Singapore Celebrates Launch Of Bay South Garden With Two Weeks Of Events

gardens by the bay On the night of June 28, 2012, Singapore will debut its brand new Gardens by the Bay, which has been under construction for the past five years. The attraction is the first of its kind in Singapore. The launch takes place in the city’s new Marina Bay downtown area, and is part of the “city in a garden vision,” which aims to make Singapore a place of natural beauty.

From June 29 to July 8, to help celebrate the 134-acre garden’s grand opening, there will be concerts by Jason Mraz and Corrinne May, family carnivals, an eco-friendly green fair, trail hikes, movies under the stars, live entertainment, a photography competition, storytelling, educational demonstrations, children’s activities and more.

Gardens by the Bay will feature many different facets. Visitors can choose to wander through the cooled conservatories of the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest, stroll through the Supertrees in the Golden Garden, learn about Singapore’s plant history in the Heritage Gardens, discover aquatic life in the Dragonfly and Kingfisher Lakes and educate themselves on an array of flora in the World of Plants. And for some extra excitement, there will be choreographed light and sound shows in the Supertree Grove, changing floral displays in the Flower Dome and interpretive media performances to bring the story of plants to life.

Gardens by the Bay will be free to enter, and will be open to the public from 5:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. daily.

Get Ready For The Olympics With Andaz’s World Food Marathon

andaz liverpool streetWhile the Olympic Games are associated with international sports, Andaz Liverpool Street in London will be focusing on international food during the weeks leading up to the big event.

The five-star luxury hotel will be looking to staff members of its four Andaz restaurants – 1901, Catch, Eastway and Miyako – to help create the menu. Pulling from the 40 different nationalities that represent the Andaz Liverpool Street team, 26 unique cultural dishes were created. This number isn’t random, as it embodies the 26 miles in a marathon. The tasty festival will run from July 2 to July 27, the 26 days leading up to the Olympic Opening Ceremony.

Some of the dishes attendees can expect include Korean Spicy Pork, Polish Golabki, Slovakian sheep’s cheese dumplings, Colombian bandeja paisa and South African Bobotie.

“With all eyes on London this year as the 2012 Olympic season gathers momentum, Andaz Liverpool Street wanted to pay tribute to the multicultural base of the city with a variety of dishes from around the world, which celebrate different cultures, allowing our guests to take a journey of the culinary kind through what we have called the World Food Marathon,” says Arnaud de Saint Exupéry, the Andaz Liverpool Street General Manager.

New York Celebrates Gay Pride With Two Months Of LGBT Events

gay pride It’s been almost a year since the passage of same-sex marriage in New York, and to help celebrate, the city is working with NYC & Company to bring two months of pride-related events. During June and July, 2012, the five boroughs will be presenting programming revolving around the flagship Heritage of Pride festival from June 16-24 in Manhattan, with motivational speakers, dancers, civil rights demonstrations, parades, street fairs and more. Some events include:

Queens Pride Parade and Multicultural Festival– On June 3 in Jackson Heights, there will be a parade starting at noon, making its way down 37th from 84th. There will be special guests, including the cast of Wicked and a festival at 11:00 a.m. at 75th Avenue and 37th Road.

The Rally– On June 13 from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m., well known performers and speakers from the LGBT community will come together at the East River Bandshell to entertain and enlighten.

The MarchOn June 24 at noon, a civil rights demonstration celebrating gay rights and recognizing causes will begin at 36th Street and Fifth Avenue.

Bronx Pride Festival– Taking place July 21 from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Crotona Park, will offer entertainment, a health fair and memorabilia.

To see a full listing of events for NYC Pride 2012, click here.

[Flickr photo via Guillaume Paumier]

Mother’s Day Hotel Deals Around The United States

Want to do something special for Mom this Mother’s Day? Check out these U.S. hotels offering promotions, packages and programming for the holiday, to help plan a special weekend getaway.

hotels Forrest Hills Mountain Resort
Dahlonega, Georgia

Located about one hour north of Atlanta, Forrest Hills Mountain Resort is a relaxing accommodation surrounded by the North Georgia Mountains. This Mother’s Day the property is offering a “Taking Care of Mom” package, which includes:

  • Champagne or sparking cider upon arrival
  • Half-dozen long-stemmed roses in the room upon arrival
  • Gourmet sampler basket with chocolates, tea and hot cocoa mix
  • One-hour massage for both Mom and her guest
  • Candlelight dinner in the Secret Garden Dining Room (when booked online)
  • Mother’s Day Feast in the Rose Garden Dining Room
  • Breakfast daily

Package rates start at $457 for two nights (Saturday and Sunday). Call 706-864-6456 or click here to book. new york palace hotel The New York Palace
New York, NY

The New York Palace, a world-class hotel located in Midtown, is celebrating the special occasion with not one, but two packages. First there is the “Mother’s Day Morning Glory” package, which begins the day with a special chef’s breakfast in bed with a Mimosa or Bellini, coffee or tea, a seasonal fruit plate, pastry, Greek yogurt parfait, Brioche bread pudding and an egg white frittata with heirloom tomatoes, asparagus, artichokes and herbs. The deal also includes luxury accommodations, red wine and chocolate upon arrival, a gift basket from New York Palace Spa and a 20% off discount on a spa treatment or service.

