The Society of Grownups


Where: The Society of Grownups, Brookline – Directions
When: Class & Event Schedule
How Much: Prices vary, some events are free

When you walk into the Society of Grownups building in Brookline, it feels like you’re walking into a hip coffee shop, not a financial planning center. You’re greeted with coffee and tea, but there’s much more than espresso being served here.

Society of Grownups is a financial literacy initiative started by Mass Mutual and IDEO in 2014. The group of seven people, who started the company, saw that a new generation was coming to adult age with little financial knowledge and no where to turn to for advice. The founders felt that millennials needed a type of financial planning that spoke their language.

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“We’re really trying to be a place that opens up the conversation about money and adulthood in general and what goes into that,” said Brandi Diaz, part of the Community Team at Society of Grownups. “There’s really no where to go, besides your parents, and what if they don’t know. This is a place where you can get trusted financial advice.”

The classes range from Loans and Groans: A Student Debt Workshop to Buying a Home: The Homebuying Process. Most classes cost $30 dollars and last an hour and 30 minutes. The financial planning center hosts free networking nights with ranging topics. You can also go in for a one-on-one financial planning session with a certified financial planner. Your first 20-minute session is free, and then they incur  a cost. A 90-minute session is $100 dollars.


The Social Beings Project


Where: Danger!AwesomeDirections
7:00-9:00 pm, weekday night – See website for up to date schedule
How Much: $10 per workshop

The Social Beings Project is a fun new series of workshops aimed at strengthening your social skills, meeting new people (outside of a bar), and having a fun time.

Founder, Katie Greenman, is a certified life coach, has a masters in Human Development, and graduated from comedy school. This diverse combination of qualifications reflects the kind of event this is. There are moments of real openness and truth, but always with a side of humor and light heartedness. Greenman is focused on creating a safe place for people to talk about the unspoken.

“You don’t often to have spaces to practice that or get support or talk to people on the same page,” said Greenman. “And so this is not group therapy at all in my mind, but it might kind of provide the same sense of community and healing through it.”

The event is held inside Danger!Awesome in Cambridge. It’s a makers studio that converts into The Social Beings meet-up.

The vibe inside the room was welcoming and excitable, and everyone wanted to know your name. The night started with brief introductions and a presentation about the night’s theme, spontaneity. After a couple group ice breakers, the 35 attendees split up into smaller groups and were each given an envelope. In that envelope was your mission for the night.


The Social Beings Project founder, Katie Greenman, facilitates a workshop. Photo by The Social Beings Project Facebook.

I was part of a “creative” team (other teams included self care and relationships). Our mission was to go outside and talk to strangers on the streets. We had to ask each question to ten different people and ourselves.

What is your favorite trait about humans?

What is your favorite thing about nature?

“It was really eye-opening,” said Social Beings Project attendee Sam Broadhurst. “It was interesting to see how random strangers on the street react to you when you go up to talk to them.”

This was a fun and unique event. If you’re looking for a laid-back and meaningful way to spend a weekday night, check it out.

Derby Day in Boston

An Excuse to wear Big Hats and Bowties

Where: Viewing parties all around Boston
When: Saturday, May 7, 2016
How Much: Fees vary

Whether you care about the horse races or not, the Kentucky Derby is a great excuse to do something fun and different this weekend.

The Kentucky Derby horse race is a held annually in Louisville, Kentucky on the first Saturday in May. The tradition of dressing up and attending the event has spread from the South all the way up to Boston.


Women dress in sundresses and big hats or hair pieces and men wear pastel pants, suit jackets and bow ties. The more outrageous, the better.

Most events around Boston were held in a bar or event space with gambling and alcohol readily available. TV screens showed the live feed of the horse race and everything had that southern charm.

If you didn’t get a chance to partake in the festivities this weekend, be ready for next year.

Boston Skydive Center

Jumping out of planes, stress free

Where: Boston Skydive CenterDirections
When: Open 7:30am-7:30pm – Call to make a reservation
How Much: $225 for a Tandem Jump

Boston Skydive Center is the closest skydiving center to Boston and Providence. Although it’s named after the Massachusetts city, Boston Skydive Center is located in Rhode Island.

The center is an hour drive from Boston and 20 minutes from Providence.

