Monday, August 25, 2014

HiSet Prep Free Materials

According to my research, Massachusetts and several other states have moved from the GED test to the HiSet do to the increased cost of the GED. I thought I'd update the GED post since this test is becoming more common across the country.

For residents of the state of MA information regarding registration can be found here.

Free practice resources.

Test format This provides and overview of the format of the test sections and what to expect from each section.

Houghton Mifflin provides a series of free practice tests for each of the sections:


Language Arts Reading

Language Arts: Writing


Social Studies

This provides more practice in the style and format of questions from the test:

Sample questions and answers in format of test

This site provides videos and and written practice and examples that break down the various sections for review.

Test Prep Review

If you know other free HiSet test prep resources you'd like to share please leave a link in the comment section and I'll be happy to add them to the list.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Sudbury 375 Field Day and Fireworks

Sudbury, Massachusetts turns 375 on September 4th. Come celebrate the anniversary on September 6th from 12-8 at Lincoln-Sudbury High School. There will be food, games, vendors, music and of course fireworks to celebrate the big day. Join Sudbury at this family friendly event and help create memories of a historic anniversary for Sudbury.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Old Time Family Community Fair August 23 in Sudbury

Sudbury, Massachusetts is celebrating its 375th anniversary with a variety of special events. On August 23 from 10-4 they are sponsoring a fair in the town center with a wide range of family friendly activities for old and young alike.

There will be traditional exhibits and judging of food items grown and cooked, craft items (quilts), and flowers. Children will find animals to ride and pet. There will be music and square dancing. The town is preparing the time capsule and residents will have a chance to be a part of it. Of course, you will find food to purchase and the promise of a farmers market to bring more home. I am looking forward to the promised historical scavenger hunt.

I've marked this on my calendar and am looking forward to celebrating.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Northborough Free Summer Concert Series 2014

I think I am going to end creating a page that links all these pages back to each other for ease of search. However for today I have Northborough's list of concerts. For once I'm not behind as they aren't beginning until July. Another Thursday night concert series held at Ellsworth-McAfee Park from 6-8.

July 10 Windfall

July 24 Beatles for Sale

August 7 The Hub

August 21 Third Man Factor

Bring your blankets and chairs and enjoy the music.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

July 2014 Free Fun Fridays

This month starts off with a holiday edition of Free Fun Fridays.

July 4th


July 11th


July 18th


July 25th


For links to these venues and more information about Free Fun Fridays check out the Highland Street Foundation's website here.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Library Book Sales July 2014

Lincoln is supposed to be having one in conjuntion with the town's anniversary will post info when I find it.

July 4

Sudbury Not a library, but the Sudbury Historical Society usually has a small but interesting selection of used books for sale at the Hosmer House during the parade.  We've purchased some great material to read while waiting for the parade to start.

Monday July 7

Fitchburg 12-7 Details here

July 12

Pittsfield 10-4 Details here

Friday, June 20, 2014

June 2014 Free Fun Friday Events

There is only one Free Fun Friday in June and it's the kick off of the event June 27th.

The following venues are hosting the first week's events:


For more information check out the Highland Street Foundation's website here. They have links to all the venues. I suggest you research each before the date as I suspect they could be busy.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Framingham Free Summer Concerts 2014

Once I started researching where to go for free summer music I was surprised at how many towns do offer these weekly concert series. Framingham's is located in Framingham Center on the Village Green near Framingham State. The concerts are on Friday nights from 6:30-8:30.

June 20 Chris Anders

June 27 Three of a Kind

July 4 The Tom Nutile Band

July 11 Hot Acoustics

July 18 The Reminisants

July 25 JC & Enfusion

August 1 Metro

August 8 Playing Dead

As always, you will want a chair or blanket if you like something comfortable to sit on during the concert.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Hudson Free Summer Concert Series 2014

Once again, I located this series after it started, but at least it is on a different night. Hudson, Massachusetts is offering a free summer concert series at Wood Park on Park Street on Wednesdays at 6:30.

