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US: Mystic, CT – Sharkfest Swim, Kayak and SUP Races Down the Mystic River

It’s the inaugural Mystic River Day, a day celebrating the Mystic River Community.

Festivities include: children’s activities and games on the Mystic River Park green, discover Mystic River history,  many local non-profits, animal encounters, meet the Mystic Mermaid in the park – photo op, Sharkfest Swim, Kayak and SUP races down the Mystic River.Mystic Day IMG_0252-2

Cheer on the Mystic Sharkfest Swimmers from  8:30 am – 11:30 am, on their 1500 meter swim from Middle Wharf at Mystic Seaport, down the Mystic River, under the famous Bascule drawbridge, finishing at Dock A at Seaport Marine.

This swim will give you the perfect excuse to visit a classic New England seaport on Long Island Sound. The swim course will take you past the fully restored whaling ship, Charles Morgan and around the Mystic Harbor lighthouse and down river through the picturesque village that is steeped in shipbuilding history.

Participating downtown shops, restaurants, and bars will offer specials, discounts and extended happy hours throughout the day.

Location:Mystic River Park, Cottrell Street, Mystic, 06355
Date: Sun, July 8, 2018
Time: 9am – 2:30pm
Tel: 860-572-9578
thisismystic.com/event/mystic-river-day
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: mysticchamber.org

US: Milford, CT – Search for Cap’n Kidd’s Treasure on Pirates Day

Ahoy Mateys! For over 300 years, people of all ages have searched for Captain Kidd’s treasure.  Sunday, June 11th, 2017 is Pirates Day in MilfordJoin Captain Kidd and his crew as they sail into Milford Harbor, ‘kidnap’ Mayor Blake and “take over” downtown Milford.Pirates Day 2 2017-05-15_11-03-05

For the 13th annual Cap’n Kidd Treasure Hunt, participants will pick up a downtown treasure map, a strand of pirate beads, and a booty bag at Lisman Landing or by the Gazebo on the Green. Take part in the scavenger hunt by following the clues listed on the map, decipher the clue that matches the stop, and fill up your booty bags with treasures galore at the participating Pirate Stops.  Don’t forget to get your map stamped for a chance to win a treasure chest of prizes. Here’s a clue…Only the places displaying Pirate Flags will have the loot you seek.

There will be pirate-themed activities for children on the Green by the Gazebo, and  live, local bands for everyone to enjoy. Be sure to keep a look out for more crew members for great photo ops and  join Cap’n Kidd and his motley crew for a spectacular pirate parade. Pirates Day image

So put on your best pirate garb, learn how to talk like a pirate, and search for Cap’n Kidd’s treasure. Matey, don’t miss this fun, family-friendly adventure, brimming with special treasures and pirate bustle all day long … or be prepared to walk the Plank!  AAARRRGGGG…

Cap’n Kidd Pirates Day Treasure Hunt:
SUNDAY, JUNE 11th, 2017 Noon to 5:00 PM
(subject to change)
Pirates Day

11:30 AM – 1:00 PM Map Distribution Lisman Landing (can also be picked up at the Gazebo – after 1 pm pick up at Gazebo on the Green only)
11:00 AM – 1:00 PM  Tim Payson & Friends
12:00 PM  Cap’n Kidd, Captain Jack, colorful pirates and pirate ship arrive at Harbor/Lisman Landing
12:15 PM   Mayor Benjamin G. Blake greets crowd, kicks off event
12:00 PM –  2:00 PM  Map Distribution continues by the Gazebo on the Green
12:30 – 2:00 PM  Pirate Rock Painting with Rock On Pirate Girls By the Gazebo on the Green  * Proceeds benefit the Get In Touch Foundation
1:00 PM  Milford Volunteers Ancient Fife and Drum Corps – Park by Café Atlantique
1:30 – 2:00 PM  Katie Gillick, musician/composer – Gazebo on the Green
2:30 – 3:00 PM  Pirates Parade on the Green by the Gazebo – everyone invited to join in
2:00 – 3:00 PM  The Elwoods (Classic Rock/Blues) Gazebo on the Green
2:30 – 3:30 PM  Pirate-related Kiddie Activities by the Gazebo on the Green and story-time by Friends of the Milford Library
3:00 – 4:00 PM  The Elwoods (Classic Rock/Blues) Gazebo on the Green
4:00 – 5:00 PM  Drop off completed maps at the DMBA Exhibit by the Gazebo on the Green, for a chance to win a Treasure Chest of prizes (one adult winner & one child winner will be chosen); event closes promptly at 5:00 PM

