Easing Back into the Big Easy And Reasons to Visit New Orleans this Summer

May 14, 2021
New Orleans French Quarter. Plenty of opportunities to enjoy New Orleans’ famed music outdoors (c) Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

There are many great reasons to plan a trip to New Orleans this summer or later. Here are some:

New hotels, including Four Seasons (opening mid-2021), Hotel Saint Vincent (opening ~June 1), Virgin Hotels New Orleans (opening late summer) as well as The Chloe (opened Oct. 2020) and Columns (opened Feb. 2021).

More ways to enjoy food and libations – safely – with friends, with breweries such as Miel and Zony Mash Beer Project offering ample outside seating with epic food trucks, pop-ups and live music. Many restaurants in the French Quarter offer courtyard dining for those looking to enjoy an elegant meal outdoors. Bonus: famed Galatoire’s Restaurant now takes reservations, meaning it’s easier than ever to snag a table and avoid long wait times.

New cultural attractions, including the Museum of Southern Jewish Experience opening May 27. Many favorites have reopened safely for visitors to enjoy with enhanced safety measures as a priority, such as Audubon Zoo, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, Sazerac House, The National WWII Museum, New Orleans Jazz Museum, New Orleans Museum of Art and Ogden Museum of Southern Art. And the new Children’s Museum will reopen on May 29.

The return of beloved festivals including Hogs for the Cause (June 4-5), the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience (June 9-13), Satchmo SummerFest (July 30-Aug. 1), Beignet Festival (Sept. 25), French Quarter Festival (Sept. 30-Oct. 3) and a once-in-a-lifetime fall Jazz Fest (Oct. 8-17).

Great, safe outdoor experiences, including picnicking in Audubon Park or City Park, biking, golfing, and plenty of opportunities to listen to live music, including Bacchanal (now taking reservations), Lounge Vue House and Gardens’ Twilight at Lounge Vue outdoor music series, The Soul Rebels at the Broadside Theater, Steamboat Natchez Jazz Cruises, and much, much more.

More details and insights on what’s new, what’s open and what’s coming can be found on the New Orleans Insider’s Blog

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CruiseCompete Keeps Up to Date on Cruises Available this Summer

May 7, 2021
Major cruise lines are returning to sailing. CruiseCompete keeps track of what cruises are available © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

DETROIT  – Wondering which lines are sailing and to which destinations? CruiseCompete, an online cruise marketplace, has been working hard to keep up with the exhaustive list of cruise line itinerary changes. The best way to see sailings available is by month – June, July, August, September and more.

From June 2021 to December 2023, there are many sailings available now to book, from the rivers of the USA to the seas of the Mediterranean. The cruises and specific information are, of course, dependent on any new developments and changes in the cruise industry.

The service is simple to use: Find the desired cruise. Request quotes. Compare personalized offers, prices, upgrades, cabin credits and more. Contact member-advisors with questions and to book. If you’d like more information or assistance planning a future cruise or a cruisetour, visit CruiseCompete and try the Virtual Cruise Advisor™ or Live Help.

CruiseCompete member-advisors are among the most well-educated, forward-thinking and trusted cruise specialists in the industry. 

CruiseCompete has been the premier online cruise marketplace since 2003. Consumers come to CruiseCompete to research and book cruise vacations. They can compare offers from travel advisors, see consumer reviews of advisors and agencies responding, then contact travel advisors directly for more information and to book cruises. CruiseCompete is a member of the Family Travel Association, a resource for family travel information and is home to the Sea Tales 2021 Family Cruise Travel Planner at Travel Resources. CruiseCompete CruiseTrends™ offers monthly stats for an inside look at consumer trends and what consumers want in cruise vacations.

For more information, visit https://www.cruisecompete.com/  or  https://www.cruisecompete.com/group_cruises/

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Broadway Theater Tickets Back on Sale for Performances Beginning Sept 14

May 7, 2021
Broadway theater, New York City’s Great White Way, will fully reopen its doors this September, in accordance with the New York State’s health and safety guidance. Beginning May 6, and throughout May, tickets for Broadway shows – which begin September 14, 2021 – are already on sale at 100 percent of theater capacity © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Broadway theater, New York City’s Great White Way, will fully reopen its doors this September, in accordance with the New York State’s health and safety guidance. Beginning May 6, and throughout May, tickets for Broadway shows – which begin September 14, 2021 – are already on sale at 100 percent of theater capacity.

The announcement builds upon the reopening of performing arts and live entertainment venues at limited capacities last month and further sets the stage for Broadway shows to return to theaters throughout the fall. 

“Broadway is at the core of our New York identity, and a big part of our economy which employees countless performers and show creators, and beginning this September, the show will go on,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said.”Visitors from all around the world have come to New York to experience the arts and culture and see iconic performances on Broadway, and sadly, the pandemic put this unique New York experience on pause. Thankfully, as we continue to monitor the data and reopen our economy, we are now on track to allow full capacity performances on Broadway to resume beginning this September, bringing back this beloved world-famous attraction.”

Broadway League President Charlotte St. Martin said, “On behalf of the nearly 100,000 people who make their living on Broadway – on stage, backstage, and throughout the city and state – we are immensely gratified by the support of Governor Cuomo today. Restarting Broadway is a complex endeavor, requiring long lead times for productions the need to reconnect with a sustaining audience from across the country and around the world. Today’s green light by the Governor to put our shows on sale now for the fall is vital to our success. Broadway is the beating heart of NYC tourism and we can’t wait for the day soon when our hearts will beat before a live joyful audience.”

