Find Warming Toddies, Nogs, Seasonal Libations in New Jersey’s Historic Taverns

November 19, 2014
One of New Jersey's historic taverns, The Black Horse Tavern has been in business more than 270 years. Located in the heart of Mendham, it was originally a stagecoach house in the mid-1700s.

One of New Jersey’s historic taverns, The Black Horse Tavern has been in business more than 270 years. Located in the heart of Mendham, it was originally a stagecoach house in the mid-1700s.

TRENTON, N.J.– New Jersey is a great place to find warming toddies, comforting nogs, and other seasonal libations. In fact, the third state to sign the Constitution has had a lot of practice, since it claims a collection of some of America’s oldest inns and taverns – a few established before the Revolutionary War – that continue to serve satisfied patrons.  These cozy historic taverns are great gathering spots with welcoming environments that can only be found in New Jersey. For additional details, access www.visitnj.org.

Four notable, historic locations include:

Barnsboro Inn in Sewell is the oldest, established in 1720 and licensed in 1776. “The Inn sits at the intersection of a former main stage coach route between Philadelphia and Cape May,” said owner Tom Budd, who purchased it in 2002. “It has been in continuous operation, except during Prohibition, since it opened.”

Unaware that Barnsboro Inn was built by distant relative John Budd, Tom only learned of his family’s New Jersey tavern-keeping heritage after the sale and careful ancestry research. “John Budd constructed a log cabin in 1720 that was later expanded as a colonial structure that offered dining. Before I bought it, I was amused that I shared the same name with the original owner. Then my wife and I did some ancestry research and discovered that the Budd family has been in New Jersey since 1676. ”

Tom promises that the Inn’s popular Barnsboro Toddy, a warming concoction of apple cider and Apple Jack, returns to the menu with the cool weather. www.barnsboroinn.com

Moses Mount, an aide to General Washington during the Revolutionary War, returned to his beloved Freehold and began operating a tavern in his home for the local gentry and an inn for weary travelers. Moses was granted a “continued license” for “keeping a public house of entertainment,” so states the April 25th, 1787 order from the Monmouth County Court of Quarter Sessions. Earlier license dates have not been determined. However, colorful rouge that he was, Moses may have run afoul of the law: An 1880 court order required him to provide lodging only to men, stabling to horses, and to prohibit any type of gambling.

Today, Moses’s place is known as Moore’s Tavern & Sports Bar, and its careful restoration displays evidence of early American building techniques and tavern beams that reveal the original tool markings of the time. The cozy atmosphere and winter beverages such as Irish, Spanish and Dutch coffees will warm the spirit. www.moorestavern.com/menu.php

The Black Horse Tavern has been in business more than 270 years. Located in the heart of Mendham, it was originally a stagecoach house in the mid-1700s. Today the tavern embraces the traditions of fine dining in a historic restaurant setting. Next door, The Black Horse Pub serves more casual fare. Both establishments embrace with warming fireplaces and soothing beverages. www.blackhorsenj.com/black-horse-tavern-about-us.aspx

Elias Hughes operated the first tavern in Cape May for whalers in the 1700s.  Blue Pig Tavern sits on the site today and derives its name from a gambling parlor sited in Congress Hall in the mid-1800s. Blue Pig is tucked in the corner of Congress Hall fronting on Congress Place and Perry Streets, serves comfort foods and cures winter chills with the likes of steaming Cafe Keoke and Nutty Irish Coffee. www.caperesorts.com/restaurants/capemay/bluepigtavern/menus#dessert

 

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Best Holiday Illuminations in New Jersey

November 19, 2014
41st Cape May Christmas Candlelight House Tour, taking place Dec. 6, 13 & 27, displays America’s largest collection of historic Victorian structures dressed in holiday finery. The self-guided tours will feature at least a dozen homes, inns, hotels and churches each evening.

41st Cape May Christmas Candlelight House Tour, taking place Dec. 6, 13 & 27, displays America’s largest collection of historic Victorian structures dressed in holiday finery. The self-guided tours will feature at least a dozen homes, inns, hotels and churches each evening.

