Archive for the ‘family travel’ Category

What a Stocking Stuffer! Kids’ Night on Broadway Tickets Now on Sale

December 6, 2017
NYC-Bdway_20160216_213153915e2 (c) Karen Rubin

Tickets are now on sale for Kids’ Night on Broadway®. Kids’ Night on Broadway will take place in New York City on Tuesday, February 27, 2018. © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

New York, NY – What a stocking stuffer! Tickets are now on sale for Kids’ Night on Broadway®. Kids’ Night on Broadway will take place in New York City on Tuesday, February 27, 2018.

Participating shows include: AladdinAnastasiaThe Band’s VisitBeautiful: The Carole King MusicalA Bronx TaleCome From AwayChicagoFarinelli and the KingKinky BootsThe Lion KingOnce On This IslandThe Phantom of the OperaSchool of RockSpongeBob SquarePants, and Wicked. Shows are subject to change.

Kids’ Night on Broadway is an annual event where kids 18 and under can attend participating Broadway shows for free when accompanied by a full-paying adult (all guests must have a ticket to attend shows; offer is applied as 50% off each ticket; no additional ‘free’ tickets are added to orders).

A Kids’ Night on Broadway ticket includes restaurant discounts, parking discounts, activities, and more. On Tuesday, February 27, 2018, select shows will offer in-theatre activities for kids including talkbacks, Kids’ Night on Broadway activity books, and more events still to be announced! Restaurants and parking discounts will be announced in January.

Kids’ Night on Broadway will also take place in multiple cities around the country, with different shows and venues putting their own spin on the event, on numerous dates throughout the year.

Kids’ Night on Broadway is a program of The Broadway League. It is generously presented by The New York Times and is sponsored by WABC-TV with additional support from Turnstyle and Westchester Family.

 

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Gaylord National Resort Announces More Thrills and Chills This Holiday Season

December 5, 2017
Opryland's ICE!

The thrill of coming down the ice slide at Gaylord National’s ice sculpture attraction, ICE! during the resort’s fabulous Christmas on the Potomac festival © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

(National Harbor, Md)– The holiday festivities are already underway at Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, just outside of the nation’s capital. Christmas on the Potomac, presented by FUJIFILM INSTAX® features its famous ice sculpture attraction, an indoor Christmas village, ice skating experience and more.

No holiday season would be complete without the resort’s famous ice sculpture attraction, ICE!, presented by Pepsi, featuring a brand new theme. Families and friends can relive the beloved 1964 TV classic, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, as they walk through 13 scenes of more than two million pounds of colorful ice sculptures that tell the story of how Rudolph’s red-nose first helped Santa guide his sleigh.  Kept at a chilly nine degrees, visitors also can enjoy four thrilling ice slides and a crystal clear, breathtaking Nativity scene.

ICE! opens daily from November 18, 2017 through January 1, 2018. Discounted ticket pricing is available now through October 1 on select days starting at $28 for adults ages 12 and older and $20 for children ages 4 to 11. Tickets after October 1 start at $32 for adults and $24 for children on value days; $38 for adults and $31 for children on general admission days; and $39 for adult and $32 for children on peak days. Kids 3 and younger are free. Military and group ticket pricing is available. Hours vary and can be found at www.ChristmasOnThePotomac.com.

If a winter wonderland of ice sculptures wasn’t enough, the resort also is introducing a new Glacier Glide Ice Skating experience. The young and young at heart will delight in this timeless holiday tradition in the resort’s ornate Christmas Village. Ice Skating costs $16.99 for all ages.

The Christmas Village also is home to a variety of warmer, family-friendly entertainment including Cookies with Mrs. Claus, a carousel, miniature train ride, photos with Santa and Gingerbread Decorating Corner presented by Hallmark Channel’s Countdown to Christmas.

The resort also is bringing back its Build-A-Bear Workshop® experience where guests make their very own furry winter friend – a cuddly, cute polar bear plush, designed exclusively for Gaylord Hotels that can be personalized with cozy winter clothing and accessories. For even more fun, families can work together to solve the Build-A-Bear Workshop® Scavenger Hunt to gain a “beary” special prize.

To enjoy multiple experiences at a reduced price, the resort has bundled several attractions in its Play and Save packages. The packages include a gingerbread man decorating kit, scavenger hunt, unlimited rides on the train and carousel and the option to add-on an ICE! ticket. Without ICE!, the package starts at $29.45 for all ages. With an ICE! ticket, the prices vary depending on the day of visit.

The Christmas Village isn’t the only area to experience holiday cheer within the resort. New this year, Gaylord National is introducing a live entertainment show, JOY – A Holiday Spectacular, set within its stunning 19-story atrium. Visitors can enjoy the rich harmonies of classic and modern songs that celebrate the joy of the holiday season performed by Gaylord National singers. The show is immediately followed by a spectacular Tree Lighting Show that includes laser lights, a dancing water fountain, indoor snowfall and holiday music – all centered on the resort’s suspended Starlight Christmas Tree. To reserve VIP seating for JOY, tickets costs $19.99 for all ages.

