MONEY Super Bowl

The 5 Best Deals If You’re Not Watching the Super Bowl

"The Book of Mormon" on Broadway at Eugene O'Neill Theatre in New York City
Stephen Lovekin—Getty Images "The Book of Mormon" on Broadway at Eugene O'Neill Theatre in New York City

Lower prices and shorter lines await those who skip watching football on February 1 in favor of other attractions.

If the only hawks you care about seeing Super Bowl Sunday have wings and feathers, there’s a good chance your wish can come true—for cheap, no less.

Thanks to the one-third of the U.S. population that will be parked in front of their TVs watching football on February 1, it will be easier for the rest to snag discounts at zoos, ski resorts, spas, and other attractions—not to mention score seats at otherwise unavailable shows and restaurants.

Here are five suggestions for Super Bowl-skippers in search of good deals.

1. Take in a show

Super Bowl Sunday is a great time to see musicals and other popular shows that are normally hard to get into. For example, as of January 21, $99 evening tickets to perennially sold-out Broadway show “Book of Mormon” were still available for February 1 directly through Telecharge. And even if tickets to a hit show are all sold out at the box office, you’re still likely to get a discount on the resale market: Tickets on Stubhub for the same February 1 “Book of Mormon” performance are $40 cheaper than those for the following Sunday.

To look for theater performances near you, check Ticketmaster.com.

2. Finally eat at that restaurant you’ve been wanting to try

While everyone else has to settle for mediocre tailgate snacks, you have a much better shot than usual at scoring an enviable meal at some of your city’s hottest eateries. Restaurant reservation site OpenTable.com typically seats only about half the number of bookings on Super Bowl Sunday as on the Sunday before or after.

Some cities offer even better odds. In Philadelphia, reservations are typically down 60%, OpenTable found. But even major markets like New York City and Boston experience a pronounced dip: 30-40% fewer people will dine out in those cities on February 1.

A word to the wise: Even though your chances improve dramatically on game day, “some of the hottest and most acclaimed restaurants can still be tough to get into,” says Tiffany Fox, a spokeswoman for OpenTable. “So people shouldn’t wait to the last minute to book if there’s a special spot they’ve been dying to get into.”

3. Enjoy zoos and theme parks without the crowds

While Disney World spokespeople claim the event has no impact on park attendance, Disney vacation planning sites like EasyWDW.com and TheMouseForLess.com recommend visiting the parks on Super Bowl Sunday because you can expect far less company.

The game “keeps many locals away and is usually a great time to tour the parks,” notes TheMouseForLess.com, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios was “virtually dead on Super Bowl Sunday each of the last three years,” according to EasyWDW.com.

If you’re not going to be in sunny California or Florida come game day, try your local zoo or wildlife park. The Nashville Zoo, for example, is offering a “Zooperbowl Deal” this year that cuts admission by half. And last year the Virginia Zoo offered 50% off to anyone wearing merchandise from a Super Bowl participating team.

4. Hit the slopes

Skiers and snowboarders hitting the slopes instead of the sofa over Super Bowl weekend are in for a treat: Lift lines will be scant, and many ski resorts plan to roll out deep discounts that day.

The average booked savings on Liftopia.com during last year’s game day was 29% off window rates, making it the best value of any Sunday during the regular ski season. Prices are expected to drop similarly this year, but you will need to book in advance to take advantage.

The Arapahoe Basin Ski Area in Colorado, for example, has cut lift tickets to $57 this year, or 33% off, according to Liftopia. Utah’s Snowbasin slashed rates by 29% to $63. And in Vermont, Okemo Mountain is offering tickets for $73, or a 21% discount.

5. Have a spa day

If you’d literally rather stare at the ceiling than watch football, you can do exactly that—while getting a discounted massage or facial. You’ll find deals all across the country as spas promote their services for so-called Super Bowl widows (and widowers).

“If you don’t see a special at your favorite spa, just ask,” says Beth McGroarty, research director at spa directory site Spafinder.com. “Bookings may be lighter, and under-the-radar deals may be available—especially group discounts.”

