Friday, July 27, 2007

CONTEST: Enter to Throw Out the First Pitch At A Lowell Spinners Game

One lucky child has the chance to throw out the first pitch at a Lowell Spinners baseball game on Thursday, Aug 23. To enter, parents you need to fill out a short marketing survey and your child, who wishes to throw out the pitch, must write a short 100-word essay on what it means to have good sportsmanship. To enter, visit
Deadline to enter is Friday, Aug. 10

August Issue at the Printers!

Yesterday, we completed the August issue and sent it to the printers. It should begin arriving at more than 800+ locations in Eastern & Central Massachusetts next week.
Inside this 88-page issue is the 12th Annual Back-to-School Guide. Also inside August, we unveil two new departments - Working Moms & Sporting Around.
Working Moms will focus on the unique situations moms face balancing career and family, identify time and stress savers to make the most of family time, provide career advice (i.e., Should I consider flex time? Should I telecommute?), and profile real working moms.
Sporting Around will highlight trends, explain new medical concerns & breakthroughs, provide experts’ advice and tips, coaching information, etc. August's Sporting Around celebrates a century of swimming lessons at local YMCAs.
If you have ideas for either department, please drop me an e-mail at

RECALL: Pacifiers Decorated with Crystals Due to Ingestion & Aspiration

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firms named below, today announced a voluntary recall about 1,000 pacifiers decorated with crystals. These pacifiers fail to meet federal safety standards for pacifiers. The pacifiers' crystals can separate easily, posing an aspiration and ingestion hazard to young children. There were no reports of injuries. The recall involves pacifiers that were purchased from stores, decorated with Swarovski crystals, then resold to consumers. The crystals were glued on the pacifier's handle and guard. They come indifferent colors and designs. The list below lists additional information about the products sold. Sold at:

* Dara Linda's Baby Bling and Jewelry Design,, Call collect: 954-600-8988,E-mail:

* Baby Bling Swarovski Crystal Pacifiers and from June 2006 through March 2007 for between $1and $40.

* Bling Toes,, Call collect: 815-718-1280, e-mail:

* Baby Bling Swarovski Crystal Pacifiers from January 2007 through February 2007 for about $35. Baby Bling Things, Call collect: 920-832-9161, e-mail:,

* Bling SwarovskiPacifiers and from July 2006 through March 2007 forbetween $15 and $35. PeaNapod Bling and Accessories, Call collect: 260-422-3630, Ebay Web site: PeaNapod Bling and Accessories, e-mail:

* BlingPacifiers from September 2006 through February 2007 forbetween $10 and $30. MJM Crystal Designs, Call collect: 561-715-9591, e-mail:

* Binkies by Bossman from December 2006 through March 2007 for between $10 and $12.

(Note: Although these products were advertised by third parties as Swarovski products or containing Swarovski crystals, Swarovski does not manufacture these products or endorse their use.)
Consumers should take these pacifiers away from young children immediately and contact the firm for instructions on obtaining a full refund.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Bay State Parent Named One of North America's Best

Bay State Parent magazine was named one of the best parenting publications in North America by Suburban Newspapers of America (SNA). The magazine earned third place for “Best Parenting Publication” in SNA’s 2007 Advertising & Promotions Contest. Entries came from both the United States and Canada. Columbus Parent magazine in Ohio took first place and Country Kids in Ohio took second place. Magazines were judged on advertising, editorial contest, layout, and promotions, as well as a letter submitted by editor Susan Scully Petroni on why the magazine is a success in he community and how it is distributed. Bay State Parent magazine, part of the Holden Landmark Corp, submitted its November 2006 issue. Inside that issue was the 4th Annual Adoption Guide. Bay State Parent magazine was named best parenting publication in North America in 2004 & 2006 by SNA.
This year, the magazine has won 30 awards.
Bay State Parent has won 76 national and regional awards in the last three years. We truly are Massachusetts' Premier Magazine for Families.

WEEKEND PICK: FREE Charlie & Lola Puppet Show

Charlie and Lola, the quirky and comedic sibling stars of the hit Playhouse Disney series for preschoolers will be the stars of 3 free shows this Saturday, July 28 at 10 a.m., noon, and 2 p.m. at the Macy's wing at the Northshore Mall in Peabody. Presented by BBC Worldwide, produced by Tiger Aspect Productions, and based on the books by award-winning children's author, Lauren Child, Charlie and Lola is a highly-visual, laugh-out-loud puppet show presentation based on the Charlie and Lola TV episode and book I will not ever NEVER eat a Tomato. The show is presented in the artful and captivating Bunraku style (puppeteers in plain view). This production is part of a national 10-city tour. The Peabody stop is the only one in Massachusetts. Charlie and Lola is one of the only shows for kids devoted to portraying the important world of sibling interaction and influence. Every exuberant episode is a charming, quirky and funny exploration of the close bond between 7-year-old Charlie and his livewire 4-year-old sister, Lola.

RECALL: Sauder TV Stand

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with Sauder Woodworking of Ohio, today announced a voluntary recall omore than 414,000 TV stands. The TV stand can collapse if the fasteners used to connect the metal legs to the lower shelf are not completely tightened during assembly, posing a risk that the TV set can fall onto children or adults. Sauder has received 43 reports of TV stands collapsing. Most of the reported incidents involved stands that had recently been assembled. Three injuries required medical treatment including a broken arm, a torn rotator cuff with a concussion, and an injured finger. These injuries occurred when consumers attempted to prevent a TV from falling off the stand. In addition, a 6-year-old child received a bruised shoulder when the stand collapsed and a TV fell on her.
The recalled TV Stand measures 23 ¾ inches (h) x 38 ½ inches (w) x 19 ½ inches (d) with a brushed maple finish. The stand has criss-cross, black, wrought-iron legs, a pull-out drawer, and a lower shelf. Model number 400205 and UPC number 42666 01958 are located on the product's carton and instructions. The stand was sold at Wal-Mart stores nationwide and online at from January 2005 through May 2007 for about $90.
Consumers should stop using the TV stand immediately if it moves from side-to-side. Consumers should contact Sauder to receive detailed instructions on checking the tightness of the fasteners.Consumer Contact: Contact Sauder toll-free at 866-218-8312 between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. Monday through Friday, and between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday, or visit

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Who was signed onto with your teen?

... Well according to more than 29,000 registered sex offenders.
Earlier this spring, the very popular social networking site claimed they had found 7,000 registered sex offenders on its site. Today, the North Carolina attorney general's office, said the News Corp.-owned social-networking site actually put the number at more than four times that 7,000 number - 29,000. began checking its registered-user list against a database of registered sex offenders, after several high-profiled crimes and court cases.
"That number includes just the predators who signed up using their real names, and not the ones who failed to register or used fake names, or who haven't been convicted," wrote the North Carolina Attorney General, who is one of several attorneys generals, including Massachusetts', working to slap restrictions on social networks.
MySpace said the 29,000 names have been deleted from its servers.

Bay State Parent magazine published an award-winning special report on sex offenders and online predators in its October 2006 issue. To read the report, visit: and click on Archived Articles.
The magazine has also published several follow-ups to this issue, including this one in May:
We will continue to stay on top of this important issue.

