BBQ Safety Tips!

Nothing says summer like a good ole barbecue! Although this summer staple can be loads of fun, it can also be a dangerous activity if the right precautions are not taken. Before you light up, keep in mind these helpful safety tips from the NFPA!

Before You Grill

– Where you place your grill is crucial for safety.  Keep grills away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves, overhanging branches and other flammable structures. You never know when a grease fire may start and when the wind may blow it a little too far.

– Check the major connection points between the gas (propane) tank hose and the regulator and cylinder, and where the hose connects to the burners. Tighten if loose.

– Check the propane tank hose for the potential leaks by applying a light soap and water solution to the hose using a brush or spray bottle.  Once you turn on the propane tank, the propane will release bubbles around the hose if there is a gas leak. In no bubbles appear, it’s safe to use.

– For a charcoal grill, if you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.

– Clean your grill. Grease and fat may have built up on your grill from previous uses and they provide more fuel for a fire.

– Choose your clothing carefully. Don’t wear clothing that has hanging shirt tails, frills, or apron strings that can catch fire, and use flame-retardant mitts when adjusting hot vents.

While You Grill

– The biggest risk with grilling is fire.  ALWAYS keep a fire extinguisher within a few steps of the grill, and make sure you know how to use it!

– Keep a spray bottle of water handy. That way, if you have a minor flare-up you can spray it with the water to instantly calm it. The bonus of this tip is that water won’t harm your food, so dinner won’t be ruined!

– If you smell gas, turn off the gas tank and burners immediately.  If the smell continues to persist, move away from the grill and call the fire department right away.

– Never, ever leave the grill unintended! If the griller needs a bathroom break, make sure there’s someone else watching the grill carefully. An unattended fire can double every minute.

– Don’t overload your grill with foodespecially fatty meats. The basic reason behind this is if too much fat drips on the flames at once, it can cause a large flare-up.

– Use barbecue utensils with long handles (forks, tongs, etc.) to avoid burns and splatters.

After You Grill

– Make sure to clean grill to prevent build up of grease and fat in trays and below the grill. Cleaning it after you’re done will keep your grill safer for use next time.

– Let the coals from a charcoal grill completely cool before disposing in a metal container

– Never move a hot grill! Let the grill cool completely, which can take over an hour, before moving,

Enjoy your barbecues and stay safe this summer by keeping these tips in mind before you fire up the grill!

10 Best Road Trips in America

Have you planned a summer vacation yet? If not, it’s the perfect time of year to hop in your car and take a road trip! Make the most of your summer vacation by driving your way through America’s beautiful beach towns, rugged cliffs, stunning mountains, and breathtaking scenery. America has such a wide variety of landscapes and cultures that you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience with any of these amazing adventures.

Pacific Coast Highway, California: About 300 Miles 

The Pacific Coast Highway spans the entire length of the West Coast with amazing views of the Pacific Ocean and mountains. Heading south to north will guarantee amazing sites the entire way for the driver, but either way you will not be disappointed. Starting in Southern California, you’ll wind your way though a skinny road with ocean views on the left, and mountains on the right. The rest of the world will seize to exist. Once you make your way up to the Big Sur, the soaring redwoods and magnificent mountains will become more stunningly beautiful. Eventually you will cut through San Fransisco’s historic town of Fisherman’s Wharf. With even more to see, this is a trip you want to take your time with.

Going-to-the-Sun Road, Glacier National Park, Montana: About 50 Miles

Middle American can be often forgotten about with the coasts getting most of the attention. But, Going-to-the-Sun Road will make you forget about oceans and the beach. This amazing road cuts through a famously beautiful forest, with lakes, glacial-covered mountain peaks and deep ravines. This tiny two-lane, east-west drive winds through Glacier National Park and promises amazing views from every seat in the car. There’s also a good chance you’ll come across wildlife!

Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia and North Carolina: About 450 Miles

This long scenic drive is noted for its beauty. The National Park Service owns the land on either side of the skinny parkway. Cutting through a major mountain chain, part of the Appalachian Mountains, there is plenty to pull over and explore on this long journey. From waterfalls, to hiking trails to peaks over 6,000 ft, to various national parks, Blue Ridge Parkway has so much to take in. For those who can wait, the best time to take this journey is during the Fall- where all the leaves change to beautiful autumn colors.

