Archive for the ‘holiday travel shopping’ Category

Black Friday? Bah, Humbug! Celebrate ‘Bright Friday’ With Opening of Dickens Christmas in Skaneateles, NY

November 18, 2019

Skaneateles-Dickens XmasA Dickens Christmas festivities in Skaneateles, NY (photo by Kimberly Rossi).

The magic of the holiday season returns to Skaneateles, New York with the 26th edition of Dickens Christmas.

Enchanting holiday shoppers as it brings “A Christmas Carol” to life, Skaneateles’ iconic street theater production opens Nov. 29 and runs weekends through Christmas. Hours are noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, with a limited show (noon to 2:30 p.m.) Dec. 24.

Suspend disbelief: you are in the year 1842.

Queen Victoria has arrived in town with Charles Dickens, whom she has commissioned to write a Christmas story. During their monthlong stay, Dickens gains inspiration from a bevy of now-familiar characters, including Scrooge, Tiny Tim, the Spirit of Christmas Past and the Ghost of Jacob Marley, along with finishing school girls, pickpockets and other villagers.

New to this year’s production is Washington Irving, author of such tales as “Rip Van Winkle” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” in town to welcome Dickens and the Queen.

Each week, the story unfolds as Dickens and his entourage interact with cast members and passersby.

“The real magic of our little Christmas party is the human connection we make when we look each other in the eye and wish each other well,” says producing director Jim Greene, who plays Dickens. “For the past 26 years, we’ve had the opportunity to revel in the greater gift of simply caring for one another.”

Dickens Christmas draws more than 20,000 visitors each year. It is produced by Scarlett Rat Entertainment and presented by Howard Hanna Real Estate Services, the Skaneateles Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the Skaneateles-area business community.

Highlights of this year’s season include:

  • World’s Smallest Christmas Parade. Nov. 29, starting at noon at the Skaneateles Village Hall on Fennell Street, proceeding east to Jordan and Genesee streets and arriving at the Hannum House porch in time for the 12:10 p.m. grand opening.
  • Midday Revels—Christmas carol sing-along—2 p.m. every day at the gazebo. Twelve groups form, representing the 12 days of Christmas. The groups vie for attention, and at the end, Queen Victoria awards a silver teasel to the most spirited performer. Winners have been known to wear their coveted silver teasels throughout the season.
  • Trunk shows—lighthearted versions of Dickens’ new story, performed with help from the audience—12:30 p.m. at the gazebo and 3 p.m. at the library each day.
  • Horse-drawn wagon and carriage rides around the village, departing from the Sherwood Inn, provided by Rt. 80 Quarry Ridge Stables. Wagon rides are $3; carriage rides are offered for a $20 donation.
  • Magic shows, performed by the Very Peculiar Prestidigitating Packwoods, 1 p.m. Sundays at the Skaneateles Library.
  • A snowman-building contest in Clift Park Dec. 21 (weather-permitting). Bring your own supplies and creativity! Queen Victoria will judge the entries at 2:45 p.m. First prize is a $50 gift certificate from the Sherwood Inn; second prize is a Dickens mug and cocoa.
  • “It’s A Wonderful Life! The Radio Play,” presented at 7 p.m. Dec. 21 at Auburn Public Theater. Tickets are $10.
  • Free refreshments, including roasted chestnuts, figgy pudding, and Byrne Dairy eggnog served by the Girl Scouts (Saturdays only).

For children, Mother Goose will read holiday stories, and Father Christmas will hand out treats from the porch of the Masonic Temple.

“While you’re in town, be sure to visit our unique shops and restaurants—the perfect complement to a holiday outing,” says Hilary Fenner, executive director of the Skaneateles Area Chamber of Commerce. “And stop by the Chamber, at 22 Jordan St., for commemorative scarves ($15 with an embroidered logo, $10 without), mugs ($10 with cocoa, $8 without) and ornaments ($5).”

Paid parking is available in the municipal lot between Jordan and State streets; free parking is available in the lot adjacent to Ace Hardware/Skaneateles Town Square on Fennell Street and at the Austin Park Pavilion, at the corner of Jordan and Austin streets. A horse-drawn wagon will shuttle between both locations and the village. Tickets for the shuttle, which runs 11:30 a.m. to 3:40 p.m., are $3 per person each way, $10 per family (maximum of six people). Shuttle riders will receive a coupon for a free ornament from the Chamber.

