Tag Archives: outings

Blue Man Group Boston for Kids

event Blue Man Group Boston for KidsWhen the Blue Man Group in Boston invited us to come to a show, I didn’t know exactly what I was getting into. I’d never been to a Blue Man Group show before and I didn’t know how Graham would feel about it, but I figured the worst that could happen was we’d leave early and he’d still be happy we got to take the train to the show. (The Charles Playhouse is very close to the Tufts Medical Center stop on the Orange line and a short walk from the Boylston stop on the Green line.)

It turns out it wasn’t hard to get Graham excited. When walking around town we saw a big sign for the Blue Man Group on the back of a tourist trolley and I told Graham we would go to that show. He was pretty pumped after that and spent a good week talking about going to see the “blue guys.”  

 CTP3532 Blue Man Group Boston for Kids

Photo provided by Blue Man Group

I learned pretty quickly that The Blue Man Group is an experience from the moment you walk in the door. The Charles Playhouse has been totally remodeled all around the BMG experience.

Inside there’s a wall of light and sound called the “Lounge-U-Lum” where kids can interact. No more standing around before the show listening to whining for snacks, instead they’re immediately engaged and curious and interested. 

Special School Vacation Week Bonus for April 21-24: there will be face painting before select shows as well. 

Inside the theater there are snacks and drinks for kids and grown-ups. Yes, you can get a beer. And yes, they have bags of goldfish for the kids. Though I’d recommend finishing your snacks before the show, since it’ll get pretty dark.

Once the show started, I admit, I worried a little bit. I knew BMG involved drumming but I hadn’t given it a lot of thought. The first 5 minutes of the show were loud and I started to worry that maybe the noise would be too much for my noise-averse kid. We did get some earplugs from the ushers (who are SUPER nice, the nicest and most helpful ushers I’ve ever encountered anywhere by a long shot) but after those first 5 minutes the noise wasn’t so loud that Graham had any problems.

 CTP3970 Blue Man Group Boston for Kids

Photo provided by Blue Man Group

After those first minutes, my fears abated. The show is great for kids. No intermission (I’ve found intermission is just an opportunity for kids to say, “Can we go home now?”) and not too long. The show is made up of several small pieces so the action is constantly changing and no one part gets boring. There’s interaction with sight and sound and then there’s plenty of audience interaction, too.

It’s a huge relief for me to go to a show with my kid that’s also fun for ME and not just for him. Yes, I love watching him enjoy things, but being able to enjoy myself is a big plus and a reason why I’d take Blue Man Group over a little-kid-geared-live-show  any day. Jokes abounded, the show is really funny, and even if the humor is often over the kids’ heads, they’re still so excited to be a part of it that they don’t notice much. They’re also pretty excited to watch the adults be silly.

I cannot express to you how excited Graham was. This was not a show where people in the audience were expected to watch silently. The relaxed atmosphere made him very comfortable. Maybe too comfortable. He would yell out with glee to the point where I had to shush him a little. At one point, there was a rousing version of “Tequila” on the drums. So of course, at the end, all the adults in the crowd yelled, “Tequila!” The kids looked around in delighted confusion. Then someone in the back yelled, “Free Bird!” The adults laughed, the kids looked around in delighted confusion. Graham thought he had this figured out. We were taking turns yelling out words, so at this point he hollered, “School bus!” It was perhaps one of my proudest moments as a parent. His enthusiasm, his excitement, his willingness to jump in and be a part of it, it was thrilling for me.

bmgp 782 FinalCrop Blue Man Group Boston for Kids

Photo provided by Blue Man Group

If you ask Graham about the show, even though it’s been two weeks, he will happily tell you all about the very end where the giant balls bounced through the crowd. He had never seen anything like it before. I think he would’ve happily watched those giant balls bounce through the audience for hours. 

So what do parents need to know for a family Blue Man Group Boston visit?

