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Adult and teen book discussion, Acton, Feb. 7

Posted by Jen Clark Estes January 31, 2013 08:58 AM

In this program at the Discovery Museums in Acton, you can participate in a lively book discussion based on "Faster Isn't Smarter: Messages about Math, Teaching, and Learning in the 21st Century" by Cathy L. Seeley, President of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Discuss thought-provoking issues in K-12 math education, from the impact of rising expectations and the trap of timed tests to the role of technology in math. Sponsored by the Discovery Museums and the Acton-Boxborough Parent Involvement Project. Pre-registration is required. To borrow the book, email Thurs., Feb. 7, 7-9 p.m. Free. Adults and teens. Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton.

Baby food making seminar, Lexington, Feb. 2

Posted by Jen Clark Estes January 31, 2013 08:37 AM

Presented by Lil' Foodie of Boston and offered at Bright Horizon of Lexington, this event is a great way for new parents to learn some ins and outs about making your own baby food. Featuring Seth Fernald, executive chef at Lil' Foodie, the hour-long seminar will give attendees insights on how to get started, including information and tips on how to make your own organic baby food, information about the importance of introducing organic foods to your child, and insights on safe and healthy feedings for your baby. You'll also learn where organic foods are from, how they’re grown and their benefits, as well as where to buy organic foods and what foods to purchase. In addition, the chef will give you a live demonstration on making baby food, and samples will be available. Sat., Feb. 2, 11 a.m. - noon. Free. Bright Horizons at Lexington, 903 Waltham St., Lexington.

'HONK!', Boston, Feb. 9 - 24

Posted by Jen Clark Estes January 30, 2013 11:45 AM

HONK-Graphic-Plain.jpgBased on the Hans Christen Anderson story, "The Ugly Duckling" and presented by Boston Children's Theatre at the Boston Center for the Arts, "HONK!" is a musical for the whole family. The play tells the story of a young bird named Ugly whose unusual and awkward appearance triggers prejudice and ridicule among his family and friends. Join Ugly on his journey as he meets some very interesting characters and discovers not only his true inner beauty and destiny but also finds love and acceptance along the way. Performed by some of the area's most talented young actors, HONK! has earned a spot in the list of today's most popular musicals for families. Sat. & Sun., Feb. 9 & 10, 2 p.m.; Sat. & Sun., Feb. 16 & 17, 2 p.m.; Wed., Feb. 20 - Sun., Feb. 24, 2 p.m. $20 - $30. Performed at the Roberts Studio Theatre at the Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, 539 Tremont Street, Boston.

Hot new baby products for 2013

Posted by Kristi Palma January 30, 2013 08:50 AM

When you are pregnant and researching baby products, it's sometimes hard to sort the essentials from the nonessentials. It's also hard to know which model of which product will fit your family's lifestyle best.

That's why some of the most popular questions moms-to-be ask their parent friends are
"What should I register for?" "What do I really need and what can I skip?" and "What brands do you like?"

Check out what products Boston-area parents are recommending to each other in the Moms forums.

And check out the video above from WGN News to discover some of the hot new baby products on the market in 2013, courtesy of Hollie Schultz, founder of Baby Gizmo, tells parents why certain new car seats, strollers (lightweight and collapsible with one hand, anyone?), baby carriers, and more are worthy of your hard-earned money.

What baby products do you recommend to friends?

'Birth tourists' come to the U.S. to give birth

Posted by Kristi Palma January 29, 2013 11:36 AM

Thousands of pregnant mothers from China are traveling to the U.S. as "birth tourists," so their children can be born in the U.S. and claim U.S. citizenship, reports CBS News.

"I want her to live a happy life," said one Chinese father in the video above.

His 4-month-old daughter was born in Los Angeles and the family has since traveled back to China. His family paid $27,000 for his daughter to be born in America, according to the report.

The family stayed in what is called a "maternity hotel" in Los Angeles. Some neighbors who live near one of these hotels have expressed concern over the issue.


