Monday, June 30, 2008

CONTEST: Win A Sesame Street Count On Sports DVD

Sesame Street invites toddlers and preschoolers to get their thinking game on in Sesame Street: Count On Sports, arriving on DVD July 22nd from Genius Products and Sesame Workshop, the non-profit educational organization behind Sesame Street. Bay State Parent magazine has teamed up with the two companies to giveaway 5 copies of the DVD to readers. To enter, fill out the survey at Make sure to select Sesame SPORTS in the pull down bar.
The deadline to enter is Sunday, Aug. 31 at 11:59 EST. Winners' names & hometowns will be posted on this site. DVDs will be mailed to winners, upon verification. The contest is open to Massachusetts residents only.

ABOUT COUNT ON SPORTS: Integrating essential concepts into each of the memorable sports segments, this math-tastic presentation is full of numbers, shapes and spatial relations such as short/tall, over/under and forward/backward. With Ernie reporting from ESSN - Ernie's Sports Show News (a parody of ESPN's "Sport's Center") - tiny tikes won't miss a moment of the DVD's amazing athletic adventures such as The Count racing in the Transylvania 300; Prairie Dawn flipping for Olympic gymnast Dominique Dawes; Grover shooting hoops with New Jersey Nets basketball star Vince Carter and Elmo serving up a game of imaginary tennis with champion Venus Williams.
Sesame Street: Count On Sports, is about 45 minutes long, will be available for the suggested retail price of $14.93.

About Sesame Workshop: Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization that changed television forever with the legendary Sesame Street. As the single largest informal educator of young children, local Sesame Street programs produced in countries as diverse as South Africa, Bangladesh and India are making a difference in over 120 nations. Using proprietary research to create engaging and enriching content, Sesame Workshop produces programs such as Dragon Tales and Pinky Dinky Doo. In addition, multimedia needs-driven initiatives provide families tools for addressing such issues as children's health, military deployment and emergency preparedness. As a nonprofit, product proceeds and philanthropic donations support Sesame Workshop's educational research and creative content for children around the world. Learn more at


Kit Kittredge: An American Girl Opens in Theatres Wednesday

Wednesday, July 2 American Girl will release its first feature film, Kit Kittredge: An American Girl. The movie stars Academy Award® nominee Abigail Breslin as Kit, a girl growing up during the hard times of the Great Depression. It also features Julia Ormond and Chris O’Donnell as Kit’s parents.
If by chance you are unfamiliar with American Girl and Kit, you must not have a girl age 5-13 in your household.
Kit Kittredge is a beloved historical characters and an American Girl doll. Her books—and now her movie—bring the 1930s and the challenges of the Depression vividly to life.
If your daughter is a fan of the original six-book series written by Valerie Tripp, she will surely enjoy the movie. In the books Kit longs for a tree house but never gets one. According to American Girl, a fantastic tree house set was created for the movie that required building not only the tree house, but the tree itself! A large trunk and branches were built out of wood and metal, then covered with large strips of bark created from burlap and plaster. In fact, American Girl was so enchanted by Kit’s tree house set that its product developers were inspired to create a toy tree house for girls to use with their Kit and Ruthie dolls!
According to American Girl, once 11-year-old Abigail Breslin signed on to play Kit, other casting decisions quickly fell into place, including the casting of Joan Cusack, Stanley Tucci, Glenn Headley, and Jane Krakowski as boarders who rent rooms from the Kittredges. Wallace Shawn makes an appearance as a crusty newspaper editor. Young actors Madison Davenport and Zach Mills were cast as Kit’s good friends, Ruthie and Stirling. An open casting call for extras was held at American Girl Place stores, and the movie will feature some first-time actors as Kit and Ruthie’s friends.

Keep in mind Massachusett's first American Girl Store will open late this fall at the Natick Collection in Natick (for more information, visit previous post at:
For more information on the movie and to find where it is playing near you,visit the official Web site at

Today is Last Day to Enter Wally Book Contest!

Thanks to all the readers who have been entering Bay State Parent magazine's Cheer on the Sox! contests.
Today is the last day (June 30) to enter our Wally giveaway features two books written by Red Sox great Jerry Remy and featuring Wally The Green Monster.
In Hello Wally, your child can follow Wally around Fenway Park during game day. Read along as Wally enjoys pre-game festivities on Yawkey Way, visits the Ted Williams Statue, participates in batting practice, entertains Red Sox fans, and cheers the home team to victory. Boston Red Sox Children's Book The 24-page hardcover book published by Mascot Books ( retails for $14.95.
The sequel book by Remy is Wally The Green Monster And His Journey Through Red Sox Nation. In it, Wally the Green Monster, takes a tour of Red Sox Nation. Read along as Wally's journey takes him from Boston, out to Cape Cod, south to Connecitcut and Rhode Island, then north to Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. The hardcover book is $14.95.
One Bay State Parent reader will receive both books.
To enter, fill out the survey at:
Make sure to pull down the bar for the Wally Book.
The deadline to enter is June 30 at 11:59 EST.

The winner will be posted on this blog. Prize will be mailed upon verification and receipt of mailing address from winner.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

BEAT THE HEAT: Catch a FREE Movie on Mondays This Summer

Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling and his wife Shonda Schilling, founder of the SHADE Foundation of America, have joined forces once again with National Amusements, Inc., a world leader in the motion picture exhibition industry, to re-launch the SPF-Sun Protection Flicks program.
The eight-week summer movie series was created by the SHADE Foundation and National Amusements to raise awareness of the importance of sun protection and to offer families out of the sun fun in support of the SHADE Foundation’s important mission.
The program starts tomorrow, Monday, June 30, and run through August 18.
The movie series, now in its second year, features a free family film every Monday at 11 a.m. at select National Amusements’ theatre locations in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
Patrons will also be able to purchase special Curt Schilling 44 ounce “Collector’s Cups”, with 50% of the proceeds to benefit The SHADE Foundation. Last year over 15,000 kids took advantage of this unique program and “Collector’s Cup” sales generated over $60,000 for SHADE.
“The SHADE Foundation applauds Showcase Cinemas as they join us in working towards our mission by offering kids an entertainment-filled alternative to playing in the hot sun,” said Shonda Schilling, a melanoma survivor and founder of the SHADE Foundation. “One in five kids will grow up to develop skin cancer, therefore, we are hoping parents, babysitters and camp directors will take advantage of these free sun-safe movies to keep their children shaded this summer and help reduce this alarming statistic.”
The summer movie series provides an out of the sun option for children in New England. The program works to satisfy the mission of the SHADE Foundation which is to eradicate melanoma through the education of children and the community in the prevention and detection of skin cancer and the promotion of sun safety.
National Amusements has a strong commitment to the community and hosts a number of community based initiatives in its theatres such as: Bookworm Wednesdays (a summer reading program for children), Kidtoon Films (G-rated movies every Saturday and Sunday morning), and Holiday Classics (providing canned goods for local food pantries).
Massachusetts locations participating in this year’s SPF program include Showcase Cinemas in Lawrence, Lowell, North Attleboro, Randolph, Revere, Woburn, Worcester and West Springfield. Rhode Island locations include Providence Place Cinemas and Showcase Cinemas Warwick.
June 30: Shark Tale - PG
July 7: Charlotte’s Web – G
July 14: Evan Almighty – PG
July 21: Madagascar – PG
July 28: The Ant Bully – PG
August 4: Alvin and the Chipmunks – PG
August 11: The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie – PG
August 18: Firehouse Dog – PG

For more information about this and other National Amusements programs please visit For more information about responsible sun behavior please visit
About the SHADE Foundation: SHADE Foundation of American is a 501-C3 launched by Shonda Schilling, the wife of Boston Red Sox Pitcher, Curt Schilling in 2002. The goal of the foundation is to eradicate melanoma through the education of children and the community in the prevention and detection of skin cancer and the promotion of sun safety.

About National Amusements, Inc.: National Amusements, Inc., is a world leader in the motion picture exhibition industry operating more than 1,500 screens in the U.S., U.K., Latin America and Russia. National Amusements delivers a superior entertainment experience in theatres around the world under its Showcase, Multiplex, Cinema de Lux, and KinoStar brands. Based in Dedham, Massachusetts, National Amusements is a closely held company operating under the third generation of leadership by the Redstone family. National Amusements is also an equal partner in the online ticketing service,, and is the parent company of both Viacom and CBS Corporation.

