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).
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.
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.
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.
Inspired by the hit movie, this holiday favorite comes to life as you and your family take a ride on The Polar Express. Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, families are sure to enjoy their trip to the North Pole, complete with hot chocolate and cookies served on board the train.
My family had a chance to ride the polar Express at Edaville last week and I want to tell you all about it.
**Disclosure: We received complimentary tickets to ride the Polar Express in exchange for our honest review. All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**
Our train was scheduled to leave the station at 6 pm, but we noticed that people were lining up early (like around 5:30), so we lined up, too. There was a Thomas Christmas train running the same night, but they had the Polar Express riders on one side of the platform and the Thomas riders on the other. It was clearly marked, so we knew exactly where to go. Plus, there were employees there to switch out our tickets from the printed ones we had to the golden tickets we needed to board the Polar Express, so they were able to direct people.
Edaville USA is a modest theme park located in Carver, MA with cranberry harvesting and railroading as its two main themes. It is a really fun family attraction which features about a dozen or so amusement rides including a Ferris Wheel, carousel, bumper cars and more. Each admission includes a five mile train ride through the cranberry bogs on their property. It’s one of New England’s largest displays of Christmas lights and our family looks forward to going every year.
**My family received complimentary admission to Edaville in order to experience the Festival of Lights for ourselves. All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**
In fact, I grew up going there with my parents, sister and brother and I am happy that it’s still around for my own children to enjoy.
Tavern on the Wharf opened in early June and is already taking Plymouth by storm. Located on the town wharf, when you dine there you are are guaranteed amazing views of historic Plymouth Harbor – seriously, you can see it from every seat in the restaurant. What makes dining at Tavern on the Wharf really spectacular is that all of their food is fresh and the majority of it is sourced locally. Much of their seafood comes right from Plymouth Harbor.
Tavern on the Wharf is both casual and classy at the same time. With very reasonable prices, Tavern on the Wharf really is the perfect restaurant for any occasion including date night or just a night out with the family. The menu was created by Chef John Sheehan, and there is something for everyone on there. John may be young, but he brings lots of experience and fresh ideas to this restaurant.
Last week I met up with three of my fellow bloggers for lunch at Tavern on the Wharf and we were not only treated to a wonderful meal, but got a chance to spend some time with with the chef and were given the opportunity to tour the restaurant and see some of the behind the scenes happenings.
**Disclosure: Although all the food I ate that day was complimentary, as always, all opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way.
Tavern on the Wharf’s menu selections include many seafood dishes, in addition to salads, burgers, steak, pizza and much more. I was truly impressed by the variety of dishes on the menu.
Hear ye, hear ye! It’s that time of year again. 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 into a day in the life of someone back in the 1500’s.
**Disclosure: My family and I received complimentary admission to King Richard’s Faire in order to tell you about our experience there. All opinions are strictly my own and we not influenced in any way.
If you’ve never been to a renaissance festival, you’re missing out on a chance to travel back in time to the 16th century. I could probably list out a million reasons why you should check it out, but today I am going to tell you my top five!
I don’t know about you, but there are definitley sometimes in which I don’t feel like cooking, but don’t want to pay a fortune for the four of us to go out to eat. I knew there were some places around where kids could eat free down here on the south shore, but wasn’t sure which places had offers. I decided to make a list of all of the places I could find so that I could refer back to it when I needed it. If you live south of Boston, I hope you find this helpful.
- Dine at SKY in Norwood with your family on Sundays (3pm-9pm), and for each entrée ordered from their regular dinner menu, each child under the age of 10 eats for free* from their kids menu (one child per adult).
- The Charlie Horse West Bridgewater Children under 12 pay a penny for every pound that they weigh on Sundays from noon-9pm with adult purchase!
- Dickey’s Barbecue Pit (Seekonk): 1 Free Kid’s Meal for kids 12 & under per paid adult meal of equal or greater value. Dine-in only.
- Chili Head BBQ (West Bridgewater): From noon until 9 pm, kids eat free (Kid’s Meal) with the purchase of an adult entree. Dine-in only. One kids meal per one adult entree.
- Zendo Bistro (in the Hingham Shipyard): Kids 3-12 years old eat free with an adult meal purchase.
- Healthy Grille (Dartmouth) – Kids eat free on Sundays 12-8 with an entree purchase of $10.99 or more.
**My family received tickets to see the New England Revolution at no charge in exchange for this post. All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**
Recently, my family got the chance to head over to Gillette Stadium to watch the New England Revolution take on Toronto FC. We were all really excited, especially since this was our first Revs game ever.
In case you’re unfamiliar with who the “Revs” are, the New England Revolution are our professional soccer team. They play at Gillette Stadium, which is the same stadium that the New England Patriots play at.
