Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Support for Moms!

In it Together
Support for Moms

Women need other women in the upcoming year more than ever. Family is not always close, grandparents are still working full-time, and neighborhood helping hands are not what they could be. Whether you are looking for breastfeeding advice, a mom’s night out, or some playgroup time, reach out to other women who can make all of the difference in your life (and your child’s) in the new year.

Please help baystateparent make this list grow in 2010. E-mail a helpful support group in your area to

Happy New Year!


Mothers & Company provides a warm and nurturing environment for families to connect with each other and grow together. Feel free to drop-in to breastfeeding support in West Boylston on Mondays from 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
La Leche League of Worcester will meet on Jan. 12 at the Blessed Sacrament Church’s Phelan Center on 551 Pleasant Street in Worcester from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. This group offers information and support to have a better breastfeeding experience. Join in a discussion of breastfeeding myths and facts and receive mother-to-mother support. Babies and children are welcome. Gently used maternity clothes will be on sale for just one dollar per piece. For more information, call 508-735-8616 or visit

Chelmsford Mothers Club helps mothers of children age 5 and under feel supported and connected as they make their journey into motherhood. Members include residents of Chelmsford and surrounding towns, including Lowell, Billerica, Tyngsboro, Dunstable, Tewksbury, Acton, and Westford. Members do not have to reside in Chelmsford; members from all communities welcome. Annual dues are $25. Visit
The MOMS Club® of Millbury is a local chapter of an international support group for stay-at-home parents in the Millbury and Grafton communities. Every month they offer a variety of kid-friendly activities including fieldtrips, playground outings, themed and age-based playgroups, and family fun days as well as mom’s night out. Annual dues are $25 and monthly socials are held on the second Wednesday of the month at 9:30 a.m. Anyone interested in more information can contact Caryn at or Danielle at

The MOMS Club® of Montachusett meets in Ashburnham and welcomes mothers in Gardner, Westminster, Ashburnham, Winchendon and Athol. They provide kids activities, moms social time, refreshments, and so much more. For meeting times, contact 978-334-8789 or

Editor’s Note: To find a MOMS Club® (Moms Offering Moms Support) closest to you, visit

Mothers and More Framingham meets the 2nd Monday and the last Wednesday of each month from 7:30 to 9 p .m. at Whitney Place Assisted Living Residence, Three Vision Drive, Rt. 9 West, Natick. Learn something new, bond with other moms, or just take a break for a few hours. Non-mobile infants welcome. Visit for more info.

WarmLines welcomes first-time mothers to their free New Babies/New Moms group in Newton. Moms will meet on Wednesdays at 225 Nevada Street from 1 – 2:30. Meetings are free, but moms must pre-register for this six-week session at 617-244-4636 or

Mothers and More Assabet Valley offers snacks, conversation, and meeting topics at Whitney Place, 238 West Main Street in Northborough. Meetings are held the 2nd Thursday of each month from 7 – 9 p.m. Non-mobile infants welcome. Visit
Mothers & Company provides a warm and nurturing environment for families to connect with each other and grow together. Feel free to drop-in to their New Moms Group in West Boylston on Mondays from 12 – 1:15 p.m., Tuesdays, 11:30 a.m. – 12 :15 p.m., and Fridays, 1 – 2:15 P.M. Your first visit is free.

This ongoing cancer support group provides an opportunity for men and women of all ages and with all types of cancers to gather together and offer one another support. The group will meet monthly to discuss common issues, experiences, and resources. This is a one-hour support group facilitated by a licensed social worker. Meets the first Tuesday of each month, beginning February 2, 2010; 4-5 p.m., in the Donaldson Conference Room at Emerson Hospital, Concord.
Contact Brianne Carter, LCSW, at 978-287-3189 with any questions and/or to register.

The Newton Mothers' Forum regularly meets at the Longwood Cricket Club on 564 Hammond Street in Chestnut Hill for dinner and speakers. Dinner and the speaker are free for members, $30 for non-members. Contact: Rebecca at 617-332-3632 or Cindy at

Women’s Club Swans is a social club and networking group for women.
The group will meet on March 18 at McGoverns on the Water, 310 Shove St., Fall River from 6 - 9 p.m. Swans is open to all women interested in an evening of fun and inspiration and connecting with other women. Good for moms who need a night out as this is a great opportunity to connect with other women! Enjoy dinner and an inspiring speaker, Joanie Winberg, who will share "5 Tips on How to Enjoy a Happy Relationship and Keep it That Way.” Fee is $30 for non-members (includes dinner). Contact 401-694-1284, or

This weekly, on-going support group is for parents of children with emotional needs. It meets on Thursdays at Y.O.U. Inc. on 205 School St. in Gardner at 6:30 p.m. Visit or contact Kathy Hamelin at 978-630-4918 x 38 or for information.
Y.O.U. Inc’s Worcester branch is located on 81 Plantation St. in Worcester, and meets on Tuesdays from 12-1:15 p.m. Groups are in Spanish and English. There is no fee. 508-849-5600 x 260. Ask for Francine.

Parenting A Challenging Child is a new group facilitated by Parenting Solutions of6 Colonial Drive in Westborough. The group will meet on January 26 from 6 - 7:30 pm
This ongoing monthly group provides support and strategies for parenting children with the more difficult temperaments. Cost to attend is $30 per person and $45 for a parenting couple.
508-366-7557 or

The Holistic Moms Network Boston/North Shore Chapter meets regularly at 1005 Osgood Street in North Andover. Meeting begin at 7 p.m.The Holistic Moms Network is a non-profit support and discussion network for moms with an interest in natural/holistic and alternative health and parenting. For more information contact:
or visit

The Children's Alopecia Project Support Group was incorporated as the only non-profit devoted specifically to children living with alopecia. Their goal is to generate awareness of the disease, build self-esteem via support group participation for children, and provide support to the CAP kids and their friends and family. Meetings are held bi-monthly at the Newton Wellesley Hospital. The next meeting is Sat., Jan. 9 from 2 – 4 p.m. For more information, visit or contact Cindy at

A new support group for divorcing and divorced parents will be held on the 2nd Thursday of the month from 6 - 7:30 p.m. at 6 Colonial Drive in Westborough. Sessions are $30 each and led by Sylvia Sirignano, Ph.D., a developmental psychologist and divorce mediator.
To register, contact 508-366-7557 or visit

We are all in this together! Show your support for another mom in the new year by emailing us a helpful moms’ organization in your area:

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Winners to the January 31st Worcester Sharks Game!

Congratulations to the following readers who won family four-packs to the
Worcester Sharks' Jan. 31st game featuring Twilight werewolf, Chaske Spencer!

David Mc Barron of Auburn


Michele Murch of Hubbardston

Friday, December 18, 2009

Lee Jeans Slender Secret Jeans

Some of the winners of baystateparent's LEE Slender Secret jeans giveaway are:

Michelle Trudeau of Webster
Shelly Fietz of Fitchburg
Veronica Gold of Worcester
Tracy Poplawski, Webster

baystateparent gave away 20 pairs of LEE jeans in all.
Congratulations ladies!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Appetizer Ideas for Holiday Parties

Struggling with what to bring to your holiday parties? Here are two very easy appetizers that you might want to consider. If you are really short on time and energy, what always seems to be a hit, is a pretty platter of store-bought chocolate-covered pretzels (Trader Jo's is great!). Do you have any ideas for easy appetizers? Comment here.

Hot Buffalo Chicken Dip

Cook and cool 2 chicken breasts (or more). Shred the chicken into pieces.

Mix 1 cup of Frank's hot sauce
1/2 cup of Marie's Blue Cheese dressing (found in the lettuce section)
1 brick of cream cheese
Mix 2 cups of cheddar jack cheese (shredded) and shredded chicken together

Put in an oven-safe dish for 20 minutes at 250
Serve with tortilla chips

Granny Smith Apple Dip

Spread a block of cream cheese onto a serving platter.
Warm a tub of T. Marzetti carmel apple dip (found in produce section) until warm.
Drizzle and spread on the cream cheese.
Sprinkle granola on top.
Cut up granny smith apples and place around the edges for dipping!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Old Sturbridge Village: Twelve Nights of Christmas

Bonnie Mousseau won two free tickets (worth $28/both) for Old Sturbridge Village's "Twelve Nights of Christmas" Dec. 17 - 20 from 4 - 9 p.m.
Join our facebook page if you'd like to stay updated on freebies (posted several times per week). Just search " baystateparent Magazine."

Hotel for Dogs and Monster Vs. Aliens

Congrats to the latest DVD winners. Pick up every issue of baystateparent because
we give away the latest DVDs....

Hotel for Dogs DVD:

Austion Comeras, Natick
Brett Dickhaut, Oxford
Amanda Kasper, Ashby

Monsters vs. Aliens DVD:

Maria Martin, Waltham
Tristan Ohler, Acton
Exodus Gonzalez, Worcester
Bella Kristina Calnana, Whitinsville

Friday, December 11, 2009

First Concerts that will Rock their World: Great Shows in Central Mass

Sat., Jan. 9

Girl Authority in Concert. West Boylston Middle/High School, 125 Crescent St., West Boylston. 3:30 p.m.
Pop songs and dancing by a talented 9-girl singing group. All girls are from Massachusetts. A great first concert for girls of all ages! $12 per person. Seating is general admission. For advance ticket information, visit
Snow date: Sun., Jan. 10 at 3:30 p.m.

Fri., Jan. 29

Michael and Marisa in Concert. West Boylston Middle/High School, 125 Crescent St., West Boylston.
6:30 p.m. Massachusetts brother and sister music duo performing classic rock, pop and original songs. A great first concert for all ages! $12 per person. Seating is general admission. For advance ticket info:
Snow date: Sat., Jan. 30, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Good to Know:
* Take $2 off each ticket if you attend both shows.
* Shows are open to families in all communities.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Live Nativity December 5th in Hopkinton

Community Covenant Church of Hopkinton will host their annual Live Nativity Saturday night, December 5th from 5:00 – 7:00 PM. The church is located on the corner of West Elm and South Streets. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.

The Live Nativity features volunteers playing the roles of the holy family, wise men, shepherds, and angels. Sheep, goats, donkeys, horses, and rabbits will be grazing nearby, and children will be singing carols intermittently throughout the event. Complimentary cocoa, coffee, and cookies will be offered in the fellowship hall.

