Massachusetts

Old Sturbridge Village Music & Art Weekend

Picture of Old Sturbridge Village DancersFather’s Day Weekend (June 14, & 15, 2014) Old Sturbridge Village (OSV) will play host to over 50 singers, dancers, musicians, and artists during their annual Music & Art Weekend. Enjoy the sights and sounds of art and music that was popular in the 19th century. Some of the special treats in store during the weekend include:

  • Learn to play 1830s style tin whistles
  • Hear the OSV antique pipe organ
  • See rare antique instruments
  • See demonstrations of sketching, theorem painting, and botanical watercolors
  • Listen to the Old Sturbridge Village Singers (June 14)
  • See the Old Sturbridge Village Dancers (June 15)
  • Learn 1830s style dancing
  • Hear craftsman Mike Potsaid, maker of antique guitar reproductions, describe how fine stringed instruments are made

Also important to note is that all dads get in for free on Father’s Day, Sunday, June 15, 2014 – so make a family day of it.

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Fireflies are Back

Whether you call them fireflies or lightning bugs, we have finally reached that time of the year when Mother Nature’s dusk and early evening “light show” is back with us.

One of the things that I like about covering New England are the rhythms of New England’s seasons. Just as the Red Sox once again taking up residence at Fenway in April provides the promise of summer to come, for me, the arrival of lightning bugs in late May or Early June after a few really nice warm days signals summer’s arrival. I take great comfort in these little natural markers of time. The first evening that I am out walking the dog and see fireflies is always a special occasion for me. There is just something wonderful about a warm evening, the sound of crickets, the stars in the sky, and the glow of fireflies – for a brief period all is right with the world.

So even if summer does not “officially” start for another 18 days, summer is already here – the fireflies told me so.

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Antique Car and Carriage Rallies

It is time once again for Old Sturbridge Village’s annual Antique Car and Carriage Rallies weekend. This year mark your calendars for June 7 and 8, 2014 for the event which will feature vintage vehicles that span over a hundred years of transportation history. The weekend will feature:

  • An antique car rally on Saturday, (June 7) – This rally will feature cars such as a 1910 Stanley “Steamer”; 1912 Oakland; 1912 Buick; 1914 Reo; 1922 Hupmobile; 1926 Dodge Brothers; 1927 and 1931 Chryslers; 1936 Brewster; 1938 Buick; 1940 Chevrolet; 1941 Cadillac, and many others.
  • An antique carriage rally on Sunday (June 8) – This rally will feature carriages such an 1800s Black Fancy Sunday Doctor’s carriage; Amish pleasure and working carts; Concord buggy; Belmont Trap; and Meadowbrook carriages. And don’t forget the horses. In attendance, to name a few, will be an Arabian; Icelandic pony; Haflinger; Fell Pony; and a variety of miniature horses.

In all, the two days will feature over 100 antique cars and carriages.

Each day’s rally will run from 11 AM to 4 PM. And do not fret about having to attend both days. Those who attend the antique car rally on Saturday can attend the antique carriage rally on Sunday for free.

The event should be great fun for the entire family.

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Memorial Day Weekend 2014 Turns Out to BE Nice on the Cape and Islands

The forecasts were not promising. At least the first half of the weekend was to be cloudy with the potential for rain. The early rainy part of the drive to Falmouth also did not portend a great weakened – until about 20 minutes from the Bourne Bridge when the sky cleared.

What was to have been a cloudy and potentially rainy weekend turned out to be a beautiful sunny weekend; windy and cool, but still gorgeous weather and perfect for the annual Oak Bluffs 5K road race on Sunday. Also nice enough to spend some time on the beach, albeit with a sweatshirt on…

Summer is now unofficially upon us. I thought that I would share a few pictures of my cool and sunny weekend on Martha’s Vineyard. Now let’s just hope for warmer temperatures…

Picture of Vineyard Sound

Overlooking Vineyard Sound

 

Picture of State Beach in Oak Bluffs

State Beach in Oak Bluffs, MA

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With Memorial Day Weekend Here, Kickoff Your Summer New England Travel Planning

Memorial Day Weekend, the unofficial beginning to the summer season, is upon us. To kick off the summer season we thought that we would put together a couple of lists of places you may want to go and things that you may want to see and do this summer in New England.

10 Places to Go In New England

Looking for someplace fun and interesting to visit this summer? There are so many places in New England that it was hard to come up with a list of just 10…

Bar Harbor / Acadia National Park
First up on our list is Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park in Maine. Overlooking Frenchman Bar Harbor is a wonderful destination in its own right. Add to that the fact that its neighbor on Mt. Desert Island is Acadia National Park and you have a vacation paradise – great food; wonderful activities on the water; hiking and biking the carriage trails of Acadia National Park; the fabulous and scenic rocky coast of Maine; one of the few white sand beaches in Maine (Sand Beach in Acadia National Park); picturesque lighthouses – make sure you leave enough time to see and do it all…

The Berkshires
I tend to be a seashore and coast guy but am always amazed when I am in the Berkshires that I do not miss the coast. That is because you never want for fun things to do. Combine the beautiful scenery, bountiful outdoor activities, an unparalleled summer theater and music scene (remember that the BSO spends their summers in the Berkshires at Tanglewood), and wonderful museums like the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, and MassMOCA in North Adams, and you have a recipe for a wonderful summer vacation.

