What to do this weekend? Fun Family Activities

What to do this weekend? Fun Family Activities

Family Fun Activities Boston

Family fun activities abound this weekend! I read, well, sort of all the time, so in my travels I might find stuff to share. First check with Boston Central – it’s a great resource for families. Then I read my inbox (some of it) and status updates – here’s what I found so far.
Head of the Charles Regatta 50th Anniversary – Cambridge
The Head Of The Charles Regatta® will mark a momentous milestone this October, celebrating its 50th occurrence with a gala celebration to cap off the historic two-day race event along Boston´s iconic Charles River.
Saturday, Oct 18, 2014 – Sunday, Oct 19, 2014

Boston Museum of Science
8th Annual Archaeology Fair – Boston
Explore the exciting world of archaeology through a variety of interactive activities and games like Underwater archaeology, Roman legionaries, flintknapping, glass blowing, simulated digs, ancient languages, & more.
Friday, Oct 17, 2014 – Saturday, Oct 18, 2014
MIT Science on Saturday: How Computers Think – Cambridge
Demos on stage by MIT students, followed by activity booths with hands-on experiments. Open to all elementary, middle, and high school students, as well as their parents and teachers.
Saturday, Oct 18, 2014
Parent Talk Used Toy, Clothing, and Equipment Sale – Needham
ParentTalk’s annual Fall Sale is coming up Join us to shop for gently used strollers, pack’n’plays, high chairs, baby equipment, nursing equipment, linens, baby and kids’ clothing (including upscale brands) for ages 0-8, and toys
Saturday, Oct 18, 2014
Charles River School Family Fair and Craft Show – Dover
The Charles River School Fair and Craft Show in Dover, MA offers twice the fun Over 50 juried artists will display handcrafted treasures. Families can enjoy rides, games, photo booth, pony rides and more
Saturday, Oct 18, 2014

King Richard’s Faire Come and escape YOUR reality at King Richard’s Faire! Entertainment, exciting rides and skilled games abound on the Faire’s enchanting 80 acre wooded site. You’ll be dazzled by acrobats, aerialists, and jugglers! Captivated with our minstrels, dancers and puppeteers and instantly enthralled by fire eaters, exotic tigers, and the majestic white lion. Hundreds of talented performers perform non-stop for you throughout the day when visiting any one of our eight vibrant stages.

  • Weekends August 30th thru October 19th 2014
  • Gates open at 10:30am and close at 6:00pm

The Six Flags Food Truck & Beer Festival

Come enjoy some of New England’s best gourmet food trucks at Six Flags New England on October 18th from 12pm – 11pm! This festival will be combining roller coasters, haunted attractions, beer and wine, and over 20 food trucks!

Tickets to the theme park and the Food Truck & Beer Festival will be $49.99, which will include parking, theme park admission and access to the Food Truck & Beer Festival. Tickets can be purchased here!

Spooky Hayrides – Lexington

Wilson Farm hosts it annual Spooky Hayrides, no charge and fun for the whole family. Ride one of our farm tractors through our fields filled with spooky displays.
Mon, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun from Oct 6, 2014 – Oct 31, 2014

Salem Haunted Happenings 2014 – Salem
You’re invited to Salem’s annual Halloween Festival. It happens every year during October in the bewitching seaport of Salem, Massachusetts. Nobody celebrates Halloween quite like Salem, Massachusetts. Here’s a list of top favorites from The Thrillist. You can drive, take the commuter rail but check out the fast ferry from Boston Harbor Cruises.
Now thru Friday, Oct 31, 2014

FIND A LOT FOR LESS AT FORT POINT OPEN STUDIOS (source – Bargain Bin – Ami Albernaz – Boston Globe)

369 Congress St. will be a spot for bargains at this weekend’s Fort Point Open Studios. Artist-designers on the second floor will have prints, ceramics, knitwear, and more at 15-75 percent off retail prices. Find lamps, bowls, vases, and trays from Jill Rosenwald; funky earthenware lamps from Lawrence McRae Ceramics; colorful prints, maps, and iPhone cases from JHill Design; and hand-knit hats, mittens, and scarves from The Third Piece. The sale happens Friday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 369 Congress St., second floor, Boston.