If you don’t have a particular spa in mind, browse ratings on sites like Spafinder and Yelp and make calls to compare prices. Some examples of Super Bowl spa deals currently available include 15% off regular services at Clay Health Club + Spa in New York City; 25% off services at Kohler Waters Spa in Kohler, Wisconsin; and $50 off massages at The Palms Spa in Miami Beach, Florida.

TIME Food & Drink

Here Are the 2 Places Left Where You Can Find That Taste of the ’90s, McDonald’s Pizza

Two locations in Ohio and West Virginia serve the item you thought was extinct

Millennial diners, want to sink your teeth into a round cheezy slab of ’90s nostalgia? McDonald’s Pizza has been found living on at two locations in Ohio and West Virginia, according to Canada.com

The two restaurants, out of over 14,000 McDonald’s locations in America, are owned by a man named Greg Mills and located 90 miles apart from one another, the site reports.

It was the explosion in popularity of drive-through restaurants that brought about the demise of the pizza. The ovens were said to have slowed down sales and restaurants weren’t pushing enough pizzas out to justify the expense.

But Judy Norman, an employee at the West Virginia location, told Canada.com that their pizza still sells and she has “days when everyone wants pizza and there are days where every so often you get a pizza [order].”

For now, millennials can delight that they now have two places they can take their Teenie Beanie Babies, discuss Hey Arnold! and have a slice of the past.

[Canada.com]

TIME Sports

Seattle Suburb Banishes Cheese from City Hall Ahead of Packers Game

Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers reacts after completing a pass during the 2015 NFC Divisional Playoff game on Jan. 11, 2015 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Al Bello—2015 Getty Images Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers reacts after completing a pass during the 2015 NFC Divisional Playoff game on Jan. 11, 2015 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

"Due to the relationship between the Green Bay Packers, their fans, and cheese, the possession of and/or consumption of cheese or cheese flavored products shall be banned in Bainbridge Island City Hall "

The city manager of the Seattle suburb of Bainbridge Island is taking drastic measures to make sure city hall is giving the Seahawks its full support for the NFC Championship game against the Packers by banning cheese from the building.

According to executive order 121212, a nod to the team’s fans “12th man” moniker, cheese shall be neither consumed nor possessed in city hall on the Friday before the game, and workers are encouraged to wear their Seahawks jersey and enjoy a tailgating inspired lunch.

Section 1. All executive branch departments and divisions of the Local Government shall authorize employees to celebrate Blue Friday on each Friday prior to any games of the Seattle Seahawks by wearing Seahawks jerseys, logo gear, team colors and gathering at lunch or breaks for tailgating type foods and non-alcoholic beverages.

Section 2. On Sunday, January 18, 2015, the Seattle Seahawks opponent in the NFC Championship game will be the Green Bay Packers, a.k.a. Cheeseheads. Fans of the Green Bay Packers are frequently seen wearing obnoxious wedge-shaped foam hats painted yellow.

Section 3. Due to the relationship between the Green Bay Packers, their fans, and cheese, the possession of and/or consumption of cheese or cheese flavored products shall be banned in Bainbridge Island City Hall on Friday, January 16, 2015.

Showing support for your local team is always a shrewd move for a politician, but taking delicious cheese away from constituents could easily backfire.

This article originally appeared on SI.com.

TIME Food & Drink

The Evolution of Girl Scout Cookies, From Grandma’s Kitchen to Your iPhone

Girl Scouts of the USA A 1940's Girl Scouts Cookies box

Plus, why you shouldn't be upset if your favorite cookie's name gets changed

Kelly Parisi, chief communications executive for the Girl Scouts of the USA, is in shock. “I can’t even talk to you anymore!” she squeals after hearing that I, a self-proclaimed Thin Mints loyalist, prefer my cookies to be room temperature rather than frozen. “I mean, it’s the only way to eat them,” she proclaims.

