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Out With the Old

From the world's largest theme park in New Jersey to Singapore's Dr. Seussian gardens to Pablo Picasso's long-awaited return to Paris, here are 25 new things to see and do this year (with places to stay while you're doing them)

An artist’s rendering of the High Roller observation wheel, slated to open in Las Vegas this year

2.-5. FLORIDA, NEW JERSEY, OHIO AND NEVADA: Roll On

According to the Chinese calendar, 2013 is the year of the snake. According to kids, it’s the year of the amusement park. The fun begins in Orlando, where Disney’s Fantasyland expansion will continue to debut attractions, including Princess Fairytale Hall. Up in New Jersey, Six Flags Great Adventure is merging with its Wild Safari animal preserve to form the largest theme park on the planet. In Ohio, roller coaster mecca Cedar Point will open GateKeeper, a record-breaking winged coaster with a 164-foot drop. Finally, for those who like their thrills with a view, two Ferris wheels with enclosed capsules are scheduled to begin spinning in Las Vegas. The SkyVue will top out at 500 feet, while the High Roller is poised to become the largest Ferris wheel in the world, at a lofty 550 feet.

6. CHICAGO: Competitive Streak

Already sports-crazed Second City is getting a bumper crop of big games this year. It starts in February with two outdoor college hockey games at Soldier Field’s inaugural Hockey City Classic, continues the next month with the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament at the United Center, and culminates in September with the PGA’s BMW Championship. Tailgating should commence immediately. Bring hot dogs.

7. CORSICA: The Grand Tour

The Tour de France celebrates its 100th birthday by doing what all centenarians dream of: fleeing to the islands. The French territory of Corsica hosts this year’s Grand Départ—the ostentatious name given to the start of the race—in which cyclists will zoom up the island’s mountains, lean through its narrow coastal roads and resist distraction by the gorgeous views.

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