Archive for the ‘holiday happenings’ Category

Times Square New Year’s Eve Celebration is Back! And You’re Invited (Properly Vaxxed)

December 16, 2021
The highly anticipated December 31 Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration is inviting revelers back to Times Square to safely watch the Ball Drop in person with proof of full vaccination and valid photo identification © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The highly anticipated December 31 Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration is inviting revelers back to Times Square to safely watch the Ball Drop in person with proof of full vaccination and valid photo identification. Organized by The Times Square Alliance and Countdown Entertainment, the festivities will also be broadcast for television and internet audiences, and will include a virtual multi-media experience.

“This year, we are ready and thrilled to welcome a full house of revelers back to Times Square to celebrate the New Year,” said Tom Harris, President, Times Square Alliance. “Now more than ever we need to come together to revive our favorite traditions with our loved ones – reflecting on a tough year behind us while looking forward to a new year with hope.”

All in-person revelers are required to be vaccinated. Attendees who are age 5 or over must present proof of COVID-19 vaccination to enter the event. Proof of vaccination must include an FDA or WHO approved COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca/Oxford, Sinopharm or Sinovac). Unvaccinated minors under the age of 5 must be accompanied by a vaccinated adult to enter the event. Face coverings are required for unvaccinated minors who are medically able to tolerate a face-covering.

Persons who are unable to get vaccinated because of a disability will be required to present proof of a negative COVID PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to the event and if medically able to tolerate a face-covering, wear a mask for the entire duration of the event.

A Times Square New Year’s Eve commercial-free webcast will cover the action and festivities in Times Square, beginning with the Ball Raising at 6 p.m. EST, plus live musical performances, hourly countdowns, behind-the-scenes stories, and star-studded interviews as anticipation builds towards the midnight countdown and the famous Ball Drop. The webcast will be streamed live on multiple websites, including TimesSquareNYC.org, NewYearsEve.nyc, LiveStream.com/2022 and TimesSquareBall.net. Embedding codes and additional webcast info is available at: https://www.timessquarenyc.org/times-square-new-years-eve/nye-live-webcast or LiveStream.com/2022.

Additionally, Jamestown, the owner of One Times Square (home of the iconic New Year’s Eve Ball Drop Celebration) will bring back its virtual New Year’s Eve experience with the VNYE app. Through the VNYE app, people from across the globe can explore the virtual world of Times Square, play games, and livestream New Year’s Eve celebrations in Times Square and around the world. Broadcast networks also will be airing elements of the Times Square celebration.

Revelers began celebrating New Year’s Eve in Times Square as early as 1904, but it was in 1907 that the New Year’s Eve Ball made its maiden descent from the flagpole atop One Times Square. Seven versions of the Ball have been designed to signal the New Year.

New York in 1904 was a city on the verge of tremendous changes – and, not surprisingly, many of those changes had their genesis in the bustling energy and thronged streets of Times Square. Two innovations that would completely transform the Crossroads of the World debuted in 1904: the opening of the city’s first subway line and the first-ever celebration of New Year’s Eve in Times Square.

This inaugural bash commemorated the official opening of the new headquarters of The New York Times, at the time, Manhattan’s second tallest building. The newspaper’s owner, German Jewish immigrant Adolph Ochs, spared no expense to ensure a party for the ages. The night was such a rousing success that Times Square instantly replaced Lower Manhattan’s Trinity Church as “the” place in New York City to ring in the New Year. Before long, this party of parties would capture the imagination of the nation, and the world.

When two years later, the city banned the fireworks display Ochs arranged to have a large, illuminated seven-hundred-pound iron and wood ball lowered from the tower flagpole precisely at midnight to signal the end of 1907 and the beginning of 1908.

On that occasion, and for almost a century thereafter, Times Square sign maker Artkraft Strauss was responsible for the ball-lowering. In 1914, The New York Times outgrew Times Tower and relocated to 229 West 43rd Street. By then, New Year’s Eve in Times Square was already a permanent part of our cultural fabric.

