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US: Providence, RI – Over 5,000 Intricately Carved Pumpkins and Spooky Nights at the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular

A fall tradition at the Roger Williams Park Zoo, is the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular, attracting more than 100,000 visitors for this truly “spectacular” event.

Don’t miss this year’s show that includes more than 5,000 intricately carved pumpkins featuring scenes of wizards, fairytales, and the luminaries of great myths and legends, alongside superheroes, and historical figures who changed the world. Revel in the sights and sounds of the season, and celebrate this otherworldly experience. This seasonal art show aims to delight and amaze the whole family, and not to scare anyone. – Tickets on-sale now

You can also experience the Soaring Eagle Zip Ride during the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular. From 115 feet above riders enjoy an aerial view of the park and admire the plethora of jack-o-lanterns from above. Get an eagles-eye view over Providence and into Narragansett Bay in comfortable side-by-side seats.

There are also a number of Special Events taking place which are included in the price of admission (with the exception of Spooky Zoo and Boo at the Zoo Family Overnight). Kids and adults are encouraged to wear costumes; masks are not permitted for teens/adults over age 12.

Children’s Fairy Tale Nights – Wed and Thurs, Oct 10th & 11th @ 5:30pm-8pm: Meet beloved children’s fairy tale characters.  Take pictures with Peter Pan, Cinderella, Snow White, Robin Hood and favorite Dr. Seuss characters such as the Cat in the Hat and the Grinch.  As the sun sets, find your favorite fairy tales characters intricately carved on the pumpkins.

Wizarding Nights – Wed and Thurs, Oct 17th & 18th @6pm-8pm:
Wizards and witches get your wands, mount your brooms and fly on over to meet some of the characters from J.K. Rowling’s beloved series.  Before you embark on the pumpkin trail, try a butter beer or a chocolate frog.  Then travel the pumpkin trail, and identify characters and scenes from the wizarding world.

Super Hero Nights – Wed and Thurs, Oct 24th & 25th @6pm-8pm:
Comic book fans might meet Black Panther, Captain America, Iron Man, Spider Man, and the gang, take a photo, and find out how they all save the world.  As the heroes go back out to fight evil, find your hero’s pumpkin on the pumpkin trail.

Spooky Zoo – Sat and Sun, Oct 27th & 28th:
Spooky Zoo is back, offering daytime outdoor autumn activities for the whole family.  Come trick-or-treat (while supplies last)  beginning at 10:30 am on the Treat Trail by the red wolf exhibit. Kids and adults will enjoy a packed schedule of seasonal activities. Activities are free with Zoo admission and all children 12 and under dressed in costume get in for half price.

Boo at the Zoo Family Overnight – Sat, Oct 20th and Sat, Oct 27th, 2018:
Snooze at the Zoo for the wildest family overnight adventure in town. The night begins with pizza and ice cream before educators engage you and your children in an owl pellet dissection, program animal encounters, and give you VIP access to the world famous Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular. Set up your sleeping bags in the Meller-Danforth Education Center with popcorn and a movie to snooze to. You’ll need your zzzzs before waking up with the animals. A light breakfast will be provided before a morning Zoo tour.

The Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular takes place 7 days a week. Take advantage of Value Nights, Mon-Thurs, which will save you a bit of money and are usually less crowded.

 

 

 

 

 

Location: Roger Williams Park Zoo, 1000 Elmwood Ave, Providence, RI 02903
Dates: Oct 4 – Nov 4, 2018
Times: 6 – 11 p.m. (last admission at 10pm)
Tel: 401-785-3510
rwpzoo.org/plan-your-visit/events/jack-o-lantern-spectacular
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: goprovidence.com

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 – Sights, Sounds, and Tastes at St-Augustine Celtic Music & Heritage Festival

The sounds of the ancient Celtic peoples of Scotland and Ireland are as alive today as ever in America’s Oldest Celtic City at the 8th Annual St. Augustine Celtic Music & Heritage Festival. IMG_2237_preview

