baystateparent magazine October 2019

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PRICELESS

Massachusetts’ Premier Magazine For Families Since 1996

OCTOBER 2019

Boundless Play Accessible Playgrounds Foster Fun for All

How Much is Too Much? Fall in Full Effect Dietitian’s Halloween Candy Tips

Pumpkin Patches, Corn Mazes & More

New Center for Child Loss TEARS Opens Site in Northborough


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BAYSTATEPARENT 3


contents OCTOBER 2019

VOLUME 24

NUMBER 6

How cute are these slip-over-your-head planes, trains, trucks and carriages? See where to find these adorable (and easy!) new Halloween costumes by Suitables on page 37.. 4 OCTOBER2019


features 24 TEARS Foundation Opens New Center for Child Loss

32 A Recess Renaissance is Promoting Inclusion

34 Attorney Channels Her Journey to Advocate for Kids with Special Needs

38 Costume Conundrum: A Little Too RisquĂŠ for Halloween?

41 7 Great Pumpkin Festivals & Jack-o-Lantern Displays

in every issue 6 Momma to the Max 7 Good to Know 8 Herding Goofballs 10 Cyber Savvy Mom 11 On the Agenda 27 Bites 36 Very Special People 37 Our Fave Four 40 Finally Forever 43 Take Eight with Collette Divitto

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baystateparent president PAUL M. PROVOST associate publisher KATHY REAL BENOIT 508-767-9525 kbenoit@gatehousemedia.com

CREATIVE editor in chief AMANDA COLLINS BERNIER 508-767-9526 acollins@gatehousemedia.com creative director SHIELA NEALON 508-793-9121 shiela.nealon@telegram.com

momma to the

MAX

Fall is in Full Effect The leaves are putting on their annual show, going from green to dazzling gold and crimson. Pumpkins are on porches, candy corn is on store shelves, apples abound, and football is in full swing. It’s safe to say, fall is in full effect.

ADVERTISING sales manager JEREMY WARDWELL 508-767-9574 jwardwell@gatehousemedia.com account executive KATHY PUFFER 508-767-9544 kpuffer@gatehousemedia.com account executive REGINA STILLINGS 508-767-9546 rstillings@gatehousemedia.com

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100 Front Street, 5th Floor Worcester, MA 01608 baystateparent is published monthly and is distributed free of charge throughout Massachusetts.

There is truly something special about this time of year in New England (and as a West Coast transplant, I can really attest to that), but it’s perhaps even better when you’re a parent. Autumn is rich with opportunities for family traditions big and small -- from pumpkin picking and trick-or-treating to Friday night football games and Thanksgiving dinner. Plus, the weather. That beautiful stretch of not-too-warm days and just-coolenough nights -- it’s perfection. I’ll take chasing my 2-year-old around the backyard in crisp October air over a sticky, sweaty August afternoon any day. How can you make the most of this season with your kids? To start, you could spend a day finding your way out of a massive corn maze. We’ve rounded up nine of the coolest corn mazes you can imagine, all right here in the Bay State, on page 22. Or how about a road trip? An array of quaint pumpkin fests and epic jack-o-lantern displays are all within a couple hours’ drive of Central Massachusetts (see page 41). You can head north to see a 34-foot-tower of glittering gourds at the New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival, or take a drive south to check out a gallery of thousands of illuminated jack-o-lanterns at Roger Williams Park Zoo. Or, you can hit the playground. We’ve gathered a list of some of the best accessible play areas in the state on page 32. October is also Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month. Tens of thousands of families across the United States are devastated each year by the loss of a baby, and while it’s an emotional topic to bring up, talking about it can help grieving families feel seen and supported. A new Center for Child Loss has opened in Northborough to help bereaved parents. Find out more about it on page 24. You can show support to grieving families by lighting a candle on Oct. 15 for World Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Here’s to a great October!

Amanda

October’s Child: Meet Keiana

ON THE COVER:

Ben Priest, 10, of Monson, at Jessica’s Boundless Playground in Belchertown.

PHOTO BY

Susan Shea Photography. SusanSBPhotography.com. 6 OCTOBER2019

Hi! My name is Keiana and I love basketball! Keiana is a happy and spunky 15-year-old girl. She is energetic and loves basketball and has recently made her high school varsity team. She loves arts and crafts. Keiana enjoys listening to music. She is currently in high school learning culinary arts. Keiana is legally freed for adoption. The social worker is looking for family constellations consisting of a single woman, same-sex female or male couple and is open to siblings. Keiana is very active and wants a family that mirrors her interests. Keiana’s social worker is open to exploring Massachusetts or New York families who would be able to help build a relationship with Keiana prior to transitioning into their home.

Can you provide the guidance, love and stability that a child needs? If you’re at least 18 years old, have a stable source of income, and room in your heart, you may be a perfect match to adopt a waiting child. Adoptive parents can be single, married, or partnered; experienced or not; renters or homeowners; LGBTQ singles and couples. The process to adopt a child from foster care requires training, interviews, and home visits to determine if adoption is right for you, and if so, to help connect you with a child or sibling group that your family will be a good match for. To learn more about adoption from foster care, call the Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange (MARE) at 617-964-6273 or visit www.mareinc.org.


good

to know...

Personal finance website WalletHub named Massachusetts as 2019’s Best State to Live In. WalletHub compared the 50 states based on 51 key indicators of livability — ranging from housing costs and income growth to education rate and quality of hospitals. The Bay State beat out Minnesota for the top spot, despite having one of the worst affordability ratings. Massachusetts made up for that with top-five showings in economy, education and health, quality of life and safety.

Want to add a little charity to your child’s candy collecting this Halloween? Celebrating its 69th year, the nostalgic Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF campaign is the longest-running youth engagement program in America. Since inception, it has raised over $180 million dollars to help support children with health care, nutrition, safe water, education, emergency relief and more. Teach kids that a little spare change can go a long way with year’s campaign theme “We Can All Be Heroes.” You can order the iconic orange collection box at unicefusa.org through Oct. 14.

Boston Pops recently announced their holiday performance lineup, and there’s something exciting for families with children with special needs. The orchestra will present their first-ever Holiday Pops Sensory-Friendly Concert on Saturday, Dec. 7. The shortened version of the regular Holiday Pops concert will be played in a more flexible environment where modifications will include relaxed house rules, reduced volume and lighting levels, extra space for movement, noise-reduction headphones, quiet rooms and support spaces, modified food concessions, and credentialed autism therapist volunteers. Tickets are $25-80 and available at bostonpops.org. BAYSTATEPARENT 7


Herding

Goofballs

Halloween: Odd and Amazing All at the Same Time BY JOSH FARNSWORTH, ILLUSTRATION BY KIRA BEAUDOIN

W

e have a lot of explaining to do. Many times, it’s not because our children are too young to understand or lack the life experience some of us crusty old adults have under our belts. Some pieces of our lives here in Massachusetts are just…well…hard to simplify. Among the hardest topics to accurately convey to Cooper (who turns 6 this month) and Milo (3) are the holiday traditions we hold so dear. There are a lot of visuals hard to polish into concrete reasons for kids. For my family, that includes… • Having a tree inside the house for more than a month • Hiding plastic eggs around the living room to celebrate a religious occasion • Watching a row of adults plow through dozens of hot dogs on TV for a sporting event Cooper watching a small “highlight” of this year’s Coney Island competition: What are they doing? Me: Oh, they are trying to see who can eat the most hot dogs. Cooper: Why? Me:… Cooper: Dad? Me: People do funny things sometimes on the Fourth of July, huh? Yeah, being an adult can be hard sometimes, but can you imagine being a 6-year-old trying to understand all of this craziness? The good news is most of the holiday head scratching is momentary, as they all ultimately lead to really great rewards for the kids. In other words, they get 8 OCTOBER2019

to enjoy a barrage of hanging out with friends and family, candy, toys and candies that come with toys. So, even if they have questions, my kids seem careful not to dive in too deep. Pretty sure they don’t want to mess with any of those things they have going for them. Of all the holidays both hard to explain to a child and tricky to navigate is Halloween. Halloween is all in good fun, but man o’ man is it hard to rationalize how October 31 goes. My kids have had bouts of extra anxiousness when it comes to scary, creepy monsters, and I spend 364 days a year reassuring them they are just parts of stories and don’t exist and anything else to make them feel safe. And then for one day, we go out of our way to dress up like these monsters and decorate our houses with them as if to invite them over our houses for fun. Gulp. Trick-or-treating comes with its own laundry list of things to consider. Whose idea in the first place was it to get dressed up, barge onto our neighbors’ properties demanding food and then inject our kids with a heavy dose of sugar around 7-8 p.m.? Nice going, whoever you are. For my kids who have egg, tree nut and peanut allergies, there is extra prep work to be done around Halloween candy. My wife and I buy an extra duffel-bag-worth of sugary snacks in order to exchange with the chocolate bars that are not allowed to ever touch their mouths. Silver lining: when exchanging candy

like this, it’s a good time to teach my kids about currency and how that works. Dollar bills are nice examples when learning about the exchange of goods, but it really hits home solid when a fullsized bag of Cheetos is involved. We willingly decorate our houses with spider webs after spending precious time explaining to them to NEVER, EVER, EVER touch them. I believe my kids do kind of “get it” that Halloween is a trickster, let’s be funny sort of 24-hour period. But when Halloween candy starts popping up in the middle of summer, it sort of forces your hand to go into a song and dance about the whys and whens. Regardless of the question or concern though, they get candy. And that is the beginning and end of most Halloweenrelated debates with Cooper and Milo. All this said, I believe Halloween allows for the greatest of all bonding experiences with your kids when it comes to holiday traditions: the costume. It’s the one time per year you are openly encouraged to dress up like a cartoon character or superhero and march around town to the delight of everyone. I do this November 1 at work, and Human Resources has a few questions for me. But dressing up along with your kids gives you a chance to really be peers for a few hours. You are not ‘dad’ and ‘son’ in these moments. You are Spiderman and Wolverine, saving the world together one doorbell ring at a time. It’s an interesting dynamic walking hand-in-hand down a darkened street knowing you are both in it together. If

you are allowing your son or daughter to pick out a costume for the first time, know these two important things: • They will want the big, expensive one • They will change their mind about noontime on October 31 It’s true. No matter how much you talk up a costume, nothing is more mesmerizing than…well…pretty much any other costume on the planet hours before s/he is set to put it on. This year, an edict was handed down in June that the four of us were going to dress up as Marvel characters. And then it expanded. My kids decreed several months ago that even more people needed to get in on the action. To date, my brother, sister, mother, father, cousins and other relatives have been called upon to wear a Marvel-specific costume on and around Halloween. In other words, Avengers, assemble! This is just the tip of the All Hallows Eve iceberg when it comes to Halloween prep. From my family to yours, have a safe and great time. And don’t worry about nailing every detail. It’s a lot of explaining to do. Josh Farnsworth is a husband, father of goofballs Cooper and Milo, goofball himself, and award-winning writer and columnist living in Worcester. He can be reached for column ideas at josh.farnsworth@ yahoo.com.


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SPECIAL NEEDS ISSUE

cyber savvy mom

Keeping Kids with Special Needs Safe from s e i l l u b r e b y C Kids with special needs are more vulnerable to bullying – and that can mean online harassment. Here are tips for helping your child avoid becoming a target. BY JOAN GOODCHILD/ CYBER-SAVVY MOM