The Ball has been lowered every year since 1907, with the exceptions of 1942 and 1943, when the ceremony was suspended due to the wartime “dimout” of lights in New York City. Nevertheless, the crowds still gathered in Times Square in those years and greeted the New Year with a minute of silence followed by the ringing of chimes from sound trucks parked at the base of the tower—a harkening-back to the earlier celebrations at Trinity Church, where crowds would gather to “ring out the old, ring in the new.”

The Ball is a geodesic sphere, 12 feet in diameter, and weighs 11,875 pounds,  covered with a total of 2,688 Waterford Crystal triangles of varying sizes, and illuminated by 32,256 LEDs (light emitting diodes). For Times Square 2022, 192 Waterford Crystal triangles introduce the new Gift of Wisdom design represented by a central wheel with wedge cut petals of knowledge growing ever forward.

Today, New Year’s Eve in Times Square is a bona fide international phenomenon. Each year, hundreds of thousands of people still gather around the Tower, now known as One Times Square, and wait for hours in the cold of a New York winter for the famous Ball-lowering ceremony. Seeing it live is an experience that should be had once in a lifetime.

Thanks to satellite technology, a worldwide audience estimated at over one billion people watch the ceremony each year. The lowering of the Ball has become the world’s symbolic welcome to the New Year.

More information at TimesSquareNYC.org and TimesSquareBall.net.

New Orleans Offers Full Menu of Holiday Happenings

December 16, 2021
Revel in holiday happenings in New Orleans.

The holidays are a great time to visit New Orleans with events that include decadent four-course holiday Reveillon dinners, dazzling light displays at City Park’s Celebration in the Oaks, Audubon Zoo Lights and NOLA ChristmasFest, bonfires on the Levee on Christmas Eve in St. James Parish, festive hotel lobbies with extravagant Christmas trees and gingerbread displays (including a Waldorf Wonderland at The Roosevelt), caroling in Jackson Square, riverfront bonfires, holiday concerts, plenty of places to find unique gifts, and more.  Many hotels – including Hotel Monteleone, Higgins Hotel and Windsor Court Hotel – offer savings up to 20% with Papa Noel Rates. Read more about the holidays New Orleans-style here.

Come Dec. 31, New Orleans is a marvelous place to ring in the new year. Whether you want to grab dinner and turn in for the night early, celebrate at a children’s event during the day, or party all night long, there’s something for everyone: Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve, New Orleans’ version of the Times Square party and ball drop (er, fleur-de-lis drop) in Jackson Square, Zoo Year’s Eve at the Audubon Zoo, Noon Year’s Eve at the Louisiana Children’s Museum, the Allstate Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day, fireworks shows throughout the city, and more. Here’s a list outlining celebrations, live music, LGBT events and family fun.

Beyond New Year’s Day, there are many more reasons to visit in 2022, including:

  • New developments at the National WWII Museum, including the Bollinger Canopy of Peace and Liberation Pavilion
  • Queen Nefertari’s Egypt Exhibit, March 18 – July 17, at the New Orleans Museum of Art
  • Mardi Gras, the French Quarter Festival, the Jazz & Heritage Festival, and more celebrations and events
  • Many new hotels, restaurants and attractions to experience if you haven’t already, including the Four Seasons (and Donald Link’s newest restaurant Chemin a la Mer), Virgin Hotels New Orleans, Hotel St. Vincent, The Chloe, Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience, and more. 

 For more information, visit www.neworleans.com, 800-672-6124.

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Jones Beach Magic of Lights Show on Long Island is One of Dozens of Holiday-Themed Events Across NYS

December 1, 2021
Magic of Lights Show at Jones Beach State Park, Long Island, is one of dozens of seasonal events and programs at New York state parks and historic sites.

New York State is inviting visitors from near and far to celebrate the holidays at dozens of seasonal events and programs at State Parks and Historic Sites across the state through the end of the year, starting with the annual Jones Beach Magic of Lights show underway through Jan. 2, 2022, on Long Island.

The Magic of Lights Show at Jones Beach State Park is a drive-through placed along 2.5 miles of park roadway, lit with the latest LED technology, including a 200-foot light tunnel, 40 different lighted holiday scenes, and LED decorated holiday trees. Hours are dusk to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and dusk to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.  

