Friday, April 14, 2017

April Vacation Bucket List: Six Fun Family Events in MA and RI!


I woke up this morning so excited: I have ten days off with the Monsters! April vacation is here and I couldn't be more ready for some fun and hopefully sun with my babies. Here's some fun stuff for you and your troop to do over the break.

1. Visit Blue Man Group in Boston
If you are looking for a fun activity for the kids to do during April Vacation, look no further than Blue Man Group Boston where you can have a unique, one-of-a-kind experience in a couple of hours! Featuring an energetic mix of music, art, technology and comedy, Blue Man Group Boston at the Charles Playhouse has become a rite of passage for families looking for a fun experience during their school break.

From April 15-23, Blue Man Group Boston will host 26 shows including added weekday matinees that are perfect for kids of all ages. To add to the exuberant show experience, youngsters can also have their face painted before select shows and be transformed in true Blue Man style with tribal designs in day glow paint.


Before and after the show, guests are invited to relax in the lounge which features a full bar and interactive music and light installation created by Blue Man Group called the “Lounge-U-Lum.” These interactive sound and light scape instruments are perfect for getting into the show spirit. After the show, guests are invited to meet members of Blue Man Group and get the ultimate selfie for their collection. In addition to the onsite activities, Blue Man Group Boston has partnered with local restaurants to offer free food specials and discounts during the week.

“School vacation week is one of our favorite times of the year when we add performances and can look out to see our extended tribe in the audience’s painted faces,” said Jonathan Screnci, Blue Man Group Boston Resident General Manager. “We hope families take advantage of the free face painting before the show, selfies with the Blue Men after the show and restaurant deals to add to the lively show experience.”

More information about school vacation week activities and a list of special discounts offered by participating restaurants can be found at: https://www.blueman.com/boston/school-vacation-week. All activities are free for ticketholders.

For more information about Blue Man Group Boston and the show experience, check out www.blueman.com. Children under the age of 3 are not permitted in the theatre.

2. Check out LEGOLAND Discovery Center Boston

LEGOLAND is always a blast and this vacation they have a special event planned:
LEGO NEXO Knights Royal Experience During School Vacation Week- April 15-23


LEGO® NEXO KNIGHTS™ will invade MINILAND so guests will “capture” them to complete the scavenger hunt, build a shield mosaic in the Master Builder Academy, check out the LEGO® NEXO KNIGHTS™ 4D movie and be knighted by the reigning Queen of LEGOLAND Discovery Center Boston, Master Model Builder Megan Amaral.

For more info: https://boston.legolanddiscoverycenter.com/

3. Sesame Street Live at PPACRI
I have a giveaway for this one on my facebook page so check it out. Hope to see you there!



4. Party for the Planet at Roger Williams Park Zoo

Roger Williams Park Zoo is hosting the ever-popular Party for the Planet, a full week of fun for families to share. The event will run from April 17-21, during the public school vacation week for many students in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut. Each day, guests will enjoy special events, programming highlighting conservation, and the environment. Families will also experience interesting animal encounters with the Zoo’s education wild animal ambassadors, entertainment, games, and music, as well as special “Keeper Talks” to learn more from the zookeepers about exhibit animals. Party for the Planet activities run from 10 am to 4:00 pm each day and are included with Zoo admission.



Young and old are invited to celebrate spring with the arrival of baby animals and the prepping of fields at Old Sturbridge Village. Meet the Village’s newborns and experience the responsibilities of raising animals on a farm in 1830. All week, guests will meet Laura Ingalls Wilder, of the "Little House" series. Discovery Adventures programs for children ages 7-14 are also scheduled for April School Vacation week! Pre-registration for these 3 or 5 day programs is required.
Time: 9:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Admission: Adults, $28; seniors 55 and older, $26; college students, $14; youths age 4-17, $14


Bring the youngsters for performances, events, and a daily treasure hunt during vacation week. Kids Week programs are entertaining and educational for young learners, and there's plenty for grown-ups to explore at Pilgrim Hall Museum, too. All children must be accompanied by an adult.
Tuesday - Magical Mystery Show with Magician Stephen Brenner
Wednesday - Rhythm Speaks Drum Circle with percussionist Ed Sorrentino brings and West African drums.
Thursday - Grandfather Frog Storytime with Mary Beers of the Thornton W. Burgess Society
Friday - Big Ryan's Tall Tales with Big Ryan’s puppets, music, and zazzle!
Time: 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; programs noted above are at 1 p.m.
Admission: Students, children under age 18, and Plymouth residents admitted free; adults, $10; seniors, $8
Telephone: 508-746-1620

Enjoy your vacation, everyone!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Six Flags is Offering More Thrills than Ever this Season!


