Archive for March, 2013

Volunteer Opportunities in the Upper Valley

We would all love to be more involved in giving back to our communities. Nothing is more satisfying or humbling than volunteering to help those who need what you have to offer. And giving back doesn’t just benefit others; consider it the ultimate mood booster. It’s a win-win for all! The only handicap to volunteering seems to be finding a place, the time, and an organization to serve. There are numerous groups in the Upper Valley in need of your time, skills, and generosity. With this list, you and your family can make community service a habit—one that your kids will continue into their adult lives.

The Best Sports for Children

Sports provide one of the best outlets for the limitless energy that kids seem to have. As an extracurricular activity, they have a lot to offer children beyond the chance to burn off excess energy. Joining a sports team helps your child stay healthy and active, learn and practice sportsmanship, and improve social skills and concentration while developing a hobby that can be enjoyed throughout life. Letting children compete in a safe, fun environment develops their perseverance, work ethic, kinesthetic intelligence (knowing how to move one’s body), and coordination. To ensure your child’s successful introduction to a sport, consider his or her size, age, ability level, personality, and interests. Here are overviews of several choices to offer children, including some of the skills needed and what each has to offer.


How to Plan the Perfect Surprise Party . . . and Pull It Off!

Surprise parties are one of the great joys of life. While they aren’t the easiest kind of party to pull off, they offer some of the best fun. And they don’t have to be limited to birthdays either! Try planning one for an engagement, anniversary, or a baby shower. Seeing the look on the guest of honor’s face when he or she sees family and friends all gathered to celebrate is absolutely priceless, so be sure your camera is ready! Check out these tips to help your surprise party go off without a hitch.

Things To Do On A Rainy Day

March is halfway over, so April showers can’t be far behind. And while they bring May flowers, rainy days can put a damper on your day or weekend. Even though it may feel like there’s nothing to do, there are plenty of options if you get a little creative. Here are some relaxing, delicious, and productive things to do when the rain keeps you indoors.

Saint Patrick’s Day Traditions

The month of March is host to one of the most festive days of the year. Saint Patrick’s Day was made an official feast day in the early seventeenth century. For Christians of many denominations, the day commemorates Saint Patrick and the story of how he brought Christianity to Ireland. However, it gradually became a more secular celebration of all things Irish all over the world. Every year on March 17th, celebrations abound from Ireland to the United States, Argentina, Canada, Russia, Switzerland, and even Japan and South Korea. What are some of the most long-standing Saint Patrick’s Day traditions, and how did they come to be? Read on to find out.

The Home Show is Back in Town!

On March 15, 16, and 17, Hanover will host its annual HomeLife Expo right at the heart of the Dartmouth campus. The Expo fills the Leverone Field House for three days, drawing Upper Valley businesses eager to publicize and market their wares locally. For its 35th anniversary, the Expo will enjoy a two-year renovation and redesign. This annual event is a great opportunity to try and buy new tools, learn new skills, meet people, and have fun! Bring the whole family and come explore. It’s a great cure for late-winter cabin fever.

How to Get and Stay Organized!

What better excuse than spring cleaning to reorganize your life? Few other activities provide both instant and long-lasting gratification. Your family will love you when they can open the kitchen cabinet without getting a face full of cereal dumped on them, or when they can get their jackets out of the closet without fearing falling objects. There are a few simple steps that you can take to make every aspect of your life more orderly. Start small: choose a closet, a desk, or even just one drawer. Once you get the “organizational high,” you’ll be addicted, and you’ll be ready to move on to bigger projects. As they say, an organized mind is a happy one.

Which Cruise Lines Offer the Best Family Vacations?

We’re into March already, and vacation season is quickly approaching. A popular vacation option for lots of families is a cruise. Many are all-inclusive and offer ways to keep every member of the family happy. Some cruises provide childcare so parents can enjoy a relaxing dinner alone, and others offer age-specific clubs and activities. However, choosing the best cruise option for your family is a lot more complicated than it used to be. Some cruises are better designed for babies and toddlers, and others are geared toward tweens and teens. Add to the mix the fact that ships vary greatly, not just from line to line but within lines, and that some are better than others when it comes to onboard accommodations and activities, and choosing the best fit for your family becomes an even greater challenge. Here are a few of the most family-friendly cruise options for your consideration.