Archive for November, 2014

Save Up to 50% Off Winter 2015 Yangtze River Sailings with Victoria Cruises

November 26, 2014
Highlights of Victoria Cruises' onboard experience include cultural entertainment featuring traditional Chinese costumes

Highlights of Victoria Cruises’ onboard experience include cultural entertainment featuring traditional Chinese costumes

Victoria Cruises (http://www.VictoriaCruises.com) is kicking off 2015 by offering steep winter discounts on its popular four- and five-day Three Gorges Highlights program throughout January and February 2015.  Reduced rates will start at $470 per person, based on double occupancy, for a superior stateroom with private balcony – a savings of $510 per person.

Passengers can book superior staterooms featuring Victoria Cruises’ Executive Amenities from $670 per person, based on double occupancy.  Executive Amenities offer VIP perks such as “white glove” service, access to exclusive ship areas, complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access, enhanced dining privileges, shoe shine service and reserved seating for evening entertainment.

Victoria Cruises’ Executive Suites, which feature upgraded accommodations and ship placement along with the Executive Amenities previously mentioned, start at $870 per person, based on double occupancy – a savings of $720 per person.

Guests can also cruise in complete luxury by booking the Shangri-La Suite to enjoy even more spacious accommodations with VIP Executive Amenities from $1,510 per person, based on double occupancy – a savings of $1,050 per person.

For a truly spectacular experience, spend Chinese New Year’s onboard with Victoria Cruises’ special holiday with downstream departures on Feb. 19 and 20 and upstream departures on Feb. 22 and 23 with an additional surcharge of $200 per person, based on double occupancy.

Victoria Cruises’ steeply-discounted Three Gorges Highlights winter special sails upstream from Yichang to Chongqing (five days/four nights) as well as downstream from Chongqing to Yichang (four days/three nights) on Victoria Cruises’ lavish five-star vessels.

In addition to spectacular views of centuries-old pagodas nestled along the Yangtze and a scenic passage through the famous Three Gorges, a one-time shore excursion fee of $90 per person (inclusive of all standard excursions) provides travelers with additional experiences including an educational visit to the impressive Three Gorges Dam, a sampan experience along one of the Yangtze’s tranquil tributaries and a trip to Shibaozhai, often referred to as “The Pearl of the Yangtze,” a 12-story wooden pagoda located between Chongqing and Qutang Gorge in Zhong County (may be replaced with a trip to Fengdu, based on weather conditions).

Passengers can also participate in exciting onboard activities such as Tai Chilessons, demonstrations of acupuncture/acupressure and discussions on the Yangtze’s history.  Nightly entertainment options include traditional Chinese dance and musical performances (pictured below).

All prices are per person, based on double occupancy.  Single supplements are available.  Itineraries are subject to change based on river conditions.

For more information or to book, or for a list of tour operators which include the Yangtze River in their value-priced winter programs, contact Victoria Cruises toll-free at 800-348-8084 or visit www.VictoriaCruises.com.

 

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TxDOT Offering Discounted Tickets to Texas Attractions for Holidays

November 26, 2014

AUSTIN-  In time for holiday travel and shopping, the Texas Department of Transportation has just announced the availability of discounted tickets to Texas attractions, “Don’t Mess with Texas” cowboy boots and a new book titled “On the Road with Texas Highways,” featuring iconic Texas photography.

Texans can now purchase discounted tickets to top Texas attractions, including Schlitterbahn, Sea World and others at any of TxDOT’s Travel Information Centers located throughout the state. A great place to stop and rest while traveling, each center is staffed with a certified, professional travel counselor who can provide assistance with directions and information on points of interest, events and road conditions. Each center also offers a wide variety of travel literature and maps.

Also available are customized “Don’t Mess with Texas” cowboy boots. Proudly handcrafted by Justin Boots, these one-of-a-kind Texas boots help promote TxDOT’s world-famous, litter-prevention campaign and are available here and at Sheplers retail locations.

