Category Archives: Events

Valentine’s Day at North of Boston

Valentine’s day is upon us, you either hate it or you love it. I think that usually depends on your relationship status. No matter what your relationship status is there are so many enjoyable things you can do. Here is a guide with some suggestions on how you can celebrate valentine’s day in the North of Boston Region.

box of chocolates harbor sweets gloucesterGifts:

If you usually buy the typical valentine’s day gift of Chocolates and a stuffed bear, maybe step your game up a little bit this year by buying some unique gourmet chocolate. There are multiple candy houses’ in the area that sell decadent chocolate. There’s one in Andover, Danvers, Gloucester,  Newburyport, Rockport, Salem, and Salisbury. Basically, you are bound to find one in your area. Some great gift ideas also include experiences. Why not mix it up and go with tickets to a museum or a show. There are plenty of options for those in our region including: Peabody Essex Museum, Salem Witch Museum, Lynn Museum and many others. Check out the schedule of shows at the Village Theater Company, Northshore Music Theater, Blue Ocean Music Hall, Shalin Lui theater and more.

 

lighthouse preservation dinner

Dinner:

If you are looking for a sit down dinner here is a list of restaurants having a special valentine’s day dinner:

Davio’s Lynnfield Valentines Day Menu

Seaglass Big Band Bash

Seaglass Restaurant Valentine’s Day Menu

Victoria Station Salem Special Menu and live acoustic music

Capri Seaside Valentine’s day event

Seaport Grille Valentine’s Day Menu

  Beauport princess

Lighthouse Preservation

If you want to do something a little more relaxed Davio’s Lynnfield is one of many area restaurants that offers takeout of their full menu. Also, Century House in Peabody offers a wide variety oven ready take home meals.

the merchant hotel

Accommoations: 

If you are interested in making Valentine’s day a weekend check out our hotels for historic mansions, luxurious large hotels, or quaint bed and breakfasts.

Feast this Fall in the North of Boston

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Lobster dinner. Credit: Schooner Lannon

If we’ve learned anything from Pinterest, it’s that fall is the start of the comfort food season.  Instead of falling back on the same, old soups and casseroles, why not indulge you appetite with new flavors and temptations from your favorite local restaurants?  This fall, the North of Boston region offers numerous culinary celebrations to satisfy every appetite.

Savor Newburyport | Newburyport, MA
September 17-26
www.savornewburyport.com

Newburyport’s newest festival, Savor Newburyport, features 10 days of celebration and highlights the coastal city’s exceptional food, drink, shopping, and cultural experiences.  Enjoy various events throughout the festival; including innovative dining experiences with unique restaurant and shop parings.  Don’t miss great events like Pizza in the Park (Sept. 18),Creating Your Own, Unique Salad Dressing (Sept. 20), Build Your Own Whoopie Bar (Sept. 25), and more!

Taste of the Gables | Salem, MA
September 20
www.7gables.org

Dozens of chefs, vintners, and distillers from across the region will showcase their specialties and vie for your vote in the Best Chef and Best Beverage competition at Taste of the Gables.  Set along the beautiful Salem harbor front on the lawn of the House of the Seven Gables, the night will feature a silent auction, with original pieces of art and other exciting items lining our beautiful garden paths.  This event is a benefit to raise money for the House of the Seven Gables important preservation projects and education initiatives.

Cape Ann Fall Restaurant Week | Gloucester/Rockport, MA
October 18-23
www.capeannchamber.com

Fantastic food and beautiful scenery come together every year for Cape Ann Restaurant week.  For six days, participating restaurants invite locals and visitors alike to sample the flavors of Cape Ann and offer a tempting prix fixe three-course dinner menu $33 or $25.

Salem Fall Restaurant Week | Salem, MA
November 8-12, 15-19
www.salem-chamber.org

Who needs turkey when you have Salem’s variety of culinary treasures?  For two weeks, taste and enjoy all that Salem has to offer with nominally-priced two-and three-course prix fixe options.

North of Boston Fall Events & Happenings

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Fall is a terrific time to visit the North of Boston region!  There’s so much to do during your visit –  come explore the changing of the leaves, apple and pumpkin picking, hayrides, festivals, and more during this wonderful time of year!

Click here to view our Fall Newsletter and get information on upcoming events, lodging and dining deals, activities, and more!

Music in the air

Every summer, the North of Boston region is host to numerous outdoor music festivals, concert series, and more.  Music of all genres is in the air throughout the entire region.  So, come enjoy terrific summer weather and great music during…

1Castle Hill Picnic Concert Series
Thursdays, through September 3
Castle Hill on the Crane Estate
290 Argilla Road | Ipswich, MA
www.thetrustees.org

The Trustees and Castle Hill on the Crane Estate invite you to enjoy a series of evening picnic concerts this summer.  Set on Castle Hill’s spacious lawn, attendees are welcome to bring a picnic supper or purchase seafood, empanadas, pizza, and ice cream from on-site vendors. Ipswich Ale and Mill River Winery will sell beverages on-site at a beer and wine garden.  Click here for more information, including the concert line-up.