Gaylord National also will offer a new family breakfast experience featuring the star of ICE!, Rudolph! Rudolph’s Holly Jolly™ Breakfast is a one-of-a-kind interactive character breakfast experience featuring Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster and Clarice. Children of all ages will enjoy a delicious breakfast buffet, play reindeer games and sing-a-long to favorite music from the beloved television special. Rudolph’s Holly Jolly Breakfast is offered on select days and costs $39.99 for adults ages 12 and older and $26.99 for children ages 4 to 11. Kids 3 and younger are free.

To experience the best of Christmas in the Capital Region, the resort offers overnight packages that offer unlimited priority entry to ICE! Packages include:

ICE! Is Nice Package

  • One night room accommodations
  • Unlimited, priority entry tickets to experience ICE!featuring Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Package starts at $219 for two people.

Christmas on the Potomac Package

  • One night room accommodations
  • Unlimited, priority entry tickets to experience ICE!featuring Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
  • $100 resort credit per night for hotel dining and Relâche Spa services
  • One (1) complimentary souvenir ICE!photo

Package starts at $279 for two people.

For more information on Christmas on the Potomac at Gaylord National Resort and to book a package or tickets to ICE!, visit www.ChristmasOnThePotomac.com or call 301-965-4000.

 

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Capital Christmas: A December Vacation in Washington, DC Checks Every Box on a Holiday Wish List

December 5, 2017
Capitol Building at Night, Washington DC

December is an enchanting time to visit Washington DC. Destination DC can help plan a visit © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

(Washington, DC) –- Destination DC (DDC), the official marketing organization for Washington, DC is primed to help travelers plan unforgettable December holidays in the nation’s capital. Washington.org is packed with seasonal inspiration on a holiday landing page including hotel packages and deals, festive menus, ice skating rinks, Christmas markets, can’t-miss events and more. Scroll instant inspiration on DDC’s Instagram and Facebook accounts or speak with a travel concierge (1-800-422-8644), Monday-Friday, 8:30am-5pm EST.

“Whether your ideal December getaway includes a family photo with the National Christmas tree and A Christmas Carol at Ford’s Theatre or a morning at the MLK Memorial, an afternoon of ice skating at the National Gallery of Art’s rink and a Michelin-star dinner, we can help you plan an unforgettable holiday in Washington, DC,” said Elliott L. Ferguson II, president and CEO of DDC.

Among special packages and events:

SEASONAL HOTEL PACKAGES

Between Nov. 28-Dec. 20, the Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC displays lavish holiday décor from 20 area designers. The luxury Georgetown hotel treats travelers with 30% off suites, Dec. 4-31, 2017.
The Ritz-Carlton Georgetown’s Deck the Halls offer includes Santa’s milk and cookies at turn-down and an in-suite holiday tree. The Ritz-Carlton Washington, DC welcomes guests to Savor the Season with a 30-foot gingerbread Washington Monument and a $50 food and beverage credit.
Winter packages at the Willard InterContinental include a delicious welcome amenity and the official 2017 White House Christmas ornament thru Dec. 31.

ICE SKATING RINKS

Twirl around the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden’s rink thru March 11, 2018. Warm up inside the Pavilion Café and visit Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting: Inspiration and Rivalry in the West Building thru Jan. 21, 2018. FREE
New: The Potomac-side rink at The Wharf in SW DC joins the party of neighborhood rinks in Georgetown and Capitol Riverfront.
New: Glide on iceless”rinks at the Fairmont Washington, D.C. Georgetown and the Watergate Hotel.

HOLIDAY LIGHTS AND TOURS

ZooLights animates the National Zoo with more than 500,000 LED lights, snowless tubing and concerts between 5-9pm until Jan. 1 (closed Dec. 24, 25, 31). FREE

George Washington’s Mount Vernon offers character-guided candlelit tours, 18th century dancing and fireside caroling, Dec. 1-2, 8-9, 17.
Holiday in the Park illuminates Six Flags America with lights, rides and s’mores Dec. 2-3, 9-10, 16-17, 22-23, 26- Jan. 1.
Tour America’s roadside attractions in miniature at Seasons Greenings: National Parks and Historic Parks at the U.S. Botanic Gardens thru Jan. 2. FREE
The National Christmas tree in President’s Park on the Ellipse is attended by 56 decorated trees, Santa’s Workshop and musical performances thru Dec. 31. FREE
The National Menorah will be lit on the Ellipse throughout Hanukah. On Dec. 12 at 4pm, the American Friends of Lubavitch celebrates with dreidels and donuts. FREE