13th Annual Winterfest, Lowell, Feb. 8-9

Posted by Jen Clark Estes January 29, 2013 10:40 AM

Celebrate the wonders of a New England winter at this year's Lowell WinterFest, with events at a variety of locations around the city. The festivities start early on Friday from 10 a.m. - noon, when elementary and middle school students have a friendly competition to build the best snowman. The celebration picks up again, starting at 4 p.m., with a full evening of events, including a kids' party with face painting, music and live entertainment, as well as soup and microbrew competitions. The highlight of the evening is the first round of the "National Human Dogsled Championship," an annual favorite. Saturday activities begin at 8 a.m. with wildlife tracking at Hawk Valley Farm, and continue through the day, featuring events such as an all-you-can-eat chocolate festival, trivia contests, free ice skating, crafts, ice sculptures, horse-drawn carriage rides, the Human Dogsled Finals, and much more, culminating in the festival's light and laser show finale. A free shuttle will transport visitors between sites; check the website for complete listing of events, including locations and times. The Dogsled competition will commence weather permitting. Fri., Feb. 8, 10 a.m. - noon and 4-8 p.m.; Sat., Feb. 9, 8 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. Most event are free. All ages. Lowell WinterFest, downtown Lowell.

Valentine's Day activities, various locations and dates

Posted by Jen Clark Estes January 28, 2013 08:45 AM


Celebrate Valentine's Day with card-making, crafts and more at various locations in and around Boston.

Photo courtesy of ArtBeat

With Valentine's Day coming, love is in the air! There are plenty of opportunities to prepare for the holiday, with craft and card making galore, as well as special events on the big day itself. Here are some places that will help you get into the mood:

"Valentine's Craft for Kids," Thayer Public Library, 798 Washington St., Braintree. Thurs., Feb. 7, 3:45 p.m. Ages 3 and up. Free. Make a Valentine's Day craft to share with someone you love.

"Valentine Card Making Extravaganza," ArtBeat, 212A Mass. Ave., Arlington. Sat., Feb. 9, 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.; Sun., Feb. 10, noon - 5 p.m. All ages. $12. Choose from colorful cards, lace doilies, paper hearts, ribbon, confetti, and more to create the perfect card for someone special. Receive a free sand art heart valentine when you do a project in the studio anytime during the weekend.


First photo of Shakira's baby features personalized sneakers

Posted by Kristi Palma January 24, 2013 10:31 AM

Gerard Pique, Shakira's boyfriend, shared the first photo of the couple's newborn son Milan, born Jan. 22 --and he's already wearing personalized Nike sneakers.

The high top Air Forces are adorned with the baby's name (pronounced Mee-lahn) on a Velcro strap, stitched in various colors. The proud papa posted the photo on his WhoSay page, writing "Milan's feet!"

Local moms have talked about decorating their nursery walls with their baby's name, but have you ever bought a personalized article of clothing for your child?

'Sex at the Zoo,' Boston, Feb. 15

Posted by Jen Clark Estes January 24, 2013 09:07 AM

Peacock Closeup.jpg

Discover how peacocks and other animals find their mates at this adults-only lecture at the Franklin Park Zoo.

Photo courtesy of Franklin Park Zoo

No, it's not that kind of event! But this Valentine's Day-themed program at the Franklin Park Zoo puts a new spin on the holiday devoted to love, and is an interesting alternative to the usual dinner out with your significant other. This strictly-for-adults lecture explores the private lives of animals. Do animals find each other appealing or attractive? What are the similarities and differences between human and animal courtship? What can the techniques that animals use to attract mates teach us about friendship and romance? You'll be fascinated by titillating tales from the animal kingdom because, when it comes down to it, there are more similarities than differences between people and their non-human relatives. The event features a presentation by Jennifer Gresham, Zoo New England Director of Education, with insights about the pros and cons of relationships versus staying single in the animal kingdom. When it’s over, practice your newly-learned courtship skills on your significant other -- or that cute guy or gal you’ve been eyeing across the room. Enjoy wine samples from Barefoot Wines, beer samples from Samuel Adams, cheese from Cabot and more. This event will be held at Franklin Park Zoo’s Tropical Forest Pavilion, home to gorillas, ring-tailed lemurs, a giant anteater, and many other animals. Fri., Feb. 15, 6-9 p.m. $25. Ages 21 and up. No one under 21 will be admitted. Each attendee must present a valid, government issued photo ID at the entrance. Tickets may be purchased online. Please enter at the giraffe entrance on Pierpont Road. Held in the Tropical Forest of the Franklin Park Zoo, One Franklin Park Rd., Boston.

