Archive for the ‘Christmas travel’ Category

Greater Williamsburg, Virginia is Aglow With Holiday Experiences

November 16, 2021
From dazzling light events to festive concerts to seasonal celebrations of colonial history, Kingsmill Resort and Greater Williamsburg come alive during the holidays with the spirit of the season.

KINGSMILL RESORT, WILLIAMSBURG, VA, — From dazzling light events to festive concerts to seasonal celebrations of colonial history, Kingsmill Resort and Greater Williamsburg come alive during the holidays with the spirit of the season. The area is packed with special events. Here are holiday highlights:

So much festivity, so little time

Williamsburg’s only AAA Four Diamond Condominium Golf Resort, Kingsmill Resort, is offering guests a winter wonderland of activities during the month of December including Christmas eve and Christmas day horse and carriage rides, holiday mixology classes, breakfast and photos with Santa, glow golf, ugly sweater supper, gingerbread making competition, Christmas cookie decorating, wreath making, petting zoo, magic show, scavenger hunts, letters to Santa and lots more! The Christmas Tree lighting takes place December 1 at 6 p.m.

Have a Blast at Busch Gardens Christmas Town

Be wowed by one of the largest Christmas light displays in North America with more than 8 million twinkling lights when Busch Gardens Christmas Town returns for select dates Nov. 12-Jan. 2. Pay a visit to Randolph and Santa, watch a holiday show, and enjoy festive food and drink to help you get into the spirit of the season.

Have a Christmas-Themed Walk

Need to walk into the Christmas season? Williamsburg Walking Tours offers its Christmas Past and Present Walking Tour Dec. 1-31. Stroll through the colonial streets of the historic area and learn how early Americans celebrated Christmas. Discover the sources of modern-day celebrations in Williamsburg and how a Christmas decoration sparked a battle on Duke of Gloucester Street between a rooster and a Dalmatian.

Enjoy a guided look at Colonial Williamsburg’s historic building exteriors and streets decked out in holiday splendor during the Dec. 1 Christmas Decorations Walking Tour. Learn about the materials and construction techniques of these traditional holiday decorations. 

Revel in the Yorktown Christmas Tree Lighting

Delight at the Yorktown Christmas Tree Lighting on Dec. 3, a tradition that began in 1945. The tree is a 20-foot artificial commercial Giant Everest Fir placed in Riverwalk Landing. Tap along to a performance by the Fifes and Drums of Yorktown at the Victory Monument, listen to festive music at Riverwalk Landing, follow the procession of lights through the historic village, and welcome the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Thrill to the Grand Illumination

Grab a blanket and pack a picnic basket or just a thermos, and head to Colonial Williamsburg for the Grand Illumination, the finest fireworks in Williamsburg. Special events take place over three weekends, Dec. 3-5, 10-12 and 17-19. On Friday evenings, join the new Procession of the Yule Log and enjoy holiday songs and stories on Market Square. Saturday evenings will include a dramatic presentation of an original holiday story, yuletide music, and a joyful appearance by Father Christmas, culminating in simultaneous Grand Illumination fireworks over the Governor’s Palace and Capitol building.

Enjoy Holiday Music

A seasonal tradition for the entire family, The Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra presents its annual Holiday Pops Concert during the first Grand Illumination weekend, Dec. 4-5. Share in joyful holiday classics and beloved carols with family and friends at the Kimball Theatre.

Watch Lights Dancing on the River

Join in the 25th annual Yorktown Lighted Boat Parade on Dec. 4 at the Yorktown Waterfront. Start by caroling around the beach bonfire, listening to the Fifes & Drums of York Town, and sipping complimentary hot cider before the decorated motorboats, sailboats, and Chesapeake workboats begin their lighted parade on the York River as they compete for best in show.

March in a Parade

Bundle up to join the Williamsburg Christmas Parade on Dec. 4. For the first time, the parade, which kicks off the holiday season with themed floats, live performances, and of course Santa himself, will be held at night.

Munch Cookies with Santa

Bring the whole family to the Gallery at York Hall on Dec. 5 for Cookies with Santa — a complimentary event to make the season bright. After enjoying the refreshments, find unique Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers among the work of hundreds of local artists, including ornaments, paintings, quilts, pottery, and many other one-of-a-kind pieces.

Shop for Christmas Gifts

Looking for the perfect gift for a friend or family member? You’re sure to find it at the Christmas Market on Main Street, Dec. 4 and 5. This is one of the most anticipated Yorktown events every holiday season. Close to 100 vendors line the street selling everything from nautical paintings to handmade soaps to Christmas ornaments and wreaths. On Saturday, enjoy a performance from the Fifes and Drums of York Town, after which Santa Claus himself will greet families. Expect strolling musical entertainment throughout the day and an ice carver set up in front of York Hall on Sunday.

More Yorktown shopping opportunities await at Mistletoe Market on Dec. 11. Browse for chowders and soups; baked goods; jams, jellies, and honey; holiday wreaths; candles and soaps; and local seasonal art. March in the annual Toyland Parade and hop aboard the Riverwalk Landing Polar Express for a loop around the festivities. Marvel at a fascinating live demonstration by a professional ice carver set up in front of the Riverwalk Landing fountain.

