Kids' Menu: Ski lessons in the Blue Hills and getting pumped for Dot Day!

Last year saw a new Character Breakfast event, above, to raise funds for the June Dorchester Day parade. This year’s event is set for March 3 at First Parish Dorchester. Photo courtesy Dot Day Parade Committee

Happy New Year from all of us at the Dorchester Reporter and the Kids’ Menu! We’re pretty excited to get 2018 off on the right foot, so we’ve compiled a bunch of fantastic neighborhood events designed to get you out of the house and interacting with your friends and neighbors- especially as we celebrate and venerate the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King.

If you’re looking to make the best of the cold and snow while it lasts, why not learn to ski at the Blue Hills. They offer lessons for kids as young as 3 and they teach both private and group lessons. The Reporter can attest from our own recent experience that the private lesson during last week’s deep frost was engaging and informative and the instructor worked patiently with a nervous first-time skier who now can’t wait to get back on the trail!

And while the little ones are busy learning, grown-ups can take advantage of their adult ski and snowboard classes. They offer a February vacation day camp as well! Daily, drop in, and multi-day programs are available. Check out bluehillsboston.com/lessons-programs for schedules and rates.

Here’s something to put on your calendars as you gaze towards the warmer months and the high-holidays (Dot Day, of course): On Sat., March 3, at 9:30 a.m., the Dorchester Day Parade Committee will be hosting its second annual Character Breakfast to raise funds for the June parade. Characters such as Poppy and Branch from Trolls, Batman, Minions, Mickey, Minnie, Moana, Peppa Pig, Cookie Monster and Elmo will be on the scene at First Parish Dorchester atop Meetinghouse Hill. A delicious breakfast will be served by Season’s Catering and ice cream will be available from Chill on Park. $20 per adult, $10 per child 12 and under. Children under 2 are free.

And, the date has been set for the Dot Chili Cook-off. Now in its 12th year, the cook-off is a great family-friendly afternoon that draws people from across the neighborhood. It will take place on Sun., March 11 from 4p.m. to 7p.m. at the IBEW Local 103 Hall, 256 Freeport St., Dorchester. Watch for more details in the Reporter as we get closer.

Here’s a few other events coming up:

• Saturday, Jan. 13, 1p.m. “Our Dream, Our Community” presented by Boston Project Ministries, Youth Ambassador’s Program. Celebrate the life and dreams of Martin Luther King Jr. through youth-led artistry created and performed by youth in the community. Black Box Theater, 637 Washington St., Dorchester. Refreshments provided.

• Sat., Jan. 13, 10:30 a.m. Dot Art Saturday Studios drop in for 3-10 year olds every Saturday at Little House on East Cottage St., Dorchester from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30p.m.

• Sat., Jan. 13, 3 p.m. Intro to Snow-shoeing at the Boston Nature Center. 500 Walk Hill St, Mattapan. Snowshoes provided. Free! Sponsored by Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition.

• Mon., Jan 15, 9 a.m. at Boston Bowl: MLK, Jr. Day Celebration and Breakfast Buffet. Unlimited bowling and broadcasts of Dr. King’s speeches. $18.95 per person. For reservations , call 617-740-1406.

• Mon.,, Jan 15, 10 a.m. MLK Day Open House at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Free admission all day long with special programs celebrating Dr. King’s legacy. Also that day, the Franklin Park and Stone zoos are offering free admission in honor of Dr. King.

• Sat., Jan. 20 at 11 a.m. Winter Wildlife Cruise, Long Wharf North. Grab your camera and join park rangers and naturalists to observe animals who make their wintertime home in Boston Harbor and around the outer Harbor Islands. Boarding begins at 10:30 a.m. Ticketing information at: bostonharborislands.org