Yesterday we got a chance to check out Six Flags New England for opening day, and the park has more thrills than ever planned for 2017! We got to experience the premier of  Galactic Attack Virtual Reality Coaster on Mind Eraser for an all-new mixed reality gaming experience. Mind Eraser proudly celebrates its 20th Birthday at the Coaster Capital of New England this season, and will be outfitted with new restraints for a more comfortable, smoother and exhilarating ride experience than ever before. Galactic Attack Virtual Reality Coaster is officially open to the public tomorrow!



Premiering this summer will be the park’s 13th coaster, THE JOKER 4D Free Fly Coaster. After being lifted straight up a 120-foot hill, this 4D experience challenges riders to “face their fears” as they flip head-over-heels from four to eight times along the weightless, tumbling journey. 



Six Flags New England will also launch its brand new holiday event, Holiday in the Park® with an extended calendar and “reason to visit each season”. The park will be decorated with more than one million LED lights, beautiful Christmas trees, thrilling rides and state-of-the-art holiday decor, which will create the perfect magical atmosphere for park guests. Holiday in the Park® will debut on weekends and select days November 24 - December 31.



To celebrate this exciting year, Six Flags New England will offer its first ever Opening Day Flash Sale. A Season Pass provides guests with unlimited visits for the entire 2017 season to any Six Flags Theme Park including Holiday in the Park®. To purchase, visit sixflags.com and save up to 60% with the purchase of four or more. You can check out our coverage of opening day on Instagram!

Spring is a Great Time to Book a Stay at Fernwood Resort

We recently had a chance to visit the Poconos again and had another great stay at Fernwood Resort. Fernwood is a great home away from home and we had a blast swimming and snow tubing on our recent trip, but since summer is around the corner, let's look back at our summer trip there from last year!


One of the things I love most is a place where you can cook (weird I know, but as a vegan family, it is a life saver!) Our suite had a full kitchen and dining area which we used all week. This is also great for families who want to save some money on eating out.

Save some money by cooking lunches here


The suite was super spacious, comfortable, and clean, and the girls loved every minute we spent at Fernwood!



Happy campers! 


The thing that really sets Fernwood aside from other family resorts in the amenities. First of all, there are SIX swimming pools. Don't worry, there are hot tubs for adults too! There is also lakefront bumper boats, mini golf, and an arcade. All of those are super affordable for families to enjoy together. The real standouts though are the adventure events. There is the Treeventures and Zip Line course which was amazing. I cannot believe that I actually ziplined, but I did, and it was a blast. There is also summer tubing on Blue Lightning which was ridiculously fast (and even faster on our recent winter trip!) I think family vacations are best spent outdoors and Fernwood allows for that to happen.

Tubing Monster!
Blue Lightning!

Take it from me and check out Fernwood Resort, you won't regret it!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Sesame Street Live: Coming this April to PPACRI!


This April vacation week, the Providence Performing Arts Center has moms covered: Sesame Street Live is in town! No matter where you’re from or where you’ve been, everyone is special, so join in! Elmo, Grover, Abby Cadabby, and their Sesame Street friends welcome Chamki, Grover’s friend from India, to Sesame Street. Together, they explore the universal fun of friendship and celebrate cultural similarities, from singing and dancing, to sharing cookies! Join the fun and make a memory with your friends and family!


Chamki is from far away and she’s visiting Sesame Street for just one day! Grover has a long to-do list for his friend, from kayaking to hot yoga, but Chamki is busy enjoying cookies with Cookie Monster, singing with Abby Cadabby, and doing ‘The Elmo Slide.’ Will an appearance from Super Grover get Chamki’s attention? Join the fun and create memories with your friends and family!


Sesame Street Live “Make a New Friend” offers a fun-filled, interactive learning experience, including up-close and furry interactions on the audience floor! Like television’s Sesame Street, each Sesame Street Live production features timeless tunes and lessons for all ages. The universal appeal of each Broadway-quality musical production continues long after preschool. Adults will appreciate the high-tech stagecraft, cleverly written script, and music they’ll recognize and enjoy sharing with children, such as “Count Me In,” and fun new parodies of “Hot and Cold,” and “Moves Like Jagger.”



The girls have always loved Sesame Street Live productions and I can't wait to experience this one last time with them before Lea Monster gets too big! Do you want to go too? I have FIVE family four packs for giveaway exclusively on my Facebook page. You can also buy tickets directly from PPAC.

Show times

Friday, March 3, 2017

Lion King as PPACRI is a Breathtaking Delight


You know what the hallmark of knowing you saw an amazing show is? When you turn to complete strangers at intermission to discuss how much you all cried. Such was the case at The Lion King, showing now at The Providence Performing Arts Center. Of course, I was familiar with the movie being a Disneyaholic and all, but nothing could prepare me for the spectacle that is the stage show. The opening number literally takes your breath away, and you will be lucky to get it back by the end of the show. When the opening notes of Circle of Life fill the room, you are immediately transported to the heart of Africa, and despite the use of puppets, you find yourself so immersed you forget there are even real humans on stage.