More details are available here. Ticket proceeds support charitable causes, with last year’s show raising more than $150,000 for local organizations, in addition to collecting non-perishable food items, toys, books, coats and more. 

Highlights of other holiday-themed events include a Gilded Age Christmas celebration at the decorated Staatsburgh State Historic Site in the Hudson Valley, a Black Friday hike through a rare Lake Erie sand dune environment at Woodlawn Beach State Park, a post-Thanksgiving “Turkey Trot” run at Shirley Chisholm State Park in Brooklyn, a visit by Santa Claus at the Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park, and the 47th annual Christmas Bird Count at Letchworth State Park in western New York.  

For those wishing to head outside instead of a crowded shopping center, take a hike. Visit the State Parks website for a trail near you.  

For a complete listing of holiday events, please visit the NYS Parks calendar of events here. The list will be updated as further events are added. Some events may require pre-registration or an admission fee. 

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 individual parks, historic sites, recreational trails, and boat launches, which were visited by a record 78 million people in 2020. A recent university study found that spending by State Parks and its visitors supports $5 billion in output and sales, 54,000 private-sector jobs and more than $2.8 billion in additional state GDP. For more information on any of these recreation areas, visit www.parks.ny.gov, download the free NY State Parks Explorer mobile app or call 518.474.0456. Also, connect with the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. 

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‘Twas the Night Before..’ by Cirque Du Soleil Returns to MSG Venues in NYC, Chicago

December 1, 2021
“‘Twas the Night Before…,” Cirque du Soleil’s exhilarating spin on the beloved Christmas tale, marks its first-ever Christmas show. It offers a flurry of Christmas cheer – rip-roaring fun with hugely lovable characters that will introduce audiences to the magic of Cirque du Soleil and help families create new holiday traditions (photo by Kyle Flubacker)

New York, NY–The acclaimed family holiday theatrical – “‘Twas the Night Before…” by Cirque du Soleil – is returning to both The Chicago Theatre and Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, two of Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp. (MSG Entertainment) venues. The production is running at The Chicago Theatre for 17 performances from November 26 through December 5, 2021 and at Hulu Theater at MSG for 28 performances from December 9 through December 27, 2021.

“‘Twas the Night Before…,” Cirque du Soleil’s exhilarating spin on the beloved Christmas tale, is about the wonders of sharing and friendship. The production marks Cirque du Soleil’s first-ever Christmas show and is a flurry of Christmas cheer – rip-roaring fun with hugely lovable characters that will introduce audiences to the magic of Cirque du Soleil and help families create new holiday traditions.

Tickets for “‘Twas the Night Before…”at The Chicago Theatre start at $30 and can be purchased online at www.chicagotheatre.com/cirque. Tickets for “‘Twas the Night Before…”atHulu Theater at Madison Square Garden start at $40 and can be purchased online at www.msg.com/cirque. Service charges apply to internet orders. For group sales, call 212-465-6080. Accessible and companion seats are available via the Disabled Services Department at 888-609-7599.

MSG Entertainment is committed to the health and safety of its guests, performers and staff. All guests will need to follow venue protocols at the time of the performance. Note that government mandates and venue protocols are subject to change, so be sure to continue to check The Chicago Theatre and Hulu Theater at MSG websites for the latest information.

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Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite Offers Families ‘Best in Snow’ Holiday Fun

November 18, 2021
Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite is continuing its tradition as one of the most festive resorts in the Yosemite National Park region with the return of its popular holiday activities.

FISH CAMP, Calif.— Tenaya Lodge is continuing its tradition as one of the most festive resorts in the Yosemite region with the return of its popular holiday activities. Seasonal offerings begin with Thanksgiving and continue through New Year’s Day, providing guests with a myriad of old and new resort traditions that consistently make the resort a top destination for holiday travel and celebrations.

The most enchanting time of the year at Tenaya Lodge begins when the festive décor goes up, transforming the lodge into a dazzling holiday haven where guests are greeted in the lobby upon arrival by the 35-foot, sustainable grand holiday tree, adorned with ornaments and fully-illuminated with sparkling lights. 