SHOPPING

Find only-in-DC gifts at Made in DC, a new store in Dupont Circle and Steadfast Supply in Capitol Riverfront. Pop-up Christmas markets: Downtown Holiday Market in Penn Quarter and Union Market’s Brief Assembly run thru Dec. 23.
CityCenterDC, the Penn Quarter’s luxury shopping and restaurant destination, dresses up with a giant reindeer, a sky-high tree for the season. Between Dec. 1-3, a 12-foot-high igloo adds to the Instagram fun.
Georgetown Glow, an outdoor exhibition of light-art installations dots the historic shopping district between 5-10pm, Dec. 8, 2017-Jan. 7, 2018. FREE

PERFORMANCES AND ATTRACTIONS

New: Digital gallery Artechouse welcomes The Imaginary World of the Nutcracker, Dec. 7, 2017-Jan. 7, 2018.
The Kennedy Center hosts seasonal shows including Merry Tubachristmas! (Dec. 11, FREE), Second City’s Twist Your Dickens (Dec. 5-31) and the National Symphony Orchestra’s Handel’s Messiah (Dec. 14-17).
The Washington Ballet’s version of The Nutcracker (thru Dec. 24) swaps George Washington for the Nutcracker Prince at Warner Theatre.
A richly dressed A Christmas Carol (thru Dec. 31) takes over Ford’s Theatre.
New: Christmas Illuminated is one of many exhibits at the Museum of the Bible.

DINING AND NIGHTLIFE

Toasts the season at Drink Company’s Miracle on Seventh Street, a trio of over-the-top pop-up bars thru Dec. 31.
Find lavish holiday teas in the Lounge at the Mandarin Oriental Washington, DC and Tea Cellar at the Park Hyatt Washington DC. The St. Regis Washington D.C. celebrates 12 days of Champagne (Dec. 12-24).
Among the city’s New Year’s Eve delights, Michelin-starred chef José Andrés offers tasting menus at China Chilcano, Jaleo and Oyamel.

Destination DC, the official destination marketing organization for the nation’s capital, is a private, non-profit membership organization of 1,000 businesses committed to marketing the area as a premier global convention, tourism and special events destination with a special emphasis on the arts, cultural and historic communities.

Visit washington.org.
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Hilton Hotels Revitalize the California Road Trip

April 20, 2017
CA-SF-SummOfLove_041217_306e2(c) Karen Rubin-DeYoungMuseum

Take advantage of Hilton’s California Road Trip program at Hilton hotels in San Francisco and join in the 50th anniversary celebration of the Summer of Love, with special tours of Haight-Ashbury and the Summer of Love Experience at the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

ANAHEIM, SAN DIEGO, SAN FRANCISCO and SANTA BARBARA, CALIF. ––Summer travel is already underway In California and travelers from around the globe this summer can enjoy the ultimate Golden State adventure with Hilton’s “California Road Trip,” a destination package that inspires thrill-seekers and value-minded explorers. Discover an array of adventures and authentic experiences with rates starting at $149 per night.  The package highlights premier destination cities such as San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Anaheim and San Diego with special rates available through Labor Day Weekend 2017. To book, visit California Road Trip Package  and take a Virtual California Road Trip on Hilton’s YouTube channel.

Participating properties include: Parc 55 San Francisco—A Hilton Hotel, Hilton San Francisco Union Square, The Fess Parker—A DoubleTree Resort in Santa Barbara, Hilton Anaheim, Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines and Hilton San Diego Bayfront.

With the California Road Trip package, Hilton aims to provide guests added value inside the hotel with a variety of inclusions to make your trip memorable while highlighting California as a premier destination for family fun, exploration and adventure, and exceptional hospitality through a unique partnership with its local conventions and visitors bureaus.   

“With some of the best Hilton properties on the map, ‘California Road Trip’ is the ultimate vacation package for families and friends who want to create memorable experiences on the road with spectacular scenery, fun and adventure along the way,” said Steve Cowan, general manager of Hilton San Francisco Union Square and Parc 55 San Francisco.

The California Road Trip package, featuring exclusive rates and added value inside and outside the hotel, will be available for purchase beginning now until Labor Day at Hilton.com as well as on the Special Offers page of each of the participating hotels’ property websites.

The California Road Trip package features savings of more than $125 per night, with exclusive discount of up to 15 percent on Enterprise/Alamo and National Car Rentals, $25 food and beverage credit (available in MIX Restaurant only), complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi, unlimited access to the hotel’s Health Club & Spa and a California Road Trip Road Kit featuring exclusive discounts on local entertainment and attractions. Room rates start at $149 per night, tax not included.