A collection for “Project Just Because” will occur that evening as well. Donations of canned food items, winter hats, scarves, mittens, and jackets may be placed in the wooden sleigh in the church’s yard. All donations will benefit the need for food and warm clothing as winter approaches.

Please come experience the true meaning of Christmas. For more information, please visit our church web site at, or call the church office at 508/435-3723.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Holiday Spectacular at Union Station in Worcester on Sun., December 6th

Visit for more information

Event Details:
stART at the Station 2009
Sunday December 6 from 12pm – 5pm
Union Station, 2 Washington Square, Worcester, MA
Free Admission, parking available in the Union Station Garage

The organizers of stART on the Street announce their annual holiday spectacular at Union Station in Worcester!

Coming off the wildly successful stART on the Street festival this past September that drew close to 30,000 attendees to Park Avenue, the organizers are excited to host the 3rd Annual stART at the Station event. With over 120 local artists and crafters selling their handmade items, this show proves to be one-stop shopping for everyone’s holiday gift-giving needs!

Because of the successful festival a few months ago the number of applicants for the holiday event jumped by 25%, forcing organizers to seek out additional space in Union Station to host as many artists as possible. Co-director Tina Zlody explains, ”we had so many exceptional artists and crafters apply that we wanted to see how we could expand to accommodate them. We really wanted to stay in Union Station as it is sometimes the only reason all year people visit this building. And we are excited to have Luciano’s restaurant open for food and drinks during our event.”

Co-Director Sarah Brueck adds, “We hope by visiting Union Station for our event, attendees realize what an amazing space it is and how proud we are to be able to utilize it for our event.”

They have teamed with The Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission in utilizing their space on the 2nd floor overlooking the Great Hall to host an additional 40 vendors that might have otherwise been turned down for the event. Handicapped accessibility to the 2nd floor will be made possible by elevator.

stART on the Street will be selling their 2009 T-shirts as well as signature lime green shopping bags and other items as fundraisers for the group’s future events, including a new event tentatively scheduled for Spring 2010.

For additional information and participating artist listing, visit

Holiday Tea in Shirley, MA Sat., December 5th

Celebrate the season at the Friends of the Library’s annual Holiday Tea on December 5, from 12:30-2p.m. at the Hazen Memorial Library, 3 Keady Way in Shirley.

Relax, sip and nibble at this year’s festive event, as an assortment of tea, dessert and beautiful music from the Trio Cordefiato await you. This flute, clarinet, and guitar trio will offer up sounds of the holiday through classical and festive music.

Also on hand will be Shirley photographer Robin Terhune, who will capture your candid moments throughout the event, with photos available for purchase from her website.

Support your local library through this fun, family event, connect with friends and neighbors and enjoy the season through the sharing of tea and goodies – all the while being serenaded by a talented trio of musicians. A perfect start to your holiday season.

Event is free and open to all ages thanks to the generosity of the Library’s Friends group. Photos available for purchase through the photographer. Festive attire welcomed! The Hazen Memorial Library is located at 3 Keady Way, Shirley. Please call to reserve your seat at 978-425-2620. For more info visit

Recent baystateparent Prize Winners!

KidsBop Christmas CD:
Heather Roberts, Dudley

(Heather won off of our Facebook page!)

Mommies who Shop event tickets:

Renee Earnest
Valerie McSorley
Aislinn Weaver

Leapfrog DVDS:
Kris Clarke, Holden
Julius Guillen, Marlborough
Tiffany Mcnamara, Ayer
Tara Huard, Auburn

Care Bear DVD and Toy:
Melissa Evans, Northbridge

Upcoming and Ongoing Fun Stuff in December!!!

Fun Stuff

Good as Gold. The Eric Carle Museum Picture Book Art, Amherst. Dec. 2 – Jan. 6. (Tues. –Fri. 10–4; Sat. 10–5; Sun. 12–5). Celebrate 65 years of Golden Books by constructing a shimmering assemblage of marvelous materials. A $9, C (1-18), under 1, free and family $22.50. 413-658-1110,

FREE Winterlights Festival. Shops at Prudential Center, 800 Boylston St., Boston. 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. daily through Dec. 31. festive holiday entertainment and activities each weekend! For a full listing of activities, contact 617-236-3100,

Harry Potter: The Exhibition. Museum of Science, Boston. Peer into the wizard’s world in a new exhibit featuring more than 200 authentic props and costumes from the Harry Potter films, all displayed in settings inspired by the film sets -- including the Great Hall, Hagrid’s hut and the Gryffindor™ common room. View iconic film artifacts such as Harry’s glasses, the Marauder’s Map, and Hermione’s Yule Ball gown, and pause to pull a screeching Mandrake from its pot or try your hand at tossing a “Quaffle.”A $6 PP, C (3-11) $23. 617-723-2500,

Celebrating the Season: Icons of Saint Nicholas. Museum of Russian Icons, 203 Union St., Clinton. Through Jan. 9. Did you know Museum of Russian Icons Founder, Mr. Gordon B. Lankton began his collection with a Saint Nicholas icon? Saint Nicholas icons form the foundation of the Museum’s collection which contains a variety of images portraying this beloved patron saint of the poor and oppressed. A$5, C (16 and under), free. 978-598-5000 x17,

Family Trees: A Celebration of Children’s Literature. Concord Museum, Cambridge Turnpike at Lexington Rd., Concord. Dec. 4 - Jan. 3. The Museum is filled with fanciful trees of all shapes and sizes decorated with inspiration from acclaimed children’s storybooks and contemporary picture book favorites. Proceeds from Family Trees, organized by the Museum’s Guild of Volunteers, benefit the Concord Museum’s educational mission. A $15, C $6. 978-369-9763,

Art Classes at Rollstone Studios: SunPrints. 633 Main St., Fitchburg. December 5, 12, and 19. 12:30 - 2:30 p.m. Sunprints: Artists will create blueprints integrating found objects and negatives created on the computer. Bring some of your favorite family photographs to the workshop to use in creating unique artwork suitable for holiday giving. All artists materials will be supplied, Open to children ages 8-14. $15 Registration required. 978-348-ART1,

Breakfast With Santa. Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration, Mystic, CT. December 5, 6, 12, 13, 19-22. 8 a.m. – Noon. Gather the family for a morning of festive activities, games, a full breakfast buffet by Ocean Blue Catering and visit with Santa inside the aquarium. Professional photographers will be available for photos with Santa at an additional cost. Activities are geared toward children age 10 and under. $12 PP. 860-572-5955 x520, Also check out Munchkin Morning on Fri. Dec. 4th.

FREE FOR MOMS New Babies/New Moms group. WarmLines, 225 Nevada St., Newton. 1 - 2:30 p.m. First-time mothers are invited to begin the New Year at Warmlines with a free New Babies/New Moms group. Pre-register now and begin a six-week session on Wed., Jan. 6 from 1-2:30p.m. 617-244-4636,

Mechanical Menagerie. Providence Children’s Museum Providence, RI. Through Jan. 31. See a collection of incredible creatures fashioned from recycled electronics and other repurposed junk – including antelopes, birds, bugs, frogs, a jellyfish and more – plus have a chance to concoct some curious critters of your own. $7.50 PP, under 12 months, free. 401- 273-5437,

Best of the Art & Nature Center. Peabody Essex Museum, Salem. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Dec. 19 – Jan. 3. Stop by the Art Studios to play your favorite Art & Nature Center games and try others you may have missed in the past. Discover what these games reveal about nature and the connections between people and the environment. A $15, C 16 and under, free. 978-745-9500,

Bright Nights. Forest Park, Springfield. Wed. to Sun., through December 6 and nightly, Dec. 9 through January 2.SaFor the holiday season, over 600,000 lights illuminate a two and a half mile drive-through tour through the magnificent displays including “Seuss Land,” a one-of-a-kind display approved by the estate of Dr. Seuss. $15 per vehicle; Fri. to Sun. and Holidays, $18 per vehicle.

Children’s Tea with Santa at Gore Place. 52 Gore St., Waltham. Dec. 5, 12, and 19. 10:30 a.m. Children and their accompanying adults will be served a 3-tiered tea featuring a special children’s menu. Children will then participate in a holiday activity and everyone will enjoy a visit from Santa. Seating is communal at tables of 6 to 8 people. Admission for the Children’s Tea with Santa is $30 per person. Reserve early. $30 PP. Reservations required. 781-894-2798,

FOR MOMS Exhibition: Bound by Fashion. Worcester Art Museum, Worcester. Through Dec. 31. 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. What lengths will some people go to be fashionable? This exhibit examines 13 European paintings between the 16th and 20th century that feature the corset and investigates the psychological and physiological effects that it had on women. Thousands of women worked at the Royal Worcester Corset Company between 1861 and 1949, the largest corset manufacturer in the world, and the largest female employer in the country. A $20, C under 17, free. 508- 799-4406,

FREE Film Showing - Consuming Kids: The Commercialization of Childhood. Worcester Public Library, 3 Salem Square. Tues., Dec. 8. 6 p.m. A riveting, eye-opening documentary that takes a powerful look at how corporations ruthlessly target children and the surprising impact of that marketing. This is a must-see film for every parent and anyone with children in their lives. 508-755-3645,, or

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Dec. Holiday Events 2009 in Berlin and Lowell

We received these listings after we went to press with our December issue.
Plan your calendars:

Saturday, November 28, 2009

FREE Lowell City of Lights Parade and Holiday Art Stroll

Jackson Street to Lowell City Hall
Lowell, MA
12 - 8 p.m.
On Saturday, November 28 at 4:30 p.m., the parade will once again commence from Jackson Street and end at City Hall, where along with the traditional lighting of the J.F. K. Plaza and the Wannalancit smoke stack Christmas trees will be the illumination of the “Winterfest 2009”countdown clock and debut of new lighting elements. Building on this year’s filming in Lowell of the Paramount Pictures film “The Fighter,” our Parade Grand Marshall will be legendary Lowell fighter, Micky Ward.

The Holiday Art Stroll will expand from 12 noon-4pm this year. Visitors will enjoy music and holiday treats at partnering restaurants and cafes as well as arts & crafts shopping at several Downtown galleries and studios.

