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 Hamshire state line: Day 72 – Shabby Chic, Windham NH

77 Days on the Massachusetts/New Hamshire state line:  Day 72 – Shabby Chic, Windham NH

Last week was my birthday and we decided to do something special – go to the Shabby Chic Windham at 4 Cobbetts Pond Rd, Windham NH located in the same little plaza as the Lobster Tail Restaurant (yum!).

It was a beautiful day, so my 2 girls and I took the short ride over to Windham and were not disappointed!  We were lucky to find the full staff there:  Lisa, Karen, Andrea, Sharon, and Michelle.  While we were there we listened to the plans of how to display a mixture of tiny and full-sized cupcakes at a wedding to be held at the Atkinson Country Club.  (And they had just finished up at a wedding in Vermont!)

I hadn’t had my lunch, but HECK, it was my birthday, so I slowly chose the cupcake I was going to eat:  Chocolate and toffee.  My girls chose Cookies and Cream and M+M and Cookie Dough.  Despite the fact that the store is very “sweetly” decorated, we decided to take our cupcakes home to eat.

The Shabby Chic Windham offers more than standard cupcakes, they offer cooking classes, host birthday parties, serve Gelato, and have even just opened a kiosk at the Rockingham Mall selling mini cupcakes!

If you are looking for a special treat for a birthday, anniversary, or something else AND you love chocolate (or their famous peanut butter frosting) do not miss out on a trip to the Shabby Chic Windham!  Our cupcakes were delicious, thank you!!

Do you have a favorite flavor of cupcake at the Shabby Chic?  Let us know in the Reply section below!

New Hampshire Trick or Treat times 2011

New Hampshire Trick or Treat times 2011

The New Hampshire Trick or Treat times are critical to almost every kid in NH (or so they think, if they are 3-16 years old!).  :)

My girls plan their Halloween costumes beginning in February or March and must change their plans at least five or six times, how ’bout your’s?  Sometimes in our NH towns the houses are so far apart, our kids have more fun attending parties…so I am posting here a combination of NH trick or treat times as well as Halloween activities, posted by town, concentrating on the southern NH towns.

(NH trick or treat times are posted alphabetically)

DerryDowntown Trick or Treat - Oct 22nd at11 a.m., Veterans Hall Gymnasium. Halloween costume parade and costume contest.  Oct 31st  6-7:30 p.m.



Nashua: ”Fright Night” - Oct 28th from 6:30-8:30 p.m. – Parks and Recreation puts on this annual celebration at Greeley Park.

Pelham: Oct 31st  5-8 p.m.

Plaistow: Oct 28th from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., Toddler Trick or Treat.  Oct 31st 5:30-7:30 p.m

Salem: Oct 27th children’s party at Salem High School by the Lion’s Club

Windham: Oct 31st 5-8 p.m.

Towns that don’t have their times filled in have not yet announced their dates – check back for more information as it’s released – or follow NH Trick or Treat times to get the latest information.

77 Days on the Massachusetts/New Hampshire state line: Day 70 – Smolak Farms North Andover

77 Days on the Massachusetts/New Hampshire state line: Day 70 – Smolak Farms North Andover

I went to Smolak Farms this week for a Clam Bake and was impressed, as always, with their beautiful grounds  (of course I also picked up a gallon of apple cider for home)!  Smolak Farms is located at 315 South Bradford Street, North Andover, MA and can be reached on the phone at 978-682-6332.  They are NOT your usual farm stand! Parts of the historic homestead at Smolak Farms are 300 years old and amazingly enough, descendants of Martin and Magdalenna Smolak continue to farm and run Smolak Farms.

The Farm Stand opened in 1985, including the Bakery, on the site of the old chicken coop.  Then, in 1992 a Greenhouse was built and in 2004 an ice cream stand was added which then was taken over in 2007 by Treadwells.

Present day visitors to the Smolak Farms have many opportunities to choose from:  pick fruits, visit the farm stand and bakery (delicious apple cider donuts!!!),  go for a hayride, plan a birthday party, or attend summer educational programs!  With so many things to choose from, you’ll be going back time and time again to enjoy the natural beauty of the farm!  You may even schedule an important event like a wedding at Smolak Farms!

If you’re looking to go apple picking and are in northern Massachusetts, Smolak Farms is a must!  Alternatively, if you’re in NH, I would recommend Mack’s Apples of Londonderry.


