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Black Friday & Cyber Monday Travel Deals on Hotels, Resorts, Tours

November 16, 2018
Venice_082418_348e2(c) Karen Rubin-San Marco

Venice, Italy. On Black Friday only, Perillo Tours, a leader in escorted travel to Italy for more than 70 years, is offering $500 off per couple on all 2019 Italy escorted tours © Karen Rubin/ goingplacesfarandnear.com

Savvy shoppers searching for travel deals this Black Friday and Cyber Monday can save big on stays at a Kennebunkport Resort Collection property, the Woodstock Inn & Resort, and Perillo Tours.

Kennebunkport Resort Collection, Maine

The Kennebunkport Resort Collection (KRC), with nine boutique properties and six restaurants in the classic coastal Maine destination, has a Cyber Monday offer that makes a perfect gift for the traveler in the family: KRC gift cards available for purchase all day on Monday, November 26.

  • Buy a $500 gift card and receive a $100 resort credit.
  • Buy a $200 gift card and receive a $25 resort credit.

Fine print: Gift cards can be purchased online or by calling (800) 573-7186. The resort credit is valid on non-room purchases only (available for dining, spa treatments, activities and retail items) and expires one (1) year from date of issuance (November 26, 2019). Gift cards have no expiration date and are valid for use at any of the nine hotels, six restaurants, and the Tree Spa at Hidden Pond.

The Woodstock Inn & Resort in Woodstock, VT

The 24-hour Cyber Monday sale on Monday, November 26, 2018 begins at 12:00 am Eastern Time and includes:

  • Guestroom rates starting at $179
  • Bed & Breakfast package starting at $199
  • Guests can save up to 50% off standard rates
  • Rates are valid for stays from November 27, 2018 through June 27, 2019, not including holidays, holiday weeks, and weekends. Other blackout dates will apply. Upgrades are available at additional cost. All rates are subject to the applicable 10% rooms tax and a $33 per day resort fee. Breakfast is subject to tax and gratuity. Other restrictions may apply.

Surrounded by Vermont’s Green Mountains in the heart of Woodstock Village, the newly renovated Woodstock Inn & Resort invites guests with round-the-clock activities throughout all four seasons. The warmer months offer biking, hiking, fly fishing and hawk walks to golfing, hands-on gardening, swimming in the pool, just to name a few. In the winter, skiing and snowboarding is available at the resort’s mountain, Suicide Six Ski Area. For reservations and additional information, please visit www.woodstockinn.com or call (888) 338-2745.

Perillo Tours

 On Black Friday only, Perillo Tours, a leader in escorted travel to Italy for more than 70 years, is offering $500 off per couple ($250 per person) on all 2019 Italy and Hawaii escorted tours.  The offer is valid on new bookings only for travel January 1 – December 31, 2019.  The 24-hour Black Friday sale is bookable online, via phone or email from 12:01am to 11:59pm on November 23, 2018.  Must use booking code: BlackFri18.

New for 2019,  Perillo Tours has introduced an 11-day Taste of Italy itinerary focusing on Italy’s famed cuisine with visits to Bologna, Florence, Perugia, and Rome, and a 13-day South & Sicily tour where guests can discover several gems of the south including Naples, Capri, Pompeii, Bari, Lecce, Taormina, Palermo, and more.  In addition, Perillo Tours offers seven core Italy itineraries ranging from 14-days exploring Rome, Sorrento, Florence, Venice and Milan, to nine-days in Rome and the Amalfi Coast.  Each Perillo Tours itinerary includes hotels, sightseeing with expert guides, transfers, baggage handling, daily breakfast, select scheduled meals, tips, taxes, free time for self-discovery, and complimentary Wi-Fi on all Perillo coach bus.  In Hawaii, Perillo Tours offers two island and three island itineraries. For more information on Perillo Tours, visit www.perillotours.com or call (800) 431-1515.

On Cyber Monday only, Perillo’s Learning Journeys is offering savings of up to $500 per couple on the Valentine’s Day in Sorrento, Italy live like a local itinerary.  The eight-day trip departs on February 10 and includes non-stop roundtrip air on Alitalia from NYC (JFK), arrival and departure airport transfers from Rome to Sorrento, six night hotel stay, walking tour of Sorrento, a limoncello tasting, city tax and daily continental breakfast.  Couples can enjoy the charm and romance of the Amalfi Coast while exploring the city and immersing in the rich Italian culture. The Cyber Monday special is priced at $1498 per person (based on double occupancy).  The offer is valid on online bookings made on Monday, November 26 only. The trip package must be paid in full at the time of booking and is non-refundable.

Learning Journeys offers cutting-edge travel experiences powered by Perillo Tours’ 73 years of travel planning expertise.  More than a traditional vacation, Learning Journeys’ itineraries focus on enhanced immersion in a specific interest or passion, such as yoga and wellness, cooking, photography, watercolor painting, bird watching, dance, language study, conservation, and much more. For more information on Perillo’s Learning Journeys, visit www.learningjourneys.com.

 

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Cyber Monday Travel Deals in the Berkshires of Massachusetts

November 16, 2018
Red Lion Inn, Stockbridge, MA

The historic Red Lion Inn (it was depicted in Norman Rockwell’s famous painting of Stockbridge) is offering a Cyber Monday travel deal © Karen Rubin/ goingplacesfarandnear.com

Two renowned historic hotels in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts are offering Cyber Monday travel deals. 

