Archive for February, 2016

Gold Coast Arts Center’s 4th Annual “Your Big Break” Talent Competition Heats Up For Semifinals March 12

February 26, 2016

gcac-bigbreak semifinals e2 (c) Karen Rubin

Great Neck, NY —  With the initial two rounds of the Gold Coast Arts Center and Love Revolution Org’s search for the next big music star completed,  Matt Grabowski, Taylor Hogan, The Days Beneath Us, Frankel Sisters, Trish Tottales and Jaclyn Manfredi are gearing up for the semifinals Saturday, March 12 for the 4th Annual  “Your Big Break” talent contest.

The youthful performers are competing for major prizes, including the chance to open up for a national act at The Emporium, recording time at IndiMusic Studios, a feature on Reverbnation.com, musical equipment from All Music Inc. and ZOOM North America, PR and social media campaigns from Rick Eberle Agency, and more to be announced. Come down to the show and network with some of the best and brightest people in the music business because–along with the judges–the audience have a vote in determining this year’s winner.

For the second year in a row, winners of the semifinals will have mentors who will work with the artists to help them hone their craft before performing at the finals. Last year’s mentors were New York based hit makers Ryan Star, John Hampson, Ido Zmishlany and Mark Ambrosino.

The judges for the competition include Neil Rubenstein, the manager of The Emporium music venue in Patchogue, Chris Pati of IndiMusic TV, Lou Plaia from Reverbnation.com, Guy Brogna from All Music Inc., and Jerry Lembo– a music industry consultant who has worked with Grammy Award-Winning entertainers.

The Arts Center will round out the evening’s festivities with another Headlining performance by Youth Be Told, 1st annual “Your Big Break” winners, performing with 2nd annual “Your Big Break” winner Katie Zimmer.

The Arts Center is transformed into the GOLD COAST ACOUSTIC CAFÉ once a month, a music venue that showcases local up-and-coming talent as well as established music acts. With its black box theater performance space and a lounge in the art gallery, the GOLD COAST ACOUSTIC CAFÉ is one of the few small music venues around which makes for a special and intimate atmosphere for artists and audience alike, especially during YOUR BIG BREAK- a competition whose past winners include semifinals headliners Youth Be Told and Katie Zimmer, round 2 headliner Annika, as well as finalists SEE and Zofolk who have gone on to work with major producers, managers and agents.

Past artists who have performed in the headline slots have included: Iridesense, John Hampson of Nine Days, The Brady Brothers, and Sir Cadian Rhythm – all of whom are local musicians who’ve had major success in the industry, with hopes to further inspire the next generation of New York stars presented each year.

Winners will move on to the Finals on April 2, where they’ll compete for prizes and recognition that can help boost their music careers.

Doors open 7:30 pm; Show starts 8 pm. Tickets are $10/students (greatneckarts.org/wordpress/yourbigbreak).

Gold Coast Acoustic Cafe, 113 Middle Neck Road, Great Neck, NY 11021, tel. 516-829-2570, greatneckarts.org.

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Colorado Ski Country Celebrates Spring with Events, Activities Galore

February 21, 2016
Copper Mountain, Colorado. Colorado resorts offer a slew of special events and activities during spring © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Copper Mountain, Colorado. Colorado resorts offer a slew of special events and activities during spring © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

DenverColo. –As Colorado’s 2015/16 ski season enters what is typically the state’s snowiest month, Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) member resorts have calendars full of events, deals, promotions, and activities for the whole family. Between now and the end of March, guests at CSCUSA ski areas and resorts can celebrate spring and participate in fun racing events, enjoy a diverse range of live music, learn new tricks in the terrain park, partake in giant on-mountain scavenger hunts, and much more.

Here are just some of the early spring festivities at resorts across Colorado Ski Country between now and the end of March: 

Arapahoe Basin

Alpenglow Ascents Rando Challenge (Race 1 of 2) – March 12

A-Basin’s spring uphill/downhill ski mountaineering race provides a great afternoon challenge for ski area guests. Whether training for the Traverse or just trying out their randonee equipment, this race is an awesome way for athletes to work out in the alpenglow. Registration is 3:30pm; 4:30pm race start. The entry fee is $25; no lift ticket needed. For more information, visit www.arapahoebasin.com.

6th Annual Save Our Snow Celebration and Demo Day – March 26

A benefit for the High Country Conservation Center (HC3), $20 from each lift ticket sold at the window goes to the HC3. Participating guests will celebrate sustainable practices and meet Colorado companies working to keep winter white. The ski area will also be demoing local Colorado ski and snowboard manufacturers for a donation to the HC3. Guests can try out the latest in Snowsports gear, learn about A-Basin’s efforts to improve the sustainability of our business and find out how they can make a difference for the environment in their everyday lives. For more information, visit www.arapahoebasin.com. 

Aspen Snowmass

16th Annual Bud Light Spring Jam – March 18-27

The 16th annual Bud Light Spring Jam will bring two weekends of competitions, downtown concerts and parties to Aspen Snowmass. The festival features everything from the 17th annual KickAspen Big Air, where skiers and snowboarders compete under the lights at the base of Aspen Mountain, to free Bud Light Hi-Fi Concerts with acts such as Nahko and Medicine for the People, Big Gigantic, and Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers. Other events include a snowboard Banked Slalom competition, Terrain Park Boot Camp sessions that offer instruction on how to slide a box or hit a rail in a mini-park at Snowmass, as well as the inaugural Colorado Collegiate Freeride Championships. For more information, visit www.aspensnowmass.com.

Cooper

10th Mountain Division Day at Cooper – February 19

Each year Cooper honors the men of the 10th Mountain Division to whom we owe our existence as an industry and an organized winter sport. The day will culminate with an S-Formation “Ski-Down” on the Molly Mayfield trail. Several surviving veterans are expected to participate, and those who are unable to ski will ride in one of Cooper’s 12-passenger Chicago Ridge snowcats. For more information, visit www.skicooper.com.

