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Greenheads: Why Can’t We Control the Problem?

By Caitlin Dowling, Newburyport.com Correspondent
Caitlin is a freelance editor/writer and former news producer for CNN. As a local mom of three, her family can be found enjoying all Newburyport has to offer, from strolling downtown to biking the rail trail to swimming at the beach.
Greenheads, Newburyport

Come July the most common question you will hear in the area is, “Have the greenheads arrived?” These green-eyed horse flies pack a nasty bite, appearing yearly from about mid-July to the first week in August, and make a visit to local beaches near impossible. These bloodthirsty flies not only keep locals from enjoying a day in the sun, but also push away tourists creating an economic impact on coastal towns in the area. So why can’t we control the problem?

Greenheads are found in coastal areas with lots of salt marsh, which is where they lay their eggs. “Very little is actually known about greenheads,” explains Nancy Pau, Wildlife Biologist at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge. “They only appear once per year for 3 to 5 weeks in July and the rest of their life cycle is spent in the sediment.”

Because greenhead eggs are buried below the surface, it is very difficult to locate the eggs and larva in order to attempt to control the population.

Greenheads only surface once a year, unlike the mosquito for which we have found various means to control. Mosquitos produce multiple generations throughout the season, where greenheads make one single appearance.

While if you ask many locals when greenhead season is, they will most likely tell you it lasts from one full moon to the next. This is not entirely accurate. Experts say that they tend to emerge when the salt marshes flood, which is often, but not always, in sync with the moon. This explains why we only ever have a general idea of when greenheads will arrive and depart.

Greenheads are found in healthy salt marsh areas and some experts believe that they may have a contributing factor to that. Their eggs and larva are also a food source for many coastal birds and fish. Any use of chemicals to eliminate them would only harm the rest of the healthy ecosystem as well. The Northeast Massachusetts Mosquito Control and Wetlands Management District sets over 400 baited “black” box traps in 6 coastal communities: Essex, Ipswich, Newbury, Newburyport, Salisbury, and Saugus. These boxes remove millions of biting flies from circulation each year, but it is still just a small portion of the population. The trapped greenheads also serve as a source of research to further understand these flies.

So the bad news is we still do not have an effective way to control the problem. But the good news is we have learned a lot about these sharp biting flies and discovered ways to protect ourselves. Just because the greenheads are here, doesn’t mean you need to entirely avoid the coastal area!

Tips for Greenheads:

  • Wear light-colored clothing, they are attracted to dark colors.
  • Wear long sleeves and pants when possible, they can not bite through clothing.
  • Plan beach visits on windy days, they have a harder time flying in windy conditions.
  • Or go to the beach for dinner instead of lunch! They are most active from 10 am to dusk.
  • Greenheads are attracted to sweet and salty scents so dry off after coming out of the ocean and avoid perfumes.

Newburyport Garden Tour Hosted by the Museum of Old Newbury

By Caitlin Dowling, Newburyport.com Correspondent
Caitlin is a freelance editor/writer and former news producer for CNN. As a local mom of three, her family can be found enjoying all Newburyport has to offer, from strolling downtown to biking the rail trail to swimming at the beach.
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Newburyport’s Museum of Old Newbury will host its annual garden tour on Saturday and Sunday, June 8th and 9th, from 10 am to 4 pm. This year marks the tour’s 40th anniversary and will feature the best gardens from the past four decades as well as some new properties. Our feature video provides a view of the beautiful South End home of Paul Goldberg & Joe Bell Garden. 

11 private gardens, including the museum’s own Cushing Garden, will be on the garden tour, all within a short drive throughout Newburyport, Newbury, West Newbury, and Byfield. Stops on the garden tour will showcase sweeping landscapes, views of the Merrimack River, creative features, and wide varieties of plants and flowers. Along with beautiful landscaping, tour-goers will also be treated to a glimpse into an artist’s “plein air” studio, a backyard bird sanctuary, and various artists and musicians at work in different gardens. Garden tour organizers recommend beginning at the Museum of Old Newbury, but detailed guidebooks and a map will be available at all participating gardens.

Along with the Cushing Garden on the garden tour, The Cushing House itself will also be open to tour free of charge. This historic ship captain’s home, filled with 400 years of local history, will be hosting a special exhibition of artwork by Laura Coombs Hills in the Benjamin Lecture Hall.

Garden tour tickets are $30/person and can be purchased in advance online or at the museum office, 98 High St., Tuesday through Friday from 10 am to 4 pm and Saturday and Sunday, noon to 4 pm. Tickets may also be purchased on tour days with cash or check at any of the participating gardens.

The museum will host its annual plant sale, as well as a pop-up boutique with Newburyport’s local Pleasant Street shop, Excentrique during garden tour hours. The boutique will be selling a collection of eclectic goods-vintage, modern, and classic design pieces. Be sure to stop into the museum’s gift shop before or after going on the garden tour for more shopping and to enter a raffle to win a variety of items, including an original oil painting and a garden design consultation.

The Museum of Old Newbury, founded in 1877, preserves and interprets the history of “Old Newbury” from pre-settlement to the present. All proceeds from the event benefit the museum’s education programs and preservation projects.

Spanish Tall Ship Nao Santa Maria Sails into Newburyport

By Caitlin Dowling, Newburyport.com Correspondent
Caitlin is a freelance editor/writer and former news producer for CNN. As a local mom of three, her family can be found enjoying all Newburyport has to offer, from strolling downtown to biking the rail trail to swimming at the beach.
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Mark your calendars, from May 31st through June 10th the 200-ton Spanish tall ship, Nao Santa Maria, will visit Newburyport, a city rich in maritime history. The Custom House Maritime Museum will dock this replica of Christopher Columbus’  flagship the Santa Maria at the city’s Waterfront Park as part of their Newburyport Maritime Days 2019 celebration.

The Nao Santa Maria is scheduled to sail into Newburyport, its one and only stop on the Northeast coast, on Friday, May 31st. The ship’s exact arrival time is dependent on the tides, but it should be visible from Plum Island around 2-3 pm. The ship must wait for high tide to enter the harbor and should be docked downtown between 11 – 11:30 pm. The Spanish tall ship’s arrival will be visible from Plum Island to Salisbury, flying an exact replica of Columbus’ Spanish flag. Built and launched in Spain in 2018, the 92-foot Nao Santa Maria was created by the same private foundation that built El Galeón, the Spanish tall ship that visited Newburyport in 2016. The Nao Santa Maria was built to honor the 555th anniversary of Christopher Columbus sailing to America from Spain.

Public tours will be available daily from June 1st through June 9th from 9 am to 6 pm. Tickets are $10/adult, $5/child, or $25/family and can be purchased in advance online or at the Custom House Maritime Museum gift shop. Once the Spanish tall ship has docked, tickets will be available during daily tour hours on the back lawn of the museum. Public tour tickets can be used on any day or time that tours are being operated.