The Red Lion Inn – Stockbridge, MA 

Save up to 40 percent off bookings at The Red Lion Inn. Rates for winter and spring travel start at $99 per night; summer dates start at $179 per night. Offer is only available on Monday, November 26 and can be booked online at: https://www.redlioninn.com/getaway-deals/.

The Red Lion Inn, situated in the heart of Stockbridge, MA, is centrally located near major cultural events and venues and is a patron of the Berkshires’ visual and performing arts. Providing food and lodging to guests for more than two centuries, the Inn offers 125 antique-filled rooms and suites and four restaurants with formal and casual dining with locally sourced food. For more information, visit  www.redlioninn.com.

Porches Inn at MASS MoCA – North Adams, MA

At Porches Inn at MASS MoCA receive 25 percent off midweek stays (Sunday through Thursday) through Labor Day 2019. Rates start at $119 per night in the winter; $157 in the summer. Offer only available on Monday, November 26 and can be booked online at: https://www.porches.com/berkshires-hotel-specials/

Guest of the Porches Inn stay just steps away from the mecca of art and culture that is MASS MoCA in 19th Century Victorian row homes, where retro-industrial architecture blends with paint-by-number pictures and vintage TV lamps to create a whimsical, granny-chic stay. For more information, visit www.porches.com.

Reservations for both hotels must be fully pre-paid and are non-refundable. Bookings have limited availability for each date. Blackout dates apply and may change throughout the sale and a minimum stay may be required on select dates.

 

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The Willard Intercontinental, DC’s Iconic Hotel, Decks its Halls for the Holidays

November 16, 2018
Willard Hotel, Washington DC

The Nation’s Capital is pure magic during the holiday season and the iconic Willard Intercontinental, where Abraham Lincoln stayed before his inauguration, is offering a Wintertime Holiday Package © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Washington, D.C. – The elegant and historical Willard InterContinental will transform into a holiday-inspired wonderland, a beloved tradition that both locals and visitors have come to anticipate each year.  Beginning on November 24, an unforgettable display of yuletide trimmings, musical fanfare and epicurean delights will permeate the property through January 1, 2019. From the historical happenings at the Round Robin Bar to the highly-sought after holiday afternoon tea in Peacock Alley, guests will have their pick of endless festive offerings.

At the center of each Willard Christmas stands the treasured tree, boasting decades of sentiment on each carefully curated branch. The only hotel in D.C. to feature the White House Ornament Collection, an initiative founded by the White House Historical Association in 1981, each ornament honors a different U.S. President or special White House event. This year will honor Harry S. Truman, the 33rd President of the United States, and will reflect three significant changes made by Truman during his administration – one to the Presidential Seal and two to the White House itself.  Another iconic facet of the hotel’s décor is their picturesque gingerbread display in the lobby that pays tribute to an iconic landmark in and around D.C.  This year’s display will pay homage to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and its storied past with a magnificent replica that will include all terminals, lighted runways, a control tower and even parts of the Washington Metro.

As always, Holiday Pies to Go will be available through the Willard’s French-inspired brasserie, Café du Parc.  From November 1 through December 24, holiday foodies can rely on pastry chefs at the property to provide an assortment of homemade, seasonal pies using the freshest of ingredients including the famed Candied Pecan Gingerbread Pumpkin Pie, Classic Chocolate Crème Pie, Citrus-Cranberry Crumble Apple Pie, Cinnamon-Oatmeal Crumble Blueberry Pie and Limencello Merengue Pie created with Executive Pastry Chef Jason Jimenez’s famous lemon curd, a popular favorite at the hotel’s afternoon tea.  Ranging from $30 to $38, forty-eight-hour notice is required for all pie orders, which can be placed by calling 202-942-7000.

Those visiting the hotel or the D.C. area at Thanksgiving and Christmas can indulge in the Thanksgiving Day Brunch and Christmas Day Brunch set against the magnificence of the Willard and Crystal Ballrooms. This scrumptious presentation offers epicurean delights involving both traditional and original Thanksgiving dishes created by Executive Chef Luca De Marchis.  This year’s highlights include a Mash Potato Martini Bar, a Carpaccio Station on a Himalayan Salt Block, a Risotto Station, and a Wild Game Meat Station plus all the holiday fixings. Kids can also rest assure that all the tot-friendly staples will be on hand from chicken fingers and mini cheese burgers to mac and cheese and curly fries. Seatings are offered between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. on both November 24 and December 25. The cost is $125 per adult and $55 for children under 12 (complimentary for 4 and under).  Reservations are required and can be booked by calling 202-628-9100.

Café du Parc will offer its customary breakfast, lunch and brunch a la carte options during the holidays in addition to a four-course prix-fixe lunch and dinner menu for $75 per person on Thanksgiving. Likewise, the café will create a three-course prix-fixe Christmas Eve menu for $85 per person and a New Year’s Eve prix-fixe dinner menu at $155 per person for a six-course meal. Reservations are required and can be secured by calling 202-942-7000.

