Fun


Valentine’s Day: In Boston

 

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! Are you looking to treat yourself or your loved ones this holiday? Check out these fun and romantic suggestions to fill your February 14th. Whether you’re celebrating with a date, friends, or family, we have you covered! 

 

Ice skate at Frog Pond

There is nothing more charming than skating under the fairy light adorned trees of the Boston Common. You can bring your own skates or rent them at the rink for a small fee. Take to the ice this Valentine’s Day with your partner and enjoy this iconic romantic activity. https://bostonfrogpond.com/winter-programs/pricing-season-passes/

 

Go out for a Romantic Dinner

When it comes to food, Boston has an abundance of options – It’s so hard to choose!  Restaurants all over the city are cooking up special Valentine’s Day meals. Are you trying to decide where to take your sweetheart this year? Check out this link with an updated list of restaurants in your neighborhood that will give you a romantic evening and delicious food: http://www.bostonchefs.com/holiday/valentines-day-boston/

 

Take a Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride

Cozy up with your partner while touring our beautiful city! The main stand for horse-drawn carriage rides around Boston is located at Chatham Street near Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Rides generally operate weekday evenings from 6:00 pm to midnight or weekends from 12:00 pm to midnight.  It’ll be an evening you’ll never forget! http://www.celebrateboston.com/tour/horse-and-carriage-rides.htm

 

Spend a Night at the Theatre

Take your Valentine to dinner and a show! Popular performances falling around Valentine’s Day include Cabaret at the Boston Opera House or Blue Man Group at Charles Playhouse, to name a few! Take a look at all the incredible performances Boston has to offer this February: https://www.boston-theater.com/category_dates.php?category=Top%20Show&month=2&year=2017

 

Take a Cooking Class

Instead of stressing to find the perfect restaurant this year, why not make the food yourself!? Grab your significant other or a group of friends and treat yourself to one of these fun classes! You will get an amazing meal and have a great time making it! https://www.zagat.com/b/boston/cooking-classes-boston

 

Have a Movie Night

Are you looking for something a little more lowkey this year? Whether you’re single or in a relationship, pop in a movie with your Valentine or some pals. Don’t forget to treat yourself to some wine and chocolate too! Check out some of the best romantic movies to watch for Valentine’s Day: http://www.fandango.com/movie-photos/26-romantic-movies-to-get-you-through-valentines-day-516

 

So You Have a New Apartment – Now What?

You made the move to a brand new place. Nice! Maybe you got a new job, or you’re starting another year of college, or maybe you just relocated for the sake of trying somewhere new. Chances are you spent a lot of time looking at different apartments, online or in person. Where can I get the best price for the location I want? How much will utilities be? This one’s perfect, but it’s three-bedroom – where can I find a third roommate?!

But that’s all behind you now. You found it, the perfect place! And maybe it’s not totally perfect (who doesn’t love a fixer-upper?), but you’re willing and eager to embrace it as your new home. So with the stress of vigorous apartment hunting behind you, what’s next on your to-do list?

Furnishing the place

Maybe you are coming to the new town with a truckload of all your belongings—a bed, pots and pans, rugs, childhood paraphernalia: you name it, it’s in the UHaul. But if this isn’t the case, here are some tips for furnishing your apartment stylishly and economically.

  • Take advantage of people near you selling their furniture! Apps like OfferUp and sites like Craigslist show new furniture sales extremely frequently, and if you do it right you can get great deals and convenient pick-ups or drop-offs.
  • Get creative and DIY! Peruse Pinterest for ways to take what you already have or can find for next to nothing and make it a great, useful piece. Take the afternoon and hone in on your artsy skills.
  • Rent furniture! Sites like cort.com and rentfurniture.com will allow you to rent furniture from them. They bring it to you and take it away when you move out. This is a great option if you’re only looking to live somewhere for a year or two.

Decorating tips

If you’re like me, one of the most exciting parts about moving into a new place is the empty walls, open floor, and tabletops just asking for flowers or lamps to be placed artfully on them. Here are some tips for creating a cozy environment to make your new apartment feel like home.

  • Curtains and rugs are simple things that will make an empty space seem more warm and welcoming. In the bedrooms and living room they can be the key items that tie the room together.
  • Have a bunch of pictures or pieces of art you want to hang up, but your landlord said you can’t put holes in the wall? Thankfully, Command Hooks exist—they’re great for hanging frames and cause no damage to the walls when you remove them!
  • Reuse everyday items! Used jam jars can make lovely flower vases, empty spice tins can hold pens and pencils, and any old furniture can be repainted or refurbished to match your look. Again, get creative and DIY!

