Remembering 9/11

Remembering 9/11
New York City, NY

Never Forget – Remembering 9/11

On September 11th, people all across the United States, and the world will solemnly remember the anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City. This was a moment of great pain, confusion, anger, and sadness for all living in the country at the time, and its impact was felt around the world. Remembering 9/11 is to honor the memory of the innocent lives lost, especially those of the brave men and women of New York’s police and fire departments who selflessly put their own lives on the line to save as many people as they could.

All over the place, you will see the words “Never Forget” proudly displayed. And Americans have not.

New York has been busy rebuilding at Ground Zero, the name for the site of the attacks. There is now a beautiful 9/11 Memorial, two recessed fountains in the ground where the twin towers of the original World Trade Center once stood. Walls of water cascade down the sides of the fountains and into pits in the center. Around the sides of both fountains, you can read the names of all the people who lost their lives in the towers. As you read the names, what will strike you is the diversity of their origins: it was not just Americans who were lost.

The centerpiece of the new constructions at Ground Zero is One World Trade Center, also called the Freedom Tower, which will take over the functions of the old towers. At a height of 1,776 feet, the new tower surpasses the height of the previous two, making it the tallest skyscraper in the Western hemisphere. The Freedom Tower is a testament to the resilience of the United States, proof that it is a country full of good people who work together to pull themselves out of the depths of sadness and pain to build something greater.

For those of you in New York City on Friday, September 11th, there are a number of memorial services being held. You can find the hours of operation for the memorial and museum on the official website and reserve tickets ahead of time.

For those who live in other parts of the country, you can honor the memory of the fallen by donating to any number of charities that were established in the aftermath of that day. Click here for a detailed list of the many different charity organizations.

Never forget.

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20

Kick Back on a Cool Trip Before Returning to Campus

 

Kick Back on a Cool Trip Before Returning to Campus
Back to School

Are you excited to return to campus? but before doing so, kick back on a cool trip!

Unless you spent the past few months at a research station in Antarctica, you will have probably noticed that we’re in the dog days of summer when the weather is at its muggiest, and the next school year is looming overhead like a dark shadow. Yikes! Pretty soon, all you college students out there will be saying bye to Mom, Dad, and your friends from back home, and either returning to your buddies on campus or heading there for the first time. It’s such a fun, yet challenging experience. At GotoBus, we think we’ve got a great idea: why don’t you grab a few of your friends together to set out on an affordable trip to one of the country’s best cities? There are so many hip activities happening all over, from music festivals to interactive exhibits at museums and more. We’ll be happy to help you kick back on a cool trip before returning to campus with a few last-minute event suggestions occurring across the U.S.A.

San Francisco

The Palace of Fine Arts is an absolutely beautiful monument, originally built for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exhibition. These days, it hosts art exhibits and other events, but any groups going to San Francisco should check out some of the games the facility hosts, such as scavenger hunts, which are fun for families, and friends. For a more intensive game that will test how well you and your friends can work together as a team, reserve tickets for the Great Houdini Escape Room. This puzzle challenge was originally designed by Harry Houdini himself, the most famous illusionist of all time, for the 1915 Exhibition, and is now celebrating its 100th year. Your group will have 80 minutes to solve a series of puzzles in an effort to get out. Keep in mind that only about 25 percent of teams are successful, so be sure to call your smartest friends!

Continue reading “Kick Back on a Cool Trip Before Returning to Campus”

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20

NYC Summers- Fun in The City!

New York City

New York, New York! No matter what time of year you visit this sprawling city, there will always be an endless series of events happening, but in summer, things really take off. Whether you’re rolling like a queen through Queens, chilling with the hipsters in Brooklyn, or living luxuriously in Manhattan, you’ll always be able to find free concerts, outdoor movie screenings, hip rooftop parties, and so much more.

GotoBus.com is a leading online marketplace where customers can book bus tickets, as well as hotel accommodations and more, from one convenient location. We also understand the importance of traveling on a tight budget, and we make it our goal to cater to the needs of such customers. And we just can’t get enough of NYC. We think it’s easily one of the most exciting cities in the whole world, so we’re always trying to sing its praises and convince people to visit. Below, we’ve compiled a short list of some events happening in the Big Apple over the next few months, making sure to throw in some that are totally free of charge, so you can enjoy the your vacation while still having plenty of money left over for souvenirs.

