Magazine For Families Since 1996
WHEELCHAIR DANCING MAKES DREAMS COME TRUE SANTA SPILLS HIS SECRETS
The Cape A Winter Wonderland
THE LURE OF MINDCRAFT WHAT OUR BLACK CHILDREN TAUGHT US ABOUT WHITE PRIVILEGE
Put Button Tree Under Your Tree! Complimentary Gift Wrapping!
All Your Favorite Brands Andy & Evan Brio Bunnies by the bay Catimini Eeboo Episencial Green Toys Gund Hape Handprint Jean Bourget Jellycat Joe’s Jeans KidCuteTure Kiss my Face Livie & Luca Manhattan Toy Melissa & Doug Oilily Petit Ami Putumayo Room Seven Schylling Squishable Tea Thames & Kosmos Weleda Zubels
Newborn - Toddler
Puzzles & Games Educational Toys Cuddly Plush for Newborns
And Big Kids Too! Arts & Crafts Puzzles & Games Educational Toys
Kids Coat Drive
Through January 18
Bring a gently worn kids winter coat for donation and we’ll give you 20% off a new coat in store. Collections will be donated to Abby’s House emergency shelter.
1102 Pleasant St. Worcester, MA • 508-926-8710 firstname.lastname@example.org • Hours: Tue- Fri 10-5 • Thurs 10-6 • Sat 10-4 MORE DETAILS: facebook.com/ButtonTreeKidsTatnuck
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BAYSTATEPARENT 4 5 4/9/13 12:09 PM
our special guest Jillian Hennessey, 6 1/2 Bridgewater
Captured by bellinipics.com
OFF SEASON ON THE CAPE
Cape Cod embraces the spirit of the season with winterwonderful enchantments.
Foundation helps dancing dream come true for young girl in wheelchair.
the of the home
DECEMBER 2013 • VOLUME 18 • NUMBER 8
in every issue
happy holidays 38 TAKE EIGHT: With Santa
7 WELCOME 8 GUESTBOOK
40 SEPARATED FOR THE HOLIDAYS: How Families Celebrate When A Service Member Is Deployed
10 LET’S ROLL: Cape Cod 12 13 13 20 25 43 56
FINALLY FOREVER NOVEMBER’S CHILD
42 CHRISTMAS BIRTHDAYS: Making The Holiday
CIRCLE OF FRIENDS DIRTY LAUNDRY JUNK DRAWERS OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO CAPTURED: Holiday Cheer
e st BPARENTING
in advertising and design
in North America
EXCELLENCE New England Newspaper and Press Association
More Special OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO
43 54 CREATING HOLIDAY TRADITIONS 56 CAPTURED: Holiday Cheer
Local Media Association
DANCING LIKE A STAR
EDUCATION: PRE K - COLLEGE HEALTH & WELLNESS
DEPLOYED OVER THE HOLIDAYS
Flat Daddies, phone calls, and other ways to keep deployed family near.
something special 16 18
MINDCRAFT: Good Or Bad BOSTON CHILDREN’S MUSEUM: The Power Of Play
22 DANCING LIKE A STAR 26 28
CREATING A CIRCLE OF HOPE HELPING CHILDREN THROUGH THEIR GRIEF
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Welcome My first job in journalism was at a weekly community newspaper in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. I was enthusiastic and so excited to be finally breaking into journalism – it had taken me about six months to find the job in the field after graduating from college. One of the first assignments was to write a holiday story about a local man who had started a charity around the holidays. I met him at the public library in town with my list of questions, hoping he would tell me about his volunteer work around the holidays. He put it very simply – the holidays were getting too commercial. He was a father and saw his children just wanting more and more gifts, and he wanted them to learn the true meaning of the holidays. The holidays are about giving to others, he said, and he had enough of what Christmas was becoming. He started a charity that gave toys to children in need, and he decided that he wanted his children to learn about giving back. At the time, I was 22 and I was still
focused on getting gifts at the holidays, but in that moment it really changed my thinking. I hadn’t put much thought into giving to those in need especially around the holidays. Up until then, the holidays were about wanting gifts or latest gadget. He really made an impact on my life and for years to come, I started really thinking about the true meaning of the holiday season and giving back. In our family, we make a tradition of donating to local organizations around the holidays including toy and food drives. And I make sure the kids get involved. Tracey Carroll writes about how to focus more on spending time with family and traveling as opposed to the commercialism surrounding the holidays. She shares another story of two families who were overseas serving our country during the holidays. It shows us what is really important in life – being with family and friends during the holidays. We also did a special interview with Santa, who is so busy during this time of year, but took time out of his schedule to be our special guest. When I started as editor of baystateparent more than a year ago, working for baystateparent was a dream come true for me. I was so grateful for the opportunity to work at a magazine that meant so much to me as a first-time parent: I learned about so many wonderful places to take the kids and the writers made me feel part of a parenting community. My first freelance writing job while I staying at home with my first son Thomas was at
baystateparent. I was able to work from home while raising a family. During this past year, I have had the opportunity to work with the amazing staff that puts this wonderful magazine together each month. I have met some talented freelance writers and worked with so many organizations in the state that help children and their parents. It has been a true blessing. I will be leaving baystateparent as editor to spend more time with my young family. I am so grateful for the opportunity to work for an award-winning magazine, and I am happy to announce that MaryJo Kurtz, the original editor of baystateparent, will be taking back the reigns and bringing her many years of experience to help baystateparent continue to grow. MaryJo is not only a mother of two from Central Massachusetts and a fellow writer and editor, but she is also a friend and a colleague. I wish her all the best as she comes home to baystateparent. I’m looking forward to my time with my family, being on the sidelines of their sports games and volunteering in their schools. The kids are only young once, and I’m excited to have the opportunity to spend these precious moments with them. I want to wish you all the best this holiday season! Enjoy spending time with your family and friends and be sure to give back during the holiday season – it helps keep the magic in the holidays!
Massachusetts’ Premier Magazine For Families
baystateparent publisher KIRK DAVIS
interim associate publisher KATHY REAL 508-868-9293 email@example.com
creative director PAULA MONETTE ETHIER 508-865-7070 ext. 221 firstname.lastname@example.org
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contributing writers TRACEY CARROLL MARLENE G. FINE FERN L. JOHNSON KELLY MACFARLAND MANDY MULLIEZ CHRISTINE QUIRK LAURA RICHARDS
copy editor BRYAN ETHIER photographers STEVEN KING MANDY MULLIEZ STEPHANIE PISCITELLI SHAWNA SHENETTE presidents KIRK and LAURIE DAVIS
Jennifer Lucarelli, editor
baystateparent 22 West Street, Millbury, MA 01527
MEET THE COVER MODEL
Age 6 1/2, Bridgewater
1. What was the photo shoot like? What did you like best? I really liked the coat and the dress I got to wear and the sun going down when we took the pictures. And I had fun doing the photo shoot with Miss Stephanie. She made me laugh and be silly. 2. What do you want for the holidays this year? An iPod and a fish tank!
in advertising and design
3. What do you like most about school? Recess.
New England Newspaper and Press Association
e st BPARENTING PUBLICATION
in North America
Local Media Association
baystateparent Inc. is published monthly with a main office at 22 West Street, Worcester, MA 01527 508-865-7070 It is distributed free of charge throughout Massachusetts. www.baystateparent.com • email@example.com
4. Who is the first person you will show the cover of baystateparent to? My daddy. 5. What is your favorite toy? I really like my iPad, but I really don’t think I have a favorite toy. bellinipics
BAYSTATEPARENT 6 7
GUESTBOOK crowell expressions
IT’S GOOD TO GIVE
YMCA OF CENTRAL MASSACHUSETTS We’d like to congratulate Millbury-Sutton Chronicle Editor Josh Farnsworth of our sister publication. He and his wife Joyanna welcomed a baby boy, Cooper, in October.
November Winners Shrek the Musical DVD Giveaway: Lisa Carlin, of West Boylston Aixa Sanchez, of Worcester Carla Smith, of Northbridge
GIVE THE GIFT OF HEALTH! PURCHASE A Y-GIFT CARD TODAY! Available in the amount of your choice, a YMCA Gift of Health Gift Card can be redeemed for any Y program or service, or even a new membership!
Monsters vs. Aliens DVD Giveaway: Mercedes Budzinski, of Worcester Melissa Doyle, of Worcester Lisa Ellis, of Webster
Financial Assistance Available
Letters should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and will be edited for clarity and length. Please include your full name and town for publication.
Happy Holidays from all of us at baystateparent
PLANTING THE SEEDS is a line of inspirational and creatively illustrated self-esteem building cards designed to encourage meaningful conversation between kids and their caregivers. For more information visit my website at:
Positive Energy Cards
Winner of a Y-Volution YFliker F1 Scooter: Sue Campbell, of Marlborough, guessed the right number of candy corns at Applefest in October. There were 418 candy corn in the jar.
Affirmations to Overcome Anxiety
Jill Sylvester, LMHC, NCC, M.Ed. Mental Health Counseling
Integrative Wellness Services 8 DECEMBER2013 9
Plant the Seeds today for a strong and healthy tomorrow.
Harmony Wellness Center 51 Mill Street, Hanover
Auburn Mall December festivities Sunday, 12/1 - Santa Pet Photo Night 7:30 – 8:30 pm Saturday, 12/7 – Kidgits Breakfast with Santa 9:00 am – 10:30 am Sunday, 12/8 – Caring Santa 8:00 am – 9:30 am RSVP on www.caringsanta.com.
Solomon Pond Mall
December festivities Sunday, 12/8 – Caring Santa 8:00 am – 9:30 am RSVP on www.caringsanta.com. - Santa Pet Photo Night 7:30 – 8:30 pm Saturday, 12/14 – Storytime with Mrs. Claus Noon – 2 pm Not a member? It’s just $5 to join! Visit Simon Guest Services for details.
AUBURN MALL Exit 9 off I 290 in Auburn Shopping Line 508.832.6000 SOLOMON POND MALL Exit 25B off I 290 or I-495 in Marlborough Shopping Line 508.303.6255
BAYSTATEPARENT 8 9
Off-Season on the Cape:
by laura richards
inter travel usually conjures up images of jetting off to white, sandy beaches, turquoise water and sun – lots and lots of sun. For many of us, far away destinations just aren’t in the budget and going north to ski can be just as pricey, so what’s the alternative? Cape Cod. That’s right. There is much to see and do on the Cape during the winter with kids, so why not venture south by car? As they like to say on the Cape, they have plenty of packed powder, it’s just called sand! “Cape Cod is actually a fantastic holiday escape for families! We have over two dozen holiday events happening across Cape Cod like Christmas strolls, holiday fairs, caroling, cookie tastings, harbor lightings, the 50th Annual Falmouth Christmas parade, a Holiday Pops concert and more,” says Kristen Mitchell Hughes, vice president of tourism marketing for the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce. “Every town on Cape Cod embraces the spirit of the season, which really helps create a festive atmosphere wherever you stay.” One particular favorite is the Cape Cod Central Railroad’s special Train to Christmas Town with holiday trains going out of Buzzards Bay all season. The conductor will welcome
10 DECEMBER2013 11
Come visit the Heritage Museums & Gardens in Sandwich during the holiday season and visit with Santa. For more information, visit heritagemuseumsandgardens.org.
you aboard and punch your ticket as you meet Bumblebee the Polar Bear, Wabash the Squirrel and Zephyr the depot cat. Elves serve cookies and cocoa and lead visitors in singing Christmas carols. Upon arrival at Christmas Town, Santa climbs on board and walks through the cars greeting each child. For further details and ticket information visit their website at www. traintochristmastown.com/massachussetts/index.html.
round. Below are some best bets. The Zooquarium at 674 Route 28 in South Yarmouth is open 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Please note that the last admission is sold one hour before closing. Dress warmly as many exhibits are outside. There is a petting zoo with farm animals outside. Inside there is a Marine Room which is home to many fresh and saltwater creatures that can be found all over the Cape. At the Seashore Exhibit, families have
“Every town on Cape Cod embraces the spirit of the season, which really helps create a festive atmosphere wherever you stay.” Late fall and winter is a great time to experience all that the Cape has to offer without the crowds. Bundle up by the seashore and enjoy the beauty of the sandy coastline, enjoy brilliant winter sunsets, harbor views and lighthouses. You can also find great values everywhere! There are many museums, zoos, aquariums and more that are family-friendly and are open year-
the opportunity to roll up their sleeves and experience the touch pool and handle crabs, snails and sea stars. Be sure to visit the Bird Stadium to learn all about native birds. For more information, visit their website at www. zooquariumcapecod.net. Heritage Museums & Gardens at 67 Grove St. in Sandwich is open for their special “Gardens Aglow” lights
display on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from Nov. 29 through Dec. 23 from 5 to 9 p.m. Heritage will sparkle with festive lights and decorations during the holiday season. This year includes Kriskindlemart, a Europeanstyle outdoor holiday market. There will be music and dance performances and visits from Santa. Gingerbread houses created by local companies and students will be on display. Kids can express their creativity with craft projects in the Special Exhibitions Gallery, where adults can participate in the holiday decorating demonstrations. Kids and adults can ride on a vintage carousel while holiday tunes play, and kids can explore Hidden Hollow by moonlight. Tickets will stop being sold at 8:30 each night, but guests already on the property can continue to enjoy the events until 9 p.m. Check out their website for more information at www. heritagemuseumsandgardens.org/ gardens-aglow. Cape Cod Maritime Museum at 135 South St. in Hyannis is open through mid-December. Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday noon to 4 p.m. It is closed on Mondays. Children age 7 and under are free. This is Cape Cod’s first museum dedicated to the maritime culture of the area. Witness
courtesy of the Cape Cod Children’s Museum
courtesy of the Heritage Museums & Gardens
courtesy of the Cape Cod Children’s Museum
Enjoy a large Cape Cod map puzzle and playing in a mock submarine at the Cape Cod Children’s Museum in Mashpee.
boat builders in action using both traditional and modern methods in Cook’s Boat Shop or take a Historic Harbor Tour on the Hyline M/V Patience from the museum. Kids will love the 28-foot boat built especially for them in their activity area. Exhibits cover five centuries, with interesting artifacts including a Cape-featured colonial-era mariner’s chart, visions of 19th century fishing and whaling, traditional Wampanoag fish harvesting implements, model ships and natural history relics. You can also see the only surviving remains of a 17th century trans-Atlantic vessel, the SparrowHawk, which wrecked on the outer beach of Cape Cod in 1626. There are also classes and workshops for kids, so check with the museum. The website is www.capecodmaritimemuseum.org. Cape Cod Children’s Museum at 577 Great Neck Road South in Mashpee is open year-round Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Every child will delight at the number of things to do here. There’s a planetarium, crafts, pretend post office, diner, castle area, puzzle tables, a stationary train where kids can take turns being conductor, a reading wagon, a huge geo-board with rubber bands and pegs, a gravity wall, raceways, a submarine, a pirate ship, a music room and even a tree house! Explore all this museum has to offer by visiting the website at www.capecodchildrensmuseum.org. The Cape Cod Potato Chip Factory at 100 Breed’s Hill Road in Hyannis is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is closed on weekends. The factory is one of the Cape’s top
tourist destinations with over 250,000 visitors annually. Their free self-guided tour allows visitors to see how the chips are made from farm field to bag. Kids will especially love seeing the process. Check out the website for further information at www. capecodchips.com/about-us/factory-tour.html. Woods Hole Science Aquarium at 166 Water St. is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is free to all visitors. Most days there are seal feedings at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Families can explore exhibit cases with bones, skulls, and teeth along with 140 species of marine animals found in Northeast and Middle Atlantic waters. There are also touch tanks where you’ll find lobsters, tautogs, quahogs, horseshoe crabs, spider crabs, sea stars and hermit crabs. Check out the website at www.aquarium.nefsc.noaa.gov. Families can also visit www.ChristmasonCapeCod.com to view many holiday accommodations packages. Holiday and school vacation packages are posted on the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce’s website at www.CapeCodChamber.org. Many accommodation packages include dinner gift certificates at nearby restaurants, passes to holiday events, and seasonal amenities like champagne, cider and cookies. Laura Richards is a freelance writer, professional organizer, wife and mother of four boys ranging in age from one to 11-year-old identical twins. She blogs from her website www.ModernMothering. com and her organizing company called OrganizaIt’siswinter in New England, tion Works (www.OrganizationWorks.biz). let us help you learn to
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Two Parents, Two Children and a Dog: The Typical American Family
By Marlene G. Fine and Fern L. Johnson
hen our sons were 10 and 12, we got our first dog. We were playing with the dog one day when our younger son declared, “Now we’re the typical American family—two parents, two children, and a dog.” Although we were very pleased that our son believed that the addition of a dog made us a typical family, we knew that our family is not typically American. Our sons are African American, and they have two white moms. We decided to adopt a child in 1987. Massachusetts didn’t allow same-sex couples to adopt then, so we each applied separately and decided whoever got the first placement would do the first adoption. We knew we wanted to adopt two children but not at the same time. We initially explored international adoption rather than domestic adoption of an African American or mixed-race child, in deference to the National Association of Black Social Workers—an organization that has opposed the adoption of black children by white parents. We changed our minds when we learned that there are simply not enough black families available for the large number of black children waiting to be adopted. That means that large numbers of black children end up spending their lives in foster care, becoming less likely to be adopted with each passing year. So the real choice, we learned, was not between a black child being raised by a black family or a white family, but rather between a black child having a family or being shuttled through the foster care system. We faced the hypocrisy of our belief that it was okay to parent a child of a different race born outside of the U.S., but not a child of a different race born here. Once we decided that race didn’t matter and we would adopt a black child from the U.S., we were told that the process would move quickly and we needed to be prepared--not just for the arrival of a baby in our lives, but also for having an African American baby and for confronting our attitudes and beliefs about race. Both of us are academics who specialize in issues related to race, racial identity, and interracial communication. Our academic knowledge gave us a foundation, but we understood we needed to learn more. We didn’t understand, however, just how much more. A few days after we had settled on our decision to adopt an African American child, Marlene called her parents to tell them. Her parents had been very supportive of our decision to adopt a child from a foreign country and were excited about the prospect of welcoming their first grandchild. Marlene grew up in a politically liberal family and her parents had always taught their children to treat people of all races, religions and social classes as equals. So she was shocked when her mother responded to the news by insisting that 12 DECEMBER2013 13
‘But as the white mothers of black sons we have also learned some deep lessons about the importance of race in America and how the privileges of being white blinded us to those lessons.’ we were making a mistake because ‘birds of a feather should flock together’ (yes, she actually said that). Marlene quickly pulled herself together and replied that we were adopting a child for ourselves and that she hoped her parents would want to be grandparents to the child, but the choice was theirs. Then she hung up. Her mother called back within a few minutes and apologized for her comments. But her immediate response was another reminder of the deeply held feelings Americans have about race—a reminder that, as Cornel West (1993) said, ‘race matters.’ How much it matters, we would quickly learn. Within a few months, we were the parents of a beautiful African American baby boy, and two years later we adopted a second African American baby boy. Raising our sons has brought great joy to our lives, but it’s also been exasperating, exhausting, and fraught with anxiety—just as parenting is for everyone. But as the white mothers of black sons we have also learned some deep lessons about the importance of race in America and how the privileges of being white blinded us to those lessons. Society accords whites numerous privileges—buying bandages that match their skin color, finding a hairdresser who knows how to cut their hair, not having their success or failure be attributed to their race. Perhaps the most significant privilege whites have is not needing to know anything about the experiences and cultures of people who are not like them. Parenting our sons taught us quickly about white privilege. When we were out with our sons, especially when they were infants, strangers would come up to us to tell us what wonderful people we were and how blessed our sons were because we had adopted them. Would they have said the same if we were two black women with a white baby? We were doubtful. We also learned what it meant to not have privilege. As
a tenured college professor, Marlene experienced the world at the top of an intellectual and social class hierarchy (earned, not inherited). She tumbled quickly to the bottom of that hierarchy the day that she took our first-adopted son to the local Social Security office to apply for his Social Security card. When her name was called, she—a white woman in jeans carrying a black baby—approached the desk. The clerk assumed she was there to pick up her monthly welfare check. Marlene was so shocked she couldn’t speak. White privilege became real the day that we stopped to look at a summer rental on Cape Cod with our two black children in tow. The owner said the house was available. We said we would call her the next morning to let her know our decision. We called early in the morning, but the woman said the house was no longer available. We were convinced that she would not rent to us because the children were black and our family wouldn’t fit in. The owner called back a few hours later to say that she had convinced the people who had rented the house to change their rental dates—she thought our boys were adorable and would love staying in her house. But the damage was done. The moment she said that the house was no longer available, we understood the horror of believing that everything that happens to you might be because of your skin color. We understood how that belief would haunt us and distort our understanding of events in our lives and our children’s lives. Why didn’t he get a solo in the band concert? Why was he left out of the team photograph? We even questioned the good things that happened, thinking that the boys sometimes received good grades or accolades simply because they were black and other people either had low expectations for them or were afraid to judge them fairly for fear of being called racist. Our sons are grown now, and our family isn’t that
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unusual anymore. Same-sex couples in Massachusetts can adopt and interracial adoption and marriage are more common. But it’s still the case that race matters and white adoptive parents of children of color need to learn about the ways in which it matters. Marlene G. Fine, a Simmons College Professor of Communications, & Fern L. Johnson, a Clark University Professor of English, are authors of the new book The Interracial Adoption Option: Creating a Family Across Race (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2013).