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11249557_10153511109592490_3459831857567318531_n2015 Summer Concert Series at Salisbury Beach
Saturdays, through September 5
Salisbury Beach | Salisbury, MA
www.beachfests.org

Get your groove on this summer at Salisbury Beach!  The Summer Concert Series features a different performer every Saturdays night.  Enjoy concerts from Entrain, The Lisa Love Experience, Joshua Tree, and more!  Click here for a full concert line-up.

11351325_892000850861081_2390068142578142637_nGloucester Blues Festival
Saturday, August 8
Stage Fort Park
24 Hough Avenue | Gloucester, MA
www,gloucesterbluesfestival.com

Enjoy a day of music and fun as the nation’s finest performers play on scenic Cressey’s Beach.  Featuring performances by the Juke Joint Five, Mitch Woods, Lil Ed & the Blues Imperials, and more, the event also includes a beer garden and marvelous food and craft vendors, making for the perfect summer day in Gloucester.  Click here to view the full lineup.

Shalin Liu PC-Robert Benson Photography

Shalin Liu. Photo by Robert Benson Photography

Rockport Jazz Festival
August 13-16
Shalin Liu Performance Center
37 Main Street | Rockport, MA
www.rockportmusic.org/festivals

Cool cats and jazz neophytes rejoice!  The 4th Annual Rockport Jazz Festival is almost here and features a fantastic lineup of jazz musicians, including Mikarimba, a star-studded ensemble of Mika Stoltzman, legendary drummer Steve Gadd and the incomparable Eddie Gomez. The Festival continues with artists like the soulful Alicia Olatuja and the incredible jazz guitarist Julian Lage.  For a full schedule of concerts, click here.

newlogoheaderSalem Jazz and Soul Festival
August 15-16
Salem Willows
167 Fort Avenue | Salem, MA
www.salemjazzsoul.org

The Salem Jazz and Soul Festival is a FREE weekend-long event at the historic Salem Willows.  Featuring concerts, a beer garden, artisan fair, kids’ tent, and more, this is one weekend you won’t want to miss!  Parking is limited, but the Salem Trolley and Mahi Mahi Cruises and Charters will be on hand offering alternate transportation to and from the festival.  Click here for a schedule of events and concert line-up.

Riverfront Music Festival Logo - FinalNewburyport’s Riverfront Music Festival
Saturday, September 5
Waterfront Park
36 Merrimac Street | Newburyport, MA
www.newburyportchamber.org

Spend the day on the waterfront in Newburyport! The Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce and 92.5 The River invite you to enjoy a musical Labor Day with a fantastic lineup.  Come early and enjoy great food & shopping while waiting for the concert to begin.  Click here for more information.

Splash Into Summer with the North of Boston!

There’s so much to do this summer in the North of Boston region!  From open studios and classic car shows to 1920s lawn parties and numerous festivals, there’s something for everyone!   The only problem is fitting it all into your schedule – but don’t worry, you have all summer to explore, navigate and play!

Click here to check out our awesome summer newsletter, which includes great events, restaurant deals, hotel packages, and more!

Salisbury Beach_017_credit Gary Miles

Salisbury Beach. Photo by Gary Miles

April “Staycation”

Why spend April vacation in front of the TV when there’s so much to do and to explore?  The North of Boston region offers a myriad of awesome Vacation Week activities for kids of all ages – here are just a few of the fun things to do during April vacation (to check out more events, visit our school vacation calendar of events).

lil' cow - Appleton Farms, IpswichDig In! Farmer for a Week at Appleton Farms
April 21-23
Perfect for ages 9-12

Dig into the farm and roll up your sleeves in the kitchen! Discover how delicious food grows on the farm and ends up on your plate every day. Follow the life cycle of a plant from seed to harvest, learn how a cow can turn green grass into creamy milk, meet our farmers and much more. Get a taste of our Appleton Cooks! program as we take our fresh ingredients and prepare a scrumptious and healthy lunch in our farm kitchen every day.  Please call 978-356- 5728 ext.18 for more details.

earth-day-1024x450April Vacation Week Fun at the Wenham Museum
April 22-26

The Wenham Museum has week of April Vacation Fun planned for kids of all ages. Learn about reuse and recycling while creating recycled art and engaging in other outdoor activities during the Earth Day Celebration. Have your silhouette created by artist Carol Lebeaux or make your own art as you create your own character in your very own four-page story. Don’t miss their Frozen: The Real Story of Ice on Wenham Lake exhibit – from a sock-skating rink, fun, child-size ice house, and costumes too dress up like your favorite “Frozen” characters, this exhibit is too cool to miss!

Waterslide-cocokeySplash into vacation at CoCo Key!

Many deals and packages available for families to enjoy a fun day of swimming, slides, and more at Massachusetts’ largest indoor water park, CoCo Key.  With the “Family Four Pack,” families save up to $30 on day passes.  Or, buy one pass, get one free on “Thrifty Thursdays” (offer valid 4-9pm).


owl_birchbarkLet it Grow – School Vacation Week at the Peabody Essex Museum
April 21-23

Spread your branches to celebrate the return of spring and join the Peabody Essex Museum’s Earth Day festivities!  Enjoy art-making, demonstrations, and so much more!  Make your own paper or even learn to “leaves”drop on the inner (secret!) life of trees!

