Posts Tagged ‘Christmas travel’

Discover Holiday Magic in Washington, DC

November 16, 2018
Capitol-DC-nght-011804e2 (c) Karen Rubin

The Capitol Building at night. Washington DC is a sensational destination for the winter holidays © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

(Washington, DC) – The nation’s capital is one of the best destinations for winter holiday travel, and Destination DC (DDC), the official destination marketing organization for Washington, DC, helps visitors craft a magical holiday. Find inspiration for memorable getaways on DDC’s holiday landing page on washington.org, and its Instagram and Facebook channels, including festive hotel packages, menus, holiday lights, ice skating rinks, gift markets, can’t-miss exhibitions and events across the city’s welcoming neighborhoods. Speak with a DC travel expert (1-800-422-8644), Monday-Friday, 8:30am-5pm (EST).

“Washington, DC goes all out for the holidays. Maybe your wish-list includes meeting Santa, light displays and a classic holiday show. It might include visiting the National Museum of African American History and Culture, shopping for made-in-DC gifts then dinner at one of DC’s 15 Michelin-starred restaurants. We’ll connect you with the real DC,” said Elliott L. Ferguson II, president and CEO of DDC.

In 2018, DDC’s print, digital and out-of-home holiday advertising campaign urges national consumers to “Discover Holiday Magic in Washington, DC,” with assets targeting New York City and Philadelphia. For added promotion between Nov. 30-Dec. 2; Dec. 7-9, the tourism bureau hosts a holiday-themed Instagram exchange with influencers from key feeder markets.

HOTEL PACKAGES
• Toast the season with “Caviar and Champagne” at The Darcy. This package bundles late check-out, a welcome Taittinger toast and decadent caviar cookies from Siren, the in-house Michelin-starred restaurant. Rates start at $169, thru Feb. 28, 2019.
• This December, Kimpton’s 10 boutique hotels in DC spread cheer with pop-up shops curated by Shop Made in DC, a retail incubator showcasing local makers. Book a “Make a Getaway” package to receive a swag bag and $15 gift card.
• The historic Willard InterContinental offers a Wintertime Holiday Package that wraps upgraded accommodations, $50 food and beverage credit and official 2018 White House Christmas Tree Ornament, starting at $299 (two-night min.), Nov. 16, 2018-Feb. 16, 2019.

SKATING RINKS
• Twirl around the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden’s rink, November-March. Warm up inside the Pavilion Café.
• Rent skates at riverside rinks at The Wharf, Georgetown and Capitol Riverfront.
• Iceless skating rinks return to the courtyard at the Fairmont Washington, D.C. Georgetown and atop the Watergate Hotel.

HOLIDAY LIGHTS
• Tour America’s historic train stations in miniature at Seasons Greenings: All Aboard! at the U.S. Botanic Gardens, Nov. 22-Jan. 2, 2019. FREE
• Smithsonian National Zoo dazzles with more than 500,000 LED lights, snowless tubing and more at ZooLights, 5-9pm. Nov. 23-Jan. 1, 2019 (closed Dec. 24, 25, 31). FREE
• George Washington’s Mount Vernon celebrates with Colonial dancing, chocolate-making and caroling, Nov. 23-Dec. 31. Candlelit tours run Nov. 23, 24, 30; Dec. 1, 7, 8, 16.
• The District’s Holiday Boat Parade welcomes Santa to The Wharf with lighted boats and fireworks, 6-9pm, Dec. 1. FREE
• Holiday in the Park thrills Six Flags America with lights, rides and s’mores: Nov. 23-25, Dec. 1-2, 8-9, 15-16, 21-23, 26-31.
• Lit in early December, National Christmas tree in President’s Park on the Ellipse will be attended by 56 decorated state and territory trees, Santa’s Workshop and nighty musical performances thru Dec. 31. FREE
• The National Menorah will be lit on the Ellipse throughout Hanukah. On Dec. 2 at 4pm, American Friends of Lubavitch celebrate with Dreidelman and donuts. FREE

SHOPPING
• The Downtown Holiday Market runs Nov. 23-Dec. 23 in Penn Quarter. Source more local gifts at Shop Made in DC in Dupont; Union Market in NoMa; Brookland Exchange at Monroe Street Market and Steadfast Supply in Capitol Riverfront.
• CityCenterDC dresses up with two monumental reindeer, an overhead installation in Palmer Alley and holiday tree lit on Nov. 24.
• Georgetown Glow, an outdoor light art exhibition, illuminates the historic district between 5-10pm, Dec. 1-Jan. 1, 2019.

