Tag Archives: Family

Let Your Kids Try Hockey for FREE


On Saturday, November 7th, USA Hockey and 500 local associations across the country will host Try Hockey For Free Day, presented by KraftHeinz! Participating locations encourage kids, ages 4 to 9, to come try youth hockey as part of “Come Play Hockey Month.”    All locations will have limited equipment available for use.

Head HERE to read all about this great opportunity  http://www.tryhockeyforfree.com/


Nichole’s Picks 10/31 + 11/1

Well, it’s Halloween.  So, good luck with that.

Pick #1  

Playtime Stories at the Gloucester Stage Company

Fitting…and sounds like a lot of fun.  Thanks to Kim Smith for the tip!


Pick #2  

Trick-or-Treat Downtown Gloucester or Rockport

Take your little costumed ones down Main Street in Gloucester or through downtown Rockport from 4-6 for some fantastic Trick-or-Treating.


Pick #3  

Wheelock Family Theatre:  Trumpet of the Swan

One of my favorite children’s books, E.B. White’s Trumpet of the Swan is coming to life on the Wheelock Family Theatre Stage.

Check HERE for dates and ticketing info. and then make a night (or day) of it!


Can a brass horn be the key to love? Louis, a trumpeter swan, is different from his sibling cygnets, for he was born without voice, but with great diligence, patience, and resilience, Louis learns to play the trumpet and communicate his thoughts and feelings through the power of music. E. B. White’s award-winning story is inspired by the natural world and our own very human need to connect and to communicate.

For a comprehensive list of family activities check out our friends at NorthShoreKid

Nichole’s Picks 10/17 + 10/18

Once again we have what is called a “No Brainer” for fun family activities.  So much so, in fact, that I’m only giving you two options.  Between Rockport’s Awesome HarvestFest and Salem’s Fantastic (albeit creepy) Haunted Happenings you should be all set.  If you’re still finding yourself with free time get outdoors and take a hike or head to one of the dozen or so phenomenal apple picking locations and get yourself some cider donuts!

Pick #1  Rockport HarvestFest

Scarecrow judging, live music, food, beer (yes, beer in Rockport), cooking demonstrations, tons of family activities, AND a BLOCK PARTY on Bearskin Neck.  Come on, seriously!  Can you think of anything more fun?

HarvestFestflyer2015 harvestfest3

Read More About HarvestFest HERE

Pick #2  Haunted Happenings in Salem

Ok, so I can’t lie.  I have never taken my boys into Salem to appreciate any of the mayhem that is the “Month of Halloween.”  This is the year, however, that I fully intend to go!  I almost made it last year, but our weekends are just, what I’ve come to call, “No Joke Busy.”

Here is a link for all of your Haunted Happenings Needs!  Totally check it out!



For a more comprehensive list of family activities, visit our friends at North Shore Kid

Nichole’s Picks 9/19 + 9/20

There are some fun things going on this weekend.  Seize the moment and enjoy the nice weather while you still can!

Pick #1  Harvest Moon Music Festival


Read more HERE!

Pick #2  Choate Island Day, Ipswich

Spend the day exploring Choate Island in Essex Bay. With its magnificent vistas, abundant wildlife, and historic buildings, Choate Island is like no place you’ve ever been.

Park at Crane Beach and catch the free bus and boat shuttles to the island. Shuttles run continuously throughout the day (the last boat to the island leaves at 1 pm).

Once on the island, you may visit the Choate family homestead, the historic Proctor Barn, the White Cottage Visitor Center, and the summit that marks the final resting place of Mr. and Mrs. Cornelius Crane, donors of the island.

We’ll also offer history talks, a children’s treasure hunt, and seasonal refreshments. Visitors are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch and spend the day.

Reservations recommended. Day-of tickets will be available on the dock for cash or check.



Pick #3 Appleton Farm Day

While I miss summer already, this is one of my favorite…dare I say the “f” word…FALL…activities of the year.

