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US: Brunswick, GA – Bring Your Appetite to Sample at the Birthplace of Brunswick Stew

Brunswick Rockin’ Stewbilee takes place annually at Mary Ross Waterfront Park, recognizing Brunswick, Georgia as the birthplace of the original Brunswick Stew. As the oft-told tale goes, a slave cook named Jimmy Matthews created the concoction in 1828. Nearly two centuries later, the original meat – squirrel – is out and, today, chicken, is in.

Each year, cooking teams from near and far compete to see who has the best stew, in a cook-off where the culinary skills and secret recipes are challenged by amateur and professional chefs, vying for the coveted Peoples’ Choice and Judges’ Award.

In addition to stew tasting there will be loads of other fun family activities. The day long event begins with the 5k Road Race followed by the Pet Supplies Plus Pooch Parade, Live Entertainment, The Kid’s Junior Stewbilee Central Fun Zone, Classic and Antique Car Show, Arts & Crafts displays and of course, sampling of the Best Brunswick Stew in the nation. stewbilee-logo

Schedule:
9am – Motor Cycle Ride
10am – Live Music – Pier Pressure
10:15am – Pooch Parade
12:15pm – Live Music – 3 Day Weekend
11am – 2pm – Brunswick Rockin’ Stew Tasting

Location: Mary Ross Waterfront Park, Bay & Gloucester Street, Brunswick, GA 31520
Date: Sat, Jan 27th, 2018
Time: 9am – 2pm
Tel:  912-996-4593
stewbilee.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: goldenisles.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: Annapolis, MD – Celebrate and Bring Awareness to Clean Up Efforts in Spa Creek

The 2nd annual Clean Water PaddleFEST in Annapolis is to celebrate and bring awareness to clean up efforts in Spa Creek while enjoying a day full of fun.paddleFest2016_paddlers

Paddle at your own pace or take a guided on-water tour of Spa Creek. Guided tours available at 2pm. See educational stops along Spa Creek detailing conservation efforts which aim to make it again fishable and swimmable. Afterwards attend the Eco-Fest with informative exhibits from area environment groups with plenty of activities for kids.

All human powered paddlers and vessels are welcome to attend. Bring your own craft or use a stand up paddle board or kayak from Capital SUP. There will be a mass paddle and foot show of support for clean water in Spa Creek at 12 noon, on and in the water around the Spa Creek bridge.

Fun activities and prizes for all ages. Kid and dog friendly. All proceeds benefit Spa Creek Conservancy.paddleFESTposter

Your ticket includes:

On-water guided or self tour
Food BBQ beverages
Wine and beer
Event tee shirt
Admission to EcoFEST
Dry Bags to first 200 ticket holders
Live Music from 1-3pm

Location:Capital SUP on Spa Creek, 808 Boucher Avenue, Annapolis, MD 21403
Date: Sat, Sept 16, 2017
Time:  11  – 4pm
spacreek.net/index.php/events/special-events
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitannapolis.org

US: Hampton Beach, NH – Fantastic Family Fun for the Young and the Young-at-Heart

There is no better place to be a kid than at Hampton Beach. That’s especially true during one week from August 14th to 18th when the Hampton Beach Children’s Festival returns to delight the young and young at heart again.Hampton Beach Children's Festival Girl2017-07-20_10-28-16

The family fun event kicks off on Monday, August 14th with a magic show by BJ Hickman on the famous Hampton Beach Seashell Stage at 10 a.m., and building up to a huge Costume Parade that marches almost the length of Hampton Beach on Friday, August 18th. Every child gets a prize just for being a part of it.

Hampton Beach Children's Festival2017-07-20_10-28-16Enjoy five days filled with free non-stop activities and entertainment for children and their families, including sand castle contests, costume parades, Ronald McDonald Magic Show, children’s entertainment on the Sea Shell Stage.

There will be also be mini-golf, dancing, storytelling, balloons, Monday Movies on the beach and a kids’ bumper sticker contest where the winner gets a free bike.

Free ice cream, Coca-Cola and…every child wins a prize! All Children’s Festival activities are free and open to the public.Hampton Beach Childrens fest StageIMG_7282

Download the 2017 Schedule

Location: Hampton Beach, Hampton, NH, 03862
Date: Mon, Aug 14 – Fri,  Aug 18,2017
Time: 5:30pm
Tel: 603-926-8717
hamptonbeach.org/events/childrens-events/
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: portsmouthnh.com

US: Ashland, VA – Enjoy Fresh Strawberries or Some in Delicious Recipes at Ashland Strawberry Faire

It’s strawberry season at the Ashland Strawberry Faire, a Strawberry Faire - Strawberries4-26-2017 2-40-54 PMcommunity and family-oriented event celebrating the strawberry harvest.Now in its 36th year,  The Ashland Strawberry Faire is held on the streets of Randolph-Macon College in historic Ashland, Virginia and draws approximately 40,000 to the Ashland region for fresh strawberries, food, music, arts, crafts, plants, antiques and games.

