Monday, July 26, 2010

Some mothers and sisters bring food...

When my sister gets home from work today, she's either going to be happy or totally ticked off.

Some mothers and sisters bring food when they visit one another, we just seem to clean.

I tend to find it insulting when my mom and sister come to visit me and they can't resist scrubbing or sweeping something. Why can't they just relax and enjoy the kids? Can't we just visit?

I also think, "What? Is my house so disgusting that you simply can't relax?"

I know this isn't true, but I can't help feeling a little defensive. No matter how hard my husband and I take care of our house, there's mom and sis to find the lingering cobwebs. Makes me cranky!

So, why am I doing this to my sister?

It's not payback as in "I can find plenty to clean at your house too!"

It really isn't.

It's about a need, a compulsion, to help out, to make things easier on my hard-working sister.

I look around, and I see the areas where she could use a helping hand. We all have those areas, and for some reason, I get super-motivated, all energized about vacuuming and dusting her house.

As I write, my mom is literally on her hands and knees, cleaning floors, humming. She's in her glory.

It's different for my dad. When he visits, he always has a tool or paintbrush in hand, and no one gets insulted. He is hardwired to tinker and fix. He shows his love through working in our homes. He likes it better than conversation, then playing with the kids, than just about anything.

So, sis, when you get home from work today, please don't be mad, especially when you see that Dad took apart your entire toilet (hosting a constant house-full of boys is really taking a toll on your toilet, sis!).

It's just following in Dad's footsteps, I guess. It's just how our family shows love, not shortcomings.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Rules and Regulations for baystateparent Cover Contest

Become a baystateparent Cover Model at Portait Simple Now throught August 29th!!

Hi Everyone,

We're so excited to be working with Portait Simple on this great photo opportunity at any Portrait Simple location this summer!!!

Basically, make a Portrait Simple appointment for your child (under age 7 please) before Sunday, August 29th.

Entry is a $5 donation to Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation as this is their "Smile for a Cure" promotion. With your entry, you'll receive a FREE
5 X 7 portrait plus you'll be entered to be on a future cover of baystateparent!

Great deal plus...

The grand prize cover model will also receive a $1,000 gift certificate to Portrait Simple!!!

The 2nd and 3rd place winners will each receive a $500 gift certificate and 21 runners up will receive $100 gift certificates.

MORE INFO: Non-members pay a $25 session fee. A Portrait Rewards Membership is $50 but you get a free sheet, a free session ($50 value), 10% off your purchases for the entire year, and free sessions for the entire year. Those who are already members can come in and do the $5 donation only because they get free sessions.

More details coming soon...Just wanted to get the word out asap so that you can take advantage.
Visit Portrait Simple online

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

12th Annual Latern Festival Thursday, July 15, 2010

Looks like a spectacular event happening this Thursday night. I have never been but have always wanted to...Have you ever been? Let us know what to expect by commenting here if you can. Carrie Wattu, editor

PHOTO CREDIT: Elizabeth Pell

On Thursday, July 15th, the Forest Hills Educational Trust will present the
12th Annual Lantern Festival, a profoundly moving ceremony of remembrance
attended by over 4,000 people. Each year participants make paper lanterns
for family or friends who have passed away decorated using calligraphy and
inscribed with personal messages. The lanterns are then set afloat on the
peaceful waters of Lake Hibiscus at sunset where they remain aglow long into
the night.

12th Annual Lantern Festival
Forest Hills Cemetery
95 Forest Hills Ave
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130-3714

Date: Thursday, July 15, 6-9 pm
Rain Date: Thursday, July 22
Admission: Free with a $10 donation per lantern: Parking $10. We
encourage visitors to take the T. There is No Lighting after dark; please
bring a flashlight to assist with your departure.

The Lantern Festival, sponsored by the Forest Hills Educational Trust, draws
its inspiration from the Japanese Bon Festival-- a celebration of the time
of year when a door opens to the world of the ancestors allowing loved ones
to send messages to the other side. In Japan, Bon has evolved into a holiday
of both reunion and celebration. Family members return to their hometowns to
show respect for their ancestors by tending their graves, decorating them
with flowers, and making food offerings. In the town squares festivities
include traditional Bonodori dancing, games, and summer festival foods.

Now in its 12th year at Forest Hills Cemetery, the Lantern Festival has
become a important community event for Jamaica Plain, as well as Boston in
general. It is a time when neighbors come together to share stories,
celebrate, and honor the memories of their loved ones. Although the Lantern
Festival is inspired by Japanese Buddhist tradition, it incorporates the
diversity of the community that provides its setting and includes many
multi-cultural events throughout the day.

A diverse program will be presented including Gospel music, Japanese taiko
drumming, and a variety of dance performances. Picnic spreads will be
plentiful across the lush 250-acre landscape of Forest Hills Cemetery;
designed to be a park and arboretum, in addition to a place of rest, it
provides the perfect setting for the Lantern Festival.

