Here, there, and everywhere




Anyone who has read J. R. R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings,” Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes books, or J. M. Barrie’s “Peter Pan and Wendy,” no doubt has a map inside their head of where these iconic characters travel to in their adventures, from Middle Earth to the streets of London to Neverland. At the Boston Public Library central branch’s “Literary Landscapes” exhibit, in the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center, you can see these places as imagined by various artists. The exhibit of 40 maps covers a variety of fictional genres, including the above as well as “A Map of Narnia and the Surrounding Countries,” “The Voyage of the Pequod from the Book Moby-Dick by Herman Melville,” and “Map of the Countries Near to the Land of Oz.” Through October. 617-536-5400,


If you can’t travel to Asia to celebrate the Lunar New Year, head to the Museum of Fine Arts on Feb. 21 instead. Free admission and a full slate of events are planned to ring in the Year of the Goat. Highlights include a Chinese Lion Dance parade through the galleries, with a performance by Gund Kwok, the only Asian women’s dance troupe in New England; 30-minute guided tours featuring masterpieces from the Asian art collections; and interactive demonstrations of Gong-Fu, a form of Chinese martial arts, by children from the Chinese Culture Connection. Other activities, such as storytelling, painting Zodiac animals on scrolls, and paper art-making are among the family-friendly events going on throughout the day. 617-267-9300,



This year marks the 102d anniversary of the 3,000 Yoshino cherry trees presented by the mayor of Tokyo to the City of Washington as a “memorial of national friendship between the United States and Japan.” Each year, the nation’s capital celebrates with the three-week-long National Cherry Blossom Festival (pictured at right), which kicks off this year on March 20, and boasts everything from a grand parade to fireworks to a kite festival. Of course, area hotels and restaurants all offer themed specials, but the Fairmont Washington, D.C., Georgetown’s Cherry Blossom Package includes discounts for Segway and bike tours, an ideal way to get around town to see the blossoms and evade the thousands of visitors in town for the festivities. Available March 1-May 31. Rates start at $259.

800-441-1414 or www.fair



Philadelphia is home to the country’s first horticultural society, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, founded in 1827. Two years later, the organization held the Philadelphia Flower Show, an event that’s still a spring highlight almost two centuries later. This year, the theme is “Celebrate the Movies” and floral and garden designers are using Disney and Disney Pixar films as inspiration for exhibits. Displays will cover movies such as “Cars,” “Frozen” and “Maleficent.” Homage will also be paid to 1920s movie palaces, with columns of trees and grand chandeliers dripping with blossoms. Visitors will enter through an Art Deco theater facade topped with a marquee of flowers and lights in blazing neon colors. Feb. 28-March 8. 215-988-8800,



Gociety, a social network for people who love the outdoors, just launched in Boston. The free website and app (pictured above), developed by former Skiing magazine staffers, connects you with like-minded adventurous people, whether you’re at home or traveling (more locations are constantly being added). You’re unlikely to walk up to a stranger and invite them adventuring. Gociety lets you introduce yourself first. You can log on and post your plan for any activity, like a weekend ride or an after-work run, as well as search for what other members are up to (you can filter by region or activity). Once you see a plan that looks like fun, you can request to join it.


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Armchair travelers have one more reason to stay home: Try the World brings the flavors of the globe straight to their doorsteps. The company sends a gourmet box with seven to 10 full-size goodies from a different destination every two months, with the promise to “capture the essence” of places such as France, Italy, Brazil, and Japan. It works with local chefs and other specialists to find unique items; each box includes a card describing the items, plus a culture guide with music, movies, recipes, and more. The price ranges from $33-$39, depending on whether you prepay or not (shipping is free). If you don’t want to commit to a box, visit the website to shop for a variety of international artisanal foods.