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Things to do north of Boston

This is our pick of the best of the burbs. For more, go to www.boston.comand search music, restaurants, arts and crafts, and other goings-on throughout Greater Boston.

EVENTS

Beverly: At Children’s Garden Opening Day, help plant colorful, annual flowers and organic vegetables in a magical garden. Plant one flower or as many as you like. You will be beautifying the garden for the season while learning how to plant. Limited spaces available. Wednesday, 3:30-5 p.m. The Trustees of Reservations Long Hill, 572 Essex St. $10 per family. http://www.thetrustees.org/things-to-do/northeast-ma/lh-childrens-garden-open-May-21.html

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Essex: Artists and painters are invited to Cogswell’s Grant for a day of plein air painting. Join fellow artists from all over the North Shore to paint beautiful vistas of the Essex River and Great Marsh, farm fields and landscapes, and 18th-century historic houses and barns. Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Cogswell’s Grant, 60 Spring St. Free. 978-768-3632, http://shop.historicnewengland.org/p-6593-artists-plein-air-day.aspx

Medford: From “Gone, Baby, Gone” to “Mystic River” to “Shutter Island” to “The Given Day,” Dennis Lehane (above) is one of the most versatile novelists in America today, whether he’s breaking new ground with psychological suspense, redefining the detective story, or bringing a bygone era to life with sweeping historical fiction. He’s at Bestsellers Cafe on Tuesday, 7-8:30 p.m. 24 High St. Free. 781-391-7171, http://www.bestsellers-cafe.com/event/author-event-dennis-lehane

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