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Grand slam

Oak Crest’s family-friendly campus features lots of fun ways to spend the day with your grandkids

Created date

August 25th, 2017
Eugenia and Paul Bonaccorsi stand in front of a fountain at Oak Crest. They love spending time with their grandkids and great-grandkids at their home at Oak Crest.

Eugenia and Paul Bonaccorsi love spending time with their grandkids and great-grandkids at their home at Oak Crest. 


Paul and Eugenia (Jean) Bonaccorsi don’t have a lot to worry about since they sold their house in Baldwin, Md., and moved to Oak Crest two years ago. They no longer have to mow grass, shovel snow, or check off a never-ending honey-do list. Instead, they have plenty of time to spend with their ten grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. 

Jean watches three of their grandkids—ages ten, ten, and eight—every Friday in the summer. 

“They get dropped off in the morning, and we spend the day together,” says Jean. “We go to the pond. We walk on the nature trail. From time to time, there are events geared toward kids. We recently went to dinner and a movie where we watched Beauty and the Beast. They love the pool and eating in Banners Café. Today we went to the Dollar Store and bought stuff to make slime!”

Age-old health benefits

Research shows that the benefits of a grandparent-grandchild relationship go far beyond just having fun. Spending time with your grandkids can also have physical, mental, and emotional benefits.

Researchers at Boston College found that both grandparents and their adult grandchildren with whom they had close emotional ties, both experienced antidepressive benefits. The study, published online last year in the journal The Gerontologist, looked at data collected over a 19-year period.

“Grandparents have a wealth of experience—they’ll often tell stories about their lives and how things worked when they were young, and once kids become adults, they’re able to maximize those lessons,” lead author Sara Moorman, an associate professor of sociology at Boston College, writes in an article appearing in The Boston Globe. “Grandparents also can offer their grandchildren a firsthand historical perspective that enriches their lives and understanding of the past.”

Puzzles and projects

During the summer, Barbara and Charles Williamson’s 12-year-old grandson spends three days a week with them. 

“He likes to swim, go fishing at the lake, and play Wii,” says Barbara. An avid woodworker, Barbara used the on-site woodshop to cut out a birdhouse which she and her grandson then built together. 

Sharon Roche doesn’t have children of her own, but that doesn’t stop her from spending quality time with her great-nieces and -nephews and her godchildren.  

“I’m always having kids come to visit,” says Sharon, who moved from Bel Air in 2016. “The young ones are two and five, and the other ones are teenagers. The younger kids like to walk around the campus and meet people. My great-niece loves to do puzzles and play hide and seek. The older kids like to play pool and love the fact that they are allowed to have more than one dessert when we eat in the dining rooms.”  

As for Jean, she says her grandkids love Oak Crest so much they tell her they wish they could live with her. 

“We love having the kids here. They have a wonderful time. They are always jumping for joy, and we are always doing something,” says Jean. 



Fun for the whole family

On September 10, grandparents across America will be honored on National Grandparents Day. If you’re looking for ways to celebrate Grandparents Day, here are a few grand events happening in Maryland: 

Maryland State Fair

Monday, September 4, is the final day of the Maryland State Fair. Everything you could want in a state fair is here: livestock and horse exhibits, rides, games, live entertainment, U-Learn Farm, museum, and more. Visit for details. 

Animal Craft Safari

Children ages four and up are invited on a wild learning adventure with a zoo educator at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore on Thursday, September 14, at 11 a.m. For $5, explorers will meet a real creature from the zoo’s animal embassy, hear an animal-themed story, make a wildlife-related craft, and learn about ecology and conservation of wild animals. Call 410-396-7102 to reserve your spot. 

Family Farm Day 

The Center for Maryland Agriculture and Farm Park in Cockeysville is kicking off fall with a family-oriented fun day. From 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on September 25, enjoy tractor and pony rides, farm olympics, mule jumping, polo, fox hounds, sheep dogs, sheep shearing, slingshot apples, puppet shows, and horse demonstrations. Call 410-887-8973 for more information.