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November Happenings!

By BT Editor
November 2, 2022
Enchanted Forest
Enchanted Forest at Morton Arboretum - Courtesy of Morton Arboretum

Mermaids at Sea Life Aquarium

Mermaids at Sea Life Aquarium
Mermaids Dive - Courtesy of Sea Life Aquarium

Kansas City, Missouri Now – November 13th

These seven magical maidens are a fanta-sea come true! Watch as the mermaids dive into the Ocean Exhibit with sea turtles, sharks, and other aquatic friends. Come see these beautiful mermaids dive with their friends. The dives take place Friday – Sundays at various times. Be sure to look for them on land for some Meet & Greets between 9:30am – 5 pm.

Las Vegas Days Rodeo at CORE Arena

Las Vegas Days Rodeo
Las Vegas Days Rodeo - Courtesy of the Las Vegas Days Rodeo

Las Vegas, Nevada - November 11 and 12th

The rodeo will feature bull riding, barrel racing, team roping, tie-down roping, steer wrestling, saddle bronc riding, breakaway, and bareback riding, with prize purses totaling $40,000 and custom belt buckles for champions. The event will also feature a free Whiskerino contest, Mutton Busting, historical exhibits, and coloring contest for Southern Nevadan children in grades kindergarten through six.

The Whiskerino contest returns to the rodeo this year. Free to enter, the contest offers prizes in multiple categories including Longest Beard, Longest Mustache, Best Natural Beard, Worst Beard, and Most Unique. Participants are encouraged to dress in Western attire or early 1900’s period costumes. Registration is open until Oct. 28 on the Plaza’s website. Participants must be present at the rodeo to win.

If your child wants to become a cowboy/girl make sure to sign them up for the Mutton Busting! The sheep riding competition is open to children ages 4-10 who weigh less than 60 pounds. The winner gets a commemorative buckle. Registration and more details can be found here.

Both nights start at 6 p.m. (gates open at 5 p.m.). Admission is free but RSVP is recommended online.

Universal's Holiday Tour at Universal Orlando

Grinch Universal
Grinchmas Courtesy of Universal Orlando

Orlando, Florida - November 12 through January 1, 2023

Embarking on an exclusive guided tour - Universal’s Holiday Tour and encounter the mean, green one himself, the Grinch, while enjoying a delicious breakfast during the popular The Grinch & Friends Character Breakfast. Enjoy a meet-and-greet and photo opp with Santa Claus and cap off the night in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade with an exclusive, after-hours showing of “The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle” – a stunning projection of holiday spirit and Christmas moments inspired by the beloved “Harry Potter” stories brought to life on the majestic Hogwarts castle.

Tickets begin at $79.99 (plus tax) and separate theme park admission with a 2-Park 1-Day Park-to-Park ticket is required.

Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum

Human and Nature sculpture Hallow
Human and Nature sculpture Hallow - Courtesy of Morton Arboretum

Chicago, Illinois - November 19 through January 7, 2023

You will explore 18 different features along a tree-lined one-mile walking trail immersed in color, light and sound created exclusively for The Morton Arboretum. Within this array, six new exhibits will join returning favorites such as Treemagination and Hug-a-Tree, including a spectacular finale in the Arboretum’s new Grand Garden.

This year is the addition of Electric Illumination, an 18 and older late night event, 9:30-11 p.m., Dec. 16, 23 and 30, featuring an eclectic, DJ-curated mix of Trance and Progressive House music synchronized to the breathtaking light displays.

IllumiBrew returns for a special pre-opening event Nov. 17 and 18 for guests 21 and older to enjoy craft beer tastings along the Illumination trail. The annual light exhibition highlights the beauty and form of trees in winter. Warm concession tents offer beverages and snacks such as s’mores kits to enjoy by crackling bonfires along the route. In addition to the new Grand Garden spectacular, a traditional favorite, Meadow Lake Magic, will be completely reimagined to include 15-foot-high mirrored towers floating in the water with light beams shooting from atop each into the sky. Among the interactive features will be Shadow Play, a new touch-free wall where guests can express themselves while casting colorful shadows. Two of artist Daniel Popper’s Human+Nature exhibition sculptures will be featured in this year’s exhibition.