PERFORMANCES AND ATTRACTIONS
• The Kennedy Center hosts shows including The Second City’s Love, Factually (Dec. 4-31), Washington National Opera: The Lion, the Unicorn and Me (Dec. 14-16) and the National Symphony Orchestra’s Handel’s Messiah (Dec. 20-23).
• At Warner Theatre, the Washington Ballet’s Nutcracker recasts the classic in the Lincoln White House (Nov. 29-Dec. 28).
• Richly dressed, A Christmas Carol (Nov. 15-Dec. 30) cheers Ford’s Theatre.

DINING AND NIGHTLIFE
• Circle around outdoor firepits at Masseria near Union Market; Bourbon Steak in Georgetown and Tavern at Ivy City Smokehouse, a 2019 Michelin “Bib Gourmand” pick.
• Indulge in holiday teas at Peacock Alley at the Willard InterContinental Washington, DC; the Empress Lounge at the Mandarin Oriental Washington, DC; Tea Cellar at the Park Hyatt Washington DC and the lobbies of the St. Regis Washington D.C. and Line DC.
• Among tempting New Year’s Eve options, humanitarian and 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. washington.org.

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Experience Holidays of Centuries Past at Jamestown Settlement

November 16, 2018
Jamestown-xmas

Holiday feast in Jamestown Settlement.

WILLIAMSBURG, Va.— Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown offer  visitors the opportunity to experience holidays of centuries past during seasonal events “Foods & Feasts of Colonial Virginia,” November 22-24, and “Christmastide in Virginia,” December 20-31.

Foods & Feasts of Colonial Virginia, November 22-24 – The holiday season starts on Thanksgiving Day with a three-day event that explores foodways of 17th- and 18th-century Virginia and centuries-old cooking and preservation methods. At Jamestown Settlement, historical interpreters demonstrate how food was gathered, preserved and prepared on land and at sea by Virginia’s English colonists and Powhatan Indians. At the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, programs examine typical soldiers’ fare during the Revolutionary War and trace the bounty of a period farm from field to kitchen. While food preparation in the museums’ outdoor living-history areas is for demonstration purposes only, the Jamestown Settlement Café will offer a traditional Thanksgiving dinner on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22.

Christmastide in Virginia, December 20-31 – Holiday traditions of 17th- and 18th-century Virginia are recalled with special interpretive programs and period musical entertainment, along with daily appearances at Jamestown Settlement by the Lord of Misrule, “grand captain of all mischief.” Jamestown Settlement interpretive programs allow visitors to compare and contrast English Christmas customs of the period with how English colonists may have observed the season in the difficult early years of the Jamestown colony. Visitors to the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown can hear accounts of Christmas and winter in a Continental Army encampment and glimpse holiday preparations at a period farm.

This holiday season and throughout the year, visitors of all ages can enjoy the museums’ immersive indoor gallery exhibits to learn about America’s past, including two ongoing special exhibitions – “TENACITY: Women in Jamestown and Early Virginia” at Jamestown Settlement and “Blast from the Past: Artillery in the War for Independence” at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. Outdoors, experience historical interpretation and hands-on activities 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.

These living-history museums of 17th- and 18th-century Virginia offer many ways to make the holidays memorable, from tickets and packages, some of which include other Williamsburg area attractions, to unique shopping opportunities in the museum gift shops.