Another uniquely Texas gift idea is the book, “On the Road with Texas Highways: A Tribute to True Texas.” Compiling the work of professional magazine photographer J. Griffis “Griff” Smith, the book captures signature images of Texas icons and people, as well as historical and cultural landscapes. Featuring more than 294 color photos taken from Smith’s 30-year career at TxDOT, the book also includes an introduction by Texas outdoor enthusiast E. Dan Klepper. “On the Road with Texas Highways:

 

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Culture-Rich ‘Yuletide in Taos’ Holiday Celebration Returns to Taos, NM

November 26, 2014

TAOS, NM—Taos, New Mexico’s unique, magical holiday tradition of “Yuletide in Taos,” is just weeks away from unwrapping, beginning with the annual Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot on Nov. 22 and culminating with the meaningful Taos Pueblo Christmas traditions through Dec. 25.

“There’s no other place that brings the warmth of rich cultural holiday traditions to life than Taos, where the senses come alive with the lights, sounds, and experiences that are unique to this town. Plus, with Taos Ski Valley’s new chairlift to Kachina Peak, skiers can now experience some of the highest ski runs in the world,” said Town of Taos Mayor Dan Barrone.

Beginning on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 27, skiers will be able to experience Taos Ski Valley’s Kachina Peak at an elevation of 12,450 feet thanks to a recently installed chairlift – one of the highest chairlifts in North America.  The lift will increase the mountain’s advanced and expert lift-serviced terrain by 50 percent. Also new during the 2014-2015 ski season, expert skiers will have the chance to access 35 acres of terrain off the West Basin Ridge known as “Wild West Glades.”

The purchase of two new air compressors at Taos Ski Valley is expected to optimize the resort’s snowmaking capabilities, resulting in earlier access to more terrain and more snow. The resort will be open on a limited schedule Thursday through Sunday until Dec. 7. Visit skitaos.org for complete information.

In time for the start of holiday shopping, many businesses in downtown Taos are offering tax-free shopping from Nov. 29 through Dec. 13. Businesses will have a decal on store fronts indicating their participation, which saves shoppers 8.1875 percent on items.

The 29th annual Yuletide Arts and Crafts Fair, Nov. 28–30, provides a head start on holiday shopping with dozens of arts and crafts made by local artists including jewelry, tin work, carved santos, paintings, and much more. Gift wrapping is available and guests will have a chance to win door prizes. Santa will also make an appearance each day. There is no charge for the fair, which takes place at the UNM-Rio Grande and Bataan Halls in Taos.

The highlight of Yuletide in Taos – the 28th annual Yuletide Caroling and Tree Lighting – brings the community together as Taos Mayor Dan Barrone lights the town Christmas tree in Taos Plaza at 4 p.m. Then, the Plaza will be open to foot traffic only, and Plaza businesses will have special offerings including complementary hot cocoa, cookies, visits from Santa and Mrs. Claus and the Grinch who will handing out 200 toys donated and distributed by the Taos Optimist Club Elves. The local Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts along with Taos Middle and High School choruses will sing traditional Christmas songs, and live entertainment will be provided by a number of local artists. A Yuletide Parade is scheduled at 4:55 p.m. Special parking arrangements will be provided for people requiring ADA access to the event. There is no charge for the event, and all are welcome to attend. Contact Judy Esquibel at 575-737-2588 for details.

On Dec. 6, Millicent Rogers Museum will host a free “Holiday Fiesta” for families with holiday-centered activities at the museum from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults; $2 for kids 2–16 years of age. Visit millicentrogers.org for more information.

One of the holiday staples in Taos, Lighting Ledoux, will illuminate historic Ledoux Street with hundreds of farolitos, luminarias, and bonfires on Saturday, Dec. 6 from 4–7 p.m. Galleries, shops and museums are open later, and offer complementary food and hot drinks while carolers serenade passersby along the way. There is no charge to attend.