And from

Halloween and more in Newton!

Harvest Fair, October 18 and 19

This weekend! Kiddie amusement rides, face painting, international craft vendors, ethnic food, live entertainment and MORE! For details read more. . .

>GREEN SOLUTIONS EXPOSunday October 19, 10 am – 5 pm
Newton Harvest Fair

Newton Centre Green
This year’s Newton/Needham Chamber of Commerce EXPO showcases solutions you can use to reduce your carbon footprint and over 50 exhibitors in one area. Come enjoy the Newton Harvest Fair which also features continuous entertainment, food and games for the kids. Get tips on how to live a “green” life style. See exhibitors with green products, services and ideas. See how far electric cars can take you before you have to switch to gasoline. See the advanced Tesla electric car. Find out how you can convert to solar electricity and reduce your electric bills without spending thousands. Have a green lawn all summer without watering and only cut once a month. This year’s EXPO will include games and activities for kids.

Boston Artists Ensemble, October 19

Intimate concert led by Boston Symphony cellist Jonathan Miller. . .Read more

From Conflict to Peace, October 21

A night of critical reflection moderated by NPR’s On Point host Tom Ashbrook. Read more

 Newton North High School Teen Gallery Opening,  October 29

The Newton Free Library will host the opening for posters and ceramics from Newton North High School; artwork will be on view through early spring 2014. Read more

Great Gatsby Movie & Costume Party, October 23

Wear 1920’s garb munch goodies and watch the classic film. Open to ages 13 and up

. . .Read more

Halloween on the Farm, October 31

Spooky stories, apple bobbing and more! Read more

Run by volunteers, is “one-stop shopping” for Newton community news. lists not-for-profit events around Newton: concerts, plays, festivals, sports clinics, lectures, workshops, classes, volunteer opportunities, walks, bike rides, and more. strives for accuracy, but errors may occur. Times, dates, and places may change, and some events require pre-registration. Please check with the hosts.

Social Media & You taught by Melanie Graham at NewTV

social media nd you, NewTV, Melanie Graham,

If you are a fan of Melanie Graham, the first and wonderful Newton Patch editor, (her Five Things You Need to Know posts were the best and she is super nice IRL*), and you want to know how to use Social Media for good (not evil), you’ll sign up for her class at NewTV.  Melanie is currently the Digital Content and Social Media Producer for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and has been teaching this class at NewTV since 2011. So learn to better promote yourself and your projects and get a handle on Twitter (pun intended).

Social Media & You

The internet opens up a world of resources for you to better promote yourself and your projects. This course introduces to you some of the wide variety of options, from Facebook to Twitter, and how to best use them.

Instructor: Melanie Graham of Dana-Farber

Location: 23 Needham Street, Newton MA 02461 

Time: January 27 • 7pm

Fee: $25.00

To register for Social Media & You, please click media nd you, NewTV, Melanie Graham,

*In Real Life (if you had to look at this then you need this class)

 What is NewTV?
NewTV is a non-profit Newton-based organization dedicated to providing the diverse Newton community with a platform for opinions, news and local information not generally available from commercial or public media.  NewTV also offers training, a media facility and content distribution while supporting the First Amendment right to free speech of the Newton community.

Where is NewTV?

The headquarters of NewTV and the TV production studio facilities are located at 19-23 Needham Street in Newton Highlands.

The facility is at the top of the hill of a private road called Easy Street, which runs off Needham Street between National Lumber and National Tire & Battery (NTB). From 128 North or South, take the Needham Street Exit 19A and follow Needham Street North past the Avalon Apartments. Make a left onto Easy Street. From Newton Centre and points North, take Centre Street past Route 9/Boylston Street, onto Winchester Street, then go right at the traffic signal onto Needham Street. Easy Street is the first right past National Lumber.

Who can use NewTV?
Residents of the City of Newton, members of Newton-based non-profit organizations, employees of Newton businesses and City of Newton employees are eligible to use NewTV.  This includes free use of TV production equipment and facilities, cable TV channel time and training in TV production, media literacy and Internet access.  Anyone wishing to use NewTV facilities must become a member of NewTV for a small annual fee (Really, it’s $25).