The glowing lanterns afloat at sunset symbolize the journey of the soul at
the end of life & the ancestral spirits' return to the world of the dead
after a day of remembrance, reunion, and celebration.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Weekend of July 16, 17, 18

Hi Families, Here are some new things going on this coming weekend mostly around Worcester and one event on Nantucket (if you are lucky enough to be heading there). The Big Dipper Ice Cream Fest in Worcester looks like quite an event on Saturday and for a great cause. Plus the admission is very reasonable. Consider eating ice cream first, grabbing some dinner and heading over to neighboring West Boylston for an outdoor family-friendly rock concert at Goodale Park. Have fun everyone. Carrie Wattu, editor

Friday, July 16

FREE admission from 5 - 9 p.m. at the Boston Children's Museum. Good time to give the kids a long nap and explore this great museum for free.

Friday, July 16, 2010
Open Playgroup at the MOMS Club of Hubbardston. They hold a monthly Membership Circle/Open Playgroup on the 3rd Friday of every month at 10am. It's FREE!
If you are a MOM from Barre, Hubbardston, Princeton, or Templeton, join the group! Please RSVP for the event in advance or contact the MOMS Club to learn more about the MOMS Club of Hubbardston Area, a local chapter of the MOMS Club International (a support group for mothers).

Saturday, July 17

Ayla Brown, American Idol Finalist to Perform and Senator Scott Brown and Family to Celebrity Scoop at the Dipper at 11 a.m.

On Saturday, July 17th at Worcester’s favorite festival, the Big Dipper All-You-Can-Eat Ice Cream Festival at Elm Park from 10:30 AM to 5:30 PM. The festival fronts on Russell Street.

Proceeds from the Big Dipper benefit the programs of Children’s Friend, so not only will you be sampling some of the best ice cream in the region, you’ll be supporting a great cause. Chartered in 1849, Children’s Friend is the oldest child and family service agency in central Massachusetts. Want to volunteer? Email Deb Huegel at Our volunteers have fun, eat all the ice cream they want, and get a free t-shirt.

In addition to scrumptious all-you-can-eat ice cream from national and local vendors, there will be a huge raffle with a Bose Wave Radio as the Grand Prize, a food tent with charbroiled hot dogs and hamburgers, snacks and drinks, face painting, Moonwalks, an obstacle course, all-day entertainment, balloons, clowns, team mascots, and the very cute and cuddly NEADS puppies. The Lions District 33A will be at the Dipper with their Sightmobile to provide free hearing and sight checks. Child Protection Resources, Inc. and New York Life Insurance Co. will supply free fingerprinting and photo ID’s for the kids. This is a great and affordable day for kids and adults.

Admission to the all-you-can-eat ice cream tent is $5.00 for ages 10 and up; $2.00 for ages 5 – 9; and free for under 5.

Saturday, July 17

Vendor Day at Cutie Patuties in Leominster, 9 a.m. - 3 p .m.
Johnny Appleseed Plaza
1031 Central Street, Leominster
Have you ever wished you could buy Pampered Chef or Tupperware products without having to invite all your friends over? Cuties is inviting all of your favorite home parties to New England’s favorite consignment superstore. Pampered Chef, Tastefully simple, Tupperware and many more will be here on this fun-filled day.

Entertainment provided by Crystal Entertainment Services Bounce House, Carnival Games, Balloons and Face Paintings for the Kids... Fun for all Age!

Raffle prizes will be awarded throughout the day

Dunkin Donuts, Athens Pizza and Lidios
will bring your favorite food and beverages to you.

As an added benefit if you consign with Cutie’s you can use your store credit to shop with any of the vendors at the event.

For more information, visit

Saturday, July 17, 2010
1st Annual “Arts for the Animals” Show
Outdoor Art Exhibit Benefits Worcester County’s Homeless Pets

(Worcester MA) – The Worcester Animal Rescue League (WARL) is pleased to invite the public to the first annual Arts for the Animals show and sale, Saturday, July 17, 2010 from 12 noon to 5PM (rain date is Saturday, July 24th) at WARL, 139 Holden Street in Worcester, MA. The event will showcase fine artists and crafters; funds raised from artist participation will directly support the vital programs and services at WARL. Admission is free for the public to come and shop for unique and locally made art, craft, and design.

Additionally, the day’s program includes a raffle, refreshments, information about WARL’s available animals, and more. Artists may contact Cheryl Krylowicz, Arts for the Animals Coordinator, at, or call 508.853.0030.

For more information, visit or call 508.853.0030.