Sing Carols of Yesteryear

Ring in the holidays on Dec. 16 with musicians Brian Forsman and Bill Weldon as they trace the roots of seasonal tunes and popular carols to the music that our ancestors sang and danced to in colonial times. During Now Christmas Comes!, sing along with carols from Christmases past before the lighting of the Community Christmas Tree on Market Square. 

Watch the Colonial Williamsburg Christmas Tree Lighting

Gather in Colonial Williamsburg on Dec. 16 for the annual Community Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. Listen to a special reading of The Night Before Christmas in front of the Courthouse steps and learn about the first Christmas tree in the United States. Sing along to classic Christmas carols and watch as the 40-foot spruce tree on Market Square is illuminated with 7,500 twinkling lights. 

Live an Authentic Colonial Christmas

Christmastide in Virginia returns Dec. 18-31 at Jamestown Settlement and American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, offering a glimpse of 17th- and 18th-century holiday traditions through interpretative programs and demonstrations and period musical entertainment. At Jamestown Settlement, special programs will compare English Christmas customs of the time with how they were observed in the difficult early years of the first permanent English settlement. At the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, learn about winter camp life and hear accounts of Christmas during the war. Observe open-hearth cooking and watch as period dishes are made in the farm kitchen. Interpreters will also demonstrate a variety of holiday activities, including setting a farmhouse table for a holiday feast and decorating with greenery.

Immerse Yourself in Christmas Stories

Gather the entire family together for 12 Days and Night Before Christmas on Dec. 24 at the Hennage Auditorium in Colonial Williamsburg. Watch two classic Christmas stories come to life.

Participate in a 19th-Century Christmas

Spend an hour with the Colonial Singers for a re-creation of a 19th-Century Williamsburg Christmas in the “living room” of the famous Tucker family home in the Hennage Auditorium in Colonial Williamsburg on Dec. 26. Clad in beautiful 19th-century costumes, they share stories and songs centered around the Civil War, the college town of Williamsburg, circa 1850, and tales of Charles Dickens. Enjoy decorating the Tucker family Christmas tree.

Re-Live Four Centuries of Virginia Christmases

Enjoy early hymns, English songs of roast beef and revelry, Irish and Scots dance tunes, poetry, prose, and stories galore during Four Centuries of Virginia Christmases at the Hennage Auditorium in Colonial Williamsburg on Dec. 28. Sing, clap, toe-tap, and share the fun of beloved holiday traditions as veteran Williamsburg musicians Kelly Kennedy, David Gardner, Cliff Williams, and Doug Austin celebrate Christmases past in the Old Dominion. 

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Iceless Curling and Cozy Igloos Return to Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park

November 13, 2021
Cozy Igloos by Prime Video are heated, clear structures decorated with seasonal decor that provide an intimate setting to enjoy festive food and drinks in a private space with some of the best views of the iconic Bryant Park skating rink and Bank of America Winter Village (Photo Credit: Angelito Jusay for Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park)

NYC’s celebrated Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park, featuring the city’s only free-admission skating rink, holiday market and delicious food offerings, has returned for its 20th season, Friday, October 29, 2021 – Sunday, March 6, 2022. 

Tickets are now on sale for Curling Café and Cozy Igloos by Prime Video at Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park. The two wildly popular activities are returning to Winter Village with a new look.

As the first-ever ICELESS curling experience, the Curling Café offers guests a dedicated curling lane where two teams of up to 4 people each can experience “street” or iceless curling for 90 minutes. Each lane is accompanied by a private, heated dome where their teams can warm up and share seasonal drinks and bites between games.

Cozy Igloos by Prime Video are heated, clear structures decorated with seasonal decor that provide an intimate setting for family and friends to enjoy festive food and drinks – including mulled wine and hot chocolate – in a private space with some of the best views of the iconic skating rink.

More information and reservations for the  Curling Café and Cozy Igloos by Prime Video at Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park can be found at wintervillage.org.

Curling Café and Cozy Igloo adult and family packages, for either 1-4 or 5-8 guests, will be available and must be reserved online. Hours for Cozy Igloos are Monday through Friday from noon to 9:30pm and from 11:30am to 11pm on weekends. Hours for The Curling Cafe are from 3:30pm – 9pm Wednesday through Friday, 11:30am – 9pm on Saturday, and 11:30am – 7pm on Sunday.

All igloos and equipment will be sanitized by the park’s dedicated team between each and every booking. Please note that reservations cannot accommodate parties larger than 8 people unless you book more than 1 dome. For more information on Bryant Park’s safety practices, visit wintervillage.org.

While still proceeding with an abundance of caution for the safety of its guests, Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park is thrilled to be welcoming back its most popular attractions this winter season:

  • The Rink: the only free-admission ice skating rink in NYC is open daily. The Rink is completely outdoors, and skate time and rentals can be reserved in advance online. New skate reservation dates will be released on a rolling basis throughout the season. Masks are encouraged, and Bryant Park is continuing to implement additional cleaning protocols throughout the day to ensure high-touch surfaces and shared rental equipment are sanitized and safe for use.
  • Holiday Shops: the open-air holiday market are open daily through January 2, 2022, and features more than 170 new and returning merchants. 
  • Small Business Spotlight presented by Bank of America: four New York City minority-owned small businesses with annual revenue of $1 million or less will have the chance to showcase their products in a rent-free booth, made possible by Bank of America, as part of this season’s Holiday Shops. 