  • Pay attention to where you sit. The front rows of the theater require a poncho because you may get… well, not wet exactly but you’ll want that poncho. We sat in Section C which was perfect, right in the middle with a great view but not too close. The theater is nice and small so most seats are good seats, though if you sit in the balcony, you won’t get the full bouncing-giant-balls experience.
  • Kids 5 and up should be just fine at the performance even though it’s officially recommended for 7 and up. They have booster seats for smaller kids so they can see over big people’s heads. 
  • If you have a noise-sensitive kid, consider bringing some headphones for them in case they need them.
  • There are jokes about butts. So, you know, do with that what you will.
  • After the show the guys in blue came out into the lobby for pictures. Don’t be surprised if your kid is a little scared to have a picture with them, even if they loved the show. Most of the littler kiddos kept their distance.
  • There is a garage where you can get discount parking for the show just a few blocks away.
  • School Vacation Week is a great time to visit, with extra shows and extra events. (Oh, and free meals for kids at MJ O’Connor’s Park Plaza.) 

I honestly never would’ve thought to bring a child to Blue Man Group, but it turned out to be one of Graham’s favorite events of all-time, and as the kid of a blogger he gets his fair share of cool stuff to do. 

Blue Man Group only has 5 locations around the country, so if you’re visiting Boston it’s definitely something to put on your to-do list. If you live here and have friends or family visiting, it’s a nice break from your usual Duck Boats and walking tours. Tickets start at $49, but you can also find them at the BosTix booths for same-day sales or advance sales.

 

Big Apple Circus in Boston Review

event Big Apple Circus in Boston ReviewThis weekend the kids and I rode the train into the city for the Big Apple Circus. Any outing with a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old can be unpredictable. We didn’t even make it through an hour of The Lego Movie so I was prepared for anything that came our way.

 Big Apple Circus in Boston ReviewIn Boston, the circus is in a big tent right in City Hall Plaza. If you’re taking the train, it’s a block or so from the State station with the entrance on Cambridge Street. (Don’t forget–Government Center Station is closed!) What impressed me right away when we came inside was how cozy everything is. With seats most of the way around the center ring, no one was very far from the action.  They also have a live band, the sound levels were just right.

This was the first time I’d taken the littles to a live show and I was pretty impressed at the impact it had on the kids. Compared to a trip to the movies there was way less wiggling, way less whining, and less requests for snacks. (Not that there were none, there were still plenty, but much less.)

So what did they think of the show? They were big fans. The only problem they had was intermission, I thought about leaving then since they got a little restless and weren’t anxious to get back to their seats. Luckily the first act when they started again was horses and they are nuts about animals.

 Big Apple Circus in Boston ReviewGraham loved the tightrope, the acrobats, the clown (who made several appearances), and the horses. But his favorite (and Tessa’s) were the trained dogs. Only one act had them a little bored (they don’t quite get the subtleties necessary to watch a magic act) but it was a short one and didn’t cause us any real trouble. So if you’re looking for a show that’s little-kid friendly but that will also amuse the bigger ones, the circus is a good bet.

And I’m a fan of this selfie we took while waiting for the show. You can see how happy and excited they were.

As a parent I was happy to see that the circus wasn’t too heavy on pricey toys and trappings like I’ve run into elsewhere. (*cough*SesameStreetLive*cough*) The snacks and drinks were more than you’d find outside a show, of course, but they were still better than lots of others. $3 for a hot dog and $1 for a juice box meant I could satisfy those intermission whines without breaking the bank.

On the train ride home I asked Graham if he wanted to join the circus. He said no, it would be too scary. So Graham, he reminds me of myself as a kid, a little more cautious and sensitive. Definitely moreso than Tessa who tends to just keep on going forward no matter what. I agreed that the tightrope might be scary, but made some other suggestions. Juggling? Too hard, he said. Good point. But then I suggested the acrobats, who used a springboard to catapult themselves into the air and he was hooked. Yes, he wanted to do that. That’s my boy.

BG26000 e1396315180685 Big Apple Circus in Boston Review

The Dosov Troupe with Big Apple Circus. Maybe we’ll see Graham there one day?

Big Apple Circus will be in Boston until May 11th. Don’t forget, you can use promo code BIGAPPLE to save $10 per ticket.