TRENTON, N.J. – The Garden State will sparkle with candlelight tours, glittery floating Christmas trees, finely festooned Victorian homes, and historic lighthouses decked with Yuletide greenery.  Across New Jersey’s neighborhoods, townships and seaside retreats, December is celebrated with tradition and 21st century twists. Check the list of festive offerings at www.visitnj.org.

Here is a look at some of the highlights of the season.

Hereford Inlet Lighthouse (Dec. 5, 5-7 p.m.) in Wildwood invites visitors to its annual Norman Rockwell-like Christmas tree lighting with Santa, music, refreshments and free admission.  The working lighthouse and museum is open to the public for guided and self-guided tours that give a glimpse of lighthouse keeping life in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. www.visitnj.org/nj-events/hereford-inlet-lighthouse-christmas-tree-lighting-ceremony

41st Cape May Christmas Candlelight House Tour (Saturdays. Dec. 6, 13 & 27, 5:30 – 8:30p.m.), displays America’s largest collection of historic Victorian structures dressed in holiday finery.  The self-guided tours will feature at least a dozen homes, inns, hotels and churches each evening, all decorated with Yuletide flair.  Carolers and strolling musicians, Victorian festooned trees and garlands, and welcoming hospitality centers with warm beverages and home-baked goodies enhance the merriment and good cheer. Ticket prices include admission to the historic Emlen Physick Estate, Cape May’s only Victorian house museum, and “An Old-fashioned Christmas: Holiday Traditions through the Years” exhibit at Carriage House Gallery.  Plus, continuous shuttle service on heated trolleys. www.capemaymac.org/candlelighthousetours.html

Historic Smithville magically floats more than 120 lighted Christmas trees on Lake Meone (Nov. 28-Jan 1) the moment darkness falls.  The trees are constructed from more than 50,000 Christmas lights that are orchestrated with music.  The glittering trees reflect the water’s surface and appear to dance and chase each other across the lake.  Each store in Historic Smithville is outlined in white twinkle lights that inspire a visit to the welcoming winter wonderland setting of unique shops and enjoyable eateries. www.colonialinnsmithville.com/blog/december-in-smithville

Holiday Candlelight Tour of Rockingham Historic Site at Kingston (Dec. 14, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.), is a uniquely themed tour of George Washington’s final Revolutionary War headquarters and the small farmhouse that is preserved and interpreted as the temporary residence of George and Martha Washington. The candlelight tour will display 18th-century Christmas traditions and celebrate New Jersey’s 350th Anniversary. Holiday tour guests will learn about different aspects of New Jersey’s history as they pass from room to room, led and informed by the period-dressed Live Historians Club of Montgomery Township High School.  Period music will be presented by Practitioners of Musick, light refreshments will be available and the museum store open. Advance tour reservations are required, suggested admission donation is $5 and must be made by calling 609-683-7132 through Nov. 23 or 609-683-7136 after Nov. 23. www.visitnj.org/nj-events/holiday-candlelight-ours#sthash.XsceKLpO.dpuf

Storybook Land’s Christmas Fantasy with Lights (Nov. 28 – Dec. 30), has been a South Jersey Tradition for more than 25 years.  Santa Claus will appear in his chimney promptly at 5 p.m. daily and wave his magic wand to light the park with over one million lights.  All of Storybook Land rides, attractions and snack bars will be open.  Santa will be in his house and light the park each evening through Dec. 23. www.visitnj.org/nj-events/christmas-fantasy-lights#sthash.UAj6GDGN.dpuf

At 36 feet, Cranbury claims New Jersey’s largest Christmas tree with 46,000 lights – more than the Rockefeller Center tree in New York City!  Beginning Nov. 28, the entire holiday display of 120,000 lights will be choreographed with 19 songs – four new ones this year, and dance to the music for 70 minutes.  New Jersey’s Number One Christmas Display for Charity will light up Cranbury for those in need and 100 percent of all donations made given to the Local Food Bank. A way of giving back to community, one New Jersey family prepares and pays for the annual free holiday display and asks visitors to donate what might have been spent on a family night at the movies – all for a good cause. www.cranburychristmaslights.com.

