Archive for the ‘attractions’ Category

Schumer, Tomlin, Original SNL Cast Headline National Comedy Center Opening in Lucille Ball’s Hometown, Jamestown, NY

May 31, 2018
NYS-Natl Comedy Ctr Jamestown

The National Comedy Center, an interactive and immersive museum with 50 exhibits, opens in Jamestown, NY, Lucille Ball’s hometown, in August.

Jamestown, NY –The National Comedy Center will celebrate its grand opening in Lucille Ball’s hometown of Jamestown, New York,  with appearances by Amy Schumer, Lily Tomlin, Saturday Night Live original season alumni including Dan Aykroyd and more, coinciding with the annual Lucille Ball Comedy Festival, August 1-5.

Featuring more than 50 immersive and interactive exhibits designed by leading museum design firms in the world, the 37,000 square foot National Comedy Center visitor experience tells the story of comedy from its origins through the present and is the first non-profit cultural institution and national-scale attraction dedicated to the art of comedy.

The opening celebration will feature more than 50 events and 40 artists that include the innovators, creators, and legends of comedy.

Emmy Award-Winning Comedian Amy Schumer will perform Friday, August 3rd with her show “Amy Schumer and Friends” at the Northwest Arena, while comedy legend Lily Tomlin brings “An Evening of Classic Lily Tomlin” center stage at Reg Lenna Center for the Arts on August 4th.

“Each of these artists has played a significant role in shaping and redefining comedy as we know it today.  From sketch to stand-up to TV to film, the landscape has been forever changed due to the creativity and, frankly, bravery, of Lily Tomlin and Amy Schumer. Laraine Newman, Dan Aykroyd, Garrett Morris and Alan Zweibel challenged the nation’s sensibilities about comedy in what they brought to air in 1975, introducing what became one of the very few cultural phenomena to endure more than four decades,” said National Comedy Center Executive Director Journey Gunderson.

On August 2nd, Saturday Night Live cast members Dan Aykroyd, Laraine Newman and Garrett Morris, along with original writer, Alan Zweibel, will come together at the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts to share stories and laughs in a conversation about the show’s early years.

“Offering four brilliant minds from the show that broke the late night television mold is not only a glimpse into the creation of Saturday Night Live but also a sampling of the National Comedy Center‘s core mission to share the story of comedy,” notes Malachi Livermore, Director of Operations and Programming for the National Comedy Center.

Continuing an annual series of National Comedy Center dialogues, Violet Ramis Stiel will offer a stage conversation about her new book, “Ghostbuster’s Daughter: Life with My Dad, Harold Ramis.”

Festival partner COZI TV will present a very special “Conversation with Fran Drescher” as part of the opening week events. The Nanny star will share insights on her storied life and career influences, including Lucille Ball, on August 3rd.

Additional programming includes five comedy showcases featuring comedians with credits including appearances on ColbertConan, and Last Comic Standing. The weekend will also feature National Comedy Center dialogues, exhibit unveilings, block parties, free kids’ comedy shows featuring the critically-acclaimed Story Pirates and tribute events honoring the influential careers of the “First Couple of Comedy”, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. Additional events will be added to the lineup in the coming months.

The National Comedy Center embodies Lucille Ball’s vision for her hometown of Jamestown, New York to become a destination for the celebration of comedy in a way that educates, fosters and inspires. Design has been led by the most prominent cultural and interactive design firms in the world whose portfolios collectively include the award-winning 9/11 Memorial Museum, The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, The College Football Hall of Fame, and SNL: The Experience. The $50 million endeavor was made possible by state, federal and private philanthropic support including partnership with I LOVE NEW YORK™, Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York State’s Empire State Development.

In a special press briefing at the site on March 30, United States Senator Charles Schumer (who is comedien Amy Schumer’s actual cousin) announced his push for a congressional designation for the Center. The new designation would officially make the National Comedy Center the nation’s cultural institution dedicated to the art of comedy, recognizing it as the only institution of its kind with the mission of preserving, protecting, and showcasing the art of comedy and its role in our culture.