Shakespeare in the Park

There is a great deal to said about the fact that the iconic plays of William Shakespeare, who was alive about hundreds of years ago, are still performed today. They really prove that art contains a timeless power to reach people across time and cultures. Shakespeare in the Park, in its 53rd year, is held at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, is free (you just have to wait in line for a ticket), and runs continuously through the summer until August 23rd. This year, the park will be putting on Cymbeline, a story about a British king and his daughter. Shakespeare in the Park could potentially offer some odd surprises and quirks to theater-goers: in the past, weather-related issues have forced performances to stop-and-start at random intervals, and occasionally, some of the park’s local wildlife have made it onstage for a cameo. Boston, another city with a vibrant theatrical community, is only a few hours away. Book your bus tickets from Boston to New York starting at $18 one way!

Central Park, New York City

Swimming & More!

If you’re getting too hot, the city has about 14 miles of beaches that are loaded with activities. Take Coney Island, for example, an iconic landmark in Brooklyn, where you will find a lively boardwalk, a thrilling amusement park, and a huge cast of interesting characters. Nearby, you can also choose to go to Brighton Beach, an area traditionally filled with Russian immigrants, and Rockaway Beach, preferred by the hip, cool, and young since the Ramones named a song after it. On the New York’s Parks Department website, you view a list of the free outdoor pools in the city. Book bus tickets from Washington DC to New York for as little as $21 one-way to escape all that heated political debate!

Coney Island

Jazz Age Lawn Party

Do you ever find yourself daydreaming about the “Roaring 20s,” rereading F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel The Great Gatsby (or watched the Leonardo DiCaprio movie) over and over, and dressing up in your zoot-suit or flapper gown for a night of swing dancing? Or, instead, do you find that you don’t understand any of those references? Either way, you should check out this Jazz Age Lawn Party, an exciting outdoor event on Governor’s Island, scheduled for the weekend of August 15th. You’ll be able to dance the Charleston, Lindy Hop, or a bunch of other dance styles that you’ve never heard of (don’t worry: there will be people there to help teach you!). Tickets for the party start at $35. Chicago is another city with a deep history in the Prohibition Era, so this would be a great way for visitors from that area to connect to their own local history. Book your bus tickets from Chicago to New York for as little as $60 one-way.

Jazz Age Lawn Party, NYC

Waterfight NYC

Ready, aim, fire! When was the last time you were in a water-gun battle? Most of you probably couldn’t remember anything more specific than “When I was a kid.” And you know what? That’s lame! Water-guns are a blast (get it?) for all ages. This is obvious to the organizers of Waterfight NYC, an annual free-for-all water-fight welcome to all. Though the exact time of this event have yet to be revealed, we know that on July 25th, a massive crowd (last year, thousands of participants unleashed their battle cries!) will gather on Central Park’s Great Lawn for this ultimate showdown, the water-gun battle to end all water-gun battles. This event is free to attend; you just need to remember to arm yourself with finest in Nerf technology. Book your bus tickets from Atlanta to New York starting at just $35 one-way.

water fight

GotoBus is always happy to assist its customers in their quest to find affordable bus rates and accommodations wherever they wish to go. There are many other popular cities from where you can start your journey and grab your bus tickets to New York City. With our help, you will also be able to find thousands of routes to destinations across the USA, as well as a select few in Canada and Mexico. With more added each week, there’s always somewhere new to visit, whether you want to live large and in charge in the Big Apple, or have your heart set elsewhere. Visit GotoBus.com now to find your dream summer vacation. Have a great summer and happy travels!

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20

4th of July is Only Two Weeks Away!