This location only does tandem jumps, which is great for first-timers. A tandem jump is when an experienced skydiver is connected with a harness to the student jumper. The guide leads the beginner through the entire experience from jumping out, freefalling, coasting in the parachute, and landing. This allows for minimal instruction and less stress for the new skydiver.

It took less than 20 minutes to get trained and my harness on before hopping in a small airplane that brought four of us 14,000 feet high.

The most frightening part was swinging my feet out of the airplane and onto the small step. The powerful winds were tugging at my legs, sweeping them off the step. Once I was in the air, I stopped thinking and enjoyed what seemed like a ten second free fall.

Coasting in the parachute was just as fun as the free fall, if not more. I had time to catch my breath and take in the view.

It’s natural and instinctual to fear jumping out of a plane with a stranger attached to your back… but don’t let it stop you from checking off skydiving from your bucket list.

I’m delighted that I can longer say “never have I ever gone skydiving.”

The November Project is Contagious

Wednesday breakfast = STAIRS

Where: Harvard StadiumGoogle Directions
When: Every Wednesday. Starting at 5:30 a.m. and 6:30 a.m.
How Much: A Hug… no but really, it’s free.

November Project is a free fitness movement with roots in Boston. They are now in 30 cities around the US and Canada.

The November Project started when two friends, Brogan and Bojan, wanted to stay fit during the sluggish month of November.

The Harvard Stadium workout on Wednesday morning is the original workout. It starts at 6:30 a.m. (with a “secret” session at 5:30 a.m.) and usually goes for 40 minutes, depending on the variation of the workout.

November Project Boston has two other weekly events: Monday #DestinationDeck and Friday Hills, both at 6:30 a.m.

Show up, get a great workout, and make a few friends.

Aeronaut Brewery is Where It’s At

In a Haze: Studying Marijuana

Where: Aeronaut Brewing Co. Google Directions
When: April 20, 2016 … 4/20
How Much: Free event, Cash bar

Aeronaut Brewing Company in Somerville has a budding event schedule. There’s something going on almost every day.

On April 20, the brewery hosted an event in collaboration with Harvard and the Cambridge Science Festival called In a Haze: Studying Marijuana. On the celebrated day of cannibus, 4/20, attendees came to learn about the science of marijuana and enjoy a craft beer.

Researchers discussed the challenges of studying an illegal substance (in Massachusetts at least). Topics covered the cognitive and environmental effects of marijuana, while reviewing how America’s stance on the drug has changed over time.

The goal was to open up a casual, intelligent conversation over hoppy beer.


Aeronaut’s Brewery in Somerville is a quirky, laid-back space that hosts some great music and events. Photo from Aeronaut’s Facebook page.


Check out one of Aeronaut Brewery’s many events or just go in for a beer. The atmosphere is creative, the beer is authentically delicious, and there’s something unrefined and real about it that I admire. They are a relatively new company with a relatable story.

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Co-founder Ben Holmes explained to me that the Aeronaut logo is more than just a beer can tab.


Extreme Bingo at the Green Briar

Not Your Grandma’s Bingo

Where: The Green Briar Irish PubGoogle Directions
: Every Tuesday night, 8:30 p.m.- 10:30 p.m.
How Much: Trivia is free to play, just buy your booze and dinner.

A crowd of 30-40 people huddled in The Green Briar in Brighton to play Mike’s Extreme Bingo on Tuesday night. It was only the fourth meeting of this game night, but already it’s gaining popularity.

“The Green Briar is really helpful with promoting it,” said the event organizer, Mike Janedy. The Irish Pub has a well attended trivia night on Wednesdays and other fun events throughout the week.

So you’re dying to know, what is extreme bingo??

If you’ve ever played real bingo, you receive a card with a series of numbers on it, and you check off the number if it’s called. In Mike’s extreme version he replaces the numbers with words and incorporates videos and music. Each round has a category.


My favorite round was 80’s & 90’s videos. Photo by Cat Trudell.

For example, the first round we played was cartoon characters. Mike would display a picture of Mickey Mouse on the screen, and you would check off “Mickey Mouse” if you had it on your card. The last round was female singers. Mike played a 30 second clip of Selena Gomez and you marked “I Can’t Keep My Hands to Myself” if you had it on your card. The first round you just had to get five squares in a row. The last round it was the first player to mark every square on his or her card.

Each round had a cash or gift card prize. My table won the last round! The gift card ended up being $25.