Taking care of the necessities

This stuff is maybe not quite as fun, but needs to be done in order to live safely and comfortably at your new home! Trust me, it’s all worth it.

  • Call to set up Internet/cable and electricity as soon as possible—it’s definitely not worth it to wait! Along with this, set up a system with your roommates to organize payments sooner rather than later. You would hate to miss a payment because no one remembered that month.
  • Check every aspect of your apartment to make sure it works properly – it’s obviously important to have door locks that work, but also make sure your windows will completely close to save heat in the winter, your curtains and bed spread aren’t touching a radiator or heating unit, and your faucet doesn’t drip. These will save you money on utilities and prevent future escalations of the problems.
  • Invest in renter’s insurance. Protect your belongings from theft or fire by paying a small amount each month to insure your apartment. Totally worth it to avoid having to pay thousands of dollars to replace your laptop, TV, bicycle, etc. You can find out how much coverage you need based on your belongings by clicking here.

Having a new apartment is a very exciting turn in your life. Make sure it’s a good one by minimizing risks and maximizing the space for all it’s good for! Think creatively and you can make your new place feel like home easily.

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

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!

 

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!

How to Prepare Your Home for Trick or Treaters!

With Halloween just around the corner, it’s time to make sure your home is prepared for trick-or-treaters! Besides transforming the front of your house into a creepy, scary graveyard, there are a few things you should keep in mind to keep your home safe for those who dare to trick or treat!

1. Keep it well lit

While we understand the appeal of a dark, dim lit front door and entrance way, there are a few reasons to keep it well lit.  First, it’s night time and the chance of people tripping over something or falling on the stairs goes way up if they can’t see where they’re going. Second, often people assume that no one is home if the lights are off . Make it clear that you’re joining in the fun by having your exterior lights on!

2. Clear the Path

Trick or treaters will be too excited to pay close attention to where they’re walking come halloween. To avoid any accidental trips or falls, clear all tripping hazards such as hoses, sprinklers, etc from your front lawn. Even better, light up the path to your front door to encourage people to stick to that pathway.

3. No candles!

While Jack-o-lanterns and those paper bag cut outs lit up by candles are popular and festive decorations, they aren’t always the safest choice the night of Halloween.  Paper easily lights on fire, and with children running around, an accidental run in with a lit up jack-o-lantern could easily result in disaster.  Use battery powered candles instead. It will still create the same spooky effect, but in a much safer way.

4. Pets

While we believe your beloved snuffles is the ultimate man’s best friend, having a dog barking at the front door can scare trick or treaters at every age away.  While your fluffy friend may not bite, he could bump into a small child knocking them down or scare a child to run into the street.  The best protocol is to keep pets safe and secure away from the front door.

5. Reconsider some treats

Due to allergies and certain intolerances, some kids end up excluded from the fun of Halloween. It might be nice to consider having a separate small bowl of non-food treats for those might have an allergy to some of the candy.

While Halloween should be frightening, it shouldn’t be dangerous! Have an amazing Halloween this year and keep these tips  in mind for a spooky but safe Halloween!

 

How to Prep yourHouse forHalloween

Best Places to Leaf Peep In New England!

As the weather cools down, the beautiful autumn weather begins! While we get excited for pumpkin season, football games, and the cool crisp air, it’s time to start leaf peeping! For those who are not familiar with the term, leaf peeping is the art of traveling to those beautiful places where you see the vibrant reds, golden yellows, and bright orange colors of the fall foliage! We created a list of our favorite places to leaf peep around New England. Take a look and try to visit as many of these places as you can before its too late!

1. The Berkshires, Massachusetts.

In our home state of Massachusetts, the Berkshires is on the top of our list! While so much of western Massachusetts is stunningly beautiful, we recommend taking Jacob’s Ladder Scenic Byway. This 35-mile stretch of Route 20 sits at the southern part of the Berkshires. On the other side, the Mohawk trail in the northern mountains of the Berkshires hosts incredible views for some spectacular leaf peeping!