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Winter Village With Free Skating, Holiday Market Returns to NYC’s Bryant Park

November 4, 2021
NYC’s celebrated Bank of America winter Village at Bryant Park, featuring the city’s only free-admission skating rink, holiday market and delicious food offerings, has returned for its 20th season,Friday, October 29, 2021 – Sunday, March 6, 2022 © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

NYC’s celebrated Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park, featuring the city’s only free-admission skating rink, holiday market and delicious food offerings, has returned for its 20th season, Friday, October 29, 2021 – Sunday, March 6, 2022.  While still proceeding with an abundance of caution for the safety of its guests, Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park is thrilled to be welcoming back its most popular attractions this winter season:

  • The Rink: the only free-admission ice skating rink in NYC is open daily. The Rink is completely outdoors, and skate time and rentals can be reserved in advance online. New skate reservation dates will be released on a rolling basis throughout the season. Masks are encouraged, and Bryant Park is continuing to implement additional cleaning protocols throughout the day to ensure high-touch surfaces and shared rental equipment are sanitized and safe for use.
  • Holiday Shops: the open-air holiday market are open daily through January 2, 2022, and features more than 170 new and returning merchants. 
  • Small Business Spotlight presented by Bank of America: fourNew York City minority-owned small businesses with annual revenue of $1 million or less will have the chance to showcase their products in a rent-free booth, made possible by Bank of America, as part of this season’s Holiday Shops. 

Last year’s featured small businesses were sustainable candle and soap company TREE*STAR, Brooklyn-based bakeshop Annie Mae’s Bakery, custom-designed hat shop Harlem’s Heaven Hats, and Tibet Tree of Life, a business selling incense, shawls, and other products made in the Himalayan region.

The Lodge by Prime Video: a covered, outdoor après skate escape is where visitors can cozy up with a festive cocktail, enjoy delicious food, watch the ice skaters or admire the tree.

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Early Bird Pricing for Magic of Lights at Jones Beach, Long Island

November 4, 2021
The Magic of Lights returns to Jones Beach, Long Island, November 19 through January 2, 2022 (courtesy of The Magic of Lights)

Early bird pricing has already opened for Magic of Lights, a family-friendly, drive-through holiday lights festival. The 2.5-mile drive-through experience of dazzling, sparkling, and twinkling series of magical light displays is taking place in two New York City-area locations: PNC Long Island’s Jones Beach State Park and Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ, from Friday, November 19 through Sunday, January 2.

Magic of Lights features themed light displays using the latest LED technology and digital animations. It is highlighted by the Illuminating Mega Trees consisting of 120-feet of dancing, lights synchronized to holiday music. Other dazzling festive light displays include Winter Wonderland, The Night Before Christmas, Candyland, Toyland, Sports Row, 12 Days of Christmas, and the notorious Enhancing Tunnel of Lights. In addition, new to this year’s exhibit are the Prehistoric Christmas and Snow Flurry Tunnel.

Magic of Lights is open Sunday through Thursday from 5 p.m. (dusk) until 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. (dusk) until 11 p.m. (Magic of Lights will be closed on Friday, December 31). For dates, times, and ticket availability, visit magicoflights.com.

Admission is $25 in advance or $35 at the gate on weekdays and $30 in advance or $40 at the gate on weekends through November. Price is based per car and will change in December. Special pricing is available for limousines and buses. Group ticket rates are available. Tickets are available through TicketMaster.com.

Visitors can save $3 on weekday admission when they bring at least two non-perishable food items benefiting Long Island and New Jersey food banks. Other charity nights will be announced in the coming weeks. Last year Magic of Lights’ philanthropy made a meaningful impact in local communities by donating more than $150,000 in cash to local organizations in addition to collecting non-perishable food items, toys, books, coats and more for those who need it most. At Jones Beach, A portion of every entry ticket will support Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the Foundation for Long Island State Parks Inc.

The Magic of Lights uses the latest CAD technology and is hand-crafted at the Magic of Lights warehouse in Medina, OH,. The displays combine for more than 10 miles of LED lighting across all presentations, in the trees, and on the buildings. There are 10 different colors of LED bulbs used. The highest scene is 32-feet tall, and the longest is several hundred feet long. The steel displays are designed, bent, cut, and welded into about 800 frames combined in different configurations to create each show’s giant winter holiday scenes.

The Magic of Lights is produced in partnership between Live Nation and FunGuys Events. In Long Island, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation is a co-producer and the event is presented by New York Community Bank.

