Archive for the ‘holiday events’ Category

2017 Best Places for Christmas Celebrations

December 20, 2017
Holidays in New York

New York City is one of the top-ranked places for Christmas Celebrations by WalletHub © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

With Christmas being the most popular holiday in the U.S. and one of the most expensive – Americans plan to spend up to $682 billion over the holiday season this year – the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2017’s Best Places for Christmas Celebrations.

To help Americans celebrate Christmas without breaking the bank, WalletHub compared the 100 biggest cities across 29 key metrics. The data set ranges from Christmas events per capita to average price per Christmas party ticket to shopping centers and outlets per capita.

Best Cities for Christmas Celebrations  
1 Chicago, IL   11 St. Louis, MO
2 San Francisco, CA   12 Dallas, TX
3 Pittsburgh, PA   13 Cincinnati, OH
4 New York, NY   14 Los Angeles, CA
5 Seattle, WA   15 Denver, CO
6 Orlando, FL   16 Birmingham, AL
7 Atlanta, GA   17 San Diego, CA
8 Washington, DC   18 Houston, TX
9 Las Vegas, NV   19 Oklahoma City, OK
10 Portland, OR   20 Miami, FL
           

Key Stats

  • Durham, North Carolina, has the lowest average price for a Christmas party ticket, $8.27, which is six times lower than in Las Vegas, the city with the highest at $49.99.
  • San Francisco has the most Christmas events (per square root of the population), 0.038, which is 38 times more than in Tucson, Arizona, the city with the fewest at 0.001.
  • Miami has the most Christmas tree farms (per square root of the population), 0.024, which is 24 times more than in Fort Worth, Texas, the city with the fewest at 0.001.
  • San Francisco, California, has the most gift shops (per square root of the population), 0.209, which is 104.5 times more than in Garland, Texas, the city with the fewest at 0.002.
  • New York has the most toy stores (per square root of the population), 0.145, which is 72.5 times more than in Detroit, the city with the fewest at 0.002.

To view the full report and your city’s rank, visit:
https://wallethub.com/edu/best-places-for-christmas/41924/

More from WalletHub

See also:

Nighttime Stroll of New York City’s Holiday Lights

 

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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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Iconic 91st Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Kicks off Holiday Season in NYC; Here’s What to Expect

November 9, 2017
NYC-MacysThanksgvParade 112410_128e2(c) Karen Rubin

Macy’s iconic Thanksgiving Parade that kicks off the winter holiday season actually starts the night before, with a gigantic blow-up event that has become a major festival experience, drawing tens of thousands of onlookers on the streets around the American Museum of Natural History and Central Park West © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

NEW YORK –This Thanksgiving, a magical march returns to the streets of New York City and to homes across the U.S. as the 91st Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® kicks off the holiday season with its signature spectacle of wonder. On Thursday, Nov. 23 (9 a.m.-noon in all time zones), the streets of Manhattan will come alive at the sound of “Let’s Have a Parade!” Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie and Al Roker of NBC’s “Today” will host the broadcast. Telemundo will simulcast the parade in Spanish, with the event hosted by Carlos Ponce, Jessica Carrillo and Karim Mendiburu.

Ready to spread holiday cheer, the annual procession is sure to delight more than 3.5 million spectators and more than 50 million viewers nationwide with its traditional merriment. Since the first march in 1924, the Macy’s Parade has captivated audiences and become synonymous with the start of the holiday season. For the 91st edition, the line-up will feature 17 giant character balloons; 28 legacy balloons, balloonicles, balloonheads and trycaloons; 26 floats; 1,100 cheerleaders and dancers; more than 1,000 clowns; 12 marching bands; and 6 performance groups.

The star power on parade will once again feature some of the nation’s most riveting performers. Taking to the streets of New York City on board one of Macy’s signature floating stages and thrilling the nation with their performances at Herald Square will be 98 Degrees, Lauren Alaina, Cam, Sabrina Carpenter, Andra Day & Common, Sara Evans, Jimmy Fallon & The Roots, Flo Rida, Goo Goo Dolls, Kat Graham, Andy Grammer, Angelica Hale, Olivia Holt, Nicky Jam, Wyclef Jean, Bravo’s Top Chef stars Padma Lakshmi & Tom Colicchio, Dustin Lynch, Miss America 2018 Cara Mund, Leslie Odom Jr. and the cast & Muppets of Sesame Street, Bebe Rexha, Smokey Robinson, Jojo Siwa and more.

