Top New England Family Vacation Destinations

Ogunquit, Maine

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Ogunquit means beautiful place by the sea, and there couldn’t be a more fitting name for our #1 vacation destination pick. Ogunquit beach was named among the 10 best family beaches in 2015, so you can rest assured that your little ones will have a blast in a family friendly environment. For the adults, there’s a charming down town area with quaint shops and an ample selection of restaurants; for the seafood lovers, we highly recommend you try a lobster roll.

White Mountain’s, New Hampshire

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The best thing about our #2 pick, is that it’s fun for families all year round! For the winter sport enthusiasts, there are multiple ski resorts with trails for veteran skiers and newbies alike. When visiting in the spring or summer, the White Mountains are a nature lovers dream! You can take a drive down the stunning Kancamagus Highway, or fly through the trees on one of the many zipline attractions, and your little ones are sure to enjoy visiting storyland or Whale’s Tale water park.

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

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When thinking of a New England getaway, Cape Cod almost is almost always the first to come to mind. From Falmouth to Provincetown, there’s so much to see and do! You could spend entire summers exploring the vast waterways by boat or kayak alone! From whale watching to visiting to Whydah Pirate Museum, there’s sure to be an activity every member of your family will enjoy.

Call Tripjoy Advantage at (603) 689-7706 to find out how you could get a free overnight at one of these top destinations!

New Years in New England

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Did you know the first “First Night” celebration was held in Boston in 1976? A small group of artists wanted a place to celebrate the holiday together without the influence of alcohol, and from that gathering sprouted one of America’s most beloved New Years traditions. Boston’s celebration is America’s largest First Night, but there are lots of great celebrations all across New England for you to choose from to ring in the New Year!

Chatham MA

If you love Cape Cod, or live in the area, you won’t want to miss Chatham’s New Year’s celebration! There will be a circus, a fireworks display, and at midnight, a giant lighted cod drops!

First Night Chatham

Boston MA

Over a million people attend America’s oldest First Night celebration, which features giant ice sculptures and a word class fireworks display!

First Night Boston

Portsmouth NH

The best place to ring in the New Year in the Granite State is in Portsmouth, where the whole town hosts indoor and outdoor events throughout the day.

First Night Portsmouth

Newport Rhode Island

If you’re not the partying type, you can ring in the New Year in Rhode Island by taking a polar plunge into the waters of Easton  Bay!

Newport Polar Bear Plunge

Eastport Maine

New England’s most unique New Years celebration has to be Eastport Maine’s Great Sardine and Maple Leaf drop at the Tides Institute and Museum of Art. A giant maple leaf drops at 11pm, and at midnight is followed by an 8 ft sardine.

Sardine and Maple Leaf Drop

 

New Hampshire Ski Forecast 12/13

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Thanks to yesterday’s storm, ski resorts all across the state have opened more trails for some pre-holiday shredding! Weather conditions are looking great for the remainder of the week as well, with more snow expected for Saturday.

Bretton Woods: 35 trails open

Cannon Mountain: 52 trails open

Cranmore Mountain: 11 trails open

Gunstock Mountain: 17 trails open

Loon Mountrain: 25 trails open

Mount Sunapee: 14 trails open

Pats Peak: 13 trails open

Ragged Mountain: 5 trails open

Waterville Valley: 13 trails open

 

Say Yes to Timeshare!

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November 2nd marked the 3rd annual International Timesahre Appreciation Day all across the world! Our friends over at InnSeason Resorts asked their owners to share what they love about their timeshare, and what makes InnSeason Resorts the best in New England!

Here were some of our favorite responses:

“My Inn Season points began at Edgewater Beach in Dennisport whoch I loved, but who says timeshares have to tethered to one place!? You have taken me to many enjoyable family vacations. Thanks, Inn Season, for having such a caring and helpful staff. #Yes to timeshare #Yes innseason”

“What is there not to love about Surfside in Falmouth, with water views every where you turn. Love the new fire pit that we all look forward to every evening and catching up on everyone’s daily adventures. Many memories and friendships made for a lifetime. The staff is awesome and always make our stay as stress free as possible!”

“Innseason pollard brook has given our family so many irreplaceable memories. The view of loon and south mountain are breath taking. I’ll never forget the first time staying there. It was 1999. As thee years have passed walking into the foyer feels like home. Warm, inviting and lodge like. My children feel the same. It’s their home away from home. All the amenities are well kept and pleasing. I feel my children are safe there. I allow them to wander to the game room and playground. They are 9 and 13 now. My oldest has been going up all her life. She loves being able to take her friends with her now, and showing them how beautiful it is. The bike path is a favorite. And the brook that runs threw is amazingly beautiful. We rock hop there. Thank you for incredible hospitality and a decade of happy moments.”