Saturday, July 17th

Where else can you listen to music with the kids? Hear Power Play perform such covers as "Brick House," "Jessie's Girl," "Stand by Me" and more at Goodale Park in West Boylston. It's an outdoor venue...very casual and very fun for a summer night in a small town right next to Worcester. $10 per adults. Children under 10 are FREE! or

Beginning Sunday, July 18th

Nantucket Shipwreck and Lifesaving Museum to Host Family Fun Days
11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Nantucket Shipwreck and Lifesaving Museum will host Family Fun Days throughout this summer on Sunday July 18, 2010 and Sunday August 22, 2010, as part of the museum’s summer activity program. Events will include storytelling, games, and hands-on activities. Admission is $10 for the family, or free for members of the Egan Maritime Institute.

The Nantucket Shipwreck and Lifesaving Museum will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Columbus Day and is located at 158 Polpis Road, just 3.5 miles from Nantucket Town. Admission is free to members, $5 for adults, $3 for children 5 – 18, and free to children under 5. For more information call (508) 228-1885. Visit online at .

Friday, July 2, 2010

July 2010 Music and Theatre Listings

Scroll down to see what's gracing the stages of Massachusetts theatres this summer and beyond. You'll find something new to experience! Enjoy the show!

Castle Hill Theatre presents Bremen Town Musicians.
Eric Carle Picture Book Museum, 125 West Bay Rd., Amherst. 
Sat., July 10, 1 and 3 p.m. . 
 (Also July 11, 3 p.m.). This favorite old fairy tale, tells the story of a donkey, a dog, a cat and a rooster, who are forced to leave their homes and make their way in the world. $7 

tickets: 413-658-1126 (does not include Museum Admission).

The Night of The Living Beauty Pageant at Barre Players Theater, 64 Common St., Barre. July 19-22 Thursday, Friday & Saturday, 7:30 p.m. Sunday, 2 p.m. The comedy by Tim Kelly is a Youth Summer Production. Tickets: $14; $12 Senior; $10 student; $7 children age 12 and under. Reservations: 978-355-2096 or 800-733-2096. Visit 

Children's Shows at the North Shore Music Theatre. Beverly. Fridays, 10 a.m. July 16: Parachute Express (also an 11 a.m. show); July 23: Cinderella; Aug. 13: Goldilocks and the Three Bears; Aug. 20: Jack and the Beanstalk. Tickets $8 - $12.

Yo Gabba Gabba Live!
The Citi Performing Arts Center/Wang Theatre, Boston. Featuring hip hop legend, Biz Markie. Sat., Sept. 25, 2 and 5 p.m.; Sun., Sept. 26, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

FREE Plays in the Park. Boston Harbor Island Alliance,
Georges Island, Boston. 11:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. and 1 - 1:45 p.m. Through August 27. Audience participation welcome in these plays designed especially for kids. On July 9 and 23, and August 6, City Stage is presenting "The History and Adventures of Tom Thumb." On July 2, 16, and 30 and August 27, City Stage is presenting "Folktales Near and Far." On August 13 and 20, Kidstock is presenting Pirates of Pencils - "The Adventures of Captain Blackboard." Ferry fares: A $14, Sr. (age 65+) $10. Family Four-Packs are $39, C (3 – 11) $8, under 3, free. 617-223-8108,

Puppet Shows. Puppet Showplace Theatre, 32 Station St., Brookline. Sundays, 1 p.m. in July. Shows are between 45 minutes and one hour in length. $10pp. 617-731-6400. To view a complete schedule, visit

The Southshore Music Circus Performances. 130 Sohier St., Cohasset. All shows at 10:30 a.m. Chinese Golden Dragon Acrobats, July 3; Cinderella, July 22; The Three Little Pigs, July 29 ; Snow White, Aug. 5; Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Aug. 13; Jack and the Beanstalk, Aug. 19. Most seats $8.25 each. 800-745-3000 or visit

The Cape Cod Center for the Arts Cape Playhouse, Dennis
. Performances at 9:30 and 11:30 a.m.Thurs., July 1: The Bubble Show; Fri., July 2: A Pirate's Life; Thurs., July 8: Magic Dave; Fri., July 9: The Last Dragon on Earth; Thurs., July 15: Alice in Wonderland; Fri., July 16: Treasure Island; Thurs., July 22: A Rockn' Good Time; Fri., July 23: Egadz Variety Show; Thurs., July 29: Cinderella; Fri., July 30: Sleeping Beauty; Thurs., Aug. 5: High Peaks Comedy Juggling; Fri., Aug. 6: The Villain's Moustache; Thurs., Aug. 12: Stevesongs; Fri., Aug. 13: Magic & More; Thurs., Aug. 19: Judy's Tune Room; Fri., Aug. 20: Professor Winklebottom's Madcap Vaudeville. Tickets: $11.75 - $9.95. 877-385-3911,