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tudies have shown that children with disabilities are at an increased risk of being bullied – and that can transfer to the virtual world online as cyberbullying is a pervasive problem these days. Cyberbullying is when someone intentionally uses digital media to threaten, harass, or intimidate someone. As preteens and teens of all abilities can attest, this harassment takes place through social media, chat groups, texting and instant messages. Social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat have created more opportunities for cyberbullying to potentially occur as kids often transition onto these apps during after school hours to socialize and chat. In an “always-on” digital world, it can be difficult to escape persistent harassers who go after their targets both in class and online. Children with a so-called “invisible” disabilities such as a learning disability, or ADHD, OCD and Asperger’s are more vulnerable to bullying. Their disability may not be obvious to peers, the way it might be for a student in a wheelchair, for example. So in these instances, these children with undetectable disabilities might suffer with social limitations 10 OCTOBER2019

and become targets for bullies who do not even realize they are harassing a disabled child. And with some conditions, the bullied child may not even understand that they are being bullied. It is an incredibly heartbreaking and frustrating situation for both students and their parents. And it is often a challenge to get kids to share with caregivers that they are being harassed. According to UKnowKids, a provider of online safety tools for families, here are some signs to be on guard for if you think your child may be targeted by bullies. • Appears nervous when receiving a text, instant message, or email • Seems uneasy about going to school or pretends to be ill • Unwillingness to share information about online activity • Unexplained anger or depression, especially after going online • Abruptly shutting off or walking away from the computer mid-use • Withdrawing from friends and family in real life • Unexplained stomach aches or headaches • Trouble sleeping at night • Unexplained weight loss or gain Katie Greer, a well-known internet safety expert and pub-

lic speaker, said the approach to parenting when it comes to technology should vary, no matter who the child is or what their abilities may be. “I do think it’s important to acknowledge that technology is such a large and helpful part of all of our lives, so helping our kids learn this space is really integral to their success. I will say that some kids with certain disabilities find that connecting with people online is easier than connecting in person; with that, it’s important that parents are making sure that they’re communicating with people that they know only,” said Greer. “Parents can help their kids have a healthy and safe relationship with technology by laying down ground rules and checking in often on their activities - just like they do offline.” Greer said with the strides and benefits seen in the disability community thanks to technology, she does not encourage parents of kids with special needs to think of online as off limits. “It’s allowed education about these disabilities to spread, helped people raise money in certain instances, and call attention to all the wonderful things this community is doing. With that, I encourage parents of children with disabilities to think of how tech can help them and

their families - whether it’s connecting with other families in the same situations, or helping to educate a larger community.” It’s always a balancing act allowing kids to use technology in a way that benefits them and does inject harm into their lives. Some common sense tips for helping your special needs child avoid cyberbullying include: Lay down ground rules – Rules and then trust should be your first tactics. Put together a family contract for technology and make it clear where your child is allowed online. Set expectations for appropriate online content, and also be clear about what is not ok to visit and view (examples might include certain social media sites you are not comfortable with at their age). Also ensure you are clear about how you expect your child to act online and explain appropriate behavior when connecting with others. This is especially important for kids with disabilities that may impact the way they hear and process social cues. Be aware – With your contract or rules in place, as we always say in the Cyber Savvy home, a conversation is your best defense. An open dialogue between you and your child about what they are viewing online and what they are observing is critical on a regular

basis. Encourage them to ask questions and come to you if they are concerned about something they have seen. Be realistic - If regular talks are not enough for your comfort level, occasionally checking your child’s device for warning signs is appropriate. Regular, intrusive stalking is not. Let your child know you will occasionally expect access to the history, sites and messages on their phone. Over-the-top surveillance, on the other hand, only ensure they will likely try and skirt the rules and avoid coming to you if they do encounter a problem online. Advise them not to respond to bullies – If your child does report they are being harassed online (or in person), encourage them not to engage with the bully. Talking to a trusted adult to get their perspective on next steps is key. Got a question or a topic you would like to see covered here? Reach out at cybersavvymom@yahoo.com or follow Cybersavvy Mom on Facebook. Read more news and information on staying safe, secure and civil online at cybersavvymom.com


on the

agenda • FACTS & FREEBIES • OCTOBER’S ADVENTURES • THE LIST

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on the

agenda

facts and freebies tuesday

monday

wednesday

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It’s National Pumpkin Seed Day!! Don’t let your jack-o-latern’s guts go to waste. Try this easy recipe: Wash and dry pumpkin seeds then in a bowl toss with olive oil, salt, garlic powder, paprika and black pepper. Roast on a lightly greased baking sheet at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Yum!

{FREEBIE}

The SpongeBob Musical will be at the Boch Center Oct. 15-27! Want to go? Here’s your chance to win tickets!

The Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular is back this year at Roger Williams Park Zoo. Travel through a seasonal wonderland of over 5,000 carved, glowing pumpkins. Here’s your chance to win tickets to this acclaimed event!

12 OCTOBER2019

Start the holiday season off at a magical show! We’re giving away tickets to see Rudolph The RedNosed Reindeer – The Musical, which will be at the Boch Center Dec. 6-8!

It’s Take Your Teddy Bear to School Day! Let your little ones bring their lovies along today.

Cake lovers, pull up a chair. It’s National Boston Cream Pie Day! This delicious treat was invented in Boston in 1856 and is the official dessert of the Bay State.

31{FACT}

Happy Halloween! If you’re taking the kids trick-ortreating and stashing some candy for yourself you’re not alone. According to WalletHub, 72% of parents admit to stealing their kids’ candy.


Starting on the date the prize appears, go to our page to enter for your chance to win.

sday

friday

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{FACT}

What’s for dinner? TACOS! Today is National Taco Day (as if you needed a reason to eat them).

11 18{FREEBIE} ‘Tis the season for ghouls, goblins and monsters. We’re giving away some not-so-spooky monster-themed books!

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FACT} {FACT} Happy Birthday to Spongebob Squarepants’ pal Squidward!

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on the

agenda october

ADVENTURES OUR TOP

5 PICKS

OF THINGS TO DO IN OCTOBER

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Blue Man Group Autism-Friendly Performance. Charles Playhouse, 74 Warrenton St., Boston. Saturday, Oct. 19, 11 a.m. Slight modifications including adjusting sound and light levels and subdued audience engagement make this performance suitable for individuals and families affected by autism and other sensory-related issues. A portion of ticket sales benefits Autism Speaks. $30-$50. blueman.com/autismspeaks. Apple and Agriculture Days. Old Sturbridge Village, 1 Old Sturbridge Village Rd., Sturbridge. Weekends, Oct. 5-20, and Columbus Day. 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Celebrate the harvest and the beautiful New England autumn at the peak of color as interpreters harvest fruit, make cider, and plow and prepare fields. Adults $25.50, youths 4 and up $11.50, ages under 4 free. osv.org. Ooey Gooey Pumpkin Science. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. Friday, Oct. 11, 2-4:30 p.m. Visit the pumpkin exploration station and use your senses and curiosity to touch, float, and examine the qualities of this seasonal staple. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $14.50, ages under 1 free. discoveryacton.org. Harvest Festival. Berkshire Botanical Garden, 5 West Stockbridge Rd., Stockbridge. Saturday & Sunday, Oct. 12-13, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. The garden campus fills with children’s activities, pony and hay rides, games, live entertainment, a farmer’s market, and more for all to enjoy. General $7, ages under 12 free. berkshirebotanical.org. Boston Book Festival. Copley Square, Boston. Saturday & Sunday, Oct. 19-20. Literary lovers of all ages will find something at this two-day event taking place in the heart of Boston and throughout Dudley Square in Roxbury. Multiple sessions for kids and teens will explore genres and themes, and children’s workshops will help hone writing, reading and creative art skills. Picture book readings, scavenger hunt, and keynote speakers. Free. bostonbookfest.org.


ADVENTURES 1 TUESDAY Dance Me A Story. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 10-10:45 a.m. Join Joanne Langione Dance Center during this family event where music, movement, and literature align to encourage exploration and imaginative play. Free. newtonfreelibrary.net.

Folk Open Mic. TCAN: Center for Arts, 14 Summer St., Natick. 8 p.m. Enjoy as acoustic and folk performers from across the area showcase their talents on stage. Members free; public $5. natickarts.org.

2 WEDNESDAY

Take Aparts, Jr. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 10-11 a.m. Grab some tools and discover resistors, capacitors, gears, and more as you uncover the inner workings of gadgets and gizmos. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $14.50, ages under 1 free. discoveryacton.org.

Backyard and Beyond: Leaf Art. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 11 a.m.-12 p.m. Collect colorful leaves throughout the Discovery Woods and use them to make a suncatcher, a painted leaf print, or a textured leaf rubbing in celebration of New England foliage. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $14.50, ages under 1 free. discoveryacton.org.

Especially for Me: Free Sensory-Friendly Afternoons. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 1:30-4:30 p.m. Explore the accessible Museum and Discovery Woods during this time with support access to exhibits and limited crowding. Register ahead. Free. discoveryacton.org.

Discovery Museum Presents: Dinosaurs. Leominster Public Library, 30 West St., Leominster. 6-7 p.m. Practice simple tool identification, excavate a mock dig site, and compare bodies of dinosaurs. For ages 4 to 6. Register ahead. Free. leominsterlibrary.org.

Daddy & Me: Build a Wooden Logging Truck. Leominster Library, 30 West St., Leominster. 6-7 p.m. Caregivers and their youngsters are invited to make wooden logging truck with hammer and nail. Register ahead. Free. leominsterlibrary.org.

A Tribute to Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pear. Berk Recital Hall, 1140 Boylston St., Boston. 7 p.m. YouTuber Carlos Eiene presents a concert of arrangements from some of the best video game soundtracks ever composed. Free. berklee.edu/events.

3 THURSDAY Make a Mess: Paint with What? Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 10-11 a.m. Come use unconventional painting tools and silly objects to create your own piece of art. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $14.50, ages under 1 free. discoveryacton.org.

Book Corner with Mary Westgate. Eric Carle Museum, 125 West Bay Rd., Amherst. 10:30 -11 a.m. A fun, music-filled story-time with Berkshire Hills Music Academy’s Mary Westgate, as she reads from a selection of braille picture books. Free with admission. Adults $9, youths $6, ages under 1 free. carlemuseum.org.

Take Aparts. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 2-4:30 p.m. Uncover the inner workings of everyday electronics from telephones and computers to radios and more. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $14.50, ages under 1 free. discoveryacton.org.

Family Yoga. Boston Children’s Museum, 308 Congress St., Boston. 11:15 a.m. Enjoy a fun, energizing yoga session specifically designed for young children and grown-ups together. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $18, ages under 1 free. bostonchildrensmuseum.org.

Storytime Adventures: Owls. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 4-4:30 p.m. Whooo else but owls will you read about during this story-time. Free. newtonfreelibrary.net.

Sensory Play Storytime. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 11:15 a.m.-12 p.m. Look, listen, touch, play and enjoy a story and activities aimed at exploring different sensory story concepts. For ages 2 to 4. Free. newtonfreelibrary.net.

4 FRIDAY Music and Movement with Miss Bernadette. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 9:30-10 a.m. Explore sound through singing and playing. Move, make music, listen, learn, and get a multi-sensory, fun, workout. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $14.50, ages under 1 free. discoveryacton.org.

Stars Over Springfield. Springfield Museum, 21 Edwards St., Springfield. 7:30-9 p.m. Join members of the Springfield Stars Club for skygazing in the Science Museum’s observatory or a planetarium show if overcast. $3. springfieldmuseums.org.

on the

agenda

october 5 SATURDAY

Haunted Biz Baz Street Fair. Pedestrian Mall, Essex St., Salem. 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Listen to live music, enjoy historic Salem, and explore some of the best crafters in the area as you celebrate the season for all ages. Free. salem-chamber.org. Beyond the Spectrum: Marvelous Masks. Museum of Fine Arts: Boston, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston. 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. Learn about the importance of masks in many cultures, from ancient Egyptian mummies to modern Halloween costumes, and enjoy an artmaking activity for children on the autism spectrum. Register ahead. $9. mfa.org. Zumba Kids. Boston Children’s Museum, 308 Congress St., Boston. 11 a.m. & 11:30 a.m. Kids and adults join in a short family-friendly Zumba class combining exercise and fitness with the dance styles of cumbia, salsa, merengue, and reggaeton. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $18, ages under 1 free. bostonchildrensmuseum.org. Safari Matinees: Building ‘Leave No Trace’ Fires. North River Wildlife Sanctuary, 2000 Main St., Marshfield. 2-3 p.m. A naturalist teaching guests how to make campfires without disrupting the natural world around us. Free. massaudubon.org.

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Safari Matinees: Building ‘Leave No Trace’ Fires. North River Wildlife Sanctuary, 2000 Main St., Marshfield. 2-3 p.m. A naturalist teaching guests how to make campfires without disrupting the natural world around us. Free. massaudubon.org.

Kiddie Music Time. Leominster Public Library, 30 West St., Leominster. 10-11 a.m. Enjoy classic and original music, songs, percussion instruments, and dance during this interactive class. Recommended for ages up to 5. Register ahead. Free. leominsterlibrary.org.

6 SUNDAY

Family Storytime. Worcester Public Library: Frances Perkins Branch, 470 West Boylston St., Worcester. 10:30-11:15 a.m. Explore themes through rhymes, stories, books, and crafts. Free. mywpl.org.

Haunted Biz Baz Street Fair. Pedestrian Mall, Essex St., Salem. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Listen to live music, enjoy historic Salem, and explore some of the best crafters in the area. Free. salem-chamber.org. First Sunday. Museum of Russian Icons, 203 Union St., Clinton. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Enjoy free admission all day to explore the galleries. Free. museumofrussianicons.org. Hispanic Heritage Month: Mola. Boston Children’s Museum, 308 Congress St., Boston. 1 p.m. Make Mola, the Panamanian fabric art as part of the Hispanic Heritage Month celebration. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $18, ages under 1 free. bostonchildrensmuseum.org.

7 MONDAY Especially for Me: Morning for Families with Deaf, Hard of Hearing, & KODA Children. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 9:30 a.m.-12:30 a.m. Come for a special morning filled with play, exploration, experimentation, and imagination. ASL interpreters ensure a positive experience. Register ahead. Free. discoveryacton.org.

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8 TUESDAY Dress Your Stuffed Pet. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 10-11 a.m. Treat your favorite stuffed animal to a new outfit as you use your imagination and a variety of creative materials to design and construct a special costume for your furry friend. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $14.50, ages under 1 free. discoveryacton.org. LittleBeats Dance. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 10-10:30 a.m. Join friends from LittleBeats for creative dance at the library. For ages 0 to 4. Free. newtonfreelibrary.net. PAW Patrol Live: Race to the Rescue. The Hanover Theatre, 2 Southbridge St., Worcester. 6 p.m. Come roll with the PAW Patrol as everybody’s favorite heroic pups race to the rescue on the day of the Great Adventure Bay Race. $22-52. thehanovertheatre.org. Little Lab Coats. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 6:30-7:30 p.m. Go on


a scientific discovery and perform exciting experiments to explore basic properties of science in an easy and fun way. For ages 6 to 9. Free. newtonfreelibrary.net.

