Worcester


November Events in Massachusetts

‘Tis the season! The holidays are coming and there are many great, family-friendly events around the Bay State to get you in the spirit! From delicious dinners to festivals, November in Massachusetts is sure to be fun for the whole family.

Flavors of Fall – November 17, 2014 – Cambridge, MA

Some of the Greater Boston area’s most talented chefs will come together for one delicious night to benefit Youth on Fire at the Royal Sonesta. Flavors of Fall  features a menu filled with seasonal New England foods, as well as wine, beer and cocktail tastings – and all for a good cause! Proceeds from the event will go to Youth on Fire, which provides services and resources to homeless and unstably housed young adults in the Cambridge area.

Castleberry Holiday Arts & Craft Festival – November 21-23, 2014 – Worcester, MA

Shopping local this holiday season is made easy with the Castleberry Holiday Arts & Craft Festival! Just head on over to the DCU Convention Center in Worcester to browse hundreds of American made gifts, from pottery to scarves to jewelry. Tickets are $8 for adults, children under 14 are free. Come hungry, there will be a “food sampling extravaganza,” with delicious foods like homemade fudge, gourmet popcorn and jams, and carolers will be roving around to get shoppers into the holiday spirit.

Thanksgiving at Plimoth Plantation – November 27, 2014 – Plymouth, MA

Celebrate Thanksgiving where it all began! Share your Thanksgiving dinner with the pilgrims at Plimoth Plantation, but get your tickets quick! The America’s Thanksgiving Dinner has already sold out, but there are still seatings at the Thanksgiving Buffet available. Featuring a full Thanksgiving menu of fresh ingredients, Thanksgiving at Plimoth Plantations is sure to be an unforgettable experience. The Plantation will be open on Thanksgiving Day, with regularly scheduled events throughout the day so you can learn more about life in the 1600s after your meal.

Moonlight Magic – November 28, 2014, 4:30PM – Shelburne Falls, MA

Moonlight Magic is an event the whole family will enjoy! During this magical night, Shelburne Falls becomes aglow thanks to 1,800 luminary candles and gets into the spirit of the season with a town parade, food vendors and extended hours at local shops. You may even run into some familiar faces – Santa, the Grinch, the Snow Princess and others will be out and about! There will be music, movies and even a Santa’s Workshop – something fun for everyone in your family!

City of Lights – November 29, 2014 – Lowell, MA

Celebrate the season with this parade through beautiful downtown Lowell, while enjoying local shopping and dining! The parade features floats and costumed characters, and ends with the Lighting of City Hall and the community tree. There is even a hot chocolate competition! The City of Lights parade is a great way to get into the holiday spirit for the whole family.

Events In Massachusetts This March

flowers

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

January Events In Massachusetts!

auto show

Ready to kick off the New Year with friends and family?  Then check out these fun events going on in Massachusetts this month!  There’s something for everyone, whether you enjoy sports, a good meal, or cars, you’ll definitely find something fun to do this month.

US Figure Skating Championships – This event is going on as we speak! Grab the whole family and head to Boston for the US Figure Skating Championships from January 5-12th.  The last time this event was in town was in 2001, setting a then-record for attendance, so get your tickets while you can!  Ice skating is one of the most popular winter sports, and now’s you chance to see some of the country’s best on their road to winning the gold at the Olympics.  Events and times vary by day, but discounted parking is available for all attendees.  This event takes place at the TD Garden and is sure to be fun for the whole family, you definitely don’t want to miss out!

Fireplace Feast – Take a step back in time this weekend and head to the Salem Cross Inn in West Brookfield for a homemade feast!  Kick back by the fire or participate in making the meal if you wish.  There will be prime rib roasting over the fireplace, chowder cooking in an antique cauldron, butternut squash, fresh spinach pie, and homemade muffins and rolls.  After dinner, help peel an apple or two for the apple pie that will be freshly made for dessert.  After dinner, take a horse drawn sleigh or wagon ride through the country side and then warm up with some apple cider or something a bit stronger for those over 21.  This event is a fun escape for the whole family, and takes place this Saturday, January 11th at 5:30 PM.  Tickets are $57 for adults and $25 for children 12 and under.

