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HOUSE TOURS GALORE As they plan Newton’s annual house tour each year, Clara Silverstein and her colleagues at Historic Newton know that people like this chance to peek through other people’s houses.

What they didn’t anticipate was how much their audience also would appreciate the chance to visit a usually off-limits but highly visible nonresidential building. But after receiving an enthusiastic response to the inclusion of Newton’s Masonic Hall on last year’s house tour, Historic Newton decided to select another building to include amid the private homes again this year.

Silverstein can’t disclose the specifics, other than saying it is listed on the National Register of Historical Places. Stops on house tours are always kept secret until the day of the event. But just as in the past, the Newton House Tour — now in its 34th year — promises to appeal to nearly every architectural taste: antique homes, new construction, and renovated Victorians.

“Some people imagine that a house tour in Newton will be all old Victorians,” Silverstein said. “But that’s not the case. Each year we have a wide mix of different styles and vintages, and this year is no exception.”


Historic Newton’s house tour takes place on Sunday, May 22, from noon to 5 p.m. Tickets are $35 per person and $30 for Historic Newton members; order at historicnewton.org or call 617-796-1450.

Newer to the game and just beginning to find its footing is the Home & Hearth Tour in Sudbury, started by the Sudbury Historical Society just last year.

The inaugural tour, according to Sally Hild, executive director of the historical society, focused on the historical district within lower Concord Road. This year, the committee again decided to focus on a particular neighborhood, this time the King Philip neighborhood, also a historical district, and Mill Village.

The tour, scheduled from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 21, includes six private homes and the B&M Railroad Section House, said Hild. But she is hoping that visitors do more than just take in the impressive architecture and inviting décor of the homes.

“Sudbury participated in King Philip’s War,” she said. “We chose this region of Sudbury for the house tour this year in hopes of teaching people about what happened here, even about the specific battles of King Philip’s War. They’ll learn also how the neighborhood evolved over time. It’s a good snapshot into history.”


General admission is $30; $25 for Sudbury Historical Society members. Tickets may be purchased now through the day of the event by e-mailing SHSHomeTour@
or by visiting the Sudbury Historical Society office at Town Hall. For more information, go to www.sudbury01776.org .

Both Newton’s and Sudbury’s house tours are self-guided; participants will be given a brochure and map along with their tickets and can make their way from house to house.

Those who want to see just as much breadth of design and décor without covering so many miles might prefer the Junior League of Boston’s annual show house event, which invites designers and decorators to take a particular part of one large house as a way of showcasing their creativity.

This year, the Junior League has chosen the 1854 Nathaniel Allen House at 35 Webster St. in West Newton as its site and has invited dozens of Boston’s most acclaimed designers to transform more than 20 rooms, exhibiting an impressive range of styles, designs, themes, and approaches. The Junior League Show House is open now through June 5, with a special Garden Day on Tuesday, May 17. Every Wednesday, the designers will be on hand to answer questions and chat with visitors.


Hours are Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Thursdays and Fridays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Mondays.) Tickets are $35 in advance, $40 at the door, and are available online at bostonshowhouse.org. For information, group rates, and more, call 617-536-9640.

CELEBRATE BELMONT Belmont Town Day, sponsored by Belmont Savings Bank, will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 21, in Belmont Center. Activities include a car show, cash cube, face painting, pony rides, and a photo booth for families with World Marathon Challenge winner Becca Pizzi. Belmont Savings’s third annual dog show will begin at noon on the main stage. Prizes will be awarded for categories such as Best Trick and Cutest Puppy. For information, go to www.belmontsavings.com and click on the community link.

SEE CERAMICS The ninth Biennial State of Clay exhibit is on display through June 5 at the Lexington Arts & Crafts Society. This juried show is open to original and innovative ceramic work by current and former residents of Massachusetts, with a goal of broadening public awareness of contemporary ceramic art.

The Lexington Arts and Crafts Society is located at 130 Waltham St. Admission is free. For hours and information, call 781-862-9696 or go to www.lacsma.org.

WORLD OF JEWISH MUSIC Congregation Beth Elohim in Acton will host “A Kaleidoscope of Jewish Music from Around the World” at 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 22. The Zamir Chorale of Boston, a choral ensemble devoted to fostering and preserving Jewish music and culture, will perform.


Tickets are $25 general admission; $20 for students and seniors. Tickets and more information are available at bethelohim.org . Congregation Beth Elohim is located at 133 Prospect St., Acton.

THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC Emerson Hospital in Concord is sponsoring a free public forum: “Rising Opioid Epidemic in our Community — An Evening about Prevention, Collaboration, and Education” on Monday, May 16, at 6 p.m. in Concord-Carlisle High School , 500 Walden St. E-mail opioidforum@emersonhosp.org.

Local prevention and treatment experts, people in recovery, law enforcement, and family members who have been impacted by opioid addiction will speak.

Send ideas to nancyswest@gmail.com .