Posts Tagged ‘holiday travel’

31% of Americans Plan to Travel this Christmas; Hotel Bookings Up

December 6, 2022
Hotel Peninsula NYC, decorated for the holidays. The American Hotel & Lodging Association sees an increase in holiday travelers planning to stay in hotels this year over last © Karen Rubin/

The share of holiday travelers who plan to stay in hotels is up this year, and hotels are the top lodging choice among those certain to travel for leisure in the next three months, according to a new national Hotel Booking Index Survey commissioned by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) and conducted by Morning Consult.

Key findings include:

  • 31% of Americans report they are likely to travel for Christmas this year. Of these travelers, 28% plan to stay in a hotel during their trip, compared to 23% who planned to do so last year.
  • Concerns about COVID-19 are fading among travelers but are being replaced by economic challenges like inflation and high gas prices. 85% of respondents reported that gas prices and inflation are a consideration in deciding whether to travel over the next three months, compared to 70% who said the same about COVID-19 infection rates.
  • 64% of Americans would be concerned about delays or cancellations if they traveled by plane right now, with 66% of these respondents reporting a lower chance of flying this holiday season as a result.

The survey found that the share of those who plan to stay in hotels during their holiday travels is rising this year. Thirty one percent of Thanksgiving travelers plan to stay in a hotel during their trip, compared to 22% who planned to do so last year. Twenty eight percent of Christmas travelers plan to stay in a hotel during their trip, compared to 23% who planned to do so last year. Among those absolutely certain to travel for leisure in the next three months, 54% plan to stay in a hotel, according to the survey.

Overall holiday travel levels will likely remain flat, however, with 28% of Americans reporting they are likely to travel for Thanksgiving and 31% likely to travel for Christmas this year – compared to 29% and 33%, respectively, in 2021.

The survey also found that concerns about COVID-19 are fading among travelers but are being replaced by economic challenges like inflation and high gas prices. Eighty five percent of respondents reported that gas prices and inflation are a consideration in deciding whether to travel over the next three months, compared to 70% who said the same about COVID-19 infection rates.

In a May AHLA survey, 90% of respondents said gas prices and inflation were a travel consideration while 78% percent said the same about COVID infection rates.

The survey of 4,000 adults was conducted Oct. 14-16, 2022. Other key findings include the following:

  • 59% of adults whose jobs involve travel said they are likely to travel for business in the next three months, with 49% among them planning to stay in a hotel during their trip. In 2021, 55% of adults whose jobs involve travel said they were likely to travel for business during the holiday season.
  • 64% of Americans would be concerned about delays or cancellations if they traveled by plane right now, with 66% of these respondents reporting a lower chance of flying this holiday season as a result.
  • 61% of Americans say they are likely to take more leisure/vacation trips in 2023 than they did this year.
  • 58% of Americans are likely to attend more indoor gatherings, events, or meetings in 2023 than they did this year.
  • 66% of Thanksgiving travelers and 60% of Christmas travelers plan to drive to their destinations, compared to 24% and 30%, respectively, who plan to fly.

“This survey bolsters our optimism for hotels’ near-term outlook for a number of reasons,” said AHLA President & CEO Chip Rogers.“The share of holiday travelers planning hotel stays is rising, plans for business travel are on the upswing, and hotels are the number one lodging choice for those certain to travel for leisure in the near future. This is great news for our industry as well as current and prospective hotel employees, who are enjoying more and better career opportunities than ever before.”

To help hotels fill open jobs and raise awareness of the hotel industry’s 200+ career pathways, the AHLA Foundation’s “A Place to Stay” multi-channel advertising campaign is now active in 14 cities, including Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York, Orlando, Phoenix, San Diego, and Tampa. For more info on the campaign, visit

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96th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® Ushers in Start of Holiday Season

November 19, 2022

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® returns to usher in the start of the holiday season at the sound of 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…Let’s Have A Parade! On Thursday, November 24 at 9 AM, the 96th edition of Macy’s iconic spectacle will bring the nation together in celebration with a dazzling lineup featuring giant character helium balloons, fantastic floats, showstopping marching bands, high-spirited performance groups, whimsical clowns, music stars and the one-and-only Santa Claus. © Karen Rubin/

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® returns to usher in the start of the holiday season at the sound of 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…Let’s Have A ParadeOn Thursday, November 24 at 9 AM, the 96th edition of Macy’s iconic spectacle will bring the nation together in celebration with a dazzling lineup featuring giant character helium balloons, fantastic floats, showstopping marching bands, high-spirited performance groups, whimsical clowns, music stars and the one-and-only Santa Claus.