Concord Band Concerts
. Fruitlands Museum, 102 Prospect Hill Rd., Harvard. 7:15 p.m. July 7: Red, White and Blue Patriotic Concert. Wed., July 21: Take Flight – Moon Landing Anniversary. Wed., July 28 : Summer Perspectives. Come enjoy a sunset picnic, spectacular views and the sounds of a 65-piece, symphonic wind ensemble. $10 per car. 978-897-9969,

Disney's Cinderella, Kids by Theater Too! Arts Alliance's Summer Drama Workshop, Hudson High School, 69 Brigham St. Fri., July 16, 1 p .m. The timeless fairy tale mixed with the magic of Disney in an enchanting musical performed by area students in grades 3-5, preceded by "Aesop's Fables," brief play by grades 1-3. $5 PP. 978-562-1646

Into the Woods by Youth Theater.
Hudson Area Arts Alliance's Summer Drama Workshop, Hudson High School Auditorium, 69 Brigham St. Fri., July 30, 7 p.m. Fractured fairy tales intertwining many Brothers Grimm plots into a moving lesson on community responsibility and the stories we tell our children. 2+ hour long musical written by Stephen Sondheim, performed by talented teens. . A $14, C $12. 978-562-1646,

Steve Songs. Indian Hill Music, 36 King St., Littleton. Sat., Sept. 11: 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Two fun family concerts with popular children's performer and PBS Kids star Steve Roslonek and his band. $15 PP. 978-486-9524,

Children's Concert on the Common. Natick.
Thurs., July 1, 7 p.m. Wayne Potash Music Fun Band provides great entertainment for children and families.

Into the Woods. Barrington Stage Company, Pittsfield. July 14 – August 15 at St. Joseph High School, Pittsfield. August 10 – 15, Pete's Motors, Great Barrington. A retelling of several well-known fairy tales (Cinderella, Rapunzel, Jack and the Beanstalk and Little Red Riding Hood). The beloved fairy tale characters enter the woods, each looking for something. They are granted their wishes and then, in a clever turn of events, must face what it means to live "happily ever after." Tickets $8 - $15.

Shakespeare As It Was Intended.
Plimoth Plantation, Hornblower II Vistor Ctr. 8.p.m. on Thursday and Friday evenings in July and August. Come see Shakespeare's plays performed as they were in England in the 17th century! Until 1662, women were not allowed to act on stage. Instead, female roles were played by young men dressed as women. The Plimoth Plantation Players are six men, authentically performing abridged versions of some of Shakespeare's best-loved plays. The all-male cast will present Romeo and Juliet, Twelfth Night and The Tempest -- a Shakespeare play with possible ties to Plimoth Colony! $12 PP. 508-746-1622,

Into the Woods. Salem State Mainstage Theatre, 352 Lafayette St., Salem. July 8-18 presented by Salem State alumni who work in the theatre industry, regional professionalsand select students who in many cases are having their first professional theatre experience.  $20 - $25.

FREE Music Concert Series. Sweetwilliam Farm, 153 North St., Upton. Fridays, 7 – 8:30 p.m. through October. A FREE weekly outdoor concert series featuring a variety of fine local, regional and national performing artists. A relaxing evening; listen to wonderful music and view spectacular sunsets. Adults hang out at tables while children play in a protected lawn area.

Circus Smirkus 2010 Big Top Tour
. Come see the international, award-winning, traveling youth circus! Kids – ages 11 to 18 – are stars, on highwire and trapeze, as clowns, jugglers, acrobats and more. Sun., July 23, 24, 25: Gore Place, Waltham, 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Tues., July 27 and Wed., July 28: Heritage Museums and Gardens, Sandwich, 2 and 7 p.m. 877-SMIRKUS (1-877-764-7587),

Reagle’s Robinson Theatre, 617 Lexington St., Waltham. 
Starring Broadway's Marissa Perry as Tracy Turnblad
August 12 – 22. This toe-tapping musical comedy makes its Reagle debut.  Can a larger-than-life adolescent manage to vanquish the program's reigning princess, integrate the television show and find true love (singing and dancing all the while, of course!) without mussing her hair?  A show truly for all ages, Hairspray spans generational gaps in its appeal with something for the whole family.Times and tickets: 781-891-5600,

3rd Annual CBACT Children's Theatre Festival.
Arsenal Center for the Arts, 321 Arsenal St, Watertown. 9:30 a.m. -5:30 p.m. Sat., July 17. An action packed day of performances in the Mosesian Theater and interactive workshops for all ages. $20 full day, $5 per show (includes workshop participation). 617-926-2787,

Central Mass Outdoor Concerts
. Goodale Field, Crescent St., West Boylston. Select Saturdays at 7 p.m. Bring a picnic, some glow-sticks and toys for the kids while you catch a variety of bands on Saturday nights throughout the summer. A$10, C (13 – 21) $5, Under 12, FREE. Sat., July 10: Time Slips Daily opening for Varsity Drag; Sat., July 17: Ruckus opening for Powerplay; Sat., Aug 28: Mellowmafia opening for Jason James & the Baystate Houserockers. All proceeds help to save arts and music for West Boylston students. Rain Location: Major Edwards Elementary school.

