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The weekend is upon us and I’m staying local.  For those looking for something a bit different, following is a roundup of offbeat activities throughout the Northeast culled with the specific mission of getting you out and about.

In Portland, The Maine Historical Society is seizing upon the culinary renaissance taking place throughout the state with  two distinct programs:  Maine Eats and Maine Brews.  The exhibits are on display at the Society’s home in downtown Portland.  A bit further North, The Brunswick Inn is having a Murder Mystery Weekend. A quasi-embarrassing confession, my husband and I love these types of excursions; on the surface they seem like they could be cheesy, but when done right, hilarity usually ensues (note, you must call the Inn to reserve as reservations can’t be made online?!?  Phone:  207.729.4914).

Out and about in New Hampshire, the Prescott Farm Educational Center in Laconia offers a Snowshoe program on Saturday.  And, Stowe, Vermont is hosting its annual Stowe Derby, one of the oldest and most unique ski races in North America.

If you’re around Providence, RI, take the Federal Hill Food Tour.  Hosted by Master Chef and Historian, Walter Potenza, the tour touches upon the great foods and history of Federal Hill and walkers will have the opportunity to sample cheeses, charcuterie, and antipasti.

In New York, check out the New York Botanical Garden’s Bar Car Night (Saturday is the last night for the Bar car evening).   On these nights exclusively for adults 21 and over, the wintry landscape of NYBG sets the scene for festive outdoor adventures, with an after-dark viewing of the Holiday Train Show.

The weekend also appears to be the start of a smattering of Restaurant Weeks.  In Philadelphia, the City Center Restaurant Week begins on Sunday, where those in the know can enjoy a three-course lunch for $20 and a three-course dinner for $35.  In Maryland, it’s the Baltimore Restaurant Week (as well as in a few other, key towns throughout the state).  They fancy themselves a ‘delicious city’ and the week’s specials feature two-course brunch and lunch menus range from $12-20, and three-course dinner menus range from $20-$35.

May inspiration be upon you to get out and about this weekend; I myself might just end up at the Botanical Gardens Saturday evening.  As always, I wish you all safe travels, smooth sailings, and, of course, bon appetite.