Bluey, the star of the hit series Bluey will soar above the streets of New York City as a new giant character balloon in the 96th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade®.

“Since its first march in 1924 and through the decades, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has served to bring joy to the millions who gather nationwide each year to experience it with friends and family,” said Will Coss, Executive Producer of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. “This November, as we once again set the stage for the start of the holiday season, we are thrilled to showcase another spectacle full of magic and wonder that will help create everlasting memories with loved ones during this special time of year.”

The magic comes together with Macy’s signature ingredients. This year’s 96th Macy’s Parade will feature more than 5,000 volunteers, 16 giant character balloons, 28 floats, 40 novelty and heritage inflatables, more than 700 clowns, 12 marching bands and 10 performance groups, a host of musical stars, and the one-and-only Santa Claus.

Stars on 34th Street

The holiday season’s biggest stage for entertainment is the Macy’s Parade and this year a host of stars will join the lineup to celebrate with the nation. Joining the festivities will be Paula Abdul; Big Time Rush; Cam; Jordan Davis; Blue’s Clues & You! host Josh Dela Cruz; Gloria, Sasha and Emily Estefan; Jimmy Fallon & The Roots; Fitz and the Tantrums; Kirk Franklin; Mario Lopez and family; Ziggy Marley; Miss America 2022 Emma Broyles; the cast and Muppets of Sesame Street®; Sean Paul; the cast of Peacock’s Pitch Perfect: Bumper in Berlin (Adam Devine, Sarah Hyland and Flula Borg); Joss Stone; Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue; Jordin Sparks; Dionne Warwick; Betty Who; and Santa Claus. With additional talent to be announced.

Ballooning Icons

Conceived during the Parade’s infancy, the giant character balloons have become a signature of the annual celebration. Since 1927, the world’s most popular characters have been transformed into high-flying art in the sky. Originally inspired by marionettes, the Parade’s balloons first debuted as upside down puppets filled with air which were carried down the Parade route on sticks. The design later evolved to include helium, making them high-flying giants. Over time Macy’s artists innovated creating several types of inflatables including balloonheads (inflated heads sitting atop of a costumed participant), balloonicles (hybrid inflatables with vehicles inside) and most recently, trycaloons (tandem tricycles with an inflated balloon character).

New giants joining the line-up this year include Bluey by BBC; Diary of A Wimpy Kid® by Abrams Books; DINO and Baby DINO by Sinclair Oil; and Stuart the Minion from Illumination.

Making return appearances to the skies above New York City are giant balloon favorites including Ada TwistScientist by Netflix; Astronaut Snoopy by PEANUTS Worldwide; The Boss Baby from DreamWorks Animation; Goku by Toei Animation; a Funko Pop!-inspired Grogu™ by Funko and in partnership with Lucasfilm; Chase from PAW Patrol® by Nickelodeon; Pillsbury Doughboy by PillsburyRed Titan from “Ryan’s World” by Sunlight Entertainment and; Ronald McDonald® by McDonald’s® USA; Papa Smurf from The Smurfs by Nickelodeon; Pikachu& Eevee™ by The Pokémon Company International; and SpongeBob SquarePants & Gary by Nickelodeon.

The inflatable lineup also includes a new balloonicle of Striker, the U.S. Soccer Star by FOX Sports. Returning inflatables include Sinclair’s Baby DINOs, the Go Bowling balloonicles; Hot Air Dolly by Universal Orlando Resort, Smokey Bear by the USDA Forest Service; and Macy’s very own special reindeer Tiptoe and Toni the Bandleader Bear.

Floating Fantasy

The Parade’s signature floats transport spectators to magical worlds. These creations take a theme to new heights bringing magic to the streets of New York City and into homes nationwide. Conceived and crafted by the incredible artisans of Macy’s Parade Studio – a design and production facility that includes carpenters, engineers, electricians, painters, animators, balloon technicians, sculptors, metal fabricators, scenic and costume designers – this year’s line-up of floats showcase the animated theatricality that the Macy’s Parade has become world-famous for.

This year five new floats will debut in the Turkey Day celebration. The floating wonders along with their scheduled performers include Baby Shark by Pinkfong and Nickelodeon (Ziggy Marley); Geoffrey’s Dazzling Dance Party by Toys“R”Us (Jordin Sparks); People of First Light by Macy’s; Supersized Slumber by Netflix (Ballet Hispánico); and The Wondership by Wonder (Cam).