 

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‘China Then and Now’ Exhibit Opens at Nassau County Museum of Art

November 19, 2014
Liu Dan (b. 1953), Mingsha Diabolo, 2013, Ink on paper, from The Xiling Collection, is on view in the China Then and Now exhibition at the Nassau County Museum of Art, Long Island,

Liu Dan (b. 1953), Mingsha Diabolo, 2013, Ink on paper, from The Xiling Collection, is on view in the China Then and Now exhibition at the Nassau County Museum of Art, Long Island,

China Then and Now, an exhibition opening at the Nassau County Museum of Art, Long Island, brings together exemplary Chinese works of art from the classical, early modern and contemporary periods. The exhibition explores three millennia of one of the world’s most important artistic traditions from the perspective of American collectors on Long Island, such as Childs and Frances Frick and Dr. Arthur M. Sackler. The exhibition opens on November 22, 2014 and remains on view through March 8, 2015.

It is the museum’s first exhibition devoted to Asian art, China Then and Now sheds new light on a fascinating chapter in America’s engagement with China and its arts.  This exhibition reveals the passion of American collectors of both the past and present for the culture and history of China.
China Then and Now unfolds over three galleries, each of which showcases the elegant beauty of Chinese art of different eras and media. The exhibition opens with 11 large-scale classical stone sculptures lent by the Art Properties, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University and formerly in the collections of Arthur M. Sackler. At the heart of China Then and Now is an installation of blue-and-white porcelains from the Ming and Qing eras (17th to 18th centuries) collected by Childs and Frances Frick and on loan, for the first time, from The Frick Collection in New York City. This display reunites these works with their original setting, the Georgian-style Bryce-Frick mansion that is today the home of the Nassau County Museum of Art. A final gallery presents extraordinary ink paintings by the renowned Beijing artist Liu Dan (born 1953) whose works bridge traditional forms with contemporary practices.

Among the special events in conjunction with the exhibition, on Saturday, December 20 at 3 p.m. Daisy Yiyou Wang, Curator of Chinese and East Asian Art at the Peabody Essex Museum, will give a lecture A Thousand Graces: Chinese Buddhist Sculpture in America Then and Now.
The talk traces the journeys of Chinese Buddhist sculptures from early 20th-century temples to their display in American art museums as they fascinated noted American collectors such as Dr. Arthur M. Sackler, Charles L. Freer and John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Wang shares her new research on Charles L. Freer, the founder of the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art, exploring his collection of Chinese Buddhist art. She is the author of a forthcoming monograph on Freer and his collection. Admission is $15 (museum members, $5) and includes museum admission. Register at nassaumuseum.org/events.
Sponsored by HSBC Private Bank, China Then and Now is co-organized by guest curators Amy G. Poster, Curator Emerita of Asian Art at the Brooklyn Museum, and Kaijun Chen, Ph.D., post-doctoral Fellow at the Max-Planck-Institute for the History of Science.

Docent-led tours of the exhibition are offered at 2 p.m. each day; tours of the mansion are offered each Saturday at 1 p.m.; meet in the lobby, no reservations needed. Tours are free with museum admission. Family art activities and family tours are offered Sundays from 1 pm; free with museum admission.

Nassau County Museum of Art is located at One Museum Drive in Roslyn Harbor, just off Northern Boulevard, Route 25A, two traffic lights west of Glen Cove Road. The museum is open Tuesday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-4:45 p.m. Call (516) 484-9338, ext. 12 to inquire about group tours. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors (62 and above) and $4 for students and children (4 to12). Members are admitted free. The Museum Store is open Tuesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Call 516-484-9337 for current exhibitions, events, days/times and directions or log onto nassaumuseum.org.
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Lights, Sound, Movement Exhibit Opens at Gold Coast Arts Center Nov. 23

November 19, 2014
Kenny Greenberg is one of the five artists featured in "Lights, Sound, Movement," at the Gold Coast Arts Museum, Great Neck, Long Island, Nov. 23-Jan.15.

