Monthly Archives: September 2009

Chattanooga Offers Fun Activities for All Ages

Chattanooga Nature CenterWhether you are looking for frightful events or terrifyingly fun activities in the Chattanooga area to enjoy this harvest season, there are many options available for you and your family.

The Enchanted Maize Maze at Rock City at Lookout Mountain is a popular annual activity in the Chattanooga area that is fun for visitors of all ages. This corn maze is open from September to November. The maze is located in Blowing Springs Farm at the base of Lookout Mountain. To get through the maze, visitors have to answer a series of questions to be shown the way out. The corn maze at Rock City also offers many other family-friendly activities, including hay rides, hay bale mazes, and a pumpkin patch. This activity is the perfect alternative to scary haunted corn mazes and is something you can bring the whole family to.

At the Chattanooga Nature Center, make plans to attend the Festival of the Jack O’Lanterns. This event takes place on October 18. Visitors can enjoy the beauty of the Chattanooga Nature Center in addition to a petting zoo, pony rides, a costume contest, and games. The festival also includes the special lighting of the Jack O’Lanterns. This is another family-friendly event that you can bring even your youngest children to without fear of frightening specters popping out from the corners.

For a fun time with the exotic animals at the Chattanooga Zoo, take your family to Boo in the Zoo, which is taking place October 16 through 17 and 23 to 24. This event features a costume contest for you and your kids, zoo-style trick or treating, games, and crafts. Boo in the Zoo is a safe alternative to many Halloween activities, and you can be sure that everyone in your group will find something to enjoy while spending the evening in the zoo.

Go Back to Prehistoric Times in South Dakota

Mammoth Site of Hot SpringsDue to the Black Hills’ area long history, there are many archeological wonders to be found hidden deep in the rich and rocky soil of South Dakota, affording visitors the rare opportunity to see fossils and authentic dig sites during their vacation. The following attractions in the Mount Rushmore area offer fun and education to visitors of any age.

Mammoth Site of Hot Springs

This activity allows visitors to enjoy a guided tour of a working archeological dig site. Visitors can learn about mammoths and their history, as well as see real mammoth skeletons. While at the Mammoth Site, visitors can also see the paleontology laboratory and experience multimedia presentations of archeological endeavors in the Black Hills. This activity includes a guided tour of the site, but you will also have time to explore on your own. You can also see scenes from the movie Hidalgo at this site.

Museum of Geology

To continue your education on the area’s geology, a visit to the Museum of Geology in Rapid City is a great addition to your vacation. This site is a teaching and research facility that contains over 250,000 fossils and 6,000 minerals. Collections at this museum include White River Badlands fossils, Jurassic and Cretaceous reptiles and mammals, and Black Hills minerals. This museum also has several rare specimens and fossils on display that you will not find at many other places. The museum it typically open daily and is a great experience for anyone interested in the interesting geological construction of South Dakota and the Black Hills.  

Badlands National Park

No area is more of a tribute to the geological makeup of the area than the Badlands National Park. This natural attraction features canyons, gullies, sharp cliffs, and other topographical features that reflect the centuries of wear and erosion that crafted the landscape you see today. The Badlands also contains a large collection of fossils from the Oligocene Epoch of the Animals, and more pre-historic fossils are still being uncovered by paleontologists. The park covers over 200,000 acres, and many hiking and walking trails are available.

New York City Offers Halloween Events Both Scary and Fun

Six FlagsIf you would rather not wait until October 31 to enjoy a spooky night out, New York City has the options for you and your family for fun Halloween events before the end of the month. These events appeal to both adults and children, so you can count on enjoying a family-friendly activity with a spooky theme.

New York area zoos get into the holiday spirit by hosting different events throughout October. At the Staten Island Zoo, visitors can enjoy the popular Spooktacular event, which features themed activities, special events, and all of the great exhibits found at the zoo year round. Spooktacular is set to take place October 24-25, and admission tickets must be bought ahead of time. In addition, there are two Boo at the Zoo events taking place elsewhere in New York City. Prospect Park Zoo, the Bronx Zoo, and the Central Park Zoo are hosting Boo at the Zoo events. Boo at the Zoo features Halloween treats for both the animals and visitors, arts and crafts booths, and a fun and safe environment to spend the Halloween evening. Boo at the Zoo takes place on October 31. If your kids love animals and Halloween, these events combine the best of both interests.