The returning float roster and its scheduled performers include 1-2-3 Sesame Street® by Sesame Workshop™ (The cast and Muppets of Sesame Street); Big City Cheer by Spirit of America Productions (Miss America 2022 Emma Broyles); Big Turkey Spectacular by Jennie-O (Paula Abdul); Birds of a Feather Stream Together by Peacock® (Adam Devine, Sarah Hyland and Flula Borg); Blue’s Clues & You! by Nickelodeon (Josh Dela Cruz); The Brick-changer by The LEGO® Group (Fitz and the Tantrums); Celebration Gator by the Louisiana Office of Tourism (Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue); Christmas in Town Square by Lifetime® (Kirk Franklin); Colossal Wave of Wonder by Kalahari Resorts and Conventions (Sean Paul); Deck the Halls by Balsam Hill® (Gloria, Sasha and Emily Estefan); Elf Pets® by The Lumistella Company®Everyone’s Favorite Bake Shop by Entenmann’s®Fantasy Chocolate Factory by Kinder™ (Big Time Rush); Harvest in the Valley by Green Giant® (Jordan Davis); Heartwarming Holiday Countdown by Hallmark Channel (Joss Stone); Her Future is STEM-Sational by Olay (Betty Who); Macy’s Singing Christmas Tree (Macy’s Choir); Magic Meets the Sea by Disney Cruise Line (Captain Minnie Mouse and Friends); Santa’s Sleigh (Santa Claus); Snoopy’s Doghouse by PEANUTS Worldwide; Tom Turkey (Mario Lopez and family); Toy House of Marvelous Milestones by New York Life (Dionne Warwick); and Winter Wonderland in Central Park (Jimmy Fallon & The Roots).

Strike Up the Band

Bringing the beat to the holiday revelry will be a selection of the most gifted marching ensembles. Joining the line-up are Benedict College (Columbia, SC), Bourbon County High School (Paris, KY), Carmel High School (Carmel, IN), Clovis North Educational Center (Fresno, CA), Delfines Marching Band (Veracruz, Mexico), Macy’s Great American Marching Band (United States), NYPD Marching Band (New York, NY), The Queer Big Apple Corps (New York, NY), South Dakota State University (Brookings, SD), Tarpon Springs High School (Tarpon Springs, FL), University of Missouri (Columbia, MO), and Vandegrift High School (Austin, TX).

Performance Spotlight

Taking entertainment to the next level will be the Parade’s beloved performance groups who bring joy to the masses. This year’s lineup will feature performances from the dazzling dancers of Ballet Hispánico, the hilarious Big Apple Circus, the rhythmic movement of Boss Kids, the artistry of the Fusion Winter Guard, two-steps and high kicks from the Kilgore Rangerettes, the puppeteering skills of Phantom Limb, the iconic stepping of The Sigma Gamma Rho Centennial Steppers, the energetic moves of the St. John’s Dance Team, and the exuberance of Spirit of America Cheer and Spirit of America Dance Stars.

See the Magic Live

For spectators wishing to enjoy the live spectacle in New York City, the 96th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade kicks off from its traditional starting line at 77th Street and Central Park West. From there the procession will march down its signature 2.5-mile route taking it from Central Park West to Columbus Circle, turning onto Central Park South and then marching down 6th Avenue/Avenue of the Americas. At 34th Street, the Parade will make its final turn west and end at 7th Avenue in front of Macy’s Herald Square.

Public viewing will be set up along designated portions of the route and managed by the NYPD. Spectators should avoid bringing large bags, umbrellas, backpacks, and strollers. The public entering viewing streets may be subject to security search. For additional viewing information, please visit

A Nationwide Spectacle

For decades, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been one of the nation’s most anticipated and watched holiday celebrations. Viewers nationwide can catch all the action via a special presentation on NBC and streaming on Peacock, from 9:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M., in all time zones. The TODAY Show’s Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb and Al Roker will be back to host the Emmy®-Award winning celebration.

In order to create a more inclusive experience for blind and visually impaired viewers, NBCUniversal is proud to present the full NBC broadcast with live audio description on the Secondary Audio Program channel (SAP), provided by Descriptive Video Works. The broadcast will be available with additional audio narration, describing the rich visuals of the Parade.

The pomp and pageantry marching down the streets of New York City is only a portion of the day’s entertainment. Broadway’s best shows will also perform for the national broadcast audience. The show will kick off with a spectacular opening number from Lea Michele and the cast of Broadway’s Funny Girl. With additional Broadway performances from showstoppers A Beautiful NoiseSome Like It Hot,andin celebration of its 25th anniversary Disney’s The Lion King. Rounding out the theatrics will be the iconic Radio City Rockettes®.