Come celebrate the fall season with some good ol’-fashioned fun on America’s oldest working farm. Grab your friends and family and join us at Appleton Farms for our annual Family Farm Day!

Visit with our farm animals, climb aboard a tractor, paint your own pumpkin, learn about beekeeping, challenge your friends at the potato spoon relay or hay obstacle course, and make sure to enjoy a pony ride! Looking for more?  There are old-fashioned games like tug-o-war, crafts, face-painting, farm tattoos, and live music by Ben Rudnick and Friends.

All this activity will surely have you hungry for some fresh-from-the- farm food.  Visit the food court where you will find our own 100% grass-fed burgers cooked up by Vinwood Catering , seasonal selections from the Heritage Food Truck, and tasty Mexican inspired dishes from North East of the Border.  Snacks, drinks, and dessert will include White Farm’s Ice Cream, cider donuts, popcorn, mojo cold-brewed coffee, and lemonade.  For the adults in the group, Ipswich Ale and Far From the Tree will be serving up their locally made beers and cider.

Admission includes everything except food and beverages.  This event runs rain or shine. Admission fee is per car so join your friends and come together.  Trustees members don’t forget your membership card to receive discounted admission.   Not a member yet?  Join at the event and receive a free Appleton t-shirt plus $10 off a family membership!  (Promotion available at the event only).


Pick #4  If You’re Up For Heading Into the City

There are two fun events happening in Boston that involve dancing, music, vendors, food, and good times!





Live entertainment on 2 stages • Over 100 Local Merchants, Artists and Organizations
Great Food • Dance Performances • Children’s Activities • Pooch Friendly


For more family friendly activities, please visit our friends at North Shore Kid!

Come Sail Away: Sandy Bay Yacht Club

Since he was about four-years-old, Thatcher has known that he wanted to start sailing lessons at the Sandy Bay Yacht Club in Rockport as soon as he was old enough to begin.

Old Enough happened this week!

For as much time as I’ve spent on boats, I’m not a sailor, so it blows my mind to watch him out there in the harbor sailing solo.

I have been so impressed with the staff and instructors and I am looking forward to watching Thatch grow, learn, and advance through the ranks in the SBYC sailing program.

Quintessential summer.

Motif No.1 Day 2015 (M1D:15) is Gonna Be Amazing

Five days away from the best M1D in 65 years (really). Film, Dance, Poetry, Music, Art, activities for kids and tons of community events are planned.

FILM: (look for GMG goddess Kim Smith’s clip!) The Red Shed Film Fest at the Rockport Public Library

DANCE: The T-Wharf tent featuring the Rockport Dance Academy and Fight or Flight Aerial Theatre.

MUSIC: The Dock Square tent features the Mari Martin Band, Pesky J. Nixon and Glass Onion. The Shalin Liu features a FREE community concert and an Instrument Petting Zoo.

WORDS: The School Street Tent: Magnetic Poetry Slam, Words Interactive, Words Before Dinner: the Poetry of Cape Ann.

ART: motif 2015 is a show featuring fresh, new work curated by Bob & Jill Armstrong of Iartcolony Gallery in Rockport. Artists from Cape Ann, Boston and beyond have re-imagined the Motif in everything from sculpture to paintings to video installations. A gallery walk will also be part of the festival.

COMMUNITY: Rockport Elementary School 3rd Grade Art Show, the M1D 5k & Fun Run to benefit Rockport Public Schools, Thacher Island Committee, Sandy Bay Yacht Club, Rockport Cub Scouts, Millbrook Meadow Committee, Addison Gilbert, SISU Fitness and more!

FOOD: Top Dog will have a food booth at the School Street Tent, Blue Lobster Grille and That Nutty Redhead will be set up in Dock Square, the New Year’s Rockport Eve Food Booth will be in Harvey Park.

FAMILY ACTIVITIES: Sidewalk Chalk Art Contest with prizes sponsored by The Ice Cream Store, painting, sketching, a Story Walk and Make-a-Book craft sponsored by the Rockport Public Library and much more!