Visitors can experience the holiday fun with a variety of tickets and packages, available online at historyisfun.org/visit/vacation-packages:

  • History is Fun – This online ticket offers unlimited admission to Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown for seven consecutive days and represents a 20 percent savings over individual admission. The ticket, which includes daytime special events and special exhibitions, is $25.50 for adults and $12.25 for ages 6-12, and can be packaged with Williamsburg area lodging. Children under 6 are free. Private tours for 14 or fewer people are available at each museum for an additional fee and can be reserved in advance online or by calling (757) 253-4939.
  • America’s Historic Triangle – This ticket features unlimited admission for seven consecutive days to Jamestown Settlement, Historic Jamestowne, Colonial Williamsburg, American Revolution Museum at Yorktown and Yorktown Battlefield. The ticket is $93.50 for adults (ages 16 and older), $42.75 for children (ages 6-15), and can be packaged with lodging. Holiday events include Colonial Williamsburg’s “Grand Illumination,” December 2; Jamestown Settlement and American Revolution Museum at Yorktown’s “Foods & Feasts of Colonial Virginia,” November 22-24, and “Christmastide in Virginia,” December 20-31.
  • Four-Site Value – This ticket features unlimited admission for seven consecutive days to Jamestown Settlement, Historic Jamestowne, American Revolution Museum at Yorktown and Yorktown Battlefield. The ticket is $39.50 for adults (ages 16 and older), $27.50 for ages 13-15, and $14.25 for ages 6-12, and can be packaged with lodging.

For holiday shoppers, Jamestown Settlement and American Revolution Museum at Yorktown museum gift shops offer a selection of books, prints, museum reproductions, educational toys, games and souvenirs relating to the 17th and 18th centuries. Jamestown Settlement’s special exhibition gift shop has an assortment of items related to “TENACITY: Women in Jamestown and Early Virginia.” Admission is not required to visit the museum gift shops, open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Shop online at shophistoryisfun.com.

Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily year-round, closed December 25 and January 1, 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.

Admission to Jamestown Settlement is $17.00 for adults and $8.00 for ages 6-12 and, to the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, $15.00 for adults and $7.50 for ages 6-12. Children under 6 are admitted free. A combination ticket to both museums is $25.50 for adults and $12.25 for ages 6-12. An American Heritage Annual Pass, $38.00 for adults and $19.00 for ages 6-12, makes a great holiday gift and offers recipients one year of unlimited admission to both museums. For more information, call (888) 593-4682 toll-free, (757) 253-4838 or visit historyisfun.org.

 

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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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‘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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All New ‘Holidays in Space’ Light Show Delights Guests at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

December 23, 2014
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is treating guests to an out-of-this-world holiday experience with an all new Holiday Rocket Garden Light Show, part of the attraction’s annual “Holidays in Space” celebration.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is treating guests to an out-of-this-world holiday experience with an all new Holiday Rocket Garden Light Show, part of the attraction’s annual “Holidays in Space” celebration.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.– Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is treating guests to an out-of-this-world holiday experience with an all new Holiday Rocket Garden Light Show, part of the attraction’s annual “Holidays in Space” celebration.

The new Holiday Rocket Garden Light Show takes place daily through Jan. 4 in the ever-popular Rocket Garden, a Visitor Complex hallmark. The outdoor garden features a majestic collection of real and replica capsules and rockets, soaring 80, 90, and 100 feet into the sky, demonstrating how manned space flight progressed through the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo eras.

The Visitor Complex also is adorned for the holiday season with a stunning array of decorations including a 41-foot Christmas tree, a giant NASA “meatball” ornament, garlands, lights, ribbons, bows and more.

“Coming here for the holidays was absolutely amazing, we really, really enjoyed it. There was a lot to do, it was beyond my expectations and we’ll definitely come back,” said James Devon of Jersey, United Kingdom. “ Well, we haven’t really got anything like this back in England, so it’s something new. Obviously there are a lot of other attractions in Florida and this one of them, it was something I’ve always wanted to see.”

“Walking down the sidewalk and seeing the rockets lit up, that was amazing,” said Rebecca Lagare of Petersham, Massachusetts. “I’m glad that they did something like that.”

“Many astronauts have told us that they have felt no greater sense of peace and hope for humankind than when looking down on the blue marble of Earth from space,” said Therrin Protze, chief operating officer of the Visitor Complex. “Through this truly unique celebration, we hope to share that incredible feeling with all our guests this holiday season.”

