Gabe Gregoire

Gabe Gregoire

Screen to stage, cats Included

Don’t you love it when you are vastly entertained, and still helping people or animals? "Kitty Critic Live 2" at SPACE Gallery (538 Congress St.) on Saturday, April 15 at 8 p.m. is going to be one of those times.

Kitty Critic exists mainly on the Internet. Treat yourself to a few episodes, and you’ll see a fine balance struck between musicians’ artistry and Daily Show-type satirical humor. Last year, SPACE brought the whole thing from the screen to the stage, and it was such a success that a second installment had to be produced.

If you haven’t hit YouTube yet, here’s a rough sketch: Musicians make a house call to one of their fans and his or her cat(s) and perform for them. The fan is then interviewed by master of ceremonies Jim LeJames. Hilarity, rest assured, ensues.

Some of the acts you may see on Saturday: Sorcha, Spencer Albee, Cormac Brown, Dana Gross, and many others.

And the helping part? The whole thing is a fundraiser for HART (Homeless Animal Rescue Team) of Maine.

Tickets are $10. SPACE may be reached at 207.828.5600.

  • Published in Pets

Hullabaloo at Kidabaloo!

Ready for a fun-filled day that will make memories? Check out ‘Kidabaloo’ at the Cross Insurance Arena starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday the 16th!

Kidabaloo is a touring festival that is unique to each city it visits, as it incorporates the services and products of local businesses, each with a booth, then adds a host of fun children’s activities, like a chance to be a guest radio DJ, exciting costumed characters, face painting, moon bounce houses, games, food, and kid-themed live acts. On top of all that, each Kidabaloo features a national star whom kids will be certain to recognize and enjoy. Here in Portland this week, that person is Brec Bassinger, who plays Bella in the Nickelodeon show ‘Bella and the Bulldogs.’ You don’t get much cooler than that!

  • Published in Kids

April vacation? Problem solved

Are you wondering what to get your 7- to 12-year-old involved in over school vacation this month, and you’re both animal lovers? Check out the Animal Welfare Society’s April Vacation Camp!

The camp is a week long, April 18 through April 22. It takes place at the AWS’s facility in Kennebunk (46 Holland Rd), making use of a classroom space operated by their Humane Education Program staff. An educator chooses suitable animals from the shelter, everything from dogs and cats to bunnies and gerbils, and teaches the kids about animal care and handling; making a difference; the connection between animals, people and the environment; and animal-welfare-related issues. It’s not uncommon for a student to fall in love with one of these creatures and spend long hours trying to convince a parent to adopt.

Stephanie Kelley, development associate at AWS, said, “It’s not just interaction with animals. Kids play games, participate in activities, and they’re encouraged to ask questions and explore. And most of all, they have fun.”

For more information, call Megan at 207.985.3244 x 109 or email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The cost for the camp is $125 per student. The registration form can be downloaded at

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Tiny tot time at the South Portland Public Library

Do you have a small toddler who still needs stimulating activities? Here are three local events geared toward kids three and under:

First, continue your child’s journey to literacy with "Book Bambinos," at the South Portland Public Library (482 Broadway) at 10:30 a.m. every Thursday. Children from birth to 18 months all get to follow along in a copy of the board book of the month as it is read by Miss Kim and the library crew. Lively rhymes, finger plays and bounces will keep the young ones fascinated and excited about learning to read. Story times are held outside on the lawn when weather permits, with blankets provided, so bring appropriate outdoor gear and clothing.

Next, let your child join together with other kids aged 18-36 months for "Tiny Tots: Messy Paint Time," at the Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine (142 Free St., Portland), at 10:15 a.m. on Thursday, April 7. Messy Paint Time is playful and dynamic, this week featuring the patterns and designs that the tires of toy cars leave behind when kids drive them through paint! Tiny Tots is a weekly event at the Museum, and is free with admission.

Finally, for more fun and learning, try "Toddler Story Time" at the Riverton Branch of the Portland Public Library (1600 Forest Ave.), also at 10:15 on April 7. More than just a simple reading, Story Time will have your kids singing, dancing, rolling a ball, and playing "‘Ring Around the Rosie." Talk about sensory input!

  • Published in Kids

The early bird gets the worm

Attention all dog walkers: Thursday, March 31 is the last day for "early bird" registration for the 11th annual Paws for a Cause 5K and Dog Walk, taking place in Freeport this fall, Aug. 27.

The benefit of being an early bird is that if you’re in time, you will be entered to win either an overnight for two with Maine Huts & Trails, or a $50 LL Bean gift certificate. Pre-cutoff registration for either the 5K or dog walk is $20/participant. After March 31, the registration increases to $25. (Registration the day of the event is $30.)

Paws for a Cause is the child of the Coastal Humane Society (in Brunswick) and LL Bean. The event is slated to raise over forty thousand dollars for Coastal’s work, including providing exams, shelter, vet care and food for over two thousand animals a year. And Paws for a Cause isn’t just walking and running, as fun as those things can be if your dog is with you. There will also be games for kids, food vendors, police dog and dog agility demonstrations, face painting and dunk tanks, not to mention a slew of dog-related contests.

The idea, as a participant, is to use the Internet link you are provided with upon registration to spread the word and have your friends, family and coworkers contribute to your walk or run. Prizes, in the form of generous LL Bean gift cards, are awarded for different levels of success in fundraising. So be an early bird, and go to to register!

  • Published in Pets

PMA Features Talented Kids

Do you put your kids’ artwork up on the fridge? Would you like to take a look at children’s art that was chosen from all over the state of Maine? Check out the 22nd annual exhibition celebrating Youth Art Month at the Portland Museum of Art, through April 3rd.