California Road Trip packages at a glance:

Parc 55 San Francisco—A Hilton Hotel and Hilton San Francisco Union Square package includes (Rates starting at $265):

  • The San Francisco CityPASS®program which covers unlimited cable car rides, admission to four top attractions, priced 42 percent less than the same tickets purchased separately.  CityPASS® ticket book contains helpful information, including insider tips, an attraction location map, attraction and transportation details, directions and money-saving coupons. Books are valid for nine consecutive days, beginning with the first day of use. Includes:

o   3-Day Muni Cable Car and Bus Passport

o   California Academy of Sciences tickets

o   Blue & Gold Fleet Bay Cruise Adventure tickets

o   Aquarium of the Bay tickets

o   Option Ticket: Exploratorium OR de Young Museum + Legion of Honor tickets

The Fess Parker—A DoubleTree by Hilton Resort package includes (Rates starting at $249):

  • Tote bag, Visitors Guide, Vintners Association and Urban Wine Trail Maps, Downtown Organization Map of Shopping and Cultural Attractions, Waterfront Map, Two for One Santa Barbara Sightseeing Trolley Passes, a Santa Barbara Organic Granola Bar and bag of Santa Barbara Pistachio Co. organic pistachios.

Hilton Anaheim package includes (Rates starting at $149):

  • Tote bag, bottled water, granola bars, $10 Starbucks gift card, Visit Anaheim drawstring bag, visitors guide and map, Visit Anaheim postcard with exclusive deals and discounts on local attractions and dining.

Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines and Hilton San Diego Bayfront packages includes (Rates starting at $249):

  • Branded bag, San Diego Magazine Spring Visitors Guide w/ coupons, Where Map, Brewers Guild map, sunglasses and mints.

Located in the heart of San Francisco’s bustling Union Square, Hilton San Francisco Union Square is a high-energy, world-class hotel that features stunning views and international sophistication.  The hotel is steps from world-class shopping and under-the-radar locales rich with the history of theatre and jazz. Additionally, the hotel is convenient to the Powell Street cable car line, Moscone Convention Center, Chinatown, the Financial District, City Hall and the Civic Center. Featuring 1,919 guest rooms and 151 suites with city views, the hotel is home to a contemporary fitness center, one of the city’s only outdoor heated swimming pools and an array of food and beverage outlets with artisanal flare and modern atmospheres. Dining options include the grab-and-go marketplace, Herb N’ Kitchen, The Lobby Bar with signature hand crafted cocktails, gastropub Urban Tavern with international offerings and the 46th floor Cityscape Lounge with 360-degree panoramic views of the Bay Area and San Francisco’s most popular landmarks. As the West Coast’s largest hotel, the property boasts 134,500-square-feet of meeting and event space, including a 30,000-square-foot Grand Ballroom, for scalable meetings from startups to Fortune 500 companies. For more information, please visit www.hiltonsanfranciscohotel.com. 

Located in the heart of San Francisco’s bustling Union Square, Hilton Parc 55 San Francisco is a boutique-style business-class hotel that features stunning views and universal sophistication. The hotel is steps from world-class shopping and under-the-radar locales rich with the history of theatre and jazz. Additionally, the hotel is convenient to the Powell Street cable car line, Moscone Convention Center, Chinatown, the Financial District, City Hall and the Civic Center. Featuring 1,024 guest rooms and 54 suites, with city views, the hotel is home to a contemporary fitness center, an array of food and beverage outlets and shared campus resources with neighboring Hilton San Francisco Union Square. Dining options include Cable 55, Michelin-rated Kin Khao Thai restaurant and Barbary Coast. As the third largest hotel in San Francisco, the property boasts 30,000-square-feet of meeting and event space. For more information, please visit www.parc55hotel.com.

The Fess Parker – A Doubletree by Hilton Resort in Santa Barbara, an AAA Four Diamond property, is located at 633 East Cabrillo Boulevard, steps from the beach and within ½ mile of downtown in one of the world’s most perfect climates. The 360 room guest rooms, with their own balcony or patio, overlook the Santa Ynez mountains, 24 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens or the Pacific Ocean.  Over 44,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space, including the Parker Family Wine Experience and unique outdoor Plaza del Sol make this a quintessential California destination for weddings and events. 

Hilton Anaheim is located in the heart of Anaheim’s revitalized Resort District and conveniently situated in the center of Southern California. Hilton Anaheim is just a short distance away from world-class beaches, sports stadiums and concert venues, ultra-trendy boutiques, action sports, lifestyle and tony shopping centers. Hilton Anaheim is approximately a one hour drive to downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood, Santa Monica and South Orange County and an hour and a half drive to San Diego.

The Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines offers a unique San Diego experience with a setting unlike any other in southern California. A coastal retreat situated atop the bluffs of La Jolla and overlooking the legendary Torrey Pines Golf Course and the majestic Pacific Ocean, sits the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines. With each of the spacious 394 guest rooms featuring a private balcony or patio with magnificent views of the golf course, ocean or beautiful hotel gardens, the resort offers a genuine San Diego experience. Minutes from the beautiful beach communities of La Jolla and Del Mar and 12 miles from the San Diego International Airport, the resort offers a feeling of seclusion, yet remains close to everything San Diego has to offer. Located at 10950 North Torrey Pines Road La Jolla, CA 92037. For additional information, please visit: www.hiltonlajollatorreypines.com.