Eighteenth century-built historic “great house,” Hacienda de los Martinez, is hosting a tree lighting event at 3 p.m. on Dec. 7 at their “Memories in Lights” event, followed by a program with music by Los Pastores. A reception will follow. Visit taoshistoricmuseums.org for more information or call 575-758-0505.

The Working Class Theater and Taos Youth Ballet will perform an adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic, “A Christmas Carol” at the Taos Community Auditorium from Dec. 10–14 with a 7 p.m. performance each night. Tickets are $17 for adults; $10 for 18 and under; $5 for 5 and under. Tickets go on sale Nov. 15 and can be purchased by calling the TCA at 575-758-2052. Working Class Theater is a 501c3 non-profit and is in need of donations. Sponsorship opportunities are available. Visit taostheatre.org.

The furry members of the family can get in on the Christmas spirit at the John Dunn Shops’ “Santa Paws” event, from noon to 3 p.m. on Dec. 13. Santa Paws will pose with pets for pictures. Animals in need of loving homes will be available for adoption, and food and beverages will be on hand. The event benefits St. James Pet Food Pantry.

Within walking distance of the Santa Paws event, Bent Street will be lit with small farolitos and luminaries as part of “Bonfires on Bent Street,” from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Dec. 13. Businesses will offer food, music, appearances from Santa and more.

The rich Spanish tradition of “Las Posadas” takes place Dec. 14–22 at 6 p.m. nightly, where everyone can participate in re-enactments of Mary and Joseph’s search for lodging. Each night, the group representing the Holy Family will stand outside a home and sing songs, asking for lodging, only to be turned away. Followers carry candles as the couple searches for a home which will eventually take them in on Dec. 24. Begins at St. Francis de Asis Church.

Taos Pueblo celebrates their traditional Christmas Eve Procession on Dec. 24 at sunset, which is unlike anything else of its kind. The celebration is a stunning contrast between massive bonfires and the Procession of the Virgin with rifle salutes from the rooftops of the 1,000 year old adobe pueblo buildings. Taos Pueblo natives will perform a ceremonial dance on Dec. 25, known as Taos Pueblo Deer (or) Matachines Dance. The dance takes place at 2 p.m. in the Taos Pueblo’s Plaza. No cameras or cell phones allowed. Visit taospueblo.com.

Several ski resorts along the Enchanted Circle including Taos Ski Valley, Angel Fire, Sipapu, Enchanted Forest, and Red River are all hosting their own Christmas Eve Torchlight Parades on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24. Watch as skiers make their way down ski slopes in the dark with flares as their only means of light. Taos Ski Valley is also the place to be on New Year’s Eve with their fireworks show and parade, beginning at 6 p.m. Visit taos.org for more information.

For a complete list of all Yuletide in Taos events or for lodging information and specials, visit taos.org.
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Ski and Ride in Vermont this Holiday Season

November 26, 2014
Smugglers' Notch Resort's holiday celebration December 19-26, 2014 includes elf tuck-ins & bedtime stories, a holiday crafts party, and on Christmas Eve, the arrival of Santa, a torchlight parade and fireworks © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Smugglers’ Notch Resort’s holiday celebration December 19-26, 2014 includes elf tuck-ins & bedtime stories, a holiday crafts party, and on Christmas Eve, the arrival of Santa, a torchlight parade and fireworks © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Snow covered pine trees, quaint villages decked out in lights, and the feeling of gliding down a mountain side, followed by hot cocoa by the fire. What could be a better way to spend a holiday? Vermont ski and snowboard resorts are a majestic destination during the holidays and offer many cheerful activities and packages to get the family there.

Bolton Valley

Nothing brings friends and families together for good times quite like the holidays, and holidays spent on snow create lasting memories. Bolton Valley’s cozy base village will be trimmed in white lights for the holidays, creating a festive atmosphere for guests at the resort. In the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, the mountain will be full of guests enjoying skiing, riding and daily family events. The Indoor Amusement Center will be open every day this week. Free, family oriented evens include a Magic Show and a Balloon Twister creating balloon sculptures. Skiers and riders will also have a chance to warm up around a campfire with complimentary hot cocoa and cookies or head inside for family movie night. The best holiday’s are spent at Bolton Valley, your neighborhood ski area.

