Tag Archives: Family Fun

Why Go To Cape Cod And Get Eaten By A Shark When You Can Come To Gloucester For Schooner Festival This Weekend!

Getting Eaten By a Shark In Cape Cod = Bad

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Enjoying Schooner Festival In Gloucester = Good

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Click Here for Schooner Festival Program and Visitors Guide

Great Wolf Lodge…Pretty Great For Sure

We went way over the bridge this week and took a quick getaway to the brand new Great Wolf Lodge in Fitchburg.  Prior to the onslaught of some heavy duty advertising recently, you may not have heard of the Great Wolf Lodges, but I’d been hoping to get to one of their other locations for quite some time now for a short family vacation.  Last year I was psyched to hear that they were planning on building a lodge here in Massachusetts!

So, they opened in June and we booked during a promo offer back in March.  It did not disappoint.  The boys were psyched and even my husband made it through the 24 hours of Triple F (forced family fun….for those of you not in the know) unscathed….and happy.  We packed a cooler.

Because it is new…it is spotless.  They definitely pay attention to detail and they definitely cater to family fun.  From the wolf ears that they hand out upon check-in (that families oddly wear during their entire stay…ummm, but not us because we can’t pull off that type of crap off) to the “Have a Wolftastic Day” greeting that they offer even before you can drink a cup of morning coffee, to the door openers who never fail to beat you to the punch and are unbelievably eager to welcome you in and out of every single space with unwavering enthusiasm.  A vacation destination built for kids this is.  Cheesy sure.  But, a good cheesy, if this is the type of vacation that you went ahead and booked for your kids.  I, personally, wouldn’t have had it any other way.  Little Finn feel in love with Violet the Wolf and while Thatcher tried to be too cool for story and song time, I caught him singing along and doing the Wolf Lodge Howl with the best of them!

Our family suite overlooked the main lodge welcome area…which was odd and yet cool all at the same time.  The wrist bands that they give you upon check-in also serve as your room key….which, as a none-purse-carrying type of girl, I LOVED.  You could also just scan your wristband anywhere throughout the lodge and your purchases would simply get charged to your room. Bonus…albeit dangerous I suppose.  For the record…they don’t put those in the kids’ wristbands….that would be silly.

They have six pretty awesome water slides.  Four for kids 42″ and taller and two for anyone over 48″.  One is the the type where they put you in a little booth, count down from 5, and drop the floor out beneath you to propel you straight down into the unknown.  Crazy!  I, for the record, sat that one out. Fortunately, I can blame Finn as he was just a bit too short and someone “had” to stay with him.  My husband and Thatcher braved it eagerly….and loved it.

The lodge also has two water playgrounds, a pretty rad wave pool, a hot tub, a small lazy river, water basketball, an excellent ropes course high up in the air, some little mall-type rides, mini golf, a Magi Quest interactive game to be played throughout your stay, a 6D little movie theater ride, a super fun arcade (and I don’t normally love arcades so that’s saying something), a restaurant, a cafe, a Dunkin’ Donuts, an ice cream joint, a little day spa for the girls, and more!

Pretty cool too is that, while check-in is @ 4:00, they allow you to use the water park beginning at 1:00.  Even more cool is that, while check out is 11:00 a.m., they allow you to use the water park all the way up to closing (9:00 p.m.) that day.  They have lockers and showers so that once you put your luggage in the car you can still enjoy some fun, shower, change, and get ready for the ride home.  That being the case, if you live close enough, one night is a good enough stay.  More than two nights, in my humble opinion, would be too long.

Good, clean, family fun less than two hours from Cape Ann.  I’m guessing that come the long and abyssmal winter months this place will be jammin’!

See the Great Wolf Lodge

 

Looking For A New Place to Visit?

If you’re like me, and you have young children or grandchildren, you’ve probably exhausted most short day trip venues.  Don’t get me wrong, there are so many tremendous places to visit around this area and I feel incredibly fortunate to have such fun, educational, and diverse opportunities for summer fun at our doorstep! We certainly have our favorite stomping grounds that never get old, and that we’ll visit time and time again, but every once in a while, we plain ole want something new.  I feel compelled to add that the boys have also had plenty of down-time by just hitting the beach, riding bikes, and playing in the yard….but, we like to throw a day trip into the mix once a week.

With a seek and conquer attitude, we hit the road on Monday morning, determined to visit someplace we’ve never been.

Destination:  Kimball Farm, Westford.

Just a mere few minutes over an hour away….and loads of fun.  Oh, and clean! Our choice was a big success!

Kimball Farm has a bit of everything.  Bumper Boats, mini golf, a driving range, Pitch and Putt golf, an indoor arcade, batting cages, a small animal experience highlighting some rescued and orphaned animals, a seafood shack, and, of course, ice cream!

I chose Monday because I had to head “up the line” to Danvers for an errand anyway…so, it was really only a 40 minute drive.  Once there, we spent about 3 hours having outdoor fun.  We could have easily stayed longer, but we love the driving range and batting cages at Richardson’s Dairy so we skipped those options and focused our fun elsewhere…promising them another trip to Richardson’s soon.

The Bumper Boats were the obvious winner for the boys.  I gave the win to the fact that the place was well-cared for, clean, and nicely landscaped and decorated.  A big family win all around!  Check it out for sure if you don’t mind a short drive!

Kimball Farm

 

The Scraffts Make a Day Of It At The Seacoast Science Center

Hey Joey,
Just when I thought we had dragged our children to every possible day trip imaginable, we took off after hockey today and went to the Seacoast Science Center…just a couple of miles off the Portsmouth Circle. SOOO worth the short drive!!! My boys LOVE the Gloucester Maritime Center and, as members, we go there all summer long, but the Seacoast Science Center is a perfect compromise between our own “little red aquarium” (as my boys call it) and trekking to Boston to the NE Aquarium. While it is no Mystic Aquarium, it is a fantastic day trip!! During warmer weather they also have great trail hiking and tidal pool exploration because they are located in Odiorne Point State Park. I thought that some of your readers may want to check it out! http://www.seacoastsciencecenter.org/
Nichole Schrafft

Pop-up fish buoy and a sneak preview at some others… BUOY AUCTION TONIGHT!

Fish buoy by Kelsey Marr

Fish buoy by Kelsey Marr

Today’s featured buoy (by request) is the pop-up fish buoy by Kelsey Marr! Bidding starts at $20 in the comments section, send us an email (arthaveninfo@gmail.com) to confirm.

However, for your entertainment, I also bring you a great assortment of artist buoys to check out :) If you’d like to put a bid in on any of these, you’re more than welcome to in the comments section, just make sure to send us an email also (arthaveninfo@gmail.com). And the online bidding ends at 4:00 today. THEN, you come to the auction from 5:00-8:00 at Cruiseport!

Also, keep in mind that there will be live music, lots of local food, tons of beautiful kids buoys, childrens activities and, in case you haven’t heard… A BIG ANNOUNCEMENT FROM ART HAVEN ABOUT AWESOME PLANS FOR THE YEARS TO COME!!