Yesterday I met up with my good friend, Leah from City Living Boston and Kim from Kimworld (who was behind the scenes) to do a Facebook Live about what to do with the kids over the April school vacation. Well, we had some technical difficulties and the live stream didn’t work out, so we decided to just record a video and talk about all the stuff we had planned on telling you about – and if anyone has any questions feel free to comment here or email one of us. If you missed the video, here it is so you can watch it:
Sometimes I tell my boys that they have no idea how lucky they are, and they really don’t. There are so many cool things now that we just didn’t have when I was a kid. Take Launch Trampoline Park for example. There was no such thing as a trampoline park back in the 90’s. If we wanted to jump on a trampoline, we had to beg our parents to buy one.
Speaking of Launch Trampoline Park, my boys get so excited whenever I tell them we are going there. Did you know that Launch RI just got a major upgrade? It’s not just a trampoline park anymore. Of course they still have trampolines, but now they have a bunch of seriously awesome attractions (a Ninja Warrior Course, Extreme Dodgeball and Laser Tag to name a few).
Here’s what they have at the new Launch RI complex:
Are you looking for something fun and creative to do? Look no further. I consider myself a pretty crafty person. I scrapbook and crochet, though I don’t have time to do them now that I am in grad school. The one thing I can make time for is my weekly ceramics class. I know, I know……your grandma or your mom used to take ceramics. People look at it as an old lady thing to do, but this class is honestly my sanity some weeks.
I discovered this class completely by accident while attending the Boston Christmas a little over a year ago. There was a ceramics booth with finished products, but one item caught my eye – the ceramic Christmas tree. You know the one I’m talking about – our moms all had one when we were growing up. They have made a huge comeback in the last few years. Then I saw the big ceramic lighthouse that was way out of my price range but was gorgeous (I have a slight obsession with lighthouses). I began talking with the shop owners and they told me I could paint one of my own. Well sign me up!
This is not your Grandma’s ceramic class. We have all ages in our class – our youngest student is 15. We are all very different, but it is like a little family. It’s 2.5 hours of painting, laughing, and therapy. The owner and instructor, Dale, is so talented and helpful. You can tell that she truly loves what she does. In fact, this is her retirement job. She has a huge assortment of pieces and even if you think you have no talent for painting, with her direction you will create amazing pieces. We all made Christmas gifts for our loved ones, and everyone loved them. Prices are SO reasonable ($10 a class or $32 for the month plus the cost of the piece, and some pieces take several weeks to complete).
I never tell my kids where we’re going, I just tell them we’re going on a Mystery Ride and we go. Sometimes we go to Walmart, sometimes we go to Washington, DC. It’s a surprise every time. So, when the opportunity came up to go to the LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Boston for #LEGOStarWars #MINILAND Preview Event I was psyched. This was going to be a perfect Mystery Ride! With my oldest being almost 13, the age gap between him and the 9- & 8-year olds feels like dog years. It’s getting harder and harder to find Mystery Rides they will enjoy together but something like this was a no-brainer.
When they saw Gio, the giant Lego Giraffe, and realized they were going up to the Discovery Center, the excitement was palpable. Even the tweenager smiled. We found parking two blocks over that was free for the first 3 hours, made a mental note that there was an ice cream shop across the street and headed in for our adventure.
Did you catch the Facebook live I did this morning with Leah from City Living Boston live from The Royal Sonesta Boston. Actually, Kim from Kimworld was there, too, but she did all the behind the scenes stuff for us (THANK YOU for that by the way, Kim)! During the live stream we covered local things to do over the Winter break/February school vacation.