The three-day festival takes place at Francis Field in downtown St. Augustine, featuring internationally acclaimed Celtic bands, a pre-festival Whiskey Tasting, Highland games, Celtic shopping and food, live music, two stages and a variety of entertainment. The music lineup includes Enter the Haggis, Emmet Cahill, House of Hamill, Dublin City Ramblers, Seven Nations, Rathkeltair, Emish, Albannach and Steel City Rovers. Celtic girl Find the CELT in YOU ! 3593-L_preview

The festivities start on Friday, March 9th with a Whiskey Tasting Event from 7-9pm. On Saturday the St. Patrick’s Day Parade  as well as The St. Augustine Highland Games both begin at 10 am,  followed by live musical performances at noon.

Highland games manIMG_2672_previewGeneral admission into the festival is $10. Visit the website for the schedule of events.

Location: Francis Field, 25 W. Castillo Dr., St. Augustine, FL 32084
Dates:
Fri, March 9 – Sun, March 11, 2018
Hours: Fri March 9,  7-9pm, Sat March 10, 10-10pm, Sun March 11, 10-7pm
Tel: 904-891-0326
celticstaugustine.com

For Regional Accommdations, Restaurants & Attractions: floridashistoriccoast.com

US: Alexandria, VA – Dance into the Night at a Silent Disco

Start the year off right with Torpedo Factory Art Center’s The Late Shift: Brand New Day, a spirited celebration of art, music, and dance.

Warm up with an indoor art market, live performances, and pop-up activities throughout the building. The evening will also feature artist demonstrations in the Grand Hall, DIY art making, a welcome reception for the winter Post-Graduate Resident, Lyric Prince, and a Brand New Day selfie station.

Silent Disco 2017-12-20_11-56-57The main attraction is the Silent Disco. Dance into the night during the silent disco with the City of Alexandria’s Mobile Art Lab.  All of the music is played through headphones, rather than a sound system. Dancers can swap back and forth between three DJs to choose which music they want to dance to. Their headphones change color based on which music they’re listening to.  Join in the friendly competition and see how many people’s headsets are set to the same color.

Location: Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 N. Union St., Alexandria, VA 22314
Date: Fri, Jan 19, 2018
Time: 7pm – 10pm
Tel: 703-746-4570
torpedofactory.org/event/the-late-shift-brand-new-day
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitalexandriava.com

US: Mystic, CT – Spiritual Recharging at Winter Solstice Celebration thru Yoga and a Gong Bath

Winter Solstice is a good time to feed your inner light with  clarity that will prepare you for the New Year. It  is an astronomical phenomenon marking the day with the shortest period of daylight and the longest night of the year.Yoga 19457606

Winter Solstice Celebration allows you to experience both the power of Baptiste Yoga with Elizabeth Johnstone and also the Gongs with sound healing artist Stephanie Marisca of In Divine Harmony. In this workshop learn to release tension through the powerful principles of Baptiste yoga. Allowing the heart to open the healing sounds of gong tones,  sound relaxation will gently restore harmony to your body, mind, and spirit.Yoga Gong 18525058

Bring whatever you need to be comfortable laying on the floor for the Gong Bath. Suggested to bring a change of clothes and a blanket. Cost: $35 In Advance/ $40 Day of

Location: Mystic Yoga Shala, 80 Stonington Road #2B, Mystic, CT 06355
Date: Sat, Dec 16
Time: 4 – 6 pm
Tel: 860-536-0237
mysticyogashala.com

For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: ctvisit.com/mystic
thisismystic.com

US: Fayetteville, NC – Fayetteville Rolls Back the Clock for “A Dickens Holiday”

The holiday season would not be complete stepping back into the Victorian era in Fayetteville Christmas tradition. Ever wish for a simpler time, when the pace of life wasn’t hectic and families still enjoyed spending evenings together? Roll back the clock with Fayetteville for A Dickens Holiday.Scrooge 2017-10-09_12-14-27

Horse drawn carriages roll up and down Hay Street, carrying shoppers the old fashioned way by merchants, artisans and vendors of all sorts of delightful treats. Joyful children pose with Father Christmas for memory laden pictures. Savor the inviting aroma of cider and gingerbread permeating the chilly air.