4th of July

Now that schools around the country are starting to let out for the summer, you may only just be realizing that the 4th of July is about 2 weeks away! Crazy, right? Summer is the time to have some fun, travel, and visit your friends and family out of town. 4th of July is a long weekend, and it’s the perfect time to do just that. Visit GotoBus.com ASAP to book your bus tickets out of town for all of the holiday festivities before they sell out! Here are some fun suggestions to check out in some of the most popular cities around the country during America’s birthday weekend:

Washington, DC

Since the 4th of July is such a patriotic holiday, we thought it would be a good idea to start in our nation’s capital, Washington, DC! And what better way to do that than with a 4th of July fireworks show? Weather permitting, the show begins at 9pm from the Reflecting Pool area of the Washington Monument, but thankfully, you will be able to be see the show throughout many areas of Washington DC and Virginia. The best viewing spots tend to fill up very quickly, so be sure to arrive early. For tips and tricks on additional viewing areas and important information on road closures, please be sure to visit the official National Park Service website.

Did you know that DC’s National Zoo has free admission? You didn’t read that wrong, we said FREE admission. We know our customers are on a budget, and visiting this historic zoo is the perfect activity to kill some time instead of your wallet! One of the oldest zoos in the United States, it’s fitting that it is housed in our nation’s capital. The National Zoo has an impressive collection of animals such as pandas, elephants, butterflies, Komodo Dragons, Bald Eagles, and much more. It was even home to the original Smokey the Bear (“Only YOU can prevent forest fires!”). For more information on the zoo’s hours and events happening throughout the summer, visit their website.

Bus tickets from New York to Washington DC start at just $21 one-way.

White House 4th of July

Boston, Massachusetts

The Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular is known worldwide for its annual July 4th collaboration with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. This year’s festivities begin early when the gates open at 9:00AM on the 4th, though the actual concert doesn’t start until 8:30PM that evening, so please plan accordingly. This year, the featured performer along with the Boston Pops will be the Boston Crusaders Drum & Bugle Corps, the third oldest drum and bugle corps in the country. This is shaping up to be another Boston Pops show to remember! If you are not a fan of big crowds or cannot make it to Boston for the ceremony, you can still catch the entire show broadcast on TV instead. For more information on Boston’s 4th of July celebrations, please visit the following website.

The Lawn on D is a new, interactive, outdoor activity area in South Boston, something with a fresh perspective for Beantown. There are always different “pop-up” events happening here, geared toward people of all ages. From adult-sized swing sets to Friday Night Flicks (FREE movie nights where they show classics like Jaws; need we say more?), the Lawn on D has something for everyone! Be sure to “like” the venue’s page on Facebook and sign up for the e-mail list to stay up-to-date with the constantly changing events. For more information on this amazing and fun new feature in Boston, check out Lawn on D’s website. Trust us, this is something you need to check out this summer!

Prices for bus tickets from New York to Boston begin at only $18 per person one- way!

Boston Pops

Chicago, Illinois

It looks like the place to be in Chicago for the 4th is the Navy Pier! Though you can see fireworks from this area twice a week, the show for Independence Day certainly promises to be an extra-special occasion. Synced to music, the fireworks will be displayed right above Lake Michigan and are scheduled to start at 9:30PM, but you will need to arrive early since a very large crowd is expected. If you would like to try something a little different and want to view the fireworks away from the crowds, be sure to check out the Navy Pier website, which also has information on taking fireworks cruises and fireworks tours!

Grant Park is a public park with more than 300 acres to explore, the perfect place to spend the day walking around or take time visiting one of its many features, including the Art Institute of Chicago, Millennium Park (where Cloud Gate, a.k.a. “the bean,” is located), Buckingham Fountain, the Skating Ribbon, Petrillo Music Shell, Maggie Daley Park, and much more! To learn more about all the features included within Grant Park, visit the official website for Chicago’s Park District.

Bus tickets from New York to Chicago start at only $40 per person each way… what a great deal!

Chicago Navy Pier

New York, New York

Fourth of July wouldn’t seem complete without the annual fireworks show from Macy’s, and this year isn’t any different. Starting in 1976, the famous spectacle will once again be shown over the East River. There are many spots in The Big Apple to get a good view of the show, but you might want to get an early start to snag a spot. TimeOut New York has some great suggestions on the best places to view the fireworks, so you might want to check them out!

When we think of Coney Island, the first thing that comes to mind is usually the amusement park, but not for the 4th! On this day, something wonderful happens: a crowd gathers to witness the World-Famous Nathan’s International Hot Dog Eating Contest. Years ago, this contest started as a joke competition between some friends. Now, thousands of people watch this event in person, and it’s even broadcast live for the nation to see – truly considered one of the more bizarre “sporting” events of our time. Check out the event’s website for more information, including pictures and videos from past years.