978.446.7162 and

Flute Choir Concert of Holiday Music

Friday, December 4 at 8:00 pm
This special holiday music concert by Harmonie Transverse will take place at Berlin's 1870 Town Hall and is free; however a free will offering will be taken to benefit Berlin's First Parish Church. Harmonie Transverse was formed in 2002 with 12 flutists who had performed with the New England Conservatory’s Metropolitan Flute Orchestra. The group is part of the Artist in Residence program at Wachusett Regional High School and consists of performers, teachers, parents, and artists. Berlin resident Serge Paul-Emile is a member. The ensemble includes piccolo, C Flute, G Alto Flute, and Bass Flute; which gives an excellent range for Flute Choir music.

Christmas in Berlin

Saturday, December 5
Many events will be happening at Berlin's 1870 Town Hall including holiday music by our talented music students, lunch in Barnes Hall, a winter musical show, a gingerbread house contest, Santa and a lively contra dance to end the day.


Easy, Chicken Dinner Idea

You probably have all of these ingredients except the secret good!

Our creative director, Paula Monette Ethier, gave me this recipe. Loved it!

Italian Spinach and Chicken

2 skinless boneless chicken breasts
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. chopped shallots
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 (3.5 oz) pkg. sliced pepperoni
2 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained, or 8 cups
packed fresh spinach leaves
2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil (or use dried)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (optional)
2 cups hot cooked white rice
1 tbs olive oil

1. In large skillet, cook chicken, garlic and shallots in 1 tablespoon hot oil over medium heat 5 minutes
or until chicken is no longer pink.

2. Stir in tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, and pepperoni. Simmer, covered 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Add spinach and simmer, covered. 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese, if desired.

Serve over rice.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Yankees Win the World Series: Our Publisher Reflects

So it’s the morning after the Yankees win their first World Series since 2000 and I literally stumble across this column while searching for something else deep in my computer. Ironic? Coincidental? Well, it made me smile and reflect how fast this Dad thing is flying by. To update you, he’s now 14. And he’s seen not one, but two World Series championships for the Red Sox, which seemed incomprehensible at the time I wrote this original column. We actually saw Game 1 of the 2007 Series together and I don’t mind admitting that I got a little choked up around the National Anthem. I put my arm around him and told him it was one of the highlights of my life being there with him. Oh crap… I just got emotional again typing that line, and I’m here at work. Anyway, he’s done it again to me. He plays quarterback on his football team and it’s caused me to completely re-examine how I watch football, and given me a whole new perspective on the challenge of that position. I love football again. And I love being a Dad.

(Here’s the column from our October 2004 issue):

Fathers and sons share many unique experiences.

In the autumn of 2004, like the autumn of 2003, Ryan and I will share “The Red Sox In The Playoffs.” I’m not sure if this is entirely good.

Already once this year he has walked out of our family room shaking his head and muttering, “I don’t know how you do it Dad.” He’s 9.

Last year there was the assigned seats (mom was upstairs), the jerseys, and the ritual rubbing of his head during key moments. He’s sure to go bald early.

He witnessed his father go from beer to scotch to chocolate milk during Game 6 with the Yankees.

During one giddy moment I think we even agreed that his middle name was going to be legally changed to “Varitek” once the Sox clinched the Series. It’s still Duggan.

And that of course is the bitter, bitter, bittersweet taste left by Red Sox fever.

I honestly worry about the scarring on his young heart. Should a third-grader really have to know about death, taxes and the Yankees?

I was asked how he took the Nomar trade, and I felt a chill as I heard myself explain how he “took it like a man.” But he was real practical about it. I think he was bracing for October.

So here we go again. A nine-year-old boy stares down an 86-year-old curse. And you know what? I can’t wait. It’s so much more fun taking the ride with him. We all need the optimism, the passion, and the blind faith of youth at times. My courage is up, thanks to Ryan. And I think he knows it. On his way to a sleepover at John’s house during the Yankees series last week, he said he was sorry he wouldn’t be home to watch it with me. Better yet, John is a Yankee fan! But Ryan grabbed his sleeping bag and wide smile and bounded out the door.

He won’t even consider putting a hand over his eyes these next few weeks. Again I’ll learn from him.

I can’t guarantee he won’t learn any new words from Dad, but, boy are we going to celebrate when they win it!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Disney's Tiffany Thornton: November 14 at the Worcester Sharks

Tiffany Thornton can't wait to meet her Massachusetts' fans!

On Sat. Nov. 14, there will be a celebrity signing and appearance by Tiffany Thornton
from the Disney Channel's "Sonny with a Chance" at the Worcester Sharks Hockey Game!

Visit the Sharks' Web site to find out how you can meet Tiffany in person and get your own photo and autograph with her:

baystateparent recently chatted with Tiffany about her upcoming visit to Massachusetts. She was down-to-earth, sweet,articulate, and so adorable.

Tiffany Thornton, age 23, of Texas plays 15ish-year-old beauty queen, Tawni Hart, on the hit Disney show, Sonny with a Chance, with singer/actress, Demi Lovato. She tells us that she has already bought her winter coat to come to Massachusetts!

Parents don't always get a chance to watch TV with their kids. What can you tell parents about your character on "Sonny with a Chance?"
The good thing about the show is that Tawni is not a hateful person. She feels threatened by Sonny's character and likes to be the center of attention. As the episodes go, we see more sides of her. In one show that we just taped, we see how she was hurt by her mother. It's nice that the writers are including that side of her more. The wall is coming down more between Sonny and Tawni. Also Tawni doesn't have a filter; she says what she wants to say. That's unlike me.

We are acting. It's an exaggeration of a personality.

You are 23, but you play a young teen on the show:
That's what acting is all about. It's about pretending. Demi turned 17, and she keeps me young.

What do your fans usually want to know about you? A lot of them want me to say hello to Demi. So many little girls come up to me and say 'Check it Out' and 'Big Hit.' I love kids, and I love meet and greets. It makes it more personable. They can tell that Tawni is just a character when they meet me.

Since you have a strong fan-base of tweens, what can you tell them about how teen life is portrayed on the show compared to how teen life really is?
The most important thing is that we are playing on TV. We are taking one trait and expanding it for entertainment purposes. It's a different world. Sonny is about people on a TV show. That is a whole different role. We are playing like kids would be playing house.

Can you comment about how your character values appearance so much on the show? What can you tell a young girl who is watching every move you make on the show and comparing herself to you? We are fortunate to work for Disney. We don't wear things that are revealing, but we are fashion forward, and Tawni wears a lot of colors. We wear more jewelery on the show than in real life because we want it to pop. Self-confidence is what is really important through getting involved in school and church and surrounding yourself with people who make you feel good.

What were your preteen and teen years like?

When I grew up, we didn't have "money." I had a normal run in my teenage years. I was a cheerleader in my high school in Texas. I had a bunch of friends. I was blessed. I was raised by my grandparents for half of my life. Grandparents love to spoil their grandchildren, and I got to live with them in junior high and high school. I was involved with singing in my church. I have a passion for singing. It's important for kids to find that.

What shows did you watch as a teen?
I loved shows like the Food Network because I try to learn new recipes. Also When "Shark Week" comes out, watch out! I also used to watch Friends.

Have you ever visited Massachusetts before? What did you think? I have never been to Boston or Massachusetts. I am really excited to go there. I will be at the Macy's Parade in New York City with Kermit the Frog on Thanksgiving. Then I will be in Boston for the Tree Lighting with Kermit, the day after Thanksgiving. We are singing "I Believe In Santa Claus" in the parade and at the tree lighting in Boston.

Will you have time to sight-see when you come to Massachusetts in a few weeks?
We start the second season of Sunny on Nov. 9th, and then I go on a Red Eye to Boston and do a Meet and Greet at the Sharks. I leave after that and go right back to LA. I am on Red Eyes a lot in November. I won't be sleeping much except on planes.

What are your future plans?
Eventually I hope that Sonny makes a movie...wherever God takes me. I have prayed a lot about my career and where it's going. I am hoping Sonny will go as long as it can. I feel comfortable and safe with this company, with Disney.

Mary Poppins Event: Nov. 27 and 28th


Five Shows Only!
Fri Nov 27, 2:00pm; Sat Nov 28, 10:30am, 2:00pm, & 7:00pm; and Sun Nov 29, 2:00pm
General Admission Tickets: $12.50 Adults; $10.00 Children Under 12; $9.00 for groups of 10 or more.

SING-A-LONG MARY POPPINS Exclusive Return Engagement--A Thanksgiving Weekend Regent Tradition!

SING-A-LONG with on-screen lyrics!
PLAY-A-LONG with your supercalifragilistic bag of props.
MARCH-A-LONG in the onstage costume parade in your Mary Poppins inspired costume.

Sing-A-Long Mary Poppins invites audiences of all ages to step in time with Mary, Bert and the gang. For this special engagement, a restored 35mm print of the classic 1964 film has been customized with on-screen lyrics so that audiences can join in the fun by singing along. A movie host will introduce the film and lead the crowd through audience participation activities and demonstrate the use of the complimentary bag of interactive props. To complete the Sing-A-Long Mary Poppins experience, audience members are encouraged to dress as their favorite Mary Poppins character – or in a costume inspired by the movie. The Movie Host will invite everyone in costume to march on stage in the costume parade.

In addition, audiences are encouraged to sing along with some of the best-known and most beloved songs in motion picture history.Adapted from PL Travers' 1934 novel, Mary Poppins premiered in August 1964. "Practically perfect in every way," it earned 13 Academy Award nominations and became Disney's biggest box office success to date. Julie Andrews made Mary Poppins her film debut and nabbed the Oscar, beating out Audrey Hepburn for Best Actress. After 45 years, Mary Poppins continues to pull lasting magic from its cinematic carpet bag of tricks, while reminding new generations how a simple gift of kindness costs merely tuppence.

Sing-A-Long Mary Poppins allows audiences to celebrate the golden age of movies by enjoying this Oscar®-winning film in the fashion in which it was meant to be seen – a grand theatrical setting, fully restored, with a state of the art sound system.