On 34th Street, Broadway’s best shows will take a star turn in front of Macy’s famed flagship with special performances from the casts of “Anastasia,” “Dear Evan Hansen,” “Once On This Island” and “SpongeBob SquarePants – The Broadway Musical.” In addition, the show-stopping Radio City Rockettes®  will bring their signature high-kicking magic to Herald Square.

“The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is one of our great holiday traditions and we’re thrilled to be able to once again bring the pageantry and spectacle to viewers across the country,” said Doug Vaughan, Executive Vice President, Special Programs and Late Night, NBC Entertainment. “We can’t wait to see all the balloons, floats and high-end entertainment that have become such an integral part of this wonderful event.”

“For more than 90 years, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has signaled the start of the holiday season for millions of families. We are thrilled to once again come together as a nation to give this gift of joy and wonder to all,” said Susan Tercero, group vice-president of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. She added, “Our incredible team has planned a fantastic spectacle featuring an amazing line-up of giant character balloons, floats of fantasy, the nation’s best marching bands and performance groups, a dazzling array of musical artists, all coming together to herald the arrival of the one-and-only Santa Claus.”

The Macy’s Parade is always a unique multi-level, magical march that provides spectators with different experiences, whether they watch it on television with friends and family or scout the perfect spot on the route to watch it unfold live. To give fans another unique viewing opportunity, Macy’s, along with NBCUniversal and Verizon will once again take viewers closer to the magic via up close and personal views of the event through a 360-degree livestream of the parade on Verizon’s YouTube page. The stream, found at www.youtube.com/verizon, will be synced with the start of the Parade.

Flying Icons

Taking flight on Turkey Day will be the Parade’s signature giant character helium balloons. Since their introduction in 1927, these giants of the sky have featured some of the world’s most beloved characters. This year four giant characters will debut, including Olaf from Disney’s “Frozen,” Illumination presents Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch, Jett from Super Wings™ and PAW Patrol®.

The balloon line-up will also feature the return of Harold the Baseball Player, a legacy Macy’s character prominently featured in Twentieth Century Fox’s iconic holiday film classic “Miracle on 34th Street.” In celebration of the film’s 70th anniversary, the Harold heritage balloon has been recreated for this year’s Parade, painted in hues of black, white and grey, to look exactly as it did on-screen during a memorable scene in the 1947 film. In addition to Harold, the famed spokesduck, the Aflac Duck, will debut as an all-new balloonicle (a Macy’s Parade innovation of hybrid cold-air balloon and vehicle) and is sure to have fans quacking with joy and laughter down the route.

Returning giant balloon characters include Angry Birds’ Red; Charlie Brown; Diary of a Wimpy Kid®;  Sinclair’s Dino®; the Elf on the Shelf®; Hello Kitty®; Ice Age’s Scrat and His Acorn; Pikachu™; Pillsbury Doughboy™; Red Mighty Morphin Power Ranger; Ronald McDonald®; SpongeBob SquarePants; and DreamWorks’ Trolls.

Parade Floats

Floating down the route this Thanksgiving, the Parade’s signature floats transport spectators to worlds of wonder. Designed and created by the incredible artists of Macy’s Parade Studio, which include carpenters, painters, animators, sculptors, metal fabricators, scenic/costume designers and electricians, this year’s line-up of floats sets an unparalleled stage for entertainment. The painstaking process of creating a Macy’s Parade float is both a creative and technical endeavor. Macy’s Parade floats are often three-stories tall and several lanes of traffic wide, but must collapse to no more than 12½-feet tall and 8-feet wide in order to travel safely from the New Jersey home of the Parade Studio, to the Manhattan starting line via the Lincoln Tunnel each Thanksgiving eve. These creations are not only works of art, but also engineering marvels.