Ashland Strawberry Faire is a FREE family and pet friendly street party featuring Strawberry Faire Flyer4-26-2017 2-39-26 PMlive music and entertainment throughout the day, a Kid’s Zone  filled with fun activities such as a Cake Walk, Moon Bounce, Raffles, Arts and Crafts, and games ranging from Golf Putt, Bean Bag Toss, Lollipop Picking.  There will also be a strawberry pageant, pet pageant and a Kissing Booth (to benefit the Hanover Humane Society) – There are lots of prizes and treats for all. Proceeds from the event to aid the Hanover County non-profit organizations and scholarships – “Berry Good People making the Difference”.

Strawberry Faire - Pet Pagaent4-26-2017 2-38-20 PM

Location: 500 Henry Street, Ashland, VA 23005
Date: Sat, June 3, 2017
Hours: 10 -5pm
Tel: 804-752-8289
ashlandstrawberryfaire.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: town.ashland.va.us

US: Royal Palm Beach, FL – Eat Delish BBQ While Supporting A Great Cause

Uncle Gary's Rib Fest

What started out as a family get together has turned into a great community event. The  12th annual Uncle Gary’s Rock & Rib Fest is a labor of love. Uncle Gary’s lost his 3-year-old daughter 14 years ago to cancer and Started this BBQ event in her honor and to benefit the Kids Cancer Foundation.Uncle Gary's Kids Cancer

This feel good festival has fun for the whole family including: great live music featuring three live bands throughout the day, dancing, bounce houses, kid’s Fun-zone, face painting, balloon artist, playgrounds, grab bags, games and prizes for the kids and adults, raffles, auction, Pet Rescue Puppies petting zone, princesses and super heroes.Uncle Gary's Rib Fest Kids

Don’t forget the delectable BBQ foods: yummy baby back ribs, smoked pork tenderloins, burgers, chicken, hot dogs, side dishes and cold beverages.Uncle Gary's Rib Fest -Radio

Bring your lawn chairs, blankets, sunblock and kids to this  admission free event that is so much more than just a chance to have fun with the family, eat ribs and barbecue and listen to local bands. All proceeds will be donated to the Royal Palm Beach-based Kids Cancer Foundation.

Location: Wellington Amphitheater. 12100 Forest Hill Blvd., Wellington, FL 33414
Date: Sat, April 1, 2017
Hours: 2 – 9pm
unclegarysrockandribfest.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: palmbeachfl.com

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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US: Fredericksburg, VA – Early Countdown for New Year’s and Ping Pong Drop with Prizes

Trying to decide how to bring in the New Year? How about a  family-friendly, FREE celebration “ Downtown 31st” – Finale Event held for kids and adults in Riverfront Park and at Market Square for teens, both  in downtown downtown-31-fredericksburgFredericksburg. This alcohol-free event has an early countdown and is a fun way to culminate the New Year with family and friends of all ages.

With loads of entertainment: Live Music and Dancing, Teen Area, Children’s Area, Games & Interactive Activities, Line Dancers , Entertainers, Crafts, Moon bounce, Food Vendors, Snow Maze, and Burn regrets and share new resolutions. There’s definitely something for everyone at this street party.fredericksburg-xmas

The piece de resistance is the Ping Pong Ball Drop at 9 pm that will be dropping 3,000+ ping pong balls including 100+ winning prize balls. Be sure to check out the selfie holiday cards in Riverfront Park.ping-pong-drop-fredericksburg-instagram

Location: Riverfront Park, 600 Sophia St., Fredericksburg, VA 22401
Date: Sat, Dec 31, 2016
Time: 5 pm – 9 pm
Tel: 540-372-1086
downtown31.com/finale-event
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitfred.com

US: Fayetteville, NC – Incredible Lego® Bricks Exhibit & Holiday Light Show in Botanical Garden

Make sure that you include a stop in Fayetteville to see the NATURE CONNECTS® Art with Lego® Bricks Exhibit at Cape Fear Botanical Garden which lasts until January 8, 2017.

Kids and kids at heart will appreciate this award-winning, record-breaking exhibition, inspired by nature and built by artist Sean Kenney, with over 500,000 colorful LEGO® bricks. The exhibit features  larger-than-life sculptures representing the complex and amazing network that interconnects all living things on Earth.

The sculptures will be displayed throughout the Garden to encourage you to walk by an 8-foot tall hummingbird, go nose-to-nose with a 5-foot bumblebee, admire a 7-foot rose, and watch an oversized koi leap about in the Cypress Pond.

Interpretative panels for each display with feature a message to connect children with the natural world and promote environmental stewardship and conservation. Adding to the exhibit will be activities for all ages, hands-on building stations, and design competitions.nature-connects-art-with-lego-bricks-exhibit

Cape Fear Botanical Gardens also offers some evening entertainment for the holidays:  Holiday Lights in the Garden – where the Garden will be transformed into a sparkling wonderland with thousands of lights illuminating plants, trees, and new exhibits.

