Tag: Virtual

Hands-on with Sims 4 Snowy Escape, the virtual mountain vacation you need right now


Your Sims can hit the slopes on skis, snowboards or sleds.


The Sims 4’s 10th expansion pack Snowy Escape launches on Nov. 13, promising to whisk players away on a mountain vacation for PC, Mac, PS4 and Xbox One. The new pack introduces Mount Komorebi, a Japanese-inspired destination world for the life simulation game. It arrives on the heels of September’s new game pack, Star Wars: Journey to Batuu.

Snowy Escape lets you take your Sims on a wild winter adventure with skiing, rock climbing and snowboarding, or on a relaxing mountain retreat with Komorebi’s bathhouses, meditation centers and peaceful walks. Mount Komorebi is the first Sims 4 world where Sims can either visit on vacation or live permanently as residents. 

CNET got an early look at the game with Graham Nardone, the new expansion pack’s producer from Maxis Studios at EA Games, who showed off the new pack’s features. We also got to play a bit of the game early.

A carefully constructed cultural world


The new expansion pack has a number of traditional and modern Japanese-inspired items.


Snowy Escape adds two new aspirations — Extreme Sports Enthusiast and Mount Komorebi Sightseer. Players can take advantage of over 130 new Create-a-Sim items when making their Sim, like L.L. Bean-style winter wear and traditional Japanese kimonos and geta (wooden footwear resembling flip flops).

Build Mode will also have new options for players to build themed creations in or out of the new world. These will include shoji doors, windows and screens, tatami mats, paper lanterns, koi fish for fountains, rock gardens and Japanese maple trees. Plus there’s a new building option to create split-level homes (hallelujah!). The new stackable platform feature opens up floor plan restrictions. Players will also notice homes in Mount Komorebi featuring the sunken genkan entryway, where Sims will remove their shoes.

Read more: Sims 4 cheats: Full updated list of codes, from rosebud to motherlode

While developing the concept of Snowy Escape, Nardone’s team worked with an EA internal group called Aspire (Asian and Pacific Islanders Represent) to have conversations about aspects of Japanese culture that would better represent Sims players and expand on gameplay.

“One of my favorite things we collaborated on was coming up with a modified version of simlish — the unique language inherent to The Sims — to create simlish characters that are evocative of kanji, hiragana and katakana,” Nardone said in an email. “It’ll stand out in-game to anyone familiar with those characters, but, like basic simlish, there are no direct written translations.”


Snowy Escape introduces the sprawling world of Mount Komorebi with plenty of places to explore.


Aspire was also part of the team that developed Sims 4 Island Living, which came out last year. Nardone said that diverse representation within the game is a prominent focus for its developers, and players can expect to see more of it going

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A (Virtual) Christmas Vacation with The Griswolds: An Evening with Chevy Chase & Beverly D’Angelo streams live on Saturday, Nov. 28


Hennepin Theatre Trust announced today that it will be presenting A (Virtual) Christmas Vacation with The Griswolds: An Evening with Chevy Chase & Beverly D’Angelo on Saturday, Nov. 28 at 7 p.m. (CT). Light up your holidays and join Christmas’ favorite couple, Ellen and Clark Griswold for this virtual salute to the holiday classic, National Lampoon’s Christmas vacation. Chevy Chase (“Clark”) and Beverly D’Angelo (“Ellen”) lead audiences through this live event as they share fan-favorite clips from the movie, reveal their favorite memories from the making of the Vacation franchise and answer your questions in a live audience Q & A.

Tickets for A (Virtual) Christmas Vacation with The Griswolds: An Evening with Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo go on sale to the general public on Wednesday, Oct. 28 at 10 a.m. at HennepinTheatreTrust.org.







Nov. 28

7 p.m. (CT)



A limited number of VIP tickets will be available that includes livestream access and a brief post-show meet and greet for $250.

An original member of NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” Chevy Chase was the trailblazer who turned SNL success into Hollywood mega-stardom. The movies Caddyshack, National Lampoon’s Vacation, Fletch, and Three Amigos all contributed to making Chevy Chase a world-wide household name.

Perhaps best known for her portrayal of Ellen Griswold in the National Lampoon’s Vacation franchise, actress-singer Beverly D’Angelo has had an accomplished career spanning over four decades. Her acting resume includes roles in over 60 films and appearances in some of pop-cultures most celebrated television series including “The Simpsons,” “Law & Order: SVU” and “Entourage.”

Fans can expect the unexpected as these legends share a no-holds-barred trip down memory lane and unveil the behind-the-scenes secrets of the making of a blockbuster film franchise.

Add a new twist to your holiday tradition-gather the family and cozy up on the couch as we stream the Griswolds directly to your living room for this live virtual event that is fun for all ages. Chestnuts and eggnog recommended!

Hennepin Theatre Trust drives cultural and economic vitality in Minnesota through leadership of the dynamic Hennepin Theatre District in downtown Minneapolis and educational programming that reaches every area of the state. Its historic theatres – Orpheum, State and Pantages – and event center at 900 Hennepin Avenue light up Hennepin Avenue with top-tier entertainment, including the best of Broadway and a wide variety of arts programming. Hennepin Theatre Trust is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. Learn more at HennepinTheatreTrust.org.

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Sam’s Club Recreated the ‘Christmas Vacation’ House for Its New Virtual Holiday Shopping Experience

Gather around, holiday shoppers and Christmas Vacation fans: Sam’s Club is offering a shopping experience where you can virtually peruse the iconic Griswold family home at Christmas and shop items in and around it.

a display in a building: Sam’s Club is offering a shopping experience where you can virtually peruse the iconic Griswold family home at Christmas and shop items in and around it.

© Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc./Sam’s Club
Sam’s Club is offering a shopping experience where you can virtually peruse the iconic Griswold family home at Christmas and shop items in and around it.