UntitledApril Vacation at the Cape Ann Museum
April 21-25
Ages 3-12

Join the Cape Ann Museum Activity Center for a great week of programs for kids of all ages!  Explore poetry and painting, learn about the many types of fish native to Cape Ann, make your own stamps,  and much, much more!  Click here for an event flyer and more information.  These programs are FREE for children (with the purchase of adult admission).

Easter’s on its way!

Though it barely feels like spring, Easter is just a few days away!  Grab your best hat and celebrate the season with one of the many marvelous regional events hop-pening in the next week (we hear that the Easter Bunny himself will be making a few special appearances!).


downloadAndover Easter Egg Hunt
Saturday, March 28 | 10-11:30am

Children ages 2-10 will enjoy games, prizes, arts & crafts, pictures, with the Easter Bunny, and egg-decorating at the Andover Easter Egg hunt!  An egg hunt will conclude the festivities.  Pre-registration required at andoverdcs.com/events/egghunt.

egg-cellent adventursEgg-cellent Easter Adventure at Appleton Farms
Saturday, April 4 | 10am-12pm

Go on the “Egg-cellent” Quest around the farm and learn about the journey from egg to chicken, collecting Easter eggs at each station to complete the Quest! Enjoy homemade refreshments in our Carriage Barn, visit with the calves, and play games in the stone paddock!

EggHuntRockport Community Egg Hunt
Saturday, April 4 | 2pm

The Rockport Division of the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce sponsors an Annual Rockport Community Egg Hunt the Saturday before Easter for the children of the town each year. In addition to an appearance by the Easter Bunny, an assortment of candies and chocolates are distributed and the hunt also features a number of special eggs to be redeemed for prizes.

colorful easter eggs and branch with flowersEaster Brunch at the Salem Waterfront Hotel
Sunday, April 5 | 10am-3pm

Our entire staff invites you and your family to one of the most celebrated dining experiences on the North Shore – Easter Brunch at Salem Waterfront Hotel & Suites! The Easter Bunny will be visiting all day for photos.  Complimentary dining for children 3 and under.
For reservations, call 978 619-1120.

Easter-Sunday-Grand-BuffetEaster Sunday Grand Buffet at the Hawthorne Hotel
Sunday, April 5 | 10:30am-7pm

Enjoy delicious food and meet the Easter bunny at Salem’s historic Hawthorne Hotel. For reservations, please call 978-825-4311.

anniversaries3Danversport Yacht Club’s Bountiful Easter Dinner Buffet
Sunday, April 5 | 12-5pm

Easter Dinner Buffet in the Garden Terrace-Featuring Carving Stations, Pasta Stations, Salad Stations and Delicious Desserts!

tEaster Brunch Jazz Cruise on the Beauport Princess
Sunday, April 5 | 1-4pm

Join us for live jazz, a gourmet buffet brunch, a cruise around our lovely harbor and even an appearance from the Easter Bunny himself! It’s a perfect way to enjoy Easter with your family!  Call early for reservations, this cruise always sells out – 978-865-3210

Frozen in Salem

Seeing as it’s Valentine’s Day, we thought we’d bring you a little something sweet to celebrate (we admit it – we’re notorious procrastinators when it comes to Valentine’s gifts).  Last year, we brought you on a delicious field trip to Harbor Sweets.  This year, we took another field trip to Salem to explore Salem’s So Sweet Chocolate and Ice Sculpture Festival, an annual event that celebrates February’s defining characteristics: cold weather and chocolate.

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DSC_0472Every year, just as love starts to warm up the chilly February air, Salem shows off its sweet side.  Kicking off with a Chocolate & Wine Tasting event, Salem’s So Sweet brings 2 weeks of sweet, savory fun to help you fight off the harsh winter weather.  The Golden Ticket, available at many participating businesses, is your key to special discounts and offerings throughout Salem.  Receive 15% off your purchase at Harbor Sweets, fabulous discounts in the Salem Witch Museum’s gift shop, or try the delicious Salem’s So Sweet Special at Finz.  Don’t forget to have your ticket validated – you can enter to win the wonderful Salem’s So Sweet gift basket.  Could it get any sweeter than that?

Well, yes, it can!  As you walk around the city, enjoy the ice sculptures placed around downtown.  Sponsored by local businesses and attractions, these sculptures range from the whimsical to the humorous, thought-provoking, adorable, and fun.

Unfortunately for us, the frequent snowstorms this year had delayed our trip to the festival.  This cloud has a silver lining, however; thanks to the extremely cold weather, the ice sculptures have been wonderfully preserved throughout the event.  So, why not spend Valentine’s with your sweetheart and explore all that Salem has to offer this winter?  The Festival runs through this Sunday, February 15th.  For more information, please click here.

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Walking through a Christmas wonderland

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Salem is a city filled with beautiful historic homes.  Some, like the House of the 7 Gables or the Phillips House, are open to the public as museums.  But do you ever wonder what architectural treasures are contained within Salem’s numerous Victorian, Colonial, and Federal-style private residences?

Luckily for us, the Christmas season offers something more than holiday cheer, gifts, and gatherings with family and friends – it also gives us, through the annual Christmas in Salem tour, a rare glimpse into some of these wonderful private homes. decorated for the holiday season.  We were excited to go on this tour for the first time this year and even happier that it surpassed all of our expectations.  Touring through the homes was akin to walking through a high-end magazine – each house was exquisitely decorated with floral arrangements, whimsical trees, stockings hung by the chimney with care, and much more.

