Feb 242015
 

5 Things to do in Mystic CT During the Winter

When you think of Mystic, CT, what comes to mind?  Boating?  Fishing?  Summer?

Sure, Mystic is a fantastic place for your summer vacation, but did you know that a visit to Mystic during the winter can be just as much fun? I know, you’re probably thinking – “Don’t a lot of things shut down for the winter?”  Well, the answer is yes and no.  There are a few shops and restaurants that only open for the summer in Mystic, but for the most part, everything stays open year round. Not only is it a great place for a romantic getaway, Mystic has some really fun, family friendly attractions as well.  My husband, Chris, and I spent this past weekend in Mystic and today I am going to share five things that you can do in Mystic during the winter.

1.  The Mystic Seaport

The Mystic Seaport is known as the Museum of America and the Sea. It includes three major components for people who visit: a re-created 19th -century coastal village with historic ships, a working preservation shipyard, and formal exhibit galleries.  The Mystic Seaport is located across 19 acres of land along Connecticut’s Mystic River.  There is definitely something for everyone at the Mystic Seaport.

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The preservation shipyard is something to see.  My husband and I got to spend a few minutes watching a really skilled craftsman use 19th century tools and techniques to preserve this historic wooden ship.  It was fascinating to watch. Continue reading »

Feb 072015
 

In case you live in the area and hadn’t heard, The Great Wolf Lodge opened here in New England last spring.  Ever since it opened, my kids have been asking and asking to go.  You see, they play an unusually high amount of television ads for the Great Wolf Lodge, so if you watch tv at all, like us, you’ve seen hundreds of commercials for it. I’m not exaggerating.

Anyhow, last weekend we finally got a chance to check it out.  The boys were beside themselves when they heard we were going.

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There are over 400 rooms at the Great Wolf Lodge and there are several room options, but we stayed in a family suite.  Our room had two queen beds, a a twin-size sofa-sleeper, a microwave, a coffee maker and a 32″ TV. Continue reading »

Jan 282015
 

**My family was invited to experience the LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Boston at no charge in order to facilitate this post.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

If there is one thing that my boys can agree on, it’s their love of LEGOS®.  We have thousands of Legos in our house and LEGOs® are pretty much their go-to toy.  They both knew that the LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Boston opened last year and when I told them that we were finally going to go check it out, they were beyond excited.

But what exactly is the LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Boston?

It is a 44,000 square-foot indoor attraction that features more than 3 million LEGO® bricks and is geared toward children aged 3 to 10 (and their families).  Sounds pretty awesome, right?

We arrived shortly after the place opened for the day because we were excited to check it out. Because the LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Boston only sells a certain number of tickets per hour (because they want to make sure everyone enjoys their experience), it’s recommended that if you go, you buy your tickets online to make sure you don’t have to wait when you get there.  Plus, the tickets are cheaper if you purchase them online versus at the door.

Once we were inside, we took an elevator up to the second floor, which is where all the action is.

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Once you get upstairs, the first couple of parts of your LEGOLAND® Discovery Center experience are organized for you.  First up was the LEGO® Factory Tour: Continue reading »

Dec 292014
 

**Disclosure:  I received a weekend press pass at no charge in order to attend the event.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

A couple of weekends ago, Chris and I took a ride up to the Shriners Auditorium in Wilmington, MA to check out the Northeast Comic Con.  You see, we are both nerds at heart and big fans of pop culture events like this.

The NECC featured fun things like cosplay, costume contests, video game competitions, celebrity guests/autographs, panels, and over 100 vendors of vintage and modern toys, comic books and other pop culture must-haves, along with over 50 Artists and Authors.  I got quite a bit of my Christmas shopping done while I was there because there were so many unique products for sale there.

Northeast Comic Con Sign

When Chris and I first arrived, we scoped out the celebrity guests, which included:

  • Marky Ramone (The Ramones, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee)
  • Billy West (Futurama, Ren & Stimpy)
  • Nicholas Brendon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Criminal Minds)
  • Butch Patrick (The Munsters)
  • Leah Cevoli (Robot Chicken, Deadwood)
  • Gary K. Wolf and Charles Fleischer (Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Rango, Back to the Future)
  • Naomi Grossman (American Horror Story)
  • MacKenzie Lintz (Hunger Games, Under the Dome)
  • Mike Pollock (Sonic the Hedgehog)
  • Tom Wayland (Pokemon, Yu Gi Oh)
  • Christopher Judge (Stargate SG-1, X-Men: Evolution)
  • Paris Themmen (Mike TV from Willie Wonka)
  • Mike Zohn, Evan Michelson and Ryan Matthew (from the cast of Oddities, Obscura)
  • Kayli Mills and Peter Bernard (from Those American Girls).