Breastfeeding Q & A

Breastfeeding Q & A from Isis Parenting

August is World Breastfeeding Month and while I nursed my children, I did so because it worked for my family not because it is the only way to be a good mother. I am really uncomfortable with all of the judgement going on around breast feeding/bottle feeding. Really, do what works for you and your child. Nothing else. Dr. Claire McCarthy says it better than I can here in Breastfeeding and the Mommy Wars.

Go read it now. I’ll wait.

Back? Glad you read it? Me. too.
Here is an excerpt from Dr. McCarthy’s post:
I think we need to be ground rules when it comes to talking about breastfeeding, something along the lines of:
1. Nobody may berate any mother for her breastfeeding choices.
2. All mothers deserve not just information about and support for breastfeeding but the benefit of the doubt when it comes to the choices they make.
3. We all need to acknowledge that there is more to parenting than breastfeeding.
I think that if we could agree to ground rules like these it would help all mothers, whether or not they breastfeed. As a pediatrician and a mom, that’s what I want most of all.

I’m sharing this because I find it helpful, kind and the way it should be. That said, I am also sharing the following information in honor of World Breastfeeding Month, and because I love the tagline from the Isis Parenting (a great resource), Because babies don’t come with instructions. (they sure don’t).

Nancy Holtzman, Vice President, Clinical Content & Learning at Isis Parenting, answers two of the more common questions she gets from new nursing mothers.

Q.     Latching on – how does a mother ensure the latch is good?
A “good latch” is one that is comfortable for the mom, and provides good milk transfer for the baby. There are all kinds of beliefs about what a “good” latch should look like, but the reality is that a latch can look great, but that’s going on in the baby’s mouth isn’t great at all.
So back to the basics: If the latch feels okay to mom (not pinching, burning, clamping or causing pain), and if baby is swallowing milk, softening the breast, and gaining weight, it’s a good latch.
In general, the baby’s jaw should be dropped, mouth open wide before latching, with lips flanged out, not tucked into the mouth. It helps for baby’s head to slightly recline back (lead in with the chin, over and on) when approaching the breast. Having the chin tucked down toward the chest restricts the baby’s ability to open wide. (Try it yourself: curl your chin down toward your chest and try to open your mouth wide. Restrictive).
Another way moms inadvertently restrict baby’s ability to get a “good” latch is by holding the breast too close to the areola and nipple. If your fingers are in the way, baby can’t get a deep mouthful of breast tissue. Try supporting the breast with a big “C” of your hand closer to your ribs, and make sure your index finger doesn’t creep too close to the areola.

Note: If there is initial nipple damage, latching will probably hurt until the crack or abrasion heals. Just like a skinned knee – the initial damage can cause ongoing discomfort during “use”, even if the latch is corrected. The good news is that when correcting the latch, damage should heal and not reoccur.

Note: Tender latch from “newness”. Sometimes even when the latch is good, there can be temporary latch discomfort during the first week or so of breastfeeding – even without damage. Both the external skin, and the internal tissue of the nipple, will adjust quickly, but sometimes a new mom will have latch discomfort for the first few sucks – After counting to ten and/or taking a few deep breaths, the pain should be gone and the feeding should feel like a gentle tugging sensation and not painful. If a mom continues to have pain throughout most feeding sessions, or nipple damage that isn’t healing, then it’s time to call a Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) for help.

Q: What are best positions for nursing?

·         There are as many different breastfeeding positions, as there are, mothers and babies. In general, some key things to pay attention to are:

Baby’s comfort for eating:
-Baby should always have nose and belly button in a straight line. Why? Well, if baby is laying on his back, with his head turned to the side, it’s very difficult to swallow. Try it yourself: look over your shoulder and try to swallow.

-Baby should feel securely supported. If baby’s hips or legs are “dangling”, he may compensate for this tenuous position by clamping hard with his gums. Ouch!

-Foot reflex: make sure your baby’s feet are not pressing up against the sides of the chair when nursing in a cross-cradle position, or against the back of the couch or chair when nursing in a football/clutch hold. A young infant will reflexively press against the chair (stepping reflex) which results in arching away from the breast. Baby becomes frustrated because he wants to eat, and mom becomes frustrated because she doesn’t understand why baby is arching away from the breast.