The National Comedy Center also operates the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum, and for the last 25 years has produced the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival with performers including Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Leno, Lewis Black, Trevor Noah, Joan Rivers, Ellen DeGeneres, Paula Poundstone, Nick Offerman, Ray Romano, Bob Newhart, The Smothers Brothers and more than 100 other comedic artists.

Located in Jamestown, a city in Chautauqua County and Western New York, the National Comedy Center is in the region of Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Toronto.

Tickets may be purchased by visiting NationalComedyCenter.org. by calling 716-484-0800 or visiting the festival box office located at 2 W. 3rd Street, Jamestown, NY 14701.

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White House Hosts Spring Garden Tours April 14 & 15

April 12, 2018

The White House will open its gardens and grounds to visitors on April 14 and 15, when guests can discover the beauty of the South Lawn of the White House, the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, Rose Garden, and the White House Kitchen Garden © Karen Rubin/ goingplacesfarandnear.com

This spring, the White House will open its gardens and grounds to visitors.  The grounds will be open on Saturday, April 14, from 10:00 AM to 4:30 PM, and Sunday, April 15, from 10:00 AM to 2:30 PM.  On these days, visitors can discover the beauty of the South Lawn of the White House.  The Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, Rose Garden, and the White House Kitchen Garden will also be accessible to guests.

This event is free and open to the public.  A ticket is required, however, for all attendees (including small children).  The National Park Service (NPS) will distribute free, timed tickets at a tent stationed near the entry point each day beginning at 8:30 AM.  The entry point for all guests, including those going to the NPS tent, will be located near the intersection of 15th Street and Constitution Avenue Northwest.

Tickets will be distributed—one ticket per person—on a first-come, first-served basis.

Please note the following items are not allowed on the White House grounds:

  • Aerosols of any kind
  • Animals (except guide dogs)
  • Any pointed object
  • Backpacks (oversized)
  • Balloons
  • Beverages of any kind
  • Duffle bags and/or suitcases
  • Electric stun guns
  • Fireworks / firecrackers
  • Food of any kind
  • Guns / ammunition
  • Insulated metal containers
  • Knives of any kind
  • Mace
  • Selfie sticks
  • Smoking (including e-cigarettes)
  • Tablets (including iPads)
  • Toy weapons of any kind
  • Water bottles

The Secret Service reserves the right to prohibit any other personal items.  However, strollers, wheelchairs, umbrellas (no metal tips), and cameras are permitted.  All items needed for medical purposes will be permitted on the tour (such as wheelchairs, electric scooters, glucose tablets, and EpiPens).  Identify and explain all items needed for medical purposes to Secret Service agents upon arrival.

In the event of inclement weather, the event may be cancelled.  Call the 24-hour information line at (202) 456-7041 to check on the status of the event.

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NYC Must-See Week Offers 2-for-1 Tickets to Attractions, Museums, Tours & Performing Arts

January 18, 2018
NYC-MuseumMile_20170613_154e2 (c) Karen Rubin-Guggenheim

From iconic attractions like the Guggenheim Museum on Fifth Avenue’s Museum Mile, to lesser-known gems, NYC Must-See Week’s 2-for-1 offer gives everyone a chance to discover more across the five boroughs at a value © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

New York, NY – NYC & Company, New York City’s official destination marketing organization, announced tickets are on sale to the public today at 10:30am EST for NYC Must-See Week. The program (formerly known as NYC Attractions WeekSM in 2017) will offer two-for-one admission to attractions, museums, tours, and performing arts venues across all five boroughs with tickets offered from January 29 through February 11, 2018. Experiences to be enjoyed among the 62 unique participants include iconic NYC attractions, skyline views, historic sites, world-class institutions and more. To view a full list of participants and to purchase tickets, visit nycgo.com/mustseeweek.

“NYC Must-See Week gives locals and visitors a unique opportunity to check off experiences from their bucket list and sample more of everything the City has to offer,” said Fred Dixon, president and CEO of NYC & Company. “From iconic attractions to lesser-known gems, the 2-for-1 offer gives everyone a chance to discover more across the five boroughs at a value.”

