The Carroll Group | Andover Real Estate, North Andover Real Estate, North Reading Real Estate



There’s a lot going on at the Boston Children’s Museum where you can get your new year’s fortune in the Japanese House, make shaving cream prints at the STEAM Studio, see the tale of The Three Little Pigs at the KidStage and so much more!

After spending some time at the Museum of Science, taking a stroll through the Public Garden or ice skating at Frog Pond, refuel at one of Boston’s many outstanding restaurants.  There are 23 neighborhoods in and around the city that offer an array of cuisines and atmospheres, so there’s something for everyone. Here’s a list from

Speaking of ice skating, if you want to stay closer to home head to Brooks School on Sunday night.  For just $3 per skater you can glide around the indoor rink from 6:45-8:45 every Sunday through February 24th.

From Spirituals to Hip Hop: The Social and Political History of American Music, presented by the Stevens Memorial Library.  Using recorded music, film clips, and images Kevin Comtois, author and lecturer, will trace the evolution of American music.  A free event on Sunday from 2:30-3:30.

Do your kids love Imagination Movers? Here’s your chance to be a hero and take them to see a live performance!  The show takes place Saturday at Tupelo Music Hall in Derry at 11:00.

For some old fashioned fun, check out the Old Newbury Christmas Tree Bonfire on Saturday at Tendercrop Farm from 3-9 pm.  The 1690 Spencer-Pierce-Little Farm house will be open for tours 3-5pm, and there will be food, drinks & fun for the entire family! The event is free-- parking is $10 per car.

There’s a little bit of everything at Mill No. 5 in Lowell.  Partake in a specialty food tour, pick up some artisan cheese and locally made food, grab a coffee and sit awhile or take in a movie at the Luna Theater.

The Princess and the Pea hits the stage at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation Meeting Hall at 6 Locke Street on Saturday at 10:30 am.  Bring the kids to see the show and then stay afterwards to try on costumes!

There’s live music Saturday night at Crossroads at 8 pm, when Matthew Stubbs and the Antiguas perform.  The Boston musician, a guitarist since the age of 13, has been nominated for three Boston Music Awards and “Best Blues Act” in the 2018 New England Music Awards.  The self-titled debut from Matthew Stubbs & the Antiguas is a diverse and propulsive affair, combining psych rock with garage rock, acid blues and afrobeat.

Open Houses!  Beat the buyers waiting for the spring market and come check out some local open houses on Sunday.  For a list of properties, or to inquire about specific properties, feel free to call or email!

Is "Home Alone" one of your favorite movies?  It is in my house! Check this out!!!  "Home Alone" in Concert marries the screening of the movie at Symphony Hall with live musical accompaniment by the Boston Pops Orchestra.  Keith Lockhart leads the music while the Wellesley High School chorus performs the movie score composed by legendary Pops conductor John Williams.  Saturday and Sunday at Symphony Hall.

The sixth annual Community Concert at the Strand.  For this musical event, Mayor Marty Walsh has invited period orchestra Boston Baroque to Dorchester’s Strand Theatre. Witnessing the Grammy-nominated ensemble present compositions by Vivaldi and Bach is free, but a ticket is required. (Sunday, Dec. 30 at 2 p.m.; Strand Theatre, Boston; free; all ages)

Nothing says winter like skating at Frog Pond!  Head to the Frog Pond Skating Spectacular on Monday from 6-7 pm where you'll see synchronized skating teams, competitive figure skaters, and more, hosted by The Skating Club of Boston. This year’s featured performer is Ashley Wagner, an Olympic bronze medalist, world silver medalist, and three-time US champion. Boston Common Frog Pond, Boston; free; all ages)  

Pete Davidson and Friends.  You can catch the youngest current “Saturday Night Live” cast member at The Wilbur.  Although the identities of the “friends” billed to accompany the 25-year-old comedian have not been revealed, the evening will likely keep you chuckling and chortling through the last moments of 2018. (Monday, Dec. 31 at 9:45 p.m.; The Wilbur, Boston; $50; all ages)

Jamaica Pond First Day ParkRun.  For those looking to start the year on a fit foot, parkrun at Jamaica Pond will supplement its usual Saturday meetup with an extra run on Tuesday morning. The pack will come together at the bottom of the Sugarbowl for a 5 kilometer jaunt. If it’s your first time running with the pack, they request that you register to receive a barcode in order to track your time. (Tuesday, Jan. 1 at 10 a.m.; Jamaica Pond, Boston; free; all ages)

There's just no other comedic group like The Marx Brothers!  Spend the day with Chico, Groucho, Harpo, and Zeppo at Cambridge’s Brattle Theatre, where a marathon will be dedicated to screening some of the comedic family act’s most famous shenanigans. Fans have the opportunity to catch a single, double, or quadruple feature, all in 35mm film. (Tuesday, Jan. 1 showtimes starting between 1 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.; The Brattle Theatre, Cambridge; $8.50-$9.50 for a single movie, $12 for a double feature, $18-$20 for the marathon; all ages)

Jimmy Tingle at the Cabot!  The December 29th show at the Cabot Theater in Beverly will delve into what inspired  him to run for political office in 2018. It will be an insightful, compelling and very funny look at all aspects of his very serious campaign.  Tingle has worked as a humorist and commentator for 60 Minutes II and MSNBC and has appeared on The Tonight Show, CNN, Conan O’Brien, Fresh Air with Terry Gross and in his own HBO half-hour comedy special.

Norman Rockwell Museum.  Cultural Traditions: A Holiday Celebration explores the commonality and distinctiveness of peoples and their traditions around the world through the art and stories in children’s picture books. Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and the Chinese New Year are celebrated in over 40 original works created by six award-winning children’s book illustrators, highlighting our shared hopes and dreams for our communities and families.

Empresses of China's Forbidden City at the Peabody Essex Museum.  This exhibition is the first to explore the role of empresses in shaping China’s last dynasty- the Qing dynasty - from 1644 to 1912. Nearly 200 spectacular objects from the Palace Museum tell the little-known stories of how imperial women influenced court politics, art and religion, timed to mark the 40th anniversary of the establishment of U.S.-China diplomatic relations.

The final days of Winterlights.  You still have a few days left to wander through the twinkling fairyland created at The Stevens-Coolidge Place.  Don't miss out!

Open Houses.  

It may be a holiday weekend, but if you’re looking for a new home, you’ll have a number of opportunities to check out some open houses!  For specific addresses and times, just let us know and we’ll be happy to provide a list for you!

What Restaurants Are Open On Christmas Day?

Don’t celebrate Christmas? Don’t feel like cooking, serving or cleaning up?  Here are some restaurants that will be open on Christmas Day (and most also on Christmas Eve).  There’s a little something for everyone, from cookies to lobster, located from Boston to Beverly to the Merrimack Valley.  So head out and enjoy!

Looking for something on the “fancier” side?  Head into Boston.  Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, Smith & Wollensky, McCormick & Schmick’s and The Chart House are all open on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

A bit more local, Legal Seafood in Lynnfield and Peabody are also open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  

For a very informal meal, you can head to Boston Market in Chelmsford  for take out or sit-down.  IHOP in Salem, NH is also open (24 hours), so you will be able to satisfy that Rootie Tootie Fresh and Fruity craving.  

If you’d like to be in a more lively setting, you can take a drive to Beverly and check out the Anchor Pub & Grille.  The kitchen is open from 12-6 and the bar will be open from noon to 1 am!

The traditional choice of Chinese food is always a good option.  Jade North Andover, Lee Chen and China Blossom will all be open (as will many others in the area), although the buffet hours may be shortened and full serve menus may be limited.

Coffee, pastry, sandwiches?  Starbucks on Rte. 114 in North Andover and at The Loop will be open from 7 am to 3 pm.  

Speaking of The Loop, want some entertainment with your meal? AMC Theaters at The Loop in Methuen will be open.  You can grab some nachos, chicken tenders, pizza and popcorn and wash it down with a beverage from the concession stand or the bar, then settle into a reclining seat and enjoy a movie!

Whatever you do, wherever you go, The Carroll Group wishes you a safe and happy long holiday weekend!


You may not notice odors in your home, but buyers and their agents are sure to sniff out any little smell!  While you can try to mask odors with a room freshener or perfume, that masking smell itself may come across as offensive.  Instead, you'll need to actually refresh rooms.  Here are some tips for the most stubborn and common odors found in a home.

The Kitchen:

- Refrigerator: Once a month place an open box or small dish of baking soda on a shelf in the back of the fridge
- Sink: Pour 6 tablespoons of baking soda and 6 tablespoons of salt down the drain, followed by a small pan or kettleful of boiling water. This is great for clogged drains too.
- Cooking Odors: Open the windows in good weather, and throughout the year, boil a few tablespoons of vinegar in water. 
- Trash and Recycling Bins: Remove the bag (if you use a bag to line the bin) every tie you empty the bin and sprinkle in come baking soda.  Every third or fourth time, rinse the bin out with soapy water and put it out in the sun to air out and dry. 