For more information on Dickens Christmas, go to www.skaneateles.com, call (315) 685-0552, or follow the event on Facebook (Skaneateles Area Chamber of Commerce or Dickens Christmas in Skaneateles).

 

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No Need to Wait for Christmas Day to Enjoy Holiday Spirit Around the Globe

November 2, 2019
Nantrucket Lighthouse during Christmas

From December 6-9, the 47th annual Christmas Stroll will transform downtown Nantucket into a winter wonderland with hundreds of seven-foot Christmas trees lining the streets and three full days of holiday merriment.

The Festive Season is upon us! Spend the final vacation days of the year hearing Christmas carols in England’s first cathedral, wandering through Nantucket’s famous holiday display, or overlooking a volcano in Costa Rica,. Here are some top picks for where to spend cheerful December days.

Canterbury, United Kingdom

After strolling through London’s street markets and racing around the ice skating rinks, revelers can board the Belmond British Pullman for a festive daytrip filled with Christmas carols at England’s first cathedral in the city of Canterbury. The roundtrip journey departs from London Victoria Station on December 17 and includes a Bellini brunch on the way out of London, a performance by the Canterbury Carolers in the famous crypt and an indulgent four-course dinner on the return. For those who can’t make a December 17th journey, Belmond British Pullman offers 16 holiday-themed trips through the festive season to spread holiday cheer.

Sicily, Italy

Sicily has always been a favorite destination for travelers looking for an endless summer. Though the weather will be more temperate, Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo, the first luxury hotel in Taormina, will extend summer’s carefree vibe by remaining open through January 5, 2020. The thinner crowds of winter offer an opportunity to explore Sicily’s museums and landmarks, including the Casa Cuseni Museum and the 4th century Amphitheater. For a festive excursion, embark to the inland city of Caltagirone, home to the largest nativity scene in Italy with over 300 figures spread across a 3,000 square foot site.

Zurich, Switzerland

Said to be the birthplace of ski tourism, Switzerland is home to Europe’s largest glaciers and has the greatest concentration of peaks at 13,000 feet or higher. Within a two-hour drive of world-class ski destinations including Andermatt and Klosters, the iconic Eden au Lac hotel in Zurich will open this December under the La Réserve brand following a top-to-bottom, two-year renovation by Philippe Starck. The 100-plus year-old landmark building is being carefully restored with many of the historic design elements remaining intact. Three-quarters of the property’s 40 rooms and suites will boast a lake view. Just a five-minute walk from the city center, the four-story building will be the only luxury property on Lake Zurich.

Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica

When it opens on December 20, 2019, Nayara Tented Camp in Costa Rica will be one of the first luxury camps in Central America. Located in the Arenal Volcano National Park, the year-round camp will immerse guests within the surrounding rainforest, as the 29 accommodations have been built at a higher altitude on the hillside to provide unobstructed views of the volcano. Each of the 29 air-conditioned tents generously span 1,496 square feet. For multigenerational families traveling this holiday season, groups can opt for a set of two identical tents that connect with a covered passageway.

Nantucket, Massachusetts

From December 6-9, the 47th annual Christmas Stroll will transform downtown Nantucket into a winter wonderland with hundreds of seven-foot Christmas trees lining the streets and three full days of holiday merriment. Highlights from the weekend include costumed carolers performing throughout the island, live performances in the middle of Main Street and festive treats for sale at local shops and boutiques. As no Christmas celebration would be complete without a visit from Santa, kids from one to 92 will line up outside the White Elephant for an opportunity to chat with Kris Kringle himself. The weekend-long event was created to lure shoppers from the mainland to the island before the boutiques shuttered for the season. Today, Stroll remains the quintessential New England experience. Festive attire is highly encouraged.

New York, New York

This holiday season, The Chatwal, New York will fulfill travelers’ Home Alone 2 or Big childhood dreams through a new partnership with iconic toy store brand FAO Schwarz. Families will enjoy exclusive before-hours access to the famed toy shop when booking a minimum two-night stay in a Grand Deluxe King Room category or higher. Guaranteed to bring out the inner child in every guest, the new experience will begin with a one-hour, behind-the-scenes VIP Tour hosted by an FAO Schwarz Toy Soldier. Children and adults alike will raid the FAO Schwarz Candy Bar, craft a new tune on the famous Grand Piano and learn about the store’s 150-year-plus history in New York.