Jones Beach State Park, 895 Bay Parkway Jones Beach, NY. To book, go to https://magicoflights.com/events/jonesbeach/

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Cape May MAC’s 47th Annual Christmas Candlelight House Tour Goes Virtual But Holiday Tours of Physick Estate Continue

December 12, 2020
Cape May’s Candlelight House Tour will be virtual this year, but other traditional tours and events go on (photo courtesy Cape May MAC)

CAPE MAY, NJ –Cape May MAC (Museums+Arts+Culture) announces its 2020 Cape May Christmas Candlelight House Tour is available for purchase to experience virtually this year, but other Cape May traditional holiday programs, focused around the historic Emlen Physick Estate, continue daily.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions and protocols this year, Cape May MAC made the difficult decision that these annual holiday tours, usually offered on three nights in December, must be cancelled in 2020. Cape May’s Christmas Candlelight House Tours have been a beloved annual tradition for nearly half a century. Cape May MAC launched this tour in 1973 and ever since it has been a highlight of the Christmas season in Cape May, America’s only National Historic Landmark City. Thousands of people on three nights in December travel to more than a dozen homes, inns, B&Bs, churches and hotels, stepping across the thresholds to take in interiors beautifully decorated for the holidays. It is one of Cape May MAC’s largest fund-raisers.

“This year, it was decided to create a video that will bring the joy and excitement of these Cape May Christmas tours directly into people’s homes, to continue this tradition unbroken. With enthusiastic participation from Cape May innkeepers, B&B owners and homeowners, planning began this summer and production is nearly complete.”

“Of course, we look forward to when we can offer these self-guided tours in person once again, but we could not have Christmas in Cape May without them in 2020,” said Cape May MAC Director and CEO Jody Alessandrine.

For the first time, the tour will be entirely virtual, via a video available for purchase through Vimeo On Demand ($30). Featured are 10 Cape May homes, B&Bs and inns decorated for the holidays including interviews with owners and innkeepers. Participating properties include: The John B. McCreary House (“The Abbey”), Angel of the Sea Bed & Breakfast, The Bedford Inn, The Cherry House, The Emlen Physick Estate, Franklin at 721, The Henry Sawyer Inn, The Mainstay Inn, The Mason Cottage and The Mission Inn.

The Trailer is available to watch online here;

https://vimeo.com/ondemand/capemaychristmastour.

Guests may purchase the video directly anytime via the link. The video will then be made available to purchasers automatically to watch after its release on Monday, Dec. 21 at 9 a.m.

This presentation is sponsored by Sturdy Savings Bank and Brown & Brown Insurance. Proceeds benefit Cape May MAC, a not-for-profit organization committed to promoting the preservation, interpretation and cultural enrichment of the Cape May region for its residents and visitors since 1970. Cape May MAC membership is open to all. Visit capemaymac.org/support/membership to learn more.

While the candlelight tour is virtual, the rest of Cape May’s traditional holiday tours are taking place daily:

The Emlen Physick Estate is open daily (except Thanksgiving and Christmas) for holiday tours. Designed by American architect Frank Furness, the Physick House is Cape May’s Victorian House Museum. Its restoration began Cape May’s 50-year renaissance that continues to this day.

New in 2020! Winter Wonderwalk this season at the Physick Estate.

Open-air trolley tours are offered throughout this holiday season in Cape May. Bring a blanket!

Vintage restaurant is open during the holidays with heated, outdoor dining under the patio tent on the grounds of the Emlen Physick Estate, for both brunch and dinner.

An Old-fashioned Christmas Exhibit features a huge indoor Christmas Tree and a Dept. 56 Dickens Village collection. There is free admission to this popular annual display.

For information about Cape May MAC’s year-round schedule of tours, festivals and special events, visit capemaymac.org. For information about historic accommodations, contact Cape May Historic Accommodations at capemaylodging.com. For information about restaurants, accommodations and shopping, call the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Cape May at 609-884-5508. For information on the city’s COVID-19 response, please visit capemaystrong.org.

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Have a Colonial Christmas in Williamsburg, Virginia

December 11, 2020
The Busch Gardens Christmas Celebration runs on select dates through Jan. 3, featuring new village entertainment, 15 coasters and rides, a Gingerbread Scavenger Hunt, festive holiday shopping, sweet culinary offerings, and meeting Santa in his Workshop.

In Colonial Williamsburg, in addition to Grand Illumination, enjoy special holiday events throughout December include caroling at the Courthouse, walking tours highlighting colonial Christmas decorations and the galleries of the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg, visits with Father Christmas, ice skating at the Liberty Ice Pavilion, the community Christmas Tree lighting with special readings of “The Night Before Christmas,” the Lighting of the Cressets on historic Duke of Gloucester Street with strolling musicians and tidings of good cheer Dec. 17 – 24, holiday feasts and meals, plenty of opportunities to shop for unique colonial gifts such as wreaths, centerpieces, and more. The living history attraction remains open for daily holiday programs with special health protocols in place.

Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area is fully decorated and holidaythemed programming is being presented daily ― mostly outdoors ― through New Year’s Day, along with a range of new exhibitions, seasonal programming and the famous Folk Art Christmas Tree at the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg, which this year completed a $41.7-million donor-funded expansion.

