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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: Clinton, MD – Surratt House Museum for Christmas Past and Present

As you enter the side door of the Surratt House Museum you are walking in the path of John Wilkes Booth the night he killed President Lincoln, since he came here to retrieve a rifle, field glasses and supplies for his run from the law.Surratt House Building2017-10-18_9-42-17

Built in 1852, this was a tavern, an inn, a post office and a polling place. It was a safe house for the Confederate underground. The massive search for Booth led them here to Mary Surratt’s house, and as a result she was tried in a military court and convicted of conspiracy to assassinate the President. On July 7, 1865 Mary Surratt was the first woman to be executed by the federal government.Surratt House Lincolns 2017-10-18_9-40-59

In your visit to this famous house, a docent in 1860’s period clothing walks you through the typical middle class home.  History buffs can make reservations for the 12-hour “Escape Route” bus tour. Many of the same roads and houses used by Booth are still in existence and are visited on this excursion which is narrated by nationally-recognized authorities on the Lincoln assassination and John Wilkes Booth’s flight.  Tour Dates for 2018: Apr 14, 21, 28 and Sept 8, 15, 22.Surratt House - Escape Route 2017-10-18_9-34-58

If you’re in the Clinton area Sat, Dec 2 – Sun, Dec 10, stop by the Surratt House Museum for their special Christmas program- An Old Fashioned Holiday: Bringing Christmas Past to Christmas Present, celebrating the Christmas of yesteryear amid period decorations, special exhibits and seasonal histories. On the weekend of December 9 and 10, return to enjoy special activities for all ages, cookies, cider, and holiday discounts in the museum’s gift shop.

Location: Surratt House Museum, 9118 Brandywine Road, Clinton, MD 20735
Hours: Wed – Fri 11am – 3pm, Sat -Sun 12 – 4pm
The Surratt House Museum is closed from Dec 12th to Jan 17th.
Tel: 301-868-1121
surrattmuseum.org
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitprincegeorgescounty.com

US: Dunn, NC – Celebrating Cotton and Importantly, the Cotton Farmers

The 19th annual North Carolina Cotton Festival  takes place in Downtown Dunn on November 4, 2017. This family-fun event draws more than 10,000 people each year and is a celebration of the farmer and in particular the cotton farmer and their contributions as well as the cotton farming and harvesting heritage that plays an important role in the Dunn area.car show

November is peak season for cotton farmers and downtown Dunn was once known as the largest wagon cotton yard in the country. During the festival, the local cotton gin, that until recent years was located in downtown, offers free tours through the gin, allowing you to see cotton production up close and personal. Shuttles are offered from the festival site to the gin every half hour.Quality Equipment

The event covers over 16 city blocks and offers entertainment on 2 stage featuring a variety of music, carnival rides and games, a classic car show -where over 100 antique and custom cars compete for best in show, petting zoo, Kiddie Land, Antique Tractor Show, over 125 vendors showcasing commodities like cotton, needle work, fabric, food and crafts.wilson avenue

FREE admission, lots of downtown shopping at some interesting shops, freebies and family fun for all ages.

Location: Downtown Dunn
Date: November 4, 2017
Time:10am – 4pm
Tel: 910-892-3282
nccottonfestival.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: dunntourism.org

US: Salem, MA – Surrender to the Spell of Salem and be Prepared to be Scared

Salem, MA Exit 47 to route 114: Salem is synonymous with Halloween and you are invited to a month long Halloween party. Throughout the entire eerie month of October, Salem offers the ultimate Halloween experience filled with fun, goosebumps worthy Salem Witch Museum2017-08-22_14-36-00entertainment.

Monsters of all shapes and sizes are welcome. Kicking off with “movie monsters” themed Haunted Happenings Grand Parade on Thursday, Oct 6th, “Wicked Wednesday” family programs, Tales & Tombstones Trolley Tours and so much more.  Hundreds of events for all ages are scheduled during October.