The State will continue to work closely with Broadway industry partners to plan for the safe, successful return of this world-class cultural experience.  As public health conditions and the State’s guidance for performing arts and live entertainment changes, Broadway stakeholders will remain flexible and adapt to applicable health protocols, such as face coverings, health screening, enhanced air filtration and ventilation, and rigorous cleaning and disinfection. 

The availability of advance sale tickets and marketing for shows begins the months-long process of reopening to full capacity, building momentum to sustain many long and successful Broadway runs.  The Governor, Department of Health, Empire State Development, and State agency partners join with the industry in their commitment to creating safe and heathy environments for audiences, performers, and employees to enjoy, perform, and work.  If performances need to be postponed due to the public health conditions, theaters have planned to offer customer-friendly refunds and exchange policies. 

To support the performance industry in New York City, the FY 2022 enacted budget included $1 billion in Small Business and Arts Relief and Recovery Assistance, which includes the New York City Musical and Theatrical Production Tax Credit Program which provides up to $100 million in tax credits to jump start the industry and revitalize tourism in New York City. Under this program, productions which have their first performance scheduled through December 2022 are eligible for a 25 percent credit on eligible costs. 

Prior to the pandemic, almost 250,000 people were seeing a Broadway show every week.  Broadway supports nearly 97,000 local jobs and contributes about $14.7 billion every year to the New York City economy.

For more information, visit the Broadway League, the industry’s trade association: www.broadway.org/

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Long Island’s American Airpower Museum’s WWII Warbirds Join Jones Beach Air Show, Offer 4 Days of Flight Experiences at Republic Airport

May 7, 2021
A fly-by of World War II era planes from the American Air Power Museum, Long Island’s only flying military aviation museum, at the popular Jones Beach Air Show. The museum not only will be participating in the air show, but offer flight demonstrations, experiences for four days,  May 27-30. © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Farmingdale, Long Island – Memorial Day Weekend is when we honor our fallen Veterans, the sacrifices made by active duty military and those retired from service.  In observance of Memorial Day Weekend, American Airpower Museum (AAM) continues their historic participation in the Jones Beach Air Show, flying their fabled “Arsenal of Democracy” warbirds over Jones Beach on Saturday, May 29th and Sunday, May 30th.  AAM’s fleet of iconic and meticulously restored military aircraft will include a B-25 Mitchell Bomber, Douglas C-47 Skytrain troop transporter, Grumman TBM Avenger Torpedo Bomber, Curtiss P-40 Flying Tiger, P-51D Mustang Fighter, AT-6 Texan Warbird and AT28D5 Nomad Vietnam Era Fighter.

On May 29th and May 30th, Hangar 3 opens at 10:00 a.m.  Arrive there early, park your car, sign in and enjoy the exhibits.  During the morning, you’ll be called outside to watch our pilots start their engines, taxi and lift off, performing exciting flybys with Republic Air Traffic Control permission, before leaving to join the Jones Beach Air Show.  Have lunch and later on watch as our aircraft return from Jones Beach in the afternoon, touch down and taxi back to Hangar 3.   Flight experiences also available each day on AAM’s AT-6 Texan and Waco Biplane!

AAM also welcomes three visiting U.S. Navy EF/A-18 Super Hornets from May 27th through May 30th.  The Hornets are supersonic combat jets, designed as both fighters and attack aircraft.  Exclusive to AAM, Hornets are not in the Jones Beach Air Show and will be on AAM’s ramp all four days.  Be there early a.m. as the Hornets touch down at Republic on Thursday, May 27th.   Hornets are scheduled to depart on May 31st or June 1st.   AAM’s WWII aircraft will also have practice fly days Thursday and Friday in the a.m. and p.m.

According to AAM founder Jeff Clyman, the goal for this four-day salute is two-fold: “To honor the men and women of the ‘Greatest Generation’ who built, maintained and piloted the iconic warbirds of yesteryear in a bold defense of freedom during World War II, as well as active duty military, national guard and reservists who continue this mission and command the skies in advanced supersonic jet aircraft to our present day.”  

Since everyone can’t be at Jones Beach on Saturday and Sunday, Jeff Clyman decided to stage this four-day salute so folks on the beach, as well as those closer to home, can enjoy AAM’s warbirds.  So, if you want to avoid the Wantagh Parkway crawl to Jones Beach, you can park instead for FREE in AAM’s lot and along New Highway!  Bring the family, hang out with us all day, and watch exciting warbirds in action each day!

One other note:  The Air Show features a U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II, “The Warthog,” flying over Jones Beach.  AAM has its very own A-10, our nation’s premier close air support attack aircraft and it’s on display outside Hangar 3, with staff ready to answer your questions about its special features and armaments.

Admission for adults is $15, seniors & veterans $10 and children 5-12 $8.  Tickets and pre-registration is not required and admission is on a first-come-first-serve basis.  The Museum can now operate at 100% capacity, in accordance with New York’s May 19th lifting of pandemic capacity limits.  However, there is still a need for social distancing and guests must wear face masks plus have temperatures taken at the door.  Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on all four days, plus AAM is open Monday, May 31st, Memorial Day. 