 

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Free Broadway Musical Performances at The Shops at Columbus Circle Begin Nov. 11

November 1, 2019
NYC-HolsColumbus_111918_156e2(c) Karen Rubin

The Shops at Columbus Circle kicks off its fourth year of Broadway Under the Stars, a five-week series of free public performances taking place this holiday season. Select cast from today’s hottest Broadway musicals perform against the backdrop of 12 massive stars, one of the largest specialty crafted exhibits of illuminated color displays in the world, suspended from the 100-foot-high ceilings. © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

On Monday, November 11, The Shops at Columbus Circle kicks off its fourth year of Broadway Under the Stars, a five-week series of free public performances taking place this holiday season. Select cast from today’s hottest Broadway musicals will perform against the backdrop of the destination’s famous 12 massive stars. These stars, one of the largest specialty crafted exhibits of illuminated color displays in the world, are suspended from the 100-foot-high ceilings. Performances begin at 5 pm and are free to attend and open to the public, no reservations or tickets are required.

The November 11 performances, hosted by Actor George Psomas (Fiddler on the Roof, South Pacific)

Broadway performances from the casts of Waitress, Chicago, Oklahoma! and The Lightening Thief. Each performance takes about 20 minutes.

Future performances at “Broadway Under the Stars” include:

Nov. 18: Come From Away, Rock of Ages

Nov. 25: Dear Evan Hansen, The Illusionists, Frozen

Dec. 2: Beetlejuice, Tootsie, Mean Girls

Dec. 9 : Phantom of the Opera, WICKED

Additional Broadway Under the Stars offerings include specialty cocktails from the Shops at Columbus Circle’s Restaurant and Bar Collection which includes Monday night drink specials like Center Bar’s Pomegranate Smash cocktail ($16).

This winter take on a classic smash uses one of the restaurant’s favorite winter fruits and opts for pomegranate juice over Grenadine for a modern twist. Here’s how you can make it at home:

2 oz High West Prairie Bourbon

1 oz Pomegranate

½ oz Simple

½ oz Lemon Juice

Serve in a Julep cup over crushed ice with a simple drizzle of pomegranate molasses, a couple of Pomegranate seeds and mint sprigs for garnish.

Visit www.theshopsatcolumbuscircle.com for more information and an ever-changing list of events and happenings.

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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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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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WalletHub Picks Best Credit Cards for Holiday Travel

October 21, 2017
JF Kennedy International Airport, NY

With the busiest travel season of the year upon us, WalletHub, a personal-finance website, names the best credit cards for travelers © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

With some of the year’s busiest travel dates fast approaching, the personal-finance website WalletHub announced its selections for Winter 2017’s Best Travel Credit Cards, plus key money-saving tips for domestic and international travelers. Applying for the right card now will give people enough time to earn up to $625 in free travel, the company says.

Here’s an overview of WalletHub’s picks, which were selected from more than 1,000 offers due to their particularly attractive travel rewards.

  • Best Initial Bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred – $625 in travel for spending $4,000 in the first three months; $95 annual fee starting year two.
  • Best All-Around Travel Rewards: Barclaycard Arrival Plus – $400 travel statement credit for spending $3,000 in the first three months; 2% back on all purchases when you redeem for travel and a 5% miles rebate; no annual fee in the first year ($89 thereafter).
  • Best Airline Rewards: Frontier Airlines Credit Card – 2 round-trip domestic tickets for spending $500 in the first 90 days; 2 miles per $1 spent on flyfrontier.com and 1 mile per $1 spent on everything else; $69 annual fee.
  • Best Hotel Rewards: Club Carlson Premier Rewards – 50,000 bonus points after first purchase and 35,000 points for spending $2,500 within 90 days of account opening, redeemable for up to 9 free nights; 40,000 bonus points on account anniversary, worth up to 4 free nights; $75 annual fee.

For the rest of the best offers as well as additional money-saving travel tips, visit: https://wallethub.com/best-travel-credit-cards/
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Liftopia Offers Two Ways to Give the Gift of Ski This Holiday Season

December 18, 2015
Copper Mountain Resort, Colorado Rockies

Family skiing at Copper Mountain, Colorado. Liftopia makes it easy to give the Gift of Ski. © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

With just a few shopping days to go until Christmas, there’s still time to give family and friends THE GIFT OF SKI, promising adventure, fresh mountain air, and powder days.