CIRCLEOFFRIENDS Northern Region Adoption Info Meetings – DCF. Monday, Dec. 2, 6 to 7 p.m. Jordan’s Furniture, 50 Walkers Brook Drive, Reading. To RSVP, please call Stephanie Frankel at 978557-2734 and leave a voice message if you plan to attend. Western Region Adoption Info Meetings – DCF. Tuesday, Dec. 3, 4 to 6 p.m. Mass. Department of Children and Families (DCF) – Springfield, 140 High St., 5th floor, Springfield. For questions or to RSVP, contact Dawn Sweetman at 413-452-3369.
Southern Region Adoption Info Meetings – DCF. Monday, Dec. 16, 6 to 8 p.m. Canton Police Station, 1492 Washington St., Canton. For questions or RSVP contact Nancy Kinder at 508-894-3815. Boston Region Adoption Info Meetings – DCF. Wednesday, Dec. 18, 4 to 5:30 p.m. DCF Boston, 451 Blue Hill Ave., Dorchester. Learn how you can change the future of a child in need by becoming a foster or adoptive parent with the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families. For more information, contact
Marsha Donovan, LCSW at 617-989-9209. No registration is required. Southern Region Adoption Info Meetings – DCF. Thursday, Dec. 19, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Morton Hospital, 88 Washington St., Taunton. For questions or RSVP, contact Mary Ward at 508894-3963. Please submit January’s adoption-related events by Sunday, Dec. 1 at baystateparent.com (click calendar/submit an event).
Paloma Paloma has had to assume a great deal of responsibility at a young age and really needs to be the focus of the family so she can enjoy just being a teenager. This 15-year-old young lady is of Dominican descent. She is a quiet girl who can be shy at first. Paloma likes to dance, cheer, shop and have her nails done. Paloma does well in school where she is working at grade level. She gets along well with her peers and has a small group of friends who are important to her. She prides herself on not missing a day of school. Paloma hopes to attend college one day. Her social worker is looking for a two-parent family (mom/dad, mom/ mom) or a single mom who would help Paloma maintain a relationship with her younger brother. Paloma is legally free for adoption. For more information on Paloma, please contact Department of Children and Families (DCF) Adoption Supervisor Eileen Griffin at (978) 353-3629. The Worcester DCF Adoption Office holds monthly meetings for people wishing to learn more about the adoption process in general. The next informational meeting will be held on Monday, December 9th from 6 -7:30 p.m. Please call (508)929- 2143 to register.
ShrewSbury MonteSSori School An Authentic Education Preparing Young People for Today’s Changing World
Shrewsbury and Auburn Campuses January 11, 2014 1:00-3:00pm (Snow Date: January 12) Come see our Montessori classrooms in action! Call for a Parent Tour today! Montessori Children’s House of Auburn Shrewsbury Montessori School 135 Bryn Mawr Avenue 55 Oak Street Auburn, MA 01501 Shrewsbury, MA 01545 508-832-9262 508-842-2116 www.shrewsburymontessori.org BAYSTATEPARENT 12 13
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shawna shenette photography
MINECRAFT: Good or Bad? by laura richards
inecraft. Does it mean anything to you? If you’ve got kids, it probably does. Minecraft is taking the online game world by storm, but is it just another video game? Does it benefit kids educationally? Are there negatives? What limits should be placed on kids playing the game? In a nutshell, Minecraft is a video game and application program where you can break and place textured blocks in a somewhat rudimentary 3D world. Players build structures and create imaginative scenes. You explore, gather resources, craft and participate in combat. You choose single or multiplayer, allowing you to adventure and collaborate with friends. Minecraft is split into two separate game modes: Creative and Survival. If you’re interested in making huge structures from scratch with
unlimited resources, Creative mode is your best bet. You can pull blocks of all shapes and sizes out of thin air and create amazing worlds. If you prefer a little more adventure and some danger, then Survival mode is for you. This mode comes with gangs of monsters who want to break, explode and eat your bones one pixel at a time. You’ll need to protect yourself from the creatures that come out at night.
A Parent’s Perspective Christina Julakis, 41, of Framingham, has two children, Suzanne, 12, and Emmanuel “Manny,” 10, who first started playing the Minecraft app an his iPod. Manny eventually asked for the PC version so he could play it with his friends. Christina feels that the game has benefitted Manny because he has become very tech savvy and knows
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more about the computer than she does. His vocabulary increased, and he can readily identify natural materials in the real world. “One day, we were driving home from a soccer game and drove by a rock quarry,” she said. “Manny shouted, ‘Look! That looks like flint. I use that in Minecraft.’” One negative she noted is the addictive nature of the game. Thankfully, Manny she said, is involved with several different sports so he doesn’t have all day to play. She also says that playing online in the multiplayer mode means that parents need to monitor and set rules, especially about who a child plays with. Susanne Olson, 41, of Framingham has three children, Sarah, 10, Rachel, 9, and Lucy, 7. “I consider it as a form of virtual Legos and had no issues with the program and therefore purchased it for my children after testing it on
the iPod Touch,” she said. In Susanne’s opinion, the positives outweigh negatives. “It’s a form of social interaction with peers while problem solving,” she said. “While we were in Europe, it allowed them to stay in touch with their friends. It helped Rachel improve her fluency in reading and writing due to the constant message stream across the page.” The only negative Susanne shared is the initial addiction to the game but that has worn off and the girls now naturally move on to other things.
What Kids Are Saying Manny Julakis, 10, feels the game has benefitted him because he can now type fast and is familiar with minerals and terrains. One negative, he said, is that it should be easier to play privately with a friend. He also wishes that the game could appear
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more realistic. “I have a YouTube channel with two of my friends called the MC_ TryHardz,” he said. “We have only been doing it for about a month. We only do Minecraft videos. And just for a little bit of fun, we made our own t-shirts. The shirts show the heads of our Minecraft skins and then MC_tryhardz in a cool font.” Sarah Olson, 10, got into Minecraft because kids at school were talking about it. “I like the creativity,” she said. “The building, it helps you with math because you need to know how many logs you need to create a building. If you don’t have an up to date computer, it’s laggy and crashes easily. You need to know all of the controls to use the program to its full potential.”
This is an ambitious undertaking and can be successful if the task is clearly defined. Students who have created these projects are also able to show the inter-connectedness of concepts because instead of creating a poster. They can create objects in 3D that move and build on each other.” As for negatives, Pollyanna said, “I worry about the amount of time a student spends playing the game vs. being unplugged. As new competing games come out, these games will continue to take more attention from the real world.”
Placing Limits How much is too much screen time? The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends no more than one to two hours per day of high-quality content. “It is important for kids to spend time on outdoor play, reading, hobbies and using their imaginations in free play. Studies have shown that excessive media use more than two hours per day can lead to attention problems, school difficulties, sleep and eating disorders and obesity,” AAP reported.
Clearly parents need to place controls on how much screen time is reasonable and decide what works best for their kids to be healthy, happy and balanced. Laura Richards is a freelance writer, professional organizer, wife, and mother of four boys ranging in age from one to 11-year-old identical twins. She blogs from her website www.ModernMothering. com and her organizing company is called Organization Works www. (OrganizationWorks.biz).
Are There Educational Benefits? Doug Priore, 33, a sixth grade Humanities teacher at the McAuliffe Regional Public Charter School in Framingham, first heard about Minecraft from a student he tutored after school last year, and they would play together during breaks. “As a geography teacher, I think the game gets students thinking about a lot of different aspects of settlement that they might not otherwise,” Doug said. “If I talk about what resources are necessary in order to sustain life in a certain geographic location, the students who play Minecraft tend to be aware of those factors. If we talk about mining or the availability of minerals in certain area, the Minecrafters tend to get the importance of those things pretty quickly.” Doug deems Minecraft pretty tame compared to a lot of the stuff out there but shares, “I’m pretty oldschool, so I’d always rather see a kid reading a book or building a tree-house. But if they have to play a video game, Minecraft isn’t too bad. I would say no more than a half hour to an hour per night, assuming all other homework and chores are completed.” Pollyanna Sidell, 48, also a Humanities teacher at the McAuliffe Regional Charter Public School has had eighth grade students use Minecraft as a venue for school projects. “From an educational standpoint, the game definitely inspires creativity and builds stamina for working toward an objective,” she said. “Some students have applied the game to show their learning.
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baystateparent magazine is commemorating the Boston Children’s Museum on its 100 year anniversary with this special section
COMES A LONG WAY!
baystateparentiscollaboratingwithBostonChildren’sMuseumtocreate anew,excitingsupplementtoourpublication,whichwe’reentitling“The Power of Play.” Each month, we will include special features, content, fun
Virtual Tour to See What You Can Do at Boston Children’sMuseum ideas(andevensomespecialoffers)fromthisvenerableinstitutionwhich is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.
100 Ways for Children to Play
Here are the next 10 in our list:
1. Freeze plastic bowls of water
6. Tell silly jokes, make some up
with plastic animals in them.
and laugh, laugh, laugh.
2. Finger paint on the tile wall in
7. Play catch! Try to move as far
3. Go on a monster hunt – take
turns being different kinds of monsters.
4. Add a cup of dish soap to a
gallon of water, swirl it around and go outside to blow bubbles! Can you make a bubble with your hands? Check out some tips for making excellent bubbles here (www.beyondthechalkboard.com/ activities/bubbles/).
5. Make up your own
constellations while you look at the stars. 18 DECEMBER2013 19
away from your partner as you can and still reach them with your throw.
8. Fill balloons with water and
freeze them, peel off the balloon to get a round ice (cube?).
9. Invent your own language;
speak it with your brother in front of your parents.
10. Learn a new game. If you
have a group of friends, try this one (www.beyondthechalkboard.com/ activities/color-colorcito/).
During the 100th anniversary celebration in October, music and dance were performances led by by the ICA DJ Collective, Urbanity Dance, Lil’ Phunk, and Boston Children’s Chorus. Activities included dance lessons and dance battles, a grand procession with a dragon and lion dancers, and the 500 member Boston Children’s Chorus singing “I Am a River of Hope” written and composed specifically for the 100th Birthday of the Museum. New Balance Games and a National Grid Tinker Tent engaged kids and families in physical activities and hands-on science and engineering activities.
Where Family Fun is Guaranteed!
h ed .
in the East! SKI Magazine Reader Survey — 2014
visit bostonchildrensmuseum.org/ museum-virtual-tour
Boston Children’s Museum Special Needs Access Program Dates for November, December and January Morningstar Access Program at Boston Children’s Museum offers children with special needs/medical needs the opportunity to visit the museum at a time when there are only a few other visitors. At these times, we have a limit of 100 guests, and children and their families can explore the museum with less concern about infections and large crowds.
Dates and Hours:
Thursday, December 26th, 2013 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Monday, January 20th, 2014 (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day) from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.
All guests must pay admission at the Admissions Desk upon arrival. Non-members: Half admission price ($7 per person) Members: Free
Saki Iwamoto, Health and Wellness Educator Iwamoto@BostonChildrensMuseum.org 617-986-3697
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by kelly macfarland
no, Olivia. Don’t touch.” She has successfully pulled every toy out of the giant Pottery Barn basket onto the floor. Being the good Aunty that I am, I brought her a present – a stuffed dog that chirps the alphabet when you tickle his tummy. She pulled the pup out and then proceeded to play with the gift bag for 20 minutes and then crawled away. Now I can’t get her away from the laptop sitting on the couch. It’s open and the screen is displaying Facebook. Olivia is months away from her first birthday and she can’t take her eyes off the screen. She can’t take her tiny fingers off the keys. Her mom and my dear friend for 15+ years, Michelle, admits that she is obsessed with the computer, iPad, iPhone, TV, remote control and the dog’s water dish. “We buy her tons of toys that are supposed to help her motor skills, but if it doesn’t light up, she doesn’t want it.” I guess I can relate to Olivia—I’d rather watch House Hunters while checking out Twitter and playing Candy Crush than ride my bike. The television is on and when a commercial comes on for the latest Leap Frog game, Olivia cranes her head to take a look. It’s an ad for a mini tablet that a baby can play games on to learn to read. I guess I’ll get her that for Christmas because she’s dancing as the commercial plays, and there’s no music. She’s very excited. I’m sure in her tiny world it’s the same excitement an adult gets when thinking about the new iPhone 5c or 5s or whatever it is that now comes in an assortment of 20 DECEMBER2013 21
pastel colors. Several weeks later, my friend Lisa is bringing her 11-year-old daughter Jillian for a weekend visit. It’s something we started when she was 8. Jillian was begging to come for a sleepover in Boston. We decided that 10 would be the magic age that she and her siblings would be allowed to come for an overnight. Within minutes of their arrival, Jillian is in my face showing me her new cell phone. “I can text Kel! I can text you now!” I smiled at her and mirrored her excitement, but honestly I couldn’t imagine what she would need to text me. She’s 11! I pulled her mom aside and asked what the deal was. She said everyone has them. “Remember when we were that age and everyone wanted a Cabbage Patch Doll? Well, now it’s a cell phone. Every kid wants, has or is getting a cell phone.” Times have
t s Be
they will be a slave to in just a few short years? I don’t feel right about it. Last year I bought video games for my nephews. Admittedly, I had no idea what I was looking for. I had to ask the nice, pierced, bored young man behind the counter. He was very helpful and hated me instantly. He wanted to know what kind of system they were on. I left with $100 gift cards for each of them. I remember waiting for the Sears Christmas catalog to arrive in the mail so that I could go through the toy section and dog ear the pages of my favorite picks – Easy Bake Ovens, My Little Ponies, Barbie Dream Houses. Now, Barbie is a high powered executive who lives by her Blackberry and trades stocks online. On the weekends she doesn’t ride horses or take cruises with Ken in her Dream Vette, she’s a gamer. Barbie texts with Ken all day long and when she doesn’t
“Remember when we were that age and everyone wanted a Cabbage Patch Doll? Well, now it’s a cell phone. Every kid wants, has or is getting a cell phone.” changed! At 11, we wanted dolls (ugly dolls if you remember the Cabbage Patch Kid). Now in 2013, 11-year-olds want cell phones. They want to text and email! Don’t they realize there is a really good chance that as an adult they will spend 8+ hours a day, 40+ hours a week in front of a screen? I guess they won’t know the difference, but I wanted to put a doll into Jillian’s arms just to see what would happen. She would probably immediately start looking for the on/off switch. With the holidays approaching, my gift giving mojo is shaken. I’m an Aunty to more than just my brother’s four children. I buy for my friend’s kids. Most of them I’ve known since birth. I pride myself on being the Aunty “in the know” of what’s hip, cool and fabulous. What am I supposed to do now? Propel these kids into a world of technology that
get a response, she Facebook stalks him to find out what he’s been doing and then Tweets about it. As teenagers, my brother and I both wanted double cassette boom boxes and a Nintendo. The months leading up to Christmas, we did dishes, dusted and vacuumed. We raked leaves and stacked wood. I wanted so badly to make mix tapes with my friends. We wanted to play Super Mario Brothers after we finished our homework. Now, video games are at your fingertips. No one makes mixed tapes. My nephews never take off their head phones. They have their music, games and their phone in their hand at all times. They are constantly plugged in. Having a conversation with a teenager is near impossible. Even when I asked them what they wanted for Christmas, they answered without making full eye contact, “Money is good.”
I responded, “Oh, is it? Is money good?” They giggled and then simply said, “Well, yeah.” I can’t argue with them. Money is good. I’m better than that. So are you. We need to try to come up with gifts that don’t require batteries, power cords or require WiFi. If all else fails, Cabbage Patch Kids are having their 30th anniversary and they are a hot item for this holiday season. That’s right! They are back and they are still hip, cool, fabulous and ugly.
As an experienced stand-up comedian, Kelly has developed a winning program for corporate America that transcends humor and motivates a crowd to believe in themselves. The overall message is to write your own story. We live our lives hearing lots of messages about ourselves. Who we are and what we are capable of, etc. You get to be YOU. You define who you want to be. “I use the example that I was told from a very young age that I was not athletic, I was a runt. I found out later in life that I’m an athlete in my own right. I may not ever win a gold medal, but I can get out there and play the game,” says Kelly! Kelly tells funny stories about discovering her inner athlete. These stories have lessons; • Don’t tread water in life, you’ll be exhausted and you won’t move forward or backward. • Encourage people and they will encourage you. Your biggest champion might be right next to you. • Remember everything has a beginning, middle and end. You have to start at the beginning — even if it’s humiliating. Kelly leaves audiences pleasantly surprised by her candor. She captivates the crowd with her charm, and her refreshing yet playful point of view makes her irresistible. Her alluring smile and intense energy keep the audience wanting more. To book comedian Kelly MacFarland, contact Dawn Christensen at Loretta LaRoche Productions: Dawn@ lorettalarocheproductions.com or 508-746-3998, x 15.