Cooper Mogul Competition – March 19

Cooper invites skiers to test out their bump skiing skills in the competition course and have a chance to win cash and other prizes. The competition will be divided into Junior (11-17) and Adult (18+). Prizes in the Junior group will include awesome selections of Cooper swag, and a 2016/17 season pass for 1st place. Prizes in the Adult category will include a cash purse and pass products. The course will be bumps-only. Scoring will be based on turns (75%) and speed (25%). A “bonus” 5% will be available for air, but air must be taken from a mogul, as no jumps will be built in the course. Inverted aerials not allowed. For more information, visit www.skicooper.com. 

Copper Mountain

USSA U-19 National Championships – February 28 – March 4

Copper is home to the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Association’s under-19 Alpine Championship 2016. The best of the best in alpine ski racing, ages 16-19, will compete for a National title in slalom, giant slalom, downhill and Super G races. For a detailed schedule, visit www.coppercolorado.com.

Moonlight Dine & Ski – March 19

Join Copper Mountain for their last Moonlight Dinner of the 2015/16 ski season. Participating guests will ride the lift to Solitude Station, where they will enjoy fine dining and live entertainment. Once dinner is complete, guests are invited to ski down a groomed run under the moonlight. The evening finishes in Center Village with a celebratory cocktail. Learn more at www.coppercolorado.com. 

Crested Butte

Ski Town Breakdown – March 19

Skiing, springtime and music go hand in hand at Crested Butte Mountain Resort. The resort hosts its annual Ski Town Breakdown on Saturday, March 19, featuring a free KT Tunstall show in the base area. After spending a day on the slopes, guests at Crested Butte will enjoy this awesome singer and songwriter that is sure to wow the crowd with her energy, spirit and jams! For lodging deals visit www.skicb.com/deals. 

Eldora

Easter Sunday – March 27

Eldora is hosting Easter Sunday of fun for everyone. The Easter Bunny will be on hand to say hello to all the children and he will hit the slopes as well for some fun on the snow. In addition, the resort will host an Easter Egg hunt for kids in the base area, featuring eggs loaded with candy and great prizes including Eldora goodies and more. For more information, visit www.eldora.com. 

Howelsen Hill

25th Annual Steamboat Pentathlon – March 5

The Steamboat Pentathlon, hosted by the City of Steamboat Springs Parks & Community Services Department, is a one-of-a-kind spring event featuring five athletic disciplines in one race. This year marks the 25th Anniversary of the Steamboat Pentathlon, which was first held in 1991. Participants can race as individuals, dynamic duos or as a team, with both short-course and long-course options available. The race is comprised of five separate stages that include alpine skiing/snowboarding, snowshoeing, nordic skiing, mountain biking and running. Stick around after the race for the after party, featuring free food, drinks, prizes and participant raffle. All participants receive a swag bag, event t-shirt, free lunch and chances to win great prizes. For more information and to register, visit www.steamboatpentathlon.com. 

Loveland

Ski With A U.S. Forest Ranger – Wednesday, March 9

The U.S. Forest Service and Loveland Ski Area team up to host Loveland’s Ski with a Ranger Day. Guests can join a Forest Service Snow Ranger for a fun, free, and easy run centered around the relationships between Loveland and the land we all enjoy so much. Topics include glacial geology, winter ecology, local history, and partnerships and are suited for all ages (recommended for ages 8+). Meet at Ptarmigan Roost Cabin at the top of Chair 2 at either 10:15am or 1:15pm for a run with the Snow Ranger. Loveland will host another Ski with a U.S. Forest Ranger Day on Saturday, March 26.

Giant Easter Egg Hunt – Sunday, March 27

Visit Loveland on Easter Sunday for a giant Easter Egg hunt. Participating guests will gather at Loveland Basin for first chair at 8:30 am and keep their eyes peeled for the giant Easter eggs hidden on the slopes and around the base area. Huge eggs mean huge prizes like skis, snowboards, outerwear, lift tickets and more. This is an event for all ages.

The Easter Bunny will also be enjoying the slopes and there will be a more traditional Easter Egg Hunt just for kids off Lift 7 at Loveland Valley, a separate base area just for beginners. For more information about spring events at Loveland Ski Area, visit www.skiloveland.com.

Monarch

Telemark Festival  – February 21

Monarch is hosting a series of telemark workshops, tours, and other activities to show some tele love. Guided Mirkwood tours and tele lessons are available for $55. For more information, stop by the season pass desk or email mktg@skimonarch.com. 

Purgatory

Spring Break Fun at Purgatory for the entire Family, March 5-20

With games, giveaways and unique activities every day for kids, teens and adults, it’s nonstop fun for everyone during Spring Break at Purgatory in Durango, Colorado. Guests can enjoy live music, tubing hill parties, sleigh rides, dog sledding, family movie and game nights, snowshoeing, free yoga and meditation classes, teen dance and karaoke parties, and more. Purgatory’s March festivities continue with the Purgatory Cardboard Derby on March 26. For details, visit www.purgatoryresort.com.

Kids Ski free during Spring Break at Purgatory. Guests can save 25% on lodging and receive free lift tickets for the kids. For more information, call 800-525-0892 or book online at www.skipurg.com.   

Powderhorn

Night Skiing – February 26-27

The 3rd Annual Night Skiing is also the inaugural year of the Flat Top Flyer high speed detachable lift. Two runs from top to bottom, one of which will lead to the terrain parks which are illuminated as well. For beginners, the EZ Rider Lift will be operational and one EZ run will be under the lights. Tickets from 4:00PM-9:00PM will be $56 for 13 & Up and $35 for 12 & Under. Tickets from 12:00PM-9:00PM will remain the same as our normal ticket prices. Season Pass and P-Card Holders will be able to ski for free both nights (Mid-Week passes only good for Friday). In addition, Powderhorn is hosting a USASA Rail Jam under the lights! For more information, visit www.powderhorn.com. 