77 Days on the Massachusetts/New Hampshire state line: Day 61 – Mel’s Funway Park, Litchfield NH

Mel’s Funway Park, Litchfield NH

We took our first trip up to Mel’s Funway Park in Litchfield NH this week – a 40 minute drive from Pelham NH (our home town).  We may have picked the hottest day of the year….   but it was good in one way because that meant there were no crowds.  On the other hand, we could only get through 9 holes of mini golf instead of our 18.

Our two main reasons for going were the NH mini golf and go carts, but our friend convinced us to visit the batting cages for a couple of swings – surprisingly fun, even for our Spanish exchange student, Lili, and her friend, Amaia.

Mel’s Funway Park also had a great driving range, lazer tag, a lazer maze, and an arcade! Although we didn’t participate in any of these games we hope to when we go back to Mel’s Funway Park.

Notice the car Kesli is riding in?  This business, RGA Tire and Auto is located less than a mile from our home in Pelham!

At the end of our visit (after the mini golf, go carts, and batting cages) we all had a great cone of delicious ice cream from Gifford’s Ice Cream, which was conviently right next to the mini golf course!

We tried many different flavors:  Cake Batter, Cookie Dough, Strawberry and Rainbow SherbertYUMMY!

Do you have a favorite go carts place or mini golf course that you enjoy?  Tell me about it below so we can visit it for a review!

77 Days on the Massachusetts/New Hampshire state line: Day 60 – Water Country, Portsmouth NH

77 Days on the Massachusetts/New Hampshire state line:  Day 60 – Water Country, Portsmouth NH

What a great day we had this week at Water Country, the largest water park in NH!  Not too sunny and the special group price we got by entering the park with the exchange students from Spain was a bonus!  :)  … and for those of you “working moms and dads”, my phone had great service for conversations and checking on e-mails.

The traffic was awesome driving 50 minutes from Pelham NH to Water Country in Portsmouth NH at 10:30am and the parking was free (unless you want to be up close to the entrance/exit).  One of the other great things about this NH water park is they welcome you to bring in coolers – that alone is a huge savings! (But on this particular day we decided to treat ourselves to an order of fried dough.)

Our favorite place is the wave pool, so we started at that end of the water park to get acclimated.  After that we went over to Racing Rapids and got caught in a down pour!  Then we started our long trek to the other side of the park and hit almost all the main attractions: Double Geronimo, Dragon’s Den (30 minute wait), Thunder Falls and Wild Canyon, Double Dive Boggan, and the Black Hole and Warp 8.







Lucky for families with kids under 48″, the park has 3 areas carefully watched just for them:  Ollie Octopus, Pirates Lagoon, and the Tahiti Tree House.

Whether you go to Water Country for the wave pool, the kiddie area, or the thrilling Geronimo, you’re bound to have a fun time as long as it’s hot!

If you’re looking for more “low key” trips, perhaps a local spray park in Lowell, Dracut, or Derry would suffice or maybe Liquid Planet in Dover is more your style.  Whatever your pleasure, make sure to get out with the kids and have fun!

If you really enjoy water parks, you might even consider a season’s pass which was very tempting to me the day we went, just $59.99 for the season!

77 Days on the Massachusetts/New Hampshire state line: Day 59 – Hampton Beach, NH

77 Days on the Massachusetts/New Hampshire state line:  Day 59 – Hampton Beach, NH

With 60% chance of rain, we were still determined to go to the beach today.  After all, our exchange student from Spain, Lili, is used to getting into the Atlantic on the north side of Spain, we had to let her see a US beach, right?  So, where do we go from Pelham NH on a cloudy day?  Hampton Beach, NH!  Initially, I was headed for North Hampton Beach, but since I had driven to Hampton NH so many times recently due to Tim’s purchase on Ashworth Ave, that’s where we ended up!

On our drive to Hampton Beach, NH, it poured rain and I asked the 3 girls several times, “are you sure you want to go to the beach?”  ”Of course, Mom!” was unanimous.  After all, they expected to get wet in the water, so what’s the difference if the rain gets them too?  We ate lunch in the car as soon as we arrived (after getting a fantastic free parking spot right on the street) and suddenly the rain stopped.  The girls ran into the very clean bath house, changed, and were out on their way with the boogie boards and wet suits down to the beach!

The water at Hampton Beach is much too cold for me (especially since my wetsuit was on someone else AND there was no sun), so I opted for sitting on the beach (and using the umbrella to stay dry in a couple of passing showers).