Along with public tours, the Custom House Maritime Museum has also arranged many fun events throughout the ship’s stay. Board the Nao Santa Maria for a private breakfast on Saturday, June 1st and 8th or dress your kids up for a special Little Pirates themed breakfast on Sunday, June 2nd and 9th. For an adult night out, purchase tickets to the CHMM Pirates Party featuring nationally touring Jimmy Buffett tribute band, Changes in Latitudes, dancing, and rum cocktails. Attend the CHMM Black Tie Gala for an elegant evening with a 12 piece big band playing the Great American Songbook, food catered by the Poynt, and a selection of Spanish wines. The Council for Aging will be aboard the Spanish tall ship on Wednesday morning, June 5th for coffee and donuts and a cocktail hour will take place for ticket holders on Wednesday evening. For a full list of events, days and times visit our events calendar. Tickets for all private events may also be purchased ahead of time online or at the Custom House gift shop. Pre-purchase is strongly encouraged, as tickets to these special events are limited and do sell out quickly.

In addition to all the fun on board the Nao Santa Maria, the Custom House Maritime Museum will also host an outdoor market showcasing local businesses at the waterfront park on June 8th & 9th, from 9 am to 5 pm. The Newburyport Collection will feature 18 local businesses to explore, sample, and shop.

A visit to the Custom House Maritime Museum is the perfect way to wrap up your Spanish tall ship visit. Whether you are a tourist or local, this museum is full of information and history about the city of Newburyport and the Merrimack Valley. From displays of famous shipwrecks to the history of the Coast Guard, there is something for everyone.

If you enjoy dining and shopping in the Greater Newburyport area, you may want to consider purchasing a Newburyport VIP Card in support of the Custom House Maratime Museum. The VIP Card provides discounts at 180 Greater Newburyport restaurants and shops and is available as a Digital VIP Card in the Newburyport App or as a Physical VIP Card. Purchase one card for $25 or two for $40 and $10 of your purchase will be donated to the Custom House Maritime Museum. Physical VIP Cards are available for purchase in the museum gift shop and both Digital and Physical VIP Cards can be purchased online. VIP Cardholders receive 10% off purchases of $25 or more in the museum gift shop and 50% off museum admission.

 

Spring Fest – Newburyport’s Annual Spring Festival

By Caitlin Dowling, Newburyport.com Correspondent
Caitlin is a freelance editor/writer and former news producer for CNN. As a local mom of three, her family can be found enjoying all Newburyport has to offer, from strolling downtown to biking the rail trail to swimming at the beach.
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Need plans for Memorial Day weekend? Look no further, because Newburyport’s Spring Fest, an annual spring festival guaranteed to entertain the whole family, is where you’ll want to be. Stroll the streets of our coastal town May 26th & 27th from 12 am to 6 pm and enjoy a day filled with delicious food, shopping, and entertainment.

Newburyport, already a destination with delicious restaurants, waterfront views and unique local stores, will believe it or not, be even more exciting this holiday weekend, adding to the mix local arts, crafts and food vendors along the streets as well as entertainment geared toward all ages.

Swing by Market Square both Sunday and Monday for lots of fun entertainment. Get prepared to rock out on Sunday from 1-4 pm with Party On, a fun upbeat cover band. Then stop back on Monday from 12:30-2:30 pm and dance to mindful beats with the high energy band, Unnamed Colors. Keep the long weekend going with exceptional “doo wop” music  4-6 pm performed by Billy D and the Rocke-Its, a 10 piece 50’s & 60’s style band.

Grab a tasty snack on-the-go or relax at one of the many outdoor cafes like Sea LevelBrine, Ceia, and Oregano, to take in the bustle as you dine. Work off all that delicious food strolling the waterfront boardwalk, let the kids blow off some steam at the Inn Street playground, and then treat yourself to some gelato or another delicious snack from one of Spring Fest’s outdoor vendors.

From clothing to one of a kind art work to home decor, if you’re looking for a special gift or simply something for yourself, Newburyport’s downtown shops, as well as the local vendors at this Spring festival, are bound to have what you’re looking for. And don’t forgot to take a walk over to the Tannery for even more local shopping.

Organized and hosted by the Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce, who work to promote the city and all the great things it has to offer, this event will not disappoint locals and tourists alike. Newburyport.com is a proud media partner to the Chamber and happy to help promote broad awareness of all major community events hosted by the Chamber.

In addition, during Spring Fest, you can purchase the Newburyport VIP Loyalty Card and $10 of your purchase will be donated to the Chamber Beautification Program. The Chamber Beautification Program is responsible for the beautiful hanging flower baskets around town, holiday decor, and other decorations around our beautiful city.

The Newburyport App/VIP Loyalty Card rewards card holders with discounts EVERY TIME they make purchases at the 180 Greater Newburyport participating Restaurants and Shops. Purchase one card for $25 or two for $40 and $10 of your purchase will be donated to the Chamber Beautification Program. You can purchase directly through the “Newburyport” App or purchase online. Choose between a Digital VIP Card in the Newburyport App or a Physical VIP Card.

We hope to see you at Spring Fest 2019! If you can’t make it, check out the festivities on our Newburyport.com Live Web Cams.

Plumfest-Free Annual Music Festival on Plum Island

By Caitlin Dowling, Newburyport.com Correspondent
Caitlin is a freelance editor/writer and former news producer for CNN. As a local mom of three, her family can be found enjoying all Newburyport has to offer, from strolling downtown to biking the rail trail to swimming at the beach.
Plumfest, Newburyport

Plumfest, a free annual music festival on Plum Island,  returns for its fifth year on Saturday, May 18th from noon to 6 pm. Transforming local porches on the island into stages for small concerts, Plumfest is a grassroots operation completely run by volunteers, from hosts to musicians to organizers.

An early participant in the “porch-fest” movement, Plumfest relies on local residents on the island to share their yards, porches, and parking lots with local musicians so they can perform for visitors. Growing in numbers each year, the music festival now features close to 100 performers at more than 40 locations, including local island businesses like Mad Martha’s, Beachcoma, The Cottage, and The Plum Island Grille.

So what’s the best way to experience this popular music festival? Organizers urge attendees to skip cars and to walk, ride bikes, and bring strollers. For non-island residents, free parking will be available at the airport as well as paid parking on the island. Plumfest will have circling shuttles you can hop on and off of all day to visit different venues and to get to and from your car.

Expect a huge range in music, from full bands to acoustic performances, from bluegrass to classic rock to rap. Performances are scattered all over the island with hot spots like Northern Boulevard, Southern Boulevard on the South End, and Old Point Road.  You can plan ahead by going online to see the full list of performers as well as a map of locations or just ride the shuttle and hop off when you hear something you like. 

While there will be a few food trucks out and about, organizers hope that visitors will give back to the community by popping into local establishments to grab some food or a drink. And if you love a band, purchase a t-shirt or book them for your next event!

Each year Plumfest picks a cause to raise money for. While the festival is entirely free, red buckets are set up at the performers’ locations to collect donations. This year, funds will go to the Friends of Newburyport Youth Services, a non-profit organization that provides fundraising and advocacy in support of NYS programs and services. Over the past four years, Plumfest has donated $25,000 to various causes.