Kenny Greenberg is one of the five artists featured in “Lights, Sound, Movement,” at the Gold Coast Arts Museum, Great Neck, Long Island, Nov. 23-Jan.15.

“Lights, Sound, Movement,” a new exhibition on view Nov. 23-Jan. 15 at the Gold Coast Arts Center in Great Neck, looks at the wide range of contemporary art utilizing light, sound and movement, from works that are concerned entirely with motion and unpredictability, from sculptures that engage with political topics, to work that brings ancient myth into contemporary life.

This exhibit showcases five artists who redefine art’s traditional parameters by engaging with a wealth of new materials, processes and technology to incorporate light, movement and sound in their work.

Meet the artists and enjoy refreshments at an Opening Reception on Sunday, November 23, 4-7 pm. The exhibit and reception are free and open to the public.

Karen Kettering Dimit employs neon as a secondary material used to draw you into the larger subject contained within. The neon becomes the magnetic component attracting your eye to look deeper.

Kenny Greenberg is a neon artist utilizing this material in its traditional form. In drawing a connection to the op-art movement of the 1960’s, Kenny uses the random flashing of his colored neon circles to create an optical rhythm.

Annalisa Iadicicco transposes the every day use of lit signage by emphasizing subjects of a politically charged nature.

Jack Rohe Howard-Potter creates sculpture that delves into the implication of physical movement. While the pieces by themselves don’t actually move, Jack captures the moment along the path of movement from beginning to end.

Mara Sfara tells a story using light, sound and movement in her sculpture. In linking all three elements the sculpture acts as a stage set in a theatrical performance.

Gold Coast Arts Center, 113 Middle Neck Road, Great Neck (entrance through the Maple Avenue parking lot). For more information, call 516-829-2570 or email gallery@goldcoastarts.org.

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‘Tanya Tucker: Strong Enough to Bend’ at Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum

November 19, 2014
The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum in Nashville explores the career of superstar Tanya Tucker with the exhibition Tanya Tucker: Strong Enough to Bend, running through May 2015.

The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum in Nashville explores the career of superstar Tanya Tucker with the exhibition Tanya Tucker: Strong Enough to Bend, running through May 2015.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum explores the career of superstar Tanya Tucker with the exhibition Tanya Tucker: Strong Enough to Bend, running through May 2015.

Tucker’s story is told through a collection of artifacts that illustrate her tough and tender duality and ahead-of-her-time tenure as a female country crossover star. Gorgeous stage costumes, including several Nudie’s Rodeo Tailor designs from very early in her career and gowns worn at award shows contrast with her numerous National Cutting Horse Association awards and a Harley-Davidson 1992 Screamin’ Eagle— customized in her special hue of pink paint. A copy of the September 26, 1974 Rolling Stone magazine featuring Tucker as the first female country artist to appear on the cover underscores her impact, as do Tucker’s outfit from the 1994 Super Bowl halftime show and a script from her 1981 appearance on an episode of the massively popular TV series The Love Boat.

Tanya Tucker’s talent blossomed early, despite being born into poverty in Texas and raised in ramshackle apartments and trailers in Arizona, Utah, and Nevada. She began performing on local shows at age six, and within years was a regular on a Phoenix TV program.  A Las Vegas agent sent a demo recording to Billy Sherrill, who quickly signed Tucker to Columbia Records. She was thirteen years old.

At the time, few child performers had achieved success in country music. But the singer’s husky voice and audacious confidence made her seem more grown-up. She proved as much when she walked into a Nashville studio, in March 1972, and announced to Sherrill and the veteran musicians, “Well, I know my part, boys. Do you know yours?” She proceeded to belt out “Delta Dawn” like a seasoned pro, and by summer the song was a hit.