This year five new floats will debut including Everyone’s Favorite Bake Shop by Entenmann’s® (Sara Evans), Harvest in the Valley by Green Giant® (Lauren Alaina), Parade Day Mischief by Sour Patch Kids® Candy (Nicky Jam), Shimmer and Shine by Nickelodeon (Jojo Siwa) and Universal Playground by Sprout® (Angelica Hale). A special float by Delta Air Lines will also debut to commemorate the season of togetherness with the perfect gift of song, as more than 125 Macy’s employees gather to form a one-of-a-kind cross-generational choir aboard the Macy’s Singing Christmas Tree.

The returning float roster includes 1-2-3 Sesame Street by Sesame Street (Leslie Odom Jr. and the cast and Muppets of “Sesame Street“); The Aloha Spirit by King’s Hawaiian (Goo Goo Dolls), Big Apple by N.Y. Daily News (Bebe Rexha); Big City Cheer! by Spirit of America Productions (Miss America 2018 Cara Mund); Building a Better World by Girl Scouts of the USA (Andra Day and Common); The Colonel’s Road Trip to NYC by Kentucky Fried Chicken (Dustin Lynch); The Cranberry Cooperative by Ocean Spray®; Deck the Halls by Balsam Hill® (Olivia Holt); Discover Adventure! by Build-A-Bear (Sabrina Carpenter); Frozen Fall Fun by Discover®/NHL (Wyclef Jean) and NHL Hockey Hall of Famers Ray Bourque & Bryan Trottier); Fun House by Krazy Glue® (Flo Rida); Heartwarming Holiday Countdown by Hallmark Channel (98 Degrees); It’s All Rock & Roll by Gibson Brands (Jimmy Fallon & The Roots); Mount Rushmore’s American Pride by South Dakota Department of Tourism (Smokey Robinson); On The Roll Again by Homewood Suites by Hilton® (Andy Grammer); Santa’s Sleigh; Snoopy’s Doghouse by Peanuts Worldwide; Stirrin’ Up Sweet Sensations by Domino® Sugar (Cam); Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by Nickelodeon (Kat Graham); and Tom Turkey featuring Bravo’s Top Chef (Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio).

Drum Roll, Please…

Marching bands are a central piece of the Thanksgiving delights, bringing national excitement and hometown pride to the streets of the Big Apple, not to mention the musical beat to the holiday revelry. Twelve performance ensembles will take up the call of the baton and march down the streets of Manhattan. This year’s bands include Colony High School (Palmer, Alaska), Davis High School (Kaysville, Utah), Rosemount High School (Rosemount, Minn.), West Harrison High School (Gulfport, Miss.), Rockford High School (Rockford, Mich.), Ohio University (Athens, Ohio), Nation Ford High School (Fort Mill, S.C.), Trumbull High School (Trumbull, Conn.), Prairie View A&M University (Prairie View, Texas), the United States Air Force Band and Honor Guard, Macy’s Great American Marching Band (United States) and the NYPD Marching Band (New York, NY).

Specialty Parade entertainment always promises a unique, exciting, and sometimes humorous look at the nation’s finest performance groups. Returning to the line-up this year are the dancers and cheerleaders of Spirit of America Dance Stars and Spirit of America Cheer. These groups combined feature more than 1,000 of the nation’s very best performers recruited from small towns and big cities. Days before Thanksgiving, they will gather for the first time in NYC, ahead of their once-in-a-lifetime national spotlight. Adding to the dance floor revelry will be 34th & Phunk, a special group commissioned and produced by Macy’s with organizers from the United States Tournament of Dance. Choreographed by the legendary artist Willdabeast Adams and acclaimed dancer Janelle Ginestra, 34th & Phunk will be a one-of-a-kind hip-hop dance crew featuring performers of all ages and from all walks of life, who have a passion for dance and precision movement. Bringing a Broadway flair to the spectacle will be the talented kids of Camp Broadway, who this year have auditioned and selected dancers/singers from military bases around the nation, and who will pay tribute to America with their performance. Rounding out the performance group list are the zany Red Hot Mamas (Post Falls, Idaho) who will deliver their signature humorous take on the holiday season, along with the whimsical stars of the Big Apple Circus (New York, NY).

