AT LOON, GO OFF-ROAD OR UP A TREE
Make like a monkey and scramble through the trees at Loon Mountain’s new Aerial Forest Adventure Park in Lincoln, N.H. Up in the canopy you can maneuver from platform to platform using bridges, zip lines, and cables. Choose from five levels of difficulty, each requiring more balance and agility. Prefer a ground-based adventure? Hop on a Segway, a self-balancing, two-wheeled transport device, and take off on a new off-road cross-country tour. The adventure park is open daily through Labor Day and then weekends through Columbus Day. Tickets: $39 for ages 7 to 12; $49 for 13 and older (including adults). The three-hour Segway tour runs daily for those 16 and older, and costs $69. 800-229-5666, loonmtn.com
BANK ON WEEKENDS OF COOL ART
Flash your Bank of America credit card and get free entry into 150 museums, zoos, botanical gardens, science centers, and other cultural institutions nationwide on the first full weekend of every month, as part of the compa-ny’s Museums on Us program. Locally, visit the Museum of Fine Arts; Worcester Art Museum; Cape Cod Museum of Art in Dennis; or The Eric Carle
Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst (think “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”), among others. Or check out the recently renovated Harvard Museum of Natural History. Don’t miss its special exhibit,
“Mollusks: Shelled Masters of the Marine Realm,” and its revamped Fishes gallery. The next freebie weekend is Aug. 4-5. 800-432-1000, muse
CANADIAN RAIL JOURNEY
Hop aboard the Rocky Mountaineer for its rail journey linking Vancouver and Whistler, B.C., and you can enjoy stories and performances by young members of local First Nations groups. The storytellers will be onboard to share the history of the indigenous Squamish and Lil’wat peoples and the legends of the surrounding mountains. The trip, called the Whistler Sea to Sky Climb, offers stunning views of the Coast Mountain Range, sparkling Howe Sound, and a 230-foot waterfall. The service runs five days a week until Sept. 26. Enjoy the new Whistler Dome Service, which offers reclining seats, panoramic views, and hot meals, through Aug. 24.
ROCKIES MUSHROOM HUNTING
Forage for mushrooms in Colorado’s Vail Valley on a guided adventure led by Larry Evans, known as the Indiana Jones of mushroom hunt-
ing. On the Mercedes and Mushrooms trip, run by Four Seasons Resort Vail, participants climb into Mercedes SUVs and set off for a full day of mushroom hunting in the Rocky Mountains. That night, gather at Flame, the resort’s restaurant, where the executive chef leads a culinary demonstration incorporating your mushrooms. Price: $200, includes the foraging trip, a gourmet picnic lunch, the cooking demonstration, and dinner. Trips run Aug. 4, 11, 19, and 24.
CRUISING THE YANGTZE
Grab a companion and join a five-star cruise on China’s Yangtze River for half of what you would normally spend. Victoria Cruises, the only US-managed cruise line on the Yangtze, is offering a “buy one, get one free” promotion for trips departing by Aug. 31. The special deal is good for two passengers sharing a superior stateroom on any of the fleet’s seven vessels. Price: $880 per couple for four- and five-day sailings. 800-348-8084, www.victoriacruises.com
PORTABLE BOOSTER SEAT
The super portable and compact BubbleBum makes it easy to bring a booster seat on the road without taking up precious luggage space. The seat, which is rated for kids 40 to 100 pounds, weighs half a pound, packs down smaller than a loaf of bread, and inflates in less than a minute. A clip on each side keeps the seat belt in place, and the firm cushion provides comfortable support for long-haul trips. The BubbleBum meets US and European safety standards, and costs $39.99.
CREATE A VIRTUAL PIN MAP
Show off all the places you have gone skiing or every noteworthy site you have explored around the world. Uencounter.me, a new website, lets you create a virtual pin map of your travels, so you can keep track of your adventures and share your experiences with other members. Sign up for free, and then start adding “encounter points” on the map with information about the encounter (travel, recreation, or work, for instance), related photos, and information. You can also create private pins. Free for basic membership, $9 annually for ad-free, $45 for bloggers who want marketing perks.