Ski Granby Ranch

Rock the Ranch

Granby Ranch hosts Rock the Ranch on Saturdays in March with live musical entertainment. Guests can start the month off on a good foot by skiing or riding for a cause at the Dress in Blue fundraiser event for the Colon Cancer Alliance on March 4th. At night head out on the slopes after après ski at Granby Ranch Grill for the only Night Skiing in Grand County, Fridays and Saturdays from 5pm – 8pm for only $17. Mom and dad can get out early on Saturdays for the Morning Intro Ski Tour, a beginner’s opportunity to get into the sport of Alpine Touring.

Beach Bash – March 26

Closing weekend is jam-packed with the Beach Bash celebration on Saturday, March 26, which includes snow cones, leis and a pond skim. The day will close with night skiing on the mountain and a Moonlight XC Ski and Snowshoe on the Golf Front 9. On the last day of the season, Sunday, March 27, head up the mountain for a Sunrise Easter Service, enjoy a special Easter Brunch at Granby Ranch Grill and visit the Easter Bunny during the Easter Egg Hunt. To celebrate the nearing bike season, the resort will be holding its first Granby Ranch Meltdown, an on-snow downhill bike race and kids’ fun ride. Register to race or come cheer as bikers get air and cruise through the turns on the way to the finish line. For more information visit www.granbyranch.com 

Steamboat

Bud Light Rocks the Boat Concerts – March 5, 12, 19, 26 & April 2, 9 & 10

The Steamboat Ski Area will again be rockin’ during the winter ski and snowboard season as the Rocks the ‘Boat Free Concert Series returns for the 17th season offering a great mixture of various musical genres. The Rocks the ‘Boat series has brought together everything from bluegrass and New Orleans style rhythm & blues to a traditional Irish sound to flat out rock and roll. The spring lineup includes:, Afrolicious, Magic Giant, Goonies, Jakubi, Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, Ozomatli and a soon to be announced band for closing day.

U.S. Freestyle Championships – March 18-20

Freestyle skiing makes its return in late March as the Steamboat Ski Resort hosts the 2016 US Freestyle Championships, featuring the America’s best men and women mogul and aerial athletes, including Olympic, World and National Champions. The 2016 Championships will take place across the Park Smalley Freestyle Complex, which consists of the Voo Doo aerial venue and the 1,000-foot vertical long adrenalin generating Mayer’s Mogul Course. Steamboat has one of the premier freestyle facilities in the country and is the place that launched numerous athletes on their way to the pinnacle of the sport including World Champion Ann Battelle, Olympic medalists Nelson Carmichael and Travis Mayer as well as 2014 Olympian and US Champion Eliza Outtrim. For more information about spring events at Steamboat, visit www.steamboat.com.

Sunlight

Defiance Challenge – March 4

The Defiance Challenge features ten hours of skiing on expert terrain. Lifts open at 7:00 am and close at 5:00pm. Proceeds from the event are split between the Sunlight Ski Patrol and the family of a fallen patroller with the National Ski Patrol. Registration is $150.00 per team and includes event hat, T-shirt, lift ticket, after event dinner and party. For more information, visit www.sunlightmtn.com.

Melanoma Awareness Day – March 5

Sunlight will host free skin screenings in the lodge from 10:00am – 2:00pm as well as a prize drawing featuring a Sunlight Season Pass and other prizes. All proceeds are directed to the Melanoma Research Foundation. For more information, visitwww.sunlightmtn.com. 

Telluride

Rail Jam at the Beach – March 12

Participate in Telluride’s annual Rail Jam, located at the Beach in Mountain Village. Registration begins at 12:00 pm at Mountain Village BootDoctors and runs until 2:00 pm. Freestyle sessions begin at 2:00 pm, the competition kicks off at 4:00 pm and awards start at 6:00 pm. 

Helly Hansen Scavenger Hunt – March 27

Helly Hansen will be hosting an on-mountain scavenger hunt using their app and geocaching. Guests who download the app will be notified when they are close to free Helly Hansen gear. From 1:00 – 3:00 pm, there will be a free beer tasting at Gorrono Ranch with Telluride Brewing Company and SweetWater Brewing serving up some of their most popular beers. For more information, visit www.tellurideskiresort.com.

Winter Park Resort

The 41st Annual Wells Fargo Ski Cup – February 26-28

The Wells Fargo Ski Cup celebrates its 41st anniversary with a weekend featuring world-class disabled ski racers, Denver celebrities, Broncos alumni and amateur skiers/snowboarders coming together to benefit the National Sports Center for the Disabled (NSCD).

The weekend is highlighted by three races, the Corporate Challenge, a Pro Am style race where teams of five friends, family or coworkers are paired with an NSCD Competition Center athlete and compete for prizes; the Kids Snowplow Sprint, which features up-and-coming NSCD athletes and able bodied young skiers; and the Wells Fargo World Disabled Invitational. The weekend also includes a giant silent auction with items perfect for any budget. All proceeds go directly to fund NSCD programs, which serves over 3,000 participants on an annual basis and has delivered on its goal to “enable the human spirit through therapeutic recreation and sport” for over 45 years. For more information, call the NSCD at (303) 293-5711 or visit www.winterparkresort.com.

Wolf Creek

Weekend Fun Races at Wolf Creek

Fun Races at Wolf Creek Ski are held every weekend throughout the season with eight races in February and March. The modified giant slalom course with a dual race format is free to both skiers and boarders. With more than 14 age brackets, men, women, boys and girls of all ability levels are able to race for gold, silver and bronze medals. Races begin ‪at 11:00 a.m., awards are ‪at 3:30 p.m. on the sun deck of the main day lodge.