'Understanding the Teenage Brain,' Boston, Jan. 29

Posted by Jen Clark Estes January 23, 2013 08:22 AM

Ever wonder just what is making your teenager act the way she does? Just what is going on inside her head? Now's your chance to find out. "Understanding the Teenage Brain," a lecture at The British School of Boston by Dr. Ron Clavier, a neuroscientist and the author of "Teen Brain, Teen Mind." Clavier’s lecture demonstrates that an understanding of the teenage brain is the key to unlocking the mysteries of why teens think and act the way they do. His own deep understanding of human brain development allows him to show how neurological changes in a young person’s developing brain underlie many behaviors and emotions. Illustrating his ideas with examples and observations, he provides coping tips and strategies for young people and their families, easing tensions and improving communications to make the adolescent years healthier and more productive. Clavier is skilled in making connections between science and society, and making scientific concepts easy to understand. Teenagers, parents and educators have enjoyed his talks all over the world. Tues., Jan. 29, 7 p.m. Teens and adults. Free, but reservations are required. The British School of Boston, 416 Pond St., Boston.

Second graders in Natick create song and video 'Call Tom Brady'

Posted by Kristi Palma January 18, 2013 03:14 PM

"Hey, it's the playoffs, we're going crazy, but 12 is his number, so call Tom Brady ..."

These are the newest parodied lyrics to the hit Carly Rae Jepsen song "Call Me Maybe," and they were written by second graders at Lilja Elementary School in Natick.

A few months ago an a capella group performed at the school and it inspired a group of girls in Jessie Bloch's second grade class to write a little something of their own.

"There was a group of girls who last week had changed just the chorus of 'Call Me Maybe' to 'Call Tom Brady.' It was really cute," said Bloch.

It inspired Bloch, a huge Patriots fan, to give the class a mission.

"I said if we get to the next round of playoffs, you'll have to rewrite the entire song," said Bloch.

And that's exactly what they did.


Book launch with author Jodi Meadows, Brookline, Jan. 29

Posted by Jen Clark Estes January 18, 2013 08:28 AM

Asunder-FINAL-200x300.jpgJoin author Jodi Meadows at the Brookline Booksmith this month for the official launch of her newest book for young adults, "Asunder." In the second book of the "Incarnate" trilogy, Ana discovers the truth about reincarnation and will have to find a way to embrace love and make her young life meaningful. "Asunder" explores the beauty and shadowed depths of the soul in a story equal parts epic romance and captivating fantasy. Darksouls: Ana has always been the only one. Asunder. Apart. But after Templedark, when many residents of Heart were lost forever, some hold Ana responsible for the darksouls -- and the newsouls who may be born in their place. Shadows: Many are afraid of Ana's presence, a constant reminder of unstoppable changes. When sylph begin behaving differently toward her and people turn violent, Ana must learn to stand up not only for herself but for those who cannot stand up for themselves. Love: Ana was told that nosouls can't love. But newsouls? More than anything, she wants to live and love as an equal among the citizens of Heart, but even when Sam professes his deepest feelings, it seems impossible to overcome a lifetime of rejection. During the event, the author will read from her book, answer questions, and raffle off a pair of mittens the author herself knit (the same kind as the main character wears). Tues., Jan. 29, 7 p.m. Free. Ages 12 and up. Brookline Booksmith, 279 Harvard St., Coolidge Corner, Brookline.

