So much fun, it’s scary! gets new moderator

OCTOBER 2010 gets
new moderator
Meet Jen Niles!
Jen Niles lives in Paxton with her husband,
7-year old son, and two cats. A locally-known
artist and a writer, Jen is very excited to join “I had been to the site before
as a reader of When I heard that
there was an opening for moderator, I jumped at
the chance,” she said. “Networking and sharing
information, whether in the art community or
with my fellow homeschooling moms, are some
of my favorite things to do.”
Jen’s plans for the site include getting more
mom and dad voices heard, through stories,
blogs and photos.
“I want to get some good conversations going and build a strong MassMoms community,
where we’re sharing information and news, and
helping each other with the many questions that
come with being a parent. Whenever I have had
a parenting challenge, some of the best advice
and information that I’ve received has been from
other mothers,” she said.
Jen’s first tip for joining the MassMoms action: Sign up for her weekly email newsletter.
And then, check out Jen’s blog, Postcards from
Parentville, on
So much fun, it’s scary!
As any kid can tell you, Halloween is more than just a day on the’s a celebration of all things spooky and yummy.
Halloween is a time when a child’s farewell to summer is made
easier by stepping out of real life and into a fantasy world of dressup and drama. It’s a cornucopia of treats (or tricks!). A time to
drive around see all the creative and funny decorations put up
by the neighbors. With store shelves already stocked with decorations both scary and silly, the excitement of children is contagious. They know that Halloween’s not just on October 31st –
Halloween is now.
Luckily, local parents can look forward more than just making costumes and shepherding their trick-or-treaters safely down the street.
October in Central Massachusetts brings fun for whole family.
Below, we’ve compiled a list of some of the area’s great activities.
Whatever your family chooses to do this Halloween, remember
to do it safely.
Fri.10/15 & Sat.10/16 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Halloween Hike at Boo Meadow Brook
Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary
414 Massasoit Road, Worcester
At sundown, Broad Meadow Brook is transformed into a magical
forest. Resident spirits (primarily native wildlife) greet visitors on
the guided walk through the woods on trails lit by luminaries. As
you walk, learn about some New England creatures and their habits. Program and activities will be held indoors in case of rain.
Sat. 10/23 12:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Great Pumpkin Fest at the Ecotarium
222 Harrington Way, Worcester
Annual family Halloween event featuring creative displays of
hundreds of carved, lit pumpkins plus free hayrides and train
rides, a free digital planetarium show, games, animal encounters,
pumpkin-carving demonstrations, crafts and much more.
Friendly costumes welcome. Rain or shine. $10 for EcoTarium
members. Children under 2 are free.
Sat. 10/23 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Halloween Night Hike and Hayride
Mass Audubon: Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary
113 Goodnow Rd, Princeton
Experience the sounds of the night on a guided hike through
the fields and woods. Then enjoy a hayride with friends and
family. Meet our resident vulture, hear a story, and taste some
goodies. Fee is per family: $15/Member Family; $21/Nonmember Family.
Sat.10/30 & Sun.10/31 10:00 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Howl-O-Ween Weekend at Fruitlands
Fruitlands Museum
102 Prospect Hill Road, Harvard
Come in costume or bring your dog in costume and gain free
entrance. Come see Tree Sculptures before they move on! Halloween parade, most creative costume contest (child and pet),
face painting, local musicians, crafts, tree sculpture talk and
so much more.
often for new videos...
like the one seen here,
giving you the 411 on
apple and pumpkin picking
in Central Massachusetts.
by Diana
Next up:
A look at
Broad Meadow Brook’s
“Boo Meadow Brook”
by Emilee
Kids are a never-ending
source of funny stories.
Tell us yours!
Show off your child’s artwork on
It’s easy to upload your masterpiece– just click on the
“Fridge Door” link and follow the instructions.
While watching my 6-year-old niece,
I decided that I could use a cup of
coffee and headed down to the local
Dunkin Donuts.
On the way there, my niece turned
and asked if she could get a treat.
When I asked her what she would like,
she answered “how about some of
those pip-squeaks?”
I was laughing so hard I couldn’t even
ask the clerk for the “Munchkins!”
Submitted by Linda
Kids are a never-ending source of funny
stories. Tell us yours at!
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Find Halloween games, crafts and carving tips
Now on…
Trick or Treat!
Check out our latest special section, for all of your Halloween needs
In the United States, Halloween is often seen as a time
Find fun things to do in your area!
Get info on local family events delivered right to
your inbox. Just email [email protected]
to dress up in costume and fill up on sweets. However,
throughout history, Halloween has inspired a variety of
customs and traditions across the globe. Check out the
Halloween Special Section on for more
on the history of Halloween and other myths, facts and
legends throughout history. Be sure to check out the
many fun Halloween games, crafts and tips as well!
Halloween traditions and customs, explained
• Costumes. The tradition of dressing up in costume
is one that can be traced back to the beginning of the
holiday. The Celts would celebrate Samhain by dressing up in elaborate animal skins and heads in an attempt to disguise themselves as spirits and demons.
The reason for this was to protect themselves from real
spirits and demons, the thought being the real spirits
and demons would not recognize them as humans if
they were in disguise.
* Bonfires. Druids from Northern Ireland would pacify their gods with ritualistic cermonies and sacrifices.
One such ceremony included a Samhain bonfire on a
nearby hilltop. The bones of slaughtered cattle would
be thrown into these fires, which came to be called
“bone fires,” and later “bonfires.” These bonfires and
sacrifices were in the hopes that the sun would shine
bright after a long winter. The tradition of bonfires on
Halloween continues today throughout Ireland.
* Jack-o-Lanterns. The tradition of Jack-o-lanterns also
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originated with the Celts. Legend has it that a man
named Jack tricked the devil and was unable to enter
heaven or hell upon his death. Instead, he was forced
to listlessly roam the earth for eternity. To keep evil
spirits away, Jack placed a piece of coal into a carvedout turnip, using it as a lantern on his travels. Jack-olanterns are still carved today for decoration.
* Trick or treating. Trick or treating once had a very
different meaning than it does today. On the night
before All Hollow’s Eve, the poor of Ireland would
visit the wealthy and request gifts of food and money.
The food was then gathered for a large celebration.
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