Wolf Creek will also be hosting a Wolf Creek Challenge Series. The series will include two races: A Giant Slalom with 40+ gates and a Super-G race course. The Challenge Series races are open to teams and individuals.  Entry rates for the races along with dates can be found on www.wolfcreekski.com.

Local Appreciation Days

Local Appreciation Days at Wolf Creek offer all guests a discounted lift ticket. No I.D. is required, everyone is a local that day. Lift tickets are $43 for adults, $26 for seniors and $24 for children. College Days offer students with a valid college photo I.D. and printed, current class schedule a break from the books and a $43 discounted lift ticket. For a calendar of races, local appreciation days, and clinics visit www.wolfcreekski.com.

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Vail Resorts Mounts 96-Hour Ski Sale Feb. 23-26 With up to 55% Off Lodging

February 12, 2016
Keystone Mountain Resort

Take advantage of Vail Resorts’ 96-hour sale to book a trip to Keystone Mountain Resort, Colorado © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

BROOMFIELD, Colo. –Beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 23, the Snow.com 96-Hour Sale clock starts ticking with the best rates on vacations across Vail Resorts and RockResorts destinations, including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Park City, Grand Teton National Park and Montego Bay, Jamaica.

A Mountain of Vacation Values

With up to 25 feet of snow in Colorado and Utah this winter, there are plenty of fresh tracks for one more ski getaway this season. Rates at the Keystone Lodge & Spa, which has undergone substantial upgrades throughout the property and guest rooms, start at $179 per night – a savings of up to 45 percent! Mountain Thunder Lodge in the heart of Breckenridge offers a variety of lodging choices including studio, one- to three-bedroom condominiums and two- and three-bedroom town homes at up to 40 percent off with rates starting at $173. Vail aficionados can also enjoy lodging savings of up to 40 percent with rates at The Lodge at Vail, A RockResort in Vail Village starting at $253. In Beaver Creek, lodging rates can be found with savings of up to 45 percent, including The Pines Lodge, A RockResort, where rates start at $269 with easy access to the resort’s world-class slopes. Save up to 30 percent at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Park City with rates starting at $119 and discovery the country’s largest ski resort. In Lake Tahoe, skiers and snowboarders can save up to 25 percent on lodging with rates starting at $105 at the Meadows in Kirkwood, $199 at Aspen Grove in Northstar and $199 through Lake Tahoe Lodging Company. www.Snow.com/96HourSale

Go Green and Save Green on Transportation

The 96-Hour Sale values continue with ground transportation from Colorado Mountain Express. Keep an extra vehicle off the road, leave the driving to the pros, sit back, enjoy the views or keep up-to-date with complimentary Wi-Fi on board. Save $15 per person on roundtrip shuttles from Denver International Airport to Breckenridge, Keystone, Vail, Beaver Creek and other Rocky Mountain destinations. www.RideCME.com

Gear Up Online and Save

For those who prefer to travel lightly, RentSkis.com can help skiers and snowboarders save on baggage fees and then some. Get ahead of the game by booking rental equipment online across more than 90 locations in North America and save up to 20 percent. www.RentSkis.com

Celebrate and Save with the National Park Service Centennial

For a different type of mountain vacation, the National Park Service celebrates 100 years this summer across its parks including the spectacular Grand Teton National Park. Also known as the Serengeti of the West, where the bison, moose, bear and other wildlife roam free visitors to the park can listen to the elk bugle from a cozy, classic cottage at Jackson Lake Lodge in the heart of the park with rates starting at $195 per night – a savings of up to 35 percent.www.GTLC.com

96 Hours to Island Time

Choose white sand beaches for an unforgettable retreat at Half Moon Jamaica, located just 10 minutes from MBJ airport. Relax and unwind at the award-winning Fern Tree Spa, play Golf at our 18-hole, par-72 championship course, or dine at the renowned Sugar Mill Restaurant.  Luxury Rooms/Suites start at $299.  Villas start at $2,126 per night – a savings of up to 25 percent. www.HalfMoon.RockResorts.com

Snow.com 96-Hour Sale participating properties and services include:

  • Vail, Colo.
    • The Arrabelle at Vail Square, A RockResort
    • The Lodge at Vail, A RockResort
    • The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Vail
    • Austria Haus
  • Beaver Creek, Colo.
    • Osprey at Beaver Creek, A RockResort
    • The Pines Lodge, A RockResort
    • Beaver Creek Resort Properties
  • Breckenridge, Colo.
    • One Ski Hill Place, A RockResort
    • DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Breckenridge
    • Crystal Peak Lodge
    • Mountain Thunder Lodge
    • Village Hotel & The Village at Breckenridge
  • Keystone, Colo.
    • Keystone Lodge & Spa
    • The Inn at Keystone
    • Keystone Property Management
  • Park City, Utah
    • Grand Summit Hotel
    • DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Park City
    • Silverado Lodge
    • Sundial Lodge
    • Vintage on the Strand
  • Grand Teton National Park
    • Jenny Lake Lodge
    • Jackson Lake Lodge
    • Headwaters Lodge & Cabins at Flagg Ranch
  • South Lake Tahoe, Calif. & Nev.
    • Lake Tahoe Lodging Company
  • Kirkwood, Calif.
    • Mountain Club
    • The Meadows
    • Sun Meadows
  • Truckee, Calif.
    • Northstar Condos
    • Ski Trails
  • Montego Bay, Jamaica
    • Half Moon, Jamaica
  • Colorado Mountain Express
  • RentSkis.com

Visit www.Snow.com/96HourSale to book or for more information. These deals cannot be booked until 12:01 a.m. MST on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016 and will expire at 11:59 p.m. MST on Friday, Feb. 26, 2016. Other restrictions may apply.

