Cleaning Out Your Car After Summer

cleaning out your car in Hadley, MA - washing blue vehicleMaybe it’s been a long summer. Perhaps you have gone on vacation, ferried the kids to soccer camp, or been through a few camping trips. In any case, you might have some cleaning to do now that the little ones are back in school. Cleaning out your car in preparation for fall and winter can be a major undertaking, so here are some major points you should hit.

Wash Your Car

This might be an obvious tip, but when cleaning your car always start off with a sparkling exterior. Make sure to get the undercarriage of your vehicle, too, and do your windows last – soapy water drips down and gets windows dirty again!

Separate “Toss” and “Keep” Piles

If you have a lot of junk in your vehicle, bring out a box and a trash bag. Put all the garbage you don’t want, like fast food wrappers, in the trash bag, and put the things you want to keep in the box.

Scrub the Floors

It’s a good idea to scrub the carpeted floors of your vehicle so that you get out any stains or dirt stuck in the corners.

Vacuum

Finish up your floors by running the vacuum and sucking up any crumbs. Don’t forget the trunk!

Cleaning out your car can be intimidating at first, but if you take it step by step, the cleaning process gets much easier.

Local Halloween Activities in MA

local Halloween activities near Springfield, MA

Looking for local Halloween activities for you and your loved ones? Here are a few suggestions.

 

Great Pumpkin Nights

Families in Central Massachusetts love this fun festival, entering its 14th year! This all-ages event features over 3,000 carved pumpkins and a vintage passenger train ride.

Zoo Boo Days

If you’re looking for something tamer, this event at the zoo is great, wholesome Halloween fun. And as an added bonus, kids aged 3-12 who come in costume get in free at Southwick’s Zoo!

Frightfest

Six Flags New England is sure to thrill you with more than just its amusement park rides this fall season when it rolls out Frightfest. Exclusive Halloween-themed activities and costumed monsters and ghosts await you at this event.

Factory of Terror

Known as New England’s top haunted house, Factory of Terror is sure to scare a few screams out of you. Located in Worcester, with sister locations in Fall River and West Warwick, RI, the Worcester location features five different haunted attractions to make you scream.

13 Nights of Jiminy

This one is not for the faint of heart. In fact, no little ones under 10 are allowed! Head to Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort to explore the depths of the mountain’s haunted peaks, where villagers once lived in fear of creatures in the woods and deadly diseases.

Check out these local Halloween activities for a great time this October. We at Steve Lewis Subaru can’t wait for the fall fun!

Fall Festivals in Hadley, MA

Hadley MA Fall Festivals

 

If you’ll be in the Hadley, MA area this fall season, you’re in luck. Not only will you be able to witness the incredible fall colors as the temperature begins to drop, but a wide variety of fall festivals nearby offer plenty to do. Break out the sweater and check out these wonderful festivals happening near you.

 

Three County Fair

 

For those looking for a traditional county fair experience, the Three County Fair in Northampton celebrates an incredible 200 years of fall fun this year. If you’re searching for a great time with a hint of nostalgia for the whole family, the Three County Fair offers agricultural promotion, educational exhibits, competitions, food, horse demonstrations, games, and more. The Three County Fair starts September 1st and lasts until the 4th.

 

Apple Harvest Festival

 

What fall season would be complete without a fall apple festival? Luckily, the annual Apple Harvest Festival returns again to Amherst this year, promising fun for the entire family. Modeled after an old-fashioned New England community fair, the Apple Harvest Festival also features a large exhibition and sale of art by artists from around the country.

 

Oktoberfest Massachusetts

 

A quintessential fall experience for some, Oktoberfest Massachusetts returns to Hadley on October 14th. Featuring live music, food, games, and—of course—beer, Oktoberfest 2017 will be bigger than ever. Located at 138 East St., festivalgoers coming from outside of Hadley are encouraged to arrive via Uber, Lyft, taxi, or the shuttle from Amherst.

