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St. Patrick’s Day Events In Massachusetts

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Who doesn’t love Saint Patrick’s Day in Massachusetts?  The state is known for it’s Irish heritage and for one day of the year, everyone gets to be Irish!  The celebrations aren’t limited to one day, either!  There are events taking place all month long celebrating the Irish heritage, and we’ve found a few of the best ones to help you decide what to do to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Massachusetts!

Harpoon St. Patrick’s Day Festival – How about celebrating St. Patrick’s Day at the largest brewery in Boston?  Kick off the celebration a bit early at this event taking place on Friday, March 7th and Saturday, March 8th.  Harpoon Brewery knows it’s been a long winter, so get out of the house and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with them and their large selection of beers, including Harpoon Irish Stout.  The celebration will also have food vendors selling corned beef and cabbage, among other options.  There will be bands on hand to keep you entertained, heated tents to keep you warm, and plenty of food and drinks to keep you full.  Make sure to bring cash with you, there’s a $20 entry fee and everything for sale inside is cash only.  There is no parking at the event, but there will be complimentary shuttles running to the festival from South Station.  This is a 21+ event so grab your friends and head to Harpoon Brewery for a day of food and fun, make sure to wear your green!

A Little Bit Of Ireland – Head to the Reagle Music Theatre in Waltham for this homage to all things Irish!  This is one of the largest Irish shows in New England and will feature everything from Irish tenors, Riverdance, a look inside Irish cottage life, a visit to an Irish Pub, Irish step dancing, and jokes from an Irish comic.  This show will give you a glimpse into the Irish heritage and will ensure you kick off St. Patty’s Day on the right foot!  There will be three showings, two on Saturday, March 16th at 2 and 7 PM, and one show on Sunday, March 17th at 2 PM.  Get your tickets for this entertaining display of Irish culture while they last!

St. Patrick’s Day Parade In South Boston – Brought to you by the Allied War Veteran’s Council, this is without a doubt one of the most popular St. Patrick’s Day events in the state.  South Boston is the most Irish neighborhood in the country, so what better way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day than by wearing your green and heading to Southie for the parade?  Perhaps even enjoying some green beer for those of you 21 and over.  This year the parade will be on Sunday, March 16th and will begin at 1 PM.  It’s the perfect event for friends, families, and anyone out to have a great time.  The parade begins at West Broadway near the Broadway T Station and will loop throughout the neighborhood, but make sure to get there early if you want a good spot!

Green Day Celebration At Mt. Wachusett – If you’re not ready to let go of winter yet, head to Mt. Wachusett on Monday, March 17th for a celebration of St. Patrick’s Day and all things green!  There will be lift tickets for only $17 for those wearing visible green outerwear.  You can also get the discounted lift ticket by thinking green, and carpooling to the event or driving a hybrid.  After a day of skiing, head to the back deck in Coppertop for live Irish music from 4 PM – 6 PM.  There will be corned beef and cabbage for sale, more traditional food options if you prefer, and of course plenty of drinks to go around for those over 21.  Grab your green and enjoy the day while we still have a bit of ski weather left!

However you plan on celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, there’s no doubt that the day is going to be filled with friends, food, and fun!  Enjoy the day and don’t forget your green!

Photo By: John and Carolina

Events In Massachusetts This March

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We’ve almost made it to spring, and that deserves a celebration, don’t you think?  With only a few short weeks left of winter, we’re all looking forward to warmer weather and longer days, and that means more time to have fun and go to awesome events!  We know that when people think of events in March, Saint Patrick’s Day comes to mind, and don’t worry we haven’t forgotten about that special day, but it will be getting its own event posting later this month.  In the mean time, check out all of the other events going on across the state this March!

Boston Flower and Garden Show – This is the perfect event to get you ready for spring!  Take in the beautiful sights and smells of the Boston Flower and Garden Show at the Seaport World Trade Center from March 12th-16th.  This year’s theme is “Romance in the Garden” and there will be garden writers, landscaping professionals,master gardeners, and local chefs will all be on hand for daily lectures, demonstrations, floral arranging workshops, children’s activities, and cooking demonstrations.  Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for children, and $17 for seniors and are valid for one day only.  Don’t miss out on this fun event, it’s perfect for friends, families, or even a romantic outing, and is a great way to kick off spring!