 

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Lottery Opens for Tickets to 2016 White House Easter Egg Roll

February 12, 2016
White House, Washington DC

White House, Washington DC © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

WASHINGTON – The President and First Lady announced today that the South Lawn of the White House will be opened up for children 13 years and younger and their families on Monday, March 28th for the 2016 White House Easter Egg Roll. This will be the final Easter Egg Roll of the Obama Administration, and will feature live music, sport courts, cooking stations, storytelling and, of course, Easter egg rolling. In honor of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative, this year’s event will also include the first-ever White House Fun Run.

TICKETS 

White House Easter Egg Roll tickets can be requested through an online lottery which opens today, Friday, February 12at 12:00 PM EST and closes on Wednesday, February 17, at 12:00 PM EST. Winners will be notified at a later date; tickets are free of charge and cannot be sold. To enter the lottery, please visit www.recreation.gov.

THEME

To honor the final Easter Egg Roll of the Obama Administration, this year’s theme will be “Let’s Celebrate,” and will feature aspects of First Lady Michelle Obama’s initiatives, as well as the contributions the Obama Administration has made to the Easter Egg Roll.

FUN RUN 

In honor of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative, this year’s event will also include the first-ever White House Fun Run.       

SOUVENIR EGGS

This year’s White House Easter Egg Roll features five souvenir eggs, designed by graphic designer and blogger Joy Cho. The collection features four colored eggs with stamped signatures of the President and First Lady on the back, and one gold “Bo and Sunny” egg, with stamped “signatures” and “paw prints” of Bo and Sunny on the back.

The National Park Foundation (NPF), the official charity of America’s national parks, produces and sells the commemorative White House Easter eggs. Each child 13 years and younger who attends the White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn, which sits on President’s Park, will also receive a souvenir egg.

To place your order for the full collection of 2016 White House Easter Egg (all 5 eggs),  visit easter.nationalparks.org.

2016 SOUVENIR POSTER DESIGN CONTEST 

The White House invites all elementary and middle school students to submit original artwork related to this year’s theme for the 2016 Easter Egg Roll Design Contest. The First Lady will select the winning designs, which will be used as a part of the White House 2016 Easter Egg Roll program and souvenir poster.

Submissions for the contest will be accepted starting Friday February 12, and will close on Monday, February 22, at noon EST. Designs should be uploaded towww.whitehouse.gov/eastereggroll. Artwork should reflect this year’s theme. Please note submissions may be made public during the selection process.

For the most up-to-date information on the Easter Egg Roll and other public events at the White House,  visit www.whitehouse.gov/eastereggroll.

 

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Mango Bay Hotel, Barbados is All-Inclusive Beach Resort Ideal for Family Getaway

February 12, 2016
Mango Bay all-inclusive resort, Barbados

Mango Bay all-inclusive resort, Barbados

HOLETOWN, Barbados – Located on the famed Gold Coast of Barbados, the 76-room Mango Bay Hotel provides fun in the sun vacations for families of all sizes. Mango Bay’s all-inclusive value allows vacationers to be entertained from sunrise to sunset – and every second in-between, regardless of age.

An all-inclusive vacation at Mangao Bay features hotel accommodations; all meals, afternoon tea, all local and brand name drinks including wine with dinner; various watersports including water-skiing, kayaking, hobiecat sailing, pedal boating and snorkeling; an on-property complimentary offering of scuba diving lessons; nightly entertainment; and off-property sightseeing excursions such as a glass-bottom boat trip and a catamaran sail.

Children three years of age and under sharing with two adults stay free-of-charge and children 4 to 18 years old are offered a reduced rate. For added convenience, cribs, extra beds and high chairs are available at no extra cost.

The Mango Bay restaurant provides children’s menus and earlier meal times can be set upon request. Organized games and activities such as movie nights, sand castle building and scavenger hunts can be arranged depending on the number of children staying at the resort. For an additional fee, babysitting services can be arranged so parents can steal some alone time.

Offering family-friendly vacation value, children four and up may participate in all watersport activities and children five and up have the option of attending the catamaran and glass bottom boat trips. Scuba diving lessons are given on select days in the pool from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.  Kids eight years of age and older may participate.

Mango Bay has proven to be a great getaway for the whole family having been named a 2014 Family Vacation Critic Favorite in the first annual hotel awards on www.FamilyVacationCritic.com. Receiving this award means that Mango Bay has at least four stars or higher from the website’s editorial staff and have had at least 75% of families recommend the property with four stars or higher. The resort also received TripAdvisor’s 2015 Certificate of Excellence Hall of Fame.

Mango Bay Hotel also was recently included in USA Today’s Top 10 “Caribbean All-Inclusive Resorts Have the Biggest Bang For Your Buck?”

Rates start at $660 per room, per night, based on double occupancy for travel Jan. 6 – April 30, 2016.

Contact Mango Bay at 246-626-1384, email reservations@mangobaybarbados.com or visit www.MangoBayBarbados.com.

 

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Feel the Love Throughout New York City This Valentine’s Day Weekend

February 10, 2016
Love fills the air throughout New York City through Valentine's Day weekend © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Love fills the air throughout New York City through Valentine’s Day weekend © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Feel the love in New York City this Valentine’s Day. Throughout Valentine’s Day weekend, the City’s five boroughs will be filled with activities and events where residents and visitors can find their true love or cherish time with their loved ones.

“New York City is the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable and romantic Valentine’s Day getaway,” said Fred Dixon, president and CEO of NYC & Company. “From a date night under the stars of the Hayden Planetarium to romantic nature walks and chocolate tastings at Wave Hill in the Bronx, the heart of the five boroughs can be felt throughout the City.”

At the crossroads of the world in Times Square, celebrate Valentine’s Day at the Heart of Hearts public art installation. The display features 12 golden mirrored hearts that create a kaleidoscopic effect, reflecting the fast pace action of Times Square. Those looking for the perfect spot to renew their vows can join hundreds of locals and visitors at Duffy Square for a vow renewal ceremony. When the sun goes down, a special midnight moment by artists Peter Fischli and David Weiss will span across Times Square’s billboards for three minutes before midnight every night in February, presented in partnership with the Guggenheim Museum. (timessquarenyc.org).