You can grab bus tickets from Philadelphia to New York starting at just $12 a person – wow!

New York City

Las Vegas, Nevada

The great thing about Las Vegas is that since it’s the hub of entertainment 365 days a year, it won’t be difficult to find Independence Day celebrations in the area for the long holiday weekend. The Stratosphere Casino, Hotel & Tower will be setting off fireworks at 9:00PM, while Mandalay Bay’s celebrations not only include a fireworks display, but performances by the band 311 on July 3rd and July 4th. For more information on any of the 4th-themed events around Vegas, be sure to check out this website. We also recommend grabbing tickets to see Cirque du Soleil’s “O” show, a once-in-a-lifetime experience that we promise you will never forget! To purchase discounted tickets for “O”, please click here.

Purchase bus tickets from Los Angeles to Las Vegas beginning at only $10 a person.

Las Vegas 4th of July

GotoBus is here to make your travel plans go as smoothly as possible. This year, it’s lucky that The 4th of July falls on a long weekend, so you might as well use that as an excuse to travel somewhere with that extra day off from work. So, what are you waiting for? Visit GotoBus.com now to book your bus tickets – and don’t forget, if you also need somewhere to stay overnight, you can book your bus tickets and hotel together to get even more of a discount. Enjoy the holiday, and please stay safe!

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20

Spring is in Bloom at the Cherry Blossom Festival

Cherry Blossom

It’s that time of year again: after a long winter, we’re all ready for spring to start. Though we’ve been teased with a few warm, sunny days here and there, it’s hardly enough; what we really need is consistent streak of good weather, all the leftover snow to melt, and a quick getaway to relax and refresh. At GotoBus.com, we specialize in selling affordable bus tickets, providing you with a quick and easy way to book a trip, whether you’ve planned for months or waited until the last minute. Once you’ve purchased your tickets, you’ll also be able to book a hotel at your destination, making this a convenient, stress-free process so you can look forward to your trip. Or, save even more by booking your bus tickets and hotel at the same time!

This spring, we highly recommend traveling to Washington, D.C. to take part in the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival. In 1912, the mayor of Tokyo at the time gave the city a gift of 3,000 Japanese cherry trees as a symbol of friendship between Japan and the United States. Today, over 100 years later, the citizens of D.C. still celebrate this event with the festival, a three week long celebration scheduled to coincide with the blooming of the flowers. The trees are spread all over the city, especially on the banks of the Potomac River, giving Washington a beautiful pink and white trim that blends perfectly with classically-inspired white marble buildings like the U.S. Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial.

This year, the festival will run from March 20th to April 12th. Each day has multiple events scheduled, from concerts and art shows to parades and free admission to certain museums and attractions located all over the city, making the Cherry Blossom Festival a perfect excuse to see the best parts of Washington, D.C. while at the same time enjoying the increasingly warm weather of spring. Below, we’ve included descriptions for some of the most popular events. For a full schedule of activities, as well as other important information, visit the National Cherry Blossom Festival’s official website.

The festival will kick off with an Opening Ceremony, which will be held in the historic Warner Theater at 5:00pm on March 21st. During the show, several Japanese and American musicians will perform a diverse mix of jazz, soul, funk, pop, and classical tunes. One of the groups, the AUN J Classic Orchestra, exclusively plays traditional Japanese instruments, which is a perfect way to get a taste for that culture. If you’d like to stick with the musical theme, then you should also be sure to stop by one of the performances that are part of the Japanese Jazz Series, held at the Blues Alley nightclub in the Georgetown area. There are acts scheduled on most nights of the festival, and you will get to hear an interesting cross of cultures as Japanese musicians put their own unique spin on the classic American genre.

On March 28th, head over to the Washington Monument, where you can see the Blossom Kite Festival, a showcase for kite-makers to demonstrate their creativity. This event is perfect for children, who will love watching all the uniquely designed kites flutter around the sky. The festival has five distinct areas: the Competition and Demonstration Field, the Family Field, the Kite Club Display Area, Activity Tents, and the Public Field. This event will run from 10:00am to 4:30pm.