Bromley Mountain

Join Bromley for some classic Christmas holiday fun to kick off the vacation week. Dress up like Santa on 12/25/14 and ski or ride for just $25.  Yup, that’s right… break out the red, white and jelly belly and be on the hill for cheap. Wear a santa outfit to the ticket office to redeem savings. Coat, pants, hat and beard (real or fake) are a must.

Jay Peak Resort

Food comas are something to be thankful for.  Try Thanksgiving at Howie’s or Alice’s for a hearty homemade meal slopeside.  Work off the buffet on opening day when Stateside gets the lifts rolling on November 28th.

Ring in the New Year at Jay Peak with fireworks and music.  Details soon at jaypeakresort.com.

Killington Resort

Thanksgiving at Killington means shredding the slopes, and the first rail jams of the season in Loaded Turkey and Rails 2 Riches. Another tradition, the Killington Test Fest, goes down at the base of Superstar on Tuesday, December 16 and Wednesday, December 17, showcasing the best gear for the 2015 season. And be sure to hit the after party at the Wobbly Barn on Tuesday night.

Lift ticket deals up to 60% off are available at Killington.com, where you get Beast Tickets, Best Price.

Pico Mountain opens on December 13, 2014, and a full season of Family Mountain Fun awaits.

Magic Mountain

This upcoming Holiday season will be one to remember at Magic! Opening on the 20th of December, Magic will get everyone’s ski legs back just in time for Holidays. Magic will be making more snow than ever before with our improved system and the newly rebuilt Red Chair will smoothly bring you up to the top of mountain with ease. A New Year’s Eve fireworks bash will be held to show the beauty of Magic against a brilliant night sky. Make walk-to-slopes reservations at the Upper Pass Lodge or Blue Gentian Inn now and get the lowest holiday ticket prices around at the online Magic Store. www.magicmtn.com

Mount Snow Resort

The holidays are a special time at Mount Snow starting Thanksgiving weekend. Friday, November 28 is the Turkey Hangover Hill Climb and then on the 29th the resort will have its first Torchlight Parade (conditions permitting) and Fireworks Extravaganza with a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus.  Book two nights and get the third night free over Thanksgiving weekend.

The Christmas holiday week is loaded with events and activities including Grommet Jam #1 for kids age 12 and under on Monday, December 29.  New for this year, enjoy a huge family-friendly Torchlight Parade and Fireworks display on New Years Eve plus live music all week long, family activities and more.

Okemo Mountain Resort

Okemo kicks off the holidays with a traditional Thanksgiving Day dinner at Coleman Brook Tavern, followed by the annual Trot it Off 5k, November 29. The holiday season is sugarplum-packed with fun events and activities like visits with Santa, a food drive, a Demo Day, a torchlight parade with fireworks, a moonlight hike, an ice skating party, the Mountain Dew Vertical Challenge and more. Finally, Okemo rings in the New Year with its annual Family New Year’s Eve – an evening of fun that culminates with a DJ dance party and fireworks show. And of course, there’s lots of great skiing and snowboarding at Okemo. Call (802) 228-1600, or visit okemo.com.

Smugglers’ Notch Resort

Gobble up a Thanksgiving weekend getaway at Smugglers’ Notch Resort with a three night stay in condominium lodging starting at $372 in a studio home. On Thanksgiving Day, the resort’s Hearth & Candle will serve dinner. Ski or ride on intermediate terrain beginning Friday, November 28 at early season lift ticket pricing ($50/adult, $38/youth ages 6-18). Other holiday weekend activities include enjoying a zip line canopy tour and family fun such as a minigolf tourney in the indoor FunZone, nature walk, or bingo.