In Merchants Square, a variety of shopping and dining options await, along with Liberty Ice Pavilion, now open daily on Duke of Gloucester Street. A new Christmas Market opens Fridays through Sundays, Dec. 4-19, at the corner of South Boundary Street and Francis Street, hosted in partnership with the City and CultureFixVA.

Event schedules and admission information is available at colonialwilliamsburg.org/holidays. Details on Colonial Williamsburg Resorts getaways, plus tavern and contemporary dining information are available at colonialwilliamsburghotels.com.

The Busch Gardens Christmas Celebration runs on select dates through Jan. 3, featuring new village entertainment, fifteen coasters and rides, a Gingerbread Scavenger Hunt, festive holiday shopping, sweet culinary offerings, and meeting Santa in his Workshop.

In Yorktown, catch the Yorktown Christmas Tree Lighting, a community tradition that goes back to 1945, on Dec. 4. The Christmas Market on Main Street, Dec. 5-6, features 60 vendors for holiday gift shopping along with holiday music, The Fifes and Drums of Yorktown, festive food and drink, and an appearance by Santa on York County’s first fire truck. On Dec. 6, enjoy Cookies with Santa at the Gallery at York Hall and learn about ancient Norse influences on modern Christmas culture at the Viking Yuletide Celebration at the Watermen’s Museum. Shop for holiday gifts while enjoying chowders, soups, baked goods and other treats at the Mistletoe Market at Riverwalk Landing, Dec. 12, also featuring a live ice carving demonstration and a Toyland Parade. From Dec. 19-31, Christmastide in Virginia at Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown recalls 17th- and 18th-century holiday traditions through special interpretive programs and musical entertainment of the period. At the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, hear accounts of Christmas and winter in military encampments during the American Revolution and glimpse holiday preparations on a Revolution-era farm. A Jamestown Settlement, compare and contrast English Christmas customs of the period with how the season may have been observed in the difficult early years of the Jamestown colony. 

At Berkeley Plantation, enjoy Centuries of Christmas, Dec. 5 – Jan. 1, when the elegant 1726 mansion will be beautifully decorated with fresh greenery from Berkley’s gardens. Highlights include costumed guides sharing four centuries of stories, tours, workshops, teas and other special events.

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Holiday Activities at American Dream Mall Include Big Snow Indoor Park

December 18, 2019

American Dream-Snow-Xmas

Lindsey Vonn, Kelly Clark, Red Gerard, Donna Weinbrecht, Don Ghermezian, Paul Ghermezian, Joe Hession, Hugh Reynolds are on hand to open Big SNOW American Dream, North America’s first indoor real-snow ski and snowboard park.

The holiday season has kicked off at American Dream mall, New Jersey, with festive activities for the entire family including free photos with Santa, face painting, and a winter market.

BIG SNOW AMERICAN DREAM OPENING

Big SNOW American Dream, North America’s first indoor real-snow ski and snowboard park opened December 5, Tickets and more information about Big SNOW can be found at  http://bigsnowamericandream.com/

PHOTOS WITH SANTA

American Dream’s Events Court is transformed into a winter wonderland this holiday season. Visit American Dream for a complimentary 5×7 print + digital photo with Santa between December 5 – December 24. Photos with Santa are available at your convenience, with no appointments needed. Suggested donations benefiting Make-A-Wish® New Jersey, our holiday non-profit partner, are encouraged. A complete listing of Santa’s schedule for the holiday season is available at www.americandream.com/event/santa. Santa is bilingual and is fluent in English and Spanish.

WINTER MARKET

The Winter Market at American Dream will debut this December and offer guests the opportunity to shop for unique gifts for loved ones, as well as sample snacks that will tease their appetites. Vendors include A’Jar Sweet Cream FactoryBang Cookies, Italian Alps Gelato, Grisini CoffeeLaduréePandoraRobin RuthSleet & SoleThe New Stand and Unique Flowers.

FESTIVE FACE PAINTING

Enjoy festive face painting during the weekend at American Dream. Face painters will be in the Tree Court and Nickelodeon Universe every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from December 6 – December 22, as well as Monday, December 23 and Tuesday, December 24. Hours will be posted on www.americandream.com.

CHANUKAH CELEBRATIONS

Celebrate Chanukah at American Dream. Join us for a special Chanukah Skate at The Rink on Sunday, December 22 from 5:00PM – 8:00PM, with DJ Jon spinning and a menorah lighting at 6:00PM. The community will gather to celebrate the last night of Chanukah on Sunday, December 29 from 5:30PM – 6:30PM, with a menorah lighting in the Events Court at 6:00PM.

SOUNDS OF THE SEASON

American Dream will welcome local schools and community groups performing holiday hits throughout the winter wonderland. Enjoy performances several times throughout the afternoon on Saturday, December 7, 14, 21 and on Sunday, December 8, 15, 22.

WEAR THE SEASON WITH WHOOPI

Wear the season in Whoopi Goldberg’s amazing, amusing, limited edition Christmas and Chanukah sweaters. Holiday sweaters are available for sale in Whoopi = American Dream, open through January 2020. While you’re there, check out Whoopi’s new book ‘The Unqualified Hostess’ for inspiration and tips for all of your holiday soirees.