Liftopia, the largest online and mobile marketplace for lift tickets and other mountain activities, offers two ways to give the gift of ski this holiday season:

  • Purchase date-specific lift tickets at more than 250 resorts in North America on Liftopia.com – perfect if you’re traveling with the recipient or know when they’d like to hit the slopes. Worried trip details may change? Buy Value Plus or Flexible tickets, offering the ability to change dates.
  • Load up a Liftopia Gift Card, which can be purchased at any amount from $5 to $1,000 and used toward lift tickets, lessons and more at any of Liftopia’s 250+ partner resorts. No extra fees, no expiration dates, and they can be sent digitally or printed.

A blog post detailing who the gift of ski is perfect for this holiday season can be found here.

As a reminder, with Christmas and New Year’s Day falling on a Friday this year, it’s the perfect time to plan a holiday weekend on the slopes. While everyone else is inside unwrapping presents on Dec. 25 or watching football (or nursing hangovers) on Jan. 1, ski areas will be free of crowds and long lift lines, meaning wide-open runs and more powder time! To draw people out of their homes and onto the slopes, Liftopia partner resorts offer some of the biggest discounts of the season on lift tickets, in some instances up to 85% off window rates when purchased online and in advance.

 

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Culture-Rich ‘Yuletide in Taos’ Holiday Celebration Returns to Taos, NM

November 26, 2014

TAOS, NM—Taos, New Mexico’s unique, magical holiday tradition of “Yuletide in Taos,” is just weeks away from unwrapping, beginning with the annual Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot on Nov. 22 and culminating with the meaningful Taos Pueblo Christmas traditions through Dec. 25.

“There’s no other place that brings the warmth of rich cultural holiday traditions to life than Taos, where the senses come alive with the lights, sounds, and experiences that are unique to this town. Plus, with Taos Ski Valley’s new chairlift to Kachina Peak, skiers can now experience some of the highest ski runs in the world,” said Town of Taos Mayor Dan Barrone.

Beginning on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 27, skiers will be able to experience Taos Ski Valley’s Kachina Peak at an elevation of 12,450 feet thanks to a recently installed chairlift – one of the highest chairlifts in North America.  The lift will increase the mountain’s advanced and expert lift-serviced terrain by 50 percent. Also new during the 2014-2015 ski season, expert skiers will have the chance to access 35 acres of terrain off the West Basin Ridge known as “Wild West Glades.”

The purchase of two new air compressors at Taos Ski Valley is expected to optimize the resort’s snowmaking capabilities, resulting in earlier access to more terrain and more snow. The resort will be open on a limited schedule Thursday through Sunday until Dec. 7. Visit skitaos.org for complete information.

In time for the start of holiday shopping, many businesses in downtown Taos are offering tax-free shopping from Nov. 29 through Dec. 13. Businesses will have a decal on store fronts indicating their participation, which saves shoppers 8.1875 percent on items.

The 29th annual Yuletide Arts and Crafts Fair, Nov. 28–30, provides a head start on holiday shopping with dozens of arts and crafts made by local artists including jewelry, tin work, carved santos, paintings, and much more. Gift wrapping is available and guests will have a chance to win door prizes. Santa will also make an appearance each day. There is no charge for the fair, which takes place at the UNM-Rio Grande and Bataan Halls in Taos.

The highlight of Yuletide in Taos – the 28th annual Yuletide Caroling and Tree Lighting – brings the community together as Taos Mayor Dan Barrone lights the town Christmas tree in Taos Plaza at 4 p.m. Then, the Plaza will be open to foot traffic only, and Plaza businesses will have special offerings including complementary hot cocoa, cookies, visits from Santa and Mrs. Claus and the Grinch who will handing out 200 toys donated and distributed by the Taos Optimist Club Elves. The local Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts along with Taos Middle and High School choruses will sing traditional Christmas songs, and live entertainment will be provided by a number of local artists. A Yuletide Parade is scheduled at 4:55 p.m. Special parking arrangements will be provided for people requiring ADA access to the event. There is no charge for the event, and all are welcome to attend. Contact Judy Esquibel at 575-737-2588 for details.

