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US: Kennett Square, PA – Jaw-Dropping Fountains Dance with Colors and Music

Located only 12 miles from Wilmington, Delaware, Longwood Gardens attracts visitors from around the globe to its 11,000 varieties of plants spread out across more than 1,000+ acres of gardens, meadows, woodlands and elaborate horticultural displays.

Longwood’s celebration of the Main Fountain Garden, which returned in 2017 after a $90 million, more than two-year revitalization. Renowned for its spectacular Festival of Fountains, the astonishing shows gather attention from far and wide, and are a favorite among visitors of all ages.

Watch in awe when the fountains dance to stirring music and water jets shoot up to 175 feet high. You don’t want to miss Longwood’s Illuminated Fountain Performances where you’ll see an infinite mix of color, sound and music. The fountains perform daily at 11:15 a.m., 1:15 p.m., 3:15 p.m., 5:15 and extended hours for illuminated fountain performances on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings at 7:15.

In addition, the wildly popular Fireworks & Fountains return with  new shows: September 29 at 8:15 pm: Solid Gold ’70s – Take a bell-bottomed step back in time to the disco decade featuring iconic music from The Bee Gees, Kool and the Gang, Donna Summer, and more cool cats you’ll really dig. For Tickets:  Fireworks & Fountains 2018 

Festival of Fountains also features the Gardens in their summer splendor. The refreshed garden design invites guests to wander and discover new garden gems, including the Grotto, Pumphouse Plaza, and Historic Pumphouse display. Flowering annuals and perennials abound plus a breathtaking Waterlily Display that showcases aquatic plants from all over the world.

Take a hike in the expansive Meadow Garden or enjoy a shady stroll among Longwood’s historic trees. The outdoor Children’s Corner offers younger guests a garden designed just for them, while the Idea Garden is a showcase of plant combinations, innovative vegetable gardens, and unusual plant varieties to inspire guests to try at home.

Longwood Gardens allows a limited number of visitors per day, so purchase Tickets in advance to guarantee admission.

Illuminated Fountain Performances continue through October 27 and Daytime Fountain Performances continue through October 28 during Autumn’s Colors.

Photo Credit: Daniel Traub

Location: Longwood Gardens, 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square, PA 19348
Dates: until – September 30, 2018 (check website for later schedule)
Time: Sun–Wed  9am–6pm, Thurs–Sat 9am–10pm
Tel: 610-388-1000
longwoodgardens.org
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitwilmingtonde.com

US: St. Augustine, FL- Learn all About Dolphins on a Dolphin Paddle

Join Anastasia Watersports and Marineland Dolphin Adventure for a fun-filled interpretive Dolphin Paddle on Salt Run at Anastasia State Park.

Dolphin Paddle 2 D81_5143The park’s estuarine tidal marsh is teeming with plant and animal life . Learn about the biosphere and natural habitats, hop into a kayak, paddle onto Salt Run, and keep an eye for birds, turtles, manatees and especially dolphins.

Staff will provide illuminating details about the ecosystem and the myriad wildlife that inhabit it.  A dolphin expert from Marineland, will fill guests in on fascinating facts about the dolphins that are born, breed and thrive in this waterway.

The event will start with 30 minutes of classroom discussion followed by 90 minutes of paddling.  Come out and enjoy real, undiscovered Florida. Program fee: $40/person, includes boat rental. Park admission fees: ($8.00 per vehicle. Limit 2-8 people per vehicle.  email, info@anastasiawatersports.com to make a reservation.dolphin-paddle-on-salt-run-3138-6078

This informative event is Family-Friendly.

Location: Anastasia State Park,  300 Anastasia Park Road, St. Augustine, FL 32080
Date: Sat, June 16, 2018
Time: 9am – 11am
Tel: 904-460-9111
floridastateparks.org/park-events/Anastasia
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: floridashistoriccoast.com

US: Lake City, SC – Make Your Own One-of-a-Kind Print Silk Scarf

Nestled among fields of corn and soybeans, this dynamic 65-acre garden is set in the rural Pee Dee region near Lake City, South Carolina. Moore Farms Botanical Garden is the perfect learning environment. They also host classes and professional workshops.Silk Scarf -2017-08-28_16-21-41

Join Caroline Harper at Moore Farms Botanical Garden on Thursday, September 28, 2017 for an artful day in the garden at a workshop creating Eco Print Scarves.

