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Skip Black Friday. Visit outdoor Miami Florida attractions

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Why battle Black Friday crowds when you can enjoy the peace of the butterfly exhibit at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden?

The day after Thanksgiving is coming. But do you really want to go anywhere near a mall?

Even at the best of times, Black Friday shopping is a preview of hell, full of fury and desperation and angry, sweaty people who will have no problem shoving you aside on their way to a bargain.

And now, with the COVID-19 pandemic surging ahead like that lady at Wal-Mart who really, really wants that half-price flatscreen TV, the whole idea of being around a bunch of pushy, out-of-breath shoppers is even less appealing.

May we suggest getting some fresh air instead?

After a thoroughly soggy October and November, the sun is out and the breeze is balmy in Miami. Here are a few of our favorite alternatives to mall madness. Bring the

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  • November 25, 2020
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These Virtual Santa Visits Let Your Kids Visit the North Pole from Home

From The Pioneer Woman

Although some of your favorite Christmas traditions might change this year in order to keep your family safe and healthy, there are still plenty of annual activities that you can still do: Decorating the Christmas tree, watching holiday movie marathons, and baking up batches of delicious cookies are just a few of them.

But what about your kids’ annual visit to Santa to tell him about how good they’ve been this year? You might have to postpone your mall trip or visit to Santa’s village in light of the pandemic. Here’s some good news: Their visit with Father Christmas can still go on! With the help of a little bit of Christmas magic (aka technology), you can bring Old St. Nick right to your home for a personal chat with your little ones. Don’t forget to mentally take note of the Christmas toys they tell him

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  • November 20, 2020
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Hit the slopes (vicariously), map your neighborhood, visit Christmastown

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Lexi duPont skis off a mountain in Switzerland in Warren Miller’s latest ski and snowboarding film.

Courtesy photo

High adventure

As winter approaches and skiers’ and snowboarders’ thoughts turn to the slopes, it’s time once again for Warren Miller’s annual film tribute to snow. This year — you guessed it — Miller’s extreme extravaganza will make its debut online. “Future Retro,” which will take audiences to Antarctica, Iceland and Switzerland as well as multiple destinations in the United States, has its West Coast premiere at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21, and Olympia’s Washington Center for the Performing Arts is one of the presenters. It’s $30 per ticket (for up to four people) and begins with an hour of “red carpet” highlights, interviews and giveaways, with the screening at 8 p.m.

Personal maps

Wednesday was World GIS Day, and the City of Tumwater is continuing

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  • November 20, 2020
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Latrobe’s Holly Jolly festivities include contest, crafts, shopping, virtual Santa visit

This year’s Holly Jolly holiday festivities in Latrobe will include a virtual visit with Santa and four days of extended downtown shopping promotions.

As with the town’s Great American Banana Split Celebration in August, Holly Jolly entertainment this year will be streamed onlineto keep people safe through social distancing, while getting into the holiday spirit.

Instead of a single Saturday, participating downtown merchants will welcome visitors for Holly Jolly shopping Dec. 2-5. The event will kick off with a town-wide open house from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 2.

“We’ve stretched the event for four days to get away from people crowding into the stores,” said Chairperson Emily Pasqualino.

Local artists will have creative works for sale at the Latrobe Art Center, 819 Ligonier St. Across the street, at the

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  • November 18, 2020
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40 Best Free Virtual Field Trips for Kids and Families Who Can’t Visit in Person

With rates of COVID-19 on the rise again, parents are preparing for the possibility of another round of stay-at-home orders. Or, even if the official word to stay indoors isn’t coming down from local governments, careful families might be planning for a winter at home, just to be safe.

While your kids may be home physically, online tours still give them some access to the rest of the outside world. The same way school has gone digital — with remote homeschooling, live-streamed extra-curricular classes, and learning-at-home portals wherever you look — class trips have moved online, too.

These virtual field trips for kids will have them gazing at world-class art, learning about history, discovering science, and even checking out what it’s like in outer space. No matter their interests, be it history, art or science, you’ll be able to take a “trip” to match.

