America’s ‘last best place’
Driving through southwestern Montana’s Big Sky Country in winter is like being lost in an epic Hollywood movie, said Leslie Woodhead in the Financial Times. Here, where the Rockies meet the Plains “on blissfully empty roads,” spectacular snowscapes seem to cry out for a sweeping orchestral score. It’s little wonder that locals proudly call this the nation’s “last best place.” More than 300 inches of snow fall here each year, and the exhaustive variety of winter activities includes 900-plus ski runs, snowboarding, snowmobiling, and more exotic activities—such as 100-mph ice-surfing and skijoring (“a cross between sleigh riding and cross-country skiing”). Bozeman, which hosts an annual skijoring competition every February, is an increasingly trendy town, filled with wine bars where “noisy girls with Vuitton bags sip tequila.” Livingston, by contrast, has old-fashioned general stores, funky bars, and an emporium that sells old Colt revolvers and other collectibles.

The Big Apple for children
A visit to New York City gives parents and children the opportunity “to make amazing memories together,” said Kate Taylor in the Portland Oregonian. A Broadway musical is an unforgettable introduction to the Big Apple—as it certainly proved to be for my daughter on the night that we caught Tracy Turnblad “belting out the love” for Baltimore in Hairspray. The TKTS booth in Times Square offers tickets for many shows at half-price for those with flexible schedules. Great activities for the younger set include seeing the “mind-blowing” American Museum of Natural History, filled with dinosaur skeletons and life-size mastodons; stopping by the Central Park Zoo, just off Fifth Avenue; and riding the subway, which offers out-of-towners “a fabulous taste of New York City’s diversity.” We also rode the Wonder Wheel in Coney Island, and “trampled a giant piano at FAO Schwarz.” On the flight home, I sensed that an almost imperceptible change had come over my daughter, making her “a more confident little person.”