Theatergoers who are in town during Valentine’s Day weekend can take advantage of 2-for-1 tickets to some of New York City’s best shows during Off-Broadway Week. Featuring more than 30 productions, Off-Broadway Week makes seeing a production more accessible and affordable. To purchase tickets, visit nycgo.com/offbroadwayweek.

Other Valentine’s Day events and activities taking place throughout the City include:

American Museum of Natural History: The stars of the Hayden Planetarium will illuminate on Valentine’s Day evening with a special Romance Under the Stars event. The museum invites couples for this unique date night, complete with an open bar cocktail hour, champagne, chocolates, hors d’oeuvres and music by the Josh Rutner Quartet, followed by romance storytelling under the stars of the Planetarium. To purchase tickets, visit amnh.org.

The Bronx Museum of the Arts: Kids can create their own special valentine with arts and crafts on Saturday, February 13. There will be activities throughout the afternoon and plenty of fun for the entire family (bronxmuseum.org).

Brooklyn Museum: In celebration of Valentine’s Day, take the free Love and Lust in American Art tour, which includes a stop at the American Identities installation and the exciting Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland exhibition (brooklynmuseum.org).

Bronx Zoo: On Valentine’s Day, the Bronx Zoo’s Name a Roach event will crawl back to life. Visitors can keep an eye out for more information about this year’s event at bronxzoo.com.

Brookfield Place: Purchase gifts for a special someone at Dry Bar, Cos Bar and many other fine shops at the new Brookfield Place in Lower Manhattan. When done shopping, take a romantic walk beneath the 650 color-changing lanterns in the Winter Garden atrium as part of the Luminaries lighting display, which has been extended through Monday, February 29. (artsbrookfield.com).

Carnegie Hall: Mitsuko Uchida will conduct The Cleveland Orchestra from the piano as they charm the audience with beautiful melodies of Mozart this Valentine’s Day. The blend of the heroic and humane makes Piano Concerto No. 25 one of Mozart’s most popular, and the andante movement’s tenderness will fill your heart with love. To purchase tickets, visit carnegiehall.org.

Central Park Conservancy Ice Festival: This Valentine’s Day, celebrate at Central Park Conservancy’s Fifth Annual Ice Festival in Naumburg Bandshell. The event includes ice carving, a photo booth, a Central Park trivia contest, sweet treats and, as night falls, a 1980s-themed silent disco with DJs and more. For information on this free event, visit centralparknyc.org.

Cupid’s Chase 5K New York: Community Options, Inc., will hold its Annual Cupid’s Chase 5K Run on Saturday, February 13, kicking off at 10am in the West Village. The race will take place at Hudson River Park’s Charles Street Pier (enter at Christopher Street). To register, go to comop.org.

Empire State Building: The world famous Empire State Building will host 14 lucky pre-selected couples on Valentine’s Day as they say “I Do” on the 86th floor observation deck. At night, the spectacular heartbeat light show illuminates the building with shades of red, pink and white. Visit esbnyc.com for more information.

Gotham Archery: Learn how to shoot a bow and arrow like Cupid at Brooklyn’s Gotham Archery during Valentine’s Day weekend. After a brief intro class, archers can test their skills on one of the 30 shooting lanes and enjoy some friendly competition. To book a class, visit got-archery.com.

Historic Richmond Town: Take a step back in time, tour village homes from the 1690s to 1860s and see images of valentines from the General Store’s collection at Staten Island’s Historic Richmond Town on Saturday, February 6. Participate in the Victorian Valentine Workshop, where guests will learn about Victorian scraps, paper lace and decoupage to create their own valentine (historicrichmondtown.org).

Hornblower New York Cruises: This Valentine’s Day, sail aboard a love boat with one of several Hornblower New York cruises. From a Valentine’s Day Dinner Cruise to a two-hour happy hour mixer aboard the Aboard Alive After Five cruise, a cruise around the City’s skyline makes for an unforgettable evening. To book, visit hornblowernewyork.com.

Jazz at Lincoln Center: The sound of jazz will fill the air as Jazz at Lincoln Center offers three musical jazz performances through Valentine’s Day weekend. A regular at Jazz at Lincoln Center, singer Cécile McLorin Salvant will put on a Valentine’s Day–inspired performance that will have you feeling the love. Monty Alexander & Friends: Sinatra at 100 will treat you to jazz hits that will satisfy both nostalgic and contemporary tastes. In addition, jazz pianist and singer Freddy Cole will share Songs for Lovers, a great way to end a date night. To purchase tickets, visit jazz.org.

Love Sculpture: While exploring the sights of Midtown Manhattan, take a photo in front of the Love Sculpture. Originally designed by American artist Robert Indiana as a Christmas card for the Museum of Modern Art, the sculpture sits on the corner of Sixth Avenue and 55th Street and is the perfect backdrop for a Valentine’s Day photo. For those looking for hope in the new year, not too far away is the Hope Sculpture on the corner of Seventh Avenue and 53rd Street.

Museum Hack: Couples can join Museum Hack for a private tour of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, where a guide will reveal stories of love, relationships, fertility and ancient longing. Book a tour at museumhack.com.

Museum of the Moving Image: The Museum of the Moving Image in Queens will be screening several films throughout the day including Inside Out and Burden of Dreams. Families can also check out the family workshop and learn what goes into designing their favorite characters. For screening schedules, visit movingimage.us.

National Lighthouse Museum: All lighthouse lovers are invited to Staten Island on Saturday, February 6, for a beautiful evening of Valentine cabaret. Special signature drinks, hors d’oeuvres and entertainment are all part of a night to remember. To register, go to lighthousemuseum.org.