"One of the best evenings of my life." - Marlene Speiler, San Francisco Chronicle

Sent by Leland Stein: 617-694-6612 (Film Stills Available Upon Request)


Thursday, October 29, 2009

FREE HINI talk on Thurs., Nov. 5 in Hopkinton

Press Release

Mothers & More

Central Mass/495 Chapter

Contact: Marguerite Paolino, 508-435-8167

For Immediate Release

Learn how to keep your family healthy all winter

HOPKINTON -- Nervous about H1N1? Wondering about the pros and cons of vaccination? Just want to figure out how to keep sick days to a minimum this winter?

Local pediatrician Sharon Burdulis has plenty of tips for preventing children from getting sick during this cold and flu season -- and for managing the situation when they do. She will talk about seasonal flu, H1N1, and other topics during the next meeting of the Central 495 Area Chapter of Mothers & More, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of mothers through support, education and advocacy.

As a mother of five who has been practicing medicine for 11 years, Dr. Burdulis has a unique perspective to share in terms of keeping kids healthy and preventing disease.

All area moms are welcome to attend this Mothers & More discussion on Thursday, Nov. 5, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Community Covenant Church, 2 West Elm Street in Hopkinton. This event is free, and no RSVP is necessary.

For more information, email


Calendar listing

Mothers & More

Central Mass/495 Chapter

Contact: Marguerite Paolino, 508-435-8167

Thursday, Nov. 5, 7 to 9 p.m. Pediatrician Sharon Burdulis discusses children’s health and seasonal illnesses. Sponsored by Mothers & More (Central 495 Area Chapter) at 2 West Elm Street, Hopkinton (meeting room at Community Covenant Church). For more information, email

Open House for Boys with Autsim, ADD, and ADHD

Just in from baystateparent's advertister at New Horizon Karate. Sounds great for boys with Autism, ADD, ADHD and more....

Cub Scout Pack - Boy Scout Troop - Venturing Crew

for boys with Autism, ADD, ADHD

Open House Nov. 21 at 4:00 PM
New Horizon Karate in West Boylston, Ma

New Horizon Karate in West Boylston will be the home for a new Cub Scout Pack, Boy Scout Troop, and a new Venturing Crew. The Scouting Programs have always been a way to help boys to grow up and develop into confident and strong young men with great values. These new programs are designed for boys with Autism, ADD, ADHD and other non verbal learning disabilities. These meetings will be held at New Horizon Karate in West Boylston with a staff experienced in helping these children gain confidence, social skills, earn badges, and be involved in a great program. Scouting offers personal development in achieving rank and badges as well as social development and team work. Remember a Boy Scout will always be Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.

Cub Scout Pack forming for boys ages 7 - 10 or 1st to 5th Grade. This program will meet the special needs and concerns of children in this group. Parents and leaders are needed to help. Any parent who was ever a Cub Scout, Boy Scout or a member of a Venturing Crew can help and make a difference. Parents, if you were not a scout, now is the time to get involved.

Boy Scout Troop forming for boys ages 11 to 17 or 6th to 10th Grade. This program will help boys in the tough teen years. This group will be more active with hiking and camping. Parents and leaders are needed to help. Any parent who was ever a Cub Scout, Boy Scout or a member of a Venturing Crew can help and make a difference. Parents, if you were not a scout, now is the time to get involved.

Venturing Crew forming for teens and young men ages 14 to 20 or 9th Grade to 2nd year of college. Venturing helps guide a teen to independence. The Venturing Crew runs all aspect of the program with adult guidance and support. Crew members will be in charge of setting up, running, and cleaning up. They will keep track of financial records, planning meetings and events and running meetings and events with adult guidance and supervision. Parents and leaders are needed to help. This will help the teens learn to be in charge organize and get things done. Personal responsibility and group responsibility are both stresses.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Adults and Children in Organized Youth Sports, Who Wins, Who Loses? Thurs. Nov. 12

For Immediate Release



Thursday, November 12, 2009 at the Worcester JCC ( 5:30 pm, Coaches Clinic for Coaches of grades 4 – 8) and (7:30 pm, Parent Lecture Discussion)

Bob Bigelow will be speaking at the Worcester JCC Thursday, November 12, on the very timely subject of age-appropriate youth basketball coaching and adult involvement in organized youth sports. This forum is sponsored by the Worcester JCC and District Attorney, Joseph D. Early.

Bob Bigelow is one of the foremost lecturers in the country regarding the needs of children in youth sports, and using common-sense approaches to meet those needs.

Bob is a former NBA first round draft choice and four-year player. He played collegiately at the University of Pennsylvania for Hall of Fame Coach Chuck Daly. He has devoted several thousand hours researching and lecturing about organized youth sports and its effects on children - and adults. Since 1993, he has conducted over 800 talks throughout the country.

This talk is educational, challenging, motivational and humorous. “The best talk I’ve heard on any subject,” said one listener.

“I recommend to anyone who deals with the youth of America to spend one hour with Bob Bigelow,” said another. You are guaranteed to leave with a better understanding of what children really want and need from their sports activities.

Bob has also written a book, Just Let the Kids Play (Health Communications, Inc.), that describes organized youth sports’ major systemic problems and offers many reforms for better changes. This book is being distributed throughout North America .

Bob’s mission to put the youth back into youth sports has received widespread media attention - Sports Illustrated, the Boston Globe, the New York Times, WEEI-AM Radio (Boston), the Philadelphia Inquirer, New England Sports Network (NESN), WFAN-AM Radio (New York City), and Toronto Sun.

As an adult involved in youth sports, ask yourself two questions; “Why do my kids play?” and “What are my motivations for being involved, or not?” Whether you are satisfied or uncomfortable with your answers, please attend this thought-provoking forum. It delivers the crucial message that adults involved in your sports must hear.

These programs are FREE and OPEN TO THE COMMUNITY. Please register for Coaches Clinic with Bob Berman.

Please call Bob Berman, Health & Physical Education Director, JCC, 508-756-7109 x 233, for further information.

Monday, October 26, 2009

FREE Nov. 5 Workshop on Child's Sleep Problems in Concord

Concerned about your child's sleep?• snoring• bed wetting• school performance and sleep• hyperactivity• daytime sleepines. Register for a free Nov. 5 workshop with a sleep specialist, 6:30– 8:30pm at Emerson Hospital, Concord. 800.432.8808

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

5th Annual Holiday Craft Fair at Mulready School in Hudson

Over 30 talented crafters will display their unique products, offering jewelry,painted glass, woodwork, and many one-of-a-kind crafts to get for of all your family and friends this Holiday season. The event runs on Friday November 6, from 6-9 p.m.
Bake sale and pie ordering will also be available, all proceeds benefit the Home and School Association for the School.
Admission is free, donation of a can item for the local pantry is suggested.

Free Annual Holiday Boutique in Framingham

November 15, 2009

FREE Annual Holiday Boutique
Hemenway Elementary School
729 Water Street
Framingham, MA 01701

11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Kick off the holiday season on Sunday, November 15th from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Hemenway Elementary School at 729 Water Street in Framingham!

The school will host its annual Holiday Boutique featuring more than 50 vendors including jewelry, skin care products, handmade artisan arts & crafts, gourmet foods, seasonal gifts and much more. This year will even feature a Kids Craft Corner where children can make their own holiday gifts and the school will have a gift wrapping center if you'd like your purchases wrapped for the holidays.

There will be a bake sale and raffle prizes including an American Girl Doll and two different Bose Systems as well as many other great prizes. Admission is free and open to all.

For more information, please contact: Caragh Feinblatt at 617/240-1044

Winter Theatre Workshop in Berlin: Nov. 30

Sign up now for a new Winter Musical Theatre Workshop for kids !

Directed by Sarah Barsamian, the performance will be on Saturday December 5th at 2:00 pm as a part of the Christmas in Berlin events. Rehearsals will be held November 30, December 1, 2, 3, and 4 from 3:15 - 5:30 pm at the 1870 Town Hall. Students currently in grades 2-6 are eligible to participate. For registration information please email Sarah Barsamian at . Tuition fee: $125. $25 off for registrations received by Oct. 15.

Family Fun Day, Sun., Nov. 1 in North Grafton

44th Harvest Home Festival to Benefit Community Farm for Hunger Relief

Annual event celebrates harvest season with community and volunteers

Community Harvest Project has announced its 4th annual Harvest Home festival featuring live music, kid’s activities and traditional food and drink. Harvest Home will take place on Sunday, November 1st from noon to 4:00 pm at the Brigham Hill Community Farm, 37 Wheeler Rd., North Grafton. The event will celebrate a record harvest season which enabled CHP to grow, harvest, and deliver over 47,000 pounds of fresh produce to the Worcester County Food Bank for distribution to those in need in Worcester County.

The annual festival is being held as a celebration of the year’s harvest of fresh vegetables and to raise funds for the coming year’s growing season. The volunteer-based farm is one of the principal sources of vegetables for the Food Bank, which distributes them to many of the 200 programs they serve throughout the county. Featured at the event will be:

* Local recording artists Jubilee Gardens , Solomon Murungu, and Ed Melikian and Jack Zarzatian.
* A Scarecrow Contest with attendees judging creative and entertaining scarecrows assembled by local community groups.
* Broad variety of kids’ activities, including seasonal crafts, pony rides, and face painting.
* A farm equipment display and beekeeping demonstration.
* Hay rides.
* A variety of seasonal foods.
* Rides in the ReMax hot air balloon (weather permitting).

Harvest Home Festival admission will be $5 for adults, with kids under 12 free, a maximum of $20 per family, and some of the activities at an extra cost. Sponsors of the event include Atchue Opticians, Collette Motors, Cove Insurance, Davidian Bros. Farm, Grafton Suburban Credit Union, GreenThumb Garden , Rep. George Peterson, Tougas Family Farm, WB Smith, All-Steel Fab., Erickson Auto Repair, Goretti’s Supermarket, Window Logic and High Purity Water.

About Community Harvest Project

Community Harvest Project (CHP) is a not-for-profit organization that brings together individual, family and group volunteers to grow produce on local farms solely for hunger relief. As one of the few organizations that deliver fresh produce donations, CHP provides an average of 40,000 pounds annually to the Worcester County Food Bank which supports over 250 programs in Central MA . To learn more visit

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Directions for Ghosting another Family!

Last night the doorbell rang at our house. When we answered it, no one was there. BUT there was a Halloween bag filled with treats and a note with a drawing of a GHOST. We loved it!!! Here's what the note said. We can't wait to get out there and do some ghosting of our own. Hope you will do it in your town.