American Airpower Museum , Hangar 3, 1230 New Highway, Farmingdale, NY 11735, 631-293-6398, info@americanairpowermuseum.org –  www.americanairpowermuseum.com

See also:

LONG ISLAND’S AMERICAN AIRPOWER MUSEUM REOPENS FOR VISITS, FLIGHTS ABOARD HISTORIC PLANES

16TH ANNUAL BETHPAGE AIR SHOW AT JONES BEACH, LONG ISLAND, HONORS SPIRIT OF MEMORIAL DAY

PHOTO HIGHLIGHTS FROM 15TH ANNUAL MEMORIAL DAY BETHPAGE AIR SHOW AT JONES BEACH, LONG ISLAND

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Club Med All-Inclusive Resorts Offer Splash into Summer Sale

May 6, 2021
Learning to scuba dive at Club Med Sandpiper Bay, Florida, one of Club Med’s most family-friendly resorts. Club Med was a pioneer in the all-inclusive resort concept. © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

MIAMI  — Club Med, a pioneer of the all-inclusive resort concept, invites families, couples, and solo travelers alike to take advantage of up to 45% off, plus perks, at its top resorts in the Caribbean, Mexico, and Florida. The Splash into Summer sale is open for bookings now through June 30, 2021, with select travel dates from now to December 17, 2021. Perks include a free water view room upgrade and free stay for kids under 4. Club Med offers guests an all-inclusive experience tailor-made for any travel style, whether they’re seeking a family-friendly vacation or an adults-exclusive getaway.

Club Med’s spacious low-density resorts are surrounded by nature, spread across 50 acres, and operate at a limited capacity, allowing guests peace of mind and the freedom to unwind while creating cherished memories together. Guests will enjoy an all-encompassing vacation with unlimited culinary options, premium accommodations, and activities for all interests – from flying trapeze and sailing to poolside yoga and oceanfront spa treatments. Families will particularly enjoy Club Med’s Amazing Family program, a fun-filled agenda of weekly activities designed to help families bond, reconnect, and experience a greater sense of reunion. Club Med’s enhanced safety and hygiene protocols, free onsite antigen testing, and flexible policies also allow travelers to feel confident and protected while booking an upcoming getaway.

Splash into Summer Sale

  • Booking window: Today through June 30, 2021
  • Travel window: Select dates from May 5, 2021 – December 17, 2021 (blackout dates apply)
  • 45% off plus perks:
    • Free water view room upgrade
    • Kids under 4 stay FREE
    • No single supplement
    • Free Cancellations^
    • Free Emergency Assistance Program ^^
    • Free Onsite Antigen Testing

Participating Club Med Resorts
Travelers looking for opportunities to reconnect, unwind, and create cherished memories on their next vacation will find that peace of mind is a destination at several Club Med resorts, including:

  • Club Med Punta Cana, Dominican Republic: On a 2,000-foot stretch of beach, Club Med Punta Cana welcomes travelers to unwind under the Caribbean sun through: a newly renovated Tiara Exclusive Collection space featuring spacious oceanside suites with upscale, personalized services such as a dedicated concierge and poolside champagne service at the dedicated infinity pool and bar. The new Club Med Amazing Family program features a fun-filled agenda of weekly activities for families to bond and create memories like Club Med CREACTIVE by Cirque du Soleil, an interactive playground with more than 25 acrobatic and artistic activities for guests of all ages. Guests looking for additional serenity can indulge in lavender treatments at the Club Med Spa by L’OCCITANE before escaping to the sophisticated adult-exclusive tropical hideaway, Zen Oasis, where intimate cabanas, an oversized lagoon pool and bar, and a dedicated Zen Beach with canopies and lounge chairs await.
  • Club Med Michés Playa EsmeraldaDominican Republic: Reopening June 2021. The first and only operating resort in the undiscovered region of Miches – and Club Med’s only Exclusive Collection resort in North America – offers a luxury experience wrapped in an all-inclusive vacation. The eco-chic resort features four boutique villages specializing in wellness, adventure, kid-friendly, and adults-only concepts, catering to an array of travelers seeking a boutique hotel-within-a-hotel experience. Enjoy unlimited, refined culinary options, Zen moments with an on-site Club Med Spa by Cinq Mondes, treetop yoga, and a naturally-filtered Zen pool, as well as must-try family experiences from learning how to plant and compost ingredients at the on-site community garden to discovering a Secret Chocolate Room – a first-of-its-kind kid’s speakeasy featuring unlimited sweets crafted with locally-sourced cocoa (and adults can get in on the fun, too!). 
  • Club Med CancúnMexico: Club Med Cancún is the perfect location for families looking to reconnect after spending a long year apart. The resort’s Aguamarina family oasis area features spacious two-bedroom oceanfront family rooms, exhilarating water games at the dedicated family pool, and outdoor activities as part of the new Club Med Amazing Family programming. For added R&R, indulge in private oceanfront massages on the beach, private spa treatments at the newly renovated Club Med Spa by L’OCCITANE, and a variety of refined, locally inspired cuisine. Guests looking for an added sense of adventure can explore the Mayan ruins at Chichén-Itzá or discover life under the sea by snorkeling through the world’s second-largest coral reef surrounding the resort.
  • Club Med Sandpiper BayFlorida: The spacious family-friendly resort, located in between Miami and Orlando, offers an all-inclusive getaway – sans passport – with a variety of activities for all interests, like kayaking, paddle boarding, sailing, pickleball, and the flying trapeze. Golfers of all levels can enjoy an elevated experience at the newly renovated championship golf course reopening this summer, while wellness seekers can enjoy some R&R at the new 6,000-sq-ft Club Med Spa by Sothys, the only Sothys Spa in the U.S. While kids enjoy time at the children’s clubs with unlimited all-day activities, adults can relax by the adults-exclusive pool or on the beach situated alongside the St. Lucie River. Beginning June 2021, guests can elevate their family dining experience atop the new open-air terrace at Riverside Steakhouse, featuring diverse cuts of top-quality meat, an array of vegan culinary options, and a curated selection of international wine and spirits with spectacular views of the glistening sunset over the river.
  • Club Med QuébecCanada: Opening December 2021. The four-season all-inclusive mountain resort will be Club Med’s first resort in Canada, just an hour away from Québec City in the Le Massif de Charlevoix region. With over 300 rooms spread across 300+ acres, the family-friendly resort will feature locally inspired culinary experiences, a private 5-Trident (5-star) Exclusive Collection space, sweeping views of the scenic St. Lawrence River and surrounding mountains, and unlimited ski-in/ski-out access. Families can enjoy year-round activities including skiing, biking, and hiking, as well as activities traditional to the region like ice skating and dog sledding. For added Zen, the resort offers an expansive wellness area with a 25-yard heated pool overlooking the river, an outdoor jacuzzi, and a variety of à la carte Nordic spa-inspired treatments.

