FILM FESTIVAL ISLAND STYLE
The Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival hosts its 13th annual event (March 15-17) at the Chilmark Community Center with films from the festival circuit as well as shorts and features with local appeal. Watch movies on comfy couches in the “community living room” outfitted with state-of-the-art projection and sound. Stay for post-screening discussions with filmmakers and others. Events include live music hosted by the Hay Cafe and a daily feast prepared by chef Chris Fischer. Tickets $15, members $7. Couch seating add $5. Weekend pass $150. 508-645-9599, www.tmvff.org. The Harbor View Hotel & Resort in Edgartown is offering a Martha’s Vineyard Movie Escape package, including two-night stay (March15-16) and two all-access festival passes, $479, with reserved couch seating $679. 800-225-6005, www.harbor-view.com
CULINARY RETREAT WEEKENDS IN VERMONT
Indulge your passion for food while getting away from it all. In the village of Brandon, Café Provence and the Lilac Inn have teamed up to offer Vermont Culinary Retreat Weekends for couples (March 22-24, April 5-7, 19-21) that celebrate farm-to-table cuisine with a focus on Vermont ingredients. Chef Robert Barral, former executive chef of the Four Seasons Hotel in Boston, leads a hands-on class where you’ll help prepare (and later eat) a four-course meal, and a Sunday brunch cooking demonstration. Includes a champagne reception, two nights’ lodging at the luxury inn, all meals, and a tour of goat cheese-making facilities at the nearby Blue Ledge Farm. Limited to six couples, $995, includes taxes and gratuities. 802-247-5463, http://lilacinn.com
ZIGGY STARDUST LANDS IN LONDON
The first international retrospective of pop star David Bowie’s career debuts at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London (March 23-July 28). “David Bowie Is” explores five decades of his work as a musical innovator and cultural icon. More than 300 objects on display include hand-written lyrics, photography, film, music videos, set designs, instruments, album cover artwork, and fashion, including Ziggy Stardust bodysuits designed by Freddie Burretti. Tickets $14-$22. 011-44-20-7942-2000, www.vam.ac.uk.
The Radisson Blu Edwardian hotel offers a package (from $249 per night) that includes breakfast for two, plus exhibition tickets.
BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAINS GETAWAYS
Discount lodging and packages are available at both Skyland Resort and Big Meadows Lodge at Shenandoah National Park. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, all accommodations are near the Shenandoah River, a popular destination for canoeing, kayaking, and white-water rafting. The Skyland Resort, a complex of buildings and cabins perched at the highest point of the 105-mile Skyline Drive, opens March 28. Big Meadows Lodge, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, opens May 15. Promotions include the Sky-line Sweetheart Getaway, Bed and Breakfast Package, Shenandoah Spectacular Package, and more, $80-$235.
LEGOLAND OPENS IN NEW YORK
LEGO lovers traveling to New York and the lower Hudson Valley area can add a new destination to their itineraries. LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester opens March 27 in Yonkers, N.Y. Geared to children ages 3-10 and their families, the 32,300-square-foot attraction features more than 3 million LEGO bricks, hands-on play areas, 4D cinema, LEGO building classes, and two LEGO rides. Don’t miss MINILAND, a re-creation of nearby landmark locations and buildings made out of more than 1 million LEGO bricks. Adults $19, children 3-12 $15. Book online for discounts. 866-243-0770,
EASY WAY TO CHOOSE A CRUISE
With so many ships and destinations vying for your attention, deciding which cruise is the right one for you and your family can be difficult. Find your ideal voyage with CruiseCompete, a competitive-quote website that simplifies planning. This free and anonymous service allows you to browse ships and specials, compare competing offers from travel agents, see consumer reviews of agents and agencies, request quotes for the cruise of your choice, and receive competing offers. If you like a deal that is offered or have questions, you can call a cruise specialist, and then contact travel agents directly to book a trip. 800-797-4635,
GOURMET COFFEE IN YOUR POCKET
When you’re on the road, in the air, or hiking in the wilderness, a good cup of java can be hard to find. Now a new company offers a solution for coffee-obsessed travelers. Jiva Cubes are individually wrapped instant coffee cubes for those on the go. Made from free-trade Colombian arabica beans and sweetened with panela, raw unrefined cane sugar, you only need to mix with hot water or milk to enjoy flavorful coffee anywhere. Available in two flavors: classic and mocha. 24 cubes $14.99, sample eight-cube pack $5, signature mug and travel mug set $24.99. jivacubes.com