Cape Cod, Massachusetts: About 160 Miles

You may be a seasoned vet of Cape Cod, having spent your summers there growing up. But “the Cape” stretches across a 160-mile circuit, and there might still be plenty for you to discover. Taking route 6A will take you past the quaint towns of Sandwich, Yarnmouth, Orleans and more. Start in Sagamore, and then head towards to oldest town in the Cape, Sandwich. Continue through the cape and stop at Nickerson State park to hike, swim and bike ride. As you make your way to the end in Provincetown, be sure to enjoy the wonderful restaurants and night life.

Red Rock Country Arizona: About 128 miles

Hit the road on interstate 17 north in Phoenix to see impressively preserved ancient cliff dwellings. One of the cliff dwellings, the Montezuma Castle cliff dwelling, was declared one of the first four national monuments in 1906 by Theodore Roosevelt.  The great trip is an easy way to experience and see a real desert.  After you’ve taken in the sites, cool yourself down from Arizona’s hot sun be heading to Slide Rock State park. Hop on 179 North and soon you’ll be sliding down natural water slides carved into the rock!

Route 66. Chicago to Southern California: About 2,400 miles

Route 66 takes the spot for our longest trip on the list. It would take days to complete it but would be an incredible adventure. One of the original highways, it starts from Chicago, cuts through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona before ending at Santa Monica, California. This iconic route gives us a look into bygone America, mom-and-pop diners and a simple way of life that has not changed in decades. From the long list on unique places to visit on this route, the Cadillac Ranch tops as one the craziest to see with painted Cadillacs sticking straight of the ground!

Overseas Highway, Miami to Key West, Florida: About 120 miles

Want to feel like you’re flying just feet above the ocean?? Drive the overseas highway. Starting in Miami, this above ocean highway connects the Florida Keys to the rest of the land. Half the time, it’s just you and the water. Although this trip can be driven in 2 hours, take your time to stop by the seafood dives and tourist traps along the way. For an experience you’ll never forget, take time to stop and swim with the dolphins at the Theater of the Sea in Islamorada.

Black River Scenic Byway, Michigan: About 12 miles

Often overlooked by ocean lovers, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula provides an amazing road trip with thick forests, waterfalls and the wonderfully beautiful Lake Superior. The lake views and waterfalls can’t be beat. While the byway is the official scenic route, road-trippers should venture off the route to really experience all the beauty this area has to offer. Following the old roads deep into the woods is the only way to see how beautiful this area really is.

Hill Country Hideaways, Texas: About 200 miles

A road trip to Hill Country Hideaways will wake you back to the wild wild west. From deep canyons, swift rivers and undulating sagebrush plains, you’re sure to feel like you belong in an old western movie. Starting in San Antonia, which considers itself the “Cowboy Capital of the World,” you’ll eventually get your way around some of the coolest, and sparsest, places around Texas. Be sure to visit Utopia. As the name describes, it’s a beautiful paradise with lakes, and rivers. At the end of your journey when you make it to Guadalupe Rivers, ride an inner tube down the river enjoying the warm sunshine.

Brandywine Valley, Pennsylvania and Delaware: About 12 miles

The Brandywine Valley might be a short trip, but that doesn’t make it any less worth taking. This scenic countryside was home to the uber-rich American aristocracy of the 20th century. The narrow twisted roads loops through the scenic château countryside where wild flowers grow all around. These amazing summer estates belonged to families such as the Du Pont Family- who may have the most impressive estate on over 900 acres of gorgeous land. To complete this floral filled trip, make sure to visit Longwood Gardens, which includes 20 indoor gardens, an outdoor topiary and spring-fed lakes all on over 1000 acres of land.

 

Road Trips cropped

Bay State Breweries! (and Cideries!)

There’s nothing like a cold beer on a hot summer’s day! As Bay Staters, we are lucky enough to have some fabulous breweries in Massachusetts.  From the ever popular and well known Samuel Adams Brewery, to the new and amazing Downeast Cider hall, these places offer truly refreshing drinks and exciting experiences.