A second element will be added to Holidays in Space Dec. 22 through Dec. 30 when a 3D projection mapping presentation will be shown on the side of the 223-foot-long Saturn 1B rocket. Also called spatial augmented reality, this technology is used to project images onto irregularly shaped objects, such as bridges, buildings, and now, a rocket. This remarkable presentation, a first at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, features custom animation blended with historic footage of actual launches and awe-inspiring views of Earth from the ISS. The show takes guests on a walk through NASA history, from the first moon launches, through the 30-year Space Shuttle Program and the assembly of the ISS, and onto the surface of Mars, thanks to actual images captured by NASA’s robotic exploration rovers.

From Dec. 26-Dec. 31, a Holiday Laser Light Spectacular will be added to the festivities, featuring an incredible music and laser light show that will be visible in Orlando and throughout Central Florida. The green rays from the laser show may even be bright enough for crew aboard the International Space Station to see.

All holiday activities are included with Visitor Complex admission; no advance reservations are required. Light shows begin at dusk each day. The Visitor Complex is open 365 days a year, including Christmas Day, Dec. 25.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex’s holiday hours of operation are:

Nov. 28-Dec. 25: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Dec. 26-Jan. 4: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex brings to life the epic story of the U.S. space program, offering a full day or more of fun and educational activities, including the Kennedy Space Center Tour featuring the Apollo/Saturn V Center with an actual Saturn V moon rocket, Shuttle Launch Experience®, 3D IMAX® space films, Astronaut Encounter, Exploration Space®: Explorers Wanted and many other interactive exhibits. The new $100 million home for Space Shuttle AtlantisSM opened June 29, 2013. Admission also includes the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame®, featuring historic spacecraft and the world’s largest collection of personal astronaut memorabilia, which opens daily at noon and closing times vary by season. Only 45 minutes from Orlando, Fla., Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex opens daily at 9 a.m. with closing times varying by season. Admission is $50 + tax for adults and $40 + tax for children ages 3-11. The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex offers annual passes starting at $75 + tax for adults and $60 + tax for children ages 3-11. For more information, call 877-313-2610 or visit http://www.KennedySpaceCenter.com.

Twitter: @ExploreSpaceKsc

facebook.com/KennedySpaceCenterVisitorComplex

 

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Breckenridge Opens North America’s Highest Chairlift; Hosts Dew Tour Mountain Championships

December 8, 2014
Santa's day in Breck didn't stop with skiing! The first weekend in December, Breckenridge transforms into a sparkling holiday scene with the annual Race of the Santas, where hundreds of Santas race down Main Street Breck to benefit Adopt an Angel. Festivities continue in the festivities with the Lighting of Breckenridge.

Santa’s day in Breck didn’t stop with skiing! The first weekend in December, Breckenridge transforms into a sparkling holiday scene with the annual Race of the Santas, where hundreds of Santas race down Main Street Breck to benefit Adopt an Angel. Festivities continue in the festivities with the Lighting of Breckenridge.

BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. – Breckenridge Ski Resort has confirmed its spot on Santa’s ‘nice list’ by opening North America’s highest chairlift today.  Saturday morning’s Imperial Express SuperChair opening gives skiers more access to some of Breck’s amazing above-tree line terrain in the Imperial Bowl. Breck is now more than 50 percent open with 1561 skiable acres, just three weeks into the season.  Complete terrain and weather reports are available at www.breckenridge.com.

The Imperial Express SuperChair tops out at 12,840 feet after a quick 2.7 minute ride to the top of the Imperial Bowl. The famous chairlift offers easy access to three high-alpine bowls and hike-to access to the famed Lake Chutes and Snow White areas of Peak 8, when open.

The Dew Tour Mountain Championships Return to Breck, Dec. 11-14
For the seventh straight year, the Dew Tour will descend upon Breckenridge Ski Resort for four days of snowboard and freeski competitions, as well as live concerts and the interactive Dew Tour Experience, featuring athlete meet and greets, games and giveaways. Breck is the only winter stop of the Dew Tour, and from Dec. 11-14, world class freeskiers and snowboarders will compete in this internationally broadcast event, reuniting top snowboard and freeski athletes from the Sochi Olympics, including all eight superpipe and slopestyle gold medalists, in the first major competition of the season. Events include ski and snowboard superpipe and slopestyle for men and women on Breck’s world-renowned, award winning Freeway park and pipe. Get the full schedule of events at Breckenridge.com.