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Dancing photos courtesy of dance art wheels
by mandy mulliez
Monday nights are particularly exciting in the Cardenas household in Sturbridge as 11-year-old Elaina, her mom, dad, and brother gather around the TV to watch their favorite show - ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. Elaina is such a big fan of ballroom dancing that when one of the show’s stars, Tony Dovolani, visited Worcester earlier this year, she and her family were able to arrange to meet him. Inspired by the visit, Elaina asked her mom, Deanne, to help find a studio where she could begin dancing herself. Elaina was born with the birth defect spina bifida and is in a wheelchair; the possibility of moving from being a spectator to being on the dance floor herself was an exciting prospect. “Elaina likes to do anything and everything,” Deanne said. “She’s been in Girl Scouts since first grade, she loves reading, writing, swimming, music and hanging out with her friends. She also has a true passion for dance. We wanted to find a dance studio where she could have the possibility of trying ballroom dancing in her wheelchair.” Deanne contacted American Dance Wheels Foundation near Philadelphia, PA, a nonprofit organization that teaches Wheelchair Ballroom and Latin Dance. The founder of ADWF directed her to a studio in East Hartford, CT 22 DECEMBER2013 23
citurm, TV C’s ha en ni, he to
her dio elf. ect he ecelf
evin ves nd lso ed uld om
nce delhat tin ed CT
photos courtesy of dance art wheels
ing Like a Star
called Dance Art Wheels - the only one of its kind in the New England area. Marcin and Nicole Leszczynski are the dance directors of Dance Art CT, which incorporates Dance Art Wheels. Marcin, a Polish native, has been dancing and competing in Ballroom and Latin Dancing for 18 years and in wheelchair dancing for 12 years. While living in Poland, he was one of the choreographers of the Polish version of Dancing with the Stars. Nicole, originally from Germany, has been dancing and competing in Ballroom and Latin dancing for 14 years. She has worked with the German Red Cross to organize and teach events for children and adults with mental or physical special needs. Throughout both of their professional teaching careers, they led many amateurs to titles in the dance world, including wheelchair dancing. Wheelchair dancing began in Sweden in 1968, originally for recreation or rehabilitation and grew over the next several years in popularity. The first competition was held in Sweden in the 1970s. The first World Championship was held in Japan in 1998. It has become a well-respected and popular activity with dancers in more
than 40 countries. Nicole says that although wheelchair dancing is a long standing tradition in other parts of the world, it has yet to really catch on in the United States. “We find it’s a cultural thing,” she said. “In Europe, we treat everyone the same whether they are sitting or standing. You will regularly find people in wheelchairs taking classes with non-disabled dancers. No one thinks anything of it - it’s very normal.” When Marcin and Nicole came to the United States a few years ago, they saw a lot of children in wheelchairs and wanted to help. “We are both certified to teach wheelchair dancing,” Nicole said. “When we went through training, we both danced in wheelchairs ourselves. It’s important that we understand exactly how to explain it to our students. The person who is in the chair needs to be able to recognize direction and move themselves. From there, we can show them a lot of possibilities in the world of dance.” Elaina and Deanne drive 45 minutes on the weekends to attend private dance lessons at Dance Art Wheels. Marcin is Elaina’s instructor and dance partner. When Elaina first began lessons, Nicole remembers that
she was very shy. “Her confidence was low, and she wasn’t sure she could do it,” Nicole said. “But she really loves it. After even three or four lessons, she began to develop a dancer’s attitude and confidence. It was amazing to see how she changed.” Elaina participated in her first performance at the end of October of this year for a crowd of over 80 people, including veterans in the Wounded Warrior Project. “I was nervous, but excited! I got to perform the Rumba to a song by my favorite band, One Direction!” she said. “We love that she can dance to her favorite music and really enjoy it,” Nicole said. “People were amazed by her performance. It was very emotional and she received a standing ovation of several minutes. I feel like wheelchair dancing really changes people’s lives for the better.” Dancing is a largely social activity and Nicole explained that often people in wheelchairs believe they won’t get to participate in many social rites of passage that involve dancing. “Elaina had wondered if she would be able to dance at her prom,” Nicole recalled. “I hate to see when a dis-
ability crushes kids’ dreams, because she absolutely can dance at her prom. There was also a report on 20/20 with Barbara Walters earlier this year about a groom in a wheelchair who learned to dance for his wedding. Those social things are often largely given up, and they don’t have to be.” Dance Art Wheels and the Cardenas family hope to continue to promote awareness about wheelchair dancing and all the possibilities for those living their lives with a disability. December is an exciting month for the sport as The International Paralympic Committee will hold the IPC Wheelchair Dance Sport World Championships in Tokyo, Japan on December 7-8. It will feature over 200 athletes from 26 countries. Nicole is passionate about the future of wheelchair dancing. “So many people in wheelchairs have a lot of physical ability…why shouldn’t they be able to go dancing?” she said. Mandy Mulliez is a freelance writer, photographer and mother of two living in Needham, MA. More information about photography can be found at www.mandymulliezphotography.com, and she can be reached at email@example.com. BAYSTATEPARENT 22 23
24 DECEMBER2013 25
JUNK DRAWERS A LITTLE OF THIS, A LITTLE OF THAT
MADE WITH LOVE To Rachel VanNatten, jewelry is very personal. She made her first piece for herself, then some of her friends saw her wearing it and asked where she had gotten it. After she told them she made it, they asked her to make them
each one, and the business was born. She quickly setup an Etsy shop (etsy. com/shop/rachelvannattenjewelry) and has since shipped pieces all over the world. Her business continues to grow beyond anything she ever imag-
ined, but her focus remains on making pieces of jewelry that offer a personal connection for the owner/wearer, hand-crafting one piece at a time, hand stamping one letter at a time. Her hope is that each piece will reflect the unique
personality of each of her customers, whether it be your children’s names or an inspirational saying you hold dear to your heart. Hand stamped jewelry is that personal touch that you can carry with you every day.
TAKING CARE OF MOMS
EASY CREAM OF TOMATO SOUP 2 cups of chicken broth 4 or 5 large ripe tomatoes (4 to 5 cups) 1/3 cup onion ½ cup celery ½ tsp. sugar ½ to 1 cup light cream Peel, seed and dice tomatoes, coarsely chop onion and celery. Simmer the following ingredients together until vegetables are soft in approximately 30 minutes. Amount of cream depends on the flavor of tomatoes. Correct seasoning and add salt, if necessary. Serve hot or chilled and topped with croutons or chopped dill or basil. Try it chilled topped with bacon which has been crisply cooked and crumbled. Puree mixture and return to pan. Gently heat through. *Recipe courtesy of WilsonFarm.com
KEEP CALM AND EAT CHOCOLATE That’s Laulita Kelly’s motto. Doesn’t everyone smile when you give them chocolate? She’s always loved candy. From good old fashioned gumball machines to 5 cent candy…and way beyond! One day, while walking through the local craft store, Laulita stopped to look at the chocolate molds and they intrigued her. She purchased some supplies and headed home to make chocolate lollipops and instantly fell in love! Her family and friends began to ask her to make them lollipops to use as party favors. That is when the idea to open a shop began to form. Since she’s opened her Etsy shop, she has made favors for baby showers, kid’s birthdays, graduation parties, weddings, themed parties, fundraisers, holidays and many more. With every order she delivers, she feels like she’s part of the party! For more information, visit bombons.etsy.com.
The journey to create Mommy’s Event BFF has been extraordinary for founder Ceylan Rowe. After surviving an earthquake that killed 20,000 in 1999, Ceylan decided to spend her life helping people. She organized her first conference on domestic violence. Flash forward to when Ceylan sat at home late one evening while her family was sleeping and cried. She was tired of being her family’s servant, she was frumpy, and she realized that she lost herself. For her 30th birthday, she traveled to Europe alone to find her individuality and mission. During her travels, some recurring questions came up: how do we appreciate moms, help mothers who have chosen to stay home with children back into the corporate world or start their own businesses, and how do we help other women find their own passions? She found that other moms felt the same way. She was compelled to create events to help moms live the lives that they’ve always dreamed of! Mommy’s Event BFF is all about celebrating, honoring and helping Super Moms. They organize events to discuss all the topics moms are interested in. Every Monday they feature a Super Mom. They also feature a Mommy Must Have, Mommy Owned Business and charities. For more information, visit mommyseventbff.com.
‘POST’ MARK, SANTA’S MISFIT POSTMAN Mark Perry is a former journalist and has set foot on all seven continents. He founded the website northpolepostman.com, the cornerstone to his character ‘Post’ Mark, the elf who works in Santa’s mailroom. In his debut children’s book ‘Post’ Mark – Santa’s Misfit Postman, one discovers the magic that is possible when true to themselves in spite of others who may taunt. When he is not busy in Santa’s mailroom, Perry works from his hometown in North Attleboro. For more information about the book, visit northpolepostman.com.
Junk Drawers strives to highlight the products, people and places of Massachusetts. Have an idea? Email firstname.lastname@example.org. BAYSTATEPARENT 24 25
CREATING A CIRCLE OF HOPE by mandy mulliez
In a small house on a quiet side street in Needham, there are miracles happening every day. What started as one woman’s personal crusade to serve the poor has become a thriving nonprofit organization. Circle of Hope was founded in 2008 by Barbara Waterhouse, a Westwood resident, with a mission to serve those in need while promoting their dignity and well-being when they need it most. It is a bridge between those who have more than enough and those who don’t have even the basic necessities. They provide essential items to men, women and children living inhomeless shelters by collecting, sorting and distributing donated clothes, linens and toiletries. Their work enables the shelters to give their clients exactly what they need in the moment: a pair of shoes for a 3-year old girl, a “Welcome Baby Bag” for a mom and her newborn, or a warm winter jacket for an elderly gentleman who doesn’t own one. The organization has been in operation for five years, but its roots began many years prior when two women were asked by a homeless man for a pair of gloves. They had nothing 26 DECEMBER2013 27
to give him. In 1989, Barbara, Circle of Hope’s founder and executive director, was 31 and working full time as an environmental scientist for a large multi-national engineering consulting firm. She and her husband Jay had a 2-year-old son and were getting ready to welcome their second child. Then, out of the blue, their lives changed. Jay suffered catastrophic injuries while attempting to save two elderly neighbors in a house fire. He was hospitalized for a year and returned home with a host of complex medical challenges. Their daughter was born during that time, and the entire family found themselves struggling to adjust to a radically different life. Barbara went back to work part-time but was most often needed at home with her family. When she was laid off a few years after returning to work, it proved to be a turning point. “It was a moment of both panic and reflection,” she said. “I needed to figure out not only how to care for my family but also move forward to the next phase of life.” She was able to begin her own consulting business,
which allowed her flexibility to be with her husband and children. During that time, she and her family experienced first-hand the significance of receiving support from the community. “We were shored up by a lot of compassion from people around us,” she said. “The kindness of strangers can literally change your life. We were in a place of trusting other people when we were vulnerable. Building on that trust, our family found a new way of looking at the world.” Barbara also found strength in her faith, and she and her family joined Christ Episcopal Church in Needham in 1998. She became involved in volunteerism at the church and learned about the Garage Ministries, where one woman, Carolyn Panasevich, collected clothing donations and household items in her garage. Carolyn kept her garage open 24 hours a day, organizing donations and delivering them once a month to homeless shelters in Boston. Carolyn started her work through Cooperative Metropolitan Ministries, a collaboration of 60 different faith communities with the idea of forming urban/suburban partnerships. As a board member, she helped form three homeless shelters. When they were up and running, she started serving them - collecting items in her garage and doing her best to deliver exactly what was needed to each shelter. Barbara was inspired and before long she asked Carolyn if she could help with a delivery—a delivery that would change both of their lives. That day, they brought clothes to a loading dock in Roxbury, where a woman repurposed donated food for needy families in the area. She employed men who had been formerly incarcerated and couldn’t get jobs elsewhere. “It was a brutal part of the winter, and it was snowing that night,” Barbara remembered. “A man who was working at the dock approached us to ask if we had gloves for him. He had a plastic bag over his head and nothing else to keep him warm. I can still picture his very large hands. We had nothing that fit him. He thanked us and walked away.” As the two women got in their car, Barbara began to cry, overwhelmed by the need they had seen and sad
that they did not have what the man needed. Carolyn turned to her and said, “You don’t need to worry… because we’re coming back.” In that instant, a light came on and Barbara knew this was exactly what she needed to do. For the next seven years, Barbara worked closely with Carolyn. In 2003, Barbara and another member of the church, Paula Beckerle, took over the Garage Ministries when Carolyn became too frail. The two women continued in a manner that they affectionately dubbed “Carolyn-style.” “We were shameless!” Barbara said. “We asked everyone we knew for anything they had. We did deliveries about twice a month to five shelters and took everything we could. I would occasionally get calls at home from the shelters for specific items. There would be a sense of urgency for a little girl who needed a winter jacket or a shelter that needed sheets for their beds.” They continued with their work until a time when they both felt deeply they needed to do even more. “The economy was getting worse and homelessness was on the rise. I became convinced that we needed to mobilize the entire community,” Barbara said. “Needham is a place where we have more than we need, while 8 miles away people are hungry, cold and suffering with no proper clothing to look for a job or go to work and school.” Barbara had an idea: If their church volunteer program could become a bona fide nonprofit, they could invite businesses to join, recruit more volunteers and get monetary donations to buy the things they didn’t collect. Four months later, with a team of advisors offering guidance, they succeeded in becoming incorporated as a nonprofit organization. In October 2008, Circle of Hope was officially born. “We’ve grown thoughtfully,” Barbara said. “We serve 15 shelters and programs now with careful criteria to determine if they are a good fit for us. We want to pick those that are underserved. We don’t align ourselves with programs that have the capacity to have huge corporate partnerships. We are looking for organizations that meet people where they are in their moment of need.” Their 15 programs represent a spectrum of overnight shelters, domestic violence shelters in
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protected locations, family shelters and places that support refugees struggling for economic independence. A shelter director recently told Barbara that Circle of Hope is changing lives every day. “How do you not get up and want to do more when you hear that? We’re a safety net for vulnerable people. We let them know that someone they have never met cares deeply about them,” she said. “We hold out hope for people when they might not have it for themselves. I don’t expect anyone to be grateful - we don’t need to be thanked. If someone was destitute, and they are healthier in that day, then that’s enough for me - to have eased suffering in that moment. The reality is some people will die homeless and poor. But I don’t want them to die invisible.” The face of homelessness has changed over the years and statistics show that the average age of a homeless person in Massachusetts is age 8. The fastest growing homeless population is children under the age of 5. “Homeless children particularly are often invisible, and they shouldn’t be,” Barbara emphasized. “We want them to shine and wear beautiful clothing, just like our own children. And even more importantly, we have to clothe the mother of those children so she can take better care of them. It’s essential to see the whole picture.” Barbara hopes to see Circle of Hope continue to grow. “I always feel a sense of urgency that while we are doing incredible, essential and wonderful work, we need to be doing more,” she said. “We’ve got the formula now. We have energetic volunteers and donors. They fold, categorize and bring donations to the shelters. We know how to mobilize the community and get things to people who need them immediately. But we
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even greater capacity.” Logistically, Barbara said, Circle of Hope needs to be able to move items more quickly, thus allowing room for even more donations. They are in need of a van dedicated to Circle of Hope deliveries, gas cards to fuel it, additional monetary donations to buy items they don’t immediately have in stock (like new underwear), and they need to hire at least one paid staff person. “We are a generous community here - we have a lot to give,” she said. “And I feel strongly that we can do better for the people suffering around us.” Barbara urges readers to visit Circle of Hope at circleofhopeonline.org to make a monetary donation or call to arrange a tour of the Circle of Hope headquarters in Needham. “I like people to come visit, try us out, and then make a commitment to volunteer,” she said. “Find the piece that moves you and commit to our team. And never come empty handed!” A favorite quote of Circle of Hope is, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has,” by Margaret Mead.
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through their grief by judith boyko
randma’s health has been declining, and her body finally gave up. Uncle Joe, who was the picture of strength, suffered a sudden heart attack that instantly shut his body down. A family friend was in a tragic car accident that immediately took her life. When a loved one dies, it is hard enough for us as adults to cope. However, although we may be able to navigate through our grief once we are able to process a loss, children – especially young ones – have a more difficult time coping with their own grief and fears surrounding death. Although we cannot - and should not try to - protect them from the death of a loved one, we can help our children feel safe and try to help them understand loss and their feelings about it. “Children are expected to feel a sense of loss and pain,” said Pamela Fishman, LSW, CHP-SW, social worker with the Natick Visiting Nurse Association. “As parents, we don’t want to see our children hurt, but we have to allow them to grieve and support them through it.” Fishman adds that children should be encouraged to experience painful emotions so they can work through their mourning and come to a 28 DECEMBER2013 29
resolution with the grieving process. “All of us – adults and children alike – unfortunately will experience death.” Managing grief is different at each stage of childhood. However, encouraging an expression of emotions in response to the death of a loved one at any stage will help children develop healthy coping mechanisms and communication skills that will benefit them long after they have entered adulthood. As parents, it is our responsibility to explain to our children that such feelings as sadness, guilt, anger and anxiety are all very normal. It is important to let young children know that we empathize with them and are readily available to listen to them. Encourage your children to share their favorite stories of the loved one. Allow them to ask questions and answer them in a capacity they can understand at their respective ages. If you are unsure of how to answer a particular question, guide the conversation so your child can devise the answer on her own. Remember that you won’t always have all of the answers.
Young children Parents have a responsibility to young
children to communicate clearly without sharing too much information that might further confuse them. Telling a young child that a loved one has died can be too vague, as the idea of death as irreversible is a difficult concept to grasp. Using euphemisms in your explanation is also ill-advised. Children take things very literally. If you tell your child that “grandma is sleeping,” that explanation may foster new feelings of fear when it comes to naptime or bedtime. Therefore, using basic language and being direct will benefit a child in the long run. For example, children may understand that someone’s body does not work anymore due to illness or injury, and that even doctors were not able to help. As they grieve, young children may regress to behaviors they have already outgrown, including bed-wetting, talking like an infant and demanding special attention. Children may also become angry and even aggressive; all of these behaviors are typical. However, according to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, if a young child experiences a prolonged period of depression that includes a loss of interest in “normal” activities; withdrawal from their
friends; refusal to go to school; loss of appetite or fear of being alone; or acting younger than their age for an extended period of time, it may be time to seek the help of a professional. Social workers, a psychiatrist who specializes in children, or other mental health professionals are all qualified to help your child navigate the confusing grief process. A variety of tools to help parents explain death to young children is available from Sesame Workshop (www.sesameworkshop.org).
School-aged children Grieving for school-age children manifests itself in emotions such as sadness, anger, guilt and loneliness. Although they have a limited understanding of death’s finality, they are best served with honest, simple and accurate explanations. It is encouraging for children to see their own parents go through the grief process to help them understand that the varying emotions they may be feeling are completely normal – and healthy. In addition to talking about their feelings, grieving children can benefit from other types of expression, like
of self-harming behavior if he was especially close to the person who died or were present when the person died. Additionally, a child without a strong personal support network or one who suffers from depression or other mental illness, according to NASP, may develop high-risk behaviors, like turning to alcohol or other substances. Professional intervention in these cases is strongly recommended.
How to help children of all ages
art, play or dance. Ask them to draw a picture and describe what it depicts, for example. Perhaps your child will tell you about the way one of the characters in the picture is feeling, who is in the picture and so forth. This type of conversation can be a good outlet for emotional expression. Typical feelings for a grieving schoolaged child include fluctuating moods, denial, anger and lack of concentration. However, when a child begins to complain about headaches and stomach problems; displays increased anxiety; has constant nightmares or develops a fear of the dark, professional help may be warranted. Elementary school-aged children may even feel guilty about the death somehow being their fault.
Pre-teens When children reach middle school, they can grasp the concept of death as permanent and irreversible and recognize that death eventually happens to every living being. They also know it will someday happen to them. Because of this understanding, children in this age group might feel more adult-like emotions. For example, they may feel a responsibility to protect
another person who is grieving or feel that they have to put up a “front” to minimize their sense of sadness and vulnerability. As younger children may benefit from expressing grief through artwork or dance, children in their pre-teen years can benefit from similar creative outlets like writing, playing, listening to music or engaging in athletic activities. They also can benefit from talking to someone they know and trust to help them navigate their feelings. “Parents should talk openly and honestly about death with their children; no subject should be offlimits,” said Fishman. “Validating their emotions and expressing your own goes a long way in helping children open up about their own feelings.” Common reactions to loss for this age group include crying, drop in academic performance, isolation and withdrawal, disrupted sleep patterns, problems with their friends and aggression. However, because of their more advanced understanding, there are certain risk factors, according to the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), about which parents should be aware. A child may be at an increased risk
Children look to their parents for social cues and emotional support. During the grieving process, it is important to take care of yourself, because “grieving children do better when they have a healthy adult providing support and understanding,” according to the National Alliance for Grieving Children (NAGC). The NAGC also suggests that parents must acknowledge their children’s grief and allow them to experience it in a way that comes naturally to them. Let them feel the wide range of emotions that present themselves and reassure your child that you are there for them through it all. When children are sad or afraid, tell them stories of times when you felt the same way. Knowing that a parent has gone through similar experiences enables them to feel more normal about how they are feeling. Finally, reminiscing about loved ones and memorializing them can bring comfort to children during a difficult time. “Light a memory candle, draw a picture or do something that will make you feel connected to that special person, like planting a tree or perennials that inspire new life,” said Fishman. She also suggests making a memory box, photo collage or writing a poem to the loved one about the grief you and your children are feeling. Judith Boyko, MBA, MS, RN, is CEO of Century Health Systems and Natick Visiting Nurse Association. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. For additional information, visit www. centuryhealth.org or www.natickvna.org.
