Category Archives: local events

The Berkshires for the weekend

capability mom goes to the 7th annual zucchini festivalWow. What a great weekend – good food, (Alta and Frankie’s in Lenox – The Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge), good company (the in-laws), a nice inn (The Apple Tree Inn) and lots to do (so much we didn’t get to it all) …Tanglewood, The Berkshire Museum – a Mummy exhibit was the draw – Rockwell Museum, the Zucchini Festival in West Stockbridge, Hancock Shaker Village…what was that…a zucchini festival?

Perhaps you don’t have my childhood memories of too many zucchini (the only thing that our garden ever produced) and word-nerd alert – zucchini is the plural and the singular in English, I checked). My mom made lots of ratatouille (it is a testament to my faith in smitten kitchen that I would even attempt her recipe – I am so scarred by this dish…sorry, Mom), zucchini bread and countless other dishes that we just knew she sneaked zucchini into…and to add insult to injury we also were sent to give them to our neighbors.  I’m pretty sure that they hid when they saw any of us coming their way with those overgrown squashes.

So how does a slightly recovering zucchini-phobic person agree to an entire festival dedicated to the giant green squash?  A trust-worthy friend who has a place in the Berkshires told us about the zucchini festival and as a family we thought it sounded fun/random/funny/cool.

It was all of those things and more. Nice people (including some cool-looking twenty-somethings and their children), a sunny day, good music, funny roadside signs with fun facts about zucchini, a really lively street fair. There were zuch (instead of duck races – I thought they would throw zucchini off the bridge into the river for the race –  more wishful thinking) but they had numbered ducks and races on the hour through an obstacle course – best viewing in the open air art gallery to the side of the river). There was a zucchini bean bag toss, a dunk tank, rock climbing wall, games, artist and crafts people (like meatbagz – so cool)with booths lining the main street and a petting zoo that held our interest for quite a while.

capability mom wants this bagMore – there was more – a bake-off (yes, we bought a zucchini bread and yes, I had a taste – I am fine) – Here is a short list of zucchini related activities: zucchini decorating, zucchini car racing, zucchini catapult (sad to say I missed this), 70 ft blow up Obstacle course (no zucchini were harmed in the making of this course), a Zhoto booth and much more.

Not that Tanglewood wasn’t lovely (you can walk there from the Inn) because it was and our seats were lovely and we made new friends when we shifted seats for better viewing (ours and theirs).  Lenox, Stockbridge,  Pittsfield and West Stockbridge are charming towns that we had fun exploring. There are so many fun and cultural things to do and the setting is spectacularly beautiful. Maybe I shouldn’t tell so many people – it will get ruined like the Vineyard or Nantucket.

On the way home we stopped at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield which was great fun – you tour the museum, get to play ball and grab an ice cream at Stone Cold Creamery on the way out. Nice day trip even if you don’t make it to the Berkshires.

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Filed under family Activities, Feed your head, soul, self, Finds, for kids, local events, Parents and Kids

Great Summer Activities for the Whole Family

There are so many good resources for things to do with your kids – Here are a few I like and really use.

Parents Connect – A well-organized easy to navigate site (from nickelodeon) that shows activities and events (on-going and special) by area – even by neighborhoods. Great listings and ideas.

Daily Candy Kids – I like the regular newsletter (for me!) and the Kids newsletter has cute stuff (usually for kids 8 and under), things to make, eat, wear and do.

KIDOINFO – Parents Guide – Providence and beyond – This is a terrific resource for all things Rhode Island and truly beyond. There is a great camp guide, summer guide and 100 things to do with your kids in Rhode Island (and Connecticut and Massachusetts, too).

