Month

October 2015

4 Halloween Happenings in Boston

If your Halloween is not so happening, spice it up at one of these four events taking place around Boston this Halloween.

  1. Fenway Park Trick-or-TreatingHere’s a win-win: The kids get candy, and you get to walk around the legendary Fenway Park. This Halloween, children and adults alike are invited to go trick-or-treating around the field’s Warning Track, receiving candy from the park’s staff. Wally will make an appearance, as will the Sox’s three World Series trophies. Additional fun includes balloon artists, face painting, caricatures, and stilt walker Big League Brian. But before the big event, there’s a pumpkin contest on Thursday, October 29—enter your carved masterpieces from 5-7:30 p.m. If yours is one of the top three winners, it’ll be on display during the Fenway Park Halloween festivities for all to see. Free, Saturday, October 31, 1-5 p.m., Fenway Park, Gate C, redsox.mlb.com.
  2. No Tricks, Just Treats at Boston Harbor Hotel’s Spooky Tea. The Rowes Wharf Sea Grille invites you and your little ones to put on your BHH_Rowes Wharf Spooky Tea 3costumes and celebrate Halloween in the city. Dip into their Witches’ Brew Apple Cider, don their DIY caps and decorate a few cookies then fill their own trick-or-treat bag with Halloween goodies to take home.  Kids will get a kick out of the Trick-or-Treat Treasure Hunt. while the adults in tow can sip champagne and enjoy a monstrous selection of seasonal treats like scarily delectable tea sandwiches, scones and holiday cookies.   Reservations are required and this party does not come cheap ($45 per adult, $20 for children 12 and under). The festivities take place Friday, October 30, Saturday, October 31 & Sunday, November 1, 2015 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Rowes Wharf Sea Grille, Inside the Boston Harbor Hotel, 70 Rowes Wharf, Boston, MA, (617) 856-774.
  3. Brick-or-Treat at Legoland Combine two of kids favorite things- Halloween and LEGOS and you’ll be happy to bring your little monsters to Legoland This October for Brick-o-Treat.  The transformation Legoland has taken creates a Halloween LEGO wonderland that will have you just as mesmerized as your kids.  A Monster Mash scavenger hunt will lead your kids through Miniland where you’ll encounter clues to find your treasure. Add a spooky pumpkin trail, and a themed a building challenge and you have the makings of a candy-free Halloween. $14.95-$29.95 (children under 3 free),  Saturday, October 31, Legoland Discovery Center, 598 Assembly Row, Somerville, 866228-6439, legolanddiscoverycenter.com.
  4.  “Heroes & Villains” at Brass Union. If you’re an adult who can sneak away and are looking to party like you did pre-kids then you should headimage006 to “Heroes & Villains” at Brass Union. Head to Brass Union for an adults only comic-themed Halloween bash that will have your kids green with envy. Enjoy the dance party, costume contest, themed libations and candy.   DJ ABD will take to the turntables and spin a variety of genres from hip-hop, funk and soul to ‘80s hits. For good measure, DJ ABD will mix in a dose of Halloween classics so revelers can do their best “Monster Mash.” Brass Union, 70 Union Square, Somerville – 617.623.9211 – www.brassunion.comOctober 31 from 9pm-2am; 21+; complimentary admission.

 -Satisfying your spook this Halloween, Jess

Host a Halloween Pumpkin Carving Party

When friends ask how our Halloween pumpkin carving party began I tell them the story of the random weeknight just before Halloween-before we had kids- when we were feeling a little competitive and challenged one another to a carving contest. I lost big time, but had a blast so I turned it into a party!

The next year we invited a few family members to join us, once we had kids and we invited the few folks we knew in town. Now, the event is a large outdoor extravaganza where the kids don costumes snack all afternoon, float from games, to crafts to pumpkin painting and create fun for themselves while parents carve, nosh and socialize.IMG_2418

Follow Amazing Matriarch’s tips to plan your own carving party that will please guests of all ages:

  1. Go potluck

There’s something special about a fall pot luck party. I love the smorgasbord of food that appears and am always interested in seeing what’s a hit (buffalo chicken dip and RIP Reubens alway empty fast) and stealing that dish to bring to friends parties in the future. Beyond that, prepping a couple of simple dishes for a large crowd (chili, pulled pork, sloppy Joe’s, mac n’ cheese) is much easier than planning food for a party that could end up with far fewer guests than planned (kids get sick, things come up and people bail last minute).

2. Spread activities, food & drink around the entire yard

I use every area of outside space for something different.

The center of the patio transforms into a craft area with food and drinks along the edges. Hay bails act as seats for kids while they’re crafting, or later, eating. Parents can check out their art while getting a libation or bite and keep from getting trapped in one location.