The Grief Process Although grief does not follow a specified pattern, there are common stages that children and adolescents may experience with varying sequence and intensity. The general stages of the grief process are: • Denial (unwillingness to discuss the loss) • Anger or guilt (blaming others for the loss) • Sorrow or depression (loss of energy, appetite or interest in activities) • Bargaining (attempts to regain control by making promises or changes in one’s life) • Acceptance or admission (acceptance that loss is final, real significant and painful) Source: National Association of School Psychologists Massachusetts grieving resources hellogrief.org/resources/ massachusetts/
Resources for grief counseling services: Comfort Zone Camp; Sandwich/Boston comfortzonecamp.org Children’s Room; Arlington (75 city locations throughout MA) childrensroom.org The Good Grief Program; Boston goodgriefprogram.org Grief After a Substance Passing (GRASP); Salem grasphelp.com/grasp_chapters. htm (Click on Salem, MA chapter) Samaritans Home: Suicide Prevention; Boston & Framingham samritansofboston.org Camp Erin; Boston moyerfoundation.org/programs/ CampErin.aspx Beacon Hospice; Various locations throughout MA beaconhospice.com Jeff’s Place; Wayland, MA jeffsplacemetrowest.org Rick’s Place; Wilbraham ricksplacema.org The Garden; Northampton garden-cgc.org *information courtesy of hellogrief.org. BAYSTATEPARENT 28 29
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What does it mean to you to be a coach at SHS? OR What lead you to being a coach at SHS? I was a cheerleader for Shrewsbury when I was in high school, so it felt like a natural fit for me to seek the coaching job at SHS when it became available eight years ago. I really couldn’t picture myself coaching at any other high school. When I took the job, it was my goal to build the team into the well-respected, championship program it is today. Winning our first ever state title this past March was the culmination of eight years of hard work. How would you describe what it means to be a “champion” in any field? “Champions” are respected for their hard work, dedication, and excellence, which are all attributes that allow them to excel at the highest level. What are the unique qualities in the cheer team that makes them CSB Champions? We never settle for less than our best and we take pride in looking polished and professional, whether we’re performing on the sidelines of a game, at a pep rally for the school, or on the competition floor. It is difficult to make the Shrewsbury Cheer Team, as we require certain skills to be considered for the team, and the girls who make it consider it an honor to be part of a winning program. In what way are they leaders in the school? All athletes at SHS are held to a much higher standard than the rest of the student body. They are expected to represent SHS by making smart decisions and acting in a professional and mature manner, both in and out of school. What moment is the one you are most proud of? As a coach, I have two proud moments: The first time we won a league title in the fall of 2008; and when we won a state championship in the winter of 2013. Both titles were achieved after years of hard work and the league title in 2008 was the first step toward our ultimate goal, which was the state championship. We won numerous league and regional titles in between, but those two had the most meaning to me.
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Meet Santa Claus
This month, Santa Claus took time out of his busy schedule getting ready for Christmas and was able to sit down to be interviewed by baystateparent. Now that December has come, you can visit Santa at Harvey’s Farm, 7 Maple Ave., Westborough on Sunday, Dec. 8 from 1 to 4 p.m. and Thursday, Dec. 19 from 5 to 8 p.m.
Take 8 with Santa:
What’s the most special gift a child has asked you for? “Please help my sister get over her cancer.” The elves put in a special effort for the request.
Tell me the funniest thing that has happened to you? Having a full-sized golden retriever in my lap, dressed as me, was rather odd.
What do you like most about being Santa? Spending time with the kids is the best, especially the ones still believing in me. When someone believes in you, it makes all the difference.
What’s your favorite Christmas movie? A Christmas Story. The 1983 movie was filmed in Cleveland (where Santa spent much of his youth) and so much of the material in the movie is true. Higbees really did decorate their windows; now the building is a casino. The family house in the movie has been restored and is a museum dedicated to the movie (achristmasstoryhouse.com)!
Has anyone tried to pull off your beard? Multiple times an hour. Every time it happens I quickly lean forward because it hurts!
What’s your favorite Christmas song? There’s something about “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire” that Santa likes as a song (The Christmas Song was written in 1944 by musician, composer, and vocalist Mel Tormé). As a tune, Sleigh Ride by the Boston Pops is tops!
How do you keep the magic in Christmas? Christmas is a joyous time and we must focus on the joy. So Santa does things to help others. And I can help others year round, not just in December.
38 DECEMBER2013 39
What tips do you have for parents if their child is apprehensive about meeting you? Backing up to Santa and then passing a little one to me often helps a parent get a quick picture before shear panic and tears set in. Otherwise let the child acclimate to my bigger than life persona. If the child just doesn’t want to see me, and feels strongly about it, don’t force it; let the child visit next year.
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SEPARATED for the
HOLIDAYS: How Families Celebrate when a Service Member is Deployed by tracey prohaska carroll
hen Hannah Moore found out her father was getting deployed, she immediately thought of all of the things he would miss that year. “It was especially hard to envision him missing the holidays because that’s not something I had experienced since I was 7, and he had been deployed for a year,” said Hannah, the 18-year-old daughter of Sargent First Class Moore of the Army National Guard. “Holidays are such a big family event that I couldn’t comprehend celebrating without him.” Hannah and her family live in Orange and are one of the many families who have experienced the holidays without a beloved service member. There are so many reasons to be thankful to the brave men and women who serve our country, but we can’t forget the added sacrifices they and their families make by not being able to spend the holidays together at times.
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Debra Wilder, from Westminster, is a mom of two and wife of Major Nathan Wilder of the Massachusetts Army National Guard. She remembers what it was like when her oldest and only child at the time, Cannon, was just 2 years old and her husband was deployed to Iraq in 2006. “Nate and I helped Cannon stay connected to him while he was deployed,” Wilder said. “I had a Flat Daddy made.” Flat Daddies and Flat Mommies are life-size photos of deployed service members. They are provided to help children better cope with the separation they experience when a parent is away from home for long periods of time (flatdaddies.com). “Cannon would cuddle up with his Flat Daddy and we’d take it wherever we went. On Christmas, when Cannon woke up, I ran downstairs and used Yahoo Instant Messenger to get Nate on the computer. Nate was able to watch Cannon open gifts and he would hold up each unwrapped present to the computer so his dad could see. Nate even told Cannon that Santa had been to visit him and showed some of the gifts he had received,” Wilder said. Since that time Wilder has become lead child and youth program coordinator for the Massachusetts National Guard. Having dealt with it first hand, she wants families and service members to know that there are a variety of useful resources available to stay connected in these situations. One in particular is an article written by Melissa Riker for www.militaryfamily. com. In the piece, Riker provides suggestions ranging from keeping a thankful list along with your service member when you can be in contact, to having two copies of the same book and reading together as well as adapting old traditions to incorporate input from your service member afar. While the Moore family wasn’t as lucky to have a good Internet connection where their loved one was, they were
able to stay connected in other ways. They sent small care packages to Afghanistan and S.F.C. Moore was able to call and talk to everyone during their Christmas celebration. Moore’s mom purchased gifts for her and her brother Aaron after coordinating by phone with her husband as well. “He does get a couple of weeks of leave time, but obviously not everyone can take that over the holidays, and he wasn’t going to deprive one of his soldiers who had little kids,” Moore said. “I remember crying when my grandfather prayed for my dad and all of the people who were missing from their family dinners that year. You do have to remember the job he is doing and be brave because they have to be brave, too. You can be brave and sad at the same time, though.” Moore, with plenty of experience,
“In 2003, he was deployed to Baqubah, Iraq. His wife Casey and 3-year-old son Christopher spent the holidays with us. We mailed all of my brother’s gifts to him and were only able to talk to him by phone,” Putnam said. “In 2006, he was deployed to Baghdad, Iraq. Once again, his wife and (now) two sons spent the holidays with us. On Christmas day, keeping with an annual tradition, we all put on matching Christmas jammies and headed to my parents’ where we would all communicate with my brother via webcam. He, too, was in his Christmas jammies, and we were able to watch each other open presents.” The last time he was deployed during the holidays, the family received an amazing gift. “In 2009, he was in Afghanistan,” she said. “We had mailed all of his
You do have to remember the job he is doing and be brave because they have to be brave too. You can be brave and sad at the same time though.” has suggestions for families who may encounter being separated in the future. “Celebrate early if you can,” she said. “Especially if you have little kids, try to keep things as normal as possible. That’s what we did when I was 7 and my brother was 5. Neither of us remembers that time as a sad event.” Sometimes the magic of the holiday season can bring unexpected gifts to a military family, like the one the McHugh family, of Petersham, received in 2009. Michelle Putnam is the sister of Major Jeremy McHugh, United States Army. She has been apart from her brother over three separate holiday seasons.
gifts to him, expecting to Skype on Christmas day. Per the usual, his wife and kids were staying with my parents. On Christmas morning, my sister-inlaw (McHugh’s wife, Casey) said she had a surprise for everyone. We were sitting in the living room with the kids opening their stockings, and she told us my brother would be flying in that afternoon.” Putnam described the moment as one filled with excitement and elation. They spent the rest of the morning having the kids make signs to greet him at the airport. When it was time to leave, the whole family piled into three cars, anticipating the moment they would see him step off the plane.
“My mother remembers the afternoon at the airport so clearly,” Putnam said. “She said it seemed like a regular day, everyone going about their business, some appearing not to be thrilled about traveling on Christmas Day. Then our soldier appeared, my brother. She remembers how happy all of us were, of course, and that the happiness and smiles were shared by everyone in the airport. People he didn’t even know were thrilled to see a U.S. soldier being reunited with his family on Christmas Day.” There’s no better Christmas gift. While it turned out to be a wonderful present for the McHugh family back in 2009, most service members who are deployed have to find unique ways to celebrate with family from afar. Thanks to advancements in technology, the opportunity to see loved ones through the Internet with video chat sessions is one way. Like with the families here, though, it’s not always an option. Other ways families can stay connected while apart can again be found at www.militaryfamily.com, where even non-military families can find ways to support our troops during the holidays. Whether you’re directly affected by a service member’s absence or just want to send holiday cheer as a way of thanking those who serve and protect, there are several organizations that can help. Another great way to reach out to the troops is through Holiday Mail for Heroes by the Red Cross. It has a great program to get holiday cards to our troops. Care packages can be sent through Operation Touch of Home in Orange. Tracey Prohaska Carroll is a freelance writer, wife and mother of one from Athol. She enjoys spending time with her family at the lake home, fixing it up. When she’s not writing, filling the roles of wife or mother, you’ll find her listening to music, reading or boxing for fitness. You can reach her by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Chr stmas B rthdays Making the Holidays More Special by christine m. quirk
December is a busy month in the Nelson household in Clinton. Along with the usual Christmas preparations, all three Nelson children have December birthdays. This year, Raena will be 11 on the 8th, Jeremy will be 21 on the 21st and Josh will be 6 on the 24th. Even with the chaos of the holiday, Kara Nelson said she and her husband, Tom, have always made birthdays a special occasion and separate from the holiday. “They never go without,” Kara said. “They always get their bikes in the spring – they don’t miss anything.” Julia Bourque of West Boylston is a third-generation December baby. Julia, who will be 11 this month, has a dad, uncle and grandmother all with December birthdays, so her family is expert in juggling birthday and holiday celebrations. “I think having a child with a December birthday would have been a little overwhelming without having watched my mom,” Tammy Bourque, Julia’s mom, said. “But my brother’s birthday is Dec. 12, so my mom set a good example.” Mary Palmer, Tammy’s mother and Julia’s grandmother, has a Dec. 19 birthday and said that her experiences taught her what not to do. “I had presents wrapped in Christmas paper, and I was also told I’d get my
birthday present at Christmas,” she said. “But then I got the same as everyone else. I kept an eye on that.” Dave Taylor, who lives in Clinton has a December birthday along with a child whose birthday is also in December. Dave’s birthday is Dec. 28; son Spencer will be 13 on Dec. 15. “In general, my birthday was overshadowed,” Dave said. “I’d get a bunch of presents and be told that was for both occasions. But I used to count [presents at my sisters’ birthdays], and it was never fair.” All the families agreed that birthday presents should not be wrapped in Christmas paper – Mary said she never even used red and green -- and birthday celebrations should be entirely separate from the big holidays. “We try to get all the decorations down for the party,” Tammy said. “On Julia’s birthday we celebrate with the four of us (Tammy, Julia, dad Paul and sister Megan) and any immediate family who might be visiting. Then the friend party is usually in January. Because it falls between Christmas and New Year’s, it’s hard to have it earlier because people travel for the holidays.” The Taylors have a similar tradition in their home. “Laura [Spencer’s mom] was always a fan of having it totally separate,” Dave said. “We have a little party with cake
*Music Lessons & Classes *All Ages & Skill Levels *All Instruments & Voice *All are Welcome!
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and ice cream and a few friends, and then the main party is in January… Dec. 15 is enough beforehand that we could do it separately, but in general December is just a bad month because it goes right from Thanksgiving into Christmas.” Stephanie and Chris Tencati of Clinton adjust the calendar the other way – their daughter, Desarae, will be 11 on Dec. 27 and her party is generally in November. “If her birthday falls on a weekday, Chris and I will take the day off, and we do something of Desarae’s choice,” Stephanie said. “She always has the day off for her birthday because it always falls during school break.” Being born in December doesn’t mean birthdays are any less significant. “I make it a very special day for them,” Kara said. “I have a niece who is born on Christmas Day, and she and Josh share their birthday on Christmas. She’s 11 years older, and she was more excited than we were when he was born. It’s very sweet – we have the family together so we sing to them. For Josh, the 24th is his birthday and the 25th is Christmas. … Raena likes the glitz and glam of the holiday because the house is decorated, but she’s not competing with the holiday.” While Tammy Bourque said her daughter doesn’t get fewer gifts, she noted Julia’s December birthday
presents an additional problem: Volume. So she’s come up with a solution. “Within five days, she gets so many gifts, I put half in her closet,” Tammy said. “She unwraps them and chooses some and I take away the others. Then in September when school starts, or over the summer when other kids are celebrating birthdays, we can pull out something new. Or in the middle of the summer, if she says, ‘I’m bored,’ we pull it out and say, ‘There you go.’” In fact, one year Julia asked for donations for Jacob Roy, a classmate who at that time was recovering from a series of seizures. “She said she’d gotten a lot at Christmas, and she didn’t really need anything else,” Tammy said. Mostly, the families agreed: Having a December birthday doesn’t complicate the holidays as much as make them a little more special. After all, what’s better than celebrating the reasons one is a parent? “We’re just lucky they each have their own day, and none of them doubled up,” Kara Nelson said. “We joke they have a monopoly on special days in December: The Feast of the Immaculate Conception, the first day of winter, and Christmas Eve.” Christine Quirk is a Central Mass. freelance writer and mom of two children.
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Congratulations! Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away! - dr. seuss
photo courtesy of the hanover theatre
GO SING: Don’t miss Christmas by Candlelight at Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge ongoing through Dec. 22.
photo courtesy of the puppet showplace theatre
photo courtesy of the stoneham theatre
photo courtesy of old sturbridge village
GO CAROL: Come to A Christmas Carol at the Hanover Theatre in Worcester ongoing through Dec. 22.
GO BELIEVE: Come to the Stoneham Theatre production of Miracle on 34th Street ongoing through Dec. 29. Tickets start at $45.
GO EXPLORE: Enjoy the classic fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel at the Puppet Showplace Theatre in Brookline from Dec. 19 to Dec. 22. BAYSTATEPARENT 43
Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. 1 Townhouse Road, Weston. Weston Friendly Society presents “Irving Berlin’s White Christmas!” Based on the classic holiday film, this festive stage adaptation is full to the brim with Christmas joy. When Bob Wallace and Phil Davis decide to join their showbiz talents with those of the beautiful Haynes sisters in an effort to save a Vermont bed and breakfast, the resulting blend of heartwarming characters, MGM-style dancing, and well-loved melodies is sure to put you right in the holiday mood! Ongoing through Dec. 7. Westonfriendly.org.
MELTDOWN WARNING: Before you pack up the mini-van, please confirm your destination. Although we’ve done our best to assure accuracy at press time, things can and do change…
photo courtesy of the hanover theatre
Adult Child Youth Member Non-Member Per Person
oh, the places you’ ll go
A C Y M NM PP
Don’t miss The Nutcracker at the Hanover Theatre in Worcester on Sunday, Dec. 1. Tickets start at $24.
1 sunday LEGO ZONE. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. You bring your imagination and they’ll supply the LEGOs. Try your hand at one of the LEGO challenges or build your own unique creation. Add to the community board to inspire your fellow visitors. Drop-in all day Science Discovery Museum. discoverymuseums.org. Sing-A-Long Mary Poppins. Regent Theatre, 7 Medford St., Arlington. For this special engagement, a restored 35mm print of the classic 1964 film has been customized with on-screen lyrics so that audiences can join in the fun by singing along. A movie host will introduce the film and lead the crowd through audience participation activities and demonstrate the use of the complimentary bag of interactive props. Tickets start at $12.50. regenttheatre.com. FREE Public Menorah Lighting on the Boston Common. Boston Common, Tremont and Park Streets, Boston. Join in nightly for Public Menorah Lighting at Boston Common, America’s oldest public park. 4 to 4:45 p.m. Ongoing through Dec. 5. email@example.com. Kids’ Shows Film: An American Tail. Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St., Brookline. From renowned director Don Bluth, this critically-acclaimed, full-length animated triumph chronicles the wideeyed adventures of a courageous little mouse named Fievel. Tickets start at $5. coolidge.org. Magic Soup and Other Stories by Brad Shur. Puppet Showplace Theatre, 32 Station St., Brookline. What do you do when your relatives
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are coming over for dinner, but there’s no food in sight? A young man’s search for a family recipe ends up bringing folk tales to life...in his kitchen. Based on a collection of traditional Yiddish stories, “The Magic Soup” teaches that it is those with wit, humor and imagination who have the best chance of filling their bellies -- and fulfilling their dreams. Recommended for all ages, 3 & up. Tickets start at $8. puppetshowplace.org. Chanukah Storytime at the Museum with PJ Library. 100 Sohier St., Cohasset. Celebrate Chanukah with other local families at this treasure of a museum. You’ll explore the museum, light the menorah, enjoy a Chanukah story, sing songs, do a craft, and taste delicious holiday treats. Bring clean winter coats to donate to children in need. Cost is $15/family. 3 to 5 p.m. To register, visit bostonjcc. org/SouthChanukahMuseum. The Nutcracker. The Duxbury Performing Arts Center, 73 Alden St., Duxbury. Discover the magic and excitement of the holiday season with the timeless tradition of Jose Mateo’s The Nutcracker. Thrilling, magical, inspiring, and affordable, our performances create memories that will last a lifetime. Tickets start at $15. ballettheatre.org. Newburyport’s Santa Parade & Tree Lighting. 1 Market Square, Newburyport. As the holiday season approaches, Santa & Mrs. Claus arrive in the most fitting way for this seaport town... by US Coast Guard boat! Welcome Santa on the Sunday after Thanksgiving as he and Mrs. Claus dock at the boardwalk and begin to parade through downtown Newburyport, then gather in Market Square for the annual Christmas tree lighting and carols. 3:30 to 5 p.m. business.newburyportchamber.org.
The Nutcracker. The Hanover Theatre, 2 Southbridge St., Worcester. Jump start the holiday season with the Nutcracker presented by Ballet Arts Worcester and the Massachusetts Symphony Orchestra. Share the magic and beauty of this beloved Worcester production with your favorite loved ones! Tickets start at $24. thehanovertheatre.org.
2 monday Children in the Shadow: A Seminar About Young Children and Anxiety. Sargent Memorial Library, 427 Mass. Ave., Boxborough. Certified Human Behavior Specialist Jeanine Fitzgerald will talk about the fears, sensitivities and anxieties that may interfere with your child’s learning and interactions. Anxiety is the most common mental health diagnosis in children and adults. The focus of this seminar will be on how to apply scientificallyproven approaches in the home and classroom environments to help anxious children. Handouts will also be available for parents who may need more information on pediatric diagnostic and treatment resources for anxiety in the area. 7 to 8:30 p.m. firstconnections.org. Shadow Puppetry Production Lab by Brad Shur. Puppet Showplace Theatre, 32 Station St., Brookline. Learn to build and perform a complete shadow puppet show in this rigorous and supportive class. Participants will explore advanced mechanisms and building techniques using hinges, rivets, springs and slides crafted from durable materials to create professional quality shadow puppets. Then participants will focus on performance skills and visual storytelling to create an original short piece. 6:30 to 9 p.m. Cost is $200 plus $20 materials fee. puppetshowplace.org. Art and Seek: Penguins. Museum of American Bird Art, 963 Washington St., Canton. A drop-in program for ages 2.5 to 5 with an adult (siblings welcome). Each week is a different theme and will include a story, nature exploration, and art project. When the weather is nice you will spend time outside. 10 to 11 a.m. $5m/$7nm per child/adult pair. Registration is not required. massaudubon.org.
3 tuesday Try It Out Tuesday. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. What’s it going to be?
