Where kids do . . . whatever
It's a pint-sized community for pint-sized people. It's Wannado City, which opened this fall at South Florida's massive Sawgrass Mills outlet mall, an attraction in itself. Children 4 to 11 can play at venues ranging from a police station to a hospital to a circus -- and maybe get an inkling of what they ''wannado" when they grow up.
Sixty sites represent more than 250 careers. Each site has a coach to teach basic skills and games. Because money makes even a small world go round, there is a currency called Wongas, with a bank to keep track of everything earned, spent, and saved. Each child has a savings account and each career carries a ''paycheck." The youngsters must decide what to do with their wongas: spend them on food and clothing or at the local dance club, or save them.
The indoor park also includes a gift shop, private party rooms, a toddler space, and restaurants.
Wannado City, 12801 Sunrise Blvd., Anchor D, Sunrise, Fla. (11 miles west of Fort Lauderdale). 888-926-6236. www.wannadocity.com. Open daily 10 a.m.-8 p.m. and until 9 Saturday and Sunday. Admission: $24.95 ages 3-14, $15 age 14 and older.RICHARD P. CARPENTER
An itinerary to leaf through
Larry Portzline has taken a novel idea on the road, and to promote it, has written ''Bookstore Tourism: The Book Addict's Guide to Planning & Promoting Bookstore Road Trips for Bibliophiles & Other Bookshop Junkies" (Bookshop Junkie Press, 2004).
Portzline, a Harrisburg, Pa., writer, part-time college instructor, and book lover, is on a mission to promote and support independent bookstores by marketing them as tourist destinations and to create travel ideas for bookies. He started by organizing day trips and literary outings; the six ''book adventures" he led to New York and Washington sold out. Since then, he said, inquiries have come from publishers, travel industry people, educators, and readers.
In ''Bookstore Tourism," Portzline laments the passing of great independent bookstores, including Avenue Victor Hugo Bookshop in Boston. He shares how-to travel advice as well as favorite destinations. At his website, bookstoretourism.com, Portzline offers free downloads of his book.