WWE Smackdown TV – Come see your favorite WWE Superstars in action at the newly renovated DCU Center in Worcester on Tuesday, January 14th at 7 PM.  Stars including Daniel Bryan, The Big Show, The Rhodes Brothers, Damien Sandow, and many more will be there, so if you’re a fan you definitely won’t want to miss this.  Ticket prices vary but are as low as $16!

2014 Worcester Auto Show – Have a car buff in your family?  Then you definitely don’t want to miss this event!  This year’s show has more brands than ever before and you can look, touch, and experience each car and decide which is your favorite.  Factory reps and dealers will also be on site to answer any and all questions you may have.  Guys will also love the motorcycles, scooters, auto electronics, and many more products on display.  This event will take place at the DCU Center in Worcester from Friday, January 24th – Sunday, January 26th.  Admission is $6 for adults and the hours for Friday are 4PM – 8PM, Saturday, 10AM – 7 PM, and Sunday, 11 AM – 5 PM.

Which one of these events do you plan on stopping by this month?  If you attend any or know of any we have missed be sure to let us know in the comments!

Photo By: RyC – Behind The Lens

 

Charity Walks This May

Great Strides Walk For Cystic Fibrosis - May 29, 2011-40

Now that the beautiful weather is back the season for charity walks is up and running again!  These walks are the perfect way to give back to those in your local community that may be less fortunate than yourself.  Not only do you get to give back to a great cause, you can work on your tan outside, enjoy the sunshine, and get a workout in all at the same time.

Music For Life Rock N Run – The 7th Annual Music for Life Rock N Run will take place on Saturday, May 11th from 2:30 PM – 9:30 PM at the Wachusett Village Inn in Westminster, MA.  This 5k run/concert raises money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and is being presented by Aubuchon Hardware along with other local businesses in central Massachusetts.  Registration for both the race and concert is $25.00 while registration for the race only is $15.00.  Bands performing at this year’s event include the Jason Spooner Band, Take Two, and Woodford Way.

Miles Against Melanoma – Miles Against Melanoma is a nonprofit organization that is fighting melanoma one race at a time!  Save the skin you’re in and sign up for this event, this deadly disease claims the lives of young and old across the country, sadly no one is immune which is why it’s so important to do what you can to help.  Registration fees for this event are $25.00 for adults in advance ($30.00 on race day) and $10.00 for kids age 10 and under. The race begins at 11 AM on Saturday,  May 18th in Norfolk, MA at the H. Olive Day School.

CMHA Walk for the Homeless – The Central Massachusetts Housing Alliance is hosting their 28th Annual Walk for the Homeless on Sunday, May 19th at Elm Park in Worcester.  The walk begins at 2 PM and in addition to the 3.1 mile walk, there will also be a 5k run which is new this year!  Last year, 1,100 walkers raised over $124,000!  You can either register and set up a fundraising page, or if you can’t walk donate or volunteer!  All proceeds stay in the Worcester community and benefit many local organizations who fight homelessness.  When the walk began in 1985, the director of the Committee on Homelessness was quoted as saying “We will walk each spring until there are no more homeless left in Worcester.”  That promise has not been broken, join the walk this year and help them reach their fundraising goals at this family friendly event!

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Great Strides Walk – This National Walking event takes place every year across the country.  Last year $40 million was raised for research, care, and educational programs.  This devastating disease cuts many lives far too short.  Sign up today and make a difference in the lives of families everywhere.  Register online and invite walkers to join your team, request online donations, and check your fundraising stats.   Dates, times, and locations vary in Massachusetts so find register for the walk closest to you!  Locations include Billerica, Boston, Hingham, Lexington, Northampton, Worcester, and many more.

All of these events support a worthy cause, whether you sign up for the one closest to you or one that you are more personally connected to, find a charity walk to participate in!  They are fun, healthy ways to help others and will leave you feeling good on the inside and out!