I Love Lucy! Live On Stage. Citi Emerson Colonial Theatre, 106 Boylston St., Boston. It’s 1952 and you are a member of the Desilu Playhouse studio audience awaiting the filming of two hilarious and oh-so-familiar I LOVE LUCY® episodes. A charming host entertains and enlightens you to the behind-the-scenes filming process of this brand new thing called “television,” the Crystaltone Singers perform advertising jingles in perfect 50s style harmony and the sidesplitting antics of America’s favorite foursome - Lucy, Ricky, Fred and Ethel - are presented live on stage and in color for the very first time! Ongoing through Dec. 22. boston.broadway.com. The Nutcracker. Boston Opera House, 539 Washington St., Boston. Boston Ballet’s renowned production of Mikko Nissinen’s The Nutcracker reclaims the stage for the holiday season. This sparkling classic features costumes and sets by award-winning designer Robert Perdziola and a beloved score by P.I. Tchaikovsky. Ongoing through Dec. 29. Tickets start at $35. bostonballet.org. Island Moving Co. Presents the Newport Nutcracker. Rosecliff, 548 Bellevue Ave., Newport, RI. The Island Moving Co. invites you to join us for our wonderful holiday ballet, A Newport Nutcracker at Rosecliff. Follow our young protagonist throughout the mansion as she celebrates the holiday season with her family, engages in battle with the Mouse Queen, dances with the Snow Queen and travels with her beloved Nutcracker to the magical Land of Sweets. Be seated in the spacious ballroom for the second act, where she is entertained by Sweets from throughout the Land. Ongoing through Dec. 6. islandmovingco.org.
4 wednesday Make A MESS: Feeling Blue. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. Baby blue,
cornflower blue, azure, navy, cobalt, cerulean, there are so many different kinds of blue! Help mix and name your own very own shade. The Make a MESS (Math, Engineering, Science, & Stuff) program series introduces STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) concepts through exploration, imagination, and fun. Funded by The Ramsey McCluskey Family Foundation. 10 a.m. Children’s Discovery Museum. discoverymuseums.org. FETCH! Stack ‘Em Up. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. Build a tower made only out of cups. How high can you go? Remember, the sky’s the limit. ©2013 WGBH Educational Foundation. Drop-in 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Science Discovery Museum. discoverymuseums.org. A Christmas Story, The Musical. Citi Wang Theatre, 270 Tremont St., Boston. Ralphie Parker wants only one thing for Christmas: an official Red Ryder® CarbineAction 200-shot Range Model Air Rifle. A Christmas Story, The Musical is the hilarious account of Ralphie’s desperate quest to ensure that this most perfect of gifts ends up under his tree this Christmas. Directed by Tony Award-winner John Rando and choreographed by Warren Carlyle, this new musical based on the classic 1983 movie, which itself was based on stories by legendary radio humorist Jean Shepherd, features funny and heartfelt songs by Benj Pasek & Justin Paul and a faithful yet inventive book by Joseph Robinette. Ongoing through Dec. 8. citicenter.org/show/1758/ CastleKids StoryHour. Higgins Armory Museum, 100 Barber Ave., Worcester. From damsels in distress to mighty dragons, join in on the first Wednesday of every month as you hear tales of adventure, from well-known fairy tales to modern picture books in the setting of our medieval Great Hall. Great for ages 3 to 5. $12 for adult w/ one child ($8 for museum members). Includes admission, program with craft related to the story, and a snack. higgins.org. Preschool & Toddler Wednesdays. EcoTarium, 222 Harrington Way, Worcester.
photo courtesy of boston children’s theatre
Provide your expert opinion and help prototype a new idea, program, or exhibit component. Participate in shaping future programs and spaces! 10 a.m. Children’s Discovery Classroom. discoverymuseums.org.
Come see The Velveteen Rabbit at the Boston Children’s Theatre in Boston on Saturday, Dec. 7. Tickets are $25.
Join in every week for our special preschool and toddler program. Enjoy a story, meet a live animal, and get creative with a supervised craft activity -- all geared especially for little ones aged 4 and under. These preschool and toddler programs are very popular and space is limited. So, while they are free with admission, tickets are issued at the Ticket & Information Desk on a firstcome, first-served basis. Please note that these programs are designed for families. Ongoing through Dec. 18. ecotarium.org.
5 thursday Peep Science Adventures: Little Builders. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. Try your hand out at construction using different kinds of blocks and materials to create fun structures! © 2013 WGBH Egg Collecting
Educational Foundation.Sponsored by Hologic and MEFA’s U.Fund and Fidelity Investments. 10 a.m. Children’s Discovery Museum. discoverymuseums.org. Thursdays Tales. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. Join in for the weekly story time. They’ll bring the books; you bring your imagination! 11 a.m. Children’s Discovery Classroom. discoverymuseums.org. Exploring Nano: The Smallest Science. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. Join in for hands-on educational activities about nanoscale science, engineering and technology. Explore the nano in your everyday life and discover the special and unexpected properties found at the nanoscale. Drop-in 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Science Discovery Museum. discoverymuseums.org. Ice Skating
Cross Country Skiing
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Snowman Special, 1/3-1/5 Winter Weekend, 1/10-1/12 Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend, 1/17/-1/20 Sled Dog Weekend, 1/24-1/26 Step Back in Time Weekend, 1/31-2/2 Christmas on the Farm December 21
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Children’s Activities BAYSTATEPARENT 44 45
oh, the places you’ ll go A Little Princess. Fiddlehead Theatre Company at the Strand Theatre, 543 Columbia Road, Boston. Fiddlehead Theatre proudly presents the Boston Area premiere of A Little Princess, a musical which tells a beautiful story of heart and imagination in a multicultural world. Based on the 1905 novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett; book and lyrics by Brian Crawley; and music by Andrew Lippa. Tickets start at $25. fiddleheadtheatre.com. Tales from Snowy Lands by Sparky’s Puppets. Puppet Showplace Theatre, 32 Station St., Brookline. Sparky’s Puppets perform a lively medley of stories that all take place on a winter’s day. Watch Jack Frost’s magic bring a snowman to life. Find out what happens when a boastful bear goes ice fishing. And laugh at the antics of three pesky goblins as they visit a toy maker’s shop on a cold and snowy day. Ongoing through Dec. 8. Tickets start at $8. puppetshowplace.org. The Nutcracker. The Sanctuary Theatre, 400 Harvard St., Cambridge. Discover the magic and excitement of the Holiday season with the timeless tradition of Jose Mateo’s The Nutcracker. Thrilling, magical, inspiring, and affordable, our performances create memories that will last a lifetime. José Mateo Ballet Theatre’s Nutcracker is perfect for children of all ages. Choreographed by Artistic Director José Mateo, and inspired by Tchaikovsky’s glorious score,
Mateo’s “Nutcracker” brings Clara’s dream world to life with festive sets, sumptuous costumes, and spectacular dancing. Ongoing through Dec. 15. Tickets start at $38. ballettheatre.org. Polar Express. Edaville USA, 5 Pine St., Carver. Inspired by Chris Van Allsburg’s beloved children’s book, The Polar Express comes to life at Edaville this Christmas! Take a magical ride to the North Pole where Santa will board the train, greet each child, and hand them their own first gift of Christmas. Hot chocolate and cookies will be served on the train by costumed staff while pajama-clad guests enjoy a live reading and carols - all on an authentic steam train. Ongoing through Dec. 28. 4 to 9 p.m. Advance reservations are strongly recommended. edaville.com. Christmas Festival of Lights. Edaville USA, 5 Pine St., Carver. During the Christmas season, Edaville is transformed into a winter wonderland of holiday delights! Passengers relax comfortably in warm and dry coaches while riding through a spectacular holiday setting featuring an explosion of lights. Kids of all ages will enjoy an array of vintage amusement rides and a visit with Santa in one of the indoor play areas. Stay for a delicious full meal or enjoy seasonal treats while roaming the beautifully decorated grounds. 4 to 9 p.m. weekdays & 2 to 9 p.m. on Saturday & Sunday (closed Thanksgiving & Christmas Day). Ongoing through Jan. 1. edaville.com.
Lego Club. Fitchburg Public Library, 610 Main St., Fitchburg. Create and build using the Lego Blocks that we provide. Don’t bring your own unless you are prepared to leave them. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Ongoing through August 2014. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Moms Rock: Sponge Painting. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. Moms—and grandmothers, sisters, aunts, and others—are amazing and spectacular! Explore textures and colors while making a beautiful work of art using sponges to take your home with a special message for mom about staying healthy and strong. Sponsored by Hologic. 10 a.m. Children’s Discovery Museum. discoverymuseums.org.
Story Time, Milk and Cookies. Panera Bread, 321 Arsenal St., Watertown. Children of all ages are invited to come and enjoy a story, complimentary mini-cookie and mini-milk at Panera Bread located at 321 Arsenal St., Watertown. In partnership with the Watertown Free Public Library. First Thursday of month, 10:15 a.m. Preregistration required: call Watertown Free Public Library, 617-972-6435. watertownlib.org/panera-bread-story-time.
Pocket Tech. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. Try out a variety of handson activities that explore the technology of personal electronic devices. With real electronics and interactive models of “software” and “hardware” functions, discover how pocket-sized computers input, store, display, and communicate information to connect to the world. Drop-in 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Science Discovery Museum. discoverymuseums.org. First Friday Nights Free! The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. Join in with free admission and explore the museums at night on the first Friday of every month! Donations for Open Table of Concord and Maynard and the Acton Food Pantry are gratefully accepted. Sponsored in part by Emerson Hospital with additional support from Alexander, Aronson, Finning and Company, P.C. and the Local Cultural
Budding Scientists: What Makes a Shape Strong? EcoTarium, 222 Harrington Way, Worcester. Curious little explorers conduct simple, safe, science and nature experiments in the EcoTarium’s Budding Scientists program. Held on the first Thursday of every month, you and your child will learn basic scientific principles while having fun with hands-on activities. There are two identical sessions each month. Please pick up a ticket for your session at the Information Desk when you arrive at the museum. Limited to first 10 adult-child pairs per session. 10:15 to 10:45 a.m. or 11 to 11:30 a.m. Free with EcoTarium admission. ecotarium.org.
GIVE YOURSELF A GIFT The gift of time with family & friends… enjoying great holiday music!
Worcester Common Oval Opening December 6, 2013 Public Skating December to February Weekends & Holidays Located behind City Hall – 455 Main St. Weather conditions hotline: 508-929-0777
Ticket prices $20-65. Discount on groups of 10 or more!
Saturday, Dec. 14— 3 pm & 8 pm Sunday, Dec. 15—3 pm Memorial Hall, Plymouth
For more information visit www.worcestercommonoval.com
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Councils of Acton-Boxborough, Billerica, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Harvard, Hudson, Leominster, Lexington, Littleton, Maynard, Waltham, Wayland, and Westford. 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Both Museums Open. discoverymuseums.org. FREE A Christmas Carol. Faneuil Hall, Boston. Conceived and composed by Jon Deak, each character is depicted by its instrumental counterpart resulting in the musicians singing, acting, humming, and even clanking the chains of Marley’s ghost. Led by conductor Jeffrey Means, the 10-member Firebird Ensemble is joined by the exquisite vocal and acting abilities of highly acclaimed baritone Aaron Engebreth as narrator. Other familiar holiday music on the program includes A Not-So Traditional Christmas Medley by Cameron Wilson and also a selection of Traditional Christmas Carols with an audience sing-along. 7 p.m. For seat reservations, visit brownpapertickets.com/event/473037. FREE Sowa Artists Guild. Sowa Artists Guild, 450 Harrison Ave., Boston. On the First Friday of every month, over 60 artists open their studios to the public in the heart of the Sowa arts district. Visit artists in their studios, see great art and buy directly from the artists. The studios are open from 5 to 9 p.m. and parking is available in lots close to the building. For more information, visit sowaartists.com. Cherish the Ladies “A Celtic Christmas Extravaganza.” Roger Center for the Arts,
315 Turnpike St., North Andover. One of the most engaging and successful ensembles in the history of Celtic music, Cherish the Ladies have shared timeless Irish traditions with audiences worldwide for over twenty-five years. In their Celtic Christmas program, the Ladies put their signature mark on classic carols such as “O Come All Ye Faithful” and “Silent Night” in arrangements that highlight the group’s unique Celtic instrumentation, beautiful harmonies, and spectacular step dancing. Tickets start at $22. merrimack.edu. Christmas By Candlelight. Old Sturbridge Village, 1 Old Sturbridge Village Rd., Sturbridge. On nine special evenings in December visitors to Old Sturbridge Village can experience the magic of a candlelit New England village while learning about the real history of today’s Christmas traditions at OSV’s Christmas by Candlelight celebrations. Historic interpreters in costume will explain the origins of Father Christmas, sugarplums, Yule logs, Christmas trees, mistletoe and more. Guests can ride in a horsedrawn sleigh (snow permitting) or a horse-drawn wagon, sip hot cider, hear stories, see chestnuts roasting by an open fire and enjoy period music, carols and holiday songs. Ongoing through Dec. 22. 4 to 9 p.m. osv.org. Boston Pops. The Hanover Theatre, 2 Southbridge St., Worcester. Join the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra with Conductor
SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST Karen A. Francioso-Howe, MS C.C.C., LLC MISSION STATEMENT
Keith Lockhart for their sparkling and beloved Holiday Pops concert. Capturing the magic of the Christmas season and the winter charms of New England, the Boston Pops will perform their signature Sleigh Ride, as well as other holiday classics, and new arrangements of seasonal favorites. Tickets start at $55. hanovertheatre.org.
7 saturday The Velveteen Rabbit. Boston Children’s Theatre at Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA, 527 Tremont St., Boston. A good book never gets old, and neither does your favorite stuffed bunny. One of Boston’s newest holiday traditions, The Velveteen Rabbit returns for its 5th Anniversary production. Combining puppetry with live actors, The Velveteen Rabbit has captured the hearts of audiences, making it an instant classic. Adapted from the popular children’s book, The Velveteen Rabbit tells the tale of a strong bond between a young boy and his beloved stuffed rabbit. It is a story of love, friendship, and hope that is perfect for the entire family. Tickets are $25. bostonchildrenstheatre.org. Kids’ Shows: Stacey Peasley. Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St., Brookline. Stacey Peasley has been entertaining families in the Boston area since 2008. In that short time, she has won the Creative Child Magazine
oh, the places you’ ll go 2012 Top CD of the Year Award, the 2011 Parents’ Choice Recommended Award, the 2010 Nickelodeon Parents Connect Parents’ Pick Award for Best Party Entertainer, and her music has been heard on radio programs nationwide, including Sirius XM’s Kids Place Live. Tickets are $8C, $10A. For more information, visit coolidge.org. Pearl Harbor Day. Battleship Cove, 5 Water St., Fall River. Battleship Cove will commemorate the 72nd anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor by hosting a brief ceremony at 12:55 PM—the exact hour of the Japanese strike. Located on the Battleship Massachusetts, the service will include a wreath-casting prefaced by brief remarks from Battleship Cove’s Executive Director. Ceremony is open to the public. battleshipcove.org. ICS’s Polar Express Ride. Newburyport Train Station, 25 Boston Way, Newburyport. The 70-minute roundtrip adventure includes cocoa and treats, a visit from Santa and his elves, a silver jingle bell presented to each child during a reading of ‘The Polar Express’ by local storytellers. Come in your pajamas or as you are! It truly is a magical experience for children and parents alike! Remember to bring your camera! Tickets are $30. icsnorthpoleexpress.com.
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pick-up. $10/$15 per child/adult pair. 10 to 11:30 a.m. massaudubon.org.
photo courtesy of the wheelock family theatre
Don’t miss It’s a Wonderful Life – a live radio play at the Wheelock Family Theatre in Boston ongoing through Dec. 22. Tickets start at $20.
Scituate North Pole Express. 247 Old Driftway (Driftway & Stockbridge Roads), Scituate. Children and adults alike will enjoy this 60-90 minute train ride which replicates the journey to the North Pole as told in the classic story of “The Polar Express.” Along the ride the children will be read this holiday story, be served milk and cookies, sing Christmas carols, and meet Santa and Mrs. Claus. Passengers should arrive 30 minutes before departure. Tickets are $25 per person or $90 for a family four pack of tickets. scituatenorthpoleexpress.com.
at facebook.com/rneogymagic. Noon Science Discovery Museum. discoverymuseums.org.
Sutton Chain of Lights. Vaillancourt Folk Art, 9 Main St., Suite 1h, Sutton. On Saturday, Dec. 7, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Vaillancourt Folk Art will be open with the splendor of the season offering live entertainment and festive shopping. Be inspired by the decorations and enjoy the live entertainment of NYC’s Rebekah and Sir Harry’s Ukulele Christmas at 11 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., and 2:30 p.m. And regionally acclaimed Epworth United Methodist Bell Choir performing at 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. valfa.com/calendar/events/chain-of-lights/
Miracle on 34th Street. Stoneham Theatre, 395 Main St., Stoneham. When Kris Kringle agrees to serve as a last-minute replacement for Santa in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, he is so convincing that he is offered a job as the Santa for Macy’s Department store. He claims to be the real Santa Claus, but how can he convince the doubters, including an 8-year-old girl who longs to find something to believe in? Based on the classic film starring Edmund Gwenn, Maureen O’Hara, and Natalie Wood, this stage adaptation is certain to be a holiday delight! Ongoing through Dec. 29. Tickets start at $45. stonehamtheatre.org.
8 sunday Magic Show with Rupayan Neogy. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. Join in as local young magician Rupayan Neogy shares his talents! Showcasing a variety of tricks, he will confound and amaze in an interactive performance geared toward family audiences. For more information about Rupayan’s magic, visit his Facebook page 48 DECEMBER2013 49
Asa Waters Mansion Holiday Festival/ Open House. Asa Waters Mansion, 123 Elm St., Millbury. All of your favorite holiday traditions will be included in this festive open house! Enjoy ballet dancers, Christmas carolers, musicians, refreshments, grand raffle, tree lighting, and Santa Claus. See the Mansion “decorated in splendor” for the holidays. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. asawaters.org.
9 monday Clay Play: Owls. Museum of American Bird Art, 963 Washington St., Canton. A program for ages 2.5 to 5 with an adult (siblings welcome) taught by artist Melody Thomas. Each week includes nature exploration, and a clay project that will be glazed and fired in our kiln for later
Make a MESS: Sculpt & Squish. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. Use your senses to explore a variety of textures. Smoosh and squish away to learn about the properties of the different concoctions! The Make a MESS (Math, Engineering, Science, & Stuff) program series introduces STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) concepts through exploration, imagination, and fun. Funded by The Ramsey McCluskey Family Foundation. 10 a.m. Children’s Discovery Classroom. discoverymuseums.org. Try It Out Tuesday. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. What’s it going to be? Provide your expert opinion and help prototype a new idea, program, or exhibit component. Participate in shaping future programs and spaces! Drop-in 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Science Discovery Museum. discoverymuseums.org. Little Naturalists – Deer. North River Wildlife Sanctuary, 2000 Main St., Marshfield. Nature is right in our backyard. Through nature walks, stories, songs, and crafts, discover New England animals and how they live. Each month will focus on a different season theme. 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. C$5m/C$7nm. Registration is required. massaudubon.org. The Gingerbread Man. Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, 208 South Great Rd., Lincoln. Run, run fast as you can, you can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread Man! Design and decorate your very own gingerbread man. While he’s baking, hear about his exciting adventures escaping from cows and pigs. Then pay a visit to his “friend,” the fox. Don’t let the fox eat your gingerbread man! 1 to 2:30 p.m. A$13m/$16nm, C$13m/$16nm. Registration is required. massaudubon.org.
11 wednesday Dinosaur Discoveries. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. Touch a real dinosaur fossil and pretend to be a paleontologist digging for dinosaur bones in the mock excavation site! 10 a.m. Children’s Discovery Museum. discoverymuseums.org. Take Aparts. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. Are you curious about what’s inside telephones and computers? Discover resistors and capacitors as you uncover the inner workings of everyday electronics. Sponsored by Analog Devices, Inc. Drop-in 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Science Discovery Museum. discoverymuseums.org. Afterschool at Joppa: Beach Biologists. Joppa Flats Education Center, 1 Plum Island
Turnpike, Newburyport. The afternoon starts off with self-guided activities, challenges, or puzzles that leads to the topic for the day. As a group, you’ll observe, investigate, and compare wildlife, their adaptations, and the changes that they undergo each season. Participants may play the role of a zoologist, a naturalist, or even a marine biologist throughout this series. Each experience will leave your young scientist eager for the next session. 3:30 to 5 p.m. Registration is required. C$11m/$15nm. massaudubon.org. Night and Day. Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, 293 Moose Hill St., Sharon. Explore the lives of nocturnal animals during the day! Search for owls, bats, and other nighttime critters during this gamefilled program. A story about nocturnal animals will get us ready for our adventure as we try to wake snoozing wildlife. 10 to 11:30 a.m. Registration is required. C$8m/$11nm. massaudubon.org. Preschool & Toddler Wednesdays. EcoTarium, 222 Harrington Way, Worcester. Join in every week for our special preschool and toddler program. Enjoy a story, meet a live animal, and get creative with a supervised craft activity -- all geared especially for little ones aged 3 and under. These preschool and toddler programs are very popular and space is limited. So, while they are free with admission, tickets are issued at the Ticket & Information Desk on a first-come, first-served basis. Please note that these programs are designed for families. 10:30 to 11 a.m. ecotarium.org.
