Day trip: Relax — or be spooked
Take a trip to craft beer tastings or a haunted amusement park
Virginia Beach's Craft Beer Festival is this weekend. (Brian Baer, MCT / December 14, 2006)
Borgata Spa Experience
It's important to take time to pamper yourself. For an ultimate week of relaxation, head to Atlantic City for the Borgata Spa Experience. Hailed as one of the best spa destinations in the world, the Borgata is offering discounted treatments, hotel packages and events at Spa Toccare and Immersion Spa at the Water Club. The spa offers free seminars and demonstrations all week, as well as massages by Spa Toccore, skin consultations by G.M. Collin and Epicuren and make-up lessons by Jane Iredale.
The Borgata Spa Experience begins Sunday and runs through Oct. 28 at the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa, One Borgata Way in Atlantic City. Spa treatment prices start at $85 and hotel overnight packages start at $175 per night. Go to theborgata.com.
Boo at the Zoo
With Halloween only a week away, give your costume a test run at Boo at the Zoo at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park. Families with children ages 2-12 can stop by to enjoy fun, safe and spooky Halloween activities such as animal encounters, zoo keeper presentations and delicious treats. Sure, dressing up is fun, but for most kids, Halloween is all about the loot. Boo at the Zoo features more than 40 haunted treat stations, including goodies from Goetze's Candy Co. and Panda Licorice. The zoo even provides guests with a complementary reusable treat bag.
Boo at the Zoo is at the Smithsonian National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Ave. N.W. in Washington. The event runs 5:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $20 for members and $30 for non-members. Kids under age 2 are free. Go to nationalzoo.si.edu.
Porch Pickin' Bluegrass Event
You bring a chair to Porch Pickin' Bluegrass and the rest of the fun is provided. Hear live Americana and stroll through the Bowles House Visitor Center. There, you can see historic videos, photographs and stories of the families who once lived on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal.
Porch Pickin' Bluegrass is 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Historical Park Hancock Visitor Center, 439 E. Main St. in Hancock. Free. Call 301-745-5877 or go to nps.gov/choh.
Craft Beer Festival
What's a weekend without beer? Head to the Craft Beer Festival at the Virginia Beach waterfront for the chance to sample over 50 artisan beers from some 25 area breweries. During an educational demonstration by HomeBrew USA, crowds get the chance to learn about the science of beer making and the skill it takes to convert mere hops and malt into the aromatic beer we know and love. Sample beers from a wide variety of breweries, including Harpoon, Kona and New Belgium. And what's a beer event without some music? Two Dollar Bill Band and Gina Dalmas & the Cow Tippin' Playboys perform Saturday, and Rylo and Octopus perform Sunday.
The Beer Fest is Saturday and Sunday, at the Virginia Beach Waterfront at 24th Street Park. Tasting tickets are $20 per person, which includes a souvenir glass and unlimited tastings. Admission is free for designated drivers. Go to beachstreetusa.com/events/.
In keeping with the spirit of Halloween, Dutch Wonderland has been turned into a haunted fortress for the rest of the month. Parents and children alike can enjoy more than 20 amusement park rides, including the "Scareeeee-Go-Round," the "Witchie Whip" and the "Ghoulish Gondola Ride." Other bewitching activities include pumpkin painting, story time with the Princess of Dutch Wonderland and walking the "Trick-or-Treat Trail" in Duke's Lagoon. After all that activity, sit back and watch "Molly's Wacky Witch's Brew," where Molly the witch and Beaker the wizard put on a comedy show. Deck yourself out in your best Halloween attire for the costume contest. Prizes will be awarded for Spookiest, Most Creative, Best Fairytale Character and more.
Happy Hauntings at Dutch Wonderland is open Saturday and Sunday and Oct. 29-30 at 2249 Lincoln Highway East in Lancaster. Call 1-866-386-2839 or go to dutchwonderland.com.