New to Needham Tips

Written by Mary Celeste Brown

Babysitting at the Charles River YMCA
I’m back with some fun, interesting or maybe even important things to know, especially if you are new to the area.  I was walking in the Walk for Walker School Saturday (beautiful day for it!) and talking about this blog post when I heard the most interesting and useful piece of information.  I didn’t know that the Charles River YMCA has babysitting for parents who are there for a workout of their own.  Very useful, check it out.  Also, combine that with the discount the Y gives Parent Talk members, and their powers combined the Parent Talk and YMCA memberships spell out real value and convenience.

The Train in the Woods

I have also heard about a toy train set in the Needham Town Forest.  So on a recent fall morning, I went out to look for it.  I wasn’t sure I was going to find the train tracks; there are many, many trails in the forest.  There is plenty to see on a walk in the woods, of course, even if you don’t find the train.  There was a beautiful fungus my daughter will be delighted to identify for me.
But I did find the train set. 
If you are lucky you may meet the person who built it, I read it is Jim Metcalf, and see the train running.  But if you are not so lucky, there is still a great deal to see.  You can look for the polar bears             

Or the islands in the birdbath

Or play on the spiral road with the dump truck

Or the dinosaurs

There is a plenty more to find and play with, tiny birdhouses mark the paths along the way, there are tiny bridges, little bridges and bridges big enough to walk over, more trucks and a workman at a picnic table, a mineshaft entrance, a lamp on a tree.  Again, if you don’t make it to the play spot, you will still see plenty of low bush blueberries, mossy stumps and princess pines.
So one of these perfect fall days, if you are looking for somewhere to take your children outdoors, look no further than the Needham Town Forest.
If you know of something fun about Needham, Dover, Wellesley, Dedham, Newton or the surrounding towns that you wish you knew when you were new to the area, drop me a line at, so I can let your new neighbors know about it, too!

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