In Greenwich Village, you can take to the streets to enjoy the annual Village Halloween Parade. This annual event is one of the city’s most popular Halloween events takes place on October 31. The parade features costumed revelers, live music from over 50 bands, celebrities, dancers, and more. The theme of this year’s parade is “Uncharted Waters.” The parade can be seen from on 6th Avenue between Spring Street and 21st Street. There is also an award for the best costume.

For the kid in everyone, spending the day at Six Flags Great Adventure in nearby New Jersey offers thrills, spills, and Fright Fest from October 3 to November 1. Fright Fest features special events, shows, and spooky attractions. During Fright Fest, Six Flags Great Adventure features a haunted midway, themed shows, and haunted paths and scarezones. Fright Fest offers many attractions suitable for young children, but not all of the special events and features are appropriate for all ages. In addition to the terrifyingly fun events of Fright Fest, you can also enjoy all the great rides and attractions found at Six Flags Great Adventure throughout the year.

Plan a Country Music Vacation in Gatlinburg

Countyr ToniteIn addition to the beautiful backdrop of the Smoky Mountains and great family activities, Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are also home to a great live entertainment scene of classic country music. Several theaters throughout the area are excellent destinations for an evening of great music and engaging performances.

Country Tonite

Perhaps one of the most popular shows in the area, Country Tonite offers a two-hour comedy and live music show. The music of this show ranges from southern gospel classics to country favorites. Country Tonite has received numerous accolades, including being named “Best Show in the Smokies” and “Best Live Country Show in America.” Starting in November, you can enjoy the Country Tonite Christmas Show, which features the same amazing live performances of Christmas and country favorites. The shows at Country Tonite feature exceptionally talented singers, dancers, and performers for a truly memorable evening.

TG Sheppard Show

For a limited time this fall, the country legend TG Sheppard will be performing in Pigeon Forge at the Smith Family Theatre. TG Sheppard has been recording since 1975 and has a slate of hits to his name. Some of his most popular songs include “Devil in the Bottle,” “Tryin’ to Beat the Morning Home,” and “Motels and Memories.” This show is only available in Pigeon Forge for a limited time, so do not miss your chance to see this legendary country performer!

Smith Family Show

The Smith brothers have been a live entertainment staple on the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge music scene for over two decades. The three brothers perform popular songs from a range of genres, including country, classic country, and inspirational music. The Smith Family is accompanied by a talented cast of musicians, dancers, and entertainers to complete the act. With the Smith Family Show, you can enjoy two hours of wonderful music and see for yourself what has made this show so popular for so many years.

Celebrate the Beatles in Las Vegas

Love - Cirque du Soleil Las VegasEven though the Beatles have not produced any new music for many years, the group still remains one of the most popular bands in history. If you are a Beatles fan or want to become one, Las Vegas has two great show options for you.

Fab Four Live

This musical tribute to the “Fab Four” is at the V Theater in Planet Hollywood. This live show features performers Steve Craig as John Lennon, Greg McCallun as George Harrison, Tony Fellicetta as Ringo Star, and Tony Kishman as Paul McCartney. These four talented performers will bring to life some of the Beatles’ most popular hits, including songs like “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “Hey Jude,” “Sergeant Peppers,” and “Twist and Shout.” In addition, this show features a full-service bar. This is a full scale concert, including costume changes to reflect the era of the song. Whether you have been a fan of the Beatles since they came out with their first song or are a more recent fan, you will surely love this fantastic show.