Boston
Its nickname is the “Hub of the Universe” for a reason. As a summer destination Boston offers so much. You have an easy drive to beaches in, to the north, and to the south of the city. There is the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area where you can visit a fort or historic lighthouses, explore the coast, hike, camp, fish, picnic or swim within minutes of downtown Boston. Pair that with fabulous restaurants, great theater and live music venues, and wonderful museums and you have a vacation destination that you will not want to leave.

Cape Cod and the Islands
You really cannot think of visiting New England without at least considering a trip to Cape Cod and the Islands. Cape Cod is a summer fun paradise with wonderful beaches including those of the Cape Cod National Seashore, all kinds of activities on and off the water, incredible fresh seafood, and fairs and festivals. Is it any wonder that is one of New England’s most popular summer destinations.

New Hampshire’s Lakes Region
I will admit to being partial to Wolfeboro, NH and Lake Wentworth, but you really can’t go wrong with a visit to anywhere in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region. With over 200 lakes and ponds it’s easy to find your own peaceful and beautiful area to kick back and relax.

The Rhode Island Coast
When one thinks of the Rhode Island Coast one typically thinks of the Newport area, Narragansett Bay, and South County. Each has its own character. Each has wonderful beaches and seaside activities. Each would make for a wonderful vacation destination.

Stowe
In Stowe I would make my base of operations the Trapp Family Lodge – mainly because of my wife’s love for the Sound of Music. It’s still a great choice if your are not a fan of the musical as it is a wonderful place to stay. It is also your gateway wonderful hiking, mountain biking and Vermont’s tallest peak – Mount Mansfield.

White Mountain National Forest
This is your place if you like all things outdoors. Hike, bike, fish, swim, and camp ’til your heart’s content. The White Mountain National Forest is among New England’s most popular summer destinations.

Mystic
If you like the romance of going down to the sea in ships then you can do no better than setting Mystic, CT as your summer destination. Take a sail; visit the aquarium; visit Mystic seaport. And don’t forget the food. Of course you will want to try the pizza for which the village is so famous, but you would be remiss if you did not also try the seafood…

10 Things to See and Do in New England

Baseball
No matter where you are in New England you are never far from a good baseball game. From the Burlington Lake Monsters to the Boston Red Sox, there are summer college baseball teams, professional minor league teams, and major league baseball from one end of the region to another. Get out this summer and enjoy the “boys of summer”.

Beaches
New England has some of the most beautiful beaches in the United States including beaches such as Coast Guard Beach on Cape Cod all the way up to Sand Beach in Maine (see New England’s Top Beaches). Wherever you are on New England’s coast your are always close to a beach that will take your breath away.

Biking
Mountain biking can be found throughout New England. Make it a point to check out Kingdom Trails in East Burke, VT.

Fairs
Whether you call it an agricultural fair, county fair, country fair, or state fair – New England’s summer fairs are an annual treasure not to be missed.

Hiking
There are plenty of wonderful hiking trails in the region’s state parks and national forests. There are also numerous and challenging long distance trails including the New England portion of the Appalachian Trail and the Long Trail in Vermont. There is no excuse not to get out there for a good hike.

Lighthouses
Want a great way to visit the seashore (and maybe a couple of lakes to boot). Plan a trip visiting some of New England’s nearly 200 lighthouses. Such a journey will take you to wonderful destinations and provide you with spectacular scenery!

Music Festivals
New England is home to numerous music festivals including some of the most famous in the country such as the Newport Jazz Festival. Summer is the time to get out and listen to some great tunes and to see some great performances…

New England’s Antique Carousels
New England has some of the oldest antique carousels in the United States (including the two oldest). So Mom and Dad, pack up the kids and Grandma and Grandpa and take a step back in time visiting one of these antique treasures. You will be glad you did. See: New England’s Antique Carousels and New England’s Antique Metal Carousels.

Paddling
What could be a more fun summertime activity then getting out on the water and paddling a canoe or kayak. Well you are in luck! In addition to the numerous lakes, ponds, and rivers for your paddling pleasure, there are also several long distance paddling trails in New England. Preeminent among these is the Northern Forest Canoe Tail. Stretching from Old Forge New York through Vermont, a little bit of Quebec, New Hampshire, and over to Fort Kent, Maine, the Northern Forest Canoe Trail is the longest paddling trail in the United States. Add to that the Main Island Trail along the coast of Maine, and the trails of the Rhode Island Blueways Alliance and you could be paddling until the leaves start changing color again.

Summer Theater
Aside from the beach, nothing says summer as much as summer theater. And there is just so much of it from one end of New England to another. Get out there and take in a great show.

