Newburyport


December 2014 Events in Massachusetts

Though the weather is growing colder, the holiday season in Massachusetts is beautiful. We hope you’ll get out and enjoy all that the Bay State has to offer despite the cold, so we’ve rounded up some of our favorite events happening this month in Mass.

Bright Nights at Forest Park – December 1 – January 4 – Springfield, MA

Enjoy beautiful holiday lighting with this three-mile route of impressive decorations! With more than 600,000 and a musical simulcast from 98.5FM, you and your family will be dazzled. With passes per vehicle ranging from $16-$21, Bright Nights is a drive the whole family will love.

The Polar Express at Edaville Railroad – December 3-30 – Carver, MA

Inspired by the holiday classic and hit movie, this is a fun holiday event the kids are sure to love. Hop aboard the The Polar Express at Edaville Railroad and take off to the North Pole to the soundtrack of the film. There will be a reading of the book, a stop to visit Santa, and hot chocolate and cookies served on board.

Holiday Skating Party – December 7 – Amherst, MA

Head to the Mullins Center Community Ice Rink to get into the holiday spirit with their Holiday Skating Party! Rock out to tunes provided by Hits 94.3, trying your hand at snowflake crafting and cookie decorating, and enjoy ice skating (rentals are included in the price of admission) at this event the whole family will love.

Newburyport Holiday House Tour – December 13 – Newburyport, MA

Beginning at the historic Custom House Maritime Museum, the 21st Anniversary Holiday House Tour will take you through the finest private residences and unique spaces Newburyport has to offer. Explore the history and culture of the town as you delight in the holiday decorations at each stop.

White Christmas at the Wang Theater – December 16 – 28 – Boston, MA

Celebrate the season with this holiday classic and the music of Irving Berlin! Catch Irving Berlin’s White Christmas The Musical at the Wang Theater in downtown Boston. Get in the spirit with music, dancing and holiday cheer – and stay tuned to our Facebook page for an opportunity to win your tickets!

Massachusetts Events This October!

harpoon

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

Spring Day Trips In Massachusetts

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Have a day or two off and want to go somewhere new?  Take a day trip to one of these great spots across the state!  Here in Massachusetts we’re lucky that we’re within driving distance of the beach, mountains, and city.  Take advantage of everything the Bay State has to offer this spring and check out some of these fun destinations on your next day off!

Newburyport – This seaside town is the perfect destination if you want to take in a sea breeze this spring.  There is a boardwalk right on the water that visitors can stroll along while stopping in to the many shops, museums, boutiques, and restaurants that line the streets of this quaint town.  Want to take in the outdoors?  There are many activities available including fishing, boating, taking a walk through the nature reserve or one of the many parks, or head to Plum Island and take a swim.  There’s enough going on here to keep you busy all day, and every member of your family will find something that interests them!

Mohawk Trail Region – The Mohawk Trail region is made up of many towns in Western Massachusetts including Deerfield, Barre, North Adams, and Greenfield that offers activities for all ages.  It’s the first scenic road in New England and has 63 miles of spectacular mountain views to take in!  This is a perfect destination for outdoor people, and attractions include zip lining, golf, fishing, boating, hiking, swimming, and much more.  There are also antique stores, galleries, museums, and historic sites for those that aren’t quite as outdoorsy.  Feeling really adventurous?  Try white water rafting!  There are many options across this region, depending on where you plan on traveling.  With so many options over such a large area, you’ll need to plan out an itinerary before you head out, so check out all that the Mohawk Trail region has to offer!

Boston Freedom Trail – Take a ride into Boston and brush up on some history this spring!  The Freedom Trail is one of the most popular attractions in the city, and it will bring you to all of the must see locations along the way.  This is Boston’s most popular walking tour and you can either book a tour with a costumed guide who will give you all of the historic information relevant to each landmark you pass by, or if you’re looking for a more casual setting follow the trail yourself and read the historic markers along the way!  If you do buy a ticket for the tour, it is valid for any day and time, tours are offered 12 times daily from April-November so there are plenty of options.  The trail will lead you all over the city, from the Boston Common, to Beacon Hill, to the waterfront, to the North End, and all the way into Charlestown, it’s the perfect way to experience every part of the city!

We’re very lucky here in Massachusetts, all of these destinations are only a few hours away from any point in the state, and are all perfect for day tripping with the whole family!  Next time you have a day off head to one of these spots that you typically wouldn’t venture to, you’ll make some new memories and have fun with the whole family while enjoying the outdoors this spring!

Photo By: Dougtone

Best Travel Destinations Via the MBTA Commuter Rail!

No car this summer? No problem!  There are tons of destinations all across Massachusetts that are accessible via public transit!  The MBTA has so many different options and of course Boston is a bustling city where there is always something to do, but if you are in Boston and are looking for a way to get away or take a day trip, the Commuter Rail has many stops both north and south of the city that are great spots to visit this summer.

Salem – Thanks to the Salem Witch Trials of 1692, Salem is known across the country and has become a popular destination for tourists, especially around Halloween.  This summer is the perfect time to explore this historic town and beat the crowds!  They have countless museums including the Salem Witch Museum, Peabody Essex Museum, and the House of the Seven Gables where you can learn the history of the town itself and take a look back to the times of the Witch Trials.  Besides the history and haunted fun, Salem is right on the water and has many different shops and restaurants to explore!  Sit on the deck at Finz and enjoy some fine food while sitting right on the water, or stroll through the main strip and try out one of the many quiet coffee shops along the way.  Salem is just a short ride on the Rockport Line, which you can take right out of North Station.

