Archive for the ‘U.S. Travel’ category

Skate and Stay in Providence, R.I.

December 19th, 2014

The Providence Biltmore Hotel in Providence, Rhode IslandWinter in New England encompasses cozy sweaters, chilly weather and nights sipping on hot cocoa with family. Make it even more special by booking the Skate and Stay Package at the Providence Biltmore Hotel in Providence, Rhode Island.

Package includes overnight accommodations in a Junior King Suite, which sleeps up to four, offers free Wi-Fi, a refrigerator and a spacious living area with a sofa; access to the skating rink at the Alex and Ani City Center, with rentals; and one $20 Starbucks gift card, perfect for grabbing hot cocoa after taking a skate on the ice. Rates start from $179 per night. Offer valid now through March 15, 2015.

The Providence Biltmore Hotel is located in the heart of downtown Providence and offers families onsite dining, spa services, a fitness center and a location that is close to many attractions. Built in 1922 by acclaimed architects, Warren and Wetmore, the same architects who designed New York City’s Grand Central Station, the Providence Biltmore Hotel is on the list of Historic Hotels of America.

The skating rink at the new Alex and Ani City Center, formerly the Providence Rink, offers public skating hours daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. now through March 1, 2015. Lessons, special skate nights, and holiday hours are available, too.

– Hilarey Wojtowicz

Superior Accommodations at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Disney

December 18th, 2014

Families traveling to Disney World often look for ways to make the trip even more memorable. Book a magical stay at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World and your entire family can feel like royalty. The top two suites at the hotel offer superior accommodations with spectacular views that make multigenerational travel enjoyable for all.

The Royal Suite
The Royal Suite at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World ResortWith 3,300 square feet of living space, the Royal Suite at the resort is located on the top floor and offers families a great room with vaulted ceilings, master bedroom, media room, private office and a kitchen. High-tech amenities include in-mirror TVs, motorized draperies, and a drop-down projector and media screen. At night, families can enjoy grand, front-row views of the Magic Kingdom’s Wishes Nighttime Spectacular fireworks show. For guests who need more space, the Royal Suite can connect with up to six additional guestrooms, providing a total of nine bedrooms for a truly expansive, multigenerational stay.

A one-night stay in the Royal Suite, without connecting accommodations, starts from about $14,000 per night.

The Presidential Suite
The Presidential Suite at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World ResortSlightly smaller than the Royal Suite, the Presidential Suite offers 2,750 square feet of space, with a great room, master bedroom, private office and kitchen. The greatest amenity in this suite is the 800-square-foot wrap-around exterior terrace with a lounge area and dining table, which allows families to really enjoy the Orlando weather and the nightly fireworks shows. The Presidential Suite can connect with two bedroom units and one guestroom suite, creating a large four-bedroom suite.

A one-night stay in the Presidential Suite, without connecting accommodations, starts from about $12,000 per night.

All rates at the resort include access to the Kids for All Seasons program for children ages 4 to 12; access to the 5-acre Explorer Island water park area; free Wi-Fi; and transportation to and from the Disney Theme Parks.

– Hilarey Wojtowicz

World’s Largest Menorah Lights Up Hanukkah

December 16th, 2014

Happy Hanukkah! Before spinning the dreidel tonight or digging into delicious latkes with family, head to New York City, where the world’s largest menorah will be lit in honor of the Jewish holiday.

World's largest menorah at Grand Army Plaza in New York City

Standing at 32 feet high and weighing in at 4,000 pounds, the gold menorah will celebrate Hanukkah at Grand Army Plaza at Fifth Avenue and 59th Street, across from The Plaza Hotel, from Tuesday, Dec. 16 to Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2014, with one candle being lit each night to mark the eight nights of Hanukkah. In addition to seeing the beautiful structure, families can enjoy folk dancing and sufganiyah, or holiday jelly donuts, on Dec. 16, when the holiday officially begins.

The first candle, along with the first-night festivities, will begin around 5:30 p.m. All other candle lightings will also take place around 5:30 p.m., except for Friday, Dec. 19, when the candle will be lit around 3:30 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 20, when the candle will be lit around 8 p.m. Admission is free for all.

– Hilarey Wojtowicz

Celebrate Christmas in Sunny Coronado

December 11th, 2014

Hotel del Coronado ice skating rinkEscape the cold winter weather and head to sunny Coronado this Christmas for holiday happenings at the Hotel del Coronado. Enjoy festive activities, special bedtime routines and brunch with the man in red himself.

Brunch With Santa
Dine with the man in red on Sunday Dec. 14 or 21, and indulge in delicious and festive foods. Families can also take photos with Santa and kids can tell him what they want to see under their tree on Christmas morning.

Elf Tuck Ins
Get a little help from Santa’s elves when tucking your little ones into bed at the Hotel del Coronado this year. The Elf Tuck Ins bedtime routine includes a special reading of “The Night Before Christmas” from Santa’s helpers before kids go to sleep.

Jingle S’mores
Hit the beach for a bonfire complete with S’mores that are extra special. Toast marshmallows and then create your sweet sandwich treat with cinnamon graham crackers and Ghiradelli mint chocolate. Families will even get holiday hats to wear during the fun!

