Events

Heathrow Airport, Madame Tussauds get Royal Wedding fever

Royal Wedding fever is getting, well, feverish.

When Prince Harry and Megham Markle get hitched on Saturday, Heathrow Airport will make sure passengers don’t miss a thing.

The airport promises that on Saturday all TV screens in the terminals will be tuned to BBC News 24, which will offering live wedding-day coverage.  Giant TV screens tune to BBC1 will be set  up in Termionals 3 and 4 as well.

Inside the terminals, arriving passengers will be treated to 1,000 ”royal’ lemon and elderflower cupcakes, which are inspired by Harry and Meghan’s break-with-tradition lemon elderflower wedding cake with buttercream frosting and fresh flowers.

Special Royal Wedding cocktails are being servied at the United Club this week and over the weekend at Heathrow as well.

For those who can’t make it to Heathrow, the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum has revealed a (funny-looking) bobblehead of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

And, back in London, Madame Tussauds has added a Meghan Markle wax figure standing beside a refreshed Prince Harry.

 

Out and about in April: cheap, free and offbeat adventures

 

 

(OVO by OVO Collective) 

Spring flowers are out and so are crops of cheap, free and fun festivals and events around the country. Here are some highlights from a round-up I pulled together for Travel + Leisure.

Fiestas in San Antonio

¡Viva Hemisfair! (April 6-8) in San Antonio’s Hemisfair district marks the 50th anniversary of the 1968 World’s Fair, which was held with great fanfare in the Alamo City.

The three-day festival will include free music and cultural performances, public art, historical exhibits, a ‘60s-themed fashion show and other fun throwbacks to the 1968 fair.

The 11-day Fiesta San Antonio (April 19-29) started with a single parade back in 1891 and today brings multiple parades and more than 100 other free and ticketed events, including carnivals, balls, arts fairs, concerts and more to streets and venues in the city.

See the light in Baltimore

Light City, a free large-scale light, music and innovation festival take overs the waterfront in Baltimore, MD April 14-21 with a full line-up of performances and free concerts, an opening night parade, closing night fireworks and 21 brand new juried light installations by artists from around the world.

SPAM fan?

Waikiki’s SPAM Jam festival returns to Honolulu on April 28. The annual street festival offers three stage of free music along with crafts, souvenirs and food booths serving up – what else but – a surprising variety of dishes incorporating the canned ham product first introduced in 1937 that remains especially popular with Hawaiians.

Park it in a National Park

While admission is free at many of the more than 400 national parks sites around the country, more than 100 site normally charge an entrance fee. Avoid the fees in every park on April 21, the first day of  National Park Week (April 21-29, 2018) when many parks offer special programs and events as well.

Book it to Berkeley

The free two-day Bay Area Book Festival (April 28-29) returns to downtown Berkeley, CA for the fourth year with a full line-up of authors and speakers, children’s programs, arts installations,  and hundreds of literary exhibitors. There’s also a (ticketed) series of conversations and film screenings about literature in partnership with the Berkeley Art Museum and the Pacific Film Archive.

Mister Rogers at PIT Airport; Aerial dancers at San Diego Int’l

This week it is impossible to choose just one Airport Amenity of the Week, so we’ll declare a tie.

Pittsburgh International Airport is having a fun event Friday, March 23, to honor Fred Rogers and the Mister Rogers Neighborhood children’s TV show that was produced in Pittsburgh and first aired 50 years ago.

Between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in PIT’s Airside Center Core, airport employees wearing red cardigans will be offering travelers refreshments and handing out free buttons and red shoelaces. A big chalkboard will be set up, so passengers can share memories of watching the TV show during its 33-year run.

The cardigans, the shoelaces, and the “You’re Special, Too!” slogan printed on the buttons are homages to Rogers, who would always tell viewers how special they were and who started each program by putting on a zip-up cardigan and changing out of his loafers into sneakers.

PIT’s event is timed to coincide with Friday’s release of a Mister Rogers Forever stamp and the airport’s post office on Concourse D will have those new stamps to sell. More details here.

 

(Courtesy SAN Airport, photo by Alan Hess)

The next round of the performing arts residency program at San Diego International Airport kicks off Wednesday, March 28 with an aerial rope performance post security in Terminal 2. The event will feature acrobatics, trapeze work, music and dance.

The performers are from the Astraeus Aerial Dance Theatre and during a six-month airport residency, dancers and acrobats from the troupe will interact with passengers and create, rehearse and perform new content inspired by what happens at the airport.

So next time you’re at SAN – look up!

Travel Tidbits from JFK and LAX

For the next four months, 14 hand-drawn, large-scale illustrations of iconic New York city locations, such as the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty, can be seen in the corridors of Terminal 4 at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.

The work is hand-drawn by British-based artist Chris Dent and also includes 18 smaller illustrations of NYC staples such as subway trains, taxis, slices of pizza and coffee cups.

National Employee Appreciation Month is being marked at Los Angeles International Airport with a Gold Star recognition program that celebrates employees who provide great service.

To make it easy for travelers to nominate a badged LAX employee, the airport has created a web form.  Nominations can also be made by texting STAR to 52948. Anyone who works for the airport, airlines, concessions, service providers, TSA and Customs are eligible.

To encourage travelers to particpate,  LAX Guest Services staff will be in the terminals next week sharing information – and handing out goodies.

Airport Restaurant Week at O’Hare & Midway Airports

Airport Restaurant Week is underway again at Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway Airports now through February 8.

The in-airport food fest brings a taste of the citywide Chicago Restaurant Week into the airport for ticketed passengers who will get to enjoy cooking demonstrations in the terminals, in-store-samplings, and a wide variety of giveaways and special offers in shops and restaurants.

Passengers who stick around after the cooking demos will get to taste the freshly-made dishes and take home free souvenirs, including an Airport Restaurant Week chip clip and a recipe book (while supplies last).

At O’Hare, cooking demos will take place each weekday between the hours of 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. The stages are in Terminal 2 near Gate E1, in Terminal 3 near Gate H3 and in Terminal 5 near Gate M7. At Midway, the cooking demos will occur at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. each weekday in the main food court, just past the security checkpoint.

Check the schedule to get more details about the cooking demonstrations, free-sampling events – and recipes –for Airport Restaurant Week events on special webpages set up for Chicago’s O’Hare Airport and Chicago’s Midway Airport.

At O’Hare, check the schedule for Fannie May and Godiva chocolate sampling events taking place at Sarah’s Candies, popcorn sampling at Nuts on Clark, and other sampling events for smoothies, Chicago Hot Dogs, caramel apples and other treats. Many restaurants and shops will also be offering discounts and gift-with-purchase specials.

At Midway Airport, Airport Restaurant Week will not only offer in-store samplings and a full schedule of cooking demos, including beer, pizza, poke tacos, and more, but also a sneak peek at some of the new eateries being unveiled as part of a major concessions upgrade that includes BIG & little’s and the return of Harry Caray’s 7th Inning Stretch.