American Dream, developed by Triple Five Group, offers a curated mix of entertainment, retail and dining options. American Dream is approximately 3 million square feet and projects 40 million visitors annually. When complete, the destination will include over 450 retail, food and specialty shops, complemented by over 15 entertainment offerings including: fully-enclosed DreamWorks Water Park and Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park; Big SNOW American Dream; Kidzania; live Performing Arts Theater; 300-foot tall Observation Wheel; Merlin Entertainments’ Sea Life Aquarium and Legoland Discovery Center; The Rink – an NHL-regulation sized ice rink; and The Dining Terrace with over fifteen full service restaurants and the world’s only Munchie’s Food Hall. For more information visit www.americandream.com or follow on Instagram @americandream.

American Dream, 1 American Dream Way, East Rutherford NJ 07073.

 

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Where to Eat, Drink and Be Merry in London this Holiday Season

November 18, 2019

Photography by Paul Wilkinson Photography Ltd.

There are arguably few other places that shine as bright as London during the holiday season. The capital is packed with Yuletide sights and activities such as a sing-along concert in the famed Royal Albert Hall, one of the city’s most distinctive buildings, a winter journey to the countryside aboard a vintage train and a decadent dinner accompanied by a performance of a Christmas Carol at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons.

There are arguably few other places that encapsulate Christmas as London during the holiday season. The capital is packed with Yuletide sights and activities such as a sing-along concert in the famed Royal Albert Hall, one of the city’s most distinctive buildings, a winter journey to the countryside aboard a vintage train and a decadent dinner accompanied by a performance of a “Christmas Carol.” These ideas from London and beyond will add sparkle to any itinerary this holiday season.

One More Sleep ‘Til Christmas

This holiday season, travelers can experience a quintessential London Christmas thanks to The Kensington. Situated in the heart of its namesake neighborhood, the hotel is offering a package that includes a four-night stay in a room or suite with daily à la carte breakfast, a festive lunch at the hotel restaurant Town House and two tickets to the Christmas Eve carols at the Royal Albert Hall, just a stone’s throw away from the hotel and a true London institution. The hall has been bringing jubilant shows to the city for almost 150 years. In addition to singing along with the carolers, children will have the opportunity to meet Santa Claus himself. After the show, guests can stop at the National History Museum’s ice skating rink to glide under the twinkling lights with the iconic Waterhouse building as a backdrop. Back at the hotel, enjoy a Christmas Day lunch set in the cozy drawing rooms of Town House restaurant. The traditional feast includes all the trimmings, from Christmas pudding to Perrier-Jouët Champagne. Little ones will be delighted to find a surprise turndown treat awaiting them back in their beds. Available from December 22-28. Rates start from $1,998 based on double occupancy B&B for four nights.

A Day at the Market

Known for being home to one of Europe’s top Christmas markets, Bath features over 150 twinkling chalets selling everything from homeware to handcrafted jewelry. For gourmands, there will be plenty of treats to enjoy on the spot or to take home for later, such as locally made cheese and chocolates. For a truly festive experience, Belmond British Pullman will host a roundtrip journey to Bath from London on December 4. The package includes a Bellini brunch on the outbound trip, a day at the market in Bath, and an indulgent four-course dinner on the return. Rates start at $650 per passenger.

Escape to the Swiss Alps

Cheese fondue, glühwein and all the cozy winter comforts of a Swiss resort can be found at The Bloomsbury’s seasonal al fresco restaurant, Dalloway Terrace. In collaboration with the alpine resort town of Gstaad, the restaurant has been reimagined with snow-dusted pine garlands and traditional cow bells nestled amongst the frosty foliage. Famed as a winter playground for A-listers and global icons, Gstaad’s Swiss traditions are apparent in the terrace, such as bespoke “Scherenschnitte” (Swiss paper cuttings) on display around the restaurant. Travelers to London this winter can find a cozy spot on the heated terrace and warm up with Foxford woolen blankets and a Swiss inspired afternoon tea complete with a Mont Blanc tart, Edel Weiss white chocolate cream and a Swiss chocolate snow coated pine tree. Warming cocktails such as an alpine toddy, a hot toddy with a chamomile twist are delivered to the table with a Retro Viewer that allows guests to gaze upon the picturesque mountains of Gstaad between sips. Afternoon tea at Dalloway Terrace starts at $50 per person.

Dinner with Dickens

Guests can experience a Christmas in the city and country with Belmond’s new package that combines two nights at Belmond Cadogan Hotel – the British brand’s first London address with private access to the Cadogan Estate Gardens – and one night at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, a 15th-century manor in the English countryside. On December 21, actor Gerald Dickens, great-great-grandson of A Christmas Carol author Charles Dickens, will perform a one-man show of his ancestor’s classic story at Le Manoir’s two Michelin-starred restaurant. Diners will not only be treated to light-hearted scenes from the story but will also hear diary excerpts from those who were close to the author. Rates for the Belmond Cadogan Hotel and Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons package start at $2,955 per couple; dinner at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons can be added for $290 per person.

