Posts for THINGS TO DO Category

SHOPPING, THINGS TO DO

A SNOWY CHRISTMAS TREE OUTING AT MAHONEY’S GARDEN CENTER

Tori Trogani - December 15, 2017

Its a family tradition for us to do our annual Christmas tree shopping together  and we’ve had all kinds of fun experiences over the years including one occasion where we cut our tree down ourselves, but I think this was the first time we have ever had the chance to go Christmas Tree Shopping in the snow. This, of course, presented certain weather-related challenges, but I have to say it was one of the most magical holiday outings I’ve had in quite a while and a lot of that is due to the atmosphere of Mahoney’s Garden Center in Winchester.

Mahoney’s Garden Center first opened in Winchester, MA in 1959. Since then this family-run home and garden center has now grown to include eight retail locations in Winchester, Tewksbury, Concord, Brighton, Falmouth, Osterville and Chelmsford, and a growing facility in Woburn. During the holiday season, they have a wide selection of different types of Christmas trees on display in their nursery yards which abut a large cliff face turning the place into a winter wonderland dotted with old fashioned lamp posts and other lovely Christmas greens for sale.

Once we had decided upon a tree, the helpful Mahoney’s staff gave it a complimentary shake to remove loose needles, gave the trunk a fresh trim, wrapped it in netting and loaded it up onto the top of our car for no additional cost. While that was being taken care of, we went inside their greenhouse to check out what they had to offer in there.

Stepping inside the garden center was a welcome respite from the snow outside and we were immediately met with a huge collection of poinsettias immediately bringing to mind that scene in Frosty the Snowman. Do you know the one I mean? I haven’t seen that movie in ages but I always associate poinsettias with that movie, haha. Just beyond the poinsettias were some gorgeous flower arrangements. Mahoney’s is a full-service florist and can provide arrangements a broad range of events from proms, to corporate events, to weddings. Some of the pre-made ones we saw would make beautiful hostess gifts if you are attending any Christmas parties this month and are looking for a present! You can see their collection of holiday arrangements online here. 

Past the florist, in the next section of the garden center they had a lovely selection of succulents in pretty pots and air plants in glass terrariums that would also make wonderful gifts. We actually did pick up one for Mom to take to her work’s Holiday Yankee Swap. Then, down a little hallway they have the dedicated holiday greens section.

They have a wonderful selection of topiaries, swags, and garlands, but the most impressive offering of Mahoney’s are their beautiful wreaths.

They also have this adorable North Pole set up for pictures featuring Santa’s Sleigh.

In addition to our lovely tree, we couldn’t resist picking up one of their beautiful wreaths that was decorated with a mixture of juniper and pepper berries.

We didn’t have time to stop in ourselves, but there are often different vendors set up in the parking lot that you can visit before you leave, sometimes people selling hot cider and hot chocolate or on this occasion, the wacky candy shack. It always adds a bit of extra fun to the whole shopping experience.

We will definitely be back for all our holiday shopping next year!

 

Sunday – Wednesday:    8am – 8pm

Thursday – Saturday: 8am – 9pm  

 

Mahoney’s Garden Center: $$

Key $: $14 and under  $$:  $15 to $30  $$$: $31 to $50  $$$$ More than $50

 

ADDRESS: 

Mahoney’s Garden Center – Winchester

242 Cambridge Street

Winchester, MA 01890

781.729.5900

http://mahoneysgarden.com

 

Find out more about their other Massachusetts locations here. 

 

They have a dedicated parking lot with plenty of parking but it can get a bit busy this time of year with everyone getting their trees so getting the parking spots closer to the entrance gets a bit trickier at peak times. 

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EVENTS, THINGS TO DO

LIGHTING UP THE HOLIDAYS IN THE BOSTON COMMON

Tori Trogani - December 8, 2017

It is difficult to say what the very best time of year is to visit Boston, but Christmas time has got to be right at the top of the list. Seeing this beautiful historic city dressed in lights for the holidays is a magical experience and it all begins with the Boston Common Tree Lighting, the city’s premier event kicking off the holiday season.