Throughout the day, sounds of the season fill the air as carolers and musicians stroll among the crowd. There is Ebenezer Scrooge himself, pursued by the ghost of Jacob Marley. Perhaps you will be greeted by Tiny Tim and his family.Carolers 2017-10-09_12-16-12

As darkness approaches and the clock reaches 5pm,  join the townspeople for the candlelight procession to the Market House, followed by fireworks. After the fireworks, the festivities continue until 9pm. Enjoy this truly unique experience and create some lasting memories with your loved ones.

Photo Credit: Wick Smith

Location: Historic Downtown Fayetteville, Hay Street – Fayetteville, NC 28301
Date: Fri,  Nov 24, 2017
Time: 1pm – 9pm
Tel: 910-323-1776
theartscouncil.com/dickensmain
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitfayettevillenc.com

US: Savannah, GA – Celebrate the Fourth of July on a Fireworks Cruise

Celebrate our nation’s independence with Savannah Riverboat Cruises’ special Fireworks Cruise on Tuesday, July 4, 2017. Relax and enjoy the sights and sounds of a city founded in 1733.Savannah River Cruise 4th of July Boat

During the one-and-a-half hour cruise, guests can dance to the music of the riverboat DJ spinning their favorite tunes and see a spectacular waterfront fireworks display. Each riverboat has two climate-controlled decks for comfort and an outdoor deck for viewing. A cash bar and snack bar will be available during the cruise.

Boarding starts at 8:30pm, sailing begins at 9 pm and the riverboat returns at 10:30 p.m. For more information about the Fourth of July Fireworks Cruise, call the Savannah Riverboat Cruises at (912) 232-6404 or click here to visit their website.

Location: Savannah Riverboat Cruises, 9 East River Street, Savannah, GA 31412
Date: Tues, July 4, 2017
Hours: 9pm -10:30pm (Boarding at 8:30pm)
Tel:  912-232-6404      
savannahriverboat.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: savannah.com

US: Baltimore, MD – Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show

Light City is a FREE festival that transforms Baltimore with large-scale light installations, performances, music and innovation. Central to Light City is the BGE Light Art Walk along Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, featuring more than 50 attractions including visual arts such as illuminated sculptures, projections, interactive technologies, performances, concerts, food vendors and a children’s area.

Baltimore Light City Skyline

Performance artists bring Light City to life with entertaining acts including fire (a showcase of fire and LED performances utilizing dance, flow arts, circus arts, and music), illuminated puppets, projections, stilt walkers, dance, musical entertainment at the Inner Harbor Amphitheater and along the BGE Light Art Walk.

Inner Harbor Skyline Photo Courtesy of Baltimore Office of Promotion and Arts

Music is a major attraction at Light City. The festival features a full schedule of FREE concerts including local, regional and renowned DJs, bands and musicians across every genre.Light City Baltimore Congregation KMA

Families can visit Mini Light City in Pierce’s Park for hands-on, illuminated craft activities in a youth makers’ tent, children’s entertainers and whimsical snacks such as lighted cotton candy. The park is home to a sound garden by artist David Hess.

Congregation_KMA_Photo by: Tom Wexler

From the south shore of the Inner Harbor to Harbor East, festival -goers can explore 1.5 miles of world-class installations – all free, accessible and open to the public.Light City The Pool

Attendees of the Light City Baltimore festival are encouraged to download the free app prior to their visit to see all that the festival has to offer including the festival map, schedule and general festival information. lightcity.org/light-city-baltimore-app

The Pool  Photo by Jen Lewin.

Location: Baltimore’s Inner Harbor – lightcity.org/map
Date: Fri, Mar 31 – Sat, Apr 8, 2017
Hours: lightcity.org/schedule
Tel: 410-752-8632
lightcity.org
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitbaltimore.org

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