family Fourth Fireworks, Scottish Festival, Haunted Train, Pumpkin Festival, and Santa’s Trains and Winter Wonderland Light Display are always a hit.

We’ve also added Afternoon Tea for individuals who are home on weekdays, Bounce House Bonanza, Food Truck Festival, Brew Fest, and an international street fair. There is something for everyone at Look Park.

As the Executive Director, I get the honor of driving into a beautiful, safe park with majestic trees, fun playgrounds, and other activities every day! Look Park is a unique place and since 2010, I have had the pleasure of enjoying every aspect of the park. Many people do not know that Look Park is a 501(c3) non-profit park, which receives no tax funding from any federal, state or local government. Read the rest of this entry »

A Day at Look Park

Northampton’s Big Backyard: Look Park in Florence

Kids can cool down in the Splash Park at Look Park. (Photo credit: Karen Bayne)

The first day of school for my gang is in the books. We wave and kiss summer good-bye. We look ahead to our fall schedule with apprehension and relief: school days, homework, swim lessons, clarinet, collapsing into a heap at the weekend. And I realize, as I pack up snacks and fill out forms and do the calculus involved with different pick ups and drop-offs, I’ve not yet written about our extra backyard. Our own backyard is postage stamp sized, but Look Park is gloriously big, and is the place we end up when we need to stretch our legs, run extra fast and meet up with friends.

Bummer boats, mini golf, train rides and paddle boat rides are extra at the park. Pay half price on Wednesdays. (Photo credit: Karen Bayne)

We go there for a few hours or entire day. We run through sprinklers, clamber on rocks in the creek, and play hide-and-go-seek-tag all over the play structures.  I’ve been known to occasionally indulge the boys in popsicles or ice-cream sandwiches from the snack bar. On half-price Wednesdays, we’ll ride the train through the zoo, then walk through it to feed the goats, then go for a bumper boat rides.  The boys love to bike or scooter around from one spot to the next,. It is in fact where my youngest discovered that he is truly good at biking, peddling away from me shouting,“I’m good at this! I’m good at this!”

Nearby creek bed for exploring. (Photo credit: Karen Bayne)

It was our first retreat when we moved here in last summer’s heatwave. We’ve been back time and again, for birthday parties, picnics and sports. Its shady play structures are the only ones we head to on warm summer days. Henry and Theo often lead us on hiking trails through the woods to discover pine cones and different views of the creek. It is the best place to take them when I am tired of kid wrangling and may need a fast retreat to the van to head home for dinner, bath and bed.

You’ll find us there this weekend for the hot air balloon festival. Hope for clear skies and bring your camera, the opportunities for pictures, should not be passed up. See you there!


Karen Bayne

Karen grew up in Manhattan and lived in Connecticut before moving to Northampton with her husband Matt to raise their boys. Her sons Isaac, Henry and Theo are 11, 6 and 4,  leaving Karen on a search for all the “just right adventures” that will wow them and wear them out.  She works as a birth doula, childbirth and parent educator in the greater Northampton area. She writes about mothering at Needs New Batteries and about birth in our culture at Gentle Balance Birth.

Summer Fun: More for Your Money on Wednesdays

Look Park Offers Half-Price on Wednesdays and Family Entertainment

Water Spray Park at Look Park in Florence, MA

(Water Spray Park) In addition to paid attractions, there are plenty of fun free things to do, including the Water Spray Park, Walking/Biking Paths, Playgrounds, Tennis, and even a small Zoo. There is a entrance fee to bring your car into the park. Season passes are available, and well worth the investment. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Look Park announces that all Wednesdays between Memorial Day and Labor Day will be 1/2 price for all paid attractions.

Paid attractions include:

  • Train Rides
  • Pedal Boats
  • Miniature Golf
  • Bumper Boats
  • Click here to see prices

Free attraction include:

  • Water Spray Park
  • Walking/Biking Paths
  • Playgrounds
  • Tennis Courts
  • Baseball Fields
  • Volleyball Sand Pits
  • Zoo

Family Entertainment

Also on Wednesday in June at Look Park is family entertainment at the Pines Theater at 10am. The series features a collection of children’s performers who sing, dance, and perform a variety of children’s activities on stage. Performances last anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour The Look Park Children’s Entertainment Series is a program run by Look Park at the Pines Theater. The series features a collection of children’s performers who sing, dance, and perform a variety of children’s activities on stage. Performances last anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour on Wednesday mornings during the summer. The shows have proven to be a great place to take children for fun summer activities. Click here for ticket prices.

Here is their current July schedule:

  • July 15Ed Popielarczyk
    Ed takes a lot of pride in bringing smiles to his friend’s faces. Whether he is performing a magic show or making a balloon creation, he is entertaining. The magic in what he does is not making a big duck riding a motorcycle out of balloons or fooling someone during a magic show, but the laughter that it brings. That is the TRUE MAGIC!!
  • July 22Gerwick Puppets “The Case of the Missing Woodpile”
    Marylou and Bruce star in this musical mystery. They’re busy with all sorts of summer activities, when suddenly the pile of wood for a chicken coop disappears! Jon Klein, an instructor at Berklee College of Music, wrote the jazz score. All puppets sing as well as try to solve the mystery.
  • July 29 – UNH Little Red Wagon Tour
    The Little Red Wagon’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is specifically designed for young audiences. Fairies, maidens, magic and fools abound in this wonderful introduction to the world’s greatest playwright. With audience participation and a good dose of comedy, it’s easy to enjoy Shakespeare’s most popular play. Appropriate for all ages.

Let other families in the region know about special events and destinations this summer.  Click here to post your event/suggestion.

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