Adventure vacations for kidsIf you don't know what to do...

TRAVEL SMARTS

May 23, 1999

Adventure vacations for kids

If you don't know what to do with the kids this summer, the current issue of Outside magazine has plenty of suggestions. It offers 117 "kid-approved adventures," including rafting, biking and hiking trips. Other features include family-friendly Hawaiian vacations, camping trips and Alaskan adventures. Family trips range from $640 to $1,580. The magazine is on newsstands through June 2.

Underground Railroad

When four slaves escaped from the Baltimore County farm of Edward Gorsuch in 1849, they joined the Underground Railroad movement and sought freedom in Christiana, Pa. After Gorsuch suspected the slaves of theft, he began looking for them, leading to the Christiana Riot of 1851.The riot ultimately influenced the 1857 Dred Scott decision in which the Supreme Court ruled that slaves were not U.S. citizens and had no rights.

Safe houses and other sites between Baltimore and the northeastern Pennsylvania town will be explored during a June 26 tour offered by Harford County-based A-Tours, Inc. A short presentation on the riot will be given.

The four-hour bus tour leaves from Hutchins Park in Havre de Grace at 10 a.m. Cost: $20 a person. For reservations, call 410-939-1133.

Oceanside New Jersey

Just in time for summer, the free, 148-page Jersey Cape guide is available with information on Cape May, the Wildwoods, Stone Harbor, Avalon, Sea Isle City, Ocean City and Cape May County. Order a copy by calling 609-465-7181 or writing the Cape May County Chamber of Commerce, Box 74, Cape May Court House, N.J. 08210.

-- Randi Kest

Vintage Virginia: good wine time

More than 40 wineries will be represented at the 18th annual Vintage Virginia wine festival in The Plains June 5 and 6. Visitors to the northern Virginia event can sample 250 different varieties and a selection of food, as well as enjoy music and browse craft booths.

Restaurants from the Washington area -- including Phillips Seafood Grill and Hard Times Cafe -- will offer tastes of their cuisine. Gourmet-food vendors will have homemade goods such as jams and jellies for sale, while craft vendors will be offering jewelry, candles, pottery, stained glass and sculptures.

Jazz, blues, reggae and pop music will be performed on three stages and a children's area will provide a carousel, petting zoo, train rides and face painting. Grape stomping, the most popular Vintage Virginia event, will enable kids to participate in the old-fashioned process of wine making.

Festival hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Great Meadow Field Events Center in The Plains, about two hours southwest of Baltimore near Warrenton. Advance tickets: $16 adults, $13 designated drivers, $5 under 21, free for children 2 and under. Gate prices: $20 adults, $16 designated drivers, $5 under 21, free for children 2 and under. Call 800-277-CORK.

SWEET DREAMS, TINKY WINKY

Visitors to San Francisco's Commodore Hotel can forget the chalky mint and no-name chocolate. Instead, they can opt for a different kind of bedtime turndown -- a Teletubby doll lounging on their pillow.

Guests who book the Teletubby Turndown Package -- offered through Sept. 31 -- stay in a deluxe room and are accompanied to dreamland by their choice of Tinky Winky, Po, Laa Laa or Dipsy from the popular British children's show. The Teletubby package costs $105 a night.

Those with more sophisticated tastes can enjoy the Commodore's Titanic Cafe and Red Room Bar. The Deco-styled boutique hotel is three blocks west of Union Square. Call 800-338-6848.

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