Art lovers and collectors will want to check out the first annual Hartford Artisan Showcase, a weekend-long juried exhibition debuting at the Connecticut Convention Center (Nov. 14-15). The show will feature more than 75 booths displaying original art and high-quality crafts including pottery, photography, furniture, glass, and more, made by artists from all over New England, such as vintage purses by Kathleen Scranton and custom jewelry by Vicki Thaler. The Artisan Showcase is the same weekend as Open Studio Hartford — an opportunity to visit artists in their studios throughout the city — and will be a featured stop on the Open Studio Self-Guided Tour. Adults $8, children under 14 free. Parking $7 all day. Free shuttle available to other Open Studio locations. hartfordartisanshowcase.com




Need a little glamour in your life during the holiday season? Don your festive cocktail attire and head to the Fairmont Copley Plaza for the Holiday Bacchanal, a five-course dining and wine-pairing extravaganza featuring a special menu from executive chef Laurent Poulain (Dec. 16; 7 p.m.). The dinner is hosted at long candlelit tables running the length of the hotel's lobby — an elegant and awe-inspiring location any day of the year — that on this occasion will be transformed into a sophisticated winter wonderland. Tickets $125 per person includes tax and gratuity. Reserve online. copleyplazaholi



Love nature but hate the thought of sleeping in a tent? The glamping vacations offered by TerraVelo Tours may change your mind about snoozing under the stars. Set on the lush grounds of the Pope Valley Winery, five-star safari tents (pictured below) offer guests an all-inclusive resort-styled vacation including a personal chef to cook all meals, hiking, wine tasting, blacksmith demonstrations, truffle hunting (followed by truffle-themed dinner), biking, cooking classes, olive oil tasting, and more. After gourmet s'mores, live music around the campfire, and stargazing lessons from a local astronomer, lay your weary head down on a memory foam bed — with Italian linens and down comforter, of course. Choose either the four-day, three-night Napa Weekend Escape (Nov. 19-22; Dec. 3-6; Dec. 11-13: $1,850 per person) or the five-day, four-night Holiday Glamping Celebration over Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's ($2,250 per person). 646-801-8076, terravelotours.com



Ring in the New Year with a celebratory tour of St. Petersburg, Moscow, and Suzdal on the 10-day Russian Winter Wonderland tour crafted by MIR Corp. In St. Petersburg, guests can either begin the New Year with feasting, toasts, and singing songs in a Russian home, or don tux and gown to waltz beneath tiered crystal chandeliers at the Czar's Ball in Catherine's Palace. Other trip highlights include Alexander's Palace, St. Isaac's Cathedral, Usupoff Palace, and an evening ballet or opera performance (St. Petersburg); the Tretyakov Gallery, Red Square, St. Basil's, and the Kremlin (Moscow); horse-drawn sleigh ride, and visits to onion-domed churches and monasteries in the Golden Ring (Vladimir and Suzdal). Limited to 16 passengers. From $5,695. 800-424-7289, www



Shoulder bags and backpacks can injure even the most seasoned travelers. In response to this dilemma, AmeriBag has designed the Healthy Back Bag, a stylish and functional bag whose teardrop shape is ergonomically designed for reducing stress on necks, shoulders and backs. Crafted to contour to the curve of your spine, the bag distributes weight asymmetrically to make heavy loads seem lighter. Interior padded pockets with zippers keep all your essentials — tablets, smartphones, chargers, wallet, tickets, passport, maps — safe and secure (pictured above). In addition, its multiple personal pockets are ideal for carrying cords, USBs, and headphones while pen pockets and key hooks offer quick access. Available in a range of styles, fabrics, sizes, and colors. $55-$90. 800-246-1292, www.ameribag.com/home.php




Kids can travel the globe at home with the imaginative Our Earth Interactive Map created by Children Inspire Design. Devoted to global education, the map is designed for children and parents to learn about the people and other animals that wander the earth. By playing with the 40 reusable nature-themed stickers, the goal is to appreciate and learn how to care for the world's natural wonders. Available in print, tapestry, and gallery-wrapped canvas. A percentage of sales is donated to global women- and children-focused initiatives. $65-$180. 877-246-2475, www