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This year’s Christmas in Salem tour focused on the beautiful homes of South Salem in honor of the centennial anniversary of the Great Salem Fire of 1914.  In June of 1914, a fire started on Boston Street and, over two days, spread across the city.  Over 1,000 buildings (including private homes) were destroyed and 18,000 people were left homeless (For more information, Destination Salem offers a wonderful map and overview of the Great Salem Fire).  The homes featured on the tour either miraculously (and often times, narrowly) escaped the fire or were rebuilt in the Colonial Revival style.

DSC_0478Christmas in Salem doesn’t just stop with the house tour, however – there are many additional walking tours, wine tastings, discounts, and deals available for ticket holders. Proceeds from this tour help support Historic Salem, a non-profit group dedicated to preserving the city’s historic resources.

Christmas in Salem is a unique opportunity to see a side of Salem that is usually not made available to the everyday visitor.  This window of opportunity, though, is a small one – as Christmas only comes but once a year, Christmas in Salem arrives only for the first week of December.  Don’t miss out on next year’s tour, December 4-6, 2015.

For more information, visit christmasinsalem.org.

Taking home a piece of the beach…

Now that we’re moving into the colder fall and winter months, a trip to the beach seems out of the question. But why not bring the beach home to you?  The Lynn Museum is making this possible at the Artists at the Atlantic Auction this Saturday, November 15th!

Lynn Beach by G. H. Gay

“Lynn Beach” by G. H. Gay

Artists at the Atlantic is the newest exhibition at the Lynn Museum, a thriving time capsule at the heart of Lynn’s Cultural District that collects, preserves, and celebrates the city’s unique and fascinating history.  The exhibit features work by the Lynn Beach Painters of the past and present.  The Painters were inspired by the scenic Lynn coastline and Atlantic Ocean and the exhibit focuses on and explores their individual techniques, views, and interpretation of the coast.

You are able to take home a piece of Artists at the Atlantic at the auction this weekend.  Contemporary pieces from the exhibit will be available alongside museum memberships, tickets and gift certificates from local businesses, and so much more.  So why not brighten up your home this winter with a beautiful piece of Lynn Beach?

Lynn Museum & Historical Society, Lynn_credit ESSEX HERITAGE

Another one of our favorite pieces – the giant boot! (Photo courtesy of Essex Heritage)

Can’t make it to Lynn in time for the auction?  You can still enjoy Artists at the Atlantic through December and check out the museum’s other fantastic exhibits.  Learn about Lynn’s history as shoe-making hub and enjoy a wonderful array of textiles and vintage-shoe fashion in Shoes: A Step Back in Time or get to know some of Lynn’s notable historic residents such as Lydia Pinkham, Mary Baker Eddy, and Frederick Douglass in Lynn Legends.  The Lynn Museum has an outstanding collection that includes one of our favorite local historic pieces – a poster from an ill-fated Rolling Stones concert in the late 60’s (ecstatic fans, unable to control their excitement to see the band, rioted, causing the police to shut the concert down.  Did we mention that this was to be the Stones’ first stop on a huge American tour?  Not a great way to begin a tour…).

To learn more about the Lynn Museum and to find out more about their fantastic year-round programs and exhibits, visit their website – http://lynnmuseum.org/.

 

 

Cooking with Woodman’s

cooking_collageWoodman’s of Essex is known for a lot of things – being the birthplace of the fried clam, their delicious menu, beautiful wedding venue, and their numerous accolades.  But did you know that Woodman’s also offers an ongoing series of cooking demonstrations at the Essex Room?  Every month, you can enjoy a demonstration by Woodmans’ award-winning chef, Ned Grieg, followed by a tasting.  From sophisticated French dinners to Woodman family recipes to holiday treats, there’s something for everyone at Woodman’s Cooking Series.

August 6th – An Ode to Julia
Bring out your inner French Chef with a classic French dinner in honor of Julia Child’s birthday!  Don’t forget your pearls (and your best Julia impression!).

September 10th – A Seafood Selection
Woodman’s is known for their unparalleled seafood – now you can enjoy a seafood selection from the Woodman’s Family Cookbook: Five Generations of Stories, 100 Years of Recipes. 

October 15th – Soups & Stews
What better way to warm up this fall than with a nice cup of soup? Watch as Chef Ned creates scrumptious seasonal soups and stews.

November 5th – Family Cookbook
What are some of the Woodman family’s favorite recipes? Come try out some more family recipes with elections from the Woodman’s Family Cookbook!

December 13th – Santa’s Bake Shop
Big and small elves alike will delight in these holiday treats! Bring along your little helper for some holiday baking fun!

productimage-picture-100-years-of-recipes-87_jpg_280x280_q85Classes fill up quickly – be sure to sign up today!  Questions? Call 978-768-7335 or e-mail yankeetradition@woodmans.com.

Can’t make it to Essex for the classes? No problem!  In honor of their centennial anniversary, Woodman’s has published a fantastic book featuring 5 generations of family stories and 100 years of delicious recipes.