The cult of the Girl Scouts Cookie is very real, and allegiances to specific cookies — and eating methods — can prove die-hard. As Girl Scout Cookie season kicks off, that’s clearer than ever. “If your favorite cookie gets retired, you’re not happy,” Parisi says. “Just ask one of our colleagues about ‘Thank You Berry Munch’ getting retired — he still has complete hysteria about that.”

But those who want their cookies to be the same every year need to work toward their Girl Scout history badges. The cookies have been evolving since the beginning—and when Girl Scout Cookies got their start, there was no such thing as the Thin Mint, Samoa and Tagalong.

According to the organization, the Mistletoe Troop in Muskogee, Okla., baked and sold the first-ever batch of Girl Scout Cookies in their high school cafeteria in 1917. A July 1922 American Girl magazine feature provided a simple sugar cookie recipe, suggesting that they be sold door-to-door for 25 to 30 cents per dozen.

Girl Scouts of the USAGirl Scouts selling cookies in 1928

But not every Girl Scout was doing the baking herself.

“Grandma used to bake the cookies,” 83-year-old former Girl Scout Selma Rutledge tells TIME. “I was never the kitchen cooker, I stayed outside.”

Rutledge joined Troop 254 in the small town of Blakely, Ga., in the 1940’s. “They wanted us to be something,” she says. “Selling cookies taught me how to meet people and how to present myself. It gave me the courage to stand up and speak up.”

And so she would wrap five, maybe six, of Grandma’s oatmeal cookies in a small paper bag, “with a little ribbon around it.”

But when did the Thin Mint emerge? Although Rutledge sold homemade cookies, the Girl Scouts began standardizing their cookies in 1936, when the organization licensed its first baker. (There was a cookie hiatus during WWII due to sugar, flour and butter rationing. They sold less-delicious calendars instead.)

The year 1939 brought the first-ever iteration of the Thin Mint, then called “Cooky-Mints.”

“Thin Mint has had more names than you could imagine,” Parisi says. The different iterations were made by different licensed bakers. (There were 29 different licensed bakers in 1948). According to the Girl Scouts’ historian, the Cooky-Mints name changed to Chocolate Mint to Thin Mint to Cookie Mint to Chocolate Mint to Thin Mints to Thin Mint and finally, back to the plural Thin Mints.

Girl Scouts of the USAVintage Thin Mints and Cookie Mints boxes from the 1970’s

Wanting more continuity in cookies, Girl Scouts whittled down its licensed bakers to 14 during the 1960s — also when cookies began getting wrapped in aluminum foil to keep them fresh — to four in 1978 to two in the 1990s. A mere two different bakers currently make all of the Girl Scout Cookies in the United States, though there’s still some difference between their products. While Thin Mints are offered by both bakers, consumers will either get Do-si-dos or Peanut Butter Sandwiches, and Trefoils or Shortbread depending on which baker their local troop uses.

Sometimes Girl Scout Cookies fanatics have been known to go crazy when their favorite cookie names have changed, which can happen when their troops change bakers. “The cookies sold by my daughter’s Girl Scout troop are now called ‘Caramel deLites’ instead of ‘Samoas.’ Why?” Carrie Stetler wrote in the Star Ledger in 2008. “I’m outaged — yes, outraged — that Girl Scout Cookies have new names.”

That cookie loyalty is legendary, and not so hard to instill. In fact, Parisi says that the organization has found that the top reason people don’t buy Girl Scout Cookies is that they’re not asked — perhaps why the Girl Scouts went to CES this year to teach people how they can buy their cookies online or on their smart phones via an app.

They’ve certainly come a long way since selling cookies from Grandma’s kitchen. But 83-year-old Rutledge isn’t surprised with the innovation. “Things are always changing,” she notes.

And besides, the Girl Scouts have always prided themselves in being ahead of their time.

“We had our first badge in Electrical Engineering in 1913,” Parisi says. “It was for showing girls show to rewire things. We have been innovative from the beginning.”

TIME health

The Science of Why We Learn to Love Foods We Used to Hate

pepper
Getty Images

Repeated exposure and social pressure both have an effect

Not to be mean, but you’re a “benign masochist.” We all are to some extent. It’s a natural human trait, and it helps explain why we learn to love foods we initially hated.