Kidtopia
Children ages 4 to 12 will really go wild for the seasonal fun at the activity center, Kidtopia, at the Hotel del Coronado. Activities include beach Olympics, safari adventures, arts and crafts, and more. Kids also receive an adventure pack at check-in that includes a treasure map and compass, which leads them to a special surprise.

Skating by the Sea
Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the Hotel del Coronado’s outdoor ice skating rink offers oceanfront fun. In honor of the rink’s birthday, the hotel expanded the rink so that it now accommodates up to 200 skaters. Skating is $25 per person for 90 minutes on the ice.

For more information and nightly rates, read our review of the Hotel del Coronado.

– Hilarey Wojtowicz

Dig In at the Astro Kids Mining Co.

December 10th, 2014

While shopping for holiday gifts at New York City’s famous toy store FAO Schwartz on Fifth Avenue this year, stop by the Astro Kids Mining Co. with your little ones for an afternoon of fun (and free!) activities.

The Astro Kids Mining Co. inside FAO Schwartz in New York City

Operated by parent company Astro Gallery of Gems, the Astro Kids Mining Co. offers families a chance to dig in and get dirty with hands-on activities that are centered on natural history and science. Try cracking a geode, sifting through sand for fossils, examining rocks from around the world, looking at gems and minerals, and more.

The Astro Kids Mining Co. is designed to look like the inside of a mine, so guests will really feel as though they are working to discover new materials. On the tumbled rocks wall, kids can learn about the properties that make up more than 30 different rocks by pressing buttons, too.

All of the activities are free, though families who want to take the natural history home with them can purchase toys and souvenirs, such as dinosaur eggs and pearl jewelry kits.

The Astro Kids Mining Co. is suited for children of all ages. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

– Hilarey Wojtowicz

8 Festive Events in Fort Lauderdale

December 8th, 2014

From boat parades to boulevards decorated with lights, families can enjoy a number of festive events and activities in Fort Lauderdale this holiday season.

A boat decorated with lights and holiday colors in the Winterfest Boat Parade in Fort Lauderdale

Holiday Fantasy of Lights 3D Experience
Pick up a pair of 3D glasses before driving through the Holiday Fantasy of Lights at Tradewinds Park for a memorable experience. The display is open nightly from 6 to 10 p.m. through Jan. 3, 2015, and 3D glasses can be purchased at the entrance for $3 for three pairs.

Light Up Lauderdale
Now through Jan. 10, 2015, Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale and the City of Fort Lauderdale will showcase lights across 2.5 miles of the brick Riverwalk for a truly magical experience each night. The annual event, now in its sixth year, is free and parking can be found in nearby garages, lots and at meters along the downtown area.

Winterfest Boat Parade
The 43rd annual Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade on Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014, will feature hundreds of boats decorated with lights and holiday colors galore. This year’s Grand Marshall is Hip Hop singer Flo Rida and he will lead the boats from downtown Fort Lauderdale on the New River to Lake Santa Barbara in Pompano Beach. Families are invited to watch along the 12-mile stretch in various hotels, restaurants and parks along the route. The parade will run from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. and is free.

Pompano Beach Boat Parade
Watch dozens of brightly lit boats cruise from Lake Santa Barbara to Deerfield Beach on Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014, in the 52nd annual Pompano Beach Boat Parade. This year’s Grand Marshall will be Pompano Beach Mayor Lamar Fisher. The parade begins at 6 p.m. and is free.

Garden of Lights at Flamingo Gardens
Visit Flamingo Gardens every Saturday and Sunday now through Dec. 28, 2014, for the Garden of Lights event. The magical experience includes thousands of lights and decorations, with holiday music and visits from Santa adding to the festivities. A special lights show will run from 5 to 8 p.m. each day of the event, as well. The Garden of Lights event is complimentary with admission to the gardens, which is $18 per adult, ages 12 and older, and $10 for children between ages 3 and 11; kids 2 and under are free. Families who want to only see the holiday light show can come after 5 p.m. and will pay just $5 per person.

Skate Las Olas
Dance across the ice at the skating rink on the lawn of the Riverside Hotel on Las Olas Boulevard daily for an afternoon of fun for all ages. The 1,800-square-foot ice skating rink will be open daily from noon to 9 p.m., from Dec. 19, 2014, to Jan. 4, 2015.

Stars of David
Celebrate Hanukkah and the Jewish heritage with the entertaining musical rendition of “Stars of David,” based on Abigail Pogrebin’s best-selling book, at the Amaturo Theater at Broward Center this winter. The comedy includes songs and visits from Jewish celebrities that will have all ages laughing along. “Stars of David” runs from Dec. 23, 2014, to Jan. 4, 2015, including Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Tickets start from $45 per person. Show times vary per day.

Rock’n Noonyear’s Eve Party
Count down to 2015 much earlier in the day with little ones at the Young At Art Museum on Dec. 31, 2014, with its Rock’n Noonyear’s Eve Party. Kids and parents will enjoy music, art and sparkling cider as they ring in the New Year. The even begins at 10 a.m. and is included with admission to the museum, which is $14 per person.

– Hilarey Wojtowicz