June 18 River's Edge Arts Alliance Artist Appreciation Concert

June 25 Jumpin' Juba

July 9 River's Edge Art's Alliance Summer Fun Concert

July 16 Flashback

July 23 The Lenny Solomon Band

July 30 Tom Yates w/the Working Man's Band

August 6 After Fab

Hudson is also offering Children's Music Programs at Cellucci Park, 37 South Street, on Thursday's at 12PM.

June 26 Vic and the Sticks

July 17 Rick Golden Music and Puppets

August 7 Mister Vic

Monday, June 16, 2014

Southborough Free Summer Concert Series 2014

Sadly, Southborough and Marlborough Massachusetts have concerts on the same night, so I'll have to pick which group sounds most interesting. However, I thought I post the list for others in the area who also might be interested in free summer music.

Southborough's concerts are held at Neary School Field by the tennis courts from 6-8. As with Marlborough's concerts bring a chair of blanket for seating.

June 19 Soul Custody

July 10 Chuck & the Mud

July 24 Sheep Shaggers

August 7 Raw Dawgs

August 21 Blackstone Valley Bluegrass

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Marlborough's Free Summer Concert Series 2014

We like the Marlborough Massachusetts’s free summer concert series. Even the dogs enjoy an evening of music on the Commons sometimes. It looks like we already missed the first one. Since I sometimes don’t catch the listings in the paper, I thought I'd post the list of the remaining concerts for others who might be interested in attending the concerts.

The concerts take place on Union Common found at the corner of Main Street and Route 85 from 7-9. Bring your chairs and enjoy the music.

June 19 Chris Anders And Pure Country
June 26 The Reminisants
July 3 Mixed Emotions
July 10 Childhood/Huck
July 17 Mood Elevators
July 24 Usual Suspects
July 31 The Mike Mosca Band
August 7 Flash Back
August 14 Silver City

Friday, June 13, 2014

June Library Book Sales in Massachusetts

I love to hit the local library book sales. It is a great way to pick up a variety of reading materials at great prices. I decided I would start listing the local sales I find out about to help others who might be interested in visiting, too. It is a great way to save some money and support a great cause. I'm starting late for June, but will try to do better in July.

June 14

Ashland 10-2 Pricing and more details here.

Weston 10-4 Pricing and details here.

Woburn 10-6 Details here.

June 21

Framingham 10-3 Details here.

Franklin 9-4 Details here.

June 28

Carlisle 10:30-3 Details here.

I've only listed the public dates for the book sales. Some libraries offer special dates for Friends. Most allow you to join on those dates to have the advantage of getting a look at the books early. Some offer special bag deals as the sale winds down. It never hurts to ask about the schedule.

Also, check out your library not only to see if they have an upcoming sale, but also to see if they have an ongoing book sale. Our local library has ongoing sales in the adult and the children's library year round. There is a smaller selection, but still a chance to get a good book for a great price.

This is also a great place to donate some of those books you don't need. Check to see what books and media materials they accept. Some have restrictions, but donate what you can. The local libraries can use your support.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

AAA Six Flags New England Discount 2014

Updated 2016 information found here

Six Flags New England opened April 12, 2014. Ticket prices and information are posted on Six Flag's website here.

You can save by buying tickets online in advance for $41.99. I don't know if there is a charge involved.

Adults and Children over 54": 59.99
Under 54": 49.99
Under 2: Free
Preferred Parking: $25
Season's Pass Parking at New England Only: $60

Flash Pass Information is located here.

There are a variety of Season Pass offers you can explore here. Prices vary based on number of passes purchased and the level of options you choose.

Check out the meal deals before you go to the park here.

For frequent visitors they also offer a dining pass here.

According to their website, Six Flags New England participates in the AAA Show Your Card and Save program. They claim they give a $5 discount per ticket up to 6 tickets. I found this in their FAQ page. They also claim there is a $10% discount on merchandise purchases of $15 or more with your AAA card. Call ahead to confirm.

AAA has listed their deals for the Six Flag's 2014 season. These tickets must be purchased in advance to get the discounts.

You can check the standard AAA discount for online tickets for Six Flags here.

They are also offering tickets by mail for Six Flags New England good for adult and child at $36. That offer is located here.

In addition, only available by mail is the AAA parking discount for Six Flag New England. One day parking pass available here for $18.