Additional participating resorts include Club Med Caravelle, Guadeloupe, French Caribbean, Club Med Buccaneer’s Creek, Martinique, French Caribbean, and Club Med Turkoise, Turks and Caicos.

Flexible Policies
To ensure added flexibility and peace of mind for travelers, Club Med also offers:

  • Free Cancellation Policy: For new bookings made on or after May 18, 2020, guests can receive a full refund should they need to cancel their stay (up to 15 days prior to the anticipated travel date) for stays on or prior to December 16, 2021.
  • Emergency Assistance Program: All guests traveling before December 31, 2022 will receive coverage for emergency medical expenses during their stay, including those related to COVID-19. 
  • Safe Together protocols: Implemented in all of the brand’s resorts as they reopen, including those in Florida, Mexico, and the Caribbean, these newly enhanced hygiene and safety measures were developed through recommendations from the World Health Organization, local health authorities, and the advice of an International Scientific Committee comprised of a specialized team of doctors and professors.
  • PCR + Rapid Antigen Testing: As required for re-entry into the United States from international destinations, Club Med offers complimentary Rapid Antigen COVID-19 tests on-site. PCR testing is also available at an additional cost.
  • Club Med, founded in 1950 by Gérard Blitz, is the pioneer of the all-inclusive concept, offering approximately 70 premium resorts in stunning locations around the world including North and South America, Caribbean, Asia, Africa, Europe and the Mediterranean. Each Club Med resort features authentic local style and comfortably upscale accommodations, superior sports programming and activities, enriching children’s programs, gourmet dining, and warm and friendly service by its world-renown staff with legendary hospitality skills, an all-encompassing energy and diverse backgrounds. 

Club Med operates in more than 30 countries and continues to maintain its authentic Club Med spirit with an international staff of more than 23,000 employees from more than 110 different nationalities. Led by its pioneering spirit, Club Med continues to grow and adapt to each market with three to five new resort openings or renovations per year, including a new Alpine ski resort annually. 

For more information, visit www.clubmed.us, call 1-800-Club-Med (1-800-258-2633), or contact a preferred travel professional. For an inside look at Club Med, follow Club Med on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube

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Vail Resorts in Northeast Gear Up for Summer with Mountain Biking, Golf, Zip Tours

April 30, 2021

Epic Pass prices reduced 20%, now available at EpicPass.com for 2021/22 winter season

Vail Resorts’ Mount Snow in Vermont is gearing up for mountain biking this summer. (Photo courtesy Mount Snow Resort

Broomfield, Colo. – Vail Resorts today announced summer operating dates and activities at six of its Northeast resorts including Mount Snow, Stowe and Okemo in Vermont and Mount Sunapee, Attitash and Wildcat in New Hampshire. After a winter season unlike any before, each resort is excited to welcome guests to experience summertime splendor in the mountains with activities for those of all ages. All opening dates will be compliant with state and local guidelines and may be subject to change.

Mount Snow Resort

The Mount Snow Golf Club tees off starting May 21. The Mount Snow Golf Course has matured into one of Vermont’s premier mountain courses and has been rated one of the top five in the state by Golf Digest.

Mountain biking begins on May 29 at theMount Snow Bike Park. Now in its 33rd season, making it one of the oldest bike parks in North America, the bike park is a four-time Top Five finisher in the MTBparks.com Riders’ Choice Best Bike Parks Awards for the Northeast. The lift-served park’s 10 trails offer a variety of cross-country, downhill, freeride and mixed-use terrain with a total vertical of 1,000 feet.Mount Snow also offers the First Lift and First Drop programs, which are clinics geared toward introducing people to the sport of downhill mountain biking and helping them build their skills.

Scenic chairlift rides on the Bluebird Express to the summit of Mount Snow will also begin on May 29, with views of Somerset Reservoir, Mount Monadnock and sometimes even Mount Washington.

Food and beverage options will be available at Mount Snow this summer at the Bullwheel Tavern on the summit, Canned in the base area and Fairways Restaurant at the golf course. The resort will also resume hosting concerts, festivals and other warm weather events this year. The resort’s events calendar is updated frequently, so be sure to check back for all the latest happenings.