Interactive Fun

This year the magic of Macy’s iconic balloons and Parade artistry will head south for the winter to give fans an up close and personal experience for the holidays. Starting on Saturday, Nov. 18, Universal Orlando Resort’s destination-wide Holidays celebration begins, featuring the all-new “Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s.” This one-of-a-kind experience is where merry and mayhem mesh to create a fantastic treat for park guests that features more than 15 incredibly detailed floats, colorful stilt-walkers and characters, and a specially created cast of all new Macy’s balloons that you can’t see anywhere else. Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s will run daily from Nov. 18 through Jan. 6.

The 91st Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will begin at 9 a.m. from 77th Street and Central Park West. The procession will march to Columbus Circle, turn onto Central Park South and march down 6th Avenue/Avenue of the Americas. At 34th Street, the Parade will make its final turn west and end at 7th Avenue in front of Macy’s Herald Square. “A Holiday Treat for Children Everywhere” has been the guiding motto of this annual tradition for more than nine decades and is the mandate that continues to this day.

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade broadcast is produced by the Emmy Award-winning Brad Lachman Productions. Brad Lachman serves as executive producer, Bill Bracken will co-executive produce and Ryan Polito directs.

For more information on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade,  visit www.macys.com/parade  or call the Parade hotline at 212-494-4495. Follow @macys on various social networks and join the conversation using #MacysParade.

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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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Christmas Holidays in Colonial Williamsburg

December 6, 2016
christmas-colonial-williamsburg-e2-danielle-hendricks

Christmas in Colonial Williamsburg (photo by Danielle Hendricks)

Colonial Willamsburg takes on a special holiday flare, with handmade decorations lit by cressets throughout the Historic Area, and the scent of hot cider and ginger cakes filling the streets.

Williamsburg began as Middle Plantation, an outpost of Jamestown, in 1633 and served as Virginia’s capital from 1699 to 1780. When you discover Colonial Williamsburg, you become a citizen of the Revolutionary City, engaging with the local community and experiencing firsthand the daily struggles of wartime. Explore the art museums, unleash your kids’ inner colonists, tee off a game of golf, or relax and unwind at the Spa. Stay at one of the official Colonial Williamsburg hotels, with a variety of opportunities to shop and dine.

Among the attractions:

The DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum, accessible via the Public Hospital of 1773 at 326 Francis St. West, are open to guests with Colonial Williamsburg or Art Museums admission. Seasonal exhibit highlights include perennial favorite dollhouse exhibit “The World Made Small” plus the return of “A Carolina Room Christmas” and the new “German Toys in America.”

Bassett Hall, the local home of John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, is decorated for the holidays and open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to guests with Colonial Williamsburg admission.

Information, admission and special program tickets are available at Colonial Williamsburg ticketing locations, online at www.colonialwilliamsburg.com or by calling 855-296-6627 (101 Visitor Center Drive, Williamsburg, VA 23185, 866-987-6322).

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‘A Colonial Christmas’ in Jamestown

December 6, 2016
Christmas Music at Jamestown Settlement, Virginia (Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation photo)

Christmas Music at Jamestown Settlement, Virginia (Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation photo)

The Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown celebrate “A Colonial Christmas” through December 31. The month-long event explores 17th- and 18th-century holiday traditions with interpretive programs and, December 26-31, festivities abound with musical entertainment of the period.

The two living-history museums tell the story of our nation’s beginnings throughout the year with gallery exhibits and historical interpretation in re-created outdoor settings – a Powhatan Indian village, 1607 ships and colonial fort at Jamestown Settlement, and Continental Army encampment and Revolution-era farm at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. 

Jamestown Settlement

“A Jamestown Christmas” holiday film and special interpretive programs compare and contrast English Christmas customs of the period with how the season may have been observed in the difficult early years of America’s first permanent English colony. In England, the holiday season – extending from December 25 to January 6 – was a time of merriment and feasting. While little is known about Christmases in early Jamestown, “A Colonial Christmas” activities reflect the cultural traditions recalled by English colonists.

Throughout the month, visitors to the outdoor living-history areas can learn about the Jamestown colony’s early years as well as the English colonists’ Christmas at sea in December 1606, and the Powhatan Indian hospitality shown to Captain John Smith’s trading party in 1608 during a winter storm. In the re-created Powhatan Indian village, historical interpreters will present ongoing demonstrations on typical winter activities, including food preservation and hunting tools and techniques.