After decking the halls with décor, Tenaya turns its attention to holiday programming designed with the entire family in mind, ranging from the popular ‘Gingerbread House Decorating’ workshops where children and families can build their ultimate dream house using an array of sweets to listening to Mrs. Claus as she reads the traditional holiday story, “’Twas the Night Before Christmas.”  Also offered are a number of family craft experiences, including ornament decorating and stocking decorating

The holiday season also brings the return of beloved winter activities. Guests can enjoy gliding over the ice while surrounded by the Sierra National Forest at the resort’s outdoor covered ice-skating rink that opens Nov. 23. When the area is blanketed with snow, families can indulge in snow play on the resort’s kid-friendly sled hill or guided snow shoe hikes to explore the surrounding area.

When it comes to holiday dining, guests can forget the cooking and cleaning and instead enjoy family time together with Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite serving up Thanksgiving favorites on Nov. 25. Holiday diners can enjoy the Thanksgiving Buffet in the Grand Ballroom from 11 a.m.-7 p.m., featuring a range of carved entrees, soups, salads, sides and all the Thanksgiving favorites. For a more intimate setting, a special plated menu will be available in Jackalope’s Bar & Grill from 4-9 p.m., offering portions for smaller appetites. On Christmas Day,guests can enjoy the Happy Holiday Buffet in the Grand Ballroom from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. and a more intimate, plated Holiday Dinner in Jackalope’s Bar & Grill from 4-9 p.m. 

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, all holiday activities at Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite will be limited to in-house guests only.

Black Friday Sale 

Black Friday is another holiday tradition at Tenaya Lodge. Visitors can save big on a Yosemite getaway in 2022 during the resort’s biggest sale of the year from Black Friday through Cyber Monday. Travelers can save 30 percent off a resort stay with booking dates through June 9, 2022. To claim the deal, readers must sign-up at www.tenayalodge.com. All website subscribers will be sent an exclusive link with instructions on how to book on November 26.

Setting the standard for High Sierra hospitality and adventure, Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite is an award-winning, all-season resort adjacent to Yosemite National Park’s south gate. Lodge, cottage and cabin accommodations satisfy a wide variety of preferences and are set on 75 acres primed for outdoor recreation that invite visitors to explore and connect with nature. From the nourishing Ascent Spa to custom-curated Yosemite tours, guided hikes and seasonal activities, a deep appreciation for the iconic location is infused into every aspect of the resort experience that also includes world-class views, multiple pools and abundant dining options ranging from casual to candlelit. 

The winter is a great time to visit Yosemite National Park. It’s very quiet and peaceful with fewer crowds. The park is open through the south gate and you can hike. When there is a lot of snow, then snow shoes or crampons are recommended. Tenaya does a guided snow shoe hike around the property that is popular.

Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite, 1122 Highway 41 Fish Camp, CA 93623, 888-514-2167, TenayaLodge.com

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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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Palm Beach Zoo’s Holiday Spectacular Returns Starting Nov 19; Tickets Now on Sale

November 5, 2021
While the animals slumber, Palm Beach Zoo is illuminated for the holidays with over one million eco-friendly lights, with the return of the “Zoo Lights“ festival taking place Friday, Saturday and Sunday from Nov. 19-Jan. 2, 2022.

WEST PALM BEACH – While the animals slumber, Palm Beach Zoo is illuminated for the holidays with over one million eco-friendly lights, with the return of the “Zoo Lights“ festival taking place Friday, Saturday and Sunday from Nov. 19-Jan. 2, 2022.

Each evening of Zoo Lights, the Zoo reopens from 6-9 pm, aglow with themed displays throughout its 23 acres. The festive holiday fun also features photos with Santa (until Dec. 23rd), a DJ holiday dance party, and seasonal treats.

Advanced ticket purchase is recommended, and Zoo Lights attendees can select from two specific times for entry; 6:00 PM and 7:00 PM. Tickets are limited each evening to allow for plenty of room to move about the Zoo.

Tickets for the event are available at http://www.palmbeachzoo.org/zoolights. Palm Beach Zoo Annual Members receive special pricing. Ride sharing is encouraged.

Palm Beach Zoo, 1301 Summit Boulevard, West Palm Beach, Florida 33405-3035, 561-547-9453 (WILD) www.palmbeachzoo.org.

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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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