RECALL: Crib Bumpers by Pottery Barn Kids

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with Pottery Barn Kids of California, today announced a voluntary recall 31,000 Matelassé Crib Bumpers. The decorative stitching on the bumper's edge can come loose, posing an entanglement hazard to young children. Pottery Barn Kids has received two reports of incidents involving the decorative stitching coming loose. No injuries have been reported. This recall involves the Diamond Matelassé, Floral Matelassé and Polka Dot Matelassé crib bumpers made of 100% cotton. The Diamond Matelassé bumpers are white and have decorative thread in pink, blue, green, yellow or chocolate stitched along the scalloped edge. The Polka Dot and Floral bumpers come in assorted colors with matching decorative stitching. A label on the bumper reads "pottery barn kids." The bumpers were sold at Pottery Barn Kids stores nationwide, its catalog, and online stores from February 2003 through June 2007 for about $90.
Consumers should stop using the bumpers immediately and remove any exposed stitching, or contact Pottery Barn Kids for a refund.Consumer Contact: For additional information, call Pottery Barn Kids toll-free at 877-800-9720 between 7 a.m. and 12 a.m. daily or visit

RECALL: Remote Control Airplanes due to Explosion Risk

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with Estes-Cox Corp of Colorado, today announced a voluntary recall 21,000 Sky Rangers Park Flyer Radio Control Airplanes. The airplanes are launched by hand and can explode near the consumer's head, posing a risk of temporary hearing loss and injuries to eyes, face and hands. Estes-Cox has received 45 reports of airplanes exploding, including 22 reports of consumers experiencing temporary ear pain or hearing being affected; five reports of minor burns to hands, faces or eyes; two reports of chest impact from debris; two reports of eye injuries; and one report of a cut hand. One consumer sought medical attention for burning eyes. This recall involves Model 4116 Sky Rangers Park Flyer radio control airplanes, which come with a black battery charger. The airplanes have a wingspan of about 14 inches, a light blue, white and orange polystyrene foam fuselage, and a copper coil on the rudder. Airplanes with a warning sticker on the fuselage near the on/off switch are not included in the recall. The planes were sold at hobby stores and other retailers nationwide from September 2005 through December 2006 for between $20 and $40.
Consumers should stop using the recalled airplanes immediately and contact Estes-Cox to verify that their plane is being recalled and for instructions on returning the airplane for a replacement product. For additional information, contact Estes-Cox at 800-576-5811 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Mountain Time Monday through Thursday, or visit

Friday, July 20, 2007

WEEKEND PICK: Circus Smirkus Celebrates 20th Season

Circus Smirkus, Vermont’s award-winning international traveling youth circus prepares for its 20th Anniversary Tour with an all-star line up of youngsters and a full-on swinging and spying escapade called The Zoot Suit Caper: A Boogie Woogie Whodunit. The story revolves around a 1940’s traveling circus and a mischievous stunt by a mysterious culprit as someone douses the lights and the stage goes black. Chaos ensues as a bumbling band of detective clowns step in to solve the Whodunit mystery amidst the circus’s 20th Anniversary Tour celebration featuring dazzling dance moves, heart-pounding ground routines and astounding aerial acts. The result is an amazing, foot-stomping, action-packed, family friendly adventure that’s sure to bring hearty laughs to mixed-age audiences. Complete with juggling, tumbling, high wire, trapezes of many varieties, clowns, and live original music by Boston’s own Peter Bufano, this is a show “not to be missed!”
The2007 line-up of International troupers will feature many talented local teens from Massachusetts: Eric Allen (18) from Shelburne; Janoah Bailin (18) from West Falmouth;
Hazel Briner (18) & Lindsay Culbert-Olds (16) from Arlington; Cat Klaus (18) from Wellesley; Kia Eastman (17) from Waltham; Ariana Ferber-Carter (16) from Leeds; Sam Galison (18) from Cambridge; Joy Powers (19) from Lexington; and Jacob Stein-Sharpe (18) from Canton; plus Charlie-mentors Rafi Benjamin (10) from Newton and Nathaniel Stein-Sharpe (20) a junior at MIT.
The tour wraps up shows in Wellesley this Sunday. Tickets are $20 for adults and $16 for children. The tour then moves to Sandwich from July 23-25. Tickets are $20 for adults and $16 for children. From there, Circus Smirkus has 6 shows on Martha’s Vineyard on July 27-29. Tickets are $20 adults and $18 children. The last stop in Massachusetts on the tour is Revere, with four shows on July 31 and Aug. 1. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for children.
For more information or to order tickets visit
Also pick up a copy of the July issue of Bay State Parent magazine, featuring freelance writer Michelle Xiarhos Curran's profile on the Vermont-based circus celebrating its 20th season or read her article at:

Wizardstock at Harvard Square Tonight to Celebrate Harry Potter Release

MAKE WAY FOR MUGGLES AND WIZARDS as they make their way to A FREE WIZARD WROCK Concert with Harry and the Potters, Draco and the Malfoys, and the Hungarian Horntails on the steps of Memorial Church in Hogwarts (aka Harvard Yard).
This mid-summers eve in Hogwarts Square begins at 5 p.m. and ends when the NEED TO READ sends everyone on their merry way. The 7th and Final Harry Potter installment in the series is available for sale at 12:01am tomorrow at Harvard Square book stores --- The Harvard Coop, The Harvard Bookstore, Curious George Books and Toys, and Newbury Comics. Many Harvard Square stores and restaurants plan to stay open until Midnight with Special Harry Potter themed menus, windows, events and surprises ... Check out the Harry Potter Chalk Art Gallery in front of Holyoke Center, 1350 Massachusetts Ave, too!

* WIZARDSTOCK in HOGWARTS YARD - 7 to 10 p.m. featuring Harry & the Potters, Draco and the Malfoys, and the Hungarian Horntails and other special guests!!!Hosted by Lesley Bannatyne, author of 4 Books on Halloween and noted History Channel expert on Witches, Wizards, Halloween history, and events. Lesley will take the wand and led us on our magical and musical journey for the evening.including a little light reading, an ask the witch q & a, a trivia question or two and a few prizes. This once in a lifetime MUSICAL CELEBRATION of LITERATURE features world renowned wizard rock bands: Harry & the Potters, Draco and the Malfoys, and the Hungarian Horntails and other special guests. Bring a blanket and friends and family to Hogwarts Yard and enjoy the music under the Whomping Willows in the Shade of the Hallowed Halls! The concert area will feature a display Museum Area of Harry Potter Artifacts from the Harvard Museum of Natural History and other "Storied" surprises!