Stowe Mountain Resort

Stowe’s Zip Tour Adventure, which opens on July 1, allows guests to see and experience the mountain canopy in ways never imagined. ‘ZipTour’ is the world’s fastest and most exhilarating zip line experience. Ride our Summit Gondola to the launching point near the top of Mount Mansfield, Vermont’s highest peak. Then enjoy the thrill of flying down three of the world’s longest zip-spans, both above and through the Green Mountain State Forest.

Stowe’s Treetop Adventure offers six different levels of courses consisting of aerial tree-to-tree connections with 68 various Challenge/Game elements intertwined in the experience. First, you’ll learn to use our state-of- the-art safety cable system, giving you the knowledge and skill to achieve feats on our Adventure Courses that will leave you motivated to conquer the world. Suitable for most ages, the courses are designed to progressively build confidence.

The Mount Mansfield Auto Toll Road also opens May 28. The 4.5-mile unpaved road begins next to the Inn at the Mountain and climbs to an elevation of 3,850 feet. The road ends at a parking lot next to the Mount Mansfield Summit Station for spectacular hiking options. All hikers should stop into the Green Mountain Club prior to hiking for an orientation. Hiking maps are distributed upon arrival.

An equally spectacular mountain ascent is provided by the Mount Mansfield Gondola, scheduled to open June 18. The comfortable, eight-passenger gondolas depart from the Gondola Barn, which is served by its own access road and parking lot approximately ¼ mile north of the historic Mount Mansfield Base Lodge.

Food and beverage options will be available at the Spruce Peak Plaza this summer, along with family friendly programming and events. The Spruce Peak events calendar is updated frequently, so be sure to check back.

Okemo Mountain Resort

At Okemo, lift-served mountain biking will be offered beginning on June 17 on the lower mountain out of the Sugar House mid-mountain lodge. The Sunburst Six will provide scenic chairlift rides to the summit of Okemo Mountain. Okemo’s Adventure Zone at Jackson Gore will feature the Timber Ripper Mountain Coaster, Miniature Golf, Disc Golf, Haulback Challenge Course and Coleman Brook Mining Company Sluice.

Food and beverage options will be available at Okemo this summer at the Summit Lodge, The Sugar House and at Jackson Gore with a takeout window for day visitors and dinner at Coleman Brook Tavern.

Mount Sunapee

Mount Sunapee opens for summer guests on June 18. In addition to scenic chairlift rides to the summit of Mount Sunapee and lift-served mountain biking, visitors can enjoy hiking trails, an archery course, and the Mount Sunapee Adventure Park that includes miniature golf, disc golf, an aerial challenge course, a mining sluice and a new pump track.

Food and beverage options will be available at Mount Sunapee this summer in the base area and specialty dinners will be scheduled the summit. The return of warm-weather events this summer will include the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen’s Fair, scheduled for Aug. 7 through Aug. 15.

Attitash Mountain Resort

Beginning June 26, Attitash will welcome guests back to the heart of the White Mountains with its classic Alpine Slide and the Flying Yankee Scenic Chair. Celebrating over 40 years at Attitash Mountain Resort, the two alpine slides provide thrills for all who ride the chutes. Ride up the Flying Yankee chairlift to begin this exciting journey down rolling slopes, straightaways and S-turns. Or, simply enjoy the views on the scenic Flying Yankee Chair.

Wildcat Mountain Resort

Summer visitors can enjoy the Wildcat Express Scenic Ride staring June 26, which offers spectacular views of Mount Washington and the surrounding Presidential Mountain range. Wildcat Mountain is the only place in North America where you’ll find the unique lift conversion from a high-speed Quad in the winter to a scenic gondola in the summer. To view the Best Scenery in the East – consistently named #1 by SKI Magazine Readers –  ride aboard our four-person enclosed scenic gondola to Wildcat Mountain’s 4,000+ foot summit.

COVID-19 Safety

Health and safety remains the company’s top priority. Its resorts this summer will be operating according to local public health orders and following their guidance as it relates to face coverings. Guests are encouraged to follow CDC guidelines as the pandemic continues to evolve.

Epic Pass Lineup & Price Reset

Vail Resorts recently announced a bold price reset of Epic Pass products to continue to deliver on our commitment of Epic for Everyone and to honor the loyalty of our pass holders. Epic Pass prices have been reduced by 20 percent across the board, and are now available to purchase at EpicPass.com for the 2021/22 winter season.

For skiers and riders in Vermont and New Hampshire, the Northeast Value Pass offers incredible value for next season,priced at $479 (down from $599 last season) and offering access to all seven Vermont and New Hampshire resorts plus Hunter, Roundtop and more. The Northeast Midweek Pass is now $359, down from $449. The price reduction applies to the entire portfolio of the company’s North American pass lineup. The Epic Local Pass is now available for $583 (down from $729 last season) and the full Epic Pass is priced at $783 (down from $979 last season).

Vail Resorts, Inc., through its subsidiaries, is the leading global mountain resort operator. Vail Resorts’ subsidiaries operate 37 destination mountain resorts and regional ski areas, including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Crested Butte in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada; Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia, Canada; Perisher, Falls Creek and Hotham in Australia; Stowe, Mount Snow, Okemo in Vermont; Hunter Mountain in New York; Mount Sunapee, Attitash, Wildcat and Crotched in New Hampshire; Stevens Pass in Washington; Liberty, Roundtop, Whitetail, Jack Frost and Big Boulder in Pennsylvania; Alpine Valley, Boston Mills, Brandywine and Mad River in Ohio; Hidden Valley and Snow Creek in Missouri; Wilmot in Wisconsin; Afton Alps in Minnesota; Mt. Brighton in Michigan; and Paoli Peaks in Indiana. Vail Resorts owns and/or manages a collection of casually elegant hotels under the RockResorts brand, as well as the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning and development subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc. Vail Resorts is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: MTN).