Photo By: fabfotophotography

Massachusetts Events This May

zipline

It’s finally starting to feel like spring outside, and to celebrate we’ve found some of the best events and festivals going on across the state this month!  After a chilly start to spring, the air is warming up and it’s the perfect time to head outside with a group of friends and family.  These outdoor events will have you coming down with a serious case of spring fever while you soak up the sun, so spread the word, sit back, and enjoy!

Treetop Xtreme Adventure – Become one with nature at this event, hosted by the Worcester Ecotarium!  Guests will get a combo ticket for the Tree Canopy Walkway and a Tree Climbing Expedition, where they will venture out 40 feet above the ground on rope and plank bridges while you move through tree platforms, and then zipline down to the forest floor!  Guests will then get to climb on of Worcester’s old-growth trees with harnesses and ropes, this expeditions will be led by trained tree climbers and participants are required to be at least 7 years of age.  This event is for one day only, and there would be four sessions that are one hour long, each session is limited to 8 participants.  Tickets are $30 per person, get them while they last!

Paradise City Arts Festival – Take a ride out west to Northampton for this spring arts festival!  This event has something for every member of the family including live entertainment, flowering sculpture garden, special exhibits, demonstrations, activities, delicious food, and exhibits from artists from 30 states selling their work.  This Festival takes place on Memorial Day weekend, May 25-27 , the hours are from 10 AM-6PM Saturday and Sunday, and from 10 AM-4 PM on Monday.  Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, $8 for students, and free for children 12 and under!  Stroll under the sun, take in some culture, and enjoy all that this artsy city has to offer!

Chesterwood Vintage Motorcar Festival –  The guys in your life will love this event, filled will dozens of collector vehicles, live entertainment, kid-friendly activities, and of course plenty of food from local restaurants, what’s not to like?  If antique cars aren’t your thing there are plenty of gardens and woodland walks on the property to explore!  The event will be held at historic Chesterwood in Stockbridge on May 26th from 10 AM – 4 PM, rain or shine.  Tickets are $15 for adults and children under 18 are free and can be bought in advance of the day of the event.  This is an extremely popular event and is often considered the kick-off to summer, don’t miss out!

Food Truck Festival – Known for their unique creations and low prices, food trucks are the latest craze when it comes to fast food, and now’s your chance to sample a wide variety of options!  The Food Truck Festival will be in Lexington, MA on Friday, May 31st from 5 PM-9 PM and will feature many different dinner options from food trucks and local restaurants.  Entry is free but you do have to pay for food of course.  There will be live entertainment from local band, the Arl-Lex Five & Dime, who will be performing folk, country, gospel, and some early rock & roll.  Now everyone in the family can eat exactly what they want for dinner, and you won’t have to be the one doing the cooking!

Which one of these events will you be attending to enjoy the warm weather?  All of these events are family friendly and are being held outdoors, so get out and about this month and enjoy the sunshine!

Photo By: Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism

April Vacation Events in Massachusetts

ecotarium

Looking for some family-friendly event ideas for April vacation week?  We’ve got you covered!  School vacation week is coming up fast, it’s April 15-19 !  There are so many events going on for April vacation,  we promise you won’t hear anyone in your family saying “I’m bored” if you bring your kiddos to some of these fun-filled events.

April School Vacation Week at the Franklin Park Zoo – Who doesn’t love going to the zoo?  There are beautiful, exotic animals which are always exciting to see no matter how old you are!  There are also some new animals to keep an eye out for during your visit, including a baby bongo calf and a Grant’s zebra foal.  There is also a (relatively) new 10,000-square-foot playground for your little ones to enjoy that was built last summer.  What’s the best part of school vacation week at the zoo, you ask?  The Aussie Aviary!  It will be opening for the season during school vacation week, and guests can explore the tropical environment while colorful birds fly right by you.  You can even purchase a seed stick to feed the birds, one of them may even land right on you!  During April Vacation week the Aussie Aviary will be open from 10 AM – 4 PM, weather permitting.  The zoo itself is open from 10 AM – 5 PM on weekdays, and from 10 AM – 6 PM on weekends.  Tickets are $17.00 for adults, $14.00 for seniors (age 62+),  $11.00 for children ages 2-12, and free for children under 2.