The tree is the tallest Boston has ever had standing 53 feet tall and comes in from Nova Scotia. There is a special relationship between the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia and the city of Boston that we didn’t know existed until coming to this event.

The people of Halifax have thanked the people of Boston with the gift of a Christmas Tree each year since the the Halifax Explosion of 1917. This tragic event occurred when a French ship loaded with munitions collided with a Norwegian vessel in Halifax Harbour, creating a massive explosion that took more than 2000 lives and injured 9000 more. The City of Boston was one of the first cities to respond, immediately sending medical teams and supplies and establishing the Halifax Relief Committee, donating a total sum of $750,000 toward the rebuilding of the city. This year marks the 100 year anniversary of that event and before the lighting, they unveiled a new monument in honor of the longstanding friendship friendship between Boston and Nova Scotia placed right in front of the tree. 

We entered the Common from the T stop at the corner of Tremont and Park Street, passing though the sponsor’s tents and TV broadcasting trucks around to the lawn in front of the stage. These businesses promotional giveaways actually added to the festive atmosphere as people donned foam reindeer hats and carried blue light sticks, in addition to the usual novelties sold at these type of events.

As we gathered on the lawn, the show kicked off with Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Nova Scotia’s Premier Stephen McNeil commemorating the friendship between the two cities, then WCVB’s Anthony Everett and Shayna Seymour took over the hosting duties for an evening of entertainment that included performances from former American Idol Judge Kara Dioguardi, the cast of “Elf: The Musical,” Ellis C. Dawson III from the cast of “Aladdin,” the Boston Pops Gospel Choir, Nova Scotia’s Port Cities, and the headlining group All 4 One.

Performances by emerging local talent (shout out to Red 13 Studios’s talented Jenna Holiday) and appearances by Rudolph, Frosty and Santa Claus gave the show a real hometown feel, despite being a “big city” event. This event is truly perfect family friendly fare for the holidays. At the end of the show, Mayor Marty appeared again to commence the main event – the lighting of the 2017 Boston Common Christmas Tree! We had seen from previous years photos that fireworks were part of the presentation and we were really looking forward to seeing the display. Never having been to this event before, we decided to divide and conquer: the “Big Tree” looked to be partially obscured by some trees from our position on the lawn in front of the stage, so with about 15 minutes to go, Tori made her way to the tree, which is closer to Tremont Street.

When tree lighting went off, from our position in on the lawn, we were treated to an amazing blizzard of paper snow blown into the audience with a confetti canon with fabulous fireworks shooting up beyond.

Tori on the other hand had an incredible view of the tree lighting itself and a much clearer view of the fireworks with bits of confetti blowing in like snow all around them. Oh to be in two places at once!

Overall we really enjoyed beginning our own holiday season at this event and think you would too!

EVENT ENTRANCE: Free

EVENT TIMES

Ice Skating Show by Skating Club of Boston:

5pm – 6pm

Holiday Tree Lighting Performances:

6pm – 7:50pm

Holiday Lighting Ceremony and Fireworks Show:

7:50pm – 8:05pm

ADDRESS: 

Boston Common

139 Tremont Street

Boston, MA 02111

https://www.boston.gov/calendar/2017-boston-common-tree-lighting

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EVENTS, THINGS TO DO

BOSTON HOLIDAY EVENT GUIDE 2017

Tori Trogani - November 29, 2017

The holidays are upon us! Where on earth has 2017 gone? It seems like this year has flown by but we don’t want the holidays to pass us by too. That’s why we put together this handy little event guide for the upcoming Boston holiday season with all of the events that we want to attend and thought that you might want to check out too! We’ll be adding additional details and trying to keep it as updated as possible throughout December and be sure to let us know if you end up attending any of these events. Maybe we’ll see you there!

Boston Winter Holiday Market

November 24th – December 31st More than  300,000 people attended the debut of the Boston Winter Holiday Market last year and its back again bigger and better . Almost 85 European-style chalets selling high-quality artisan crafts and specialty food items pop up on City Hall Plaza (double the size of last year) as part of a winter wonderland complete with an ice skating rink, visits from Santa, Vinopolis Wine and Beer Garden Experience, and other attractions such as a silent disco.