For more fun happenings in Newburyport, be sure to check out our full events calendar!

 

Annual Newburyport Chocolate Tour

By Caitlin Dowling, Newburyport.com Correspondent
Caitlin is a freelance editor/writer and former news producer for CNN. As a local mom of three, her family can be found enjoying all Newburyport has to offer, from strolling downtown to biking the rail trail to swimming at the beach.
Chocolate Tour, Newburyport MA

For anyone with a sweet tooth, save the date for the annual Newburyport Chocolate Tour, a mouthwatering day filled with chocolaty treats in town. On Saturday, May 18th, from noon to 4 pm, 32 shops in downtown Newburyport will be offering up sweet treats to patrons with a chocolate tour ticket.

The Newburyport Chocolate Tour is a great way to experience and explore downtown while also indulging in chocolate! From specialty stores to bakeries, there is a great variety of participants, allowing you to shop your way through town while embarking on the chocolate tour. Stop into Harbor Creamery for an ice cream sample, Simply Sweet for some homemade chocolate, Chococoa Bakery for a taste of their famous whoopie pie, and more.

Advanced tickets can be purchased for $15 online (with an additional $1 service charge) or in person at Brass Lyon, Newburyport Olive Oil Company, and the Newburyport Chamber of Commerce and Industry. While tickets are available for purchase the day of the event for $20,  be warned, the Chocolate Tour limits sales to 400 total tickets and the event generally sells out.

The Newburyport Chocolate Tour begins at the First Religious Society Church and Parish Hall on Pleasant Street, where you will get a map of all the tasty stops and a bag to collect what you manage to not eat immediately! There will also be some chocolate themed baskets for raffle, so grab some tickets to try your luck when you pick up your map.

The Chocolate Tour motto, “Eat Chocolate. Be Happy. Do Good.”, sums up this delicious tour as 100% of net proceeds are donated to local non-profit organizations. This year’s proceeds go to Sweet Paws Rescue, Saturday Morning Community Breakfast of Newburyport, Nourishing the North Shore, North of Boston Cancer Resource Group,  and Prescription Refill and Transportation Programs for Elders. You can truly feel happy eating chocolate AND donating to great causes.

For more fun happenings in Newburyport, be sure to check out our full events calendar!

 

US Coast Guard Open House – A Yankee Homecoming Historic Tour

By Caitlin Dowling, Newburyport.com Correspondent
Caitlin is a freelance editor/writer and former news producer for CNN. As a local mom of three, her family can be found enjoying all Newburyport has to offer, from strolling downtown to biking the rail trail to swimming at the beach.
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Whether you have a little Coast Guard in training at home, or you would like to meet the men and women that protect our city, the US Coast Guard Open House has something for everyone. The Merrimack River Coast Guard Station, located in downtown Newburyport at 65B Water Street, will be opening its doors to the public Thursday, August 1st from 10 am to 2 pm, for a special day of tours and information.

As part of the town’s Yankee Homecoming celebrations, The US Coast Guard Open House offers a special opportunity for locals and tourists to step inside this iconic station. Visitors are welcome to explore the different areas within, all which will be manned by crew members offering information and taking questions. And perhaps one of the most exciting parts of the visit, is the opportunity to step aboard some of the US Coast Guard boats. While the boats will remain at the station, boat enthusiasts will be allowed to explore the decks while learning about special features. Make sure to bring your cameras and snap a pic in the Captain’s seat!

A special boating safety stand will also be set up at the station, offering up information and tips on how to navigate a boat safely. Learn about some of the challenges our local waters present, the hazards of the Merrimack River entrance, and life saving techniques.

For those visiting with little sea farers in tow, the Coast Guard Open House will also have Coastie on hand. The Coast Guard’s robot boat is equipped with navigation, searchlights, a rotating beacon, siren and air horn, sure to impress the little ones. Coastie will interact with young boaters and teach safety rules like “always swim with a buddy in a supervised area”. Watch out though, Coastie is also equipped with a squirt gun that he is known to use to get a laugh from the kids, so don’t be surprised if you get a little wet.

Newburyport, designated one of only 21 Coast Guard cities, is the birthplace of the Coast Guard. The Merrimack River Coast Guard Station is the home to the men and women protecting our waters with search, rescue and law enforcement. This Coast Guard Open House is a great opportunity to meet and interact with the crew of our local station and thank them for their hard work.

For a full list of events happening during Newburyport’s Yankee Homecoming week visit our Events Calendar and consider supporting the Yankee Homecoming Fireworks fund by purchasing a Newburyport VIP Discount Card.

Yankee Homecoming Fireworks Blast Off Saturday

By Caitlin Dowling, Newburyport.com Correspondent
Caitlin is a freelance editor/writer and former news producer for CNN. As a local mom of three, her family can be found enjoying all Newburyport has to offer, from strolling downtown to biking the rail trail to swimming at the beach.
Yankee Homecoming Fireworks, Newburyport

The Yankee Homecoming fireworks are set to make a bang this Saturday, August 3rd at 9:15 pm with their annual display over the Merrimack River. Pack up your lawn chairs, bring blankets and snacks and grab a spot in town to watch the sky light up at one of Yankee Homecoming’s biggest and brightest events of the week.

With the Yankee Homecoming fireworks going off from a barge in the river, there are tons of places around town to catch an unobstructed view of this illuminating show. Get in on the excitement and grab a spot among the crowds on the boardwalk, Route 1 bridge or Salisbury shoreline to hear the cheers of crowds and the sounds of the boats honking. Or make a night of it and set up camp early to swing to the live music of the Compaq Big Band, a high energy 19 piece big band specializing in jazz and swing, at the Waterfront Park music series, beginning at 6 pm. Pop into one of downtown’s numerous restaurants to grab a bite to go or stroll through the food stands set up in the square and pick up dinner and treats to enjoy during or after the show.

If you have a boat, anchoring in the river is a great way to get up close to the show and avoid the crowds. But if you don’t have a boat of your own, you can still hit the open waters for the show. Many local companies offer up special Yankee Homecoming fireworks excursions, from party boats with live music to more low key family oriented atmospheres. Check out Captains Fishing Cruises and Parties and The Yankee Clipper Harbor Boat Tours to name a few.

Letting your little ones stay up late for this special event? Pack a picnic dinner and head to Cashman Park to set up your blanket and chairs along the river. Your tiny spectators can enjoy the playground with other excited kids up past their bedtime while waiting for the festivities to start.

No matter where you choose to watch, come early to claim your viewing spot and enjoy the buzzing downtown area on this special night filled with live music, entertainment, food and shopping. Be sure to check our Events Calendar for any changes or updates do to weather.

If you would like to support the Yankee Homecoming fireworks, consider purchasing a Newburyport VIP Card today. The VIP Card gives you discounts EVERY TIME you make purchases at 180 local restaurants and shops and you can choose between a Digital VIP Card in the Newburyport App or a Physical VIP Card. Purchase one for $25 or two for $40 and donate $10 of your purchase to the Yankee Homecoming Fireworks Fund. 