Downeast Cider Hall
200 Terminal St, Charlestown, MA 02129

This cidery takes apples and alcohol to a whole new level. Started in 2011, the Downeast Cider Hall’s success grows from a truly exceptional and refreshing hard apple cider.  The founders and owners stick to strict policy of “No Shortcuts” in their cider making process. The company gets all of their apples from local farms and fresh presses to create a truly amazing, and refreshing taste. They refuse to use artificial ingredients, use juice from concentrate, or any shortcuts that may diminish the quality and flavor of their delectable cider.  While their original cider stands on their own, the line up of great ciders includes a cranberry blend, hard lemonade, a winter cider, hard honey and a pumpkin blend.  Located in Charlestown, the cider hall offers free tours, and free samples from their taps!

Cisco Brewers
5 Bartlett Farm Road, Nantucket, MA 02554

You may have heard of their flagship beer, Whale’s Tale Pale Ale but did you know Cisco also operates a distillery and winery as well as it’s brewery?  A tour of Cisco brewery will provide the ultimate tasting experience!  For just $20, the tour includes a tasting glass, the choice of two wines to sample from the Nantucket Vineyard, two beers from the Cisco Brewery, AND two spirits from Triple Eight Distillery.  On top of their amazing tour, Cisco also offers a variety of other events including wine and cheese tasting with 8 different wines and gourmet cheese, live music events, and sea food events with a raw bars and lobster rolls. Located in beautiful Nantucket, take time to explore the island after your visit at Cisco Brewery!

Harpoon Brewery –
306 Northern Ave, Boston, MA 02210

It would be almost impossible to walk into a bar in Massachusetts that doesn’t serve Harpoon’s IPA. This delicious craft brewery now boasts one of the largest breweries in the country. Located in the beautiful Sea Port area of Boston, this large brewery also hosts it’s own beer hall!  Start your visit with a guided tour and beer tasting for $5.  Then make your way to the beer hall for more delicious beer and a freshly baked pretzel served with garlic butter, IPA cheese, ale mustard and more!

Wachusett Brewing Company
175 State Rd E, Westminster, MA 01473

Created by an outdoor loving trio of friends, Wachusett Brewing company commits to brewing and selling the freshest, highest quality beer since they founded the brewery in 1993. Three founders involved themselves in every aspect of their brewery they possibly could. With degree in engineering and biology, the hands on founders designed and built most of the equipment, did the brewing and filling, selling and delivering and everything else to grow their brewery into the success it is today. You may know their most famous brews such as Wachusett Blueberry, Country Pale Ale, IPA, or Green Monsta IPA but they create many more creative brews. Check out a free tour today and finish your visit with a free tasting!

Samuel Adams Brewery –
30 Germania St, Boston, MA 02130

This may be the first brewery that comes to mind when thinking about Massachusetts breweries.  Brewing since 1984, Sam Adams boasts over 30 different styles of beer with seasonal favorites.  Tours run Monday to Saturday, but they fill up fast so get there early! The free tours include 3 free samples and the brewery just asks for a small $2 donation for local charities.  Another awesome night to try more brews right from the source, is complimentary flight plan night every Wednesday from 5pm to 7pm. Create your own flight plan by choosing from beers on tap and in growlers, ranging from experimental brews, to the flagship Boston Lager, and seasonal styles!

 

Massachusetts Outdoor Concert Venues

Now that warm, beautiful weather has arrived, it’s time to spend every moment possible outside. Massachusetts has some amazing outdoor venues for music lovers. Here’s a list of our top must-see venues this summer!

Blues Hills Bank Pavilion
Boston Harbor

Located on the Boston Harbor side, this amazing outdoor amphitheater continues to host incredible musicians and bands. This year’s line up includes incredible classics like Steely Dan, to indie rock band Florence and the Machine, to new comer Lindsey Stirling and much more. Seating over 5,000 people, it’s one of the largest venues in the area. Enjoy 35 concession stands, and beer, wine and champagne available throughout the pavilion. With the top of the line sound system, spectacular lighting capabilities and cool harbor breezes, this venue has everything you need for a perfect concert experience.

Edward A. Hatch Memorial Shell
Charles River Esplanade

This charming and historic outdoor venue located in the Back Bay hosts some wonderful free concerts all summer long. Build in 1941 on the Charles River Esplanade, this epicenter for outdoor performances has held some awesome concerts throughout the years including Jazz, Blues, Rock and Roll and incredible orchestras with this year’s line up including Landmarks Orchestra Classical Concert, Rhapsody in Green and Longwood Symphony Orchestra, A Night at the Ballet. Be sure to grab a blanket and stop by July 4th for their annual Boston Pops Orchestra and fireworks Independence Day celebration!

