17 guides to help you make the most of summer in New England


New England has a relatively short summer season, but we manage to pack a lot of fun things into those few months … from lobster, clam & blueberry fests to concerts, historic events and cultural heritage celebrations … plus, we have wonderful beaches, parks, hiking trails and natural resources. We’ve compiled a guide of events and “best of” picks to help you plan out your summer.

New England Festivals 2017 – 2018 Calendar – from everfest, search by category – such as performing arts, cultural, food & beverage, seasonal or holiday, etc.

Best New England Summer Events in 2017  – from the annual Best of New England travel guide, Yankee’s editors share their picks for the best New England summer events … 10 “best of” picks for each state. You can also sign up for a free travel guide.

2017 Events Calendar from VisitNewEngland.com, search by category of event or by date.

Discover New England – List of events and suggestions for things to do, as well as information about each state and a free New England Travel Guide.

New England Summer Festivals A to Z – 26 of the Best Summer Events in New England from tripsavvy

How to celebrate July 4 in New England – this is our post from last year, but most links are updated with 2017 information,

Folk Festivals in New England 

Historic New England Events

Best Summer Seafood Festivals in New England

Best Boston Events – Best festivals, fun things to do, weekend street fairs, kids activities, and free entertainment in Boston by month

New England’s Best Beaches – Town & Country Magazine

The best beaches in New England – Conde Nast Traveler

New England National Parks and Sites

55 Amazing New England Hikes – an interactive guide features everything from mapped locations, to difficulty levels – compiled by Boston Magazine.

Hikes New England

Bike New England – cycling routes & trails – including charity rides

10 Best Summer Road Trips in New England – Ready for a New England road trip? From back roads and small towns to coastal spots, these are the best summer road trips in New England.

Another reason why local insurance agents are a good bet


On more than one occasion, we’ve touted the many ways that buying insurance through a local insurance agency is a good bet – personal service, expertise, advocacy, risk mitigation and more. But here’s another reason — local agents give back to the communities in which they do business. They live locally, they hire locally, they buy locally – and they give back to the community.

Here’s a case in point – and it’s only one example among many: Mariela’s Miles.

Every year in May, Renaissance Alliance employees participate in a program started by a true rock star in our accounting department, Mariela. The program is called “Mariela’s Miles” in her honor.

The program raises $1.00 for charity for every mile walked by staff members during the month of May. Last year, the charitable recipient was the Veteran’s Associate Medical Center of West Roxbury, MA in loving memory of Mariela’s husband. This year, staff is raising money for Autism Speaks, an organization dedicated to raising awareness and improving the lives of individuals with autism and related conditions.

We are pleased to announce that between the Renaissance Alliance corporate office in Wellesley, MA and the Bakker Insurance Agency in Avon, CT we walked a total of 1,062.12 miles, raising $1,062.12 for a great cause.

We think that programs like Mariela’s Miles are an excellent way to support important causes that make the world a better place while having a secondary benefit of giving employees that extra little motivation to engage in a healthy activity.

We challenge other agencies to launch a charitable walking program. The American Heart Association offers a toolkit on how to set up a workplace walking program. Charity driven, employer-sponsored health initiatives are a great-win-win opportunity for your agency. Connect with a local charity and have your staff drum up some fitness challenges that your agency supports with a donation. Or if you’d prefer, you can connect with organized charity events.

Here are some events that you and your staff could get involved in:

 

Thank a teacher during National Teacher Appreciation Week


May 7 through 12 is National Teacher Appreciation Week – and the 9th is National Teacher Appreciation Day. If you stop and think who influenced and shaped your life the most beyond your parents, it was probably a teacher! Maybe you are still in touch with a few who had a particular impact on your life – if so, it would be nice to reach out and thank them. But even if you’ve long lost touch with your teachers, you could still offer a thank you to teachers everywhere with a note of appreciation this week on your social media feed.   The National Education Association suggest posting with the hashtag #ThankATeacher and offers some ideas and some graphics – or create your own.

One person who has always been great about encouraging and thanking teachers is Ellen Degeneres. These fun clips from the Ellen Show offer times when she recognized a particularly great teacher.

The first one in our clips is a teacher from Massachusetts …

This is a teacher from Maine …

And we love Mr. Bonner …

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Celebrate spring with Easter Egg Hunts, Patriots’ Day and Marathon Monday


This weekend, most of the country’s celebrations include Easter and Passover, but for many of us in New England, it’s also Marathon Monday weekend. In Massachusetts, Monday is celebrated as a state holiday, not for the Marathon, but for Patriots’ Day – which is only celebrated in Massachusetts, Wisconsin and Maine.