9 WEDNESDAY PAW Patrol Live: Race to the Rescue. The Hanover Theatre, 2 Southbridge St., Worcester. 6 p.m. Come roll with the PAW Patrol as everybody’s favorite heroic pups race to the rescue on the day of the Great Adventure Bay Race. $22-52. thehanovertheatre.org.

10 THURSDAY Make a Mess: Explore Kinetic Sand. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 10-11 a.m. Squish it, sculpt it, drip it, and more. Discover the unique properties of this special material as you play, create, and experiment. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $14.50, ages under 1 free. discoveryacton.org. STEAM Sprouts. Boston Children’s Museum, 308 Congress St., Boston. 1-2 p.m. Explore new materials, practice using new tools, or discover something unexpected about the way things work. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $18, ages under 1 free. bostonchildrensmuseum.org. GAME DAY. Worcester Public Library: Great Brook Valley Branch, 89 Tacoma St., Worcester. 2-5 p.m. Get unplugged and play some old-fashioned board games with friends. Free. mywpl.org.

11 FRIDAY

nonmember adults $5, youths 5 and up $3, ages under 5 free. concordmuseum.org.

Sensory Friendly Saturday. Springfield Museums, 21 Edwards St., Springfield. 9-11 a.m. Enjoy the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum and the Springfield Science Museum modified to provide an opportunity for people with a range of differing abilities and sensory friendly crafts. Free with admission. Adults $25, youths 3 and up $13, ages under 3 free. springfieldmuseums.org.

Van Gogh for All Family Day. Springfield Museums, 21 Edwards St., Springfield. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Celebrate Van Gogh with sunflower prints, morning hayrides under 1:30 p.m., painting until 2 p.m. and more. Free with admission. Adults $25, youths 3 and up $13, ages under 3 free. springfieldmuseums.org.

Little Yogis & Me Yoga and Movement. Leominster Public Library, 30 West St., Leominster. 10-11 a.m. & 11 a.m.-12 p.m. A fun-filled yoga play featuring yoga poses, songs, and movement. For ages 1 to 4. Register ahead. Free. leominsterlibrary.org. Story Music Fun. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 10-10:30 a.m. A funfilled music story-time of instrument playing, movement, and singing. For ages 0 to 4. Free. newtonfreelibrary.net. Backyard and Beyond: Forest Fridays. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 10-10:45 a.m. Come outside, no matter the weather, to do a nature-based activity either in the Discovery Woods or the adjacent conservation land. Designed for ages 2-6. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $14.50, ages under 1 free. discoveryacton.org. Grand Opening Celebration. Concord Museum, 53 Cambridge Turnpike, Concord. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Celebrate the Museum’s renovations with crafts, entertainment, and talks. Free with admission. Members free;

Family Yoga. Boston Children’s Museum, 308 Congress St., Boston. 11:15 a.m. Enjoy a fun, energizing yoga session specifically designed for young children and grown-ups together. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $18, ages under 1 free. bostonchildrensmuseum.org. Sensory Play Storytime. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 11:15 a.m.-12 p.m. Look, listen, touch, and play. Enjoy a story and activities aimed at exploring different sensory story concepts. For ages 2 to 4. Free. newtonfreelibrary.net.

12 SATURDAY Winchendon Fall Festival. Winchendon Center, Central St. b/w Maple and Front St., Winchendon. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Join for a day of fall fun with crafters, children’s activities, a bouncy house, face painting, food, and more. Free. townofwinchedon.com. Apple Country Fair. Town Common, Brookfield. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Live music, local crafters, children’s games, baked goods, raffles and an apple pie contest are all part of this small town

fall festival. Free. applecountryfair.com. Ashfield Fall Festival. Ashfield Main, Main St., Ashfield. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Enjoy live music and dance, pumpkin games and children’s activities, a book and tag sale, and more for the entire family. Free. ashfieldfallfestival.org. Harvest Festival. Berkshire Botanical Garden, 5 West Stockbridge Rd., Stockbridge. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. The garden campus fills with children’s activities, pony and hay rides, games, live entertainment, a farmer’s market, and more for all to enjoy. General $7, ages under 12 free. berkshirebotanical.org. Howl-O-Ween. Salem Maritime National Historic Site, 160 Derby St., Salem. 1-2:30 p.m. Enjoy the 5th annual parade seeing the best pets in town decked out in costumes and parading about for the Halloween celebration. Free. salemmainstreets.org. Special Storytime: Brian Lies. Eric Carle Museum, 125 West Bay Rd., Amherst. 2 p.m. Join Bria Lies as he shares ‘Got to Get to Bears’ a story of friendship in the face of a blizzard, as well as his Caldecott-Honor Book ‘The Rough Patch.’ Adults $9, youths $6, ages under 1 free. carlemuseum.org. Safari Matinee: Outdoor Baking. North River Wildlife Sanctuary, 2000 Main St., Marshfield. 2-3 p.m. Everyone loves scones, learn what native fruits can make our scones even better. Free. massaudubon.org. Worcester Railers vs. Adirondack Thunder. DCU Center, 50 Foster St., Worcester. 7:05 p.m. Cheer on as Worcester’s hometown

ice hockey team, the Railers, face down the Adirondack Thunder. $15-35. dcucenter.com.

13 SUNDAY Ashfield Fall Festival. Ashfield Main, Main St., Ashfield. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Enjoy live music and dance, pumpkin games and children’s activities, a book and tag sale, and more for the entire family. Free. ashfieldfallfestival.org. Harvest Festival. Berkshire Botanical Garden, 5 West Stockbridge Rd., Stockbridge. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. The garden campus fills with children’s activities, pony and hay rides, games, live entertainment, a far market, and more for all to enjoy. General $7, ages under 12 free. berkshirebotanical.org. Newburyport Fall Harvest Festival. Downtown Newburyport, Market Square, Water & Merrimac St., Newburyport. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Come downtown as we host our 18th Annual Scarecrow Contest, handmade crafters, live music, great food, and family fun celebrating autumn’s arrival. Free. newburyportchamber.org. Special Sundays in the Studio. Eric Carle Museum, 125 West Bay Rd., Amherst. 12-5 p.m. Join in the Art Studio to explore new materials and try a different project. Free with admission. Adults $9, youths $6, ages under 1 free. carlemuseum.org. Hispanic Heritage Month: Papel Picado. Boston Children’s Museum, 308 Congress St., Boston. 1 p.m. Make papel picado or ‘pierced paper’ and use colored tissue paper to replicate this Mexican art. Free with admission. Mem-

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or use your hands to tear a collection of confetti. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $14.50, ages under 1 free. discoveryacton.org.

bers free, nonmembers $18, ages under 1 free. bostonchildrensmuseum.org. So You Think You Can Dance Live. The Hanover Theatre, 2 Southbridge St., Worcester. 7:30 p.m. Watch as the top 10 finalists from Season 16 of ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ perform live featuring special all-star guests. $39.50-95. thehanovertheatre.org.

Cirque Mechanics: 42FT. The Hanover Theatre, 2 Southbridge St., Worcester. 7:30 p.m. Enjoy a menagerie of mechanical marvels, as the minds of Cirque Mechanics find inspiration from modern acrobatics and circus traditions for a mesmerizing theatrical show. $25.-55. thehanovertheatre.org.

14 MONDAY Newburyport Fall Harvest Festival. Downtown Newburyport, Market Square, Water & Merrimac St., Newburyport. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Visit downtown for the 18th Annual Scarecrow Contest, handmade crafters, live music, great food, and family fun celebrating autumn’s arrival. Free. newburyportchamber.org. Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Institute of Contemporary Art: Boston, 25 Harbor Shore Dr., Boston. 10-5 p.m. Spend your holiday and get a chance to experience Yayoi Kusama: Love Is Calling, while tickets last. Free. icaboston.org.

Cirque Mechanics. The Hanover Theatre, Worcester Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Museum of Fine Arts: Boston, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Take a tour of the galleries exploring the Museum’s growing collection representing a broad diversity of indigenous cultural traditions, music and dance, and art-making activities. Free. mfa.org.

Hispanic Heritage Month: Bilingual Music Morning. Boston Children’s Museum, 308 Congress St., Boston. 10:30 a.m. Come join the dance party with Mariana Iranzi who brings multicultural and bilingual songs, music, and movement for the whole family. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $18, ages under 1 free. bostonchildrensmuseum.org.

15 TUESDAY Music with Emily. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 10 a.m.-10:45 a.m. Join Parents’ Choice Award winning singer/songwriter Emily Hall for this sing-a-long musical adventure filled with familiar tunes, original songs, and surprises. Free. newtonfreelibrary.net. Snip and Tear. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 10-11 a.m. Show off your scissor skills, try cutting for the first time,

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Folk Open Mic. TCAN: Center for Arts, 14 Summer St., Natick. 8 p.m. Enjoy as acoustic and folk performers from across the area showcase their talents on stage. Members free; public $5. natickarts.org.

16 WEDNESDAY Backyard and Beyond: National Fossil Day. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 10-11 a.m. Experiment with water to reveal fossils on river rocks, and make a ‘fossil’ of your own to take home as you explore the Discovery Woods. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $14.50, ages under 1 free. discoveryacton.org.

17 THURSDAY Doggy Days: Howl-O-Ween. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 10-11 a.m. Abby the Therapy Dog needs your help deciding what costume she should wear on Halloween, so join in to play doggy dress-up and vote for the costume you think she should wear trick-or-treating. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $14.50, ages

under 1 free. discoveryacton.org. National Fossil Day. Harvard Museum of Natural History, 26 Oxford St., Cambridge. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Celebrate National Fossil Day with ancient trilobites, sea scorpions, saber toothed cats, giant ground sloths, and more. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $15, ages 3 and up $10, ages under 3 free. hmnh.harvard.edu. STEAM Sprouts. Boston Children’s Museum, 308 Congress St., Boston. 1-2 p.m. Explore new materials, practice using new tools, or discover something unexpected about the way things work. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $18, ages under 1 free. bostonchildrensmuseum.org. Make a Mess: Spooky Science. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 2-4:30 p.m. Use a little spooky science to create some strange substances, like glow-in-the-dark slime and oobleck. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $14.50, ages under 1 free. discoveryacton.org. The Addams Family. Worcester Public Library: Great Brook Valley Branch, 89 Tacoma St., Worcester. 3 p.m. Come join the kookiest family on the block. Sit back and enjoy this feature-length film following the Addams family. Free. mywpl.org.

18 FRIDAY Backyard and Beyond: Forest Fridays. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 10-10:45 a.m. Come outside, no matter the weather, to do a nature-based activity


either in the Discovery Woods or the adjacent conservation land. Designed for ages 2-6. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $14.50, ages under 1 free. discoveryacton.org. Materials Play. Eric Carle Museum, 125 West Bay Rd., Amherst. 11 a.m. & 11:30 a.m. Experiment with materials selected especially for young explorers, and their caregivers in the Art Studio. Free with admission. Adults $9, youths $6, ages under 1 free. carlemuseum.org. Family Yoga. Boston Children’s Museum, 308 Congress St., Boston. 11:15 a.m. Enjoy a fun, energizing yoga session specifically designed for young children and grown-ups together. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $18, ages under 1 free. bostonchildrensmuseum.org. Sensory Play Storytime. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 11:15 a.m.-12 p.m. Look, listen, touch, play and enjoy a story and activities aimed at exploring different sensory story concepts. For ages 2 to 4. Free. newtonfreelibrary.net.

Toy Story 4. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 2 p.m. Join Woody, Buzz, and the rest of the Toy Story gang as they set off on a new adventure from the minds of Pixar. Free. newtonfreelibrary.net. Happier Family Comedy Show. Eric Carle Museum, 125 West Bay Rd., Amherst. 3-4 p.m. Spend an hour of laughs and family fun, during this improv show created on-the-spot fueled by audience suggestion and participation. Members $9, youths $4.50; nonmembers $10, youths $5. carlemuseum.org. Especially for Me: Visually Impaired Family Evening. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 5-8 p.m. An evening at the museum especially for families experiencing a visual impairment, with a 6 p.m. squishy circuit activity, and light dinner provided. Register ahead. Free. discoveryacton.org.

SUNDAY 20 Sturbridge Harvest Fest. Town Common & The Publick House, 277 Main St., Sturbridge. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Celebrate the fresh harvest, judge scarecrows, enjoy countless crafters, artisans, and food vendors, and spend the day with the entire family. Free. cmschamber. ning.com. Wellfleet OysterFest. Wellfleet Main Corridor, Main St., Wellfleet. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Celebrate local cuisine, music, beautiful arts and crafts, an oyster shuck-off, and plenty of family fun from music, crafts, activities, and an obstacle house. $10. wellfleetspat.org. AppleFest. Wachusett Mountain, 499 Mountain Rd., Princeton. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Come enjoy live musical performances, roaming entertainers, plenty of delicious food, face painting, an

obstacle course and a giant slide, pony rides, and more. Advance $11, ages 6-12 $6; at-door $14, ages 6-12 $9, ages under 6 free. wachusett.com Cider & Music Festival. Old Sturbridge Village, 1 Old Sturbridge Village Rd., Sturbridge. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Enjoy musical across multiple stages, learn about the importance of cider in nearly new England, enjoy activities for the entire family, and, for caregivers, enjoy some hard cider. Adults $25.50, youths 4 and up $11.50, ages under 4 free. osv.org.