Friday, June 27, 2008

40 Massachusetts Teen Volunters Recognized by Kohl's Kids Who Care Scholarshp Program

This month, Kohl’s Department Stores honored nearly 2,000 kids nationwide (40 in Massachusetts) for the thousands of good deeds they performed in their communities through volunteerism.
Through the eighth annual Kohl’s Kids Who Care® Scholarship Program, 40 youth from Massachusetts will receive $50 gift cards and recognition certificates from Kohl’s. This month's winners could go on to receive a $1,000 regional scholarship that Kohl’s will award in July. “Young people are transforming our communities through volunteerism and service activities that benefit others,” said Julie Gardner, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Kohl’s. “Every year we are inspired by the good deeds these kids have accomplished and are proud to recognize them through the Kohl’s Kids Who Care Scholarship Program.”
Massachusetts winners are:
Joshua Andreasen, 17, North Billerica
Lily Baron, 17, North Easton
Alycia Beatrice, 18, Sutton
Brittany Bergquist, 17, Norwell

Jared Bishop, 17, Needham
Nicholas Bozovic, 11, Medford
Katie Bragdon, 11, Brewster
Matthew Cappucci, 10 , Plymouth
David Carvalho, 17, Fall River
Monica Chickering, 17, Franklin
Brian Conneely, 10, Tewksbury
Haley Diamond, 18, Becket
Bethany Durden, 17, Winchester
Kaitlyn Flenke, 17, East Longmeadow
Sarah Foss, 17, Marblehead
Zoe Gates, 11, Andover
Kiana Hawley, 7 , Marblehead
Julia Hostage, 6, Sturbridge
Noah Kelly, 8, Boston
Shawniece Higginbottom, 17, West Roxbury
Katie Kroll, 11, Mansfield
Sarah Lafontaine, 10, Ashland
Louisa Mardirossian, 18, Belmont
Colton McGrath, 11, Abington
Stacey Melone, 16, Green Harbor
Dawn-Marie Nee, 17, Plymouth
Brian Nickley, 12, Abington
Erin O'Neill, 13, Abington
Christopher Powers, 17, Haverhill
Laurinda Ralph, 12, Webster
Rebecca Reese, 12, North Chelmsford
Alex Rosenberg, 17, Newton
Anthony Serrano, 18, North Andover
Dominique Seward, 11, Springfield
Audrey Sorensen, 17, Scituate
Kassidy Sullivan, 11, Saugus
Sarah Sykes, 10, Holliston
Tonya Taylor, 17, East Taunton
Molly Trowbridge, 11, Mansfield
Lise Wagnac, 16, Lynn

The Kids Who Care Scholarship Program is part of Kohl’s Cares for Kids, a program focused on improving the lives of children. Kohl’s Cares for Kids benefits children’s health and education opportunities nationwide through its merchandise program, fundraising gift cards and A-Team associate volunteer program. For more information or a list of past Kids Who Care winners, visit

Kohl’s Department Stores Based in Menomonee Falls, Wis., Kohl’s (NYSE: KSS) is a family-focused, value-oriented specialty department store offering moderately priced, exclusive and national brand apparel, shoes, accessories, beauty and home products in an exciting shopping environment. A company committed to the communities it serves, Kohl’s operates 957 stores in 47 states and has raised more than $102 million for children’s initiatives nationwide through its Kohl’s Cares for Kids® philanthropic program. For a list of store locations and information, or for the added convenience of shopping online, visit

WEEKEND PICK: Tree Figures Opening Weekend at Fruitlands Museum

Fruitlands Museum in Harvard, home of Shaker, Native American and New England art & artifacts, announces its most adventurous outdoor exhibit in 94 seasons with its Branching Out grand opening events this weekend on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. This weekend, join sculptor Joe Wheelwright as he brings his dramatic installation of Tree Figures to Fruitlands 200 acres. Walk among natural sculptures created from actual trees - some over 25 feet high - as they burst forth throughout a historic landscape, taking the shape of fantastical creatures of the imagination. Take the time to learn more about Joe Wheelwright at the Branching Out retrospective of his smaller tree works within our galleries. Come meet the artist, interact at family workshops, reconnect with New England history at one of our four galleries, or simply soak in the view at our Museum Restaurant. This exciting Tree Figures exhibit runs through November 2009.
Opening Weekend ctivities:

Catch the premiere viewing of Joe Wheelwrights Tree Figures on the grounds of Fruitlands Museum. Cleverly integrated into the existing landscape and trails, each sculpture becomes a surprise discovery that will rekindle enjoyment of the natural world. Joe Wheelwrights larger-than-life tree sentinels (ranging from 9 to 27) will make visitors think, gasp, wonder, laugh and take a closer look.

Ongoing: Visit the museum's newest exhibition Forests Interrupted, curated by Laurie Butters and John O'Keefe. This exhibit uses landscapes to explore changing ideas about wilderness and forest management, with accounts of trees contributions to New Englands heritage, past and future.

Tree Whys Drop-in Activities at the Wayside noon to 4 p.m. on both Saturday & Sunday

Bring the family to participate in fun Tree Whys activities from noon to 4 p.m., as museum staff explore trees through crafts and projects. Design your own leaf and twig fans; create a tree design bookmark to use in your "book leaves; create a labyrinth using twig colored pencils; make your own Native American Kainsish game; then walk Fruitlands' Labyrinth and visit the Farmhouse to see Henry Thoreau's pencils.

Fruitlands Facts: Fruitlands Museum,102 Prospect Hill Road Harvard,, 978.456.3924. Open daily 11am-4pm and Weekends/Holidays 11am-5pm. Admission is free for members; Adults $10; Seniors and Students w/ a college ID $8; Children 5-17 $4; Children under 5, FREE. Trail/Grounds only, $6 adults, $3 children.Fruitlands Museum Store: Located next to our main parking lot, Fruitlands Museum Store sells admissions to galleries and grounds, Museum memberships, as well as books, cards, handmade crafts, original works by New England artists, games, childrens books, toys, and much more. Browsing encouraged -- no admission necessary! Hours: Open daily May through December. For questions, you can call the store year-round at 978.456.3924, Ext 235, or email Room Restaurant: Memorable dining and stunning views go hand in hand at Fruitlands historic Tea Room restaurant, under a panoramic tent or inside a garden arbor. Come experience creative seasonal luncheon menus, sumptuous desserts, and sweeping vistas with friends and family. Seasonal Specialties Fine Catering is the exclusive caterer for the Museum, featuring menus rich with traditional favorites and creative cuisine. Visit seasonal fine for menu. Open daily, 11AM to 4PM, May through December. Call 978.456.3924, Ext. 242 for restaurant reservations and Ext. 223 to inquire about daytime gatherings and museum facility rentals.

WEEKEND PICK: New Polar Exhibit Opens Tomorrow at Peabody Essex Museum

Tomorrow, Saturday, June 28th, the Peabody Essex Museum is pleased to celebrate the opening its newest exhibition, Polar Attractions. The exhibition features works by 32 contemporary North American, Native Alaskan, and Canadian Inuit artists responding to the majestic beauty of the polar environments and the science of climate change. Through photography, painting, video, sculpture and interactive stations, the exhibition exposes visitors to life in the Arctic and Antarctic and hopes to inspire the careful consideration of both natural and human-influenced change in the polar regions.
Artists featured in Polar Attractions will be leading free demonstrations and workshops for parents and families during Opening Day, providing the public with a unique opportunity to interface and learn from cutting-edge contemporary artists.
Activities include:
* Meeting two arctic owls in the Museum's atrium
* Creating polar animal pictures and ice-inspired puzzles
* Mixed-media sculpture demonstration by Brookline-based artist, Nathalie Miebach, who integrates climatic data into intricate and powerful forms
* Internationally-renowned photographer, Paul Caponigro, will relay his experiences photographing and exploring the Antarctic.

