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Things to do, places to go for 9 Oct 2008

When I originally set up a weekly editorial calendar for this blog (hey, it’s a journey, not a perfectly-executed plan) I planned to look into the future on Thursdays and tell the readers about fun family-friendly events coming up in the next few weeks, around the world.

That idea’s been a total failure; I can’t seem to find time to scan calendars to pick out good events for kids. An alternative idea popped into my head recently.

I get a lot of emails from travel-related public relations folks telling me about their latest and greatest promotion or event.  Many of them, quite frankly, are not properly targeted and are obviously just scattershot announcements….the old PR “spray and pray” method of sending out mass info and hoping it sticks, only now it goes out mostly via email because that is so easy to do and its free. Never mind that improperly done, it clogs my IN box with garbage and is massively annoying.

Anyway, I’m a nice gal and want to support the travel industry in tough economic times, so here’s my plan – on Thursdays, when I have time, I’ll put up a post with short excerpts from relevant PR pitches.  The deal is, it has to be something that I think my readers will like, and I’m not copying/pasting a whole press release. Readers should know that this is PR info and not independently vetted.

Here goes:

  • (Monterey, CA) Jaw-dropping Aquarium exhibits, an organic Earthbound Farm adventure and a thrilling IMAX movie experience are all part of the family and budget friendly “Fish, Farm and Flix” package at Monterey’s Victorian Inn. Available through November 2008, the two night package starts at $379, not including taxes, a savings of up to $60 if package items were purchased separately. For reservations, please call 800-232-4141 or visit www.victorianinn.com.
  • (New England, USA) Says Mandy Grenier of Francestown, New Hampshire, “I am a mother of a two-year-old, so we are always on the go. I was always searching for a site that had area attractions for toddlers in New England and never found one with reviews on what to expect once we got there. Planning ahead; that’s the name of the game when you have a toddler! Anyway, I decided to start my own blog, One Mom’s Review.”
  • (Contest) Lands’ End would like to make planning family holiday get-togethers a whole lot easier this year by giving your readers a chance to win a great family get together for 7 nights for up to 12 people at The Resort at Paws Up in Montana! The contest kicked off September 30 and Lands’ End will accept entries at www.landsend.com/greatgettogether through noon October 30, 2008.  Prizes include a get together for 7 nights for up to 12 people at The Resort at Paws Up in Montana,  Cashmere Great Get Together package with Lands’ End’s high-quality cashmere sweaters and scarves for the family, and Fleece Great Get Together package with cozy fleece jackets and accessories for the family. Just have your readers fill out the online entry form and submit an up-to-300-word essay and photo.
  • (Philadelphia, PA) Two items:
    • Headed to the White House, a first-of-its-kind exhibition running through December 14, 2008, allows visitors to travel on the campaign trail, vote for their favorite candidate and take the Presidential Oath of Office through multimedia, interactive and theatrical displays. www.constitutioncenter.org
    • October 18 (next Saturday) is the opening of the children’s Please Touch Museum in a dramatic new home in Fairmount Park, Philadelphia. The challenge for exhibition designers was to create a contemporary [hands-on] children’s museum in a building that embodies the spirit of the Victorian age. The museum space is divided into six learning-through-play environments. There is a Please Touch Museum hotel package available on gophila.com, also see www.pleasetouchmuseum.org
  • (Product) Linda of Family Travel Gear says, “I have images of my little one climbing out of her airplane seat during the flight, and causing such havoc that we all end up on the news. She is not a sitter, she is a runner. So I discovered the CARES Child aviation restraint system which is the first and only harness type Aviation Child Safety Device to be certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as an alternative to a car seat (which I do not want to bring along so that I can have two hands free for adventures.) CARES is an elegantly designed belt-and-buckle device that works in conjunction with the regular airplane seat belt and provides young travelers the same level of safety as a car seat.”
  • (Mystic, CT) Everyone knows about the marine animals at Mystic Aquarium and Institute for Exploration, but did you know you can now explore and touch sea creatures from millions of years ago? They are waiting to be uncovered by pint-size paleontologists in the new interactive exhibit Dig It! Prehistoric Creatures of the Sea, opening on Friday, October 10. This first-of-its-kind, hands-on exhibit provides a unique workshop experience where kids can dig for hundreds of authentic sea fossils. The fossils range in age from 500 to 600 million years old and come from Brazil, China, Europe, Madagascar, Morocco and the United States. Every three months, the types of fossils to be discovered change, so kids can find new specimens with each visit. The exhibit is open during the Aquarium’s normal hours of operation and will remain at the Aquarium through January 2010. Admission into the exhibit is $4.99 per child and includes one fossil that the child can keep. For each additional specimen to be brought home, the cost is $2.99.