Polar Bear Plunges are among some of the most absurd and unusual holiday traditions across the world. In most countries, polar bear plunges are planned as charity fundraisers for Special Olympics. On the other hand, in some locations, the plunges take place to solely celebrate the New Year. Wherever you are, you are probably within driving distance to a plunge, so, if you’re brave enough, try it out for a good cause!
The Special Olympics is the largest sports organization for people with intellectual disabilities. The competitive and fun games bring more than 4.9 million athletes together from more than 172 countries. Aside from the athletes, more than 1 million volunteers come together from all over the world. Cycling, basketball, speed skating and sailing are only a few of the sports the athletes compete in. The games serve as an inspiring reminder of unknown abilities and skills.
Every January, more than 10,000 people head to Sandy Point State Park to take part in one of Maryland’s “coolest” traditions. The plunge is hosted by the Maryland State Police to raise money for more than 7,000 Special Olympics Maryland athletes. Register today for the cool school, police corporate or regular polar bear plunge. If you aren’t ready to take the plunge into the water, sign up to be a vendor. Come out for the 22nd Annual Maryland Polar Bear Plunge Jan. 25–27.
In southern California, participants of the Polar Bear Plunge are “Freezin’ for a Reason” when they brave the cold waters and hop in the Paul Nelson Aquatic Center in North Santa Barbara, take a plunge in Big Bear Lake, jump in the ocean at Leadbetter Beach in Santa Barbara, or even swim in the Aquatica SeaWorld pool. There are plenty of options for children of all ages to take part in the chilly event. Be sure to bring warm clothes!
Minnesota takes the Polar Bear Plunge seriously. With more than 20 events January–March, more than 15,000 participants take part in the festivities. If you don’t want to risk hypothermia, you can donate online to support the cause. Not only do Special Olympic athletes compete each year, plungers compete for the highest donation amount. Take part in a group challenge with your friends or colleagues.
Wherever you are, take the plunge to benefit Special Olympics!
Part of a family who just loves a good scare or ghost story? This fall, wherever your travels might take you, chances are you’ll be near an Omni hotel or resort with a history of haunted sightings and other scary happenings. So, why not learn a bit about where you’re staying to make the experience all the more eerie …
United Airlines is in the midst of a major initiative to modernize its fleet over the next several years. After first announcing the plan in 2021, planes fitted with United’s signature interior are finally beginning to appear across the airline’s narrowbody fleet of Boeing and Airbus planes. United flyers are sure to notice these enhancements from the moment they step on board: Each new or updated plane sports remodeled seats, seatback entertainment screens for everyone, Bluetooth connectivity and more, all adding up to a better experience on every journey.
Overshadowed by nearby Portland and overlooked by tourists bound for the popular coastal towns of Camden and Boothbay Harbor, Brunswick is not on the radar of most family travelers in Maine. But couples looking for a cozy getaway will find fine dining, antiques, art and quiet streets for strolling, many lined by distinguished homes and well-kept gardens.
Not quite ready to say goodbye to summer? If the weather is forcing you to head indoors, you can still take advantage of a few opportunities to splash around in the waves, without even being that far from the beach — thanks to the world’s largest indoor beachfront waterpark, which opened this summer in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
As the only major U.S. airline to own a flight school, United Airlines already hit a major milestone, and now the carrier celebrates another important — and historic — step as the inaugural class of United Aviate Academy pilots graduates, leading the next generation of aviators. The 51 students in the graduating class were majority, at 80 percent, women and people of color — another stride toward United’s goal of training 5,000 new pilots by 2030 with half women or POC.
Halloween is right around the corner, which means its time to start making plans for spooky and scary stops for having fun with the family this fall. New York’s Cayuga County is always a fun visit for family travelers, but if you plan on being in the area this October, you will definitely want to explore its haunted history with some choice spots along New York’s Haunted History Trail. This curated list of haunted and spooky stops throughout New York features incredible locations showcasing the perfect combination of the state’s beautiful charm and fascinating history.