Other Events:
* Visit The Harvard Museum of Natural History now through July 22 to uncover the science behind Harry Potter magic! Find Harry's Hedwig and your own messenger owl, seek the sorcerer's stone; select a personal patronus from many powerful creatures; learn the secrets of the mysterious herbs used in Harry's potions class in the Blaschka 'Glass Flowers' gallery; and discover the wonders of thousands of fantastic specimens of nature. Come to the Harvard Museum of Natural History, nab your Museum Marauder's Map and explore. The Harry Potter Scavenger Hunt will be free with museum admission, through July 22.
* The Harvard Coop will be distributing wristbands for RESERVED ORDERS starting at 5 p.m. on July 20. Muggles who have placed a reservation for Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows with us will be able to be first in line. Wristbands must be picked up in person and are not available until 5 p.m.. Anyone in line must have a wristband. Line will form after the concert (you'll get details when you pick your wristband up). The first 500 people with a reserved order will receive a FREE Harry Potter gift bag when they pick their wristband. 8 lucky muggles will receive an extra prize in their gift bag (FREE Harry Potter DVD; Deluxe edition of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on CD; 2 movie passes to see Harry Potter and the Order of The Phoenix). More details will be following regarding a costume contest, trivia contests, and candid photos while in line, free treats & ! lots more - including a "fan fiction" contest. Harvard Coop wristbands will also entitle you to discounts or free beverages at several Harvard Square casual restaurant locations. We can't wait for this party to start. Reserve your book now at 40% discount (you pay $20.99). If you didn't place reservation, you can join still join the line (behind those have reserved a book) or you can still count on getting a book this weekend
* Harvard Book Store, starting at 9 p.m. has activities for both kids and adults. Expand your mind with magical classes! Look into your future with our magic ball! Practice your defense against the dark arts skills! Test your Harry Potter knowledge against that of your peers! For Harry Potter fans of a certain age, there'll be potent brews served up at Grafton Street Pub & Grille. Younger readers may want to take a break from the noise (and perhaps a small nap before midnight) next door at the Grolier Poetry Book Shop. And everyone will want to partake of the scrumptious ice-creamy treats served up by Toscanini's Ice Cream, back in Harvard Square for this special evening!When you purchase this book from us (at 20% off!) you'll help keep Harvard Boo! k Store a thriving member of the Cambridge community.
* Curious George Books and Toys, Harvard Square's only independent children's bookseller will host its 7th Harry Potter Extravaganza. Doors will open at 8 p.m. to welcome all Muggles, both in or out of costume. Our fabulous in-store celebration of all things Harry Potter will include:Wand making, Trivia quizzes, Fortune telling, Sweets from Honeyduke's Candy Store, Raffles Harry Potter themed snacks and more. .. At 11:30 p.m.! Curious George's doors will close and will reopen at midnight for book sales and pick-ups. Even a wizard will be amazed at how fast the line moves.
*Brattle Film Theather Presents Harry Potter & The Sorcerer's Stone at 9:15 pm. The Brattle Theatre is located at 40 Brattle Street. Tickets for this screening are $38 and include a copy of Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows. Books will be released to ticket holders at the conclusion of the program (Harvard Book Store cannot release books until midnight). A limited number of $10 "companion" tickets will be available for this event (limit of 4, you will be contacted after we have received your order confirmation with ordering info).The Brattle Film Theatre, 40 Brattle Street,
* All Things (To Eat & Drink!) Harry Potter at UpStairs on the Square Friday evening, July 20 from 5 to 1 a.m. All-night long the evening of July 20th, as we await the thrilling release of the final!Harry Potter adventure at midnight, UpStairs on the Square will feature a special Harry Potter menu, featuring a great kids and family friendly menu inspired by all things Harry Potter--with alcoholic and non-alcoholic butter beer and Pollyjuice flowing! The cost for this special menu will be $25, half price for kids under 12 (main course and dessert). The full a la carte menu will be available throughout the evening as well. We will host a late-night after party with secret celebrity guests until 2 a.m. The first 30 reservations will have the opportunity to get a 20% discounted book at midnight (for $30), thanks to our partnership with Harvard Book Store. UpStairs on the Square, 91 Winthrop Street, 617-864-1933
* Grendel's Den will feature a special beer collection from Middle Ages Brewing in addition to Hogwarts-themed menus for adults and children. Grendel's Den, 617-491-1160, 89 Winthrop Street,
* Uno Harvard Square will be serving Buttered Beers for our 21 plus guests. We will also be serving Earthworm Delight Desserts, our famous brownie bowls with gummy worms to one and all. Our dining room will be decorated in Harry Potter style and our staff will be fully costumed. Uno Harvard Square, 22 JFK 617-497-1530
* IHOP will be until 4 a.m. serving Harry's most favorite food BACON with stacks of pancakes!IHOP, 16 Eliot Street 617-354-0999
* Herrell's Ice Cream and Frozen Yogurt is open until 1 a.m. and will offer free hot fudge topping to all Harry Potter Partiers!
For Complete Details of all the events visit
This special event is sponsored by the Harvard Square Business Association, Harvard Summer School, The Harvard Coop, UpStairs on the Square, Nantucket Nectars, Qdoba Mexican Grill, Burns and Levinson, and Boston's Weekly Dig.

If you choose not to venture to far from your Muggles' home for the new book and a celebration,
many local libraries and bookstores have special late night celebrations and parties planned. Inside the July issue of Bay State Parent magazine is a list of our favorite local events. Check them out at or try

Thursday, July 19, 2007

RECALL: Playskool Sippy Cups at CVS Pharmacies

CVS/pharmacy Announces Recall of Playskool Sippy Cups; Poses Choking Hazard To Young Children.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named above, today announced a voluntary recall of about 84,000 Playskool Toddler “No Spill” Sippy Cups imported by CVS/pharmacy, of Woonsocket, R.I. Young children can chew through the plastic spout of the sippy cup, which can pose a choking hazard. The firm has received 36 reports of toddlers chewing through the plastic spout of the sippy cup, resulting in one choking incident and three near-choking incidents. No injuries have been reported. This recall involves the Playskool Toddler “No Spill” Sippy Cup. The 8-ounce cup is clear plastic with red trim, red and yellow handles, and a yellow tip; blue trim, blue and green handles and a green tip; or purple trim, purple and aqua handles, and an aqua tip. The serial number of the recalled cups is 382814, which appears on the back of the packaging. The cups were sold at CVS stores nationwide from September 2006 through April 2007 for about $5.
Consumers should stop their children from using the cup immediately and return it to any CVS store for a refund, or throw the product away and bring a proof of purchase of the product to any CVS store for a refund. For additional information, contact CVS/pharmacy toll-free at 866- 434-0098 between 8:30 a.m. and 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, visit CVS/pharmacy’s Web site at, or e-mail the company at

RECALL: More than 1 Million Easy Bake Ovens

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with Hasbro Inc of Pawtucket, R.I., today announced a voluntary recall of about 1 million Easy-Bake Ovens. This is an expanded alert. Young children can insert their hands into the oven’s front opening, and get their hands or fingers caught, posing entrapment and burn hazards. Since the repair program announced in February, Easy-Bake has received 249 reports of children getting their hands or fingers caught in the oven’s opening, including 77 reports of burns, 16 of which were reported as second and third-degree burns. Easy-Bake also received one report of a serious burn that required a partial finger amputation to a 5-year-old girl. The Easy-Bake Oven is a purple and pink plastic oven that resembles a kitchen range with four burners on top and a front-loading oven. “Easy Bake” is printed on the front of the oven. Model number 65805 and “Hasbro” are stamped into the plastic on the back of the oven. This recall includes all units with the retrofit kit. The Easy-Bake Oven is an electric toy and is not recommended for children under 8 years of age. Ovens sold before May 2006 are not included in this recall. The ovens were sold at Toys “R” Us, Wal-Mart, Target, KB Toys and other retailers nationwide from May 2006 through July 2007 for about $25.
Caregivers should immediately take the recalled Easy-Bake Oven away from children, and call Easy-Bake for instructions on how to return the toy oven for a voucher towards the purchase of another Hasbro product. For additional information, contact Easy-Bake at 800-601-8418 anytime, or visit

New York Times Just Couldn't Wait for Harry Potter

The New York Times reviewed the final Harry Potter novel - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows today before its much-anticipated international release. The review gave praise to author J.K. Rowling, but did not give away the major secrets(who lives and who dies); but irked the author anyways, according to major news reports.
Read the review at:
Do you think the newspaper should have waited or published the review early?
Post your comments.