During NYC Must-See Week, there are options for everyone. For those seeking…

  • recently opened Times Square attractions, head to Midtown Manhattan to explore Gulliver’s Gate, National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey or the NFL Experience Times Square.
  • observation deck views, book the Empire State Building Experience or visit One World Observatory.
  • waterfront explorationshop aboard with Bateaux New York, Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises or Hornblower Cruises & Events, among others.
  • cultural institutions along Museum Mile, visit the Museum of the City of New York; the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum; or the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.
  • world-class museums not found on Fifth Avenue, visit the Brooklyn MuseumMuseum of Modern Art (MoMA) or the Whitney Museum of American Art, among others.
  • cultural heritage museums, visit the Museum of Chinese in America, Museum at Eldridge Street or the Museum of Jewish Heritage.
  • family-friendly activities, enjoy the Bronx Zoo, The Ride or Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling, among others.
  • historical sites, enjoy Fraunces Tavern Museum, Morris Jumel Mansion, Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden or head out on an educational historic walk with Lower Manhattan Tours.
  • food tours, dine with Like a Local Tours or Urban Oyster Tours.
  • behind-the-scene tours, discover Carnegie Hall Tours, Madison Square Garden All Access Tour or Yankee Stadium Tours, among others.
  • pop culture tours, head out with On Location ToursThe Tour at NBC Studios or see your favorite celebrities at Madame Tussauds New York.
  • music and performing arts, enjoy the Baruch Performing Arts CenterChamber Music Society of Lincoln CenterHarlem School of the Arts or the World Music Institute.

NYC Must-See Week will be promoted through exclusive content on NYCgo.com; @nycgo on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #NYCMustSeeWeek; through out-of-home advertising on NYC bus shelters, LinkNYC screens, Parabit Airport Kiosks, and PATH trains and stations; and through various media partnerships.

New Yorkers and visitors also are encouraged to seek out the ultimate-value week this winter, January 29 through February 4, when three of NYC & Company’s signature programs align: NYC Must-See Week, NYC Restaurant Week® and NYC Broadway WeekSM. Additionally, snag NYC Off-Broadway WeekSM 2-for-1 tickets during this time after they go on sale January 29 for performances from February 12 to February 25. Hotel savings are also available as the winter season offers the most attractive hotel rates of the year, particularly on the evening of Super Bowl Sunday (February 4). For all there is to do in NYC this winter, visit nycgo.com/winter.
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Top 10 Best Haunted Houses in America Named Just in Time for Halloween

October 18, 2017

HauntedHouse-com-Americas-top-10

SAN ANTONIO, — It’s that time of year again when haunted house goers and horror fanatics all across the nation have their hearts set on checking out which haunted attractions have been named the ones not to miss this Halloween season. HauntedHouse.com has just announced its top 10 list “America’s Best Haunts” across the country.

HauntedHouse.com hand-picked 10 haunted attractions for 2017 that it considered the most hair-raising, terrifying and downright frightening to all of those who dare to attend. This year’s list of “America’s Best Haunts” was carefully selected by a panel representing more than 100 years combined working in the haunted house and horror industry. Only the scariest, horrifying and the most cutting edge haunted houses made the list.

“We guarantee you, none will disappoint and all will leave you with your heart racing, your palms sweating, and you asking for more. Do you dare to see what our picks for this year are?”