Illumination tickets are on sale now, ticket prices range from $10 to $35 per person. Children under age 2 will be free of charge. It will open each evening at 4:30 p.m., with the last entry at 8:30 p.m., and lights will go out at 9:30 p.m. with the exception of Electric Illumination late-night hours from 9:30 to 11 p.m..

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Travel TipsBudget Travel Lists

The Top 6 Apps to Help You Save For Your Next Vacation

Bored of your daily routine? Want to relax on a sunny beach or on top of a freezing mountain? A long vacation helps you remove your boredom and rejuvenate with freshness to better battle the daily chores. However, we know many of you, perhaps, are worried about budgeting your vacation. Where does the money come from? What if we tell you that we found the top 7 apps to help you save for your next vacation? Isn't it exciting to let an app manage your budget and keep you on track for your dream holiday? On top of it, we selected these apps carefully so that even a non-tech-savvy person can use them with relative use. Yay for user-friendly technology! #1 - Mint Mint, without a doubt, is the most widespread and renowned budget app. With its intuitive usage and maximum coverage, the app helps in every financing activity of our daily lives. Using Mint, you can track your expenditure, pay bills, and check your credit score with relative ease. You can also link your credit and debit cards and your bank account with the app to record all your financial information. It's just one click away! What's more, Mint is highly secured; you won't have to worry about losing your private information. The best benefit of Mint is it's free and easy to use. Using Mint, you can save your money for tours in the best places to spend a vacation around America. #2 - Qapital Qapital may not be as famous as YNAB or Mint, but it does the job of managing your goals for any plan with perfection. The clever app allows you to set financial goals for different purposes, including your next trip. Once you set your targeted amount and probable date for the trip, the app takes you to a customized screen. Here you can set rules for your expenditure to fulfill your goals. It's AI technology will help you tailor the rules and maximize a user-friendly experience. What's more, once you have set the goal, it will assign an attractive photo next to the rules. As it keeps showing you the progress, you will feel motivated. Last but not least, the app is available on all platforms, including websites, iOS, and Android. #3 - YNAB YNAB is another popular financial and budgeting app for all people. So, you may be already familiar with its name. YNAB stands for You Need A Budget and lets you set a goal for every penny you earn. You can quickly split your budget for housing, lodging, food, and not to mention your future vacation. Since you can split your earnings and keep a record of your spending with a few clicks on the mobile screen, it simply just makes your life easier. Once you set your next vacation goal, the app will update you about the progress. The only downside? You'll need to pay $99 for a year or $14.99 a month once the trial period gets over. But isn't it worth it for your dream vacation? #4 - Trabee Pocket Trabee Pocket is a dedicated app to help you save for your next vacation. The app permits you to set different goals for different requirements of your daily life, including trips and tours. The best feature of the app is its ability to switch and swap between other currencies, which allows you to know exactly how much you need for your favorite tour in the proper currency. Also, it differentiates between your credit and cash purchases, helping you out with how much you have left. It is an excellent way to stop over-expenditure that may deter you from going on your holidays. This feature can be game-changing for those who use travel rewards for credit cards. Also, knowing which credit card offers more flexibility in your post-vacation payment is a winning moment even before your tour. The app is free and available on both Android and iOS platforms. #5 - Digit Are you having trouble budgeting your money and deciding how much you can save each month from visiting somewhere like Disney World or Navagio Beach? Fret not…. Digit, with its nearly endless features, is ready to do the job for you. Once you download the app and connect it with your bank account, and set your vacation goal, it will automatically pull money from the account. So, budgeting and managing your next vacation will get easier and simpler. Once you set your goals, Digit uses its intelligent AI and algorithm to check your daily expenses, purchasing habits, monthly income, and vacation expenditure. Then, it will start deducting money and pull it into your savings without troubling your mind. So, you will save a good amount without even knowing about it. The app offers 30 days of a free trial. After that, you need to pay $5 while signing up. What's more, it provides a 1% saving bonus every 3 months based on your daily spending. #6 - Acorns Is there anyone who hasn't used a piggy bank in their childhood? If kept securely in a piggy bank, even a tiny amount of change and spare money can become a substantial amount over time. Acorns have embraced this concept and applied it to help you save for the next dream vacation. It is a micro-investing intuitive app. The app permits you to save your spare change and get a profitable return according to your goal. You can connect your credit and debit card along with banking information as well. The intelligent algorithm of the app will then transform your spending and purchases into round figures and save the excess amount to return as a good savings strategy. And better yet, it starts merely at $3, and the app is user-friendly with great instructions and an eye-catching design. So, what's your next holiday destination? Set your goal and let one of these apps take charge to fulfill your dream. You will love how these apps will save your money without troubling you daily and fulfills your vacation requirement for a refreshed lifestyle.