Smugglers’ Notch Resort’s holiday celebration December 19-26, 2014 includes elf tuck-ins & bedtime stories, a holiday crafts party, and on Christmas Eve, the arrival of Santa, a torchlight parade and fireworks. Rates per night start at $115 per youth and $145 per adult, with inclusions of condominium lodging, daily lift tickets, outdoor ice skating, use of the heated pool and hot tubs, the indoor FunZone with games & inflatables, evening snow tubing, use of cross country skiing & snowshoeing trails, and nightly family & adult entertainment. During this period, bookings of 6 nights or more receive the next night free. www.smuggs.com/skivtw

Stowe Mountain Resort

Take everything you don’t like about holiday lift ticket lines and make that easy, as easy as walking from your car directly to the lift and going skiing. That’s the ByPass at Stowe Mountain Resort. Simply get an Evolution Stowe Card online, sign-up for ByPass and go direct to the lift every day you ski or ride in Stowe. Add to that, instantaneous savings by automatically paying the discounted ByPass rate, even during the holidays, the first time you’re scanned at the lift each day. The Evolution Stowe Card has replaced traditional tickets, using RFID technology for optimum convenience and value throughout Stowe Mountain Resort.

Stratton Mountain Resort

The holidays are a tradition at Stratton Mountain where Thanksgiving starts with the Gobble Gobble Wobble 5K. That’s one way to earn your dinner, served up at restaurants throughout the Village including Table 43.1 where the feast is Vermont farm-to-table. Skiing, riding and plenty of family activities round out the opening weekend celebration.

There’s no place like the mountains to ring in the New Year. This year, those new gondola cabins will provide a perfect vantage point for viewing the torchlight parade and fireworks. Movies and music. Sugar on Snow. Snowshoe treks. Snowmobile tours. Snowtubing. Ice Castle. Dogsledding… It’s all on the holiday week menu at Stratton Mountain.

Sugarbush Resort

Sugarbush hosts numerous fun activities for the whole family starting in November through the holidays. Don’t miss The Big Kicker, the winter kickoff party complete with films, freestyle expos, food, presentations, and more. The annual Taste of Timbers event takes place on December 8th where you can sample locally inspired foods prepared by our culinary team. Christmas week, enjoy everything from the kids’ cooking class and cookie decorating to a live bird show and family fun nights with street performers. Be sure to enjoy the Torchlight Parade and Fireworks Display on New Years Eve, as well as a dog parade earlier in the day.

 

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1980 Gold Medal-Winning U.S. Hockey Team to host Fantasy Camp in Lake Placid

November 26, 2014
Hockey goal, Jim Craig's goalie stick and equipment from the 1980 Olympic gold-winning 'Miracle on Ice' equipment on display at Lake Placid's Olympic Museum. Members of the "Miracle" team are marking the 35th anniversary by returning to Lake Placid to host a "Miracle on Ice" Fantasy Camp © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Hockey goal, Jim Craig’s goalie stick and equipment from the 1980 Olympic gold-winning ‘Miracle on Ice’ game on display at Lake Placid’s Olympic Museum. Members of the “Miracle” team are marking the 35th anniversary by returning to Lake Placid to host a “Miracle on Ice” Fantasy Camp © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. – Members of the 1980 United States Hockey Team marking the 35th anniversary of their historic win in Lake Placid by hosting a “Miracle on Ice” Fantasy Camp March 29-April 2, 2015.

All on-ice activities will take place on the 1980 Rink Herb Brooks Arena, managed by the Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) in Lake Placid.

This opportunity is limited to the first 68 individuals (age 21 and over) to register and join members of a team that created, in the words of Sports Illustrated magazine, the “sports event of the century.” These fantasy camp attendees will skate with, be coached by, and receive instruction from the likes of Eruzione, Neal Broten, Dave Christian, John Harrington, Steve Janaszak, Ken Morrow, Mike Ramsey and Buzz Schneider.