EVENT ENTRANCE: Free

*please note that there are some discrepancies on other websites where they show different times but we reached out directly to Boston Winter and they told us that hours listed below are their official hours of operation*

HOLIDAY MARKET OPENING HOURS:

Monday – Thursdays 11am – 8pm

Friday – Saturday 11am – 9pm

Sunday 11am – 6pm

ATTRACTIONS

VINOPOLIS: WINE & BEER GARDEN EXPERIENCE:

Monday – Wednesday 11am – 8pm

Thursday 11am – 9pm

Friday – Saturday 11am – 10pm

Sunday 11am – 6pm

SANTA HOUSE:

Friday – 3pm – 7pm

Saturday 12pm – 7pm

Sunday 11am – 5pm

ENCHANTED CASTLE CAFE:

Monday – Thursday 2pm – 8pm

Friday 12pm – 8pm

Saturday 11am – 8pm

Sunday 11am – 6pm

SKATING PATH:

Monday – Thursday 11am – 9pm

Friday 11am – 11pm

Saturday 10am – 11pm

Sunday 10am – 9pm

 

ADDRESS: 

Boston City Hall Plaza

1 City Hall Square

Boston, MA 02201

http://bostonwinter.org/

Faneuil Hall Marketplace: Blink! Light Show

November 29th – January 1st Faneuil Hall’s annual holiday light show features the largest tree in the northeast, a towering 85 foot fir tree decorated with lights that are synchronized to music for a mesmerizing bit of holiday entertainment. It is a super fun addition to your holiday shopping experience, so make sure you make step outside of Quincy Market and the surrounding stores at one of the times listed below to witness the magic for yourself.

EVENT ENTRANCE: Free

EVENT TIMES:

Starts at 4:30 PM and runs every hour on the half-hour through January 1 from 4:30pm-9:30pm daily

ADDRESS: 

Faneuil Hall Marketplace

4 S Market Street

Boston, MA 02109 

https://www.faneuilhallmarketplace.com/blink

Boston Common Holiday Tree Lighting 

November 30 This year marks the 100 year anniversary of the city of Boston’s friendship with Nova Scotia and this year they will be lighting the donated 53-foot white spruce with almost 7,000 lights on November 30th. This family-friendly event starts with a free ice-skating show by the Skating Club of Boston at 5PM which features nation and international competitive skaters. Then, starting at 6pm there will be a series of performances by local groups concluding with the official lighting ceremony at about 7:50pm. The Mayor will start the countdown and pull the switch, lighting up the common and concluding with a pyrotechnics show.

EVENT ENTRANCE: Free

EVENT TIMES

Ice Skating Show by Skating Club of Boston:

5pm – 6pm

Holiday Tree Lighting Performances:

6pm – 7:50pm

Holiday Lighting Ceremony and Fireworks Show:

7:50pm – 8:05pm

ADDRESS: 

Boston Common

139 Tremont Street

Boston, MA 02111

https://www.boston.gov/calendar/2017-boston-common-tree-lighting

The Nutcracker by Boston Ballet

November 24 – December 31st This holiday classic is coming back to the Boston Ballet at Symphony Hall. This family event is a bit of a splurge if you want good seats but promises to be a magical experience for audience members of all ages. Who doesn’t love the Nutcracker?

TICKET PRICES: $35.00 – $204.00

PERFORMANCE TIMES:

Click here to see all available dates and times and purchase tickets

ADDRESS: 

Boston Symphony Hall

301 Massachusetts Ave

Boston, MA 02115

https://www.bostonballet.org/nutcracker/

SoWa Winter Festival

December 2nd- December 3rd Join us as we kick off the holiday season at the annual SoWa Winter Festival. Housed in the iconic SoWa Power Station, the SoWa Winter Festival is the biggest winter shopping village in Boston. Featuring over 100 of the region’s best makers and specialty food vendors, you’ll find the perfect handmade gifts for everyone on your list. While you shop, sip on winter spirits by Banyan Bar + Refuge – proceeds support our neighbors at the Haley House. Xmas trees of various sized will be available for purchase from Stow Greenhouses.