21 MONDAY Family Storytime. Worcester Public Library: Frances Perkins Branch, 470 West Boylston St., Worcester. 10:30-11:15 a.m. Explore themes through rhymes, stories, books, and

crafts. Free. mywpl.org. Baby Bookworms. Leominster Public Library, 30 West St., Leominster. 11-11:30 a.m. Enjoy nursery rhymes, action rhymes, songs, and stories for caregivers with their young babes up to age 1. Register ahead. Free. leominsterlibrary.org.

22 TUESDAY Dance Party. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 10-10:30 a.m. Move and groove to the music as kids, caregivers, and friends dance together. Free. newtonfreelibrary.net. National Chemistry Week: Metal Masterpieces. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 10-11 a.m. Use paper

Family Fun. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 3:30-4:30 p.m. Drop-in with the entire family for games, building materials, and other activities for fun. Free. newtonfreelibrary.net. Worcester Railers vs. Maine Mariners. DCU Center, 50 Foster St., Worcester. 7:05 p.m. Cheer on as Worcester’s hometown ice hockey team, the Railers, face down the Maine Mariners. $15-35. dcucenter.com.

19 SATURDAY Candy Chemistry with Mom or Dad. Springfield Museums, 21 Edwards St., Springfield. 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Dress for a mess, and bring aprons and oven mitts. Discover the physical and chemical properties of candy and sharpen your math skills with fudge, chocolate, and other treats. Recommended for ages 7-10. Register ahead. Members $30, nonmembers $35. springfieldmuseums.org. Wellfleet OysterFest. Wellfleet Main Corridor, Main St., Wellfleet. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Celebrate local cuisine, music, beautiful arts and crafts, an oyster shuck-off, and plenty of family fun from music, crafts, activities, and an obstacle house. $10. wellfleetspat.org. 30th Annual Harvest Festival. Town Common & The Publick House, 277 Main St., Sturbridge. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Celebrate the fresh harvest, judge scarecrows, enjoy countless crafters, artisans, and food vendors, and spend the day with the entire family. Free. cmschamber.ning.com. AppleFest. Wachusett Mountain, 499 Mountain Rd., Princeton. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Come enjoy live musical performances, roaming entertainers, plenty of delicious food, face painting, an obstacle course and a giant slide, pony rides, and more. Advance $11, ages 6-12 $6; at-door $14, ages 6-12 $9, ages under 6 free. wachusett.com SteveSongs: Family Fun Concert. Regent Theatre, 7 Medford St., Arlington. 10:30 a.m. Do not miss this family fun Saturday favorite for years, featuring the award-winning musical talents of SteveSongs. Adults $12, youths 12 and under $10. regenttheatre.com. BAYSTATEPARENT 19


clips, pipe cleaners, cans, nuts, bolts, screws, aluminum foil and more to create a metal-only object. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $14.50, ages under 1 free. discoveryacton.org. 21st Annual Octoboefest. David Friend Recital Hall, 921 Boylston St., Boston. 7:30 p.m. Come celebrate the 21st Octoboefest with the soulful sounds of the oboe, where costumes are encouraged. Free. berklee.edu/events.

23 WEDNESDAY Fall Together. Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Ave., Boston. 8 p.m. The 35th Annual Fall Together Concert is a celebration of composers associated with the Jazz Composition Department. Advance $10, day-of $15. berklee.edu/events.

24 THURSDAY National Chemistry Week: Is it Magnetic? Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 10-11 a.m. Investigate and experiment with various metal—and non-metal—objects to test if they have magnetic qualities. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $14.50, ages under 1 free. discoveryacton. org. STEAM Sprouts. Boston Children’s Museum, 308 Congress St., Boston. 1-2 p.m. Explore new materials, practice using new tools, or discover something unexpected about the way things work. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $18, ages under 1 free. bostonchildrensmuseum.org.

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a.m.-12 p.m. Look, listen, touch, play, and enjoy a story and activities aimed at exploring different sensory story concepts. For ages 2 to 4. Free. newtonfreelibrary.net.

National Chemistry Week: Marvelous Metals. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 2-4:30 p.m. Experiment with a metal that remembers its shapes, and explore metals, magnets, and more. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $14.50, ages under 1 free. discoveryacton.org.

National Chemistry Week: Marvelous Metals. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 2-4:30 p.m. Experiment with a metal that remembers its shapes, and explore metals, magnets, and more. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $14.50, ages under 1 free. discoveryacton.org.

Black Cat Glitter Mosaic. Worcester Public Library: Great Brook Valley Branch, 89 Tacoma St., Worcester. 3-4:30 p.m. Drop in for this craft day activity making black glitter mosaic cats. Free. mywpl.org. Tommy James Haunted Halloween Magic Show. Worcester Public Library: Frances Perkins Branch, 470 West Boylston St., Worcester. 4-4:45 p.m. Come to this Spooktacular magic show, featuring ghosts, goblins, Frankenstein, and more. Recommended for ages 5 and up. Free. mywpl.org.

25 FRIDAY Story Music Fun. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 10-10:30 a.m. Enjoy stories, songs, instrument strumming, and moving. For ages 0 to 4. Free. newtonfreelibrary.net. Backyard and Beyond: Forest Fridays. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 10-10:45 a.m. Come outside, no matter the weather, to do a nature-based activity either in the Discovery Woods or the adjacent conservation land. Designed for ages 2-6. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $14.50, ages under 1 free. discoveryacton.org.

Cider & Music Festival. Old Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge. Word Play with Center Dance Studio. Eric Carle Museum, 125 West Bay Rd., Amherst. 10:30-11:30 a.m. Join Center Dance Studio for creative movement and narrative dance inspired by picture books. Register ahead. Free with admission. Adults $9, youths $6, ages under 1 free. carlemuseum.org. Family Yoga. Boston Children’s Museum, 308 Congress St., Boston. 11:15 a.m. Enjoy a fun, energizing yoga sessions specifically designed for young children and grown-ups together. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $18, ages under 1 free. bostonchildrensmuseum.org. Sensory Play Storytime. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 11:15

Disney On Ice: Road Trip Adventures. DCU Center, 50 Foster St., Worcester. 7 p.m. Hit the road with Mickey Mouse and his pals including Moana, Simba, Aladdin, and Woody during this fun-filled getaway jam-packed with unexpected hijinks. $15 and up. dcucenter. com.

26 SATURDAY Revere Beach Fall Fest. Revere Beach, 600 Ocean Ave., Rochester. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Open beach for face-painting, cookie decorating, children activities, and fall festival shopping. Free. reverebeachpartnership.com.

young and old to get up and move about. Free with admission. Adults $9, youths $6, ages under 1 free. carlemuseum.org. Family Yoga Class. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 10:30-11:30 a.m. Participate in cooperative game, learn age-appropriate poses, learn breathing exercises, and experience simple mindfulness activities. Recommended for ages 3 to 12, with caregiver. Free. newtonfreelibrary.net. National Chemistry Week: Marvelous Metals. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Experiment with a metal that remembers its shapes, and explore metals, magnets, and more. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $14.50, ages under 1 free. discoveryacton.org. Family Fallapalooza. Hyland Orchard & Pavilion. 199 Arnold Rd., Fiskdale. Live music, local vendors, food trucks, farm animals, pumpkin painting, lawn games, fall crafts and tractor rides through the orchard are all part of this third annual family day on the farm. Craft beers served up from Rapscallion Brewery. Free. hylandorchard.com.

Play Date: Home is Where… Institute of Contemporary Art: Boston, 25 Harbor Shore Dr., Boston. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Enjoy fun, creative, and even zany activities, look amongst the galleries, and enjoy time together. Free. icaboston.org.

Disney On Ice: Road Trip Adventures. DCU Center, 50 Foster St., Worcester. 11 a.m., 3 p.m., 7 p.m. Hit the road with Mickey Mouse and his pals including Moana, Simba, Aladdin, and Woody during this fun-filled getaway jam-packed with unexpected hijinks. $15 and up. dcucenter.com.

Special Storytime: Thyra Heder. Eric Carle Museum, 125 West Bay Rd., Amherst. 10:30 a.m. Join author-illustrator Thyra Heder as she reads from her new picture book, and inspires

Fabulous Fungus Fair. Harvard Museum of Natural History, 26 Oxford St., Cambridge. 2-4 p.m. Explore the wonderous world of fun-


gi, during this time of discovery, investigation, and hands-on experiences. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $15, ages 3 and up $10, ages under 3 free. hmnh.harvard. edu.

27 SUNDAY

Matt Heaton Family Singalong. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 10-10:45 a.m. Join the Toddlerbilly Troubadour as he brings an infectious energy to his sing-alongs peppered with classic and originals that will bring all audience members alive. Free. newtonfreelibrary.net.

Disney On Ice: Road Trip Adventures. DCU Center, 50 Foster St., Worcester. 12 p.m. & 4 p.m. Hit the road with Mickey Mouse and his pals including Moana, Simba, Aladdin, and Woody during this fun-filled getaway jampacked with unexpected hijinks. $15 and up. dcucenter.com.

Tinker Tuesday: Inventions in Motion. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 10-11 a.m. Explore the possibilities of reusing what we usually throw away. Make our very own kinetic art inventions. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $14.50, ages under 1 free. discoveryacton.org.

Sleepy Hollow-een Tour. Concord Museum, 53 Cambridge Turnpike, Concord. 3:30-5 p.m. A special Halloween event taking a tour through historic Sleepy Hollow Cemetery with a Concord Museum guide with stories passed down through generations. Members $5, nonmembers $10. concordmuseum.org.

30 WEDNESDAY

Trick or Treat. Old Sturbridge Village, 1 Old Sturbridge Village Rd., Sturbridge. 5-7:30 p.m. Visit the Village after hour for a family-friendly evening of trick or treating on the Commons. See costumes, hear spooky tales, enjoy a bonfire, take a hayride, and more. Members $8, nonmembers $12, ages under 4 free. osv.org.

28 MONDAY Make Way For Storytime. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 10-10:30 a.m. & 11-11:30 a.m. Enjoy stories and songs during this early morning story-time. For ages up to 4. Free. newtonfreelibrary.net. Halloween Tiny Tykes Trick-or-Treat. Leominster Public Library, 30 West St., Leominster. 10-11 a.m. Join the library and Monument Square Community Movement School and enjoy trick-or-treating around the first floor. Free. leominsterlibrary.org. Sensory Play. Worcester Public Library: Frances Perkins Branch, 470 West Boylston St., Worcester. 10:30 a.m.-11:15 a.m. An interactive program exploring different textures, substances, and tools. For ages from birth to 5. Free. mywpl.org.

29 TUESDAY

Free. mfa.org.

Halloween Trial Walk and Treasure Hunt. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 1011:30 a.m. Get dressed up in your Halloween costumes and take a walk through the woods. Use a map and compass to discover treats along the way. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $14.50, ages under 1 free. discoveryacton.org. Halloween Celebration. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 3:30-4:30 p.m.A Halloween Celebration filled with stories, songs, and a fun craft. For ages 3 to 8. Free. newtonfreelibrary.net.

31 THURSDAY Make a Mess: Pumpkin Take Aparts. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 10-11 a.m. Squish some pumpkin guts, count seeds, make a pumpkin prediction, and investigate the holiday-happy gourd with all of our senses. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $14.50, ages under 1 free. discoveryacton.org. Trick or Treat. Worcester Public Library: Great Brook Valley Branch, 89 Tacoma St., Worcester. 3:30-4 p.m. Celebrate Halloween as we trick-or-treat at the library. Free. mywpl.org. Diwali. Museum of Fine Arts: Boston, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston. 5-10 p.m. Celebrate an ancient Festival of Lights observed around the world by many cultures and religions. Take in music and dance performances, tours, interactive artist demonstrations, and more.

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on the

agenda

the list

9 Cool Corn Mazes to Tackle This Fall The time-honored tradition of making your way through a corn maze is one of those autumn bucket list items. Dozens of farms carve winding trails into the corn fields each year, but these nine mazes really stand out. Most are at venues that offer more than just the chance to navigate a maze, but lots of other fall fun, too.

Sauchuk’s Corn Maze 200 Center St., Plympton

Sauchuk Farm brought the first large-scale corn maze to eastern Massachusetts over a decade ago, and they’ve been doing it big ever since. They work with the world’s largest cornfield maze company, The Maize, on world-class designs that draw thousands of families every year. This year, they’re celebrating 50 Years of Sesame Street with a massive maze featuring the faces Abby, Elmo, Grover and Cookie Monster. Don’t worry about getting lost -- uniformed “corn cops” are located throughout the maze to help guide visitors. The farm also offers pumpkin picking, hay wagon rides, a cow train and jumping pillows. Kids’ activities like tug-of-war, duck races, and barnyard ball add to the fun. sauchukmaze.com Hours: Open Saturdays and Sundays 9 a.m.-6 p.m. through Nov. 2, plus Friday, Oct. 11, 1-6 p.m., and Monday, Oct. 14, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Price: General admission $14.95, seniors $11.95, kids under 3 free.

