Light displays at Boston zoo
See more than 50 large-scale displays made with hundreds of colorful lanterns at Boston’s Franklin Park Zoo through Nov. 1. The zoo’s “Boston Lights: A Lantern Experience” features a walk-through 66-foot-long shark tunnel, a 197-foot-long dragon, a giant panda, whimsical ocean scenes, and many other displays created using energy-efficient LED lights. Also learn about the zoo’s conservation efforts and the importance of protecting Earth’s biodiversity. Visitors must book tickets in advance for a specific time slot between 5 and 9:30 p.m. daily. Admission $17.95 members, $19.95 nonmembers, children under 2 free. www.zoonewengland.org.
Maine’s new online guide and app
Find out where in Maine you can go bird watching, mountain biking, cross-country skiing, and more in a new outdoor recreation guide created by Chimani, a Maine-based company that produces national park guides. The company’s first state recreation guide includes details on wildlife refuges, state parks, nature preserves, and Maine’s lone national park: Acadia. It even provides topographic maps with trail info and a feature that lets you find your exact location on the map in real-time. The guide places extra focus on the coast, providing details on public coastal access sites, the state’s 89 beaches — complete with tide charts for the most popular ones — and public launches for paddlers and other boaters. Looking for fall foliage destinations? The guide offers details on Maine’s scenic byways, lighthouses, waterfalls, covered bridges, memorials, and natural wonders. Available on iOS (and soon Android) devices, and computers. Cost: $30 for annual subscription, but new subscribers get 50 percent off with code “MAINE”; $1 of your subscription benefits the nonprofit Teens to Trails. chimani.co/maine.
An epic cycling adventure
Spend this winter training and getting ready for a 24-day, 1,600-mile bike tour that covers New Zealand’s North and South islands. Ride & Seek’s new Māori New Zealand Cycling Adventure will take you from Auckland to Queenstown, stopping to explore Rotorua’s geysers and bubbling mud pools, Tongariro National Park (with an option to cycle up Mount Ruapehu, an active volcano), the rolling coastline of the Queen Charlotte Sound, and the South Island’s stunning Southern Alps — learning about Māori culture along the way. The “luxpedition” format means you’ll stay in cozy one-of-a-kind hotels and lodges and enjoy local cuisine and New Zealand’s world-class wine. The trip runs in two stages: Auckland to Wellington followed by a short break and ferry ride across the Cook Strait, and then Wellington to Queenstown, Feb. 6 to March 1, 2021. Join one stage starting at $5,676 or both starting at $10,898, which includes everything except airfares, insurance, and incidentals. rideandseek.com.
A salute to 007 and new Bond film
If you’re a James Bond fan, consider traveling to Jamaica this fall for a special Bond-themed trip that honors the release of the 25th film “No Time to Die” (coming out Nov. 20) and Daniel Craig’s final appearance as 007. Stay at Goldeneye resort, home to private beaches, secret coves, a seawater lagoon, and Fleming Villa, where author Ian Fleming wrote all 14 James Bond books. The property’s Ultimate James Bond Experience includes a guided snorkeling tour of Fleming’s favorite reef, a visit to Firefly, home to playwright Noel Cowardwho hosted Fleming and other famous guests, and a tour of the villa (pending availability), which is home to Fleming’s original writing desk. It also includes accommodations in a standalone hut, village, or cottage, a bottle of Bollinger champagne, a signed copy of “GoldenEye: Where Bond was Born,” and daily breakfast for two. Packages start at $2,630 for four nights through Dec. 19. 800-688-7678, www.goldeneye.com.
Virtually indestructible charging cords
Maybe your cat is like mine and chews on all your charging cords, leaving behind a graveyard of plastic and rubber pieces that are riddled with bite marks. Good thing cats are adorable. Nomad’s charging cords prove tough enough to handle even the feistiest felines — and your travel adventures, too. The cables have a Kevlar central core and an outer jacket made with double-braided Kevlar fibers (translation: virtually impenetrable). The powerful cords, which support up to 100 watts, can even power your MacBook Pro and other USB-C devices. Take your pick of lengths — ranging from .3 to 3 meters — and charging connectors, from USB-A and/or USB-C on one end connecting to Apple Lightning, USB-C, or mini USB on the other end. Universal cables offer multiple connectors on each end. The Nomad cables may be a bit pricey, but they are designed to outlast your devices and come with a 5-year warranty. $24.95 to $39.95. 805-600-3192, nomadgoods.com.
This cooler doesn’t stink
Not every adventure requires a pantry-size cooler, but each one does demand that your items remain chilled. OtterBox’s new Venture 25 works great as a day-tripping or overnight cooler that keeps items cold for up to 10 days — and, best of all, fends off odors after repeated or long-term use. The thick-walled, 25-quart cooler comes with sturdy but easy-to-use rubber latches and has a drain plug to easily release water. It has a mounting system that lets you attach a side table or double-cup holder (both sold separately) or the included bottle opener. It’s also been deemed “bear resistant” by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee with the use of OtterBox’s Locking Kit (also sold separately for $99.99 — and worth every penny). The hefty handles make it easy to carry but do take up precious space in a small car. Need more cooler space? The Venture also comes in 45- and 65-quart versions. $229.99 (25 quart) to $349.95 (65 quart).
Kari Bodnarchuk can be reached at email@example.com.