Tucker assured her success by releasing six consecutive Top Ten hits—including the #1s “What’s Your Mama’s Name,” “Blood Red and Goin’ Down,” and “Would You Lay With Me (in a Field of Stone)”—in two years, all produced by Sherrill. The narrative songs told daring stories that courted controversy, and Tucker’s mature-beyond-her-years vocal style brought out the drama and emotion in each.

Two years into her singing career, Tucker appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine—a rare national media spotlight for a country star in 1974. To her parents, Beau and Juanita Tucker, such recognition signified that their teen daughter had crossover potential that could take her beyond the country audience.

On October 10, 1974—Tucker’s sixteenth birthday—she signed a $1.4 million contract with MCA Records, a deal brokered by her ambitious father. Her seven years on MCA yielded the #1 hits “Lizzie and the Rainman.” “San Antonio Stroll,” and “Here’s Some Love.” In 1978, she recorded the rock-influenced album T.N.T. in Los Angeles.

In California, Tucker began dating singer Glen Campbell, twenty-two years her senior; their fiery, tabloid-filled relationship ended in acrimony.  After a stint with Arista Records, Tucker signed with Capitol Records and reunited with producer Jerry Crutchfield, with whom she had worked at MCA.

Tucker’s 1986 album, Girl Like Me, featured four Top Ten hits, including the #1 “Just Another Love.” She enjoyed a long run of success on Capitol (and sister label Liberty), with a string of Top Ten hits through 1997, including three consecutive #1s, “I Won’t Take Less Than Your Love,” “If It Don’t Come Easy,” and “Strong Enough to Bend.”

Tanya Tucker heard her name called as the 1991 CMA Female Vocalist of the Year while lying in a hospital bed, watching the awards show on TV. Earlier the same day, she had delivered her second child, Beau.

Her first child, daughter Presley, was born in July 1989—a year after Tucker had checked herself into the Betty Ford Center over issues with substance abuse. Her third child, Layla, arrived in 1999.

For Tucker, the CMA award came at a time when some radio stations refused to play her music while criticizing her choice to be a single mother. The CMA award, the first of her career, proved that the country music industry at large continued to support her. The national media cited Tucker’s win, and her eighteen Top Ten hits between 1988 and 1994, as signs that country music reflected the evolving roles of women in American society.

Tucker detailed her colorful life story in her1997 autobiography, Nickel Dreams: My Life. The singer also starred in her own reality show, Tuckerville, on cable network TLC. “Every one of us has good and bad times in our lives,” Tucker wrote in Nickel Dreams. “In my case, they have been to extremes.”

Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum is operated by the Country Music Foundation, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) educational organization chartered by the state of Tennessee in 1964. The museum’s mission is the preservation of the history of country and related vernacular music rooted in southern culture.  With the same educational mission, the foundation also operates CMF Records, the museum’s Frist Library and Archive, CMF Press, Historic RCA Studio B and Hatch Show Print®.

More information about the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum is available at countrymusichalloffame.org  or by calling (615) 416-2001.

 

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North Pole Bound: Middleton, Wisconsin Polar Express Train Ride Paired with Family Getaway

November 14, 2014
The POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride in Middleton launches its one-hour round-trip journeys from the Wisconsin & Southern Railroad Depot starting on Nov. 21 and running through Dec. 22, transporting guests to the North Pole on an unforgettable story-book journey complete with hot chocolate, dancing chefs and vintage passenger train cars. A Premier Rail Collection Family Getaway pairs THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride tickets with hotel accommodations (photo courtesy of Premier Rail Collection)

The POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride in Middleton launches its one-hour round-trip journeys from the Wisconsin & Southern Railroad Depot starting on Nov. 21 and running through Dec. 22, transporting guests to the North Pole on an unforgettable story-book journey complete with hot chocolate, dancing chefs and vintage passenger train cars. A Premier Rail Collection Family Getaway pairs THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride tickets with hotel accommodations (photo courtesy of Premier Rail Collection)

MIDDLETON, Wis. –Families can escape the crowds for an winter getaway promising sing-alongs and Santa  aboard everyone’s favorite holiday train. The POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride in Middleton launches its one-hour round-trip journeys from the Wisconsin & Southern Railroad Depot starting on Nov. 21 and running through Dec. 22, transporting guests to the North Pole on an unforgettable story-book journey complete with hot chocolate, dancing chefs and vintage passenger train cars.