Mike’s Maze

23 South Main St., Sunderland

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Woodstock, Mike’s Maze, situated on a working farm at the foot of Mount Sugarloaf, presents Cornstalk: 8 Acres of Peace, Love & Music this fall. This groovy portrait of legendary performers Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin is more than a corn maze -- it’s a themetac, immersive experience with games, auditory amusements, and incredible art installations all within the trails of the maze. Young kids will delight in the farm’s larger-than-life playground featuring a giant double drain-tube slide, a jump pad, tractor tire jungle gym, wagon rides, a petting zoo, and giant games. Older kids (and adults!) can enjoy a race around the track in pedal carts. Be sure to check out the view of the maze from the perspective of the giant walk-in camera obscura. mikesmaze.com Hours: Open Saturdays and Sundays, plus Columbus Day, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., through Nov. 3. Open Fridays with limited offerings 12-5 p.m. Price: General admission $15, students and seniors $13, children 5-12 $12, kids under 4 free. Fun Friday rate: adults $10, children $9, kids under 4 free.

West End Creamery 481 Purgatory Rd., Whitinsville

The corn maze at this family-friendly farm and creamery situated next to Purgatory Chasm celebrates the one and only Gronk. The #ThanksGronk design, as it’s been dubbed, pays tribute to recently retired Patriots’ tight end Rob Gronkowski, who’s captured in a familiar pose -- about to spike a football. Bring your own flashlight to navigate the maze on Friday nights. Admission to the corn maze includes the venue’s other fall festival offerings: pedal karts, cow train, wagon rides, duck races, barnyard jump, tug-o-war, and pumpkin picking. Mini golf, pony rides, and ice cream are offered on site for an additional charge. westendfallfestival.com Hours: Open Friday 3-9 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Sunday 12-6 p.m. through Oct. 27, plus Columbus Day 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Price: General admission $12.95, seniors $9.95, kids under 36” free.

Davis Farmland Mega Maze 145 Redstone Hill Rd., Sterling

Einstein’s Colossal Corn-undrum is the theme of the Mega Maze at Davis Farmland this fall, encompassing 8 acres of corn and almost 3 miles of puzzling pathway networks. More than just a walk in the corn stalks -- there are games, surprises and photo-ops within the walls of the maze. You might stumble upon hammer bells, a field goal kick, slingshots, slides and dozens of other games. Maze Masters are stationed throughout to help frustrated navigators. There are seven intensity levels to this maze, so you can spend a few hours or the entire day there. davismegafarmfestival.com Hours: Friday 5 p.m.-9 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sunday (plus Columbus Day) 11 a.m.-6 p.m. through Oct. 27. Price: Adults $21.95, children 5-12 $18.95, kids under 5 free. 22 OCTOBER2019


Lanni Orchards

294 Chase Rd. (Rt. 13), Lunenburg

This family-owned farm in North Central Massachusetts works to make each year’s corn maze harder than the last. This year, visitors can find their way through the challenging Space Odessy themed maze, which features a space shuttle and an astronaut landing on Earth. Space-themed decorations around the farm bring it all to life, including a planet backdrop for photo-ops. lanniorchard.com Hours: Open daily, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. through Nov. 30. Price: General admission $12, night maze admission $15.

Schartner Farm 279 West Berlin Rd., Bolton

This fourth generation farm celebrates our champion Boston sports teams -- with Sox, Bruins, Patriots and Celtics logos intertwined with a farm-themed landscape. Hop on a hayride and let the kids get an up-close look at their menagerie of farm animals. Cider donuts and hot dogs available. Hours: Open Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m.- 5p.m. through Oct. 26. Price: General admission $10, kids 4-11 $7, children 3 and under free.

Wojcik’s Farm 65 Milk St., Blackstone

A tent, a campfire, and some fishing, all by the light of the moon… the “great outdoors” is the theme of Wojcik’s Farm corn maze this year, and they’ve got it covered. While you’re there, enjoy a free wagon ride or grab some grub and ice cream from the snack shack and hang out at the picnic area. Hours extended until 10 p.m. for Flashlight Nights on Oct. 5, 12, 19 and 26. wojcikfarm.com Hours: Open Friday 5-9 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. through Oct. 27. Price: General admission $8, children under 6 free.

Connors Farm

30 Valley Rd. (Rt. 35), Danvers

Wind and weave your way through this 7-acre country-themed corn maze. Tackle it during the day or try to navigate it by flashlight on Friday and Saturday nights. Other autumn offerings at the farm include a kiddie train, barnyard animals, hayrides, zipline, jumping pillows, a giant sandbox and slides, and more. Kids can enjoy activities like duck races, tug-o-war, apple cannons and pumpkin picking. connorsfarm.com Hours: Open daily 8 a.m.-6 p.m. through Nov. 3. Price: Weekend general admission $14.95, seniors $13.95; weekdays $9.99 and $8.99. Kids under 2 free.

Westview Farms Creamery 109 East Hill Rd., Monson

Make your way through the 6-acre corn maze (BYO flashlight at night), then stay at the farm to enjoy all the family-friendly fun to be had. Hop on a tractor ride, let the kids dig in the sandbox or slip down slides in the play area, pick pumpkins and pet goats, then top it all off with the farm’s very own homemade ice cream while taking in the view at one of the best sunset-watching sites around. There’s a restaurant on-site and live music and beer and wine on weekends. westviewmonson.com Hours: Friday 5-9 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-9 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m.5 p.m. through Oct. 27. Price: General admission $12, kids 5-12 $8, children under 5 free.

BAYSTATEPARENT 23


Life After Loss

New Center Supports Parents Through Pregnancy and Infant Loss BY AMANDA COLLINS BERNIER

K

Each year about 24,000 babies are stillborn in the ayla Marcinkus, of Oxford, had her hands full United States. About 10 to 20 percent of known pregwith three kids when she got an unexpected, nancies end in miscarriage, but the actual number but happy surprise: a fourth was on the way. is likely higher because many miscarriages occur so At about eight weeks along she felt ready early in pregnancy that a woman doesn’t realize she’s to announce the news, and posted a photo pregnant. on social media of her children piled into her todBut as common as these losses are, we rarely talk dler’s crib, holding up a sonogram picture with giddy about them. Maybe that’s because pregnancy and smiles. “We planned for three but we didn’t see, God’s infant loss are just so hard to talk about. plan was four so we’re having one more!” she wrote. “We couldn’t be more excited for this baby!” Plans for this new life were already swirling in Kayla, and her husband, Joe’s, minds. What would he or she bring to the world? How would the family change? They looked forward to one last time to savor all those “firsts.” But a few weeks later, it all came crashing down. At a routine ultrasound, the baby’s heartbeat was undetectable. At 13 weeks, Kayla had miscarried. “After that appointment I just sat in my car, frozen – unable to think and to feel. It like my entire world just crumbled,” she said. Why did this happen? How would she tell her children? How could she hold it together for her family? Joe told the kids and Kayla gave herself a month to privately process the loss before sharing it with family friends. In a follow-up post on social media she wrote, “I’m finally sharing that someone I love was never born. My body feels empty, my heart is broken, and my soul misses you deeply. You will forever be my favorite ‘what if.’” Every year, millions of expectant parents around the world face losing a baby while pregnant or just after birth. Both miscarriage and stillbirth describe pregnancy loss, but they differ according to when the loss occurs. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, a miscarriage is usually defined as loss of a baby before the 20th week of pregnancy, and Brenda Johnston, left, and Emily Coelho, co-chairs for the a stillbirth is loss of a baby at 20 weeks of pregnancy Massachusetts Chapter of the TEARS Foundation and co-directors of the new Center for Child Loss in Northborough. and later. 24 OCTOBER2019

“No one knows what to say,” said Kayla. But Brenda Johnston, of Marlborough, co-chapter leader of the Massachusetts Chapter of the TEARS Foundation, does know what to say – or, at least, how to listen. “I always tell people ‘I can’t give you a cliff note or a shortcut for how you’re going to get better. I’m just going to be there for you and help you get to know your new self,’” she said. In 2009, Brenda’s son, Liam Michael, was born sleeping when she was 19 weeks along. For years she lived with a silent, aching pain. She saw a counselor but after a certain amount of time, their sessions became nothing more than catching up and swapping recipes. Friends and family had been a great support, but eventually, they moved on with their lives. Brenda felt alone, stuck under the weight of grief and guilt. Several years after losing Liam, Brenda stumbled upon a volunteer opportunity with the TEARS Foundation, a non-profit that offers financial and emotional support to bereaved parents. “Finally, it was a room full of women who knew exactly how I was feeling,” she said. Chapter co-chair Emily Coelho, of Grafton, felt the same relief when she found the TEARS Foundation after her own losses. She had an early miscarriage at six weeks, then later lost a daughter, Lena, in January 2016 at 23 weeks. “It’s a very unique loss. You feel alone,” she said. “Right after I lost Lena I was doing frantic Google searches, trying to find other parents to connect with.” The Massachusetts Chapter of the TEARS Foundation was formed four years ago, in September 2015. They help local families with funeral costs and hold free support groups for bereaved families who have experienced the death of their baby. In June, the chapter opened a new Center for Child Loss at 300 West Main Street in Northborough. It’s only the fourth of its kind in the country, with


most other chapters holding meetings and groups in coffee shops, restaurants or community centers. The center is run by volunteers and funded through donations and fundraisers, like last month’s Walk & Rock at Nashoba Regional High School, where about 20 teams walked and 25 babies were honored. The center is calm and inviting, providing a permanent location for the local chapter’s volunteer meetings, support groups, resources and a lending library. It’s open three days a week for drop-ins, and hosts scheduled self-care days throughout the month for those who need a little space or alone time. A support group for bereaved families meets the first Monday of every month from 7 to 9 p.m. There are also dedicated open hours Tuesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., or by appointment after hours. Families can come in and talk with the volunteer staff, find resources, or use the site as a meeting location for their own support staff like therapists. “We have a lot of dreams and plans for this space,” said Brenda. Down the road, she hopes to start additional support groups for grandparents or for women who are navigating pregnancy after loss. “I want to help people not feel the way I did for so long.” Kayla has found support in a private Facebook group, describing the other members as “warriors.” “Sometimes my loss feels insignificant compared to some, but in reality, a loss is a loss,” she said.

Brenda agreed, “a loss is a loss, no matter how small.” For Robyn Bear, the woman behind National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, there needed to be an avenue to recognize these losses -- however big or small. According to her website, she campaign to make Oct. 15th a national day of remembrance “after having had five miscarriages with little to no support.” She wanted a day for people to grieve visibly, get the support they needed, and unite around the world by lighting candles. On Tuesday, October 15th, at 7 p.m. in every time zone around the world, families will light a candle in honor of all lost babies. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed October as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. According to the non-profit group Share, this month “allows us to consider how, as individuals and communities, we can meet the needs of bereaved parents and family members and work to prevent causes of these problems. Sadly, these are deeply painful experiences that many families face daily, but they receive little attention. It may be hard to talk about, but the more open we are, the better we can serve bereaved parents.” For more information about the Massachusetts Chapter of the TEARS Foundation, visit thetearsfoundation.org/massachusetts/. Other resources for pregnancy and infant loss support include: nationalshare. org, october15th.com, foreverfootprints.org.

A butterfly garden at the Rock & Walk honors babies who were lost. BAYSTATEPARENT 25


26 OCTOBER2019


bites

FOOD FOR THOUGHT • NUTRITION • GOOSE’S GOODIES BAYSTATEPARENT 27


Bites

Food for

Thought

The Most Popular Halloween Candy in Massachusetts Is… Every year CandyStore.com embarks on the very important work of compiling years and years of sales data to determine the most popular Halloween candy, broken down by state. And the Bay State’s favorite might just surprise you. No, it’s not salt water taffy or Cambridge-made Tootsie Rolls. Year after year, the top candy

in Massachusetts is Sour Patch Kids. Last year, we bought a whopping 78,900 pounds of them for Halloween. Butterfingers and Double Bubble Gum round out our top three. Sour Patch kids are also the favorite in Maine and New York, but across the country, Skittles, M&Ms and Snickers are the top three most popular treats.

Is a Meal Delivery Service Right for Your Family? Weighing the Pros and Cons With work, commitments to family and children’s school and extracurricular activities, parents today are busier than ever. Many families find they have little time to devote to cooking, let alone shopping for food and planning out meals. As an alternative to dining out, which can be expensive, more and more families are exploring home-delivery meal kits. According to Neilsen data, over 14 million U.S. households have given home delivery meal kits a try in 2019 alone -- a 36 percent growth in just under a year. For many parents, it’s the solution to the question, what’s for dinner? Have you tried a home delivery meal kit? If you’re thinking of giving the idea a shot, here is a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages. Pros • Meal delivery kits’ biggest selling points are convenience and ease of preparation. Such kits may it possible for even novice home cooks to prepare restaurant-quality meals in their own kitchens. The boxes are

filled with a week’s worth of ingredients for various recipes. The recipes spell out, step-bystep, how to create delicious meals. • Meal kits can provide a great way to try new foods, enticing eaters to try different recipes. They’re also a good idea for families who may be bored preparing their typical staples. • Another advantage to meal kits is the portions of the meals are already determined, helping people better control how much they eat. Meal kit users also are unlikely to waste food, which might be common for those accustomed to preparing large meals they rarely finish. Cons • Cost is usually the biggest detriment to meal kits. Even though meal kits may cost less per person than dining out, they’re still on the expensive side. Meal kit devotees pay for the convenience of having someone plan, package and ship high-quality meals to their doorsteps. Meals may cost anywhere from $50 to $200 per week, with the average at about $10 per meal, per person, says Pentallect. People who can get great deals at grocery stores may feel meal kits are not worth the cost.