“Love the Inn Seasons Resorts ❤ when your week/weeks come Its so exciting, weather staying in Ogunquit, Pollard Brook, and all the ones in Massachusetts , and the one up Maine Jackman I do believe … It’s always a wonderful time had by all! Each place has its own memories ”

“You all know I could live at my timeshare if possible. I Love the rooms, location, and most of all the staff. Your all like family to us. Not looking for the gift card just expressing my LOVE for The Falls at Ogunquit”

Crowd Pleasing Pumpkin Recipes

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In our opinion, you can never have too much pumpkin this time of year. Instead of making the same old pumpkin pie this year, try one of these delightful pumpkin recipes that all of your fall guests are sure to love!

Pumpkin and Cream Cheese Muffins

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 2½ c. sugar
  • 2½ c. flour
  • ¼ c. pecans
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 2½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • 1¼ c. solid-packed pumpkin
  • ⅓ c. vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly coat two 12-cup standard muffin tins with oil and set aside.
  2. Mix the cream cheese, 1 egg, and 3 tablespoons sugar in a small bowl and set aside. Toss 5 tablespoons sugar, 1/2 cup flour, pecans, butter, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon together in a medium bowl and set aside. Combine the remaining sugar, flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and remaining cinnamon in a large bowl. Lightly beat the remaining eggs, pumpkin, oil, and vanilla together in a medium bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, pour the pumpkin mixture into the well, and mix with a fork just until moistened. Evenly divide half of the batter among the muffin cups. Place two teaspoonfuls of cream cheese filling in the center of each cup and fill with the remaining batter. Sprinkle some of the pecan mixture over the top of each muffin and bake until golden and a tester, inserted into the muffin center, comes out clean — 20 to 25 minutes. Cool on wire racks.

Easy Pumpkin Swirl Brownies

Ingredients:

For pumpkin swirl filling:

3 oz. cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)

1 large egg

3 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

For brownies:

1 (18 oz.) box brownie mix

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9-inch square pan with parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat all filling ingredients with an electric mixer on low speed until smooth. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix brownie batter, oil, water and eggs as called for on box. Pour 3/4 of the batter into prepared pan. Pour pumpkin swirl filling evenly over batter. Pour remaining brownie batter evenly over filling. Swirl through batter several times with a knife for a marbled effect.
  4. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Cool completely before cutting into 16 squares. Store covered in refrigerator up to 4 days.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Snickerdoodles

Ingredients

  • 3¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. freshly-ground ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ¾ cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Filling Ingredients:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Cinnamon-sugar coating:
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • Dash of allspice

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together. Set aside.
  2. In a kitchenaid mixer with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugars on medium high speed until fluffy about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Blend in pumpkin puree, beat in egg and then add vanilla. Slowly add dry ingredients on low speed just until combined. Cover and chill dough for an hour.
  4. To make the cream cheese filling, blend cream cheese, sugar and vanilla together. Chill for an hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 and line your baking sheets with parchment paper. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and spices for the coating and set aside.
  6. To make the cookies, take a tablespoon of the cookie batter. Flatten it like a pancake and place a teaspoon of the cream cheese in center. Form another tablespoon of the cookie batter into a flat pancake shape and place on top of the cream cheese. Pinch the edges together sealing in the cream cheese and roll into a ball. Roll in the cinnamon sugar coating and place on the prepared baking sheet 2 inches apart.
  7. Repeat until the dough is gone and flatten the cookie dough balls with a heavy bottomed glass or measuring cup.
  8. Bake the cookies for 10-15 minutes or until the tops start to crack. Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and transfer to a wire rack. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Roll

Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • ⅔ c. canned pure pumpkin
  • ¾ c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 c. toasted walnuts
  • 1 package cream cheese
  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • ¾ c. confectioners’ sugar
  • ¾ tsp. pure vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a 15 1/2- by 10 1/2- by 1-inch jelly roll pan with cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment, leaving an overhang on two sides; coat the parchment with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar, pumpkin, flour, baking soda, and cinnamon. Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 cups walnuts and bake until the cake is puffed and a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean, 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Let the cake stand for 5 minutes, then sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup walnuts over the top. Place a clean kitchen towel directly on top, then a baking sheet on top of that. Invert the cake, then remove the pan and parchment. Starting from a long side, gently roll up the cake with the towel. Place seam-side down on a wire rack and let cool completely, about 30 minutes.
  4. When ready to assemble, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until combined. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Carefully unroll the cake, leaving it on the towel (there may be some cracking). Spread with the cream cheese filling, reroll into a log, and transfer to a serving platter.