A Premier Rail Collection Family Getaway pairs THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride tickets with hotel accommodations at a choice of four Middleton hotels for a weekend getaway or mid-week escape.

Package prices begin at $115 per adult and $22 per child (ages 2 to 12), based on double occupancy, and include:

  • Coach seats aboard The Middleton POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride
    (20$ per passenger upgrade to First Class or $40 per passenger upgrade to Diamond Class; babe-in-arms ad $10 upgrade fare)
  • Quaker Steak & Lube 10% OFF entire bill (with minimum $30 purchase)
  • Steam train collectible ornament

For package reservations, contact your professional travel agent or call Key Holidays at (800) 783-0783.

To make Polar Express train-only reservations, call 855-847-1430 or visit www.wsorpolarexpressride.com/buy-tickets.

Wisconsin & Southern Railroad’s Polar Express is a part of Premier Rail Collection, which also owns and operates a number of  Polar Express Train Rides throughout the United States including: Saratoga & North Creek Railway, The Eastern Flyer’s Polar Express, and Texas State Railroad.

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Saratoga & North Creek Railway Begins Service to North Pole onboard THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride

November 14, 2014
The Saratoga & North Creek Railway has begun service to the North Pole onboard THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride.  The magical story comes to life for a one-hour round-trip journey to the North Pole on select dates through Dec. 28 (photo courtesy of Premier Rail Collection).

The Saratoga & North Creek Railway has begun service to the North Pole onboard THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride. The magical story comes to life for a one-hour round-trip journey to the North Pole on select dates through Dec. 28 (photo courtesy of Premier Rail Collection).

Saratoga Springs, NY – The Saratoga & North Creek Railway has begun service to the North Pole onboard THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride.  The magical story comes to life when the train departs the Saratoga Springs Depot for a one-hour round-trip journey to the North Pole.

The Saratoga & North Creek Railway is currently entering its 4th season operating THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride and was thrilled to welcome Saratoga Springs Mayor, Joanne Yepsen as its first special guest conductor of the season.

To date, the Saratoga & North Creek Railway has sold nearly 17,000 tickets for the 2014 holiday ride and has added a new economical class of service to its existing three classes to accommodate increasing demands for affordable family options.

Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, passengers will relive the magic of the story as they are whisked away on THE POLAR EXPRESS™. Once onboard, hot chocolate and treats are served as passengers read along with the classic children’s book, The Polar Express, by Chris Van Allsburg. Santa and his helpers greet passengers at the North Pole and then board the train, where each child is given the first gift of Christmas – a silver sleigh bell. Chefs aboard each car lead passengers in singing Christmas carols on the ride back to Saratoga Springs Depot.  Families are encouraged to wear their pajamas for the ride!

Ticket prices begin at $70 for  adults and $25 for children (ages 2-11), depending on date and class of service.

The journey begins Nov. 14 and runs through Dec. 28 on select dates. Exact dates, fares and excursion times are available by calling 877-726-7245 or by visiting www.sncrr.com.

The Saratoga & North Creek Railway is a part of Premier Rail Collection, which also owns and operates a number of  Polar Express Train Rides throughout the United States including: Wisconsin & Southern Railroad’s Polar Express, The Eastern Flyer’s Polar Express, and Texas State Railroad.

 

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Holiday Lights Spectacular Returns to Jones Beach State Park, Long Island

November 14, 2014
The Holiday Lights Spectacular returns to Jones Beach, Long Island, Nov. 20 through Jan. 4.

The Holiday Lights Spectacular returns to Jones Beach, Long Island, Nov. 20 through Jan. 4.