Location: Lisman Landing or Gazebo on the Green, Downtown Milford, CT 06460
Date: Sun, June 11th, 2017
Hours: noon – 5pm
Tel:  203-745-4946
downtownmilfordct.com/copy-of-wine-trail
For Regional Accommodation, Restaurants & Attractions: milfordct.com

US: Florence, SC – Basically Love at First Bite at Fatz Cafe

At Fatz Cafe, the motto on the menu,“Where everybody is a regular”, is true and that’s because they
get addicted to the warm buttery poppy seed rolls (hint of donut taste to us). Locals come for the fried Calabash
chicken, which is marinated in buttermilk and served with honey mustard, and to enjoy the oldies music and photos of
the Florence/PeeDee area in the 60’s and 70’s.  Fatz Cafe Food

A popular starter is the fried green tomatoes on cheese grits with remoulade sauce or the shareable hot Cajun firecracker sticks stuffed with spicy shrimp, andouille sausage, onions, peppers, melted cheese in a tomato/basil tortilla. A hit of the meal was the Edisto shrimps and grits made with crumbled bacon in a mushroom burgundy gravy with Parmesan cheese. You could come in for the mahi mahi, spinach salad, ribs, pork chops, burgers or a sirloin steak marinated in hard cider, but you must leave room for the Carolina peach cobbler, which tastes like your gramma made it (vanilla ice cream and walnuts on top). 

Fstz Cafe

Location: 2007 W. Lucas, Florence, SC
Tel: 843-413-9186
www.fatzcafe.com
For Regional Accommodations and Attractions: www.visitflo.com
www.drivei95.com

Canada: Children Love National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa

Maman the Giant Spider

Maman the Giant Spider

Most people would not think of taking children to an art museum. However, The National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa offers Artissimo,  one of the best children’s programs I have come across  – and at an amazingly reasonable price of only $24 for 2 adults and 3 children. They try to teach kids about the art through different senses.

– First up was the creation of Art Buddies, toys (like dolls or animals) which can be found in paintings. These exact reproductions are given to the kids to hold, and then they are pointed to galleries where they can try to find them in a painting. Our Marguerite Charlotte doll had golden curls intertwined with green ribbon, and was holding a little blue bird in her hand.

– Second fun activity was the touch box which the child wears around his neck. They can put their hands in the sides (like a muff) and feel textures inside. Each box relates to a painting which has these textures in it; they have to guess what they are feeling and what in the painting represents it: a feather, lace, fur, picture frame, etc.

– Thirdly, was a real hit for ages 4-10. In Sounds Like Art, they are given headphones which play sounds. In each gallery, they have to find a painting which would relate to that sound: water, a crying baby, horses’ hooves, crackling fire.

The Arts and Crafts Area

The Arts and Crafts Area

For completing these games, the kids are rewarded with collectors’ cards of the paintings.

– Lastly there is an arts and crafts area set up in the most beautiful setting possible – the Great Hall with its soaring windows. While they are creating their works of art, you (and they) can oogle the magnificent panoramic view of Parliament Hill, the Gatineau Hills and the Ottawa River.

The children also enjoyed finding the surprise garden (from above and at ground level), the ceiling water window in the lobby, the “sound sculpture” in the chapel and, of course, Maman, the giant spider outside.  And yes, there is also the fabulous collection of art. We spent 4 hours there easily.

Location: 380 promenade Sussex Drive, Ottawa ON K1N 9N4
Phone: 800-319-ARTS
Hours: Tues-Sun 10-5 (closed Mon Oct 1-Apr 30)
www.gallery.ca  www.beaux-arts.ca