Still want to be a part of the national release of the final Harry Potter book. Check out our earlier post on Potter parties & celebrations in the Bay State at:

New England Aquarium Named One of America's Best

Boston's own New England Aquarium has been designated one of the nation's top five aquariums for kids by Parents Magazine. The Aquarium will be featured in the article 10 Best Aquariums for Kids in the August issue. The magazine reviewed more than 60 aquariums nationwide to determine the nation's best aquariums for kids and ranked the New England Aquarium fourth. Each aquarium was rigorously evaluated by the magazine and a panel of experts on a variety of kid-friendly factors, such as interactive features and exhibits, services and special programs available to families and groups and dedication to conservation efforts.
Parents magazine recognized the Aquarium for its unique interactive elements, including "large, huggable sculptures of penguins and loggerhead turtles."
The Aquarium emphasizes fun and engaging experiences for kids through specially designed theme programs. "Walk Like a Penguin" provides children with passport guides to eight different interactive stations that help create lasting take-home memories. Opportunities for visitors to touch live marine animals, such as sea stars, hermit crabs, and sea urchins, through the tide-pool touch tank and the Curious George Discovery Corner were highlighted as exceptional features for children. The Aquarium's educational and exploratory features were also praised. The behind-the-scenes tour of the Aquarium Medical Center shows visitors exactly how much effort is required to care for the thousands of different animals. The seal training presentations were recommended because of the interaction between trainers and active, playful seals.
Additionally, the article encouraged visitors to attend the "fabulous" whale-watching cruise to Stellwagen Bank, which gives guests of all ages the rare opportunity to see some of the largest creatures on Earth.
(Bay State Parent magazine readers can see a review of the aquarium's whale-watching cruise in the August issue written by Calendar Editor Carrie Wattu.)
For more information on the aquarium, visit

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

CONTEST: Family 4-Pack to Foothills Children's Theatre

Foothills Children's Theatre in Worcester begins its run of Tom Sawyer tomorrow, July 18 through July 28. Shows are Wednesdays through Saturdays at 10 a.m. Admission is $10 per person, but you could win a FREE family 4-pack of passes. See details below.

CONTEST: The first 2 readers to answer the following questions correctly, will win a family 4-pack of passes to Tom Sawyer, playing July 18-28 at 10 a.m.

Who wrote Tom Sawyer?
What year was it written?
What was Tom's sweetheart's first & last name?
Who took in the orphan Tom Sawyer?
Who were Tom's two friends (first & last names)?

Submit your answers, along with you name, phone number, and e-mail address to

You will contacted by e-mail if you win. Ticket voucher will be mailed to winners. Voucher is valid for four complimentary tickets. Call the Foothills box office to reserve seating and present coupon when picking up the tickets.Tickets are based upon availability.

Harry Potter Mania!

Okay, the fifth Harry Potter movie -- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix -- opened to blazing sales last week ---$140 million. The first four films totalled $1.175 billion in the U.S. So now, factor in the midnight release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on July 21st and you have Harry Potter mania!!! Many local libraries and bookstores have special late night celebrations and parties planned. Inside the July issue of Bay State Parent magazine is a list of our favorite local events. Check them out at or try

RECALL: Payless Shoes Expands Recall on Children's Clog Shoes Due to Choking Hazard

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with Payless Shoe Source of Kansas, expanded its voluntary recall of 270,000 toddler clog shoes. (about 690,000 clogs were recalled on May 2, 2007). Plastic rivets used to attach the strap to the shoe can detach, posing a choking hazard to young children. There have been no injuries or incidents have been reported. This recall involves the following character-themed clog styles: Dora the Explorer, Spongebob Squarepants, Hello Kitty, Coasters® Lighted Car Compel, and Cambridge Mary-Jane. The shoes were sold in toddler sizes 5 through 10. The flexible shoes have air ventilation holes on the top and/or side, and plastic rivets attached to the strap. Shoe sizes are printed on the sole of the shoe. No other sizes, styles or models are included in the recall. They were sold at Payless Shoe Source stores nationwide and from January 2006 through June 2007 for between $15 and $20.
Consumers should take the shoes away from young children immediately and return them to the store where purchased for a refund or exchange. For additional information, call Payless at 800-654-0697 between 7:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. Central Time Monday through Saturday, 9:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday. Consumers can also visit

Monday, July 16, 2007

RECALL: Mag Stix Magnetic Building Sets

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, incooperation with Kipp Brothers of Carmel, Indiana, today announced a voluntary recall about 800 Mag Stix Magnetic Building Sets. The small magnets inside the plastic sticks can fall out. Magnets found by young children can be swallowed or aspirated. If more than one magnet is swallowed, the magnets can attract each other and cause intestinal perforation or blockage, which can be fatal. The CPSC has received one report of an 8-year-old girl who was hospitalized after swallowing loose magnets. Extensive surgery was required to remove the magnets and repair intestinal perforations. The recalled Mag Stix sets contain 24 pieces including, 12 1-inch sticks, four 2.25-inch sticks, and eight metal balls. The sticks are yellow, green, blue and rust-colored. "Item No. 40330 Made in China" and UPC number 7 7704 40330 1 are printed on the packaging.They were sold between September 2005 through March 2006 for about $3.
Consumers should immediately take these recalled toys away fromchildren and contact Kipp Brothers for instructions on returning the product for a full refund (including shipping). For additional information, call Kipp Brothers at 800-428-1153 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or visit

Beautiful Day (and night) at America's Oldest Public Beach!

Saturday, my family & I sent the afternoon & evening at Revere Beach. We attended the New England Sand Sculpture Festival. The most impressive sculpture was the one by Sean Fitzpatrick and his Fitzy Snowman Sculpting team with its Pirates of the Caribbean theme. The Massachusetts-based sculpting team not only perfectly created the characters from the movie trilogy but also carved each of the sponsor's names or logos into the impressive display.
The competing sculptures were awesome too. The winner was a couple sculpture titled the "apology." The people's choice winner was the angry fishes creation. For more info, visit
Later that night, beachgoers were treated to a 20-minute fireworks display.
It was a great FREE event for families.
For other inexpensive and free things to do with your family this month, check out this article inside the July issue of Bay State Parent magazine ---

Friday, July 13, 2007

Study: More Moms Want Part-Time Work Schedule

I was reading USA Today this morning and this article caught my eye....