Xfinity Center
Mansfield

One of the largest venues in Massachusetts, the Xfinity center can fit over 19,900 music lovers. This big venue has some big names this summer including Dave Matthews Band, Jimmy Buffet, Florida Georgia Line, Mumford and Sons, and so much more. Xfinity also host some popular major events this summer such as Country Fest and Warp Tour. Get up close to the stage with reserved seats, or sprawl out under the sky in the huge lawn area. Don’t forget to arrive early so you can park and tailgate with fellow concertgoers!

The Boatonian
Docks at Rowe’s Wharf

If you’re looking to dance under the stars, on a boat, the Boatonian is what you’re looking for. With different theme nights complete with DJs, live bands, drinks and food, you are sure to have a great time. Starting Thursday nights, this boat sails off to the throwbacks from the 80’s, 90’s, and 00’s. Enjoy the end of your workweek to Hip-Hop Fridays. Saturday night put on your best cowboy hat, daisy-dukes and check out the best live country bands. End your weekend by showing your support for the LGBT community Sunday afternoons on Pride Sundays.

 

concert

How to Plan the Perfect Super Bowl Sunday Party!

While this year won’t be the same without the Patriots, Super Bowl Sunday is a long-standing American tradition! One of our favorite ways to enjoy the delicious food, great beer and of course an incredible game of football is by throwing a Super Bowl Sunday party! Here are a few tips to help you have the best party possible.

1. Prepare for a feast!
Easy finger foods are good go-to’s for super bowl parties. While there is nothing wrong with the old stand byes such as buffalo wings, dips, chips, and pizza, there are some awesome ways to mix those up and get a little creative with your appetizers. Pinterest has a TON of recipes for those of you first time chefs to make you look like hors d’oeuvre connoisseurs!

If you’re cooking for a large group of people, consider whipping out that crockpot! There are so many easy recipes that only need you to toss in the ingredients and just let simmer to perfection within a few hours. If you’re hosting but not a huge fan of cooking, especially when cooking for a large group can be super challenging, try hosting a pot lock party. Having everyone bring in a different dish will surely be more than enough food for the party.

Now if you really don’t want to cook, and neither do your friends, we get it. We’ve all been there. Superbowl Sunday is a great day to order from your favorite local joint. Our one major tip though, order early. Really early. Maybe even place a pre-order the day before. Some restaurants are so busy they can take hours to deliver. If you want food on time, we recommend you plan according!

2. Game Time!
In the spirit of healthy competition, drum up the competition among your party guests. A fan favorites is the game football squares which always results in a winner and is super easy to do. Have your guests play commercial score card before the game begins. See if they can guess how many commercials will be for beer? Cars? Feature a specific celebrity? Feature a puppy? The categories are endless and you get really creative with it! Looking for more competition? click here for more Super Bowl game day ideas.

3. Beers, Booze and Safety
(For those of us 21 or older) football and beer go together like Tom Brady and Gisele. Cold beer, delicious food, and friends & family make a perfect Super Bowl Sunday party. One party tip is to have coolers of beer around the living room. Rather than having guests have to get up and go to the fridge every time they want a refill potentially missing part of the game. Also be sure to serve plenty of water to keep everyone hydrated, and non-alcoholic drinks for minors.

As a host you have the extra responsibility to make sure people are responsible drinkers. Do not let anyone drink and drive after the game. There’s even a chance you could get in serious trouble if one of your guests gets into a DUI because you supplied the alcohol. Make sure everyone has a designated driver, or use Uber or lyft to arrange ride homes, have people take public transportation or call taxis. They’re a plenty of ways for people to get home safely. There is no excuse for anyone to drink and drive.

From your friends at MassDrive, we hope you have a fun, safe and delicious Super Bowl Sunday!

superbowl party plan

Tips & Tricks For Driving in the Snow

While the snow looks beautiful coming down, it makes driving way more difficult and increases your chances of an accident significantly.  While it’s best to avoid driving in bad weather as much as possible, it’s often unavoidable- especially in New England. If you must hit the road during a snowy winter wonderland, keep these tips and tricks in mind to stay as safe as possible.

