10 for the Road
You can plan now to attend these weekend events, occurring within a few weeks and within a day's drive of Philadelphia.
1. Dolls, Toys & Teddy Bears. Stamford, Conn. Through Jan. 10. Vintage dolls, toys, and teddies pay homage to the playthings of yesteryear. Rare and private collections on special display. 203-322-1646; www.stamfordmuseum.org.
2. Harry Potter Scavenger Hunt. Cambridge, Mass. Through Dec. 31. Pick up a "Marauder's Map" and test your knowledge of Harry's world. Explore hundreds of specimens from wolves to wolfsbane at the Harvard Museum of Natural History. 617-495-3045; www.hmnh.harvard.edu.
3. First Night Montpelier. Montpelier, Vt. Dec. 31. A parade of lights, a disco-ball party, and a lantern launch with performances by the Bubble Circus and the Vermont Philharmonic. Also, a body workshop, puppet shows, and body art. 802-223-9604; www.montpelieralive.org.
4. Kwanzaa Family Day. Rochester, N.Y. Dec. 30. Celebrate the African American cultural holiday with storytelling, live music, African drumming, and the Kwanzaa ceremony. 585-276-8900; www.mag.rochester.edu.
5. New Year's Day Polar Swim. Block Island, R.I. Jan. 1. Join the polar swim and jump into the freezing water. Hot chocolate, Polar Plunge long-sleeve T-shirt giveaways, and a bonfire. 1-800-383-2474; www.blockislandchamber.com.
6. Lost World Caverns. Lewisburg, W.Va. Through March 31. Descend 120 feet and discover a cavern of stalactites, stalagmites, and sparkling calcite. Crawl on your knees through the caves, then visit the dinosaur museum. 1-866-228-3778; www.lostworldcaverns.com.
7. Million Dollar Rockfish Challenge. Virginia Beach, Va. Dec. 26-30. Join the largest cash fishing tournament in Virginia. Prizes, giveaways, bands, a cook-off, and the million-dollar catch. 757-496-7000; www.marinashoresmarina.com.
8. Holiday Trail of Lights. McArthur, Ohio. Through Dec. 31. Hike Lake Hope State Park, following the trail lit with motion-sensor lights, decorated trees, and landscape lighting. 740-596-3030; www.lakehopestatepark.com.
9. Train Exhibit and Garden of Lights. Wheaton, Md. Through Jan. 9. See model trains weave around Brookside Gardens Conservatory. Also, an 11-foot giraffe light display, lighted gazebos, fountains, and live music. 301-962-1400; www.montgomeryparks.org.
10. New Years' Gala. Washington Hilton. Dec. 31. Themed rooms: Bollywood dancing, speed dating, samba lessons, and a Lady Gaga impersonator. 202-686-5990; www.newyearseveindc.com.