Hilton San Diego Bayfront, a 30-story, 1,190 room hotel, is located on the edge of the bay in downtown San Diego and situated on 12.79 acres of Bayfront land. The hotel boasts 165,000 square feet of meeting and event space, four restaurants, a 7,300 square foot health club and spa, 3,000 square feet of retail space, a 2,400 square foot business center along with San Diego’s first heated saltwater hotel swimming pool and nearly $2 million of commissioned public art. Hilton San Diego Bayfront is adjacent to the San Diego Convention Center and PETCO Park, located at One Park Boulevard, San Diego, 92101. For additional information, please visit www.hiltonsandiegobayfront.com. 

For more information about Hilton’s California Road Trip package, visit HiltonAnaheimRoadTrip.com 

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NY Times Travel Show is Place to Go for Family Travel Ideas; Admission Free for Kids

January 26, 2017
2014 New York Times Travel Show

Culture of the world comes to New York’s Javits Center for the New York Times Travel Show, Jan. 28 & 29 © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The 2017 New York Times Travel Show will feature numerous presentations for attendees interested in activities for younger travelers. On Saturday (1/28) and Sunday (1/29), admission for children (18 and under) is free.

In its 14th year, the Travel Show doors open to the public on Saturday and Sunday (Jan. 28-29) for two days of on-site deals and offers, travel seminars, tips from professionals at Meet the Experts programs, stage performances, and other features.

The Travel Show is also presenting a new feature, the Family Travel Pavilion, a dedicated area divided into exhibit booth space, a Presentation stage and a Kids demonstration area, where kids can experience culinary classes, arts & crafts projects, face painting and travel-related activities. The pavilion will also showcase leading players in the Family travel space, including lodges, resorts, destinations, cruise lines and dude ranches.

Some of presentations of the Family Travel Pavilion include:

  • Ross Levi, Vice President of I LOVE NY, who will share top destinations for families to travel within the state of New York.
  • Learn about the hidden gems and can’t-miss experiences of Southcentral Alaska.
  • Lebanese cuisine culinary star and PBS personality Julie Taboulie takes kids on a creative, colorful and culinary exploration of fresh flavors from the Finger Lakes region, presented by Visit Syracuse. Book signing to follow.
  • Taste the Dumplings Before You Travel: Travel to Ukraine welcomes participants and their families to discover varenyky — a Ukrainian traditional dish — presented by Veselka restaurant located in N.Y.C.’s East Village. Book signing to follow.
  • Sally Black, acclaimed author and owner of Vacation Kids Travel Agency, will provide insights on how travel agents can really help parents plan the ultimate family getaway.
  • How to plan an Amazon Family Adventure: From upscale river cruises to rustic lodges, International Expeditions’ experts discuss options to reconnect with nature in the Amazon rain forest.
  • Ranjana Armstrong, Founder of nugget.travel, a community of family explorers making aspirational trips achievable and ordinary trips more enjoyable, will provide hacks on how to successfully travel with children.
  • “Getting Around Family Travel Roadblocks: Top Challenges Keeping Families from Traveling — and How to Overcome Them.” Experts will share personal insights and tips about how to overcome those challenges for families with diverse interests, budgets, desires and needs.
  • Fresh From Florida: Chef Justin Timineri provides culinary travel tips for families that want to make better food choices while vacationing in the Sunshine State — and invites participants to enjoy a fun, fresh and kid-centric demonstration and tasting.
  • Georgia Aquarium: Over 10 Years of Awe-Inspiring Wonder: Learn about Georgia Aquarium, their programs, events and exhibits and receive giveaways.
  • Kitchen Talk on L.G.B.T. Family Travel: Join celebrity chef Art Smith and his daughter, Zuky Francis Smith Salgueiro in the kitchen for tips on baking their favorite family chocolate cake — along with tips on L.G.B.T. family travel from Karen L. Christensen, the deputy assistant secretary for Overseas Citizens Services at the U.S. Department of State.

Some additional highlights at this year’s Show include a “Selfie Station” hosted by the Georgia Aquarium, where children can snap a picture under the sea; a LEGO®-building contest for kids under twelve, hosted by MSC Cruises; and the “Discover Costa Rica Challenge,” where participants can download an online program for activities and games throughout the Travel Show’s Kids Activity Zone, hosted by Il Viaggio Travel.

The New York Times Travel Show is proud to announce the Family Travel Association is an Industry Sponsor of the inaugural Family Travel Pavilion at the 2017 Show.

The Travel Show is the largest and longest-running trade and consumer travel show in North America, featuring the Travel Industry Conference, Consumer Seminars, and an interactive Exhibition including more than 500 exhibitors from Africa, Asia, Australia/South Pacific, Canada, the Caribbean, Europe, Latin America, Mexico and the United States.  In addition to discounts and special offers, the show provides educational seminars and live entertainment for families, individuals, couples and seniors.  Join the conversation and follow @NYTTravelShow for the latest Travel Show news.

