The Heart of Nashua with Joan Stylianos: It's time to plan your summer in the city

I am sure that for the majority of students enrolled in the Nashua public school system, it seems like the year has gone on forever with all those crazy snow days they had to make up.

That’s all about to change, so can I hear a Hallelujah, please?

According to Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Jahmal Mosley, the last day of classes for students is Friday, June 22. And of those who attend private schools here, most will have already left for summer break.

I can remember the glee and eagerness for that last day of school and then, driving my parents crazy all summer long.

For pupils at the Infant Jesus School who recently donated their hair or had their heads shaved in solidarity with kids with cancer, congratulations! The event was the highlight of the private Catholic school’s end of the year barbecue and fundraiser. The Wigs For Kids charity will benefit from the kindness, maturity and generosity displayed by Infant Jesus School students.

It’s a wonderful life lesson that these elementary school children are being exposed to at such a young age. So, way to go!

Before any young person has a chance to get “wicked bored” during those hot, hazy days, our city has tons of stuff going on. And most of it does not require screen time like video games, smartphones, social media and the like. Don’t laugh, but my favorite spot was Benson’s Wild Animal Farm; sadly, the Hudson “zoo” no longer exists.

The obsession with technology and having to always “be connected” can get out of control.

Don’t believe me?

The Center for Parenting Education has the numbers: “It’s estimated that kids and teens between the ages of 8 to 18 spend about 44.5 hours each week in front of digital screens.”

Getting your kids outside where they can achieve a healthy balance is important.

For example, those who reside in the Crown Hill neighborhood (and points beyond) are invited to the Arlington Street Community Center “Summer Kick-Off Event” this Friday, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Hotdogs, games, raffles, dancing, face painting and a lot more are on tap.

My friends at the Nashua Public Library are presenting a terrific musical series for the summer. Carol Luers Eyman, the outreach coordinator, is encouraging residents to “Chill to Free Music Under the Stars.”

On Thursday nights starting June 28, folks are asked to “grab a blanket or lawn chair, pack a picnic basket, and head over to the Nashua Public Library (at 2 Court Street) for Summer Concerts on the Plaza.”

That sounds delightful, and the program features talented live musical performances. The series will open with one of Portland, Maine’s finest, the Pete Kilpatrick Band. The group has shared the staged with greats like the Dave Matthews Band and Barenaked Ladies.

All performances are free and begin at 7 p.m. In the event of rain, the show will go on inside the library’s Chandler Memorial Wing.

By now, if you haven’t noticed the bright turquoise-colored bicycles popping up all across the downtown area, then you need to get away from your desk and head outdoors more. I think this is a super initiative by Mayor Donchess and the city in bringing 200 bikes for residents to enjoy and pedal around the Gate City. It’s a healthy solo or family activity, and the VeoRide share system is easy to use and inexpensive.

Customers download the VeoRide app, and their smartphone will locate and reserve a bike. And for 50 cents, a person can ride one of the bikes for 15 minutes anywhere within the city.

It’s eco-friendly, fun and adds to the wholesome, urban-pedestrian experience of Nashua.

Ms. Stylianos is a Nashua native. Her column is published weekly. She can be reached at