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Thursday, August 28, 2014

August's End: A Weekend Preview

Posted By on Thu, Aug 28, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Mellow Yellow
  • Mellow Yellow
Just because school's back in session, doesn't mean the fun has to end. Warm weather lingers and fun events continue. 

If you missed the Champlain Valley Fair last weekend, never fear. The agricultural exhibits, games, shows and rides run through the end of the month. Sunday is Making Strides Against Cancer day — wear pink and get a discount at the gate.

In Rutland, the Vermont State Fair starts on Friday and runs through September 7. This weekend's highlights include a demolition derby, truck pulls and pig racing. On Friday, general admission price includes a ride bracelet.

Beatles fans in your family? Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center in Stowe presents "Mellow Yellow: A Multi-Media Tribute to Peace, Love & Grooviness" on Saturday night. A five-member band performs tunes that take audience members back to the summer of love complete with outrageous costumes and a light show.

Go back in time during an Experience History Workshop at the Ethan Allen Homestead Museum in Burlington. Fashion conscious kids learn about clothing from the 18th century, and get to try some on themselves. 

Finally, the Vermont Lake Monsters wrap up their season with two home games against the Tri-City Valleycats on Sunday and Monday evenings at 5:05 p.m.

Enjoy the last days of summer!

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

All's Fair: A Preview

Posted By on Thu, Aug 21, 2014 at 6:22 PM

champ-valley-fair-040.jpg
The Champlain Valley Fair kicks off today and runs through the end of August. For many kids, it's one of the highlights of the year. But if you go in without a game plan, it can be overstimulating, to say the least. We've compiled some info that will help you navigate the fairgrounds with relative ease.

We'd love to see photos of your kids at this year's fair — or pictures from fairs past. Post them on our Facebook page or below. We'll select a handful to include in our September issue.

Have fun at the fair!

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Out to Eat: South End Kitchen

Posted By on Wed, Aug 20, 2014 at 11:29 AM

Mira with mac and chicken tenders.
  • Mira with mac and chicken tenders.
Going out to dinner with kids can be complicated. On more than one occasion, when our daughter and son were younger, my husband, Jeff, and I attempted to go out for a nice family meal and left the restaurant shaking our heads. "It's not worth it," we agreed.

But now that the kids are a little older — Mira is 7, Theo is 4 — and we're mostly past the throwing food, spilling drinks and not-being-able-to-sit-in-their-seats-for-more-than-5-minutes phase, we're emboldened to dine out a bit more. 

When I found out that South End Kitchen, one of my favorite new Burlington spots, has a Saturday night deal where kids eat free with the purchase of an adult meal, I was raring to go.

Jeff and I had both enjoyed dinner at South End Kitchen sans kids before. The café is open until 9 p.m.,  Wednesday through Saturday, and has different summer dinner specials each night — including pasta, barbecue and burgers — in addition to the regular menu. The last time I went, I had what was — hands down — the best eggplant parmigiana I've ever had: a slab of breaded eggplant cooked to crispy perfection atop a delicious plate of pasta. 

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Friday, August 15, 2014

Want to Be a Better Dad?

Posted By on Fri, Aug 15, 2014 at 12:34 PM

John Badalament - COURTESY OF THE 2014 VERMONT FATHERHOOD CONFERENCE
  • Courtesy of the 2014 Vermont Fatherhood Conference
  • John Badalament
Registration is now open for the 2014 Vermont Fatherhood Conference, Thursday, September 25, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Statehouse in Montpelier. John Badalament (pictured), the program director for the Fatherhood Project at Massachusetts General Hospital, is the keynote speaker.

You don't have to be a dad to attend this free day of workshops focused on strengthening the bond between fathers and their families; moms and other care providers are welcome.

Workshops cover topics including "How to be a dad and play like a kid," domestic abuse and talking to your kids about tough topics.

There's only space for 150 participants, so sign up now!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

'Peter Pan' & Pie: A Weekend Preview

Posted By on Thu, Aug 14, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Peter Pan, Jr.
  • Peter Pan, Jr.
Here's a mix of indoor and outdoor activities in the upcoming days that will cover all your bases.

Head to Lost Nation Theater in Montpelier for Peter Pan, Jr., a musical theater adaptation of J.M. Barrie's classic tale, with a cast of aspiring actors ages 12 to 18. Performances take place Friday through Sunday.

