Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

In the dark

Interesting places to visit when the lights go out

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WHILE every day is getting a little bit lighter since the winter solstice Dec. 22, it will be months before we have full days of sunshine. Rather than hibernate like a grizzly, embrace the darkness. With these experiences, you're assured of seeing the lighter side of the dark.

1. Night Safari, Singapore

See what animals are really up to when the lights go out at the world's first wildlife park for nocturnal animals. Walk or take the tram that winds through the 40-hectare park and say good night to 1,040 animals from 120 species.

2. The South Bridge Vaults,

Edinburgh, Scotland

If you're not afraid of things that go bump in the night, take a ghost walk from Mercat Tours through the most haunted place in the city. Once home to prostitutes, rogues and criminals, the vaults now host a slew of spirits, many who have been known to poke tourists.

3. Mont Megantic International Dark Sky Reserve, Near Sherbrooke, Que.

Light pollution from big cities wreaks havoc with stargazing, but not here. Spread over 5,500 square kilometres, this dark zone offers perfect viewing conditions with the naked eye or close up, thanks to the ASTROLab.

4. Famous People Players, Toronto

Regardless of age, audience members are fanatics about attending every new show, featuring black light puppetry -- for good reasons. The performances are awesome and the company employs those with physical and intellectual challenges. See fpg.org for show times and dates.

5. O. Noir, Montreal and Toronto

Blame Zurich for starting the dining in the dark trend that has spread to Canada. Check your luminated watches, cellphones and lighters at the door, and focus on the aromas and textures of your supper.

6. Horne Lake Caves Provincial Park, Vancouver Island

For amateur spelunkers, this network of caves is considered one of the most spectacular in Canada. Take the three-hour tour ($54 per adult) to see cool crystal formations, fossils and an underground waterfall.

7. Wine Dialogue, Hong Kong

No one can see your confusion over whether you're sipping a Merlot or a Syrah at this extraordinary wine-tasting seminar. In total darkness, you sample four different wines while fine-tuning your senses of taste and smell.

-- Postmedia News

 

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 12, 2011 E6

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