Here is the official list of “America’s Best Haunts” for 2017 from HauntedHouse.com:

  1. House of Torment
    Location (multiple): Austin, TX – Chicago, IL
    Website: www.houseoftorment.com
  2. Headless Horseman
    Location: Ulster Park, NY
    Website: www.headlesshorseman.com
  3. The Asylum Haunted House
    Location: Denver, CO
    Website: www.asylumdenver.com
  4. 13th Floor Haunted House
    Location (multiple): Denver, CO – San Antonio, TX – Phoenix, AZ – Chicago, IL
    Website: www.13thfloorhauntedhouses.com
  5. Fear Farm and Phoenix Haunted Hayride
    Location: Phoenix, AZ
    Website: www.fearfarm.com
  6. Cutting Edge
    Location: Fort Worth, TX
    Website: www.cuttingedgehauntedhouse.com
  7. Bates Motel
    Location: Philadelphia, PA
    Website: www.thebatesmotel.com
  8. Spookyworld NE
    Location: Litchfield, NH
    Website: www.nightmarenewengland.com
  9. Haunted Hotel
    Location: San Diego, CA
    Website: www.hauntedhotel.com
  10. Scarehouse
    Location: Pittsburgh, PA
    Website: www.scarehouse.com

Hauntedhouse.com‘s list of “America’s Best Haunts” was created in 2006 and has become a premier source for information and rankings of the haunted house industry.  The 2017 list was selected by a panel of judges with over 100 years of combined haunted-attractions industry experience.

For complete list of the winners and further information visit: www.AmericasBestHaunts.com.

 

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Long Island’s Cradle of Aviation Museum Hosts Great North American Solar Eclipse Event, Aug. 21

August 19, 2017
LI-CradleAviation-Eclipse

The Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City, NY is hosting activities to engage visitors in the Great North American Eclipse of Monday, August 21, 2017 (courtesy of Cradle of Aviation Museum).

Garden City, N.Y. — On Monday, August 21, 2017, the Cradle of Aviation is hosting activities from noon to 4 pm for the Great North American Eclipse, when, for the first time in 100 years a solar eclipse will be visible across the whole continent of North America.  In New York, the visibility will be at 70%, creating a sense of sunset in the middle of the day.

“It’s so exciting to see the sun and moon, objects we see every day or night, in a new form in the sky together,” Amandeep Kaur, an Adelphi Physics Major interning at the Museum, says. “Being able to see one of the most dramatic and astonishing events of the natural world is an opportunity like no other.”

To encourage young scientists and visitors to get involved in the celebration of our sun, the museum will host activities free with museum admission from 12pm through 4pm.  These activities include Hands-on Science Zone, which will have experiments to help better understand this amazing event. In addition, educators will be on hand to demonstrate different ways to safely view the eclipse, provide giveaways, and offer visitors a chance to seal memories in a time capsule to be opened in 7 years, during the next eclipse, April 8, 2024, when the path of totality will cross upstate New York.

The solar eclipse celebration is just one of many educational events produced by the Cradle of Aviation Museum, built on the site from which Charles Lindbergh started his historic transatlantic flight. The Cradle is home to over 75 planes and spacecraft and is located on Charles Lindbergh Blvd., in the Garden City/Uniondale area. For more information call 516-572-4111 or log onto www.cradleofavaition.org.

 

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Heritage Museums & Gardens on Cape Cod Creates Special Activities for Safe Viewing of Partial Solar Eclipse Aug. 21

August 8, 2017
Sandwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

The enchanting gardens at Heritage Museums & Gardens in historic Sandwich, MA on Cape Cod, which offers an amazing range of experiences including flying on a zip-line through trees, seeing classic and antique cars, riding a historic carousel © 2017 Karen Rubin/ goingplacesfarandnear.com

(Sandwich, MA)—On August 21, all across the United States, a solar eclipse will be viewed by millions; those on Cape Cod will experience a dramatic partial solar eclipse that won’t be visible again in the U.S. until 2024. To celebrate this national event, Heritage Museum & Gardens, in historic Sandwich on Cape Cod, is offering a special day of activities.

Visitors will receive a free pair of safe eclipse viewing glasses (while supplies last), make their own pinhole projector, talk with astronomy expert Gil Newton, eat moon- and sun-themed food, and participate in other eclipse-related activities.

“This celestial event presents a great opportunity to come to Heritage for a day of fun and learning together about the natural world,” says Ellen Spear, president and CEO. “We encourage visitors to come for the day, spread a blanket on the Parade Field in the afternoon, make a pinhole projector, and view the solar eclipse together. ‘Moon Day’ at Heritage will be great fun!”