Ecotarium Summer Concert Series
: EcoTarium, 222 Harrington Way, Worcester.  Fridays, 6:30-8:30 p.m., rain or shine. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. Concert-goers should bring lawn chairs and blankets (chairs are not provided). In threatening weather, concerts are held in a tent pavilion. Light dinners, snacks and beverages available. Beer and wine are available by the glass. Picnic baskets welcome, however, Massachusetts state law prohibits patrons from bringing alcoholic beverages.  July 9: Shakura Saida; July 16: Frank Vignola Trio; July 23: Ken Hadley Big Band with Amanda Carr; July 30: The Mohegan Sun All-Stars.
$18 PP (includes museum admission). Free for children under 12. 508-929-2703,

Mummenschanz. The Hanover Theatre, Worcester. Tickets on sale July 6th for this October 26 show. Children and adults are pulled into a wondrous playful world. $18-$38.

Let 84,000 parents know about an upcoming musical or theatrical performance. Visit and fill out our “Submit an Event” form.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

MOMS Club of Hubbardston Area Open House on Friday, July 16

July 16, 2010

Open Playgroup

MOMS Club of Hubbardston Area

Location TBA 10am
MOMS Club of Hubbardston Area hosts a monthly Membership Circle/Open Playgroup on the 3rd Friday of every month at 10am.


From the Moms' Club: If you are a MOM from Barre, Hubbardston, Princeton, or Templeton, come join us! Please RSVP for the event in advance or contact us to learn more about the MOMS Club of Hubbardston Area, a local chapter of the MOMS Club International (a support group for mothers).


Sat., July 10th World War II Living History Day!!

July 10, 2010

World War II Living History Day

Wenham Museum 132 Main Street Wenham, MA 01984

10:00am - 3:30pm

Honor the United States Armed Forces at the annual World War II Living History Day. Members of the WWII Commmittee of the Living History Association, veterans and re-enactors will answer questions, share memorabilia and help you explore inside a WWII army vehicle. Veterans and active duty members of the United States Armed Forces admitted free with I.D.

Adults - $7.00
Child (Age 1-16) - $5.00


FREE Nighs at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum July 2010

Boston, June 22, 2010 – The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum opens its doors to the surrounding communities this summer with a series of three free music- and art-filled Neighborhood Nights – especially for the museum’s neighbors from the Fenway, Mission Hill, Roxbury, Jamaica Plain, and Dorchester.

A summer tradition in the Fenway, these special evening celebrations feature an array of family-friendly activities, including live entertainment, art-making projects, and gallery games. Neighborhood Nights are also a great opportunity for the museum’s neighbors to revisit the museum’s three floors of galleries, discovering new treasures in the collection.

Neighborhood Nights at the Gardner Museum take place on three Thursday evenings – July 8, July 22, and August 5 – from 5-8pm. Admission includes all activities and performances, as well as access to the museum’s three floors of galleries. Tickets are free but limited and may be picked up in advance at the museum’s front entrance from 11am-4pm, Tuesday through Thursday the week of each event.

This summer’s Neighborhood Nights are made possible in part through the support of Bank of America, the official school and community partnerships sponsor of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

“Each summer, Neighborhood Nights at the Gardner invite the museum’s neighbors to discover an oasis of art and beauty in their own backyard,” says Peggy Burchenal, Esther Stiles Eastman Curator of Education and Public Programs. “The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum was established for the education and enjoyment of the public forever, and this spirit of community engagement is particularly evident at events like Neighborhood Nights.”

Each of this summer’s three Neighborhood Nights events features a special theme that guests can explore through gallery activities, live entertainment, games, and hands-on art-making activities. Here’s what’s in store:

JULY 8: Splendor Indeed! ~ An Enjoyable Summer’s Evening Soiree
Celebrate the summer arrival of plants and flowers in the Museum’s courtyard with a host of family-oriented events, including a garden of flowering activities. Families can also plant their very own flowers to take home!

JULY 22: Art Alive ~ Here, There, and Everywhere!
Bring the family for an evening of your favorite art—brought to life! Listen to live music, create your own artworks, play a museum trivia game, and take a chance at winning a prize.

AUGUST 5: Lions, Tigers & Bears, Oh MY! ~ Guardians, Gate Keepers, and Other Mysterious Creatures

Go on a friendly adventure as you hunt for and learn about the museum’s animal guardians and other formidable creatures. Be enchanted by amazing animal stories, magnificent works of art, and delightful live music.

