The Jewish holiday Purim is a joyous festival that celebrates the bravery of Queen Esther, a Persian monarch, who, along with her cousin Mordechai, foiled the plans of the king's advisor (Haman) to exterminate the Jews in Persia.
The general topsy-turvy spirit of Purim is ascribed both to the merry celebration of the occasion, and as an allusion to how the decree against the Jews was suddenly overturned and their standing in the kingdom went from outcast to privileged. Join the celebration of Purim in and around Boston with these family-friendly events:
"Celebrate Purim," Boston Children's Museum, 308 Congress St. Sun., March 2, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. $14. Enjoy all your favorite exhibits plus see a PJ Library story come to life in an interactive musical puppet show. Children will make holiday crafts, watch a Purim Shpiel (play), and more. www.bostonchildrensmuseum.org
"Purim Merriment at the Museum" Children's Museum of Easton, 9 Sullivan Ave., Easton. Sun., March 9, 10-11:30 a.m. $15 per family preregistered; walk-ins, $20. Celebration includes dancing, sing-a-longs, costume parade, crafts and hamantaschen (Purim pastries). www.bostonjcc.org/southpurimmuseum
"Hamantash Bake for the Family," 105 St. Paul St, Brookline. Sun., March 9, 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. $5 per child. Put on your aprons, take out those rolling pins and bake some of the most delicious Hamantashen you've ever tasted! Learn the techniques and skills for making hamantashen and fill it with chocolate, jelly, poppy seeds and more! Pre-registration appreciated. www.GetChai.com/Hamantash
"PJ Library Purim Palooza," Arlington Heights Nursery School,10 Acton Street, Arlington. Sun., March 9, 3:30-5 p.m. $15 per family; walk-ins, $20. Make a crazy costume, join a Purim Palooza parade, and taste the joys of hamantaschen (Purim pastries) on the happiest holiday of the Jewish year. www.bostonjcc.org/metronorthpurim2014
"Purim of the Caribbean," Brookline Teen Center, 40 Aspinwall Ave, Brookline. Sun., March 16, 10 a.m. $5 per person. RSVP appreciated. Featuring the YoYo People, a full pirate pancake buffet breakfast, a pirate balloon artist, candlepin bowling, rock climbing, walk the plank, pirate crafts and much more. Come dressed as a pirate or in any costume for our masquerade contest -- all in costume receive a prize. Megillah Reading with interactive slideshow. www.GetChai.com/PiratePurim
"Purim Carnival," Runkle School, 50 Druce St., Brookline. Sun., March 16, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. $10 suggested donation. The Boston Workmen's Circle annual Purim Carnival, hosted by the Sunday School 7th grade class, features games and prizes for children under 10. Purim Spiel starts promptly at 11:15, with pizza and potluck lunch at 11:30. www.circleboston.org
"Purim in the Wild West," Beth Menachem, 349 Dedham St., Newton. Sun., March 16, 4:30 - 7:30 p.m. RSVP encouraged. Before March 11: adults, $15; children, $10. After March 11: adults, $20; children, $15. Pony rides, mechanical bull rides, western-themed arts and crafts, western-themed food, dancing to Jewish western music and more. www.JewishNewton.com/WildWest
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Kristi Palma, Boston.com Moms producer, is the mom of a first grader and a preschooler. She is a writer who enjoys cooking her grandmother's Italian recipes (when her son isn't launching paper airplanes into them). Follow her on Twitter @kristipalma.