Newburyport – Newburyport is another great destination in MA that is only a train ride away.  The Newburyport line out of North Station will drop you right in the middle of this quaint town by the sea.  Once you arrive there are tons of small shops to explore, art galleries, a sculpture park, fishing, and Plum Island is only a short walk away.  Plum Island has miles of public beaches and is home to the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge which houses over 800 different types of birds, plants, and animals.  Newburyport has everything you could ask for on a summer getaway, the beach, shops, restaurants, art galleries, and plenty of things to do outdoors.

Providence – Providence, RI is the place to be if you want to experience some night life.  Many of the restaurants on Federal Hill are restaurants by day and lounges by night.  Many have live entertainment and there’s no better time to stop by since Restaurant Week is happening all this month!  Walking is definitely the best way to explore the city and see the sights.  One of the most popular attractions is Waterfire, a stunning and award winning show that features 100 bonfires that blaze on the 3 rivers throughout the city.  Take a stroll and enjoy this must-see event while taking in the music and performances going on as well.  Roger Williams Park is a great stop as well and is home to a zoo, waterways, the Botanical Center, and a planetarium.  Providence offers all of the excitement of a big city such as Manhattan but is only a short ride away on the Providence Line which leaves from South Station.

Plymouth – Plymouth really does have everything you need on a summer getaway.  Visitors have a variety of options to choose from in terms of things to do.  There are many museums, monuments, and Plymouth Plantation is a must see for history buffs.  If you’d rather spend some time outside visit one of the local cranberry bogs, take a harbor cruise, check out the Daniel Webster Wildlife Sanctuary, or stop by the Plimouth Candy Company for some sweet treats.  Whitehorse beach is also nearby for those that want to relax by the water.  Plymouth is an ideal destination for a day trip and is the last stop on the Plymouth line which leaves from South Station.

Utilizing the commuter rail is great for anyone who doesn’t have a car, is trying to go green, and is extremely convenient.  Trains run every hour for the most part during the week, and usually every other hour on weekends.  For more information on the MBTA, maps, and scheduling visit their website.

Photo By: rachel_pics

Scenic Summer Drives in the Bay State

Shore of Gloucester - A beautiful stop along the
The Gloucester Shore - A beautiful stop along the Essex National Heritage Area Scenic Byway.

Boasting of summer’s arrival the trees are green, beaches now open, and the shorts and tee-shirts have been taken from storage. Whether you have an afternoon or an entire day, a summer drive through the beautiful Massachusetts roadways is the perfect way to see more of the Bay State and learn about its history. To get out of your usual grind without spending bundles on a vacation check out the following Massachusetts scenic routes:

North-western corner of Massachusetts are the Mohawk driving trails. Three popular routes within the Mohawk driving trails include: Mouth Greylock – approximately 26 miles, Mohawk Trail – approximately 55 miles, the combined Mt. Greylock/ North Berkshire route – approximately 33 miles, the combined North Bershire/ Mohawk Trail route – approximately 53 miles, and the Mohawk Trail/ Pioneer Valley route – approximately 55 miles. Along the Mohawk driving trails are many attractions including the bridge of flowers where over 500 varieties of annuals and perennials are planted and maintained throughout the summer season. For more information on the scenic routes through North-Western Massachusetts visit the Mohawk Trail website.

For a wonderful view and aversion the Mass Pike, Jacobs Ladder Trail is a fantastic drive and a National Scenic Byway. This drive winds through parts of Western Massachusetts like the Mohawk trails however takes a few twists and turns of its own. Enjoy original 19th-century architecture in Lee Center or along the way a restored railroad station from the 1840s, an Italiante Grange Hall, two mill villages, and churches that remain the tallest building in town. For additional information about this scenic drive visit the Jacobs Ladder Trail website.

For drivers residing closer to Southern Massachusetts the beautiful drive along the Cape Cod Route 6A may be a perfect trip. Cruising through some of America’s oldest villages the Cape Cod route travels through: Sandwich, Barnstable, Yarmouth, Dennis, and Brewster. If you’re into history, many of the homes along this route are listed under the National Register of Historical Places. If you’re not so interested in the Route 6A’s historical pit stops you may stop by Sandy Neck and Sandwich Town Beach, perfect for a leisurely  swim or to soak in a few rays. For the more adventurous and outdoorsy Nickerson State Park is a perfect pit stop along this calming drive. For more information about the Cape Cod route 6A read up about it on the Travel Guide of America website.

Those living closer to the eastern coast will want to take a drive through the Essex National Heritage Area Scenic Byway. The Byway holds a plethora of historic seaports, colonial farms, village centers, and architecture. About 24 miles in length this would make a perfect evening drive and opportunity to learn more about local history. At one end of the Essex Byway is Gloucester, the large fishing community popularized in the movie “The Perfect Storm” and at the other the town of Newburyport, a historic trade and shipbuilding port. For more informaiton about this historically rich drive visit the Go-Massachusetts website.

Happy driving!

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