• Another potential problem with meal kits is that consumers may be at the mercy of the company in terms of the variety of foods available to them. Picky eaters may find the kits include items they will not eat, which can make kits a waste of money and food. Also, it may take some research to find companies that offer foods that fit with dietary preferences, such as those that cater to food allergies or vegan diets or companies that provide organically sourced ingredients. • Environmentalists may frown upon the excess packaging and cooling packs used in some meal kits. Consumers must be committed to recycling or reusing packaging to make meal kits more eco-friendly. Families who want to give meal kits a try are urged to read reviews on services and check out available menus to ensure the investment is worth it. If convenience is key, meal kits may be the ideal fit.

Halloween Candy By The Numbers $2.5 billion: The average amount Americans spend on Halloween candy every year, according to the National Retail Federation $44: The amount the average U.S. household spends on trick-ortreat candies 72,546: Pounds of Butterfingers Bay Staters bought for Halloween in 2017 179 million: Number of Americans who celebrate Halloween 95: Percent of people celebrating Halloween who purchase candy 25: Percent of the candy industry’s revenue made during the Halloween season 1970s: The decade offering Halloween candy became popular

28 OCTOBER2019


Bites

ask the nutritionist

How to Handle All That Halloween Candy BY JENNIFER HALL AND EMMA D’ARPINO

H

alloween is an exciting time for children to dress up as their favorite movie character, a dream job or an imaginary villain. It also comes with the excitement of candy. This candy laden holiday is something that concerns parents - upset tummies, cavities, empty calories and weight gain. However, the more we view candy as a “bad” food – or one that is only given as a reward – the more likely children will want it, even for reasons other than its sweet, satisfying taste. Here are a few tips to guide you through this crazy Halloween season. 5 tips for a fun, but healthy Halloween: • Serve a healthy, satisfying dinner before trick-or-treating. • When you return home with that bag of goodies, let your kids pick out their favorites, and then make a “giveaway” pile to donate to troops, bring into parents’ workplaces, community center, etc. Perhaps have them pick “31” of their top selections, for October 31. This practice demonstrates moderation and generosity. • Serving smaller amounts of these sweets will allow the children to enjoy the pieces they choose and pay attention to the taste, smell, and texture. • Make a routine (either after school or after dinner) where kids get to choose one or two pieces to enjoy. • If you do not want your children to consume artificial colors and/or if they affect your child negatively, consider having an honest discussion with them saying you would be more comfortable with chocolate-based candy without added colors. Do you really need to be that parent? Handing out toothbrushes or floss takes a lot of courage. But you can take some actions to not contribute to the holiday going overboard.

• Buy small sizes – “minis” or fun packs vs small sized candy. Avoid trying to be the neighborhood jackpot by offering regular or king-sized candy bars, etc. • Remember they are children and don’t need handfuls of candy. • For familiar trick-or-treaters from your neighborhood, consider giving out ‘jack o lantern’ mandarin oranges (decorated fresh or individual fruit cups), small apples, packets of sunflower seeds, pretzel snack bags (available pre-packaged), or bake up a batch whole wheat pumpkin mini muffins. Non-food treats Let us not forget that Halloween encompasses all kinds of “treats” and “tricks.” Be flexible as you honor the kid in all of us and consider non-candy items to give away. These items will be appreciated by many for those with food allergies, non-sweet eaters, or children just looking for something different in their bag of treats. • Temporary tattoos/stickers • Googly eyes • Playdoh • Glow sticks, bracelets, or necklaces • Pencils, pens, crayons, markers, coloring books • Bubbles • Mini slinky • Whistles, kazoos, or noisemakers • Spider rings or vampire fangs • Mini notepads • Playing cards • Bookmarks Halloween is important to children. Make it safe and memorable. Jennifer Hall and Emma D’Arpino are both pediatric dietitians at UMASS Memorial Medical Center. Jennifer is a mother of two and teaches at West Boylston Jazzericse regularly. Emma is part founder of peace.love.food Nutrition Counseling, https:// peacelovefoodnutrition.com/ Both are committed to children enjoying food, life and their bodies.

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Bites

goose’s

goodies

Harvest Loaf Bake up a batch of this moist, sweet pumpkin bread and your house will be smelling like fall! The chocolate chips are a great kid-friendly addition, but feel free to add some chopped nuts for a little crunch. This recipe makes two loaves, but you can easily cut it in half or use the batter to make delicious pumpkin muffins. Ingredients • 1 cup butter • 2 cups sugar • 4 eggs, beaten • 3 ½ cups flour • 2 tsp. baking soda • 2 tsp. cinnamon • 1 tsp. nutmeg • 1 tsp. salt • 1 small can pumpkin (15 oz) • 1 ½ cups semisweet chocolate chips Directions Cream butter and sugar, then stir in beaten eggs. In a separate bowl, sift dry ingredients together. Alternately, add dry ingredients and pumpkin to creamed mixture, ending with pumpkin. Fold in chocolate chips. Pour batter into 2 greased 9x5 loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Let loaves cool in pan for ten minutes, then remove, and let stand on a baking rack until completely cooled. Goose’s Notes: -I always use mini chocolate chips. My grandkids seem to think this makes the recipe extra chocolatey. -If you choose to make muffins, this recipe will make 48 mini muffins. No cupcake liners are needed, but make sure to grease the muffin pan well. Laurie Silva Collins, known affectionately as Goose by her grandkids, is a nurse, mother and grandmother who is happiest when she’s in the kitchen, cooking and baking for those she loves. She learned to cook from her parents, and has perfected her recipes over the years while raising three daughters… and spoiling seven grandchildren.

30 OCTOBER2019


BAYSTATEPARENT 31


A Recess Renaissance is Promoting Inclusion BY DEBBIE LAPLACA

A

Wheelchair user Ben Priest, 10, takes advantage of the adaptive playscapes at Jessica’s Boundless Playground in Belchertown. PHOTO BY SUSAN SHEA PHOTOGRAPHY 32 OCTOBER2019

“recess renaissance” is on the rise as adaptive and inclusive playgrounds that foster the physical, mental, and emotional health of special needs children are gaining ground across the state. The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education requires all students in grades K-12 to participate in a variety of locomotor and movement-based activities. Yet, children with disabilities often lack access to safe, adaptive outdoor play spaces. This shortage is blamed, in part, for the reportedly 38 percent higher rate of obesity in children with disabilities. The good news is the ever-increasing call from special needs parents and educators is prompting public and private schools and communities to open new adaptive, barrier-free playgrounds with innovative structures for kids of all abilities. The City of Boston officially opened Martin’s Park on the South Boston waterfront in June. The public park was dedicated to Martin W. Richard, who at 8 years old was the youngest killed in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. The park is adjacent to the Boston Children’s Museum and includes adaptive structures for kids of all abilities, such as Martin’s sister Jane, who lost a leg in the bombings. In Central Massachusetts, Coes Park holds more than 20 acres of green and blue space that offers four seasons of amenities including the region’s first stateof-the-art, universally accessible, multigenerational park and playground. Robert C. Antonelli Jr., Assistant Commissioner for Worcester Parks and Recreation, said the public park at Mill and Coes streets opened in 2017. The vision began with the city’s 2004 Master Plan, which was shaped with input


Area BarrierFree Public Playgrounds Goward Playground 486 Main St., Acton Jessica’s Boundless Playground

Harambee Park Boundless Playground

Thomas M. Menino Playground

from the Worcester Disability Commission and citizens. “The administration felt it was important to make the park accessible to everyone,” Antonelli said. “We were looking for a dynamic, intergenerational design for those with mobility issues.” A state PARC grant of $400,000 helped fund the $1.2 million project to build the park, with the city funding the balance. The adaptive play area, Antonelli said, offers 19 elevated and 38 ground level features, including seven small bumps to represent the seven hills of Worcester; all on a rubberized surface. Antonelli said the park’s high use has prompted the city to add another 30 parking spaces to the present 28 next year. Worcester city officials hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony on August 22 to celebrate renovations made to Holmes Field, at the corner March and Plantation streets. This $1.3 million makeover included the installation of a new, accessible playground with specialized areas for ages 2-5 and 5-12. Looking to the west you’ll find Jessica’s Boundless Playground in Belchertown, a multi-generational activity structure for people of all abilities. The fully handicap accessible playground offers wide ramps for wheelchairs and a rubberized surface rather than wood chips. Donations made possible the nearly $500,000 project that was built in memory of local teen Jessica Martins, who died in 2009 from Rett’s Syndrome, which is a rare disorder that causes a slowing of growth and development. The move to increase accessible play spaces is also growing in the private, specialized schools for special needs children. Elizabeth Becker is the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Association of 766 Approved Private Schools, which implements innovative programs to serve students with ranging physical and emotional disabilities. “There is a recess renaissance occurring here because Massachusetts is a leader at large, and especially in special education,” Becker said. “There’s a realization that recess is so much more than play – it’s education.”

said, worked with the leaders in the varThe 80 schools associated with maaps, ious disciplines within the school and she said, self-fundraise to install outdoor outside experts to design an emotional play spaces with each designed to meet healing peace garden, an interactive space the specific needs of the children in that for music therapy, and a mobility garden. school. “What is really unique is our mobility Crossroads School, based in Marlboro, garden where these kids are learning how serves more than 60 students ages 3-22 to walk on challenges surfaces to strengthwith autism from more than 45 communien their balance or mobility,” she said. ties statewide. Parents looking to locate public adapTwo years of fundraising in its school tive play spaces close to home have online community and from businesses brought about a ribbon cutting in June that official- resources. Mass.gov publishes accessible recrely opened its 4,471 square foot adaptive ation programs and sites at www.mass. playground, installed at a cost of $221,470. gov/topics/accessible-recreation. Occupational therapist Caroline Let Kids Play, a consulting business that Kalberer said Crossroads got its start two assists communities in creating new accesyears ago when she learned about inclusible play spaces, publishes an online sive playgrounds at a conference. directory at www.accessibleplayground. The research that influenced the design net/playground-directory/ of the school’s new multi-functional space And, DisabilityInfo.org publishes a included input from staff, parents, and by-state directory at disabilityinfo.org/factstudents. sheet-library/recreation/recreation-barri“We wanted to include a bank of swings, er-free-playgrounds/. which was the most popular when we surveyed staff and students,” Kalberer said. “For our students that are sometimes Debbie LaPlaca is socially isolated, we also included pieces a veteran journalist, that need more than one person to play photographer, and on to encourage play with peers.” joyful mom of two The poured in place rubber foundation, living in Central she said, is painted with pathways for navMassachusetts. igation and safety, and visuals that help cue safety rules for students. Also, among the maaps community of schools, The Guild School for Human Services, located in Concord, celebrated the grand opening of its 6,400-square foot playground in November. This adaptive playground was designed to serve students with autism, intellectual disabilities, low vision and mobility challenges. The Kennedy Day School in Brighton opened its state-of-the-art multi-functional park in August for students ages 3-21 from about 36 communities with complex needs ranging from mobility and motor control, to vision and hearing. Jenn Fexis, vice president of education at Kennedy, said the costs she had seen for all-ability playgrounds ran $500,000 to $850,000. The Kennedy Day School, she Martin’s Park.

Jessica’s Boundless Playground 59 State St., Belchertown Rising Stars Playground 48 Putnam St., Beverly Touch the Sky – Beverly School for the Deaf 6 Echo Ave., Beverly

(Open to the public when school is not in session)

Harambee Park Boundless Playground Talbot Ave., Boston Martin’s Park 64 Sleeper St., South Boston Thomas M. Menino Park 300 First Ave., Charlestown Musterfield Project 27 Arsenal Rd., Framingham Lionel “Sonny” Charpentier Playground 163 Third St., Leominster Woolie World Washington St., Millbury Early Learning Center Playground 25 School St., North Attleboro Fay Memorial Park Central St., Southborough Lyon’s Pride – A Boundless Playground 40 Fairbank Rd., Sudbury Barton Rd. Housing Complex Home Barton Rd., Wellesley Coes Park 30-98 Coes St., Worcester

BAYSTATEPARENT 33


SPECIAL NEEDS ISSUE

Bay State Attorney Channels Her Own Journey to

Advocate for Kids with Special Needs

As the mother of a special needs child, Annette Hines knows firsthand the overwhelming nature of caring for and advocating for a disabled family member. Her work now aims to clear up some of that confusion for parents seeking guidance.