Austin Adventures With Kids

I spent two whole weeks with the kids and no schedule in Central Texas. We found lots of things to do because we didn’t really have much of a choice. Here’s what we did and how it went:

Austin Nature and Science Center

11929666613 5c802959f7 z Austin Adventures With Kids

This was the second time I’ve attempted this one with the kiddos and it’s been a bust both times.  Austin doesn’t have a zoo, but the Nature and Science Center does have some animals, all rescues that can’t be returned to the wild. They’re mostly small and there are a good number of owls (which pleased Graham) but it only bought us 10 minutes or so. Most of the time Graham looked like this:

 11929836694 7759c0c9fa z Austin Adventures With Kids

This time I thought for sure we’d get some play out of the Dino Pit. A bunch of sand, a bunch of shovels and buried dinosaur bones, what’s not to love? But yeah, 5 minutes of this:

 11930255836 e0d2d21dc2 z Austin Adventures With Kids

And then he was done. Done done. “Where’s my juice, Mom?” done.

I think we’re officially done with this one. I give up.

Zilker Zephyr

6178957033 418a2c066e z Austin Adventures With Kids

“Zilker Zephyr Zign” photo by Nathan Jongewaard

6178957607 cb371359da z Austin Adventures With Kids

Zephyr Zilker by Nathan Jongewaard

It does not matter how many trains he owns, it does not matter how many trains he rides, Grammer is still obsessive about them and goes completely nuts when he sees one. So every time we visit we ride the Zilker Zephyr, which you can find right by Barton Springs.

As a parent I like the fact that it’s not a two-minute ride, but also not a thirty-minute ride. The length is short enough for the teeny ones, but long enough so the bigger kids feel like they’ve got a good ride out of it. 

I also like that it doesn’t let off hideous exhaust fumes that make it dismal. The view is meh, but the kids like it. And it’s not super expensive so I don’t mind forking over the cash. Plus it’s right next to a pretty good playground so you can get a good amount of play out of it. Especially if you just went to the Austin Nature & Science Center down the road and the kids are antsy and want to play.

This one was a big success. G’s biggest issue was that he couldn’t just ride it again because it only runs every hour or so. I think you can see the delight on all of our faces.

1525531 730650076947040 1176613042 n e1389485508259 Austin Adventures With Kids

Blue Bell Creamery

11930275186 bbcff144c6 z Austin Adventures With Kids
So this one is a bit of a trek, but when you’ve been doing the same old stuff for a while you may be longing for a bit of a trek. Plus if your kids are anything like mine, they’ll conk out during the drive there and much of the drive home so it’s a win.

Here’s the thing about the Blue Bell Factory Tour from an outsider’s point of view. Everyone near it in Texas has grown up with it and loves it dearly. So I definitely expected more than what we got based on the years of hype I’ve received. But I didn’t dislike it. It lasted maybe 15 minutes or so, had views down into several different rooms where the ice cream is packaged and processed, and had friendly tour guides with Blue Bell trivia. (#1 seller is Homemade Vanilla. #3 is Dutch Chocolate.) But it is rather short, the kids will feel like they didn’t really SEE much of anything, since mostly the rooms are made up of big tanks and pipes. 
11929865044 f3a13f10b2 z Austin Adventures With Kids
11929703063 1821af2112 z Austin Adventures With Kids

It is stroller and wheelchair-friendly, though your fellow tour participants probably aren’t. (We had a wheelchair and our stroller at the end of the line and people always just stopped at the beginning of the windows leaving us standing there waiting for them to scoot down. They NEVER figured this out, as we went to window after window and the tour guide told them to scoot down.) 

It’s a cheap ticket and includes a good sized “scoop” of ice cream, which is more like a Small Cup at the store. And you can get another for only $1. And this is what really makes the trip a winner. I don’t exactly take the kids out for ice cream often. (Read: never.) So they were thrilled about each getting their own cup (and a second one for Graham because I was feeling the holiday spirit) and very excited about the whole thing. Seriously. Some ADORABLE pictures were obtained on this trip.
11929453215 4ccf5befab z Austin Adventures With Kids
11930294756 60b40868a9 z Austin Adventures With Kids
11929890674 53e2d15c3a z Austin Adventures With Kids

Gah, that picture of Tess. I can’t even!

The Thinkery

This is the new Children’s Museum in Austin. I brought my camera. I took zero pictures. (A few with my phone, but still.) Why? Because it was MADNESS. I would like to come back and review it on a weekday, or after it’s been open for a year or two. But right now it was ridiculous. Which was a shame, because we were there with friends and couldn’t keep track of each other and had to just give up on spending any time with them because dealing with the crowds and keeping the kids happy and being in the same place was just too much.

