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Seven Places That Awaken Your Inner Child

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1. Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida.

The thunderous sound system at the Galaxy Center makes you feel as if you are standing on the launch pad during a Shuttle take off, but the real kicks are at the nearby Astronaut Hall of Fame, where you buckle yourself into the G-force centrifuge that simulates a jet fighter training run, or 3-D 360, that will flip you through barrel roll maneuvers.

2. Abu's Camp, Okavango Delta, Botswana.

It's a bit like running away to join the circus-joining this elephant " safari " with six adult and a family of youngsters trailing along, tusk to tail. With you atop, the elephants walk at a stately 5 mph and mask your scent, allowing you to get close and view wildlife, which is unthreatened by these gentle herbivores.

3. Montreal's International Fireworks Competition, Canada.

Every June and July, some 2 million starry-eyed spectators gather on the shores of the St. Lawrence River to see the world's best fireworks techies light up the skies over Montreal with their biggest, most pyromaniacal creations. You are not in Chinatown anymore, Toto.

4. Cannon Beach Sandcastle Contest, Cannon, Oregon.

If the pristine beauty of northern Oregon's dramatic coastline is a testament to the majesty of Mother Nature, then the annual Cannon Beach Sandcastle Contest is a testament to man's irrepressible need to play with her-entries have included a Roman ruin with gladiators and chariots, and an enormous head of Shrek.

5. Central Park moonlight ride, New York City.

When they are not protesting for cyclists' rights, the enviro group Time's Up leads bike rides around the city, including the monthly midnight spin around Central Park. Is it safe? Definitely. Is it thrilling? You bet your ten-speed it is.

6. The Bitterroot Ranch, Riverton, Wyoming.

The Bitterroot is a far cry from your typical dude ranch. The horses are superb, the terrain is wild, and, if you are up to it, the owners will test your mettle with " the rollercoaster ," a heart-racing plunge at full gallop, down a series of limestone hills.

7. The Drielandenpunt Maze, Limburg, The Netherlands.

Get lost in the largest and most modern labyrinth in Europe, complete with randomly squirting water walls. Set on a hilltop where The Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium meet, the Drielandenpunt Maze makes navigating Henry VIII's Tudor maze at Hampton Court seem like child's play.

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