The event takes place between 1-4 pm, with the ultimate expression of the eclipse at about 2:30 pm.

Family Fun Fridays

Heritage Museums & Gardens—a premier cultural attraction on Cape Cod and a magnet for families— is hosting two more Family Fun Friday Events this season.  The events, sponsored by the Arbella Insurance Foundation, are free with admission and feature a live performance and activities throughout the day that appeal to kids and adults of all ages: outdoor games, crafts, scavenger hunt challenges, story times, nature exploration, and outdoor discovery.

“This year’s line-up of Family Fun Friday performances and activities has some old favorites and some great new talent. Heritage is a treasured place where families can truly be together for relaxing, quality time together,” said Ellen Spear, Heritage president and CEO. “Family Fun Fridays add to the fun, and are a place where families can make memories that will last a lifetime.”

The upcoming Family Fun Friday performances, which begin at 11 am, are:

August 11: Karen K & the Jitterbugs An unforgettable, theatrical, crowd-engaging musical adventure

August 18: Airborne Comedians An amazing and entertaining show featuring six- and seven-foot high unicycles and lawn chair juggling

Sandwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Children and families enjoy playing in Hidden Hollow™, an enchanting, two-acre outdoor discovery and exploration area that includes a giant treehouse© 2017 Karen Rubin/ goingplacesfarandnear.com

New this year, families can enjoy the Premium Heritage Experience, which gives behind-the-scenes access, inside information, and fun, interactive experiences with Heritage’s collections, gardens, and exhibits. Children and families will also enjoy playing in Hidden Hollow™, an enchanting, two-acre outdoor discovery and exploration area that includes a giant treehouse; exploring 100 acres of nature trails, woodlands, and gardens; and riding on a vintage carousel.

Set on 100 stunning acres of gardens, nature trails, and open spaces, Heritage Museums & Gardens is the only place where you can browse through rare works of art, fly through the trees on a zip line, and see iconic antique automobiles all in one day. Explore Hidden Hollow™, an interactive outdoor discovery area for kids of all ages. Take a ride on the vintage carousel. And find your own special spot on Cape Cod.

Heritage Museums & Gardens is open daily through October 9, 10 am-5 pm. For information or to purchase tickets, visit heritagemuseums.org.

 

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USAF Thunderbirds to Headline Memorial Day Weekend Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach, Long Island

May 22, 2017
12th Annual Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach, Long Island, Memor

The US Air Force Thunderbirds return to Jones Beach to headline the Bethpage Air Show over Memorial Day Weekend, demonstrating precision flying skills © Karen Rubin/ goingplacesfarandnear.com

By Karen Rubin, Travel Features Syndicate, goingplacesfarandnear.com

The US Air Force Thunderbirds will headline the annual Memorial Day weekend Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach, Long Island, flying the thrilling red, white and blue F-16s. the event takes place at Jones Beach State Park, Saturday May 27 and Sunday May 28, noon to 5 pm (get there early to get parking).

This year’s air show marks the return of the American Airpower Museum Warbirds, which present historic aircraft in a moving display.

A personal favorite is the GEICO Skytypers Airshow Team, a flight squadron of six vintage WWII era U.S. Navy SNJ-2 trainers . The team performs a thrilling, low-altitude, precision-formation flying demonstration filling the sky and coming from all directions (even right at each other) to provide spectators a unique viewing experience while showcasing the tactics and maneuvers utilized during training during WWII.

10th Annual Air Show at Jones Beach, Long Island

Geico Skytypers demonstrate thrilling military maneuvers, including coming at each other from opposite directions and crossing so perilously close they look like they are entangled © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The airshow traditionally kicks off with a ceremonial parachute drop by a representative of the US Army Parachute Team, the Golden Knights (who return later in the show for a full program), delivering the American flag to a tiny target on Jones Beach, parachuting from an altitude of 12,500 ft, at speed of 120 mph. The whole team then returns for a demonstration performance.