To close out the Cherry Blossom Festival, there will be a parade beginning at 10:00am on April 11th down a stretch of Constitution Avenue. Every year, the turnout is fantastic, and the parade ends up being one of the city’s largest spectator events. It’s free to attend, though you can also purchase a $20 ticket to sit in the grandstands. Large, elaborate floats, live performances, student marching bands from all corners of the country, and much more will all march past you in a grand display that brings the festival to a close while simultaneously announcing the arrival of spring in the grandest way possible.

With all those events and more, there will never be a shortage of activities for you and your family or friends to enjoy. Bus tickets to Washington, D.C. from New York City start for as little as $21. At GotoBus, you will be able to find bus routes to cities all across the country, no matter what your budget is. Here’s hoping you kick your spring off in a great way!

Cherry Blossoms

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20

Have a Shamrockin’ Good Time This St. Patty’s Day

everyones irish on march 17

Top o’ the morning to ya! St. Patrick’s Day comes each year on March 17th, celebrating the patron saint of Ireland. In the 1800s, many Irish began to immigrate to the U.S., and, as a result, many Americans trace their heritage back to Ireland. All over the country, cities and towns host parades to showcase the pride and spirit of their Irish communities, from sprawling urban areas like Chicago to smaller towns off the beaten path like Rolla, Missouri. As they say, “Everyone’s Irish on St. Patty’s Day!” so everyone is welcome to join in the festivities. Now, the only question that remains is where you will travel to celebrate this joyous occasion. Well, you couldn’t be luckier than if you plucked a four-leaf clover from the ground: GotoBus, the best place on the web to find affordable bus tickets, offers routes to cities all over the country. Since you can also book bus tickets and hotels together with just a few extra clicks to save even more money, there has never been an easier time to travel the country.

Boston

Of all the cities in the country, Boston is the most vocal about its Irish history. Even the city’s pro basketball team, the Celtics, borrowed its name and colors from this heritage. The neighborhood of South Boston (affectionately called “Southie”) will put on its annual parade on March 15th at 1PM. This year, because of the incredible volume of snowfall in the Northeast, the city of Boston has decided to run the parade along a shortened route, which will give you more time to enjoy yourself in one of Southie’s famous Irish pubs, like the L Street Tavern, made famous in the movie Good Will Hunting starring Boston natives Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. If you have a strong interest in U.S. history, especially from the 20th century, you should also be sure to head to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, which will host a performance of the Irish Balladeers, a musical group that plays traditional Irish folk music. Bus tickets to Boston are available for the low price of just $18.

St Patrick's Day

New York

The country’s largest St. Patty’s Day parade is held in the heart of Manhattan (don’t tell Bostonians that NYC beat them!), which makes its way uptown along Fifth Avenue, a street known for its upscale shops and boutiques. The NYC parade takes pride in its history of not allowing over-the-top floats and other commercial aspects to take part in the parade, which helps preserve the magic and purity of the occasion. The festive events don’t end there, though, and tourist should be sure to partake in taking a stroll through the historically Irish neighborhoods of Manhattan. If you plan on staying in the city, head on over to the NYC Craft Beer Festival (March 13th and 14th at the Lexington Avenue Armory), where you’ll be able to taste an unlimited amount of beers from over 75 breweries, because what’s St. Patty’s Day without a nice, cold one? At GotoBus, tickets to New York City are available for as little as $21.

St Patrick's Day Parade New York City

San Francisco

If you’re looking to get out to the beautiful West Coast, but still want to deck yourself out all in green and shamrocks, then San Francisco is the destination for you. This year, they will hold their annual parade on Saturday, March 14th. After the parade, you should head over to the Irish Festival at the Joe Alioto Performing Arts Plaza, where you will be able to enjoy traditional music, dance, and a never-ending supply of beer – let’s hope they’ve stocked plenty of Guinness! There are also plenty of local pubs that are hosting parties with performances by DJs, folk singers, and Irish rockers that promise to keep the celebration going all night long. Tickets to San Francisco start for as little as $35

St Patrick's Day Parade

These cities are just a few of the options you have; other places around the country that host large parades and festivals include Chicago, Seattle, and San Diego. And guess what? GotoBus.com offers bus routes to all three of those cities, and many, many more! Book your tickets now to ensure that you and your family have the luck of the Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. Erin go bragh (Ireland forever)!