It does take some advanced planning, but there are ways to reduce the cost of your Six Flags New England visit this summer.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

July 4, 2014 Activities in Massachusetts

I love celebrating the Fourth of July and decided it was time to post some of the fun activities going on in the area again. I find it so much easier to come back to a page like this and click on the links than to try to remember where I saved them so I can send them off to family and friends later.


Boston Harborfest Events run July 2-6



Danvers Family Festival


Fall River Battleship Cover Fireworks

Find Local Fireworks




Lexington Lion's Club Carnival

List of Local Fireworks by Town


Old Sturbridge Village




Sudbury Parade


I know there will be more links to add and I hope to update this list. Some sites are not yet listing the dates and times for the fireworks. I will try to get back as those are updated.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Free Fun Fridays 2014 in Massachusetts

The Highland Street Foundation has announced their schedule for Free Fun Friday events. The program provides free entrance each Friday to different museums, zoos, theater, music events, and other attractions to residents and visitors in Massachusetts. You can find the list at their website here. The first Friday is June 27 and the final one is August 29th.

While admission is free, it is advisable to check to make sure there are no additional costs for any of the programs or offerings available at the venue you are visiting. At some venues, the free admission gives you complete access to all of the programs available at that site. At others even when paying admission there are additional costs depending on what you wish to do.

These events tend to be popular and thus attract large crowds. For those who plan on utilizing other pass or discount options, you may also want to be aware of these dates as you can expect there to be higher traffic on these dates. If you have other options, you may want to choose another date for your visit to find a less crowded venue. That being said, many of these venues do offer special programs on these dates to encourage people to face the crowds.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Summer Reading Programs 2014

Many local libraries offer summer reading programs to get kids excited about reading over the summer. Ours even offers an adult reading program with prizes that I participated in last summer and enrolled in again this summer. However, there are lots of other programs out there that offer incentives to get kids reading. I haven't updated the list in a while so it seemed like a good time to check out the programs and see what was still out there.

American Girl is sponsoring Read-a-Palooza with a variety of events this summer. This isn't quite as reward driven as some of the other programs, but it is worth a look.

Barnes & Noble's Imagination Destination requires children to read 8 books and record the information on a form that can be downloaded at the site here. The child lists the book, author, and whom they would reccomend the book to and why. The form needs to be returned to a Barnes & Noble store and the child may then select a book from those listed on the record form. The program runs from May 20-September 2, 2014.

Book Adventure is a free program offered by Sylvan Learning. The program is similar to Accelarated Reader. The children choose titles from the list, read them independently, and then take tests on the books. Each test earns them points towards prizes.

Bookworm Wednesdays at Showcase Cinemas provides free movies in exchange for a book report. The form for the book report is provided here and is the price of admission to the movie. This program begins July 9th and ends August 13. Movies are shown at 10AM but its best to call your local Showcase Theater to make sure they are participating.

Chuck E. Cheese offers a program that requires the child to read every day for two weeks and record it on a chart found on the website. The chart can be returned for 10 free tokens.

Half Price Books has a program this summer. Children can earn a $5 of book bucks for 300 minutes of reading. They will also be entered in a drawing for a gift certificate. You can download the reading Chart here

H.E. Buddy also is offering a program. Download the form, read the ten books, fill out the form, have a parent initial, mail it and they promise a prize package back in the mail.

New York Times has a program open to students from age 13-19. The paper is looking for thoughtful commentaries on anything it publised. Check out the rules for submission.

Pizza Hut's Book It runs from June 1-August 15.

Pottery Barn is having a reading challenge that runs through July 17th. Children need to read 8 books from the list found here to receive one free book. They do suggest supplies are limited.

Scholastic Summer Challenge

Super Why PBS Read-A-Thon

TD Bank has a program in conjunction with their Young Savers Accounts. The program is available to students in grades K-5. They read 10 books, fill out the form found here and they get $10 deposited in an existing or a created TD Young Savers account. Not a TD customer so I don't know anything about these accounts. Just listing the available summer reading programs.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Blue Star Museums 2014

The Blue Star Museum program began again over Memorial Day and will continue through Labor Day. The program offers free admission at participating museums to all active duty, reserve, and National Guard military personnel and their families. The program operates around the country and the website provides an interactive map you can use to locate venues here.