Worcester Boat Show – This is another great event to get you ready for warmer weather!  Head to the DCU Center in Worcester from March 14th-16th for the Worcester Boat Show!  Whether you own your own boat or are dreaming of it one day in the future, you won’t want to miss this event.  All of the latest 2014 models will be on display, there will fishing boats, pontoon boats, sports boats, boating accessories, and much more.  You can touch and experience each boat to find your favorite, and if you’re in the market to purchase a boat you’ll want to take advantage of the special show prices and manufacturers incentives.  Tickets are $10 for adults and children 16 and under are admitted free as long as they are accompanied by an adult.

Paradise City Arts Festival – If you’re an art lover, this is the event for you.  There will be over 175 artists and their creations on display during this elegant event, and the diverse creations are guaranteed to catch your eye.  There will be a variety of different pieces, all showcasing the talent and innovation of American craftsmanship.  This event will be at the Royal Plaza Trade Center in Marlborough from March 21st-23rd.  Ticket prices vary but if you plan on going more that one day, you’ll definitely want to purchase their three day pass for $16.  If you’ve been trying to expand your cultural horizons and do something new, this is the event for you.

Dine Out Boston – If there’s a restaurant you’ve been wanting to try in the Boston area, you’re in luck!  Dine Out Boston takes place once a year and gives diners the opportunity to sample prix fixe menus for lunch and dinner from participating restaurants.  Prices for lunch are either $15, $20, or $25, and dinner prices can be $28, $33, or $38, depending on what you order.  Prices are per person and do not include drinks, tax, or gratuity.  Sample meals from chain restaurants, locally owned bistros, from tapas to Italian, Mexican to sushi, Asian food to seafood, and much more as options you won’t know where to start!  Luckily you have a few days to take advantage of this event, it’s going on from March 16th-21st, and March 23rd – 28th.  For a full list of participating restaurants, click here.

These events will make the last few weeks of winter fly by, so get out and about and enjoy!

Photo By: retrogoth

Cookie Wars: MassDrive Edition

massdrive crew

When it comes to competition, we take it very seriously over here at MassDrive, and this week we had a great idea to spice up the holiday season!  We were inspired by the holiday gifts our friends at Plymouth Rock Assurance sent us; three cookie cutters meant to represent their offerings, a gingerbread man (life insurance), a car (auto insurance), and a house (homeowners insurance).  After we got those, it didn’t take long for us to come up with the idea for a cookie decorating contest between the Boston and Phoenix offices!

Each team had to use the cutters provided, and the only other rule was to be as creative as possible!  Both offices are full of creative minds so we all knew competition would be stiff, but of course before we could begin decorating we needed the actual cookies.  Luckily we had two gracious volunteers from each office offer to bake some for everyone.

As we’ve said before, MassDrive is not your typical insurance company, and the cookie creations both offices came up with is further proof of that.  We have incredibly creative employees working in both offices, and a true team effort turned a simple cookie contest into two impressive masterpieces in their own right.  Each office combined the decorating talents of each employee to create a full on holiday scene.

To keep things fair, our California office and a few remote employees served as impartial judges.  Since both offices created amazing cookies, we know this may have been the toughest job of all.

Phoenix creative an amazing holiday village scene complete with insurance themed touches including “Renters Row”, “Auto Ave”, “Pet Protection Parkway”, and even a “NGI University” building!  The judges loves the variety of ingredients used as decorations, especially the pretzel windows which gave the cookies an appealing salty & sweet quality.  The judges also loved the creativity of incorporating insurance aspects into the holiday village.

phoenix village

In Boston, we came up with the idea to create a stop-animation video using our cookies to illustrate the dangers of distracted driving.  The whole office enjoyed creating it, we worked together to come up with a story board, figured out exactly how many cookies we would need for our video, and had our talented crew begin decorating.  We then used the Stop Motion App to create the video, which was awesome because it was free and very user-friendly.  What resulted was a distracted driving awareness video that impressed the judges, and even the competition in Phoenix!  The judges thought that the i-Phone cookie with an incoming message was the most creative cookie, and also thought that the cookies had the “perfect amount of icing”.