The drive-through Holiday Lights Spectacular presented by the NYCB Family of Banks will return to the West End of Jones Beach in November, bringing back a Long Island holiday tradition last held in the park in 2007. Partnering with entertainment giant Live Nation, the Holiday Lights Spectacular is a 2.5-mile drive offering visitors the opportunity to view more than 150 animated and synchronized light displays that will create a colorful and marvelous holiday experience.

The Holiday Lights Spectacular will begin on Thursday, November 20 and run through Sunday, January 4. Visitors can enjoy the display each day from dusk until 10:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and until 11:00 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

This year the Holiday Lights Spectacular will feature the inaugural Holiday Village. The Holiday Village will feature pictures with Santa, holiday refreshments, holiday music, local school choir performances, and a Hay Maze that will provide a magical journey through the sparkling lights in the Holiday Village.

Admission for the Holiday Lights Spectacular is $20 per vehicle and $25 on weekends. Every Tuesday, “2 for Tuesdays” will offer visitors the opportunity to drive through the Holiday Lights Spectacular a second time for free.

For more information click here.

“State Parks is thrilled to welcome back the Holiday Lights Spectacular to Jones Beach State Park,” State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey said. “The Holiday Lights Spectacular complements Governor Cuomo’s comprehensive plan to revitalize Jones Beach, which includes adding more diverse recreational opportunities, attracting more visitors in the off-season and reinvigorating underutilized park areas. Thank you Live Nation for being such a terrific partner in helping bring back this wonderful tradition.”

Earlier this year, Governor Cuomo announced the $65 million Jones Beach Revitalization Plan to expand recreational opportunities, restore historic and aesthetic grandeur, strengthen storm resiliency, and streamline park entry, all of which will improve economic development and increase visitation to the park.

 

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Kennedy Space Center Celebrates ‘Holidays in Space’ with All-New 3D Light Shows, Laser Spectacular

November 14, 2014
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex celebrates "Holidays in Space."

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex celebrates “Holidays in Space.”

CAPE CANAVERAL, FlaKENNEDY SPACE CENTER – Looking for something new and unique to do this holiday season? The holidays at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex are going high-tech with a first-of-its-kind 3D show “projection mapped” onto a rocket, and a laser and light show so spectacular, astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) should be able to see the beam.

Beginning Friday, Nov. 28, the day after Thanksgiving, the Visitor Complex will be adorned for the holiday season with a stunning array of decorations including a 41-foot Christmas tree, a giant NASA “meatball” ornament, garlands, lights, ribbons, bows and more.

As the season progresses, so does the fun. From Dec. 2 through Jan. 4, the Visitor Complex presents the new Holiday Rocket Garden Light Show featuring a choreographed light and music show.

The excitement accelerates Dec. 22 through Dec. 31 when a second element is added to the show: a 3D projection mapping presentations shown on the side of the 223-foot-long Saturn 1B rocket. Also called spatial augmented reality, this technology is used to project images onto irregularly shaped objects, such as bridges, buildings, and now, a rocket. This remarkable presentation, a first at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, features custom animation blended with historic footage of actual launches and awe-inspiring views of Earth from the ISS. The show takes guests on a walk through NASA history, from our first launches to the moon, through the 30-year Space Shuttle Program and the assembly of the ISS, and onto the surface of Mars, thanks to actual images captured by NASA’s Curiosity and Opportunity robotic exploration rovers.

From Dec. 26-Dec. 31, a Holiday Laser Light Spectacular will be added to the festivities, featuring an incredible music and laser light show that will be visible in Orlando and throughout Central Florida. The green rays from the laser show are bright enough for astronauts aboard the International Space Station to see them.

“Many astronauts have told us that they have felt no greater sense of peace and hope for humankind than when looking down on the blue marble of Earth from space,” said Therrin Protze, chief operating officer of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. “Through these truly unique and 3D light and laser shows, we hope to share that incredible feeling with all our guests this holiday season.”