Mom’s Comfort:

 -Mom may be comfortable sitting upright in a supportive chair with a footstool and firm cushion or pillow to support either the baby, or her arms holding the baby.

 -Mom may be comfortable reclining back on a couch or propped up on her bed, with the baby draped tummy-down over her chest.

 -Make several rolled “sausages” (tightly rolled flannel blanket secured with a piece of tape) which are left in usual nursing spots. These are very helpful to support mom’s wrist, baby’s head or neck, or even tucked under a heavy breast.

-Mom should be able to “relax” her neck, shoulders, arms and wrists once baby is comfortably latched on. Keeping a tense, tight “chicken wing” position can lead to muscle soreness and tension headaches. Having supportive materials to assist finding a good feeding position will help this.

There are so many nuances when it comes to positions. Special positions can help special situations, like a very heavy milk let down (commonly causing baby to cough/choke/splutter at the beginning of a feeding), or a baby with a tongue-tie, preemie, or lower muscle tone.

For more tips on positioning, here’s the webinar on that topic:

There is a live Breastfeeding Webinar and Chat each Thursday at 12:00 PM ET and all are welcome to attend. Discussed are specific nursing or pumping related topics, or specific weeks are dedicated to “All Questions and Answers”.

There are 40 recorded breastfeeding webinars available on topics including blocked ducts and mastitis, nursing the first week, pumping and storing milk, helpful products for nursing/pumping moms, breastmilk and childcare, introducing solid foods, and “help, my baby won’t take a bottle!”.

Great resources for if you are nursing – no pressure if you are not.

Last Minute Gifts – Day 12 of the 12 Days of Shopping

Last Minute Gifts (Because I’m So Together That I Have A Present Cabinet) and my gift is only homemade if you have a few pounds of butter in your house which I generally do…

Okay, it is a gross overstatement to say I have it together, but I do have a great Present Cabinet (there is also a Candy Cabinet but that is a different thing all together and for my personal consumption). How is it that someone who misplaces her keys, phone and often does not know the date is organized enough to pre-buy gifts for the unexpected but inevitable gift giving opportunity? Perhaps because I was scarred by an unequal gift exchange oh-so-many years ago and now have at the ready a gift for all occasions. Maybe I am a closet control freak. The possibilities are endless. While you speculate, here are some great gifts that you can throw together without looking like you threw it together in case you don’t even have time for a batch of cookies. Entirely possible, people!

Remember your wrapping station? No? Have one set up – paper, tissue, ribbon and scotch tape. You’re going to need it!

Each Includes: 3 boxes of Quinn Popcorn, Taza Chocolate Covered Almonds, 12oz Tipus Chai Tea Now

Don’t have a Present Cabinet? It’s okay, these are easy to find and put together ideas. Have some time – need it shipped? Check out the Because Movie Night Gift Box from Quinn Popcorn (my favorite popcorn and new shopping staple). Great pairing with the chocolate covered almonds and chai tea! Popcorn +Taza + Chai $34.99 –  Free Shipping On Orders Over $29. No chemicals! Here iis some info from their site…

Two years ago we set out to clean up microwave popcorn. Having just brought our first son, Quinn, home it was time to take this icon of adulterated food and transform it into something anyone can feel good about eating and sharing with friends and family. After a sleepless year our popcorn was finally ready for prime time!

First, we tackled the bag. Gone are the chemical coatings (PFOA, PFCs, Poly, etc.). We even pulled out the susceptor (gray metal/plastic patch). What’s left is a bag that’s made from paper and paper alone. Well, it is special paper that is pressed to make it grease proof. That wasn’t easy to figure out. Did we mention, it’s even compostable?

The ingredients got even more attention. We never use GMO ingredients or preservatives. The popcorn is organic. The expeller pressed oils are high in omega-3′s. Our ingredients all come together in 3 sweet, salty, unique, and delicious flavors. Plain and sim­ple, our mis­sion is to pro­vide you with the best bag of microwave pop­corn.

Family Movie Night

A box of Quinn popcorn (the vermont maple and sea salt is my personal fave)  and you can find it at  other local markets like Whole Foods and Shaws, and Wilson Farms.