If you’ve never been over to the beach, you may like Hampton Beach.  Certainly there are a lot of shops, restaurants, and activities to do in the area if the sun isn’t out and chances are, if you’re from this area, you will probably run into someone you know.  The drive from Pelham was only about 50 minutes with no traffic, so I considered it a reasonable trip for even a half day!  :)

If beaches aren’t your “thing”, you may find something else you like in NH to enjoy the outdoors!  Look on the NH State Parks website for other ideas.

Do you have a favorite beach other than Hampton Beach I should write about?  Tell us about it below!  Thank you!

77 Days on the Massachusetts/New Hampshire state line: Day 58 – Liquid Planet Water Park Candia NH

77 Days on the Massachusetts/New Hampshire state line:  Day 58 – Liquid Planet Water Park, Candia NH

Destination: Liquid Planet Water Park in Candia NH!

Where:  446 Raymond Road,Candia, NH 03034



Who: my 2 girls and our exchange student, Lili

When: July 7th

Why: It’s SUMMER and it’s hot and we need to “break our routine” of being in the house, and I had a Groupon, and, and, …

What a great day we had at Liquid Planet!  It was an impromptu decision to go up from our home in Pelham 40 minutes to Candia to this NH water park, but worth it!  Working with so many home buyers and sellers recently had decreased the usual summer fun time, so my girls deserved a fun day with Mom.  :)

Liquid Planet Water Park offers many choices to their visitors, season’s passes,  full days, half days, rides on the zipline and also miniature golfing in addition to water park, slides and Crater Lake.

You know the saying, though, “a picture’s worth a thousand words”, so here are several pictures and a video of our day!  If you’re looking for some water fun closer to home, you might enjoy one of the spray parks in Lowell, Dracut, or Derry NH.

Fun for littler kids (and big ones on occasion).






This NH Zipline is new this year, 35 feet off the ground and 1000 feet long. 

Crater Lake is new this year also and a lot of fun – there’s more area to the left of the picture for laying down on or sliding on your belly.


Miniature golf

and a double water slide too at Liquid Planet Water Park!

I liked the zipline and crater lake the best at Liquid Planet, but my kids are older – if you’ve been there, what did you like best?  Oh yeah, one more thing!  This NH water park is REALLY CLEAN!  Enjoy your trip if you choose to go one beautiful summer day!

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 53 – Peabody Essex Museum, Salem MA

Peabody Essex Museum, Salem MA

Today we visited the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA.  There is no really easy way to get there from our home in Pelham NH, so having my Mom along on the trip, we at least have time to catch up on what my girls and I have been doing.  I believe the last time I was at the Peabody Essex Museum was probably back in 2005, but my girls have gone down 2 or 3 other times without me, usually with my Mom to a special children’s program.

Peabody Essex Museum was the first museum in the US, started back in 1799 by the East India Marine Society.  See below 2 displays located in their first hall, the East India Marine Hall, which is still part of the museum and also is the location for periodic chamber music and orchestral performances.

The Peabody Essex Museum holds a diverse collection of objects from all over the world and also has special collections come for periods of time.  Of particular interest to us on this trip was the Dutch and Flemish Masterworks (since our family came to America from the Netherlands and my brother and his family live their now).  This special exhibit is scheduled to be at the Peabody Essex Museum from Feb 26th – June 19th and contains nearly 70 paintings and many pieces of furniture collected by Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo from the leading Dutch and flemish artists of the 1600s, including one by Rembrandt.


In addition to viewing the Dutch display, we also visited the Yin Yu Tang building which was first on display in 2003.  This Chinese home completely intrigues me – it is the home of the Huang family who lived in it for more than 200 years in the Huizhou region of China.  This stately home had 16 bedrooms and often housed up to 30 family members and 3 generations!

No one is allowed to take pictures inside the ancient building, but I did get one from above, looking through the window.  While inside we listened to an audio tour that was just fascinating.  I know that I had been through this house the first time I went to the Peabody Essex Museum, but I found it just as fascinating this second time through.

The Peabody Essex Museum is a fun museum to visit and also has a small sandwich shop in the beautiful bright atrium.  Either before or after your visit, you could also stop in on another nearby historical location (of course in Salem, MA, there are many!) – and you might even decide to visit a local shop for ice cream, like we did!  :)