Raina Kelley

Travel: Fall Foliage

It's leaf-peeping season, and here are some of the best ways to see the show before you have to rake:1. Drive the Prospect Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway, Lake George, N.Y.:Enjoy a 100-mile view of five mountain ranges.

TIP SHEET

The Big Apple's Broadway season is about to begin. Here are our picks for the hottest shows.Democracy by Michael Frayn; opens Nov. 18. This London hit is a poetic exploration of espionage and the limits of loyalty set during the cold war.

LEAVE 'EM AT HOME

If there's a vacation disaster worse than being stuck in paradise, broke, while a bandit parties on your dime, we don't want to know about it. Thieves love tourists, so a few precautions before your purse disappears.

ART: THEATER

The Tony awards are over--the puppets won, P. Diddy didn't. But there's still action on the boards. Here's the best New York has for the summer season:After the Fall by Arthur Miller; opens July 29.

BOOKS: ENIGMASAND BEER

June 16 is the 100th anniversary of Bloomsday. In case you haven't read "Ulysses" (or were traumatized by it and are blocking), that's the day in 1904 when Leopold Bloom wandered through Dublin in the James Joyce masterpiece.

PETS: TINY DOGS, BIG DIVAS

Admit it. You may not like Paris Hilton, but you have to agree that her dog, Tinkerbell, is cute. As tiny dogs have become the hottest celebrity arm candy, demand for teacups, or dogs that weigh four pounds or less, has soared.

TRAVEL: TOTE SWEET

Sunny Saturdays mean having to haul a ton of stuff to the beach or away for the weekend. Here are our votes for the bags of summer.1. Jackson Tote: Made out of recyclable plastic and virtually indestructible, it also has six pockets, plus room for Frisbees, flip-flops and sand. $56 at totelemonde.com.2.

Food: 1-800-Raging-Inferno

You don't even know how to boil water on a grill, and you've got 15 people coming for Memorial Day. Who ya gonna call? Try one of these hot lines:The Weber Grill-Line is available 24/7 to answer queries like "How do you grill a whole pig?" (Carefully.) They'll even help you pair wines with your BBQ. 800-GRILL-OUT.Worried about poisoning your guests?

Your Ship's Come In

If the nonstop coverage of the Queen Mary 2's arrival in New York last month gave you the urge to be at sea, go for it. With cruise lines locked in a fare war that would make the airlines blush, prices are at their lowest in years.

Art | Broadway

Spring is busting out all over, and Broadway wants you to come inside and sit in the dark for a couple of hours. Here are our nominees for the Great White Way's hot-test shows:ASSASSINS by Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman: opens April 22 at Studio 54.

TAXES: WAVING THE FLAG

Nothing makes the blood freeze like mail from the IRS. No one's audit- proof, but tax pros say these tips will help you steer clear:Report every dime. Bingo jackpots are income.

THE WORD ON BOOKS

You don't have to scour the world for a Gutenberg Bible to start a collection of first-edition books. A passion for a theme and $100 will do. If you dug "The Da Vinci Code," by Dan Brown, start with that.

ONLINE TEATIME

Hot tea is cozy comfort during cold and flu season (and full of antioxidants). Here are some of our favorite sources:Le Palais des Thes More than 200 varieties, searchable by grade, vitamin-C content or aroma--with detailed serving instructions.

ARTS: STUDENT PERFORMANCES

If Broadway's $100-and-up ticket prices will blow a gaping hole in your family budget, how about checking out the stars of tomorrow? Many of the nation's top performing-arts programs offer relatively cheap (or, even better, free) performances.The Juilliard SchoolYou want choice?

Money: Using It Wisely

Every year you see those signs in opticians' windows offering to help you spend the leftover money in your health-care flex-spending account. You know you have to use it by Dec. 31 or lose it, but what if you don't want another pair of sunglasses?

Sports: Music

Sometimes the marching band can be better than the football. Here's TIP SHEET's prebowl viewers' guide:Florida A&M: Ever seen an entire sousaphone section do splits on cue?

They Light Up Our Lives

In his new book "Holiday Lights," David Seidman defends Americans' inalienable right to go completely bonkers decorating their homes for the season and even offers a little advice.

Hotels: Haunted

Ghosts aren't guaranteed, but book one of these rooms, turn out the lights and hope for a creep show.Hay-Adams Hotelhayadams.comFrom $495 per nightWashington: "Haunted" by Clover Adams, wife of the original owner.

Gardening: Autumn

Fall is the new spring: horticulturists say it's the perfect time to plant most trees, shrubs and perennials. So put down that rake.White Flower Farm Perfect for filling in your perennial bed.

Pages