Stoneham’s dazzling light show
Wander along paths illuminated by thousands of lights at the Stone Zoo Nov. 27 through Jan. 3. The ZooLights display spans 26 acres, taking visitors on a one-way tour along tree-lined paths and by dozens of animals including black bears, arctic foxes, and reindeer. This year’s event also includes several large-scale lantern displays — look for polar bears and penguins. Visitors must purchase tickets in advance (no tickets at the door) for timed entry between 4 and 8:30 p.m. (you can stay until 9:30 p.m.); the zoo will be closed Dec. 25. Tickets: $12.95 for members, free for children under 2, and $13.95 for age 2 and older. 617-541-5466, www.zoonewengland.org.
Storytelling through ceramics
See 50 ceramics works by contemporary artists at the Concord Center for Visual Arts. “Clay Has Its Say: Narrative Ceramics” runs through Dec. 13, featuring works that tell visual stories but leave it up to the viewer to interpret. Some depict stories through imagery or patterns painted or etched onto their surfaces — such as plates depicting figurative scenes or objects covered in words — while others convey ideas through the shape of sculptures, such as pairs of unusual creatures or the fossil-like bones of fantastical animals. The free exhibit includes the work of 10 artists from Massachusetts, plus creations by artists from Maine, New Hampshire, Georgia, and Texas. Open 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Wed.-Sat.; only four people allowed in the galleries at a time. www.concordart.org.
New hiking and snowshoeing club
A new outdoors club from STRIDE Adaptive Sports aims to get homebound people with disabilities into the Berkshires and New York’s Capital Region so they can enjoy much-needed exercise during stressful times. The hiking program offers group trips in the Berkshires (Mount Greylock) and Capital Region that will be accessible to wheelchair users. Hikers can log their completed trips in a passport. The next hike takes place Dec. 5 at the Albany Pinebush Preserve, led by a state park nature guide (depending on the weather, this may become a snowshoe hike). Come winter, the club will offer snowshoe adventures from its base at the STRIDE Center for Outdoor Recreation and Education camp in Chatham (snowshoes provided). Participation is free, but donations welcome. www.stride.org.
Get access to an exclusive club
Work on your swing using a golf simulator, go bowling, or enjoy an onsite culinary event at Philadelphia’s exclusive Fitler Club. This private lifestyle club has a 14-room boutique hotel and a new dining concept, Igloo Village in the Garden, that welcomes members and hotel guests for meals and special culinary events (think Aspen-inspired dining experience with everything from caviar and champagne to towers of doughnuts). Stay in one of the guestrooms — all in keeping with the hotel’s industrial chic design — and get access to the club’s fitness classes, golf simulator, bowling lanes, and member events. The club, located downtown, offers anyone entering the property a temperature screening, electrostatic disinfection, UV sanitizing for phones, and a check on their face masks — all within 45 seconds. Club members can also access a communication system that tells them where other guests may be congregating, to help people stay spread out. Room rates start at $350. 215-575-9092, fitlerclub.com/stay.
Cozy wool products for a good cause
A team of Boston knitters led the way in creating handknit beanies, mittens, and other wool products that have led to a booming business. Sh*t That I Knit (STIK), created by Boston-based Christina Fagan Pardy, now sells kettle-dyed hats, mittens, and neck gaiters made from Peruvian merino wool, and wraps and ponchos made from baby alpaca wool. The soft, well-made products are now created by about 170 women in Lima, Peru, many of whom are mothers who work from home while caring for their kids. The warm and comfortable beanies have a snap on top, so you choose your different pompoms to add on. The mittens have built-in holes for your index fingers and thumbs, so you can access your devices and still stay warm. $125 beanies, $15 per pompom; $80 mittens. shitthatiknit.com.
How to make car rides fun
Going on a family road trip? Maybe you can do a round or two of the ABC game — searching for signs that begin with the letters of the alphabet — before your kids lose interest. TableTopics makes packs of 40 cards that have thought-provoking conversation starters to keep your kids (or anyone) entertained. Packs come in a variety of themes and are geared to different ages: 4 and older for the Kids pack, 12 and up for Travel, and any age for Road Trip, for instance. Questions in the Kids pack ask, “What would you do if you were invisible for a day” and “If you could design your own swimming pool, what would it look like,” for example. A couple of the Travel questions include “If you could trade houses with someone whose would you choose” and “Which band would you like to tour with for one month?” TableTopics come in 3-by-3-inch packs, so you can toss them in the glove compartment and keep them handy for long car rides. $25 per pack. www.tabletopics.com.