Budget Travel Lists

2022's Best Foodie Cities in America

Americans today apply the term “foodie” to anyone who loves gourmet dining. But foodie culture isn’t limited to restaurants. Foodies enjoy discovering new and unique flavors wherever they can find them, including in their own kitchens and less prominent establishments like street food stalls. For these people, the experience of eating is elevated to a hobby or even a lifestyle. Naturally, being a foodie can be quite expensive, especially during the heavy inflation of 2022. Restaurant prices rose 8% just between August 2021 and August 2022. Even cooking your own gourmet meals can be pricy, as grocery store prices rose 8.3% between August 2021 and August 2022. Fortunately, culinary hotspots across the U.S. offer plenty of affordable options for cash-strapped foodies. These wallet-friendly cities cater to diners who prefer to cook at home, explore the local flavors or both. To determine the best and cheapest foodie scenes, WalletHub compared more than 180 U.S. cities across 29 key indicators of foodie-friendliness. Here are the Top 5: 5. Austin, Texas JewBoy Restaurant - Austin, TX - Courtesy of jewboyburgers.com 4. San Francisco, California Ferry Building, San Francisco - Andreykr/Dreamstime 3. Miami, Florida 27 Restaurant, Miami, Florida - Courtesy of Justin Namon 2. Orlando, Florida The Monroe - Courtesy of themonroeorlando.com 1. Portland, Oregon Jacqueline Bar Portland - Courtesy of Maya Stanton To see the full list and the methodology click here.