Bank of America is the official school and community partnerships sponsor of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Additional funding for Neighborhood Nights is generously provided by Bingham McCutchen, the Josephine and Louise Crane Foundation, the Mabel Louise Riley Foundation, the Rowland Foundation, and The Yawkey Foundation. The Gardner Museum receives operating support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

Special thanks to the museum’s Community Advisory Committee: Stephen Bell, John Hancock Financial Services; Allouma Clair and Marlene DaCosta, Beth Israel Hospital; Barbara Jones Finley and Celeste Scott, Dana Farber Cancer Institute; Crystal Moore, Massachusetts General Hospital; Frank Oglesby, MBTA; Nicole Reid, Consultant; and Alan Wade, Massport.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum • A Unique Environment for Learning • 280 The Fenway Boston MA 02115 617.566.1401 • Tue.-Sun., 11 am-5 pm • $12 adults; $10 seniors; $5 students; $2 off with same day Museums of Fine Arts admission; FREE children under 18, everyone on his or her birthday, and all named “Isabella”• Built in the style of a 15th-century Venetian palazzo, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is a magical place, unlike any other museum in the world. With three floors of galleries displaying over 30 centuries of art surrounding a lush indoor courtyard garden, this unique space fires the imagination and offers a one-of-a-kind experience and opportunity for learning and engagement in all the arts have to offer. In 2007, the Gardner Museum completed an important three-year, Department Of Education (DOE)-funded study into the effects of arts education on the development of critical thinking skills in young children. The study found that elementary school students from Boston public schools who visited the Gardner repeatedly to learn to look at and talk about art showed significant improvements in critical thinking skills crucial for learning. Gains in skills including close observation, interpretation, and problem solving demonstrate that visiting museums is a valuable learning experience for school-age children, and complements the education they receive in school. More information about this study and the importance of arts in education is online at:

Updated Fireworks! God Bless America

Here are the latest firework listings. Happy Fourth everyone!!!

The Works
July 4th fireworks and festivities your family will love.
By Carrie Wattu

It's Independence Day! Take your Little Miss or Mr. Independent to a fab fireworks display or July 4th event. Stock up on the glow-sticks, bug spray and snacks and you're good to go.

Please keep in mind that all listings are accurate at press time. Late-breaking listings will be posted under “Bonus Calendar” at As always, please confirm events before attending.

Thursday, July 1

Boston Harborfest Children’s Day. City Hall, Plaza, Boston. 10 a.m. - 3 p .m.
Kids can join organizations like The USS Constitution Museum, Historic New England and the New England Aquarium to learn something new and exciting about Boston and its history; with a live juggling act, children’s musical performers, balloon presentations, live dancers, and more.

Colonial Children’s Faire. Old South Meeting House, 310 Washington St., Boston. 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Kids will enjoy Colonial games like snail, ninepins or jackstraws, and make their own patriotic crafts. An educational, fun-filled event. Cost: $1 - $6. 617-482-6439,

Children's Concert on the Common. Natick. 7 p.m. Wayne Potash Music Fun Band provides great entertainment for children and families.

Friday, July 2

Bedford Fireworks. VA Hospital on Springs Road, Dusk. Rain Date: July 3.

By the  Bays Fourth of July  Fine Art and Craft Show. 733 Main St., Brewster. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Watercolors, furniture, jewelry, pottery, stained glass, photography, oils, weavings, shells and folk art of many kinds.

Franklin Fireworks. Franklin High School, 10 p.m.

Independence Day Fireworks & Celebration. Beacon St., Greenfield. 4:30 p.m. Fireworks shot off of Poet's Seat Tower. Meet up at Beacon field for music, food, fun and more.

Friday Night Concert. New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park,
New Bedford. 6:45 p.m.

Northbridge Fireworks. LaSalle Field, 9 p.m.

Fireworks and Patriotic Concert. Cristoforo Columbo Park (East Park)
Shrewsbury St. and Fantasia Dr., Worcester. 8 – 10 p.m. The Massachusetts Symphony Orchestra will present a concert of patriotic music, classical music and Broadway favorites. Jane Shivick will be soloist. Rain Date: Sat., July 3 and Mon., July 5. 508-754-1234.

Saturday, July 3

Fireworks. NARA Park, Acton. 9:15 fireworks. Rain Date: Sun., July 4th.

Auburn Indepedence Day Celebration. 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. (Parade, 11 a.m.). Vendors, contests, games, food, live music, demonstrations and fireworks (9:30 p.m.). 508-832-7736.

Ayer Fireworks. Dusk at Pirone Park.

By the Bays Fourth of July  Fine Art and Craft Show. 733 Main St., Brewster. See July 2nd listing for details.

