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September 13, 2009|Rosemary McClure; Jay Jones; Leslie Anne Wiggins; Judi Dash

The new Walt Disney Family Museum opens Oct. 1 in San Francisco, honoring the artist-entrepreneur's creative spirit and vision. The interactive museum is in San Francisco's Presidio, a former U.S. military facility that has been turned into a national park. Highlights will include Disney's successes, disappointments and creation of characters that have become an indelible part of global pop culture. Among the interactive exhibits: a digitized sketchbook from "Fantasia." Each of the museum's 10 galleries will tell a different chapter of Disney's life. The museum will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily except Tuesdays. Tickets cost $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and students, $12.50 for children 6 to 17. Info: (415) 345-6800, www.waltdisney.org.

-- Rosemary McClure

Businesses in Las Vegas, including hotels and wedding chapels, will roll out the rainbow carpet next month as two gay-friendly laws take effect in Nevada. Starting Oct. 1, same-sex couples can legally register as domestic partners. And, on the same day, discrimination in public accommodations based on sexual orientation becomes illegal, addressing a loophole in federal law. "This is a partnership," says Jan Jones, a senior vice president of Harrah's Entertainment. "If Las Vegas isn't going to show our gay, lesbian and transgendered customers that they're welcome, then how can we expect them to return?" Any couple can apply for domestic partnership status, but the associated legal rights will apply only to people living in Nevada. Many wedding chapels have offered same-sex commitment ceremonies for several years.

A wonderful world indeed

Welcome mat

-- Jay Jones

Chugging

The Alaska Railroad will offer the Great Alaska Beer Train on Oct. 3, a refreshing ride along Alaska's scenic Turnagain Arm. The 4 1/2 -hour round-trip journey between Anchorage and Portage includes six half-pints of microbrew beer and appetizers by Anchorage's Glacier BrewHouse. BrewHouse beer menu standards include Brewhouse Blonde and Oatmeal Stout. Also on the railroad's horizon is the Blues Train, Sept. 26 and 27, which will travel round trip from Anchorage to Seward and include lunch, appetizers, barbecue dinner, two drink tickets and one night's hotel stay, as well as blues entertainment, of course. The Great Alaska Beer Train costs $149 per person; Blues Train costs $249 per person based on double occupancy (for hotel). Passengers must be 21 or older for both. Info: (800) 321-6518, www.alaskarailroad.com.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Outsmart baby

Here's a handy alternative to having to play fetch every time a tot decides to throw his bottle or sippy cup from his stroller, car seat or highchair. Twin Beginnings NoThrow is a 17-inch-long nylon "leash" with a Velcro strap that tethers bottles or cups to a child seat or any secure spot. Loop the tether around the child's seat belt, loop the Velcro strap around the bottle, and if junior throws, the bottle will stay attached to the tether, so you won't have to hunt for it. Comes in a variety of colors and patterns. Twin Beginnings NoThrow costs $5.99 for a two-pack at www.walgreens.com Info: (877) 250-5823.

-- Judi Dash

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