Newburyport Mother’s Day Specials and Brunch Spots

By Caitlin Dowling, Newburyport.com Correspondent
Caitlin is a freelance editor/writer and former news producer for CNN. As a local mom of three, her family can be found enjoying all Newburyport has to offer, from strolling downtown to biking the rail trail to swimming at the beach.
Mother's Day, Brunch, Newburyport

Whether you’re a local or looking to take a day trip, celebrating Mother’s Day in downtown Newburyport is a great way to say thank you to the special ladies in your life. From delicious brunch spots to unique shops to purchase a special gift, this waterfront town is the perfect destination for a fun family day. And come back any day of the week to grab a bite at one of Newburyport’s delicious breakfast spots!

 

Brunch Spots: 
Give mom a break from the kitchen on Mother’s Day and head to one of these mouth-watering brunch spots. Whether you’re looking for an inventive menu, outdoor seating, kid-friendly options, or a tasty cocktail menu, Newburyport is the perfect place to go brunching. Most take reservations online or you can call the restaurant directly.

  • Ceia Kitchen+Bar: This state street bistro, complete with an outdoor patio, focuses on delicious farm to table meals that will not disappoint.  The chef whips up a special brunch menu for certain holidays and Mother’s Day is no exception. Pair your meal with a glass of vino from their extensive wine list or try out a brunch cocktail.  Ceia takes reservations so book in advance to secure a table.
  • Brine:  If you’re looking to indulge in some oysters on Mother’s Day, book a coveted table at this oyster, crudo, and chop bar. While Brine is normally not open for brunch, they create a special menu for all the moms out there on Mother’s Day. Hit the raw bar and enjoy some of their super creative cocktails. Tables are limited, with additional sidewalk seating on a nice day. Reservations are strongly recommended.
  • The Paddle Inn: For a casual yet hip experience, you will want to grab a table at this brunch spot. Serving up classic coastal foods from communities around the world, The Paddle Inn has a delicious brunch every Sunday. Menu favorites include the donut hole boat, breakfast burrito, and tableside bubbly with assorted fresh juices. On Mother’s Day, the restaurant will be featuring a delicious lobster crepe special. The Paddle Inn does not take reservations, so it’s a great option if you want to just pop in for a bite.
  • Plum Island Grille: If ambiance is important, look no farther than this gem just over the bridge on Plum Island, featuring sweeping views overlooking the marshes. While many dine here for the sunsets, they also host a delicious weekly Sunday brunch with live jazz music. Enjoy brunch classics like Belgium waffles and crepes along with super fresh seafood choices, including a raw bar.
  • Seaglass Restaurant & Lounge: This restaurant is right on Salisbury Beach offering panoramic views of the ocean. On Mother’s Day they will be offering a reservation only brunch with pastries, made to order omelets, a carving station and more! There will even be an ice cream sundae bar for the kids…or the moms!
  • Brick & Ash:  This large two-story restaurant, including a small outdoor patio area, features modern bar food in a fun, laid back atmosphere. While they won’t be open for brunch, if your party includes kids, consider heading here for lunch or dinner. Brick & Ash has a great menu for younger diners and pool, darts, and shuffle board to keep everyone busy. Exclusively for Mother’s Day, the restaurant will be offering up specialty mom inspired cocktails AND taking reservations (usually they do not) so call ahead!

And while The Grog and Plum Island Beachcoma are also not brunch spots, they deserve an honorable mention for casual family-friendly destinations to grab lunch or dinner. Both restaurants will have live musical entertainment on Mother’s Day too!

Where to Shop:
Newburyport is filled with one-of-a-kind shops to spoil any mom. Go on a spree before Mother’s Day to surprise her, or shop together after visiting one of the brunch spots and pick up something special. For the perfect piece of jewelry stop by Kaya Jewelers for something more traditional or visit Pam Older Designs for handcrafted pieces. Got a mom that likes to kick back and relax? Grab her some bath supplies and cozy PJ’s at Soak & Shoreline. Or pop into Nauti Pearl for a great selection of unique home decor and clothing for the mom that already has everything. And of course flowers and sweets are welcomed by all moms, so be sure to check out these locations below!

  • Nunan Florist and Greenhouse: Flowers for Mother’s Day are a traditional gift, but a visit to Nunan has so much more to offer than a simple bouquet. If you have a mom that loves gardening, Nunan is a dream. Take her on a shopping spree at the greenhouse to pick out plants, shrubs and flowers for your home. You can even make the visit a family day and grab an ice cream cone and play a round of mini golf at their course!
  • Beach Plum Flower Shop: If you are looking for the traditional bouquet of flowers, look no farther than this flower shop located at the Tannery. Call ahead or stop in to create the perfect floral arrangement filled with mom’s favorite flowers.
  • Simply SweetFor moms with a sweet tooth, this old school candy shop is a must. They have everything from homemade chocolates to nostalgic candy to caramel apples. Grab a bag of something sweet to stroll through town snacking on or save the candy for later and order an ice cream cone.

Have Fun:
You’ve brunched, you’ve shopped— now don’t forget to plan some extra fun too! Moms are used to doing all the planning, so plan a little fun just for her.

  • Newburyport Whale Watch: You’re in a coastal town, so why not hop on a boat and hit the high seas? Set sail on the Captain Lady III and go on a whale watch.
  • Sole to Soul: If your mom is always on the go, give her tired feet a rest and book her an appointment at this foot spa where she will be pampered with a relaxing foot soak and massage.
  • Plum Island Kayaking: If your mom has a sense of adventure, book a tour by kayak or paddle board to explore the area. You’ll have the chance to see seals, local birds, and the sunset, depending on when you go out.

All listed businesses are part of the Newburyport.com VIP program, so make sure to check out your discounts before you visit! And for even more ways to explore Newburyport and support local shops, visit our full list of VIP Businesses.

 

 

Dogs on the Beach & Off Leash Dog Parks in Newburyport

By Caitlin Dowling, Newburyport.com Correspondent
Caitlin is a freelance editor/writer and former news producer for CNN. As a local mom of three, her family can be found enjoying all Newburyport has to offer, from strolling downtown to biking the rail trail to swimming at the beach.
Dogs on the Beach, off leash dog parks, Newburyport

If you’re looking to take your furry sidekicks on an adventure in and around Newburyport, you’ll want to check out this guide. From when you can bring dogs on the beach to where and when your buddies can ditch the restraints and run free at off leash dog parks, here are all the details to have a fun and safe day with your favorite pup!

BeachesHoping to explore the local sandy beaches? First and foremost, your dog will need to stay on leash at all times at all of the beaches in the area. But you can still walk, run, and play with your dogs on the beach if you follow the rules! Below are tips to make each beach trip a success with fido.

Plum Island: During the off season, you and your dog can stroll without restriction at Plum Island Beach. But when the weather warms up and beaches become more populated, timing is everything. While dogs are not completely banned, from May 15th through September 15th they are only permitted before 8:30 am and after 5:30 pm, so take a morning stroll or post dinner walk. Note: Dogs are never allowed on Parker River National Wildlife Refuge.