Visit www.epicpass.com and www.snow.com for more information.

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Long Island’s Gold Coast Arts Center Offers Rich Selection of Outdoors, Virtual Programs

April 25, 2021
On a recent Sunday afternoon under bright sunny skies, Gold Coast Arts students were treated to a fun Graffiti Art workshop led by one of New York’s most renowned graffiti artists, Zimad, and art instructor Jude Amsel. Students learned various techniques and created their own graffiti art from these sold out sessions, held outdoors © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Gold Coast Arts is offering a rich schedule of in-person classes and one-day outdoor workshops at the Arts Center at Great Neck Plaza, Long Island.  Adults, families and students of all ages can choose from a variety of disciplines in Art & Technology, Dance, Theater, Chess and more. Virtual options are also available to engage with Gold Coast Arts from home as well as private lessons, pop-up classes and parties specially designed and organized.

Several of the upcoming workshops are ideal for mother’s day gifts. For example:

OUTDOOR FAMILY CERAMICS WORKSHOP: Celebrate Earth Day and Mother’s Day with us! Let the whole family join in on the FUN! Parents, grandparents & kids of all ages are welcome to decorate a beautiful vase using techniques such as stamping, printing and stenciling. We’ll provide a complimentary flower to make it the perfect gift. For all ages. Sunday, May 2 – 12:00-1:00PM

OUTDOOR FAMILY GRAFFITI CERAMICS WORKSHOP: Fire up your creativity! Don’t miss GCAC’s popular one-day ceramic workshops. In this session families will decorate their own plate with graffiti art! For all ages. Sunday, May 2 – 1:30-2:30PM

FLASHBACK FRIDAY OUTDOOR MOVIE NIGHT – May 7: Gold Coast International Film Festival kicks off its outdoor movie series with a drive-in screening of FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF, starting Matthew Broderick. This 1980’s classic hit is the perfect start to Mother’s Day weekend. GCIFF is also partnering with local restaurants to offer special take-out “Drive-In” specials that audiences attending the movie can take advantage of.  Several of Gold Coast’s non-profit community partners will be celebrated at this event including Landmark on Main Street, PW Hearts and Sid Jacobson JCC. Sponsors of this special event include The Bristal, Neiman Marcus, New Country Lexus of Great Neck and the Town of North Hempstead. More information about this event can be found at www.goldcoastarts.org/flashback-drive-in.

THE PRINCIPLES OF FICTIONAL WRITING – May 16: Meet critically-acclaimed author Sandra Kitt and celebrate the release of her new novel WINNER TAKES ALL with this exclusive workshop for adults.  Whether you are a serious writer or write as a hobby, Ms. Kitt will host a lively roundtable discussion on what writing entails, from concept to published novel.  A complimentary autographed copy of her new novel is included with the workshop. Read more about Sandra Kitt and the workshop by visiting www.goldcoastarts.org/book-talk/

On a recent Sunday afternoon under bright sunny skies, students were treated to a fun Graffiti Art workshop led by one of New York’s most renowned graffiti artist, Zimad.  Students learned various techniques and created one-of-a-kind graffiti art from these sold out sessions. 

There’s still time to register for May and June workshops including painting for teens and adults focusing on landscapes and the artist Gustav Klimt, as well as two family ceramic workshops that celebrates Earth Day and Mother’s Day by making beautiful vases and graffiti art plates.  Yoga classes are also available indoors and lucky participants take home a complimentary yoga mat, courtesy of Neiman Marcus, Garden City.  

For Summer 2021, Gold Coast Arts brings back the ever-popular in-person camp for ages 6-14, starting on June 28.  Learn from experts in their field in programs such as Cartooning, Musical Theatre, Dance and more.  There’s also virtual camp in Coding and Chess offered the week of August 23.  In-person Art and Dance classes are available for kids and evening classes offered just for adults focuses on Ceramics and Painting.  Classes are small for individualized attention as well as for the safety and well-being of visitors and staff.

STUDENT ART SHOW has just opened. Gold Coast Arts celebrates the work of their talented students ages 4-17 with a special art show inside the gallery of the Arts Center. The exhibit is open to the public at a reduced capacity or by appointment only. 

The Gold Coast Arts Center, located at 113 Middle Neck Road, Great Neck, Long Island (entrance from Maple Avenue parking lot), is an independent 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization serving the Long Island and greater New York community for over 20 years and dedicated to promoting and supporting the arts through education, exhibition, performance and outreach. Since its founding in 1995, over 100,000 people of all ages and backgrounds have taken advantage of classes, live performances, programs, workshops, films and art exhibits.

For information on the School for the Arts and all Gold Coast Arts programs visit www.goldcoastarts.org or call 516-829-2570.