20131227 113535 e1389626130112 Austin Adventures With Kids

What I liked the most was that lots of rooms had stuff for kids of different ages, so you don’t have to appease one kid at a time.

What I liked the least was that many activities were not well suited for rooms full of kids and would only really work with a small number of people around because the waiting got too frustrating.

Also I nearly had to break up toddler fist fights over the train table, which had less trains on it than any I’ve seen anywhere. When you have enough trains for 4 kids to each have one or two, but there are 10 kids at the train table, you have some real problems. Especially since one of them (not mine) will inevitably horde as many as he can. And another (mine) will only be happy if he gets the engine. 

The water room was particularly awesome, if prone to leaving your kids soaked through. If you live in the area, a membership would be great. But they don’t seem to have a very good understanding of what “capacity” is, since it was far too full when we were there. 

 The Austin Aquarium

We went because we heard people liked it. And because my kids like the New England Aquarium. It was a complete disaster. 

The kids came out okay, since we made it an expedition for the cousins and it’s pretty hard for them not to have fun when they’re all together. BUT. It was so terrible. So terrible I started taking notes to catalog the terrible-ness because I couldn’t believe it could be this bad and surely I wouldn’t remember all the ways in which it was terrible.

20131221 172355 e1389626259895 Austin Adventures With Kids

I didn’t take pictures here, either. Because the lighting was just one of the many terrible things. And good luck getting pictures of the fish because the glass was all smudged and the water was cloudy. 

They have online ordering. Although they don’t actually tell you what to do. They don’t use a ticketing system. They just email you a receipt. I called to find out what we were supposed to do… and the person I spoke to had no idea and had to call in a manager. The actual procedure ended up being that they had me pull up the email on my phone and then told me to delete it so I couldn’t use it to get in again. (I am NOT joking.) They really should have a better system, since there was a line for tickets and it did not move quickly and they don’t have a lot of space for a queue.

The space itself isn’t fully built up. There are partial walls separating each section from the other, so it’s loud. Sound bounces all over the place. The gift shop is tiny and has lots of breakables, get your little ones out of there as fast as you can. 

It was pretty new so I was prepared for things to be not quite up to speed, but it was not good. Lots of tanks were empty. Tanks that weren’t empty often had signs taped up to say what they were. One above an open tank said (again NOT joking) “Caution. Fish Bite.” As there are other touch tanks (not good ones, the water’s too deep for most kids to reach anything) nearby, having an open tank with dangerous fish doesn’t strike me as a particularly good idea. Other signage consisted of fancy screens that simply listed names of fish without letting you know which were which or anything else about them.

The reptiles were decent. The kids enjoyed the small aviary with parrots or parakeets (I can’t recall which) that would sit on their fingers. 

The worst of it was a large indoor playground in the back, much like one you’d see at a fast food place. Kind of trashy, but whatever. Except the slide sent kids shooting out like bullets from a gun. The slide that comes out right at the entrance to the playground, so a kid on their way in can easily get hit by a kid on their way out. (It’s a tunnel slide, so you can’t see them coming.) Even worse, the slide lets the kids out on to the very hard floor with no padding. When we were there, they’d thrown together a makeshift pad, but I saw a child come out and twist her foot on the ground. There were no staff around supervising so I had to walk over and find someone to fix the padding and get the kids to stop coming out of the slide while they did it. It was a fiasco. I got my kid out of there. It was a lawsuit waiting to happen.

Honestly, maybe they’ll get better. But no place should be open in that kind of condition. If they weren’t ready they should’ve waited. Because it was pretty awful. Save your money. Seriously.

Family Fun at the Mystic Aquarium

sponsored post image Family Fun at the Mystic Aquarium

With young children it can be hard to find places to go where everyone has fun. For us, we’ve relied heavily on our memberships to the Zoo and the Aquarium because one obvious choice is ANIMALS. Tessa will happily tolerate being pushed around in her stroller for an hour or two if she gets to watch animals walk, fly and swim around. 

So we jumped on the chance to head down to the Mystic Aquarium to check out some of their offerings for families. 