Continue reading »

Dec 232014
 

disney on ice

**Disclosure:  My family received a 4 pack of tickets at no charge in order to write about our experience at the show.  All opinions are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

Experience a magical Disney fantasy live on ice! Rev up for non-stop fun with four of your favorite Disney stories at Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Fantasy Presented by YoKids Organic Yogurt. Thrill to high-speed stunts as Lightning McQueen and Mater race across the ice like you’ve never seen before! Dive into The Little Mermaid’s enchanting undersea kingdom and enter the mystical world of Pixie Hollow with Tinker Bell and the Disney Fairies! Join the Toy Story gang who are back in town to take on their most daring adventure ever! From wheels to waves, playtime to pixie dust, your family’s favorite Disney moments come to life at Disney On Ice!

Last Friday night, my family and I headed into Boston to see Disney On Ice Presents Worlds of Fantasy at The Agganis Arena at Boston University.  It’s been a few years since we had been to a Disney on Ice production, so we were excited to see the show.

Disney On Ice Worlds of Fantasy Boys

During the show, we had a chance to go through four “worlds” and we got to see the high speed version of four classic Disney stories.

I have to apologize for the photo quality in advance.  The arena wasn’t well lit because of the show. Continue reading »

Dec 222014
 

**Disclosure:  My family and I received a complimentary stay at The Cape Codder Resort & Spa in exchange for our honest opinions about our experiences.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

If you’re looking for a getaway on Cape Cod, Hyannis is the place to go.  Located mid-cape, Hyannis is one of the seven villages that make up the town of Barnstable.  I have been vacationing on Cape Cod all my life, and to me, Hyannis is the hub of the cape.  There are so many shops, restaurants and tourist attractions – all located relatively close together, which is why it’s the perfect destination for your Cape Cod vacation.

It sounds great, right?

So now that you’ve decided on Hyannis for your next trip, where do you stay?  That’s easy. The Cape Codder Resort & Spa!

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The Cape Codder is conveniently located right in the heart of all the action, so you’ll be able to get to everything in the area quickly and easily.

My family stayed at the The Cape Codder Resort & Spa this past weekend and I am going to tell you all about it so that you will know why it’s the place to stay when you plan your next Cape Cod get away!

Check-in at the The Cape Codder Resort & Spa is 3 pm and we were there promptly at 3!  We looked online and knew there were so many things to do at the resort and we couldn’t wait to get going. The room that my family stayed in had two queen sized beds (which were very comfortable) many other conveniences such as wireless internet access and dataport for my  laptop, an in-room coffee maker, an iron & ironing board, and an interactive television system that provides access to digitally formatted movies, on-demand movies, an on-screen channel line-up and in-room check-out service! Continue reading »

Dec 172014
 

**Disclosure: I received a pair of tickets to see The Nutcracker at no charge in order to facilitate this post.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

When I was in the 4th grade, my class took a field trip into Boston to see a matinee performance of Boston Ballet’s Nutcracker.  Being nine years old at the time, I basically had no appreciation for what I was watching.  Fast forward to the present when I had a chance to go see this years production of The Nutcracker at The Boston Opera House and got a second chance to take in the show – as a “grown up” with a whole different outlook on the show.  My husband, Chris, had never even seen The Nutcracker before, so I knew he was going to be in for a real treat.

Boston Ballet The Nutcracker

“Mikko Nissinen’s The Nutcracker is based on the libretto by Alexandre Dumas père titled The Tale of the Nutcracker, which is adapted from E. T. A. Hoffmann’s story The Nutcracker and the Mouse King.”  

The show itself was absolutely breath taking.  All of the dancers were so graceful and they all did such a great job of telling the story through dance.  Chris and I sat there in awe throughout the entire show.

More than 300 dancers will perform in the new production and each performance has approximately 150 dancers involved. There are 250 children in the performance, making up three or four casts (classical ballet students from the Boston, Newton and North Shore studios). Continue reading »

Dec 092014
 

Linden Square

**Disclosure:  I attended a sponsored media event, but all opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

Last week I had the chance to meet up with a few fellow area bloggers and take a little stroll around some of the shops and boutiques at Linden Square in Wellesley. You’ve never heard of Linden Square?  Let me tell you a little bit about it!  Linden Square is a 250,000-square-foot shopping, dining and lifestyle destination located in the heart of Wellesley, MA and it’s only ten miles outside of Boston.  There are all sorts of fun shops, restaurants and services to choose from there.