On Thayer Street (450 Harrison Ave), the winter wonderland continues in a heated tent featuring live holiday music, a flower crown station with Alice’s Table, mulled wine, hot chocolate, and raclette cheese specialties by Gaslight. Right outside, enjoy food trucks, live ice sculpting from noon – 2:30 pm, as well as the galleries, artist studios, and shops that call SoWa home year ’round.

EVENT ENTRANCE: Free

EVENT TIMES

Saturday, December 2: 11 am – 7 pm

Sunday, December 3: 11 am – 5 pm

ADDRESS: 

SoWa Power Station

540 Harrison Ave

Boston, MA 02118

http://www.sowaboston.com/sowa-winter-festival/

Boston Holiday Pops Concerts

December 5 – December 31 Join the Boston Pops at Symphony Hall throughout the holiday season to sing along with old favorites, be photographed with Santa, and hear the special holiday music conducted by Keith Lockhart.

TICKET PRICES: $33.00 – $160.00

PERFORMANCE TIMES:

Click here to see all available dates and times and purchase tickets

ADDRESS: 

Boston Symphony Hall

301 Massachusetts Ave

Boston, MA 02115

https://www.bso.org/brands/pops/features/2017-holiday-pops.aspx

Boston Choral Ensemble: Noel

December 16 – We have already got our tickets bought for this one! Holiday Concert by the Boston Choral Ensemble celebrating the season, including traditional and secular carols, plus a candlelight rendition of the incredible Lux Aurumque by Eric Whitacre. Bill Littlefield, host of NPR’s Only A Game  will be hosting, and the concert is preceded by an organ recital by Andrew Shenton that starts at 2:30PM.

TICKET PRICES: $20.00 – $30.00, Tickets are an additional $5 when purchased at the door

PERFORMANCE TIMES:

Saturday, December 16: 3pm

Click here to check for availability and purchase tickets

ADDRESS: 

Old South Church

645 Boylston Street

Boston, MA 02116

https://www.bostonchoral.org/performances/noel/

Chorus Pro Musica : Candlelight Christmas Celebration

December 15 – complete with a candlelight procession with Gregorian chant, seasonal classics, and new works;

TICKET PRICES: $25.00 – $45.00, plus an “under 30” ticket price of $10 in the $25 section

PERFORMANCE TIMES:

Friday, December 15: 8pm

SOLD OUT

Click here to check for availability and purchase tickets

ADDRESS: 

Old South Church

645 Boylston Street

Boston, MA 02116

https://choruspromusica.org/concert/candlelight-christmas-old-south/

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EVENTS, OUTDOORS, THINGS TO DO

A CASTLE FIT FOR A SNOW QUEEN IN LINCOLN, NH

Tori Trogani - March 24, 2017

A few years ago, as many of you will probably remember, an epidemic struck the world: a little something called “Frozen Fever.”  It seemed like everywhere you turned there were little girls with sparkly blue dresses and long blonde wigs belting out that song you couldn’t escape from even in the privacy your own mind (I’m looking at you, Adele Dazeem). But in the endless sea of Let It Go covers, I came across one particular rendition by Alex Boye and the One Voice Childrens Choir that really stood out.

Not only was it a very cool version of a freakishly catchy song, but the setting of the video was spectacular! I remember thinking, “What the heck is that?! I need to go there today.” What it was is Ice Castles, a temporary attraction built by creator Brent Christensen and a team of ice artists each winter in different locations all over the country for visitors to explore and experience. While I was disappointed to find out that the Ice Castle featured in the video was located in Utah (and I wasn’t getting there anytime soon!), I was ecstatic to learn that there was an Ice Castles location in nearby Lincoln, NH.

After staring longingly at their amazing Instagram feed, I was determined to see it in person and now that we’re living in Boston (only 2 hours away), I finally had the opportunity to go.

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EVENTS, THINGS TO DO

WOMEN’S MARCH FOR AMERICA – BOSTON: JUST THE BEGINNING…

Julia Trogani - January 23, 2017

I think many of you will identify with the overwhelming feelings of apprehension and anxiety that washed over me in waves in the wake of November’s election. Our beloved country seemed to be taking a very dark turn. An agenda of intolerance, division and disregard for the environment was being put forward that in no way represented where I stood on a multitude of issues.