The line-up also includes many returning favorites, as well as some new entries:

John Klatt Airshows and Jack Link’s Beef Jerky teamed up to create a one of a kind plane, the Screamin Sasquatch, which is powered by two different engines. The plane style is a Jet Waco, first introduced by Jimmy Franklin in 1999, and is now one-of-a-kind on the air show circuit.

A perennial favorite at Jones Beach is Sean Tucker, who performs impossible feats in a specially built, one-of-a-kind, most high-performance aerobatic aircraft in the world, the Oracle Bi-Plane. It is a fire-breathing monster with over 400 horsepower, weighs just over 1200 pounds, has a revolutionary set of wings that use 8 ailerons instead of 4, and responds to the slightest pressure on the control stick even at 300 mph. Sean flies the aircraft backwards, straight-down, tail-first at more than 100 mph. More than half of Sean’s maneuvers are original and have never been duplicated by another aerobatic pilot. 

10th Annual Air Show at Jones Beach, Long Island

A perennial favorite at the Bethpage Air show at Jones Beach is Sean Tucker, who performs impossible feats in a specially built, one-of-a-kind, most high-performance aerobatic aircraft in the world, the Oracle Bi-Plane © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

David Windmiller, Long Island’s hometown hero (from Melville), thrills spectators in his Zivko Edge 540 aircraft, built especially for aerobatics, with seemingly impossible feats at speeds of up to 220 mph that keep his peers and his fans in awe. 

Matt Chapman, flying for Embry Riddle, performs maneuvers in which he experiences as much as 9 positive Gs and 6 negative Gs. His Eagle 180 plane has parts from 3 countries. He’s also an American Airlines captain.

SUNY Farmingdale Aerospace’s Flying Rams will fly seven of their 22 college-owned aircraft in a fly-by piloted by their top academic Professional Pilot performers. The State University of New York (SUNY) Flight Center is a crown jewel of the SUNY system. 

106th Air National Guard Rescue Wing deploys worldwide to provide combat search and rescue coverage for U.S. and allied forces. They are a World-Class Team of diverse, adaptable personnel recovery focused war fighters with a mission to provide worldwide Personnel Recovery, Combat Search and Rescue Capability, Expeditionary Combat Support, and Civil Search and Rescue Support to Federal and State authorities. The 106th Air National Guard Rescue Wing provides Personnel Recovery to the state of New York. 

The Bayport Aerodrome Society, formed in 1972 is composed of aviation professionals, recreational pilots, and people interested in preserving aviation history. ​As a “living museum” they have a variety of antique aircraft flying on the field including Bi-Planes, Champs, and Cubs.

The Warrior Flight Team is a 501(c)(3) charity comprised of a team of all volunteers and assets assembled to bring rewarding career opportunities to those who have served their country and sacrificed tremendously in the process, yet still strive to give even more of themselves. 

Hint: Head down to Jones Beach on Friday May 26th from noon to– 5 pm for a full practice. It’s a great chance to catch the show with fewer crowds. (In 2016, there was near record attendance of 405,012 for the two days and some years, they have shut down the highways when the park reached capacity.)

The Bethpage Air Show takes place at Jones Beach State Park, Wantagh, NY; $10 vehicle use fee.

More information at bethpageairshow.com.

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‘A Colonial Christmas’ in Jamestown

December 6, 2016
Christmas Music at Jamestown Settlement, Virginia (Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation photo)

Christmas Music at Jamestown Settlement, Virginia (Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation photo)

The Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown celebrate “A Colonial Christmas” through December 31. The month-long event explores 17th- and 18th-century holiday traditions with interpretive programs and, December 26-31, festivities abound with musical entertainment of the period.

The two living-history museums tell the story of our nation’s beginnings throughout the year with gallery exhibits and historical interpretation in re-created outdoor settings – a Powhatan Indian village, 1607 ships and colonial fort at Jamestown Settlement, and Continental Army encampment and Revolution-era farm at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. 

