Here, there, and everywhere

“Self-Portrait, Monument Valley, Utah” by Ansel Adams
© The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust/Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
“Self-Portrait, Monument Valley, Utah” by Ansel Adams

Worcester’s art collection gets illuminated

Swing by the Worcester Art Museum to check out “lumina,” a floor-to-ceiling display in which animated images from the museum’s collection are projected onto hanging strips of illuminated silk. Visitors walk into and through the silk strips to experience the exhibit. See “lumina” through Jan. 20, and don’t miss the museum’s special programs, including the Salisbury Singers, Dec. 9 (2 p.m.), the Merrimack Valley Ringers Dec. 16 (2 p.m.), the Arms and Armor Demonstration, Dec. 15 (11:30-12:30 p.m. and 2-3 p.m.), and a Lego exhibit Dec. 7 through Feb. 1, among other events. Admission: $14, seniors and college students with ID; $16, adults (free first Sunday of every month). 508-799-4406,

MFA showcases Ansel Adams

See many of the photographer’s most famous prints, from snow-dusted peaks in the Tetons to aerial shots of a knotted roadway, in the “Ansel Adams in Our Time” exhibit at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts Dec. 13 through Feb. 24, 2019. The exhibition showcases the black-and-white photos Adams took from Wyoming to Los Angeles, the works of 19th century government photographers that influenced Adams, and images by more than 20 modern-day photographers whose photos highlight the concerns of the environment, land rights, and the misuse of natural resources as heralded by Adams’ legacy. Free with museum admission, which is also free for those age 6 and under and for those who are ages 7-17 on weekends and on weekdays after 3 p.m., including some holidays. Museum admission is $25 for those age 18 and older. 617-267-9300,

NYC hotel offers top views and location

Stay at a new Manhattan hotel that overlooks the East River and Brooklyn, and features artwork by locally commissioned artists. The AC Hotel New York Downtown just opened on Maiden Lane in Manhattan’s Seaport District. Look for the 33-story building with the wave-like geometric façade. The 274-room hotel has floor-to-ceiling windows, a suspended Italian marble staircase in the entryway, a Spanish tapas eatery called AC Kitchen, and the AC Lounge cocktail bar. From the hotel, you have easy access to the new Pier 17, Wall Street, Brooklyn Bridge, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, and the World Trade Center. Rates start at $229. 212-742-1900,

On Foot Holidays’ self-guided tour of Dordogne, France.
On Foot Holidays’ self-guided tour of Dordogne, France.

See France on a self-guided adventure


Discover France at your own pace as you wander through clifftop and fortified medieval villages in the Dordogne region on a new self-guided tour offered by On Foot Holidays. The trip takes walkers through Loubressac, Carennac and Autoire, members of Les Plus Beaux Villages de France (“the most beautiful villages of France”), and along the area’s sleepy byways and backwaters. The journey begins at Beaulieu and then climbs into the hills for four days before traversing the steep-sided valley of the Ouysse River to the end of the route at Belcastel. Walkers stay at traditional inns and small hotels along the route, including a chateau, and enjoy sumptuous French cuisine along the way. Complete the route in four, five, six, or seven nights. Rates start at $905 (four nights) to $1,360 (seven nights), based on double occupancy, and include lodging, breakfasts, luggage transfers, route notes, and other information.

Get a GRIP on your skis

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Forget your roof box this ski season. Kuat’s sleek new GRIP ski rack installs in minutes, firmly holds gear in place, and has an ingenious slide-out tray that makes loading skis and snowboards a cinch. The rack’s Flip Mount System fits both factory and aftermarket crossbars: Attach the four mounts onto your crossbars using the adjustable cam buckle system and then install the GRIP bars. Flip open the well-designed latch handles — easy to do, even with gloves on — and then slide out the two trays, load skis or snowboards, slide the trays back into place, and close the two top bars. The proprietary GripLock rubber holds gear firmly in place. Both the mounts and the GRIP bars can be locked using the same key (locks pre-installed). Kuat offers two different size racks, which let you load four or six pairs of skis (or two to four snowboards). Extra kudos: It’s a lot less cumbersome than installing a roof box for your adventures, and easier to store off-season. $349-$398.

Stay toasty with these heated jackets

Take the chill off during your winter travels with 8K Flexwarm’s ingenious heated jackets. These stylish athletic-cut jackets (go one size up than usual) have front and back heating zones that are powered by a lightweight, relatively slim 7500mAh power bank that slips into an inner hip pocket. Press the jacket’s built-in control buttons, located next to the left front pocket, and turn on the heating elements, which warm up to 122 degrees Fahrenheit in six minutes. Or use the Flexwarm app to control the jacket’s temperature settings in the three heat zones. The multitasking power bank comes with two USB ports so you can also recharge a smartphone or other small device while on the go. Men and women can choose from a vest, or a jacket with or without a hood; boy’s and girl’s jackets have no hood. $255-$319 adults; $191 kid’s jacket.