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Holly Jolly Christmas and Holiday Events in Orlando

December 6, 2016
mickeys-very-merry-xmas-party3-e2-cory-oborn

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at DisneyWorld’s Magic Kingdom (photo by Cory O’Born)

Holiday traditions and joyful celebrations transform Orlando into a holly jolly destination. Here’s a sampling:

Celebrate traditions of the season from around the globe as Epcot hosts another year of Holidays Around the World through Dec. 30, 2016. Taking place three times each day, the Candlelight Processional features a stirring retelling of the story of Christmas by a celebrity narrator, set against the inspirational backdrop of a 50-piece orchestra and mass choir. 

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party: Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Park plays host to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, held select nights through Dec. 22, 2016. Enjoy live entertainment, spectacular fireworks and a jolly holiday parade with Mickey, Santa and other familiar Disney friends. See Cinderella’s Castle sparkle white lights, as well as a magical snowfall on Main Street, U.S.A.

Grinchmas at Universal’s Islands of Adventure: This holiday season, Universal’s Islands of Adventure transforms Seuss Landing into the world of Grinchmas, from Dec. 3, 2016 to Jan. 1, 2017. Included with park admission, Grinchmas will be sure to delight Dr. Seuss fans of all ages with festive storybook décor, a heartwarming live show featuring recorded music by Mannheim Steamroller, and meet-and-greet- opportunities with the Grinch himself!

Macy’s Holiday Parade at Universal Studios Florida: The streets of Universal Studios Florida  fill with floats and balloons straight from Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City in Universal’s very own Macy’s Holiday Parade, through Jan. 1, 2017. Event admission is included with regular park admission.

SeaWorld Orlando’s Christmas Celebration: Included with regular park admission, guests can experience the fun-filled holidays with special shows and attractions, including Shamu Christmas Miracles, Winter Wonderland on Ice and The Polar Express Experience (select nights, through Dec. 31).

Christmas Bricktacular at LEGOLAND Florida  During the Christmas Bricktacular event  (Dec. 17 – 18, 24 – 25, 26 – 30). kids will enjoy a 270,000 brick Christmas tree and festive decorations, as well as daily appearances by Santa Claus. Event admission is included with regular park admission.

Visit Orlando is an official seller of Orlando attractions tickets. You can find discounted tickets (http://tickets.visitorlando.com/store/)  Find discounted tickets to Orlando theme parks, attractions, sporting events and dinner shows.

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‘Christmas Town’ at Busch Gardens Williamsburg

December 6, 2016
BGW_Christmas_Town_024.JPG

Celebrate the spirit of the season at Busch Gardens’ Christmas Town™ amid the glow of more than eight million lights ©2016 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Christmas shines brightest at Busch Gardens® Christmas Town™. The theme park is aglow with eight million lights, one of the largest light displays in North America. Festive food and drink, holiday shopping and heart-warming shows make the season come alive at Busch Gardens. season. Additions this year include Rudolph’s Winter Wonderland, an entire area where guests can meet Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and his friends. The park will also operate a second major roller coaster, Tempesto®, and will open Sesame Street® Forest of Fun with a special holiday atmosphere. Visit the big man in red at his North Pole workshop and capture an unforgettable memory. Keep warm with a mug of the park’s signature peppermint fudge hot chocolate and enjoy the spirit of the holiday. (Guests who purchase tickets on the day of their visit at the park will pay the full general admission price of $38. Daily ticket prices and availability can be found at www.christmastown.com/va).

For flexibility and the freedom to enjoy Christmas Town multiple days, visitors can purchase the Christmas Town Fun Card, which, for the same price as general admission, allows unlimited visits. The Fun Card is available on the park’s website, or may be purchased the day of visit. Christmas Town is open on select days through Monday, Jan. 2, 2017. For more information on the event and to purchase tickets, visit www.christmastown.com/va  (1 Busch Gardens Blvd, Williamsburg, VA 23185, 800-343-7946).

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2017 Kids Night on Broadway Shows Announced; Tix on Sale Dec 6

November 28, 2016
nyc-bdway_20160216_213153915e2-c-karen-rubin

The 21st Kids’ Night on Broadway will take place Tuesday, February 28, 2017. Tickets to participating shows will go on sale to the public on Tuesday, December 6, 2016 at 10:30am © 2016 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

New York, NY– The Broadway League announced today the shows participating in the 21st Kids’ Night on Broadway, which will take place Tuesday, February 28th, 2017. Tickets to participating shows will go on sale to the public on Tuesday, December 6, 2016 at 10:30am.

Kids’ Night on Broadway® is an annual event where kids 18 and under can attend participating Broadway shows for free when accompanied by a full-paying adult. A Kids’ Night on Broadway ticket includes restaurant discounts, parking discounts, activities, and more.