Chatham Fourth of July Parade and Strawberry Festivals. Main St., Chatham. Parade steps off at 9:30 a.m. and travels down Main St. from the corner of Shore Rd. to Veterans Field. Parade info: 508-945-5199 or Strawberry Festival, featuring strawberry shortcake, hot dogs, sandwiches and beverages at First United Methodist Church, 569 Main St, from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. Strawberry Festival information:

2010 Fitchburg at Coolidge Park. Youth events, 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.; softball tournament, 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.; antique cars, 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.; music, 1 – 7 p.m.; doll/carriage parade, 1 – 2 p .m.; chow chip poker, 2 p.m.; duck race, 5 p.m Fireworks display from Rollstone Hill will light the sky over downtown Fitchburg. 

Gloucester Fireworks. Gloucester Horribles Parade, 6 p.m. Grand Fireworks Display over Gloucester Harbor, 10 p.m.

Millbury Fireworks. Windle Field, Millbury. 9:45 p.m. Fireworks are also on July 4th. Rain Date: July 5.

Milford Fireworks. Plains Park near Cedar Street, 10 p.m. Rain Date: July 5

Onset-Nahant Fireworks. Over Onset Bay at dusk.

Greater New Bedford Summerfest. Over 70 renowned and emerging performers and 90 juried arts and crafts vendors in New Bedford's authentic historic district during the first weekend in July. The two day family-oriented festival offers continuous folk music from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on seven sound stages throughout the New Bedford Whaling Historical Park ranging from the 1200 seat "Custom House Stage" to the intimacy of the 55 seat "Meet the Performer" area. Children under 12 are free on Sat. and Sun. Adult weekend pass: $20. Also July 4th.

Rutland Fireworks. Memorial Field, Rutland. Doll Carriage Parade, 1 p.m.; Band Concerts, 5:30 and 7 p.m. Fireworks, 9:30 p.m. Chicken BBQ and Strawberry Fetival held ta 4:30 p.m. behind the Fire Station.

Fourth of July Spectacular. Salisbury Beach. Beachfront concert and Sat. fireworks.

Spencer Fireworks. Spencer Fair Ground, 9:45 p.m.

Webster Fireworks. Webster Lake, 9:30 p.m.

Lights for Liberty. Stanley Park, Westfield. Food, music, fun and fireworks.

Sunday, July 4

FREE Independence Day Celebration. Amherst. 5 – 11 p.m.Featuring a children’s carnival, face-painting, games, field races, a pie-eating contest, the Amherst Community Band, and of course, fireworks.,

Bellingham High School Football Field, Blackstone St. Rain Date: July 5

Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular. Hatch Shell, Charles River Esplanade, Boston. 8:30 a.m. – 11 p.m. Free outdoor concerts includes patriotic favorites with fireworks.888-484-7677,

By the  Bays Fourth of July  Fine Art and Craft Show. 733 Main St., Brewster. See July 2nd listing for details.

Arts & Music Festival. Bridgewater. 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Immediately following a July 4th parade on the grounds in front of Boyden Hall (the "Quad") at Bridgewater State College. Highlights include a kids' festival, railroad train rides, juried art show, art displays, crafters, demonstrations, a performance by Arts for Youth, music performances by Jenna Crewsick, Matt Putnam, Elyse O'Connor, Mike Higgins, and Bridgewater's own, MBB, a chain saw sculpture demonstration by Jesse "The Machine" Green, poetry slam tent and events for all ages! In addition, there will be a community bake sale as part of the Share Our Strength/Great American Bake Sale.

The 4th of July at Buffumville Lake, Charlton. Nice lake beach, grills and trails. $1 per adult. 508-248-5697 or

FREE July 4th Band Concert and Picnic in the Park.Emerson Field, Stowe St., Concord. 3 p.m.An exciting concert of patriotic music. Families are encouraged to come earlier, to enjoy the many, free activities happening in the park that afternoon.

Duxbury 4th of July. Breakfast, road race and parade.

Fourth of July Parade, Barbecue and Fireworks. Old Whaling Church Lawn, Edgartown. BBQ time: 4 – 8 p .m.  Bring the family, spread out your blanket and relax and enjoy a great meal while waiting for the parade to start.  Free marching band concerts in the Old Whaling Church before and after the parade. Food is sold and served a la carte and tickets are not needed to attend.  It's a great place to have a casual dinner after the parade and before the fireworks. 508-939-0199 or

Falmouth Bike and Carriage Parade and Fireworks. Main St. 10 a.m. Rain Date: July 5. Fireworks at Falmouth Heights Beach, 8:45 p.m.

Fourth of July Parade. Downtown Fitchburg. 1 p.m. Bands, fire trucks, antique cars and more. Follow the parade route on Main Street.