Coffee, beer and chilies are all examples of food that little kids hate, but many adults can’t seem to get enough of. Alison Bruzek of NPR’s The Salt blog interviewed Paul Rozin, a cultural psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, who has researched this specific phenomenon.

“Benign masochism” is a term Rozin uses to express this human characteristic. Whether food or amusement park rides or going to see a sad movie, people learn to want what our body rejects. And yet these things don’t hurt us; they’re benign.

What causes us to act this way, however, is harder to pin down. Rozin believes that most of these behaviors are the result of social pressures. “I don’t know the answer,” he admitted in the interview. “Some part of it is social. Social forces affect what we like, and the advertising industry knows that — that’s why they have endorsements by famous people.”

Repeated exposure is also important. Rozin discussed how children in Mexico didn’t inherently love spicy chilies, but grew to appreciate them around the age of 4 or 5. “The experience of eating it a lot somehow converts what was an aversion to a preference.”

Another term Rozin used was “hedonistic reversal” – the ability of our brain to tell our senses we’re going to turn something we should avoid into a preference. That certainly explains why the guy who can eat the spiciest Buffalo wings really is revered as a badass.

This article originally appeared on FWx.com.

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TIME Food

Chipotle Pulls Pork From a Third of Its U.S. Locations

A Chipotle Restaurant Ahead Of Earnings Data
Bloomberg/Getty Images

As long as they still have guacamole, everything should be fine

Chipotle won’t have pork at roughly a third of its restaurants in the U.S., after an audit revealed that an undisclosed supplier was not obeying its animal-care policies and standards.

The pigs Chipotle uses cannot be raised with antibiotics and must either have access to the outdoors or live in well-bedded barns, Reuters reports.

“We could fill that shortfall with conventionally-raised pork, but the animal welfare standards fall well short of our requirements, and [we] simply aren’t willing to make that compromise,” said Chris Arnold, Chipotle’s communications director. The audit that discovered the lapse in standards was a routine audit.

Chipotle may find new suppliers or use additional pork from current suppliers to address the shortage. Arnold said if the suspended supplier changes its standards, Chipotle may resume working with it.

[Reuters]

TIME Culture

Foie Gras Freedom Is Also a Win for Free Speech

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lucydphoto—Getty Images/Flickr RF Sauteed foie gras

Nick Gillespie is the editor in chief of Reason.com and Reason.tv.

Opponents of the delicacy shouldn't use the state to force their subjective value judgments on those who have a taste for things they find abhorrent

The overturning of California’s idiotic and repressive ban on the production and sale of foie gras is a small but important victory for “food freedom.” The only downside is that the decision is open to appeal, so it might be temporary.

The ban was passed in 2004 but only went into effect in 2012. The politicians responsible—including then governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who hypocritically claimed to be probusiness and in favor of limited government—said they wanted to give producers and restaurants time to adapt to the change. But in fact the long lag time had everything to do with Golden State term limits. By the time the ban was in full force, you see, none of those responsible would still be in the legislature.

As defined by the nonprofit Keep Food Legal, food freedom is “the right to grow, raise, produce, buy, sell, cook and eat the foods of their own choosing, including everything from raw milk to trans fats, hemp to soda, and foie gras to Four Loko” (disclosure: I once served on Keep Food Legal’s board of trustees). In an age of artisanal everything and skyrocketing interest in all sorts of new and innovative cuisine, food freedom is every bit as important as rights to free speech and alternative sexuality.

Indeed, what we cook and what we eat have become as much an arena of individual expression as whom we vote for and whom we marry. Raw-milk producers still labor under draconian regulations and the threat of federal raids despite strong demand for their products by impeccably informed consumers. In a world in which caffeine-enhanced Four Loko has been prohibited, it’s a wonder that Irish coffee is still available.