What’s On Display

Right away what you notice about the Mystic Aquarium is that it’s got both an indoor and an outdoor section. As you enter there’s a big patio with seating. And, well, right off you can’t miss the crown jewel of the Aquarium: the big outdoor tank with the Beluga whales.

9509776520 a23a19dfff z Family Fun at the Mystic Aquarium

 I snapped this picture as we were coming in and it doesn’t do justice to the size of the tank. The people in the water are doing one of the Whale Encounter sessions. There are viewing areas all around the tank and plenty that look under the water.

 Family Fun at the Mystic Aquarium

Baby, Beluga.

During another one of our jaunts outside we saw the Belugas during a training session, which kept the kids very entertained since there was lots of underwater activity.

Inside the space is smaller, but they have a lot of exhibits and kid-friendly spaces. There are plenty of favorites on display: exotic fish, jellies, eels, rays, sharks and turtles. I wish this space was a little bigger but because the Aquarium as a whole has a lot of ground it makes managing the littles and keeping them distracted pretty easy.

 Family Fun at the Mystic Aquarium

I loved the boxes in the eel exhibit. They’d poke their heads through for extra Eek! effect.

 Family Fun at the Mystic Aquarium

Color-changing Jellies! Always a hit.

rays at mystic Family Fun at the Mystic Aquarium

I appreciated that the exhibits were mostly low to the ground. Here Graham can get up close and personal with a stingray.

There’s a small shark touch tank inside that is a lot more low key than many of the other ones around. Definitely better for some of the kids who may not be quite ready for the big crowds at most touch tanks.

There aren’t just Belugas outside, there’s also penguins, seals, sea lions and a big swamp full of frogs and turtles. 

Special Programs

We came to visit on the day of a special Kidsploration Concert with Steve Elci and Friends. It was the first time we’ve gone to a kids concert and they did a good job of sitting and watching something outside their normal stuff. If you have kids who like music, singing and dancing this is a great addition to a day at the Aquarium. Plus it’s free! There’s another one coming up on the 28th of August.

And for special needs families, the Aquarium is having an evening for families with Autistic children (plus SPD kids as well). It’s tomorrow the 15th from 6:45 to 8 pm and it’s free entry. While some of the outdoor exhibits will be closed, you’ll still have access to a bunch of great stuff and who doesn’t love a less-crowded and judgment-free zone??

Check out their full calendar for a bunch of cool stuff in the summer and fall.

On-Site Extras

Along with the exhibits themselves there are several other things you can do at the Aquarium.

First off, the free stuff:

  • The Scales and Tails exhibit lets kids get up close and personal with lizards and snakes. Includes a photo. (Note: the CDC recommends pregnant women and kids under 5 not touch reptiles.)
  • The 4D Theater is currently showing a special SpongeBob show. 4D means the effects may be a little… in your face. Literally. Don’t worry, this isn’t movie-length, it’s nice and short.
  • A new Titanic exhibit includes information about icebergs, replicas of the sunken ship and a play area for kids to explore.
  • There are Sea Lion shows throughout the day, too. 

And if you want to pay for some extra special stuff:

  • For the brave kids out there, they can feed the rays for just $3. And we’re not talking little fish food pellets. We’re talking 4 little fish to hold in your hands as the rays swim by. Make sure your kids are comfortable with the rays first, this one’s probably just for the brave. (e.g. not me.)
  • Up-close encounters with the penguins are available for $60. This is a one-hour educational program.
  • With the Belugas, you can go full Encounter for $150 to climb in the water just like the people we saw, complete with full-on gear. Or you can interact with the whales from behind a 3-foot glass barrier for $60, probably a better choice for most young children.
  • And for the marine obsessed, there’s the $375 Trainer For a Day program where you spend a 7-hour day behind the scenes with the people who care for the animals. 

Planning a Trip

affiliate links pic Family Fun at the Mystic AquariumFor those of you Mystic-adjacent (NYC, Hartford, Boston, Providence) there are a bunch of things in the Mystic area to check out. But the Aquarium is a good Staycation choice and even better for an overnight. (You can come back for 2 days after you buy your original ticket!) I know with littles sometimes you just want to put in a couple hours and then take a break.