About the Peabody Essex Museum: The Peabody Essex Museum presents art and culture from New England and around the world. The museum campus features numerous parks, period gardens and 24 historic properties, including Yin Yu Tang, a 200-year-old house that is the only example of Chinese domestic architecture on display in the United States.
HOURS Daily, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
ADMISSION Adults $15; seniors $13; students $11.
Web site at


RECALL: Stanley Furniture Cribs Due to Entrapment Hazard

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with Stanley Furniture Company of Virginia, today announced a voluntary recall of about 1,200 2nd Nature Built to Grow Cribs. The cribs could fail to meet a federal safety standard for crib dimensions. When the mattress support is in the middle setting, the space between the mattress and the crib could be too wide, posing an entrapment hazard to infants. Incidents/Injuries: None reported. This recall involves the full size 2nd Nature Built to Grow cribs, model number 353-14-220. Model and serial numbers are located on the headboard. The crib is natural maple in color. Only the following serial numbers are included in the recall: 353-14-220-L-01, 353-14-220-L-02, 353-14-220-L-03, 353-14-220-L-04, 353-14-220-L-05, 353-14-220-L-06, 353-14-220-L-07, 353-14-220-L-08, 353-14-220-L-101, and 353-14-220-L-103. The recall does not include cribs sold after December 2007. They were sold at department and furniture stores from March 2006 through December 2007 for about $1,100 and manufactured in Slovenia.
Consumers should immediately stop using the crib in the middle mattress setting, and adjust it to the low or high setting. Contact Stanley Furniture to determine if the crib is subject to this recall, and if it is, to receive a free replacement crib headboard. For additional information, contact Stanley Furniture toll-free at 888-839-6822 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or visit

Thursday, June 26, 2008

RECALL: Jardin Cribs Sold by Babies R Us Due to Entrapment and Strangulation Hazards

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with Jardin Enterprises of Taiwan, today announced a voluntary recall about 320,000 Jardin Cribs. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. The wooden crib slats and spindles can break, creating a gap, which can pose an entrapment and strangulation hazard to infants. There have been 42 incidents of crib slats and spindles breaking. Four children became entrapped in the space created by a broken slat or spindle. Two of the children had abrasions and bruising. Jardine wooden cribs in various styles and finishes, as listed below, are included in this recall.

Model # Description First Sold
BC-23 Drop Side Blue Spindle Crib 8/2004
BC-36B Drop Side Light Blue Spindle Crib 8/2005
BC-36G Drop Side Sage Spindle Crib 7/2005
BC-36P Drop Side Pink Spindle Crib 7/2005
BC-007 Hilton Drop Side Cherry Single Crib 1/2002
BC-010 Windsor Drop Side Cherry Flat Panel Crib 1/2002
BC-010C Windsor Drop Side Cherry Flat Panel Crib 11/2003
BC-010HP Windsor Drop Side Oak/Honey Pine Crib 11/2003
BC-010W Hilton Drop Side White Full Panel Crib 7/2002
BC-017 Windsor Drop Side Dark Pine Single Crib 1/2002
BC-107C Hilton Drop Side Cherry Single Crib 3/2005
BC-107CR Windsor Cherry Single Sleigh Crib 4/2007
BC-110C Berkley Drop Side Cherry Flat Panel Single Crib 3/2005
BC-110HP Windsor Drop Side Honey Pine/Honey Single Crib 3/2005
BC-110W Berkley Drop Side White Flat Panel Single Crib 3/2005
DA617BC Wicker 3-in-1 White Crib 1/2002
DA620BC Haven 3-in-1 Oak/Dark Pine Crib 5/2002
DA770BC 4-in-1 White Convertible Crib 1/2004
DV730N Natural Lifetime Crib 9/2003
DV730W White Lifetime Crib 8/2003
DV830-N Natural Lifetime Crib 11/2004
DV830-W White Lifetime Crib 11/2004
0113B00 Drop Side Natural Spindle Crib 7/2006
0113K00 Drop Side Mahogany Spindle Crib 6/2006
0303B00 Berkley Natural Lifetime Crib 9/2005
0303C00 Berkley White Lifetime Crib 8/2005
0303G00 Berkley Cherry Lifetime Crib 5/2005
0309K00 Positano Mahogany Lifetime Crib 4/2006
The model number is printed on the inside of the bottom rail of the headboard or footboard.
Sold at: KidsWorld, Geoffrey Stores, Toys “R” Us, and Babies “R” Us stores nationwide, and at, from January 2002 through May 2008 for between $150 and $300, with one model, 0309K00 Mahogany Positano Lifetime Crib, which sold for $450 and manufactured in China and Vietnam
Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled cribs and contact Jardine to receive a full credit toward the purchase of a new crib. For additional information, contact Jardine at 800- 646-4106 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET Saturday, or visit

WEEKEND PICK: CD Release Party Friday Night

Bay State mom Carrie Rowan is holding a CD release concert this Friday, June 28 at the Parish Center for Arts at 10 Lincoln St., in Westford, Massachusetts. The concert features the following amazing musicians to make this concert really rock (folk rock that is): Lori Diamond, Oen Kennedy, Seth Connelly, Adrienne Fawkes, Bill Derby, Phil Punch and Eric Kilburn. "How lucky am I to be playing with such talent!," said Rowan.
Doors open at 7:30, show starts at 8 p.m.
For directions or more info go to
There is no coverage charge.

RECALL: Nordstrom Girls' Sandals Due To Choking Hazard

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm Nordstrom Inc or Seattle, Washington, today announced a voluntary recall about 1,500 Nordstrom’s Cadence-Lea and Trio-Lea Girl’s Sandals. Manufactured by Meyeworld, of Hicksville, N.Y., the flower embellishments on the sandals can detach, posing a choking hazard to young children. There have been no reported injuries or incidents. The recalled girl’s sandals are leather with attached leather flowers and were sold under the “Cadence-Lea” and “Trio-Lea” names. “Cadence-Lea” sandals are white, light green or silver. “Trio-Lea” sandals are white or silver. They were sold in girls’ sizes 5 through 12. Nordstrom is printed on the sandals. They were sold exclusively at Nordstrom stores nationwide from March 2008 through May 2008 for about $30 and manufactured in China.
Consumers should take the recalled sandals away from children immediately and return the sandals to any Nordstrom store for a full refund. For additional information, contact Nordstrom at 800-804-0806 anytime, or visit

RECALL: Remote-controlled Helicopter Toys Pose Risk of Fire

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with Westminste of Atlanta, Georgie, yesterday announced a voluntary recall about 102,000 “Thunder Wolf” Remote Controlled Indoor Helicopters. The rechargeable battery inside the helicopter can overheat. This can result in the helicopter’s body melting, as well as a risk of fire or burns to consumers. Westminster Inc. has received seven reports of overheating and/or melting of the helicopter, including one report of flames and two reports of minor property damage. No injuries have been reported. The “Thunder Wolf” remote-controlled indoor helicopter is made of foam and plastic, and measures about 7 inches by 3 inches. “TW0996” is printed on the tail of the helicopter and was sold in multiple accent colors. The helicopter comes with a controller and a separate charger. Only helicopters that do not have “Made in China” stamped on the underside of the helicopter are subject to the recall. Retail stores nationwide from June 2007 through December 2007 for about $20.
Consumers should immediately stop playing with the recalled helicopters and contact Westminster Inc. for a refund. Retailers will not accept returns or provide a refund.
Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Westminster Inc. at 800-618-0023 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Friday; visit the; or send an e-mail to

CONTEST: Enter To Win A Lil' BRATZ Party Time! DVD

Bay State Parent magazine has teamed up with LionGate for a BRATZ DVD contest.
Three readers of the magazine will win Lil' Bratz Party Time! DVD (available to the public on July 15) ($14.98) To enter, fill out the survey at Make sure to select BRATZ DVD in the pull down bar. The deadline to enter is Sunday, Aug. 31 at 11:59 EST. Winner's names & hometowns will be posted on this site. The manufacturer's recommended age for the DVD is age 3-11. DVDs will be mailed to winners.

ABOUT THE DVD: This July, the Bratz are kicking off summer by throwing a party, as Lionsgate releases to DVD an interactive adventure starring the Lil’ Bratz – Bratz Interactive: Lil’ Bratz Party Time! In this DVD, fans of the popular brand can plan a party for their favorite Lil’ Bratz – including choosing invitations, selecting a cake, choosing a theme, etc. After fans have planned the perfect party, they decide the activities to play, the music to dance to and more! DVD Special Features include 4 party activities, 6 music and sing-a-long activities, and 3 music videos.