And the treats keep coming when the stars of Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock on Apple TV+, appear throughout the broadcast. Join Uncle “Travelling” Matt as he goes on an epic journey away from Fraggle Rock friends and family to learn the meaning of the “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day” holiday and the impossible to answer question: “What is a parade?”


For an insider’s look at the holiday procession, fans nationwide should visit for regular updates including behind-the-scenes content, interactive historical information, educational activities, and more. Fans can also follow @macys on various social media networks and join the conversation using #MacysParade.

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Tips on Holiday Travel, Shopping from Niagara University Experts

November 19, 2022

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City is the starting gun to a typically frantic travel and shopping season. Experts offer some tips on how to save money and anxiety © Karen Rubin/

With the holiday season upon us, Niagara University, New York experts share their tips on topics from travel to Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping and holiday food staples (which are up in price as much as 20 percent).

Purchasing Airline Tickets –  If you are planning to fly for Thanksgiving, it would have been wise to book by Labor Day. But, between now and one week before Thanksgiving there are still savings to be had. According to Dr. Zongqing Zhou, Professor and President of the International Society of Travel and Tourism Educators, all airlines now use “yield management” computer programs to forecast demand. Therefore, prices often fluctuate based on forecast demands. If you do need a last- minute deal, consider departing on Thanksgiving Day and returning on Monday, November 26th. For next year, it’s advisable to book between mid-August and Labor Day. Waiting until the very last minute means paying top dollar in most cases.

Getting to the Plane – Most everyone knows to allow extra time, especially at this time of year. Thanksgiving eve is the most traveled day of the year. Dr. Youngsoo Choi, Associate Dean & Associate Professor, College of Hospitality & Tourism Management, suggests you go a step further. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has an excellent phone app, MYTSA, which is updated regularly. It allows you to check your flight status or security wait time via your phone. Also, the TSA Pre-Check membership for $85 that expires after 5 years is well worth it!  TripItTripCase, and Seat Guru are additional apps (Android, iOS) that perform similar functions that may also be helpful. If you’re waiting for a delayed flight, try LoungeBuddy. It helps you find airport lounges in more than 500 airports worldwide. Lastly, remember to travel light. To avoid checking bags, take a carry-on only, though that can mean overhead compartments will be cramped. Even so, using them will save time.

By Train – Since the pandemic, Amtrak ridership is down considerably, but it will ramp up during the holidays. It’s still best to get to the station early and be prepared for lines at security checkpoints. Have your photo ID handy and, at busier stations like New York’s Penn Station and Washington, D.C.’s Union Station, expect random security checks. The Amtrak app, AMTRAK, generally receives good reviews and offers online booking, trip information, texts for departure and arrival times. Best of all, discounts are offered to regular travelers. Scoring discounted tickets on Amtrak for Thanksgiving is not nearly as easy as purchasing plane tickets, due to a lack of competition. According to Dr. Choi, there are a few ways to find discount tickets with Amtrak. Join Amtrak Guest Rewards, a free loyalty program. Promotions come directly to your inbox and points are earned each time you travel. For many Amtrak routes, there is a 7 to 14 day advance purchase discount, allowing you to save 20% or more off the lowest available fares.

Road Trips – Dr. Youngsoo Choi has good news for those planning to drive to visit friends and family during the upcoming holiday season, gas prices have come down from this summer’s highs. Travelers will certainly save money traveling by car, but there’s always the chance Mother Nature will get in the way. The AAA estimates that some 42.2 million people will travel at least 50 miles over the four-day Thanksgiving holiday. So, if you’re driving, brace yourself for some serious traffic, and the potential for extremely bad weather. It’s important to plan your route ahead of time and make sure you have a GPS system or a phone app like WAZE. These offer traffic and other real time route information. Finally, E-ZPass will save you time at the toll booths – for those states that still have them!

Shopping: Many consumers are eager to find the best Black Friday deals possible. But is fighting the crowds worth it? While the deals may appear to be great, NU economics professor emeritus, Tenpao Lee, Ph.D., warns against the assumption that the day after Thanksgiving is the best one for low prices. Retailers will have multiple “huge sale” days between now and December 25th, despite the Black Friday and Cyber Monday come-ons. Indeed, Dr. Lee says there’s no need to rush away from Thanksgiving dinner to go shopping, even if some retailers are open on the holiday. Costco will again be closed, as will Macy’s, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Target, T.J. Maxx, Kohl’s, J.C. Penney, B.J.’s, Bed, Bath & Beyond and Best Buy. The caveat, though, is item availability. While post-pandemic shortages remain, it’s not as serious as last year and gifts will not be as hard to find for 2022. But, with hot items, like certain toys, video games and electronic items, there are always issues in different parts of the country.