School Vacation Week At The Peabody Essex Museum – Want your kids to keep their minds engaged over break?  This is the perfect activity to boost their creativity and keep their brains active.  The Peabody Essex Museum is hosting a 3 day event in honor of April vacation week, called “Sounding Off: Explore Art and Movement Through the Work of Nick Cave”.  There will be many drop in activities to participate in, including creating kaleidoscopic wallpaper, using a MaKey MaKey which is a cool invention that can turn everyday items, such as a banana, into a musical instrument, interactive performances, tours, dance, and so much more!  These events will be taking place from Tuesday, April 16th- Thursday, April 18th.  All activities are included in the price of museum admission.  Admission is $15 for adults, $13 for seniors, $11 for students, and free for children 16 and under or residents of Salem.

School Vacation Week At The Ecotarium – This is another great workshop that will keep your kids’ minds busy over vacation.  This year, April vacation week is combined with Earth Week at the Ecotarium in Worcester, which will be going on from Tuesday, April 16th – Friday, April 19th.  The theme of this year’s Earth Week is “Blast Off!” which examines how humans explore the universe, whether it be with satellites, robots, or rocket ships.  There will be many different activities to celebrate, including launching stomp rockets, games, maneuvering remote-controlled robots, exploring the science behind firing space probes, and making a model Earth orbiter.  Most of these activities are free with admission!  There will also be a celebration specifically for Earth Day on Friday, April 19th.  There will be half priced admission for everyone, indoor and outdoor Earth day events, animal programs, music, planetarium shows, and the opportunity to explore the Ecotarium’s trails and woods just as spring is arriving!

April School Vacation Week at the Museum of Fine Arts – Is there a budding artist in your family?  If so, they will love these April vacation programs at the MFA!  All activities and admission is free for kids during this week!  There will be tours of the museum, a story hour, visiting artists, a film festival, and many art making activities for your little (or big) artist.  The theme is “Artists to Warriors: Celebrating Japanese Art” and the programs will be on Tuesday, April 16th – Friday April 19th from 10 AM – 4 PM (til 8PM on Wednesday).  Focuses of the workshops will include subjects such a origami, Japanese Spring traditions, painting Cherry Blossom Scrolls, and even creating your own Samurai helmet!  Don’t let your kids miss out on this amazing experience, the best part is that it’s free!

There are plenty of events that will keep your kids occupied during their vacation!  These events are not only fun and interesting, but will keep your children’s minds engaged over their break.  Tell them to put the video games or iPad down and get them in gear!  All of the above events are approriate for children of all ages, kids of any age are sure to find an event they will enjoy!

Photo By: papertygre

Obama In Framingham & Ways to Seek Flood Relief

President Obama Visits Framingham, Massachusetts - Adresses Federal State of Disaster

President Barack Obama made an unprecedented stop in Framingham, Massachusetts yesterday. After a speech on health care reform in Portland and before two fundraising appearances in Boston, President Obama visited the  Emergency Management Agency. At the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency Obama met with Governor Deval Patrick to receive an update on the flooding caused by the El Nino weather pattern over the past few weeks and thank workers and officials for their dedication and efforts to combat the flood.

The President declared a federal disaster in Bristol, Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk and Worcester counties. As a result of the federal disaster the Internal Revenue Service has postponed the federal April 15th deadline for filing to May 11th.It is important to not however that the extension is only applies to those who own a business or reside in the declared federal disaster area. For further information about the specific tax relief being provided, visit the IRS web site here.

Individual Assistance Programs administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Small Business Administration (SBA) include individuals and households programs, disaster unemployment assistance, crisis counseling, legal assistance, tax relief, and Small Business Administration disaster loans.

