LLBean Opens Pop Up Shop at Natick Mall

LLBean Opens Pop Up Shop at Natick Mall

LL Bean has opened a pop up shop at the Natick Mall just in time for Back To School shopping. It’s located near Lord & Taylor on the lower level. Hours are Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Sunday 12-6 p.m. We stopped by yesterday to take a look, and they have a nice selection of backpacks, lunch boxes, and other supplies for back to school.

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The shop also carries the brand new Limited-Edition, Officially Licensed Red Sox Backpacks, Lunch Boxes and Pencil Cases. These are sure to become a favorite. These are only available in limited quantities at select L.L.Bean stores in Freeport, Maine, and its Massachusetts stores in Burlington, Dedham and Mansfield, and, of course, the Pop-Up Store at the Natick Mall in Natick.

llbean-red-sox Photo Courtesy of LL Bean.

TIP: They have on-site embroidery available. On the day we visited, the turnaround time was about 1.5 hours.

If You Go:
Natick Mall
1245 Worcester Street
Natick, Massachusetts 01760-1553
Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Sunday 12-6 p.m.
Closest Entrance: Any of Lord & Taylor’s Entrances or the Food Court Entrance

Boston Family Road Trip Destination: North Fork, Long Island

Boston Family Road Trip Destination: North Fork, Long Island

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.

CSF_EditedOur 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.

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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.

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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.

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There are so many ways to have a great trip to the North Fork of Long Island. The combinations are unlimited. Check out LIweekends.com and so-new.org for other ideas and event listings.

Drool Baby Expo Back in Boston May 7th

Drool-096Soon to Be and New Moms in Boston, clear your schedule for Wednesday. There are still tickets available for the fantastic Drool Baby Expo sponsored by Magic Beans.

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)

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Buy Tickets Here!

Disclosure: Family Friendly Boston has been complimentary passes to this event in order to cover the event.

The Big Apple Circus : Luminocity in Boston Review

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.

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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!

Tightwire at Big Apple Circus

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.

Heartbeat of Home at the Citi Performing Arts Center Wang Theatre Review

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.

Family Friendly Boston readers can purchase Heartbeat of Home tickets in Boston with a 20% discount by using the code HOHMOM.

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