1. Drive Slow– This must be the most obvious thing to state when it comes to driving in the snow, but it has to be said. Really though, actually drive slower and give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination. The snow makes the roads slippery and reduces visibility so you’ll need to give yourself plenty of more time to react to changing conditions. This advice is heavily aimed at those who drive SUVs, 4-wheel drive or all-wheel drive cars. While those type of cars do offer some more traction and control, it does not make you invincible or your car a super SUV. The roads are still significantly less safe and require slow driving.

2. Give Yourself Distance– Most people follow the 2 (or 3) second rule of thumb to calculate the minimum distance they should keep behind from the car in front so that there is adequate time to stop. In the snow, you want to at the very least double this distance. Ideally, triple it. If you do slide or skid on the snow, the farther away you are from other vehicles the safer you’ll be.

3. Lights– ALWAYS have your lights on when driving in the snow. With the reduced visibility, you’ll want to make your surroundings as visible as possible. On the side, you’ll want other drivers to be able to see you as well.

4. NEVER Use Cruise Control- You’ll need extra vigilance and extra control when it comes to driving in the snow. Not only do you need to adjust your speed more frequently when driving in the snow, you’ll also need much more control over steering, even if you’re driving on a straight road. Never use cruise control when driving in the snow. Ever.

5. Avoid Slamming on the Break– If your tires start to skid, most people’s first instinct is to panic and slam on the break- don’t do this. Instead ease off the accelerator and try to steer the car out of potential collisions. Slamming on the breaks once your tires have already locked up and lost traction won’t help. Skidding out can be frightening, but try to stay as calm as possible in order to safely slow down and come to a stop.

6. Beware of Bridges– Bridges are the first to freeze and ice over in cold weather and snow. Unlike roads which lose their temperature on their surface, bridges they are exposed the wind and cold from every angle which promotes the perfect environment for black ice. Even if the roads seem okay in mild snow, use extra caution when you get to a bridge.

7. Clean Your Car– Don’t slack off when it comes to cleaning your car. Even if you’re just driving a short distance, that snow of your roof is a hazard. It can fall in front and obstruct your vision, or it can fly off on to the car behind you which is seriously dangerous. Also, always keep cleaning essentials in your car all winter long such a scraper and shovel and make sure your car has enough windshield wiper fluid for the season.

8. Keep Kitty Litter!– This neat little trick can be a life safer! Getting stuck in the snow is the worst, and the more you try to accelerate out of it, the more you dig yourself deeper. Adding kitty litter behind your tire will provide the traction the tire needs for you to drive your way out. Sand or salt also works well. Keep a bag of it in your trunk of your car if possible.

9. Emergency Kit– While emergency kits are important all year round, they are extra crucial in the winter months. Click here to see what essentials you should have in yours this winter!

 

TIPS & TRICKS FOR DRIVING IN THE SNOW

January Events In Massachusetts

As the New Year begins, the weather starts has started to drop into brutal cold winter territory- but that doesn’t mean you should start hibernating! The month of January has a ton of events going on that are worth going out for! Here are a few of MassDrive’s favorite events happening this month.

Boston Celtic Music Festival:
January 8th- 9th
Cambridge

This cultural festival brings together over 100 musicians, a parade, and a ton of dancing! To start off the event, a parade will take place in Harvard Square, followed by a concert at Club Passim friday night.  The fun continues all day Saturday with various artists playing Irish fiddle music, Scottish, Cape Breton, Quebecois, and more throughout various venues in Cambridge.  Finish Saturday night off right with a final concert and dancing. Tickets are required for certain events, or you may purchase a weekend pass.

Yoga at the Boston Public Library:
January 12th- February 16th (12-1 p.m.)
Back Bay Boston

For the first time ever, you are allowed, even encouraged to exercise in the Boston Public Library! The ever so popular instructor Rebecca Pacheco will host a Yoga class every Tuesday from 12-1 p.m. in the historic Abbey Room of the McKim Building. Work on your downward dog and sun salutation in this beautiful and tranquil room.  The class will cater to all levels of fitness designed to help you unplug and recharge. While the program plans to end in February, if it proves popular the BPL might extend it.  Be sure to grab your yoga matt and head there early as the event will run on a first-come, first-served basis.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebrations:
January 18th
Throughout Boston

While there are numerous events in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, and his role in civil rights, peace and equality in America, one of the largest celebrations is at Fanuiel Hall on Boston’s Freedom trail.  Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra’s Intensive Community Program will pay tribute to distinguished guests through a special musical performance.  The Harlem Gospel Choir will continue it’s tradition to fill Harvard’s Sanders Theatre for this annual celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. with soulful music and dancing.  The Museum of Fine Arts will also offer free admission throughout the day as well as showcase films, performances and art activities in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.. For more information on other celebrations commemorating Dr. King’s life, click here.