AdventureBudget Travel Lists

10 Macabre Cities to Visit for Halloween

Some U.S. cities are perfect to visit during Halloween because of their spooky or mysterious culture, like the above ground cemeteries and voodoo traditions in New Orleans, the famous 17th century witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts, or the Headless Horseman legend in Sleepy Hollow, New York. New Orleans, Louisiana From above ground mausoleums and tombs to haunted hotels to voodoo culture, New Orleans has a distinct culture that involves elements of the macabre. Founded in 1718 before the United States was officially founded, it has a history full of urban legends, including werewolves prowling the bayou or vampires in the French Quarter. Popular landmarks include the tomb of Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau in the St. Louis Cemetery, walking past the gruesome past of LaLaurie Mansion, or Blacksmith’s Shop Bar where the ghost of pirate Jean Lafitte resides. Walk the cobblestone streets past brightly colored houses with iron balconies on a ghost tour on a foggy night to experience the unusual. Savannah, Georgia Savannah may ooze more than southern charm. With more than 300 years of gruesome history, the entire historic district is reportedly haunted. There’s been rumors and sightings of paranormal activity at Hamilton-Turner Inn as well as Marshall House, a haunted hotel that was a hospital three times in the past. Madison Square was the site of a bloody Civil War battle and has many haunted mansions that line the streets. Wander through Bonaventure Cemetery or Colonial Park Cemetery if you dare. Sleepy Hollow, New York This village thrives in its folklore history due to the Headless Horsemen in the famous story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving. You may experience a ghostly encounter when walking through Sleepy Hollow Cemetery or exploring the town by lantern and shining jack-o-lanterns. Wander through popular colonial era manors include Philipsburg Manor, Van Cortlandt Manor, or Lyndhurst Mansion to learn more about local Sleepy Hollow history and haunts. Salem, Massachusetts Founded in 1626 as a Puritan fishing community, Salem is the location of the famous 1692 Salem witch trials in which Colonial America’s mass hysteria led to 19 people being hanged with more dying from other causes. Much of the town’s cultural identity revolves around this event, and many of the sites from the witch trials over 300 years ago still stand. Many historic sites are reportedly haunted, including one of the oldest cemeteries in the country, Old Burying Point Cemetery, and home of a Witch Trial Judge, The Witch House. Explore the muted colors of the town and brick-paved streets yourself to learn more about the sinister history rooted here. Tombstone, Arizona Riddled with a violent past, this historic mining ghost town is said to be home to lingering spirits of cowboys, grieving mothers, and citizens killed in large fires. OK Corral, the site of the famous Old West gunfight, is reportedly haunted by the cowboys. Boot Hill Graveyard and Bird Cage Theatre are popular destinations where unexplainable phenomena occur in Tombstone. St. Augustine, Florida Presumably the oldest city in the United States, St. Augustine was founded in 1565 by Spanish explorers and is home to centuries of history, beautiful houses, and supposedly, spirits. The masonry fortress Castillo de San Marcos is the location of many battles and invasions. Dangerous criminals in grotesque conditions were held at The Old Jail and apparitions with tragic deaths have been described at St. Augustine Lighthouse. Stroll the cobblestone streets among the Spanish colonial architecture to immerse yourself in this ancient city. San Francisco, California Among the vibrant scenery and sloping hills, some locations around San Francisco may send you chills even amidst the warm weather. Alcatraz, or “The Rock,” is a famous maximum-security military prison and haunted landmark that housed inmates including Al Capone. See if you hear voices or footsteps behind you if you visit. Take your pick of the macabre from friendly ghosts at The Queen Anne Hotel, dead army men performing their daily routine at the National Park The Presidio, or ethereal beings at the Sutro Baths. Charleston, South Carolina Known as a port city with cobblestone streets and horse-drawn carriages, Charleston also has some dark history from the first shots of the Civil War fired at Fort Sumter to slave labor on plantations. Learn about the macabre with locations like the White Point Garden where 50 pirates were hanged in the 1700s, the Old City Jail which housed the state’s first female serial killer, or The Old Exchange Building & Provost Dungeon which held Revolutionary War soldiers. San Antonio, Texas Bursting with rich culture and modern attractions, San Antonio also has a creepy past. The Menger Hotel is reputed to have strange occurrences but is decidedly the location of The Battle of the Alamo, Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders recruitment, and a devastating fire. The Southern Texas region also gives way to the Spanish urban legend of La Llorona, the weeping woman. Walk along the river or visit the Alamo Williamsburg, Virginia Existing as early as the 18th-century, Williamsburg has diverse Colonial America history, including part in the U.S. Civil War. Not all of its history is for the faint of heart though. Said to be cursed by the slave of the wife, the Peyton Randolph House was built in 1715 and the location of at least 30 deaths. The Public Hospital was the country’s first insane asylum. other haunted locations are the Wythe House, colonial prison Public Gaol, and Fort Magruder Hotel which was the site of the Battle of Williamsburg in 1862.

