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Wish Michael Jackson happy birthday in Las Vegas

August 02, 2009|Jay Jones; Rosemary McClure; Judi Dash

On Aug. 29 -- which would have been Michael Jackson's 51st birthday -- fans will gather in Las Vegas to celebrate his music. The concert will feature headliners and cast members from several shows playing on the Strip. Planning began within hours of Jackson's June 25 death and quickly outgrew the 90-seat theater that originally was going to be used, said Erich Bergen, the "Jersey Boys" performer who will host the 3 p.m. event. Instead, the concert will be at Pearl at the Palms, which can hold up to 2,500. Proceeds will be used to fund music education programs in Las Vegas-area schools. Info: www.ticketmaster.com. (Once on the site, search for "Michael Jackson Vegas.")

-- Jay Jones

Drop a line into Big Bear Lake this summer for a free day of fishing during a this-one's-on-the-house celebration of no-cost summer activities. To stimulate tourism, the San Bernardino Mountains community, about a two-hour drive east of Los Angeles, has lined up several free activities for visitors, including 30-minute nature walks, family movies on a big screen, live entertainment in the village and a no-license-needed day of fishing on Sept. 7, Labor Day. Several special weekend activities -- all with free admission -- are also scheduled, including the 20th annual Antique Car Club Fun Run, Aug. 8; an art show, Aug. 15 and 16; and the Antique Wooden Boat Show, Aug. 23 and 24. Info: (800) 424-4232 or www.bigbear.com

Vegas party for Michael Jackson

Free lake fun

-- Rosemary McClure

Healthy choices

Where are the healthiest U.S. vacation spots? California has two in the top 10, according to Health Magazine, which has Coronado and Monterey on its list of healthiest beach and lake towns for a summer getaway. To develop the list, the magazine gathered a panel of travel and health experts who evaluated air and water quality, the cost of a hotel and other factors. Coronado, near San Diego, made the cut because of its wide, clean beach and the fact that trans-fats are banned from its restaurants. Monterey, above, has little air pollution and bans smoking on its beaches. The rest of the top 10: Hilton Head Island, S.C.; Zephyr Cove, Nev.; Bonita Springs, Fla.; Wailea, Hawaii; Provincetown, Mass.; Tybee Island, Ga.; Osage Beach, Mo.; and Kelley's Beach, Ohio.

-- Rosemary McClure

Warm it up

Happiness is a hotel room that comes equipped with a microwave oven, for warming up take-out coffee, soup or restaurant leftovers. Unlikely, though, unless you've rented a condo or a pricey suite. Now you can bring your own pint-size mini-microwave oven, a 600-watt, 10.5-by-10-by-12-inch-high iWavecube. At 12 pounds, it's probably not something you'll put in the carry-on bag, but it stashes easily in a car or camper and plugs into any 110-volt outlet. So make some late-night popcorn, zap some water for tea or warm up leftovers. There's even a pop-up handle for easy toting. Comes in eight colors, including silver and hot pink. IWavecube is $99 at (877) 492-8328, www.iwavecube.com.

-- Judi Dash

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