Niagara University,

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Holiday Fun, Black Friday Deals at Tenaya Yosemite

November 11, 2022

Twice voted among the top five favorite holiday resorts by USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards, Tenaya at Yosemite is bringing back its full holiday lineup of fun, and offering Black Friday deals to make stays in the luxury resort that much more affordable.

FISH CAMP, Calif.—  Twice voted among the top five favorite holiday resorts by USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards, Tenaya at Yosemite is approaching the 2022 holiday season with glee — bringing back its pre-pandemic lineup of fun, plus a few new traditions to ensure the season is merry and bright. 

From 75 beautiful, forested acres blanketed with snow to a festive holiday tree that adorns the lobby, onsite ice-skating rink, epic gingerbread house decorating workshops and more, Tenaya is the perfect home base for making holiday memories with family and friends both young and old.

Black Friday Offer: Travelers can score the biggest savings of the year — up to 30 percent — for stays between Nov. 27, 2022, and June 8, 2023, during Tenaya’s Black Friday sale. The deal will be available Black Friday through Cyber Monday; some blackout dates and restrictions may apply. More details about how to take advantage of the savings will be posted at

Highlights of Tenaya’s holiday offerings from Thanksgiving to New Year’s include:

Thanksgiving Weekend Kickoff —Thanksgiving weekend marks the official start of the winter holiday season and includes the opening of Tenaya’s picturesque outdoor ice-skating rink, plus the lighting of Tenaya’s beautiful lobby holiday tree and a Thanksgiving buffet. Guests can cap it all off with a rich cup of hot chocolate, offered complimentary through December 30.

Holiday Craftmasters — Back by popular demand are Tenaya’s Gingerbread House Workshops, which include a massive buffet of cookie and candy fixings for families to build the ultimate dream house. The workshops sell out every year and are offered in November and December for $95 per house. Ornament and mason jar decorating workshops are also part of the holiday craft lineup and ensure everyone goes home with a special keepsake from their stay. 

Magic Holiday Elves — New for guests this year is an Elf on the Shelf Scavenger Hunt. Guests can search the property for 10 Christmas elves and earn a sweet treat prize for finding them all. The self-paced scavenger hunt is offered November 25 to December 24 and is appropriate for all ages.

Breakfast with Santa — Children ages 4 to 12 can delight in sharing a morning meal with Santa and his elves. The special occasion includes breakfast, holiday games, crafts and photos with Santa. Breakfast with Santa is offered on December 22 from 8 to 10 a.m. for $30 per child and $65 per adult. Reservations are required.

Tenaya Royale Toast to the New Year — To cap off the holiday season, Tenaya is pulling out all the stops for its New Year’s Eve celebration. Guests can dance the night away at an Agent 007 themed “Tenaya Royale” party complete with champagne toast, casino games, festive food and drink, and live entertainment. 

Lodge, Cottage and Explorer Cabin Accommodations

Tenaya at Yosemite offers a range of holiday accommodations that fit any family style or group dynamic. Families may enjoy the seclusion of a two-bedroom Explorer Cabin nestled among the trees and complete with kitchenette, living area, fireplace and board games. The cozy ambience of the lodge is ideal for couples or guests who prefer a more traditional setting with easy access to amenities such as restaurants, pools, and the spa and fitness center. The cottages offer rustic charm among the evergreens with private outdoor sitting areas and easy access to the lodge.

To learn more about spending the holidays at Tenaya at Yosemite, visit

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Gift of Travel: Switzerland to Scotland, Brazil to NYC and Santa Barbara, CA for the Holidays

November 11, 2022

Dreaming about a holiday getaway to take for yourself or gift it to someone you love? The latest & greatest news and offerings from BPCM’s travel portfolio, ranging from Switzerland to Scotland, and Brazil to New York City and Santa Barbara, CA

The Carlton Hotel St. Moritz

Tschuggen Collection Carlton Hotel- St. Moritz’ Winter Wonderland 

Gift a special Christmas celebration by booking a stay for loved ones at the Carlton Hotel in St. Moritz this holiday season.  