The highly anticipated and quick-to-sell out Holiday Afternoon Tea presented in the grandeur of The Willard’s Peacock Alley will be held daily throughout December from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. (excluding December 24, 25 and 31) priced at $65 per person and $75 with champagne. Surrounded by festive décor, visitors can indulge in a medley of distinctive teas, delectable sandwiches including Mini Pimento “BLT” Cheddar Biscuits and Citrus Crab Salad Vol-Au-Vent and seasonally inspired pastries such as Eggnog Meringue Tarts and Peppermint Profiteroles.

Now in its 17th year, The Willard’s nightly caroling program has evolved into one of the most comprehensive of its kind in Washington, with a wide array of highly accomplished choral and vocal ensembles from around the D.C. metropolitan area.  Between December 1 and December 23, city dwellers and visitors alike can enjoy the sounds of the season with complimentary, nightly chorale performances from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m in the hotel lobby. The Washington Chorus, Gay Men’s Chorus, Arlington Children’s Choir, Potomac Harmony Chorus and Carmina & Illuminare are only a few of the many musical troupes making an appearance this year.

For those seeking a festive night out, The Willard will present a special Holiday Edition of History Happy Hour on December 14 from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. This two-hour event combines mixology and history for an unforgettable curated experience. Jim Hewes, the esteemed mixologist and legendary bartender at The Willard’s iconic Round Robin Bar will be joined by former renowned White House Executive Pastry Chef Roland Mesnier.  Bakers and history buffs alike will appreciate an insider’s perspective of White House holiday traditions as Chef Mesnier leads an intimate conversation regarding his 26-year tenure in the White House pastry kitchen. Guests will observe firsthand his famed culinary skills while hearing fresh insight into the six presidencies during which he worked, all while sipping on holiday-inspired dessert cocktails.

The Nation’s Capital is pure magic during the holiday season and the Willard is offering a Wintertime Holiday Package for all those interested in an overnight stay with upgraded accommodations. Booking now for November 16 through February 11, 2019 rates begin at $299 and include a $50 food and beverage credit and a 2018 commemorative White House Christmas Ornament (minimum two-night booking, 72 hours advance notice required, all based on availability).

For more information, visit www.washington.intercontinental.com  or call 202-628-9100.

 

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Discover Holiday Magic in Washington, DC

November 16, 2018
Capitol-DC-nght-011804e2 (c) Karen Rubin

The Capitol Building at night. Washington DC is a sensational destination for the winter holidays © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

(Washington, DC) – The nation’s capital is one of the best destinations for winter holiday travel, and Destination DC (DDC), the official destination marketing organization for Washington, DC, helps visitors craft a magical holiday. Find inspiration for memorable getaways on DDC’s holiday landing page on washington.org, and its Instagram and Facebook channels, including festive hotel packages, menus, holiday lights, ice skating rinks, gift markets, can’t-miss exhibitions and events across the city’s welcoming neighborhoods. Speak with a DC travel expert (1-800-422-8644), Monday-Friday, 8:30am-5pm (EST).

“Washington, DC goes all out for the holidays. Maybe your wish-list includes meeting Santa, light displays and a classic holiday show. It might include visiting the National Museum of African American History and Culture, shopping for made-in-DC gifts then dinner at one of DC’s 15 Michelin-starred restaurants. We’ll connect you with the real DC,” said Elliott L. Ferguson II, president and CEO of DDC.

In 2018, DDC’s print, digital and out-of-home holiday advertising campaign urges national consumers to “Discover Holiday Magic in Washington, DC,” with assets targeting New York City and Philadelphia. For added promotion between Nov. 30-Dec. 2; Dec. 7-9, the tourism bureau hosts a holiday-themed Instagram exchange with influencers from key feeder markets.

HOTEL PACKAGES
• Toast the season with “Caviar and Champagne” at The Darcy. This package bundles late check-out, a welcome Taittinger toast and decadent caviar cookies from Siren, the in-house Michelin-starred restaurant. Rates start at $169, thru Feb. 28, 2019.
• This December, Kimpton’s 10 boutique hotels in DC spread cheer with pop-up shops curated by Shop Made in DC, a retail incubator showcasing local makers. Book a “Make a Getaway” package to receive a swag bag and $15 gift card.
• The historic Willard InterContinental offers a Wintertime Holiday Package that wraps upgraded accommodations, $50 food and beverage credit and official 2018 White House Christmas Tree Ornament, starting at $299 (two-night min.), Nov. 16, 2018-Feb. 16, 2019.

SKATING RINKS
• Twirl around the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden’s rink, November-March. Warm up inside the Pavilion Café.
• Rent skates at riverside rinks at The Wharf, Georgetown and Capitol Riverfront.
• Iceless skating rinks return to the courtyard at the Fairmont Washington, D.C. Georgetown and atop the Watergate Hotel.