 

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A Few of our Favorite Things: Festive Holiday Traditions on Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard & Nantucket

November 18, 2019

Cape Cod-Enchanted Village xmas e2

Cape Cod Enchanted Village takes place December 6, 2019-January 2, 2020. Free and open to the public! Thousands of lights, a Santa’s Village and the Cape Cod Surftone Carolers sing holiday music every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night from 5 pm to 8pm. Bonfire nightly (weather permitting). Holiday lights go on at dusk. Please bring a gift card of new, unwrappped toy for the “Giving Tree”. Proceeds go to Independence House. (www.capecodderresort.com/packages/enchanted-village-package)

By StoryStudio

Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket bring the classic spirit of the season to life every Thanksgiving through New Year’s, each putting their special stamp on beloved holiday traditions.

Bundle up by the seashore this season and make some of these unique Cape & Islands traditions your own:

  1. Illuminations: The Town Crier leads the dramatic countdown to the Nantucket Tree Lighting(November 29), when more than 150 trees light up the night sky to the sounds of joyous caroling. Featured in Smithsonian Magazine’s article “Seven Places Reinventing the Christmas Tree,” Provincetown’s Lobster Pot Treeis stacked with over 100 real lobster pots borrowed from local lobstermen; adorned with 3,400 LED lights, the display comes to life on November 30. And the December 7 Lighting of the Edgartown Lighthouse is the official kickoff to the Vineyard’s Christmas in Edgartown celebration, with holiday sing-a-longs led by Dickens Christmas Carolers.
  2. Santa’s Arrival:It’s the Cape & Islands, so we can hardly expect Santa to make much of a splash arriving in his traditional mode of transport. Grab a cup of hot cocoa and get ready to greet Old St. Nick dockside! Local harbors are the place to be as Santa cruises into various town ports by boat, including Orleans on November 30, Chatham on December 1, both Falmouth and Nantucket on December 7 and Vineyard Haven on December 8.
  3. Nantucket Christmas Stroll: Glittering fir trees, strolling minstrels and Victorian carolers are just some of the sights you’ll see at the highly anticipated 46th Annual Nantucket Christmas Stroll(December 6-8). The festivities include extended shopping hours, special menus at local restaurants, craft shows and a magical talking Christmas tree.
  4. Festive 5Ks:’Tis the season to be jolly, which often means overindulging in eggnog and Christmas cookies. Burn off those calories (and more importantly, make room for some more) at the Santa Stampede and Family Fun Runon December 7 in Orleans and the Teddy Bear Trot on December 15 in Edgartown. Runners and walkers should dress in their festive best; if you don’t cross the finish line first, you could still win for best costume!
  5. Christmas in Edgartown:Downtown Edgartown comes alive December 12-15 for the 38th Annual Christmas in Edgartown. Twinkle-lit architecture sets the scene for cookie contests, wreath making, amazing store promotions, The Great Chowder Contest, and a parade down Main Street.
  6. Old-Fashioned Family Fun: Take a guided ride along a winter wonderland route in an over-sand vehicle to the remote Cape Poge Lighthouse for Christmas at the Lighthouseon Martha’s Vineyard (December 7-8). The Nantucket Whaling Museum is ablaze with color during the Nantucket Historical Association Festival of Trees(December 6-31), featuring creatively decorated trees by local merchants, artists and children. And nine miles of twinkling lights greet visitors to Heritage Museums & Gardens’ Gardens Aglow, where you can visit with Santa in a 1913 Model T Ford, roast marshmallows over outdoor fire pits and stroll through the grounds on a reindeer scavenger hunt (November 29-December 29, Fridays-Sundays).
  7. Shop Local: Quaint boutiques, charming bookstores and eclectic galleries adorn downtown areas, making it easy to tackle your holiday shopping list. One-of-a-kind gifts by local artisans can be found at Featherstone’s Holiday Gift Show(November 15-December 15), the Vineyard Artisans’ Annual Holiday Fair(December 21) and the Holiday LoveLocal Fest in Hyannis (December 7-8). Peruse the beautiful glass-blown ornaments at Sandwich Glass Museum’s Glassblowers’ Christmas, featuring handmade ornaments available for purchase (November 15-December 30). And if you shop on Nantucket between November 1 and December 24, you can earn red tickets and enter for a chance to win up to $11,000 through the Holiday Red Ticket Program.

If you’ve been searching for some holiday magic ― along with festive village centers, fireside dining and cozy inns ― your Cape & Islands Christmas experience awaits! Visit the links below to learn more about spending the holidays by the sea:

CapeCodChamber.org
MVY.com
NantucketChamber.org

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46th Annual Nantucket Noel 2019 of Winter Nights & Holiday Lights Underway Nov 29-Jan 1

November 18, 2019

Nantrucket Lighthouse during Christmas

Nantucket Island’s month-long (November 29, 2019 to January 1, 2020) Nantucket Noel is a venerable tradition.

Nantucket Island’s month-long (November 29, 2019 to January 1, 2020) Nantucket Noel is a venerable tradition. With the influx of visitors and return of islanders with homes here for the holidays, Island population swells along with the intense feeling that something very special is about to happen. And, to be sure, Nantucket Noel and its dazzling Christmas Stroll Weekend remind us of every reason why Christmas season is so special to us all.