In the re-created fort, visitors can see wattle-and-daub buildings decorated with greenery and demonstrations of fancy cooking and, December 23-31, experience the 17th-century English tradition of the Lord of Misrule, “grand captain of all mischief.” 

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. Visitors to the Continental Army encampment can learn about winter camp life and hear accounts of Christmas during the war, as well as assist the quartermaster in preparing military supplies and, at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. daily, observe artillery demonstrations.

At the clapboard farmhouse adorned with greenery, historical interpreters compare and contrast 18th-century holiday traditions with those of modern times and demonstrate a variety of holiday activities, including setting a farmhouse table for a holiday feast. Visitors can see open-hearth cooking in the farm kitchen and take part in periodic candle-dipping activities. 

Period Holiday Music & Entertainment

In Jamestown Settlement’s re-created fort church and at the new American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, visitors can enjoy a variety of 17th- and 18th-century holiday music December 26-31, including fiddler David Gardner, Barry and Lynn Trott and the Itinerant Band.  Musical performances will be at 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. at Jamestown Settlement and at 12 and 2 p.m. at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown.
Tickets & Private Tours

A value-priced combination ticket to both museums is $21.25 for adults and $10.75 for ages 6-12 Admission to Jamestown Settlement is $17.00 for adults and $8.00 for ages 6-12 and to the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, $9.75 for adults and $5.50 for ages 6-12. Children under 6 are free.

A History is Fun combination ticket – available online only – offers seven days of unlimited admission to both museums at $21.25 for adults and $10.75 for ages 6-12 and includes coupon booklets for Williamsburg Premium Outlets and a Historic Yorktown Rewards Card.

Christmas-themed private tours are available for an additional fee with advance reservations for a party of 14 or fewer people. Reservations can be made online or by calling (757) 253-4939.

In time for holiday shopping, Jamestown Settlement and American Revolution Museum at Yorktown  gift shops offer a selection of books, prints, museum reproductions, educational toys, games and souvenirs relating to the 17th and 18th centuries. Admission is not required to visit the museum gift shops, open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Shop online at www.shophistoryisfun.com.

Jamestown Settlement and American Revolution Museum at Yorktown are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily year-round, except for Christmas and New Year’s days. The museums are separated by a 25-minute drive along the Colonial Parkway, a National Scenic Byway. Jamestown Settlement is located on Route 31 just southwest of Williamsburg. The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown is located on Route 1020 in Yorktown. Parking is free. For more information, call (888) 593-4682 toll-free, (757) 253-4838 or visit www.historyisfun.org/jamestown-settlement/a-colonial-christmas.

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Broadway Theaters Have Special Holiday Schedule to Accommodate Visitors

November 22, 2016
Fiddler on the Roof on Broadway

Fiddler on the Roof on Broadway © 2016 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

New York, NY — The holidays are a fabulous time to see a Broadway show. There are performances every day of the week at multiple curtain times to accommodate every schedule. During Thanksgiving and Christmas weeks, some shows are changing their performance schedules.

During Thanksgiving week, some shows will play on Thanksgiving Day, and many will play Friday matinees. Twelve shows will be playing on Christmas. During Christmas week, alternate curtain times will also include Friday matinees and evening performances. Check Broadway.org to see the holiday performance schedules and easily find out where and when shows are playing.

“It’s a joy to see a Broadway show during the festive winter holidays,” says Charlotte St. Martin, President of The Broadway League. “Alternate curtain times – including special matinees and evening performances – provide a variety of opportunities to better accommodate the changing schedules of theatregoers throughout Thanksgiving and Christmas weeks.”

For complete holiday schedule, go to broadway.org.

Broadway Performance Times for Thanksgiving Week

Broadway Performance Times for Christmas Week

 

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Candlelight Evenings and Holiday Craft Show At Old Bethpage Village Restoration

December 15, 2015
Candlelight Evenings at Old Bethpage Village Restoration, Long Island © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Candlelight Evenings at Old Bethpage Village Restoration, Long Island © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The most enchanting holiday event on Long Island are the Candlelight Evenings at Old Bethpage Village Restoration which will take place this year on December 17, 18, 19, and 20 from 5– 9:30 pm.