Of course, these are still screen

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  • November 2, 2020
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6 Best Places to Visit in November 2020

Where to Stay:

Set on 58 acres in Washington, Connecticut (about an hour’s drive from NYC), the Mayflower Inn is celebrating its centennial year with a fresh look designed by celebrity interior designer, Celerie Kemble. You’ll feel like you’re in your very own country home as you cozy up by the parlor room fire for a game of cards or take part in sweater-weather croquet on the expansive front lawn.

BOOK IT

What to Do:

Kick off your day with some R&R at Mayflower’s sanctuary-like spa, which offers contactless treatments, like no-touch reiki sessions and sound healing. Later, lace up your hiking boots and explore the nearby Hidden Valley Preserve—a stretch of 727 acres filled with meadows, elevated walkways, and expansive trails. For all the fall feels, visit Averill Farm, a 10-generation family farm offering seasonal produce, homemade pies, and an onsite cider mill.

Where to Eat & Drink:

For

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  • October 31, 2020
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Melania Trump to visit Atglen on Tuesday, first solo campaign visit to Pa. | PA Power and Policy: Pennsylvania State News

First Lady Melania Trump is set to make her first solo campaign visit to Pennsylvania on Tuesday, a day after her husband, President Donald Trump, made a campaign swing in the state that included a stop at the airport in Lititz. 


Live updates: Trump finishes speaking in Manheim Township after thousands wait for hours before campaign rally

Trump’s reelection campaign says the first lady will appear at an event Tuesday in Atglen, Chester County, that will be moderated by former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, The Associated Press reported.

Atglen is just a few miles outside Lancaster County. The event will be held at 3 p.m., CBS 21 reported.

The first lady has not appeared at one of the president’s campaign events since June 2019 in Orlando, Florida, where the president formally announced his bid for a second term, according to the AP. 

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  • October 26, 2020
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10 of the best pumpkin patches to visit in the UK

Photo credit: Pete Ark - Getty Images
Photo credit: Pete Ark – Getty Images

From Country Living

Nothing says autumn and Halloween quite like the beautiful colours and shapes of pumpkins and gourds. But where are the best pumpkin patches and farms in the UK for us to gather the goods and enjoy a family day out?

Whether you want to use your pumpkin as a Halloween centrepiece or to make soups and pies, we’ve compiled a list of all of the best pumpkin patches in the UK to pick your own. Booking tickets is essential this year due to COVID-19 restrictions – make sure you read the safety guidelines on the farms’ websites before visiting.

Piglets Adventure Farm, Kent

Piglets Adventure Farm is holding its Pumpkin Festival from October 24th to November 1st. All tickets must be booked online and every child over the age of one will receive a free pumpkin. Book your tickets online

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  • October 24, 2020
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What It’s Like To Visit Chicago Right Now

When will this all be over and when will travel be safe again? These are questions that are top of mind for many of us as we navigate a new normal, which includes ever-changing quarantine and health guidelines for work and play. International borders continue to be closed and the pandemic has made traveling problematic, however, one thing is for certain: Americans are still traveling; we’re just doing it within our own orbit, hopefully adhering to safety protocols. And, if you’re from the Midwest, chances are, you’ll want to journey to Chicago, home of deep dish pizza, multiple parks, an expansive lake front, and impressive architecture.

There’s something resilient and hopeful about exploring in our own back yard, seeing places we might have previously overlooked and are now considering with

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  • October 13, 2020
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60% of Americans Won’t Travel to Visit Family for the Holidays This Year, New Survey Finds

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The majority of Americans say their holiday plans won’t be business as usual in 2020.

The ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is complicating plans for family gatherings and travel in the U.S. this winter. Sixty percent of respondents to Travelocity’s 2020 Holiday Outlook survey claim they won’t be traveling to see family and friends on Thanksgiving, Christmas and other holidays.

Of that group, 1 in 3 say they won’t be celebrating at all this year.

The survey, which was conducted in September, found, however, that not everyone is staying put at home however amid the health crisis. One in four people surveyed said they have a personal vacation planned later this year, while 45 percent of families with kids under 18 said they’ll be taking a trip before 2021 too.

“It’s going to be a nontraditional holiday season this year, so families are gearing up to make the most

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  • October 13, 2020