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Tickets on Sale for 2021 Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach, Long Island

April 18, 2021
US Air Force Thunderbirds display their daring flying at Bethpage Air Show, Jones Beach, Long Island, for Memorial Day weekend © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Sales of Event Parking Passes for the 2021 Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach, Long Island are on sale as of Monday, April 19 at 9 a.m. Event Parking Passes will be required for all three shows beginning with Friday’s practice show on May 28, 2021 and culminating with the final show on Sunday, May 30. The $10 per vehicle Event Parking Passes can be obtained from State Parks’ website. Additionally, 1,800 passes will be distributed to Long Island’s three health care networks to be provided to their frontline health care workers involved in the pandemic response.

“The return of the Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach is one of the latest examples of our work to re-open by putting common-sense measures in place to keep New Yorkers safe,” Governor Cuomo said. “We are especially pleased that this year we will be able to recognize the selfless and courageous health care heroes who have sacrificed so much over the past year in order to keep their fellow New Yorkers safe. Thanks to their dedication and perseverance, New York has been able to not only beat back the virus, but begin our return to normalcy as well.”

To purchase an Event Parking Pass, visit the State Parks’ website here. There is a limit of one pass per transaction. Bethpage Federal Credit Union, along with New York State Parks and WABC are working together to bring a livestream of the air show on Saturday, May 29, 2021 with a rain day of Sunday, May 30, 2021. This is an exciting and important addition to bring the air show to anyone who cannot attend the event at Jones Beach. It will be available here and on WABC-TV’s Connected TV Apps on Amazon Fire TVAndroid TVApple TV, and Roku.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Jones Beach will be limited to 50% capacity and only Special Event Parking Pass holders will be admitted to the parking fields. Public transportation/ buses will be running however, no other buses will be authorized. Taxis, Lyft, Uber, ride-sharing, or individual drop-offs will not be permitted. An Event Parking Pass will be required per vehicle, not per person; every vehicle will need a pass. Upon purchase, there is no additional event fee or ticket required. Empire passports cannot be used for the purchase of this pass and cannot be used for entry into the parking fields during this special event. 

It is critical that at the time of purchase, a valid email address is provided. Pass holders will receive a confirmation email followed by a second email, which will include the QR code needed for entry, within a week prior to the event. The QR code will only scan for a one-time use at the designated parking field. The pass holder will be assigned a half hour time interval for arrival; example 8:00AM-8:30AM. It is recommended that the QR be downloaded prior to arrival.   

All attendees must remain on the beachfront; sitting or standing on the boardwalk will not be permitted. Social distancing guidelines will be adhered to. Masks/face coverings are required when visitors cannot maintain a 6-foot distance. When on the beach, parkgoers must maintain a 10-foot distance between blankets. Additional information regarding the show can be found here

“State Parks is excited to host the return of the Air Show, and we ask all the fans to be cognizant of the new procedures designed to keep people safe,” State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said. “With their cooperation and the hard work of sponsors, partners, performers and staff, we can all look forward to a successful and carry on this tradition that brings so many families and friends together.”

CEO of Bethpage Federal Credit Union Wayne Grosse said, “We are really excited to add the livestream to this year’s air show. With limited in person attendance, the livestream will show off Long Island and the air show to the rest of the country.”

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 parks, historic sites, recreational trails, golf courses, boat launches and more, which are visited by 78 million people annually. A recent study found that New York State Parks generates $5 billion in park and visitor spending, which supports nearly 54,000 jobs and over $2.8 billion in additional state GDP. For more information on any of these recreation areas, visit www.parks.ny.gov, download the free NY State Parks Explorer mobile app  or call 518-474-0456. Also, connect with us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.  

See photo gallery of Jones Beach Air Shows:

16TH ANNUAL BETHPAGE AIR SHOW AT JONES BEACH, LONG ISLAND, HONORS SPIRIT OF MEMORIAL DAY

PHOTO HIGHLIGHTS FROM 15TH ANNUAL MEMORIAL DAY BETHPAGE AIR SHOW AT JONES BEACH, LONG ISLAND

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Tauck Announces Full Restart of US Tours

April 17, 2021
New Orleans. Tauck Tours has announced it will fully restart its U.S. tours as of July 1. It has already begun operating departures of its “Southern Charms: Savannah, Hilton head and Charleston” and “New Orleans & Mississippi River Country” itineraries, with other popular tours across the country relaunching in the coming months © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

WILTON, CT – After a year of suspension of its tours and cruises, Tauck Tours plans to fully restart its U.S. tours by July 1.

In an email announcement to guests and travel advisors, Tauck CEO Dan Mahar noted that departures of Tauck’s “Southern Charms: Savannah, Hilton Head and Charleston” itinerary have already begun operating, to be followed this month by “New Orleans & Mississippi River Country,” with other popular tours across the country relaunching in the coming months.  Guests and travel advisors can access information on specific tour departures at a new Open for Travel page on Tauck’s website.

Tauck’s readiness to restart its U.S. operations was demonstrated in January and February when it ran several departures of its “Wonderland: Yellowstone in Winter” itinerary.  According to Mahar, the overwhelming success of those tours was a key factor in leading to today’s announcement.  “Guests told us they loved their tours, and their positive feedback proved conclusively that we can deliver a true Tauck-level experience while still following all of the appropriate health and safety protocols,” said Mahar.

Besides providing several operational advantages, restarting in the U.S. also seemed fitting from a historical perspective, Mahar noted.  Although Tauck offers tours and cruises in more than 70 countries and on all seven continents, the company’s roots are firmly in the U.S. where it first began hosting travelers in 1925.  Today, Tauck’s U.S. journeys offer unique access to exclusive experiences ranging from “inside the park” accommodations at America’s premier national parks to itineraries crafted in partnership with the award-winning filmmaker Ken Burns.

