Jay Gee’s Methuen Ice Cream and Fun Center

Jay Gee’s Methuen Ice Cream and Fun Center

Jay Gee’s Methuen Ice Cream and Fun Center is located at 602 Lowell Street in Methuen, Ma. Jay Gee’s is a family operated business that is dedicated to creating a fun filled atmosphere for families and people of all ages. Jay Gee’s serves the tastiest Methuen ice cream with over 60 homemade flavors, including cake batter ice cream and toll house cookie ice cream, which are two of my favorites.

Also, Jay Gee’s Fun Center has an abundance of activities. There are two Methuen Go-Kart tracks, one track is designed for families, while the Slick Track is designed for an adventurer with the need for speed! The batting cages are another great option if you are visiting Jay Gee’s. There are different speeds available for batters, so it is great for everyone with different skill levels. The 18 hole mini golf course is updated every year and is guaranteed family fun.

The Methuen arcade at Jay Gee’s has tons of gaming options with fun prizes and even includes indoor Spin Zone bumper cars. Jay Gee’s also hosts fun filled birthday parties! Jay Gee’s Methuen Ice Cream and Fun Center is the perfect place for endless fun with family and friends, so stop by and grab an ice cream or try one of the many activities. I have been going there for 10 years and will continue to go back every year. 

77 Days on the Massachusetts/New Hampshire State Line: Day 56 – Greater Lawrence Community Boating

Greater Lawrence Community Boating – Lawrence MA

I’ve heard great things about the Greater Lawrence Community Boating Program for several years now and today was the first day I actually went down to their facility at 1 Eaton St, Lawrence MA.  As you may know, my husband and I love to sail – we began as windsurfers and after our girls were born, the best way to continue sailing was to go “sit down” sailing which we now do on the 35′ Catalina in the WindPath fleet out of the Cape.

At the beginning of each sailing season, the Greater Lawrence Community Boating program has their Grand Opening,  including free burgers and dogs and a band! as well as boat rides for the attendees.

We took a trip down to the docks to check out the fleet (reported to be 120 boats total) and were happy to see the enthusiasm of our kids increase once they saw they surroundings, the boats, and met a couple of nice people.

If you are interested in boating lessons or just enjoying the water in a canoe, kayak, sailboat, or rowing shell, the fees at the Greater Lawrence Community Boating Program are incredible!  Each person who gets a membership gets a FREE 3 week sailing lesson package, so that means that our girls can go to 2 sessions of sailing lessons for the price of one – a deal ANYTIME!  (The youth membership for kids 9-17 is $50 and then another session of lessons will be $25 as members.)

The Greater Lawrence Community Boating is a hidden gem, don’t YOU take as long as it took ME to go down and sign up!  It’s not just for kids – it’s for people of all ages, “9-99″ they say on their website.  This could be a great way for your family to have a fun time outside during the summer…  Registration is on-going during the summer, so call them at 978-681-8675 and see if they have room for you!


77 Days on the Massachusetts/New Hampshire state line – Day 38: Boston Ballet

Boston Ballet

I went to see the Boston Ballet perform the Nutcracker for the first time today and it was amazing.  As you might be able to tell, I am not necessarily a “ballet” person, but actually going and experiencing the incredible athletic abilities of the dancers as well as the choreography, the live music, and the incredible sets, I was really IMPRESSED!

The Boston Ballet‘s performance was at the Boston Opera House at 539 Washington St in downtown Boston.  (Of course we got there via South Boston and the airport…taking a couple of wrong turns due to my unfamiliarity with the exits, but we got there in plenty of time despite the navigating errors…)  ;)   The Opera House has it’s own special air of decadence (see the pictures below) and in combination with all the people dressed up and the excitement of the occasion, the Opera House absolutely added to the “magic” of the experience.

If you don’t know the history of the Nutcracker, the music is by Peter Ilych Tchaikovsky and it was first danced in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1892.  The dancers performing in the Boston Ballet are from all around the world, and I was surprised to note several from Cuba!  (Again, I don’t know much about the ballet, but thought I’d share…)  View a short clip on the Boston Ballet website – including one of my favorite parts of the ballet – in the second act.  Certainly the trip in to Boston from the Pelham NH area isn’t a short one, so if you have younger children, I’d recommend attending one of the many local performances before taking the trek into Boston.