Our first stop of the day was Roosters Men’s Grooming Center. At Roosters, you’re going to get charm and comfort of a classic barbershop, but it’s combined with barbers who are skilled in modern men’s haircuts and grooming techniques.  In order to demonstrate a little bit of what they do there at Roosters, we all had the opportunity to shave a balloon with a straight edge razor. Trust me, it wasn’t as easy as it looks. Continue reading »

Nov 202014
 

**Disclosure: My family was invited to Bonefish Grill to experience their Sunday Brunch at no charge in order to facilitate this post.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way.

There is something special about going to brunch on a Sunday, isn’t there?  Growing up, my parents took my sister, brother and myself out to breakfast or brunch every single Sunday and it was always something that the whole family looked forward to. To be honest, I have totally slacked on keeping that tradition alive with my own children, so when I get the chance to indulge in breakfast foods, I take full advantage.  So when the opportunity to go to Sunday brunch at Bonefish Grill came up recently, I was excited to try it out.  I had never been there and was excited to see what they had to offer.

Sunday Brunch at Bonefish Grill #BonefishBrunch Cranston

Brunch at Bonefish is only available on Sundays, but believe me when I say that it will probably be the highlight of your week.  Bonefish Grill serves brunch from 10 am until 2 pm every Sunday!

Sunday Brunch at Bonefish Grill #BonefishBrunch menu

There were so many delicious choices, that I had a really hard time narrowing down what I wanted to order.  At first, I was seriously considering ordering the Endless Bubbles Brunch. For just $19.90,  you have your choice of an Omelet, a Brunch Favorite, or Eggs Benedict along with an endless supply of Endless Bellinis, Mimosas or Blackberry Sangria.  For under $20, that seems like a great deal, right? Continue reading »

Oct 292014
 

**Disclosure: My family was invited to the Hard Rock Cafe in Boston and received our meals at no charge in order to facilitate this post.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way.

My kids went to their first Hard Rock Cafe earlier this year when we were in Hollywood and have talked about how much fun they had there off & on since we were there this past April.  When I told them that we were going to the one in Boston for lunch recently, they both just about burst with excitement.

The reason for our visit was because on Saturday, October 25th, The Hard Rock Cafe in Boston rolled out their new kids menu featuring the the Hard Rock Roxtars® and we wanted to check it out.

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Here’s a little bit of information about the Hard Rock Roxtars program:

The Hard Rock Roxtars are a band of characters serving as brand ambassadors for Hard Rock’s multifaceted brand-wide programs catering to children of all ages, presented at Hard Rock Cafes®, Hard Rock Hotels and Rock Shops® worldwide.  Kids who dine at the Cafe will receive their own activity book, Hard Rock Roxtars themed menus and they get to eat off of cool guitar-shaped plates!

As part of The National Restaurant Association’s Kids LiveWell program in collaboration with Healthy Dining, a mission and online resource that helps parents and children alike select healthy menu options when dining out, Hard Rock Cafes worldwide will offer healthier food options, ranging from Skiddley’s “Not-so-diddley” chicken breast to the “twisted ‘n tasty” cavatappi pasta. Continue reading »

Oct 162014
 

**Disclosure – I received a pair of New Balance sneakers for each of my boys and a family four pack of tickets to the Franklin Park Zoo at no charge to help facilitate this post.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way.

As the mom of two very active little boys, having comfortable sneakers for their little feet has always been a high priority for me.  While comfort is the number one thing I look for when it comes to my boys footwear, style is a very close second.  I want their feet to feel good and I want them to look good at the same time.  And that’s why I love New Balance.  Not only are they a Boston based company (yay Boston!), but they make really, really awesome sneakers, too.  I have been wearing NB kicks myself for years and the gruesome twosome have each had numerous pairs of New Balance sneakers over the years.

Just in time for back to school this year, my boys were each sent a new pair of New Balance sneakers.  For my little guy, I chose the Hook and Loop 574 sneakers.  He can tie, but is still a newbie & it’s a little slow going, so I thought the velcro closure might be a little better for him while he’s away all day at school.  My oldest picked out his own sneakers and chose the Varsity 574.  I’d say both pairs are pretty sharp looking, wouldn’t you?