Chinese New Year studio specials, Arlington, Feb. 1-8

Posted by Jen Clark Estes January 17, 2013 09:07 AM

2013 is the Year of the Snake on the Chinese calendar. It's said that the snake is the wisest and most enigmatic of all Chinese zodiac signs and that people born in the year of the snake love the good things in life -- which must include some cool crafts, of course! Celebrate the Chinese New Year and the Year of the Snake all week long at ArtBeat in Arlington with special walk-in projects at the studio. You can paint a slithery wooden snake that will slink across the floor with the lightest of tugs.This cobra-style snake will be played with long after it has been painted by you or your child. Project is $12 and includes all materials needed. Or, you can try your hand at some sand art. Sand painting is great fun and its one of ArtBeat's most popular studio projects. Over the weekend do two sand paintings for the price of one when you choose two of the snake or Chinese character designs. Project is $10 and includes all materials needed. May your new year be filled with luck and fortune! Fri., Feb. 1 - Fri. Feb. 8. Mon. - Thurs.. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Fri. & Sat., 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Sun., noon – 5 p.m. All ages. $10/$12, depending on project. ArtBeat, 212A Mass. Ave., Arlington.

Same delivery date for Kim Kardashian and Kate Middleton?

Posted by Kristi Palma January 17, 2013 07:58 AM

July will be a hot baby month both in England and America.

That's because the Duchess of Cambridge and Kim Kardashian are both due in July.

Will the babies be born on the same day?

British bookmakers are offering between 50 to 1 and 25 to 1 odds that the future king or queen and the newest Kardashian will have the same birthday. What do you think of those odds?

Are you pregnant too? Local moms are discussing their due dates on our Moms forums. Join in!

'Fenway Park Winter Light Show,' Boston, through Feb. 28

Posted by Jen Clark Estes January 16, 2013 10:28 AM

It might be mid-January, but the holiday lights are still on at Fenway Park! "America’s Most Beloved Ballpark" debuted the "Fenway Park Winter Light Show" at the 2012 Holiday Bash, but the brand new musical LED performance hasn’t ended just because the holidays are over. The show will continue to dance on the Green Monster through February 28, 2013. Red Sox fans can experience the “Fenway Park Winter Light Show” any day of the week at the conclusion of the 4 p.m., 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. park tours. Celebrating its 100th Anniversary, nestled in the city of Boston and visited by fans from around the world, Fenway Park is a place where dreams are made, traditions are celebrated and baseball is forever. See the home of Red Sox legends, Williams, Yaz, Fisk and Rice. Visit Pesky's Pole and sit atop the fabled Green Monster, 37 feet, 2 inches high above deep leftfield. The experienced tour guides will provide a thrilling, one hour, walking tour of Fenway Park. Daily. Hours of operation are 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.; light show viewing at conclusion of 4, 5 & 6 p.m. tours. Tours depart at the top of each hour; the last tour begins at 6 p.m. Ages 5 & up, $15. Fenway Park, Lansdowne St., Boston.

Celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr., various locations, Jan. 21

Posted by Jen Clark Estes January 15, 2013 07:51 AM


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rev. Ralph Abernathy (Montgomery, Alabama, 1956) ride on one of the first desegregated buses after the Montgomery Bus Boycott. This is one of many photographs on exhibit at the Museum of African American History through Feb. 28.

Photo courtesy of Ernest C. Withers Family Trust and Decaneas Archive.

Monday is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day -- a time to honor and celebrate the life and work of a man who helped change the world with both his words and actions. Striving for peace, inclusion, and harmony between all people, King's words and example of non-violent protest have inspired generations and his legacy continues today. Join the celebration at one (or more) of the following:

"Martin Luther King Jr. Community Breakfast," Belmont High School, 221 Concord Ave., Belmont. Mon., Jan. 21, 8:45 - 11 a.m. Share community, music, and food and listen to a thought-provoking guest speaker: Callie Crossley, WGBH Radio and TV, 'Out of the Mountain of Despair a Stone of Hope.' Guest artist: Regie Gibson, National Poetry Slam Champion. Supervised activities for children under 11. $5; $10 per family at door.

