If you ask most families in Boston about suggestions for road trips, you’ll get a lot of the same answers – the Cape, Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire. What you won’t hear as often is Long Island. Yes, THAT Long Island. Tucked away on the North Fork of Long Island is an absolutely delightful family travel destination.
I was recently invited to visit the North Fork of Long Island to get the experience of all the family-friendly offerings that the area has to offer. Take a look at what I’ve found and then book your trip. It was so close, so much fun, and so DIFFERENT than most of the fun standbys.
Our trip started on The Cross Sound Ferry. The Ferry departs from New London, CT and makes the trip over to Orient Point, NY in Long Island.
It took about 1.5 hours from my home in Metrowest Boston. Such an easy drive too! At the Ferry terminal, you can either park your car or actually take your car on board with you. For families on their first trip, I’d suggest taking the car. It gives you more options and an easy way to explore all of the activities. Check out the Cross Sound Ferry web site for information on schedules and fees.
There are so many great opportunities for fun activities for families traveling to this area of Long Island. One of them is Harbes Family Farm in Mattituck, NY. You could honestly spend the better part of a day here. There are activities for the whole family from good food to fun activities to animals and even wine tasting. Here’s a few scenes from the farm.
Our next stop was Bedell Cellars. Wineries for the family, you ask! This particular winery is a great destination for a family picnic. If you have a few adults in your party, you can even take turns visiting the tasting room.
Bedell Cellars’ merlot was one of the wines poured at the 2008 Presidential Inaguration.
Here are some great shots of the vitner and the vines at the vineyard.
Where to stay?
A great option for families is the Harborfront Inn in Greenport, NY.
I had the opportunity to spend the night in the Shorecrest Bed and Breakfast and it was truly delightful. If you take this trip as a couple trip, this B&B is a perfect place to call home. All is not lost for the family adventure though. The wonderful innkeeper, Marilyn, manages a number of North Fork vacation homes adjacent to the B&B. These are just right for a family visit.
Take a look at the inn, the beach and the wonderful breakfast that Shorecrest serves.
You can meet up with companies that make baby gear, make purchases at a discount, and get pampered in the process.
Here are the details:
When: Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Time: 3 PM to 9 PM
Where: Westin Waterfront Hotel located at 425 Summer Street in Boston (Next to the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center)
Disclosure: Family Friendly Boston has been complimentary passes to this event in order to cover the event.
On Saturday, I had the opportunity to bring my five year old son, Henry, to the Big Apple Circus in Boston. Henry has actually been asking pretty much since he could talk when we could go to the circus so I knew he would be excited. I told him just a few minutes before we were leaving and he immediately said, “I can’t wait to see the tent!!” It’s funny because in all honesty I hadn’t given any thought at all to the tent. When we rounded the block corner though and the tent came into view the look of awe on his face was wondrous. I always love opportunities where you get to relive small moments through the eyes of a child – and the circus is a great place for just that!
From the moment we walked in we were greeted by friendly faces and an atmosphere of excitement.
The Big Apple Circus is in its 36th season so it’s no wonder that they’ve got it down right. All events take place in one ring in an intimate environment. No seat is more than 50 feet from the ring! The performance kept parents laughing and children in amazement. From captivating juggling (by a 15 year old!), to ladder climbing, to jokes, to live horses, to acrobats, there was never a dull moment.
If I had to pick a favorite act, mine would be the Duo Guerrero made up of, husband and wife team, Werner and Aura. They made tight rope walking look like it was easy peasy. Werner actually comes from a family of six generations of tight wire walkers. Imagine?! His wife not only could sing a tune while walking the wire but also carried him on her shoulders across the wire at one point in the act. He then returned the favor for her – amazing!
Henry’s favorite act was the Dosov Troupe who the ring master described as “human fireworks.” This group of amazing, agile, and clearly not afraid of heights people shot themselves into the air by using see-saw like boards. The flips they did, the height they got, and the ability to land on their feet (even when on stilts!) was incredible.
Overall, it was such a fun and special time for us (particularly since it was rare one on one time!) at the Big Apple Circus. The show is two hours long (with an intermission) which really flew by. Henry is already asking when we can go back again!