What, you missed it? No worries – grab a snack, sit back and have a look:
Little Scientists Package: https://www.sonesta.com/…/royal-sonesta-boston/offers
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston February Vacation Offerings http://www.mfa.org/…/special-event/february-vacation-
Mirror Maze Exhibit at Museum of Science, Boston https://www.mos.org/exhibits/mirror-maze
Love Royally at the Royal Sonesta Boston https://www.sonesta.com/loveroyally
As promised here is some information on the locations I discussed in the video (plus a few that I didn’t have time to mention):
I don’t know about you, but my husband I are always looking for fun date night ideas. We are both foodies, so going out to eat makes us both very happy, but every now and then it’s fun to change things up. Last weekend we definitely leveled up our date night! We spent a super fun night at the Chef’s Demonstration Table at the Dan’l Webster Inn in Sandwich.
The evening was quite entertaining as about 23 of us watched Chef Steve Chausse and Pastry Chef Lydia Broderick prepare a 3 course meal from scratch. The menu included roasted Stuffed Artichoke Tartlet, Winter Flounder Francaise with a beurre blanc sauce and a Ricotta Cheesecake with an almond crust for dessert. The two chefs made all three dishes from scratch all while providing tips on which tools and materials are best to use and lots of other practical tips that we will be able to use at home.
Located in the heart of Cape Cod, The Cape Codder Resort and Spa makes a wonderful spot for a family getaway. The Cape Codder has an indoor water park, a wide variety of room options, several restaurants, a full service spa and more. Everything you need to enjoy your getaway is located all under one roof!
Cape Codder Water Park
The Cape Codder Resort and Spa boasts the only one of its kind indoor/outdoor Water Park on Cape Cod. Here are some of the highlights:
- There are two 160-foot “Stars and Stripes” high-speed water slides!
- A 50-foot and an 80-foot water slide winding through a replica of a pirate ship.
When I was a kid my sister, brother and I waited all year long until my parents finally said we were going to “Edaville Railroad” to see the Christmas lights. I’m dead serious – it was one of the highlights of my childhood and I have so many fond memories of going there year after year with my family. These days it’s know as Edaville Family Theme Park and I am so thankful that I have the chance to go there with my own children so they can have the same wonderful memories of Edaville as I do.
Edaville Family Theme Park is tucked away in the middle of cranberry country in Carver, MA. It is a fun family attraction which features amusement rides including a Ferris Wheel, carousel my boys favorite: the bumper cars! Each admission includes a five mile train ride through the cranberry bogs on their property, all the rides, Dino Land and Thomas Land.
It’s that time of year again…..Time for the Jack O’Lantern Spectacular at Roger Williams Park Zoo that is. The Jack O’Lantern Spectacular is a nighttime display of 5,000 illuminated jack-o-lanterns all along the zoo’s beautiful Wetlands Trail. There’s something magical about so many illuminated Jack O’Lanterns on display as you walk along the trail and it is running from October 5th through November 5th this year.
The Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular, presented by Citizens Bank has been delighting audiences of all ages for years and each year has a fun theme. This year you will travel through time and visit with dinosaurs, explore the ice age, and peek into the ancient civilizations of Egypt and Rome. Wander the Feinstein Junior Scholar Wetlands Trail and delight in the history of the Middle Ages, discover the New World, and be fascinated by major inventions like cars, planes, space travel, and the computer. Infused throughout will be the art and music associated with each era. Imagine our planet’s history reflected on more than 5,000 intricately carved pumpkins.
Hear ye, hear ye! It’s September and around these parts that means that King Richard’s Faire is back. For two months every fall, you can travel back in time at King Richard’s Faire in Carver, MA. Spread out over 80 acres of woods, King Richard’s Fairs is the place to be if you want to fully immerse yourself in the 16th century. If you’ve never been to a renaissance festival, you are seriously missing out a very unique experience. The fair includes all sorts of entertainment, exciting rides, shows, games and so much more. Here’s what you should expect when you go.
And yes, you too can lock your husband up in a cage when you go……
Lots of amazing entertainment!
There are eight stages of live entertainment all day, included in your admission price at King Richard’s Faire. In addition to jousting show, you can see fire eating, magic, comedy shows, acrobatic acts and much more.
I love summer, I really do. I love the warm weather, the beach, the relaxed schedule – all of it. But do you know what I love more than summer? FALL. How can you beat pumpkin flavored everything, chunky sweaters, hayrides and corn mazes? And speaking of corn mazes, did you know that the very first corn maze is now open in Methuen?