Salisbury Beach: Dogs are actually allowed on this beach ALL year long, but within restricted areas. While you and your fur babies can roam the entirety of Salisbury beach during the off season, from May 1st to September 15th you need to keep your dog’s beach walks on the riverside of the beach only. An important note, due to strong currents at this beach, dogs are never allowed in the water.

Crane Beach: From October 1st through March 31st you can bring your dogs on the beach for a leisurely walk at this picturesque location in Ipswich. The only catch is it will cost you $3 per dog you bring along for the stroll. During the peak season, no dogs are allowed.

Off Leash Dog ParksWhile taking your dogs on the beach is a fun adventure, sometimes your pups just need to get off leash to run and socialize. Newburyport is super dog-friendly, offering three great locations for your dogs to run and play. When visiting these off leash dog parks, make sure to pick up after your dog and to always bring them in and out of the designated area on leash. For a full list of rules an regulations, including how to register your dog with the city, visit the city’s official site.

Cashman Park: With waterfront views, this park is always fun to visit. And from 7:30 am to 9 am and 4 pm to 7 pm, daily, you can take your dogs to run freely and play.

Mosley Woods: Tucked into the woods, this 16 acre park features tons of trails and great views of the Merrimack River. At this designated off leash dog park, your furry friends are free to walk alongside you leash free from dawn to dusk as long as they are well trained and not aggressive in nature. Tip: make sure your pup is good at coming on command as this park is large and dense, making a rouge dog hard to chase down.

March’s Hill: Located right off High Street, this wide open space is a great place for dogs and owners to hang out and socialize, and from dawn to dusk, you are free to do so, no leash necessary.

Photo Courtesy: Thank you to Mariah Eaton of Beach Dog Daycare for letting us feature her dogs, Dozer and Tonka! Planning to visit the beach on a day your dogs can’t join you? Drop your pups off at Beach Dog Daycare where they can play while you’re soaking up some rays!

 

Green Expo – Learn About Net Zero Newburyport

By Caitlin Dowling, Newburyport.com Correspondent
Caitlin is a freelance editor/writer and former news producer for CNN. As a local mom of three, her family can be found enjoying all Newburyport has to offer, from strolling downtown to biking the rail trail to swimming at the beach.
Green Expo, Net Zero Newburyport

For anyone wondering how they can do their part to help the environment, the upcoming Greater Newburyport Green Expo on Thursday, April 11 from 4-8 PM at the Rupert A Nock Middle School is the perfect place to start.  From speakers to interactive exhibits, the Green Expo aims to educate people of all ages about sustainability through net zero strategies. At this free event, attendees will enjoy products and programs from over 30 of the area’s most exciting eco-friendly companies. Click to view the full agenda of exhibitors and speakers.

Whether you are a residents, business leaders, educators, or students, the Green Expo has something for everyone. Learn how to reduce your carbon footprint and lower your emissions, tips for recycling, ways to create an eco-friendly home, energy efficient improvements, nature friendly landscaping, and more.

Among the exhibitors will be many hands-on activities and visuals including Newburyport’s popular Repair Cafe staffed and ready to take on repairs, a display of electric cars, energy consultants, and delicious healthy food options from For The Love of Food and Drink.

You can also expect to visit with non-profit organizations—including the Mass Audubon, the Newburyport Farmer’s Market, and Our Neighbor’s Table—to name just a few. These exhibits will focus on issues like clean water, local food production, waste reduction, and more.

Equally exciting, the Green Expo’s featured speaker, Newburyport Mayor, Donna Holaday, will share plans to create a Net Zero Newburyport, unveiling strategies to to put the city on a path toward zero waste and carbon neutrality. Senator Diana DiZoglio and Representative James Kelcourse will also be attending to Green Expo and making opening remarks.

The overall purpose of the Green Expo is to teach communities how they can come together to address environmental issues like energy use, waste, and resiliency to confront climate change.  So whether you are looking for ways to improve energy use at your business, cut down on waste consumption as a local resident, want to learn more about going net zero, or you would to teach your child how they too can make an impact, this event has it all covered. Visit the Green Expo website to learn more about this important community initiative.

Platinum Sponsors: National Grid, N.E.T.R. Inc, and Revision Energy.

Gold Sponsors: Amesbury Industrial Supplies, Home Works Energy, Lombardi Oil, Beach Plum Flowers, Eastern Insurance, Apex Green Roofs, Serv Pro, Sun Bug Solar, RevolouSun, Window Woman, Andrew Sidford Architects, Green Cocoon, North Shore Home Energy, Graf Architects, Energy Source, Kearney HVAC, Rescom, Renewal by Andersen, High Road Farm, Black Earth Compost, Hall & Moskow, and Castagna Construction.

 

 

 

Fairy Gnome Discovery Walk – Experience & Explore Magical Fairy Houses

By Caitlin Dowling, Newburyport.com Correspondent
Caitlin is a freelance editor/writer and former news producer for CNN. As a local mom of three, her family can be found enjoying all Newburyport has to offer, from strolling downtown to biking the rail trail to swimming at the beach.
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Put on your best and brightest wings, sprinkle a little fairy dust and head to the fourth annual Fairy Gnome Discovery Walk for a magical stroll through the woods to search for nearly 200 fairy houses. Mark your calendars for May 4th and 5th from 10 am to 3 pm for this whimsical event at Pettengill Farm, 45 Ferry Rd., in Salisbury Hosted by the Salisbury PTA, this event will transport your family to a pint sized world fit for Tinker Bell and all of her fairy friends. Tickets are available in advance online or at the ticket booth on the day of event.

You and your little fairies will frolic through a one mile path, discovering surprises along the way. Situated throughout the woods, children will delight at finding tiny fairy houses, some humble abodes with a small swing outside to sizable (for fairies of course) estates with numerous rooms, pools and more. Be on the lookout for a butterfly themed home, some bookworm fairies and a possible village! All of these enchanting creations are the work of talented professionals, families, school children, and local businesses.

While fairy houses may be very small, the Fairy Gnome Discovery Walk is a BIG day, complete with activities, entertainment and food. Spread your wings and dance to live music with David Torrisi, check out a performance with Theater in the Open, get your face painted and create fairy themed crafts with local groups like Macaroni Kid, the Greater Newburyport Mother and Families Club and Salisbury Public Library. And when you’ve worked up an appetite from all the fun, as we’re sure you will, the Fairy Gnome Discovery Walk will also have delicious local vendors serving up fresh eats from BBQ to pizza to sweets. We’re told there will even be a s’mores bar this year and to be on the look out for a very special Harry Potter drink.

Costumes and imaginations are strongly encouraged, so come dressed to impress in your fairy finest. There will be fairy inspired attire and accessories for purchase for those in need of a wardrobe update. Make sure to check out the Salisbury PTA’s stand, for tutus, wands, wings, gnome hats, snacks and more. Everything for purchase at their stand costs under $3 a piece, so you won’t break the bank.  And yes, parents, you can also dress up. After all, fairies have moms and dads too!