HOLIDAY LIGHTS
• Tour America’s historic train stations in miniature at Seasons Greenings: All Aboard! at the U.S. Botanic Gardens, Nov. 22-Jan. 2, 2019. FREE
• Smithsonian National Zoo dazzles with more than 500,000 LED lights, snowless tubing and more at ZooLights, 5-9pm. Nov. 23-Jan. 1, 2019 (closed Dec. 24, 25, 31). FREE
• George Washington’s Mount Vernon celebrates with Colonial dancing, chocolate-making and caroling, Nov. 23-Dec. 31. Candlelit tours run Nov. 23, 24, 30; Dec. 1, 7, 8, 16.
• The District’s Holiday Boat Parade welcomes Santa to The Wharf with lighted boats and fireworks, 6-9pm, Dec. 1. FREE
• Holiday in the Park thrills Six Flags America with lights, rides and s’mores: Nov. 23-25, Dec. 1-2, 8-9, 15-16, 21-23, 26-31.
• Lit in early December, National Christmas tree in President’s Park on the Ellipse will be attended by 56 decorated state and territory trees, Santa’s Workshop and nighty musical performances thru Dec. 31. FREE
• The National Menorah will be lit on the Ellipse throughout Hanukah. On Dec. 2 at 4pm, American Friends of Lubavitch celebrate with Dreidelman and donuts. FREE

SHOPPING
• The Downtown Holiday Market runs Nov. 23-Dec. 23 in Penn Quarter. Source more local gifts at Shop Made in DC in Dupont; Union Market in NoMa; Brookland Exchange at Monroe Street Market and Steadfast Supply in Capitol Riverfront.
• CityCenterDC dresses up with two monumental reindeer, an overhead installation in Palmer Alley and holiday tree lit on Nov. 24.
• Georgetown Glow, an outdoor light art exhibition, illuminates the historic district between 5-10pm, Dec. 1-Jan. 1, 2019.

PERFORMANCES AND ATTRACTIONS
• The Kennedy Center hosts shows including The Second City’s Love, Factually (Dec. 4-31), Washington National Opera: The Lion, the Unicorn and Me (Dec. 14-16) and the National Symphony Orchestra’s Handel’s Messiah (Dec. 20-23).
• At Warner Theatre, the Washington Ballet’s Nutcracker recasts the classic in the Lincoln White House (Nov. 29-Dec. 28).
• Richly dressed, A Christmas Carol (Nov. 15-Dec. 30) cheers Ford’s Theatre.

DINING AND NIGHTLIFE
• Circle around outdoor firepits at Masseria near Union Market; Bourbon Steak in Georgetown and Tavern at Ivy City Smokehouse, a 2019 Michelin “Bib Gourmand” pick.
• Indulge in holiday teas at Peacock Alley at the Willard InterContinental Washington, DC; the Empress Lounge at the Mandarin Oriental Washington, DC; Tea Cellar at the Park Hyatt Washington DC and the lobbies of the St. Regis Washington D.C. and Line DC.
• Among tempting New Year’s Eve options, humanitarian and Michelin-starred chef José Andrés offers tasting menus at China Chilcano, Jaleo and Oyamel.

Destination DC, the official destination marketing organization for the nation’s capital, is a private, non-profit membership organization of 1,000 businesses committed to marketing the area as a premier global convention, tourism and special events destination with a special emphasis on the arts, cultural and historic communities. washington.org.

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Experience Holidays of Centuries Past at Jamestown Settlement

November 16, 2018
Jamestown-xmas

Holiday feast in Jamestown Settlement.

WILLIAMSBURG, Va.— Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown offer  visitors the opportunity to experience holidays of centuries past during seasonal events “Foods & Feasts of Colonial Virginia,” November 22-24, and “Christmastide in Virginia,” December 20-31.

Foods & Feasts of Colonial Virginia, November 22-24 – The holiday season starts on Thanksgiving Day with a three-day event that explores foodways of 17th- and 18th-century Virginia and centuries-old cooking and preservation methods. At Jamestown Settlement, historical interpreters demonstrate how food was gathered, preserved and prepared on land and at sea by Virginia’s English colonists and Powhatan Indians. At the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, programs examine typical soldiers’ fare during the Revolutionary War and trace the bounty of a period farm from field to kitchen. While food preparation in the museums’ outdoor living-history areas is for demonstration purposes only, the Jamestown Settlement Café will offer a traditional Thanksgiving dinner on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22.

Christmastide in Virginia, December 20-31 – Holiday traditions of 17th- and 18th-century Virginia are recalled with special interpretive programs and period musical entertainment, along with daily appearances at Jamestown Settlement by the Lord of Misrule, “grand captain of all mischief.” Jamestown Settlement interpretive programs allow visitors to compare and contrast English Christmas customs of the period with how English colonists may have observed the season in the difficult early years of the Jamestown colony. Visitors to the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown can hear accounts of Christmas and winter in a Continental Army encampment and glimpse holiday preparations at a period farm.

This holiday season and throughout the year, visitors of all ages can enjoy the museums’ immersive indoor gallery exhibits to learn about America’s past, including two ongoing special exhibitions – “TENACITY: Women in Jamestown and Early Virginia” at Jamestown Settlement and “Blast from the Past: Artillery in the War for Independence” at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. Outdoors, experience historical interpretation and hands-on activities 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.

These living-history museums of 17th- and 18th-century Virginia offer many ways to make the holidays memorable, from tickets and packages, some of which include other Williamsburg area attractions, to unique shopping opportunities in the museum gift shops.