ABOUT BRATZ: Since being introduced to the market in 2001, Bratz™ has quickly become one of the world’s foremost toy lines and girls’ lifestyle brands, with over 6 million home entertainment products sold. This fall, MGA Entertainment will introduce an all-new Lil’ Bratz toy line featuring a smaller doll, with fully rooted hair down to her toes! In addition, there will be over 40 Lil’ Bratz licensees available at retail this fall including accessories, sleepwear, bedding and party supplies.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

CONTEST: Enter to Win Care Bears: King of the Moon DVD

Get ready to help your child reach for the stars! On July 1, Cheer Bear, Tendeheart, and all of the Care Bear cousins invite their friends to join them for an out-of-this world adventure in their latest DVD release, Care Bears: King of the Moon!
LIONSGATE has teamed up with Bay State Parent magazine for a DVD giveaway of this title for Bay State Parent readers. (Details are below).
In the new DVD, Braveheart, Grams, and Champ are ready to lend their paws, and caring gets out-of-this world as they orbit the moon and travel to distant galaxies. But no matter how far they go, friendship and love are always close to home with the Care Bears.
The release features six care Bear stories from the classic television series, available for the first time on DVD, including King of the Moon, The Space Bubbles, Grumpy the Clumsy, The Purple Chariot, The Factory of Uncaring, and The Coconut Crazy.
The DVD will be available in an all-new kid-case package, making it easy for preschoolers to carry all of their favorite Care Bears DVDs with them everywhere.
The DVD will be released to the public on Tuesday, July 1 ($14.99). The DVD running time is 77 minutes.
CONTEST DETAILS: To enter, fill out the magazine survey form at:
Please, select Care Bears in the pull down bar.
The deadline to enter is Sunday, Aug. 3 at 11:59 p.m. EST.
Three winners will receive a copy of the DVD.
DVDs will be mailed to the winners.
The winner's names and hometowns will be posted here.
Contest is open to residents of Massachusetts ONLY.

The Great America Backyard Campout is NEXT Saturday, June 28

Looking for a way to kick off your summer?
Here’s an idea for family fun, no further than your backdoor. Sponsored by National Wildlife Federation to encourage parents and kids alike to turn in their TV remotes, iPods, Wiis, computers, MP3 players, cell phones and all things high tech, and experience a night with Mother Nature including listening for nocturnal wildlife (maybe even see a few), star-gazing, cooking outdoors, telling stories about Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster, and exploring a whole other world right in their own backyard.
Last year thousands of families from around the country participated in the Great American Backyard Campout. You don’t need to go to Yosemite National Park to experience the great outdoors and the wonders it has to offer. Just open up your backdoor!

Where: Backyards across America
When: Saturday night, June 28

Who: Families, friends, neighbors, and communities
Why: This initiative is part of a National Wildlife Federation campaign to rescue our nation’s kids from what famed author Richard Louv calls “nature deficit disorder.” Research now shows that kids spend an average of 44 hours per week “plugged into” electronic media - for the first time in our country’s history; we have an entire generation that is growing up disconnected from nature.
Camping in your backyard is a great way to introduce your kids to the fun and adventure of sleeping under the stars. It also brings families closer together without the distraction of TV, computers, and video games.

Getting Started: The National Wildlife Federation is providing everything you need to head out into the great outdoors called your backyard. The web site has packing lists, recipes, nocturnal wildlife guides, exploration activities, nature guides. Check it out at People can even sign up on the site to share their campout plans and experiences.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Athletic Parents Sought for Annual Pledge Competition to Raise Money for the Life is good Kids Foundation

World’s Greatest Backyard Athlete to be Crowned at Life is good® Festival July 19 on Boston Common
It may be too late to qualify for the Olympic games in Beijing but there is still time to take the field for a storied athletic competition. The World’s Greatest Backyard Athlete competition will once again be the centerpiece event at the annual Life is good Festival on Saturday, July 19 on Boston Common.
More than 100 individuals will compete in this friendly, low-key competition for the coveted title while raising funds for the Life is good Kids Foundation. Proceeds from this year’s festival will be directed by the foundation to Project Joy, a Boston-based non-profit organization whose mission is to use the healing power of play to transform children impacted by violence, poverty and loss into healthy and joyful players in the game of life.
The pledge-driven competition, sponsored by Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, features men and women putting their skills to the test through a number of old-fashioned backyard games including Frisbee toss, bocce, watermelon seed spitting, and Wiffle Ball Homerun Derby. Competing athletes commit to raise at least $1,000 for the Life is good Kids Foundation. The top fundraiser will win a three night stay at the Four Points by Sheraton Palmas del Mar Resort in Puerto Rico. To sign up for the World’s Greatest Backyard Athlete competition, visit the Life is good® website at
“Our Backyard Athlete competition is great fun for the athletes and the crowds that cheer them on, and it’s backed by a serious purpose,” said Bert Jacobs, Chief Executive Optimist for Life is good. “The World’s Greatest Backyard Athlete Competition gives each athlete a day of smiles along with the deep satisfaction of raising major funds for an organization that works to bring joy back into the lives of children in need. Even if you don’t end up with the title, everyone wins in this competition.”

2008 Life is good Festival
The Life is good Festival brings the nostalgia of an old-fashioned American picnic to the heart of Boston. The classic outdoor summer bash will feature great traditional games and activities. The festival will be divided into several “villages”:
* The Olympic Village, sponsored by Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, will be the site of the 2008 World’s Greatest Backyard Athlete competition.
* Jaketown, sponsored by Dick’s Sporting Goods, features familiar games aplenty, including football, lacrosse, speed pitch, soccer kick, Frisbee toss, basketball, tug-o’-war, volleyball, and much more.
* Chillville, sponsored by Four Points® by Sheraton and the perfect cool-down spot between physical activities, showcases arts and crafts, face painting, and an entertaining kids stage.
* The Joy Zone features cooperative kids’ games hosted by Project Joy, including its amazing multi-colored 50-foot parachute.
* Music & Memories: The festival will also feature classic backyard food and great live music from the Main Stage, sponsored by 93.7 MIKE FM, with headliner Robert Randolph.
The Life is good® Festival is produced in partnership with the Boston Parks and Recreation Department.
Sponsors for the 2008 Life is good® Festival include Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Newland Communities, SAP, Four Points® by Sheraton, Verizon Wireless, Citizens Bank, and UPS.
Media sponsors include 93.7 MIKE FM,, The Improper Bostonian,, & Bay State Parent.

About Life is good, Inc.®: Life is good®, based in Boston, MA, spreads good vibes through its colorful collection of apparel and accessories, and the contagious grin of Jake, its optimistic cultural hero. For more information on Life is good®, please visit

About the Life is good Kids Foundation: The Life is good Kids Foundation supports extraordinary charities that creat a lasting positive impact on children facing unfair challenges, including the trauma of violence and poverty. The Foundation receives its principal financial support from the public via the charitable fundraising festivals conducted by Life is good, Inc. This year eighteen different festivals will be held in fourteen different states nationwide. 100% of funds raised from these festivals is distributed to 501 C (3) non-profit organizations supporting children in need.

About Boston Parks and Recreation Department: As caretaker of the city’s open space, the Boston Parks and Recreation Department (BPRD) oversees 2,200 acres of parkland, including 215 parks and playgrounds, 65 squares, urban woodlands and street trees, three active cemeteries, 16 historic burying grounds, and two golf courses. In addition to maintaining the historic integrity of such famous landmarks as Boston Common, The Public Garden, and other parks comprising Frederick Law Olmsted’s Emerald Necklace, the Department services and upgrades facilities ranging from neighborhood tot lots to the 527-acre Franklin Park. The Department historically has offered a wide variety of recreation programs, including sports and tournaments, special events, and concerts designed to bring people into the parks.

June 23rd PODCAST by Boston Symphony Celebrates James Levine's 65th Birthday

The Boston Symphony Orchestra would like to wish its Music Director, Maestro James Levine, a Happy 65th Birthday on Monday, June 23 by offering a special podcast celebrating the Maestro's life in music on
The podcast will feature historic pictures chronicling James Levine's extensive history within classical music, from his time as a young piano prodigy to his appointment as BSO Music Director, as well as music from his tenure with the BSO, including the Grammy Award winning Album with Lorraine Hunt, Peter Lieberson's "Neruda Songs."
The podcast will be available on his birthday, Monday June 23 by visiting and clicking on the RSS podcast link on the left.
Maestro Levine will begin his 2008 Tanglewood season on July 5. Highlights include Berlioz's Les Troyens in concert with the Boston Symphony Orchestra; Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin in concert with the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra; a fully staged Tanglewood Music Center production of Weill's Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny; a BSO concert of Elliott Carter's music as part of this summer's Festival of Contemporary Music marking the composer's 100th-birthday year, and John Harbison's new Symphony No. 5 with the BSO, as well as BSO performances of works by Bach, Brahms, Haydn, Mahler, Mozart, and Schubert.