Performances of LUMINOCITY run through Sunday, May 11th under the Big Top at 1 City Hall Plaza (Government Center) Boston, MA. Tickets start at $20 and are available at www.bigapplecircus.org or by calling (888) 541-3750. The Circus Box Office, located in front of the Big Top, is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10AM-8PM, and Sunday through Monday from 10AM-6PM. There is no service charge for tickets purchased at the box office. For more ticket information, group sales, inquiries about wheelchair-accessible seating, or additional information please call the Ticket Info Line at (800) 922-3772.
*Disclaimer: I was provided complimentary tickets to the show in order to provide this review. As always, all opinions are my own.
I had the opportunity to catch the Opening Night performance Heartbeat of Home, an electrifying new music and dance spectacular created by the producers and director of Riverdance. The show makes its East Coast debut in a limited engagement at Boston’s Citi Performing Arts Center Wang Theatre, playing Wed., March 26 through Sun., April 6.
Heartbeat of Home features the dynamic, vibrant components of traditional Irish, Latin and Afro-Cuban music and dance. The world-class cast of thirty-nine includes a ten-piece band creating a new and electrifying sound.
The show featured fantastic dancers including the lead Ciara Sexton. In fact, the dancers are from all over the world. Some auditioned for the opportunity to be in Heartbeat of Home over the internet.
This video below gives you a good sense of what the show is like. It’s good for families although it can be loud. There seemed that many step dancing teams made up of teenagers were on hand on the same night that I attended. I enjoyed the performance and from the cheers (yes, CHEERS) that surrounded me, I don’t think I was alone.
The Big Apple Circus Show Luminocity is coming to Boston starting Tuesday March 25 through Sunday, May 11, 2014 on Boston’s City Hall Plaza. Performers from all over the world will be starring in the show. Here’s a description of the show:
Venture within the hubbub at the heart of Gotham, where the restless tide of humanity rushes through canyons of skyscrapers and shoals of billboards: The dog-walker, whose rowdy pups perform amazing tricks! Businesswomen who arrange to meet, soaring high above on a double trapeze! The rube, a clown-prince among peers, celebrating the mirth of life! Revelry at New Year’s Eve, with teeter-board acrobats flying like fireworks! and a chic couple of wire-walkers suspended mid-air for the event! The humble repairman, climbing the ladder of his imagination! The mounted policewoman, directing a cavalcade of steeds! The flimflam man with his quicksilver moves! The food cart vendor, juggling his produce! Construction workers assembling athletic poses of incredible strength! The celebrated Big Apple Circus Band, under the baton of maestro Rob Slowik, provides the lively musical soundtrack, and your cosmopolitan Ringmaster, John Kennedy Kane, will conduct your tour through this luminous cityscape. Run away and join the Big Apple Circus this season for a dazzling, unforgettable spectacle of wonder, merriment and joy!
Performances of LUMINOCITY begin on Tuesday, March 25 and run for 72 shows through Sunday, May 11 under the Big Top at 1 City Hall Plaza (Government Center), Boston, MA 02201. Tickets for LUMINOCITY start at $20 and are available at www.bigapplecircus.org or by calling (888) 541-3750. Premium seating at $100 is available for all Saturday, Sunday, Patriots’ Week, and Good Friday shows. The Circus Box Office, located in front of the Big Top, opens Monday, March 24; there is no service charge for tickets purchased at the box office. Hours of operation: Tuesday through Saturday from 10 AM to 8 PM, and Sunday through Monday from 10 AM to 6 PM. The Big Top is heated in cold weather, and air-conditioned when it’s warm, for all–season comfort! The show runs for 2 hours, including a 15 minute intermission. For more ticket information, group sales, inquiries about wheelchair–accessible seating or for additional information please call the Ticket Info Line at (800) 922-3772.
The show runs two hours, including one intermission. Reminder that the Government Center stop on the MBTA Green Line is closed for construction. Leave extra time if you’re taking the T.
Thanks to the wonderful folks at Big Apple Circle, Family Friendly Boston is giving away a Family 4 Pack of tickets for the 4.30 PM show on Saturday, March 29, 2014! Enter below for a chance to win!