Visitors can experience the holiday fun with a variety of tickets and packages, available online at historyisfun.org/visit/vacation-packages:

  • History is Fun – This online ticket offers unlimited admission to Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown for seven consecutive days and represents a 20 percent savings over individual admission. The ticket, which includes daytime special events and special exhibitions, is $25.50 for adults and $12.25 for ages 6-12, and can be packaged with Williamsburg area lodging. Children under 6 are free. Private tours for 14 or fewer people are available at each museum for an additional fee and can be reserved in advance online or by calling (757) 253-4939.
  • America’s Historic Triangle – This ticket features unlimited admission for seven consecutive days to Jamestown Settlement, Historic Jamestowne, Colonial Williamsburg, American Revolution Museum at Yorktown and Yorktown Battlefield. The ticket is $93.50 for adults (ages 16 and older), $42.75 for children (ages 6-15), and can be packaged with lodging. Holiday events include Colonial Williamsburg’s “Grand Illumination,” December 2; Jamestown Settlement and American Revolution Museum at Yorktown’s “Foods & Feasts of Colonial Virginia,” November 22-24, and “Christmastide in Virginia,” December 20-31.
  • Four-Site Value – This ticket features unlimited admission for seven consecutive days to Jamestown Settlement, Historic Jamestowne, American Revolution Museum at Yorktown and Yorktown Battlefield. The ticket is $39.50 for adults (ages 16 and older), $27.50 for ages 13-15, and $14.25 for ages 6-12, and can be packaged with lodging.

For holiday shoppers, Jamestown Settlement and American Revolution Museum at Yorktown museum gift shops offer a selection of books, prints, museum reproductions, educational toys, games and souvenirs relating to the 17th and 18th centuries. Jamestown Settlement’s special exhibition gift shop has an assortment of items related to “TENACITY: Women in Jamestown and Early Virginia.” Admission is not required to visit the museum gift shops, open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Shop online at shophistoryisfun.com.

Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily year-round, closed December 25 and January 1, 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.

Admission to Jamestown Settlement is $17.00 for adults and $8.00 for ages 6-12 and, to the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, $15.00 for adults and $7.50 for ages 6-12. Children under 6 are admitted free. A combination ticket to both museums is $25.50 for adults and $12.25 for ages 6-12. An American Heritage Annual Pass, $38.00 for adults and $19.00 for ages 6-12, makes a great holiday gift and offers recipients one year of unlimited admission to both museums. For more information, call (888) 593-4682 toll-free, (757) 253-4838 or visit historyisfun.org.

 

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PhotoPlus Expo, Showcasing Latest Technology & Photography Techniques, Returns to NYC Oct. 25-27

October 9, 2018
PhotoPlusExpo17_102717_340e2(c) Karen Rubin-Deanne Fitzmaurice

Photographer Deanne Fitzmaurice shares her techniques at PhotoPlus Expo, which is taking place Oct. 25-27 at the Javits Center in NYC. This year’s keynote highlights include iconic photographers Lynsey Addario and Duane Michals plus a rousing panel about the effect of social media on today’s professional photographers © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

NEW YORK— The annual PhotoPlus International Conference + Expo at the Jacob Javits Center in New York from October 25-27 is a must-attend event for professional photographers, photojournalists and filmmakers, but also is a superb opportunity for travelers to seek out the best photographic equipment for their journeys.

More and more, travelers seek out more compact cameras that nonetheless offer the speed, zoom range, sharp lenses, light sensitivity and versatility to take video and upload images with WiFi.  The expo lets you handle new equipment and learn about the latest technology such as Virtual Reality. There are also fabulous workshops, seminars and presentations from master photographers to hone techniques on capturing memorable images of landscapes, wildlife, daily life and portraits.

PhotoPlus is the largest photographic event in North America where manufacturers showcase the latest technologies and renowned photographers and filmmakers share their secrets to success through dozens of educational seminars and photo walks. Register now by visiting photoplusexpo.com.

“PhotoPlus Expo is a wonderland for any visual content creator. Our large Expo hall is filled with hundreds of exhibitors demonstrating the latest imaging technologies, services and accessories,” explains Mike Gangel, Show Director at PhotoPlus Expo.

PhotoPlus Expo offers the widest selection of educational programming outside a formal university classroom. Presented by world class instructors, attendees will leave PhotoPlus with a new level of knowledge they can apply to their craft and their business.

Attendees of this year’s PhotoPlus Expo will have an opportunity to hear from the leaders of the industry in sessions on topics ranging from lighting, portraiture, post-production, filmmaking, business classes, and so much more. This year’s keynote highlights include iconic photographers Lynsey Addario and Duane Michals plus a rousing panel about the effect of social media on today’s professional photographers.

Two new class formats are being offered this year: Workshops and Master Classes in Conversation. Both are two-hour intensive formats offering a more intimate setting for real hands-on learning. PDN Talks is another new conference track featuring topics ranging from pop culture to politics to the future of visual storytelling. Photographers, reps and creatives will discuss the dynamic world of photographic art and communication, leaving photographers and photo lovers inspired and informed.

The Expo

More than 200 exhibitors and brands of imaging hardware, software, and accessories will be on hand to demonstrate the latest technology in the world of photography and filmmaking, conduct free educational presentations at their booth, and offer special discounts on products and services throughout the Expo.

Additional learning opportunities can be found inside the Adobe Theater, which will be conveniently located on the show floor. Renowned photographers, filmmakers, and educators will conduct 30-minute seminars during the entire Expo to provide attendees with additional tips and tricks for improving their craft, and their business.