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I am excited to tell you about New Balance’s newest line – the Trip to the Zoo collection! This colorful collection of kicks is perfect for kids planning to hit the playground, explore the zoo, or impress at school! Featuring a lightweight EVA midsole, synthetic/mesh upper, and hook & loop closure for easy on/off, the new collection has been available since October 1st in infant and preschool sizes at www.newbalance.com & in New Balance stores for $47.95-$54.95. Continue reading »

Oct 062014
 

Last weekend, my family and I were invited to check out Fright Fest at Six Flags New England. Not only do we love all things Halloween, but we love Six Flags, so to say that we were all excited about spending the day there is a complete understatement!

Six Flags New England offers family-friendly Halloween thrills during the day, but after 4 p.m., the ghouls come out to play. The park transforms into a fright-filled environment with walk-through attractions, scary shows and thrill rides that make the most of the season. Fright Fest is the largest Halloween event in New England with over 20 different attractions!

When the sun goes down, the ghouls come out. Watch as the park transforms from “Thrills by Day” to “Fright by Night.”

As you can see, the park was all decked out for Halloween:

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The detail of the decorations was absolutely incredible and the folks at Six Flags New England clearly went all out! Continue reading »

Oct 012014
 

I admit it, I have a slight zombie obsession, so naturally when I heard there was an an interactive tactical live-action zombie experience right in Abington, MA, I was all over it. Interactive you say? Yes, interactive!  During the interactive experience you get to travel through a small city infested with zombies.  Don’t worry, you will have the help of a guide and you’ll get a shotgun to shoot with to ensure you survive.

There are two areas of the city to be cleared at Boston Zombie Apocalypse. Chem Zone 44 contains slower Zombies and is a shorter experience. If you are nervous at all or are accompanying young people (no one under 8 allowed), then Chem Zone 44 is for you.  Z-Swarm 617 is a longer battle through a larger more intense part of the city.  You can do one or both.

Here’s the thing.  I went last year and had a pretty bad experience.  It was very poorly organized and I ended up waiting outside for over two hours in the cold.  Once I was inside the building, it literally took less than five minutes to run through the experience and boom, we were done.  I left there last year feeling very disappointed that I waited for that long to get in and it was over in just a few minutes.

But guess what, Boston Zombie Apocalypse has new owners this year.  They really listened to all the feedback about people’s experiences last year and greatly improved things this year.  Instead of having to stand in an extremely long line to wait for tickets, they are selling a limited number of tickets by the half hour to the two different zombie fields. That will ensure that you will enter your sector in a timely fashion without having to wait.

Chris and I were there this past weekend and were so happy that the whole process was streamlined.  Our tickets were for 7:45 pm and we only had to arrive about 20 minutes early.  It was so much better this year, so if you were turned off by your experience there last year, trust me – it’s not like that this year.  Oh, and did I mention that they have a food truck there this year now, too.  Last year while we waited for over two hours everyone in line kept saying that snacks would have been nice while we were waiting.  See, the new owners listened!

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Anyway, once it was our time to go in to the live action experience, we entered the building in a small group (about 8 people) and were met by a military guard who showed us how to use our shotguns and let us all have a practice shot at a target. Once we all got that, we met our guide who would be taking us through the city.  He led us through the field and we defended our territory by shooting the zombies that came at us alongside the rest of our team. Continue reading »

Sep 182014
 

**My family received complimentary admission to Sky Zone, but all opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

The gruesome twosome are very active little boys.  Some days they go non-stop from the time they wake up in the morning until the time they go to bed at night.  I was super excited to take them to Sky Zone, an indoor trampoline park, in East Providence this past weekend so they could burn off a little extra energy.

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Before we ever left the house to head to Sky Zone, I filled out a liability waiver on their website. All jumpers under the age of 18 are required to have one on file. It only took a minute to fill out and it’s good for an entire year.  Don’t worry if you can’t get one filled out ahead of time, either, because you can fill one out there.  It just saves a little time to do it ahead of time.

At Sky Zone all jumpers are required to wear SkySocks, which cost $2 per pair, but they are reusable, so be sure to save them! Continue reading »

Sep 082014
 

Last weekend my family decided that we wanted to spend the day in Boston.  There is so much to do in the city, so we like to get the kiddos in there as much as we can.  Since it was a lovely day out, we decided to take the new Cultural Connector, which is a first-of-its-kind water transportation service that provides a water shuttle linking Boston’s waterfront cultural destinations.

