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Canada: Cavalia Dazzles – Combining Equines with Cirque du Soleil-like Acrobats

Odysseo, the horse centric show, is awesome family entertainment which will WOW every member. If you can imagine taking Cirque du Soleil up a notch by marrying it with a team of gifted equestrians, this would be their offspring.

The show has acrobats, blade-running acrobats and horse acrobats – each team outdoing the other in their antics. There are raucous horses racing through jumps and quiet ballet-like riderless horses dancing to the whims of their female horse whisperer, Sylvia Zerbini.

Then why not throw in some African drumming, singing and dancing – for peace. When you combine 70 horses with 50 performers and all the high technology, multimedia and special effects, you create magic on stage.

The carousel pole acrobatics is  a charming setting for the melange of horse and rider/acrobats, but the white fabric/rope acrobatic act is the perfect “10” for each of the costume designer, set designer, lighting, artistic director and the acrobats themselves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s hard to imagine it fitting into a tent setting, but horses appear on mountaintops, in an ice-scape, the woods, walking down hills, in rain storms, galloping as fast as the wind and even and splashing in a waterfront finale.

This time we attended with a youngster who had enjoyed horse camp this summer. She loved figuring out the equine trivia questions before the show started. In her child-like mind she imagined “horses dancing like people at a party”. We glanced occasionally at her face as she sat in awe, riveted to the stage watching instead a seamless ballet of people and horses.  And she was really hoping to get splashed by the playful horses.

Don’t wait – book tickets now as the run has been extended to Oct 21 and the price reduced to $60.  If you can afford it, the Rendez-vous VIP package, including dinner (roast beef and shrimp options) with an open bar, popcorn and drinks to take in to the show, a dessert buffet at intermissionoddysseo

(so Quebec-like with cheese there too), a stable visit, and a souvenir, really makes the evening special. This is a great idea for a do-ahead holiday gift for anyone – take the family, join co-workers or have fun with friends.

Location: Odysseo White Big Top at the corner of the boul. Rene-Levesque and De Lorimier
Tel: 866-999-8111
Dates: til Oct 21
www.cavalia.com

www.facebook.com/cavalia

 

 

 

 

 

 

US: Mystic, CT – Mystic Garlic Festival – You Supply the Mints and They’ll Supply the Flavor

The 11th Annual Mystic Garlic Festival features freshly harvested local garlic, garlic infused goodies, music, and activities scattered throughout Olde Mistick Village.OLD MYSTIC-GARLIC 91909-1

To celebrate the abundant fall harvest, farmers will present an amazing variety of Garlic for sale in addition to fresh produce. More farmers than ever will have honey, jams, preserves, ice cream, baked goods, and syrups.

Besides the proven health benefits of garlic,  there is just something irresistible about the aroma of roasted garlic. Throughout the day and evening, dozens of local restaurants and food service establishments will be serving, for purchase, delicious garlic related foods,  such as garlic fried dough and garlic fries, as well as non-garlic favorites.

garlic-cooking-many-foods-thailand-have-garlic-close-up-95196116A host of merchants, artisans, authors and artists will line the pathways of Olde Mistick Village displaying their foods, crafts, gifts, and talents. Along with over 45 vendors, you will find Olde Mistick Village merchants offering garlic related activities or products at their stores.garlic-parmesan-fries-garlic-parmesan-fries-green-ceramic-plate-108051440

 

 

 

Don’t miss the live birds of prey, reptile show, and martial arts demonstration.

So, you bring the mints and Olde Mistick Village will supply the flavor.  A great weekend of music, food, and family fun. Stroller friendly, Free entry and Free parking.

Location: Olde Mistick Village, 27 Coogan Blvd., Mystic, CT 06355
Date: Sept 1516, 2018
Time: Sat 11am – 7pm, Sun 11am – 6pm
Tel: 860 -536-4941
oldemistickvillage.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: thisismystic.com

US: Dover, DE – Where Kids Can Shop For Craftsy Xmas Gifts

Join the The Biggs Museum of American Art to kick-off the holiday season with their 2nd annual Happy Holidays Dover celebration. This event, which takes place from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., will coincide with the Downtown Dover holiday celebration and it will end with the start of the Downtown Dover holiday parade.Happy Holidays Dover2017-11-13_10-42-52

This all day family fun event offers a Special “Kids Only” Holiday Shop, where children ages 4-12  can purchase gifts (ranging from $1-$10) for their friends and family and decorate their own gift bags/gift cards. Items include handmade ornaments, jewelry, key chains and  bookmarks.Happy Holidays Dover Xmas Card2017-11-13_10-42-52

Highlights will include:  crafts,  live artist/craftsmen demonstrations, an expanded gift shop of handmade holiday items, food trucks, performances from children’s choirs, and a  special display of miniature holiday themed dollhouses.