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20

3… 2… 1… Happy New Year!

2015

Well, not quite yet, but the big night is right around the corner, and GotoBus is here to help you travel to some of the most exciting destinations across the country to close out 2014 with a bang.

As always, New York City will host its annual ball drop in Times Square, the largest New Year’s celebration in the world, which attracts an estimated one million spectators. From 6 PM to midnight, the streets are packed with people ready to turn the page to a new chapter in their lives, making resolutions for self-improvement, and seeking out that special someone for a New Year’s kiss. For decades, Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve will host live musical performances. This year will be hosted by Ryan Seacrest, and feature the boy band One Direction and America’s sweetheart, Taylor Swift.

If you’d like to avoid the crowd at the ball drop, there are a vast number of events and parties you can attend. Madame Tussauds Wax Museum is already one of the city’s most popular attractions, but on NYE it becomes even more exciting when it hosts a party among its wax figures, letting you “party with the stars.” The party includes a 4-D cinema, an open bar, appetizers, and entertainment that is appropriate for guests of all ages. In the museum, you will have access to the viewing gallery on the 54th floor of the Hyatt Tower, which provides an excellent point-of-view of the ball drop. This will let you enjoy the iconic celebration far above the crowded streets. Bus tickets to New York City start for as little as $20.

Times Square New Years Eve

Las Vegas is the only other city that can boast a New Year’s celebration as wild as New York’s. Celebrities love to join in the festivities here, so you could be sharing a champagne toast with one of your favorite stars! This year boasts some of the best live shows and concerts that Vegas has ever hosted. At the Chelsea, you can see the legendary Tony Bennett duet with the ever-inventive Lady Gaga. Listen to the greatest hits of Britney Spears as the pop-star performs at Planet Hollywood. For a laugh, check out Joel McHale, star of Community and host of The Soup, at the Mirage. Or perhaps, you want to ask the timeless question of “Turn Down for What?” with Lil Jon at Surrender Nightclub.

The point is, there are a near-endless amount of concerts, shows, and parties to choose from. Vegas is the place to be for NYE, baby! But don’t forget the best part: at midnight, the many casinos on the Las Vegas Strip host a synchronized fireworks display, illuminating the dark sky over the desert with a vibrant display of colors. Purchase your bus tickets to Las Vegas from Los Angeles now, for as little as $25.

Las Vegas New Years Eve

On GotoBus.com, we can also help you book hotels (save even more when booking your bus tickets and hotel stay at the same time!), so you can focus on what is really important on New Year’s Eve: partying

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20

Thanksgiving Travel & Events

Thanksgiving

In 1620, the Pilgrims landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts, after a long, difficult voyage across the Atlantic Ocean from England. After barely surviving their first winter, they feasted after a successful harvest in the following year, sitting down with the local Native Americans who had helped them learn to farm in their new land. This celebration set the foundations for Thanksgiving in the United States, which became a national holiday during Abraham Lincoln’s presidency.

While the story of the Pilgrims’ hard journey is an important piece of American history, one thing we can all be thankful for is the vast improvements in transportation since their time. Traveling long distances no longer takes multiple months, but only a few days, at most. This is important because Thanksgiving is such a busy time for traveling, with many people trying get to their families around the country. At GotoBus, we want to make it easy for everyone to travel in a relaxed but timely way. Below, we’ve listed some special Thanksgiving events happening in cities around the country. If you see something you like, head over to our website, and book your bus tickets now!

Presidential Turkey Pardon, Washington, DC

Each year since Harry Truman’s time in office, the president has been gifted a turkey on Thanksgiving. But in 1989, George Bush pardoned his turkey (the president has the power to pardon anyone convicted of a crime, allowing them to go without punishment). This act has been repeated annually on the front steps of the White House. This year’s turkey is still in need of a name, and everyone is encouraged to submit their ideas at this website, where they can also find links to the Ohio Poultry Association’s social media pages that post photos of the turkeys as the grow and prepare for Thanksgiving. In addition to this ceremony, there are plenty of other events in the Washington area. Visiting some of the major monuments and memorials in the city is a great way to show thankfulness for the many proud Americans who have helped make this country great! Bus tickets to Washington DC start around $20.