You've Been Ghosted!

Late last night, we left you a treat.
The tradition is fun, one we hope you'll repeat.
Take the ghost and pin it on your door,
to let others know you need ghosting no more.
Now it's your duty to pass on the surprise,
to two more families, we must advise.
Gather some treats and deliver some soon,
within two nights, under the light of the moon.
Include a ghost picture with each package you give,
along with this poem for the tradition to live.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Fox and the Child: Rated G/Available at Blockbuster

Our family watched The Fox and the Child (Dec. 2007) last night and woke up talking and thinking about it. As we watched the film, the room had the intense silence of a family completely absorbed.
Our three girls (twins, age 5, and oldest daughter, age 9) were just as engaged as the adults were. The movie is narrated by Kate Winslet and directed by the filmmaker, Luc Jacquet, who directed March of the Penguins. It is so beautiful as it is filmed in rural France with only one adorable 10-year-old girl. It takes us into underground burrows and dens and into the complex and complicated world of an unlikely friendship. We were so moved!
The story is for all nature lovers and brings up so many important questions about love, friendship, adventure, trust, and life.
CAUTION: There is one sad part near the beginning as the community tries to control the fox population. It is brief but may upset kids (involves a hunter and some poison food). There is another part that is completely surprising and upsetting near the end. Initially, I regretted renting the movie and not being warned, BUT it turned around to a positive (thankfully!). Sensitive children may be too sad to watch (our girls are big animal lovers, but this movie was so powerful and beautiful that it captured their hearts much more than upsetted them).
I have to say this is the best movie I have seen in years! I want to share it with everyone. Just wanted to let you know it may be best for older children.
Let us know what you think. Just comment here.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Tell us when you were a multitasker diva or disaster! Win FREE Lee jeans.

Tell us about a time when you were a mutlitasking diva or a multitasking disaster.
Send your stories to by November 1st!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mother/Daughter Nutcracker Event Nov. 1, 2009

Special mother/daughter Nutrcacker event: Cookies and Tea with Clara at the
Hanover Theatre on November 1st for ages 3 - 12. Call for reservations:
508.791.3233. Last year, they sold out!

Friday, October 9, 2009

To-Do Lists


Got a to-do list hanging around? We want to see it!

We are going to have some fun talking about the family to-do list in our January issue, and we thought seeing a sampling of the real thing would be inspiring and insightful for us.

In January, we'll explore:

Where do you write your lists?
What's on them?
Do you recopy them for the next day?
How does your to-do make you feel?

In the meantime, pop yours in the mail to us when you get a chance.

Mail it to baystateparent, 117 Elm St., Millbury, MA 01527 Attention: To-Do Lists! We'll pick names and send you a prize for participating.

Drop in Sunday Studios in Fitchburg

Every Sunday from September 27 - December 27
) Drop in Sunday Studios

Fitchburg Art Museum
25 Merriam Parkway
> Fitchburg, MA, 01420
: 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Sunday Studio (For Ages 6-12)
> Drop in on Sunday afternoons and play in the studio! Each week a different project will be featured. No experience necessary, just a desire to be creative! Projects will take approximately 30-60 minutes to complete.
> No pre-registration required. Space available on a first-come, first-served basis. Youth groups of six or more children are allowed only with approval from the Director of Education or the instructor.

> October 18: Painting BIG!
> October 25: Paper Masks
> November 1: Stamped Designs
> November 8: Draw an Imaginary Creature with Oil Pastels
> November 15: Clay Creatures
> (No Sunday Studio November 22) (See description below for “Make and Take Holiday Gifts” workshop)
> November 29: Art from Recycled Stuff
> December 6: Paper Collage Window Hanging
> December 13: Snowflake Wands
> December 27: Wire Sculptures
> Cost of Adults: A$ ____ , Sr. ____
> n/a
> 8. Cost of Children: C$ ____ Fee: $6M per day, $8NM per day; for clay projects, there is an additional $1 per person fee. Pay at the studio door.
> Phone number for readers to use: 978 345 4207
> Web site without the "www":
> Photo Credit and Caption: Wire Sculpture class at the Fitchburg Art Museum
> Additional Comments:
> --

October 21,2009: Free Adoption Life Books Program

First Connections
Emerson Hospital Campus on Rte. 2 in the Community Agencies Bldg., Suite 1009
10:00-11:30 am
We'll look at different types of books, talk about what to include, and if you've already started a book and would like to share, bring it along!
Childcare provided for children over 6 mos.
Facilitated by Adoption Support Specialist, Mary Rowlinson, R.N.

Sunday, October 11th FREE Poetry Reading for Kids in Fitchburg

October 11, 2009

Free Poetry Reading for Kids Under 12

The Rabbit Hole bookstore

805 Main Street
Fitchburg, MA 01420

1:00 - 2:00 PM

B The Rabbit Hole bookstore, 805 Main Street, Fitchburg, AGAIN presents their 'FREE Sunday Poetry Readings for Kids 12 and Under'. Bring in a favorite poem to read out loud, or we will give your child a poem to read. If you write your own poems, all the better to hear your creation. Moms, Dads, and family members are welcome to read also and must accompany a child to this event.

Area writer/artist Sally Cragin will host the poetry readings. "Every child is creative and we thought it would be an excellent activity to keep kids in touch with good writing. Cragin has taught at Harvard Extension School and Webster University in St. Louis and is a resident artist at Rollstone Studios. Ms. Cragin is also a board member of New England Poetry Club, the nation's oldest poetry organization.

(978) 345-0040

Columbus Day 2009, Oct. 12, 2009, Free admission to the Berkshire Museum

Free Admission All Day at the Berkshire Museum on Columbus Day

Join the Museum’s Stegosaurus, Wally, for his 12th birthday on Columbus Day, Monday Oct. 12 for an all-day celebration. Starting at 1 p.m., we’ll have arts and crafts, to make Wally birthday cards, make frog collages and learn to make frog hand puppets. At 2 p.m., everyone will gather on the front lawn to sing Happy Birthday to the most popular Stegosaurus in Berkshire County, followed by birthday cake in the Crane Room.

Call 413.443.7171 for more information.

Oct. 27, 2008: The Secrets of Happy Families in Worcester

Scott Haltzman, M. D., author of The Secrets of Happy Families: Eight Keys to Building a Lifetime of Connection and Contentment will speak at the Worcester Jewish Community Center on Tuesday, October 27th at 7:00 pm. Research shows that a happy family is good for your health, productivity, peace of mind, longevity, and success. The Secrets of Happy Families is filled with practical, step-by –step advice on raising healthy children along with tips to strengthen family bonds. Dessert reception following lecture and book signing. Free and open to the public. For more information call Nancy Greenberg at 508-756-7109 x 232

October 24, 2009 Harold and the Purple Crayon

Love this book!

October 24, 2009
The Colonial Theatre
$15 - $35
“One evening, after thinking it over for some time, Harold decided to go for a walk in the moonlight.” So begins The Adventures of Harold and the Purple Crayon, Enchantment Theatre Company’s latest creation, based on the seven delightful picture books by Crockett Johnson that follow the zany adventures of an inventive young boy. As it turned out, there wasn’t any moon that evening nor was there a path to walk on, so Harold simply drew them. And thus his journey began. Resourceful and brave, Harold creates the world he wants to explore, using nothing more than a big purple crayon and his sky’s-the-limit imagination. Enchantment’s innovative production will take your school and family audiences on a wild ride as Harold jets to the Red Planet (Martians, space ships!), joins a circus (he tames a lion!) and meets a princess in an enchanted garden (of course, there’s a dragon, too). The “Harold” books have captivated families for more than fifty years, celebrating the imagination of children and the unique way they see the world. That’s why Enchantment, one of America’s groundbreaking producers of original theater for children and families, has adapted these wonderful stories for the stage as its 2009-2011 national touring production. Using all the elements of its well-known signature style, (life-size puppets, masked actors, magic, music) Enchantment has also added a new dimension this year with the use of large scale video animation. Capturing the books’ simple purple line drawings perfectly, the animation not only creates Harold’s world of make believe but provides an opportunity for the performers to interact with the setting. And of course, being an Enchantment production, the simple purple lines don’t stay simple for long. This brand-new production will delight and amaze your audiences, from children starting at Harold’s age, all the way up to grandparents — anyone, in fact, whose heart is young and adventurous.

Corn Mazes 2009

Have fun checking out the corn mazes this month!

Four Corn Mazes:
1. Davis Farmland, Sterling.
2. Marini Farm Corn Maze, Ipswich. 978-356-0430,
3. Mike’s Corn Maze. Warner Farm, Sunderland. 413-665-8331,
4. Kimball Farm, Haverhill.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Interested in Being a Roller Derby Mom?

Check out Worcester Mag's cover story this week. It's on roller derby! Who knew!
The author, Doreen Manning, is a Central MA mom of four great kids. She is the Arts and Entertainment editor at Worcester Mag plus she's into derby. By the way, Worcester Mag is our sister publication so when we want to show them some love whenever we can.

Great job Doreen!

Any moms interested in derby?!

Send baystateparent your To-Do Lists by November 1st!

Hi Guys,

We are planning something fun in our January 2010 issue: our to-do lists.

To make it more interesting, we are asking you to mail us one (or some) of your to-do lists by November 1st. Don't re-copy it all nice. We want it in its raw form with all of the things you need to get done (or think you need to get done). Items crossed out and checked are just fine with us!

Our address is: baystateparent
117 Elm Street
Millbury, MA 01527
Attention: To-Do Lists

As our thank you, we'll pick a few of you and send you some prizes. Who doesn't like prizes! Make sure to include your contact information somewhere so that we can call and/or email you.

Aren't you curious to see what other parents like you hope to accomplish in a day? It will be funny to see the simple and mundane next to the ambitious.

And as my wise friend Judy says, at the end of the day, we should not focus on what did not get crossed off on the to-do list but we should make a list before bed about we DID accomplish! We need to pat ourselves on the back more often instead of beating ourselves up and feeling like such failures that we did not get to everything we had hoped. And we need to stop looking around the house as the judgment of what kind of person and mom we are.

If we were at the playground with the kids or volunteering at school, that's why the beds are not made!

