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US: New Haven, CT – Welcome Spring at New Haven’s Cherry Blossom Festival

The 44th Annual Cherry Blossom Festival is a celebration of spring commemorating the planting of 72 Yoshino Japanese Cherry Blossom trees in 1973.  Hanami (cherry blossom) viewing, has been a Japanese custom since the 7th century when the aristocrats enjoyed the transient beauty of  looking at sakura (cherry trees). Sakura is a symbol of Japan, and it’s said that there are over 400 varieties of cherry trees in Japan.CherryTrees

The longstanding tradition of the Cherry Blossom Festival,  takes place  in New Haven’s Historic Wooster Square, and offers something for everyone in the family, including your 4 -legged family member.

Enjoy free entertainment including music, dancing, shop a flea market, food, a children and family area that includes puppet shows, arts and crafts, face painting and activities from the Peabody Museum, New Haven Free Public Library’s Readmobile and a raptor-rescue organization  -Horizon Wings.CBFestival_15 (1)

There is a Pet Friendly area, with New Haven Animal Shelter, Greater New Haven Cat Project, Little Shop of Howlers, Pups Without Partners and Veterinary Wellness Center.

With so much to do don’t forget the main attraction, enjoying the scenic view of the early blooming cherry blossoms. This family-friendly festival is a great and inexpensive way to bring in spring.

Location: Wooster Square, New Haven, CT 06511
Date: Sun., April 23, 2017
Time: 12 – 5pm
Tel: 203-777-1371
historicwoostersquare.org/cherryblossomfestival.html
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitnewhaven.com

US: Newburyport, MA – Xmas Tree Bonfire Party with Music, S’mores & Flashlight Treasure Hunt

This is no ordinary Bonfire, it’s a 3-story community bonfire where Greater Newburyport’s residents burn their well-loved Christmas trees, and boy can those babies burn and it gets hot, real hot! newburyport-bonfire

In honor of the original purchase of Newbury, MA in 1701, It’s the 6th Annual Christmas Tree Burn Fundraiser/ Old Newbury Bonfire  to benefit the Newbury Volunteer Fire Department. Why not support this community and enjoy the local entertainment with music, games, food and fun at an event that is becoming a Greater Newburyport Winter tradition.

In addition to the bonfire, there will be tours of the 17th century stone and brick manor house at Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm,  and you can participate in a  flashlight treasure hunt and other children’s activities. Enjoy great food and drinks from local businesses, roast marshmallows or make S’mores.  At 5 PM there’s an  auction to be one of the two official bonfire lighters. Other prizes include a ride to school on a fire truck, cords of wood, local art and other surprise. Admission FREE, food and drinks available for purchase. Parking: $5 at Spencer Peirce Little Farm.

Location: Spencer Pierce Little Farm – 5 Little’s Lane, Newbury, MA 01951
Date: Sat, Jan 14, 2017
Time: 3 pm  – 9 pm w/ Bonfire Auction at 5 pm, lighting to follow – See more at:
newburyport.com/old-newbury-bonfire/
Tel: 978-462-2282,  978-462-2634
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: newburyportchamber.org
newburyport.com

US: Concord, MA – Good Things Come in Small Packages at Dollhouse Exhibit

 Four centuries of dollhouses are on display in Concord at The Art & Mystery of the Dollhouse exhibit featuring many of the finest representations in both public and private collections. Admirers young and old will appreciate the chance to step into that intriguing miniature universe at the new presentation at the Concord Museum, on view until Jan. 15. art-of-the-dollhouse

Explore tiny worlds that capture life’s detail and the imagination through dollhouses and miniatures from the 17th through early 20th centuries show the evolution of dollhouses from treasures for wealthy adults to colorful playthings for children. This captivating exhibition explores the tiny worlds that capture life’s detail and stimulate the imagination.

Highlights include an extremely rare dollhouse from 1695, and an array of 19th- and 20th-century doll homes from The Strong National Museum of Play,  View “room dollhouses” that celebrate interior design history and play with a hands-on Hape dollhouse. There is even a celebrity doll in attendance — Melissa Shakespeare, the doll of children’s author and illustrator Tasha Tudor. art-of-the-dollhouse2

The Concord Museum will be hosting an array of special programs throughout the exhibition months includes a hands-on room box building workshop, story times with dollhouse-inspired crafts and gallery talks led by specialists in the world of miniatures.

Location: Concord Museum, 200 Lexington Road, Concord, MA 01742
Dates: Until  January 15, 2017
Hours: til December Mon–Sat, 9–5pm; Sun., 12–5pm
January Mon–Sat 11–4pm, Sun. 1–4pm                         Tel: 978-369-9763
concordmuseum.org/art-and-mystery-of-the- dollhouse.php
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions:
concordchamberofcommerce.org/visitor-information

Photo Credit: Photos by Gavin Ashworth
picture 1 – Camden House; England, dated 1838; Private Collection: This house includes all its original furnishings, including a copy of T. Goode’s miniature edition of The History of England (1837). Camden, now part of London proper, was in 1838 a suburb with housing developed for working people. The Cratchet family of Charles Dickens’ Christmas Carol (1843) lived in Camden. The house first came to America in 1964.

picture 2 -Georgian House; England, 1720-1730; Private Collection: This oak dollhouse on stand is in the form of an early Georgian country house. When it was owned by pioneering dollhouse collector Vivien Greene, the house included a clockwork (wind-up) ghost. The ghost intrigued the young Prince Charles when he saw the house in the first (1955) major exhibition on the subject of early dollhouses.