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At Hotel Erwin in Venice Beach, a room and a tat

Also: In Philadelphia, please do touch

September 06, 2009|Rosemary McClure; Liesl Bradner; Judi Dash

Vacationers with high pain tolerance can save money with an unusual package at a new Venice Beach hotel. Guests at the Hotel Erwin can receive a $100 voucher for a tattoo from an in-house graffiti and tattoo artist. And they'll receive a $500 bonus if they get a tattoo that says "I ♥ Hotel Erwin." The "Ink and Stay" package, available through Dec. 30, includes Lubriderm lotion, an ice pack and a bottle of tequila. Prices start at $399 plus tax for a double room. Hotel Erwin, 1697 Pacific Ave., Los Angeles; (800) 786-7789,

-- Rosemary McClure

Although the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall remain tourist favorites in Philadelphia, they can be challenging for families with young children. Now there is an attraction that encourages little ones to reach out and touch the exhibits. The Please Touch Museum celebrates its one-year anniversary this fall at its new location in the historic Memorial Hall in Fairmount Park, the only major building from the 1876 Centennial exhibition. There are six interactive zones, including "Flight Fantasy," where kids can build and test their own flying machines, and "Rainforest Rhythms," where they can play on vine chimes, snake rattles and drums. Admission: $15 for children and adults. Free: kids 1 and younger;

A room and a tat in Venice

Do touch

-- Liesl Bradner

Tours off-road

Prowl the rugged back roads of Death Valley National Park on four-wheel-drive tours that explore some of the most interesting and remote attractions in the eastern California park. Pink Jeep Tours, which began the service Tuesday, will pick guests up at park hotels and travel to areas where four-wheel-drive vehicles are necessary. Among the sites on the tours are Racetrack Playa, where boulders skim along a dry lake bed, and Titus Canyon, the park's most popular backcountry road. Tours last two to six hours, and cost $65 to $165 per person. Info: (800) 873-3662 or

-- Rosemary McClure

Tickle time

Elmo's Tickle Hands are a pair of big red fluffy four-fingered gloves that provide an extra pair of hands (sort of) to help little ones entertain themselves wherever they roam. One of the two gloves bears an Elmo face; pushing the nose activates a battery-powered mechanism that sets the glove vibrating and giggling as Elmo leads kids in the Tickle Hand Groove dance, then instructs them to tickle someone. Recommended for ages 18 months to 4 years old. Elmo's Tickle Hands (item P4385) are $30 at, (800) 747- 8697.

-- Judi Dash

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