Candlelight Evenings at OBVR offer a Hallmark card setting of flickering candles inside the Village’s historic homes, along with 19th Century holiday decorations and entertainment, all set within the confines of a rural valley setting. Among the forms of 19th Century entertainment offered will be music, including a brass quartet and fiddlers playing popular seasonal tunes as well as performers by local schools and organizations, a traditional 1866 decorated Christmas Tree, stories of Christmases past; contra-dancing, and a traditional bonfire.

Old Bethpage Village Restoration, which is now operated by the Nassau County Department of Parks, Recreation and Museum,  provides visitors with an exquisite opportunity to step back in time and experience life in a recreated mid-19th Century American village set on more than 200 acres. While you are there, you really forget what century it is.

Entrance fees are: $10 for adults, $7 for children (5 – 12), seniors and volunteer firefighters. Children under 5 are free.

Old Bethpage Village Restoration is located at 1303 Round Swamp Road in Old Bethpage (Exit 48 of the Long Island Expressway).  It is closed after December 20 until April.

For more information, call 516-572-8401.

For more information about Nassau County Department of Parks, Recreation and Museum, call 516-572-0200, or visit the website at: http://www.nassaucountyny.gov/parks.

 

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New York State Parks Celebrate Season with Tree Lightings, Holiday Markets, Historic Tours

December 5, 2015

 

 

Holiday Spectacular at Jones Beach, Long Island © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Holiday Spectacular at Jones Beach, Long Island © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Celebrate the holiday season at more than 40 parks or historic sites across New York State.

Holiday celebrations at New York State parks range from tours of the lavishly decorated Staatsburgh Mansion in the Hudson Valley, to candlelight tours of Old Fort Niagara overlooking Lake Ontario, to family-friendly tree-lighting celebrations at state parks on Long Island. Events will also include making holiday snacks for black bears at Trailside Zoo in Bear Mountain State Park, holiday cookie decorating at Green Lakes State Park and a gingerbread house contest at Philipse Manor Hall State Historic Site.

Some events require pre-registration and/or an admission fee;  check http://nysparks.com/events for more details.

Central

Long Island

New York City

Palisades

  • Christmas with the Ellisons – Knox’s Headquarters State Historic Site; Dec. 12 & 19, 4 – 7 p.m.
    · Festival of Lights – Senate House State Historic Site; Dec. 12, 5 – 8 p.m.
    · Warm Up at the Washingtons – Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site; Dec. 13, 1 – 5 p.m.
    · Berry Merry Holiday – Bear Mountain State Park; Dec. 19 at 10:30 a.m.
    · Open House – Knox’s Headquarters State Historic Site; Dec. 27, 28 & 29, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Saratoga/Capital Region

  • Holiday Craft Bazaar – Thacher State Park Nature Center; Dec 5, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. & Dec. 6, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
    · St. Nicholas Day Open House – Crailo State Historic Site; Dec. 5, 12 – 4 p.m.
    · Sweater Mitten Mania – Thacher State Park Nature Center; Dec. 12 at 10 a.m.

Taconic

Thousand Islands

  • Pine Bow Wreath Workshop – Minna Anthony Common Nature Center, Wellesley Island State Park; Dec. 5 at 10 a.m.
    · Holiday Bonanza – Minna Anthony Common Nature Center, Wellesley Island State Park; Dec. 12, 10 a.m.– 3:30 p.m.

Western NY

“This year, I encourage New Yorkers to start a new tradition: visit a state park or historic site and participate in our many family-friendly activities that run throughout the year,” said Rose Harvey, Commissioner of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. “Holiday-themed events across the state have something for everyone.”
“New York’s parks and historic sites offer unparalleled natural beauty, countless opportunities for outdoor recreation, and family-friendly fun no matter what time of year it is,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said. “I urge New Yorkers and visitors alike to see for themselves all that our parks have to offer this holiday season.”

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees 180 state parks and 35 historic sites, which are visited by 62 million people annually. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit www.nysparks.com, connect on Facebook, or follow on Twitter.

 

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