Attractions and festivities include a synchronized show of lights and music shimmering over the Cypress Pond, a mile long stroll featuring thousands of lights aglow, photos with Santa on select evenings, S’mores roasting over the fire pit, and free crafts for children. The Garden Gift Shop, brimming with wonderful holiday selections, will be open each evening. nightly until Dec 23rd, Dec 26th – 30th, 5 – 9pm.

Take advantage of their on-line special pricing:.eventbrite.com/e/holiday-lights-in-the-garden-pre-sale-tickets-29281713393

Location: Cape Fear Botanical Garden, 536 N. Eastern Blvd., Fayetteville, NC 28301
Dates: until Sun,  Jan 8, 2017 – *Excluding holidays: Christmas Eve and Day, New Year’s Eve and Day.
Hours: Mon – Sat: 10am – 4pm, Sun: 11am – 4pm *Last Admission: 3:15 pm
Tel: 910-486-0221
capefearbg.org
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitfayettevillenc.com

Canada – Ontario Weekend Getaway: Low Fat Donuts, Fair Trade Coffee, Chainsaws and Friendly Alpacas

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Why not get away with your family to Almonte, ON, just west of Ottawa . The very first reason is that Ed Atwell of Healthy Food Technologies (hft) has figured out how to make low-fat donuts that are scrumptious. He “tricks” the donuts by frying them (in zero trans fat oil) for 1/2 the time and then baking them at the same temperature. Watch the video to see him explain the process he invented.

Now take a walk around the corner and pick up your to-go-with coffee at fair trade high quality Equator Coffee Roasters. They roast the beans right there, having bought them from small-scale farming communities and paid the farmers well. Do not  miss the Oh-so-Canadian maple-flavored latte. It’s worth driving there just for that! Kids can enjoy the hot chocolate.coffee


Next you can pick up snacks for the car or yummies to take home at Dandelion Foods co-op before a 45 min. drive to Wheelers Pancake House and Maple Sugar Camp. D
andelion Foods co-op sells whole, local and organic foods and some for specialty diets. Here you can buy the famous Hummingbird chocolate bars favored by Prime Minister Trudeau. Note the PB & Joy (with peanut butter) and the spicy Mayan.  Please bring back the Empire Cheese caramelized onion cheddar cheese for me.
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For lunch and fun, at Wheelers Pancake House you can visit the Maple Museum and the Chainsaw & Logging museum and the kids can have fun in the playground. Handy men and women will be mesmerized by Mark Wheeler’s dad Vernon’s collection of hundreds of chainsaws. Everyone will enjoy his “largest collection of pure maple syrup artifacts” which help explain the history of the maple sugar industry. From First Nations wooden spigots to the plastic lines of today, syrup pour-ers, molds, pails, and everything else related to this sweet topic, it’s all here at this 38-year family business. Don’t forget to leave room for the freshly made pancakes and delicious syrup right from their trees.
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For the grand finale, we visited Keith and Elizabeth Adam’s alpacas and llamas at their  Serendipity Farm. For retirement they decided to raise alpacas for the fun of it. The couple exudes their enjoyment of spending their golden years with these elegant, fluffy friends. They’ll chatter about the little quirks of each of the animals as well as the work associated with raising them.

Alpacas produce fiber that is as fine as cashmere, soft, silky and much warmer than sheep’s wool, while also wicking moisture away from the body.alpacas
In their little shop you can buy scarves, gloves, purses, as well as fiber felted sheets, alpaca and fiber rovings and handspun yarn.

Leave some time too for the local shops which wind their way along the downtown streets. Yes there’s plenty to do in Lanark County for a low-key interesting getaway weekend. We are not sure how this area attracted so many hippie/free trade/entrepreneurial types who seem to care for the planet. You can feel virtuous spending time and money in this town.

Equator Coffee Roasters, 451-A Ottawa St, Almonte, ON K0A 1A0, Tel: 613-256-5960
www.equator.ca

Dandelion Foods, 541 Ottawa St, Almonte, ON K0A 1A0,  Tel: 1-613-256-4545
www.dandelionfoods.ca

Healthy Food Technologies, 25 Industrial Rd., Almonte ON  Tel: 613-256-9900
(HFT) https://www.facebook.com/HFTinc

Wheelers Pancake House and Maple Sugar Camp, 1001 Highland Line, McDonalds Corners(Lanark Highlands), ON K0G 1M0 Tel: 613-278-2090
www.wheelersmaple.com

Serendipity Farm Alpacas & Llamas,  929 South Lavant Rd, Lanark, ON K0G1K0  Tel: 613-259-3304 or 613-222-6303
www.serendipityalpacas.ca

www.lanarkcounty.ca