Print out this handy Schedule of Events and bring it with you to Motif No.1 Day. The CATA trolley Park ‘n’ Ride will be running all day. Follow us on Twitter @rockportfest to stay up on the festival haps (do people still say that?) #M1D #rockportrocks www.rockportartfestivals.com



Nichole’s Picks May 2nd and 3rd

Unbelievably, it is May!

Pick #1

ARTS FIRST at Harvard University!

Thursday, April 30, 2015 (All day) to Sunday, May 3, 2015 (All day)

One of the nation’s largest university arts festivals showcases over 225 presentations.
Harvard invites the public to four days of non-stop art. The annual ARTS FIRST festival celebrates student and faculty creativity at the University. Around half of Harvard’s 6,600 students participate in the festival each spring. Over 225 music, theater, dance, film, and visual arts events, most free of charge and open to the public, are on tap. Whether you are a fan of a cappella or bhangra, tap or Tchaikovsky, installation art or painting, improv comedy or pipe organ performance, ARTS FIRST has an arts experience for you.

Read all about this great event HERE or HERE!

The official calendar of events within that link was working a couple of days ago, but was not working last night.  Hopefully it will be up and running so you can check out all of the great events that are being offered.  Some are “kid friendly”….some are not.  I suggest checking out the list of events before heading in.

Pick #2

The deCordova Museum in Lincoln is currently installing their summer galleries and exhibits so the museum is closed, HOWEVER, the awesome Sculpture Park is open and admission is 1/2 price. Totally worth the trip!

Check out the Sculpture Park HERE!

DeCordova is internationally recognized as a major venue for the exhibition and interpretation of modern and contemporary outdoor sculpture. The Sculpture Park occupies the entire campus: 30 acres of beautifully landscaped lawns, forests, fields, gardens, and terraces on a rolling site along the shore of Flint’s Pond in Lincoln, Massachusetts. At any given time, approximately 60 sculptures are on display in the Sculpture Park, which is open every day during the summer and Wednesdays through Sundays during the winter.


Pick #3

The PawSox!

You all know how much I love the Red Sox and Fenway Park, but heading to Pawtucket is a fantastic way to take the kids “out to the ball game” without breaking the bank. Tickets are only $13 each…which leaves money left over for ball park snacks!

Check out their schedule HERE!  It consists of two home games this weekend…both at 1:05!


Please, as always, check out our friends at North Shore Kid for a much more comprehensive list of family activities!

Nichole’s Picks of the Weekend 2/21 and 2/22

Is it wrong to simply repost last week’s Blog Post about Picks of the Week for February Vacation?   I mean…they still all hold true!

See all of last week’s ideas to kill time over vacation here!

Please don’t forget that in addition to all of the top picks from last week, I HIGHLY recommend:

1.  The pool at Cape Ann Marina and Resort.  We bought a vacation week pass last Friday and have already used it a few times and had a blast!  If you don’t want to invest in a vacation week pass now that the week is almost over, Day Passes are available!  Check it out for sure!

2.  Appleton Farm in Ipswich is offering a variety of fun activities this weekend!


Farm Fun Nature Crafts and Cookies  Saturday 2/21 10:00-12:00

Meet the Maples Tour   Saturday 2/21 1:00-2:00

The Mini Moos Tour      Saturday 2/21 2:30-3:30


3.  Pinocchio at the Wheelock Family Theatre


The world premiere of an original adaptation influenced by Japanese theatrical traditions, Pinocchio’s adventures are told through mystical creatures, live musicians, and gymnastic choreography, making the transformation of an animated puppet into a real live boy, a magical, dynamic, and deeply moving experience.

