Category Archives: Review

Our Night at Blue Man Group in Boston at the Charles Playhouse

At Blue Man Group

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We received complimentary tickets to attend Blue Man Group at the Charles Playhouse in Boston. Opinions are our own.

We took the kids to see Blue Man Group tonight for their first time ever. I thought it would be an incredible experience for Andrew because he loves sound and movement and making all sorts of noise. Things were going really well until….

I’m getting ahead of myself here. We arrived at the Charles Playhouse and there was a little lounge area where they had a souvenir kiosk and bar and bathrooms. But on the wall they had an interactive display that the kids enjoyed playing with. There was PVC pipe connected to speakers and also wall displays. If you pressed down on these pieces of pipe then a sound would go off and a ripple of color would go out. It was super cool. The kids had fun playing with this while we waited to be seated.

the sound wall

The lobby also had something else that I enjoyed. that was an image of the Blue Man Group logo done in LEGO by a master builder from the LEGOLAND Discovery Center Boston.

Lego logo

When it was time to go up into the theater we were shown our seats and they were directly behind the “Splash Zone” seats. We were going to be pretty close to the action. I liked that the theater not only had booster seats for the kids but also ear protection from the louder parts of the show. We got both for Andrew and those were complimentary. That was a bonus. Then the show started and everything was going well, it was funny and entertaining. Andrew was a bit creepted out by the Blue Men themselves. He’s a bit of an anxious kid as we are slowly discovering. But he had fun and was laughing and loved a show section that was done with giant phones. It was all amazing and silly and cool.

Then they started playing music on some pipes and that was great. Such fun sounds and it just totally rocked. Then the Blue Men pulled out a camera from the pipes. They were looking into it and being silly and then they went into the audience and found a guy and put the camera on him and then the video showed the camera going down his throat. Now, obviously the camera itself did not do that and travel through the guys body but a little kid does not realize this and Andrew freaked out. He wanted to get as far away from the theater as he could at this point. While that was done for a comedic thing it was actually pretty traumatic to see the inside of the body which is weird and freaky. Andrew could not get the image out of his head even though he turned his head right away and I covered it until that segment was over.

The show got back on track with music and more but each time the giant PVC pipe instrument came out Andrew tensed up. I reassured him that there would be no more of that sort of thing and we’d see more music and funny stuff. Andrew wasn’t having it. He just wanted to be done with the show.

Other than the part with the camera inside the body this was a spectacular show and was so much fun. The whole show is so inventive and cool. I thought that Andrew would really love it because of how the Blue Men made music with so many different things. His favorite part was with the marshmallows. I won’t spoil that but it was super cool to see.

After the show the Blue Men were on hand for selfies. Andrew wanted no part of it but Eva went with me to get a photo. We had fun doing all sorts of silly selfies. She loved the show and had a great time. Continue reading Our Night at Blue Man Group in Boston at the Charles Playhouse

Review: Patrick Barney’s A Journey Into the Hinterland Coloring Safari Book

Coloring Book

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We received a copy of Patrick Barney’s Journey Into the Hinterland to use and review. Opinions are our own.

There are kids coloring books and adult coloring books but what about coloring books for teens and tweens? Coloring is a fun way to relax and chill out. I definitely believe that our teens and tweens need that chill out time more than most. With all the screens and things coming at them it is nice to get some time to unplug and just be creative. So, when I was asked if I wanted to review a new coloring book series from High school teacher-turned-author, Patrick Barney, I said yes.

Patrick has not only made straight up coloring books but also books that are both coloring books and mazes. He’s interwoven his mazes into the narrative of the coloring book adventure. We went with the coloring book A Journey Into the Hinterland. The book has 50 pages for coloring. The style is interesting, it seems like doodles that you would find a tween or teen making. Bug eyed animals that look vaguely like the animals but have a charm to them. There are tons of things to color, too. lots of designs and details and humor. the book has some very humorous pages found within.

Patrick also has a set of books around a couple of characters called Wally & Sidny and Juniper & Sally. His books Wally & Sidny – Travels ($10) and Juniper & Sally – Travels ($10) are sci-fi in theme. They are 71 pages and are both coloring books and elaborate maze books.

amazing travels

“Each page of the maze is pictorial,” explains Barney in one of the newest of his 16 books in Barnes & Noble’s online library, “involving places and creatures shown by Wally & Sidny and Juniper & Sally in their previous ‘Travels’ books. I’m not aware of any other previous maze books done in this style and manner.”

One advantage mazes like Barney’s can provide is that the ultimate goal is basic – just find the way out. And while kids are having fun, they experience a boost in their problem solving, visual motor and fine motor skills. Both hemispheres of the brain get a workout and kids have a marvelous story to tell their friends when done.

In addition to the aMAZEing book, now online at Barnes & Noble are three more of Barney’s coloring books: Caravan of Creatures, A Journey into the Hinterland and The Floppy Eared Bipedal Pachyderm & Other Oddities. Each paperback retails for $10.

You can learn more about Patrick Barney and his books at www.patrickbarney.com. There you can order his books through Barnes and Noble.com.