Surrender to the spell of Salem, check out the information below from haunted houses, historic landmarks, hotels and lodging, restaurants and taverns to costume parties, ghost tours, historic tours, events, psychic and tarot readings, witch and magical shops and transportation.Salem Kids in cup2017-08-22_14-40-15

Photo credits: John Andrews Photography

Salem, MA Schedule of EventsLocation: Various
Date: Oct 5 – 31
Tel: 978-744-0004
salemhalloweencity.com
hauntedhappenings.org

For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: merrimackvalley.org
salem.org

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

US: North Haven, CT – Medieval Faire with Jousting, Fairy Magic, Armored Combat, Music, and Merry Men

Walk into a medieval  fairytale and experience what a spring festival might have been like in 12th century Nottingham England. Fantasy takes flight when you step back to the past at Robin Hood’s Faire. Witness singing, dancing and magic throughout the faire, listen to old world music performed live on stage and in the streets and watch Robin Hood and his Merry Men stop Prince John’s villainy.Robin Hood's Faire- Night

This amusing and colorful festival offers continuous themed entertainment throughout the day and some special events including:  The Mayor of Nottingham’s Bingo Brunch, Princess Tea Time, Archery & Archery Tag, Opening Ceremony, Daily Tournaments, Paragon Jousting, parade, Prince John’s Plot and join the Merry Men interactive show. For a complete schedule of events: robinhoodsfaire.com/shops-and-crafts/show-information/show-schedule/

The Faire has featured weekends, with activities geared to themes:

May 13, 14 – Pet Weekend– Open up a whole new world for your pet when you attend Robin Hood’s Faire “Pet Weekend”. Participate in daily contests with your pet to win prizes or just watch shows, shop, and enjoy the day. robinhoodsfaire.com/may-13-14-pet-weekend/
May 20-21 – Fantasy & Fairies Weekend- Anything is possible with fairy magic as visitors from a variety of places and times are pulled from the future and past to Robin Hood’s Faire. Come as you are or consider dressing as a fairy or play someone from history or the future. robinhoodsfaire.com/fantasy-fairy-weekend-may-20-21/
May 27, 28, 29 – Bromance & Brew Weekend-What could be better than hanging out with your guy friends, competing against each other in manly contests, and sharing a cold craft brew? Guys will enjoy this weekend and  ladies, Sunday is a vow renewals with Friar Tuck.  robinhoodsfaire.com/bromance-brew-weekend-may-27-28-29/

Robin Hood’s Faire runs every Saturday, Sunday, and Memorial Day from May 13-29, 2017 (11 am to 7pm). Tickets to the festival are available at the Faire on all days of the show. All food, drink, and games are cash only. Robin Hood's Faire- Group

Location: North Haven Fairgrounds, 300 Washington Ave, North Haven, CT 06473
Dates: May 13 — 29, opened Sat, Sun & Memorial Day
Hours: 11– 7pm
Tel: 860-478-5954
robinhoodsfaire.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitnewhaven.com

US: Annapolis, MD – Plunge In to the Boating Season at Annapolis Sailboat Show

Head to Annapolis City Dock at the end of April and catch the Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show.  Set in the historic seaport of Annapolis,  the sixth annual in-water sailboat show kicks off the boating season with displays: catamarans, mono hulls, racing boats, family cruisers, day sailors, and inflatables—a total of over 100 new and brokerage boatsAerial Annapolis Sailboat

The sailboat show is for experienced and novice sailors alike, showcasing every new model present in the market, on display in the water and on land, allowing you opportunity to talk to the industry experts about buying and owing a boat. Shop for the latest in marine equipment, electronics, clothing and boating accessories at more than one hundred on-land nautical exhibits.First-Sail-Workshop

Cruisers University features hands-on workshops providing lessons from professionals and firsthand experience. The event will also include in-water demos, and the 3rd Annual Annapolis Junior Keelboat Regatta, where on April 29th at noon regional high school sailing teams will compete for the traveling cup.SPRINGSAILSUNDAYLarge (2)

Take a break from touring boats to enjoy live music, continuous entertainment, free food and beer and wine tastings, prizes, plus magnificent water views.

This venue is a one of a kind opportunity for sailors to be with sailors. There are very few places where you will find so many sailors congregated; the Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show is one of them.

Location: City Dock, Annapolis, MD (GPS address: 1 Dock Street, Annapolis, MD 21401)
Date: April 28 – 30, 2017
Hours: Fri, Sat  10 – 6 pm, Sun 10 -5 pm
Tel: 410-268-8828
annapolisboatshows.com/annapolis-spring-sailboat-show
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitannapolis.org

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

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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