Just when you thought the mommy wars were over, a new study shows the divide has grown over the past decade between employed and stay-at-home mothers.
But the study, released Thursday, also finds one area where both groups concur: Working full time is less appealing than it used to be.
The research, conducted by telephone this past spring by the Pew Research Center, compares the responses of 414 mothers of children under 18 with 457 mothers in 1997 who responded to a similar Pew survey.
Among working mothers, 60% now say part-time work is the ideal situation, compared with 48% in 1997.

Among at-home moms, 48% say staying home is ideal, up from 39% in 1997.
Bureau of Labor Statistics data for 2006, released in May, show only 24% of working moms work part time.
Pew surveyed a total of 2,020 men and women in 2007 about the societal impact of increasing numbers of mothers of young children working: 41% thought it was a bad thing, 32% said it made no difference, and 22% said it was a good thing.
Ten years ago, 38% of at-home moms and 39% of working moms said it was a bad trend. Now, 44% of at-home mothers believe it's bad, while working mothers who believe it's a good trend jumped from 19% in 1997 to 34% today. But 34% of working mothers still believe it's bad.

To read the complete article go to USA Today at:

Here at Bay State Parent magazine, we'd love to hear your thoughts on having a career and being a mom. Please post your comments here or e-mail me directly at

WEEKEND PICK: New England Sand Sculpting Festival at Revere Beach

The annual New England Sand Sculpting Festival wraps up this weekend at America's oldest public beach - Revere Beach.

Tomorrow's (Saturday) schedule:

8 a.m. to 4 p.m. -- New England Sand Sculpting Master Sculptors Competition

10 a.m. to 9 p.m. -- New England Sand Sculpting Festival

8: 30 p.m. -- Awards announced at 8:30 p.m. at the beach's bandstand

9 p.m. -- Fireworks

Sunday's schedule:

10 a.m. to 6 p.m. -- New England Sand Sculpting Festival

noon to 2 p.m. -- Appearance by Tim Thomas

WEEKEND PICK: Family Fun Day in the Berkshires

Consider making a trek to Western Massachusetts Saturday for the Williams College Museum of Art, FREE Family Festival to celebrate the opening of the exhibition “MAKING IT NEW: THE ART AND STYLE OF SARA AND GERALD MURPHY.” The festival begisnat 1 p.m.
Discover how the Murphys inspired modern artists and writers such as Picasso and Hemingway as they traveled from America to France. Enjoy French crêpes, ice cream, and other treats; make paintings and collages in Paris; and learn to dance the Charleston on Broadway. Go on a treasure hunt in the galleries and join an exhibition tour at 3 p.m. An all-day outdoor concert by the Kwajmal Jazz Band showcases the music from the 1920s to 1940s.

About the exhibition: Making It New explores how the Murphys’ legendary style—modern in its apparent simplicity and freedom from stifling social regimentation—was a kind of manifesto, and touchstone, for the artists and writers of the Lost Generation. The exhibition shows how the Murphys' friends—F. Scott Fitzgerald, Pablo Picasso, Cole Porter, Ernest Hemingway, Serge Diaghilev, and Jean Cocteau—were among those who encoded the ethos of the Murphy’s lives into progressive 20th-century art, literature, music, and taste. The exhibition features works of art by Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Fernand Léger, and Man Ray, as well as theatrical sets and costumes, the music of Cole Porter, the Murphys’ unique home movies, and reminiscences by famous authors and their friends, along with artwork seen for the first time in the United States from major European museums.

The Williams College Museum of Art is located on Main Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. It is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am-5 pm and Sunday from 1-5 pm. The museum is wheelchair accessible and open to the public. For more information, contact the museum at 413-597-2429.

Preschoolers to Race Trikes to Raise Money for St. Jude Hospital

A Trike-A-Thon event benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital will be held on Monday, July 16 at the Rainbow Child Development Center located at 10 Edward Street in Worcester. The volunteer Coordinator for this event is Linda Mayuski, Preschool Program Coordinator, who encourages everyone to participate. By participating in or attending the event, you will help raise funds for the world’s premier pediatric cancer research center. These funds will help St. Jude in its ongoing fight against childhood cancer and other catastrophic diseases.
The Preschool staff will be incorporating bicycle safety and awareness into the curriculum during the week prior to this event. Preschoolers will use matchbox cars in lieu of riding trikes. The Preschool staff will also ask families to ask friends and family members to sponsor this event by giving a donation to St. Jude’s Children’s research Hospital.
“Our goal in holding this event is to help the children of the world who are stricken with diseases like cancer, AIDS, sickle cell diseases and other catastrophic diseases,” said Linda Mayuski. “St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is a world leader in the fight against these diseases, and they have made great progress because of the help of people who participate in and donate to events like Trike-A-Thon.”
If you are interested in participating or making a donation, please call Linda Mayuski at 508.791.6849.

Rainbow Child Development Center provides care, education, and therapeutic services to over 290 children – ages 6 weeks to 13 years – from families in the Worcester area. Now located at 10 Edward Street, Rainbow is able to provide even more children and their families the support they need. A Capital Campaign is currently underway to enable Rainbow to better support its children, and to extend its programs and services to additional children and their families. For further information about Rainbow’s programs and services, visit or call Barbara Guthrie or Martha Pardo-Testa at 508.791.6849

Thursday, July 12, 2007

WEEKEND PICK: Magic at Davis Farmland

This Saturday & Sunday there will be extra magic in the air at Davis' Farmland in Sterling. Magic Show by Greg McAdams, will feature comedy, eye-popping magic, hilarious audience participation and much more. Shows are at 11 a.m. & 2 p.m., and are included with regular admission. For more information, including hours & admission prices, etc, visit

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Life is good at Fenway Park & Bay State Parent magazine!

View more than 300 photos from yesterday's Life is good at Fenway Park fundraising event at the magazine's photo gallery (link below). Yesterday's event was Life is good's biggest fundraiser raising $802,636 for Project Joy and the Red Sox Foundation. More than 15,000 people stopped by Fenway Park. Bay State Parent magazine was one of the sponsors. Thanks to everyone who visited our booth for a goodie bag, made a baseball visor craft, and picked up a balloon! Click here to see the photos:

Below is a short video of the Gin Blossoms performing for the crowd at yesterday's fabulous event!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Time to Hit the (Rail) Trail!

I’ve hesitated to write about the Cape Cod Rail Trail as a family attraction because it’s been done. A lot.

But at the risk of giving the CCRT just a bit more ink, or pixels, this is not your father’s Rail Trail. On June 21, 2007, the CCRT officially re-opened after two years of long-needed upgrades.