The fairy house walk is hosted by the Salisbury PTA, who raise money throughout the year to put on special events as well as to fund field trips, assemblies, college scholarships and other activities that enrich Salisbury Elementary’s curriculum.

Please note, the Fairy Gnome Discovery Walk will happen rain or shine.

GNFC Adult Purge & Purchase Sale – Designer and Name Brand Deals!

By Caitlin Dowling, Newburyport.com Correspondent
Caitlin is a freelance editor/writer and former news producer for CNN. As a local mom of three, her family can be found enjoying all Newburyport has to offer, from strolling downtown to biking the rail trail to swimming at the beach.
GNFC,, designer, name brand clothing and accessories

Love shopping? Love great deals? Stop by The Greater Newburyport Mothers and Families Club Purge & Purchase consignment sale to shop a huge array of designer and name brand clothing, shoes, and accessories for both men and women. Purge & Purchase will open from 6 to 8 p.m. on Feb. 8th and from 8 a.m. to noon on Feb. 9th  at the Plum Island Taxpayers Association Hall.

If you plan your visit for Friday, the evening doubles as a Sip & Shop. That means you can enjoy a glass of wine or beer and light appetizers while scanning the racks for the perfect additions to your wardrobe.

What can you expect to find? The GNFC promises name brand and designer items that are priced to sell from roughly 100 different sellers. Be on the look out for designer names like Burberry, Gucci, Jimmy Choo, and Kate Spade, and name brand items by Ralph Lauren, J. Crew, and Anthropologie, to name just a few.

If you’d like to clean out your closets before filling them up with your new purchases, the club is still accepting new sellers with gently used brand name and on-trend items. To be a part of Purge & Purchase, simply set up your account online. 70% of all sales go directly to the seller and GNFC plans to donate a portion of it’s proceeds to a local charity. The sale is open to both members and nonmembers, to shop and/or sell.

To ensure you get first dibs on all the designer and name brand goods, consider volunteering to help. All volunteers will get exclusive access to pre-shop the sale on Friday from 5 to 6 pm before doors open to the public.

Greater Newburyport Mothers and Families Club is no stranger to hosting these large scale sales as they have put on a very successful bi-annual children’s consignment sale since 2008. The club is celebrating it’s 15th anniversary this year and excited to kick off their big anniversary year with an event to benefit adults in the community.

 

Newburyport Early Education Fair – Hosted Annually by GNFC

By Caitlin Dowling, Newburyport.com Correspondent
Caitlin is a freelance editor/writer and former news producer for CNN. As a local mom of three, her family can be found enjoying all Newburyport has to offer, from strolling downtown to biking the rail trail to swimming at the beach.
Early Education Fair, Newburyport

Choosing a daycare or school for your child can feel like an overwhelming task, but the Greater Newburyport Mothers and Families Club is making it easier for families with their upcoming annual Early Education Fair. Visit Newburyport City Hall this Wednesday, November 7th from 6:30 pm to 8 pm to meet with over twenty early education schools and daycares from the surrounding areas, all in one place. The fair is free and open to the public.

Every family has different needs and priorities for their childcare, and researching your options can be incredibly time consuming… something all families can agree they are short on! The Early Education Fair, designed much like a college fair, gives parents the opportunity to move from table to table to learn about what each school or daycare has to offer. Teachers and representatives will be on hand to answer questions and offer information, ranging from flexible hours and costs to teaching techniques and philosophies, to help families select a school or daycare that matches their needs. Representatives from area Educational Foundations will also be available to answer questions about the local school districts.

Unsure of what exactly you’re looking for? The Greater Newburyport Mothers and Families Club will be handing out folders with a suggested list of questions that parents may find helpful to ask the teachers and/or representatives from the schools.

This annual Early Education Fair, now in it’s 19th year, expects a turnout of 50 to 100 parents. Enjoy light refreshments, socialize with other local families, all while planning your child’s future!

The Greater Newburyport Mothers and Families Club is a member-led organization that provides support, information and friendship for families with young children in the Greater Newburyport area. The club connects members with local family-friendly activities, events and educational programs to keep the community safe and happy.

NEF Lighthouse Auction Funding Critical Educational Initiatives

By Caitlin Dowling, Newburyport.com Correspondent
Caitlin is a freelance editor/writer and former news producer for CNN. As a local mom of three, her family can be found enjoying all Newburyport has to offer, from strolling downtown to biking the rail trail to swimming at the beach.
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Enjoy a fun evening out while helping a good cause, Newburyport’s local schools, at the NEF Lighthouse Auction Saturday, November 10th at Nicholson Hall from 6 pm to 10 pm.  The evening will be filled with complimentary hors d’oeuvres, a delicious dinner buffet, cash bar, raffles, and of course… lots of bidding!
This annual event raises over $100,000 that goes directly to the school system’s STEM programs, to enhance literacy, and to update classroom technology. Tickets are $40 per person online beforehand and $50 per person at the door. But beware, the event expects to sell out with around 250 attendees, so if you’re planning to go, grab your tickets ahead of time.
The Lighthouse Auction will be hosting a large silent auction that both party attendees, as well as those that can not make the actual event, can bid online. Hot ticket items include a private party for you and 100 friends at The Deck, New England Patriots tickets, and the coveted Big Green Egg grill. Along with the silent auction, the NEF will have an additional live auction with 21 items exclusively available to party attendees.
And if you love all things shiny and bright, local jeweler, M.K. Benatti Jewelers, will be holding a raffle drawing for a shopping spree at their store.  The first prize winner will be treated to a $3500 shopping spree, with second and third prize winners getting $1000 and $500 to shop for their jewels. Whether you called it an early night or you couldn’t attend the party, winners of the raffle do not need to be present to win. Tickets for the raffle can be purchased online.

The Newburyport Educational Foundation is a non-profit organization created to offset the financial pressures put on the Newburyport School System. These pressures include rising operating costs because of government mandates, technology needs and rising special education costs.

Witches’ Night Out Newburyport – Dress to Impress!

By Caitlin Dowling, Newburyport.com Correspondent
Caitlin is a freelance editor/writer and former news producer for CNN. As a local mom of three, her family can be found enjoying all Newburyport has to offer, from strolling downtown to biking the rail trail to swimming at the beach.
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Who says Halloween is just for the little ones? Grab your broomsticks and pointy hats and fly on over to the annual Witches’ Night Out on Friday, October 19th from 6 pm to 9 pm, where “big kids” are invited to haunt the streets of downtown Newburyport and the Tannery in their best Halloween getups. Plan a wicked girls or guys night out or have a scary fun date night and paint the town orange for this Halloween celebration. Couples and group costumes are always a hit!