For photographers and cinematographers interested in the emerging VR and AR market, NYVR Expo will again be collocated with PhotoPlus Expo. Attendees of PhotoPlus can use their badges to gain access to the NYVR expo floor to demo the latest in virtual reality hardware from large companies and innovative startups. For more information on NYVR visit nyvrexpo.com.

For more information and frequent updates, visit photoplusexpo.com, like us on Facebook, or follow @PhotoPlusExpo on Twitter.

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Film & TV Legend Robert Wagner is Honoree at Gold Coast Arts Center/Film Festival Gala, Oct. 24

October 8, 2018
GCAC-Robert Wagner e2

Actor Robert Wagner will be honored with the Burton Moss Hollywood Golden Era Award at the Gold Coast Arts Center’s Gala, October 24. The Gala kicks off the Gold Coast International Film Festival (photo by Greg Gorman)

LONG ISLAND, NY – A star-studded evening featuring an intimate conversation with iconic film and television star Robert Wagner to benefit the Gold Coast Arts Center and its Gold Coast International Film Festival, will take place on Wednesday, October 24, 2018 from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. at the Gold Coast Arts Center, 113 Middle Neck Road, Great Neck, NY 11021.

Joining Wagner at the gala will be a number of his closest Hollywood pals. Among the stars expected to attend are Jill St. John, Joel Grey, Larry King, Richard Thomas, Edwina Sandys, Mrs. Anthony (Katherine) Quinn, Tippi Hedren, Greg Mullavey, Angie Dickinson, Diane Baker, Constance Towers Gavin, and others.

The evening will begin with cocktails, food, music, and a silent auction. The festivities will move into the theatre where guests will enjoy “A Conversation with Robert Wagner” moderated by renowned film historian, author, and professor Foster Hirsch and attended by Wagner’s friends. The evening will conclude with a dessert reception.

In addition to hearing a firsthand account of his life and career by the handsome and debonair actor who is one of the most popular and successful stars in the entertainment industry, guests will feast on an array of outstanding food in a glamorous atmosphere. Gala tickets cost $250 and numerous sponsorships for the gala are still available. For more information, or to purchase a ticket, call 516-829-2570.

The occasion will be used to bestow the second annual Burton Moss Hollywood Golden Era Award upon Wagner in recognition of his long, illustrious career in film and television that began in 1950 with his film debut in The Happy Years starring Dean Stockwell and Darryl Hickman. Among Wagner’s numerous film credits includes With a Song in My Heart, Broken Lance with the legendary Spencer Tracy, Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, The Pink Panther, The Curse of the Pink Panther, Midway, The Towering Inferno, Banning, Harper, Prince Valiant, The True Story of Jesse James, and All the Fine Young Cannibals. He re-created his role of Number Two, the villainous henchman to Dr. Evil, the archenemy of Mike Myers’ title character in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.

On television, Wagner has starred in three long-running hit series, It Takes a Thief with Fred Astaire; Switch with Eddie Albert and Sharon Gless and Hart to Hart with Stefanie Powers.  He also starred in the top-rated miniseries Windmills of the Gods based on Sidney Sheldon’s best-selling novel; with Joanne Woodward in A Kiss Before Dying; and with Elizabeth Taylor in There Must Be a Pony. He also appeared in the memorable Seinfeld episode, “The Yada, Yada, Yada,” as Dr. Abbot.

Named for the man who has represented some of Hollywood’s finest stars, the Burton Moss Hollywood Golden Era Award pays tribute to film legends who may not have been honored appropriately during their lifetimes, and whose legacy is in danger of becoming forgotten by newer generations of filmgoers.  The award itself an original work of art was created by renowned sculptor Edwina Sandys, who is a granddaughter of Sir Winston Churchill. The first award was presented posthumously to Rita Hayworth and accepted by her daughter, Princess Yasmin Aga Khanat the presentation made at a private reception held at the New York City home of Ms. Sandys in October 2017.

Moss, who is also expected to attend the gala, has amassed an impressive client roster that has included such iconic stars and personalities as Bette Davis, Sidney Poitier, Robert Vaughn, Tom Cruise, Mia Farrow, Juliet Mills, Hugh O’Brian, Cliff Robertson, Tippi Hedren, William Shatner, Dyan Cannon, Carroll O’ Connor, Martin Landau, Sally Kellerman, Dina Merrill, Connie Stevens, Tom Bosley, Barbara Eden, Larry Hagman, Dorothy McGuire, Charles Bickford, Victor Jory, Sally Kellerman, Carrie Snodgress, Larry King, Elizabeth Montgomery, Constance Towers, Ruth Roman, Cyd Charisse, June Allyson, Jack Valenti, and Hollywood’s “Love Goddess,” Rita Hayworth.

Proceeds from the benefit will help support the Arts Center’s many outreach projects, including Making Memories, a program that serves those with Alzheimer’s and memory impairment; as well as ArtReach, a program that brings Arts Center faculty and programs to schoolchildren to enrich their curriculum with arts education in the areas of ceramics, painting, music, dance and chess.

Since 2011, the Gold Coast International Film Festival has brought the latest Hollywood hits and Indie favorites to standing-room-only audiences throughout the fabled Gold Coast of Long Island and beyond. Add A-list celebrities and unforgettable events to the mix, and it’s easy to see why the Gold Coast International Film Festival has become the “go to” festival for film buffs and the public; (it is also the last major film festival on the East Coast before Awards season). The Gold Coast International Film Festival is produced by the not-for-profit Gold Coast Arts Center.