Gone are the roots that ran beneath the 28-year-old path, pushing up asphalt in such tire-tripping configurations that bore nicknames like “the anaconda” and “the rattler.” The roots have been lowered and a root shield placed beneath the surface. Tunnels passing under Routes 6A and 6 have been regraded so the descents aren’t as treacherous. An unpaved shoulder has been added for horseback riding and running. Granite mile markers let you know where you are and how far you’ve gone. Best of all, the 22 miles of trail from South Dennis to Wellfleet have been resurfaced to backside-caressing smoothness.

It is now sheer joy to pedal beside the cranberry bogs of Harwich, the forests of Brewster, the salt marshes of Orleans and Eastham, and up to the National Seashore in South Wellfleet. The Harwich-to-Chatham spur, finished last year, runs along rolling woodland and serene ponds, with easy access to their respective town centers (although it’s best to walk your bike along Chatham’s busy Main Street sidewalks).

I can now say unequivocally, bring the bikes, or rent them from one of several establishments along the way, and hit the Trail.

And if your kids are like mine, they’ll seek destinations like Pleasant Lake General Store (near Mile 5) for ice cream, or the Brewster Express (near Mile 8) for ice cream, or Arnolds (near Mile 17 - pictured above) for… you guessed it, ice cream and a chance to stop, enjoy the scenery and refuel.

Thank you, Mass. Department of Conservation and Recreation. The CCRT upgrade is $6.2 million well spent.

For a map of the CCRT, go to: Cape Cod Rail Trail Map.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

RECALL: Children's Toy Castles Due to Chocking Hazard

Infantino Recalls Children’s Toy Castles Due to Choking Hazard. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with Infantino, today announced a voluntary recall of the 68,000 Shape Sorting Toy Castles. The plastic rod can come loose allowing the colored counting beads to slide off of the toy, posing a choking hazard to young children. Infantino has received four reports of children nearly choking on the colored beads after putting them in their mouths. The recalled toy castles have counting beads, four play figures and several different shapes and letters that fit into holes in the castle. “infantino®” is printed in the lower right-hand corner of the side with the letters. The recall only includes castles with the following date codes: 5349, 6087, 6132 and 0906. Castles with other date codes, no date code or with a plastic rod attached with a metal screw are not included in this recall. The date code is stamped on the underside of the blue top and can be viewed through the top square shape or top “A” letter openings. The castles were sold at Wal-Mart, Target, Marshalls, Meijers, and other specialty toy retailers nationwide from January 2006 through May 2007 for about $12.
Consumers should take the recalled toy away from young children immediately and contact Infantino for instructions on how to return the product for a free replacement. A free return shipping label can be accessed on the firm’s Web site. For more information, call Infantino toll-free at 888-808-3111 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Pacific Time Monday through Friday or visit the firm’s Web site at

RECALL: Target Recalls Toy BBQ Grills

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with Target, today announced a voluntary recall of 2,300 Play Wonder Toy Barbeque Grills, manufactured by Schylling, of Rowley, Mass. The circular ash tray attached to the stainless steel legs of the grill could contain sharp edges, posing a laceration hazard. No incidents or injuries have been reported. This recall involves the Play Wonder Barbeque Grill. The grill is metal and has an orange metal base and top, along with stainless steel legs and a removable circular ash tray. The grill set also includes tongs and a spatula. The “Play Wonder” logo is located on the lower right corner of the packaging.
Sold at Target Stores nationwide from December 2006 to February 2007 for about $20, consumers should immediately take the toy grills away from children and return them to Target for a full refund. For more information, consumers can contact Target at 800-440-0680 between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Central Time Monday through Friday, or visit


Congrats to the winners of Bay State Parent magazine's Charlotte's Web DVD giveaway. Each will receive a widescreen version of the film. They are: * Sherri White of Fiskdale, who picks up the magazine at McDonalds * Diana Antul of Hubbardstown * Renay Beers of Dedham, who picks up the magazine at Isis Maternity * Heather Fernard of Westford * Erin Manyak of Northbridge, who picks up the magazine at Next Generation Children's Centers * Cherie Biron of Sturbridge. This was her first time picking up Bay State Parent magazine. * Brenda Tynan of North Attleboro * Jennifer Graves of Worcester, who picks up the magazine at Worcester Fitness. * Brandi Pearson of Barre. * Pam Koskovich of Natick, who picks up the magazine at Natick Family Network.
Each will be mailed a copy of the DVD.
Thanks to everyone who entered!
Please check the print edition of the magazine, the magazine's Web site -- and this blog for exclusive contests.

Saying Goodbye

Did you ever wish for a few moments that you could magically split yourself in two? A double of me really would have come in handy the last weeks of June. For many teachers the end of a school year means finalizing grades, filling out report cards, boxing up items, reorganizing and tidying...and saying goodbye to class members who have become more like extended family during those 180 days.
Emotions run high and the atmosphere thickens with meloncholy. Children sense the freedoms of summer looming while their parents fear losing scheduled structure.
Even though the countdown 'til the end begins on the first day, there is always surprise when the last day finally arrives. The odd sensation settles in your belly the minute you wake~ feeling something like Christmas morning.
Excitement and anticipation grow with the passing of each hour, until the final bell...
Rarely looking back, giddy children rush for the doors, while somewhere in a darkened classroom a teacher reflects on a year filled with accomplishments and gratitude.

~Amy Benoit

Monday, July 2, 2007

Celebrate America's Independence With These Events!

Tuesday, July 3
Downtown Block Party.
Main St., Fitchburg. 5 - 11 p.m. Main Street closes from Putnam St. to Academy St. starting at 4 p.m. Featuring live entertainment, international food court, basketball tournament, and kids games and activities at Monument Park. Also the area's largest assembly of antique and classic cars. 978-345-9550.
The Thayer Symphony Orchestra and Fitchburg's Fireworks. Crocker Field, Fitchburg. 9 p.m.
Fireworks. Franklin. Boston Soul Revue Show, 7 - 10 p.m. Fireworks at the Franklin High School Field, 10 p.m. 508-528-2494 or 508-528-3466.
Horribles Parade & Fireworks. Downtown Gloucester. 6 p.m. Bands from all over the country, floats, and people in costumes compete for prizes and trophies. Traditional fireworks after the parade at 10 p.m. 978-283-1601.
4th of July Concert. Grafton Town Common, Grafton. 6 p.m. Enjoy the US Air Force Band of Liberty. E-mail
Fourth of July Horribles Parade. Maple St., Mendon. Time TBA. Children in costume parade to the Fire Station. BBQ, fire truck tour, hose demo. 508-473-5330.
Fireworks. Windle Field, Millbury. Dusk. Also 7/4. Rain Date: 7/5.
Needham 2007 Celebration. Memorial Park, Needham. Food tents, 5 - 8:45 p.m.; Hometown folk & blues band, 5 - 7 p.m.; Children's Entertainment, 5 - 7 p.m.; Reminisants Concert, 7 - 9:15 p.m.; Fireworks, dark.
July 4th Celebration. Behind the Fire Station, Rutland. Chicken BBQ, 4:30 p.m.; Strawberry Festival, 5 p.m.; Band Concert, 7 p.m.; Fireworks, 9:20 Memorial Field.
Family Fun Beach Events. Sharon. Potato sack races, tug-o-war, and other wacky relays at Memorial Park Beach, Lake Massapoag, 2 p.m.; Bicycle & Doll Carriage Parade at Beech Tree Park, 3:45 p.m. The parade travels on Beach St. to the bandstand. DJ, music, and entertainment. Lakeside Celebration at Memorial Park Beach, 4 - 9:30 p.m. Bandstand concert 7 - 9 p.m. Spectacular Fireworks over Lake Massapoag at 9:30 p.m. Worcester's Fourth of July. Cristoforo Park, Shrewsbury St., Worcester. Massachusetts Symphony Orchestra, 8 p.m. Fireworks accompanied by Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture and Sousa marches, 9:30 p.m. 508-753- 2924. Rain Date: Thurs. 7/5.