Budget Travel Lists

5 Unique Things to Do in Los Angeles

Los Angeles is known as “City of Angels” or the "Entertainment Capital" is known for world-class museums, championship sports teams, beautiful beaches and one-of-a-kind culinary experiences. Travel beyond these typical tourist activities and enjoy 5 unique Los Angeles experiences. 1. Haunt O' Ween LA: The Biggest Family Halloween Experience Haunt O' Ween LA - Courtesy of nbclosangeles.com September 30 – October 31, 2022 at 6100 Topanga Canyon Blvd, Woodland HillsDuration: there is no time limit - spend as much time as you'd like!Cost: $40 - $70 - all ages welcome. Children under the age of 2 go free Enjoy every Halloween activity in one expansive family-fun adventure.Go trick-or-treating in the Town of Haunt O' Ween, wander through the streets of Ghoul City, visit the Farm House, venture into the Hidden Hollows…Explore over 200,000 sq ft. full of performances, games, decorations, photo ops, rides, and more immersive entertainment. Take part in a dance-off in the spooktacular Beyond the Grave Rave or jump the sugar off in multiple custom bounce houses & inflatable slides. Make your own potions at the Moonlight Magic DIY Potion Bar. Participate in an exclusive “Daniel Spellbound” experience hidden within the adventure. Enjoy a wide selection of food & beverage, including adult treats! Get Tickets for the Haunt O' Ween LA Experience 2. Flutter: A Multi-sensory Immersive Experience Flutter Experience - Courtesy of Flutter Now – End of 2022 at Flutter, 217 S La Brea, L.A.Duration: 1 hour and 30 minutesCost: $35 - $90 - all ages welcome Need an escape? Make your way to flutter! Rated as America’s number one art experience, enjoy the one-of-a-kind immersive adventure where art and happiness meet. Flutter has brought incredible artists together to transform 14 rooms into spaces that will inspire you to play, create, imagine, and explore. Let the guide take you through the multi-room experience with a different sensation and adventure in each art-filled space. From projection mapping and virtual reality to painting and dancing, there is something around every corner to stimulate your mind. If a museum and a playground had a baby, it would be flutter! Get Tickets for the Flutter Experience 3. Candlelight Día De Los Muertos: Celebrating the Day of the Dead Candlelight - Courtesy of Fever November 1, 2022 at Ovation Square Long BeachDuration: 60 minutes (doors open 45 mins prior to the start time and late entry is not permitted)Cost: $35 - $70 - 8 years old or older. Anyone under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult Candlelight concerts bring the magic of a live, multi-sensory musical experience to awe-inspiring locations like never seen before in Los Angeles. Get your tickets now to discover the music from traditional songs to music from Disney Pixar’s Coco by Divisi String Quartet at Ovation Square Long Beach under the gentle glow of candlelight. Get Tickets for the Candlelight Día De Los Muertos Experience 4. 2nd Annual Long Beach Oktoberfest Octoberfest Longbeach - Courtesy of Fever Now – October 9, 2022 Friday thru Sundays at 855 Elm Ave, Long BeachDuration: there is no time limit - spend as much time as you'd like!Cost: $20 - $125 - 21+ with valid ID on Fridays. All ages are welcome on Saturdays and Sundays. Children ages 14 and under enter free of charge It’s Long Beach’s second annual Oktoberfest extravaganza! Celebrate all things German with authentic Bavarian beer, delicious food, and more. The world-famous Festmeister Hans und Die Sauerkrauts will command the stage with music, performances, and games. And don't forget to don your Lederhosen or Dirndl as dressing up for the event is highly encouraged. The brats and beverages are waiting for you! Get Tickets for the Long Beach Oktoberfest 5. House of Spirits: Vaughan Hall House of Spirits: Vaughan Hall - Courtesy of Fever October 15 – October 31, 2022 Mondays & Thursdays thru Sundays at Casa Vertigo, Los AngelesDuration: 2 hours. Pre-show lounge opens 45 minutes before your scheduled show time. Cost: $65 - $101 - 21+ with valid ID - You are encouraged to dress up for the evening, be it in costume, cocktail attire, or your favorite time-period clothing! This is an immersive theatrical cocktail soirée, where adults do Halloween in a haunted mansion. Enjoy miniature craft cocktails and enjoy a night of macabre magic, tarot readings, strange roaming specters, secret games. There is a dark legend surrounding Vaughan Hall, but the truth behind the legend is far more disturbing. You will have 2 hours to savor a flight of miniature craft cocktails, sample darkly decadent chocolate truffles, and unravel the mystery to learn the sinister truth behind the demise of the Vaughan clan. The characters and themes of House of Spirits: Vaughan Hall are loosely based on the famous haunting of Loftus Hall in Ireland. The show also touches on Irish folklore and myths throughout the centuries. Get Tickets for House of Spirits: Vaughan Hall Note: If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission from our partners - thank you!

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