As always, I suggest checking out the site you want to visit before traveling there to get more information.

When I checked out this year's list, the following Massachusetts sites were participating:

The Discovery Museums

Lowell's Boat Shop

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

Gibson House Museum
Historic New England
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Nichols House Museum
Old South Meeting House
The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston
The Mary Baker Eddy Library
The Old State House - America's Revolutionary Museum
USS Constitution Museum

John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site

Harvard Museum of Natural History
MIT List Visual Arts Center
Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology/Harvard

Museum of Russian Icons

Concord Museum
Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House

Dedham Historical Society & Museum
The Fairbanks House

Duxbury Rural and Historical Society

Mass Audubon Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary

Martha's Vineyard Museum

Falmouth Museums on the Green

Fruitlands Museum

Buttonwoods Museum
Haverhill Firefighting Museum
John Greenleaf Whittier Birthplace

John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum Foundation, Inc

Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library

deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum
Drumlin Farm Education Center and Wildlife Sanctuary
Mass Audubon Drumlin Farm

New England Quilt Museum

Royall House and Slave Quarters
N. Easton
Friends of Borderland

Nantucket Historical Association
Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association
Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum affiliate of the Egan Maritime Institute

Mass Audubon Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary

New Bedford:
New Bedford Art Museum/ArtWorks!
New Bedford Whaling Museum
The New Bedford Museum of Glass

Durant-Kenrick House and Grounds
The Jackson Homestead and Museum

North Andover:
North Andover Historical Society

North Easton:
Children's Museum in Easton

Smith College Museum of Art

Berkshire Museum

The Shirley-Eustis House Museum

Peabody Essex Museum

Maritime & Irish Mossing Museum

South Wellfleet:
Mass Audubon Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary

Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
Springfield Museums

Norman Rockwell Museum

Old Sturbridge Village

Old Colony Historical Society

Historical Society of Watertown

Wenham Museum

Spellman Museum of Stamps & Postal History

Clark Art Institute

Worcester Art Museum
Worcester Historical Museum

Yarmouth Port:
Edward Gorey House

Friday, June 6, 2014

AAA Canobie Lake Discounts for 2014

Updated 2016 post here

AAA discounts are back for 2014. As always tickets must be purchased in advance through your AAA office, it isn't an offer you can use by just showing your card.

According to their website General Admission for 2014 is $36 for adults under 60, $27 for those over 60 years of age and under 48 inches. It appears height is the factor not age for children. Those under 3 are given free admission. If you arrive after 5PM admission is $25 and if you show a military ID discounts are also available. More information about prices is available here.

The AAA discount gives $6 off an adult admission bringing the price down to $30. There is no AAA discount on children's tickets. You can find more information about ordering AAA tickets here.

Canobie lists places that have coupons for discount admissions here. For those who sign up for Canobie's email here, there are additional discount and special event offers available. Check out Yellow Days which offer $25 admission days here.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Book Sale at Marlborough Library April 26

The Friends of the Marlborough Public Library are holding their Spring Book and Bake Sale on Saturday, April 26th. The sale is open from 9-4 PM. The library is located on 35 West Main Street in Marlborough, MA in the Bigelow Auditorium, located in the lower library.

This sale is especially good for parents as the children's section is sorted into sections making the books easier to locate. The sections include board books, hard cover picture books, soft cover picture books, leveled readers, holiday themed books, early chapter books, and then chapter books by genre. There is also a section for non-fiction materials. Not something you find at most library book sales. While books do get jumbled during the sale, every effort is made to keep the sections together as long as books remain in those categories to help parents and children make selections.

Adults also have a wide selection of books in fiction and nonfiction, hard cover and paper, including large print.

Another reason to visit, the prices are the best in the area. Children's soft cover books are $.25 Hardcover books $.50. Adult books are $.50 for paper and $1.00 for hard cover.

For best selection, arrive early. If you miss this sale, please stop by the ongoing sale located on a cart inside the Children's Library. While it won't be available during the sale on Saturday, it should resume the week after the sale ends. The prices are the same and new items are added weekly. Adults can find an ongoing sale on a bookshelf inside the doors at the entrance of the upstairs library. That will be available during the book sale.