After both teams had finished, we had a company conference call to announce the results.  Both offices went into the call without ever seeing what the other team had created, and hearing all the different reactions from each other may have been the most entertaining part of the contest.  Even though both teams did an amazing job, the judges unanimously agreed that Boston was the winner.  What do you think?  Do you agree with the judges?

 

Tis The Season To Celebrate!

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Tis the season to celebrate!  We’re celebrating the start of the holiday season by giving away two tickets to see “A Christmas Story, The Musical” at the Wang Theatre in Boston! This 2013 Tony Award Nominee for Best Musical, Best Score, and Best Book is sure to be fun for all ages.

Entering is easy!  All you have to do is “Like” our post on Facebook, and comment with your own favorite holiday tradition or story to enter.  The tickets are for a matinee showing on Saturday, December 7th at 2 PM and are valued at $200.   Don’t forget to share the post so that friends and family can enter too!

Official Contest Rules:

  1. Entry Instructions:  Each person may enter by clicking “Like” on the MassDrive Facebook page and comment with your favorite holiday tradition or story. You may also enter the Contest by sending us the requested information by a postcard or letter addressed to “Christmas Story Contest” to our mailing address at 241 A Street, Suite 400, Boston, Massachusetts, 02110. Please include your submission and how to contact you by phone, email and mailing address.  These complete Contest Rules may also be obtained by sending us a request at our address, above.
  2. All entrants must be Massachusetts residents and age 18 or older.
  3. Only one entry per person. No purchase of any MassDrive product is necessary and will not increase the likelihood of winning.
  4. Entrants may not submit content that contains any elements that violate a third party’s copyrights or trademark rights; or depictions of any individuals that have not granted permission to appear in the entry.
  5. The contest will begin on Wednesday November 6, 2013  and will end at 11:59 PM on Thursday, November, 14th.  The contest winner will be selected by MassDrive based upon each entrant’s creativity and unique value and it will be judged upon adherence to our contest rules.  The winner will be announced in a post on our Facebook page the following day.  The winner can inbox us with their address and we will mail the tickets to them.
  6. The contest winner will be mailed two tickets for the Saturday, December 7, 2013 2 PM performance of “A Christmas Story, The Musical” held at the Wang Theatre in Boston.  These tickets are valued at $200.
  7. Employees and family members of MassDrive or Next Generation Insurance Group LLC are ineligible to enter.
  8. MassDrive reserves the right to cancel, modify or suspend the Contest, if in its sole discretion any problem prevents the Contest from running as planned.  All entrants must agree to release and hold harmless MassDrive from any claim by the entrant associated by entrant’s participation in the Contest.  MassDrive is not responsible and cannot be held liable for technical errors or other things that may prevent the promotion from running as planned.  MassDrive also reserves the right to substitute the contest prize with another prize of equal or greater value if the advertised contest prize is not available.
  9. These Contest Rules shall be governed by the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, excluding its conflicts of laws provisions.
  10. All entrants must agree to release and hold harmless Facebook from any claim by the entrant associated by entrant’s participation in the Contest. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

Best of luck to all participants!

 

November Events!

faneuil tree

November is a fun month of the year, at the beginning we get to continue celebrating fall and all it has to offer, and towards the end of the month we begin looking forward to Christmas!  There’s a fun mix of events going on this month, and we’ve found some of the best ones in the Bay State!  November will come and go before you know it, so don’t miss your chance to take advantage of these events!

Fall Restaurant Week In Salem – If you’re a food lover, you definitely don’t want to miss out on this event!  Try the best local cuisine in Salem for a discounted price from November 3-7 and 10-14.  Participating restaurants will be offering either a two course ($18), or three course ($28), prix-fixe dinner menu.  Whether you like classic American food, steak , seafood, or ethnic dishes, you will have plenty of options to choose from!  There will be multiple appetizer, entree, and even dessert options on each menu, and reservations are recommended.  When contacting the restaurant, be sure to mention Restaurant Week.