Love–Cirque de Soleil

The wild talent of Cirque du Soleil brings the hits of the Beatles alive in this unique performance. Love won a Grammy award in 2008 for the soundtrack to this show. The show features the amazing talents of the Cirque du Soleil performers in a story set to the songs of the Beatles. You will watch the story unfold as you enjoy some of your favorite hits from the Beatles. This show combines a tribute to the masterful musicians with a breathtaking spectacle of human creativity and athleticism. Songs featured in the show include “Eleanor Rigby,” “Strawberry Fields Forever,” and “Help.” Love–Cirque du Soleil is at the Mirage on the Las Vegas Strip. This performance is sure to amaze you with its beauty and unfolding story, and it is a not-miss attraction for Beatles fans in Las Vegas.

Even though the height of Beatles Mania may have happened in the 60s and 70s, it is not too late to become a fan of the Beatles.

Tour the World Through Food at Epcot Center

Wild KingdomThe Epcot Theme Park at Walt Disney World Resort will begin its annual International Food and Wine Festival on September 25. The festival runs until November 8.

During this event, visitors can sample food from a variety of regions, enjoy concerts, and experience the thrilling rides and entertaining shows that Epcot offers year-round. There will be over 25 different food marketplaces set up throughout the park. These marketplaces have a regional theme and serve appetizer-sized portions of native dishes paired with suggested wine or beer pairings. Different regions include Paris; New Orleans; Santiago, Chile; Rio de Janerio, Brazil; Montreal; Athens; Bangkok, Thailand; Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Cork, Ireland. Whatever kind of food you prefer, you will be sure to find a delicious dish or two, and you may even find some new favorites!

The Food and Wine Festival also features live concerts. The concert series features performers from a variety of genres. Scheduled performers include Kool and the Gang, Sister Sledge, Vanessa Carlton, Boyz II Men, and Taylor Hicks. Concerts will take place daily at the Epcot Americas Garden Theater.

Another feature of this event is seminars and demonstrations that will take place. Seminar and demonstration topics range from discussions about the history of beer to lectures on special regional ingredients. Some seminars are included in Epcot admission, but some require an additional fee. The Food and Wine Festival will also be hosting a number of special meals and events, including a dessert brunch with pastry chefs and a cheese tasting. These events all require advance reservations.

We offer Magic Your Way tickets available in one to ten day increments. The Magic Your Way ticket will give you access to Epcot Theme Park as well as all of the other theme parks of Disney (Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Disney-Hollywood Studios), and many other Disney attractions, including DisneyQuest and Wide World of Sports.

Grand Ole Opry Show Schedule for Sept. 25 and 26

Grand Ole Opry HouseNote: The Grand Ole Opry does not release upcoming schedules until the Wednesday before. Performances are subject to change without notice.

Friday, September 25–Buy Tickets

7:00 – 7:30
Mike Snider
Jimmy C. Newman

7:30 – 8:00
Jimmy Dickens
Jan Howard
Joey + Rory

8:00 – 8:30
Jim Ed Brown w/ Helen Cornelius
Jack Greene
Steep Canyon Rangers

8:30 – 9:00
Pam Tillis
Stonewall Jackson
Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys
The Whites

Saturday, September 26–Buy Tickets

 7:00 – 7:30
Jimmy Dickens
Jimmy C. Newman

7:30 – 8:00
Jeannie Seely
Jim Ed Brown
Orleans

8:00 – 8:30
Pam Tillis
Charlie Louvin
The Whites
Opry Square Dancers

8:30 – 9:00
Mike Snider
Jack Greene
Craig Morgan

Visit #1 Theme Park for Children in San Diego

LegolandThe San Diego area is a great destination for children and those young at heart, and there is no better time to visit San Diego and explore the kid-friendly attractions than right now.

LEGOLAND California has recently been named by Amusement Today as the #1 Children’s Park in the United States. LEGOLAND hosted the Golden Ticket awards, which honored top parks in a variety of categories. This is not the first time that LEGOLAND has received this honor. Since its creation ten years ago, LEGOLAND has received top honors several times.

LEGOLAND is located in Carlsbad, California, which is just a short drive from San Diego. This unique park features full-scale roller coasters and dioramas constructed out LEGOs, which include the White House (complete with the presidential family) and New York City. In addition to the thrilling roller coasters and entertaining shows, visitors to LEGOLAND can enjoy a comedy show, LEGO characters, shopping, and restaurants. Kids of all ages will find something to love at LEGOLAND.