Breck for a Buck
Buy 3 days of lift tickets and lodging and get the fourth night for only $1.00! Breck for a Buck offers the savvy traveler a lift ticket and lodging package with unbeatable savings. Rules and Restrictions may apply. Discounts may vary. Blackout dates may apply. Based on availability. Visit Breckenridge.com to book.

Epic Day Lift Tickets – Lowest Price Guaranteed!
Buy Breck lift tickets at the lowest price guaranteed and skip the ticket window with the new Epic Day lift ticket.  Learn more at Breckenridge.com.

Visit Breckenridge.com for terrain updates, snow reports, lodging deals, event details and the lowest priced lift tickets guaranteed. Stay connected all season long and learn more about Breckenridge Ski Resort at www.facebook.com/Breckenridge watch official resort videos atwww.YouTube.com/Breckenridge and follow @Breckenridgemtn on Instagram and Twitter.

 

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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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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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Tickets on Sale for 2014 Radio City Christmas Spectacular at Grand Ole Opry House, Nashville

August 26, 2014
The Radio City Rockettes will perform beloved numbers such as “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers,” a tradition since the Christmas Spectacular’s inception in 1933, at the 2014 edition of the Christmas Spectacular, at the Grand Ole Opry House, Nashville © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The Radio City Rockettes will perform beloved numbers such as “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers,” a tradition since the Christmas Spectacular’s inception in 1933, at the 2014 edition of the Christmas Spectacular, at the Grand Ole Opry House, Nashville © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Tickets are now on sale for the 2014 Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring the Rockettes, marking its 13th season in Nashville as part of Gaylord Opryland Resort’s annual A Country Christmas, as it embarks on an unparalleled new journey this holiday season in Nashville. The Christmas Spectacular will run from November 21 – December 24, 2014.

 

“We are thrilled to announce the return of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular to Grand Ole Opry House with a re-imagined second act that will amaze fans of all ages,” said Don Simpson, executive vice president of productions, MSG Entertainment.  “Both newcomers and returning audiences will be charmed by the heartwarming new storyline as Santa Claus takes two brothers on a magical journey unveiling the spirit of Christmas.  Coupled with technological enhancements and the precision technique of the legendary Rockettes, these scenes are sure to be audience favorites.”

 

The Rockettes are known for their rich history, unrivaled talent, strength, precision and athleticism and have become one of the nation’s most beloved icons. They continue to take the Christmas Spectacular to new heights, dazzling audiences with their performance style, as it continues to be both deceivingly complex and entirely glamorous.

The Rockettes will bring audiences to their feet with the show-stopping number “Christmas in New York,” as they showcase their signature eye-high kicks and immerse audiences in the buzzing scenes and sounds of New York City. In fan-favorite scenes, including the high-energy, tap number, “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” the Rockettes will showcase their challenging and dynamic choreography.

 

The stage will come alive with scenes including “Sleigh Ride,” where the Rockettes become Santa’s reindeer, helping both Santa and the audience begin their magical journey, and “Christmas Dreams,” which will showcase the Rockettes unparalleled precision technique.

 

Beloved numbers such as “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers,” which continues to set the standard as the signature Rockettes number for precision performance, and “The Living Nativity,” both of which have been performed since the Christmas Spectacular’s inception in 1933, remain a vital part of the show’s core. Audiences will have the opportunity to lend their voices in the closing number, the “Hallelujah Chorus,” a tradition in the Nashville production.

 

In the Christmas Spectacular’s more than 20-year history outside of New York, as well as the 82-year old production at Radio City Music Hall, the show has played to more than 75 million people. The Christmas Spectacular continues to create memories that audiences have come to treasure and this year, will mark an all new spectacular experience for Nashville.

Radio City Christmas Spectacular tickets and A Country Christmas vacation packages are available online at www.ChristmasAtGaylordOpryland.com or by calling 1-888-999-OPRY (6779). Ticket prices range from $25 – $99.

