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Need to Know: Michael Jackson theme park, Todos Santos art festival, travel pillow

January 17, 2010
(Alberto Solo Caliente )

Plans begin for Jackson park

Work is expected to begin this year on a 100-acre Michael Jackson entertainment complex in Gary, Ind., that would include a museum, performing arts center, hotel, golf course and theme park inspired by the pop singer's Neverland Ranch. "Everything is in the planning stages at this point, but we're moving on a fast track, and we're looking forward to actually breaking ground sometime in 2010," said Odie Anderson, president of the Jackson family project in the pop singer's hometown. Anderson said the Indiana theme park would include rides found at Jackson's 2,700-acre Neverland Ranch near Los Olivos in Santa Barbara County. Besides a zoo, aviary and nature preserve, the Neverland theme park included a carousel, Ferris wheel, bumper cars, passenger train and classic carnival rides such as the Zipper, Sea Dragon and Swing Ride, above. It's not yet clear whether the new park will include all the same attractions. The $1-billion project would be built over a 10-year period, starting with the museum, arts center and hotel before breaking ground on the golf course and theme park.

-- Brady MacDonald

Our new look

Visitors to the Los Angeles Times Travel website, latimes.com/travel, will notice a new look and feel to the travel resource. This more visual site is easier to navigate, offers expanded information and emphasizes its article collections, photos and videos. Expressing your opinion on stories also will be easier, as will finding information on your favorite destinations. What do you think of the new Travel site? What do you like, and what can we do better? Let us know at travel@latimes.com.

-- Jason La

Mexico fest

Get a fresh start on the year with some spontaneous travel and a new cultural experience. From Jan. 30 to Feb. 6, the Baja California town of Todos Santos holds a colorful art festival. During that time, the artsy little community about an hour north of Cabo transforms itself into a center of creative celebration, drawing artists, musicians and filmmakers to exhibit and perform in local venues, all within easy walking distance of

the central plaza. The colorful expanse of exhibits includes furniture, weavings, handmade guitars, ceramics from Puebla, jewelry, and local cooking, often using centuries-old recipes. For more information, go to www.todossantos.cc.

-- Michael Koehn

Silky ride

There's nothing like the feel of real silk to soothe the stresses of travel. Silk 'N Dreams' Luxury Lounging and Travel Set is an 11-by-16-inch soft mink-like pile travel bag containing an 11-by-15-inch travel pillow and a 40-by-60-inch blanket, each covered in Charmeuse silk on one side and the mink-like fabric on the other. Also included are a silk eye mask and comfortable, ergonomically designed earplugs. The set comes in a selection of colors and patterns, including muted earth tones and wild zebra stripes. This may make you want to take a nap even before you've left home. Luxury Lounging and Travel Set is $260 at www.silkndreams.com; (877) 770-7455.

-- Judi Dash

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