Hampton Inn and Suites Mystic search 188x150 FitToWidth Center Family Fun at the Mystic Aquarium I’d recommend staying at the Hampton Inn & Suites Mystic, which is super close. (Parking is free there and at the Aquarium.) Hamptons are one of my hotels of choice with kids. Free breakfast, indoor pool, family-friendly attitude.

The Aquarium also offers combo passes with Mystic Seaport, Mashantucket Peaquot Museum and the Connecticut Science Center. And if you have someone to watch the kiddos, you’re not far from Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Casino. 

Disclosure: Thanks to Mystic Aquarium for providing us with free passes to visit and attend the Kidsploration Concert.

Bribery, aka Shopping With My Kids

sponsored post image Bribery, aka Shopping With My KidsI admit I tend to get a little lazy about shopping for kids clothes sometimes. I’ll grab a couple things whenever I go to Target but when the seasons change or the kids go up a size I’m usually not ready. But I partnered up with Middlesex Commons in Burlington to change that. 

431795 653019631380772 480004550 n Bribery, aka Shopping With My Kids

Tessa’s moving into 24 month size clothes. Graham’s getting into 4T. Tessa needs a few more things for summer and Graham needs to prep for fall. And then, of course, there’s me. I always like to get something for myself if I can after all that hard work. Middlesex Commons, by the Burlington Mall, had more than enough to meet our needs. Nordstrom Rack, Old Navy, DSW Shoes and more, I knew we’d find everything we needed. We had a budget of $150 and I wanted to make it stretch as far as we could but also make sure we got quality clothes.

The Rack was my first stop. I’ve never shopped for kids there before, though it’s my go-to spot when I’m dress shopping. The Clearance racks were FULL of cute stuff. 

966654 654228054593263 1364051232 o 1024x768 Bribery, aka Shopping With My Kids

Photo from Middlesex Commons

For Graham we got a bunch of great shirts. The plaids! They were all so adorbs that I couldn’t get over myself. Ultimately I just picked one long-sleeved but it made me seriously wish Graham’s school didn’t have uniforms. They are missing all the plaid!!

IMG 4338 768x1024 Bribery, aka Shopping With My Kids

My “So Adorbs I Can’t Stand It” face
Photo by Alana Brooks

There was a conveniently placed wall of toys and such near the kid racks and Graham set his sights on a set of kid nail polish: ten different little bottles, five of them with sparkles and since he was sitting through the whole trip that was his reward for the day. He was pretty pumped.

We finished Graham’s shopping at Old Navy where I knew we could snag him a pair of jeans and we threw a pair of slip-on shoes while we were at it. And we gave the kids another shopping treat: Old Navy balloons, which remained in the car for well over a week afterwards.

IMG 4344 768x1024 Bribery, aka Shopping With My Kids

My baby is so classy
Photo by Alana Brooks

 Bribery, aka Shopping With My Kids

Some of Graham’s haul

For Miss Tess I immediately fell in love with a 2-pack of dresses with bright colors and flutter sleeves.

 Bribery, aka Shopping With My Kids

 Bribery, aka Shopping With My Kids

Leggings are great for the toddler set and we found a cute set of gray ones that are still doing great several washes in (the ones we usually get are all pretty faded by now) a top with a cute pink collar and a pink jean jacket that I’m so excited to dress her in for Fall.

jean jacket mc 631x1024 Bribery, aka Shopping With My Kids

 

A pair of blue shoes with white polka dots from Old Navy and my little girl was well on her way.

To break up the trip a little we stopped at the Market Basket in the middle of the shopping center and got Graham some soft serve. You can see my philosophy for shopping with kids… (You can also see his yellow nail polish for the day. The kid’s a devotee.)

IMG 4352 768x1024 Bribery, aka Shopping With My Kids

Photo by Alana Brooks

With some money left in the budget it was time for MY reward. I decided to check out the jewelry I’d heard about at The Paper Store. I was really impressed, they had a lot of options and it took me a while to finally choose just one. I decided to go with color.

necklace mc Bribery, aka Shopping With My Kids

Love it.

And to celebrate surviving the trip I dug a quarter out of my wallet and we let the kids ride on the old-school carousel in front of Market Basket.