Apples and Wine Festival – Taking place at Russell Orchards in Ipswich, this event has something for every member of your family!  From hayrides, apple crisp, cider pressing demonstrations, apple samples, and caramel apple dipping to a wine tasting for those over 21, this event is fun for all ages.  The event will be November 9th and 10th from 11 AM – 4 PM.  The cost of the wine tasting is $20 per person and includes 24 tastes of their award-winning hard ciders and fruit wines, select gourmet food pairings, wristband, and a signature glass to take home.  Reservations for the wine tasting are recommended.

Blink! A Light & Sound Extravaganza – This festive holiday event takes place in Faneuil Hall in Boston on Saturday, November 23.  Festivities begin at 12 noon with the arrival of Santa, a performance from “A Christmas Story”, and tons of additional live entertainment.  There will be dancers, music, and much more throughout the day, all leading up to the lighting ceremony which will be from 7:30 PM – 8 PM and will feature performances from the Boston Pops, and Grammy Award-Winning singer Paula Cole.  Mayor Menino will be the one to flip the switch and a portion of the ceremony will include a tribute to the long-time mayor of Boston.  Once the switch has been flipped, over 30,000 lights will illuminate the tree along with an additional 350,000 lights throughout Faneuil.  Don’t miss out on this holiday extravaganza in the city!

Lowell City Of Lights Parade And Holiday Celebration – Taking place on Saturday, November 30th, in downtown Lowell, this is event will be a fun way to celebrate the holiday season.  Festivities begin at 11 AM with holiday shopping, live performances, pictures with Santa, trolley tours, and the Annual Hot Chocolate Competition!  These festivities all lead up to the main event, the City of Lights Parade and City Hall Lighting!  Spend the day with friends and family and enjoy the start of the holiday season!

All of these events are perfect for friends or the whole family!  Kick off the holiday season and enjoy these fun filled celebrations!

We Love Fort Point!

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We’re back with another “We Love Fort Point” blog!  We can’t stop raving about our neighbors here in the Fort Point section of Boston, there are so many great bakeries, restaurants, shops, and more, all in the same neighborhood as our office!  Our awesome sales agent, Teresa Dillon is here to tell us about a few of her favorite spots in the area:

Barlows Restaurant – We’ve definitely featured Barlow’s in this post before, but they’re so good we can’t get enough!  Not only is this convenient (it’s located in the same building as our office) but they also have a diverse menu with tons of options that are all amazing.  Teresa loves their appetizers that are half off during the work week, and also enjoys the fact that there’s live entertainment every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night!  It’s convenient for a quick lunch, drinks after work,  or even dinner and is definitely a favorite spot of everyone in the office.

The Institute Of Contemporary Art – Only a short walk from our office, this museum is right on the water and is open until 9 PM on Thursdays and Fridays, and is a fun place to visit if you want to see something new.  They have many exhibits to view, ranging from paintings to sculptures to cartoons. Admission is very affordable, only $15 for adults, $13 for seniors, and $10 for students.   One great perk is that every Thursday from 5 PM – 9 PM during ICA free Thursday nights, admission is free for all!

Mrs. B’s Cafe – Whether it’s for a quick snack, or a hearty breakfast or lunch to get you through the day, you won’t be disappointed by Mrs. B’s.  Just make sure you get there early, all of their ingredients are fresh and once they sell out you won’t have nearly as many options to choose from.  Teresa says they’re great for a morning coffee as well, and loves the location because it’s “a relaxed neighborhood feel in a corporate setting”.

Sagarino’s Market – This gourmet convenience store is only a short walk from our office, and we definitely take advantage of the location.  Not only do they have your typical items for sale like soda, snacks, gum, and coffee, but they also sell paper goods, Italian wines, breads, cheeses, and gourmet treats that aren’t in your typical convenience store.  It has a unique local feel and is perfect for stocking up for after work parties!

Sportello – This is one of Teresa’s favorite lunch spots in Fort Point.  While they do offer sit down breakfast, lunch, and dinner options, she prefers their lunch boxes which are perfect for a quick lunch if you need to head back to the office.  Their $11 lunch box comes with home made chocolate chip cookies, chips or popcorn, and a sandwich and drink of your choice, and trust us, their sandwiches will not disappoint even the pickiest eaters!  Made with fresh ingredients, they have so many options you may need to keep coming back until you’ve tried everything!