Youth Art Month focuses on schools in Maine and the influence they have on the state’s future generations of artists. The idea is to build public support for quality school art programs, which have been shown to encourage appreciation for others, self-esteem, and self-discipline in students, as well as teaching problem-solving and critical thinking skills. Youth Art Month has been observed nationally since 1961, and sponsored by the Maine Art Education Association (MAEA) since 1980.


The PMA exhibit features over a hundred works by K-12 Maine students.

Manon Lewis, MAEA’s coordinator of Youth Art Month, said, “Students who have their artwork exhibited at the Portland Museum of Art have the powerful experience of having their work hung near the works of masters, in a very prestigious environment. This lends a sense of legitimacy and importance to their artistic explorations and their creative product. Students and their families are thrilled by this honor.”

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Animal sounds: Maine POPS Concert Band concert helps refuge league

The Maine POPS Concert Band presents “All Creatures Great and Small,” a musical tribute to our furry (and not so furry) animal friends, at 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 26 at the Falmouth High School Theater (74 Woodville Rd, Falmouth).

The concert will feature favorites like "Peter and the Wolf,” "Jurassic Park,” "The Waltzing Cat," and "All the Pretty Little Horses,” among others. Maine POPS has teamed up with the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland for this event, and a donation drive will be held. Concert attendees are encouraged to give, or simply bring something on the League’s wish list, available at Items like canned cat food, grain-free dog food, and toys are always in high demand, the league noted.

There is also a pet photo contest, open to all. Email your favorite picture to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to be entered to win.

Maine POPS director Nina Oatley Walsh said, “The theme of the concert came to us musically (I try to do two themed concerts a year), but it was a great opportunity for this collaboration with the ARLGP and their facility and their work.”

  • Published in Pets

Calling all young theater fans: Dramatic offerings for youngsters

Does your child have a dramatic streak? Two theatrical events this week are aimed at youngsters with a penchant for theater. First, "The Lunatic, the Lover, and the Poet," at the Portland Public Library (Monument Square) is a compilation of Shakespeare plays put on by Portland Stage’s Middle School Shakespeare Conservatory. The half-hour show takes place  at 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 24.

It takes the audience on a journey through 13 of the Bard’s plays, including Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, Much Ado About Nothing, Julius Caesar, Taming of the Shrew and more. These talented kids will expose children to some of the most famous Shakespeare speeches. "Think ‘To be or not to be,’ and ‘A rose by any other name would smell as sweet,'" the announcement noted.

Younger thespians (ages 5-9) will have a great time at the next event, "Play In Just One Day: Where the Wild Things Are," at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 26 at the Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine (142 Free St). Using the classic children’s story by Maurice Sendak, kids will collaboratively imagine far-off lands, play theater games, and make up a story for the stage of their own. At the end of the workshop, after a pizza break, caregivers will be invited to watch a short performance of the story. Where are the wild things? Right here!

The cost for the drop-off workshop is $15 for members, $20 for visitors. To register, call 207.828.1234 x231, register online (, or stop by the front desk.

  • Published in Kids

Farmer for the Morning teaches stewardship

Have you considered raising farm animals in place of traditional pets? If you live in a rural suburb and  have children, it’s a great alternative. Raise your own chickens or sheep, while keeping the kids busy without video games. But consider checking out some working farms together first. Most kids are big fans of animals, and Easter Weekend is a great time to start. One option is Farmer for the Morning, at Wolfe’s Neck Farm (184 Burnett Rd, Freeport) on Thursdays at 8:30 a.m. until May 19, including next Thursday, March 24. (The program does not run on holidays, school vacation weeks, or if there is inclement weather.)

Farmer for the Morning is a chance for children to see up close how a farm works and to interact with the animals that live there. Typical chores include feeding and watering the livestock, putting out hay, collecting eggs, and sweeping out the barn, all to make sure things run smoothly for the day and all the creatures are happy. Kids work and play under a farmer’s supervision. Even if you are not ready for the commitment it takes to supply an item on the menu at Vinland, it is still  a great experience for families with toddlers or preschoolers to enjoy together.

Jeannie Mattson, a WNF employee who often brings her five-year-old to Farmer in the Morning, said, "As a parent it is incredible to watch my son’s face light up as he watches a cow’s long tongue reach out for hay, or see him delight in finding an egg under a hen.  The program is also building a community of families that come together on Thursday mornings to connect with one another in this incredible setting."

No registration is necessary, just come and join in! The cost is $5 per person. Wolfe’s Neck Farm can be reached at 207.865.4469.

  • Published in Pets

Smiling Hill Farm rolls out the fun with Easter Egg Hunt

It’s the time of year to take the kids to see bunnies, chicks, and especially Easter eggs, at Smiling Hill Farm’s Easter Egg Hunt in the Barnyard, on Saturday, March 19 and Sunday, March 20 at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. on both days. The address is 781 County Rd (Route 22), Westbrook.

As a dairy, Smiling Hill keeps plenty of cows and chickens, with plenty of other animals to introduce children to farm life as they hunt for candy- and toy-stuffed eggs (limit 10 per child).

The Ice Cream Barn/Dairy Store will also be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and lunch will be served from 11 to 3.

Tickets cost $3 per child, and the hunt is BYOB (Bring Your Own Basket). Due to high demand, all tickets must be purchased before the event, either at the farm or by phone at 800.743.7463.

Children 10 and under are invited, with a special area for those 5 and under.

The rain date, should either Saturday or Sunday be inclement, is March 26 with cancellations announced on Facebook and on the Smiling Hill Cross Country Ski outgoing phone message. In the event that both days are rained out, tickets can be redeemed for $3 off any product or service offered by Smiling Hill in 2016.

For more information, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


  • Published in Kids
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