During Witches’ Night Out, costumed revelers are invited to stroll through town and pop into participating shops that will stay open late for tricks and treats. Many stores get creative with eerie decorations and offer up spooktacular snacks and drinks. And while all of town will be frighteningly exciting, there are a few shops that always outdo themselves. Kevin Riley, owner of Partridge in a Bear Tree, is known for his over the top decorations for just about every holiday, and Halloween is no exception. This shop is a must visit for all witches in know. You may even find some great decorations and ideas to make your own house the spookiest on the block. Next, head up State Street to pay a visit to Fluke’s & Finds. Along with ghoulish treats and great shopping, you will also find owner Susan Dieker serving up her famous Witches’ brew. Just a quick broom ride across the street will bring you to Farley’s of Newburyport where owner Lisa Burke is known by all to host great shopping parties. Expect fun themed snacks and drinks and great shopping opportunities.

All witches, warlocks and anything else that goes bump in the night, are invited to end the festivities at The Grog for the Witches’ Night Out costume contest. The contest kicks off at 9:15 pm, but we all know witches like to have fun at night, so expect the party to keep on going.

To find even more fun events happening this Halloween season, visit our Newburyport EVENTS CALENDAR.

Japanese Summer Festival – Celebrate at Hana Japan Newburyport

By Caitlin Dowling, Newburyport.com Correspondent
Caitlin is a freelance editor/writer and former news producer for CNN. As a local mom of three, her family can be found enjoying all Newburyport has to offer, from strolling downtown to biking the rail trail to swimming at the beach.
Japanese Summer Festival, Newburyport MA

You only need to travel down to Story Ave. to jet set to another country and celebrate at this Japanese Summer Festival on Sunday, August 26th from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm at Hana Japan in the Port Plaza. From games to food to entertainment, this annual festival, known as Natsu Matsuri, is a fun way for the whole family to learn about Japanese culture. The festival is free for all ages with games, gifts and food available for a small cost.

Spend the afternoon enjoying traditional Japanese entertainment right here in Newburyport. Dance to Taiko (Japanese Drums) or relax to the soothing sounds of a Japanese harp called the Koto. Toast each other at a traditional Japanese tea, learn the art of Shodo, Japanese calligraphy, or bend and fold artistic creations with origami. 

The Japanese Summer Festival will also have fun for your little world explorers. They can try their hands at games young Japanese children play like yo-yo balloons, toy rifle shooting and goldfishing. If your kids enjoy dancing, partake in the kids dance lessons to add some new moves to their repertoire.

And of course, there is no better way to learn about another culture than to try out the local cuisine. The Japanese Summer Festival will have sushi, fried chicken called Kara Age, pan fried noodles known as Yaksoba and more. Expand your palate and challenge your little ones to try something new or indulge in favorite dishes you already know and love.

If your family really want to immerse yourselves into the Japanese culture, Hana Japan is even offering a Kimono rental for the day. Don’t forget to bring your own flip flops to complete the look.

The Hana Japan, run by mother and son team Miyano Takahashi and Kosuke, is a local favorite offering a traditional Japanese experience from the decor to the food. While the festival is only one day, you and your family can transport yourselves back to Japan anytime by visiting the restaurant, especially when you find yourself craving some more Yaksoba.

Best Outdoor Dining in Newburyport – Restaurants with Outdoor Seating

By Caitlin Dowling, Newburyport.com Correspondent
Caitlin is a freelance editor/writer and former news producer for CNN. As a local mom of three, her family can be found enjoying all Newburyport has to offer, from strolling downtown to biking the rail trail to swimming at the beach.
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The suns out, the weather’s warm, which means it’s time for some delicious outdoor dining, and nobody has better outdoor seating than Newburyport. From waterfront views to tacos on the run to classic New England seafood, our coastal town has it all. There are places great for kids and many that will even accommodate your four legged friends. If you are bringing your pup along for the day, pick a restaurant with a sidewalk/patio. Many will allow your buddy to hang just on the edge and some will even give them a refreshing bowl of water. So where will you be pulling up a seat for your next meal?

Hanging Downtown

If you’re hitting the shops downtown for a little retail therapy, there are tons of delicious outdoor dining options that won’t veer you off your path. West Row, in the Center of Newburyport’s Market Square, features a beautiful outdoor seating area located on the pedestrian only Inn Street, where you can frequently enjoy local musicians performing.

If your family is craving pizza or pasta, head to the opposite side of Inn Street to Oregano Pizzeria & Ristorante for classic Italian food or try their delicious Lebanese dishes. While the patio is technically on a sidewalk, the restaurant does a great job using greenery and plants to make you feel like you’re having a private outdoor dining experience.

Heading up State Street, the main drag in town, there are tons of restaurants offering sidewalk outdoor seating, so you can relax and still experiencing the bustle of Newburyport on a beautiful day.  If you’re looking to experiment, pop into The Paddle Inn for their eclectic menu ranging from Korean rice balls to fish tacos and everything in between, and of course equally creative cocktails. Brine, which describes itself as New England’s first Oyster, Crudo and Chop Bar, is your restaurant if your group fancies some caviar, a solid steak and oysters. Looking to pair a fabulous glass of wine with European style cuisine that locally sources exceptional cheeses, Charcuterie and creatively prepared entrees? Ceia Kitchen & Bar is where you want to pull up a chair. 

At the top of State Street, you can opt for a Guinness and bangers on the sidewalk patio at The Port Tavern, an Irish pub.  And if you’re not really into Irish fare, no problem, the tavern offers a mix of traditional Irish meals alongside classic pub favorites and a fabulous selection of beers.

Exploring downtown but hoping for dinner with a view? Sea Level Oyster Bar, offers substantial outdoor seating with a front patio overlooking downtown as well as a back patio overlooking Waterfront Park and the Merrimack River. Grab a seat out back and watch the boats come and go as you enjoy their extensive menu, ranging from a raw bar to sandwiches, pizza and lobster dinners. Come on a cool summer night and hang out by their fire pit for an after dinner drink.

Exploring ALL of Newburyport

While Downtown has its draws, Newburyport has amazing restaurants worth a quick walk or drive from the main area. 

Just a block off the center of downtown is Mission Oak, a delicious steak house situated in a renovated church. While the steaks are delicious, if you’re looking for a lighter fare, they also offers a more casual bar menu. Grab a seat on their sidewalk patio or the back patio, and enjoy a quieter outdoor seating option to the busy State Street restaurants.

A few more blocks west from downtown, feel free to drive as valet parking is complimentary, will take you to the Italian restaurant Andiamo. Their patio, which looks like a backyard garden lit up with overheard strands of lights, is always lively in the evening for both dining and drinks. 

Head east of town to the Tannery for delicious Thai Cuisine, and enjoy the side patio at Brown Sugar by the Sea

Just a half block down and you can drop into Starboard Galley for your seafood fix and enjoy outdoor dining with river views, or continue driving toward Plum Island to dine on award winning lobster rolls at picnic tables overlooking the marshes at Bob Lobster

If Mexican is what you’re craving, head towards the train station for this local gem. Metzy’s Cantina, a Newburyport staple, serves up a mean taco and margarita and has an awesome outdoor seating area where your kids can stretch their legs and play in the grass.