New York Botanical Garden: Between chocolate tastings and exploring the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, visitors to the Bronx are in for an immersive treat on Valentine’s Day. Walk through beautiful tropical rain forests of the conservatory, have a special love poem written and listen to music under the palm dome. Champagne, beer and wine will also be available for purchase (nybg.org).

New York Public Library: On Thursday, February 11, the New York Public Library will present Shakespeare, Love and Spring at Lincoln Center. This free performance is on a first come, first serve basis and features skits and songs of women in love, doomed love and universal love (nypl.org).

NYC Candy Stores: Sweeten your visit to New York with gifts from around the City. At M&M’s World Times Square, create customized M&M’s candies with your own image and personal message for special someone. Also stock up on jelly beans, gummies, chocolates and apparel at Dylan’s Candy Bar in Manhattan. Voilà Chocolat invites chocolate lovers to dip their own chocolate-covered strawberries, top off their own artisanal truffles and create personalized chocolate bars with love messages on Valentine’s Day weekend.

On Location Tours’ Romantic Movie Moments Tour: On the Romantic Movie Moments Tour, a local New York City actor will bring to life some of the most alluring movie locations featured on the big screen, including the bookstore where Harry and Sally met in When Harry Met Sally. To book a tour, go to onlocationtours.com.

One World Observatory: With breathtaking 360-degree views, One World Observatory, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, can be the perfect place for a memorable night. The Date Night package includes admission for two, two glasses of prosecco and chocolate truffles. To purchase tickets, visit oneworldobservatory.com or call 800-416-7192.

Queens Botanical Garden: For an unusual yet fun Valentine’s Day weekend event, the Queens Botanical Garden invites bird lovers to their 19th Annual Bird Counting Event. The event will include a nature walk, scavenger hunt and bird spotting along the way. To register for this free event, visit queensbotanical.org.

Rainbow Room: Atop Rockefeller Center, the beautiful Rainbow Room will be open for brunch and dinner, with live music from Vince Giorando & The Nighthawks and Nightingale Jazz Band, throughout Valentine’s Day weekend. Gigacup oysters, truffled boulangere potatoes and roasted salsify are just some of the delicious offerings to be found. To book a table, go to rainbowroom.com.

Staten Island Museum: Painter Sarah Yuster will share insights into her dreamy and romantic works of art depicting the lush landscapes and streets of Staten Island at the Staten Island Museum at Snug Harbor on Saturday, February 13; wine will be served. To register, visit statenislandmuseum.org.

St. George Theatre: On Saturday, February 13, the St. George Theatre in Staten Island will host its exclusive Murder Mystery Dinner Show: Crime and Pun-ishment. Couples are invited to wear their best pin-striped suits and flapper dresses as a pair of undercover feds and jilted lovers make an appearance at this fun speakeasy. Book a table at stgeorgetheatre.com.

The Rink at Rockefeller Center: For those ready to pop the question, The Rink at Rockefeller Center is offering three VIP packages as part of its Engagement on Ice program. All packages include exclusive ice time and a celebratory romantic glide as the crowd cheers. Couples can also choose their favorite song to play and enjoy a celebratory champagne toast for an unforgettable proposal. For more information, visit the rinkatrockcenter.com.

Top of the Rock: As part of the 2016 Winter Starlight Music Series, Top of the Rock Observation Deck will host a special Valentine’s Day concert with a live performance from Joelle and the Pinehurst Trio. Guests will be immersed in 360-degree views of the City as they enjoy food and beverage available for purchase from The Sea Grill. To purchase tickets, visit topoftherocknyc.com; concert is free with price of admission.

Wave Hill: The intimate winter gardens of Wave Hill in the Bronx are a perfect backdrop for spending time with someone you love on Valentine’s Day. Adults can enjoy a decadent chocolate and wine tasting, where they can learn about how the chocolates were made from a premier chocolate maker. Families can enjoy a nature walk through the gardens, spot heart-shaped leaves and create a special keepsake to take home (wavehill.org).

Your Love, Our Musical: Located in Brooklyn’s Gowanus neighborhood, the Littlefield venue will host Your Love, Our Musical on Valentine’s Day, where comedians Rebecca Vigil and Evan Kaufman will interview a real couple and create an improvised musical about the couple’s love story. Tickets to this fun celebration of love can be purchased online at littlefieldnyc.com.

In addition to these events, there are several Valentine’s Day and romantic-themed hotel packages throughout the City:

Hotel Packages 

Hilton Garden Inn Staten Island and Hampton Inn & Suites Staten Island: For a quiet getaway that is close to all the action, the Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton Inn & Suites Staten Island have several offerings as part of their “Eat. Stay. Love” package during Valentine’s Day weekend. Enjoy a three-course dinner at Lorenzo’s Restaurant, Bar & Cabaret or a lavish gourmet brunch buffet, complete with romantic piano music. Overnight accommodations are also available and includes in-room champagne and a breakfast buffet. For reservations, go to lorenzodining.com or call 718-477-2400.

Loews Regency New York: For the perfect girls’ night, the Loews Regency New York on the Upper East Side is offering a Girls’ Night In package, complete with a $200 food and beverage credit, monogrammed bathrobes and slippers, an in-room movie and accommodations in a grand or luxury suite. Spa treatments at the Julien Farel Salon are also available for an additional cost. To book the package, visit loewshotels.com or call 212-759-4100.

The Marmara Park Avenue: One of Manhattan’s newest hotels, the Marmara Park Avenue invites couples to book their Suite Hearts package on Valentine’s Day weekend. The package includes a drink at the OneOne-Four Bar & Lounge, a carriage ride around Central Park, a special hammam treatment for two in the authentic Turkish hammam and complementary early check in and late check out. To book, visit park.marmaranyc.com or call 212-603-9000.