"MLK and Signs of Freedom," Museum of African American History, 46 Joy St., Boston. Ongoing, through Feb. 28. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. This new installation celebrates the life and legacy of Dr. King and other heroes of the Civil Rights Movement. Photographs and more are reminders of organized peaceful resistance, including sit-ins, freedom rides, strikes, boycotts, marches and other actions to acquire citizenship rights. $5; ages 13-17, $3; under 12 free.


New moms at the Golden Globe Awards

Posted by Kristi Palma January 14, 2013 08:52 AM

Claire Danes, who won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Drama Series, drew attention to her own, er, globes before the show even began when she told E!'s Ryan Seacrest, "Hope I don't leak anytime soon!"

Danes, 33, who is married to Hugh Dancy, gave birth to baby Cyrus last month.

The new mom wore a red Versace dress with a plunging neckline. During her acceptance speech, she thanked the cast and crew of Showtime's "Homeland" for being so supportive during her pregnancy.


'Skippyjon Jones, the Musical,' Newton, Jan. 27

Posted by Jen Clark Estes January 11, 2013 11:29 AM

Skippyjon Jones.jpgIf you're a parent (and you must be, since you're reading this) you've probably heard of Skippyjon Jones, the high-energy the main character in the best-selling books by Judy Schachner. Here's a chance to see Skippyjon's antics in a whole new way -- in a musical! In this show, one of the Magic Ark Performing Arts series at the Ryna Greenbaum JCC Center for the Arts in Newton, Skippyjon and friends are brought to life like you've never imagined. Skippyjon Jones wants to be the best chihuahua ever. The only problem? He's actually a Siamese cat! Before you can say "holy guacamole," Skippyjon's wild imagination transforms him into El Skippito Friskito, the greatest canine sword fighter in Mexico. But will El Skippito be dog enough to defeat the fearsome Bumblebeeto? Sun., Jan 27, 11 a.m. & 1 p.m. Ages 3 and up with an adult. $13; members, $10. Leventhal-Sidman JCC, 333 Nahanton Street, Newton.

Mothers stage a nurse-in at Hollister stores nationwide

Posted by Kristi Palma January 10, 2013 10:06 AM

A Texas mother named Brittany Warfield claimed a manager kicked her out of an area near a Hollister store in Houston, Texas, for breastfeeding her seven-month-old daughter, Eden.

"I was completely humiliated, completely humiliated," Warfield told "I had not done anything wrong."

Moms across the country reacted, staging a nurse-in during the weekend at Hollister stores nationwide. They turned to Facebook to spread the word. And Saturday afternoon moms brought their babies to Hollister stores and breastfed them.

Check out photos from the nurse-in, courtesy of the Huffington Post.

What do you think of the nurse-in? Did you participate?

'Japanese New Year Festival,' Boston, Jan. 13

Posted by Jen Clark Estes January 10, 2013 08:38 AM

Help ring in 2013, The Year of the Snake, at this year's O-Shogatsu, or Japanese New Year Celebration at Boston's Children's Museum. During the celebration, you'll be able to enjoy many activities and programs that introduce traditional Japanese customs. Festivities will include live Taiko drumming by Odaiko New England, Shishi-Mai (lion dance), Chado tea ceremony demonstrations by Urasenke Boston, and Japanese song performances by Chorus Boston. Families can also participate in Mochi-tsuki (rice-pounding ceremony), Koma-mawashi (Japanese top spinning) and other Japanese New Year games. Other activities include crafts (origami, paper cut art, paper-making), storytelling, games, and more. Times of performances and activities vary, so check the online calendar for details; some activities require you to sign up upon arrival, and some crafts are only available while supplies last. Boston Children’s Museum is also home to the Japanese House (Kyo-no-Machiya), an authentic silk merchant’s house from Kyoto, Japan. The house will be decked out in New Year’s decorations for the event. It's a day jam-packed with fun that's sure to bring good luck to the new year! Sun., Jan 13, 11 a.m .- 4 p.m. $14; under 12 months and members, free. Boston Children's Museum, 300 Congress St., Boston.

Jay-Z and Beyonce as godparents of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's baby?

Posted by Kristi Palma January 9, 2013 09:37 AM

There's no official word on who will be the godparents of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's bundle of joy, but based on a cozy photo West tweeted this week, there is speculation that Jay-Z and Beyonce just might be the ones.

The twitpic of the power couples included text that simply read, "Fam."

Jay-Z and Beyonce's daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, just celebrated her first birthday.

Think these celebrities' kids will be friends? If your children have godparents, how did you choose them?

'DinoTracks,' Worcester, begins Jan. 19

Posted by Jen Clark Estes January 9, 2013 09:00 AM

EcoTarium DinoTracks Exhibit.jpg

Photo courtesy of EcoTarium

What do you think was happening in your backyard during the Jurassic period? "DinoTracks," the newest exhibit at the EcoTarium in Worcester, is the next best thing to taking a step back in time to find the answer to that question. During your visit, you can walk over prehistoric footprints, hear and feel dinosaur footsteps, and finally come face-to-face with some of the dinosaurs that made them. Engage your inner paleontologist and uncover clues about dinosaur behavior -- and the dinosaurs themselves -- from the fossil footprints they left behind right here in New England. "DinoTracks" is presented in English, Spanish and French, and includes three life-sized dinosaurs (Dilophosaurus, Coelophysis, and Stegosaurus), as well as hands-on exploratory activities. You can practice tracking skills on a 15X20 foot photo reproduction of real track way discovered in Connecticut; walk over life-sized dinosaur prints and touch a real footprint found in a Holyoke backyard; hear and feel the footsteps of a dinosaur when you sit on the Jurassic Park Bench; run as fast -- or creep as slowly -- as the dinosaurs did; discover how to "read" the stories in fossil tracks to measure a dinosaur's speed, size and activity; put together a dinosaur puzzle and try to keep it balanced over its feet; find out how scientists today are using emus, turkeys and lizards to discover how dinosaurs really moved -- and more! In addition to the opening weekend celebration, Jan. 19 & 20, through Feb. 16 you can participate in Saurus Saturdays, with special interactive activities. Opening weekend, Jan. 19, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Jan. 20, noon - 5 p.m. Exhibit is free with museum admission: adults, $14; ages 2-18, $8; seniors, $10; college students with ID, $10; under 2 and members, free. EcoTarium, 222 Harrington Way, Worcester.

Creative writing workshop, Concord, Jan. 19

Posted by Jen Clark Estes January 8, 2013 10:35 AM

Does your child have a great imagination? Does she love the idea of 'writing stories' but get stuck along the way? Don't miss this 90-minute workshop at Barefoot Books in Concord, where children will learn the basic elements of solid creative writing (character, setting, plot and dialog), then select fun, themed prompts to unleash their inner voice. This interactive workshop -- led by Barefoot staffer Helen Kampion, MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults -- will allow children to stretch their imagination and learn from one another's fiction writing. Writing journals provided -- the only thing your child needs to bring is his creativity. This workshop will also be offered on Feb. 9 and March 16; enrollment in multiple winter workshops allow children to practice the elements learned, and you can save on enrollment fees when you register for all three. Sat., Jan. 19, 1 - 2:30 p.m. Ages 7-10. $35 per workshop; $10 discount when you register for all three workshops. There is a 20 percent sibling discount. Space is limited. Pre-registration required. Barefoot Books, 89 Thoreau St., Concord.

