Recreation

Do shrunken heads snore? Sleepovers at museums & attractions

If you’re curious about what happens in museums, zoos, aquariums and offbeat attractions after hours you’re in luck.  For a slide show on Bing Travel – Critter Campouts – I found plenty of places where you can camp with critters, sleep with fishes and dream with dinosaurs.

(Courtesy Georgia Aquarium)

Since then, I’ve found even more. For example, it turns out you and your friends can spend the night at the Titan Missle Museum in Sahuarita, Arizona.

(Courtesy Arizona Aerospace Foundation)

For the Bing Critter Campouts show, I was able to squeeze in 11 sleepover sites.  Some of them are just for kids. A few set aside a few nights for adults-only overnights. But most are open to families, making them an unusual alternative to at least one night in a hotel during a vacation.

Here are just two of my favorites:

Do shrunken heads snore? Do two-headed taxidermy cows moo in their sleep?

Brave souls can find out during a night inside Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Extreme Sleepover at the Times Square Odditorium in New York or at the Bedtime with the Bizarre overnights at Ripley’s outlets in Williamsburg, VA, Gatlinburg, TN, Grand Prairie, TX and several other locations. Make it to morning and you’ll get to take home a “Survivor” certificate.

And on June 30th, after the San Francisco Giants play the LA Dodgers at AT&T Park, 400 fans will get to race into the outfield to pitch tents for the 8th annual San Francisco Giants Slumber Party.

Evening activities include baseball, of course, as well as movies, peanuts, popcorn and pizza, games, goody bags, photos on the field and a chance to get autographs from former baseball stars.

For more surprising sleepovers, see my Critter Campouts slide show on Bing Travel.

Souvenir Sunday: panda hats from PEK airport

Happy Souvenir Sunday!

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Shopping is always a great way to spend some time when you’re stuck at an airport. You just never know what you’ll find.

That’s why here at Stuck at The Airport we celebrate Souvenir Sunday every week.

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This week: cute panda hats from China’s Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK). The photo is courtesy of Michael Crockatt (left), from Canada’s Ottawa International Airport Authority (left) and Carol Hutchins (right), from the Edmonton International Airport.

PEK LOGOPEK airport seems huge  – Terminal 3, which opened for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, is the second largest airport terminal in the world – but not boring.

According the airport Web site, an entertainment center at the airport offers:

“…Chinese tea ceremony, beauty saloon [I think they mean salon, but a beauty saloon seems intriguing],  hairdressers, foot care house and so on. …There is time-meter hotel in the first underground floor,  …You can also go to the cinema hall to enjoy the latest films or go to enjoy Chinese massage.”

All that sounds great, doesn’t it?

But this is Souvenir Sunday, so let’s celebrate those panda hats (and the brave models) and let me invite you to send along your photos of a fun souvenir you’ve found at the airport.

There are just a few rules: to be featured on Souvenir Sunday, an airport souvenir needs to be under $10, “of” a city or region and, if possible, just a wee bit offbeat.

Like those panda hats!

Stuck at Oakland Int’l Airport? Play golf.

[Update: Seems like the bridge opened Monday after all.  So you can play golf next time you’re stuck at the airport.]

Looks like holiday-weekend repairs on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge didn’t work out as planned so the bridge will open Wednesday morning instead of Monday.  If the traffic nightmares leave you stuck at Oakland International Airport longer than you planned, keep in mind that there’s a golf course (Metropolitan Golf Links) on airport property.

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Links from the airport Web site will get you free rental clubs and a discount on parking.

Spring flowers at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport

For the next two weeks it will definitely be spring at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport – thanks to an indoor flower garden filled with ten of thousands of lilacs and purple and white tulips in full bloom.

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The garden has a flower stall and picnic tables where travelers can sit and rest and take in the fragrances and the colors – and marvel at the fact that there’s a giant garden inside the airport.

All these flowers come from Keukenhof, the world’s largest flower garden, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year.

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Kuekenhof, in the town of Lisse, welcomes more than 800,000 visitors every year. This is their first off-site display garden.  You’ll find it in Schiphol Plaza, the public area of the airport with shops and the entrance to the train station.

Photos courtesy Amsterdam Schiphol Airport

Tulip field at Amsterdam Airport

Heading to or through Amsterdam Schiphol Airport during the first two weeks of April?

You could happily spend your whole vacation at the airport, what with the massage spa, the snooze chairs, the casino, the kids play area, the museum, and all the great shops, restaurants and artwork.  They even have a YOTEL there, where you can book a room for a few hours for a nap and a shower.

For two weeks in April, the airport will also have a sea of flowers.

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The blooms are courtesy of Keukenhof,  the world’s largest flower garden, which is located near Lisse, Netherlands.

Each spring, close to a million people trek out to see the 70-acre showcase of more than 7 million flowers- which include more than 1,000 varieties of tulips.

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This is the first year the park is displaying some of those flower beyond Lisse.  So you can get a real taste of Holland without ever leaving the airport.

Look for the mini-Keukenhof at Holland Schiphol Plaza (before passport control).