In order to ban a choice of something as personal as food, government at any level should have extremely compelling reasons related to public health and safety. Simply finding something offensive is no more a warrant for prohibition than for censoring art that some find disturbing. In the case of foie gras, animal-rights activists could only express concern for the birds that are traditionally force-fed in the production of foie gras. All animals that are ultimately slaughtered for human consumption may have our sympathy and empathy. They do not, however, have rights equal to ours. The basic problem helps to explain why the California ban was written in a way that critics presciently called both constitutionally vague and impossible to enforce.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), one of the major players in the foie-gras issue, has tried over the years to assert constitutional rights for orcas. In this, PETA is joined by other activists who have done the same for chimpanzees, dolphins and other animals. None of their lawsuits have gotten far, and they are not likely to because they are nonsensical. However much humans may or may not have an ethical obligation to treat animals in a humane fashion, animals simply do not have rights in any meaningful legal sense.

Which isn’t to say people opposed to foie gras have no means of carrying the day. They can work to end the market for foie gras and other animal products through persuasion and informational campaigns. But they cannot and should not bank on using the coercive power of the state to force their subjective value judgments on the rest of us who have a taste for foie gras or other delicacies they find abhorrent.

And they should assiduously make sure that tax dollars are not going to support food they would never eat. That’s a likely point of agreement between them and libertarian defenders of the right to cook and eat what we want. A central part of the food-freedom agenda is freedom from subsidizing other people’s preferences. Keep Food Legal’s mission statement emphasizes that the group “also support[s] ending agricultural subsidies, which distort the market and help lead to problems like obesity and environmental degradation.”

Increasingly, we live in a world of wildly proliferating choices in virtually every aspect of our daily lives. Like never before, we are free to dress how we like, live where we want, marry whomever we love (or just live with them). The Internet and global trade mean we can have goods from all over the world shipped to our doors. In more and more states, we can even legally smoke pot. In such a climate, it is both folly and hubris for anyone to think he can command the world to live by his rules alone.

Gillespie is the editor in chief of Reason.com and Reason.tv and the co-author with Matt Welch of The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What’s Wrong with America

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Food & Drink

This Waffle is Actually One Huge Cannoli

fwx-waffle-cannoli
Andre Li

There's enough sugar to keep you hyper all weekend long

We’ve seen a lot of chefs take traditional brunch dishes and give them a great savory kick—parmesan and prosciutto French toast, bone marrow waffles—but what about those of us with a sweet tooth?

At Florian they’re taking the sweet and making it a little sweeter, stuffing huge Belgian waffles with traditional ricotta cannoli filling and topping it off with chocolate chips and pistachios. And just for that extra sugar kick they have added an entire cannoli on top. That should be enough to keep you hyper all weekend long.

This article originally appeared on FWx.

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TIME Family

How Long You Can Store (Almost) Anything in the Fridge and Freezer

This infographic includes expiration dates on items in the pantry, too

They can feel like life’s greatest mysteries: Is that chicken breast at the bottom of the freezer still safe to eat? Or is that mustard jar in the back of the cupboard still any good? We’ve de-mystified the process with this handy chart, which incorporates advice from the USDA, food scientists, and food manufacturers. (Scroll down for downloadable, kitchen-ready versions.)

storageinfographic (1)

 

Download and print out your own versions to stick up in the kitchen:

This article originally appeared on RealSimple.com.

More from Real Simple:

Read next: These 8 Household Items Have Tons of Germs

TIME Innovation

Five Best Ideas of the Day: January 8

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

1. The same features that make cities hubs for innovation may spur inequality. Smart policies can strike a balance.

By Richard Florida in CityLab

2. Solar power can provide hot meals for the masses.

By José Andrés in National Geographic’s The Plate

3. A simple way to make a huge difference in the lives of foster kids: college scholarships for youth ‘aging out’ of the system.

By Jennifer Guerra at National Public Radio

4. When we include women in post-conflict peacekeeping, they do a better job of managing resources to prevent future war.

By Priya Kamdar in New Security Beat

5. It’s time to build a more secure internet.

By Walter Isaacson in Time

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

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