 

Whether you’re looking for family-friendly fun or a getaway with friends, you’ll have no shortage of things to do this fall if you’re in the Hadley area. Be sure to mark these fall festivals on your calendar now!

Tips for Road Trips with Kids

Tips for Road Trips with Kids - Steve Lewis Subaru

Taking road trips with kids can be a stressful experience. Kids can be distracting and definitely make things take a little longer than they would if you were by yourself. Here are some tips on road tripping with kids that will make things go smoother and keep you from going crazy.

Get snacks to keep your kids from getting hungry on the road. Choose dry snacks that you won’t mind cleaning up if they spill. Even if your kids have outgrown sippy cups, dig them out from storage and put their drinks in them so you don’t have to clean grape juice out of your nice tan seats.

Check out items from your library to keep the kids entertained instead of spending money on new books and games. Libraries have tons of children’s books, DVDs, board games, and even mobile hotspots. They’re a great resource!

Traveling with your spouse or another adult? Have them sit in the back and entertain the kids to keep them from getting too cranky. Factor in extra time for bathroom breaks and stopping to let them run around and get some energy out, and again, make sure they have access to snacks and drinks. Sometimes though, you’re just not going to be able to stop them from crying. And if nothing is wrong with them you just have to tune it out.

For great, road tripping vehicles, give us a call or stop by Steve Lewis Subaru!

History of St. Patrick’s Day


There’s no greater worldwide celebration of Irish culture than during the month of March! St. Patrick’s Day started out as a Catholic feast day but quickly grew to become something much greater. Despite its popularity, the history of St. Patrick’s Day lies with St. Patrick himself and his actions to help the Irish community and culture become what it is today.

Known as the patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick’s life began around the year 400. He was born to a Roman-British army officer and was subsequently kidnapped by pirates in his early childhood. From there, he was sold into slavery into Ireland and ended up spending several of his early years in prison. It was only after he dreamed of God telling him to escape that he did so.

Patrick made his way to France where he joined a monastery and rose to the rank of bishop. After 12 years, he returned, with the blessing of the pope, to Ireland to convert the population. He made converts of people from all walks of life, including members of royal families.

Over his 20-year stretch in Ireland, he built schools, established monasteries, and laid the foundation for what Ireland has become today.

We here at Steve Lewis Subaru want to wish you a festive St. Patrick’s Day!

Five Achievable Bucket List Ideas for 2017

There are resolutions, and then there are bucket lists—those things you just have to try at some point or another. But like resolutions, bucket list items should come in all shapes and sizes. Here are ten creative bucket list ideas for 2017 that will take you out of your routine.

Bucket List Ideas for 2017 - family on beach

Journal Every Morning

There’s nothing like starting the day off with a little self-reflection. Don’t set limits, but try to write every morning for as many days in a row as you can, even if it’s just a sentence.

 

Be a Tourist

It’s too easy to take for granted that which we see every day. Plan a staycation weekend where you explore all that there is to see in your own town. Eat out at local restaurants, take lots of photos and visit the attractions.

 

Write a Book

Start small and write a ten-page eBook on one of your favorite things. There are resources out there that will help you learn how to write and publish your book for free online.

 

Set Reading Goals

Whether you read a book a week, a chapter a day or a series in a year, it’ll be fun to make reading a part of your daily routine.

 

Organize a Picnic

Get some friends together and plan an elaborate picnic to welcome in the spring or summer. Collect blankets, pillows, candles, and prepare a delicious menu. The more extravagant, the more unforgettable!

Tips for Driving in the Snow

driving in the snowPerhaps the best advice one can give for driving in the snow and ice is: don’t. But alas, life won’t always stop for bad weather. Here are some tips to follow for safety on the snow-covered road.

Practice Good Maintenance

Before snow even falls, you should follow some winter maintenance guidelines to make sure your car is as prepared as possible. The most important factor for snow driving is tire conditions. If your tires have good tread and the right pressure, you’ll be much better off on snow and ice.