Laundry and Bathroom:

- Washing Machine: Add a scoop of baking soda to every few washes. Not only does it remove smells, it brightens clothes too.  Front loading machines are known to create more mildew and odors than top loading machines, so be sure to wipe the rubber door gasket with a cloth with baking soda on it and leave the door open between washes. 
- Toilet: sprinkle some baking soda around the back of the seat at the tank and place a couple of lemon halves in the bowl. Let sit for a few hours, then discard the lemons and flush away the baking soda.  Have you noticed yet that baking soda has a great number of uses besides cooking?

Around the House:

- Carpet: Sprinkle with baking soda and leave for several hours, then vacuum up.
- Furniture: If you have removable seating covers, wash them (if washable) with baking soda.  Febreeze spray also eliminates odors and leaves a soft fresh smell behind.  For fabric sofas and chairs you can use a carpet cleaning machine.  Or sprinkle the cushions with baking soda, let sit, and vacuum the baking soda up.
- Closets and Bedrooms: Place a small dish of used coffee grounds or cinnamon in a small dish in a discreet place.  Sprinkle baking soda in shoes.  Keep sports equipment (especially hockey!) outdoors in a shed if possible, or at least in a garage or someplace where air can easily circulate. 


What the Dickens is going on this weekend?  Lots of things, including:

What the Dickens takes place at the John Hancock Hall on Berkeley Street in Boston.  Performed by the Cambridge Youth Dance Company, the show is a Scrooge-inspired dance theater piece that includes tap, flamenco, ballet and other dance genres to tell modern version of the Dickens classic “A Christmas Carol.”

Friday Night at the Castle at the Crane Estate in Ipswich from 5-8 pm. Enjoy live music, light appetizers, a cash bar and guides in each room while you take a peek at the mansion all decked out in its holiday finery.

Flashlight Candy Cane Hunts at the park at Chestnut and Bartlett Streets in Andover from 6-7:30 pm  (3 age groups) on Friday. $5.00 per child. For schedule and to register:  or head to the one at Endicott Park in Danvers on Friday with a surprise visitor to kick off the event at 6 pm, with hot chocolate around the fire after your successful hunt! Free event, but registration required

Community Messiah Sing Along at the First Parish Congregational Church in Wakefield.  Singing optional! Held in the Church sanctuary, a 15-piece orchestra and professional soloists will lead the singing, including works by George Frederic Handel and the Hallelujah Chorus.  This is a free event but donations will be accepted to go to Housing Families. Friday at 7:30 pm.

Step back in time as the Theatre Company of Saugus presents “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the America Legion in Saugus.  The show is performed as a 1940s radio play adaptation of the classic holiday movie.

Tune up your voice and prepare to join in on the Boxford Grand Illumination on Sunday.  Meet at the corner of Middleton Road and Elm Street at 5 pm to join in the home-to-home caroling, concluding at the historic Holyoke-French House for free cider and cookies.

Lights, Lights, and More Lights!!!  If you’re in the mood to see some of the best and brightest holiday light displays this weekend, take a look at this interactive map and chart your course!

Artisan Market at the Mills Pop-Up Shopping on Thursday from 10:30-2:30.  Buy local! All sorts of items made by area crafters.  Then head to The Wine Lab or Jade North Andover and refuel!  Because you’re going to need it when you head over to the Everett Mills for the Vineyard Vines sale from 10-6 from now through December 22nd!

The Jungle Book KIDS! Head to this specially adapted version of the classic Disney film, presented by Real School Andover at 3 Dundee Park on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Say hello to Balloo and other favorites! For time and ticket info

Harry Potter fan? Lego fan? Model train fan?  Check out the Wenham Museum's Hogwarts Castle and Hogsmeade Village coming to life in LEGO bricks, complete with the Hogwarts Express traveling through the village and right to the castle!  You can also role play the characters from the Harry Potter books as you dress up and play Wizard’s Chess! Open 10-4 daily, closed on Mondays.

Haven’t been to The Stevens Estate yet?  Here’s your chance! The 4th Annual Holly Days Open House takes place Friday - Sunday.  Tour the mansion, enjoy complimentary refreshments and visit with Santa if you’re so inclined.

2nd Annual Holiday Sip & Shop at Battlegrounds Coffee Company on Washington Street in Haverhill on Friday fro 6-8 pm.  Choose from a selection of wines, beers, hot chocolates and coffee while shopping for gifts from local artisans. 

Stop in at The Cork Stop on Osgood Street in North Andover on Saturday from 3-6 for a little holiday wine tasting!  You can also sample Mr. Tom’s Vodka and purchase raffle tickets to benefit the Blanket Me Foundation.

Open Houses.  

 If it’s Sunday there must be some open houses!  For a list of addresses and open house times in the area, just let us know!