Ladies, let's come together and share what our days look like! We hope it will be an
eye-opening, supportive, and fun way of looking at ourselves.

Now add "Mail baystateparent to-do list" to YOUR list.

Take Good Care,

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Get your Dog Blessed at this Pancake Breakfast in Princeton

The Worcester County NEADS Lions Club Will Sponsor a Public Pancake Breakfast and Blessing of the Dogs
Saturday, October 3, 2009.
Location: 305 Redemption Rock Trail (Rt. 140), Princeton, MA (2nd floor of NEADS training center) Directions @
Time: 7:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Price: $5.00/person, $12.00/family - all you can eat!
Menu: Pancakes (plain, chocolate-chip, fruited), sausage patties, juice, coffee.
The dog blessing will be at 11 a.m. in back of the blue house. Officiating Pastor Adam Randazzo - Pastor of the Starrett Memorial United Methodist Church of Athol.

Monday, September 28, 2009

got my new eyebrows! Spend the day in Lexington

Hi Readers,

My friend picked up me and my eyebrows last Friday. I let them grow out for weeks...very scary! But it was all for a good purpose to visit Elena of Eyebrows by Elena in Lexington.

Elena is baystateparent's new advertiser and highly rated to help a teen, woman, man...anyone with their brows. She provides free eyebrows consultations (An appointment is $50).

While that is expensive compared to do-it-yourself tweezing or a quick wax at the salon, Elena takes the brows seriously, helping you to determine the right shape for your face. I was really happy with the results and all of the special attention!

I thought of my teen years when I had no idea how to style brows, and I just went crazy with the tweezers. I think she'd be a great gift for a young girl who could use a confidence-booster and advice on how to get a handle on her eyebrows. She's also skilled in shaping a man's brows so that they DO NOT looked like they've been styled. She keeps them very masculine but just cleans it all up. I love that for guys! Don't you?!

After that, my friend and I had a fabulous lunch at Lexx in downtown Lexington and browsed the stores. We noticed lots of moms walking their babies on the bike path. Then they stopped on the Common or to have a snack in one of the many cafes.

Downtown Lexington is so pretty! Visit soon while you can still sit outside. And if you treat yourself to get your brows done, tell Elena baystateparent said hi!

Archaeology Day at Historic Deerfield: October 17, 2009; FREE

Hi Readers,
Here is some free fun in beautiful Deerfield. Visit Yankee Candle's corporate headquarters in South Deerfield. It's so much fun with lots to see and day...a perfect fall excursion! Downtown Northampton is great for a fun lunch! There's an awesome bike path out there too...Questions? Email

Archaeology Day At Historic Deerfield
October 17
10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Join us for a day of free walks and talks featuring the work of archaeologists from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. This program is part of Massachusetts Archaeology Month. Free and open to the public.

About Historic Deerfield

Historic Deerfield ( is a nationally recognized museum offering tours of period houses and the Flynt Center of Early New England Life. Now featuring exhibitions:

* Hadley Sampler: An Anniversary Celebration on view through January 1, 2010.
* Into the Woods: Crafting Early American Furniture, a long-term furniture exhibition on view through 2013.
* Engraved Powder Horns from the French and Indian War and the American Revolution: The William H. Guthman Collection, permanent.
* Celebrating the Fiber Arts: The Helen Geier Flynt Textile Gallery, a permanent exhibition with changing elements.

Historic Deerfield also offers relaxed fine dining at Champney's Restaurant and Tavern at the Deerfield Inn, lodging at the 1884 Deerfield Inn ( ), and shopping at the Museum Store ( ). Please call 413-775-7214 for museum information and program schedule.
M10 logo Historic Deerfield is a member of Museums10, a partnership of ten outstanding museums - Amherst College Museum of Natural History, Emily Dickinson Museum: The Homestead and The Evergreens, The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Hampshire College Art Gallery, Historic Deerfield, Mead Art Museum at Amherst College, Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, National Yiddish Book Center, Smith College Museum of Art, and the University Gallery at UMass Amherst - in one gorgeous place: the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts. For more information about Museums10, please visit .

Historic Deerfield

80 Old Main Street, P.O. Box 321

Deerfield, Massachusetts 01342

T: 413-775-7175
F: 413-775-7220

Family Fun on Saturday, October 3 2009

Sat., October 3: Saint Michael School Recycle Day in Hudson, 198 Main St., Hudson. 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Free to drop off paper, clothes, printer, Fax cartridges, and cell phones.
Minimal fees for everything else (stoves, refrigerators, freezers, etc.) Home pick-up available for $20. 978-562-2917 or Accepting dry or canned goods for the Hudson Food Pantry.

on the Legion Common in Groton is on Sat., Oct. 3, 10 a .m. - 4:30 p. m. Rain date is Sunday, October 4th.

Sat., Oct. 3: FREE Try Something New Fall Festival. Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Conservancy, Dewey Square Parks, Summer Street at Atlantic Ave., Boston. Noon - 6 p.m. Boston’s newest urban green space invites all to this a lively, free event for people of all ages. Learn new ways of cooking, eating and being fit. Food tastings, cooking demonstrations, a farmers market, fun fitness games, live music and dance performances from local groups, public art displays, and a carnival ride. As a first for the Greenway, an artificial ice surface will provide a venue for ice skating. 617-692-0020,

Sat., Oct. 3: FREE Maynard Fest. Assabet Valley Chamber of Commerce, Main and Nason St., Downtown Maynard. 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Dozens of sidewalk sales, over 100 vendors and free family entertainment. Free pony rides. Maynard Fest is traditionally followed by the Maynard Rotary Club's Oktoberfest at Clock Tower Place featuring a beer garden and fireworks.Free. 978-568-0360,

Sat., Oct. 3. Barktober Fest. Plymouth. 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. An event tailored to dog lovers of all ages. Pet costume contest, pet-related vendors, live entertainment and much more. 508-830-1620 or

Sat., Oct., 3: West Boylston Fall Festival. Town Common. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Live music and entertainment, food, children’s activities, artist demos, scarecrow decorating, doll carriage and wagon parade. Rain or shine.

Sat., Oct. 3 and Sun., Oct. 4: Harvest Festival and 25th Anniversary.
Heifer International, Heifer Learning Center at Overlook Farm, 216 Wachusett St., Rutland. 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Spend the day exploring the homes of Peru, Poland, Kenya and more without ever leaving New England. Enjoy Heifer animals and traditional children’s harvest games such as a hay maze. Purchase local pumpkins and browse fair trade and unique hand-crafted items from around the world. Enjoy a slice a cake in celebration of Heifer’s 25 years of inspiring Overlook visitors to help Heifer build a better world. Food booths on site or byo picnic lunch. A $5, C 12 and under, free. 508-886-2221,

Job Opening at baystateparent

baystateparent Magazine has a job opening for a business-minded, savvy person. Creative thinker, friendly, professional...someone who is passionate and willing to think outside the box to make things happen. Email Stephanie Pearl, baystateparent's sales and business development manager:

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Saturday, October 10, 2009 in Harvard

Plan ahead! There's a festival in Harvard over Columbus Day weekend. Carrie

Harvard Flea Market

featuring 170 Booths of antiques, collectibles, household items

HARVARD, Mass., September 22, 2009 – The League of Women Voters of Harvard and the Harvard Schools Trust are pleased to announce the upcoming 38th Annual Columbus Day Weekend Flea Market to be held on Saturday, October 10, 2009, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on the grounds of The Bromfield School in Harvard. (Rain date October 12, 2009)

Each year, thousands of bargain hunters attend this landmark event to select from a huge variety of goods including antiques, collectibles, memorabilia, furniture, glass, household items, sports equipment, toys, clothing, farmers market items and more. In addition, many nonprofits will be selling delicious fall harvest food items, including pies on the common for the 52nd year at the Congregational Church Apple Festival. Parking and restrooms will be available. Admission is a $3 donation per person; a $1 donation per child ages 6 – 12 and seniors ages 65 plus; and a $5 donation for early birds (before 9:00 a.m.).

This is the second consecutive year that the Harvard Schools Trust is co-sponsoring the flea market with Harvard’s League of Women Voters. Formerly, the Harvard Conservation Trust co-sponsored the event. All net proceeds from the 38th Annual Columbus Day Weekend Flea Market will be evenly split between the league and the Schools Trust, both local nonprofit organizations.

“The Harvard Schools Trust is thrilled to be co-sponsoring the flea market again this year with the League of Women Voters of Harvard,” said Steve Finnegan, Board of Directors, Harvard Schools Trust. “The Harvard Flea Market is a wonderful family and community fall harvest event, and we encourage everyone to come out and peruse the treasures in support of our schools.”

“The tremendous success of the Harvard Flea Market is due in great part to the help we receive each year from over 100 dedicated volunteers,” said Valerie Hurley, League of Women Voters. “We extend a wholehearted thanks to all our volunteers for their time and efforts which help support a great cause.”

Directions to Harvard Flea Market: The Bromfield School, 14 Massachusetts Ave. (Route 111), Harvard, MA 01541 (Take Exit 38A off Route 2 or Exit 28 off I495)

About The Harvard Schools Trust

The Harvard Schools Trust was formed in 1989 as a nonprofit, exclusively educational and charitable organization to raise funds to supplement the curriculum and activities of the Harvard Public Schools ( Through its grants program, the Trust provides Harvard Elementary School and the Bromfield School with supplemental curriculum support, equipment, extra-curricular experiences, and staff development. For more information email: or visit the website at

About The League of Women Voters

The League of Women Voters of Harvard (, established in 1950, is a local branch of the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts and the League of Women Voters of the United States. It is a non-partisan, multi-issue, grassroots organization whose mission is to encourage informed and active participation in local, state, and federal government and to influence public policy through education. For Flea Market info email: or visit the website at

Boston Ghost Cruises in October 2009

We received this listing too late to include in our Halloween print line-up of events (coming up in our October issue). Thought it would be fun to share it here since it sounds pretty unique. Have fun. Carrie

The Boston Ghost Cruises will return to Boston Harbor for several Halloween events October 24, 30 and 31. What better time of year to go out and see the sites and hear the tales. The frightfully exciting journeys offer terrifying encounters with Ghosts and Ghouls, dragging some of Boston’s oldest skeletons out of the closet.