More information can be found at www.goldcoastfilmfestival.org.

The Gold Coast Arts Center is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting the arts through education, exhibition, performance, and outreach. Located on the North Shore of Long Island, it has brought the arts to tens of thousands of people throughout the region for over 20 years. Among the Center’s offerings are its School for the Arts, which holds year-round classes in visual and performing arts for students of all ages and abilities; a free public art gallery; a concert and lecture series; film screenings and discussions; the annual Gold Coast International Film Festival; and initiatives that focus on senior citizens and underserved communities. These initiatives include artist residencies, after-school programs, school assemblies, teacher-training workshops, and parent-child workshops. The Gold Coast Arts Center is an affiliate of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Partners in Education program, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. More information can be found at www.goldcoastarts.org.

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176th Long Island Fair at Old Bethpage Village Restoration

September 21, 2018
oldbethpage-LIFair-100906 158e2 (c) Karen Rubin

The Long Island Fair is unique among New York State county fairs in that it maintains much of the historical ambiance of the 19th century. At the 176th Long Island Fair, you can watch blacksmithing, among other historical demonstrations including music and dance © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Old Bethpage, NY – Old Bethpage Village Restoration (OBVR) will host the 176th Annual Long Island Fair this weekend: September 22 and 23.

Enjoy magic shows, a petting zoo, and historical entertainment. Stilt walkers traverse the grounds, and entertainers delight families with puppets, juggling and storytelling. All of these festivities continue a 176-year tradition. Attractions such as livestock shows, the Timberworks Lumberjack Show, tractor rides, Civil War reenactments, and Rough Rider demonstrations whisk riders back to another era.

Visitors will also find:

  • Historical demonstrations: tin-smithing, pottery, blacksmithing, weaving, and candle-making;
  • Dance opportunities: brass bands, a fiddler, bluegrass band Buddy Merriam & Backroads, Homegrown String Band, and kids’ singer-songwriter Patricia Shih;
  • Tests of skill: sawing, corn-husking, and scarecrow-building contests; guessing the weight of a giant pumpkin;
  • Tickets required: rides on camels, ponies, horse-drawn wagons, a hot-air balloon, and a 19th-century carousel; bounce houses;
  • Eats for sale: candied apples, pumpkins, organic veggies, fresh-made candy, giant turkey legs, and funnel cakes.

Meanwhile, baseball fans can enjoy the end-of-season matches of OBVR’s Old Time Baseball League, which recreates “baseball” as it was played in the latter half of the 19th century, with teams competing in authentic uniforms and playing under the names of Long Island clubs of that era.

The Long Island Fair is the New York State-recognized county fair for Queens, Nassau and Suffolk, and involves the cooperation of the Nassau County Department of Parks, Recreation and Museums and the Agricultural Society of Queens, Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Thousands of exhibits are entered every year in friendly competition, with blue ribbon categories including livestock, flowers and vegetables from farms and home gardens, culinary, needlework, hobbies, and a junior division for those 13 and younger. This year’s competitions will also include an “Advanced” category for new professionals, novices and students who are serious about their craft. Entries in this category will require a fee, with generous first, second and third place prizes; and the judges will be required to submit credentials in the specific classes.

The fair is unique among New York State County Fairs in that it maintains much of the historical ambiance of the 19th century. The fair was founded in 1842 and became known as the Queens County Agricultural Fair, but soon after was called the Mineola Fair when it moved to a permanent location in Mineola in 1866. The fair moved to Roosevelt Raceway in 1953 and to the newly opened Old Bethpage Village Restoration in 1970, where it is held on a 12-acre recreation of the original Mineola Fairgrounds.

The Long Island Fair hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Entrance fees are: $15 for adults, $13 for children (5 to 12) and seniors 60 & up. Children 5 and under and Active Military Personnel: Free.

Old Bethpage Village Restoration provides visitors with a unique and wonderful opportunity to step back in time and experience life in a recreated mid-19th Century American village set on more than 200 acres. Old Bethpage Village is located at 1303 Round Swamp Road in Old Bethpage; for more information, call (516) 572-8401.

For more information about the Long Island Fair, visit www.lifair.org.

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Molly Branch Opens Gates to See Fireflies Spectacle in Knoxville, Tennessee, June 16-28

June 6, 2018

Molly Branch Fireflies_20180521_184620957

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The private preserve of Molly Branch is inviting the public to join what only a few friends and family have experienced over the years:  a spectacular light show created by thousands of fireflies filling the air and blinking in unison which takes place over a two-week period. This year, nature’s display takes place June 16-28.

“Over the years, we have enjoyed this beauty of nature with family and friends,” says property owner Kenneth Bennett. “As I have advanced in age, I have been wanting to share my find with the world. As you can imagine, there have been some reservations about this. My hope is the public will treat these resources with the dignity that they deserve. I am happy to announce that this year, 2018, I will be opening the gate to allow you and your friends to share in this natural delight.”

Spectators can observe a whole forest of fireflies’ blink in unison.