A

BY JOAN GOODCHILD

nnette Hines is a Framingham-based attorney and popular public speaker putting a face to the struggle

of navigating the complexities of raising a child with a disability. As a mother of two girls, Hines’ life changed forever when her oldest daughter, Elizabeth, was diagnosed as an infant with mitochondrial disease, a degenerative life-limiting illness. Elizabeth lived until 2013, when she died at the age of 17. Annette chronicled Elizabeth’s life and her own experience as the new mother of a child born with significant health needs in her recently-published memoir Butterflies and Second Chances. Hines has taken her experience as mother and her professional knowledge as an attorney, and turned it into a career as a wellknown and respected advocate for the special needs community. She founded the Special Needs Law Group of Massachusetts, PC, specializing in special needs estate planning, where special needs families compromise 80 percent of the firm’s clients. baystateparent caught up with Hines recently for her thoughts on the many struggles parents and caregivers of those with dis34 OCTOBER2019

Annette Hines, founder of Framingham-based Special Needs Law Group, has channeled her experience as a mother of a child with a disability into being a fierce advocate for the special needs community. abilities often face. She reflects on her hope that her work locally will serve as starting point for positive global changes that might ease some of the confusion and burden families face today. How did the experience with your daughter fuel your passion for special needs advocacy? The early years with Elizabeth were so confusing! I kept thinking: I have been to law school and passed the bar. I have a degree in Economics. And I can’t figure this stuff out, I can’t get the answers I need, and I don’t

know what to do half the time. This must be so hard for everybody, not just me! Then I got mad. Why are the most vulnerable people subject to navigating the most complex systems in our society? I figured it out and I knew I could help other families do the same. What gaps in the system do you hope to address through your work? The complexity of navigating the healthcare, education, social security, and other public benefits systems is immense. These

systems are designed to put you in an adversarial position with the agency or organization that you are supposed to be turning to for assistance. It can be so hard just to get basic needs met for your disabled child. Take the Individualized Education Plan, for example. In most instances, the teams are not working together with the family. The team is there as a gatekeeper to scarce resources. The parents come to a meeting and sit at the table with eight, 10, or 12 professionals who have all most likely had a pre-meeting with themselves prior to the actual IEP meeting. In many instances they have prepared a draft IEP with their proposed goals and action steps in advance of this meeting. I get it. It takes years for a family to decipher the system and what they should be setting for goals and action steps. In other words, years to catch up with the professionals. That’s just one of the many areas of our families’ lives where the families are at a disadvantage. It is so hard to fix issues one family at a time. I still do it because it is necessary, but I am working hard at more global and systemic change. In your experience, what have you observed that people with disabilities/caregivers of those

with disabilities seeking legal help and guidance struggle with the most? Learning how to be a good advocate does not come easy for most people, but it is especially difficult when you are desperate or in an emotionally charged situation with your healthcare system, your educational system, or your public benefits agency. What are some other missions and goals of your legal work now? Global change! The systems that are there to support our families need to embrace us, become more creative in their problem solving, and learn to start including us in our own solutions. We need to create one door to access services. Then instead of paying me to coordinate, navigate and organize all of their benefits for them, they can have one place to go to access all those benefits, no matter what their disability is, or their special health care needs. Right now, take a young adult with an intellectual disability and their family. At 18 they need to consider guardianship or other legal authority and access the court system. At the same time, they need to apply for social security in a totally different system. For most young adults, they will automatically receive MassHealth benefits with their


Social Security payments, but for some, their MassHealth benefits will require a second application. They are still dealing with transition planning through their IEP, which is yet again a whole different team of people. And finally at 22, they need to apply for housing benefits and also apply to the Department of Developmental Services for benefits and supports. So many teams of people, most of whom are not talking to each other! Doesn’t this seem overwhelming but also unnecessary too? The parent or disabled person needs to navigate all of this on their own. Do you think there is enough legal help, advice and resources available out there for people with disabilities and caregivers of those with disabilities seeking legal assistance? No, I don’t. I am on the Board of the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. Our 500 members are great at elder law, but many are unfamiliar with all of the systems I’ve mentioned here for our special needs families. So, we have undertaken as an organization to get more involved, more knowledgeable and more supportive of the special needs community. We developed an advocacy toolkit for families and

Butterflies and Second Chances Annette Hines tells the story of her journey as a mother to a child with special needs in Butterflies and Second Chances: A Mom’s Memoir of Love and Loss. In the book, she shares her struggle to secure the best possible life for her child in the face of bureaucratic resistance and marital crisis. It is a story of sacrifice, dedication, and the life-altering adjustments a special needs parent has to make when confronted with the unthinkable. But most of all, it’s about love and an extraordinary mother-daughter relationship that flourished without words in the darkest shadows of adversity. Butterflies and Second Chances is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

individuals with special needs. It’s free on our website at www. massnaela.com. The system is so very fractured as I mentioned above. We need as a society to make this a priority. The disabled are still very much marginalized in our communities. People do not always see value in folks with disabilities or special needs. They see them as ”takers” or a “drain on resources” rather than a valuable member of our community who can contribute. Changing that viewpoint is going to take time and hard work. For parents reading today who are navigating the challenges of parenthood while raising a child with a disability, what other important takeaways would you offer? Join every committee when asked. You get key insight into the workings of organizations that way, meet other key players and also give much needed volunteer services to keep organizations going. Please go to every conference and meeting you can get to. I know it’s hard to get out and away from caregiving duties but make it a priority. Most conferences are free or very low cost and most have scholarships available too. You can get advice and information from key speakers

like me who volunteer our time to be at these events and then you don’t need to hire us! And what you can learn from other parents is also fantastic. But take that advice with a grain of salt because every situation is very individual and their solutions may not work for your family. Nowadays, there are also webinars and things you can do from home. Certainly you have support systems online. But there is nothing like a face to face meeting with another parent or a professional. Or maybe a parent who is a professional like me! Tell me about your book, Butterflies and Second Chances, and what message you hope is received by readers. I wrote the book for two reasons. First -- although I am in the public eye a lot with speaking engagements, interviews and

charitable work, in addition to my law practice -- I held much of my grief and struggle inside. I always felt like I needed to show only the good side of parenting my daughters, Elizabeth and Caroline. After Elizabeth died, I needed to get this all out of me. But second, and this was even more important, I wanted to reach out to parents like me and spread the message that it was OK to hurt, to not be perfect in their parenting and be truthful about their journey. I was so lonely in the early years of parenting my girls before I found my community of support and I wanted to make sure no one else had to feel that loneliness. I hope this book helps people to feel connected and to give them some tools to find their own community of support.

BAYSTATEPARENT 35


SPECIAL NEEDS ISSUE very

special people

Pharmacist’s

5 TIPS for Managing Medications for Children with Disabilities

BY SAAD AND RAY DINNO

W

hen it comes to caring for children with disabilities, many parents ask us how they can best manage their child’s medication. From keeping track of prescriptions to administering

36 OCTOBER2019

proper doses on time, parents and caregivers may struggle to manage it all. To help, we’ve listed five things every person caring for a child with disabilities should know.

1. Keep a Calendar Depending on your child’s needs, he or she may require varied doses of multiple med-

ications throughout the day. It can be a major challenge. We recommend keeping a calendar in a centralized location – such as on the refrigerator – that’s easy to access for everyone in the house, especially if multiple family members are responsible for administering medication throughout the day. Clearly label the time of day and proper dosage needed, and the person administering the medication should check it off when your child takes it. Having an organized and accessible way to keep track of medication will help ease the stress and ensure your child receives the right medicine at the right time. Ask your pharmacist if they offer a “compliance packaging” system for individual packets of tablets or capsules with the date and time the medication is to be given. This is one way to keep track of medications and keep them in order.

2. Make a List If your child’s prescriptions frequently change, due to diet or weight fluctuation or a change in disease state, for instance, keeping an up-to-date list of their prescribed medicine may be a useful tool. We recommend placing this on your phone in the notes section, for instance, so that you can easily pull it up when you need it for reference. This list will be helpful to share with your child’s providers, so that they can prescribe medicine that won’t cause drug interactions or duplicate therapy. This list would also be helpful in emergency situations, as

medical staff will need to know exactly which medications and doses your child takes. Having this information handy will certainly help when an emergency arises.

3. Know Your Pharmacist Establishing a relationship with your child’s pharmacist can be important when your child is frequently in need of new prescriptions or refills. A pharmacist can be a trusted and accessible source when you have questions about a new medication or need guidance on how to administer it. For instance, they can tell you if a medication contains dyes or other ingredients to which your child is allergic, and recommend an alternative. They can also help when it comes to keeping track of refills and expiration dates. Most pharmacists can easily notify your doctor when a refill is due to save you the stress of handling it all on your own. A local pharmacist can certainly lend a helpful hand when it comes to managing prescriptions.

4. Remember Safety First Medication, whether liquids or tablets, should be kept in secure bottles when not in use. This limits the chance that children will take a medication when they shouldn’t. For liquid medicine (whether oral or sterile injections), remember never to pre-draw medications in a syringe. Drugs left in syringes for too long can be absorbed in the apparatus, which may compromise the amount of medication administered and poten-

tially affect sterility. The safest way to use a medication is to draw it as close as possible to the time of administration.

5. Educate Others Caring for a child often requires a group effort, and when a parent isn’t around it can be stressful placing you child’s care in the hands of someone else. That’s why we recommend training everyone who cares for your child ahead of time. Keep a list of medical emergency contact phone numbers that include medical providers, emergency contacts, and members of your child’s healthcare team in a central location for easy access. In case of an emergency, it is important that a caregiver such as a family member can easily reach a trained professional who is already aware of your child’s needs. If your child has epilepsy, for example, encourage family members and caregivers to take a class to learn how to identify the signs of a seizure and the appropriate steps to take. These precautions will help ease your worries and keep your child safe when you aren’t there. Saad and Ray Dinno, brothers, are registered pharmacists and co-owners of Acton Pharmacy, Keyes Drug in Newton, and West Concord Pharmacy.


our fave

4

Trick-or-treat! Whether you’re looking for something timeless you can wear year after year, or something a little more on-trend, here are four of our favorite Halloween costumes that offer something for everyone.

2. 1. Target’s Hyde and Eek! Boutique has unveiled two Halloween costumes adapted for wheelchair users. This cover turns the chair into a pirate ship, complete with a Jolly Roger flag and waves for the wheels. The other cover (not pictured) transforms the chair into a purple princess carriage. Matching adaptive costumes are sold separately. $45. target.com. 2. You can’t get away from the Baby Shark phenomenon just yet! Kids can look like their favorite little shark in this adorable romper. The best part? The ensemble plays a clip of the song (or is that the worst part?). $34.99. walmart. com.

1.

3. 3.

Take one kid, some corrugated cardboard and add Halloween. What do you get? The makings of all new kind of Halloween costume. Suitables are super-cute slip-over-your-head costumes that are just 2-4 pounds, including any electronics or batteries. The soft stretch straps make them comfortable to wear. Planes, trains, trucks, boats, rockets and princess coaches available. $34.99-$39.99. suitables.com.

4.

4. All moms are superheroes, and Halloween is the perfect time to show it. This adorable Wonder Woman t-shirt features a flowing cape and comes with a matching headband. $18.99. amazon.com. BAYSTATEPARENT 37


Costume Conundrum:

When Your Daughter Wants to Dress a Little Too Risqué for Halloween Provocative costumes pose a parenting dilemma for most. Here’s how to guide preteens and teens to more appropriate dress this time of year. BY JOAN GOODCHILD

W

ith October upon us, that means most kids are going to be crafting a plan for what they want to be for Halloween. As children

conjure up fun ideas for outfits to help them transform into a scary monster, or their favorite superhero, some moms may be navigating a more difficult situation with pre-teen and teenaged girls; in appropriate costumes. Most parents are likely are familiar with the kind of outfits at issue here. The “bunny” costume that consists of skin-revealing clothing that looks like lingerie, with little more than a set of rabbit ears on the head to indicate its wearer is a bunny. Or the “hot pirate” costume, which entails a pirate outfit with a short skirt and low-cut neckline, hardly appropriate for swashbuckling, but that reveals plenty of leg and cleavage. These risqué or so-called “sexy” costumes for girls have become common choices at our local Halloween supply stories, and naturally it makes for an uncomfortable conversation for parents of girls who express an interest in dressing in them. School psychology profes-

38 OCTOBER2019

sor Sharon Lamb of the University of Massachusetts, Boston notes in an interview with USA Today that the concept of sexy Halloween costumes for teen

and tween girls became particularly cool after the movie Mean Girls helped popularize it. “There’s a line in the film, repeated by many girls, that Halloween is the one night a year you can (dress like) a slut,” said Lamb in the interview. “So there is this attitude that (sexy costumes) are the cool costumes.” Dr. Jessica Griffin, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics and Executive Director of the Child Trauma Training Center at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, said these kinds of provocative Halloween costumes marketed for youth are problematic. “Kids really are in a difficult position nowadays, particularly pre-teens and adolescents with extraordinary pressure on them to look a certain way,” said Griffin. “Research has indicated that girls who consistently see themselves or other girls as sexual objects have higher rates of depression and lower self-esteem.” So what is a concerned parent to do? Griffin notes your first step is not to overreact if you tween or teen is trying to convince you to allow them to wear a provocative outfit that you think is inappropriate. “It is normal and natural for kids as they get older, to want to express their independence and autonomy and they may see Halloween as the one day of the year they get to really push the limits and act like a grownup. Again, this is

normal! As pre-teens move into adolescence, they may experiment more with wanting to look ‘sexy,’ which is typical for adolescent development, but a landmine for parents.” Start the sexy Halloween costume conversation from a rational place Griffin advises parents to use the opportunity to have a conversation about age-appropriate dress. Remember, she said, Halloween is only one day, and the issue of highly-sexualized clothing for kids is a year-round issue in stores. This can be a chance to tackle an ongoing challenge. “We need to not think of children as miniature adults, despite what outfits they may be selling at the stores,” said Griffin. “Before overreacting, take a deep breath and start the conversation with your child. Ask your child what kind of costume they want to wear and how do they want to feel? Something like, ‘Help me understand why you want to dress like _______.’ Ask them what their friends are wearing. They could also choose to have a silly or scary costume too. Also, remind them that they also want their costume to be comfortable.” Griffin also said it is important that parents are on the same page, so talk with your spouse or partner about what you think an appropriate outfit or costume would be, and work together so that you offer a united front about the issue. Try saying “You look great, but we worry about the messages that sends to other people,” said Griffin. “For girls who may be dressing to try to get the attention of a boy, talk to them about what kind of relationship they want to have with boys and that by dressing in a certain way, they may not attract the type of loving relationship they want.”


