11 North Shore Hot Spots

Be sure to check out a few of these special venues and events this summer.

Courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum

We’ve all been there: stuck in a rut, frequenting the same old haunts or staying home on the couch. Fortunately, the North Shore is rich with evening activities that can shake up your routine with a healthy dose of excitement. Here are just a few of the artistic, culinary, cultural, and musical events in which locals can participate this May and June:

Cocktails at Opus

For a limited time, Salem restaurant Opus is putting an artistic spin on cocktails: Monday through Thursday, guests who order one of the restaurant’s unique specialty cocktails will receive a hand-drawn cocktail trading card to match. Staffers David Serighelli and Ramona Shah have collaborated to create unique designs corresponding to cocktails like “The Golden Bough” (Berkshire-barreled Ethereal gin, Atxa Vino Rojo vermouth, Skinos Mastiha Spirit, Imbue Petal & Thorn) or “The Floating Pyramid” (Pimms, lime gin, beet shrub, Licor 43, Atxa Vino Rojo vermouth, and egg white). www.salemopus.com


On June 10, join fellow revelers at Castle Hill on the Crane Estate for food, wine, and merriment in honor of Bacchus, Roman god of wine. Live music, art, and fiery entertainment accompany hors d’oeuvres and an open bar. Enjoy an evening of alfresco enjoyment set against the backdrop of the regal Crane Estate. Roman-inspired fashions and togas are optional, but encouraged! www.thetrustees.org

Paint Night in the Garden

If you’re longing for an evening of art, culture, and communion with nature, look no further than Paint Night in the Garden at The Stevens-Coolidge Place in North Andover. Join fellow artists on June 8 from 7 to 9 p.m. for an evening of painting, wine, and fellowship. Tickets include painting supplies, instruction, and wine, so all you’ll need to bring to this elegant event is friends, family, and your creativity. www.thetrustees.org


As one of the North Shore’s most prominent cultural focal points, Salem’s Peabody Essex Museum never fails to deliver educational, unconventional fun. PEM/PM, a series of evening gatherings on the third Thursday of each month, is open to the public for just $10. Visit PEM on May 19 for “Metamorphosis,” an evening honoring the museum’s Rodin exhibition with dancing, sculpting, massage, and cocktails. Or stop by for “Jigsaw” on June 16 to expand your knowledge of puzzles and patterns while enjoying DIY puzzle workshops and a collaborative puzzle hunt. www.pem.org

Andiamo Restaurant + Bar

Beat the mid-week blues with a visit to Andiamo’s Live Jazz Wednesdays, featuring the Phil McGowan Trio. Master musician Phil McGowan pairs with a variety of local and national musicians, varying the lineup each week for an experience that can’t be replicated. Enjoy a delicious Italian appetizer or entrée, and grab a glass of wine or a cocktail to enjoy while you take in the tunes. www.andiamo-restaurant.com

Luna Theater

For movie-lovers who long for the cinema of the recent past, late-night Nostalgia Fridays at the Luna Theater fit the bill. Visit the Luna at Lowell’s Mill No. 5 on Fridays at 9:45 p.m. for a surprise screening of an old favorite from the 80s or 90s—you won’t know which one until the opening credits roll. The best part? Nostalgia Fridays are free to all, so guests can save a little dough while relaxing in the Luna’s cozy red armchair seats with a craft beer, cider, or snack from the concession stand. 5.lunalowell.com

Rockport Chamber Music Festival

This year, world-class performance venue the Shalin Liu celebrates the 35 anniversary of the Rockport Chamber Music Festival, featuring live performances from a wide variety of talented musicians from June 3 through July 10. Legendary pianist Menaham Pressler and the Parker String Quartet will kick off the first night of the festival, followed by performances from nationally recognized classical musicians throughout the month. Guests can enjoy a single concert or purchase a subscription for a discount off multiple shows. Against the Shalin Liu’s idyllic seaside backdrop, each evening offers an unforgettable musical and visual experience. www.rockportmusic.org

King’s Lynnfield

Liven up your weeknight with a game of pool, or bowl a few strings in style at King’s Lynnfield. The old-school-with-a-twist bowling alley has something to offer everyone with special events and deals Monday through Friday evenings. Save some cash with half-price bowling and table games from 8 p.m. to close on Monday, or two-dollar bowling and table games from 8 p.m. to close on Tuesdays. Karaoke nights on Thursdays give brave souls the chance to belt to their hearts’ content in King’s Lounge. www.kingsbowlamerica.com/lynnfield

Evenings at Maggie’s Farm

Maggie’s Farm in Middleton has become a destination for North Shore foodies who crave classic comfort food with a haute twist. Make a night of it by visiting on Tuesdays to test your knowledge at Stump Trivia with friends or family. Wednesday evenings are Ladies’ Night, featuring half-priced appetizers and live music by talented local musicians from 7 to 10 p.m. Maggie’s Farm even honors North Shore business owners and employees on Mondays with Local Business Night, offering discounts to those who work in Middleton or in the surrounding towns. www.maggiesfarmmiddleton.com

Lowell Summer Music Festival

The Lowell Summer Music Festival has earned a place among North Shore summer must-dos, with performances that run the gamut from pop hits to country classics. This June, see heavy hitters like Patty Griffin on June 10, Guster on June 11, Mary Chapin Carpenter on June 17, or Peter Frampton on June 18. Pack a blanket, chairs, and a picnic dinner, or grab a bite at the festival, where menu choices include burritos, sandwiches, salads, and even New England clam chowder. www.lowellsummermusic.org

Smolak Farms

The 6th Annual Whim Dinner Series at Smolak Farms offers guests a chance to eat freshly picked produce and wholesome main courses prepared by respected regional chefs—each of whom creates dishes “on a whim,” meaning they decide what they will offer depending on the farm’s available ingredients. Each of the seven Wednesday night dinners is hosted under a tent in a wood grove looking out onto the fields and night sky. Long, charmingly set tables accommodate guests, who quickly become friends for the night. Join other foodies for a guaranteed good time during this quintessential farm-to-table experience. www.smolakfarms.com/whim

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