Holiday Gifts and Activities in Lowell

Belinda Juran, a Lowell Walks veteran and active community member occasionally sends emails to her contacts with information about what’s going on in the city. Today’s version was so chock full of great holiday ideas, that I asked permission to repost it here.

WCAP Salvation Army radiothon – Every year, Warren Shaw, Gerry Nutter and the WCAP radio team host a radiothon to benefit the local Salvation Army.  Listen live on WCAP 980 AM from 6am-2pm today (Sat., 12/11).  Simulcast also on LTC Channel 8 ( from 10am-1pm.  Items are auctioned live, plus a silent auction is available at

We Are America cookbook – Lowell High School teacher Jessica Lander and her students have just published a new cookbook reflecting recipes from the students’ home cultures, representing dishes from Cambodia, Sudan, Brazil and 15 other countries.  The cookbook is a great way to learn about and celebrate the many cultures that make up our wonderful city and that are reflecting in our students at Lowell High School.  You can buy a copy at  Also, the cookbook published last year by one of Jessica’s classes just won an award from Readable Feast New England (

Free Soil Arts Collective – “Hidden in Plain Sight” is a storytelling project chronicling the lived experiences of Black people in Lowell.  Free Soil is collaborating with the Lowell National Historical Park, which hosts an exhibit open to the public starting Monday, December 13th at the LNHP visitor center on Market Street.  The exhibit runs through August 2022.  Also starting Monday, order a copy of the companion book at  The exhibit and book are great ways to get to know more of our neighbors in Lowell.

UTEC – For great holiday gifts (cutting boards, serving tongs, ornaments, etc.) crafted by the young adults in UTEC’s woodworking program, go to or find their products at various Whole Foods and other retailers (see  Your purchases support UTEC’s great work and shows its young people your commitment to their success.

DIY Lowell – DIY Lowell held its annual Community Idea Summit a few weeks ago and the community selected 4 projects for Lowellians to work on together this year (see attached email).  Two held their first meetings last evening, but (I suspect) there’s still time to get involved.  DIY Lowell projects are a great way to get to know more people and get involved in making real a meaningful project that will have an impact on our city.  For background on DIY Lowell, see or

IINE – The International Institute of New England has resettled refugees and supported immigrants since its founding in Lowell in 1918 (  IINE is currently focused on resettling Afghan evacuees in the Lowell, Boston and Manchester NH areas.  Having witnessed the heartbreaking scenes this August, feel free to donate to support helping our new neighbors become part of our communities.

Pollard Memorial Library Foundation – The Pollard Memorial Library Foundation supports Lowell’s public library.  This year, the Library gathered input from many individuals and groups in our city, reflecting the diversity of interests and needs on every level, as part of the creation of its new 5-year strategic plan.  The Foundation is excited to support the Library’s focus on outreach into the community, to reach people where they are, in addition to serving them in the beautiful library building downtown.  Your support to the Foundation will ensure that we can support in-person and hybrid programming that meets the needs of our residents who are diverse in so many ways:  culturally, age, ability, language, interests.

Brush Gallery – Lowell’s Brush Gallery, across the courtyard from the Lowell National Historical Park visitors’ center, holds their Soup & Shop even from 11am-2pm this coming Thursday and Friday (12/16-17), and their Sugar & Spice event next Friday and Saturday (12/18-19) from 12-4pm.  Enjoy the varied artwork of many Lowell-based artists.  See for more information.

Whistler House Museum of Art – From 9am-3pm today (Saturday 12/11), the Whistler House is selling various pieces of art from its vaults, at a variety of price points.  More details are attached.

Friends of the Pollard Memorial Library – Today from 10am-3pm, the Friends of the Pollard Memorial Library are holding a book and rummage sale from 10am-3pm at the Merrimack Street entrance to the Library.  Purchase some reasonably priced holiday gifts.

Mill No. 5 – Shop the Totally Bazaar event at Mill No. 5 from noon-4pm today (Sat. 12/11).  In addition to “bazaar” vendors, shop all the shops from 10am-8pm on Saturdays and 10am-5pm on Sundays, watch holiday movies at Luna Theater on Sundays, and enjoy the Farm Market every Sunday from 10am-2pm.  Plus the Merrimack Valley Black & Brown Voices marketplace will be on the 5th floor next Sunday 12/19 from 10am-2pm.  Learn more, or subscribe to a newsletter, at

Western Avenue Studios – In addition to the typical first-Saturday-of-the-month open studios, Western Avenue studios will be open today (Sat. 12/11) from noon-5pm for open studios.  See[%7B%22surface%22%3A%22page%22%7D]%7D for more information.

Merrimack Repertory Theater – The heartwarming comedy “The Rise & Fall of Holly Fudge” has been extended through December 19th, including a socially-distanced performance and a video-on-demand option.  See for more information.