For parents who simply cannot stomach the idea of their adolescent wearing a costume they deem inappropriate, a simple mantra may be, “That may be what other kids are doing in their homes, but in our house we don’t think that’s okay,” she said. “Halloween is supposed to be fun,” said Griffin “At the end of the day, remind your kids that Halloween is supposed to be fun. It’s supposed to be scary and silly and a time when they get to be someone that they’re not. However, that should not come at the expense of their personal values. Dos and Don’ts for tackling the risqué costume challenge Dr. Griffin offers these suggestions for talking about and ultimately coming to a decision you can feel comfortable with on your child’s costume. • Do talk with your spouse or children’s other parent ahead of time to make sure you are on the same page and giving consistent messages. • Do remind your child that your number one job is to make sure they are safe and happy. • Do acknowledge that there is a lot of pressure on your child to look a certain way, both by friends and by what they see on television or social media. Validate that this is hard for them. • Do pick your battles. Remember, this is one day a year. If their outfit raises an eyebrow but is not what you would consider “over the top,” then consider compromise. • Do use “I statements” instead of “You statements.” I understand that you want to wear that, and I’m sure it will look great on you but I feel worried about what message that may send. • Do not underestimate the power of negotiation. I have no issues with parents who reward their children for choosing a better choice, in this case, the more appropriate outfit. Be transparent and say something like, “Hey, I know you really want to wear that. But, Mom and Dad are concerned that it will send the wrong message or that it’s too mature for you to wear – and you’ll have your whole adult life to wear outfits like that. We are not trying to be a pain and want you to be

able to express yourself, but we have concerns. So, I’ll tell you what, if you choose a different outfit we both agree on, you can have a sleepover with your best friend this weekend (or some other appropriate reward). • Don’t shame your child by saying things such as “you looks slutty” or “you look trashy.” • Don’t ignore red flags. If your child shows signs of age-inappropriate sexual behavior, and is consistently acting in a “hypersexualized” manner, there may be more going on with him or her and it’s best to seek professional consultation. • Don’t allow your child to go Halloween costume shopping without you. This is an opportunity to have some of these conversations. If they are older and want to go with their friends, offer to drive them. • Don’t forget about compromise. It’s possible for kids to find a costume they want to wear and then dress it down (e.g., wear sneakers and leggings with the outfit) so that it is not as provocative. Joan Goodchild is a veteran writer and editor and mom of two living in Central Massachusetts.

BAYSTATEPARENT 39


finally

forever

Jackie’s Story:

Becoming a Single Mom Through Adoption

N

ot unlike any other New England family, the Eckers enjoy trips to Cape Cod during the summer, going to the beach and looking out for any interesting rocks, gems or minerals that they can take home – whether found on a walk or in a small, coastal shop. Christopher is a typical 11-year-old boy who likes video games, plays with the family’s two dogs and likes science. His mother, Jackie, likes to tell him, “The world is your oyster. You can be whatever you want to be.” Before becoming a mother, Jackie often thought about this statement. She was single and had recently watched a coworker go through her own adoption journey. That’s when Jackie decided she wanted to become a single mother, through adoption. Just like that, she was completing her home-study and driving an hour to and from her Massachusetts Approach to Partnership in Parenting (MAPP) classes. Jackie was encouraged to attend as many of the adoption matching parties, hosted by the Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange (MARE), as she could. She went all over the state for these parties. She would tell herself, “if people can travel internationally to adopt a child, I can travel across the state.” At one of these adoption parties, Jackie connected with Christopher’s social worker. The next day, the social worker Jackie had been working with took it from there

40 OCTOBER2019

and sent over Jackie’s home-study and MAPP information. “Three weeks later, I was a mom,” said Jackie. It was a quick turnaround, but it was still far from a seamless process. Jackie said the adoption process was “a little crazy, but it turned out great in the end.” The relationship, trust, and communication between Jackie and the two social workers helped tremendously throughout the adoption process. She stresses the importance of support from others during this process, especially from the social workers. From guidance throughout the process, encouraging her to attend adoption parties, to setting expectations, Jackie lends her adoption experience to her social worker. It helped a great deal having her social worker making sure that Jackie was prepared mentally, emotionally, and even financially. However, the need for guidance and support doesn’t end after adoption. Jackie encourages parents of adopted children to ask for resources, particularly when it comes to therapeutic services for children. She also explains that knowing what works best for your kid, and what you need to do for your family to ensure that you are taking care of each other, is an important aspect of parenting – whether it is parenting a biological or adopted child. Even though Christopher was 4 when he was adopted, and didn’t really remember much about the foster care and adoption process, there was still trauma present. Adopted children are

often times different than biological children; some have trauma and difficult backgrounds. Jackie said that it is necessary for parents to understand how to best parent their child or children. It was also difficult gaining Christopher’s trust initially after the adoption; it took almost three years for him to fully trust that this was his permanent home. There have been challenging moments, which many families also face. “You can prepare, and you just have to also be prepared for the fact that you aren’t going to be fully prepared,” said Jackie. “You have to be flexible and accommodating -- just ready to embrace the craziness.” All new parents – whether adoptive or biological – go through similar experiences, one of which is feeling overwhelmed during the early stages of parenting. Jackie said parenting is both overwhelming and rewarding, but that all parents should do their due diligence, particularly hopeful adoptive parents. “Only pursue it if you think you can actually do it,” she said. “Once you have this child in your home, they are your child.” Now Jackie has an 11-year-old son that she can never imagine not having, and Christopher has a mother dedicated to loving and supporting him; especially when exploring for those special, one of a kind rocks and gems, just like he is to her.


7 Great Pumpkin Festivals & Jack-o-Lantern Displays From a towering pyramid of glittering gourds to a quaint family festival, there is plenty of pumpkin-themed fun to be had this season in the Bay State and beyond. Pumpkintown USA – East Hampton, CT Open daily through Halloween One of Yankee Magazine’s Top 5 Pumpkin Festivals in New England, Pumpkintown is a kid-friendly Halloween village with lots of “non-scary” seasonal fun. Hop on a hay wagon for a mile-long ride through the forest to catch a glimpse of dozens of pumpkin characters, or stroll through Pumpkintown Village where over 70 pumpkin people and animals hang out at a church, post office, saloon and more. Weekend activities include a moonbounce, face painting, and children’s games. Halloween barn, trading post and country store are also on site. Weekend village admission $6, hayride $8. Weekday village admission $3, hayride $8. Children 2 and under free. pumpkintownusa.com.

Win Tickets page 12

Roger Williams Park Zoo Jacko-Lantern Spectacular – Providence, RI Open daily through Nov. 3 This outdoor gallery of thousands of illuminated jack-olanterns transforms the zoo’s pathways into a Halloween wonderland. Visitors come from all over the world to see the intricately carved pump-

kins, designed this year as a celebration of the seasons. You can marvel at it all from above on the zoo’s Soaring Eagle Zip Ride. Four sensory-friendly evenings are scheduled as well as five family fun nights where children can meet fairy tale characters, super heroes, and even have a slumber party at the zoo. Prime night admission (Friday through Sunday) $18 for adults, $15 for kids. Value night admission (Monday through Thursday) $15 for adults, $12 for kids. Children 1 and under free. rwpzoo.org.

the Witch House, the Salem Witch Museum, the House of the Seven Gables, Hawthorne Hotel and more. Free. hauntedhappenings.org.

Monadnock Pumpkin Festival – Swanzey, NH

ing jack-o-lanterns at the center of this Halloween festival is

New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival – Laconia, NH Friday & Saturday, October 18-19 The 34-foot-tall tower of glitter-

surely something to see. Live music, food and craft vendors, amusement rides, pumpkin carving and children’s games are all part of the seasonal fun. Free. nhpumpkinfestival.com.

Frog Pond Pumpkin Float – Boston Common Friday, October 18 Bring your own pumpkin and watch it float in the Frog Pond with hundreds of others at this family-fun event happening in the heart of Boston. While the pond fills up with glowing jack-o-lanterns, enjoy music, refreshments and

children’s activities from 5-8 p.m. Attendees of all ages are encouraged to wear their Halloween costumes. Free. bostonfrogpond.org.

Keene Pumpkin Fest – Keene, NH Sunday, October 27 Enjoy a magical day in downtown Keene among 3,000 jack-o-lanterns. Family-friendly music and dance performances, art activities and games including pumpkin bowling will add to the fall fun. Children can take part in a costume parade and go trick-or-treating at downtown businesses. Free. kinfestival.org.

Saturday, October 12 Fireworks, rides, costumes, crafters, and all-things-pumpkin. Enjoy the beauty of fall at this family event featuring massive pumpkin displays, lawn games, a kids’ tent, food trucks, pony rides, and a touch-a-truck area. Let your little ones strut in the costume parade and grab a free book from the Keene Public Library. The event, which runs 1-8 p.m., is also dog-friendly. Free. monadnockpumpkinfestival.org.

The Great Salem Pumpkin Walk – Salem, MA Thursday, Oct. 17 Explore the historic and haunted downtown district for a special self-guided tour of pumpkin displays, activities, and entertainment. Event takes place throughout town from 3-8 p.m. Participating locations include BAYSTATEPARENT 41


Apple Picking! A GOOD PARTY IS ALWAYS IN SEASON

Reach more than 80,000 readers each month with baystateparent’s Party Pages! Contact Kathy Puffer to book your Party Page ad today! • Call 508-737-5653 or email kpuffer@gatehousemedia.com 42 OCTOBER2019


take eight with Collette Divitto Starting a business at 22 would be a tremendous endeavor for any young person, but the venture was even more extraordinary for Collette Divitto, who started Collettey’s Cookies in 2011. Collette was born with Down syndrome, and after being turned down for various jobs she decided to take her passion for baking from hobby to career. She started out selling her “Amazing Cookie” at just one grocery store, but after she was featured on a CBS News program in 2016, her business exploded. To date, Boston-based Collettey’s Cookies has sold over 180,000 cookies and now employs 13 people, several with disabilities.

1.

Tell us the story of how Collettey’s got started? I took baking classes as an elective in my sophomore year. I thought it would be helpful for when I lived on my own. I had no idea I was going to love it so much and be really good at it.

Robin Chan photo

2.

Is there a secret to baking the perfect cookie? Yes. Well, it is not really not a secret, but it’s all about patience and love. You have to take your time to measure perfectly and you have to love what you are doing.

3.

What’s been the hardest thing about running your own business? What’s the most rewarding? The hardest thing about running a business is that you never stop thinking about it and how you can improve it and you worry about it making money. The most rewarding part is you get to give jobs to people who are struggling to find work, and you get to build a caring team in your company. And, of course all the lovely messages from my customers about how much they love my cookies. It makes me feel valuable and loved.

4.

What’s it like to go viral? Are you surprised by the “fame?” It was a little confusing at first because for years I was always trying to fit in and be accepted. I was rejected and sometimes made fun of or teased. To wake up one day and have so many fans and followers was really confusing. Why now? Why couldn’t I have fans and friends before I started? I mean it’s great now, I get nice emails and messages everyday which makes me feel accepted and even admired, which I never thought would happen.

5.

Tell us about your employees. We know you make an effort to hire people of all different abilities. My employees are awesome! They are grateful and become a part of my team; we are like family. Giving someone a job that is struggling to be accepted and employed makes me so happy, because that was me just a few years ago.

6.

What’s next for Collettey’s? I have a book coming out. I am writing a series of books for different ages that are based on my life and my experiences, which I hope will help others. I am also working on a documentary and I am determined to bring enough awareness to change the unemployment rate [for people with disabilities]. So many people with a labelled disability that are capable of work cannot find work or are underemployed. This is so upsetting to me I want to use my platform to change this. I also want to open other baking locations with other organizations to keep employing across the country. Every cookie I make represents jobs.

7.

What are your goals, beyond the cookie business? It’s always about family for me. To spend more time with them, travel to my wishlist places, give back to my mom and take care of her. On a fun note, I’d love to be in a movie!

8.

What’s the message you want to give the world about people with Down syndrome – or any other special needs? There are a few things I always say: No matter who you are you CAN make a difference in this world. Don’t let people get you down. Always want the best for you! BAYSTATEPARENT 43


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