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From New Year’s on Nantucket to the London District

The Stafford London walking tours.
The Stafford London walking tours.Handout

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A HAPPY NEW HAMPSHIRE NEW YEAR’S EVENT FOR KIDS

Who wants to ring in the New Year with tired, cranky kids in tow? Head to the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire in Dover on Dec. 31, and your family can enjoy a daylight celebration — complete with ball drops and confetti — and still be home in time for bed. The museum’s Family New Year’s Eve Celebration runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and includes three countdowns to midnight, at 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 2 p.m., when a glittery ball “drops” 30 feet as visitors rev up their noisemakers and toast bubbly ginger ale in plastic champagne glasses. Make your own sparkly party hats there, and write your wishes for the coming year on mini flying blimps that get launched during each countdown. Then explore the museum’s interesting exhibits, including the Dinosaur Dig and Music Matrix. Admission: $9 anyone 2 and older; $8 seniors; under 2 free. 603-742-2002, www.childrens-museum.org

NEW YEAR’S SOIREE FEELS LIKE FRENCH ON NANTUCKET

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Enjoy a French-themed New Year’s celebration at The Nantucket Hotel and Resort with a prix fixe dinner at Breeze restaurant and a gala ball featuring the Perri Rossi Orchestra, hors d’oeuvres, a dessert buffet, late-night nibbles, and a champagne toast. Attend the Moulin Rouge event whether or not you stay at the hotel. A complimentary Kids’ New Year’s Eve Party for children 4 to 13 will run from 9 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. in the Kids Club for overnight guests. The hotel sits in a quiet residential neighborhood just two blocks from Children’s Beach and the Nantucket Whaling Museum. Rooms run $215 per night Dec. 26-30, $325 per night on Dec. 31, double occupancy; New Year’s Eve special includes continental breakfast on New Year’s Day. Dinner $75 per person; New Year’s gala, $120. 866-807-6011, www.thenantuckethotel.com

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TOUR LESSER-KNOWN SPOTS IN A POPULAR LONDON DISTRICT

Discover some of the best-kept secrets about the St. James’s area of London during a new walking tour run by the executive concierge at The Stafford London, Frank Laino. The three-hour Secrets of St. James’s tour begins at St. James’s Place, where Laino (pictured above) takes up to 14 hotel guests into the Spencer House to see the ground floor of the city’s only intact private palace. Then wander over to Green Park, so called because it’s the only London park without flower beds, Queen’s Walk, and Buckingham Palace. Also see Clarence House, home to Charles, Prince of Wales; the oldest hat shop in the world, located on St. James’s Street; The London Library, which houses more than 1 million volumes; and the spectacular Red Lion Victorian pub. The tour ends in the courtyard of The Stafford London, where the former stables — built in 1742 — now serve as the hotel’s rooms and suites. $55. 011-44-20-7493-0111, www.thestaffordlondon.com

Whistler Blackcomb new gondola chairs.
Whistler Blackcomb new gondola chairs. Mitchell Winton

BRITISH COLUMBIA’S BIGGEST RESORT GETS BETTER

Gain quicker access to Whistler Blackcomb’s expansive terrain in the resort’s new eight-passenger gondola cabins, which now whisk more than 2,100 passengers an hour from Whistler Village to Roundhouse Lodge at 6,000 feet. The old cabins on the Whistler Village Gondola started transporting guests up the mountain in 1988, and had small ledges or “half seats” for passengers to lean against on the 25-minute ride. The swanky new “diamond-level” cabins, built in France, have comfortable bench seats so passengers can actually sit down, and racks on the outside for skis and snowboards. Don’t ski? Take the Whistler Village Gondola up to Roundhouse Lodge and then go for a scenic ride over to Blackcomb Mountain on the Peak 2 Peak gondola, which has the longest unsupported span in the world (1.88 miles) and travels 1,427 feet above the valley floor. Tickets, giving access to all trails and gondolas: $105.50 adults; $96.60 online or at a 7-Eleven store. 888-403-4727, www.whistlerblackcomb.com

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CAPTURE BIG-TIME ACTION WITH A TINY CAMERA

Polaroid has created an adorable, ice cube-sized video camera that can attach to your climbing, ski, or bicycle helmet, your handlebars, your body, your dog, appliances, and other metal objects for capturing life on the go. The fun and colorful Polaroid Cube weighs less than 2 ounces and comes in red, blue, and black. It sticks to objects via the strong magnet on the bottom, or buy one of the many mounts for attaching it to helmets, bikes, surfboards, and more. Even in its waterproof housing (sold separately), the camera remains low profile. The wide-angle Cube offers 124 degrees of coverage, and can handle a microSD card up to 32GB. It takes high-def video at 1080 or 720 pixels, and 6-megapixel still shots. $99 camera; $17.99-$39.99 per accessory. 800-226-6534, www.polaroidcube.com

Timbuk2 Wingman bag.
Timbuk2 Wingman bag.Handout

EVERY TRAVELER NEEDS AN AMBITIOUS WINGMAN

Timbuk2’s versatile Wingman Carry-On Travel Bag has a split personality: Use the shoulder strap and it acts like a large briefcase or messenger bag, or pull out the tucked-away padded shoulder straps and it transforms into a comfortable backpack. The sleek and stylish overnight bag (pictured above left) is slim enough to fit into the overhead compartment of even the smallest puddle-jumping plane. It also has four handles so you can quickly grab the bag even if the plane’s contents shifted during the flight. Throw a spare pair of shoes or your toiletries into an expandable compartment that’s accessible from the outside, and keep your clothes and other items in place using the internal compression straps. You can stow your wallet and travel documents in a front zippered pocket, and stash work papers, a magazine, and your Kindle or tablet in two other outer pockets. $149 (currently $104 online). 800-865-2513, www.timbuk2.com

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