Chocolate (your choice)

A movie  (Target has a great selection of DVDs starting at $5) and your local supermarket may have some holiday DVDs. It’s a Wonderful Life is always a good choice!

Switch out the movie and sub in a board game and you have a Family Game Night gift package.

Foodie Fun

Foodies in your midst? Measuring cups (again, cute ones at Target, Anthropologie, Sur La Table), a bowl, a wooden spoon and your favorite cookie recipe, add dry ingredients if you like! Roche Brothers Supermarket has a gorgeous Stonewall Kitchen section – great bowls and a Stonewall Kitchen mix with a pretty dishtowel. Yes, I do have most of these things in my house, no, do not call Hoarders.

Spices, really nice ones from Penzey’s or Sofra are wonderful gifts on their own.
I pick some up every time I go to Sofra (no, not really every time – that would be excessive).

In Boston? On Newbury Street? I found this gem of a store…Sabatino Tartuffi – gorgeous salts, sugar, honey, truffles and even a sweet skincare line. No, I did not buy out the store, there are some beautiful things left.

Still not the right gift? Really, a plant is lovely – try potted herbs (Trader Joe’s has a nice mix) adnd Whole Foods has a lovely lavender tree that Pragmatic Mom gave me last year and I let live for three entire weeks!

Since Pragmatic Mom often makes me look like I am standing still (unless I am overly caffeinated which does happen), see what she has in store as her homemade gift.



My Homemade Gift- fresh from The Boston Globe Magazine…


TIP Use a sieve to separate candy pieces from dust. Reserve dust for sprinkling on hot cocoa (or dipping the warm chocolate cookies in for added punch)

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

8 ounces candy canes

2 cups bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips (12 ounces)

In a small bowl, whisk flour and salt and set aside. Use a mixer to cream the butter and sugar at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla, and beat to incorporate fully. Add the flour mixture and beat on low just to incorporate. Scrape dough onto a piece of plastic wrap, knead it once or twice, shape into a disk, wrap, and refrigerate at least 1 and up to 48 hours. We went for an hour and dough was a delight.

With the rack in the center position, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut a piece of parchment to fit a 17-by-13-inch baking sheet. Rest the dough at room temperature for 15 minutes, then dust with flour and roll into a rectangle just smaller than the sheet and about ⅜ inch thick. Transfer the parchment and dough to the sheet, prick lightly with a fork, and bake until light golden brown and puffed, about 22 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through.

Meanwhile, place candy in a zippered bag and use a heavy pan to crush it, then shake in a sieve to remove dust from small pieces (you should have about 1 cup).

Transfer baking sheet to a wire rack and immediately sprinkle the chocolate over the hot cookie. Let soften for 4 to 5 minutes, then spread the chocolate evenly over the cookie. This was fun – especially if you wait – don’t rush this step.

Immediately sprinkle with the crushed candy, pressing gently to adhere. Cool until set, about 90 minutes, then cut and serve (or store in an airtight container for up to 1 week). Yeah, you won’t have any left.

The 12 Days of Shopping

Saturday, December 1:  Make Your Own Gifts with granola two ways. Hers and Mine.

Sunday, December 2:  Kids Make Gifts Craft, Clove Fruit and Crafts.

Monday, December 3: Personalized Gifts, Hers and Mine.

Tuesday, December 4:  Father-in-Law/Dad and Mother-in-Law/Mom

Wednesday, December 5:  Tutors/Teachers

Thursday, December 6:  High Tech/Low Tech

Friday, December 7:  Hostess/Doing Good

Saturday, December 8:  Sanitation Engineers, Mail CarriersHairdresser, Delivery People, Babysitter, Cleaning People, Dog Walker/Dog Trainer

Sunday, December 9:  Husband, Me (Our Own  List), CapabilityMom’s List

Monday, December 10:  Cats/Dogs

Tuesday, December 11:  Quick Gifts from Whole Foods and Gourmet Food Store

Wednesday, December 12:  ’Cause I Am So Together,  Last Minute Home Made Gifts, Homemade Ornament Crafts for Kids and Capability:Mom’s Homemade Gift

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