The cruises are scheduled as follows:

Saturday, October 24 at 7 & 9 p.m.

Friday, October 30that 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.

Saturday, October 31st at 6:30 p.m., 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. (6:30 p.m. cruise recommended for families)

Tickets for Boston Ghost Cruises are on sale at or by calling 781-784-SHOW.

Art in the Afternoon: October 18, 2009 in Worcester

Arts in the Afternoon
October 18, 2009
2 - 6 p .m.
FREE admission
Boys & Girls Club of Worcester
Main South Clubhouse
65 Tainter St., Worcester, MA

Live dance and chorus performances
Artwork from outstanding Worcester-area artists
student artists

508.754.2686, x 205

Meet Waiting Children, Sunday, September 27, 2009

Jordan’s Furniture Hosts “The Adoption Option”
to Find Adoptive Homes for Children in Foster Care

(Reading, MA) – Have you ever thought about adopting an older child or sibling group? If you have, then come to “The Adoption Option” on Sunday, September 27, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., at Jordan’s Furniture, 50 Walker’s Brook Dr., Reading, MA.

Jordan’s Furniture hosts the event in collaboration with the Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange (MARE) and the Massachusetts Department of Children & Families (DCF) to help find permanent families for children in foster care. Adults and families who are interested in learning more about the process to adopt children from foster care are invited to this free informational event. Families who are new to adoption are encouraged to arrive promptly at 9:00 am for the “newcomers’ orientation” workshop to make the best use of the Adoption Option’s resources and opportunities.

“We are thrilled to continue our support of the adoption community,” says Eliot Tatelman, President and CEO of Jordan’s Furniture. “We meet so many wonderful children and families through our initiatives. Creating an environment to make these connections happen is what it is all about.”

Prospective adoptive parents will be able to meet Massachusetts’s waiting children and their social workers in an informal setting. Family entertainment, games, refreshments, and activities encourage interaction between waiting children and families.

“Adoption Parties are one of MARE’s most successful tools in placing children,” says MARE’s Executive Director Lisa Funaro. “These events allow families to meet face-to-face with children and make connections that may not happen otherwise. We are delighted to partner with Jordan’s Furniture to increase recruitment opportunities for children in foster care. These children want what most of us take for granted - the chance to blossom in a permanent, loving family.”

In Massachusetts, 2400 children currently in foster care have the goal of adoption, and more than 600 of those children have no aunt, grandparent, or other potential adopter. Nationwide, there are over 114,000 children in foster care in need of adoption. Older, school-aged children, sibling groups, children of color and/or children with special needs tend to wait the longest for families.

Prospective adoptive parents can be almost any age (18+); single, partnered, married, LGBT. Families of various income levels can adopt, as long as they have a stable source of income to support a child. There are no fees to adopt a child from foster care. Financial subsidies may be available, and children adopted from foster care are eligible to attend Massachusetts state colleges tuition-free provided they meet admission requirements.

For more information, or to register to attend The Adoption Option at Jordan’s Furniture, please visit or call MARE at 617-54-ADOPT (617-542-3678).

MARE is a private, non-profit organization, founded in 1957 to find “a permanent place to call HOME” for CHILDREN in foster care, including sibling groups and children who are traditionally harder to place.

Jordan’s Furniture is a nationally known four-store furniture retailer. Their innovative combination of entertainment and shopping has turned a local furniture store into a major retailer, drawing customers from all over New England. Philanthropy is a large part of the Jordan's business philosophy. During their 11-year partnership with MARE, Jordan’s has generously hosted and financed many information meetings and recruitment events. As a direct result of Jordan’s support, more than 215 children have found adoptive homes.


45 Franklin Street, 5th Floor, Boston, Massachusetts 02110-1301

MAIN # (617) 54-ADOPT or (617) 542-3678 • MA ONLY (800) 882-1176 • FAX (617) 542-1006 •TTY (617) 542-7772

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Get Out in October for Breast Cancer!

Think Pink Events
Plan a night out with the girls, spend a morning doing yoga, have a family fun day on the Charles, get a sitter for a date night…all to benefit breast cancer!

VOLUNTEER: Volunteers Needed for the American Cancer Society’s 17th Annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer ® Walk. Fri., Oct. 3 and Sat., Oct. 4. Help the day before the walk to prepare snack bags for walkers, as well as help set up the event. On Sun., Oct. 4 volunteers are needed to help set up and clean up, cheer on walkers, and act as route monitors. 800-ACS-2345,

WALK: The American Cancer Society’s 17th Annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer at the DCR Hatch Shell on the Charles River Esplanade, Boston. Sat., Oct. 4. Registration and rolling start for this 5-mile walk is 8 -10 a.m. This is the nation’s oldest and largest one-day walk, raising nearly $40 million since 1993. 800-227-2345,

SHOP: Four Massachusetts Lord & Taylor stores (Braintree, Boston, Burlington and Natick) will hold a Lord & Taylor Benefit Bash on Tues., Oct. 6. Tickets are $5 each and must be purchased in advance. Each $5 ticket is worth 20% off the first item, including Ugg boots, and 15% off remaining purchases made that day including cosmetics and fragrances. Use your Lord & Taylor charge account and an additional 10% will be applied (or open a new account for another 15% off). Each $5 ticket benefits breast cancer organizations across the state including the Ellie Fund ( and Hope in Bloom, a non-profit organization that plants gardens free of charge at the homes of women and men in Massachusetts undergoing treatment for breast cancer. To order tickets, send a self-addressed stamped envelope and a $5 payment for each ticket to: Hope In Bloom, Inc., 202 Bussey St., Dedham, MA 02026. Visit

BOOK SIGNING PARTY AND SHOP: “You Can Do This!” Book Signing Parties with Author/Breast Cancer Survivor Kelley Tuthill from WCVB-TV5 on Sat., Oct. 17. Lyn Evans Potpourri Designs,Washington St., Hanover and Wed., Oct. 28, 8 Church St., Wellesley. Meet Kelley, enjoy yummy treats and take home an autographed copy of her book "You Can Do This! Surviving Breast Cancer without Losing your Sanity or your Style." Admission is free. Have fun shopping while helping The Ellie Fund fight breast cancer. 10% of all clothing purchases and 80% of all book purchases will be donated to the Ellie Fund's Care for the Caregiver program which provides transportation to medical appointments, childcare, housekeeping and meals free of charge for hundreds of women and families fighting breast cancer in MA. For more details, visit

YOGA: Hope in Bloom’s Strike a Pose on Sun., Oct. 18, 9 – 11 a.m. Jen Sundeen of The Durga Yoga Studio in Harvard will lead a two-hour vinyasa flow class at Fruitlands Museum for students of all levels. The practice will conclude with fresh juices, smoothies and vegetarian tapas. Consider spending the rest of the day at the museum, hiking one of the beautiful trails or picking apples at a nearby orchard. $30 per person. Advance registration and payment required. Checks should be made payable to Hope in Bloom and mailed to 202 Bussey St., Dedham, MA 02026. For more information, visit or

NIGHT AT THE RITZ: Art beCAUSE Breast Cancer Foundation 7th Annual Gala and Celebration of Life at the Ritz Carlton in Boston. Thurs., Oct. 8. Includes a silent auction, music, dinner, dessert and complimentary wine, beer and specialty martinis. A special and inspiring collection of portraits of breast cancer survivors will be unveiled. Visit

Art beCAUSE is also planning a Nov. 1st 5K in Worcester, a Nov. 8th Theatre Opening at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, MA, and a Nov. 15th brunch at Selections in Framingham. Details to come at

GIRLS’ NIGHT OUT: The Ellie Fund for Breast Cancer’s Women in Comedy at the Hard Rock CafĂ© in Boston on Thurs., Oct. 15. Also on Fri., Oct. 30 at Memorial Hall in Plymouth. 6 p.m. Cocktail Reception, 7 p.m. Showtime. Join Emcee Susan Wornick of WCVB-TV5 for a hilarious evening featuring live performances by Boston's funniest comediennes plus great food, drinks, gift bags and more to benefit The Ellie Fund! Boston show: $30 in advance, $40 at the door (if available). Plymouth: $20 - $40 depending on seat location plus a $30 VIP Champagne Reception with the Stars (Susan Wornick and all the Comediennes). 781-449-0100,

SHOP: Thirty Petals Supports the Ellie Fund. Thirty Petals Boutique, Belmont Center, Belmont. Sat., Oct. 17, 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Get a mini-wardrobe consult with Susan Kanoff, enter a raffle, receive a free gift with purchase today. Thirty Petals will be donating 20% of its sales to the Ellie Fund, a non –profit organization that improves the lives of women in Massachusetts as they fight breast cancer. 617-489-2334,

MAKE-UP TIPS: Skincare During Treatment at Images Oncology Boutique. Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Yawkey Center for Outpatient, 9th Fl., Suite 9B, 55 Fruit St., Boston. Thurs., Oct. 29, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Learn make-up tips from David Nicholas International and receive free samples of My Girl's Radiation Cream with tips to soothe and heal skin during and beyond treatment. Light luncheon and refreshments served. 617-726-3211.

WALK: Tread for a Cause, Oct. 1 – 31st, at fitness clubs and YMCA’s across Massachusetts and the country to raise funds for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF). Walk on any pink CYBEX 750T treadmill throughout the month of October 2009, and CYBEX will donate funds for every mile logged. The pink treads, manufactured in Medway, MA, are currently at Super Fitness in Watertown, MA, Super Fitness in Quincy, MA and YYMCA/South Shore in Hanover, MA. Also visit Bodyscapes in Brookline and Southborough. For the month of October, Bodyscapes is donating $1 for every mile clocked on the pink treadmill to The Ellie Fund (and 5 cents for every mile thereafter for the entire year!). Anyone can come to the gym and enjoy a workout on the pink treadmill at Bodyscapes - you don't have to be a member! Bodyscapes is holding a fun Pink Treadmill Kick Off Party on October 1, 8 a.m. - Noon at its Southboro location and 5-8 p.m. at its Brookline location. The Brookline Kick Off will include lots of local celebrities and yummy treats. Admission is open to everyone and is free! if your gym has a commercial pink tread, or to inquire about getting one in your facilitly, visit:

To submit any family event to baystateparent’s November and/or December calendars, visit and click “Submit an Event.” The deadline is always the 6th for the upcoming month.