The New York EDITION: Celebrate the month of love in style with the New York EDITION’s Suite Surrender package, which includes overnight accommodations, a premium bottle of rosé, a white rose petal turndown service and room service breakfast for two. To book a room, visit editionhotels.com/new-york or call 212-413-4200.

Peninsula New York: Romance is in the air during Valentine’s Day weekend at The Peninsula New York. The hotel’s Lucky in Love package includes accommodations in a deluxe king room, one dozen roses, a bottle of champagne and daily breakfast or brunch for two. Upon arrival, guests will receive a red envelope that could contain a complimentary upgrade to a suite, free dessert, a champagne toast at the rooftop bar and lounge and more. Go to newyork.peninsula.com or call 212-956-2888 to learn more.

Royalton New York: Couples can warm up by the fireplace and book a special Royalton Fireplace hotel package. The package features a choice of scented fireplace wood including oak, pecan, maple, hickory apple or limited-edition Burn Baby Burn Cherry Wood in the room’s fireplace. In addition, couples can enjoy cherry-chipotle braised short rib, a specially made cocktail named “My Cherry Amore,” a selection of desserts and more. To book, visit royaltonhotel.com or call 212-869-4400.

Sheraton New York Times Square: For the ultimate and memorable New York luxury experience, book a Penthouse Escape Package at the Sheraton New York Times Square. Relax in their two-level, 3,500 square-foot Penthouse Suite on the 45th floor overlooking Times Square and Central Park, complete with bottomless premium wine tastings, an in-suite gourmet cooking session and more. To book, visit sheratonnewyork.com or call 212-581-1000.

The Westin New York Grand Central: Just a short stroll from Bryant Park in Manhattan, the Westin New York Grand Central is offering a romantic getaway for couples with their Presidential Suite package. The package includes a split of prosecco, a personal guided Manhattan run, late checkout and accommodations in the 1,035-square-foot Presidential Suite on the 40th floor, complete with sweeping views of the skyline and a Jacuzzi tub. To reserve, call 212-490-8900 or visitwestinnewyorkgrandcentral.com and enter code PRSPKG.

For other great Valentine’s Day weekend events, visit nycgo.com/valentinesday.

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Booking a Romantic Biking Adventure Shows You Care for Valentine’s Day

February 10, 2016
A romantic biking/boat trip through the Greek Islands with BikeTours © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

A romantic biking/boat trip through the Greek Islands with BikeTours © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

This Valentine’s Day, celebrate the love in your life by booking a romantic adventure for two.

From leisurely cycling on romantic country roads to wine tastings in charming vineyards to slow strolls exploring a new city, there are many ways to embrace adventure with the one you love.

“A romantic trip or honeymoon doesn’t have to mean sitting in a beach lounger all day,” says Vice President of BikeTours.com, Natalie Cook. “Explorer-type couples look beyond the all-inclusive to active vacations that immerse them in the culture and beauty of a destination.

Leisurely cycling, plenty of scenic selfie-opps, and plenty of off-bike time to relax and relish the day — these are the experiences that make memories for a lifetime.”

BikeTours.com highlights its top suggestions (and some limited-time special offers) for dreamy escapes with your significant other.

Tuscan Wine Classic: Popular for honeymooners, this tour features charming inns, incredible landscapes, candlelit dinners, visits to vineyards and breathtaking scenery. Learn more.

Bali Paradise Ride: With its verdant rice paddies, white-sand beaches, ancient temples, and colorful culture, Bali is a place where every day is a celebration and where love and family are heralded above all else. Learn more.

The Aeolian Islands by Bike and Boat: Cycle among the charming islands in Sicily by day and sleep on a romantic Turkish gulet by night. This tour features delicious dinners with wine on deck each evening and beautiful Italian islands perfect for exploring on two wheels. Learn more.

Atlantic West Coast and Sintra: Portugal’s bluebird skies, charming inns, gorgeous coastlines, and sunny disposition all make for a perfect week of wine, romance, and adventure. Learn more.

Connemara Lazy Days: This is a relaxing and enjoyable cycling trip that leaves plenty of time for picnic lunches, a visit to the romantic and storied Kylemore Abbey, walks on the beach, and more.

PLUS! All bookings made in February for any date in 2016 will get a free bottle of bubbly on arrival! Learn more.

Castles and Wine of Portugal: Charming hotels, beautiful castles, and delicious wine make this tour a real treat.

Plus! For all tours booked in February 2016, they’ll throw in a romantic horse-drawn carriage ride in Évora for free!

Treasures of the Donegal Coast (Ireland): Peaceful, hidden beaches, charming Irish pubs and restaurants, vibrant traditional music – this tour along the coast offers relaxation, culture, and adventure.

Mosel Bike Path (Germany): This popular tour offers a leisurely ride along a popular wine route.

Plus! Add a special wine tasting (6 wines) in Trittenheim for €15 per person.

The Cotswolds and Stonehenge (England): Experience Shakespeare, country charm, and loads of romance bottled up in a 9-night self-guided tour perfect for a romantic holiday.

Prague to Venice (Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, and Italy): A 21-night self-guided tour along a romantic route, featuring beautiful landmarks of UNESCO heritage and some of the most charming cities in Europe.

Bruges and the Belgian Coast (Belgium): Experience this country’s culture, nature, and history on this 7-night self-guided tour full of romance and charm.

Hudson Valley National Heritage Area: Explore the Hudson Valley’s romantic country roads, award-winning wineries, historic inns, and lovely scenic vistas, all great recipes for romance in New England. Learn more.

BikeTours serves as a central resource for bicycle tours worldwide, representing 125 tour companies with over 500 tours in 71 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and the Americas (the newest program is in Namibia).

Bike Tours, 1222 Tremont St., Suite 100, Chattanooga, TN 37405, 877-462-2423, 423-756-8907, info@biketours.com, www.biketours.com.

See

A biking/boating odyssey amid the Greek Isles and slideshow

For more travel features, visit:

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