This year’s theme is Winter Nights & Holiday Nights — a reminder that, on Nantucket, the winter holidays commence with the Tree Lighting and continue for 33 days through The New Nantucket New Year’s Event and The Nantucket Hotel’s Anchor Drop on New Year’s Eve.

Nantucket Noel’s magic begins on Friday, November 29, 2019 with the annual Tree Lighting & Community Caroling Ceremony at the top of Main Street (which will be closed to vehicular traffic). Islanders, visitors and others convene in holiday spirit, gleefully anticipating the Town Crier’s countdown to the illumination of more than 150 balsam holiday trees. After the balsam trees are ablaze with light, rounds of traditional holiday carols spontaneously break out in song with the remarkably colorful and energy-efficient LED lights in the background. Caroling is led by Nantucket High School’s renowned a cappella group Accidentals & Naturals.

Nantucket Noel 2019’s festivities — including the incomparable signature event Christmas Stroll Weekend (December 6-8, 2019) — commence first at dusk on November 29 with the annual Tree Lighting & Community Caroling Ceremony presented by Stop & Shop. This much anticipated tradition features more than 150 majestically attired balsam Christmas trees lining the side perimeters of cobblestoned Main Street and adjoining byways. The 46th Annual Christmas Stroll Weekend (December 6-8, 2019), presented by The Steamship Authority, is the following weekend.

“The Steamship Authority is pleased to again sponsor the Nantucket Christmas Stroll Weekend” said Kimberlee McHugh, Steamship Authority’s Director of Marketing. “We look forward to transporting many visitors to and from Nantucket during the festivities. If you haven’t already done so, please book your ferry reservations online at www.SteamshipAuthority.com or call 508-477-8600. On behalf of all of us at the Steamship Authority, we wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season.”

Christmas Stroll Weekend is truly an inspiring event comprising the ultimate holiday imaginings of every child, teenager and adult! Every nuance of Christmas past, present and future is rolled into one weekend here on Nantucket. Nantucket presents the Christmas of everyone’s dreams for all to experience and participate in year after year.

On Saturday, December 7, everyone awaits the arrival of Santa Claus himself! Promptly at 11:45AM, when Nantucket’s Town Crier, in full regalia, will ring in the 46th Annual Christmas Stroll Weekend presented by The Steamship Authority. The Crier then leads the procession to Straight Wharf to meet Santa, who arrives via Coast Guard cutter. Santa — held aloft on his nautical sleigh (minus the reindeer, of course!) — will greet his enthusiastic fans before riding to the Discovery Room at the NHA Whaling Museum on Broad Street to meet with the hopeful children who will regale Santa with their ‘wish lists.’

After Santa Claus’ departure to the Discovery Room at the NHA Whaling Museum, a full day of holiday activities and events including strolling Victorian carolers, bell ringers, local talent of every description, Main Street’s Magical Talking Tree, the Christmas Marketplace, styled after the authentic holiday markets of Europe, and other traditional holiday activities will be on offered for every member of the family! Grown-ups are as enthusiastic as the little ones about Nantucket Noel events and, especially, Christmas Stroll Weekend.

“From Downtown Nantucket across the entire Island, there is a feeling of anticipation as the Christmas holidays unfold. Commencing with the Tree Lighting and continuing through Stroll Weekend and Nantucket New Years, the joy and tradition are amazing,” said David Martin, President & CEO of Nantucket Chamber.

“Nantucket evolves into a living ‘snow globe,’ evocative of every wondrous emotion and memory of Christmas holidays past and present. Holiday bells, the twinkle of holiday ornaments on trees and Christmas carols complete the spell. Nantucket presents the Christmas of a lifetime, every year, with its Nantucket Noel, Christmas Stroll and Nantucket New Years,” Martin continued.

To encourage shopping local for the holiday season and promote the sustainability of Island commerce, the Chamber continues its popular Holiday Red Ticket Program, with participating Chamber member businesses giving out one red ticket for every $25 purchase.  The program commences on November 1st, with merchants dispensing one red tickets for every $25 spent. On Double Red Ticket Days, December 14th, merchants will dispense two red tickets for every $25 spent.  At 3pm on December 24th, five lucky winners of $1,000, one luck winner of $5,000, and one extra-lucky winner of a surprise prize valued at $1,000 will be chosen at random from the multitude of tickets filling the enormous bed of a Don Allen Ford truck parked outside the Pacific National Bank at the head of Main Street. A list of participating merchants can be found at www.nantucketredtickets.com.

The month of December draws to a close with the new Nantucket New Years on December 31, 2019. More details to follow on this day full of events. In 2018, Nantucket Hotel hosted a Countdown to 2019 at its first-ever complimentary ‘Anchor Drop’ from the top of The Nantucket Hotel. The tradition will continue this year with a Countdown to 2020. Gather outside the Hotel at 5:00PM for an Anchor Drop or an Anchor Drop at 12:00AM, both with hot chocolate for all.

 

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