IMG 4356 768x1024 Bribery, aka Shopping With My Kids

Photo by Alana Brooks

So let’s get the final tally, shall we? For $150 we got:

  • 1 toddler boy’s tee
  • 1 toddler boy’s short sleeved button down
  • 1 toddler boy’s long-sleeved henley
  • 1 toddler boy’s long-sleeved plaid button down
  • 1 pair toddler boy shorts
  • 1 pair toddler boy jeans
  • 2 pairs kid shoes
  • 2 baby girl dresses
  • 1 pair baby girl leggings
  • 1 baby girl collared tee
  • 1 baby girl jean jacket
  • 1 necklace for Mom
  • 10 little bottles of sparkly nail polish
  • 2 complimentary Old Navy balloons
  • 1 ride on the carousel
  • 1 ice cream
  • Surprisingly few tantrums

Not bad if I do say so myself. Old Navy has long been one of my go-to for kids clothes, but now I know that the Nordstrom Rack kid section is full of amazing stuff. And I’ll definitely be checking out The Paper Store for my future jewelry needs. 

Also many thanks to the Verizon Wireless store at Middlesex Commons who tolerated the kiddos and I for 90 minutes while I had to activate a new plan. (There’s a reason we had to get all those rewards…) They were very gracious and kind and I much appreciate it. 

This shopping trip was sponsored by Middlesex Commons of Burlington and the $150 budget was kindly provided by them. Many thanks for a great trip and some fantastic finds!

 

Making Memories at Fenway Park

Thanks to Fenway Sports Management for taking me to Fenway for a fantastic tour and then to a game as part of a family outreach session. I was not required to blog about it and wasn’t compensated for this post.

You know how there’s stuff you always want to do but you get so busy and your life just fills up and then you realize it just never got done? For me, one of those things was seeing a Red Sox game at Fenway. At least, it was until last week. 

DSC07525 300x199 Making Memories at Fenway Park

The bloggy crew checking out the park.
Photo from Gilda Aliberti

While we were there we talked about all the things that can get in the way of getting to a game. Finding a date, getting the tickets, working out the logistics, it can seem overwhelming. 

The thing is, though, sometimes the special stuff takes a little extra effort. And sometimes you can’t control every last detail. But that’s how memories get made.

Everyone remembers the first time they went to a baseball game as a kid. I do. It was Dodger Stadium. I was about 10. I’ve been to Candlestick Park in San Francisco, to Minute Maid Park in Houston, to Turner Field in Atlanta. And now I can add Fenway to my list. (It’s worth noting that baseball is the only sport where I’ve attended a major league game.)

I definitely need to take Graham. What better place to go for your first game than historic Fenway Park? What better sport to see live for the first time than baseball? A ball, a bat, a glove. You throw, you hit, you catch. You count 1, 2, 3. You run around the bases. They’re the kind of simple rules any kid can grasp. 

I walked along the Green Monster. I ate a Fenway Frank covered in grilled onions. (The kid at the counter looked at me a little funny, but I am of the belief that most things taste better with onions.) I wore my Red Sox hat. I sang Sweet Caroline. 

Oh, and I took about a bajillion pictures.

 9091222865 71ba4e9b2e z Making Memories at Fenway Park

9091222113 f650d6bb83 z Making Memories at Fenway Park

9091220723 e526dea34e z Making Memories at Fenway Park

 
9093439044 ae3520cc38 z Making Memories at Fenway Park
 
9091218403 54bb1370ac z Making Memories at Fenway Park

9091217599 2c677deec4 z Making Memories at Fenway Park

 

Did I forget to mention batting practice? I even managed to get a couple of the ball in motion!

batting collage Making Memories at Fenway Park

Oh, camera. Have I told you lately how much I love you? Batting practice was tricky to photograph, but yeah. Way cool for this budding shutterbug.

The fine folks from Fenway sent us home with a bag of Kid Nation goodies. Graham was enamored. He insisted on wearing his new too-big jersey over his other Red Sox shirt. He also demanded to wear his hat to his soccer game. Oh, and the lunch bag has replaced the almighty Thomas the Tank Engine. Powerful stuff.

 
9091215437 7017c52e5d z Making Memories at Fenway Park

I need to teach this kid to sing Take Me Out to the Ball Game so he’s ready…

Who’s already started making baseball memories with their kids? And what are your baseball memories with your parents?