Taste of East Boston:
January 28th (6 to 9 p.m.)
East Boston

Do not miss out on this tasty event! Featuring over 30 local restaurants, life entertainment, cash bar, raffles and more, this annual festival has a ton to offer. Restaurants will include cuisines from South America, the Mediterranean, China, Italy, and the Middle East with PLENTY of samples of their most popular dishes. Parking for the event is available at the Hilton, and it’s free! Also, all proceeds from charity event will benefit East Boston Main Streets.

Winter Jubilee Beer Festival:
January 29th- 30th
Castle at Park Plaza

Time to taste the best of the best winter beers! This annual festival hosts 50 brewers with over 200 winter beers to sample! While this event has been going on since 2002, each year continues to improve.  This year they’ve added more brewers and beers ranging from international brewers with popular winter brews, to local hid gems breweries with less well known winter brews. For anyone who loves a good beer, you do not want to miss this spectacular craft beer event!

 

JANUARY EVENTS

New Years Eve Tips & Tricks to Stay Safe

With the new year approaching, there is much to celebrate! While New Years Eve can be an awesome celebration, there are a few precautions you should take to keep the night safe and fun.

1. Choose Transportation Wisely

While it should be obvious, it has to be said- Do NOT drink and drive. Besides the fact that it’s incredibly risky for your safety and others, there will a ton of cops out patrolling and looking for drunk drivers.  Instead of scrambling for a safe ride home last minute, plan ahead your transportation. If you’re going to a bar, look in advance what your transportation options are. Cabs, Ubers, or Lyft are typically available in larger cities. While they can be more expensive on NYE, it’s worth the price of getting home safe and sound. If you are driving to a friends house and plan to drink any alcohol at all, stay over night or have a designated driver you can trust to drive you back- this is especially important if you are in an area where there is limited access to taxis and ride sharing apps.  Another options is hiring a driver for the night. With group options or splitting the cost among friends, it may be more affordable than you think.

2. The More the Merrier

You’ve probably heard the phase “strength in numbers.” Remember this on NYE. Don’t find yourself alone on leave any one behind. While it’s safe to assume much of the population will be drinking on New Years Eve, it’s best to stick together with your friends. Don’t let friends wonder off alone either.

3. Enjoy a Delicious Meal!

Who doesn’t want an excise to eat a nice delicious big meal?? New Years Eve is the perfect night for that. Avoid starting the new year with a massive hangover by eating a healthy & hefty meal before you go out.  A substantial, healthy meal will help absorb some of the alcohol and even better, may keep you from snacking on junky appetizers and sweets later on the night which can be prevalent around NYE parties.  Even if you can’t do a fancy meal, be sure to have something in your stomach before you go out. Your body will thank you for that January 1st.

4. Dos and Don’ts to Drinking

While there’s nothing wrong with a celebratory drink on NYE- that is if you’re 21- but it’s important to be smart about it. Know your limits and only drink what you can handle. To prevent your head from feeling completely foggy the next morning, a good rule of thumb is one glass of water per every serving of alcohol. If you or one of your friends over drinks and may have alcohol poisoning, don’t hesitate to call 9-1-1 immediately.

5. Communicate With Your Comrades

Communication with your friends is key on big party nights like NYE which also tend to be long nights out. Make sure your cell phone is fully charged before you head out the door. Consider bringing a portable charger if you have one, or at least a wall charger for emergencies. That way, if you do get separated from your friends, you’ll be able to contact them. Have a meeting spot or end of the night plan- that way if you can’t get in touch with each other or do get separated, at least you’ll have a time and place to meet up. Also, always make sure you and your friends know each others’ whereabouts- even if its just a quick trip to that bathroom.

6. Have a Blast!

Have a wonderful New Years Eve! Don’t put too much pressure on the night and just enjoy the night with you friends or family. Celebrate your accomplishments of 2015, and look forward to all that is to come in 2016!

 

Tips & Tricks to Beat Thanksgiving Traffic

It may be impossible to completely avoid Thanksgiving traffic, but there are a few ways to minimize the frustration.