As soon as I heard the idea of a Women’s March being floated, I knew I had to be a part of it. I have been a political junkie for years; reading articles, watching the pundits, signing online petitions and occasionally contributing to campaigns and causes. I had been dipping my toe in the activist “pool” for quite some time, now here was an opportunity to really participate, to stand up for what I so strongly believe in and be counted.

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FESTIVALS, OUTDOORS, THINGS TO DO

SUNFLOWERS, ICE CREAM, AND WISHES IN GRISWOLD, CT

Tori Trogani - July 29, 2016

Is there anything that says summer more than a sunflower field? Growing up in Westerly, as soon as the weather started warming up everyone was talking about Buttonwood Farms and their famous ice cream. As it got on towards July however, you would start to hear excited chatter about going to visit their sunflower fields. My mother every year would say that this was the year we were going to get out to Griswold, CT to see them and take pictures and every year it…..wouldn’t happen. You know how it is. Life gets away from you, during the summer especially! Finally, though we did get the chance to visit and it was just as amazing as we’d heard it was.

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EVENTS, OUTDOORS, THINGS TO DO

ROCKET’S RED GLARE OVER NEWPORT HARBOR

Tori Trogani - July 6, 2016

It ought to be celebrated by pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other…

JOHN ADAMS

One of my favorite things about summer is going outside on a balmy summer evening to watch fireworks. So many of my most magical childhood memories involve streaks of colorful light exploding across dark skies, illuminating the awed faces of spectators as sparkles rain down. Its a stunning and exhilarating experience and this year, I was determined that we were going to see some 4th of July fireworks.

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EATS & DRINKS, SHOPPING, THINGS TO DO

TAPPING INTO SUMMER ON PROVIDENCE’S EAST SIDE

Julia Trogani - June 8, 2016

There is really nothing I like better than grilled food. With summer weather still a few weeks off, and cooler weather dragging on this spring, I decided to buy a large cast iron grill pan and get my summer food fix on….

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SHOPPING, THINGS TO DO

TURKISH DELIGHT IN STONINGTON BOROUGH

Julia Trogani - May 25, 2016

For as long as I can remember, I have been drawn to all things foreign and exotic. This fascination started when I was a kid, when our Episcopal church in New Jersey had a retired Bishop from India come to take over our parish. I remember being completely taken with the Bishop and his family, especially his lovely wife, Shala. A professor at a nearby university, her sari’s, beautiful smile and pretty accent made a huge impact on me at an impressionable age. Combine this with the Beatles traveling to Rishikesh to study with the Maharishi, and Sajid Khan starring in the TV series Maya – (does anyone else remember that show???) – and I was completely captivated by India. Ever since, I have had a very strong desire to travel and intense curiosity about other cultures that has continued right up to this day.

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AT THE BIJOU, THINGS TO DO

AT THE BIJOU: AN EAST SIDE CLASSIC

Julia Trogani - May 9, 2016

In this modern era of movie viewing, when you can watch almost anything you want anytime you want, it’s kind of amazing that people still go to movie theaters at all!  But there is something about the shared experience of seeing a movie, especially in the beautiful, vintage theaters that now house many of our art house cinemas, that keeps people coming back for more.

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  • bundle up!
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  • Happy #throwbackthursday to another snowy day when we went Christmas tree shopping at Mahoney Garden Center! Hope you’re all staying warm and safe today! ❄️
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  • Did you catch our post about the Boston Common Holiday Tree Lighting? Here's some of our favorite pics from the festivities 🎇
  • Pumpkins + LED Lights + Artistry = MAGIC! Can't wait to go back to Roger Williams Park Zoo Jack O Lantern Spectacular this weekend!  Wanna see more pics? Click through to the post in our profile.... .
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#jackolanternspectacular #jackolantern #fall #halloween #halloweennight #halloweenfun #halloweentime #halloween🎃 #halloweenvibes #october #octoberfun #octobervibes #rogerwilliamszoo @rwpzoo #lifestylebloggers #travelbloggers #bloggerlife #halloweekend #halloweenblog #halloweeeny #halloweenseason #halloweenspirit