In addition to hockey instruction and games, attendees will be treated like gold. Fantasy campers will be picked up at Albany (N.Y.) International Airport and transported to and from Lake Placid via motor coach. They will spend four nights at the High Peaks Resort, enjoy dining, socialize with the 1980 players, receive a gift bag including practice and home and away replica 1980 USA Hockey game jerseys, hockey helmet, gloves, socks, pants, camp apparel, souvenir autographed hockey stick and a framed autographed photo of each participant and their team with the 1980 Hockey Players. Participants will also receive a camp highlight video and be a part of those “inside” stories that may not have been told over the past 35 years.

One of the most beloved sports teams in history, members are returning to the site of their historic achievement where they defeated the Soviet Union and Finland and shocked the world en route to that improbable gold and Lake Placid glory.

“It’d be nice for people to come up there to experience Lake Placid – it’s such a great little place and such a big part of our lives,” said 1980 team member and captain Mike Eruzione, who scored the winning goal against the Russians in the ‘Miracle on Ice’ game. “I think it will also be terrific for some of us to get together. This will be great for us to kick back and have some fun in a place that was special to us, and over the years, we’ve realized it’s special to a lot of people in this country.”

“Miracle on Ice Hockey Camp is a chance to connect with one of the greatest moments in sports. Our team is continually amazed at the response we continue to get from not only fans but the general public,” added Harrington, who assisted on Eruzione’s go-ahead goal against the Russians. “It was an amazing time in our lives, a crucial time in global politics, and to know that we had some effect on the psyche of a nation is very flattering. This camp will enable participants and players to re-live that time period, share the inside stories and allow you to play in one of the most famed arenas in all of sports.”

“We think what we did 35 years ago was special, and the way we’ve carried ourselves in the past 35 years, as individuals, as a group, and what has become of that legacy…we’re very proud of that legacy,” said Schneider, who scored the team’s opening goal against the Russians. “We’ve had many opportunities to do these types of things over the years, but we’re very selective. Having the opportunity to do something like this in Lake Placid is very special to me and I’m sure that it will be equally as special to those who participate. This will be an unforgettable experience for everyone involved.”

To learn more about the Miracle on Ice Fantasy Camp visit www.MiracleonIceFantasyCamp.com. Follow the camp on Twitter, @1980HockeyCamp and on Facebook, MiracleonIceFantasyCamp.

 

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Winter Market in Munich Airport Center Features Exciting New Holiday Attractions

November 26, 2014

Who would imagine an airport being a destination, and a holiday destination at that! Each year, passengers, visitors, staff at Munich Airport and area residents look forward to an annual highlight: the popular Winter Market at the Munich Airport Center (MAC), between the two terminals, from November 22 to December 28, 2014. Once again, the MAC Forum is transformed into a winter wonderland. Visitors can take a stroll among the more than 40 stands offering gift ideas and seasonal treats and enjoy the pre-Christmas sights and smells. This year’s 16th edition has a few new attractions and activities in store. It’s enough to make you want to route your holiday travel through Munich Airport!

In addition to a larger ice skating and curling rink and a line-up of live entertainment on stage, this year’s Winter Market will introduce a spectacular ice slide. The curved track, 50 meters long and five meters wide, will be set up in the Airbräu Beer Garden. Another new attraction is the open air cinema, with free showings of popular movies presented every Monday on the MetaTwist Tower starting at 6:30 p.m.

Tuesdays are all about fun and games for children, with a wide variety of activities in Kinderland from 2–5 p.m., including treasure hunts, face painting, and arts and crafts works. (Advance reservations with Kinderland are required: Tel.: 089/975-25998 or e-mail: kinderland@munich-airport.de) Kicking off the Thursday activities are the “Winter Olympics”, starting at 4.00 p.m., featuring such disciplines as a sliding contest on the new ice slide. This will be followed at 6:00 p.m. by an after-work ice disco with a DJ. From Friday to Sunday, live bands will keep the skaters moving.

The Winter Market is open daily from 11 am until 9 pm, except on Christmas Eve (Dec. 24), when the stands and the airport shops close at 5 pm.

For the full program of the Munich Airport Winter Market, visit http://www.munich-airport.de/en/consumer/erlebnis/events/mac_forum/wintermarkt2014

 

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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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