The Polar Express 4-D Experience is the holiday attraction Nov. 8 through Jan. 3 at Dollywood's Smoky Mountain Christmas festival in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
Based on the book by Chris Van Allsburg and the movie, the Dollywood version is a "multisensory adventure," the theme park says. Viewers will experience snow falling inside the theater and smell the aroma of hot chocolate (that must be the 4-D part). The holidays at Dollywood also offer 4-million lights, entertainment, a nightly parade and Santa's Workshop. Details are at dollywood.com.
Little Rock museum honors African-American heritage
A new state museum opens Sept. 20 in Little Rock, Ark., to honor African-American heritage.
The Mosaic Templars Cultural Center opens on the site of the Mosaic Templars of America, a fraternal organization founded by two former slaves, John Edward Bush and Chester W. Keatts, to offer insurance to blacks to cover sickness, death and burial. It provided retail space to other black-owned businesses, opened a nursing school and had a ballroom.
The center will include exhibits on the history of blacks in Arkansas, the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame, the Mosaic Templars, the life of sculptor Isaac Scott Hathaway, and Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Little Rock. Admission is free. Details: mosaictemplarscenter.com.
Nation's best science centers welcome kids of all ages
Here's the Parents magazine list of the country's 10 best science centers, with an emphasis on those catering to younger children with hands-on exhibits and family-friendly experiments.
• Center of Science and Industry in Columbus, Ohio
• Exploratorium in San Francisco
• Museum of Science in Boston
• Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, N.J.
• St. Louis Science Center in St. Louis, Mo.
• New York Hall of Science in Flushing, Queens, N.Y.
• California Science Center in Los Angeles
• Sci-Port Discovery Center in Shreveport, La.
• Franklin Institute Science Museum in Philadelphia
• Maryland Science Center in Baltimore
Have medical needs? Take some travel precautions
Travel tips for those who fly with medication, and those who may need medical attention while abroad:
• Carry your meds: Keep all medications with you, especially insulin and other liquids that can freeze in the cargo hold.
Medicines are exempt from the Transportation Security Administration's 3 ounces/quart bag requirements if you declare them at the security checkpoint. See links.sfgate.com/ZEIP for details.
• Pack extra meds in case your flight is delayed. You don't want to have only eight days' worth of medications if flights are canceled and your trip suddenly extends to 10 days.
• Cheat sheet: Before visiting a country, translate a few critical phrases into the local language, and keep the sheet with you at all times. Among useful phrases: "Emergency." "Take me to the nearest hospital." "I have kidney disease" (or whatever). "No sulfa drugs."
There's a free online translator at babelfish.yahoo.com.
• Carry written prescriptions: This will speed things up dramatically if you need to replace anything, and will also resolve any questions at the security checkpoint.
• Thumbnail medical records: Bring a single sheet of paper listing all your medical conditions; the surgeries you've had; any drug allergies; and all your medications, including schedules and doses.
These bars are tops, or at least quite high
Best rooftop bars, according to Coastal Living magazine:
• Beach, W Hotel, San Diego
• Pavilion Bar & Cafe, Market Pavilion Hotel, Charleston, S.C.
• Plunge, Hotel Gansevoort, New York
• Castaways Bar & Grill, North Avenue Beach, Chicago
• The Rooftop Surfclub, Sticky Wicket Pub & Restaurant, Victoria, British Columbia
• Tarpon Club, Bud and Alley's Restaurant, Seaside
• Sky Bar, Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront, Virginia Beach, Va.
• Rooftop Lounge, Townhouse Hotel, Miami Beach
• Sky Terrace, Medjool, San Francisco
• The Top, Crown Plaza Key West-La Concha, Key West
Compiled from Times wires