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cooking class poster

The Secret Case of the Village Theatre Company

ABBphoto-4330 (2)Arthur Conan Doyle’s new detective manuscript is missing and young H.G. Wells only has an hour and a half to find it – what is he going to do? It’s up to novice detectives, Sherlock Holmes and his friend Dr. Watson to find it.  Unfortunately, thanks to Wells’ new time machine, Holmes and Watson accidentally end up in the 21st century!

To make matters worse, our duo are not only two fish-out-of-water, but they end up in the Freudly Institute among fellow patients Marilyn Monroe, Tarzan, Lizzie Borden, Queen Victoria, Count Dracula, and George Washington!  There’s just one problem – the Institute is for people with grandiose delusions and the doctors think Sherlock is their newest patient (and Watson his personal doctor just playing along!).

As if that was not enough, a mysterious dead body is found outside and it’s up to Sherlock Holmes to solve the mystery, find the manuscript, and prove that he really is the famous Sherlock Holmes in the Village Theatre Company’s hilarious new production, “The Secret Case of Sherlock Holmes.”

ABBphoto-4171 (2)The Village Theatre Company began in 2009 with the goal to create a fun, creative, and positive environment for actors and crew alike to come together and feel comfortable and welcome.  Village Theatre lives by the proverb that “it takes a village” and successfully strives to put the community back into community theater.  Have a budding (or experienced) actor in the family?  All are invited and encouraged to audition for Village Theatre’s upcoming shows.  It’s a great experience for actors young and old alike.  Village Theatre Company is more than a theater group – they are a friendly, welcoming, tight-knit theater family always eager to assist each other, encourage individual expression, and help each other to grow.

“Sherlock” is a fun, witty show featuring a talented, clever cast.  Part of what makes the show so enjoyable is that the actors on stage are having as must fun performing as the audience does watching.  The show runs this Friday, July 18th through Sunday, July 20th.  There are two shows on Saturday, July 19th; a 2pm matinee and a 7pm evening show.  The shows are performed at the Laurel Grange (21 Garden Street, West Newbury, MA).  It’s the perfect show for the whole family to attend!

ABBphoto-4228 (2)We eagerly look forward to Village Theatre upcoming production “Monty Python’s Spamalot,” the hilarious musical “[lovingly] ripped off from the motion picture ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail'” which is set to hit the stage this winter.  Being familiar with the show and knowing Village Theatre’s excellent quality, we can say that this is one musical you don’t want to miss!

In the meantime, keep up with the Village Theatre Company on Twitter @VTCvillage or visit their website – villagetheatrecompany.org and sign up for their e-mail list.

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ABB LogoAll photos in the blog are courtesy of Amy Brogna Baione Photography – you can see more of Amy’s excellent photos at www.amybrognabaione.com.

Rockport in C major

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Shalin Liu Performance Center (Photo by Robert Benson)

In 1981, the first Rockport Chamber Music Festival was held in the Rockport Art Association and Congregational Church.  The brainchild of composer David Alpher and friend/singer Lila Deis (who were inspired by the beauty and atmosphere of Rockport) and local businessman Paul Sylva, the Festival grew over the years to become a nationally-recognized gem in the crown of the North Shore’s cultural offerings.  Since 1995, the Festival has been under the leadership of renowned pianist David Deveau who has fostered and encouraged this exponential growth.  

In the 33 years since that first festival, a lot has changed.  In 2008, the Chamber Music Festival evolved into Rockport Music – a central organization whose offerings and influence expands beyond the annual Festival.  More excitement was to come in 2010 with the opening of the Shalin Liu Performance Center, a 330-seat concert hall with the most beautiful view in Rockport and the new home of the Rockport Chamber Music Festival.

This year’s Festival will continue through July 13th and features numerous concerts by world-class musicians as well as pre-concert lectures and free events for music lovers of all ages.  Be sure not to miss performances by 2013 MacArthur Award winning pianist Jeremy Denk, the Boston Early Music Festival Chamber Ensemble and the Boston Symphony Chamber Players, as well as amazing young superstars such as pianist Joyce Yang, pianist Charlie Albright, the Claremont Trio, and their new Rising Star Series with the Neave Trio, pianist Daria Rabotkina and the Donald Sinta Saxophone Quartet.

Shanghai2

Shanghai String Quartet

Upcoming concerts include:

Shanghai String Quartet – Saturday, June 21
Claremont Trio – Thursday, June 26
Boston Symphony Chamber Players – Saturday, June 28
Calder Quarter – Saturday, July 12

For the full Festival schedule, please visit rockportmusic.org/classical/#rcmf33

Can’t make it to Rockport before July 13th? No problem! Rockport Music presents numerous fantastic concerts, lectures, festivals, and screenings throughout the year, including the upcoming 3rd Annual Rockport Jazz Festival August 13-17.

For more information on Rockport Music, be sure to check out their fantastic new website, www.rockportmusic.org, or call their box office at 978-546-7391.

Hippity Hoppity, Easter’s on its way!

Even if you don’t find yourself in the rotogravure or have a sonnet written about your bonnet, there is still a lot to do this Easter on the North Shore!  Here are just a few hop-pening events and delicious treats on the way…

erChococoa Baking Company
50 Water Street
The Tannery, Mill Building #1
Newburyport, MA 01950

Chococoa’s to-die-for Whoopies are getting all dressed up for Easter!  Chococoa is partnering with Jenny’s Wedding Cakes to bring you special Easter-inspired designs which look almost too good to eat!  Designs are available for their scrumptious chocolate/vanilla whoopies and lemon/lemon whoopies.  Supplies are limited, so order yours today at 978-499-8889 or e-mail Getwhoopie@Chococoabaking.com (we can’t guarantee that you’ll be able to make them last until Easter!).