Wednesday, July 4
Nara Park, Acton. Lois Greco Band performs before the display. 978-264-9608.
Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular. Hatch Shell, Charles River Esplanade,
Boston. 8:30 a.m. - 11 p.m. Free outdoor concerts includes patriotic favorites. 888-484-7677.
Independence Day. Concord Museum. Celebrate Independence Day with a visit to the Museum. A rare opportunity to see the Museum's 1824 facsimile edition of the original Declaration of Independence. This is one of an edition of only 200 facsimiles printed by order of John Quincy Adams on parchment from a copperplate prepared by engraver W. I. Stone. A$10, Y (6-17) $6, Under 5 free. Also on July 4th, stop by the Museum booth at Picnic in the Park, the annual celebration held at Emerson Field, 11:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Concord Celebrates the 4th. Picnic in the Park at Emerson Field: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Concord Band plays at 3 p.m. 978-369-9763. 978-369-3120.
Annual 4th of July Parade. Downtown Fitchburg. 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. Parade starts at 10 a.m. from the Bernardian Bowl, going down Summer St. onto Main St. and ending at the Upper Common. Bands, floats, and fun for the whole family. One of the region's last and largest 4th of July Parades. 978-345-9550.
Children's Parade. Franklin Town Common. For children newborn - Gr. 5. Register, 12 p.m. for the 1 p.m. parade. Okey-Dokey DJ Bob Brown, 12 - 4 p.m. ; The New Orleans Jazz Band, 4 - 6 p.m. Closing ceremonies/lowering of the Flag, Church Sq., end of Common, 6 p.m. 508-528-2494 or 508-528-3466.
49th Annual Hingham 4th of July Road Race. 7 a.m. Pancakes at the Hingham Common from 7 - 9:45 a.m. Parade at 10 a.m. Starts at Hingham High School. 781-741-1464.
Independence Day Fireworks & Concert. Crane Estate, Ipswich. 4 - 10 p.m. Children's activities include a Boston Children's Theatre performance, How to Eat Like a Child, and Other Lessons in Not Being a Grown-up, at 5 p.m. Tickets available in advance online, or at the gate: A$25, C$15 (NM). 978-412-2555. Rain Date: 7/5.
July Fourth Celebration at Tanglewood: The New Cars. Tanglewood, Lenox. 7 p.m. The New Cars - comprising original members of the successful and influential new wave band The Cars - will perform at Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Fireworks to follow.
July 4th Festivities. Lincoln. An old-fashioned Fire Fighters Pancake breakfast (7 - 9 a.m.) in the Brooks School Gymnasium. Park in Codman Pool Parking area. A$4, C under 10 free. Register for the "Firecracker Run" Road Races at 8:45 a.m. A $12, C 12 and under $8. Children's bicycle parade (10 a.m.) on Lincoln Rd. Decorate your bikes! A small- town parade along Lincoln Rd. (10:40 a.m.). Free swim with music, fun, and prizes at the Codman Pool (12 - 7:30 p.m.). Family soccer game on the Center Field (1 p.m.), Patriotic Sing-Along (8:45 p.m.), and Fireworks next to Codman Pool, 9 a.m. Park before 8:30 p.m. $15 donation requested. Fireworks Rain Date: July 5.
Fireworks. Windle Field, Millbury. Dusk. Rain Date: 7/5.
Claflin Hill's Independence Day Spectacular Concert. Plains Park, Route 85, Cedar St., Milford. 5 p.m. Fireworks, 10 p.m. Arrive early and make it a "family picnic" event. 508-478-5924.
Natick 4th. Parade starts at 9 a.m. at Rt. 9/27 Plaza, then comes down Rt. 27 into Natick Center. Parade then goes East on Rt. 135/ E.Central Street. 508-397-9493.
Needham 2007 Celebration. Needham. Register for children's parade, 8:30 a.m., at Greene's Field. Wear costumes; decorate bikes; Annual 3-Mile Road Race, 8 a.m., at Needham Heights Post Office; Grand Parade, 9 a.m.; Craft Fair and Flea Market, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.; Children's Races and Contests, 12:30 p.m., at the Football Field; Open Swim Meet, 2 p.m., at Rosemary Pool; Needham Little League All-Star Game, 2 p.m., at Memorial Park #2.
Fourth of July Festivities. Newton. Kids Morning at Newton Centre Playground. 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Grande pet parade, teddy bear parade, decorated doll carriage promenade, foot races, and free candy, drinks and ice cream. Fireworks at Albemarle Field: open air market and amusement rides from 10 a.m. - dusk. Picnic and Big Band Sounds at 6 p.m. 617-796-1540. 617-527-8283.
America's Hometown 4th of July Celebration. South and North Streets., Pittsfield. 11:30 a.m. The 2007 "Reach for the Stars" parade is the largest 4th of July parade in America. More than 100 floats, marching bands, and participants. An old-fashioned family Picnic On The Common follows with craft/food booths and entertainment. 413-447-7763, info@, or
Parade, Concert, Fireworks in Downtown Plymouth. 508-747-1620.
July 4th Celebrations. Rutland. Grand Marshal/Celebrity Pancake Bfast at the Rutland Community Center, 7 a.m. - Noon; Power to Dream Parade, 2 p.m., Begins at Central Tree Middle School and ends at Prescott St.
Shrewsbury Celebrates. Dean Park, Shrewsbury. Noon- 4 p.m. Food, doll carriage and bike parade at 12:30 p.m., disk jockey and game show, Sunny the clown, face painting, and inflatable rides. $8 wrist band needed for rides. 508-841-8503.
Star Spangled Springfield. Court Square, Springfield. 7:30 p.m. on the steps of City Hall, featuring the United States Air Force Liberty Pops. Fireworks at 9:30 p.m. from the Memorial Bridge w/musical simulcast on ROCK 102, live musical entertainment and food. 413-733-3800.
Independence Day Celebration. Old Sturbridge Village. 9:30 a.m.- 5 p.m. Rousing reading of the Declaration of Independence, music, marching, mustering, and old-fashioned fun and games. Bring a picnic to enjoy on the Common. A$20, Y (3-17) $6, Under 3 free. 800-
Sudbury Parade. Union Ave. to Rt. 20 to Concord Rd. to Town Hall, Sudbury. 1 p.m.
Happy Birthday USA Family Day. Spellman Stamp Museum, 235 Wellesley St., Weston. Noon - 4 p.m. Stamp hunts, special philatelic games w/prizes, etc. Free snacks w/ admission. Ice cream $1. A $5, Sr/St $3, under 16 free. 781-768-8367.