Every year, the Boston Marathon has been held on Patriots’ Day, the third Monday in April.  And since 1959, the Boston Red Sox have also been scheduled for a home game.

You can learn more about Why Boston Holds a Marathon on Patriot’s Day at a story that ran in The Atlantic a few years ago.

If you plan to attend the Marathon, the Boston Discovery Guide offers a Boston Marathon Guide featuring maps, schedules, routes, times, transportation, viewing tips and more. But if you prefer to celebrate the historical significance, see their guide to the Patriots’ Day Reenactment Schedule – 2017

Hopefully, none of the marathon runners or patriots will be stepping on Easter Eggs in their travels. Saturday is a huge day for for Easter Egg hunts, with many scheduled throughout the region – a great way to celebrate Spring outdoors with your kids.

Here is where you can find one near you:

Connecticut Easter Egg Hunts – 2017 and 2017 Easter Activities in Connecticut

In Massachusetts, find Easter Egg Hunts Around Boston; 2017 Easter Guide to absolutely every Easter event in Greater Worcester! and the Big list of Pioneer Valley Easter Egg Hunts.

Easter egg hunts and events this weekend in Rhode Island

New Hampshire Easter Egg Hunts 2017

In Maine, find Easter Egg Hunts for greater Portland

Vermont calendar of Easter egg hunts

Are you ready for the Super Bowl?


It’s one of our favorite days of the year, particularly when a hometown team is in the lineup: Super Bowl Sunday! OK, we hate to be a spoiler, but Teddy the prognosticating porcupine holds a 4 to1 record of correctly picking the Super Bowl winners – check out his prediction for this year’s game.

If you have football fever, you might enjoy this post about the first Super Bowl, which took place January 15, 1967 and wasn’t even called “the Super Bowl.” The post is authored by actor/comedian Eddie Dezeen, who delves into the history of the first game between the Green Bay Packers, led by their immortal coach Vince Lombardi and the Kansas City Chiefs, under coach Hank Stram. It was played in the Los Angeles Coliseum to the only non-capacity crowd in the event’s history.

Besides the sport itself, there are a few tried and true traditions associated with the Super Bowl.

Great TV ads – Here’s a preview of some ads that have been leaked already. Plus, don’t miss a selection of five of the most popular Super Bowl ads from all time – real classics!

Amazing snacks – See some of the best all-time stadiums made of food or get some recipe ideas from the Food Network’s Big Game Bash page

NFL Bad Lip Reading videos – here’s the latest

Puppy Bowl – if football isn’t your thing, then tune it to Puppy Bowl for an overdose of cute. All the animals on the show are shelter animals up for adoption. Here are some highlights from over the years

Super Bowl parties. If you are planning to host a Super Bowl party in your home, plan to ensure that your guests will be safe and you can avoid any host liability. The Insurance Information Institute explains:

Social host liability, also known as “Dram Shop Liability” laws vary widely from state to state, but 43 states have them on the books. Most of these laws also offer an injured person, such as the victim of a drunk driver, a method to sue the person who served the alcohol. There are circumstances under these laws where criminal charges may also apply.

At the link above, you can find some tips to promote safe alcohol consumption and reduce your social host liability exposure.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reminds everyone that Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk, and offers these tips for party-goers and hosts:

  • Designate your sober driver or have an alternate transportation plan before the party begins.
  • If you don’t have a designated driver, ask a sober friend for a ride home; call a cab, friend or family member to come and get you; or just stay where you are until you are sober.
  • Use your community’s sober ride program.
  • Never let friends leave your sight if you think they are about to drive and have had too much to drink.
  • Always buckle up – it’s still your best defense against other drunk drivers.

If you are hosting a Super Bowl party:

  • Remember, you can be held liable and prosecuted if someone you served ends up in a drunk-driving crash.
  • Make sure all of your guests designate their sober drivers in advance, or help arrange alternate transportation.
  • Serve lots of food and include lots of non-alcoholic beverages at the party.
  • Stop serving alcohol at the end of the third quarter of the game and begin serving coffee and dessert.
  • Keep the numbers for local cab companies handy, and take the keys away from anyone who has had too much to drink.