From the category archives:

Kids Stuff

More Way-Fun Fantasy Camps For Kids & Teens

by Alan Rider

Over the years, I’ve written about so-called fantasy camps more times than I can count.  And with good reason: Any program that gives you a chance to actually live out a long-held dream—whether it’s going one-on-one against basketball legend Michael Jordan or rocking out on stage with superstars like Roger Daltrey or Steven Tyler—definitely qualifies as an extraordinary experience in my book.
Just when I thought I’d seen every fantasy camp experience out there, however, I discovered several new and novel takes on the concept from the folks at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas.  While the subjects for these programs varies widely, all offer a chance for kids and teens [...]

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A Dancer’s Dream-Come True: Radio City Rockettes Experiences Are A Real Kick

by Alan Rider
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Many moons ago, I knew a young woman who—despite being, ahem, somewhat vertically-challenged—dreamed of becoming a member of New York City’s famed Radio City Rockettes.  If you’re an equally passionate amateur dancer with some training in jazz and tap and a curiosity about what life is like for members of the world’s best-known dance troupe, I’m betting you’ll dig these two once-in-a-lifetime Rockettes adventures.
The Rockette Summer Intensive is designed to give aspiring professional dancers a taste of what it takes to join this famous kick-line.  The week-long dance education program includes six hours of daily instruction from current Rockettes dancers and choreographers, a seminar with inside info on the Rockettes [...]

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Extraordinary Event: RoboGames Gives You The Chance To Say “Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto”

by Alan Rider
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For those of us who grew up on sci-fi movies and television shows like Forbidden Planet and Lost In Space, the idea of a world full of robots seems like some far-off fantasy. Which is precisely why this weekend’s RoboGames—a three-day event certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the planet’s largest open robotics competition—seems like such an extraordinary experience.
This six-year-old San Francisco-area geek-fest features the highly imaginative creations of individuals and teams from more than 20 countries, competing in dozens of events ranging from soccer to sumo. The stars of the show, of course, are the battling bots that come in sizes from 5.3 [...]

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Cool Camps (Part 1): 7 Summer Camps So Fun They’ll Make You Wish You Were A Kid Again

by Alan Rider
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There are more than 12,000 summer camp programs in the U.S.  Most of which are designed to fill their campers’ days with activities that haven’t changed much in decades.
The seven summer camp programs featured below are another story altogether.  While their themes run the gamut from filmmaking to fine cuisine, the one thing they all have in common—other than the fact that a lot of adults will wish they could sign up—is the fact that they offer kids a chance to actually live out the kind of extraordinary experiences they thought were only possible in movies, TV, and video games:
Feel The Force
This three-day Jedi Experience, held in conjunction with [...]

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Magic Man: 2 Places Where The Spirit of Houdini Lives!

by Alan Rider

Trolling around the internet last week, I noticed that today is Harry Houdini’s birthday.  Which got me thinking about the state of “magic” in our culture and science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke’s famous quote:

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

In an era of computer-generated trickery ranging from software-doctored photos in magazines to entire computer-generated worlds in movies like Avatar, the idea of someone performing old-school prestidigitation seems almost quaint.  Just the same, anyone who’s ever been wowed by updated versions of these traditional magic acts as performed by the likes of David Blaine or Penn & Teller understands that there’s some part of the human psyche that truly [...]

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Fashion Designer Dreams: 4 Fab Ways To Make Your Fashionista Fantasies Come True

by Alan Rider

Not sure how to put this delicately, so I’ll just come right out and say it: I don’t do fashion.  Unless, of course, you consider cargo shorts, t-shirts, and flip-flops to be valid fashion statements.
That said, I have a niece who reads every issue of Vogue cover-to-cover and has even started sketching out and stitching up some of her own creations.  Add the success of long-running television series like Project Runway and What Not To Wear and I’ve come to realize that there are an awful lot of people out there who share her passion for fashion.
Which got me to wondering if there was a way all these style-savvy folks [...]

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Horsing Around: How You Can Ride Into History With Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show

by Alan Rider

When I read that today was William “Buffalo Bill” Cody’s birthday, it made me wonder whether anyone out there was still putting on the kind of Old West extravaganzas this larger-than-life showman made famous in the waning days of the American frontier.  What I discovered will surprise city slickers and delight all those folks for whom cowboy skills are much more than just quaint historical relics.
You see, it turns out that Buffalo Bill’s Wild West is currently gearing up for its 39th season full of trick riders, fancy ropers, stagecoach robberies, Native American dancers and much more.  Modern-day impresario Montie Montana Jr. says he likes to think of this blend [...]

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