Archive for the 'News' Category

Canadian Museum of Nature is Museum of Fun

Friday, May 27th, 2016

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


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Canada: Montreal – Cavalia’s Odysseo is a Perfect “10”

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

Odysseo, the horse centric show, is awesome family entertainment which will WOW every member. If you can imagine taking Cirque du Soleil up a notch by marrying it with a team of gifted equestrians, this would be their offspring.

The show has acrobats, blade-running acrobats and horse acrobats – each team outdoing the other in their antics. However, at the same time, all the way through you will see members giving each other the high five in appreciation of each other’s work. Sweet.

There are raucous horses racing through jumps and quiet ballet-like riderless horses dancing to the whims of their female horse whisperer, Elise Verdoncq.

The carousel pole acrobatics is  a charming setting for the melange of horse and rider/acrobat but the white fabric/rope acrobatic act is the perfect “10” for each of the costume designer, set designer, lighting, and the acrobats themselves.

It’s hard to imagine it fitting into a tent setting, but horses appear on mountaintops, in ice caves, the woods, walking down hills, galloping as fast as the wind and even and splashing in a waterfront finale.

Don’t wait, book tickets now.  Great idea for Dad for Father’s Day.

Location: Odysseo White Big Top at the corner of the Metropolitan & Decarie Boulevards
1425 Dion Street, Montreal (QC), H4N 2C3
Tel: 866-999-8111
Dates: June 17-July 19







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Canada: Go Behind Niagara Falls

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

The Niagara Parks Commission is celebrating the 125th Anniversary of the Journey Behind the Falls attraction with a month-long celebration highlighting the popular tourism site

In 1889, the NPC constructed the first tunnels behind the Falls; It was named “Sheet of Falling Water” and lantern-carrying guides brought visitors up-cloDSC_0518se and personal with the rushing water. Over time as the brink of the Falls receded, tunnel extensions were required. In 1944 a new tunnel was constructed 18 metres behind the original passageway. These new concrete-lined, lit tunnels are still in use today. In 1951, an observation plaza was added and in 1990, the heavy rubber raincoats and boots were discontinued. These were replaced by light, biodegradable yellow rain ponchos which can now be kept as a souvenir.

During the month of August, Niagara Parks will be sharing 31 stories – one each day – about the attraction at, and through its Facebook page and Twitter account (@NiagaraParks). Visitors are being encouraged to share their stories, thoughts and images about this popular tourism attraction.

On Friday, August 22, a free “birthday cake” event will be held at Table Rock for visitors and invited guests. This will be followed that evening by a special illumination of the Falls in yellow, coinciding with Falls Fireworks taking place at 10 pm, to recognize this significant moment in NPC’s history.

Here’s one touching tale:

“The year was 1941 and WWII was raging. Flo and Irv were getting married, and as was popular in those days, they wanted to go to Niagara Falls for their honeymoon. However their budget wasn’t large enough for the trip and they couldn’t make it. That didn’t dim their love or romance, which lasted 62 years.

Fast forward to 2013. Irv has passed away and it is Flo’s 90th birthday. When asked where in the world she wanted to go for her special day, she answered easily “NiagaDSC_0508ra Falls”. They never made it there to join those lantern-carrying guides behind the falls, but the allure was still there, and she really wanted to experience those world-famous Falls. She insisted, though, that she wanted Irv along on the journey.

Take a look at these images of her and notice a photo of him pinned to her blouse in a plastic bag (so he doesn’t get wet!). So finally, 72 years after their plans went astray, Flo and Irv Phillips made the Journey to the Falls together.”



US: Experience Weightlessness like an Astronaut

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

If you’ve even wanted to feel like an astronaut, but do not want sign up for a space flight, perhaps the first step might be to experience weightlessness. The ZERO-G Experience has built a specially modified Boeing 727. While flying in it, parabolic arcs are performed to create a weightless environment allowing you to float, flip and soar as if you were in space.

The price for this out-of-the world experience starts at $4,950 per person and it includes 12-15 parabolas. You get to keep your  own ZERO-G flight suit, some ZERO-G merchandise, enjoy a a Regravitation Celebration, are given a certificate of weightless completion, and of course, photos and video of your unique experience.

The cities it is happening in from March-August: Austin, TX, Cape Canaveral, FL, Chicago, IL, Houston TX, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, CA, Miami FL, New York, NY, Philadelphia, PA, San Francisco CA, Seattle WA

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Spain: Clever Thieves Hide in Bus Cargo Hold

Friday, December 20th, 2013

You have to admire their moxie. Contortionists are being placed inside suitcases which are then placed inside the cargo hold of buses in Spain. They then have the opportunity to go through any and all of your luggage and help themselves to whatever they want, while you are enjoying the scenic rides between popular tourist destinations. By the time you have reached the end of your journey, they (and their booty) are back inside their suitcase, ready to be plucked off the bus by an accomplice.

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US: Allegiant Air Cheap Flights and Cell Plan

Friday, November 1st, 2013

Allegiant Air makes leisure travel affordable and convenient by offering low fares, nonstop, all-jet service without the hassle of major airports. The savings can be up to 72% on your flight but also a few bucks on your cell phone plan too.

Ever racked up a large cell phone bill while traveling? Allegiant, in partnership with Roam Mobility, offers a roaming plan that undercuts the big three carriers by more than 90%. Allegiant passengers can purchase daily-unlimited talk and text plans from $3 and data rates from 6 cents a megabyte from the in-flight crew to avoid “roam rage”.

If you sign up for their e-mails, you will get location specific sales – only deals pertaining to your closest airport. Besides flights, there are specials on hotels, car rental and show tickets. You will only get information on Tuesdays, so it’s easy to check then.

You can fly Allegiant to warm winter destinations like Florida, Las Vegas,  Arizona, California, Mexico and Hawaii.

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US: Allegiant Air Non-Stop Low Budget

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

Allegiant Air flies from America’s favorite small cities to world-class destinations. Allegiant makes leisure travel affordable and convenient by offering low fares, nonstop, all-jet service. So you get great value and without all the hassle of major airports. The savings can be up to 72% on your flight.

If you sign up for their e-mails, you will get location specific sales – only deals pertaining to your closest airport. Besides flights, there are specials on hotels, car rental and show tickets. You will only get information on Tuesdays, so it’s easy to check then.

Allegiant flies to to warm winter destinations like Florida, Las Vegas, California, Mexico, Arizona and Hawaii.

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