ABOUT JAMES LEVINE: James Levine became 14th Music Director and the first American-born conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in the fall of 2004. In addition to his concerts with the BSO at Symphony Hall, at Tanglewood, and on tour, he appears as a collaborative pianist in recitals and chamber music, and leads classes devoted to orchestral repertoire, Lieder, and opera with the Instrumental, Vocal, and Conducting Fellows of the Tanglewood Music Center, the BSO's summer training program for young musicians. His wide-ranging programs balance orchestral, operatic, and choral classics with significant music of the 20th and 21st centuries, including newly commissioned works from such leading American composers as Milton Babbitt, Elliott Carter, John Harbison, Leon Kirchner, Peter Lieberson, Gunther Schuller, and Charles Wuorinen. James Levine is also Music Director of the Metropolitan Opera, where, to date, he has led nearly 2,500 performances- more than any other conductor in the company's history - of 83 different operas, including thirteen company premieres.
Highlights of his forthcoming 2008-09 BSO season include a special Opening Night all-Russian program; Brahms's Ein deutsches Requiem; the world premieres of BSO-commissioned works by Elliott Carter, Leon Kirchner, and Gunther Schuller; concert performances of Verdi's Simon Boccanegra; a selection of Mozart symphonies ranging from early works to the final three; Mahler's Symphony No. 6, and Tchaikovsky's Pathetique Symphony, as well as music of Beethoven, Berlioz, Boulez, Brahms, Messiaen, Schumann, and Stravinsky.

July issue off to the Printers

WEEKEND PICK: Visit the New Baby Animals At Davis' Farmland

There's a Baby Boom At Davis' Farmland. These soft and cuddly babies come in all shapes and sizes. This year's bumper crop is especially adorable. A few of our favorites are highlighted below.
* Baby Alpaca -"Cocoa" was born Sunday, April 27 and her mom's pregnancy lasted almost 1 year.
* Baby Llama-"Llama Bean" was born Tuesday, April 29, and is tallest llama ever born at Davis Farmland measuring in at 4 feet tall.
* Emu Babies- "The Brady Bunch-Greg, Peter, Bobby, Marsha, Jan & Cindy" After sitting on the eggs for a whopping 60 days, dad Ernie is pleased to debut his 6 babies at Davis Farmland.
* Miniature Sicilian Donkey- Born Tuesday, April 29, this is the first donkey born at Farmland in 10 years. After a 13 month long pregnancy, Mom Dora the donkey is proud to display him every day. Name to be determined in contest.
* St Croix Sheep triplets- "Abby Cadabby, Chatty Cathy & Mr. Wiggles" St Croix sheep are the only pure white breed of sheep and unlike other sheep, have hair instead of wool.
* Tunis Sheep Babies-"Paris & Nicole" These large, gentle sheep from Tunisia have an unusual red color.
* Nigerian Dwarf Goat Babies -Kids can walk right in and play with "Flip & Flop," Farmland's newest friendly and cuddly Nigerian Dwarf Goats.

Davis' Farmland is part of a seven-generation family farm, operating in Sterling since 1846. Pet, cuddle & feed North America's largest sanctuary of endangered farm animals in Farmland's Animal Showcase. Explore and play in Imagine-Acres and cool off in Adventure Play & Spray, New England's largest, zero-depth water sprayground. It's hands on family fun! Adults are only admitted into this Children's Discovery Farm with a child 12 years or younger. For more information visit or call 978-422-MOOO (6666). Davis' Farmland is open from now through October.

CONTEST: Win the Soundtrack to Disney Channel's New Movie Camp Rock

Parents, brace yourselves.... if you have tween and teen girls in the house, you may lose the television this weekend to them. The DisneyChannel, you know the people who created the High School Musical phenomenon, is back this weekend with its newest creation -- CAMP ROCK, starring the latest tween and teen sensation the JONAS Brothers.
Camp Rock, which premiere's tonight on the Disney Channel, will premiere on network TV Saturday night on ABC, and have an encore presentation again on Sunday night on cable.
Just like the High School Musical franchise uses songs to tell much of its story, so does Camp Rock, with themes of believe in yourself, express yourself, and be proud of who you are.
Starring platinum-certified Hollywood Records' recording artists the Jonas Brothers (Joe, Kevin, & Nick), and singer-songwriter-actress Demi Lobato, Camp Rock is the story of a talented yet unsure teen who yearns to share her songs with the world and of a tempestuous young superstar who's lost his passion for music and is sent packing by his band mates. Together, at a camp for aspiring young music artists, they learn to believe in themselves and to value the freedom to be who they really want to be.
The movie's soundtrack was released Tuesday on Buena Vista Records.

CONTEST DETAILS: Bay State Parent magazine is giving away 1 copy of the CD to one of its readers (Girls, that means your parents! I'm sure if you keep your room clean, they will give it to you, if they win)
To enter, fill out the magazine survey form at:
Please, select OTHER in the pull down bar and in "Additional Comments" Write CAMP ROCK
The deadline to enter is Sunday, Aug. 3 at 11:59 p.m. EST.
One winner will receive a copy of the CD (which was given to Bay State Parent magazine for review purposes.)
The CD will be mailed to the winner. The winner's name and hometown will be posted here.
Contest is open to residents of Massachusetts ONLY.
Parents, feel free to post reviews of the Camp Rock movie here under comments:

Great Moves! Offering Cooking & Fitness Classes for Kids This Summer

Parents get ready to get your kids ready to start the morning moving to their favorite tune in a high-speed dance-off; jumping and climbing in a race to match the flashing sequence on a wall of colored lights; and working up a sweat as they maneuver obstacle courses, balls, and high-action video games!
And when it's time for lunch, they can try your hands at cooking a healthy and delicious meal in a kid-friendly kitchen. It's all part of the new week-long "Summer Fun at Great Moves!" program that shows kids ages 6 to 9 years old how to live a fun and healthy life.
The program's "goal for this new summer program is to help all kids learn how to make healthy choices that will sustain them throughout their lives, " said Stanley Goldstein, CEO of Great Moves!, which opened its center in Newton in April.
The cooking classes offered by Summer Fun at Great Moves! include daily instruction on nutrition in addition to basic cooking skills. Physical activity is encouraged through high-tech games like Xerdance, Wii and Sports Wall.
"It's important for kids to learn that exercise and healthy eating are not only good habits, but fun habits, " Goldstein said.
The summer sessions for kids take place the weeks of July 7, 14 and 28, & August 4 and 11. Classes will be held in the morning, from 9:30 a.m. to noon.
Great Moves! is a medically supervised weight management program for children ages 6 to 18 years and their families. Great Moves! programs in Massachusetts are operated in collaboration with the physicians of Children's Hospital Boston. The program takes a multidisciplinary approach to weight management that includes physical activity, nutrition and behavioral support. The focus is to help children and their families develop healthy lifestyle habits that can be sustained over the long term. More information about Great Moves! available at, or by calling 617-928-0006

Invest in Your Child's Future With the Student Leadership Training Program

The Student Leadership Training Program is an interactive leadership opportunity for students entering grades 8-12.
The program's purpose is to teach students about leadership, making a difference, and the crucial life skills that are not part of a formal education: goal setting, proactive problem solving, time management, communication, listening, and respect. Each year, the program is home to a variety of secondary school students with a wide range of interests and activities. Students connect with peers from around New England and other states, and have a lot of fun while they are at it! The students routinely praise the program as one of the best experiences they've had, and often keep in touch with friends they make through the program years later.
the program retains a 3:1 student to staff ratio, with a staff composed of highly trained student and adult volunteers.
Established in 1990, the Program has over 6,000 alumni. The program is recognized by colleges and universities throughout the US, and its alumni have gone on to make positive significant differences at several of the country's top institutions.
The Program is operating four sessions of its Leadership Training Conferences this summer:
Session 1: July 8-12
Session 2: July 15-19
Session 3: July 22-26
Session 4: July 29-Aug 2.
Tuition to each is $370, and includes overnight housing, all meals, and all materials costs. The camp is held on the campus of Nichols College in Dudley (just south of Worcester).
The Program is able to maintain its relatively low price because the program is operated entirely by volunteers: all tuition money is used directly and solely to support the program.
Weeks tend to fill up and the program is in demand, so if you are planning on registering, consider doing so quickly to ensure you get the week you want.
For more information, visit or call 1-800-600-PACE or e-mail