On Dec. 6, Millicent Rogers Museum will host a free “Holiday Fiesta” for families with holiday-centered activities at the museum from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults; $2 for kids 2–16 years of age. Visit millicentrogers.org for more information.

One of the holiday staples in Taos, Lighting Ledoux, will illuminate historic Ledoux Street with hundreds of farolitos, luminarias, and bonfires on Saturday, Dec. 6 from 4–7 p.m. Galleries, shops and museums are open later, and offer complementary food and hot drinks while carolers serenade passersby along the way. There is no charge to attend.

Eighteenth century-built historic “great house,” Hacienda de los Martinez, is hosting a tree lighting event at 3 p.m. on Dec. 7 at their “Memories in Lights” event, followed by a program with music by Los Pastores. A reception will follow. Visit taoshistoricmuseums.org for more information or call 575-758-0505.

The Working Class Theater and Taos Youth Ballet will perform an adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic, “A Christmas Carol” at the Taos Community Auditorium from Dec. 10–14 with a 7 p.m. performance each night. Tickets are $17 for adults; $10 for 18 and under; $5 for 5 and under. Tickets go on sale Nov. 15 and can be purchased by calling the TCA at 575-758-2052. Working Class Theater is a 501c3 non-profit and is in need of donations. Sponsorship opportunities are available. Visit taostheatre.org.

The furry members of the family can get in on the Christmas spirit at the John Dunn Shops’ “Santa Paws” event, from noon to 3 p.m. on Dec. 13. Santa Paws will pose with pets for pictures. Animals in need of loving homes will be available for adoption, and food and beverages will be on hand. The event benefits St. James Pet Food Pantry.

Within walking distance of the Santa Paws event, Bent Street will be lit with small farolitos and luminaries as part of “Bonfires on Bent Street,” from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Dec. 13. Businesses will offer food, music, appearances from Santa and more.

The rich Spanish tradition of “Las Posadas” takes place Dec. 14–22 at 6 p.m. nightly, where everyone can participate in re-enactments of Mary and Joseph’s search for lodging. Each night, the group representing the Holy Family will stand outside a home and sing songs, asking for lodging, only to be turned away. Followers carry candles as the couple searches for a home which will eventually take them in on Dec. 24. Begins at St. Francis de Asis Church.

Taos Pueblo celebrates their traditional Christmas Eve Procession on Dec. 24 at sunset, which is unlike anything else of its kind. The celebration is a stunning contrast between massive bonfires and the Procession of the Virgin with rifle salutes from the rooftops of the 1,000 year old adobe pueblo buildings. Taos Pueblo natives will perform a ceremonial dance on Dec. 25, known as Taos Pueblo Deer (or) Matachines Dance. The dance takes place at 2 p.m. in the Taos Pueblo’s Plaza. No cameras or cell phones allowed. Visit taospueblo.com.

Several ski resorts along the Enchanted Circle including Taos Ski Valley, Angel Fire, Sipapu, Enchanted Forest, and Red River are all hosting their own Christmas Eve Torchlight Parades on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24. Watch as skiers make their way down ski slopes in the dark with flares as their only means of light. Taos Ski Valley is also the place to be on New Year’s Eve with their fireworks show and parade, beginning at 6 p.m. Visit taos.org for more information.

For a complete list of all Yuletide in Taos events or for lodging information and specials, visit taos.org.
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Winter Market in Munich Airport Center Features Exciting New Holiday Attractions

November 26, 2014

Who would imagine an airport being a destination, and a holiday destination at that! Each year, passengers, visitors, staff at Munich Airport and area residents look forward to an annual highlight: the popular Winter Market at the Munich Airport Center (MAC), between the two terminals, from November 22 to December 28, 2014. Once again, the MAC Forum is transformed into a winter wonderland. Visitors can take a stroll among the more than 40 stands offering gift ideas and seasonal treats and enjoy the pre-Christmas sights and smells. This year’s 16th edition has a few new attractions and activities in store. It’s enough to make you want to route your holiday travel through Munich Airport!

In addition to a larger ice skating and curling rink and a line-up of live entertainment on stage, this year’s Winter Market will introduce a spectacular ice slide. The curved track, 50 meters long and five meters wide, will be set up in the Airbräu Beer Garden. Another new attraction is the open air cinema, with free showings of popular movies presented every Monday on the MetaTwist Tower starting at 6:30 p.m.

