The Cape’s new summer concert series
The Falmouth boutique hotel The Coonamessett has launched a new concert series this season in its 250-seat redesigned music venue. The Coonamessett Ballroom hosts The Black Dog Concert Series, featuring up-and-coming guitarist Ron Artis II and The Truth on June 25 ($18-$22.50), high-energy blues and hip-hop artist G. Love on July 7 ($27-$30), and the rock-blues band Big Head Todd and the Monsters Aug. 25 ($37-$40), among others. Concertgoers can enjoy a pre-show drink on the outdoor deck overlooking Jones Pond, dinner onsite at Eli’s Tavern, and an overnight stay in one of the hotel’s 29 guestrooms or suites. Must be 21 to attend concerts, unless otherwise noted. 508-548-2300, www.coonamessettballroom.com.
Events honor the world’s refugees
Belmont World Film presents films and an art exhibit at the West Newton Cinema that salute World Refugee Month and aim to raise awareness about the world’s 22.5-million refugees. See “Los Silencios” on June 10, about a family that escaped the armed conflict in Colombia and settled on an island in Amazonia; “Eldorado” on June 17, about how refugees and migrants are treated in Europe today, contrasted with the director’s experience of hosting an Italian refugee girl during World War II; “Lifeboat,” also on June 17, a short documentary about volunteers who risk their lives saving refugees from sinking in rafts off of Libya; and “To the Four Winds” on June 24, about a French farmer who sheltered immigrants crossing from Italy into France. Films start at 7:30 p.m., followed by discussions led by expert speakers; tickets $10-$12. A photo exhibit in the cinema’s lobby features images of Massachusetts immigrants, some of whom live in Newton. 617-484-3980, www.belmont
See a flutter of butterflies
Surround yourself with tropical butterflies in the heart of Vancouver, B.C., this summer. The Vancouver Aquarium’s Graham Amazon Gallery is home to sloths, parrots, red-footed tortoises, among other critters. Through September, visitors to this re-created South American rain forest can also see thousands of butterflies, including blue morphos, giant owls, and heliconians. As you stroll along the exhibit’s boardwalk, you may see these winged creatures feeding on nectar or fruit, camouflaged on tree trunks, hitching a ride on a visitor, or courting a mate. Observe these invertebrates in different phases of life as they transform from pupae to butterflies in special viewing chambers. Then learn about the issues facing the Amazon’s more than 4,000 species of butterflies, and how these creatures play a key role in plant reproduction. Tickets: free for ages 3 and under to $38 for adults. 604-659-3400, www.vanaqua.org.
REI trips for youthful travelers
Meet up with fellow adventurers on trips geared to (roughly) 18- to 35-year-olds. REI’s new Under 35 trips take active travelers to nine different locations worldwide. Trips include backpacking in Whistler, rafting and hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains, trekking in Colombia,
feasting and hiking around the Greek islands, and spelunking in Vietnam, among other great adventures. These trips also offer more freedom and flexibility than traditional REI adventures, enabling participants to incorporate their own adventures, such as an independent afternoon hike, a cooking class, a night on the town, or a morning yoga session. Prices: $799-$2,299, depending on trip. 800-622-2236 www.rei.com/adventures/under35.
An easier way to take smartphone shots
Gripping your phone while taking a selfie or shooting video can be a trick, which is why Adonit’s PhotoGrip Qi comes in handy. This portable smartphone grip fits cellphones of varying sizes and lets you hold your phone more like a real camera. Sync it to your phone using Bluetooth and use the grip’s built-in shutter release — which doubles as a detachable remote — to take photos. Or attach the PhotoGrip to the included mini tripod — or any tripod with a standard ¼-inch thread — so you can take stable, high-quality videos or self-timer photos. The PhotoGrip also serves as a 3000 mAh wireless charger, enabling it to recharge your phone when attached. The PhotoGrip comes with a padded travel pouch and shoulder strap. $59.99. www.adonit.net.
A pillow that protects your head and valuables
This travel pillow not only gives you a good place to rest your head while on the road, but it keeps your valuables tucked away and safe. The Travist, made by Afitlabs, looks like a stylish sling but it has two surprising features: The clever bag comes with numerous hidden security pockets for stashing your passport, money, and other valuables while on the go — look for two Velcro pockets on the front and a stealthy and sizable zippered pouch inside — and a zippered compartment containing an attached inflatable pillow (perfect for pumping up and creating a good resting spot so you can snooze). The bag has a water-resistant nylon exterior. $69. www.afitlabs.com.