Boston.com has a great Things to do section as well and organizes it by neighborhood, too. Here is a sample of this weekend’s line-up:

Cirque Du Soleil – Ovo

The thought of paying to see insects eat, crawl, work, flutter, play, fight, and …
8/13/2010 Friday 4:00p
(repeats 5 times)
Featuring: Cirque du Soleil

Add to Calendar Ico_tix

WBZ Free Friday Flicks

Wouldn’t it be cute to pack a picnic dinner of meatballs to eat before or during …
8/13/2010 Friday 6:30p

Add to Calendar

Grimm
Grimm

Seven Boston-area playwrights, including Lydia R. Diamond and Gregory Maguire, adapt …
8/13/2010 Friday 8:00p
(repeats 2 times)

Add to Calendar

Movies By Moonlight

Fridays at dusk. Time is only approximate according to dusk time. June 18: “Driving …
8/13/2010 Friday 8:00p

Add to Calendar

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Filed under family Activities, Feed your head, soul, self, Finds, local events, Parents and Kids

get your tone right and go to a meetup for mashable

Here are some new things to check out:

A computer add-on or app that makes sure you are not too – em, inappropriate in your emails – http://www.tonecheck.com/

A Mashable meet-up on Lansdowne Street  tonight – Social media types – get going! http://www.meetup.com/mashable

Have fun – I will be harvesting vegetables and trying to come up with a good recipe using stuff I did not choose…

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Filed under Creative outlets, Feed your head, soul, self, Finds, local events, some social media, the mompreneurs

3,000 'bring down the house' at Newton North – Newton – Your Town – Boston.com

Great article about Newton North’s Bringing Down the House on Boston.com 3,000 ‘bring down the house’ at Newton North – Newton – Your Town – Boston.com.

It was a wonderful  community event – Main Street was crowded with mini-reunions and people reminiscing about their time at North. The yard sale was a screaming success – I got a (working) microscope for a dollar which we will actually use.  The food looked great – I was on the Joos cleanse so I stayed vegan.

Claudia Wu and Kristen Grannon were the volunteers coordinators behind Bringing Down The House and all of their hard work and meticulous planning and coercing volunteers was evident as was the true spirit of Newton North.

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Filed under local events, Volunteer

3,000 ‘bring down the house’ at Newton North – Newton – Your Town – Boston.com

Great article about Newton North’s Bringing Down the House on Boston.com 3,000 ‘bring down the house’ at Newton North – Newton – Your Town – Boston.com.

It was a wonderful  community event – Main Street was crowded with mini-reunions and people reminiscing about their time at North. The yard sale was a screaming success – I got a (working) microscope for a dollar which we will actually use.  The food looked great – I was on the Joos cleanse so I stayed vegan.

Claudia Wu and Kristen Grannon were the volunteers coordinators behind Bringing Down The House and all of their hard work and meticulous planning and coercing volunteers was evident as was the true spirit of Newton North.

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Filed under local events, Volunteer

A Mom's Night Out with a purpose

A Step Up - Boston Globe photo

Suzanne Kreiter - photo Boston Globe

It is a hideously rainy night and I am slogging through serious puddles in a vain attempt not to look like a drowned rat when I reach my destination.  I am only mildly successful.  The house is lit up and I can hear the voices and laughter of the women (yes, this is a women only event) before I even open the door.  Is this some great party – on a week night, in the suburbs? – no, it is the brainchild of five amazing women who decided that they could do something more.  More than care for their families (which they all continue to do), volunteer in the community (still doing that, as well), more than work at home or out of the home (again, yes)? Yes, they went even further and saw a need for local charities to be given a bit more attention or, as they called it A Step Up.

I walk in and am warmly greeted and I write a check for $35 for the featured charity (tonight More Than Words) and place it into a large glass bowl.  The energy is wonderful and although I only know two people there, I am welcomed and made to feel comfortable. We mingle and chat over wine and lovely food and it seems like another Mom’s Night Out.  Then our attention is directed by the hostess to the reason we are here and we gather on couches and chairs and turn to the speaker.  She is engaging and well-spoken and sincere and clearly outlines the program and why she started it.  Her name is Jodi Rosenbaum and she if the founder and executive director of More Than Words*.  More Than Words is a physical bookstore on Moody Street in Waltham and it is also a social services connected program that helps some of the most marginalized youth through support and job training.  Jodi’s commitment and dedication are evident and we are all attentive but when we really sit up and become fully engaged is when the two teen speakers – graduates of the program – tell us their stories.  Their stories are a far cry from the comfortable suburban lives we are living and the opportunities that we are able to provide for our children. In turns, I feel guilty and blessed.