Mann Orchard’s Riverside Farm is home to an 7-acre corn maze, which is the main attraction of their Riverside Farm location. Once this South Shore girl figured out where Methuen was, we headed up there for a day of fun this past weekend. You see, there is much, much more than just a corn maze at Mann Orchard’s Riverside Farm and you definitely need to plan to stay for a while once you’re there.
If you are looking for some fun this summer, Water Country is the place to go! They have more slides, pools and attractions than any other water park in the area. There is definitely something for everyone when visiting Water Country. A day at the water park is just that – a full day. I always do my prep work before heading out for the day because I like to be prepared. In addition to packing up all the items I will need for the day, I take a few minutes to look over the website to make sure there are no surprises when I get there.
What you need to know before visiting Water Country
In a city nearly four hundred years old – troubled with war, murderers, strife and the occasional bout of stray molasses, it is hardly any wonder that Boston remains one of the most haunted cities in America and stories of the glory days of Colonial Boston only scratch the surface of Boston’s darker side. Boston has found itself plagued with some of history’s most nefarious figures – The Boston Strangler, Jolly Jane, Dr. John Webster, Cotton Mather, amongst a slew of other assorted characters. If you want to hear all about Boston’s dark history, the Ghost & Gravestones Tour is the place to hear about all of it.
I took this fun trolley tour in Boston a few years ago with my husband, but I recently had a chance to take it again with him, my sister and brother in law. Our tour guide was Ashton Burns and we really enjoyed the stories that he told us. Ashton was not only just great a storyteller, but he was also well-informed and ready to answer any questions asked of him. There were a few tours out that night and all of the guides are dressed up AND in character! As I mentioned, Ashton was our guide and sadly, all of the pictures I took of him came out blurry, but he was great and really authentic. The other guide out that night was Betty and our group met up with their group in one of the cemeteries we visited.
It is no secret that I am a proud Bostonian. I have lived in the area all my life and love being from this part of the country. There is so much to see and do in Boston and sometimes I like to pay tourist in my own city. When I want to see the sights in Boston, I take the Boston Old Town Trolley Tour in Boston.
The Hop On Hop Off Boston Tour covers all the major areas of the city including Downtown, Beacon Hill, Back Bay, the Theater District, and the Waterfront District. On the trolley, the fun conductors narrate the tour with a fun mix of trivia and humorous stories. My husband and I took the trolley tour on a rainy day a couple of weeks back. Since we’re local, we decided to stay on for the whole tour and I am so glad we did. Lucia was our tour guide/driver and she was wonderful. She is a life-long Bostonian and she was full of stories and trivia about Boston.
Located in Sterling, MA, Davis’ Farmland is super fun farm experience for families with children under 12. Davis Farmland has over 100 breeds of animals that can be petted and cuddled with as well as North America’s largest sanctuary of endangered farm animals. They don’t just have animals at Davis Farmland, they have several playgrounds, hay & pony rides and an awesome splash park, too. There is tons of summer fun at Davis Farmland!
There is so much summer fun at Davis Farmland
My boys were both really excited to spend the day at Davis Farmland – especially once I told them there was a splash park there. It was a hot day in July and they were happy about there being a way to cool off. We actually brought cousin Jonah, who was visiting with his dad, Uncle Keith, from San Diego with us for the day. All three of the boys had a blast exploring everything at Davis Farmland.
Entertaining kids ALL SUMMER LONG can be exhausting and expensive. Let me save you the time thinking about what to do…Here are 17 free & cheap things to do with kids this summer in New England.
1. Unplug with good old fashioned outdoor activities at the Great Glen Trails. Located at the base of Mount Washington, families can bike, kayak, picnic, and see some spectacular wildlife. Rent equipment or bring your own.
2. Water park admission can really add up, so instead, take the kids to any number of community pools and splash pads your city has to offer.
3. Visit the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire, where kids can explore caves, learn about dinosaurs, and get hands-on experience in the air conditioning all day for only $10!
I will be the first to admit that I have let myself go and I am completely out of shape. I used to run 7 miles and now I couldn’t run 7 minutes if I tried, and that is unlikely with the summer months upon us. I’m always looking for things to do and for things that at least give me the illusion that I am doing something healthy. I recently came upon an article in our local newspaper about a local yoga studio doing yoga with goats classes.
I have never done yoga; I’m not particularly flexible or quiet (I’m Italian, we aren’t meant to be quiet). I have heard all the health benefits of yoga: increased flexibility, increased muscle tone & strength, increased energy, and weight loss, just to name a few. I’ve also never had much of an interest in trying yoga……but this was with baby goats!! I’m an animal lover through and through and let’s be honest, baby goats are adorable, so my friends and I decided to sign up for a class. Let me tell you, these classes sell out quickly!! The class cost $30 for an hour and was being held rain or shine (indoors if it rained) at a local farm.
If you are wanting to stop by one of the most popular water parks in Massachusetts (or southern New Hampshire this season), then check out this list below! This is a list of the top places you will want to add to your travels this summer! No matter which park you pick, I am sure you and your family will have lots of fun!
Enjoy inflatable rides, lazy rivers, wave pools, and amusement rides and more. This is a great way to find fun things to do near you, or plan a trip for you and your family. Beat the summer heat this year at one of these fun water parks or amusement parks listed below. Make this summer filled with fun memories.
Water Parks in Massachusetts
Water Wizz (Wareham, MA): Southern New England’s largest water park! Mussel Beach is a huge wave pool that is very popular. If you like to live on the edge try the Squid Row, it’s a tube ride, with high speeds. Or if you want to go with little kids, they do have a family pool area as well. Thrilling slides, tubes and cabanas to relax in, this water park has something for everyone.
Nelson Park Splash Pad (Plymouth, MA): Located inside Nelson Memorial Park on Nelson Street in Plymouth, this is a popular place for kids to cool off in the summer. In addition to a free splash pad, there is a playground, beach area and plenty of room for a picnic lunch here. Parking is free, but I highly recommend getting there early because the lot fills up fast. For a day full of free fun, stop by the Nelson Park Splash Pad this summer.
When I was growing up, lacrosse was an almost unheard of sport. Over the last 20-ish years, it’s really picked up steam and now there are nine professional teams that play for a Major League Lacrosse here in the US. One of those nine teams are based right here in Boston! The Boston Cannons have been a part of Major League Lacrosse since 2001 and play right at Harvard Stadium in Boston.
I had the chance to go to a Boston Cannons game with my family recently and we thoroughly enjoyed it. In fact, my oldest son, who is 12, is considering joining a team after seeing a live game. The thing is, it was more than just a lacrosse game – it was an experience. Here are some of the things that made going to the game more than just a game.
Boston Cannons Fan Zone
Get there early and experience the Boston Cannons Fan Zone. The Fan Zone is open at every Cannons home game two hours prior to the start of the game and remains open through the first quarter. At the Fan Zone you will find things like music, ping-pong tables, RCN Ice Cream Truck, FlingGolf, the Bud Light Build-A-Bar, and more! It has something for fans of all ages.
If you’re heading to Cape Cod and you’re looking for a great way to spend the day, you should definitely consider visiting Heritage Museums & Gardens in Sandwich. I spent a good part of my childhood in Sandwich because my aunt and uncle used to rent a beach cottage on North Shore Blvd from a friend of theirs every summer. I fondly remember visiting the Heritage Plantation (what it was called back then) with my grandmother and aunt. These days it’s called the Heritage Museums & Gardens and it’s just as wonderful as I remember it being when I was younger.
More than 100,000 people visit the Heritage Museums & Gardens annually to spend time in the three gallery buildings that house special and permanent exhibitions, peruse the gardens, play in Hidden Hollow and more. There is so much to see and do at the Heritage Museums & Gardens and it is safe to say that is something for everyone there.