Participating 2017 shows to date (subject to change) include:

Aladdin, Beautiful: the Carole King Musical, A Bronx Tale, Cats, Chicago, Come From Away, Dear Evan Hansen, In Transit, August Wilson’s Jitney, Kinky Boots, The Lion King, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, On Your Feet!, The Phantom of the Opera, School of Rock the Musical, Significant Other, Waitress, and Wicked.  

“Kids’ Night on Broadway is growing up,” said Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League. “This year we have a range of participating shows that will appeal to kids, teens, and their parents. Other League programs including the National High School Musical Theatre Awards and our new website BwayZone.com reiterate our dedication to educating all ages about how live theatre can engage and inspire.”

On Tuesday, February 28th, 2017, select shows will offer in-theatre activities for kids including post-show talkbacks, Kids’ Night on Broadway activity books, and more events still to be announced! Many Times Square area eateries will offer specials for Kids’ Night on Broadway ticket-holders, including free entrees for kids. Check  kidsnightonbroadway.com for participating restaurants.

Kids’ Night on Broadway will also take place in multiple cities around the country, with different shows and venues putting their own spin on the event, on numerous dates throughout the year. Check kidsnightonbroadway.com for specific dates and locations.

KIDS’ NIGHT ON BROADWAY®, a program of The Broadway League, is presented by The New York Times and is sponsored by WABC-TV with additional support from Turnstyle and Westchester Family.

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Kids’ Night on Broadway 2017 Tix on Sale Dec 6

November 22, 2016
Fiddler on the Roof on Broadway

“Fiddler on the Roof” on Broadway. Kids’ Night on Broadway, Tuesday, February 28, 2017, is when kids 18 and under can attend participating Broadway shows for free when accompanied by a full-paying adult. Shows also offer in-theatre activities including talkbacks and activity books. Tickets go on sale Dec. 6. Make great holiday gifts! © 2016 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

New York, NY –The Broadway League is announcing that the 21st KIDS’ NIGHT ON BROADWAY® will take place in New York City on Tuesday, February 28th, 2017. Tickets will go on sale Tuesday, December 6th, 2016 at 10:30am.

Kids’ Night on Broadway® is an annual event where kids 18 and under can attend participating Broadway shows for free when accompanied by a full-paying adult. A Kids’ Night on Broadway ticket includes restaurant discounts, parking discounts, educational programs, and more.

On Tuesday, February 28th, 2017, select shows will offer in-theatre activities for kids including talkbacks, Kids’ Night on Broadway activity books, and more events still to be announced!

“Kids’ Night on Broadway continues to attract new audiences and highlight the fact that Broadway is a fun and informative activity for families to do together,” said Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League. “Other League programs including the National High School Musical Theatre Awards and our new website BwayZone.com reiterate our dedication to educating all ages about how live theatre can engage and inspire.”

Participating shows to be announced soon. Many Times Square area eateries will offer specials for Kids’ Night on Broadway ticket-holders, including free entrees for kids. kidsnightonbroadway.com will have all information.

Kids’ Night on Broadway® will also take place in multiple cities around the country, with different shows and venues putting their own spin on the event, on numerous dates throughout the year. Check kidsnightonbroadway.com for specific dates and locations.

 

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Keystone Mountain Resort Expands Family-Friendly Programming

October 16, 2016
Keystone Mountain Resort

The famous snow fort that is part of Kidtopia at Keystone Mountain Resort, Colorado © 2016 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Keystone Resort, one of the easiest major resorts to reach from Denver International Airport, one of the few major resorts that offers night skiing, as well as combined access to Arapahoe Basin with its lift ticket, is famous for its family-oriented Kidtopia programs.

Keystone Resort offers a wide variety of comfortable and family-friendly lodging options, from affordable hotel rooms to welcoming, family-sized condominiums. Plus, an unmatched Kids Ski Free program, free daily events, and unique offerings and special events perfectly complement the more than 3,000 acres of skiing and snowboarding terrain.

Here are some of the many things to look forward to this winter at Keystone, one of the Vail Resorts (and included on Vail Resorts’ Epic Pass, details at EpicPass.com):

Keystone’s Kids Ski Free Program Turns 5
Keystone has long been the place where kids rule, and this year the resort’s unmatched Kids Ski Free program turns 5 (which just so happens to be the same age that kids can officially become a part of this awesome program). With more than 100,000free kids’ lift tickets provided to families since the inception of the program in 2012, there is a whole lot to celebrate as Kids Ski Free enters its fifth year. This year guests can look forward to free Kidtopia events and parties, including a special weekly birthday bash with Ripperoo, plus free skiing of course! Every day, all season long kids 12 and younger ski for free at Keystone with no blackout dates when parents book just two or more nights in one of Keystone’s numerous accommodation options, which span from affordable hotel rooms to family-sized condominiums. When it comes to family, no one does it better than Keystone!