4.  New England Sports Park!!  Get Your Tubing On!


Happy Santa Lucia Day!!!- Celebrate By Making Santa Lucia Cuccia With Sista Felicia

The Gloucester Times Taste of The Times Is Hosting Felicia’s Video Today check it out-


Click here for the printable recipe as well

December 13th is Santa Lucia Day Learn more About The Day Here

From wikipedia-


St. Lucia is the patron saint of the city of Syracuse (Sicily), where she was born. Celebrations take place on the 13th of December and in May. St. Lucy is also popular among children in some regions of North-Eastern Italy, namely Trentino, East Lombardy (Bergamo, Brescia, Cremona and Mantua), parts of Veneto, (Verona), parts of Emilia-Romagna, (Piacenza, Parma and Reggio Emilia), and all of Friuli, where she brings gifts to good children and coal to bad ones the night between December 12 and 13. She arrives in the company of a donkey and her escort, Castaldo. Children are asked to leave some coffee for Lucia, some flour for the donkey and bread for Castaldo. They must not watch Santa Lucia delivering these gifts, or she will throw ashes in their eyes, temporarily blinding them. In Sicily and among the Sicilian diaspora, cuccìa is eaten in memory of Saint Lucy’s miraculous averting of famine.

Living blues legend John Hammond is coming to Rockport on December 12, 2014

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John Hammond Weaves the Fabric of American Rock N’ Blues


Rockport, MA – Profoundly influential blues artist John Hammond will perform at The Shalin Liu Performance Center on Friday, December 12th. Hammond has been a blues fixture for decades and recently joined hallowed company as an inductee into the Blues Hall of Fame. The soulful Grammy winner is known as a consummate triple threat musician (on vocals, guitar, and harmonica), who’s gutsy blues vocals evoke gritty roadhouse memories.   Boston’s rising star Amy Black will open the show. Tickets for this concert start at $29.

Mr. Hammond, a blues legend with a voice like Robert Johnson’s and a demeanor that belies his tear-it-up might before an audience, has a history of being on hand during significant cultural moments.

John has so many stories to tell, including putting the band together for the young Jimi Hendrix that launched his international career.  In fact, Hammond is famously the only person who ever had both Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix in his band at the same time, during a five-night stint at the Gaslight Café in New York City in 1966. It was also John’s recording session with Robbie Robertson, Garth Hudson and Levon Helm which led to Bob Dylan hiring those same players, later to become known as The Band.   Bob Dylan reputedly asked John’s advice on some guitarists. John invited Bob to his session with the Hawks and as they say, “the rest is history.”

John Hammond has become a legend in his own right. He’s garnered 8 Grammy nominations, including a Grammy win, multiple blues music awards, acoustic artist of the year, and blues hall of fame inductee.  Hammond’s history is a who’s who of Blues, and includes performances or recordings with Eric Clapton, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Duane Allman, Mike Bloomfield, JJ Cale, Tom Waits, The Band, John Lee Hooker, Dr. John and many, many more. He is known as the embodiment of the quintessential acoustic Blues troubadour, always serving tradition by pouring his heart and soul into full-bodied interpretations of the classics through the simple combination of brilliant guitar, rack harmonica, and intensely expressive vocals.

“John’s sound is so compelling, complete, symmetrical and soulful with just his voice, guitar and harmonica, it is at first impossible to imagine improving it,” says Tom Waits.  “He’s a great force of nature. John sounds like a big train coming. He chops them all down.”


**Interviews available upon request.  Contact Seth McNally / seth@meproductions.net**

Advance Tickets for the John Hammond concert are on sale for $29, $39, & $49. To purchase tickets, visit the Shalin Liu Box Office- 35 Main St., Rockport, MA or call 978-546-7391, or online at www.rockportmusic.org

Allen Estes and The Souls & Joe Wilkins Band Tonight @ The Harbor Loop Concert 2014 6:30

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Allen Estes




Joe Wilkins -Tonight- Playing at the Harbor Loop stage in Gloucester – outdoors! – with Steve Burke on Bass, Dennis Monagle on drums and Scott Noring on percussion. Allen Estes opens the night the Harbor Loop stage in Gloucester


Joe Wilkins original. One of my favorites…

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