WINNER: 2 Tickets to 5th Annual My Little Pony Fair

Congrats to Ann & Allie Lasuskie of North Grafton who won 2 tickets to the 5th Annual My Little Pony Fair in Providence, R.I. this weekend.
As part of the year-long My Little Pony 25th birthday celebration, the 5th Annual My Little Pony Fair is coming to R.I. this weekend - June 21 & 22 at the Rhode Island Convention Center (One Sabon Fair) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The annual gathering celebrating everything My Little Pony, brings collectors, families, fans, and children from all over the world together for a weekend of pony fun! On display will be thousands of collectible ponies, original designs and mementos that have helped make this beloved brand #1 in girls' hearts since 1983, when Hasbro, headquartered in Rhode Island, debuted the toy line.

Besides the ticket contest just announced, Bay State Parent magazine is also offering a toy contest giveaway, thanks to Hasbro.
Readers can enter to win a MY LITTLE PONY PONYVILLE ROLLERSKATE PARTY CAKE (retail value $19,99, for age 4+). 5 winners, drawn randomly, will each win one of the play sets. Winners must pick up their prize at the Bay State Parent magazine main office on Elm Street in Millbury, Massachusetts. (Prizes will NOT be mailed.)
To enter, fill out the survey form at:
Please, select 25th Anniversary of My Little Pony in the pull down bar.The deadline to enter is Sunday, Aug. 3 at 11:59 p.m. EST.
For additional information on the 5th Annual My Little Pony Fair in Providence this weekend, visit

RAIN Comes to North Shore Music Theatre on July 1st

North Shore Music Theatre's summer 2008 Celebrity Concert Series gets off to a scorching start with RAIN – The Beatles Experience on Tuesday, July 1 at 7:30 p.m. Experience what Beatlemania was all about – from Ed Sullivan to Abbey Road! They look like them and they sound just like them! “The next best thing to seeing The Beatles,” raves the Denver Post. All the music and vocals are performed totally live! RAIN covers the Fab Four from the earliest beginnings through the psychedelic late 60s and their long-haired hippie, hard-rocking rooftop days. RAIN is a multi-media, multi-dimensional experience...a fusion of historical footage and hilarious television commercials from the 1960s lights up video screens and live cameras zoom in for close-ups. “An adoring Valentine to The Beatles,” declares the Washington Post. Sing along with your family and friends to such Beatlemaniac favorites as “Let It Be,” “Hey Jude,” “My Guitar Gently Weeps,” “Come Together” and “Can’t Buy Me Love.”
Tickets are $42 & $50. To purchase tickets, visit the Web site at or call the Theatre's Beverly-based box office at 978-232-7200.

About North Shore Music Theatre: Operating since 1955, the Theatre has evolved into the largest non-profit producing theater in New England, with approximately 300,000 patrons annually. The Beverly-based theatre has gained a national and regional reputation for artistic achievement, specifically in the areas of developing new works and providing outstanding theater arts and education programs. The Theatre has received numerous industry awards including The Elliot Norton Award, The Rosetta Le Noire Award from Actors’ Equity, and The Moss Hart Award. NSMT annually produces a six musical subscription series, an acclaimed concert series and award winning student productions. With its celebrated Theatre for Young Audiences program, a school touring program, and year-round classes for children, The Theatre has become one of the region’s leading providers of theater arts and education.

June 23: Usborne Summer Reading Club Kick-off

Usborne Books Summer Reading Club will kick-off on June 23. The club is seeking young readers who want to read, or be read to, this summer to make a difference.
The Usborne Books Reach for the Stars Reading Club is a pledge-based summer reading club.
The goal is to have children, ages 0 – 15, develop and reinforce a regular reading habit. The children earn books for their personal enjoyment and experience the satisfaction of sharing books with children who do not have books available to them.
This year the organizers will match 25 percent of the children’s contributions with a book donation to Community Teamwork’s family shelters in Lowell -- Milly’s Place and Merrimack House.
Chelmsford-area Usborne Independent Consultants and Reading Club Organizers, Edie Gale and Shelly Outwater, agree that “establishing an early love of reading is so important for every child. The club allows children to put their downtime to good use this summer and maintain reading skills they developed during the previous school year. While the children are enjoying their self-selected books, they are also helping less fortunate children in our community. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.”
To include your child (or children) in the Usborne Books Reach for the Stars Summer Reading Club, or for more information, contact Edie Gale at 978-250-3705 or Shelly Outwater at 978-256-2520.
There is no cost to participate or enroll.

New England Center for Children to Name its Aquatic Center After Former Governor Michael S. Dukakis

This morning, the New England Center for Children (NECC®) will honor former Governor Michael S. Dukakis by naming the newly-constructed aquatic center for children with autism on the school’s Southborough campus after him.
NECC will formally open the “Michael S. Dukakis Aquatic Center,” the first building in Massachusetts to be named after the former Governor, with a planned dedication ceremony marking the occasion this morning.
Governor Dukakis and his wife, Kitty, was expected to be in attendance with nearly 200 friends and supporters, including Senator John F. Kerry, Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray, and NECC CEO and Founder Vincent Strully, Jr.
When NECC was founded nearly 33 years ago, Michael Dukakis was serving as the newly-elected Governor. He believed that children with disabilities should not be confined in institutions, but should live in communities. His administration was instrumental during the mid 1980s in assisting NECC during the implementation of its community-based model of education for children with autism. Governor Dukakis’s leadership as Co-chair of the Capital Campaign for the aquatic center is testimony to his unwavering support and belief in the mission of NECC, said a press release issued from the center.


Thursday, June 19, 2008

WEEKEND PICK: Premiere Make Music Cambridge Festival

This Saturday, June 21 from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m., about 100 local bands will take over Harvard Square on the first day of summer as the Cambridge area hosts the first-ever edition of "Make Music Cambridge", a free, outdoors, live-music festival for everyone, including families.
Starting at 1 p.m., musicians will take over the streets of Harvard Square to celebrate the first day of summer with music, from glass harmonica to electronic music. They will create a new urban experience, playing for the enjoyment of the passer-bys and the spectators, who will unplug their headphones and discover new sounds and new people.
Around 100 bands have signed up to perform, covering all styles: rock, Caribbean, blues, r&b, electro, latin, gypsy, folk, world fusion, jazz, a capella singing, and much more. They will play in 16 different spots on and around Harvard Square. The performers will rotate, some playing for half an hour, some for an hour, some for longer.
An information booth will be open throughout the event on Brattle Street at the entrance of Brattle Street.
At 10 p.m., a special outdoor edition of "The French Party" will take place in Winthrop Park, with a DJ coming from France. This great party will bring this year's festival to a close.
Make Music Cambridge is inspired by the "Fête de la Musique" a street-music festival celebrating the beginning of the summer, which started 25 years ago in Paris. The "Fête de la Musique" is now celebrated, under many names, in more than 300 cities in 108 countries, from London to Beijing to Buenos Aires, all on the same day. New York's first edition took place last year. Cambridge can now be a part of this worldwide celebration!
Make Music Cambridge is made possible through a special partnership and the support of the Harvard Square Business Association, as well as the financial support of Marie Landel & Associates, the Cultural Services of the French Consulate in Boston, the International School of Boston (located in Cambridge), Boston Accueil, Boston French Party, and Function Drinks.
The Web site for this event is
Check for updates on the Winthrop Park party.

FIREWORKS MOVED UP TO June 22 in Lancaster!