Crowd Pleasing Pumpkin Recipes

pumpkins-in-basket

In our opinion, you can never have too much pumpkin this time of year. Instead of making the same old pumpkin pie this year, try one of these delightful pumpkin recipes that all of your fall guests are sure to love!

Pumpkin and Cream Cheese Muffins

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Ingredients

  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 2½ c. sugar
  • 2½ c. flour
  • ¼ c. pecans
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 2½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • 1¼ c. solid-packed pumpkin
  • ⅓ c. vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly coat two 12-cup standard muffin tins with oil and set aside.
  2. Mix the cream cheese, 1 egg, and 3 tablespoons sugar in a small bowl and set aside. Toss 5 tablespoons sugar, 1/2 cup flour, pecans, butter, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon together in a medium bowl and set aside. Combine the remaining sugar, flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and remaining cinnamon in a large bowl. Lightly beat the remaining eggs, pumpkin, oil, and vanilla together in a medium bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, pour the pumpkin mixture into the well, and mix with a fork just until moistened. Evenly divide half of the batter among the muffin cups. Place two teaspoonfuls of cream cheese filling in the center of each cup and fill with the remaining batter. Sprinkle some of the pecan mixture over the top of each muffin and bake until golden and a tester, inserted into the muffin center, comes out clean — 20 to 25 minutes. Cool on wire racks.

Easy Pumpkin Swirl Brownies

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Ingredients:

For pumpkin swirl filling:

3 oz. cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)

1 large egg

3 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

For brownies:

1 (18 oz.) box brownie mix

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9-inch square pan with parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat all filling ingredients with an electric mixer on low speed until smooth. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix brownie batter, oil, water and eggs as called for on box. Pour 3/4 of the batter into prepared pan. Pour pumpkin swirl filling evenly over batter. Pour remaining brownie batter evenly over filling. Swirl through batter several times with a knife for a marbled effect.
  4. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Cool completely before cutting into 16 squares. Store covered in refrigerator up to 4 days.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Snickerdoodles

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Ingredients

  • 3¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. freshly-ground ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ¾ cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Filling Ingredients:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Cinnamon-sugar coating:
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • Dash of allspice

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together. Set aside.
  2. In a kitchenaid mixer with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugars on medium high speed until fluffy about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Blend in pumpkin puree, beat in egg and then add vanilla. Slowly add dry ingredients on low speed just until combined. Cover and chill dough for an hour.
  4. To make the cream cheese filling, blend cream cheese, sugar and vanilla together. Chill for an hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 and line your baking sheets with parchment paper. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and spices for the coating and set aside.
  6. To make the cookies, take a tablespoon of the cookie batter. Flatten it like a pancake and place a teaspoon of the cream cheese in center. Form another tablespoon of the cookie batter into a flat pancake shape and place on top of the cream cheese. Pinch the edges together sealing in the cream cheese and roll into a ball. Roll in the cinnamon sugar coating and place on the prepared baking sheet 2 inches apart.
  7. Repeat until the dough is gone and flatten the cookie dough balls with a heavy bottomed glass or measuring cup.
  8. Bake the cookies for 10-15 minutes or until the tops start to crack. Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and transfer to a wire rack. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Roll

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Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • ⅔ c. canned pure pumpkin
  • ¾ c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 c. toasted walnuts
  • 1 package cream cheese
  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • ¾ c. confectioners’ sugar
  • ¾ tsp. pure vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a 15 1/2- by 10 1/2- by 1-inch jelly roll pan with cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment, leaving an overhang on two sides; coat the parchment with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar, pumpkin, flour, baking soda, and cinnamon. Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 cups walnuts and bake until the cake is puffed and a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean, 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Let the cake stand for 5 minutes, then sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup walnuts over the top. Place a clean kitchen towel directly on top, then a baking sheet on top of that. Invert the cake, then remove the pan and parchment. Starting from a long side, gently roll up the cake with the towel. Place seam-side down on a wire rack and let cool completely, about 30 minutes.
  4. When ready to assemble, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until combined. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Carefully unroll the cake, leaving it on the towel (there may be some cracking). Spread with the cream cheese filling, reroll into a log, and transfer to a serving platter.