Jamestown Settlement

“A Jamestown Christmas” holiday film and special interpretive programs compare and contrast English Christmas customs of the period with how the season may have been observed in the difficult early years of America’s first permanent English colony. In England, the holiday season – extending from December 25 to January 6 – was a time of merriment and feasting. While little is known about Christmases in early Jamestown, “A Colonial Christmas” activities reflect the cultural traditions recalled by English colonists.

Throughout the month, visitors to the outdoor living-history areas can learn about the Jamestown colony’s early years as well as the English colonists’ Christmas at sea in December 1606, and the Powhatan Indian hospitality shown to Captain John Smith’s trading party in 1608 during a winter storm. In the re-created Powhatan Indian village, historical interpreters will present ongoing demonstrations on typical winter activities, including food preservation and hunting tools and techniques.

In the re-created fort, visitors can see wattle-and-daub buildings decorated with greenery and demonstrations of fancy cooking and, December 23-31, experience the 17th-century English tradition of the Lord of Misrule, “grand captain of all mischief.” 

American Revolution Museum at Yorktown

Hear accounts of Christmas and winter in military encampments during the American Revolution and glimpse holiday preparations on a Revolution-era farm. Visitors to the Continental Army encampment can learn about winter camp life and hear accounts of Christmas during the war, as well as assist the quartermaster in preparing military supplies and, at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. daily, observe artillery demonstrations.

At the clapboard farmhouse adorned with greenery, historical interpreters compare and contrast 18th-century holiday traditions with those of modern times and demonstrate a variety of holiday activities, including setting a farmhouse table for a holiday feast. Visitors can see open-hearth cooking in the farm kitchen and take part in periodic candle-dipping activities. 

Period Holiday Music & Entertainment

In Jamestown Settlement’s re-created fort church and at the new American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, visitors can enjoy a variety of 17th- and 18th-century holiday music December 26-31, including fiddler David Gardner, Barry and Lynn Trott and the Itinerant Band.  Musical performances will be at 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. at Jamestown Settlement and at 12 and 2 p.m. at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown.
Tickets & Private Tours

A value-priced combination ticket to both museums is $21.25 for adults and $10.75 for ages 6-12 Admission to Jamestown Settlement is $17.00 for adults and $8.00 for ages 6-12 and to the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, $9.75 for adults and $5.50 for ages 6-12. Children under 6 are free.

A History is Fun combination ticket – available online only – offers seven days of unlimited admission to both museums at $21.25 for adults and $10.75 for ages 6-12 and includes coupon booklets for Williamsburg Premium Outlets and a Historic Yorktown Rewards Card.

Christmas-themed private tours are available for an additional fee with advance reservations for a party of 14 or fewer people. Reservations can be made online or by calling (757) 253-4939.

In time for holiday shopping, Jamestown Settlement and American Revolution Museum at Yorktown  gift shops offer a selection of books, prints, museum reproductions, educational toys, games and souvenirs relating to the 17th and 18th centuries. Admission is not required to visit the museum gift shops, open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Shop online at www.shophistoryisfun.com.

Jamestown Settlement and American Revolution Museum at Yorktown are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily year-round, except for Christmas and New Year’s days. The museums are separated by a 25-minute drive along the Colonial Parkway, a National Scenic Byway. Jamestown Settlement is located on Route 31 just southwest of Williamsburg. The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown is located on Route 1020 in Yorktown. Parking is free. For more information, call (888) 593-4682 toll-free, (757) 253-4838 or visit www.historyisfun.org/jamestown-settlement/a-colonial-christmas.

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Dollywood Plans to Add World’s Fastest Wood Coaster for 2016

August 12, 2015

Dollywood, the themepark in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, plans to open Lightning Rod in March 2016, which it claims will be both the world’s fastest wood coaster and the world’s first launching wood coaster. Lightning Rod adds another groundbreaking roller coaster to the park’s already impressive portfolio of world-class attractions. The thrilling $22 million ride also marks the single largest attraction investment in The Dollywood Company’s history.

