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:
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.
Here in Massachusetts a sandwich isn’t just a delicious combination of lunch meat, condiments and bread – it’s a town on Cape Cod, too. Yes, the actual name of the town is Sandwich and what a lovely town it is. I actually spent many childhood summers in Sandwich and I have so many fond memories of all my time there. My Great Aunt Millie and Uncle Jack used to rent a beach cottage on N Shore Blvd every summer and as kids we loved visiting them and playing on the beach. Sure there are beaches in Maryland (where they were from), but there is something really special about Cape Cod and it kept them coming back year after year.
Aside from the amazing beaches, there is charm everywhere you look. Cape Cod is filled with antique shops, boutiques, museums, cafes and so much more. It really is a wonderful getaway destination and I have just the place for you to stay when you start planning your trip to “The Cape”: The Dan’l Webster Inn & Spa!
The Dan’l Webster Inn & Spa in Sandwich, Cape Cod’s oldest town, has been in business for over 300 years. When you book a stay in one of the 48 guest rooms/suites at the Dan’l Webster Inn & Spa, you will be pleasantly surprised when enter your guest room. Each room has it’s own lovely decor and is full of amenities that you will help you to have a comfortable stay, including WiFi, a coffee maker, hair-dryer and more. If you are looking for a little more than just a room, there are suites available which feature canopy and/or four-poster beds, fireplaces and over-sized whirlpool tubs.
Like me, I know most of you are busy moms and being as busy as we are, sometimes we just need to get away. Sadly, a trip to warm tropical destinations is not always in the cards, but a staycation can be just what we need. Recently my husband and I had a chance to do just that – take a little staycation – at Extended Stay America in East Providence, Rhode Island. Yes, I live in Massachusetts, but this hotel is only about 30 minutes from me. This hotel is in a great location and there’s a ton of things to do in that area, so I was thrilled about the weekend away.
When you choose to stay at Extended Stay America you will not only find friendly staff, but the practical touches that make being away from home easier. Each of their spacious suites offers a fully equipped kitchen, free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TV with premium channels, free grab-and-go breakfast and on-site laundry facilities. While Christian and I chose a kid-free stay, Extended Stay America is family-friendly and kids stay free! If your babies aren’t the human kind, they have pet-friendly hotel suites in over 600 locations throughout the US.
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.
Lake Compounce, New England’s Premier Family Theme and Waterpark, is the oldest continuously operating amusement park in North America, celebrating its 171st season in 2017. It’s home to the number one wooden roller coaster in the world, Boulder Dash, and the largest water park in Connecticut!
Lucky for you, Lake Compounce is offering some pretty amazing Black Friday deals to give their guests the best discounts on tickets and season passes! You can enjoy an entire year of Lake Compounce fun at a fantastic discount price!
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.
Long before recorded history, massive glaciers shaped the land in North America. The powerful forces of water, wind, and time created the Lost River Gorge and Boulder Caves in Kinsman Notch (Woodstock, NH) about 300 million years ago. The Ice Age brought glaciers that lifted and moved enormous rocks, which formed notches and mountains. When the ice eventually melted, the water eroded the rocks and the Lost River Gorge was formed. If you happen to visit the Woodstock, NH area, be sure to check out the Lost River Gorge and Boulder Caves.
We have a place in Woodstock, so my family visits the area regularly. Since that’s the case, we actually purchased season passes so that we could go all the time. My kids love climbing through the caves and I love that it’s a great workout with amazing views.
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 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.
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.
Tucked into the White Mountains of New Hampshire, Whale’s Tale Waterpark has been thrilling families for over 30 years. As a matter of fact, Whale’s Tale Waterpark was recently voted one of TripAdvisor’s Top 25 waterparks in America! It’s a great place to cool off, relax and spend some time with friends or family. A visit to Whale’s Tale is a definite wet and wild experience for the whole family.
Don’t worry if you’re not a thrill seeker – I’m not either. Whale’s Tale has something for everyone. My family recently spent the day at Whale’s Tale and we had a blast. Here’s everything you need to know to ensure you have the best possible time at Whale’s Tale.
Attractions at Whale’s Tale Waterpark:
Their most thrilling ride yet. Riders of Poseidon’s Voyage begin in the SkyBox; a nearly vertical launch capsule, which is the steepest drop in the industry, with a trap door on the bottom. Tension builds as you hear your heart pounding. Then adrenaline kicks in as the floor suddenly drops out and you accelerate to the top speed of 38 feet per second. Powerful G-Forces glue you to the wall the entire way around the tight 360° SuperLOOP.
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.