Peep Science Adventures: Flying Paper Airplanes. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. Create and decorate your own paper airplane and then you’ll put them through a flight test! © 2013 WGBH Educational Foundation. Sponsored by Hologic and MEFA’s U.Fund and Fidelity Investments. Drop-in 10 a.m. Children’s Discovery Museum. discoverymuseums.org. Thursdays Tales. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. Join in for the weekly story time. They’ll bring the books; you bring your imagination! 11:00 am Children’s Discovery Classroom. discoverymuseums.org. The Snowflake Man by Puppetkabob. Puppet Showplace Theatre, 32 Station St., Brookline. “The Snowflake Man” is an awardwinning puppet production inspired by New England inventor Wilson “Snowflake” Bentley, the self-educated farmer and scientist who attracted world attention when he became the first person to photograph a single snow crystal. Ongoing through Dec. 15. Tickets start at $8. puppetshowplace.org.
13 friday Imagimotion Kidz. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. Come join the fun as you
Family Holiday Pops. Fine Arts Center – Regis College, 235 Wellesley Ave., Weston. The Boston Civic Symphony presents its Family Holiday Pops at Regis College in Weston. Join the Civic for an afternoon of holiday favorites, a sing along, and a visit from “you know who.” Children will get an opportunity to conduct the orchestra. Soprano Debra Selig will be the soloist, and radio and television personality Joyce Kulhawik will narrate “The Snowman.” Tickets are $10 for children and $20 for adults. bostoncivicsymphony.org.
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A Christmas Carol. The Hanover Theatre, 2 Southbridge St., Worcester. “God Bless us, everyone!” Continue our family holiday tradition and start getting in the holiday spirit with Troy Siebels’ adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic tale. You know the story, you love the message of Christmas redemption, and the love for mankind that the season. Ongoing through Dec. 22. thehanovertheatre.org.
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14th Annual Gingerbread Castle Competition. Higgins Armory Museum, 100 Barber Ave., Worcester. Join in for a sweet competition as local bakers, culinary students, and restaurateurs alike compete for the #1 spot. Museum guests will be asked to cast a vote for their favorite gingerbread castle. Children will have the opportunity to decorate a delicious gingerbread cookie of their very own. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. higgins.org.
Come to the 14th Annual Gingerbread Castle Competition at the Higgins Armory Museum in Worcester on Sunday, Dec. 14, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Kids’ Shows: Alastair Moock’s Holiday Extravaganza. Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290
Children’s Author Story Time Event: Kate Hanscom’s “Fickle Fiona.” Tatnuck Bookseller, Westborough Shopping Center, 18 Lyman St., Westborough. On a delightfully sunny day, the Joyce family heads to the park to enjoy some lively fun in the fresh air. But Fickle Fiona Joyce – she can never EVER make a choice! Her indecisions lead this big-eyed little girl into some goofy blunders … until she’s had it! Learn and laugh with Fiona and her family on this cheerful and entertaining journey as she learns her lesson to not let her fickleness stand in her way! Noon to 2 p.m. tatnuck.com.
Nike • Naturino • Nina •
Make a MESS: Resist Painting. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. Don’t resist your inner artist today! Join in and explore and experiment with different resist painting techniques to create beautiful and unique works of art. The Make a MESS (Math, Engineering, Science, & Stuff) program series introduces STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) concepts through exploration, imagination, and fun. Funded by The Ramsey McCluskey Family Foundation. Dropin 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Science Discovery Museum. discoverymuseums.org. Especially for Me! Free Evening for Families with Children on the Autism Spectrum. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. Come join in all the fun and explore both museums during this special free evening for families with children on the autism spectrum. Visitors may also drop-in for a workshop with Romy Wilhelm, a practicing music therapist from Indian Hill Music. Preregistration required. Visit http://tinyurl.com/ EspeciallyforMe2013-14 to register. Funding provided by Hologic, Yawkey Foundations, Genzyme, Foundation for MetroWest, DCU for Kids, Morgan Stanley, Acton-Boxborough United Way Youth in Philanthropy and The Fenn School Youth in Philanthropy Program, a program of the Foundation for MetroWest. 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Both Museums Open. discoverymuseums.org.
Breakfast with Santa at the Fall River Carousel. Battleship Cove, 5 Water St., Fall River. Get ready for the season by making plans to attend the annual Carousel’s Breakfast with Santa! Families can enjoy a delicious hot breakfast plus kids will have fun making special holiday ornaments, face painting, unlimited Carousel rides, and more. Bring your camera for a photo opportunity with Santa. Seating is limited, reservations are required. Call 508-678-1100 x 101 or 102. 8 a.m. to noon. battleshipcove.org.
photo courtesy of higgins armory museum
It’s a Wonderful Life - a live radio play. Wheelock Family Theatre, 200 The Riverway, Boston. “It’s a Wonderful Life” is based on the 1946 American film produced and directed by Frank Capra, which is itself based on a short story “The Greatest Gift,” by Philip Van Doren Stern. The film is considered one of the most loved films in American cinema and has become traditional viewing during the Christmas season. Ongoing through Dec. 22. Tickets start at $20. wheelockfamilytheatre.org.
Harvard St., Brookline. What better way to bring on the holiday spirit! Alastair Moock is a Parents Choice Gold Award Winner and three-time NAPPA Gold Award Winner. Long one of Boston’s premier folk artists, he turned his attention to family music after the birth of his twin girls in 2006. Tickets start at $8. coolidge.org.
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dance, move, and groove with Imagimotion Kidz. Imagimotion Kidz is a developmentally based creative movement program which has been stretching children’s imaginations through movement and music for over 20 years. 10 a.m. Children’s Discovery Classroom. discoverymuseums.org. FETCH!™ Float My Boat. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. Even large ships weighing hundreds of thousands of tons stay afloat. But how? Investigate floating by building tinfoil boats and loading them with pennies until they sink. Time to roll up the shirtsleeves and dive in! © 2013 WGBH Educational Foundation. Drop-in 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Science Discovery Museum. discoverymuseums.org.
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Haul Out the Holly – Kid Sized Show. NEC’s Jordan Hall, 30 Gainsborough St., Boston. Join in for the first ever Kid Sized show! At 1-hour, it’s perfect for the whole family. Come sing along with traditional holiday favorites. You’ve never seen a dance number like the Little Drummer Boy. Santa’s going to stop by, so make sure you’re there! 1 p.m. Tickets are $25. bgmc.org/our-music/2013-2014/kidsize-show.
Art and Seek: Winter Solstice. Museum of American Bird Art, 963 Washington St., Canton. A drop-in program for ages 2.5 to 5 with an adult (siblings welcome). Each week is a different theme and will include a story, nature exploration, and art project. When the weather is nice we will spend time outside. $5M/$7NM per child/adult pair. 10 to 11 a.m. Registration is not required. massaudubon.org.
Try It Out Tuesday. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. What’s it going to be? Provide your expert opinion and help prototype a new idea, program, or exhibit component. Participate in shaping future programs and spaces! 10 a.m. Children’s Discovery Classroom. discoverymuseums.org. Reaction Station: Adventures for Young Chemists. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. Imagine yourself a chemist and use real laboratory tools to do experiments. Try your hand at doing wet chemistry in a model glove box and learn why some chemists use glove boxes and hoods. Drop-in 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Science Discovery Museum. discoverymuseums.org. DinoTracks. EcoTarium, 222 Harrington Way, Worcester. The hunt for dinosaurs begins here! Step into their footprints, hear and feel their footsteps, and come face-to-face with some of the dinosaurs who made them. DinoTracks starts where scientists first began studying dinosaurs (at their feet). Focusing on fossil discoveries, the exhibit engages visitors of all ages in trying out hands-on scientific study methods and getting down on the ground to put their new skills to work. Ongoing through Dec. 31. Free with museum admission. ecotarium.org.
18 wednesday Make a MESS: Sorting. The Discovery
Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. One of these things is not like the other. Help categorize and group different objects by looking at their 50 DECEMBER2013 51
different attributes. 10 a.m. Children’s Discovery Classroom. The Make a MESS (Math, Engineering, Science, & Stuff) program series introduces STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) concepts through exploration, imagination, and fun. Funded by The Ramsey McCluskey Family Foundation. discoverymuseums.org. The Mitten. Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, 414 Massasoit Rd., Worcester. If you are between the ages of 3 and 5, bring your favorite adult for a thematic hour of a story, an activity, and a naturalist-led walk. 10 to 11 a.m. Adults free, C$3m/$4nm. massaudubon.org. MOMS Club of Worcester North Monthly Meeting. First Presbyterian Church, 125 Holden St., Worcester. MOMS Club of Worcester North is a part of MOMS Club International (MOMS Offering MOMS Support - momsclub.org). The group is open to stay-at-home moms or parttime/full-time working with flexible schedules who live in Worcester zip codes 01605/01606, Shrewsbury, Boylston or West Boylston. Our monthly meeting is open to moms and their children to meet the group and see what they are about. Please RSVP or ask questions through our Meetup page. Meets monthly every third Wednesday until June 2014. meetup.com/MOMS-of-Worcester-North/
19 thursday Moms Rock: Portraits. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. Moms—and grandmothers, sisters, aunts, and others—are amazing and spectacular! Today you will be looking at different ways that artists have created portraits over the years. Take home with a special message for mom about staying healthy and strong. Sponsored by Hologic. Drop-in 10 a.m. Children’s Discovery Museum. discoverymuseums.org. Thursdays Tales. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. Join in for the weekly story time. They’ll bring the books; you bring your imagination! 11 a.m. Children’s Discovery Classroom. discoverymuseums.org. Snow Globes. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. Who knows what Mother Nature will bring this year, but guarantee a little “snow” with a homemade snow globe. A sprinkle of snow and a dash of creativity is all you need to make and take your very own mini snow globe. Dropin 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Science Discovery Museum. discoverymuseums.org. Hansel and Gretel by Tanglewood Marionettes. Puppet Showplace Theatre, 32 Station St., Brookline. In this original adaptation of the classic fairy tale, Hansel and Gretel need to work together, using both
brains and bravery, to find their way out of the woods. This beautifully hand-crafted production by Tanglewood Marionettes begins with an interactive puppet demonstration and features enchanting music from Humperdinck’s “Hansel and Gretel” opera. Ongoing through Dec. 22. Tickets start at $10. puppetshowplace.org.
20 friday Ornament Making. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. Make a colorful and unique ornament to bring some cheer to cold and cloudy days. 10 a.m. Children’s Discovery Classroom. discoverymuseums.org. Season’s Greetings. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. Explore the science of papermaking as you design and create your own greeting cards and ornaments to share with friends and family this holiday season. Dropin 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Science Discovery Museum. discoverymuseums.org. The Nutcracker. José Mateo Ballet Theatre at The Sanctuary Theatre, 400 Harvard St., Cambridge. Discover the magic and excitement of the Holiday season with the timeless tradition of Jose Mateo’s The Nutcracker. Thrilling, magical, inspiring, and affordable, our performances create memories that will last a lifetime. José Mateo Ballet Theatre’s Nutcracker is perfect for children of all ages. Tickets start at $15. ballettheatre.org. Santa Tea at Gore Place. Gore Place, 52 Gore St., Waltham. Enjoy a three-tiered tea with a menu appropriate for both adults and children, an activity for the kids and visit from Santa! $35/pp.; $30/ pp. for members (members may purchase one additional ticket at member price). Reservations due one week prior to date. 10:30 a.m. to noon. goreplace.org/food-and-holiday-events.htm#dec14. Nutcracker. Casey Theater at Regis College, 235 Wellesley St., Weston. Share the merriment of the holiday season as the accomplished dancers of Commonwealth Ballet and major guest artists frolic, battle and dance through Clara’s holiday dream. Join with the family party set before a magical tree and enjoy the laughter, magic, and wonder of this holiday classic accompanied by the beloved Tchaikovsky score. This fully staged production is sure to captivate and entertain all ages. Free parking. comonwealthballet.org.
21 saturday Winter Wishes. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. Decorate a paper ornament with hopes and wishes for the approaching New Year that will be added to the Wishing Woods. All wishes will stay on display through the holiday season. 10 a.m. Children’s Discovery Classroom. discoverymuseums.org.
FETCH!™ Float My Boat. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. Even large ships weighing hundreds of thousands of tons stay afloat. But how? Investigate floating by building tinfoil boats and loading them with pennies until they sink. Time to roll up the shirtsleeves and dive in! © 2013 WGBH Educational Foundation. Drop-in 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Science Discovery Museum. discoverymuseums.org. Kids’ Shows: Film: The Muppet Christmas Carol. Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St., Brookline. ‘Tis the season for love, laughter, and one of the most cherished stories of all time! Join Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, and all the hilarious Muppets in this merry, magical version of Charles Dickens’ classic tale. Academy Award® winner Michael Caine gives a performance that’s anything but “bah, humbug!” as greedy, penny-pinching Ebenezer Scrooge. Tickets are $5C/$7A. coolidge.org.
Inspiring a love of dance
Family Holiday Pops “Hear the Cheer.” New Bedford Symphony Orchestra at Zeiterion Performing Arts Center, 684 Purchase St., New Bedford. Holiday music that everyone loves will be played by a great orchestra, friends and family sharing the joy of the season, festive holiday decorations, even a party after each concert—these are the reasons the NBSO’s Family Holiday Pops Concerts have become a holiday season tradition on the South Coast! The concert has a family-friendly atmosphere, with either a matinee or early evening performance to choose from, a one-hour program (with no intermission) that is perfect for the kids, and a special experience only the NBSO can provide. Tickets start at $10. nbsymphony.org.
22 sunday Winter Wishes. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. Decorate a paper ornament with hopes and wishes for the approaching New Year that will be added to the Wishing Woods. All wishes will stay on display through the holiday season. 10 a.m. Children’s Discovery Classroom. discoverymuseums.org. Marble Runs. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. Use your engineering skills to design, build and test out roller coaster marble runs. Construct tracks out of tubes, cardboard, and other recycled materials to send marbles on a fun ride. Drop-in 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Science Discovery Museum. discoverymuseums.org. Science + You. EcoTarium, 222 Harrington Way, Worcester. Designed as a real-life -- but childsized -- laboratory, Science + You allows children to explore how scientists impact health and wellness. Through interactive machinery, processes and technology, Science + You opens a window into the world of the research scientist and, through fun activities, shows how science keeps our bodies healthy. Ongoing through April 2014. Free with museum admission. ecotarium.org.
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to burst into song? Do you muse over the endless tailoring opportunities for chintz curtains? Have you always wondered what it would be like to wear a wimple? Sing-a-long-a Sound of Music is your chance to test your vocal range with several hundred other assorted nuns, Von Trapp family members and Julie Andrews look-a-likes. Ongoing through Dec. 29. Tickets start at $12.50. regenttheatre.com.
Don’t miss FETCH! Stack ‘Em Up at the Discovery Museums in Acton on Thursday, Dec. 26 from 1 to 4 p.m.
23 monday Winter Wishes. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. Decorate a paper ornament with hopes and wishes for the approaching New Year that will be added to the Wishing Woods. All wishes will stay on display through the holiday season. 10 a.m. Children’s Discovery Classroom. discoverymuseums.org. Marble Runs. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. Use your engineering skills to design, build and test out roller coaster marble runs. Construct tracks out of tubes, cardboard, and other recycled materials to send marbles on a fun ride. Drop-in 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Science Discovery Museum. discoverymuseums.org. Holiday Fantasy by Spring Valley Puppet Theater. Puppet Showplace Theatre, 32 Station St., Brookline. Enchanted toys, fairy magic and a clever mouse are just some of the wonderful characters you will meet in “A Holiday Fantasy,” an original puppet production by Michael Graham’s Spring Valley Puppet Theater. Tickets start at $10. puppetshowplace.org.
DinoTracks. Ecotarium, 222 Harrington Way, Worcester. The hunt for dinosaurs begins here! Step into their footprints, hear and feel their footsteps, and come face-to-face with some of the dinosaurs who made them. DinoTracks starts where scientists first began studying dinosaurs (at their feet). Focusing on fossil discoveries, the exhibit 52 DECEMBER2013 53
engages visitors of all ages in trying out hands-on scientific study methods and getting down on the ground to put their new skills to work. Free with museum admission. ecotarium.org.
25 wednesday 26 thursday Wishing Woods. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. Help create an indoor forest built upon wishes for the New Year. This space will change and evolve through the end of the month as it is designed and built by staff and visitors. 10 a.m. Children’s Discovery Classroom. discoverymuseums.org. FETCH! Stack ‘Em Up. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. Build a tower made only out of cups. How high can you go? Remember, the sky’s the limit. ©2013 WGBH Educational Foundation. Drop-in 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Science Discovery Museum. discoverymuseums.org. Sing-A-Long Sound of Music. Regent Theatre, 7 Medford St., Arlington. Have you ever been to a film musical and had the uncontrollable urge
Squirrel Stole My Underpants by Bonnie Duncan. Puppet Showplace Theatre, 32 Station St., Brookline. Sylvie is sent to the backyard to hang up the laundry. The moment her back is turned, a mischievous squirrel steals her favorite piece of clothing and runs off. When Sylvie gives chase, an entire world emerges from her laundry basket, and curious characters show her the way through mysterious lands. Will our lonely heroine rescue her underpants and discover the magic within herself? Ongoing through Dec. 29. Tickets start at $10. puppetshowplace.org. December School Vacation Week. Old Sturbridge Village, 1 Old Sturbridge Village Rd., Sturbridge. Keep the kids busy and engaged during December school vacation at Old Sturbridge Village, with a wide range of crafts, entertainment and outdoor activities offered for all ages. Other vacation week activities include sledding (try our 1830s-style sleds) and sleigh rides (snow permitting). Ongoing through Jan. 1. osv.org.
27 friday Wishing Woods. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. Help create an indoor forest built upon wishes for the New Year. This space will change and evolve through the end of the month as it is designed and built by staff and visitors. 10 a.m. Children’s Discovery Classroom. discoverymuseums.org. Exploring Nano: The Smallest Science. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. Join in for hands-on educational activities about nanoscale science, engineering and technology. Explore the nano in your everyday life and discover the special and unexpected properties found at the nanoscale. Drop-in 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Science Discovery Museum. discoverymuseums.org. Wild Winter Week: Footprint Finders. Stony Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, 108 North St., Norfolk. Your children don’t have to go far away to experience a new world or discover something new about themselves. Have them come to Stony Brook during the vacation weeks. They make learning fun! 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. C$45m/$52nm. massaudubon.org. Vacation Week Family Fun Days: Survivor. Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, 87 Perkins Row, Topsfield. Winter is a great time to be outside exploring the natural world, so stretch your legs and join us for one or more of these vacation week programs. Please note that there
is a different fee for the Bird Feeder program. 1 to 2:30 p.m. A$7m/$9nm, C$6m/$7nm. Registration is required. massaudubon.org.
28 saturday Wishing Woods. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. Help create an indoor forest built upon wishes for the New Year. This space will change and evolve through the end of the month as it is designed and built by staff and visitors. 10 a.m. Children’s Discovery Classroom. discoverymuseums.org. Pocket Tech. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. Try out a variety of handson activities that explore the technology of personal electronic devices. With real electronics and interactive models of “software” and “hardware” functions, discover how pocket-sized computers input, store, display, and communicate information to connect to the world. Drop-in 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Science Discovery Museum. discoverymuseums.org. Families Cook. Old Sturbridge Village, 1 Old Sturbridge Village Rd., Sturbridge. This unforgettable experience invites families with children ages 8 and up to prepare and eat a complete 19th-century dinner by the hearth. Historically costumed staff will help interpret the receipts (recipes) and share tips, but you’ll be learning the hearth cooking techniques and working alongside other families to prepare a delicious meal. Bring the grandparents and cousins, too! 5 to 9 p.m. $85 per person. osv.org.