The fireworks at the Perkins School, located at 971 Main Street in Lancaster, have been changed. They will NOT be held on Sunday, June 29th as published in our June issue.
The new date is Sunday, June 22 at dusk.
For more information, visit
Keep in mind all events in our monthly calendar are accurate at press time but are subject to change.
We do not want your family to be disappointed, so please verify events before attending any event.
--Calendar Editor

Elmo & Friends Help Military Families & Young Children Cope With the Challenges of Multiple Deployments and Combat-Related Injuries

Since the launch on April 29, Sesame Street’s Talk, Listen, Connect: Deployments, Homecomings, Changes has had over 120,000 requests for its kit for families.
Military families can request their free kit at
Sesame Workshop, the non-profit organization behind Sesame Street, launched Talk, Listen, Connect: Deployments, Homecomings, Changes, the second phase of the Workshop’s military outreach program which launched initially in 2006. The initiative provides support and offers significant resources for military families with young children experiencing the effects of deployments, multiple deployments or when a parent returns home changed due to a combat related injury.
The Sesame Foundation developed Talk, Listen, Connect: Deployments, Homecomings, Changes to help military families with young children between the ages of 2-5 build a sense of stability and resiliency during times of separation and change.
Talk, Listen, Connect: Deployments, Homecomings, Changes seeks to:
* Reduce the level of anxiety children may experience during homecomings after multiple deployments
* Help parents with ways to cope with multiple deployments
* Help young children gain an age-appropriate understanding of a parent’s injury by including them and the entire family in the rehabilitation process
* Reassure children that they are loved and secure and that together with their families, they can learn new ways of being there for one another and having hope for the future
“The incredible response and impact Sesame Workshop saw from our initial work with military families and the impact it made, inspired this next phase of Talk, Listen, Connect,” said Gary E. Knell, President and CEO, Sesame Workshop. “With an increasing number of military parents experiencing multiple deployments and a parent coming home injured, more than ever, these families need help navigating the ups-and-downs of these experiences with their children as well as ways to support one another and find resiliency in the face of change. We hope with the help of their friends from Sesame Street they will continue to discover ways they can continue to forge family bonds despite the situations they may encounter.”
According to the Director of the Defense Center of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury U.S., Army Colonel Loree K. Sutton, “This wonderful project by Sesame Workshop demonstrates its long-standing efforts to provide positive development in our children. The Talk, Listen, Connect series is a solid, practical and entertaining learning tool for our military families and will contribute greatly toward psychological health for our troops and their families. What a privilege to work in collaboration with these educational projects that serve those who are serving us.”

The resources consist of a bilingual (English/Spanish) multimedia outreach kit with DVDs for children and adults starring the Muppets from Sesame Street, print materials for children, parents and caregivers and facilitators and American Greeting postcards featuring the beloved Sesame Street characters for parents and children to stay connected. Sesame Workshop will produce and distribute 500,000 kits at no cost to individual families, schools, child care programs, family support programs, hospitals and rehabilitation centers and other organizations serving the needs of military families with the help of Military OneSource, the New York State Office of Mental Health (NYSOMH), the USO (United Service Organizations), the Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC) and other partners. Special emphasis will be made to reach families of the Reserves and National Guard. The kit materials are available online at, where streaming video is being provided by the Department of Defense Military Community and Family Policy Program Support Group, so families everywhere can view the videos and download the information.

About Sesame Workshop: Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization that changed television forever with the legendary Sesame Street. As the single largest informal educator of young children, local Sesame Street programs produced in countries as diverse as South Africa, Bangladesh and India are making a difference in over 120 nations. Using proprietary research to create engaging and enriching content, Sesame Workshop produces programs such as Dragon Tales and Pinky Dinky Doo. In addition, multimedia needs-driven initiatives provide families tools for addressing such issues as children’s health, military deployment and emergency preparedness. As a nonprofit, product proceeds and philanthropic donations support Sesame Workshop’s educational research and creative content for children around the world. Learn more at

Freedom Trail Foundation 18th Century Guides Sport Green Socks in Honor of Celtics 17th Championship!

The Freedom Trail Foundation 18th century costumed guides hit the Trail today with thousands of other Celtics fans to celebrate the historic championship decked out in green socks.
“Green socks are not exactly historically accurate, but they sure are a great way to link two of Boston’s iconic institutions. The Freedom Trail is a vibrant, vital part of America’s heritage and what is excellent about the city of Boston and the Celtics have brought basketball excellence back to this historic city. ” said Mimi LaCamera, president of the Freedom Trail Foundation. “The Players are thrilled to be able to show our support with a little greening of the Trail.”
The Freedom Trail Foundation is currently celebrating 50 Events to Celebrate 50 Years, a year-long, citywide program that celebrates the 50th anniversary of one of the country’s most valued historic treasures – Boston’s Freedom Trail. Major events that are part of this celebration include the first British soldier encampment on Boston Common since 1776 and an international fife & drum pageant.
The 16 Freedom Trail sites, the Freedom Trail Foundation and 20 other city entities are presenting Freedom Trail and American Revolutionary history-related events that mark Boston’s role in America’s founding. Under the leadership of the Freedom Trail Foundation, tourism partners are helping promote the events, which are available at
About the Freedom Trail: The Freedom Trail is made up of 16 distinct, original historic sites related to the establishment of the country. It is a repository of some of the country’s most valuable historic and cultural artifacts. The Freedom Trail Foundation is charged to protect, restore, conserve, and raise public awareness of these sites of exceptional cultural and historic significance. Established in 1958, the Freedom Trail is a national icon and draws domestic and international visitors, resulting in more than $800 million in spending annually. The Freedom Trail was designated as a Millennium Trail in 2000 by First Lady Hilary Clinton. It attracts more than three million tourists, residents of Massachusetts and school children each year.

See the The Jimi Hendrix of the Ukulele Perform on Sunday, June 22

Following last season’s sold out appearance at the Firehouse Center for the Arts in Newburyport, ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro returns for two concerts on Sunday, June 22. The performance times are 7 and 9 p.m.
(UPDATE: The 7 p.m. show is now sold out. 6/20/08 10:30 a.m.)
Renowned for his lightning-fast fingers and revolutionary playing techniques, Jake says the ukulele is an “untapped source of music with unlimited potential.” Apparently, he’s right since his repertoire includes jazz, blues, funk, bluegrass, folk, flamenco, rock and classical genres. And although he mostly tours as a solo act, he’s flexible enough to perform with the Honolulu Symphony from time to time.
Experimenting with various guitar effect pedals, Jake creates sounds never thought possible on his tiny four-string, two-octave instrument. A true showman, his performances captivate audiences with intricate strumming and plucking, electrifying, high-energy grooves and smooth melodic ballads evoking heartfelt emotion. He is often referred to as the “Jimi Hendrix of the ukulele.”
Jake has toured with Jimmy Buffett and Bela Fleck & the Flecktones and has performed with everyone from Diana Krall to Bobby McFerrin to Les Paul.
Electric Guitar Review said it best when they wrote, “If God played the ukulele, it would sound something like this!” Come see for yourself what they mean.
Tickets are available by calling the Firehouse Box Office at 978-462-7336 or online at Admission is $22 for Firehouse members and $25 for non-members

Firehouse is an arts and culture member based organization located on the waterfront in Newburyport, with a 195 seat theater, which offers diverse programming including film, dance, theatre and concerts, children’s series, new works festival and has a gallery which exhibits works by local and international artists. The Firehouse is Handicap Accessible.

Parenting Traumatized Children Conference & Retreat June 26-28th

The Attachment & Trauma Network will host a conference June 26-28 on Parenting Traumatized Children.
The Conference and Retreat will be held at the Franciscan Center in Andover. It is a uniquely peaceful location for parents and professionals to meet and rejuvenate as we learn more about traumatized children. New for this year's conference: "Feelin' Good Friday" - an entire afternoon of sessions on ways to nurture and rejuvenate yourself!
Organizers say it is the "most parent-friendly conference yet, with lodging and meal options within the registration fee."
The conference registration is $425. It is an all-inclusive price (three meals per day from Wednesday evening to Saturday noon.)
For more information call 240-446-9657 or e-mail
The Web site for the event is

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

WEEKEND PICK: Make Plans to Go Strawberry Picking as a Family & try out these Strawberry Recipes afterwards

If the weather holds up, this would be a great weekend to go strawberry picking. The Massachusetts strawberry crop is ready, so plan a trip to a local farm and "pick your own." A list of Massachusetts Pick-Your-Own Strawberry Farms is available on-line at The Massachusetts strawberry season typically lasts from the second week of June through Independence Day weekend.
Massachusetts boasts 267 acres of strawberries on 155 farms, according to the 2002 United States Agricultural Census.
Consider strawberry picking as a family at:
* Belkin Family Lookout Farm in Natick (
* Tougas Family Farm in Northboro (
Both are advertisers of Bay State Parent magazine.
After picking strawberries with your kids, a great family outing or day trip idea; try making one of the three recipes below as a family. The recipes are provided by Sebastians Café and Catering. Established in 1994, the company has developed into a niche sized but diverse food service provider, offering a high quality dining experience to a wide range of clients in the corporate and distinctive catering, retail, and corporate dining arenas in Boston & New York.
Strawberry Frappe - serves 2
Ingredients: 1 cup nonfat yogurt,
1 cup nonfat milk
1 cup (packed) fresh strawberry slices
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups ice cubes
Method: Purée yogurt, milk, strawberries, and vanilla in blender until smooth. Add ice cubes; puree until mixture is thick and smooth. Divide between 2 glasses and serve.