The amount of work that has gone into this evening is incredible. These women have, as a group, carefully researched the charity being showcased that evening and prepared for a party of 100 plus people, and made it look effortless. All five members of A Step Up invite their friends who are encouraged to invite their friends. It is a truly collaborative effort.

Here is a great article about the women behind A Step Up that ran in Sunday’s Boston Globe –

‘Giving circles’ boost donations, catch on in communities west of Boston – The Boston Globe and here are  A Step Up Events listings.

*MTW is led by Founder and Executive Director Jodi Rosenbaum.  She has over 13 years of experience in the child welfare, juvenile justice, and education fields and was a Teach For America  Corps member.  Jodi has an Ed.M. in risk and prevention from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education

**Check this out – I wrote about the non-profit Web of Benefit, when I had just stated this bog, here (way back in February) which was introduced by A Step Up

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Filed under Books and More, charitable works, Creative outlets, Feed your head, soul, self, Finds, local events, Volunteer

A Mom’s Night Out with a purpose

A Step Up - Boston Globe photo

Suzanne Kreiter - photo Boston Globe

It is a hideously rainy night and I am slogging through serious puddles in a vain attempt not to look like a drowned rat when I reach my destination.  I am only mildly successful.  The house is lit up and I can hear the voices and laughter of the women (yes, this is a women only event) before I even open the door.  Is this some great party – on a week night, in the suburbs? – no, it is the brainchild of five amazing women who decided that they could do something more.  More than care for their families (which they all continue to do), volunteer in the community (still doing that, as well), more than work at home or out of the home (again, yes)? Yes, they went even further and saw a need for local charities to be given a bit more attention or, as they called it A Step Up.

I walk in and am warmly greeted and I write a check for $35 for the featured charity (tonight More Than Words) and place it into a large glass bowl.  The energy is wonderful and although I only know two people there, I am welcomed and made to feel comfortable. We mingle and chat over wine and lovely food and it seems like another Mom’s Night Out.  Then our attention is directed by the hostess to the reason we are here and we gather on couches and chairs and turn to the speaker.  She is engaging and well-spoken and sincere and clearly outlines the program and why she started it.  Her name is Jodi Rosenbaum and she if the founder and executive director of More Than Words*.  More Than Words is a physical bookstore on Moody Street in Waltham and it is also a social services connected program that helps some of the most marginalized youth through support and job training.  Jodi’s commitment and dedication are evident and we are all attentive but when we really sit up and become fully engaged is when the two teen speakers – graduates of the program – tell us their stories.  Their stories are a far cry from the comfortable suburban lives we are living and the opportunities that we are able to provide for our children. In turns, I feel guilty and blessed.

The amount of work that has gone into this evening is incredible. These women have, as a group, carefully researched the charity being showcased that evening and prepared for a party of 100 plus people, and made it look effortless. All five members of A Step Up invite their friends who are encouraged to invite their friends. It is a truly collaborative effort.

Here is a great article about the women behind A Step Up that ran in Sunday’s Boston Globe –

‘Giving circles’ boost donations, catch on in communities west of Boston – The Boston Globe and here are  A Step Up Events listings.

*MTW is led by Founder and Executive Director Jodi Rosenbaum.  She has over 13 years of experience in the child welfare, juvenile justice, and education fields and was a Teach For America  Corps member.  Jodi has an Ed.M. in risk and prevention from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education

**Check this out – I wrote about the non-profit Web of Benefit, when I had just stated this bog, here (way back in February) which was introduced by A Step Up

5 Comments

Filed under Books and More, charitable works, Creative outlets, Feed your head, soul, self, Finds, local events, Volunteer