The Cultural Connector can bring you to six different cultural destinations on Boston’s historic waterfront:

  • Institute of Contemporary Art
  •  Tea Party Ships and Museum
  • New England Aquarium
  • Boston Children’s Museum
  • Faneuil Hall
  • USS Constitution and Museum

We decided that we wanted to spend our day at New England Aquarium

aquarium

I have been to the New England Aquarium many times over the course of my life.  My very first school field trip was to the aquarium (kindergarten) and I love that the aquarium really hasn’t changed much over all these years. Continue reading »

Sep 042014
 

Last year, Chris and I took the gruesome twosome to King Richard’s Faire, our local Renaissance fair, which is open every September and October in Carver, MA. The boys loved King Richard’s Faire so much that we promised it was something we would do with them every year.  Seriously, they have talked about it off and on all year long  (you can read all about our day there last year by clicking here) and they were thrilled when we went back over Labor Day weekend. The fair includes all sorts of entertainment, exciting rides, shows, games and so much more on the 80-acre site of King Richard’s Faire.  

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As soon as you walk through the gate, you feel like you’re stepping into medieval times. Continue reading »

Jul 292014
 

**Masshole Mommy received four complimentary tickets to visit the Adventure Center at Loon Mountain in order to facilitate this post.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

While we were staying at Loon Mountain in Lincoln, New Hampshire a few weekends ago, one of the things we did was take a gondola ride up to the summit.  We’ve stayed at Loon numerous times over the years, but it wasn’t until we got a Super Adventure Pass for their Adventure Center that we actually went to the top of the mountain.

Gondola Skyride

There are a few things to do up on the summit of the mountain, including the Glacial Caves.  There you can crawl, squeeze and climb your way through the really old caves & boulders that date back to the ice age.  Seriously.

More than 12,000 years ago, the massive Laurentide Ice Sheet covered Loon Mountain in more than a mile of ice. When the ice melted, it left behind a whole bunch of ginormous boulders just below the summit.  Now-a-days you can explore the small caverns and passageways tucked into the that area because they’ve built a  wooden walkway throughout it. Continue reading »

Jul 282014
 

**Masshole Mommy received four complimentary tickets to visit the Adventure Center at Loon Mountain in order to facilitate this post.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way** \

Do you think the White Mountains of New Hampshire are just for winter fun? Think again.  There are tons of things to do in the summertime and the Loon Mountain Adventure Center has a whole slew of great activities for you to do on  your summer getaway!  The best part is that you can customize your experience.

Want to do it all?  The Super Adventure Pass is the way to go, which includes everything Loon has to offer.  Check it out –

Super Adventure Pass

Only want to do certatin attractions?  Check out the Loon Adventure Pass:

Loon adventure pass

If you only have a few hours to spend, the Base Camp Pass or Bunyan’s Bouncin’ Backyard Pass might be perfect for you: Continue reading »

Jul 152014
 

**Masshole Mommy and her family received complimentary admission, parking, cabana and a locker rental during the day of our visit.  All opnions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

Here in New England, we only get about three months of summer, so my family really tries to make the most of it.  One thing we do every single year is head to the water park.  This year, we decided to make the 90 minute ride up to Portsmouth, New Hampshire to spend the day at Water Country and I am so happy we did.

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One of the nice things at Water Country is that they offer cabanas, so you can have your own personal space for the day.  We liked the idea of having a place to keep all of our stuff, so we happily set up shop in one of their Standard Cabanas, which was located right next to the Wave Pool. The cabanas at Water Country accommodate six people with a small table, 2 chairs and 2 Lounge chairs.  No worries if you have extra guests because you can fit up to 2 additional people ($10 per guest) in the cabana with you. Continue reading »

Jul 102014
 

*My family and I were invited to this attend WWE’s Money in the Bank live pay per view event and received tickets at no charge. No other compensation was received. All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

Back in March I chaperoned my youngest son’s class field trip to the aquarium.  On both the bus ride to the aquarium and the ride home, all the little boys talked about was wrestling.  John Cena this and Kane that.  It was really cute, but prior to that, I didn’t realize that my son knew anything about any of the WWE wrestlers.  When we got home that night I asked him about it and he sure schooled me.  He knew them all and talked my ear off for a good half hour about the WWE and mostly John Cena.

When my family received an invitation to attend the live pay-per-view (PPV) event, Money in the Bank on June 29, 2014 at the TD Garden in Boston, I knew it was going to be the highlight of my boys summer!

We arrived at the show about an hour before the event started and my boys were super excited when we got there and they saw the ring all set up!

WWE Money in the Bank PPV

At the beginning of the show, Former WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan made an appearance and gave the audience an update on his neck surgery recovery was going.  As soon as they announced his name, the crowd went insane.  They cheered him for a good couple of minutes and after everyone settled down, he told us that he didn’t know when he was going to return and that he actually might need to have another surgery. Continue reading »