With so many awesome neighbors in the area, it was hard to narrow it down to just a few!  Be sure to watch for our next “We Love Fort Point” post where we’ll reveal a few more of our favorite spots in the area!

Photo By: Bosc d’Anjou

 

 

Massachusetts Events This October!

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Can you believe it’s already fall?  It feels like summer flew by but before you know it we’ll be preparing for Halloween!  There are tons of fun events going on this month, and we’ve found some of the best ones taking place across the Bay State!  Grab your friends and family and head to these fun events this October!

Harpoon Octoberfest – This fall tradition is taking place on Friday, October 4th from 5:30 PM – 11 PM (doors close at 9 PM) and Saturday, October 5th from 2 PM – 9 PM (doors close at 7:30 PM) at the Harpoon Brewery in Boston.  This event is 21+ and tickets are not available in advance, you must pay the $20 cover at the door which includes admission, a drink ticket, and a souvenir Pint cup, also keep in mind that this event is cash only.  There won’t be parking at the brewery but there will be a shuttle bus at South Station running to and from the event.  Come enjoy German food, live music, German chocolate cake eating contests, keg bowling, and of course tons of fresh Harpoon beer options including IPA, Octoberfest, and UFO Pumpkin.  Unwind with friends after the workweek and celebrate the start of fall at Octoberfest!

Riverside Blues and BBQ Festival – Hosted by the Franklin County Rotary Club and the Greenfield Recreation Department, this family friendly event is taking place at Beacon Field in Greenfield from Friday, October 11th – Sunday, October 13th.  There will be professional BBQ competitors from across New England competing in grilling contests, and two days of Blues music, beer sampling, crafters, vendors, and activities for the kids.  On Friday night there will be a free outdoor movie night at 7 PM with free admission and popcorn to kick off the festival.  On Saturday and Sunday, events will be from 12 noon – 6 PM, admission to the festival is $5, and children ages 10 and under are free with a paying adult.  Admission to the BBQ Samplin’ Pit is $5 and guests can sample and vote for their favorite teams.  On Saturday guests can sample chicken wings and on Sunday there will be pulled pork.  Admission to the BrewFest Beer Samplin’ Saloon is $20 from 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM, and includes as many beer samples as you can drink.

Newburyport’s Great Pumpkin Lighting and Stroll – This family friendly event is taking place on Saturday, October 19th from 6 PM – 9 PM at Market Square in Newburyport.  Families are encouraged to bring a carved pumpkin that will be lit and placed on the stage in Market Square.  Every family will be provided with a votive candle that will be lit all together at dusk, approximately 6:15 PM, and placed in the pumpkins which will be put on stage.  Families are then invited to stroll through beautiful downtown Newburyport, along the water, and to admire the pumpkins designed by local businesses.  At the end of the night, families are asked to take their pumpkins home for safe keeping.  This is a great way to get in the Halloween spirit with the whole family!

30th Annual Applefest – Head to Wachusett Mountain in Princeton on October 19th – 20th for Applefest!  This event is perfect for the whole family, and fun for all ages.  There will be live music, a mountainside barbecue, pie eating contests, Skyrides to the scenic Summit, craft & farmer’s market booths, and clowns, jugglers, magicians, pony & hay rides, and a climbing wall for the kids.  There will also be an Oktoberfest Celebration featuring authentic German cuisine, a variety of beers in the Beer Garden, and live entertainment.   This event is from 10 AM – 5 PM both days and tickets are $12 for adults at the door and $7 for children ages 6 – 12.  Discounts are available if you purchase in advance online and there are also packages available that include admission, food vouchers, play activities and more!

If you weren’t in the fall spirit before, you will be after these events!

Photo By: mattfour

Animal Adventures In Massachusetts

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Everyone loves animals, whether you’re young or old how can you resist those adorable faces?  We’re very lucky here in Massachusetts because there are a bunch of different places we can visit to see some exotic creatures!  We have an aquarium, zoos, and even a butterfly place that are all reasonably priced and family friendly attractions.  Whatever your favorite animal is, there’s a good chance you can see it here in Massachusetts, so head to some of these fun attractions with the whole family!