The San Diego Zoo is another popular attraction for children, especially in October. For the entire month of October, the San Diego Zoo offers free admission to children 11 and under. With free admission for children, October is the perfect time to visit the San Diego Zoo and see the brand-new Elephant Odyssey exhibit, which features several different displays on elephant life and history, along with an elephant habitat with seven elephants. The total size of the elephant exhibit is 2.4 acres, which gives them plenty of room to roam. The Elephant Odyssey also has several other exhibits with animals, including dung beetles, capybaras, a lion, and a jaguar. In addition to this new feature, the zoo offers several other popular exhibits, including Panda Research Station (home of the panda cam), Tiger River, Flamingo Lagoon, and the Children’s Zoo. Kids of all ages are sure to love a trip to the San Diego Zoo, and there is no better time to go than October!

Get Spooked in Savannah this October

Evening Haunted Trolley TourWith the cooler days approaching, the time for spooky tours and Halloween-related activities has come. Due to its centuries-old history, Savannah has its share of ghost stories and legends and is known as America’s “Most Haunted City.” We offer several tours in Savannah that focus on this aspect of the city’s history and show you some of the most unique historic sites in the city, which make for the perfect scary and interesting addition to your vacation.

Hauntings Walking Tour

This walking tour covers nearly a mile of Savannah and lasts approximately 90 minutes. Sights on this tour include properties in Savannah that are reportedly haunted. The tour stops at the 17hundred90 Restaurant, the Kehoe House, Hampton-Lillibridge House, the Owens-Thomas House, and the Colonial Park Cemetery. For an extra-spooky feel, this tour takes place in the evening.

Ghost Tour Trolley

If you would rather not walk, the trolley tour may be a good choice for you. This tour is a 90 minute trolley ride is a narrated tour of Savannah that focuses on the haunted sites of Savannah, including the Colonial Park Cemetery and the Sorrel Weed House. This tour also goes through the Historic Area. The narration by the guide will provide background information and stories of Savannah’s dark past. A special addition to this tour is a buffet dinner at a house that used to be habited by a pirate. You can see artifacts, enjoy the southern-style buffet, and look at the pirate’s rum cellar.

Evening Haunted Trolley

This trolley tour is a 90 minute ride through Savannah. This tour departs in the evening, so you can expect an extra-chilling tour of the city’s haunted sites. Sites on this tour include the Candler Hospital, a morgue from 1884, the Colonial Park Cemetery, and the garden featured in the hit book Garden in the Midnight of Good and Evil. On this tour, you can enjoy the uninterrupted trolley ride narrated by a friendly guide, who will tell stories about Savannah’s dark past.

Fall Activities to Enjoy in Washington, DC

knight from medieval timesFall is the perfect time to explore Washington, DC attractions that you may have missed this summer. Sightseeing is not all there is to do in the city! Washington, DC is full of attractions and activities to appeal to every interest and age group.

If you have been waiting to visit one of the most popular attractions in the Washington, DC area, act now to receive the fall promotional rate for Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament, which is an interactive medieval feast and tournament show that takes you back to the days of knights, ladies, and damsels in distress. You can enjoy a full-scale medieval meal complete with roasted chicken, spare ribs, potatoes, dessert, and more. 

Time is running out to take advantage of the special fall promotion for Medieval Times in Hanover, Maryland near Washington, DC. The special promotion rate applies to orders placed before September 30 for shows until October 31. Until September 30, you can book an evening at the Medieval Times for $48.50 per adult, which is almost $10 cheaper than our regular price! Child tickets are $37.50, which saves almost $7 from the original price. You have only a few more days to book tickets at this promotional rate, so do not hesitate!

Another fun activity to enjoy this fall in Washington, DC is the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. You may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the president’s motorcade while you are in the city, but at Madame Tussauds you are guaranteed a sighting of Barack and Michelle Obama, and you can even take pictures with the life-like figures. Other figures at the museum include Carrie Underwood, a presidential gallery with Teddy Roosevelt, Tyra Banks, Jackie Kennedy-Onassis, and Madonna, to name a few.