Business and homeowners may apply for assistance programs by contacting the FEMA Teleregistration numbers: 800-621-FEMA (3362) or 800-462-7585 for those who are hearing- and speech-impaired. You may also apply for the assistance programs online at: http://www.fema.gov. For information about the Small Business Administration low interest loans and other aid contact the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955, 800-877-8339 for the speech- or hearing-impaired. SBA may also be reached by sending an e-mail to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov or visiting www.sba.gov.

Before contacting FEMA/ SBA pelase have on hand: your Social Security number, telephone number where you can be reached, address of damaged property, current mailing address, a brief description of disaster-related damages and losses as well as insurance information and direct deposit information to expedite the transfer of funds.

Deval Writes Obama for Flood Disaster Declaration

Governor Deval Patrick has written President Obama asking for a declaration of disaster in Massachusetts. This would bring federal funds to residents and businesses who have suffered losses from the recent storm and flooding. Patrick’s office has reported hundreds of homes suffering significant, uninsured damages; more than 1,000 experienced minor but still considerable losses; and many nursing homes have needed to be evacuated. Residents still question whether their homes are safe to live in after sustaining major damages.

His letter to the president cites the record breaking rainfall of 6 to 10 inches in some areas of Bristol, Essex, Norfolk, Middlesex, Plymouth and Suffolk counties. The letter specifically mentions the death of a Middleton resident while he was pumping water out of his business and hospitalization of a Dedham man injured when a sewer pipe burst while removing water from his basement.

“Floodwaters poured into thousands of homes and hundreds of businesses, forcing residents to evacuate and posing health risks associated with sewage backups and mold growth,”

Governor Deval Patrick in his letter to the President

A disaster declaration may open a verity of programs to both residents and businesses according to Peter Judge, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency. Federal grants may be given to residents to make home repairs and replace heating or electrical systems. Federal funding may also help those who have been displaced due to flooding by helping pay for the temporary housing costs. Disaster programs would be made available to residents in Essex, Middlesex, Worcester, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bristol, and Plymouth counties. Last week Federal Emergency Management Agency and state emergency officials inspected flooded areas to appreciate damages suffered by homeowners.

Although the rain has held off thus far Massachusetts residents are in for another trying weekend. Pull out your winter jackets and gloves, according to the National Weather Service temperatures are to drop today and tomorrow with a chance of rain.

Reduced RMV Lines!

The PatrickMurray Administration has moved forward in an effort to make transportation agencies more accountable and strengthen customer service. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) introduced two new RMV initiatives this month that will encourage saving time for driver’s visits to the RMV to cancel a vehicle registration.

An average of 45,000 customers visit an RMV branch to cancel their vehicle registration a month. Prior to the new implementations drivers would have to wait in line at a branch to turn in their plates and receive a proof of cancellation. Today massDOT posted two additional options to cancel a vehicle’s registration:

  • Option 1: Visit the RMV’s online branch at www.mass.gov/rmv to verify plate cancellation. The customer will be instructed to destroy or recycle their license plates and need not visit a branch to return them.
  • Option 2: Under a pilot program available in the Watertown branch and expanded to Wilmington, Worcester and Plymouth by the end of the month, customers will be able to return their plates using a touch-screen kiosk in the branch lobby without waiting in line. Customers will use the touch-screen kiosk to print their own cancellation notices and deposit their canceled plates into the kiosk.

The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles has made a large move encouraging drivers to use the online website by offering additional services through the RMV website. Drivers applying for a new license or converting an out-of-state license may fill out the majority of the paperwork online and be ready to complete the transaction in a branch, decreasing the amount of time spent in the branch itself. Other online services offered by the RMV include: license and registration renewals, ordering a Fast Lane transponder, driving record and crash police reports, reviewing a registration, title or lien, and signing up to become an organ and tissue donor.

Online plate cancellation was added to www.mass.gov/rmv website last month as a soft launch.  Thus far the online cancellation has been used by 3,230 customers. Although this service is only a small portion of RMV operations, programmers are looking adding other simple service transactions to self-help kiosks such as paying tickets or citations.

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