29 sunday Wishing Woods. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. Help create an indoor forest built upon wishes for the New Year. This space will change and evolve through the end of the month as it is designed and built by staff and visitors. 10 a.m. Children’s Discovery Classroom. discoverymuseums.org. LEGO ZONE. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. You bring your imagination and they’ll supply the LEGOs. Try your hand at one of the LEGO challenges or build your own unique creation. Add to the community board to inspire your fellow visitors. Drop-in all day Science Discovery Museum. discoverymuseums.org. Vacation Fun Week at the Higgins Armory. Higgins Armory Musem, 100 Barber Ave., Worcester. See, live and in-person, the toys that knights played with during our week of presentations, workshops, and interactive experiences! See a knight in full armor as he guards the Higgins Castle. How much does his armor weigh? How old was he when he got his first suit? Can you imagine receiving armor for a gift!? 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. higgins.org.
30 monday Wishing Woods. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. Help create an indoor forest built upon wishes for the New Year. This space will change and evolve through the end of the month as it is designed and built by staff and visitors. 10 a.m. Children’s Discovery Classroom. discoverymuseums.org. LEGO ZONE. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. You bring your imagination and they’ll supply the LEGOs. Try your hand at one of the LEGO challenges or build your own unique creation. Add to the community board to inspire your fellow visitors. Drop-in all day Science Discovery Museum. discoverymuseums.org. Peter & The Wolf by National Marionette Theatre. Puppet Showplace Theatre, 32 Station St., Brookline. Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf has enchanted audiences since its premier in 1936. Set in turn of the century Russia, this elegant production tells the story of how Peter, along with his animal friends, outsmarts and captures a wolf. Tickets start at $10. puppetshowplace.org.
31 tuesday Bessie’s New Year’s Eve Party Prep. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton.
You want to get ready to shake, rattle, and roll into the New Year by making your own party hats and noise makers! You’ll be doing prep work all the way until the count down at 12 (noon). 10 a.m. Children’s Discovery Classroom. discoverymuseums.org. Bessie’s New Year’s Eve PJ Dance Party! The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. Help count down to 12 (noon) with a dance party with special guest Bessie! 11:30 a.m. Children’s Discovery Classroom. discoverymuseums.org. Ring in the New Year! The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. Make some noise this New Year’s Eve! Construct your own noise makers to use as you celebrate the coming of a new year. 3…2…1… Happy New Year! Drop-in noon to 3 p.m. Science Discovery Museum. discoverymuseums.org. Wild Winter Week: Fur, Fat and Feathers. Stony Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, 108 North St., Norfolk. Your children don’t have to go far away to experience a new world or discover something new about themselves. Have them come to Stony Brook during the vacation weeks. 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. C$45m/$52nm. massaudubon.org. To submit an event fill out our form at baystateparent.com by Dec. 1.
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by trace y prohask a
ake a deep breath and repeat, “I will not allow purchasing stuff to get in the way of enjoying this holiday with my family.” It’s true that glistening lights, holiday music and the good will of the season warms your heart. Just as quickly though, long lines at the stores, commercials blaring on the TV and lists of to-dos a mile long can turn it to
carroll ice. That is if you let it. There are choices for how you decide to celebrate the holidays and keep the magic of the season alive. Whether it’s on a grand scale like planning a trip away or just recognizing the spirit of the season with small gestures, it’s about finding the best fit for your family. So, with another deep breath, exhale the commercialism and breathe in some peace. Some families are bucking the traditions and leaving behind the presents and purchases and will be focusing on what the spirit of Christmas means to them. “The idea of going somewhere is exciting to us,” said Melissa Borgeson of Charlton. Borgeson and her husband have four children ages 14, 11, 7 and 3. Recently, with the passing of some relatives, their standing holiday plans may not include celebrating with extended family. “We wonder how Mickey Mouse celebrates or if a Christmas gathering in a place like the Outer Banks might be nice,” she said. “We know what Christmas at home is like, and while it’s fun, we also would like to take advantage of the extra-long school vacation and spend some great time with
our kids before they start to grow up and pull away from the family.” Charlotte Nichols, director of travel marketing for AAA Southern New England, said family travel for the holidays isn’t a rare occurrence. As a way to spend quality time together, she’s seen family’s book vacations to Walt Disney World and the warm beaches of Florida and even foreign escapes like Paris or London. “There are also folks that want to get away to the ‘cabin in the woods’ experience, a mountain for skiing, or just being in a relatively quiet place, unplugged and reconnecting with each other,” Nichols said. However, going big like traveling away from home for the holidays is not the only way to create new family traditions. Simple things can make a big difference as well. One mother and daughter from Gill aim for the true spirit of giving. Estelle Bonaceto and her 12-year-old daughter, Josie, spend time talking and laughing as they string berries and popcorn. Nothing extraordinary about that you might say, but these strands won’t make it to their Christmas
Come spend time with your kids in our exciting family classes— a rich musical environment that encourages your child to explore the joy of music. Find out what beautiful music you and your family can make together.
MAKE BEAUTIFUL MUSIC TOGETHER. (800) 728-2692
FOR CLASSES IN EASTERN/CENTRAL MA: WWW.MUSICTOGETHER.COM/BSP 54 DECEMBER2013 55
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tree. Instead, they’ll go outside to wrap bushes and branches so the birds and deer can enjoy. “They certainly don’t last very long,” Bonaceto said. “So, we enjoy making them together a number of times throughout the season.” Keeping with the spirit of giving, bringing a charity into your celebration is a great way to feel like you’re making a difference this holiday. My own family has a favorite tradition of baking, not unlike many others. About five years ago, we decided there were only so many cookies and pies to be eaten. So, we made hundreds of confections and donated them to a family member’s fundraiser to aid in his battle with cancer. That being our starting point, we now find a charity each year to donate our baked goods. Last year it was a local nursing home and this year we hope to supply a soup kitchen in need. Unfortunately, finding those in need is not a difficult task, especially around the holidays. The Sullivan Family from Northbridge chooses a name from their church Christmas tree every year. Along with the name of the person they’ve chosen is a list of items that person needs to make the holidays special. “Our children love getting gifts, but they love going into a store and picking out toys for another child even more,” said mother of five Cindy Sullivan. Sullivan said her family also takes the time to have conversations about how they are spreading the meaning of the holiday season in their daily lives as they countdown to Christmas. “Last year, hearing even the little ones tell us that they kept the peace (of the season) by sharing and not fighting with one another was really a gift,” Sullivan remembered fondly. Nadine Leger from Westminster talked about bringing a childhood
tradition of her own into the mix for her two children. While many of the advent calendars today have prizes and chocolates, Leger said her family stays old school. “When I was younger we had an Advent calendar,” she said. “A cute little mouse that you move along into slots as you count down the days.” Today she uses that calendar with her own family. Another tradition for the Legers is to create handprint ornaments for the kids each year. As the children have grown, they’ve accumulated so many that only the current year goes on the tree while the others get displayed in chronological order along the wall. Whatever the holiday season means to your family, it’s important to slow down enough to make a tradition to honor it. It may be that you’re already doing something that’s meaningful and brings your family joy. Maybe you can take some ideas from above and start something new. Of course, there will most likely still be present buying and gift wrapping, but instead of that being the sole focus, you can take solace in your family’s traditions. Spending time with one another and cherishing the experiences. Whether at home cozy and warm by the fire, on a beach with the sun on your faces or even flying high on a Dumbo at Disney, it’s all what you choose to make it. Holiday traditions keep families together and build precious memories. What better gift is there to receive? Tracey Prohaska Carroll is a freelance writer, wife and mother of one from Athol. She enjoys spending time with her family at the lake home they’re fixing up. When she’s not writing, filling the roles of wife or mother, you’ll find her listening to are on sale now at music, reading Tickets or boxing for fitness. You can reach her by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pembroke School of Performing ArtS Enroll now for Winter Session 781-826-0506
Preschool Dance Teen Classes Boys Hip Hop
Beginners thru Advanced Programs for ages 3 and up Adult Tap and Hip Hop Classes and Zumba
Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Modern, Pointe, Lyrical, Hip Hop, Musical Theatre Dance, Sr Company Classes, Summer Camps and Workshops National Award Winning Competitive Dance Team For additional Information Contact us @ 781 826 0506 www.dancepspa.com
Quality Dance Education Afforably Priced
WINTER SESSION BEGINS JANUARY 2ND, 2013 Kathleen Kelble, Director BFA Dance Education Certified Mass Teacher License K-12
Christmas Festival of Lights open Nov
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$2 off online tickets only Use coupon code “baystateparent2013”
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Ride through a spectacular holiday setting in our warm and dry coaches.
Sign your artist up for after school art lessons or Saturday workshops at Paintbox Studio!
Over 7 million brilliant lights illuminate the park!
Gift certificates available for gift giving.
Holiday Art Drop Off!
December 7th Workshops:
Drop your artist off while you finish shopping Holiday Jambalaya (2-5) years Handprint Snowman Ornament (6-10) years Snack & Drink Provided Oh, Christmas Tree... (5-9) years 12/14 & 12/21 9-12:30pm (6-12) years $30 each session for first artist, Call or e-mail to register today! For tickets & information visit www.edaville.com additional siblings $20
Gi v e t he g ift of A RT ! 508.746.6708 • 163 Black Cat Road • Plymouth, MA 02360
Back for select dates in November & December Reservations are required for Polar Express Train
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Holiday Cheer HOLIDAY GIFT: Tristan Charles, 5½, and Ethan Cibeira, 10 months, of Templeton, can’t wait to open presents on Christmas.
amanda rebelo photography
PUPPY LOVE: Jacki Smith, 13, of Franklin, loves spending the holidays with her puppy Gigi.
MERRY AND BRIGHT: Kobi Polisky, 5, of Plymouth, loves getting presents for the holidays.
GIDDY UP: Brooke Robbins, 3 ½, of Middleboro, enjoys a horse and buggy ride.
HO! HO! HO!: Siblings Colin, 7, Olivia (middle), 6, and Juliette, 8, all of Millbury, love visiting with Santa.
ALL WRAPPED UP: McKenna Faith Lussier, 9 months, of Northbridge, sometimes gets tangled up.
SO CUTE: Aubrey Hill, 5½, of Shirley, loves the holidays.
COOKIES FOR SANTA: Aaron, 5, and Andrew Lapin, 8, of Groton, love getting ready for Santa to come.
56 DECEMBER2013 57
Don’t Miss the Region’s
for Summer Camps & After-School Programs Don’t miss From January this opportunity thru June to reach our readers over will enjoy 85,000 6 months of summer camp ideas. readers.
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For advertising information contact Regina Stillings at email@example.com or 508-865-7070 ext. 210. Space deadlines are the 13th of each month prior to publication. Example: January issue deadline is December 13th.
A GOOD PARTY IS ALWAYS IN SEASON RSVP YOUR SPACE TODAY email firstname.lastname@example.org
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Storytelling fun for Birthday Parties, Storytelling fun for Birthday Parties, Schools, Daycare Centers, Schools, Daycare Library Programs, SpecialCenters, Library Events and TV Programs, Special Featuring: Events and TV • Original & Classic Stories Featuring: • Puppets, Props and Surprises For Bookings and Info Call: 617-713-4349 • Original & BigJoe@BigJoe.com E-mail: Classic Visit meStories on the web at: www.BigJoe.com • Puppets, Props
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Parents spend a lot of time and money on their children’s education. baystateparent is your resource for education features and events.
The best directory of professionals from the Best Parenting Publication in
Dance Schools There is still time to register for our Fall Season! Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop, Irish Step, Hard Shoe, Pointe, Lyrical, Modern, Contemporary, Special Needs Dance, All Boys Hip Hop, Youth & Teen Ballroom, Drop Off Dance Starting at age 2...Come Dance With Us!
WHAT’S YOUR ADVANTAGE? Bring this ad with you at time of registration and receive first class FREE!
DNE School of Dance
51 Middlesex Street (Chelmsford Mills) North Chelmsford, Massachusetts 01810 978-251-1700 • www.dancenewengland.com
Child Care Centers and Preschools For the past 14 years, Blossom Station has been a leader in early childhood education by providing a nurturing environment to families that encourages each and every child with “Intentional Curriculum” that allows them to reach their potential academically, socially, emotionally and physically. We also provide quality enrichment programs in science, math, music, fitness, foreign language, community outreach and more! Inquire about our flexible, year round programs. We’re currently enrolling infants, toddlers, pre-K, Kindergarten and before and after school children in our spacious safe, secure indoor and outdoor play areas.
For advertising information contact Regina Stillings at email@example.com or 508-865-7070 ext. 210.
Brenda Katz Owner & Director
222 Main Street, Acton, MA • 978-266-2779 • www.BlossomStation.com
Fa mily Portraits
Michael Stone Portraits
Magazine For Families Since 1996
When you decide it’s time to have a beautiful and enduring portrait taken of your family, Michael Stone is the gifted and talented portrait artist you deserve. His understanding and enjoyment of people shows in his captivating portraits. His “stunningly beautiful” work is his trademark, spanning over 30 years. Reward yourself and your family with a timeless family heirloom masterfully created and hand finished by this dedicated, sensitive artist. Call for your complimentary session.
WHAT’S YOUR ADVANTAGE? Receive 1 complimentary portrait session with this ad (regularly $250)
100 Francis Street, Worcester, MA 01606 • 508-852-2689 www.facebook.com/MichaelStonePortraits
Private School Cornerstone Academy is a private school dedicated to the education of children from Transitional Kindergarten through Grade 6. We offer an academically challenging environment that utilizes a blend of traditional and innovative teaching techniques, such as hands-on teaching models to reinforce concepts and experiential learning through experimentation and field trips.
Ad space deadline for this special January issue is December 12th
WHAT’S YOUR ADVANTAGE? Registration fee waived with this ad.
Photograph by Michael Stone
• Banks and Credit Unions • Camps & After School Programs • Community Colleges & Universities • Dance Schools • Day Care Centers • Financal Planners • Pre-Schools • Private Schools • Private Instruction • Tutors & More!
Karen McQuade Director
WHAT’S YOUR ADVANTAGE? Half off application fee with this ad.
Northboro, MA • 508-351-9976 • www.cornerstoneacademy.org 58 DECEMBER2013 59
Dance, Gym Dance, Gym Dance, Gym & Enrichment & Enrichment & Enrichment • • • • • •
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for the Stars Reach
Gift Cards Available Rac n Rolls in-stock Zuca Bags, Skate Tights and Chloe & Noel pants Chloe & Maddie Bracelets from Dance Moms Aly and Gabi Leotards Glitzy Cheering Bows, Cool Dance Bags, Foot Undeez, Shoes, Tights • Capezio, Bloch, MotionWear, Russian Pointe
at Kathy Corrigan’s School of Gymnastics • Owner: Former Olympic Gymnast • USA Gymnastics Skill Development Program for All Ages • Competitive USA Teams • USA Certified Coaches • Birthday Parties!
263 Washington St., Norwell, MA 781-659-2800 Hours: M-F 10-5:30, Saturday 10-5 After School Programs Preschool Workshops Summer Camps
Whether destined for the stage or the boardroom, Drama Kids builds confidence, speaking skills, and acting skills in young people and teenagers. Our programs are fast paced and fun! CLASSES HELD WEEKLY IN: Bridgewater, Brockton, Easton, Lakeville, Mansfield, Norton & Raynham
Isis Parenting at Merchant’s Row 2053 Washington Street in Hanover 781.429.1500 | isisparenting.com
406 VFW Drive, Rockland 781-878-9155 www.kathycorrigans.com
FEELING LIKE YOUR CHILD IS NOT REACHING HIS POTENTIAL? Call us! We offer individualized learning plans that build the underlying skills necessary for academic success, in all areas. We deliver lessons either in-home or live via cutting edge web-conferencing, allowing live face-to-face interaction with shared visuals.
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Pembroke School of Performing Arts
808 Washington Street, Pembroke MA
Ages 3 and up Beginner thru Advanced National Award Winning Dance Team Kathleen Kelble, Director BA in Dance Education; Mass DOE Certified dance Educator K-12
All Academic Areas Tutored for All Age Groups Reasonable Rates for Individuals and/or Groups
Joseph Siegel (508) 641-1295 www.EdumentorTutoring.org email: firstname.lastname@example.org Hours: M-F 10-5:30, Saturday 10-5
84 Pierce Ave., Lakeville
Come Join the Fun! Learn to Dance in a Fun and Exciting Atmosphere To learn more about our programs visit us at www.dancepspa.com BAYSTATEPARENT 58 59
Dance, Gym Dance, Gym Healthy Kids & Enrichment & Enrichment & Families Laurie McAnaugh, M.Ed, BCC
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For more information or to bring Piano Playtime to your school, contact Molly Howard at 617-999-8794 email@example.com www.pianoplaytime.com
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Spotlight Dance Studio Offers: * Quality dance education by certified dance instructors. * A dance program designed to motivate and inspire. * Self esteem & confidence through praise, encouragement and discipline. * Happy & healthy dancers, and parents!
160 N. Main Street, Carver MA
ExpEriEncE ThE powEr of DancE!
Providing chiropractic wellness care through pregnancy, birth and beyond!
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Denette Family Chiropractic Daniel Denette, D.C. Kristen Denette, D.C.
Did You Know that kids go to a chiropractor for everything from colic, to ear infections to wellness care? We specialize in a holistic, natural approach to keeping your children well. Quality and Personalized instruction for all ages! Beginner through Advanced
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508-880-5079 www.spotlightdancestudio.com 60 DECEMBER2013 61
• Webster Certified • Child Friendly Office • Advanced Pediatric Training Through the I.C.P.A. •Morning, Evening and Saturday Hours
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Healthy Kids & Families Duxbury Children’s Dentistry
Healthy Kids & Families SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST Karen A. Francioso-Howe, MS C.C.C., LLC
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OPENING THE DOORS TO COMMUNICATION MISSION STATEMENT
• Parents are welcome to accompany child • Digital X-Rays - 50% less radiation • Now offering hospital dentistry for children • Specializing in the care of children & special needs patients 95 Tremont St. • Duxbury
Jill Sylvester, LMHC, NCC, M.Ed. Mental Health Counseling
Integrative Wellness Services
My private practice as a licensed mental health therapist combines traditional and alternative methods of treatment for a unique approach to the counseling process. I work with Women, Parents and Children on such challenges as:
Anxiety/Depression/ADHD/Impulse Control Parenting Spirited Children Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Anger Management
For more information visit my website at: www.jillsylvester.com Harmony Wellness Center 51 Mill Street, Suite 8, Hanover To schedule an appointment, please call 781-883-7919
To provide an intensive individualized therapeutic approach to children with Pediatric Speech-Language-Communication delays. 100 Main Street North Easton, MA 02356 Tel: 508-238-1360 • Fax: 508-238-1372 Email: email@example.com www.karenhowe.com
KID CARE DENTAL, P.C. Pediatric Dentistry Martin A. Kaplan, D.M.D. Htet Htet, D.M.D. Mabi Singh, DMD Established in 1977
Utilizing the latest in high-tech dentistry and services including: • Needle-free and drill-free laser dentistry and air abrasion technology • Video examinations • Sedation for the apprehensive and hospital dentistry • General dentist on staff for adults • Latex-free treatment available • Most health plans accepted Visit our office online: www.kidcaredental.com
1613 CENTRAL ST. • STOUGHTON, MA 02072
NORWELL PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY, L.L.C. Dentistry for Children, Adolescents, Special Needs Patients
Edward J. Schreier, D.D.S. Tamara R. Harling, D.M.D.
Isis Parenting at Merchant’s Row 2053 Washington Street in Hanover 781.429.1500 | isisparenting.com
Heather E. Wolbach, D.M.D., M.S. Brian T. Schmid, D.M.D.
Orthodontics for Children and Adults
James (Jess) Kane, D.M.D., M.S. Peter T. Phan, D.M.D.
BIRTHDAY PARTIES SPECIAL EVENTS DAYCARES / PRESCHOOLS Are You Ready To Have The Party That Everyone Will Be Talking About?
Treat your child to a party they will remember forever! One of our unique and Specially Designed Buses will pull up right in front of your house for FUN for everyone.
• Serving the South Shore since 1978 • Infant Oral Health Visits • Board Certified Pediatric Dentists & Registered Dental Hygienists • Nitrous oxide for anxious patients • State-of-the-Art Digital Equipment • Comprehensive Orthodontics & Invisalign for Children & Adults
317 Washington Street (Rt. 53) • Norwell, MA 02061 Tel (781) 659-7442 • Fax (781) 659-4850 • www.norwellpediatricdentistry.com
BAYSTATEPARENT 60 61
Preschool Preschool & Child Care & Child Care
Where kids can jump, climb and party!