1. Avoid driving at the worst traffic times– According to Waze, the heaviest traffic will be today (Tuesday) from 4–8 p.m. Unfortunately, Wednesday doesn’t look any better. In fact it could be worst especially in other parts of the country with traffic starting at 11 a.m. and continuing throughout the whole day.

2. Use alternative routes– Waze and Google maps provide real time traffic and often offer multiple routes you can take. Your usual route may not be the fastest so be sure to check the app before you hit the road! Also, if an accident or traffic jam occurs, Waze and Google maps can sometimes re-route you to a faster route.

3. Consider the longer route– While two hours driving may seem better than two and half, it’s worth considering taking the longer route that’s moving along than the shorter route stuck in traffic. Psychologically speaking, it tends to feel less frustrating for you and your passengers when you’re actually driving, rather than going bumper to bumper at a snail’s pace.

4. Avoid driving Sunday, or give yourself PLENTY of time– There is no good time to drive Sunday. Traffic will be crazy all day. Yes, you read that right- All day.  If you are luckily enough to wait til Monday, avoid driving 10am to noon when the worst traffic will hit.

5. Fill up on gas before you hit the road-  You do not want to have to make unnecessary stops while you travel.  If you’re lucky, one tank of gas will be more than enough for your trip.  If you’re traveling far, be sure to fill up your tank when gas is easily available. The last think you want is to be frantically watching your tank drain while you’re stuck in traffic and no where close to a gas station.

6. Play car games to keep the kids entertained- Instead of playing the oh so annoying “Are we there yet?” game, keep these car games ready for when your kids start to get antsy.

Safe travels from you friends at MassDrive! We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend!

 

November Events in Massachusetts

With the holiday season starting, there are a ton of festive activities happening around Massachusetts this month.  From festivals to parades to tree lighting ceremonies, check out MassDrive’s favorite activities and events happening in November!

For the Love of Beer Festival
November 7th
Boston

Boston’s very own Sam Adams Brewery will host For the Love of Beer Festival at the Greenway in Boston. Featuring over 50 different beers, food trucks, and a slew of tasty snacks to munch on, it will definitely be a delicious event! Admission to the event includes all your samples, and souvenir sampling cup. For the inner child in you, enjoy the inflatable hop slide, interactive games and giveaways!

Boston Comedy Festival
November 6th – 14th
Boston locations

Need a good laugh?? You’re in luck. The Boston Comedy Festival will take place for one week throughout Boston! With around 100 comedians from around the world, there will a lot to laugh about. With big names such as Andy Kindler from Tosh.0 and America’s Got Talent Wendy Liebman, it’s an event you don’t want to miss. Also, there are plenty of chances to catch a show with events happening every night all week long. Click here to find a show and watch the competition unfold!

Blink! A Light & Sound Extravaganza- Holiday lights
November 21st – January 3rd, 2016
Boston

This ultimate tree light lighting ceremony will be back in Fanuiel Hall for the 4th year in a row. With over 350,000 LED lights, you don’t want to miss this illuminating event! Highlighting the Boston skyline, this beautiful event will warm your hearts as the lights dance along to holiday music. Opening night will be the first tree lighting ceremony of the season, with a Christmas tree even larger than the one at Rockefeller Center! If you can’t make the opening night, don’t worry you can watch every inch of Faniel Hall lit up by this event every night throughout the holiday season.

Plymouth Thanksgiving
November 20th – 22nd
Plymouth

Plymouth Massachusetts will host their 20th annual Thanksgiving celebrations! With a parade, a food festival, craft village and so much more, this event has so much to offer. Happening along the waterfront, Pilgrims tour guides will begin the event with stories from the founders of America’s Hometown. Then enjoy a free Veterans Memorial Concert in honor of all those who have served in our Armed Forces. The event will also feature Native American’s, soldiers, and pioneers bringing to life the history of Thanksgiving.

Jingle Bell Run/Walk
November 22nd
Newton

This festive 5K is great way to get into the holiday spirit by helping others! Raising money for Arthritis, the Jingle Bell Walk/ Run is a spirited way to help those in need. Everyone dresses up in holiday themed costumes with jingle bells tied to their shoelaces to kick of the holiday season together. Pre-event registration is $35 and $15 for children 12 and under, and event-day registration is $40. Get your Santa hat, reindeer antlers, and running shoes ready and sign up today!

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