New England Aquarium – Located in Boston, the New England Aquarium is a popular destination for field trips and family fun.  There are tons of fish to see, and the main exhibit is a giant tank in the center of the aquarium which is home not only to fish, but also giant sea turtles, sharks, sting rays, and many more sea creatures.  Guests can even get a chance to interact with the animals!  There is a tide pool tank where visitors can touch tide pool animals including sea stars, sea urchins, hermit crabs, and more.  Guests can also visit the Shark and Ray Touch Tank where they can touch small sharks and sting rays!  Another cool way to interact with the animals?  Check out the marine mammal shows that take place throughout the day!  There is even an exhibit outside of the aquarium before you enter that features seven Northern fur seals and is free of charge!  In addition to their main building, there is also a Simon’s IMAX theater and Whale Watch tours until November so be sure to visit and take full advantage of all the aquarium has to offer!

Zoo New England – Zoo New England refers to two zoo’s here in Massachusetts, the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston, and the Stone Zoo in Stoneham.  Both have unique, exotic animals from all over the world and fun exhibits for guests to participate in.  The Franklin Park Zoo is home to giraffes, lions, tigers, zebra, warthogs, ostrich, and much more!  There’s a petting zoo where children can get up close and personal with farm animals at the zoo as well!  Admission is $17 for adults, $14 for seniors (62+), $11 for children (ages 2-12) and children under 2 are free!  The Stone Zoo is home to black bears, a snow leopard, gibbons, otters, reindeer, wolves, a bald eagle, flamingos, and much more.  Admission to the Stone Zoo is $14 for adults, $12 for seniors (62+), $10 for children (ages 2-12), and children under 2 are free.  Check out one or visit both, either way you are guaranteed to have a day full of family fun!

The Butterfly Place – Located in Westford, this tropical habitat is home to New England butterflies and tropical species from all over the world.  There are also koi fish, quail birds, and caterpillars on site as well as a “show and tell bench” where there is always a staff member on site to answer any questions you may have.  There is also an educational video that plays throughout the day and explains the butterfly life cycle.  You can even take home a butterfly hatching kit so you can hatch and release your own butterfly or moth!  The butterfly place is kept at about 80-85 degrees, which is perfect for the butterflies although other areas do have air conditioning.  Parking is free, and admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors (65+), $8 for children (ages 3-12) and free for children 2 and under.

Whether you’re a fan of lions, tigers, bear, seals, penguins, or butterflies, you can see them all and more here in Massachusetts!  All of these destinations are family friendly and fun for all, be sure to visit them all!

Bay State Bike Paths!

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Summer is the perfect time of year for a nice leisurely bike ride in the Bay State.  You get some exercise, you can take in some beautiful views, and get to experience the great outdoors!  There are a lot of bike paths here in Massachusetts, but we’ve done the research for you and listed some of the best ones across the state!

Charles River Bike Path – This 14 mile loop also know as the Dr. Paul Dudley White Bike Path, begins at the Museum of Science in Boston and runs along to Watertown Square in Watertown.  The course follows the banks of the Charles River and you will definitely take in some beautiful views of the Boston skyline.  There are many different entry points for this path so if you don’t have the time or energy to do the full loop, you can jump in anywhere that’s convenient for you.  The path is maintained by the Urban Parks Division of the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation and certain parts of the path are for both bikers and pedestrians.  The path is pretty wide although there are some spots that could be considered a tight squeeze where it would be a little difficult for two bikes to pass each other.  Overall it is a fun way to see the city and get a good workout in all at the same time!

Assabet River Rail Trail – This trail runs through Marlborough, Hudson, Stow, Maynard, and Acton.  Completion of the entire trail is still in the works, but right now there are miles of paved road open to the public whether it be to skateboard, bike, walk, or run.  The trial follows an abandoned MBTA rail bed and offers visitors a relaxing environment where they can safely take in the outdoors.  There are multiple street crossings, flashing lights to alert drivers that bikers are coming, and good visibility in most areas.  You may even spot some wildlife so be sure to bring some binoculars!  Parking is available at the trail head in Marlborough, and there are additional parking lots along the trail as well as street parking available.