Tuesdays are all about fun and games for children, with a wide variety of activities in Kinderland from 2–5 p.m., including treasure hunts, face painting, and arts and crafts works. (Advance reservations with Kinderland are required: Tel.: 089/975-25998 or e-mail: kinderland@munich-airport.de) Kicking off the Thursday activities are the “Winter Olympics”, starting at 4.00 p.m., featuring such disciplines as a sliding contest on the new ice slide. This will be followed at 6:00 p.m. by an after-work ice disco with a DJ. From Friday to Sunday, live bands will keep the skaters moving.

The Winter Market is open daily from 11 am until 9 pm, except on Christmas Eve (Dec. 24), when the stands and the airport shops close at 5 pm.

For the full program of the Munich Airport Winter Market, visit http://www.munich-airport.de/en/consumer/erlebnis/events/mac_forum/wintermarkt2014

 

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Christkindlmarkt Bethlehem 5-Week Holiday Festival Begins Nov. 20 at Steelstacks; Tix on Sale

November 7, 2014
Festive Main Street, Bethlehem. A great place to stay is the historic Hotel Bethlehem.

Festive Main Street, Bethlehem. A great place to stay is the historic Hotel Bethlehem.

Christkindlmarkt Bethlehem, the popular holiday marketplace that takes place at PNC Plaza at SteelStacks in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, is set to return for its 22nd year, with 100 artisans and vendors, a special 50th anniversary celebration by Käthe Wohlfahrt and more. Advance discount tickets for the event, which takes place Thurs.-Sun., Nov. 20-Dec. 21, are now on sale at http://www.christmascity.org and 610-332-3378.

New this year is the Christkindlmarkt/Bethlehem: The Christmas City Movie combo ticket, which includes admission to the “Bethlehem: The Christmas City” film, highlighting Bethlehem’s rich history from its founding by the Moravians in 1741 through the present day.

Recognized as one of the best holiday markets in the U.S. by Travel + Leisure, Christkindlmarkt is a delightful family event that features aisles of exquisite, handmade works by the nation’s finest artisans, the heartwarming sounds of live Christmas music, delicious German and Austrian food, and more.

Each weekend, dozens of vendors and artisans come to the marketplace from as far away as North Carolina, Georgia, Indiana and Illinois. Approximately 135 different vendors will attend the market over its five-week run, with nearly 20 percent of them appearing at the event for the first time.

Among the thousands of holiday gift ideas guest will discover are beautiful glass art, handmade jewelry, wheel-thrown pottery, gourmet foods and hand-crafted candles.

One of the highlights of Christkindlmarkt 2014 is the return of Käthe Wohlfahrt, which is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year. In honor of the special occasion, the renowned German ornament and nutcracker maker is featuring a handful of special 50th Anniversary collectibles and ornaments, all available only in very limited quantities.

Other new attractions include the first limited-edition Christkindlmarkt Bethlehem collectible from Rich Connolly, the popular local artist known for his hand-painted chalkware figurines created with century-old antique candy molds; as well as the opportunity for guests to work with the glass artists at the Glassblowing Tent powered by Think Energy to create their own Stamped Glass Bethlehem Star, the perfect souvenir of their visit to the Christmas City.

Families attending Christkindlmarkt will also enjoy the ice sculpting demonstrations, giant playhouses created by area architects, and visits with the market’s authentic German St. Nicholas.  Plus, the popular “Breakfast with St. Nick” is back Nov. 29 and Dec. 6 and 13 at 9 a.m. During the events, which sell out each year, children and their families enjoy a delicious hot breakfast, goodie bag and arts & crafts, as well as a photos with the jolly, old man himself.
Christkindlmarkt hours are Thurs., 11 a.m.-6 p.m. (closed Thanksgiving), Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-8 p.m., and Sun., 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Advance tickets are $8 for ages 13 and older, $4 for ages 6-12, and admission is free for ages 5 and under. Advance season passes are $16 for ages 13 and older, and $8 for ages 6-12;

Tickets for Breakfast with St. Nick are  $14.95 for ages 11 and older; $11.95 for ages 2-10, and $6.95 for ages under 2.

For complete Christkindlmarkt information, as well as tickets and season passes, visit http://www.christmascity.org or call 610-332-3378.

 

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