Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Guest Blog: Don't Worry About Triangles, Caves are Creepier: Crystal Caves, Bermuda

Reasons to venture:
  • who doesn't like caves?
  • who doesn't like Bermuda?
  • really seriously cool tour guides
What's your favorite island hotspot?

Guest Blog: Betting on Some Fun: Belmont Park Racetrack

Guest Blogger: aconnersax

  • horses are pretty
  • indoor/outdoor
  • kids like horses and races and parents like bars and gambling
  • really quiet, even on weekends
Suffolk Downs vs. Belmont Park, the new Sox/Yanks rivalry?

Guest Blog: Enroute to the Apple: Rye Playland

Guest Blogger: aconnersax
Rye Playland
Playland Park
Rye, NY

Reasons to venture:
  • Really convenient to Westchester and NYC
  • Mini-golf for when you've had enough tilt-a-whirl
  • tilt-a-whirl for when you've had enough mini-golf
  • really weird improptu shows
What's your favorite NYC burb's hit?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Guest Blog: Leave it to Beaver: Beaver Brook Reservation, Belmont, MA

Guest Blogger: Kami Lewis Levin
Beaver Brook Reservation
Mill Street
Belmont, MA

Reasons to venture:

  • Get your feet wet in your splash park, leave a footprint on the boulders
  • Step into adventure from the get-go, over a river and through the bridge to rabbit's house we go.
  • Where else can you get 59 acres of wild inside 128 with Fernald only a hop, skip and jump away.
How do you get your splash on when the thermometer spikes?

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Perfect Floodplain: Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, Sudbury, MA

Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge
73 Weir Hill Road
Sudbury, MA

Reasons to venture:

  • Get lost in the middle of woods chock full of migratory birds without leaving the burbs.
  • Sudbury Valley Trustee land across the street is even more rustic
  • I have lived here for years and I haven't figured out a drop and pick-up for a paddle here, I am such a loser.
Your favorite hike near the pike?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

North of the Border: Water Country, Portsmouth, NH

Water Country

1111 Route 1
Portsmouth, NH

Reasons to venture:

  • Giant Wave Pool is right next to the kiddie pool, so big boys surf, while munchkin kicks it with mommy.
  • Double Geronimo makes for a great mid-day DadBreak.
  • End the day on Thunder Falls, as close as we're gonna get to Class II rapids at age three.
Where do you head when Boston gets too sticky?

Kid-friendly South America: Isla Negra, Chile

Casa de Pablo Neruda
Avenida Poeta Neruda
Isla Negra, Chile

Reasons to venture:

  • What kid doesn't love a collection of whale bones and shipwreck remains collected by the world's coolest poet?
  • Kids loved the spitting lamas on the vineyard tours in Santa Cruz
  • The Central Market in Santiago has more sea life (granted it's on ice) than the New England Aquarium.
What's your favorite find in South America?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Putting the Bay back in Bay State: Waquoit Bay, Falmouth, MA

Waquoit Bay

Falmouth and Mashpee, MA

Reasons to venture:

  • The kids can almost walk across its so shallow and there's never a wave
  • Boat access only camping at Washburn Island
  • Renting sea kayaks for the flat water
Come on, share out that fun 'n the sun secret spot...

Parrots, Shmarots: Pinecrest Gardens, Pinecrest, FL

Pinecrest Gardens
11000 Red Road,
Pinecrest, Florida

Reasons to venture:

  • Good riddance Parrot Jungle, the beautiful fauna's a lot nicer since you moved those squawking birds to the middle of Biscayne bay.
  • The Splash 'N Play is the best $3 for two hours I ever spent.
  • Sydney and I caught a turtle as big as his torso, yeah, yeah, we let it go...
How do you beat the heat in south Florida?

Bienvenidos Kiddie Pool: Matheson Hammock, Miami, FL

Matheson Hammock Park

9610 Old Cutler Road
Miami, FL

Reasons to venture:
How do you avoid South Beach (SoBe - come 'on, really?)

The Feudal Burbs: Hannah Williams Playground, Wayland, MA

Hannah Williams Playground

57 Main Street
Wayland, MA

Reasons to venture:

  • Tonka, Tonka, Tonka: the generous folks of Wayland pass on their hand-me-downs to the sand box.
  • The elaborate wooden castle mazes allow you to reenact the Norman Conquests with your boys while playing hide n' seek
  • Remember when you could trek up Tuckerman's in the snow without a Starbucks in sight, look across the street and be saved.
How far will you go for the dream playground?

Our Back Nine: Lake Cochituate, Natick, MA

Lake Cochituate State Park
Natick and Framingham, MA

Reasons to venture:

  • Visit our neighbors Musky the Muskrat, Rolf the Great Blue Heron and the Duck Family Robinson.
  • A fav Charlie Moore haunt stocked to the gills.
  • Race our canoe by renting at Paddle Boston.
Where is your favorite secret paddle in Metrowest?

Gov. Patrick wants to Euthenize our Lions: Franklin Park Zoo, Dorchester, MA

The Franklin Park Zoo

1 Franklin Park Rd,
, MA

Reasons to venture:

  • Get there while you still can. You should not be able to get this close to a lion, perhaps cutting funding for the zoo is why your approval ratings are so low Gov.
  • Sure, I can't take the boys to the jungles of Rwanda, but Little Joe the gorilla has some cool digs.
  • I can't believe the boys haven't met the new giraffe calf yet, he's already two days old. We are such slackers!
Sign the Petition here.

Flowers Gone Wild: Elm Bank, Wellesley, MA

Elm Bank
Massachusetts Horticultural Society

900 Washington St
Wellesley, MA

Reasons to venture:

Does a single square foot of your yard look like this?

Old School NYC: Central Park Carousel, NY, NY

The Central Park Carousel

Park Ave.
New York, NY

Reasons to venture:

  • Like a Boston carousel has this kind of history, or even its own website, although the music gets on your last nerve. For that, you gotta head all the way to the Vineyard for the Flying Horses.
  • The ten minute walk to my old hood at Lex and E73rd sports a castle, the Great Lawn, a boathouse and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Beat that!
  • The balloon guys take donations. Get out, is this a free country or what!
Quick, top five carousels of all time?

Livestock, Ferris Wheels and 4H oh my!: Barnstable County Fair, Falmouth, MA

The Barnstable County Fair

1220 Nathan Ellis Hwy
East Falmouth, MA

Reasons to venture:

  • the hugs at the Great Bear Show sent shivers down my spine and made my oldest want to run off to the circus.
  • I can't believe they didn't ask me to judge the "Novice goat trainer" contest. I almost owned a goat once, but I didn't think customs would like it on my return from the Gambia.
  • We missed Eddie Money, the Monster Trucks and the Demolition Derby so we could hit the Ferris Wheel. We hit that wheel hard, I mean, way up there.
If you could judge any county fair contest, what would it be?

Where pony rides are next to godliness: Davis Farmland, Spencer, MA


This was one of our first posts (see cool retro photo above from back in '09), and it needed some help.  Luckily  Davis' Farmland is an annual spring rite in the Lewis Levin home.  Now, you know we love us some animals, but since moving to Boston this place whas been a constant fav.  Sydney is particularly fond of the above pony rides.  This year, Liji got into the act.

There are few agricultural wonders to miss here at Davis.  Of course, today was part of "Heroes' Weekend" with police cruisers and two enormous fire ladder trucks.  Just one of the many Sundays in the life of Moo Moo the Cow's weekend events.  Sydney's favorite in the series was the Birds of Prey show; he still talks about the Great Horned Owl.  Personally, I am a fan of the cows.   Today featured the bottle feeding of a month old Scottish Highland calf.  I was in heaven.  The boys were busy chasing goat kids on the open range after hitting the kitty and bunny petting areas.

Believe it or not we still haven't even touched the Splash Park.  Nor have we ventured out there for a Sleepover.  We haven't even headed out there to pick apples.  We did get more cows in on the hayride though, much to my bovine lovin' delight.  Of the many endangered and mundane farm animals they keep at this 160 year old farm, my fav is the brahma bull.  Where else in quaint dairyland New England can you hang with a cow with a hump?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Stuff your face in Weston: Land's Sake Farm, Weston, MA

Land's Sake Farm
Strawberry Festival
90 Wellesley Street (farm)
Weston, MA

Reasons to venture:

Come on Julia Child, fess up on the fresh veggie source...

Who needs Disney: Storyland, North Conway, NH


Story Land
3073 White Mountain Hwy,
N. Conway, NH

Happy Father's day weekend all of you dadventurers out there.  I am curious to hear how you spent your big weekend.  Me?  Story Land of course.  That's right, we went the safe and secure route by hoping in the car and heading north on a beautiful June day, just 48 hours after the Lakers won it all.  Why Story Land you ask?  Two reasons; much needed fun and Mt. Washington (i'll get to that one in tomorrow's post).  I decided I needed to enlist in a seven step program.

How to recover from the game 7 Celts blues? Hop on the Bamboo Chutes log flume with your kiddo. First, take a little cold water and splash repeatedly in your face while your son screams in delight (click here for live action on YouTube).  Step two?  Get on a Polar coaster.  Sure, it's made for midgets, but who can argue with the hairpin turns of our friend Wally to scare you back to the simple things.  step three?  Let your older son drive a motorized swan around while you backseat drive to restore a little calm and order to your perspective on things.


Ok, step four.  Make sure you and the little one ride the Story Land Queen; a giant swan boat, while wifey and the big kid attack you from a pirate ship of twenty screaming kids.  Fear of the lord has almost returned.  Step five?  Watch the little one slowly sink down into a ball pit, resurface, jump back in and repeat.   This is a reminder of how you should be spending your time.  Step six?  Pick up sticks (you can even climb in the buckle my shoes). That's right, they got the whole Mother Goose thing going on.  If there aren't a few moral lessons in the Three Little Pigs (gluttony), The Three Billie Goats Gruff (control) and Peter, Peter, Pumpkineater (jealousy), I don't know what does.  Step seven, let the boys circle the place in the train one last time and watch as they finally crash on your lap at 4pm.  For a million dollars less than Disney, no plane and a scenic drive, you cant beat the heat (or the Lakers) anywhere better than Story Land.

Cape Cod League Baseball: The Commodores, Falmouth, MA

The Falmouth Commodores
Guv Fuller Field
790 Main Street,
Falmouth, MA

Reasons to venture:

How do you get your boys ready for the big leagues?