 

A Country Christmas at Gaylord Opryland Resort

 

Gaylord Opryland Resort’s 31st annual A Country Christmas will make memories of a lifetime for the thousands of people who travel from around the world to experience the most captivating holiday resort entertainment, décor and food in America. A Country Christmas® includes more than 2 million lights and more than a dozen shows and attractions, including 2 million pounds of colorful ice sculpture at ICE!; the Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring the Rockettes®; Restless Heart’s A Season of Harmony Dinner Show; snow tubing, ice skating and much more. Located in Nashville, Tenn., the 2,882 room resort features nine acres of lavish indoor gardens and waterfalls under signature glass atriums. Learn more at www.ChristmasAtGaylordOpryland.com.

 

See also:

OPRYLAND’S ‘A COUNTRY CHRISTMAS’ IS SPECTACULAR FAMILY HOLIDAY PLACE

NASHVILLE FOR FAMILIES: Music, Meerkats, Motorcars Are Just a Few of Fun Things to Enjoy

HONKY TONKING IN MUSIC CITY -HOW NASHVILLE GOT ITS ‘SOUND’
From Live Music Venues to Museums, You Gain New Appreciation for Country

NASHVILLE’S RICH HERITAGE:
Country Music’s Capital Shows Penchant for Classical

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Bethlehem, Connecticut, Offers Festive Start to the Holiday Season

November 30, 2013

They call this little town in the Litchfield Hills of Connecticut “Christmas Town” with good reason. Bethlehem’s 33rd annual Christmas Town Festival scheduled for December 6 and 7, is one of New England’s favorite ways to kick off the season. Wherever you turn, special treats are waiting, from the town green to the post office to the Abbey of Regina Laudis and the 1754 Bellamy-Ferriday House, and some of the distinctive attractions continue when the festival is over.

Bethlehem’s quaint town green, centered with a giant tree, is offers over 70 vendors with gift items, wreaths and foods for sale, strolling carolers and musicians. Santa is at the firehouse to pose for pictures and everyone is invited to climb aboard for hayrides offered in front of First Church. Collectors can garner this year’s unique limited edition Christmas Town pewter ornament, sold only during the Festival.

Bethlehem’s beautiful 18th century Bellamy-Ferriday House & Garden is festively decorated and open for guided tours, hot cider and a scavenger hunt for children (9 Main Street North, www.ctlandmarks.org).

Hours for the Christmas Town Festival are Friday, December 6 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday, December 7, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, see www.christmastownfestival.com or phone 203-266-7510, ext. 300.

Christmas Town Mailings at the Post Office

As you can imagine, the Bethlehem post office is especially busy in December serving the many who come every year to mail holiday cards with the special postmarks.  Visitors can select favorites among the “Christmas Cachet” designs, hand-stamp and mail these unique greetings to friends and family. The idea of the special stamps dates to 1938, when a local Postmaster, the late Earl Johnson, designed a “cachet,” a special rubber stamp featuring a tree and lettering that said “From the Little Town of Bethlehem, Christmas Greetings.” New cachets have been added almost every year since. Over 70 designs are now available and nearly 200,000 cards are mailed each year from this small post office.  Located at 34 East Street, the post office will have extended hours during the festival, Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Precious Crèches at the Abbey

One of Bethlehem’s not-to-be-missed jewels is open all month. The museum-quality 18th century Neapolitan crèche on view in a vintage barn at the Abbey of Regina Laudis includes hundreds of beautiful hand-carved figures. Made of wood, terra cotta, and porcelain, the figures portray the Holy Family, angels, the Three Kings, merchants and peddlers, children, peasants and farm animals.  This fabulous gift from artist and philanthropist Loretta Hines Howard is similar to the one Howard donated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where it is prominently displayed every Christmas.

A second Crèche, The Lauren Ford Crèche, created by a favorite Connecticut artist, is displayed in a farm shed near the Lower Abbey Chapel. This charming rustic Nativity scene displays figures of Jesus, Mary and Joseph dressed in typical New England garb.

The Monastic Art Shop on the property offers crafts, cheeses, jams, herbal teas, flavored vinegars, herbs and honey, and all created on site by the Abbey’s residents.

The Abbey of Regina Laudis, located at 249 Flanders Road, is open to visitors daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, visit www.abbeyofreginalaudis.org

For more information, contact the Western Connecticut Visitors Bureau, PO Box 968, Litchfield, CT 06759, 860-567-4506, or visit www.visitwesternct.com.

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