Keystone’s Mountain House is Base Camp for Families
Having served as the original base area when Keystone’s founders, Max and Edna Dercum, first brought their family to the resort, this winter the Mountain House base area is ready to welcome a new generation of ski families to Keystone. Centrally located, the Mountain House base area offers an oasis for ski families and the perfect base camp for any ski day, offering smaller crowds, free and convenient family parking and an updated family restaurant concept. Plus, with free preferred parking just for families at Mountain House, it’s easy to get from the lots to the lifts, providing direct access to the resort’s family ski and ride zone, The Schoolyard. Families can also take advantage of conveniently located lift tickets, rentals and Camp Keystone – the resort’s kid-centric Ski and Ride School experience, where interactive displays, game-aided learning and a 24-foot slide that propels kids into their adventure on the snow will have little rippers begging to go back to “school.” When you’re ready to hang up the skis and boards for the day, relax fireside or continue the fun with Kidtopia activities that take place twice-a-week at Mountain House during Sunday’s Ice Cream Birthday party with Ripperoo and Wednesday’s Giant Snowball Launch.

NEW Kidtopia Mountaintop Spectacular – Dec. 16-18, 2016
Keystone’s Kidtopia continues to redefine the family resort experience with free activities and events on and off the snow every day of the week starting Friday, Nov. 25. This winter Keystone presents the inaugural Kidtopia Mountaintop Spectacular, a weekend of festive on-mountain fun for the entire family. This free event will showcase a variety of activities and Kidtopia programs that make the resort a top destination for families, including nightly firework displays, a torchlight ski parade led by Keystone’s Ski & Ride School, and a mountaintop celebration where guests can enjoy free snow tubing, snowcat photo opportunities, live music, hot cocoa and fireside stories with Santa. Kidtopia will animate the mountaintop with Bigfoot adventure walks and a ski patrol-dog meet and greet, plus a special lighting ceremony of the world’s largest Snow Fort to create an unforgettable weekend.

The Kidtopia Experience March 5-11, 2017
With the addition of the Kidtopia Mountaintop Spectacular, this winter season is bookended by two awesome Kidtopia events as the Kidtopia Experience returns for an extended week-long celebration. Start your family spring break early and be a part of all the kid-centric festivities and live outdoor music at the Kidtopia Experience, March 5-11.

Behind-the-Scenes Chocolate Tours with Keystone’s Very Own “Willy Wonka”
Keystone Resort’s executive pastry chef Ned Archibald welcomes guests for a unique behind-the-scenes glimpse into his world of decadent desserts and chocolate making at the resort. Take a break from the slopes one morning to experience these can’t-miss tours designed for kids (and parents), and meet the man himself, tour his chef’s workshop and make delicious treats of your own to take home. No golden ticket required; these Chocolate Tours are free to attend. Offered on select dates throughout the season. Schedule TBD.

On-Mountain Family Adventures, Minus the Skis and Boards

Keystone Mountain Resort

Adventure Point, just steps away from the Kidtopia Snow Fort, features up to eight lanes of high-speed tubing action for kids and kids at heart. © 2016 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

With Keystone’s enclosed River Run Gondola, mountaintop adventures like snowcat tours, snow tubing and fondue dinners are accessible to the whole family regardless of skiing ability. The Mountaintop Snowcat Tour is a must-do family activity that provides an exclusive glimpse of Keystone’s high-alpine bowls, where breathtaking views of the Continental Divide and surrounding mountain ranges await. Adventure Point, just steps away from the Kidtopia Snow Fort, features up to eight lanes of high-speed tubing action for kids and kids at heart. To cap off an evening of mountaintop adventure, guests can enjoy two gondola rides en route to Keystone’s North Peak, where Der Fondue Chessel offers an exciting and interactive dining experience for the whole family, complete with accordion-wielding musicians in lederhosen, all at 11,640-feet elevation.

Experience the Mountain Together with a Family Private Lesson
Whether your family is new to skiing and snowboarding or you’re seasoned snow veterans, those looking to develop new skills, improve technique or explore the mountain like never before can enjoy the Keystone Ski & Ride School’s Family Private Lesson together. Taking advantage of shared on-snow time, bonding is just an added bonus to these specially designed lessons. Private lessons can be reserved for up to six family members (or friends) of similar ability, and with instructors who specialize in working with the whole family you can rest assured that everyone’s ski and snowboard needs will be met on the snow.A family private lesson at Keystone is the perfect way to create memories together and take your shared passion to the next level, so this new product is a can’t-miss for snow-loving families.

Keystone Resort’s more than 3,000 acres of skiable terrain, average of 300 days of sun a year, convenient lodging and variety of on- and off-snow activities all combine to provide the ideal location for winter vacations. As one of the closest ski resorts to Denver, Keystone is the ultimate family resort destination. Convenient touches like free parking, including front-row family parking, and complimentary red wagons to help parents tote gear and kiddos to and from the slopes help make a winter family visit to Keystone easy and hassle-free. For more information visit keystoneresort.com.

 

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