Obama Thanksgiving turkey Pardon

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, New York City

This annual march through Manhattan has been celebrated since the 1920s, and features giant inflatable balloons depicting beloved cartoon characters and various other floats. Some of the most popular balloons are icons like Snoopy, Pikachu, Spongebob Squarepants, Shrek, and many more. There are performances from notable pop musicians and celebrities, as well as a material from newly released Broadway shows. The parade has become as much of a celebration of American popular culture as it is about Thanksgiving, making it a perfect event for families with younger children, who will be absolutely thrilled and amazed to see giant versions of their favorite characters. It is one thing to watch the parade on television, but it’s another to witness firsthand the immense size of these balloons, many of which require up to 90 handlers. The parade runs for about 3 hours beginning at 9:00am on Thanksgiving morning. Make sure you’re in town for it by booking your bus tickets to New York, which can be found for as little as $18, as soon as possible!

Macy's Thanksgiving day parade

Black Friday in Barstow, California

The day after Thanksgiving is known as Black Friday, and it is become one of the biggest shopping days of the year. Stores nationwide have special markdown sales on some of their best items, and many open their doors from midnight to midnight. The Tanger Outlets in Barstow, California (about midway between Los Angeles and Las Vegas), will open at 6:00am on Friday and have extended hours all weekend. Some of the Tangers’ most popular stores are offering amazing deals, like 50-75% off everything at the Gap Outlet! Visit the website to find an extensive list of the sales, and bus tickets to Barstow are available for around $30.

Black Friday

No matter where you plan on going for Thanksgiving this year, you are sure to find some great events around you. GotoBus.com is always happy to help you get there (and find a hotel, too!), so visit our website and book now. Have a happy and safe holiday!

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20

Columbus Day Celebrations on the East Coast

Mayflower

Compared to other holidays, Columbus Day is somewhat low-key. Many people use the long weekend to travel with their families, allowing for a nice break in the middle of fall. Most major cities around the country host a parade to honor Christopher Columbus, who in 1492, discovered what we now know as America. What exciting news will you bring back from your travels? Below, we have described the Columbus Day celebrations going on at some of the most-visited cities in the country, along with other events happening over the course of the weekend.

New York City

New York City’s annual parade gets far less coverage than the much larger St. Patrick’s Day Parade or the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and though there are no balloons depicting beloved cartoon characters, this parade is a fun way to experience the city without having to deal with excessive chaos. It begins with a 9:30am mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, before the parade ends at 11:30, marching down the stretch of Fifth Avenue between 44th and 72nd Streets. The parade ends near Central Park, which always provides fun exploration opportunity. If you head to the Flatiron District, bring your kids to the four day grand opening of the brand new Lego Store location. They will be hosting fun activities here all weekend, like building a 20-foot tall replica of the Statue of Liberty.

New York City Columbus Day Parade

Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C. does not host a parade on Columbus Day, but it does host a special ceremony each year at the Christopher Columbus Memorial Fountain, located in Union Station Plaza. Representatives from the embassies of Spain and Italy, as well as members of the public, lay wreathes at the base of the statue in his honor. Members from local chapters of the Knights of Columbus are always in attendance, while many other organizations, such as the US Army and Navy, have also taken part in the past. The statue itself is worth examining for its symbolism. Standing in front of the depiction of Columbus himself is a winged-figure, a depiction of “Discovery,” while two men, an old one and a Native American, are positioned on either side, representing the “old world” and the “new world.” If you’re around DC for Columbus Day weekend, be sure to catch this ceremony. On the 11th and 12th, you should also stop by the Taste of DC, a street festival that takes up five blocks of Pennsylvania Avenue, offering local eateries a chance to showcase some of their best-tasting dishes, which lasts from noon to 7pm both days.

Christopher Columbus Fountain - Washington, D.C.