Older kids and their parents might get a kick out of Laugh 'Til You Die at Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center in Stowe. Physical comedian Tom Murphy puts on a one-man autobiographical show about "life, love, falling down and getting back up again."

Also in Stowe, the Celebrate Vermont Festival, Friday through Sunday, champions the Green Mountain State with demos, tastings, live music and storytellers. A Kids Zone offers young festival goers the chance to make crafts, visit an instrument petting zoo and participate in a poetry slam.

At Heritage Chicken Day at Billings Farm & Museum in Woodstock, visitors meet newly hatched chicks, learn about unique breeds and engage in themed stories, crafts and games.

Finally, who can pass up a slab of pie? Rokeby Museum in Ferrisburgh holds its annual Pie & Ice Cream Social fundraiser on Sunday afternoon. Choose from peach, apple, berry and more — topped with a sweet scoop from Wilcox Dairy.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Home Cookin': Puff-Pastry Galettes

Posted By on Wed, Aug 13, 2014 at 1:43 PM

savory_tarts.jpg
I have a weakness for food blogs. My best friend, Lexy — an editor of cookbooks, among other things — was visiting this weekend and introduced me to a beautiful one called The Forest Feast. The woman behind the blog, Erin Gleeson, is a former food photographer who lives in a cabin in the woods of Northern California. Her site is a collection of what she calls "photographic recipe illustrations," in which she writes, types and paints recipes on top of her beautiful photographs.

The mostly vegetarian fare Gleeson creates is styled impeccably — like this salad, in which a slab of watermelon becomes a plate atop which mozarella, herbs and nuts are piled. Still, most of the recipes look quite simple to make.

As I scrolled through the site, I stopped and swooned over a picture of a yellow-squash galette. Not only did the savory tart look beautiful, but I knew it would be a perfect way to use the farm-fresh baby zucchini, squash and cherry tomatoes I had just bought at the farmers market.

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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Get Outside: A Weekend Preview

Posted By on Thu, Aug 7, 2014 at 10:38 AM

Montshire Museum
  • Montshire Museum
The weather is supposed to be glorious this weekend. Take advantage of it with some outdoor fun!

At the Stand Up for the Lake paddleboard festival at Waterfront Park in Burlington on Saturday, aquatic enthusiasts ages 8 and up can borrow boards to use during a kids race at noon. Stick around in the afternoon to watch elite and recreational adult athletes, and juniors ages 11-16, race atop the water on 6-, 3- and 1-mile courses. Register for the junior and adult races ahead of time here.

If you're looking for a family-friendly, open-air concert, try the Valley Stage Music Festival at Blackbird Swale in Huntington on Saturday. The Deadly Gentlemen, the Defibulators, Hot Flannel, Crunchy Western Boys and Cricket Blue fill the picturesque surroundings with their tunes. 

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Home Cookin': Watermelon and Tomato Gazpacho

Posted By on Wed, Aug 6, 2014 at 11:36 AM

gazpacho.jpg
A couple of weeks ago, I had the most amazing gazpacho at one of my favorite Burlington lunch spots, Mirabelles. It was a combination of watermelon and tomato, a tiny bit spicy and totally refreshing. I couldn't get it out of my head.

Last night, my husband, Jeff, made a version of the chilled soup for dinner, thanks to an easy recipe from Mark Bittman.

Disclaimer: Usually, I only post recipes here that my whole family enjoys. Unfortunately, this gazpacho was not a hit with the kids.

As Jeff blended the ingredients into a beautiful pinkish-red concoction, my 4-year-old son, Theo, eyed it suspiciously. 

"Is that a smoothie or soup?" he asked. Jeff replied that it was indeed a soup, and Theo gave him a glance as if to suggest he was crazy.

My 7-year-old daughter, Mira, was more open-minded, but when she tasted the kind-of-sweet, kind-of-savory potage, it proved a bit much for her not-yet-mature taste buds to reconcile. "I don't really like it," she proclaimed, pushing the bowl away.  

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Camp 4 Me

Camp 4 Me

Waterbury, VT

Camp For Me is a day camp for adopted children and teens ages 7 – 17 held in two one-week sessions in July on the campus of Thatcher Brook Middle School in Waterbury, Vermont. Camp For Me offers traditional summer activities: games sports, arts & crafts, theater, field trips, swimming,…(more)

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