Recreation

Some facets of the 1918 influenza pandemic echo today's crisis: There were mask mandates, campaigns against spitting and pleas for people to cover their mouths, and more than half a million Americans died. The decade that followed the pandemic, however, was marked by social change and economic prosperity—for some.

What Caused the Roaring Twenties? Not the End of a Pandemic (Probably)

As the U.S. anticipates a vaccinated summer, historians say measuring the impact of the 1918 influenza on the uproarious decade that followed is tricky

A panel of the "Birthing Rock" petroglyphs in Moab, Utah, prior to its defacement with racist and obscene etchings

Racist Phrase Found Etched on Native American Petroglyphs in Utah

Unidentified criminals wrote "white power" and obscenities over thousand-year-old Indigenous markings on "Birthing Rock" in Moab

John Wanamaker, New York, NY. Spring & Summer Catalog (1915), front cover.

Smithsonian Voices

Looking at Leisure Through Early 20th-Century Trade Catalogs

How did people a 100 years ago spend their free time outside? The Trade Literature Collection offers a few clues to some very recognizable pastimes

Partially protected areas are often proposed as a way to bolster marine life and to improve people’s enjoyment of the ocean—neither of which seems to be happening.

Partially Protected Marine Areas Have Little Benefit, Scientists Say

Compared to fully safeguarded marine protected areas, the zones don't show a lot of positive effects for marine life or people’s enjoyment

A footpath weaves through ferns and trees on Denecourt Trail No. 6. The designer made sure the paths meandered around interesting features.

The Invention of Hiking

Follow the Frenchman who remade the woods surrounding a royal estate into the world’s first nature preserve

Johannes Vermeer's The Astronomer, 1668, (left) and recreation by Zumhagen-Krause and her husband featuring tray table, blanket and globe (right)

Covid-19

This Museum Is Asking People to Remake Famous Artworks With Household Items

The Getty Museum hopes its social media challenge will spark inspiration amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Bermuda

Exploring Five of the Most Iconic Wreckage Sites in Bermuda

The island’s ‘custodian of historic wrecks’ shares his favorite underwater sites for divers to experience

The Zamboni totally transformed winter sports by giving chopped-up ice surfaces a fresh-frozen smoothness in a matter of minutes.

How the Zamboni Changed the Game for Ice Rinks

Invented by rink owner Frank Zamboni, the ice-clearing machine celebrates its 70th anniversary this year

Visitors to CopenHill can ski or snowboard on four artificial slopes, a slalom course and a freestyle park.

You Can Hike, Fish and Even Ski at These Visitor-Friendly Power Plants

Copenhagen's new green power plant with a ski slope is just the latest energy facility with tourist attractions

Monon and Ottily Bayer, the daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Otto Bayer of Costamesa, California, pose in a small, "bunk bed" trailer at their campground in the Shasta National Forest. California, August 1953.

Ten Inventive Attempts to Make Camping More Comfortable

Making a stay in the great outdoors more luxe isn’t new—even if glamping and #vanlife are

Loop the Loop at Coney Island, 1903

14 Fun Facts About Roller Coasters

For starters, one of the oldest coasters in America carried coal before it carried passengers

The Wiffle Ball comes with slots on one side to make it easier to throw curves and other pitches.

How the Wiffle Ball Came to Be

Patented in 1957, the lightweight ball saved players' arms and more than a few windows

Blue Hole Regional Park, just south of Austin, Texas, is sought after for its canopy of bald cypress trees and its two rope swings.

The Sublime Sensation of the Swimming Hole

Kick off your shoes and jump into summer's most refreshing tradition on a lazy afternoon

Trending Today

Melting Glaciers on Denali Will Unleash Tons of Human Poop

An estimated 66 tons of feces left behind by climbers is coming out of the deep freeze on North America's highest peak

A Brief History of the RV

In 1915, technology merged with the "back to nature" movement, leading to the invention of the motorhome

The 20 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2018

From Oregon Trail stops to Mister Rogers' original neighborhood, these towns are worth seeing this year

Ounce for ounce, this bird is worth more than gold.

New Research

How the Arrival of One Bird Brought $223,000 to a Pennsylvanian Town

The rare black-backed oriole showed up outside Reading, Pennsylvania, and birdwatchers flocked to the scene

Part of the Great Trail in Nova Scotia

Trending Today

Canada Completes World's Longest Hiking Trail

After 25 years and millions of dollars, the coast-to-coast hiking, biking and paddling trail has an official route

Parisian Nudists Get Designated Area to Frolic "au Naturel"

An increasing number of people in France espouse a clothing-free lifestyle

A family walks towards the entrance of Disneyland, circa 1960.

Disneyland's Terrible First Day Didn't Stop the Crowds From Coming

Nothing was ready. But by the end of the first week, more than 100,000 people had visited

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