Give Yourself Space and Time

In good driving conditions, you should have a few cars length between you and the person in front of you. In snow, multiply that by three. Everything has a slower reaction in the snow, so if the person in front of you brakes suddenly, you’d better have space to react.

Also, leave early so that you will have plenty of time to take it nice and easy. Drive slowly, accelerate slowly, and brake slowly. Try letting the car come to a gradual, rolling stop rather than braking last minute. Any sudden movement could cause you to lose traction.

Don’t Get Over-Confident

Some people think that because their vehicle has four-wheel drive or an anti-lock braking system they’re invincible in the snow. Don’t be one of those people. Everyone needs to take precautions in winter weather.

Should You Buy Winter Tires?

Winter TiresAll-season tires are perfect for driving during every season thanks to their combination of summer and winter benefits. Winter tires are an alternative that provides drivers with more control during heavy snowfalls and icy roadways. They may cost quite a bit but they’re entirely worth it in the long run. Should you buy winter tires? Here at Steve Lewis Subaru, we know the answer is a resounding yes.

Massachusetts generally sees heavy snowfall and icy roadways throughout winter, which makes winter tires a must-have perk for season. While all-season tires are great for those who live in moderate climates, winter tires take the cake when it comes to the frozen roadways that plague Massachusetts every year.

Winter tires are specifically designed to function well on icy roads and under heavy stress. The tread rubber remains flexible during the freezing cold and provides optimal traction. All-season tires tend to stiffen and, as a result, the tire can’t grip the road as well.

The tread on winter tires runs deeper and the patterns themselves help channel the snow, slush, and water to minimize slippage. More biting edges, slits in the tread, help increase traction on ice so drivers can stay in control of their vehicle.

Things to Do in May near Hadley

May is a glorious time of year! There is still the blooming beauty of spring and the first hint of warm summer weather. If you’re looking for some things to do in May near Hadley, check out these great local events.

  • Cooking Demonstration with Lynn Kirsche Shapiro. Visit the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst on May 8th from 2-3:30pm to listen to Lynn share stories and recipes from her family upbringing. She will also prepare a recipe and sign her book.
  • Author Meet and Greet. If you have young kids, or just appreciate find children’s literature, visit the Eric Carle Museum on May 15th at 1pm to meet Tom Angleberger and Cece Bell as they discuss their writing and illustrations and answer questions. There will be a book signing after the program. The program is free with museum admission.
  • Play Ball! Catch a unique performance that highlights the history of baseball in a fun and informative way. The Berkshire Theatre Group will perform the play on Sunday May 22nd at 1pm and 3pm at the Eric Carle Museum. Tickets cost $6.50.
  • Paradise City Arts Festival. Memorial Day weekend in Northampton, enjoy beautiful artwork from 260 artists from all across the country. There will also be delicious food and live music.

See what else is great about Hadley!

How to Prevent Hydroplaning on Slippery Spring Roads

Tire on Slippery Road - Prevent Hydroplaning

When roads get wet, you’ll want to keep these tips to prevent hydroplaning in mind.

One of the greatest dangerous of the spring season is often misunderstood: hydroplaning. This term refers to what happens when your vehicle loses traction with the road, usually due to a thin layer of water or ice.

Typically, the risk for hydroplaning is at its highest shortly after a storm begins, or right after it starts raining. While your tires are usually able to grip onto the road, they lose this ability and you lose control.

The best thing you can do to avoid hydroplaning is to slow down when it is raining. It’s also important to avoid puddles – and especially to avoid large bodies of standing water, which could cause your vehicle to float away entirely.

It’s also important to avoid using cruise control during a storm, as this automatic feature will not adjust depending on the frequency of the rain – like a driver would.

If it begins to rain: turn off your cruise control and slow down to prevent hydroplaning, and don’t forget to increase the distance between your vehicle and the vehicles around it.

For more safety tips or to start out your season with a new vehicle, visit us at Steve Lewis Subaru.