Proposed reality TV show 'All My Babies' Mamas' draws outrage

Posted by Kristi Palma January 8, 2013 09:41 AM

UPDATE: Oxygen halts controversial 'Babies' Mamas' project

A proposed new reality TV show on Oxygen called "All My Babies' Mamas," which would air in the spring, features the life of Atlanta rap artist Shawty Lo, who has fathered 11 children with ten different mothers.

The Parents Television Council has asked the network not to air the program, calling it "grotesquely irresponsible and exploitive," reports the Associated Press.

New York writer Sabrina Lamb has written a letter to Oxygen Media CEO Jason Klarman and begun an online petition against the show, writing that the show "stereotypes and demeans black children, mothers and dads!"

As of this writing, more than 26,000 people support the petition.

What do you think of the show idea? Will you watch?

Congratulations to our 'Name the Baby Foxes Contest' winners!

Posted by Kristi Palma January 7, 2013 01:08 PM


Fran Mandeville

We asked for help naming the four young Arctic foxes at Zoo New England and boy did you answer. We received almost 400 entries! Thank you to all of our creative readers who sent us so many wonderful suggestions.

A team at the zoo decided the winning names and they are:


Our four readers who came up with those names are:

Nick Doty of Waltham
Angela Carney of Medway
Jason Russeck of Medway
Katie Sypher of Somerville

Congratulations! Each of our winners was awarded a free family membership to the zoo!

Read all of the entries.

Stay tuned for more fun contests on Moms!

'Train Time 17: Model Train Exhibition,' Wenham, through Feb. 24

Posted by Jen Clark Estes January 7, 2013 11:11 AM

You're in for a "rail" fun time at the Wenham Museum this winter! Celebrate 17 years of this model train tradition, and discover a magical world where model locomotives traverse bridges, disappear into tunnels and stop to pick up tiny passengers along the way. Train-fans of all ages experience a rail-adventure featuring 15 model train layouts that all operate with the push of a button. This year, railroad artifacts, memorabilia, large-scale models and antique toy trains are also on display, including a rare model of the New England Limited of 1891, nicknamed the Ghost Train, that travelled through the night between Boston and New York. Through Feb. 24, you can see the beloved Snow Train to Bakersville a G-gauge holiday model train layout where old-fashioned cars fill the gas lit streets, and tiny clothespin people visit snow-covered houses as the train clatters by. From Jan. 19 - 21, the NMRA-accredited Master Model Railroaders will present a classic HO-scale room-size model train layout with multiple trains traveling miles of tracks from country-scenes to city-skyscrapers. Also, on Feb. 16 & 17, you can view a special exhibit -- the Lego Train, crafted by the New England Lego Users Group. All aboard! Ongoing, Tues. - Sun., 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Adults, $8; ages 1 - 18, $6; under one and members, free. Wenham Museum, 132 Main St., Wenham.

'A Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,' Providence, Jan. 21

Posted by Jen Clark Estes January 4, 2013 08:42 AM

MLK - Rochel Coleman.jpg

Rochel Coleman in "M.L.K.: Amazing Grace" at Providence Children's Museum.

Join other visitors at the Providence Children's Museum on Jan. 21 for a unique and powerful celebration of the life of the leader of the Civil Rights Movement. This special event features movies, songs, and interactive exhibits that helps bring the message of the movement to children. First, the Civil Rights movement comes to life in provocative performances of "M.L.K.: Amazing Grace" at 11:30 a.m., 1 and 2:30 p.m. Actors Rochel Coleman, Jackie Davis and Rafini portray Civil Rights activists Ralph Abernathy, Rosa Parks and more in this moving show. Coleman wrote and directs the show and has performed it at schools and other venues throughout the country. He emphasizes that, despite its serious subject, "M.L.K." is not all grave and solemn; the production includes a number of light moments of repartee and song with its important message. From 12 to 4 p.m., families can also browse an exhibit of photographs, text and a selection of carefully chosen books about the American Civil Rights Movement and Dr. King's philosophy of nonviolence. Visitors can choose to participate in a thought-provoking interactive exploration of the negative power of discrimination, during which they don colored tags and encounter "red only" and "green only" labels throughout the Museum. Educators will be on hand to talk to families following this provocative exercise and invite them to record their responses. This powerful, popular annual celebration at the Museum offers an educational and hands-on approach to learning about the work and times of Dr. King and other activists who took a stand against injustice, and gives families a valuable opportunity to discuss the difficult subject of racial discrimination. Mon., Jan. 21, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Ages 5 and up. $9 per person. Providence Children's Museum, 100 South St., Providence, RI.