The other package is a “Mother’s Night Out” package, which includes luxury accommodations, two cocktails and an appetizer in GILT Bar, red wine and chocolate upon arrival, a gift basket from New York Palace Spa and a 20% off offer for a spa treatment or service.

Packages are available through June 3, 2012. Rates start at $428 for both packages. Call 212-888-7000 or click here to book.

hotel Mirbeau Inn & Spa
Skaneateles, New York

Located in the beautiful Finger Lakes Region of New York, Mirbeau Inn & Spa is celebrating Mother’s Day all month long with a lavish “Love Your Mom” overnight package. Moms will get:

  • Two nights of accommodation
  • Daily breakfast
  • Five-course wine pairing dinner for two
  • Limo wine tour for two
  • 100-minute FarmHouse Fresh Mother Glow’s Best treatment, with a sweet cream salt body scrub, hot body wrap of honey, aloe and live papaya fruit cells and a massage using floral shea butter with blood orange oil and live fruit cells
  • 100-minute treatment of choice
  • Two micro-fiber robes
  • Two-dozen roses
  • Chocolate covered strawberries
  • $200 Skaneateles Chamber Certificate for downtown shopping

Package is valid through the month of May, with rates beginning at $2,720 mid-week and $3,035 on weekends, based on double-occupancy, including taxes and gratuities. Call 877-647-2328 or click here to book.

country inn B&bCountry Inn Bed and Breakfast
Fort Bragg, California

A charming B&B on the Mendocino Coast, the Country Inn Bed and Breakfast is offering two great packages for Mom this holiday. First there is the “Ultimate Wine Tour” package, with two nights accommodation, a full-day wine tour with gourmet lunch, sparkling wine, a cheese platter, bottled water, special winery discounts and dinner for two at the Mendo Bistro. There is also a “Mother’s Day Massage” offer, which gives Mom a 50-minute massage, two nights of accommodation and dinner for two at Mendo Bistro.

Rates for the “Ultimate Wine Tour” package begin at $606, and $347 for the “Mother’s Day Massage” offer. Call 707-964-3737 or click here to book.

hyatt regency lost pines Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa
Lost Pines, Texas

Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa, a secluded 405-acre property on the Colorado River, is hosting an array of offers and programming in honor of Mother’s Day. For those looking to indulge at the spa, Mommy and Me pedicures are available for $125. Moreover, mothers golf free at Wolfdancer Golf Club. On the special day, the accommodation will host a Mother’s Day Brunch, including breakfast favorites and unique creations like smoked pork loin with house made Shiner Bock Mustard as well as a lavish dessert buffet. Additionally, many recreational activities for mom will be offered, like Mother’s Day card making, button making and mom-themed movies under the stars.

The buffet is $49 for adults, $24 for children 4-12 and free for children three and under. Call 512-308-4851 or click here to book.

hotels Delamar Greenwich Harbor
Greenwich, Connecticut

This Mother’s Day, Delamar Greenwich Harbor, a luxury waterfront property, is helping mothers and daughters spend quality time together. The one-day package is offered every weekend in May, and features:

  • One night in a double room or two-bedroom suite
  • Complimentary breakfast
  • Welcome gift from Saks 5th Avenue
  • Early check-in at 2:00 p.m. and late check out at 2:00 p.m.
  • Lunch for two in the onsite l’escale
  • Two 60-minute massages in the hotel’s Spa Suite
  • Two pedicures
  • Personal shopping session at Saks 5th Avenue with car service

Package available Fridays, Saturdays and Sunday through May, and start at $635. Call 866-335-2627 or click here to book.

the shores resort and spaThe Shores Resort & Spa
Daytona, Florida

For mothers and daughters who want to have some fun in the sun this Mother’s Day, The Shores Resort & Spa is hosting a “Mother/Daughter Surf Camp” package. The offer includes two nights of accommodation, a private surf lesson for two, a 50-minute mother/daughter salt scrub and a 50-minute massage for two.

Packages start at $578 per room, based on double occupancy. Call 866-396-2217 or click here to book.

jw marriottJW Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa
Oahu, Hawaii

On May 13, JW Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa will host a celebratory event for Mother’s Day. Beginning at 11:00 a.m., there is a special champagne lunch buffet. Additionally, a concert by Na Hoku Hanohano award-winner Willie K, and a fashion show hosted by Hawaiian designer Mamo Howell will be part of the programming.