Easter Brunch 2014Easter Bunny Brunch
April 20, 2014
DoubleTree by Hilton – Boston/North Shore
50 Ferncroft Road
Danvers, MA 01923

Join us the DoubleTree for an Easter Brunch. It’s a family affair, including live entertainment, an Easter Egg Hunt and pictures with the Easter Bunny! Brunch Buffet will feature Chef’s Carving Stations, an Omelet Station and Waffle Station. Adults $38, Children $18, Children 5 and under free. Sunday, April 20th. Seatings at 11:00am, 11:30am, 12:00pm, and 12:30pm. Reservations required, please call 978-750-7990.

TupperEaster Brunch at Tupper Manor
April 20, 2014
295 Hale Street
Beverly, MA 01915

Hop, hop over to Tupper Manor and celebrate this special holiday! Enjoy a bountiful brunch buffet while enjoying the historic atmosphere of Tupper Manor and ocean views. Entertainment for the kids including the Easter Bunny & Easter egg hunt at Noon & 2:30pm. Seatings are at 11am and 1:30pm. Adults – $39.95, Seniors – $33.95, Children (3-12) – $15.95 and Chicks (2 & under) eat free!

4811_4812Rabbits_2014_WebHarbor Sweets
85 Leavitt Street
Salem, MA 01970

Looking to satisfy your sweet tooth this Easter?  From peanut butter eggs and milk chocolate moon bunnies to Sweet Sloops packaged in festive Easter and spring gift boxes, Harbor Sweets has something for you!  We recommend the Robert L Strohecker Assorted Rabbits – solid chocolate and filled to the brim with almond butter crunch, caramel, pecans and whole toasted almonds.

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downloadRockport Easter Egg Hunt
April 19, 2014

The Rockport Division of the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce sponsors an Annual Rockport Community Egg Hunt for the children of the town each year.  In addition to an appearance by the Easter Bunny, an assortment of candies and chocolates are distributed and the hunt also features a number of special eggs to be redeemed for prizes.

deck2Victoria Station’s Easter Sunday Buffet
April 20, 2014
11am – 6pm
86 Wharf Street
Salem, MA 01970

Have a memorable Easter with you family at Victoria Station & Vic’s Boathouse!  Enjoy their well-known, outstanding Easter Buffet with beautiful panoramic views of Salem Harbor.  The fabulous menu features carving stations, banana-Nutella french toast, seafood stuffed sole, a dessert and pastry buffet, and so much more!  Make your reservation today by calling 978-745-3400.

 

Go west, young PEM!

All the leaves are brown.  And the sky is gray.  In the midst of this so-called “spring,” we’re “California Dreamin” along with the Mamas and the Papas.  Unfortunately for us, California is 3,000 miles (a 4-day drive or a 6 hour plane ride) away.  Or is it?

DSC_0162The Peabody Essex Museum’s newest exhibit, California Design, 1930-1965: Living in a Modern Way (on view March 29-July 6)brings the West Coast right to us.  The exhibit, organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), captures the essence of California in the mid-20th century – glamorous, modern, bright, relaxed, sleek, and functional.

It is the first major exhibition study of modern California design and influence and features a diverse collection of textiles, clothing, furniture, home decor, jewelry, toys, film and television clips, and so much more.

In the early 20th century, California experienced a huge economic boom.  Bolstered by the movie industry and post-WWII population boom (and development of surburbia), California became a hub of innovation and experimentation: it was a mecca for creativity and modernism.

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Aerial view of intersection of Wilshire and Fairfax Boulevards, Los Angeles, 1922 (left) and 1930 (right). Population/economic boom, indeed!

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En route to the party, someone left their 1964 Studebaker Avanti parked in the atrium…

Walking through the exhibit, you feel as though you’ve been invited to a mid-century Hollywood dream soiree.  You’re now in with the “in” crowd and surrounded by designer clothes and jewelry, modern furniture, retro home decor, and the obligatory film clips and Oscar statuette (hey, it’s a Hollywood party, after all!).  As you meander, you pass famous faces, such as Walt Disney, Lana Turner, Joan Crawford, William Powell, Esther Williams, and Barbie.  All that’s missing are cocktails, canapes, and David Niven (because we’re pretty sure he was at every Hollywood party ever).

And like a dream, you can look and admire, but not touch (or take.  We asked).

For more information on this exhibit, visit http://www.pem.org/exhibitions/162-california_design_1930-1965_living_in_a_modern_way

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Academy Award of Merit statuette, 1927-28

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R.M. (Rudolph Michael) Schindler. Armchair and Ottoman from the Shep commission, Silver Lake, 1934-38.

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Barbir #1, Barbie Teen Age Fashion Model (1959) and Ken doll (1961)

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Margit Fellegi, Cole of California. Woman’s swimsuit (1950-51). Replica of Esther Williams’ “Million Dollar Mermaid” swimsuit – made as a promotional item.