Themed after a tricked out 1950s-era hot rod, Lightning Rod launches riders from zero to 45 mph more than 20 stories up its lift hill to one of the ride’s first airtime moments. At the crest of the hill, riders face twin summit airtime hills before tackling the daring first drop. Lightning Rod races down the 165-foot drop and propels guests along its 3,800-ft. track to a top speed of 73 mph, the fastest speed for a wood coaster in the world.

“Lightning Rod reminds me so much of those colorful cars cruisin’ up and down Main Street in downtown Sevierville back when I was in high school. I remember all those souped up cars; but what I remember most were those good lookin’ boys behind the wheel with those flat top and ducktail haircuts,” Dolly Parton said with a laugh.

“I’m truly excited about this ride because it will let our guests experience something just as fast as those hot rods I remember,” she continued. “Even better, it’s the fastest wooden roller coaster in the world, so I think we’re going to see a lot of people coming from all over to peel out on the Lightning Rod.”

Located in Dollywood’s Jukebox Junction, Lightning Rod rockets riders around its massive wooden structure on an adrenaline-charged lap through the trees in the hills and valleys surrounding Dollywood. During the ride, guests experience nearly 20 seconds of airtime. The coaster train is comprised of 12 cars, carrying two passengers each, for a total of 24 people per train.

Lightning Rod is the newest member of The Dollywood Company’s collection of award-winning attractions. In March 2012, Dollywood opened the $20 million Wild Eagle, the country’s first wing coaster. The company introduced RiverRush, Tennessee’s first and only water coaster, at Dollywood’s Splash Country in 2013. FireChaser Express, the nation’s first dual-launch family coaster, was added at Dollywood in 2014. Dollywood mainstays Thunderhead, consistently among the world’s top five wood coasters, Mystery Mine, Blazing Fury and Tennessee Tornado round out the park’s list of innovative coasters.

A highly awarded and widely recognized leader in the amusement industry, The Dollywood Company consists of the 150-acre Dollywood theme park; the 35-acre Dollywood’s Splash Country; Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins; and Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort. As unique as its namesake and owner Dolly Parton, Dollywood is the 2010 Applause Award winner, the theme park industry’s highest accolade; winner of nearly 30 Golden Ticket Awards; and recipient of 24 Brass Ring Awards for Live Entertainment (more than any other theme park in the world). In 2014, Dollywood was named a top three theme park by USA Today.

Dollywood, celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2015, is open nine months a year (late March through early January) and offers rides and attractions, shows, and a dozen crafters authentic to the East Tennessee region. Dollywood’s Splash Country, recognized by the Travel Channel as one of the country’s most beautiful waterparks and named 2009’s Must-See Waterpark by the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions, operates from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins offers luxurious cabin accommodations overlooking Dollywood. The 300-room Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort provides guests spectacular mountain views and family-friendly amenities next door to Dollywood theme park and Dollywood’s Splash Country. For more information, call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD or visit dollywood.com. Operating days and hours vary.

For more information about Dollywood’s attractions, visit www.Dollywood.com or call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD.
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White House Lifts Camera Ban on Public Tours, Encourages Posting Pix

July 3, 2015
Visitors to The White House, Washington DC are now encouraged to post their photos © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Visitors to The White House, Washington DC are now encouraged to post their photos © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

After 40 years, the White House is lifting its longstanding camera and photo ban on public tours.  Guests are now welcome to take photos throughout the White House tour route and keep those memories for a lifetime. Visitors are also encouraged to share their experience using the hashtag #WhiteHouseTour.

To announce the change in policy, the First Lady posted THIS video on her Instagram account.

Permitted Items: Phones and compact still cameras with a lens no longer than 3 inches are allowed inside the White House.  Photography is permitted but may not interfere with the enjoyment of other guests on the tour.  

Prohibited Items: Video cameras, including any action camcorders, cameras with detachable lenses, tablets, tripods, monopods, and camera sticks are not permitted on White House Tours.  Flash photography and livestreaming are not permitted while on the tour.

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