Gluten-Free and Food Allergy Help in Massachusetts

Struggling with food allergies?

Here are two sources baystateparent recommends for help in dealing with your family's food allergies, particularly allergies to gluten: It’s a web based business (headquarters in Hopkinton) that helps those with celiac disease and food allergies, by sharing tips, ideas, recipes, saving ideas and coupons / coupon codes. The owner lives in Hopkinton and is very knowledgeable and resourceful in offering tips on how the entire family can live a happy, healthy life.

baystateparent's new advertiser, a Whitinsville holistic health counselor and mom, can help your family with food allergies, the gluten free lifestyle, and healthy eating.

Good luck on your journey, and please do send us any local sources that you have...
Carrie Wattu, editor

Vist the Mass Central Rail Trail: FREE FALL FUN

The Rail Trail is one of my family's favorite places to walk, run, ride bikes, walk the dog and enjoy nature. We park in the lot off of Route 140 (easy to get to off of Route 2 and 290). The kids ride bikes while we run or take the dog for some exercise. It's so beautiful because it's shady and follows a scenic river. No highway sounds! There are lots of people on the trail at most times so it's safe for mom to take the kids alone, and it's appropriate for strollers. Afterwards, have a picnic under the trees, visit Pride Park (nice, little playground) in West Boylston (It's on Route 140 on the left).

Afterwards, you can do some errands at Walmart.....get a baked good at Darby's Bakery....or take the kids to get some penny candy (Parker's Candy Store on Route 140 on the way to 290...just past Honey Farms on the left).

Please note there is a free family friendly event on the Rail Trail on Saturday, Sept. 26th. We have done this in the past. It's very well-done with complimentary activities and food. It's a low-key but engaging day in nature. Plus, it's an affordable and healthy way to spend the day.

Read below for more information on the Rail Trail.

Questions? Email or call 508.865.7070. Have fun!

Carrie Wattu, editor

A Special Place in Time

The Mass Central Rail Trail Is a Unique Community Resource

By Kenneth McDonnell
Wachusett Greenways Director

Many find it a way to connect with nature. Some use it for exercise – walking, jogging, bicycling, cross-country skiing and more. For many young families, it’s an ideal destination for safe, off-street walking and stroller use on essentially flat terrain, or for a child’s first tentative ride on a bike. It can be a place to introduce children to the joys of reading in an idyllic setting far from televisions and computer games. Others find it a contemplative place to simply get away from it all.

Along some stretches you’ll find folks fishing the streams and ponds nestled just steps away. Still others value it for the connection to our shared heritage and history. And many people find it a worthwhile outlet for their desire to serve the community through a variety of volunteer opportunities.

The “it” is the Mass Central Rail Trail (MCRT), a multipurpose, non-motorized public way being developed in Worcester County since 1995 by Wachusett Greenways. This grassroots team of volunteers works year-round to connect the communities of the Wachusett region – Barre, Holden, Oakham, Paxton, Princeton, Rutland, Sterling and West Boylston – with trails and greenways. Today the product of this “labor of love” is a unique community resource treasured by outdoor enthusiasts of all ages from all walks of life.

To date, Greenways and its partners have built 15 miles of rail trail, including six bridges and a tunnel, as they endeavor to complete the 30 midstate miles of the MCRT.

An Old Railway Reclaimed for All to Enjoy

Stretching from Northampton to downtown Boston, the MCRT – or simply the rail trail, as it’s known locally – traces the 104-mile route of the abandoned Massachusetts Central Railroad, which was shattered by a hurricane in 1938.
The MCRT is envisioned as the east-west spine of a Commonwealth trail network. Today parts of the MCRT are open, including the Greenways sections and the Norwottuck section, from Northampton to Amherst, under the management of the Mass. Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). Mile by mile, dedicated volunteers, property owners, government agencies and businesses are partnering in communities across the state to dig out the old Mass Central and open it up.

Many Hands Make Light Work

Each year, Wachusett Greenways manages to develop about one additional mile of rail trail. This summer, the trail was extended west between Muddy Pond, in Rutland, to Route 122 in Oakham. The work included construction of a new bridge to replace the original over Parker Brook, which was washed out in ’38. In time, the Wachusett Greenways section of the trail will extend into Barre.

Building a rail trail is an “all hands on deck” undertaking and often years in the making.First, since Wachusett Greenways owns almost none of the rail trail land itself, volunteers work with property owners and town and state officials to gain the right to reclaim the old railway and develop and maintain it as a rail trail.
Next, trail crews clear the thick growth of trees and underbrush that have choked the abandoned rail bed over the years. Bridges must be built to span waterways weaving beneath the trail. In Rutland, the old Mass Central tunneled beneath Charnock Hill Road, off of Route 122A. Today, a new tunnel, built through a partnership of the Town of Rutland, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the George I. Alden Charitable Trust and Wachusett Greenways, leads the traveler under the road near one of trail’s most dramatic points, the Charnock Cut, a quarter mile of railway excavated deep into sheer rock.

Greenways volunteers remove trees and chip the brush. Greenways then arranges with local contractors to remove stumps, grade the cleared rail bed, provide for proper drainage, put down a layer of gravel, and finally “pave” and roll it using crushed granite. The result is a finish smooth, level and hard enough for even wheelchair access – essentially a high quality unpaved 10-feet-wide trail passing through some the region’s most appealing terrain.

Since the rail trail traces an actual railway of the late 1800s, the maximum grade is about 1% in most places, or one foot of elevation for every 100 feet of distance. So walking, jogging, cycling and even baby strolling is can be as relaxing as a leisurely amble in the woods – or as strenuous as you like.

While the rail trail is Wachusett Greenways’ largest project, the group also helps develop other trails and open spaces, including the White Oak Trail in Holden, which connects to the trails of the town’s Trout Brook Reservation on Manning Street.
Work crews gather year-round to maintain completed sections of the trails for access and safety. Earlier this year, Greenways crews, in concert with town maintenance crews and workers from the DCR, worked long hours clearing the endless damage from last December’s devastating ice storm.

Year-round Outdoor Events

Wachusett Greenways sponsors outdoor activities throughout the year, enriching the lives of children and grown-ups of all ages. For example, its Family Fun Day offers something for everyone – trail exploration, games, food, bicycle safety activities, live music and much more. Held this year in September, the festivities took place in connection with Greenways’ annual Springdale Mill Celebration and the dedication of a restored section of the trail in West Boylston washed out last May due to beaver damming nearby.

The Springdale Mill historic site is located along the rail trail in Holden, adjacent to the Quinapoxet River. Interpretive signage installed by Greenways volunteers leads visitors through the site with an informative narrative describing the history and workings of the once-thriving woolen mill and tenement village. The Mill operated from 1864 until it was razed in 1906 in connection with the then newly constructed Wachusett Reservoir, which is fed by the Quinapoxet. Today the Mill site stands as a stark reminder of the industrial past of the Wachusett watershed.
Greenways also sponsors a full schedule of other events, which take place locally and across the region, including trail bike rides, hikes, nature walks, canoeing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and more. (See accompanying events schedule.)

The Rousing Success of ‘StoryWalk’

In 2007, Greenways brought StoryWalk™ to the rail trail. In this free, interactive attraction, pages of a children’s book are posted along the trail, and the farther children and parents walk, the more engaged in the story they are likely to become.
Currently the StoryWalk features Danny and the Dinosaur, by Sid Hoff, on the trail in West Boylston. Earlier, StoryWalk showed Leaves, by David Ezra Stein, and The Mitten, by Jan Brett.

And the project has been an inspiring success, as the words of StoryWalk readers of all ages reveal. Hundreds of visitors have taken the time to write comments in guest books posted on the trail following the last page of each story.
“It was osum! [sic.], proclaimed one six-year-old. And not just kids enjoy StoryWalk. Under Ages of Children, one grown-up wrote “young at heart,” another “inner child.” Others commented, “Best walk ever with a 5-year old!” “Thanks for the bonus reason to come out on the trail” and, from a youthful 55-year-old, “I loved it! It reminded me of my childhood heart, the heart I seek each time I’m on this trail.”

StoryWalk’s crowning moment was perhaps the time the West Boylston High School girls’ running team came by, and without breaking stride, one of the girls yelled out the text of each page to the her compatriots.

Volunteers Can Do Wonders

Wachusett Greenways thrives thanks to the vitality of volunteers. From trail work and beautification, to planning and leading events, to grant writing, producing newsletters and website content, and other initiatives, Greenways offers a host of rewarding volunteer opportunities. And it’s a great way to make new friends and do worthwhile things for the community, the Wachusett watershed – and yourself. New volunteers are always welcome!

Although access to its trails and events is free, Wachusett Greenways welcomes members and contributions to help construct and maintain the trail. As a nonprofit 501c(3) organization, contributions are tax-deductible. Membership in Wachusett Greenways is an ideal way to stay connected with the organization, keep current on news about trail progress, and learn about similar organizations across New England.
And please come out and join us in all Wachusett Greenways has to offer!
For more information, please visit

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Fine Dining, Family-Style in Boston on Friday, Sept. 25

baystateparent just received this listing for Friday, Sept. 25th. What a great way to enjoy the city while the kids are entertained with the Institute of Contemporary Art. I hope this catches on and is a new way to dine out...easier than getting a sitter in some ways!

“Fine Dining, Family-Style” at Aura Restaurant with The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston

September 25, 2009

5:30 – 8:00 PM

$30 prix fixe menu for adults

Children’s Menu w/ healthy kid-friendly favorites

To kick off its “Fine Dining, Family-Style” dinner series this fall, Aura Restaurant at the Seaport Hotel hosts the ICA/Boston for a night of art and dining for families. Kathleen Lomatoski of the ICA/Boston will lead a family-friendly, art-focused talk and provide materials for an interactive art activity in the play space. While Mom and Dad enjoy a creative prix-fixe menu from Chef Rachel Klein, kids nosh on healthy versions of their favorite foods, while romping around the specially-designated play area.

Fine Dining, Family-Style is a great way for parents to enjoy a gourmet night out with the family in a relaxed atmosphere perfect for kids to play. And to have partnered with the ICA on our first event – we couldn’t be more excited!

Aura at the Seaport Hotel

One Seaport Lane

Boston, MA