Boston

For those of you heading to Boston this Columbus Day, the North End hosts the liveliest events. Though Columbus sailed for Spain, he was originally born in Genoa, Italy. Because of this, Columbus Day in this country often serves the dual-role of being an Italian-American pride day. Boston’s annual parade runs through the heart of the North End, the city’s historically Italian neighborhood, ending in the appropriately named Christopher Columbus Park, where there will live music, games, and other activities, like a storyteller, magician, and juggler to entertain children. Once the parade is over, head down any one of the narrow streets of the North End to explore one of the oldest and most beautiful parts of the city, where you will find some of the best restaurants around.

North End, Boston

Wherever you wish to go this Columbus Day weekend, GotoBus is always ready to help you get there! Visit GotoBus.com to find out more information regarding schedules and rates.

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End of Summer Playtime for the Whole Family

Playtime for the whole family. One more trip before the summer ends, please!

End of Summer Playtime for the Whole Family
Summer Fountain Fun

Alas! Summer is coming to an end, and, as always, it was too short. Kids are dreading the approach of the school year, and their parents are wishing they had one last opportunity to escape the stresses of work and enjoy the beautiful weather. Fortunately, there is still time to book a perfect family getaway and end the summer with a bit of playtime for the whole family. Below, we have listed some of our favorite cities, each with one amazing playground for the kids and a nightlife event for the adults.

New York City

Teardrop Park

A section of the larger Tribeca, Manhattan, this is not a traditional playground, with swings and jungle-gyms, although there is a large slide that is sure to leave your kids laughing. Teardrop Park is marked by heaving rock formations that help to hide the surrounding city, giving this place an atmosphere of calm seclusion amid the hustle-and-bustle of the country’s busiest city. Along with the slide, the park features a large sandbox area, a tunnel under one of the rock formations, a reading circle, multiple sitting greens, and the “water rocks,” a fountain built into one of the rocks.

Nuyorican Poets Cafe

Founded in the Alphabet City neighborhood of Manhattan in 1973 to give the city’s large population of Puerto Rican writers a venue to showcase their talents (“Nuyorican” is a term for a New Yorker of Puerto Rican descent), this is one of New York’s best performing arts venues. Striving to give voice to artists who would otherwise be underrepresented in mainstream culture, the Nuyorican hosts a diverse array of events, from theater and music pieces to slam poetry every Friday night.

San Francisco

Adventure Playground (Berkeley)

Wow! This is a one-of-a-kind playground, located in Berkeley across the bay from San Francisco, and is sure to make parents envy their children. It features forts, boats, and towers, all designed by children, for children. Kids can go wild on the zip-line, or get in touch with their creative sides by painting. It is recommended to wear sturdy shoes (no sandals or flip-flops!) and clothes that can get wet and dirty. See the park’s website for a full list of rules and other information.

After Dark at Exploratorium

Held at San Francisco’s Exploratorium, a facility showcasing “how the world works” through engaging, interactive scientific exhibits After Dark is a nighttime series for adults only that mixes science, art, cocktails – a winning trio. Each night focuses on a different topic, with names like “Tricks Are Treats” and “Decay.” This show offers it all: live performance, film, music, technology, alcohol, stimulating conversation – there is something for everyone. Visit the Exploratorium website for a full event schedule and a list of After Dark themes.

Boston – Harvard Square

Alexander W. Kemp Playground

A newly redesigned playground that still retains the look of an older, wooden playground, Kemp Playground, north of Harvard Square, has structures built on small hills and sand that facilitate climbing, swinging, and sliding, with areas suitable for all young ages from toddlers up. The mission of its designers was to create a space that incorporated both playing and learning about the surrounding world.

Oberon

The second stage of Cambridge’s American Repertory Theater (ART), Oberon mixes theatrical performance into a nightclub setting, featuring many shows, both temporary and regular, that usually would not get the same attendance on the ART’s mainstage. Many of these shows are interactive, such as the highly popular “Donkey Show,” a disco-reimagining of William Shakespeare’s beloved play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, complete with divas, roller skates, and glitter, held every Saturday Night. Visit the ART’s website for a full event schedule and other information.

 

Don’t miss out on your chance to be the “cool parent” and book an awesome trip to one of these cities, or any of the other destinations you can find on GotoBus.com, where you can easily book both your bus tickets and hotel stay together to save even more!

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