Greater New Bedford Summerfest. See July 3rd listing for details.

Spectacular Fireworks at Hampton Beach. NH.

Independence Day Parade. Hingham. Dedicated to the town’s 375th anniversary. Enjoy the annual Vintage Classic Baseball Game featuring the Coopers and the Derbys. 781-749-1312,

Manchester By the Sea Independence Day Parade. 9:30 a.m.

Millbury Fireworks. Windle Field, Millbury. 9:45 p.m. Rain Date: July 5.

Children's Events and Fireworks. Needham. Festivities begin at 5

An American Celebration! Strawbery Banke Museum, Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Noon – 5 p.m. A children’s bike and wagon parade, traditional games and crafts, historic garden tours, live music, living history, hands-on activities, and food and fun for all. Kids free. Active military and their families, free. Parking on-site; free. 603-433-1100.

Plymouth's Fourth of July Festivities. Parade, 9:30 a.m.; waterfront concert, 7 p.m.; fireworks, 9:15 p.m. Parade route begins at Cordage Park Marketplace on Court Street in North Plymouth and winds its way down Court Street through downtown Plymouth and Main Street, continuing onto Main St. Ext and, turning left onto Water Street to the reviewing stand next to the Plymouth Rock. The Legion Bud Band starts at 7 p.m. and ends just before the fireworks begin, with the playing of the 1812 Overture. 508-747-7174,
Provincetown Parade and Fireworks. Parade starts at 11am, Fireworks at dusk

Independence Day Parade and Celebration. Pepperell. 

Celebrations in Rockport. Rockport Firemen's Parade, 6 p.m.; Rockport Legion Band Concert on Back Beach, 8:30 p.m.; Rockport Bonfire on Back Beach, 9 p.m.

Fourth of July Spectacular. Salisbury Beach. Beachfront concert and more festivities.

Salem Celebrates the 4th. Fireworks at dusk.

FREE Try Our Pool Free Day at Benjamin Hill Park, 93 Benjamin Rd., Shirley. 1 – 7 p.m. Celebrate the Fourth with a free day of swimming in the Olympic-size pool. 978-425-9536. 

Star Spangled Springfield. Court Square, Springfield. 7:30 p.m. on the steps of City Hall. Fireworks at 9:30 p.m. from the Memorial Bridge with musical simulcast Mix 93.1, live musical entertainment and food. 413-733-3800,

An 1830s Independence Day Celebration. Old Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge. 6 – 10 p.m. Bring a picnic or plan on supper at one of the food service outlets. Fireworks follow at dusk over the countryside. Tickets go on sale, June 1.

The Wakefield Independence Parade. Wakefield. 3 p.m.

Happy Birthday USA Family Day. The Spellman Museum of Stamps & Postal History, 235 Wellesley St., Weston. Noon - 4 p.m. Games, prizes and arts and crafts activities using postage stamps.  Free stamps, tips about starting a collection and refreshments. A $8, Sr/St $5, under 16 free. 781-768-8367,

Family Picnic on the Common and Reading of the Declaration of Independence. Westminster. 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Bring your family and a picnic lunch to enjoy on the common on Academy Hill and listen to a reading of the Declaration of Independence, written in 1776.

Monday, July 5th
Chelmsford Fourth of July Parade. 10 a.m. One of the largest Fourth of July parades in the state. Enjoy creative floats, food, marching bands and patriotic music. Along Route 4 from Drum Hill to the downtown. 978-250-8415,

Lowell Fireworks. Vandenburg Esplanade, Dusk.

Natick 4th Celebration. Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast at St. Paul's, 7 a.m. - Noon. Flea Market on the Common, 8 a.m. - 3 p .m. The 55th Annual Parade starts at the 9/27 Plaza and travels down Route 27 to Route 135 in Natick Center, 9 a.m. Concert on the Common with The Boston Soul Revue, 7 p.m.

Needham 4th of July Children's Parade. 8:30 a.m.

America's Hometown 4th of July Celebration. South and North Streets., Pittsfield. 10 a.m. The 2010 “We the People” parade is the largest 4th of July parade in America. More than 100 floats, marching bands, giant balloons and participants. An old-fashioned family Picnic on The Common follows with craft/food booths and entertainment. 413-443-6501, 413-447-7763,

Wednesday, July 7

Groton Fireworks. Town Field (behind the library), 6 p.m. 978-448-1100. Rain Date: July 8.

Red, White and Blue Patriotic Concert. Fruitlands Museum, Harvard. 7:15 – 8:15 p.m. Admission is per carload: $10NM. Rain date: Thurs., July 8.

Saturday, July 10
Fireworks. Clinton Middle School. Rain Date: July 11th.

For more family events, visit Also, join Massachusetts parents for new ideas about what to do/where to go on Facebook (search baystateparent Magazine).