There you have it. A few great things to see and do this summer! Let us know what your favorite is…

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Preview of the Upcoming Paradise City Arts Festival in Northampton, MA

The Paradise City Arts Festival in Northampton, MA is just a little over a week away (Memorial Day Weekend – May 24-26, 2014) and we thought that we would showcase a little of the art work to get you in the mood – as if you need an excuse to visit an art festival out in the Berkshires over the long weekend…

Fret not, if you miss the beginning of the summer show you can always catch them again in Northampton during peak foliage season Columbus Day weekend, and then again right before the kickoff of the Christmas shopping season November 21 to 24, 2014 in Marlborough, MA.

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New Turner & the Sea Exhibit to Open at the Peabody Essex Museum

We started a series on New England’s nautical heritage a few weeks back with our post “Ten Must See New England Lighthouses“. As you can imagine, when the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM), an organization that traces their origins all the way back to 1799 and the East India Marine Society, announces a new nautically oriented exhibit we would immediately take notice.

The exhibit, Turner & the Sea, opens Saturday, May 31, 2014 and runs through September 1, 2014. It is the the largest U.S. exhibition of the maritime paintings of Joseph Mallord William Turner, one of Britain’s most celebrated painters. The exhibit of over 100 works includes oils, watercolors, prints and sketches from the 1790s to the mid-1800s.

Opening day activities will include:

  • 11:30 AM: A documentary film on J.M.W. Turner (30 minutes) in the Morse Auditorium
  • Noon: A docent-led gallery talk in the exhibitions galleries
  • Noon to 4 PM: An artist demonstration with hands-on art making
  • 1 PM to 2 PM: A curatorial presentation on the exhibition in the Morse Auditorium
  • 2:30PM: A docent-led gallery talk in the exhibitions galleries
  • 3 PM: A Concert by the Handel and Haydn Society in the Morse Auditorium

While in Salem we would be remiss if we did not mention another major nautical attraction the Salem Maritime National Historic Site.

So make a day of it in Salem. Check out the National Historic Site; go to the opening; and take in the PEM’s other collections of oceanic art. All time well spent.

Picture credits: Joseph Mallord William Turner, Venice: The Dogana and San Giorgio Maggiore (1834). National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Widener Collection, 1942.9.85.

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9 Artists Opening Reception at the Bartos Theatre at MIT

Logo for the MIT List Visual Arts CenterThe MIT List Visual Arts Center is hosting an opening reception for their 9 Artists Exhibition which opened last Friday (May 9, 2014).

9 Artists is a group exhibition “bringing together the expansive practices” of artists Yael Bartana, Liam Gillick, Natascha Sadr Haghighian, Renzo Martens, Bjarne Melgaard, Nzstio Mosquito, Hito Steyerl, and Danh Vo. The exhibit “examines ways that they negotiate the complexities and contradictions of living in an ever more complex and networked world.”

Works include a range of sculpture, drawing, installation, and video.

The opening reception will be held on Thursday, May 15, 2014 from 5 PM to 8 PM. The event is free and open to the general public.

The 9 Artists exhibit runs through July 13, 2014.

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Wool Days at Old Sturbridge Village Memorial Day Weekend

Picture of the Running of the Lambs at Old Sturbridge Village

Running of the Lambs
Photo by: John Ferrarone

How about learning everything to do with sheep and the whole wool textile process this Memorial Day Weekend? Well that is exactly what Old Sturbridge Village (OSV) has in store for the long weekend that (unofficially) kicks off the summer season. OSV will present “Wool Days” this Memorial Day Weekend – May 24 to 26, 2014.

All through the weekend costumed farmers will demonstrate the sheep sheering process as it was in the 1830s. On Saturday the 24th watch Border Collies showing off their sheep herding skills. You will also learn from costumed historians the entire textile process from scouring and dyeing the wool to spinning, knitting and weaving. You can even get involved by trying your hand at hand carding (brushing and de-tangling) the wool.

An educational experience for the entire family that will be so much fun that people will not even realize that they are learning so much…

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Fork in the Road Food Truck Festival – Boston, MA

Live Nation Entertainment, Food Truck Festivals of New England, and Harpoon Brewery are teaming up to bring the Fork in the Road Food Truck Festival to the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion on Saturday, June 14, 2014. This day-long event (noon to 10 PM) will feature live music, great food, and great beer.

Participating food trucks will include Bon Me, The Bacon Truck, Captain Marden’s Cod Squad, the Dining Car, The Taco Truck, Fugu, Stoked, and more. Harpoon Brewer will be serving up Harpoon IPA, Harpoon Summer, UFO White, and UFO Big Squeeze Shandy.

Admission to the event is $15 for adults. Children 12 and under are free.

Late spring in Boston’s Seaport District, great music, great food, and great beer – does it really get any better than that?

Picture of the Food Truck Captain Marden's Cod Squad

Captain Marden’s Cod Squad

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