Quick Bites and Takeout

There’s so much going on in town, you may not want to stop and sit for too long. Newburyport has great options for privately owned quick service casual dining without the wait. If you want to grab a slice, Anchor Stone Pizza is your stop. While their cheese pizza is amazing, if you’re feeling more adventurous, try out their delicious specialty pies, all named after local spots. Order online or at the counter and enjoy great people watching from Anchor’s outdoor seating. If you’re looking for a table where you can relax and the kids can play, Purple Onion, which offers up healthy alternatives to fast food, has a small patio set up right outside the Inn Street Playground. However, if you’d like to grab a quick beer or coffee with that sandwich or salad, swing by Coffee Factory and snag a seat at their State Street sidewalk seating. As if these aren’t enough options, you can also walk down Pleasant Street to Dos Amigos for a tasty burrito at their outdoor dining area. They offer a great selection of creative options for kids and adults.

Sweet Treats

And no meal is complete without dessert. Grab a cone at Dolce Freddo Gelato and sit back and relax at a nearby bench or take your refreshing dessert down to the waterfront for a stroll. Feeling guilty about all the delicious food you’ve already indulged in? Opt for a healthier, yet equally satisfying snack, at The Juicery and kick back at their outdoor dining area. 

So if you’re looking for great outdoor seating options, Newburyport is the place to be. Just keep in mind that you can enjoy discounts at local restaurants and shops by presenting a valid Best of Newburyport VIP Card. The VIP Card Program rewards card holders with discounts every time they visit any of the 180 Greater Newburyport participating businesses. Purchase one VIP Card for $25 or two for $40 and $10 or 40% of your purchase is a donated to a local nonprofit partner of your choice. View discounts on Newburyport.com or by downloading the Newburyport App. Purchase  your VIP Card today and have fun saving to save on your outdoor dining expenses!

Newburyport Haunted House – Visit 13 Tilton Street if You Dare!

By Caitlin Dowling, Newburyport.com Correspondent
Caitlin is a freelance editor/writer and former news producer for CNN. As a local mom of three, her family can be found enjoying all Newburyport has to offer, from strolling downtown to biking the rail trail to swimming at the beach.
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If you’re looking for a good scare this Halloween season, look no further than the home of local Newburyport residents, the Pages, at 13 Tilton Street. With hundreds of spooky characters, lights, props, and sounds, this Newburyport haunted house is a big time operation. But be warned, we’re told someone actually ran out of their shoes last year!

Lights turn on at dusk and stay on until 9 pm most nights for anyone that wants to drive or walk by, but the real screams and shrieks will happen on Halloween night when this Newburyport haunted house gets even more realistic with the addition of ten people in costume. While they promise to take it easy on any little monsters that dare to visit, 13 Tilton Street is not for the faint of heart and parents may want to visit without the kiddies. The Pages don’t keep track of foot traffic, but popularity has grown each year, and one neighbor says she gave out 800 pieces of candy to trick-or-treaters last year.

Bruce Page, a family man and detective for the Exeter Police by day, is the mastermind of this spooktacular experience and has been adding to his collection for the past 17 years. The haunted house began with a single eerie butler in the window back in 2001 and has since grown to include over 100 characters, 40 skeletons and 86 light up pumpkins, among other things. A curator of all things spooky, Page tries to add to his collection each year  by shopping in Halloween stores, making his own homemade creations and has even taken on a friend’s inventory when he retired from the haunting business.

But while Page may head up the operation, he makes a big point in saying this is a huge effort with lots of friends and family helping out. Nick Dole, the Page’s tenant that they prefer to just call a friend, is right there on the frontline as Page’s biggest helper, setting up the lights, designing the skeleton tree, and daily tweaks. Daughters, Madeline, age 10, and Faith, age 6, may not partake in the set-up but are totally on onboard with their scary abode for the season and love showing it off to friends. And while wife Nicole is not into the elaborate decorations, she loves that the community enjoys it. 

The house at 13 Tilton Street is a family home owned by Bruce’s parents and grandparents before his own family, but that’s not where his passion for Halloween stems from. In fact, Page says his parents weren’t really into the holiday at all. However, just across the street, neighbor Richard Cook was stirring up scares and inspiring a young Bruce back in the day. Page says Cook use to dress up in costume and chase trick-or-treaters with a pretend chainsaw on Halloween.

This year, if you have the guts to visit this Newburyport haunted house, be on the lookout for Page’s newest addition, the blade wielding guy of nightmares, Freddy Krueger. And if you aren’t too scared, say a hello to Bruce who loves to hang out, he doesn’t dress up in  costume, and watch the fun unfold on Halloween night.

Whether you’re planning on driving by or visiting on the big night, make sure you get there before October ends, come November 1st, the lights are out!

Snow Emergency and Parking Ban Info for Newburyport

By Caitlin Dowling, Newburyport.com Correspondent
Caitlin is a freelance editor/writer and former news producer for CNN. As a local mom of three, her family can be found enjoying all Newburyport has to offer, from strolling downtown to biking the rail trail to swimming at the beach.
Newburyport snow emergency, parking ban

The City of Newburyport will declare a snow emergency and parking ban when snow fall predictions for the area are at least 3 inches. Here’s a breakdown on everything you need to know when the city declares a snow emergency. And with snow, comes the issue of snow removal and resident responsibilities. Below are tips to keep you fine free and shoveled out when there’s snow fall in Newburyport.

 

How to Know if There’s a Parking Ban:

  • Look for the “Blue Lights”, flashing blue emergency beacons located at major intersections. These lights are turned on 6-7 hours in advance of the ban. When the lights are shut off, the parking ban has ended.
  • Call the Department of Public Services at 978-463-0472 or the Snow Emergency Information Line at 978-465-4464 ext. 1797.
  • The ban will be broadcast on Cable Access, WBZ radio and the city’s website homepage.
  • Sign up for email alerts by visiting the city’s website and selecting emergency alerts from the Department of Public Services

Where to Park During a Ban:

During a snow emergency all cars must be moved from public streets. Those that are not moved are at risk of being towed at the owner’s expense if the car directly affects snow removal, or fined a $50 ticket.

Residents may move their cars to any of these alternative parking locations during a snow emergency:

Green Street Municipal Lot
Cashman Park, (off Merrimac Street)
Cushing Park (off Washington Street)
Waterfront Lots, NRA Lot (behind Custom House)
Hales Court Lot (corner of Hales Court and Prince Place)
State Street Lot (corner of Harris Street and State Street)

All vehicles must be moved from these lots within 12 hours following the end of the parking ban or they will be towed/ticketed.

Snow Removal Information:

  • It may take several hours for snowplows to make it to your street, regardless of snow emergency status, but if you do think that your area has been neglected call 978-465-4464 to put in a snow removal request.
  • Property owners are responsible for removing snow and ice from sidewalks. This should be done within six hours after the snow stops if daytime or before noon if the snow stops during the night. Much like the parking ban, a fine of $50 can be issued for failure to shovel your sidewalk.
  • If you are able to help those in need of shoveling, contact the Council on Aging at 978-462-8650 or rrobillard@cityofnewburyport.com.

NOW get your weather LIVE from desktop, tablet or mobile at Newburyport.com/Newburyport-LIVE-Cams. 

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