Happy Holidays Dover Scarfs2017-11-20_11-55-51Tentative Schedule of Events: TBD – 9:30 -10 AM
Christ Church Dover Children’s Choir – 10-10:30 AM
Smyrna High School Select Group Choir – 10:45-11:15 AM
Smyrna High School Jazz Band – 11:30-12 PM
En Pointe Studio, selections from “The Nutcracker” -12:15-12:45 PM
Smyrna Church of Christ and Christian School Choir – 1-1:30 PM
Campus Community School First State Club “Mummer’s Play”- 1:50-2:15
Campus Community School Choir – 2:30 PM – 3 PM
TBD – 3:15-3:45
TBD – 4-4:30 PM

Free Admission

Location: Biggs Museum of American Art, 406 Federal St., Dover, DE 19901
Date: Sat, Dec 2nd, 2017
Time: 9 – 5 pm
Tel: 302-674-2111
biggsmuseum.org
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants, & Attractions: visitwilmingtonde.com

US: Pawtucket, RI – Dragon Boat Racing & Taiwan Day Festival in Blackstone Valley

Now in its 18th year, the Rhode Island Chinese Dragon Boat Races & Taiwan Day Festival is an extraordinary event for the whole family to enjoy.  Join the thousands of people who attend each year for exciting competition, family-fun, and a great opportunity to learn more about Chinese culture.RI Dragon Boat 2017-07-31_11-03-41

Racers continue to use the fiberglass Taiwanese-style dragon boats gifted to them from the Republic of China (Taiwan)  and incorporate the skill of flag-catching in each race.

The course length is 1,000 feet long up the Pawtucket River, with three boats racing at a time. A unique element to the races is the larger Taiwanese-style dragon boats, wood paddles, and the flag-catching in each race. If the flag is missed a penalty is added to their time.RI Dragon Boat- crowd2017-07-31_11-05-27

Sanctioned by the Eastern Regional Dragon Boat Association, the RI Chinese Dragon Boat Races consist of two divisions: the Mixed Division, which requires a minimum of 6 female paddlers, and the Open Division that has no gender restrictions.

In addition to the exciting boat races, under the giant tent you will find Taiwan Day festivities with some top notch entertainment including  cultural performances, many art & crafts tables, and the ever-popular dumpling eating contest. The festival also has a great selection of vendors, interactive activities, and food trucks.RI Dragon Boat dancers2017-07-31_11-08-34

Don’t miss the great entertainment throughout the day including:

  • The popular Chinese dumpling eating contest
  • Taiwanese arts & crafts tables
  • Lion dancers
  • Yo-yo performances
  • Interactive games and activities
  • A fun (and messy) watermelon eating contest
  • Food trucks
  • Vendors

With so much to see and do…the Taiwan Day Festival is truly a great opportunity to witness some wonderful traditional Chinese and Taiwanese entertainment.

Parking and shuttle buses: Parking and shuttles for teams and attendees will be located at the Blackstone Valley Visitor Center‘s lot, 175 Main Street, Pawtucket, RI. Shuttle buses will start at 7:00 am and run until the awards ceremony has been completed.

Photo credit: James Toomey/Blackstone Valley Tourism Council

Location: Festival Pier, Pawtucket River, Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
Date: Sat, September 9, 2017
Time: 8am – 5pm
Tel: 401-724-2200
dragonboatri.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: tourblackstone.com

US: Providence, RI – Spend Quality Time with Dad on Scenic Boat Tour Around Providence

How about visiting Providence this Father’s Day and partaking in it from a new angle; by getting out on the water. This year, treat dad to a gift that will leave a lasting impression: a fun, family-friendly boat tour of  picturesque Providence waterways.Providence River Boat - guide

Forget the necktie this year and give Dad a gift that he’ll truly appreciate…a chore-free, relaxing Sunday with the family.  Spend quality time with dad on a tranquil boat ride narrated daytime tour or sunset cruise with the Providence River Boat Company’s Father’s Day Tours.Providence Riverboat Scenery86878

Enjoy this 45-50 minute entertaining and informative tour while friendly Captains expertly guide you throughout the waterways and cruise throughout the Providence River, Riverwalk, Waterplace Park and the Providence Harbor. Experience  unparalleled views  of the capital city while getting an overview of the city’s history.  A unique gift that the entire family will enjoy. BYOB or pick up a cold beer for Dad at the dock bar.Providence River Boat Hot Club

Tours depart at the top of each hour. The boats are uncovered, so dress appropriately. Hats, sunglasses & sunscreen are all recommended. Space is limited and reservations are required – 401-580-BOAT.