My family was hosted by Santander Bank and we got to watch the game from the Santander Bank suite – along with a few other Boston area bloggers and their families. The Revs mascot, Slyde, even stopped by to say hi to us during the first half of the game.
Before the game started, we got to go down to the field and watch the players warm up before the game.
**Disclosure: My husband and I were invited to eat at Olecito 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.
This past weekend, my husband Chris and I had the chance to check out a new “Fast Food” Mexican restaurant in New Bedford. We are big fans of Mexican food, but frankly good Mexican has always been pretty hard to come by in my neck of the woods. Until now.
Erwin Ramos, owner of Ole, which is a fine dining Mexican restaurant in Cambridge, opened his first Mexican “fast food” restaurant, Olecito in Brookline and because it was such a hit, he opened a second one down on the South Coast in New Bedford this past December. Living on the south shore, I was excited to hear about a location that was close by to where I live. Not that I won’t drive for great food, because I totally will, but it’s always nicer when you don’t have to drive so far.
When we pulled up to Olecito, we were a bit surprised to find that the restaurant was located inside a former gas station. Yes, you read that right.
But the second you step inside, you see what a great job they did renovating the place.
**I was invited on a sponsored press trip to the John Carver Inn’s Beach Plum Spa and WaterFire Tavern, but all opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**
Recently I was invited to join three other area bloggers at the John Carver Inn in Plymouth, MA for a day of pampering at the Beach Plum Spa and some great food at the WaterFire Tavern. I live in the area, so I have actually stayed at John Carver Inn before, but I had never had the chance to try out the spa or eat at the WaterFire Tavern, so I was excited to get the chance to experience both of those things for the first time.
The great thing about the John Carver Inn is that it’s a quaint, charming hotel that’s within walking distance of the Plymouth waterfront, shopping and attractions of historic Plymouth like the Plymouth Rock and Mayflower.
When we arrived at the John Carver, we got a tour of some of the rooms as well as the opportunity to go check out the Pilgrim Cove Indoor Theme Pool. I have actually been to the pool with my kids before and it was a big hit with them. They ask to go back all the time.
After our tour, it was time to head to the Beach Plum Spa, located on the second floor of the hotel.
The Beach Plum Spa at John Carver is a full service spa and they offer a complete array of spa treatments for men, women and children. Yes, children. In addition to traditional spa services such as massages and facials, the Beach Plum Spa offers a full range of cosmetic medical services including skin rejuvenation, body sculpting & contouring, and pain-free hair removal.
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!
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.
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.
As soon as you walk through the gate, you feel like you’re stepping into medieval times.
Recently, the boys and I headed over to Edaville USA in Carver, MA for the Grand Opening of the newest addition to the park, Dinoland! In case you’ve never been, Edaville USA is a family fun amusement park located in South Carver, MA. In addition to Dinoland, the park features train rides through picturesque cranberry bogs, vintage amusement rides, indoor and outdoor play spaces, and some newly acquired modern rides.
I grew up going to Edaville and was super excited that I was invited to attend the VIP grand opening of Dinoland!
Sometimes my family likes to spend time down by the Cape Cod Canal. We only live about 20 minutes away and it’s a really, really nice place to go for a walk or a bike ride. The Cape Cod Canal bikeway extends for about 8 miles along the Cape Cod Canal between the Bourne and the Sagamore bridges. The bikeway is a paved path designated for bikers, foot traffic and non-motorized vehicles only. The views of the canal’s various boat traffic, along with the area’s quaint shoreline scenery are absolutely gorgeous.
UPDATE: Boomer’s has closed it’s doors as of summer 2014!
My boys love going to indoor play places and one that we are frequent visitors at is called Boomer’s Playland in Carver, MA. It’s only about ten minutes from my house and the boys have a flippin’ blast every time we go there.
The main attraction at Boomer’s is their interactive Mega-Climber filled with tubes, nets, windows, mats, slides.
In the little town of Raynham Massachusetts, there is a restaurant inside of a two story milk bottle. I grew up in the next town over (Easton) and I remember going there quite often for breakfast as a kid. Back then I didn’t think anything of it. Actually, I still don’t. While my husband and I were having breakfast there recently, it occurred to me that a gigantic milk bottle is probably a bit unusual….ok, a lot unusual – and I thought it was worth sharing.
The 40 foot Milk Bottle is located at 785 Broadway in Raynham, MA. They serve breakfast and lunch, but it’s a cash only establishment, so if you’re big on using your debit card everywhere like me, stop at the ATM first – unless you want to end up doing dishes for the day.
It may have been 40 degrees out a couple of weekends ago, but to us, it was a great day to head to the zoo. We have memberships to two local zoos and one of them is reciprocal with the Capron Park Zoo in Attleboro, MA, so we took a ride over there. The zoo is only about 20 minutes from my house and it’s quite possibly the smallest zoo of all time, but they have a nice playground, so that kind of makes it worth going.