Tickets for the celebration are $85 for adults, $50 for children ages 4 to 12 and free for children under four. Room rates start at $299 per night. Call 808-679-0079 or click here to book.

meadowmere resort Meadowmere Resort
Ogunquit, Maine

Meadowmere Resort, a popular hotel for gourmet vacations on Maine’s southern coast, is featuring an array of Mother’s Day packages this holiday. First there is the “Mother’s Day Weekend Dining” package, which includes accommodations, wine and cheese, Mom’s choice of dinner at one of the hotel’s three onsite restaurants and a Mother’s Day brunch on Sunday morning. There’s also the “Mother’s Day Weekend Spa” package, featuring accommodations, a Swedish massage, mini-facial, holistic yoga session and wellness consultation.

Packages start at $179.95 for the “Mother’s Day Weekend Dining” package, and $199.95 for the “Mother’s Day Weekend Spa” package. Call 800-633-8718 or click here to book.

arizona biltmoreArizona Biltmore
Phoenix, Arizona

The Arizona Biltmore, with its vibrant gardens and historic ambiance, is a great place for Mom to spend her special day. This holiday, the property is hosting numerous offers, from free-night offers to spa specials and Champagne brunches. First there is the 2-For-1 Mother’s Day offer, which gives guests who book a room during the week of Mother’s Day a second night free. Additionally, their “Like Mother Like Daughter” package includes an hour-long manicure and pedicure for two for $175. If Mom would like to spend more time in the spa, select treatments are 30% off, like the Dreamcatcher Aromatherapy Massage and the Restorative Anti-Aging Facial. Moreover, a Mother’s Day champagne brunch will be hosted in the McArthur Ballroom, with breakfast favorites, salads, carving stations, hot entrees and a rose for every mother. Reservations are required, and prices are $75 for adults, $35 for children 12 and under and free for infants. Another Mother’s Day champagne brunch with a different menu will be held in Wright’s at the Biltmore. Reservations are required, and prices are $95 for adults, $40 for children 12 and under and free for infants. At night, an array of Mother’s Day dinner specials will be offered throughout the hotel, with pre-fixed menus, drink specials and unique menu additions.

Two-for-one offer valid May 10 to 17, with room rates starting at $229. Use promo code “MOM” when booking. Call 800-950-0086 or click here to book.

Summer Hotspot: Baltimore, Maryland

If scenes from “The Wire” are the only images that come to mind when you think of Baltimore, it’s time to reevaluate. The city is a hodgepodge of distinct neighborhoods, including historic Fells Point, where you can take your pick from more than 120 pubs, and quirky Hampden, where you still might be able to spot a beehive hairdo straight out of a John Waters film. Although Baltimore is only a stone’s throw away from Washington, D.C., and a short drive from Philadelphia and New York, it’s a charming, comfortable city with its own culture and a lively arts scene. Plus, the city has several events happening this summer that are worth a trip.This summer, Baltimore will ring in a three-year celebration commemorating the bicentennial of the War of 1812 with the Star-Spangled Sailabration, a maritime festival that will bring dozens of tall ships and warships to the city’s bustling Inner Harbor from June 13-19. The Inner Harbor is a pretty public space filled with shops, museums, ships and restaurants. It is overlooked by Federal Hill, a park that sits on a prominent hill that was a lookout during the Civil War and the War of 1812. Don’t miss the American Visionary Art Museum, just to the west of Federal Hill, which is filled with oddball outsider art. On Thursday nights during the summer, the museum plays movies on the side of the building facing Federal Hill, which turns into a makeshift amphitheater.

From August 31 to September 3, IndyCars will race around a 2.04-mile temporary circuit set up around the Inner Harbor for the Baltimore Grand Prix. The circuit passes many Baltimore landmarks – including Oriole Park at Camden Yards – and contains 12 turns, one of which is an adrenaline-pumping hairpin turn. Race fans from around the world are expected to descend on the city and the crowds are expected to surpass 150,000 people.

Also in the Inner Harbor, Phillips Seafood – known for creating the first ever crab shack in Ocean City – recently moved to a new space in a restored power plant along the water. When doing so, Phillips opened up a huge new crab deck that juts out in the water. Visitors shouldn’t miss the true Chesapeake Bay experience of ordering up a bucket of clams and cracking them open in the sunshine. Wash the crabs down with Baltimore’s most famous beer, National Bohemian (better known as “Natty Boh” to Baltimoreans – just look for the can or bottle with the mustachioed man), and you have a true Baltimore experience.

Don’t forget that there is a lot to do in Baltimore beyond the Inner Harbor, including Artscape, the largest free arts festival in the country that features funky art cars, musical performances and plenty of neat art to peruse.

[flickr image via sneakerdog]