Eco printing is basically a direct contact printing method, drawing out pigments from plants to make interesting and often surprising marks on protein (silk) fibre. In this class accomplished artist Caroline Harper will show you how to create 2 silk scarves with foraged leaves, flowers, vegetable skins and other objects found from the garden.Silk Scarf Material2017-08-28_16-23-23

The unique colors and shapes that occur from these materials will make your scarf a one-of-a-kind masterpiece. Silk and organic material will be provided but please bring anything you would like to add to embellish your dazzling scarves. Registration is limited to 20 participants. $60 per person

BUY TICKETS

Location: Moore Farms Botanical Garden, 100 New Zion Road, Lake City, SC 29560
Date: Thurs, Sept 28, 2017
Time: 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm
Tel: 843-210-7582
moorefarmsbg.org
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: lakecitysc.com/visiting visitflo.com

US: New Haven, CT – Welcome Spring at New Haven’s Cherry Blossom Festival

The 44th Annual Cherry Blossom Festival is a celebration of spring commemorating the planting of 72 Yoshino Japanese Cherry Blossom trees in 1973.  Hanami (cherry blossom) viewing, has been a Japanese custom since the 7th century when the aristocrats enjoyed the transient beauty of  looking at sakura (cherry trees). Sakura is a symbol of Japan, and it’s said that there are over 400 varieties of cherry trees in Japan.CherryTrees

The longstanding tradition of the Cherry Blossom Festival,  takes place  in New Haven’s Historic Wooster Square, and offers something for everyone in the family, including your 4 -legged family member.

Enjoy free entertainment including music, dancing, shop a flea market, food, a children and family area that includes puppet shows, arts and crafts, face painting and activities from the Peabody Museum, New Haven Free Public Library’s Readmobile and a raptor-rescue organization  -Horizon Wings.CBFestival_15 (1)

There is a Pet Friendly area, with New Haven Animal Shelter, Greater New Haven Cat Project, Little Shop of Howlers, Pups Without Partners and Veterinary Wellness Center.

With so much to do don’t forget the main attraction, enjoying the scenic view of the early blooming cherry blossoms. This family-friendly festival is a great and inexpensive way to bring in spring.

Location: Wooster Square, New Haven, CT 06511
Date: Sun., April 23, 2017
Time: 12 – 5pm
Tel: 203-777-1371
historicwoostersquare.org/cherryblossomfestival.html
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitnewhaven.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

Canadian Museum of Nature is Museum of Fun

If you are heading out to Ottawa to enjoy our nation’s capitol, leave some time to explore the Canadian Museum of Nature. It’s the perfect place for all ages of the family to enjoy themselves. The brainy kids (or adults) can soak up extensive details about nature while the playful gang can pull levers or turn knobs in a deep sea sub, IMG_5043learn on many touch screens, or even dance around in front of  the endothermy camera checking out their colorful “hotspots”.

Everyone is awed by the the 19.8-metre blue whale skeleton in the Water Gallery but keeping going further in. All the way in the back are many interactive games for young and old alike: make believe areas for the wee ones, a board game along a wall,  animal jigsaw puzzles on touch screens, word games, etc.  

Gawk at the dinosaur fossils or walk amongst the fleshed-out dinosaur creatures for photo ops with kids. In the Vale Earth Gallery swoon over the 1200 gorgeous minerals, rocks and meteorites. Our 5 1/2-year-old couldn’t get enough of the joystick which controls a huge earth or the button to start the volcano.

Sure there’s a full size mammal gallery but the 11, 8 and 5 1/2 year-olds all stayed longer in the small Nature Live space where they oogled the cases of walking stick bugs in different camouflage colors and thicknesses. How many of you have come face to face with a tarantula? Then they listened intently as a docent showed fossils which were indigenous to Ottawa.

If you have time there are two 3D movies, “Prehistoric Planet 3D and Micro-Monsters 3D” (both too scary for the 5 1/2 -year old) but our gang liked the interactive museum more.IMG_5051

The famous Bird Gallery, with  one of the most extensive collections of Canadian birds in the world re-opened June 1. A special exhibit on now is Ultimate Dinosaurs June 11-September 5 and then upcoming is Reptiles: The Beautiful and the Deadly, October 6-April 2 .

A brand new Arctic Gallery will be unveiled on June 23 which is set to explain how the arctic is changing, including plants, animals and people of the area plus scientific research. Outside, three new ecozones will be shown off on June 17 including a woolly mammoths and an “iceberg”.

I’d like to give a thumbs up to the friendly security guards who answered questions informatively and helped to point out nearby bathrooms and water fountains.

Canadian Museum of Nature, a Beaux Arts building, was our first national museum, completed in 1912. Trivia buffs should note that this building  served as home to Canada’s House of Commons and Senate following the fire that destroyed the Centre Block of Parliament in 1916.

Location: 240 McLeod St., Ottawa
Phone: 613-364-4021
www.nature.ca

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