Private use of our gym & party room ★ Rock Wall ★ Air trampoline ★ Trapeze Swing with Foam Pit ★ Flag Football ★ Gymnastics ★ Soccer ★ Obstable Courses ★ Parachute Games Plus Gymnastics Classes, Open Gym, Vacation Programs and More!! Visit our website for details! 612 Plymouth St. • East Bridgewater, MA 508-378-2223 • Email: Stardustgym1@comcast.net www.stardustgym.com
A diverse community of children, their families and teachers, who are passionate about learning and discovery. Our mission is to provide a stimulating Montessori environment that inspires a life-long love of learning and individual growth.
C.A.P.T. P.A.L. Preschool
• Montessori pre-school and elementary programs • Morning or full day sessions • After school care
Small group, morning Programs for children ages 3-5.
Call us at 617-773-8200 to schedule an appointment Come visit us in the historic Adams district 310 Adams Street, Quincy www.adamsmontessori.org
115 Main Street Carver 508-866-5415 www.captpalpreschool.com
Now you can have your
Celebrating over 39 years of service to the community. Fully qualified, certified and caring teaching staff.
Fun & Challenging
First Learning Experience for 3, 4, & 5 year olds
In Our PrIvate event rOOm! BasIc Package Includes: ➤ Your choice of Party Theme based on a favorite book, character or interest ➤ 2 hour party on Satuday or Sunday ➤ Up to 10 children ages 3-10 ➤ Theme-related crafts & games ➤ Themed cupcakes & beverage ➤ 2 party facilitators Merchants Row, Upper Level Routes 53 & 123, Hanover, MA 781-871-7801 www.storybookcove.com
2-8 year old Totz Soccer Parties
esc r P e c a r G mazing
Year ’Round Pre-K Program
• Full and Half Day programs available • Pre-Care and After-Care available • Low student/teacher ratio • Bible-based curriculum • Phonics, Math, Reading, Music, Art, Spanish & Sign Language! • Experienced teachers with degrees in Education • Kindergarten to 12th Grade enrollment available
1000 Oak Hill Ave., Attleboro, MA (508) 431-8159 or (508) 222-8675 director: Lorraine Bailey www.theamazinggracepreschool.org www.gracebaptistchristianacademy.org
“Where the learning begins & the fun...Never stops”
CALL GINNY TODAY TO SCHEDULE A TOUR
NOW ENROLLING! Call Today! • Full or Part Time Programs for Infant, Toddler, Preschool, Kindergarten & School-age • Experienced Staff • Nutritional Snacks • Two Child Focused Outdoor Play Areas. • Creative Educational Programs • Monthly Music Program • Internet viewing of your child’s classroom • Hours of Operation: 6:30am - 6:00pm 2 convenient locations: 130 Depot St. South Easton 508-565-9900
84 Forge River Pkwy Raynham 508-821-9901
387 East Center Street, Route 106 West Bridgewater
185 Plymouth Street, Carver Convenient to Routes 44 & 58
Call now to register!
Call Ginny Azzolino at 508-866-9200 for more info!
Professional Coaches provide laughs, soccer and tons of FUN for your child’s Birthday! 508-562-7734 firstname.lastname@example.org
www.totzsoccer.com 62 DECEMBER2013 63
Infants • Toddlers • Pre-School Pre-K • Kindergarten • School-Age
Offering full day, private Kindergarten for September 2013!
Now accepting children who miss the public school cut-off with birthdates up to DECEMBER!!!!
185 Plymouth Street Carver, MA 02330 www.kidstopschool.com
Toddler Group 15 mos to 2.9 years
Private Kindergarten Nursery-Preschool Day care services Summer program Drop-off services
Before & After School Full and half days Extended days Open all year 6:30 am to 5:30 pm
Preschool Preschool Preschool & Child Care & Child Care & Child Care HERE WE GROW
Daycare/Preschool ~ Infant ~ Toddler ~ Preschool
A Licensed, Quality Center Offering:
Flexible Days and Hours Nurturing, Dedicated, Certified Staff A Creative, Hands-on Curriculum for all Ages A New, Secure, State-of-the-Art Facility Convenient Locations Competitive Rates Open Year ‘Round ~ Minutes from 195 Hours: 6:45 AM – 5:45 PM
1727 G.A.R. Highway Swansea 885 Buffinton Street Somerset
~ NOW ENROLLING ~
* 30 years of quality childcare * * Voted best daycare/preschool *
Infant • Toddler • Preschool Full Day/Half Day • Open Year Round Vouchers Accepted Hours: 7am - 6pm Two Convenient Locations: 1 South Main St. Randolph
“Your Child’s First Years Last A Lifetime. Make Them Count!”
42 Mattakeesett St.Pembroke
115 Main St., No. Easton, MA 02356
(508) 230-7445 eastonlearningadventures.com
Greater Quincy child care center
Little People’s Country Day Care
Educating Children Since 1983
Where Learning is a Joyful Experience! • Preschool & Pre-Kindergarten Classes • 2 Day Morning & Afternoon Programs, Progressive 3 and 5 day Programs • Full Day Kindergarten • Small Class Sizes, Teacher Ratio of 1:9 • Grades 1-8 • Professional, Nurturing Teachers • Creative, Educational Programs • Active Learning Environment • Before and After Care Programs • Preschool Summer Camp 792 Plymouth Street Bridgewater 508.697.9131 www.southbrookacademy.org
INFANTS • TODDLERS PRESCHOOL 4 weeks to 6 years Preschool Social Group Part-time or Full-time
Teaching young children for over 15 years! Peggy Marshall, B.S., Education, along with a quality staff, offers a happy, healthy & educational environment for your children. 25 Wapping Road • Route 106, Kingston email@example.com
“I can’t wait to come back tomorrow!” Another day of learning, creating, exploring, playing, making friends and having fun is what your child will experience at the JCC Early Learning Centers.
(1/2 mile from the So. Shore Plaza)
• Infants: 8 weeks to 15 months • Toddlers: 15 months to 2.9 yrs • Preschool: 2.9 to 5 years • Kindergarten: full day, year-round. Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Hingham at Congregation Sha’aray Shalom 1112 Main Street • 781-752-4000 • firstname.lastname@example.org Ages 15 months -5 years
• Developmental Curriculum • Full or part week • Hot Lunch • Music & Large Motor Programs • High tech security system • State-of-the-art Center
Sharon at Temple Sinai 25 Canton Street • 781-795-4900 • email@example.com Ages 15 months -5 years
Kindergarten - FALL 2013 Age req. 5 yrs by Oct. 31, 2013
bostonjcc.org/earlylearning Open to the entire community
OPEN HOUSE - Friday, Jan. 11, 6:15 pm BOSTON
Call for a tour!
617-773-8386 • e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
License # 9002868
859 Willard St., 1 Adams Place, Quincy
We are celebrating 28+ years of quality care and education
Hours of operation 7am-5pm Monday- Friday Meals and snacks included Infant/toddler & preschool curriculum Loving, safe and secure Discounts for military, teachers & emergency servicemen & women
Joyful leArning PreSchool ~ PROGRAMS ~ SEPTEMBER-JUNE • 9:00 am – 1:00 pm • INFANTS 10 WEEKS AND UP • TODDLERS • 3 YEAR-OLDS • 4 YEAR-OLDS • PRE-KINDERGARTEN Extra Hours: Early Drop ~ 8:00 – 9:00 am Extended Day ~ 12:00 – 5:00 pm
Family Child Care
Programs for Learning & Enrichment
A rich early learning experienc inspired by Jewish values and traditions.
BAYSTATEPARENT 62 63
Preschool Preschool Preschool & Child Care & Child Care & Child Care
Infants through School Age Morning Preschool Full Day Kindergarten
(508) 339-4111 1100 School Street, Mansfield visit our website: mansfieldchildrenscenter.org
404 Washington Street • Duxbury, MA
Providing Respect Empathy Quality
Enriching Children’s Lives Since 1981
Pilgrim Child Care & Preschool (PCCP) Teaching Comfort Kindness Respect
Promoting Health Wonder Teamwork
Guiding Family Values Togetherness
Mansfield Children’s Center
Limited openings available *First-come First serve PRE-Register ONLINE to reserve your spot Phone: 781-934-8145 www.pccpduxbury.org with Private Kindergarten * small class size
EXPLORING NEW WORLDS AS ONLY MAPLEWOOD CAN OFFER
PUTTING THE FUN IN FUNDAMENTALS FOR GENERATIONS
Preschool Children’s Classes Birthday Celebrations After School School Vacation Camp Summer Camp
ENROLL YOUR CHILD TODAY 508-238-2387
maplewoodyearround.com Rte. 106 • 150 Foundry St. • S. Easton, MA
The Ridge Hill School of Norwell • Fully accredited kindergarten • Pre-Kindergarten • Preschool • Summer program
Values-Based Education in Caring Environment in Caring Environment
Half-Day Preschool Full-Day Pre-K Preschool & Kindergarten Half-Day After School Program & Bus Service Full-Day Pre-K & Kindergarten
Inspiring • Fostering After SchoolMinds Program & BusFaith Service
Enrolling NowMinds for the 2013-2014 . Fostering Inspiring Faith School sacredheartkingston.com Enrolling Now for the 2013-2014 School Year
A Sponsored Ministry of the Sisters of Divine Providence
sacredheartkingston.com We are a Strong
A Sponsored Ministry of the Sisters of Divine Providence
ACADEMIC BASED Preschool Our programs serve children 2.9 to 6 years old Half Day Programs 8:45am-11:45am * Two & Three Day Preschool * Four Day Pre-Kindergarten Full Day Programs 8:45am - 2:30pm * Three Day Preschool * Five Day Pre-Kindergarten * Five Day Kindergarten
Child-centered developmental approach NAEYC Accredited 102 High Street, Norwell
located near Queen Anne’s Corner
Infants, Toddlers, Preschoolers & Kindergartners Hours: M-F 7am - 6pm • Computer Areas • Spacious Classrooms • Quality Affordable Childcare • Loving/Educated Teachers • Owner On-Site • Lots of Special Events 366 Old Colony Road (Rt.123), Norton 508-222-1901
www.RainbowKidsLearningCenter.com 64 DECEMBER2013 65
Early Childhood Center
SPANISH at no additional cost SCHOOL YEAR PROGRAM
For more information or to schedule a tour contact Jenn Mulvey
508-992-2472 11 Anderson Way N. Dartmouth
The Learning Well Family Pre-School Where learning and fun are one! 2.9 - 5 years of age 2 programs to choose from Nursery and Pre-Kindergarten Classes run September - to - June Morning and afternoon options License number 696910
W. Bridgewater, MA
Preschool & Child Care
NO T LE S S O R I SM CO HO SCHOOL Pre-Primary (ages 2.9-6) Elementary (1st -6th grades)
Service Directory for Kids & Families
Pre-Primary (ages 2.9-6)
Infant ~ Toddler ~ Preschool School Age ~ Half Day Programs
• Elementary An individual approach to learning with (1st -6th grades) a strong academic emphasis based on a child’s readiness and • An individual approach to ability. learning with a strong
• An individual approach to learning with academic emphasis basedemphasis on a child’s readiness strong academic based on a • aMixed age groupings help children learn from each other and a sense of child’s readiness andcreate ability. and ability. community. • Mixed age groupings help children learn from • Mixed age groupings help children learn Education as a preparation fora life. each•other create a sense of community. fromand each other and create sense of community. • Education as a preparation for life. • Small, respectful and quiet classroom • Small, environments. respectful and quiet classroom environments. • Education as a preparation for life. For more information visit our website at:
• Small, respectful and quiet classroom www.mhmontessori.org environments. Academics * Leadership * Confidence Social Interaction * Structured Curriculum Degreed and highly qualified Staff Open Year Round * Vouchers Accepted Licensed by the Dept. of Early Education and Care
2 Convenient Locations
150-B Industrial Dr., Halifax, MA
256 Church Street Pembroke, MA
Wollaston Child Care Center “A HIGH QUALITY LEARNING CENTER”
• Pre-School for Children 15 months - 7 Years • Unique Indoor and Outdoor Play Areas • Full & PT Schedules, Year round 7am-6pm • On Site Healthroom Priva • Kindergarten t Tou e Availars ble 47 Weston Avenue
Adjacent to Wollaston T Station
or send us an e-mail at: email@example.com 25 Brow Avenue • Braintree, MA 02184 For more information visit our website at: 781.356.7877
or send us an e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org 25 Brow Avenue • Braintree, MA 02184 781.356.7877
Service Directory for Kids & Families Be a Foster Care Provider ENRICH YOURSELF, EMPOWER ANOTHER Make a Difference... One Person at a time
Kennedy-Donovan Center in New Bedford seeks committed, positive people to assist children with emotional and behavioral problems, and children / adolescents with medically complex needs. The Kennedy-Donovan Center currently has three locations where we provide Intensive Foster Care services:
Hourly • Daily Overnight • Weekends Full Weeks Memberships Available call Peggy at 781-582-1691 prositters.tripod.com
Richard Rockwood Residential Designer Specializing in Ocean Front & Flood Plain Design Custom Homes Additions Lighting Design Renovations Kitchens & Baths Built-Ins 781.837.4888 email@example.com www.rockwooddesign.com
For more information, please contact our Marketing Recruiter at our New Bedford location: 508-997-5875
New Construction • Remodels Network Cabling • AV Installation Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors Electric System Upgrades
384 King Caesar Road
Fresh, Homemade Food Delivered to your Home or Office Great
Gift idea for:
• New Moms • Medical Recoveries • Bereavements
Generators 1,000 to 17,000 watts
Infant • Toddler • Preschool Full Day Kindergarten Programs
Manual or Automatic Transfer
Conveniently located at Queen Anne’s Corner
Portable Generator Wiring Installed
40 Accord Park Drive Norwell 781-871-4994
business for 18 Years!
Trained, mature, responsible childcare in your home.
* New Bedford, MA & surrounding towns * Milford, MA & surrounding towns * All throughout the Cape Cod & the Islands
Litchfield Electric “Helping to lay the foundation for a child’s lifetime of learning”
Professional sitters referral svcs., inc. In
Call us today 781-389-8323 www.litchfieldelectric.com
Bringing families back to the table. 781.659.3858 www.doorknockdinner.com BAYSTATEPARENT 64 65
Service Directory Service Directory for Kids & Families for Kids & Families SERVICE IS OUR BUSINESS! Same Day Service On All Major Appliances
U L LI G A SINCE 1967
Plumbing Sprung a LEAK?
SALES & SERVICE Refrigerator Stove/Oven Washer Dryer Microwave Dishwasher Disposal Central Air
781-837-1700 864 Plain Street Marshfield www.mulliganappliance.com
Sip & Shop!
Occupational and Physical Therapy Groups now Forming at the Schwartz Center for Children Group sessions for children with special needs addressing: fine motor skills, gait training, sensory integration, and living skills.
Groups take place in the late afternoons and are for children preschool to high school age. An initial evaluation is required to determine child’s placement.
Please contact Kim Wilmot, 508-996-3391 x248 for additional information
The Law Office of Stephanie Konarski provides skilled legal services in the areas of: * Elder Law * Wills and Trusts * Asset Protection * Long Term Care and Medicaid Planning * Probate and Estate Administration * Disability and Special Needs Planning * Guardianship and Conservatorships * Residential Real Estate 36 North Bedford St. • East Bridgewater (508) 350-0120 • Fax: (508) 350-0121 firstname.lastname@example.org www.massestatelawyer.com 66 DECEMBER2013 67
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6 5:00 - 9:30 • FREE Admission • Plenty of Parking • Cash Bar • Over 25 Local Crafters & Vendors! at the newly renovated
Millbury VFW 16 Main St., Millbury FIND US ON
INDEX AAA ������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 15 Attorney James Connors �������������������������������������������������� 53 Barbara Chandler ������������������������������������������������������������ 31 Bay State Skating School ������������������������������������������������ 45 Beechwood Hotel ����������������������������������������������������������� 21 Boston Ballet ����������������������������������������������������������������� 51 BrainCore Therapy ���������������������������������������������������������� 27 Button Tree Kids ��������������������������������������������������������������� 2 Children’s Dentistry of Northborough ���������������������������������� 27 Children’s Music Academy ������������������������������������������������ 53 City of Worcester ������������������������������������������������������������ 46 Clinton Savings Bank ������������������������������������������������� 34,35 Cornerstone Academy �������������������������������������������������������� 3 Ecotarium ������������������������������������������������������������������������ 4 Edaville USA ������������������������������������������������������������������ 55 Fay School �������������������������������������������������������������������� 31 Fidelity Investments ���������������������������������������������������������� 5 FMC Ice Sports ��������������������������������������������������������������� 14 Here We Grow Daycare/Preschool ������������������������������������ 42 Inn at East Hill Farm ������������������������������������������������������� 45 Integrative Wellness Services ���������������������������������������������� 8 Isis Parenting at Merchant’s Row �������������������������������������� 30 John Robert Powers �������������������������������������������������������� 30 Karen Howe Speech-Language Pathologist �������������������������� 47 Kennedy-Donovan Center, Inc. ������������������������������������������ 16 Kids Echo ���������������������������������������������������������������������� 16 Magay & Barron Eye Center ��������������������������������������������� 21 Make Green Go Green ����������������������������������������������������� 31 Mall At Whitney Field ������������������������������������������������������ 68 Music Together- Southcoast ���������������������������������������������� 30 Music Together ��������������������������������������������������������������� 54 Next Generation Children’s Center ������������������������������������� 36 Paintbox Studio �������������������������������������������������������������� 55 Pakachoag Community Music ������������������������������������������� 53 Parenting Solutions ��������������������������������������������������������� 53 Pembroke School of Performing Arts ��������������������������������� 55 Pilgrim Child Care & Preschool ������������������������������������������ 47 Plymouth Philharmonic ���������������������������������������������������� 46 Rainbow Kids Learning Center ������������������������������������������� 47 Riverbend School ������������������������������������������������������������ 33 Shoe Market Kids ����������������������������������������������������������� 49 Shrewsbury Montessori School ����������������������������������������� 13 Signature Healthcare ������������������������������������������������������� 36 Simon Malls �������������������������������������������������������������������� 9 Skribbles Learning Center ������������������������������������������������� 21 Smuggler’s Notch Resort �������������������������������������������������� 19 Southcoast Hospitals Group ���������������������������������������������� 24 Stardust Gym ����������������������������������������������������������������� 31 Storybook Cove �������������������������������������������������������������� 49 The Children’s Garden ������������������������������������������������������ 31 The Children’s Workshop ���������������������������������������������������� 6 The Hanover Theatre ������������������������������������������������������� 39 The Learning Zone ���������������������������������������������������������� 14 The Pinecroft School �������������������������������������������������������� 27 Wachusett Mountain ������������������������������������������������������� 11 Wheelock College Theatre ������������������������������������������������ 50 Worcester Music Academy ������������������������������������������������ 42 WXLO ��������������������������������������������������������������������������� 41 YMCA Central Branch �������������������������������������������������������� 8 YMCA Southcoast ����������������������������������������������������������� 17
Happy Holidays From baystateparent
Massachusetts’ Premier Magazine For Families Since 1996
A SINGLE ISSUE
Pick Up Your Complimentary Copy Today At Over 1,000 Locations.
EXPLORE A CAREER
Seeking Creative, Talented, Multi-Media Account Executives. Full And Part Time.
• January - Education • February - Family Health • March - Camps For more information on where to find us, career opportunities and to advertise with this award winning parenting publication contact Regina Stillings at 508-865-7070 ext. 210 or email@example.com BAYSTATEPARENT 66 67
BELIEVE naughty or WISHniceLIST holiday photos
It’s the most wonderful time of the year
Storytime with Santa Wed. Dec. 4 & Wed. Dec. 11 11 am – 12 pm Includes a Make & Take Craft courtesy of JoAnn Fabrics & Crafts and a snack Sounds of the Season Concert Series Begins December 4 Visit themallatwhitneyfield.com for performance info. Patriots Cheerleaders Calendar Sales & Signing Sat. Dec. 14, Sun. Dec. 15 & Sun. Dec. 22 2 pm – 5 pm Photos with Santa Through December 24 at 5 pm Monday – Saturday 10 am – 8 pm, Sunday Noon – 6 pm Get Connected with Us Be the first to know about special sales, events and Holiday Surprises; our Elves are waiting for you! Facebook.com/themallatwhitneyfield @ShopWhitneyFld
JCPenney, Macy’s, Old Navy, Sears, Toys R Us and more than 60 specialty stores Visit themallatwhitneyfield.com for our extended holiday hours 100 Commercial Road Leominster, MA Junction of Route 2 & I-190 978.537.7500