 

Location: Providence River Boat Company, 575 South Water Street, Providence, RI 02903
Dates: June 18, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Tel: 401-580-2628
providenceriverboat.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: goprovidence.com

 

US: Selma, NC – From Pumpkin Patch to Shopping Destination

DeWayne’s – Would you believe this amazing gift, clothes and garden decor shop started out as a pumpkin stand? DeWayne persevered with his produce stand after having to move it 3 times. What began as DeWayne’s Country Garden in 1991 has transitioned through the years to become known as simply… DeWayne’s.DeWaynes - Pumpkin Patch

Nowadays it has grown and grown beyond the trolls, birdbaths, gargoyles, trellises, fountains, bears and benches outside. It is a destination for shoppers to experience the gift shop, garden center, ladies clothing boutique, menswear and Christmas Land.

DeWayne’s is celebrating the completion of a two-year construction project, a 23,500 sq ft expansion and 9,000 sq ft renovation. The final phase is the redesign and expansion of existing space into a larger women’s clothing Boutique along with a new customer service / checkout area.

The new space allows for the amplification of The Boutique to incorporate more complimenting brands and product trends to the existing lines, including ladies clothing, footwear, jewelry, handbags & accessories. With an outstanding knack of seeking out the hottest and most desired brands, shoppers will love their assortment, including: Alex and Ani, Brighton, Jack Rogers, Dansko, Hobo, Joseph Ribkoff, Hatley, Escapada and Clara Son Woo . You can also buy paper goods, soap, candles and flags.

DeWayne’s family owned business provides customers with a unique shopping experience in over 40,000 sq ft of specialty retailing. Exceptional Customer Service, amazing selection and an unforgettable experience await you.

Dewayne's

Location: DeWayne’s – 1575 Outlet Center Dr, Selma, NC 27576
Hours: Mon – Fri 9:30– 7pm, Sat 9 – 7:30pm, Sun 10 – 6pm
Tel: 919-202-8471
dewaynes.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: johnstoncountync.org

US: Falmouth, VA – Peruse Art, Home, Gardens and Studio of Gari Melchers

Gari Melchers Home and Studio – Belmont, typical of the Federal style, is over 200 years old. In 1916, renowned artist Gari Melchers and his wife Corinne bought the residence, and no expense was spared in the improvements to their country home. IMG_0416

The Melchers accumulated a varied collection of antique furniture and carpets, fine china, paintings and prints by old masters on their extensive travels abroad. The grounds cover 27 acres of gardens, and you get to visit Gari’s huge studio too. Upon Corinne’s death in 1955, the estate was left to Virginia, and all of their personal possessions, including his beautiful paintings, remain as if they just left.

The Stafford County Visitor Center is in the interestingly stocked gift shop. The property, which is operated by the University of Mary Washington, is both a Virginia Historic Landmark and a National Historic Landmark.

The Belmont Photo Exhibit “Through a Lens”Belmont Portrayed: Through a Lens, an exhibition of photographs depicting the buildings, grounds and gardens of Gari Melchers Home and Studio at Belmont,  is open to the public on and will be on view  until May 21.

The selection of 21 photos by 12 artists was chosen by Belmont Director David Berreth to represent a variety of photographic approaches to visually interpreting the 19th-century estate and its surroundings.

Location: Gari Melchers Home & Studio Belmont, 224 Washington St, Falmouth, VA 22405
Hours: Apr 1 – Oct 31, daily 10 – 5pm,  From Nov 1- Mar 31, daily 10 – 4 pm
Tel: 540-654-1015
GariMelchers.org
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: co.stafford.va.us
fredericksburgva.com/VisitFredericksburg

Canada – Winter Break Idea: See Wildlife Up Close in Canadian Safari at Parc Omega

If  you’re in the Montreal or Ottawa area,  you are only 1 1/2 hours away from an exciting safari adventure. Parc Omega is the perfect day outing for kids (and folks) of all ages. It’s an 800 hectare park where the animals roam free and you are “caged” in your car. It’s such an easy drive to be able to come face to face with Canadian wildlife: reindeer, elk, arctic wolf and fox, bison, musk ox, turkey, boar, coyote, black bear, and many kinds of deer.IMG_0362

Along a 12-kilometere safari nature route which takes you past lakes, meadows, small valleys, forests and rocky hills, you meander at your own pace. You can pick up bag of carrots at the visitor center (or bring your own), and as you slowly make your way through, you are allowed to open the windows to feed the wildlife. Kids are thrilled that they do not have to be in their car seats here and can flit from side to side of the vehicle to say hello to the animals.

You tune your radio to a station which fills you in on all sorts of information about the species you will be seeing.

