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Holiday Travel | Travel & Vacation Tips & Resources

Safe Travel Tips on Icy Roads

If you’re going away for the winter holidays this year, there are certain precautions to be taken while driving on icy roads, regardless of whether you are an expert and accomplished driver. Driving on snowy and/or icy roads is only possible when you are in control of your vehicle. But even then, it can take just one simple mis-step to lose control.

Even though the wheels of your vehicle have special tread patterns engraved on them to allow the tire to keep a firm grip on asphalt roads, this is not the case during a winter storm where the underlying ice makes for hazardous driving conditions.

The car, instead of gripping the surface of the snow-covered ice and screeching to a halt, will skid. The slippery surface of the ice-covered street does not allow for friction which causes the car to stop.

When planning to drive on snow-covered streets, it is important to:

  • Change the regular tires to snow tires and/or utilize chains on the tires as an extra safety measure. Also ensure the tires are properly inflated.
  • Drive the car slowly. Maintain an appropriate distance from the car in front of you so that if you do skid, you will be able to stop the car before hitting another.
  • If snow is falling when you are driving, it can restrict your view. This is why it is so important that you change the windshield wipers frequently. Use the heating system in the car, but keep a window open slightly to prevent the windows from fogging up inside.
  • Use extra caution when you are changing lanes or making turns. Signal well in advance of the turn so that the car behind you has adequate time to adjust their speed.
  • If your brakes give out, pump them. However, do not attempt to pump the brakes if your car is equipped with anti-lock brakes.
  • When skidding, turn the wheel towards the direction you are skidding; not against it.
  • If the roads are particularly icy, take a different route. Avoid hilly streets.


Visit the Annual Keene Pumpkin Festival in New Hampshire

Imagine standing in the middle of over 25,000 lit pumpkins that light up the Main Street in a U.S. city! This is a spectacular vacation that awaits you at the Annual Keene Pumpkin Festival in New Hampshire this fall.

The Keene Pumpkin Festival holds its annual event on October 17th. It includes a variety of fun activities for kids and teens. On October 16th, the community holds a special event beginning at 5 PM. For five hours, families bring their carved-out pumpkins to designated areas for the following day’s events. There is entertainment, hay rides, plenty to eat, and a glimpse into the main event which everyone anticipates on the 17th.

Known for holding the record for the most pumpkins lit, Keene exceeds the record every year. In 2003, there were 28,952 lit pumpkins lining Main Street, and this year promises to be the year that the old record is broken.

On October 17th, from 10 AM to 9 PM, your family can spend a glorious day in downtown Keene and participate in the many activities offered. Here are some highlights of what you can expect.

There is a kids’ costume parade featuring children dressed up in their most unique Halloween costumes. Your children may want to participate in this annual event! The parade starts at noon. In addition, there is food and entertainment, as well as crafts, face-painting, pie-eating contests, and lots of food.

There are plenty activities for teens, too. On Gilbo Avenue, there is a wall climbing event, a museum of odd pumpkins, entertainment, pumpkin seed spitting contest (really!), pie-eating contests, and a finale that the entire family will enjoy!

If you want to celebrate Halloween in a unique and fun-filled way this year, check out the Keene Pumpkin Festival in New Hampshire. There are Bed & Breakfasts, Motels, Hotels, and Inns available to accommodate you for the weekend. Make your reservations as soon as you can.

Here are directions to get to Keene, New Hampshire:

– From the North: Take Interstate 91 Exit 5 (Westminster, VT). Follow signs to Route 12 South to Keene.

– From the West: Take Route 9 East to Brattleboro, VT, turn left onto Interstate 91 North, then take Interstate 91 North to Exit 3. Route 9 East to Keene.

– From the Southeast: Take Route 2 West to Exit 24B to Route 140 north, east of Gardner. Follow Route 140 North to Route 12 into Keene.

– From the East: Take Route 101 West.

– From the Northeast: Take Route 9 West. Follow 9 into Keene. Once you arrive in Keene, follow the event parking signs.

Don’t forget to bring the family pumpkin! You may be the family who helps to break the all-time record at the Annual Keene Pumpkin Festival!


Spooky Fun in Philipsburg Manor during Legend Weekend

How would you and your family like to spend a Halloween weekend at Philipsburg Manor where ghosts, goblins, and things that go bump in the night are the main attractions? Well, you can by booking a Legend Weekend at Phillipsburg Manor located in Sleepy Hollow, New York.

The ghost of Ichabod Crane comes alive again during this fun-filled and spooky weekend vacation. There are two weekend events. The first is October 17 and 18, and the second is scheduled for October 24 and 25.

There are activities galore at Phillipsburg Manor, including pumpkin carving, games, children’s activities, cooking, and corn shelling. There are tours available around the property as well as Sleepy Hollow. There is even a Ghosts’ dance held in honor of the occasion.

Phillipsburg Manor is the perfect venue for a Halloween sojourn. It is known as the perfect landscape for this type of spooky weekend because it is situated along the same route that Ichabod Crane took according to the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. In fact, there is a pond on the property that can be accessed by a bridge. But watch out, there have been tales of ghostly apparitions floating on the pond!

For accommodations, check out the Tarrytown Courtyard by Marriott, which is only .71 miles from the Manor or the Doubletree Hotel Tarrytown, which is .30 miles from the Manor. Compare rates for these and more hotels and motels through Expedia or Priceline.

In addition, you may also want to visit Kykuit, a former Rockefeller Estate that is now the home to a collection of modern sculptures, Chinese and European ceramics, fine furnishings and exquisite terraces and gardens.

Another must-see is Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. Your family can obtain a map that shows where you can find some of the more famous landmarks. There is a sign near the entrance gate commemorating Ichabod Crane’s ride over the bridge to escape the headless horseman.

Look for the directions to Washington Irving’s grave, author of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Once you get to the Irving family plot, you can walk down into the Old Dutch Church Cemetery, which is the oldest part of Sleepy Hollow Cemetery.

For a fun-filled, exciting, and adventurous Philipsburg Manor Halloween, make reservations early as this is sure to be one spooky and memorable weekend.


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