Wompatuck State Park – This park is perfect whether you want to go for a relaxing ride or if you want to do some mountain biking.  Located in Hingham, there are paved and unpaved trails throughout the park which was previously used as an ammunition depot in World War II.  History buffs will definitely enjoy looking at the old equipment that is still on the grounds, and another great perk is having Mount Blue Spring on site which offers free, purified water from an underground stream to all visitors.  There are multiple paths so there are plenty of reasons to come back again and again to explore the entire park if you don’t finish it in a day!

Norwottuck Rail Trail – This 9 mile bike path connects Amherst to Northampton through Hadley.  There is also a connection to the UMass Amherst campus that students can take full advantage of.  Locals love this trail because it actually surpasses MA Rt. 9 which tends to be pretty busy.  The path rarely intersects roads traveled by cars and it takes you along a scenic route where you can take in views of farmland, and if you go far enough down the trail you can even ride over the Connecticut River!

What trails do you plan on biking this summer?  For a full list of trails in the Bay State visit MassBike.org.

Photo By: Peter Krefting

 

Events This July!

chowderfest

Now that summer’s here there are more events to attend than ever and we’ve got a list of some of the most exciting ones going on in the Bay State this month!

Cape Harmony – Cape Harmony is Cape Cod’s newest a cappella group and they have some serious talent.  This all female singing sensation has been featured on various radio stations, performed with Livingston Taylor and the Air Force Academy Band, performed for thousands of fans at concerts, festivals, private parties, nursing homes, schools, fundraisers, and parades.  With a repertoire of songs covering artists such as Michael Jackson, Billy Joel, The Beatles, Jason Mraz, Jessie J, Fleetwood Mac, Boyz II Men, Miley Cyrus, and many more, there is something for everyone to enjoy.  They have multiple shows every week and mainly play at local churches but also play larger events as well as private ones.  Make sure you take some time to enjoy one of their performances this summer, you won’t be disappointed!

Brockton Rox – This is the perfect family event to bring the kids to this summer!  Watch the Rox baseball team play at Campanelli Stadium in Brockton and enjoy a night under the stars watching America’s favorite pastime.  Kids will love the many activities they have for them, as well as the entertaining sumo wrestling during the 7th inning stretch!  Other promotions include $2 beers on “Thirsty Thursdays”, 3-D fireworks, kids run the bases, trivia, and different theme nights including “Christmas in July”, country night, beach night, and many more.  There are also giveaways before the game and kids can get autographs after the game.  Definitely head to Brockton for a game this summer if you get the chance!

32nd Annual Chowderfest – Chowderfest is one of the most popular staples of the Harborfest celebration in Boston and as you may have guessed, there will be tons of chowder, in fact, there will be over 2,000 gallons!  Stop by Boston City Hall Plaza on Sunday, July 7th from 11 AM – 6 PM for all the chowder you can eat!  Tickets are $13 for adults and $9 for children (age 12 and under) and participating restaurants will be competing for the title of “Boston’s Best Chowder” which they will only get if they receive the most votes from the crowd.  Participating restaurants so far include Anthem Kitchen and Bar, McCormick and Schmick’s, the Hyatt Harborside Grill, the Chart House, and more to come!

Lowell Folk Festival – This yearly festival is so popular it draws a crowd from all over the country.  This free festival is the largest of its kind in the United States and features a variety of folk musicians performing throughout the weekend.  There will be blue grass, gospel, folk, polka, country, Irish, Dominican, Portuguese, and Greek musical performances just to name a few.  In addition to the lively music, there will also be ethnic food available as well as CD’s, crafts, and other items for sale.  Don’t miss your chance to enjoy some live music, take in the great outdoors, and maybe even try something new to eat!  The festival will be taking place from Friday, July 26th – Sunday, July 28th.

As always, there’s an event for every member of the family to enjoy so get your tickets while you can and don’t miss out on any of these fun summer events!

Photo By: Bryan Maleszyk

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