The Carlton Hotel St. Moritz is known as a premiere winter destination providing experiences from tobogganing to horse-drawn carriage rides and even ice bathing. This winter wonderland transforms into a holiday haven with activities for the kids, like a one-meter-long Christmas stollen on Christmas Eve and a Christmas day experience with crêpes, presents from Father Christmas and a bubble show on the Bel Etage.

Once Upon a Time at El Encanto, A Belmond Hotel, Santa Barbara 

During the 2022 Holiday season at El Encanto, the hotel is introducing its first-ever Craftsman Cottage. El Encanto is transforming its 101 Suite (pictured above into an artisan’s dream, where the community and hotel guests can enjoy a variety of Holiday-themed crafting workshops led by local experts inside the iconic California Craftsman-style bungalow ranging from candle pouring to succulent and wreathmaking. This pop-up runs for two weeks, (from in addition to classics such as a tree lighting ceremony, live, music and culinary programming, which will be taking place throughout the holiday season. 

Virgin Hotels – The Season of Wonder 
The Virgin Hotels Holiday offer, at its core, is the brand’s way of inspiring the wonder of travel in 2023. Virgin Hotels has always valued their guests aspirations’, and is aware that the past few years have proven difficult for those who seek new experiences to do so. It is their hope that the special Holiday offer will encourage guests to finally fulfill all their travel desires.

Within the booking window of November 25, 2022 – January 2, 2023, guests will receive 30% off their reservations, as well as a chance to win a free upgrade to Richard’s Penthouse Flat. For those that are Virgin Know Members – there is a presale available, starting Monday, November 21. These reservations can be made for anytime between November 25, 2022 – December 31, 2023.  The properties eligible for this deal include; Virgin Hotels Chicago, Virgin Hotels New Orleans, Virgin Hotels Nashville, Virgin Hotels Dallas, and Virgin Hotels Edinburgh.

New Year’s Eve at EAST Miami 
Ring in the New Year at EAST Miami’s Sugar and Tea Room. On the 40th floor of the hotel, guests are invited to enjoy the glittering lights of the Miami Skyline in the heart of Brickell. Live DJ performances will create the perfect energy and atmosphere for kicking off 2023.

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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, 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, 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 Tickets for “‘Twas the Night Before…”atHulu Theater at Madison Square Garden start at $40 and can be purchased online at 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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Holiday Season is Great Time to Visit Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket

December 1, 2021
Nantucket Christmas Stroll (photo by Emily Elisabeth)

Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket – After two very challenging years, people are dreaming more than ever of sharing an authentic holiday experience with loved ones. Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Island offer a coastal respite where they can do just that – recapture the true essence of the season in a destination where modern amenities and Victorian charm casually coexist.

This holiday season, many traditional and much beloved celebrations will return to the Cape and Islands with an emphasis on safety for attendees, participants and locals.

On Cape Cod, Christmas on Cape Cod festivities will run through New Year’s Day, with each of the Cape’s 15 towns putting their own special stamp on the season. Savor such quintessential holiday experiences as the illuminated Pilgrim Monument, festively decorated village centers, and Heritage Museums and Gardens’ twinkling Garden Aglow. Spot all of The Giants, local glass artist Michael Magyar’s oversized illuminated whimsical figures, dotted along Route 6A in Sandwich and Dennis. A vibrant arts community and picturesque Main Streets offer a boatload of unique treasures and hand-crafted items for holiday shopping.

On Martha’s Vineyard, the month of December is a wonderful time to enjoy Vineyard Holidays, where you’ll find all the fun activities, delicious dining and lodging options or check out our Vineyard inspired gift guides for truly one-of-a-kind treasures. If you’re looking for a bit of holiday magic, come to the 40th annual  Christmas in Edgartown the weekend of December 9-12, with fun for family, couples or a quick get away with your best pal.  Be certain to take a selfie at the stunningly illuminated Edgartown Light and treat yourself to the wide variety of super fresh chowder recipes!

On Nantucket, the two-year delayed and beloved 47th Annual Nantucket Christmas Stroll (Stroll program guide here) will kick off on Friday, December 3 and run through Sunday, December 5, including the arrival of Santa on Stroll Saturday, with live entertainment, a visit with Santa, community caroling on Main Street with Victorian Carolers, storefront and Christmas tree decorating contests, the Christmas Market and its popular and exciting Red Ticket drawing on December 24 (winners must be present to win!).

All details of holiday events happening on Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket are spotlighted here for convenience in having everything in one place.

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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 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,

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