To start the virtual experience, click on Clark Griswold to make sure all of the lights are plugged in (with a drum roll first, of course!). Once you do so, the home will light up and you can start your virtual tour. There are two themes you can choose from: golden glow and colorful Christmas. The golden glow matches the home’s look from the film, and the colorful Christmas gives it a vibrant, multicolor touch.

No matter what decor style you choose, you’ll find shoppable products inside and outside of the house. Outside, you can shop yard displays, string lights, and wreaths. Inside, you’ll find a range of Sam’s Club products including cookware, appliances, drinkware, holiday decor, and food. The products you can shop have dots near them with links that will take you straight to the retail warehouse’s website, making the buying experience quick and easy.

Not only is there great shopping in the virtual experience, but it includes movie trivia and interactive elements. With a few clicks, you can hear a squirrel in the Christmas tree and Aunt Bethany’s cat still wrapped up in a gift box. Excited to poke around the place? You can get started here.

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Virtual school allows families to combo vacation amid COVID-19


A high school junior shares a glimpse of what digital learning is like during the coronavirus pandemic.


NEW YORK — In RVs, rental homes and five-star resorts, families untethered by the constraints of physical classrooms for their kids have turned the new school year into an extended summer vacation, some lured by the ailing hotel industry catering to parents with remote learners through “roadschooling” amenities.

With the coronavirus pandemic ongoing, the change of scene for desperate work- and school-from-home families boils down to “risk versus reward,” said Amanda Poses, a travel consultant and mother of two teenagers in Austin, Texas. “God willing, we don’t have the opportunity to do this again.”

Poses and her husband let 13-year-old Addison attend school from Park City, Utah, for three days of a five-night stay in early September. In search of a flight of three hours or less, they rode horses, hiked and zip-lined. They went tubing and enjoyed an alpine slide. And, yes, there was a bit of logging in to school.

“I ended up skipping like half of my classes,” Addison smiled. “It was nice. It was like a new start.”

Addison’s 16-year-old brother sat out the trip. “He was concerned about being distracted,” mom said.

One of the places the family stayed, the luxury Montage Deer Valley mountain resort, now offers “Montage Academy” for distance learners, complete with an all-day monitored “study hall” and access to virtual tutors. Other hotels are offering on-site tutors and tickets for “field trips” at area attractions.

Anna Khazenzon, a data and learning scientist for the online study platform Quizlet, said the monotony of weeks stuck at home for school on top of six months of pandemic restrictions risks bringing on burnout for distance learners.

But there are dangers lurking in schoolcations, as well.

“Formal schoolcation programs have the potential to create further achievement gaps between high- and low-income families, and more cost-effective versions should be developed, but overall there are many learning benefits for taking children on schoolcations,” Khazenzon said. “If students are burnt out and under-stimulated studying at home, then they may not be engaged in class at all.”

Jennifer Steele, an associate professor of education at American University, said that if distance learners don’t show up for class during schoolcations, “we would expect them to lose some knowledge and skills.” In addition, she said, the idea “exposes socioeconomic inequities in terms of people’s inability to leave and go to difference places.”

Since the start of the pandemic, families of means have decamped to second homes or taken long-term rentals in vacation spots around the world. With summer over, schoolcations offer others similar experiences, whether they’re roughing it on the road for extended periods or spending on hotels and resorts trying to make up for a summer slump.

For Jayson and Tammy Brown, schoolcations for their three kids have been both ongoing and life-affirming over the past five years. The parents and 11-year-old Jayde, 13-year-old Jay’Elle and 14-year-old Jayson are used

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Virtual Recreation | Portland, ME

Virtual Recreation | Portland, ME






The Recreation Division prides itself on offering a vast array of recreation programs and clinics for preschool, youth, family, teens, adults, and senior adults. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the Recreation Team would like to bring Recreation to your home to make social distancing more fun and educational.

Please see below or visit our Facebook , Instagram  or YouTube accounts to join in on all of the fun! 

  • 2:30 PM Crafternoon
  • Baking, Exercises, Sing-A-Longs, and much more to do throughout the day
  • 7:00 PM StoryTime with Parks, Recreation & Facilities Staff
  • Outdoor Recreation in our open spaces with safe social distancing
  • 62+ News and helpful information

Crafternoon at 2:30 pm

Join us weekdays at 2:30 pm to learn a new fun, easy craft with supplies you can find around your house.


Music, Games and other ACTIVITIES for Anytime!

Join our recreation staff for daily fun and creative ways to spend your time.

STORY TIME at 7:00 pM

Join us Monday through Friday at 7 pm for a Book reading by our Recreation Staff.


Parks and trails in your NEIGHBORHOOD

90% of Portland residents live within a 10-minute walk to one of our open spaces. Find an open space or trail you can reach by foot or bicycle using this map.

Please note that Athletic Fields, Courts, Playgrounds, and Back Cove Trail parking lots are closed during this Emergency Stay at Home Order. While outdoor exercise is authorized by the Stay at Home emergency orders, it is recommended that you not drive far (or at all) to undertake such activities. 

Portland Trails-Peak Trail Usage

Portland Trails has been tracking trail usage. They have been seeing a lot of peak trail activity in the afternoons. (The exact time varies day-to-day.) Let’s spread out! Instead of an afternoon walk or bike ride, visit a local trail in the morning or evening, when the trails are much less busy. Check out updates from Portland Trails.

During this trying time, we have been sending out daily messages and activity suggestions to all senior adults on our mailing list. If you would like to be put on our mailing list for these daily messages or to receive our regular monthly mailing with all of the events and activities we offer, please call (207) 808 – 5445 or email mcm@portlandmaine.gov.

Senior Shopping Hours


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