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Get on a even keel? Find out about the world of yachting at the Try a Boat event, a hands-on activity at the Southampton boat show. You can also see the latest innovations for waterskiing, speed boats and jet skiing. The show takes place from 14-22 September at the Western Esplanade, Mayflower Park, Southampton. Entrance: adults pounds 7.50, children (under 16) free.

See an opera in a splendid setting? Take a Travel For The Arts (0181- 875 9870) holiday to Paphos Fort, Cyprus, on 15-22 September and watch Verdi's Otello. Tickets cost pounds 776 per person and include flights, transfers, accommodation and tickets. Or you could take a six-day tour from 20-26 September for pounds 1,195. This takes in Chicago Lyric Opera's opening night gala performance of Verdi's Don Carlos plus a concert of music by Strauss, visits to Chicago's Art Institute, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the studio of Frank Lloyd Wright and Ernest Hemingway's home.

Spot a UFO in Japan? Visit the Cosmo Isle Hakui Space Park near Kanazawa where an exhibition in the shape of a giant flying saucer tells you all about space science and UFOs. It even has a library dedicated to UFO sightings. Details on 0081 767 22 9888.

Learn how to get an elephant to stand still? Attend a lecture given by conservationist Jack Hanna at London Zoo (0171-730 7904) on 23 September.The tickets cost pounds 10 for London Zoo members and pounds 15 for non-members.

See the Northern Lights? Head for the Orkney islands in October when you can simply stand on the rolling hillsides at night and watch the show. More details from the Orkney tourist office on 01856 850716.

Cut half an hour off your flight time? Get a chauffeur to park your car for you. Hogg Robinson BTI (01252 372000) arranges this service for travellers. Charges are from pounds 13.50 for a day to pounds 45 for six days.

Have a haunting Halloween? Go to the home of horror. Salem, Massachusetts, was the setting of the Salem witch trials of 1692. From 11 to 31 October you can visit candle-lit "haunted" houses here, undergo psychic readings, and watch re-enacted witch trials. More information on 0171-978 5233.

Get to the Motor Show without driving? Take a National Express coach (0990 010104). Between 20 and 27 October services to the British International Motor Show at the NEC, Birmingham, will run from 12 cities.

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