  • We learned which males are good daddies and stay around to raise the youngsters and which ones only show up for mating season.
  • I never knew that the musk oxen’s heads are strong as hammers and they butt and knock everything down. Their quarters are specially built to withstand their strength.IMG_5699
  •  You pass by low slung “condos” for boars designed to keep the big predators out.
  • Coming here in winter gives you the opportunity to see how the arctic fox blends into the snowscape.

About 2/3 through, there’s a place to stop,  get out to stretch legs and visit some wooden buildings for bathrooms, gifts, food and hot cocoa. Friendly deer are in the parking area to get a snack too – those carrots – buy lots.

This is one experience that all Canadian families should take advantage of. It’s not only educational and fun, but will bring lasting memories for the whole family.IMG_0369

Location: Parc Omega is a safari park in Notre-Dame-de-Bonsecours, Quebec, Canada
Address: 399 Route 323 North, Montebello, QC J0V 1L0 Click for map Google Map

Phone: (819) 423-5487
www.parcomega.ca

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Canada – Montreal – Bakerfield Mist: Artsy Fartsy Tryst at Centaur

It is really hard to take the boring authenticity-proving side of the modern art world and make it into a delightful audience loving (2 standing ovations on opening night) theatre piece.

Stephen Sachs, the playwright, took on the true story of Terry Horton, a former truck driver who scavenged a painting for $5 at a second-hand shop as a gift for a friend who needed cheering up. Maude Gutman, as she is called in this play, is a lover of kitsch – her trailer is overwhelmed by it (A congratulatory shout out here for the jam-packed shelves created by set and costume designer Pam Johnson, who really needed my Smart Shopping Montreal book to find all that stuff!). At a yard sale, the local art teacher noticed the painting and mentioned it might be a Jackson Pollock; and so begins the tale. Somehow Gutman managed to get a major art house in NYC to send an expert over to check out her claim.

And therein lies this sparring pied-a-deux. A foul-mouthed bourbon drinking trailer park madam vs. the snooty elitist artsy gentleman. Human authenticity versus art authenticity is set to be proven. Nicola Cavendish walks the walk and talks the talk. Her sneaker grounded stalking moves her around the trailer while her expert verbal comedic timing keeps the pace going. She even manages to give the garbage pail “a line”.

Jonathan Monro (Lionel Percy), himself a renaissance man (competitive swimmer, piano prodigy, singer, director, lyricist, actor), glides around her, expertly dodging her verbal and physical attacks. My take-away forever (as a former NYC art teacher) is the exuberant and sexually suggestive way in which Monro teaches us the how and why a Jackson Pollock painting is important – and not just a bunch of paint splashes on a canvas.
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Though Percy always trusts his “first blink”, it is Nicola Cavendish who summed it up brilliantly when she observed Pollock’s paintings, “You can see that what emerges is layers and layers and layers. I think it’s a lesson on how we can learn to look more closely, whether we are talking about a piece of art or whether we’re talking about the woman who lives across the street who’s offensive.” Modern art is beyond the understanding of the ordinary citizen, and this play opens the door a crack as to what it is all about, how it works and doesn’t work. The show makes it all fun and drives Maude’s trailer expertly to the end to find out if she goes from rags to riches.

Location: 453 St-Francois Xavier
corner: Notre-Dame
Tel: 514-288-3161
Dates: Jan 31-Feb 26, 2017
Prices $28- $51
www.centaurtheatre.com
Metro: Place d’Armes

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US: Perryville, MD – Try Your Luck in Perryville

If you like to dip your toes into casino waters, head to the Hollywood Casino Perryville, the first gaming facility to open in the state of Maryland. Smaller in size, not too noisy  and a friendly atmosphere makes for a pleasurable experience.

With over 850 slots, there is a good mix of classic favorites and some of the newest technology. including the Ellen (Degeneres) video slot machine. There are also 20 tables highlighting classic casino games. They also offer off-track betting.

If you’re like us and prefer to do a little shopping instead of trying your luck, step inside the Rodeo Drive Gift Shop for a good selection of Maryland souvenirs, collectibles from Hollywood’s classic movies , unique gifts and souvenir Hollywood Casino items.

As for eats, the Celebrity Bar and Grill, casual dining venue, features a variety of entrees each with its own special flair. Celebrity Bar and Grill offers FREE live entertainment every Saturday night and weekly trivia contests and karaoke nights.

Guests must be 21 Years or older to enter the Casino, restaurants and shops.

Location: Hollywood Casino, 1201 Chesapeake Overlook Pkwy, Perryville, MD 21903
Hours: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Tel: 410-378-8500
hollywoodcasinoperryville.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: seececil.org