***As a quick fun fact, many of the items in this exhibit – the film clips, “Million Dollar Mermaid” swimsuit, Oscar, Adrian gowns, etc., tie back to MGM Studios.  Studio head, Louis B. Mayer (aka, the second MGM “M”) got his start in the film industry operating a chain of theaters in Haverhill.  In a way, part of this exhibit started in the North of Boston region – so, it’s only fitting that its final showing is here as well.***

 

 

 

For the Birds…

After the December hype of the holiday season dies down, things get pretty quiet in the North of Boston region (with the exception of the occasional blizzard – but even those become rather tedious after awhile).  The rest of winter is for the birds.

Literally.  For dedicated ornithologists and casual birdwatchers alike, the end of January/beginning of February bring two of the biggest birding events in the area- the Cape Ann Birding Weekend and Merrimack River Eagle Festival.

CapeAnnWinterBirdingWeekend2014-1024x623Cape Ann Birding Weekend
January 31-February 2, 2014
http://capeannchamber.com/signature-events/cape-ann-birding-weekend/
Bird watchers of all skill levels from all around flock to Cape Ann for the Cape Ann Birding Weekend.  Organized by the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce and Massachusetts Audubon Society, this event birding enthusiasts to join expert guides on tours of birding hotspots, attend birding workshops, and more.  Artists will also be in attendance giving live demonstrations and showing off bird-related pieces.  Explore Cape Ann’s scenic coastline and see winter seabirds, grebes, Harlequin Duck, Purple Sandpiper, and more!

eagle-festival-logo_mediumMerrimack River Eagle Festival
February 8, 2014
http://www.massaudubon.org/get-outdoors/wildlife-sanctuaries/joppa-flats/news-events/the-merrimack-river-eagle-festival
The Bald Eagle makes it return to the Merrimack Valley this February!  Celebrate its return at the Merrimack River Eagle Festival and join the Mass Audubon at Joppa Flats and the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge for a day full of free activities including an Eagle Tour, eagle magnet, mask or button-making, and so much more!  This year, Festival is pleased to debut the Eagle Festival Eagle Eye Scavenger Hunt!  Now through February 8, visit participating Newburyport merchants and find hidden eagle facts in their stores. You can download a scavenger hunt form or pick one up at the Joppa Flats Education Center or at Newburyport Public Library.

Get into the ho-ho-holiday spirit

Be prepared to be shocked: We’re daring to break the taboo and discuss the holiday season before Thanksgiving.  Actually, we did that a week ago when we put up holiday decorations, but that’s another story for another time.

Please don’t be upset with us – we just love the holiday season  in the North of Boston region.  And at least we’re not starting our holiday shopping on Thanksgiving (we have the decency to wait until after midnight, when it’s officially Friday).  So, get into the spirit with us and check out these great holiday events!  (For more holiday events, visit http://www.northofboston.org/holiday

SleighBell2013ImagecopyWenham Museum’s Sleigh Bell Artisan Fair
November 22 – 23, 10am-4pm
Shop local and support your community this holiday season at the Sleigh Bell Artisan Craft Fair this Friday and Saturday. Silhouette artist Carol Lebeaux will be at the museum all weekend creating keepsake hand-cut portraits. Reservations are recommended and walk-ins are welcome. Pulitzer Prize author Paul Harding will be signing copies of his newest novel, Enon on Saturday at 1:00pm. Donate an unwrapped toy to Northshore 104.9’s 18th Annual Holiday Toy Drive. Artisans will be generously donating 20% of their sales to Wenham Museum.   http://wenhammuseum.org/adultprogramsandbenefits.html

samanthatreeSalem Holiday Happenings
November 29 – January 1, 2014
Celebrate, shop, and dine in Salem during the holiday season. Festival highlights include the annual Christmas in Salem Historic Home Tour, Christmas at the Gables, and Santa’s arrival atop the Hawthorne Hotel!  http://salem.org/calendar_main/festival/salem-holiday-happenings/

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Sea Festival of Trees
November 30 – December 1
From trees filled with up to $1,000 in retail gift cards and concert tickets, to those decorated with original oil paintings, polar bears, angels, trains, music, beach and recycle themes, 85 sparkling trees will delight the senses at the 1st Annual Sea Festival of Trees at Blue Ocean Music Hall on Saturday, November 30 and Sunday, December 1.  Presented by The Newburyport Five Cents Savings Bank, the holiday wonderland fundraiser features Santa’s arrival by fire truck, a winter wonderland electric train display, music and dance performances, strolling characters, a candy shoppe, café and giant 10 foot high x 8 foot X 8 foot whimsical gingerbread house.  Proceeds from the event will benefit Anna Jaques Hospital and the Salisbury Beach Partnership.  All of the 6 foot to 10 foot high lighted trees are being donated by local businesses, organizations, elected officials, student groups and families.  Attendees will have the opportunity to purchase raffle tickets and enter to win the themed trees of their choosing.   Tree winners will be drawn on Sunday, December 1 at 5:00pm.  http://www.blueoceanhall.com/seafestival-of-trees/about-the-festival.html

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Christmas Tree Market SquareSanta Parade and Tree Lighting
December 1, 3:30-5pm
As the holiday season approaches, Santa & Mrs. Claus arrive in the most fitting way for this seaport town… by US Coast Guard boat! Welcome Santa on the Sunday after Thanksgiving as he and Mrs. Claus dock at the boardwalk and begin to parade through downtown Newburyport, then gather in Market Square for the annual Christmas tree lighting and carols. http://business.newburyportchamber.org/Events/details/santa-parade-and-tree-lighting-5835

You’ve got to pick a pumpkin or two…

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Animals have (albeit savagely) caught on to our time-honored pumpkin traditions.

Pumpkins are an essential part of autumn.  We pick them, cook them, vaguely flavor our coffee like them, and painstakingly carve spooky, whimsical, or funny faces or scenes on them and illuminate them on our front steps.  Even after they are no longer “good,” we find uses for pumpkins, à la “Pumpkin Chunkin” (or hurling overripe pumpkins at great distances.  We don’t quite get it either…).

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In the North of Boston, we love to celebrate the autumn’s favorite orange gourd.  Here are two pumpkin-related events happening this weekend:

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Pumpkin Day at Cogswell’s Grant
Saturday, October 19th 11am-4pm
Cogswell’s Grant
60 Spring Street, Essex MA

Celebrate all things autumn at Cogswell’s Grant.  Take a hay wagon ride through the fields to choose a jack-o’-lantern from our pumpkin patch. There will be many great activities and events for the whole family including arts and crafts, games, face painting, and more!  Try your hand at pressing apple cider and warm up with a cup of hot mulled apple cider and pumpkin pie (save room for the pumpkin pie-eating contest!).  Decorate and carve pumpkins, compete in a pumpkin pie-eating contest, make crafts, play games, have your face painted, and try cider pressing.  Afterwards, tour the house and see one of the most celebrated collections of American antiques and folk art.

http://shop.historicnewengland.org/p-7048-pumpkin-day.aspx

pumpkin-624x468Newburyport’s Great Pumpkin Lighting & Stroll
Saturday, October 19th 5-8pm
Market Square, Newburyport MA

An evening for the whole family, you are encouraged to bring a carved pumpkin to be lit and placed with other pumpkins on the stage in Market Square.  Each family will receive a votive candle – the candles will all be lit at once at dusk.  Watch as all of the pumpkins are illuminated and stroll downtown Newburyport and the Tannery to admire the pumpkins designed and carved by local businesses.

http://business.newburyportchamber.org/Events/details/newburyport-s-great-pumpking-lighting-stroll-6620

Columbus Day Weekend Events

In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue,
In 2013, on Columbus weekend, we look for stuff to do…

Okay, so maybe the meter is a bit off, but for many, Columbus Day weekend provides us with 3-4 days free days to do as we please.  So, other than the numerous sales at car dealerships and department stores, what is there to do this weekend?  Here is just a taste of what’s going on in the North of Boston (for a full schedule of area events, visit http://northofboston.org/events/month/).

fhf_eventspageFall Harvest Festival
Newburyport, MA
October 13-14

Held Sunday & Monday of Columbus Day weekend, enjoy great live music, art, fine crafts, food from Newburyport’s best restaurants! There’s something for the whole family, from Linsdsay & Her Puppet Pals Puppetry and Storytelling at Market Square (Sunday, 10:30-11am) to live music from the Squeezebox Stompers (Sunday) and 97 North (Monday) (1-4pm, Market Square).  http://business.newburyportchamber.org/Events/details/fall-harvest-festival-5834


Lannon in SunCeltic Music Sail 
Schooner Thomas E. Lannon
63 R. Rogers Street
Gloucester, MA
Saturday, October 12 (2:30-5:00pm)

Join Celtic singer Michael O’Leary & Friends for a sailing ‘seisiun’ of traditional songs ‘n tunes aboard the schooner Thomas E. Lannon as she takes an early autumn sail around beautiful Gloucester harbor on Saturday, October 12, 2:30-5pm. The musicians include harper/singer Moira Kelly, fiddlers Ramona Connelly and Kate Hanlon, and singers Susan Goyette Young, Chris Leghorn and Austin O’Keefe. For more info and tix: http://schooner.org/ or 978.281.6634.

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(Photo by Brian Giamberardino)

(Photo by Brian Giamberardino)

Topsfield Fair
207 Boston Street
Topsfield, MA
Now through Monday, October 14

A tradition for nearly 200 years, the Topsfield Fair is an Essex County staple.  The oldest fair in America, the Topsfield Fair is 10 days of fun for the whole family.  From the record-breaking giant pumpkin contest and sand sculpture exhibit to the mouth-watering food, countless rides, and concerts by Bobby Vinton, Cher Llyod, Tate Stevens, and many more, this year’s fair is not to miss!  http://www.topsfieldfair.org/index.php


32nd Annual Salem Haunted Happenings
Now through Thursday, October 31

A frighteningly festive celebration of Halloween and autumn in New England, Haunted Happenings has fun and activities for all ages including the Haunted Biz Baz Street Fair, Family Film Nights on Salem Common, farmers’ markets, costume balls, ghost tours, haunted houses, live music, and chilling theatrical presentations.  Visit Salem this October for a spook-tacular time…if you dare.  For a full schedule of Haunted Happenings events, visit http://hauntedhappenings.com/calendar