Photo courtesy of Providence Children's Museum

Viral photo: A baby reaches out of the womb to hold a doctor's finger

Posted by Kristi Palma January 3, 2013 09:35 AM

A baby born in Phoenix, Ariz., was photographed during its birth via Caesarian section. The baby girl, named Nevaeh Atkins, reached from the womb and held a doctor's finger as the C-section was underway. The photo that captured this moment has gone viral.

Though the baby's mother is a professional photographer, the photo was taken by her proud dad Randy Atkins. Nevaeh was born in October.

"I was just in awe, you know, looking at it," said Atkins about the sight.

Alicia, Nevaeh's mom, recently posted the photo on Facebook, writing, "Truly amazing. I am in awe of this photo."

What do you think of the photo?

'Star Wars Jedi Knight Training,' Southborough, Jan. 12

Posted by Jen Clark Estes January 3, 2013 08:56 AM

If there's a young Skywalker or Padame running around your house, this is the perfect event for you. "Star Wars Jedi Knight Training" at the Fay School in Southborough will give your budding Jedi a chance to show off his or her skills, and learn some new ones. Highlights of the program include Jedi Force Magic, the Laser Balloon Barrage, and an epic lightsaber duel with the Jedi Master himself. Children may attend the event dressed in their favorite Star Wars costumes. This event is one in the series of free Saturday morning programs at the Fay School this winter designed for children ages 3-8 along with their parents. A complimentary snack follows each program. May the Force be with you! Sat., Jan. 12, 10 - 11 a.m. Free. Ages 3-8. Space is limited; register online to ensure a spot. Programs will take place at Fay’s new Primary School, located near the intersection of Routes 30 & 85 in Southborough, MA. Please use the East Entrance on Middle Road for access and parking.

'Troy Wunderle: One Man Circus,' Brookline, Jan. 12

Posted by Jen Clark Estes January 2, 2013 08:41 AM

Shake off the winter blues with a one-man circus show that may help you forget about how cold it is outside. Join Troy Wunderle, seasoned circus artist, at the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline for an amazing performance featuring the rich and time-treasured delights of expert juggling, astounding ladder balancing, sensational plate spinning, teetering rola bolas, daring unicycle antics, mesmerizing bubble routines, magnificent magic and hysterical comic buffoonery. Troy Wunderle is a former international performer with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. For the past fourteen years he has toured throughout the United States as a freelance performer and employee of Vermont's own Circus Smirkus. His antics have been featured on the Disney channel, The Today Show, Martha Stewart, Chronicle, Fetch, Fox and Friends and America's Funniest Home Videos. Troy is Big Top Tour Artistic Director of Circus Smirkus, Director of Clowning for the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus and founder of Wunderle's Big Top Adventures LLC. This interactive show aims to dazzle and delight young and old alike. Sat., Jan. 12, 10:30 a.m. Ages 3 and up. Adults, $10; children, $8. Tickets online or at the door. Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St., Brookline.

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Kristi Palma, Moms producer, is the mom of a first grader and a preschooler. She is a writer who enjoys cooking her grandmother's Italian recipes (when her son isn't launching paper airplanes into them). Follow her on Twitter @kristipalma.
Jennifer Clark Estes is a teacher, writer, blogger, and the mother of four young children. In her free time, she blogs at A Mom's World, plays with the kids (or chauffeurs them around), and is desperately seeking a quiet spot so she can read a book. Follow her on Twitter @JenniferCEstes.

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