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HERE. THERE, AND EVERYWHERE

Lights in Maine, festivities in the Berkshires, and luxury lodges in Botswana

Travel news you can use.

The seasonal festival of lights known as Gardens Aglow returns as a walking tour at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay, Maine.

HERE:

LET THERE BE LIGHT!

The seasonal festival of lights known as Gardens Aglow returns as a walking tour at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay, Maine (Nov. 19-Dec. 31, Thursdays-Sundays, plus select dates). The largest lights display in Maine opens with a new reimagined design. Visitors can stroll along approximately one mile of lighted paths through a colorful and sparkling wonderland where more than 750,000 LED lights are strung among the 14-acre gardens. Tickets must be purchased in advance, online, or by phone; not available onsite. Extend your visit by exploring Boothbay Lights, a month-plus-long celebration of family-friendly holiday events at restaurants, shops, dining, and other community businesses in Boothbay and Boothbay Harbor. Visitors can also participate in a Community Lighting Contest by voting by text for their favorite festively lit homes and businesses. Gardens Aglow tickets: adults $18; seniors $16; ages 3-17 $10; family (2 adult/2 children) $45; under 3 free (207-633-8000, www.mainegardens.org/events-exhibits/gardens-aglow).

A beautifully decorated Christmas tree welcomes you to Wheatleigh, a Forbes 5-star hotel set on 22 manicured acres of lush parkland landscaped by Frederick Law Olmsted, one of many merry holiday happenings in the Berkshires.

HOLIDAY FUN IN THE BERKSHIRES

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Join merry holiday happenings in the Berkshires during Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas, a weekend when the village’s streets, shops, and restaurants will be decorated with wreaths and festive lights, and offer activities the entire family will enjoy, including live performances, historic property tours, holiday markets, Santa, and more (Dec. 2-4, stockbridgechamber.org/visit/stockbridge-main-street-at-christmas). A 10-minute drive away, Lenox Winterland kicks off with a tree lighting in Lilac Park (Dec. 2), followed by a weekend of events including a Jolly Poker Run and student art show at the library (lenox.org/lenoxwinterland). A beautifully decorated Christmas tree welcomes you to Wheatleigh, a Forbes 5-star hotel set on 22 manicured acres of lush parkland landscaped by Frederick Law Olmsted. Stay in Italianate, Gilded-Age style in one of the hotel’s 19 rooms and suites featuring high ceilings and museum-quality art and antiques. The signature restaurant, The Portico by Jeffrey Thompson, features multi-course menus of modern French gastronomy. Deluxe rooms from $1,355 per night (833-774-6752, wheatleigh.com).

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Those looking for a different kind of safari experience may want to consider Nxamaseri Island Lodge, Desert & Delta Safaris’ newest addition to its portfolio of nine luxury lodges in Botswana. Handout

THERE:

ANCIENT ROCK ART AND WATER SAFARIS

Those looking for a different kind of safari experience may want to consider Nxamaseri Island Lodge, Desert & Delta Safaris’ newest addition to its portfolio of nine luxury lodges in Botswana. The main feature of this eight-tent lodge is an excursion to Tsodilo Hills, a UNESCO world heritage site that is home to impressive collections of ancient African rock art, with more than 4,500 paintings in 400 different sites. Located on a private island in Botswana’s Okavango Delta, the property also offers a “water safari” experience for avid anglers attracted to catch and release the region’s fighting Tiger Fish. The all-inclusive price includes all meals, local alcoholic drinks (excludes premium brands), park entrance fees, laundry, filtered drinking water, plus scheduled safari activities including boating and walking safaris, fishing and mokoro (canoe) excursions, and Tsodilo Hills trips by vehicle. From January to March 2023, rates from $330 per night, per person (double occupancy); rates for a 6-night Fly-in Safari package with safari flights start at $3,958 per person (desertdelta.com/camps/nxamaseri-island-lodge).

TROPICAL TRIATHLON

Test your multisport endurance skills this winter at Tri Las Catalinas, a triathlon event hosted by the car-free, seaside town of Las Catalinas in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. (Feb. 18) Returning after a two-year pandemic hiatus, the competition features a 1,200-meter open-water swim, a 25-kilometer mountain bike challenge and an 8.5-kilometer trail run that covers more than 42 kilometers of trails, beaches, and waterfront. Special triathlon weekend hotel and lodging deals, in hotels and vacation homes, can be found on the website of Las Catalinas, a coastal beach development with houses, shops, restaurants, small hotels and inns, plazas, parks, and recreational facilities. Not interested in competing? Visitors can always enjoy swimming, stand-up paddle-boarding, kayaking, boogie-boarding, and snorkeling at two stunning beaches, and hiking and biking in the nearby 1,000-plus acre tropical forest. Accommodations from $250/night (www.lascatalinascr.com).

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For the coolest (and warmest) kids clothing on the ski slopes and other winter adventures, check out the Quest snow overall “Nemphis” by Namuk, designer of outdoor clothing made specifically for kids. Handout

EVERYWHERE:

COOL SNOWSUITS KEEP KIDS WARM

For the coolest (and warmest) kids clothing on the ski slopes and other winter adventures, check out the Quest snow overall “Nemphis” by Namuk, designer of outdoor clothing made specifically for kids. Available in four colorful patterns, the warm and waterproof winter overall features an easy-to-use drop seat zipper — for easy bathroom visits — integrated suspenders, built-in garbage pockets, hidden pacifier, and key holder, and YKK zippers. High breathability lets moisture escape easily, and high waterproof rating ensures a constant warm and dry feeling. Each piece is truly one of a kind, as prints are hand-drawn and cut-out sections vary. Sizes 2T to 8-9 years, $329 (https://us.namuk.com/collections/ski-clothing/products/quest-snow-overall-nemphis-blue-marin).

Whether you’re hiking for the day or camping for a week, the new Great Basin Dog Bowl by Ruffwear makes traveling with your pup a breeze.Handout

FEEDING FIDO ON-THE-GO

Whether you’re hiking for the day or camping for a week, the new Great Basin Dog Bowl by Ruffwear makes traveling with your pup a breeze. The packable, lightweight food and water bowl is available in three sizes — small, medium, and large — that hold from three to 10 cups. The durable, water-resistant shell fabric provides a stable structure, and reflective trim aids spotting the bowl in low-visibility conditions. Folds flat to store in pocket or backpack (slate blue, $29.95, https://ruffwear.com/products/great-basin-bowl).

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Necee Regis can be reached at neceeregis@gmail.com.