The game progressed so quickly, I barely had time to drink my beer or eat my burger … but I made time.

The game starts promptly at 8:30 p.m. and ended right at 10:30 p.m.

Marathon Monday in Boston

Boston celebrates one of it’s greatest traditions

Where: The Boston Marathon Route
When: April 18, 2016 – Annual marathon
How Much: Free to spectate

Marathon Monday, also known as Patriots Day, is right up there with St.Patricks day in Boston. Locals and visitors flock to Massachusetts’s city to run and cheer on thousands of racers in the world’s oldest annual marathon.


Massachusetts represented with the highest number of finishers, with California and New York coming in second and third.

According to the Boston Athletic Association, more than 30,000 people registered for the event. Ethiopia dominated the podium with both men’s and women’s top finishers.

Three years after the bombings, there is still so much Boston Strong pride surrounding this event. It’s impossible to attend the marathon without feeling the beating heart of the city. Mark Wahlberg was spotted at the marathon filming a scene for the new movie Patriots Day, set to release in January 2017.


Students from Wellesley College encourage runners at the halfway point in the 120th Boston Marathon. Photograph by Bob Betancour.

From the sidelines, spectators held signs with words of encouragement and humor. Local breweries and bars hosted parties, and Fenway Park was packed with shoulder-to-shoulder debauchery all day. It’s more than a marathon, it’s a celebration of athleticism, love, and pride. This is something you’ll want to participate in while living in Boston!


Whiskey Wednesdays

Gordon’s Liquor Store Buzzes With Conversation and Free Booze

Where: Gordon’s Fine Wine & LiquorsDirections
When: Every Wednesday, 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
How Much: Free tasting!

A crowd of fifty people gathered at Gordon’s Fine Wine & Liquors in downtown Boston on a Wednesday. It was 5:30 p.m. and everyone was getting out of work in the financial district.


Cheers to Wednesday. Photo by Cat Trudell.

“It’s a great store, delicious whiskey tasting, a handsome proprietor,” said Derek Weener of his buddy, Ken Gordon. “Whiskey served with a smile, that’s what brings me here.”

What better way to get over #humpday than sipping on some free whiskey? Every Wednesday from 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Gordon’s hosts a free tasting.  They have other events throughout the week, like wine tastings on Tuesdays and craft beer on Thursdays.

The Gordon family opened their first liquor store in Waltham in 1934. They now own five locations, with this one being it’s first in the city of Boston. The Temple Street location is relatively new, opening just four months ago on New Years Eve.


Whiskey pairs well with Wednesdays. Photo by Cat Trudell.

Bill Hall is an employee at the store in Boston. He says that some of their events bring in more than 100 people.

“Don’t wait for 10 of your friends to say they’re going to come with you,” said Hall. “You don’t need a partner. Come in, say hi, taste some wine, taste some beer, have fun, because you’ll make some friends at the event.”

Paint, Drink, and Be Merry

Drink a glass of Wine and Play Picasso

Where: The Paint Bar, Newbury StreetGoogle Directions
When: Events every day
How Much: $35-$39

The Paint Bar felt warm and welcoming when I stepped into the Newbury Street location this Tuesday. A place where you can drink a glass of wine like an adult, and paint like a kid.

If you’re looking for a fun and relaxing girls night, this is a great event. You have 30 minutes at the beginning of class to buy a drink from the bar, grab your complimentary paint materials, and settle in. An instructor then leads the group step-by-step through the painting of the same picture. Although everyone is painting the same scene, each picture comes out with it’s own unique touch.

The painting lasts about 2 hours. At the end, you take your masterpiece home.

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The Paint Bar was the first company like this to open in the Northeast, six years ago. Co-owner, Jackie Kerner Schon remembers the days when she had to explain to people what a paint bar was, but now it’s a popular concept.

“People want something fun to do with their friends,” she said. “It’s become another form of entertainment, like going to the movies or bowling.”

Jackie, and her mother Jill, are the definition of Girl Bosses. Their future goals for The Paint Bar are to stay small, local, and woman-owned. Jackie says they have their customers to thank for the journey.

“We have some of the best customers in the world. We’ve been to peoples weddings, funerals, births of their children. I’m getting married in the fall, and if I could, I’d invite them all to the wedding.”

Paint and drink companies around Boston: