Oct 172017
 

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.

Halloween Fun at Edaville Family Amusement Park's Not So Spooky Halloween event being held weekends throughout October. It's fun for the whole family.

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. Continue reading »

Sep 122017
 

There is so much fun to be had at King Richard's Faire in southeastern Massachusetts!

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……

You can also lock your husband in a cage at King Richard's Faire in Carver, MA

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. Continue reading »

Sep 112017
 

Getting lost in a corn maze is one of the most fun things you can do with your family in the fall. Mann Orchard's Riverside Farm Corn Maze is now open!

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?

Getting lost in a corn maze is one of the most fun things you can do with your family in the fall. Mann Orchard's Riverside Farm Corn Maze is now open!

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. Continue reading »

Aug 282017
 

While I don’t live in Boston proper, I am in the city fairly often. My husband, Chris, works in Boston, so he’s in there all the time for work, but even on his days off – we always seem to find ourselves in the city for one thing or another. We go in to the city to eat quite a bit because the food just doesn’t compare out in the boonies where I live. I’ve walked past the Parish Cafe numerous times, but for some reason I never made it inside to eat. Until last week.

Each sandwich on Parish Cafe's menu is named for the chef and the restaurant they are from.

The Parish Cafe opened in November 1992 and usually has a line anytime you walk by. And now I know why! Owner Gordon Wilcox approached local Boston chefs and asked them each to create a sandwich for the Parish Cafe menu. Each sandwich on Parish Cafe’s menu is named for the chef and the restaurant they are from. I love this concept and was super excited when the Parish Cafe invited my husband and I to come in for dinner.

We grabbed a window seat (inside) so that we could do some people watching and started with some appetizers. Here’s what we got:

The Benny is stuffed with Vietnamese-style, spicy grilled chicken breast, assorted julienned vegetables, and mint-coriander mayonnaise.  It’s served with spicy purple cabbage slaw tossed with diced tomatoes, fresh mint, Thai basil, and cracked peanuts on the side. Continue reading »

Aug 072017
 

If you live on the south shore you may have heard of The Quarry Hingham. It’s a wonderful restaurant in Hingham that is quickly earning a reputation for fantastic food and outstanding service. Since earning Boston Magazine’s 2016, Best of Boston South Shore for General Excellence, The Quarry continues to get positive reviews. Chef Greg Jordan, graciously invited my husband, Christian, and myself to dine at The Quarry recently so that we could see for ourselves what all the buzz was about.

The first thing we noticed when we pulled up was the restaurant’s namesake. There is a big old water-filled quarry behind the restaurant, which is housed inside a gorgeous stone block building on the property.

With food made from scratch daily with locally soured ingredients, the Quarry Hingham is the restaurant for good eats on the South Shore.

The menu at The Quarry changes based on the region’s harvest cycles. All of their food is made from scratch daily with locally sourced ingredients and after eating there, I can definitely see why they are consistently getting positive reviews. Continue reading »

Jul 242017
 

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.

Explore Boston’s most chilling murder sites, haunted places and spend time with the dead on the Ghosts & Gravestones tour.

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. Continue reading »

Jul 172017
 

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.

If you're planning on visiting Boston, spend a day on the Boston Old Town Trolley Tour. It's hop on/hop off and brings you to over 100 Boston attractions.

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. Continue reading »

Jul 102017
 

For a fun summer outing with the family, visit Davis Farmland in Sterling, MA

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!

For a fun summer outing with the family, visit Davis Farmland in Sterling, MA

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. Continue reading »

Jul 052017
 

Inexpensive things that you can do with your kids this summer in Massachusetts, Rhode Island or New Hampshire!

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!

Continue reading »

Jun 192017
 

Yoga on a farm with baby goats

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. Continue reading »

Jun 192017
 

From the minute I walked into my house it was love at first sight.  I knew as soon as I walked through the door that it was built for me. It’s an older home (built in 1954), but the charm of it caught my eye immediately and I just knew that I had to live in it.  My then husband and I put in an offer right away and were giddy when we got the news that the owners accepted it.

The people that owned the home before us redid the interior of the house over the course of three years, so it was basically all brand new inside when we moved in. There was one thing that had me scratching my head about all of the work they did, though. The carpeting they installed up the stairs and throughout the whole upstairs of the house. It’s off-white. There isn’t a lot of natural light, so I am sure they were just trying to brighten things up, but come on, off white?

Carpet cleaning in Massachusetts

See what I mean about poor lighting?

We talked about replacing the carpet because we knew we planned on having kids who would inevitably soil it, but we kept putting it off. Now here I am 15 years later and the carpet is still there. Trust me when I say, it’s seen better days. Continue reading »

May 302017
 

water slides in New England

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. Continue reading »

May 222017
 

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. Continue reading »

May 152017
 

I am a child of the 80’s and I am ok admitting that I spent an entire summer watching and re-watching the movie Annie.  On VHS. Ok, maybe I stopped watching to eat and go outside occasionally, but I think it’s pretty safe to say that I watched it at least 500 times that summer. I had the story line down pat and knew every word to every song.  I even went out trick or treating as Annie that year (which reminds me that I need to go through some old photos and dig that one out). I know that the movie has been remade a few times since the one in the 80’s that I loved so much, but I am loyal to the version I watched so many times that summer.

So now you know that I am a self-proclaimed expert on all things Annie, imagine how giddy I was when I got invited to see the live musical at the Boch Center (Wang Theater) in Boston last week.

Continue reading »

Apr 272017
 

Culinary Fight Club is a National Food Sport Organization. They produce live cooking competitions to highlight local Culinary Talent, ingredients and resources. Culinary Fight Club competitions take place in Chicago, Omaha, New Orleans, Cincinnati, Boston, Knoxville, Johnson City, Pittsburgh, Virginia Beach, Charlotte, Twin Cities, Kansas City, Montgomery, Charlotte, Charleston, Indianapolis, Atlanta, Los Angeles and now Boston!  I was invited to attend the inaugural Boston event and it was such a fun experience.

cooking competition plymouth ma

The Chefs Competing in Boston’s First Culinary Fight Club Event.

Culinary Fight Club brings the passion of a high-energy kitchen and the thrill of a timed competition for you to enjoy. As a self proclaimed foodie and someone who is obsessed with cooking competition shows on the Food Network, it was amazing to be able to attend an event like this live and see the chefs in action with my own eyes.  No two events are the same, with new teams and themes every time, so you will definitely want to attend as many events as possible. Continue reading »

Apr 242017
 

Daffodils at Heritage Museums and Gardens in Sandwich

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. Continue reading »

Mar 202017
 

In case you hadn’t noticed, experience gifts seem to be all the rage these days. In case you don’t know what an experience gift is, it’s just what it sounds like – it’s an experience. Think things like taking a flying lesson, white water rafting or even taking a cooking lesson. When it comes down to getting gifts for that hard to buy for person in your life, an experience is definitely the way to go.  I always say that life is about making new memories and an experience gift is a great way to do that.

Cloud 9 Living offers a whole range of experience gifts starting at just $50! Pick something you’ve always wanted to do or give someone a gift they’ll never forget! From stock car racing to couples massages to zip lining, Cloud 9 Living offers 2,000 Experiences in 51 Cities.

As many of you already know, I lost my mom last month and now that all the hubbub is starting to wind down, I thought it would be fun to grab my dad and sister for a fun adventure.  After the last six weeks, we all really needed it. And yes, I do have a brother, too, but he has a new baby at home, so I figured he could go next time. You know, when he’s able to get a good nights sleep and can enjoy it a little more. Continue reading »

Jan 252017
 

My family almost always stays close to home during the February vacation.  I would be devastated if any travel plans we made got disrupted because of snow, so we definitely prefer staycations. My family and I recently got to experience a stay at the Element Boston Seaport and it’s the perfect location for a Boston staycation. It’s located right in the heart of Boston’s thriving Seaport District and there are tons of family-friendly attractions within walking distance of the hotel. As far as I am concerned that is a big selling point when I am looking for a place to stay with my family.

The Element Boston Seaport was built to be green from the ground up, guestrooms are spacious, stylish, sustainable and designed for comfort, providing guests with space to live their life while away from home.


Continue reading »

Oct 242016
 

new-food-options-at-the-td-garden-in-boston

Picture this:  You & your family (or friends) head out for a night at the Bruins, Celtics or other event at the TD Garden in Boston.  You fight the traffic getting into Boston, find parking, walk from where ever you parked to the arena, get through security and suddenly you’re starving. It happens every time, right?

Whenever I head into the Garden, the first thing I usually do is make a quick detour to the closest restroom, find my seats and then scout out the food options. What I have always loved about the TD Garden is that they have so many great food choices.

Concessions and food options include:

  • Big Bad Burger: Signature juicy burgers drizzled with Gooey Sauce; optional double, triple or quadruple patties.
  • Boston Common: Local fresh seafood menu including fried clams, lobster roll, lobster bisque and clam chowder.
  • Garden Grill: Classic Boston sandwich menu that includes shaved steak roll with house made cheese sauce and fan favorite grilled chicken sandwich.
  • The North End Butcher: Kayem meats including an Italian sausage with peppers and onions and jumbo all-beef gourmet hot dogs.

Continue reading »

Oct 182016
 

must-see-tourist-attractions-in-boston

As with most historic cities in the US, Boston has a rich background and with that comes TONS of tourist attractions. Boston is one of the oldest cities in the United States, the area played an integral role in our nation’s history and there are landmarks EVERYWHERE that celebrate this rich and amazing history. Unless you are coming to stay or for a very extended visit, you’ll need to prioritize your must see tourist attractions in Boston. There are some things that you just have to experience while you are visiting Boston. In case you are not as familiar with Boston as I am here is a list to help!

Sports Fans Must See Tourist Attractions in Boston

If you are a sports fans these are the places you will NOT want to miss when you are visiting Boston. Along with being home to some of the best teams that call Boston home, these locations are beautiful works of architecture and some even have historical cred of their own!

  • Fenway Park: Home of the Boston Red Sox
  • TD Garden: Home of the Bruins and the Celtics

If you can’t catch a game while you are in town I highly recommend that you swing by anyway just to take in the awesome and massive feel of these locations! Continue reading »