Operationally Tauck has been, working in close cooperation with its network of supplier-partners on plans to restart its tours.  The company’s Worldwide Operations team communicates continuously with more than 2,000 attractions, national parks, hotels, restaurants, guest lecturers and others involved in the delivery of its tour experiences, all while developing health and safety protocols and monitoring developments in 70+ countries around the world. 

Those health and safety protocols feature prominently on all of Tauck’s 2021 itineraries, and will include the mandatory use of masks, social distancing wherever possible, and enhanced cleaning and disinfection procedures.  Tauck is also requiring guests to complete and sign a Travel Well Pledge which confirms that they have either been vaccinated against Covid-19 or passed a PCR Covid-19 test within five days of departure, that they are free of virus-related symptoms, and that they have not been in close contact with anyone diagnosed with Covid-19.  The latest updates on Tauck’s travel policies, and the status of destinations served by the company, are featured in a Travel and Health page on the Tauck website.

95% of Surveyed Guests Vaccinated

While today’s announcement from Tauck refers only to its domestic trips, the company hopes to provide an update on selected international itineraries in the coming weeks.  In the meantime, Tauck’s customers are ready and excited to travel, whether domestically or abroad.  A recent survey of more than 5,000 guests booked to travel with Tauck from now through September revealed that a full 95% of respondents have already been vaccinated, and another 2% have their vaccinations scheduled.  And while a small proportion of guests remain undecided, the overwhelming majority – a full 88% – are eagerly looking forward to taking their upcoming Tauck trip as planned.  

The ability and willingness to travel shown by Tauck’s guests are reflected in the strong bookings the company is seeing for its U.S. tours.  And although Mahar stated that a number of departures are sold out, he also noted that availability remains on several of the company’s popular domestic itineraries, including “America’s Canyonlands,” “The Best of Hawaii” and “Southern Charms: Savannah, Hilton Head and Charleston.”  (As noted above, and for the very latest availability on all Tauck itineraries, guests and travel advisors can go to the Open for Travel page on Tauck’s website.)

Founded in 1925, Tauck Tours is a world leader in upscale guided travel, with more than 150 river cruises, small ship ocean cruises, land tours and safaris to 70+ countries and all seven continents.  In each of the last 23 years, Tauck has been honored in Travel + Leisure magazine’s annual “World’s Best Awards” celebrating the very best in luxury cruises, tours, hotels and more.

For more information, contact your local travel professional, call Tauck at 800-468-2825, or visit www.tauck.com.

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NYS Greenlights Reopening of Performing Arts, Entertainment Venues

April 7, 2021
Bright lights of Broadway can shine again, as New York State allows reopening of performing arts and entertainment venues with capacity controls and health protocols © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Venues Will Be Able to Host Up to 100 People Indoors or Up to 200 People Outdoors; With Testing or Immunization, Up to 150 People Indoors or Up to 500 People Outdoors

Social Distancing, Face Coverings and Strict Health Protocols Required

Excelsior Pass Now Available for New Yorkers to Show Proof of Vaccination or Recent Negative COVID-19 Test to Attend Venues; Interested New Yorkers Can Use Excelsior Pass and Learn More Here; Interested Businesses Can Learn More Here

New State Guidance Available Here

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that performing arts and entertainment venues can reopen at 33 percent capacity beginning today. Venues can host up to 100 people indoors or up to 200 people outdoors. If all attendees present proof of completed vaccination or recent negative test result prior to entry, capacity can increase up to 150 people indoors or up to 500 people outdoors. Social distancing, face coverings, health screening and other health protocols will be required by all attendees, as well as strict adherence to all applicable Department of Health guidance, which is available here.

“New York’s beloved arts and entertainment venues have been hard hit by the public health guidance we’ve implemented to slow the spread of COVID-19, and after a long and difficult period, I am glad to see them reopen their doors to New Yorkers,” Governor Cuomo said. “Attendees will need to follow strict guidance to keep themselves and others safe, but they’ll now be able to watch world-class performances and take part in our state’s thriving arts and culture scene once again. I encourage New Yorkers to get tested before attending events and to use Excelsior Pass to show venues that they’ve been vaccinated or tested before entering performance spaces.”

On March 26, Governor Cuomo announced the launch of Excelsior Pass – a free, voluntary platform developed in partnership with IBM, which utilizes proven, secure technology to confirm an individual’s recent negative PCR or antigen test result or proof of vaccination to help fast-track the reopening of businesses and event venues in accordance with New York State Department of Health guidelines. Similar to a mobile airline boarding pass, individuals will be able to either print out their pass or store it on their smartphones using the Excelsior Pass Wallet app. Each Pass will have a secure QR code, which participating businesses and venues can scan using a companion app to verify proof of COVID-19 negative test results or proof of vaccination. An individual’s data is kept secure and confidential at all times.

Interested New Yorkers can opt in to use Excelsior Pass and learn more here; interested businesses can opt in and learn more here.

On February 20, the Governor announced the launch of NY PopsUp, an unprecedented and expansive festival featuring hundreds of pop-up performances that will revitalize the spirits of New Yorkers with the energy of live performances and will jumpstart the state’s live entertainment industry. During the run of the festival, NY PopsUp will grow in its scale, volume of performances, and geographical footprint. Follow @NYPopsUp on Twitter and Instagram for the latest. More information is available here.

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