The back yard becomes a mecca of mayhem where the kids go wild, taking part in simple games like toss the ring on the witch hat and donut eating from our swings, which is also the site for a black cat piñata this year. Plenty of open space lets them release energy and the strategically placed keg off to the side ensures the dads are on hand to observe.IMG_0833

The garage becomes carving central. Folding tables are set inside with chairs so that when there’s no carving going on people can sit and eat. Some food is set within so that folks don’t have to go far to get a bite, especially when working under the judging deadline.

Spreading things out also ensures that everyone mixes.

3. No one will say boo to BYO

We ask guests to BYO dish to share, pumpkin and carving tools as well as a pumpkin to paint for the kids (although a friend with pumpkin patch access scored enough for the kids coming this year). I’ve collected quite a few carving tools through the years but not enough for all so I continue to add that request to the invitation. I also ask that beyond the keg and hot cider (spiked or virgin) guest BYO booze.

4. If it is on Halloween, offer trick or treating

This year Halloween is on a Saturday and so is our party. Friends are welcome to join us in trick or treating around our neighborhood with our house as home base before, during or after. Because why not extend the excitement of Halloween.

-Just one mom masquerading as a party planning superhero one Halloween at a time, Jess

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Food & Foliage at Nancy’s Airfield Cafe

As a mom who loves good food and a cool experience, I’m pretty open to dining adventures that allow my kids to be included.  This weekend, we celebrated my husband’s birthday with lunch & extended family at Nancy’s Airfield Cafe in Stowe, MA. We loved every buzz and bite that came our way.

After a ride along the foliage filled backroads that left me mesmerized we wound our way to Nancy’s Airfield Cafe.  Situated at the edge of Minuteman Airfield,  Nancy’s offers aviation aficionados the opportunity to watch aircraft depart and arrive at this small air field while enjoying a hot meal and cool cocktail. Ideally situated for arrival by car or aircraft, this dining destination will have those who came by car rubbing elbows with those who made Nancy’s part of their leisurely flight.

The quaint interior is filled with country charm. From the artwork for sale on the walls to the simple tables set to allow guests to catch sight of the aircraft coming and going, the simplicity of Nancy’s lures in locals who regularly make this a must for breakfast and lunch.

Lines around the corner are a normal part of dining at Nancy’s where reservations are not allowed (although large parties are encouraged to call) and 10 is tops for those seeking seating together. If dining with kids be warned that the best seating is in the exterior room on the runway. However, children are not allowed to be seated in that room due to an unlocked emergency door that opens onto the runway (apparently too many kids have tried to escape). Topping out this week with our party of 10, we were seated within the interior space of Nancy’s where the windows offer obstructed views of the choppers and planes parking on-site.

Expecting little of the food at a place that pride’s itself on its location, I was more than pleased by my meal. I took a chance ordering a specialty cocktail, hoping that at it’s $9 price tag it would please my picky palate. And it did, just strong enough my gin based libation was tart and refreshing with little sweetness; I enjoyed it so much I ordered a second.

After skimming the regular menu and specials I decided on something I would not typically order- bratwurst on a pretzel roll. For $14 two hearty sausages, topped with sauerkraut and mustard arrived with a few pickles on the side.  A bit too much for me, I quickly passed one to someone with more of an appetite and set to work enjoying what was on my plate. The meat was juicy, and full of flavor with just enough topping to enhance the flavor and just enough bread to enjoy the juice. I ate every last bite and left feeling comfortably full. Those with me ordered an array of dishes ranging from lamb burgers  to breakfast favorites like pancakes and egg sandwiches. Everyone left happy.

When the kids got restless and their food was gone a few adults brought them to the small expanse of lawn in front of the landing strip to run around while we finished our drinks and payed the bill. At that point, it was clear Nancy was ready to turn the table; upon seeing part of our party depart, she rushed over to request we relinquish one one of the tables we were using so she could set up another party. One can’t fault her as many of those lined up had hungry kids in tow and no chance of being seated in the other room so we happily obliged and made our way outside for goodbyes.

Much to our pleasure, a helicopter had landed on the lawn mid lot and our final treat was a close encounter of departure, which left the kids cheering and the adults happy to have successfully made it through a meal in a restaurant as a family without any tears (from kids or adults).

-Filling your desire to dine one family friendly spot at a time, Jess

Fill us in on your favorite family friendly foliage filled spots on Facebook: Amazing Matriarch, Instagram: amazingamtriarch or Twitter: @AMatriarch;  Tag us on social using#amazingmatriarch

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