2. Route 100, Vermont

Vermont, known for it’s beautiful mountains with gorgeous views, hosts a slew of places to leaf peep. One of the most amazing drives you can take is Route 100. It expands the entire length of the state and has a wide variety of elevation, which means a ton of different colors! You’ll see deep maroon sumac trees, vivacious reds with pops of bright yellow.

3. Litchfield Hills, Connecticut

On Connecticut’s side of the Berkshires, Route 7 cuts through Litchfield Hills and adorable picturesque towns with gorgeous fall foliage all around. Following the Housatonic River, enter the village of Kent which was awarded the #1 Fall Foliage Town in New England by Yankee Magazine. While you hike your way through the scenic Kent State Park and up to the summit, be sure to take a look at Connecticut’s high waterfall on the way. Don’t have time for a hike? Not a problem. Just driving around Litchfield Hills you’ll have one of the most scenic drives in the country with trees exploding with color all around.

4. White Mountains, New Hampshire

Once you enter the White Mountain Region, you won’t be able to escape the color explosion! Almost everywhere you walk, hike, or drive, you will be surrounded by a variety of different trees creating a beautiful color landscape. From elm, to oak, to beech and birch, and the sugar maples, the scarlet reds and warm yellow leaves will leave you speechless. A quick stop off Route 175, Perch Pond will complete your experience with stunning views of the foliage.

Fall foliage cropped

October Events in Massachusetts!

With the start of fall comes tons of fun fall festivities! From corn mazes, to apple festivals, to Oktoberfest, there are so many ways to get into the autumn spirit! Check out MassDrive’s favorite activities and events happening around Massachusetts this month!

Corn maze
October 5th – November 1st
Danvers, MA

Connors Farm is hosting their annual and epic corn maze. This year’s corn maze will feature a massive 7 acre “Wild, Wild, West” themed maze and so much more! Connors Farm has all the classic fall favorites such as hayrides, apple picking, and pumpkin picking. While on the other side, they offer some crazy fun activities such as pumpkin blasters, paint ball, and corn cannon in what they call the “destruction zone.” At night, wind down by the campfire with some delicious BBQ, classic New England clam chowder or some hot apple cider donuts!

Haunted house in Fall River
October 9th – November 7th
Fall River, MA

Get into your Halloween spirit with the Factory of Terror’s Haunted House! Due to a mysterious mass murder in 1856, this factory, now named Bloodworth Dungeon, has laid idol since. Only those who dare, enter at their own risk! The haunted house begins on an underground 4D blackout zone where you have to crawl your way though the “tunnel of corpses.” After escaping the 4D blackout, you will enter the phobia mayhem where you will face the fear haunting the 113 factory murder victims’ souls! This haunted house is not for those faint at heart!

Oktoberfest and Street Band
October 11th
Harvard Square, Boston

If you haven’t been yet, this year’s the year to attend the 37th Annual Oktoberfest and legendary HONK! Parade! This popular event brings in over 200,000 people all weekend long. Featuring foods from all over the world throughout 50 food vendors, vintage goods and one-of-a-kind gifts from 150 craft vendors, and lets not forget the five beer gardens! The entire event will take place on and around Harvard Square with 6 stages hosting a slew of musicians. The highlight of the event will be the HONK! Parade with bands from all over the country marching from Davis to Harvard as spectators dance along!

Oyster festival
October 17th – October 18th
Wellfleet, Cape Code

While the weather is still warm enough to enjoy the cape, make your way to the 15th annual Wellfleet OysterFest! Besides eating delicious fresh oysters- which there will be plenty of!- there are a ton of activities all weekend long. From cooking demonstrations, to walking tours, to live music, and much more there are so many ways to enjoy this beautiful beach town festival. Tickets are a very reasonable $5 dollars for a one-day pass, or $8 for a two-day pass and the proceeds go to the non-profit Wellfleet Shellfish Promotion and Tasting, Inc., organization’s education scholarship fund.

Apple festival
October 17th – October 18th
Wachusett Mountain

No food represents fall in New England better than apples! Wachusett Mountain will house their 32nd annual AppleFest featuring 75 craft Fair & Farmers market booths, delicious barbecue, a climbing wall and more. There will be a ton of entertainment for the kids and Oktoberfest celebration for the adults featuring real German cuisine, live bands, and of course lots of tasty beers in the Beer Garden. Be sure to check out the scenic sky rides up the mountain to take in the beautiful fall foliage. Lastly, lets not forget with every great Apple Festival comes an epic apple pie contest!

 

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