Free museum access for the military
Acton’s Discovery Museum celebrates the 10th anniversary of its Military Appreciation Program, which provides free museum admission for active-duty US military members and their families. The program, funded in part by Raytheon, has admitted more than 25,000 eligible visitors in the past decade. It offers free admission for up to four people from September through mid-May, and up to six people between Armed Forces Day and Labor Day. The museum also provides free school trips to fourth- and fifth-grade classes from Hanscom Air Force Base. The museum’s hands-on exhibits blend science, nature, and play — even in the outdoor nature playscape and 550-square-foot treehouse. 978-264-4200, www.discoveryacton.org.
New heated rooftop hangout
Stay toasty and enjoy skyline views while visiting The Envoy Hotel’s rooftop bar. The Lookout Rooftop has a new heated enclosure open throughout the winter season, its popular igloo-shaped pods, and a new layout that promotes city and harbor views. Hang out in the heated enclosure, which holds up to 160 guests, or book one of the five LED-illuminated igloos for up to 10 people and stay warm with the provided cable-knit blankets. The Seaport District rooftop venue also adds a small-bites menu this year, created by two-time “Chopped” champion and Outdoor Kitchen executive chef Tatiana Rosana, which features everything from duck confit poutine to cinnamon sugar churros. 617-530-1538, www.outlookkitchenandbar.com/#lookout.
Be safe while traveling
When you visit a new destination it’s hard to know what areas are safe, whether you’re heading out for a run, walking to your hotel, or searching for a restaurant. TripIt from Concur’s Neighborhood Safety Scores rate neighborhoods around the world on a scale of 1-100, representing low to high risk, in numerous categories. Consult the app’s individual ratings for physical harm (from threat of mugging to gang prevalence), women’s safety, political freedoms (including any signs of political unrest), theft, health and medical (including environmental pollution to access to medical care), and the new category LGBTQ safety (includes the likelihood of harm to or discrimination against LGBTQ people). The handy app also features new Daytime and Nighttime safety ratings, a helpful tool since neighborhood scores may vary during different times of day. www.tripit.com.
Seattle’s ‘Beyond Bollywood’ exhibit
Learn about the contributions of Indian immigrants and Indian Americans in the United States through a new exhibition at Seattle’s Museum of History & Industry. “Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation” was created by the Smithsonian Institution, with a local focus incorporated by MOHAI, and runs through Jan. 26. It highlights the many key roles Indian Americans and Indian immigrants have had, as builders of some of our country’s earliest railroads and farms to civil rights pioneers and digital technology entrepreneurs. This exhibit zeroes in on the diverse Indian American community in the Pacific Northwest, exploring the contributions people have made to local industries, the arts and crafts of the area’s Indian Americans, and the strong political mark many Indian American women have made in local and national politics. Don’t miss Sari Stories Dec. 15, 1-3 p.m., when you’ll hear tales about the stories woven into the fabric of saris and see a sari-draping demonstration. Admission: free 14 and under to $21.95 15 and older. 206-324-1126, www.mohai.org.
A loveseat for your adventures
It’s nice to snuggle in comfort — or hang out with a friend — whether you’re watching a baseball game, camping, or sitting at the beach, for instance. Kelty’s new Low Loveseat has a durable steel frame, lightly padded seats, insulated beverage holders, and adjustable armrests. The seat measures 44 inches wide, offering plenty of space for two adults (or up to four kiddos and canines), and proves remarkably comfortable. It weighs 15.6 pounds and holds up to 500 pounds. The lower, slightly reclined angle of the seat means you can chill without blocking people at a concert or game. An easy-to-use padded roll tote makes packing up and securing the chair a cinch, and a handy attached strap means it’s easy to sling over a shoulder and carry. $99.95. www.kelty.com/low-loveseat.
These bags help save the earth
Patagonia makes its new collection of Black Hole bags from millions of recycled plastic bottles. The body fabric and webbing of each bag comes from 100 percent recycled materials — a lightweight but durable polyester ripstop with a water-resistant laminate. For travel, consider the Black Hole 32L Pack, a 32-liter daypack with a cavernous main compartment — for snacks, extra layers, souvenirs, and more — with a small mesh zippered organizer pocket for your passport, keys, and travel documents. The bag has a heavily padded tablet and 15-inch laptop sleeve that fully opens for passing through security — or use it on the trail for holding a hydration bladder. It also has numerous grab handles, two external water bottle holders made of stretchy fabric, a sternum strap (but no waist belt), and 22 daisy chains for lashing gear. $149. www.patagonia.com.