Saturday, July 7
All American Patriotic Pops Program. Claflin Hill Summer Winds at The Daniels Farmstead , 286 Mendon St., Blackstone. 7:30 p.m. Enjoy music of Aaron Copland, Glenn Miller, John Phillip Sousa, and music from "Les Miserables," "Saving Private Ryan" and numerous other Fourth of July patriotic favorites. Free. Open to the publc.
Fireworks and Live Music. Clinton Middle School, Route 110, Clinton. Sponsored by the Clinton Fire Dpt. Live music TBA. 978-365- 4165. Rain date: July 8.
Bangma's Farm Independence Day Celebration. 504 W. Hartford Ave., Uxbridge. 5 p.m. Fireworks, 9:30 p.m. Rain Date: July 8.

Life is good at Fenway Park on Saturday!

Life is good® will take to the field at "America's Most Beloved Ballpark."
The Boston-based lifestyle and apparel company is moving its annual summer festival to Fenway Park on Saturday, July 7 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets ($10 children, $20 adults) are on sale at www.lifeisgood. com and in person at Life is good® retail stores, participating Dick's Sporting Goods stores, Bob's Stores, and REI stores. Pre-purchasing of tickets is recommended as tickets are limited to this special event, and likely will not be available at Fenway Park on Saturday!
Life is good ® at Fenway is also stepping up to bat for children facing unfair challenges. Organizers are hoping for a grand slam in fundraising as they aim to raise more than $1 million to support The Red Sox Foundation and Project Joy, a grassroots non-profit organization that utilizes the healing power of play to foster the social and emotional development of Boston's poorest children.
The annual celebration of summer fun and good oldfashioned Americana will feature a spirited athletic competition, classic ballpark food (at an additional fee), great live music, and a colorful mix of good-time activities for all ages.
Attendees will have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to experience Fenway Park like never before at this family-friendly event. The festival will feature a host of activities including:
+ Contests throughout the day. Compete in bubble gum blowing, peanut tossing, and seed spitting contests for all ages.
+ Red Sox legends. Watch for guest appearances from Red Sox immortals and Wally the Green Monster.
+ Dunk-a-Yank. This is your opportunity to sink one of Boston's arch rivals in the Dunk-a-Yank tank set up on the concourse.
+ Dugout pictures. Don't miss the opportunity for you and your friends to have a once-in-a-lifetime picture taken as you sit in the third base dugout.
+ Pitching and batting cages in the Big Concourse, sponsored by Dick's Sporting Goods. Think your fastball is blazing? Have your pitch clocked by radar and swing in the batting cage.
+ Participate in the world's biggest game of catch in the stands.
+ FREE Concerts:
Family favorite SteveSongs, Neil Diamond tribute band SuperDiamond, and The Gin Blossoms will entertain the crowds throughout the day.
+ Visit the Bay State Parent booth for a free children's craft. At the booth, consider registering your child, for a $30 fee, in our annual Cover Model Search. $5 of the registration fee will go to the Red Sox Foundation and another $5 will go to Project Joy. Photo shoots will take place at Portrait Simple studios at the Atrium Mall in Chestnut Hill on Route 9 on Saturday, Sept 15.
+ Compete for the title of World's Greatest Backyard Athlete: Once again, the title of World's Greatest Backyard Athlete is up for grabs, this time with a baseball twist. More than 100 "athletes" are expected to take to the Fenway field to compete in athletic endeavors such as the Wiffle Ball homerun derby, the Green Monster Frisbee Toss, Peanut Pitching, and the Warning Track Dash. To compete for the title, athletes must display a mastery of odd skills and backyard savvy. More importantly, athletes commit to raising $5,000 for children who face unfair challenges. One hundred percent of funds raised from the 2007 World's Greatest Back Yard Athlete competition will benefit Project Joy and The Red Sox Foundation. To register for the competition, visit www.
+ Super Fan Contest: Not sure if you can compete for the title of World's Greatest Backyard Athlete? Every team needs its fans - and you could be named the Sox Super Fan Contest Winner. To enter the contest, fans can visit and upload a picture and description demonstrating their fanatic desire to be named this year's Super Fan. will select 10 finalists who will compete onsite for the judges, hoping to be named the 2007 Super Fan atop the dugout at Fenway Park.
+ Sponsors for Life is good at Fenway include Dick's Sporting Goods, SAP, UPS, Four Points by Sheraton, Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan, Splenda, DS Graphics, Silvertech, Juniper Graphics, REI, Braver P.C., Upper Crust, Island Oasis and REI. Media sponsors include 93.7 MIKE FM,, The Improper Bostonian, Comcast,, and Bay State Parent magazine.
For complete information on the festival, visit

A day at the beach....

This morning, my two-year-old son and I headed to Plum Island for a couple of hours of batting away greenheads and wrestling the strong undertow.

Knowing my son's affinity for other kids' toys, I packed an ample supply. Buckets, shovels, sand molds, a sand-sifter, dump truck and a wagon in which to pull all aforementioned toys around. Apparently that was not enough. Because after the first hour, he spotted the very intriguing and brightly-colored beach toys of the family parked a few yards from us and made a bee-line, wagon in tow, right for them.

When he got to the blanket, one of the little girls, about six years old, was sitting in the sand, fresh from a dip in the icy-cold water, her toys sprawled out around her. My son headed for a red bucket. I told him "No, no buddy, those aren't your toys," a frequent flyer in the phrase repertoire and one that I think I say sometimes in my sleep. (In my experience, MOST parents don't mind if another child happens on their kids' toys and has a brief go-around with them. But I have run across some that are downright nasty about the whole situation.) I tried, balancing my comments delicately between showing respect for other people's things and allowing my son to mingle and therefore confiscate toys that don't belong to him, to direct his attention toward the myriad of toys scattered in a circle around our own blanket.

This particular little girl, perhaps sensing my son's innate tendency towards any type of vehicle, thrusts forth a little sand-mold in the shape of a tractor. "He can have this," she says, looking at her mother then up at the two of us, we beggars of other people's toys.

My son excitedly accepts this great gift, and a smile wider than almost any other I've seen spreads across his face, and he starts to make off with his new plaything. I catch him and haul him over back towards the little girl, who has already commenced her own castle-building, and instruct him to say, "Thank you." And still not certain I have stumbled upon agreeable or nasty parents, I suggest that we could perhaps borrow the toy, and then return it before we pack up for home.

"He can have it," the little girl insists.

"That's really nice," I tell her, not because I am being patronizing, but because I do, in fact, think this is an incredibly nice and mature gesture for a six-year-old, who on any other day might gather up every toy in her arms and scowl at us.

Several times I instruct my son to say Thank You, another sometimes embarrassing, albeit necessary, routine. He finally does, runs right up to her and says a little too closely into her face, in his developing toddler voice, "Thank you for tractor."

He proudly tosses it in his wagon, and we are off with a wave.

A wonderful morning at the beach, especially considering that the greenheads hadn't yet arrived.