If you are a ballet enthusiast, you may already know that the Boston Ballet was founded in 1963 as the first professional repertory ballet company in New England.  Today, the Boston Ballet is one of the major ballet companies in North America and among the top companies in the world, so make sure to go at least once to see a live performance if you live within an hour or two, the dancers are amazing!

If you have seen the Boston Ballet perform in the past, please share below (in the “reply” section) what show you saw and the venue it was performed at.  Alternately, if you’ve seen a show at the Boston Opera House, what was it and when did you go?

77 Days on the Massachusetts/New Hampshire state line – Day 32: Symphony Hall Boston

Symphony Hall Boston

Symphony Hall Boston is home to the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO), the Boston Pops, and the Handel and Haydn Society, and sometimes features the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra (BSYO) composed of kids ages 12-18 years old.  My parents have gone to many concerts here at Symphony Hall and maybe I have to one…..but I just can’t remember when it was???  Yesterday I had the pleasure of going to a concert with my Mom and girls (ages 10 and 12…and they were some of the oldest kids attending!).

This was the first time the girls had gone to Symphony Hall (just a 45 minute drive from the Pelham NH area), and what a nice experience it was – to a KID FRIENDLY concert:  Prokofiev’s “Peter and The Wolf”.  [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_81JWbZfY4[/youtube]My Mom had gotten awesome tickets, just 4 rows back from the stage, on the right side of the hall – GREAT VIEW!!!  (You can get FREE TICKETS TOO in February and April if you want to attend the series designed for children.)  If you know “Peter and the Wolf”, you’d know there is a narrator talking during the concert.  Since this day was designed for families with children, the narrator, James Naughton, and conductor, Federico Cortese, spoke with the audience a while before beginning, asking which characters (duck, bird, wolf, etc) should be represented by which musical instrument and then at the end, Federico invited up a couple of individual kids to conduct the youth orchestra, using a baton….which then became a mob of kids on stage – WHAT FUN!

I knew that Symphony Hall was special, but since our visit, I’ve learned a couple of things to share with you as to WHAT MAKES it special… Built in 1900, Symphony Hall was “one of the first auditoria designed using scientifically derived acoustical principles”, using a Harvard University Assistant Professor, Wallace Celment Sabine, as the acoustical consultant.  In 1999 Symphony Hall was designated a US National Historic Landmark and is known as one of the top three concert halls in the world acoustically.  From the MA-NH line, it’s just a 45 minute drive down for a concert – even if you’re not a fan of classical music, make sure you go sometime just to be a part of history and see the amazing architecture at Boston’s Symphony Hall!

77 Days on the Massachusetts/New Hampshire state line – Day 17: North Shore Music Theatre Beverly MA

North Shore Music Theatre Beverly, MA

North Shore Music Theatre is located about a 45 minute drive from Methuen, MA at 62 Dunham Road, Beverly, MA and has just been revived by the new owner, Bill Hanney.  North Short Music Theatre is the gem of live stage on the North Shore!  I have gone to several shows with my Mom over the years and she has taken my 2 girls as well so they can enjoy the thrill of a show up close and personal.  In the world of instant gratification with computers, “streaming movies” on the tv, etc, it is great to share the experience with my family at North Shore Music Theatre!

The North Shore Music Theatre first opened in 1955 with the show Kiss Me Kate, just after the completion of route 128.  You can read on their website about how it developed into the Theatre it is now and how they were forced to shut down in 2009 due to dire financial troubles.  In addition to the live theatre, North Shore Music Theatre has had concerts as well, including:  Suzanne Somers, Hootie and the Blowfish, the Four Tops, Willie Nelson, and many many more well-known performers.  For the even younger population, the North Shore Music Theatre has had Children’s shows and also “Camp Broadway” for aspiring performers.

Seating at the North Shore Music Theatre is fantastic!  It is a round stage and I have never had difficulty seeing or hearing what happens during any of the Musicals I have seen there.   Once you go, you may want to become a Subscriber to the shows and save a little money on the cost of the shows.  This week we went to see Dirty Rotten Scoundrels – what a HOOT!  I really didn’t know what to expect from the show and was thoroughly engaged by the story, the music, the wonderful costumes, the awesome dancing and singing of the cast, and, finally, entirely surprised by the ending.  (Don’t cheat and see what the ending is if you intend on going!)  In November, for my birthday, we’ll be returning to see A Chorus Line.