Buyi Zama as Rafiki filled the entire room with her amazing voice

The Lion King follows the same basic yarn as the story we all know and love, but there are some additional songs as well. As I mentioned above, the production makes use of masks and hollow puppets to transform actors into the animals, but while allowing their own faces to also show and emote. The result is a transformative experience that seamlessly blends reality and fantasy. Also incredible was the lack of real set pieces. One would expect a show as grandiose as this to have giant set pieces in every scene, but the show utilizes actors to bring the scenery to life (you have never seen grass fields like this before!) The use of human set pieces makes the stage buzz with movement and excitement in a way that I have never seen before.

Dashaun Young brought Simba to life

Of course, all the performances were incredible, but Jordan Williams who played young Simba really blew me away. His Simba was full of joy and then incredible sadness and he is definitely one to watch. Mark Campbell was such a phenomenon as Scar that you may end up saying "James Earl who?" when you think of the character from now on.

The best part, of course, was sharing the experience with Zoe Monster. In a shocking turn of events, she turned to me after the show and said, "I think I might even love this one more than Wicked." Even at 8 years-old I could see that she could see what a remarkable show this is. There is truly nothing else like it. So, grab some tissues, and someone you love and try to score some seats for The Lion King, playing through March 19 at PPACRI.

Get your own tickets HERE

See my interview with Nick Cordileone who plays Timon HERE

Aquatopia at Camelback Resort is a Wet and Wild Great Time!



We recently got back from an awesome weekend in the Poconos and I got to have one of the BEST times in a long time at Aquatopia at Camelback Resort. Camelback Lodge & Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark is located at the base of Camelback Mountain in Tannersville, Pennsylvania. The 453 suite lodge is coupled with the largest indoor family entertainment center and indoor waterpark in the Northeast. With Camelback Lodge & Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark complementing the existing seasonal outdoor waterpark, skiing, snowboarding, snowtubing, ziplining, treetops obstacle course, alpine mountain coaster and more, Camelback Resort offers more year-round excitement in one location than any other mountain resort in the country. Today I want to focus on Aquatopia because it was a Monster's dream come true!




You are not going to believe how much the park has to offer. Here are just a few of my favorites:


VENUS SLYDETRAP
• Starting with a heart-pounding drop, riders speed down an enclosed serpentine flume before they are injected into a 16-foot sphere where they bank around 90-degree turns, and finally are plunged back into darkness. Next, riders will be propelled back into the rushing waters where they will experience wall crawling Zero-G oscillations before being swallowed and spit back out into a plunge pool below. This over 600 feet fully enclosed family rafting experience is unlike any other in the world!

STORM CHASER
• North America’s longest indoor uphill water coaster!
• Aquatopia’s Storm Chaser is the industry’s most exciting, gravity-defying water-based coaster that exists in any indoor waterpark in the U.S.
• Five major drops and four uphill humps give riders a feeling of weightlessness.

THE HIMALAYAN
• Region’s only indoor head-first mat waterslide!
• AquaLucent lighting and high-speed drops make for a trippy plummet!

SKYDIVE PLUMMET
With a Leap of Faith, We are Free-falling, Spinning, Rushing Faster and Faster Towards the Earth Below...
• The rider steps into the AquaLaunch at the top of the tower before the trap door below opens and the rider plummets into a 60-foot thrill ride.
• Beginning with a free-fall, riders are quickly sent into a High-G looping flattened 360-degree turn at over 26 feet per second.
• This fully translucent, enclosed, feet first body slide allows spectators to watch riders zoom above them.

KARTRITE’S QUEST
World’s First ‘Next Generation’ fully themed and immersive multi-level AquaPlay Structure!
• 1,000-gallon, themed giant dumping bucket sits perched at over 52 feet overhead.
• 84 interactive water effects including: bubbler and geyser jets, rotating dumping troughs, hose jets, pull ropes, tipping cones, water guns, plunger jets, water wheels and water cannons.
• 3,000+ square-foot, zero-depth entry pool at the base of the water play structure.
• Platforms and stairs separate interactive zones designed for different age levels, giving guests a choice of going to the slides or the interactive water features.

MYSTIC SPRINGS
The Soothing Waters of this Mythical Lagoon Rejuvenate the Body after a Long Day...
• Indoor/outdoor family warm springs spa.
• 42สบ deep with hydrotherapy jets.






Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark and Arcadia Indoor Adventure Center totals 170,000 square feet of wet and dry adventure. It was voted the #1 indoor waterpark in the U.S. by USA and for good reason. For instance, the park is 84-degrees year-round. There are a total of 13 slides and seven pools, including a wavepool, an indoor/outdoor spa whirlpool, a lazy river and a toddlers’ pool. It is truly a marvel when it comes to indoor water parks. Check out a video of our day and don't miss out on this incredibly vacation destination!