According to firefly.org, there are over 1800 species of fireflies, also called lightning bugs.  Of all of these species, there are only three that are synchronous.  The most published is the Photinus carolinus found near Elkmont in the Great Smokey National Park.

A second specie of synchronous fireflies is Photinus frontailis also known as Snappy Syncs.  Documented locations for this species are in the Oakridge Wildlife Management Area which unfortunately is restricted from public viewing because of security reasons.

The best-known area for public viewing of Snappys has been Congaree National Park in Hopkins, SC.  No chairs are allowed as the viewing is on a boardwalk over a swamp.

A large population of Snappys has been found on private property in Knox County, TN.  This site has been documented by Lynn Foust the author of “Fireflies, Glow Worms, and Lightning Bugs.”

For more information, visit: www.mollybranchfireflies.com; tickets available at https://mollybranchfireflies.com/shop/

 

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No Roads, No Towns, No Connectivity: Families Focus on Nature and Whitewater Rafting the Green River in Utah’s Desolation Canyon

May 31, 2018
Western River Raft-family1e

Western River Expeditions’ offers a 5 Day Desolation Canyon family rafting vacation on the Green River.

SALT LAKE CITY –  Utah’s Desolation Canyon, carved over millennia by the 730-mile Green River that is spawned by glacial melts on the Continental Divide in the wilds of northern Wyoming, is one of the most remote (no roads, no towns, no cell or data service) destinations in the continental United States. It also tops the list when it comes to family rafting vacations.

From June 1 through Aug. 8, a small plane transports guests from Moab, Utah, on a scenic, 40-minute flight to a desert plateau overlooking the Green River where after a short hike, Western River Expeditions’ 5 Day Desolation Canyon family rafting vacation begins.

The Green is less strident than the Grand Canyon’s rollicking Colorado River. Instead of the world-class rapids on the Colorado, whitewater on the Green is playful, marked by over 60 warm-water Class I-III rapids, packed with more than enough splash to elicit excitement for ages 5 and up.

While paddling on the Green, guests typically surrender their senses to twisted mountains, dramatic cliffs, and towering plateaus carved by an ancient inland sea. Rates are $1,645 for ages 16 and up and $1,025 for ages 5-15 including…

  • exploring 88 river miles
  • the option to paddle two-person inflatable kayaks
  • or, relax in a guide-powered oar boat
  • witnessing 40 million years of geologic history
  • maneuvering 60+ fun-filled Class I-III rapids. One of the greatest features of this expedition is that the rapids are spread fairly evenly throughout the length of the trip so the action keeps it exciting all journey long.
  • visiting famous Wild West outlaw hideouts. Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch found that the rugged terrain here offered a perfect hideaway.
  • wondering about the past at now-derelict homesteads built of native materials
  • getting to know an ancient culture that both foraged and planted corn from the 7th to the 13th centuries, leaving behind Fremont Native American petroglyphs
  • hiking off-river with a seasoned guide well-versed in the region’s history and geology
  • deluxe camping on broad, sandy beaches along the river bank
  • enjoying host-prepared adult and children’s meals sourced from local farmers and producers
  • sunbathing on and off the water shaded by ancient cottonwoods
  • watching a Trip Jester entertain the children so parents have some down time

On its journey south through Utah towards the confluence with the Colorado River in Canyonlands National Park, the Green has created such an unforgettable universe that Desolation Canyon has been singled out as a National Register of Historic Places.

Calling this “the ultimate, back-country family river trip,” Jason Taylor, an operations manager who oversees all of Western River Expeditions’ trips in Utah, noted that the five-day program is appropriate for children as young as 5. It’s also a great river trip for extended families and first-time rafters. Five guides are assigned to trips that accommodate up to 25.

One plus that families come to love is the fact that in this remote environment cell and data service are non-existent. Instead of connecting to electronic devices, the connection is with family, guides and other guests. Children focus on the designated Trip Jester who, in a fun and informative way, shares insights with kids of all ages into this world of wonder. Creative games, swimming, arts and crafts are all part of the fun.

While some time- and career-stressed parents may have difficulty connecting with their own children, Taylor said that by trip’s end, they’re melding with their families and creating stronger family bonds and memories.

“We see children transform from being needy and whiney to independent and happy. Everybody grows on this trip. In fact, this truly is the perfect family vacation. Some families come back every couple of years,” he said.

For more details on this trip see https://www.westernriver.com/desolation-canyon

For a copy of Western River Expeditions’ 2018 catalog, questions, availability and reservations call toll-free: 866.904.1160 (Local: 801.942.6669) or visit http://www.westernriver.com/.

Western River Expeditions is an adventure travel company headquartered in Salt Lake City, with operations and offices in Moab, Utah and Fredonia, Arizona. From March through October, the operatort escorts more people down rivers on professionally guided rafting trips in Utah, Idaho and Arizona than any other company. It is the largest licensed outfitter in the Grand Canyon and the largest single tour provider in Moab, UT, through its Moab Adventure Center division (http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/).

Western River Expeditions, providing Grand Canyon rafting, Utah and Idaho rafting, and international multi-sport trips, was founded in 1961 by Colorado River rafting pioneer Jack Currey. It has been named one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth” by the editors of National Geographic Adventure magazine. The company is the proud recipient of the “Best of State” award through Utah’s Premier Recognition and Awards Program for fourteen consecutive years (2004-2017).

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