Finally, to make your outing more enjoyable, the new owner has “spiffed up” the outdoor waiting area with lovely shaded seating  areas and the 2 restaurants are also open for business during the shows:  the Backstage Bistro and the Garden Bistro.  (Of course there are also the concessions stands inside for a quick drink or light snack.)

If you haven’t treated yourself to a live show of some kind, whether music or theatre, this is your chance to see an excellent show and enjoy getting away from your usual routine!  If you have gone to the North Shore Music Theatre, please share below in the reply section when you went and what you saw!

77 Days on the Massachusetts/New Hampshire state line: Day 9 – Chunky’s

Are you looking for a fun family outing in the Pelham/Haverhill area? Our family enjoys Chunky’s Cinema and Pub, located in Pelham, NH and Haverhill, MA! (it’s also located in Nashua, NH, but I’ve never traveled over there.)

Chunky’s is anything but an average movie theater! If there is a lot of rushing here and there in your family (like mine), maybe you would enjoy sitting, eating dinner with the family, and watching a movie in a leather chair which was the driver or passenger seat from a Limousine with one armrest and “reclinability” while on wheels! YES! You heard me right – the seats CAME OUT OF OLD CARS!

Tables at Chunky’s are set up perpendicular to the theatre with chairs on either side and the wait staff come to take orders for food and drinks (non-alcoholic and alcoholic alike!). Our family often go early with a group of friends, secure our seats, and play card games or read while waiting for the movie to begin.

Not only does Chunky’s provide a relaxed dining experience for the whole family, they show the latest releases and offer great promotions each weeknight to make your trip more cost effective.

Planning a party? Have it at Chunky’s and save on preparation and clean-up time! Chunky’s has hosted hundreds of birthday parties as well as Christmas, executive, and bridal parties.

Chunky’s is also very involved in our community, providing raffle prizes throughout the year to different non-profit organization and lucrative fund raising opportunities for anyone! As of this post, Chunky’s had this on their homepage:

Chunky’s recently delivered 1200 lbs of food to the NH Food Bank! Thanks to all supporters of our weekly Donation Night each Thursday! This promotion brings in nearly 3 tons of food each year!


How else is Chunky’s involved in the community? They promote a “cleaner environment” with Chunky’s Bio Truck powered by 100% Trans-Fat Free Canola Oil!

So, if you want a night out with the family for dinner and a movie or need a last minute present in the form of a Gift Card, go to Chunky’s in Pelham, Haverhill, or Nashua, NH and enjoy!

77 Days on the Massachusetts/NewHampshire state line: Day 1 Canobie Lake Park in Salem, NH

Salem, NH is the home of Canobie Lake Park. lt is very convenient and has been a summer time destination for our family the last 8 years (although I enjoyed 2 or 3 visits to it in the 80′s when I worked at a nearby summer camp in Groton, MA, that had staff outings on the weekends in between campers).

Besides the rides at Canobie Lake Park, there is a long history displayed around the park, since it began in 1902. Two of my favorite rides are the all wooden long white roller coaster, wrapped around the edge of the parking area, the Yankee Cannonball, and the Turkish Twist (which spins and has the floor drop out during the ride). On super hot days my family and I love to spend much of our time at the water park, Castaway Island,

and the Boston Tea Party.

In addition to rides for all ages, Canobie also has shows and in the recent past, we’ve enjoyed the great dog show and last year’s magician.

Some of the little known secrets of Canobie are:
Mother’s Day: Moms and Grandmoms get in free with the paid admission of a child
Father’s Day: Dads and Granddads get in free with the paid admission of a child
Ticket Pre-sale: one Saturday in April (I believe) you can go TO THE PARK and buy discounted tickets to be used THAT YEAR at the park.

Come see Canobie Lake Park in Salem, NH for yourself! It’s convenient, clean, and reasonably priced for southern New Hampshire family fun.

Travel time from Portsmouth, NH: 40 minutes
Worcester, MA: 55 minutes
Boston, MA: 35 minutes
Manchester, NH: 20 minutes
Concord, NH: 35 minutes
Providence, RI: 90 minutes
The White Mountains: 90 minutes