Boston Ballet’s The Nutcracker: Boston’s Holiday Tradition

Boston Ballet Nutcracker

It’s that time again – time for Boston’ annual Holiday tradition — Boston Ballet’s The Nutcracker. The ballet runs November 27 to December 31.

“Year after year, this cherished production never fails to inspire audiences—whether they’re seeing it again or sharing it with loved ones for the first time,” says Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen. “The Nutcracker is a wonderful way for families to escape the hectic holiday season and cherish time with one another.”

Since its world premiere in 2012, Mikko Nissinen and Robert Perdziola’s re-envisioned production, set in what many know as the Jane Austen era of the early 1800s, has gained record-breaking popularity. With more than 350 handmade costumes and a series of elaborate sets featuring extensive amounts of moving scenery, the production has transformed into a uniquely magical experience for audiences of all ages.

This year’s production features all-new lighting design by award-winning Finnish lighting designer Mikki Kunttu. Kunttu has worked extensively in the area of dance and theatre, collaborating with artists such as Tero Saarinen and Jirí Kylián, and designing for several prestigious dance companies, including the Finnish National Opera Ballet, Norwegian National Ballet, and Royal Danish Ballet. In the past, Kunttu has collaborated with Boston Ballet as lighting designer for Marius Petipa’s Sleeping Beauty (2005) and Jorma Elo’s Carmen (2006). Kunttu’s lighting design has brought him international acclaim, including the Bessie Award (2006) and the Venla Diploma of Merit (2010). Praised for his “dramatic” aesthetic, Kunttu brings a fresh, innovative perspective to this classic holiday story (Robert Greskovic, The Wall Street Journal).

The Nutcracker includes the full company of 57 dancers, 11 Boston Ballet II dancers, and 217 Boston Ballet School students. The 42-performance run will feature many never-before-seen casts, showcasing the vast talent within the Company, and providing many opportunities for dancers to shine in Soloist and Principal roles. Each performance will be accompanied by Tchaikovsky’s renowned score, performed by the Boston Ballet Orchestra, led by Principal Conductor Jonathan McPhee.

For a full synopsis and additional details, visit

All performances of The Nutcracker will take place at the Boston Opera House (539 Washington St, Boston, MA 02111):

Tickets start at $35. For more information, visit or call 617-695-6955.

The Nutcracker performance length is approximately 1 hour and 57 minutes including one intermission.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical Returns to Boston’s Citi Shubert Theatre This Holiday Season!

Rudolph The Musical at Boston Shubert

See Below for a Special Discount for Family Friendly Boston Readers
Family Friendly Boston has partnered with Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical to help spread the word about awesome holiday fun in Boston including a discount for tickets AND a chance for a Family Friendly Boston reader to WIN a set of four tickets. It could be you! Enter to win below.

After becoming an instant holiday hit in Boston in a sell-out engagement last season, an original television Christmas classic comes to life again as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical returns to the Citi Performing Arts Shubert Theatre stage, playing December 1 – 6 for 13 performances.

Presented by the Citi Performing Arts Center, tickets are now on sale at the Citi Center box office, through or by calling (866) 348-9738. Press night is set for Tuesday, December 1 at 7:00 pm.

The story tells the tale of a young Rudolph who, because of the appearance of his bright, shining nose, is ousted from the reindeer games in Christmas-town. He flees town, meets up with new friends Hermey and Yukon, and a series of funny and endearing adventures ensue including a visit to The Island of Misfit Toys. Rudolph journeys home, where a snowstorm of epic proportions is threatening Christmas. Can Rudolph save his family and friends and help Santa save the holiday?

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical plays at the Citi Performing Arts Center Shubert Theatre, 265 Tremont St., Boston, Tuesday, December 1 – Sunday, December 6, 2015, for 13 performances: Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings at 7:00 pm; Thursday at 7:30 pm; morning matinees on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 10:00 am; and afternoon matinees at 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Tickets are priced at $38.00 – $68.00; all prices include a $4.00 facility fee per ticket and are on sale at or by calling (866) 348-9738. Groups of 10 or may reserve tickets now by contacting Citi Performing Arts Center Group Sales at (617) 532-1116 or For more information, visit

Special Discount for Family Friendly Boston Readers
Click the link below to save 25% per ticket and buy tickets now using the code RUMEM for these performances:

Tue, Dec 1 @ 7pm | Wed, Dec 2 @ 7pm
Thu, Dec 3 @ 7pm | Fri, Dec 4 @ 7pm

Family Friendly Boston Discount for Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical in Boston

Enter to Win

Enter to win a family four pack of tickets to see Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer: The Musical on Opening Night, Tuesday, December 1st, 2015 in Boston. Winner will be emailed late Friday. Tickets will be waiting at will call.

Win a Family Four Pack to Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer: The Musical


Free Pick Your Own Apple Picking at Honey Pot Hill Orchards in Stow Nov 7 and 8

Honey Pot Hill Free Apple Picking

This weather has been beautiful in the Boston area this week, and it looks like the lovely temps are going to hang around for at least part of the weekend. One of our favorite Boston area orchards, Honey Pot Hill in Stow, MA is having a great offer – free PYO apples.

You bring your own bag or buy one of theirs for $1. There will be hayrides and their AMAZING cider donuts. And they always have the farm animals for all to visit.

Pack up the kids and head out for some family friendly fun!

Here are the details on this weekend’s plan via their facebook page (check in on their page before heading out in case there are any updates):

Hi Everyone! So this weekend we are doing something special. We have apples left over from a MONSTER crop and have…

Posted by Honey Pot Hill Orchards on Friday, November 6, 2015

bfresh Grocery Store Opens in Allston

bfresh is an Allston Grocery Store near Boston University

For families in the Allston, Brighton, Brookline, and Boston, grocery shopping just got a boost of awesome in the form of bfresh, a new grocery shopping experience located at 214 Harvard Avenue in Allston near the intersection of Commonwealth Avenue. Bfresh is founded on the concept of fresh foods and smart value. The store offers more natural and organic options than a typical market plus plenty of vegan, gluten-free, and foods from around the world.

I was invited to take a sneak peek of the store right before they opened. I was so impressed. This is certainly a welcome addition to the surrounding neighborhoods, but it’s also a fun destination if you don’t live near the store. Firstly, it has its own parking lot!

bfresh has an innovate prepared food offering in their “Little Kitchen.” Little Kitchen is a fresh-on-the-spot experience that offers made from scratch, always fresh, seasonal meals. Menus change daily, showcasing simple recipes made with fresh ingredients. All food prep is done right in front of you, no hidden backrooms. Menu items include fresh smoothies, salads and pizzas plus asian stir fry, breads, desserts, coffee, and more.
Also, the bakery is from-scratch with baked goods made fresh every day.

The first thing you notice when you walk in the store is the super fresh produce section. The produce looked amazing and fresh. Lots of exotic fruits and veggies. A great place to help your little ones explore new foods. And the prices were fantastic. Bfresh also carries a variety of “regular” brands (over 10,000 products stocked) making it a perfect one-stop-shop.

There’s a good selection of items too for a fairly small store. Look at the varieties of Immaculate Baking Company cookies they have!

immaculate baking company cookies in boston grocery store bfresh Allston

bfresh is a great place to bring the family for a quick meal and would be an excellent place to pick up food for a picnic in the city.

Here’s a little photo tour of the store.

If you go:

214 Harvard Avenue
Sunday to Thurday: 7 am to 9 pm
Friday and Saturday: 7 am to 10 pm
bfresh on Facebook

Disclosure: I was invited to a sneak peek event for media and received a small bag of samples. All opinions, as always, are mine.

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