Summer Strawberry and Spinach Salad - serves 6
Salad Ingredients:
12 cups Baby Spinach, washed
½ cup Almonds, sliced and toasted
3 cups Strawberries, washed and quartered
1 ½ cups Bleu Cheese
1 cup Yellow Bell Tomatoes, halved
Dressing Ingredients:
4 oz. Balsamic Vinegar
½ tsp. Dijon Mustard
¼ clove fresh Garlic, minced
1 sprig Thyme, fresh and finely chopped
1 tsp. Granulated Sugar
1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
¼ tsp. Salt and Pepper

Dressing Method: In a 4 quart bowl whisk in vinegar, mustard, garlic, thyme, and sugar. Slowly whisk in oil so that the oil and vinegar emulsifies. Season with 3 pinches salt and 1 pinch of black pepper.
Salad Method: Mix spinach with almonds, blue cheese and portion uniformly into each salad bowl. Add strawberries to salad and garish with bell tomatoes around the rim of salad bowl. Finish salad by drizzling dressing over salad.
Fresh Strawberry and Meyer Lemon Curd Crepe - makes 8 8 Crepes
Crepe Ingredients:
7 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Melted, Cooled, Divided
1 Cup Whole Milk
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
2 Large Eggs
6 Tablespoons Sugar, Divided
Meyer Lemon Curd Ingredients:
½ Cup plus 1 Tablespoon Sugar
3 Tablespoons All Purpose Flour
½ Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Grated Lemon Zest plus ¾ cup of fresh lemon juice
1 Large Egg Yolk
1 Tablespoon unsalted Butter
3 Cups sliced Fresh Strawberries
Confectioners Sugar

Step One: Lemon Curd

Whisk together, sugar, flour, and salt in a sauce pan.
Add lemon juice, whisking until combined.
Bring to boil, whisk constantly, simmer, whisking, until thickened, about 3 minutes
Remove from heat.
Whisk yolk in a small bowl, add a quarter of the lemon juice while whisking. Add remaining lemon juice mixture and boil for 1 minute.
Remove from heat.
Stir in butter and lemon zest.
Transfer to a clean bowl and cover surface with buttered parchment paper
Step Two: Crepes
Reserve 1 tablespoon of butter for skillet
Blend milk, flour, eggs, 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons of butter and ¼ teaspoon salt in blender until smooth. Chilled covered for 30 minutes
Brush non stick skillet with remaining butter and place on stove to medium heat. Pour ¼ cup of batter in pan and tilt to cover entire bottom of the pan. Cook until lightly golden, flip with spatula until just cooked on second side.
Remove to plate, hold warm
Repeat until all batter is utilized.
Step 3: Plating the crepe
Place crepe on 8" plate, spread 2 Tablespoons of Lemon Curd over the crepe, fold over (ensure lightly browned side is on the outside), repeat for remaining portions, spoon strawberries over crepes, dividing evenly. Dust with powdered sugar. Serve immediately.
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Not Just Your Average Joe's Opens in Westborough

Not Your Average Joe’s, the Massachusetts-based restaurant group known for its Creative Casual Cuisine, opened its new Westborough location ysterday. The Westborough restaurant is the 16th in the company’s fast-growing fleet. With the introduction of its distinctive contemporary fare to the area, Not Your Average Joe’s is pleased to bring Westborough residents a dining experience that is anything but average.
“In the thriving community of Westborough, we saw a need for a neighborhood restaurant offering upscale cuisine at affordable prices in a relaxed environment that caters to everyone from families to corporate professionals,” said Stephen Silverstein, Not Your Average Joe’s Founder and CEO. “We are selective about where we open our restaurants and felt that Westborough was an area that could sustain long-term growth.”
Not Your Average Joe’s 5200 square-foot Westborough restaurant is conveniently located on Route 9 West and will feature a combined total of 185 seats in the main dining, bar and outdoor patio areas. It also offers parking for over 175 vehicles, making it not only a delicious dining destination, but also an accessible one.
"Westborough residents looking for a fine dining experience in a relaxed atmosphere will appreciate Not Your Average Joe’s Creative Casual Cuisine concept. It is Creative in that the restaurant group has developed an extensive and innovative menu, which is always made-from-scratch with the finest, freshest ingredients available. It is Casual in atmosphere, because while the food is worth dressing up for, guests should always feel free to come as they are. It is Cuisine in the sense that Not Your Average Joe’s chefs apply the highest culinary standards to everything they create. The resulting neighborhood hotspot features a perfect blend of food, wine and service that is always out of the ordinary. "
While Not Your Average Joe’s is expanding into the Westborough community, its menu has much wider reach. Those looking to sample the restaurant’s bold, fresh flavors should be sure to try Not Your Average Joe’s new, ethnically-inspired menu additions, which debuted this June.
The new dishes, influenced by flavorful cuisines from around the world, include: Not Your Average Hummus and Crab Lettuce Wraps as starters, a Crab Apple Salad, Roasted Italian Sausage and Arugula Orecchiette and Shrimp and Feta Mediterranean pasta dishes, and a Cedar Wrapped Salmon entrée.
Not Your Average Joe’s Executive Chef and VP of Culinary, Chris Bodington, also added two new treats to the restaurant group’s incredibly popular Sweet Petites menu, which offers mini versions of Joe’s legendary desserts. Though Sweet Petites are presented in a flight of four, guests are also welcome to choose one small indulgence. New additions include the Lemon Cheesecake and NYAJ’s Boston Cream Pie.
While Creative Casual Cuisine is Not Your Average Joe’s hallmark, the restaurant group is also known for its support of causes important to the communities it serves. Therefore, it is not surprising that the restaurant group is already making inroads in Westborough.

In celebration of its grand opening in the area, Not Your Average Joe’s has partnered with the Westborough Food Pantry to help restock its shelves. Funds raised at Not Your Average Joe’s grand opening events on June 13 and 14, as well at the preceding friends & family dinners, will be donated to this community institution, run by Westborough residents for Westborough residents.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Not Your Average Joe’s to Westborough and so appreciate their support of our organization,” said Ginny Lindsay, co-chair of the Westborough Food Pantry. “We are thankful that Not Your Average Joe’s not only recognizes the importance of the Food Pantry but is already stepping up to the plate as a new member of our community.”

Not Your Average Joe’s Westborough highlights
· Located at 291 Turnpike Road (Route 9 West), Westborough 01581
· Lunch and dinner served daily starting June 17
· Hours are Monday-Thursday from 11:30 am to 10 pm; Friday-Saturday from 11:30 am to 11:00 pm; and Sunday from noon to 9 pm
· Call 508-986-2350 for reservations
· Car-hop “Joe-To-Go” service allows customers the convenience of curbside deliveries from the company’s extensive take-out menu

About Not Your Average Joe’s: Established in 1994, the 16-location Massachusetts-based restaurant group was founded on the principles of serving creative cuisine in a casual setting at affordable prices. The menu features innovative dishes and comfort foods with a culinary twist along with a varied wine list and specialty drink menus. Founder and CEO Stephen Silverstein runs the business with a guest-obsessed approach, delivering a warm neighborhood restaurant experience.

Editor's Note: Not Just Your Average Joe was one of 80+ resturants featured inside Bay State Parent magazine's 2nd Annual family Dining Guide in the June issue. To check out this family-friendly restaurant chain and some other chains, visit