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex’s Rocket Garden features a majestic collection of real and replica capsules and rockets, soaring 80-, 90-, and 100 feet into the sky, demonstrating how manned space flight progressed through the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo eras.

All holiday activities are included with Visitor Complex admission; no advance reservations are required. Light shows begin at dusk each day. The Visitor Complex is open 365 days a year, including Christmas Day, Dec. 25.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex’s holiday hours of operation are:

Nov. 28-Dec. 25: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Dec. 26-Dec. 30: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex brings to life the epic story of the U.S. space program, offering a full day or more of fun and educational activities, including the Kennedy Space Center Tour featuring the Apollo/Saturn V Center with an actual Saturn V moon rocket, Shuttle Launch Experience®, 3D IMAX® space films, Astronaut Encounter, Exploration Space®: Explorers Wanted and many other interactive exhibits. The new $100 million home for Space Shuttle AtlantisSM opened June 29, 2013. Admission also includes the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame®, featuring historic spacecraft and the world’s largest collection of personal astronaut memorabilia, which opens daily at noon and closing times vary by season. Only 45 minutes from Orlando, Fla., Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex opens daily at 9 a.m. with closing times varying by season. Admission is $50 + tax for adults and $40 + tax for children ages 3-11. The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex offers annual passes starting at $75 + tax for adults and $60 + tax for children ages 3-11.

For more information, call 877-313-2610 or visit www.KennedySpaceCenter.com.

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Long Island’s ‘Greatest Folk Concert’ to Honor David Amram, Pete Seeger and Aid Gold Coast Arts Center

November 14, 2014
David Amram and Pete Seeger performing (courtesy of www.econosmith.com).

David Amram and Pete Seeger performing (courtesy of http://www.econosmith.com).

The greats of folk music including Peter Yarrow and Tom Chapin are gathering together on Nov. 20 at Tilles Center for a concert that both celebrates the eclectic American composer and performer David Amram on his 84th birthday, and pays tribute to the iconic Pete Seeger.

The concert, which is being billed as “the greatest folk concert Long Island has seen in decades,” is being organized by Great Neck resident Jason Samel of Movement Music Records in association with Love Revolution and the Gold Coast Arts Center to benefit the arts center, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting and promoting the arts through education, exhibition, performance and outreach.

The performers include Amram – an American composer, conductor, multi-instrumentalist, and author a musician best known for classical and jazz music – as well as friends he shared with the late Pete Seeger including Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul, and Mary), Tom Chapin, Holly Near, Guy Davis, Garland Jeffreys, Kim and Reggie Harris, Joel Rafael, The Amigos, The Chapin Sisters, Bethany & Rufus and the Connecticut State Troubadour Kristen Graves.

As a classical composer and performer, Amam’s integration of jazz (including being one of the first to improvise jazz on the French horn), folkloric and world music has led him to work with the a virtual who’s who of music, film and literature.

Samel said he was decided to combined Amram’s 84th birthday celebration with a tribute for Pete Seeger because of the close relationship of the two men.

“David Amram was very close friends with Pete Seeger, which is the reason we wanted to tie this into his birthday concert,” Samel said.  “David has a long history in folk music, classical, jazz, blues, as well as music of the American Indians…. He is in fact one of the most respected folk musicians in the country, as well as in so many other genres of music.  Every artist on the bill has played with David and Pete, as it was a requirement for an artist to be able to play in this concert.  Also, much of Amram’s music will be played at the concert, as it is a tribute to both him, and Pete.”

Samel said the concert is also intended to recognize Seeger’s political activism.

The concert, which is called  “David Amram’s 84th Birthday Concert: Remembering Pete Seeger,” will begin at 7 p.m. on Nov. 20 at The Hillwood Recital Hall at Tilles Center on the LIU-CW Post Campus at 720 Northern Blvd. in Brookville. Concert tickets are $55 in advance and can be purchased at www.movementmusicrecords.com

There is also a VIP meet and greet with the performers available for an additional $45.

For more information about the Gold Coast Arts Center, visit www.goldcoastarts.org or call (516) 829-2570.


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