The mad bobbing of sunny yellow toy ducks vying for the finish line has become a popular community event and fun family activity around the world — with many events staged to benefit local or national charities. Event-goers “adopt” a brightly colored, numbered rubber duck, pop it into a water source (usually a river or a stream) and wait to see which duck crosses the finish line first. Winners typically are awarded a prize donated by a race sponsor, while proceeds from the duck adoptions go to benefit a specific cause.
The first such race was staged in South Australia decades ago, and have since found their way into communities around the world. Ready to quack out? Here’s where you can enter your own rubber racer:
Luxembourg City’s annual Duck Race will see contenders floating along the Pétrusse River from an official launch below the Viaduct. The race takes place in spring, and various elimination races lead to the ultimate winners, bestowed with gifts donated by race sponsors.
Rocky Mountain ducks will race at a variety of locations, including Estes Park and Boulder. The Estes Park Rotary Duck Race Festival boasts a line-up of events, including the Duck Waddle 5K and plenty of live music. The race day in September begins when ducks are dropped into the frigid waters of Fall River at Nicky’s Steakhouse, and ends at the George Hix Memorial Riverside Plaza Festival. Live commentary accompanies the event. In the fall, ducks race through the center of Boulder along Boulder Creek during The Great Boulder Duck Race.
In an area of England described as home to some of the country’s boggiest, muddiest terrain, the annual Splat Quack Go event takes place in July. The venue is Poplar Park in Hollesley in Suffolk’s green, rolling countryside. In the cityscape of Manchester, The Brainwave Manchester Duck Race benefits children and includes a race down the River Irwell and a full day of duck-themed, family-friendly events.
In Wetumpka, Alabama, the River Region Duck Dash offers a $1,500 cash prize to the winner. Gold Star Park is the setting, and an estimated 5,000 competitors are anticipated. The event also includes activities and entertainment throughout the afternoon after the ducks take off from Bibb Graves Bridge.
Elsewhere, look for Iowa’s Ottumwa Duck Races in Ottumwa, also held in September; the Incredible Duck Race in May in Tampa, Florida; and The Capital City Pluck-a-Duck in Washington, D.C., in September.
Florida’s oceanfront Shelborne South Beach, an iconic and glamorous 1960s destination, was revamped for 21st-century families. Its fanciful allure — and fabulous pool and tropical beach access — is an exciting family destination in the heart of the historic and walkable Miami Art Deco District.
With technology advancing faster than ever, children globally are becoming attached to devices. Adults too. Our Netflix queue and ever-expanding inbox call our names even when we’re on vacation. We carry distractions with us everywhere, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to truly connect with your loved ones.
Although Alaska may not be on everyone's radar, it might move higher on your family’s must-visit list when they learn more. There are countless activities and breathtaking sights throughout the state, plenty of wildlife to see and much more, whether you spend time in the top tourist areas or venture off to explore Alaska’s hidden gems.
As I wander the canals of Amsterdam on a bright spring morning, the sun plays on the water as shoals of cyclists navigate the tight streets. The city’s inimitable narrow houses teeter overhead, and one particular street erupts in a riot of color as the De Wallen red light district gives way to the Singel canal to the south.
While urban wine country might sound like an oxymoron, it’s actually a reality at the stunning City Vineyard in New York City’s Tribeca neighborhood. The water-side venue is the perfect host for your next event — whatever that may be, from 20 to 200 guests and from cocktail party to plated dinner.
Harvard Medical School released a study that mothers and daughters who take at least one trip together per year have less stress, stronger immune responses, decreased risk for heart disease and more. That’s right: It turns out spending quality time together provides benefits similar to sticking to a healthy diet and getting enough sleep every night. And, let’s face it, traveling is a lot more fun.