Teen Movie High Schools
NAPOLEON DYNAMITE Preston High School, 151 E. 200 South, Preston, Idaho. Check out the town's Napoleon Dynamite festival, July 27--28 (prestonidaho.org).
GREASE Venice High School, 13000 Venice Blvd., Los Angeles. Used as the exterior of Sandy and Danny's Rydell High.
FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF Glenbrook North High School, 2300 Shermer Rd., Northbrook, Ill. Director John Hughes studied there.
BRING IT ON San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Dr., San Diego. Exteriors were filmed at the college, though scenes were shot at schools all over San Diego County.
HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL East High School, 840 S. 1300 East, Salt Lake City, Utah. Inside is where Troy and Gabriella fall in love in the irresistible made-for-TV hit.
Traveling With Thomas
Kids of the right age will be thrilled at the chance to take a 25-minute ride aboard Thomas the Tank Engine, the main character in the enormously popular books, toys, and TV series. From early spring to early winter, Day Out With Thomas excursions rotate to different locations throughout North America--in Strasburg, Pa., Florida, upstate New York, and beyond. 866/468-7630, thomasandfriends.com, $16 adults and kids 2 and up.
America's Most Scenic Train Rides
Arizona: After watching a staged shoot-out in Williams, passengers board the Grand Canyon Railway for a two-hour ride to the canyon's rim--where they have four hours to explore before the return trip. 800/843-8724, thetrain.com, from $65, $30--$40 kids. Near Sedona, four-hour Verde Canyon Railroad excursions wind through an isolated red-rock canyon where bald eagles nest. 800/320-0718, verdecanyonrr.com, from $65, $35 kids. California: The Sierra Railroad's 1897-era train has appeared in more than 300 films, including High Noon and Unforgiven, and departs from Oakdale, about an hour east of San Francisco, on themed excursions such as the Wild West ride. Watch out: At one point, the train gets "attacked" by a pack of ornery outlaws. 800/866-1690, sierrarailroad.com, from $49, $25 kids. Colorado: The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, America's highest and longest narrow-gauge line, has been traversing the southern Rockies since 1880. Tours, which last six to eight hours, cross high trestles, edge along precipitous gorges, and chug through mountain tunnels. 888/286-2737, cumbrestoltec.com, from $62, $31 kids, including lunch. Massachusetts: Departing from Hyannis, the Cape Cod Central Railroad passes through woodlands and cranberry bogs on a two-hour trip. A one-hour boat add-on gives a peek of the Kennedy Compound. 888/797-7245, capetrain.com, from $18, $14 kids. Washington: On the Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad, a vintage 1920s steam locomotive heads off from Mineral, 80 miles from Seattle, on a 90-minute ride through deep woods and past waterfalls--with many opportunities to spot 14,410-foot-high Rainier (if the clouds cooperate). 360/569-2588, mrsr.com, $15, $12 kids. West Virginia: Deep in the Appalachians, the Cass Scenic Railroad is part of a state park that has a preserved lumber town at its center. The train switchbacks up 11 percent grades on the five-hour ride to Bald Knob, the state's second-highest point. Dinner trains feature bluegrass music or murder mysteries. 304/456-4300, cassrailroad.com, from $15, kids $10.
F-1 Plane Pal: One-stop shopping with a tic-tac-toe board, an activity book, a six-in-one crayon, minibinoculars, and other amusements (flight001.com, $28). Rubberneckers: Travel bingo available in the original car edition and a new version meant for planes--after divvying up the cards, players might have to spot the words duty free, an escalator, or someone turning on the overhead light (chroniclebooks.com, $13). Slips & Ladders: Magnetized tortoises and hares race in a twist on the classic fable--and boardgame (eeboo.com, $13). World Traveler: Aspiring stylists pick a setting--the beach, mountains, an exotic palace--and dress their model in whatever magnetic clothing suits their fancy (mudpuppy.com, $14).
As Scary as They Look
Parents with kids who have allergies are accustomed to avoiding certain foods or substances at home. But a new set of concerns arises when traveling. "Things you may not think of can cause a reaction and make your child pretty miserable," says Dr. Neeti Gupta, allergy and immunology fellow at Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn, N.Y. Pollen: Depending on local climate, trees start producing pollen anytime from midwinter to late spring; summer tends to be the season in which grass allergies are a problem; ragweed issues occur in late summer and fall. Consult the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (aaaai.org) to scout pollen counts in U.S. cities. Mold: Stay only in well-ventilated lodging. Be extra vigilant if you're vacationing in a humid climate; mold counts are also listed at aaaai.org. Insects and Mites: Fire ants, found in the Southeast and Southwest, can produce life-threatening anaphylaxis in people who are allergic--and most folks don't know they're allergic until they're bitten. As a defense, wear long pants and ankle-high boots and use bug spray. For added protection, tuck your child's pants into her socks. (See fireant.tamu.edu for more precautions.) To control pests, some farms import Asian ladybugs--which can trigger itchy eyes and congestion in people who are allergic to cockroaches. Ladybugs can be a problem especially if you're staying at a farm. If your child is allergic to dust mites, bring anti-mite pillowcases. Also, request a hotel room that's never hosted pets. Eating Out: Chain restaurants often specify on menus whether nuts or other allergy-causing foods are used. Mom-and-pop joints will be less likely to list problematic ingredients--but if everything's homemade, they'll know what's in each dish. Always mention your child's allergies to your servers and have them double-check ingredients with the cook. Sensitive Skin: Bring your own shampoo, soap, and sunscreen, because an unfamiliar brand might cause a reaction.