Posts Tagged ‘holiday travel’

Celebrate the Holidays and Toast the New Year at Favorite New York & Hamptons Hot-Spots

December 24, 2019
LI southhampton social club e2

Southhampton Social Club

New York City’s resident foodies are dashing all the way to these fine dining destinations to enjoy the very best in holiday treats and feasts. These New York restaurants are dishing up the holiday spirit from Manhattan to Long Island’s East End. So why not embark on a journey of festive fun and holiday celebrations happening throughout December and into the 2020 New Year.

Here are the gourmet dining establishments that have set their tables to welcome your family and friends for this Holiday Season:

New York City

T-Bar Steak & Lounge

T-Bar redefines the steakhouse experience with masterfully crafted New American entrees on the authentic steakhouse menu and from the raw bar. The sophisticated Upper East Side eatery offers outstanding cuisine in a sleek and comfortable setting, preferred by New York City’s power players and distinguished residents. For those looking for a relaxing dinner before the hustle and bustle of New Year’s Eve, T-Bar and Chef Ben Zwicker will be serving their regular a la carte menu starting at 5:00 pm. As always, the famous Steak Bar features Filet Mignon, Aged NY Strip Steak, Aged Bone-in Ribeye Steak and Black Angus Porterhouse Steak (for two) seasoned with Kosher salt plus black pepper and served with your choice of steak sauce; bearnaise sauce or poivre sauce. (1278 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10021, 212-772-0404, www.tbarnyc.com).

Russian Samovar

For a Russian holiday like none other, Russian Samovar is providing authentic Russian cuisine historically favored by native New Yorkers and members of the ethnic group in Manhattan’s Theater District. Party Like A Russian! at the restaurant’s New Year’s Eve celebration starting at 10:00 pm on Tuesday, December 31st, 2019. The main dining room will feature 6+ hours of partying with an incredible banquet for a seven-course meal, an unlimited liquor package, and live music for an evening of singing and dancing.

NYC-Russian Samovar e2

Russian Samovar

Russian Samovar’s seasonal menu includes the winter soup Salyanka with beef, smoked sausages, olives, pickles and onions; Vareniki are Russian dumplings served pan-fried with sour cream; and Khachapuri, a traditional Georgian three-cheese pastry. The dessert menu includes the popular Russian layered honey cake Medovik, traditional cheese cake Zapekanka, and Poached Pear served with ice cream and chocolate sauce.

Throughout the holiday season, family and friends can enjoy Russian Samovar’s time-honored history and the exceptional ambiance which embodies a 19th-century feel, complete with Russian folk prints and picturesque green and red shades. If you are in the Theatre District, head to Russian Samovar to experience Russian culture, New York City history and the most-lively musical and performing art shows featuring classical works, show tunes, ​lounge music, jazz, and Russian gypsy folk music.

Open Christmas Eve, Christmas Day: Normal Business Hours; Open New Year’s Eve: noon to 6 pm; open on New Year’s Day: 5-11 pm

Party Like A Russian! NYE 2020 Celebration begins at 10:00 pm on Tuesday, December 31st, 2019. (256 West 52nd Street , at 8th Avenue, New York, NY 10019, 212-757-0168, www.russiansamovar.com.

Southampton

Claude’s at the Southampton Inn

The award-winning Claude’s Restaurant, at the Southampton Inn, brings the distinguished taste of the Hamptons all holiday season and year-round for visitors to the Village of Southampton, New York. The beloved restaurant is the epitome of comfort, casual dining and entertainment. Claude’s served breakfast daily, weekend brunch and dinner Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening.

The fun and festivities roll into the New Year with Southampton Inn’s 22nd New Year’s Eve Gala. The New Year’s Eve package, at $475 for two adults, includes a one-night stay, dinner, dancing, open bar and midnight toast. Guests can add extra nights for $100. The gala is open to all residents and visitors for the ticket price of $125 (without a hotel reservation).

The Freaky Friday Theater/Dining package is perfect for a holiday outing with the family. Enjoy delicious dining at Claude’s and an amazing performance of Freaky Friday: “The Musical” at the Southampton Cultural Center. The theater is just steps away from the Inn at 25 Pond Lane, across from Agawam Park. (Freaky Friday, December 20, 2019 7pm and December 21 2019, 2pm & 7pm, General Admission: $20/adult, General Admission: $15/child; Dinner Package/adult: $60, Dinner Package/child under 12: $30; Brunch Package/adult: $45, Brunch Package/child: $25)

You can also book your own Holiday Party at the Inn. From gatherings in Claude’s Restaurant or their Library, to elegant celebrations in the ballroom, or one of the spacious banquet spaces, make your event unforgettable. Their events team will orchestrate your ideal celebration, from 10 to 200 people.

This time of year, Southampton Inn and Claude’s Restaurant provide the comforts of home for the holidays. Guests will enjoy holiday stockings stuffed with coupons and gifts from local village merchants, and a complimentary gift-wrapping room for guests after exploring the neighboring Village shops. The Inn is the perfect place to get cozy on a chilly day while enjoying a steaming mug of hot cider or holiday drink.

For the latest packages, deals and rates, call 631-283-6500, or visit http://www.southamptoninn.com. (91 Hill Street, Southampton, NY 11968).

Union Cantina

This time of year, guests can find a Hamptons-style Holiday fiesta at the award-winning Mexican eatery Union Cantina, featuring Live Music, entertaining daily happenings and signature specials. Bringing in the 2020 New Year, Union Cantina will host their Grand Fiesta New Year’s Eve Party featuring a Four-Hour Top Shelf Open Bar, Passed Hors d’oeuvres, A Full Dinner Buffet plus Dessert Table and a Live Musical performance featuring Deep C Revival and DJ Disco Pauly. Guests will also enjoy an assortment of party favors while watching live coverage of the Times Square Ball Drop.  All of this is included and tickets are just $75.00 each! If you’re interested in a la carte dinner service, that is available at our sister restaurant Union Burger Bar, adjacent to Union Cantina.

Award-winning Executive Chef Scott Kampf, previously featured on Food Network’s Iron Chefs of America, leads the kitchen all year-round, and will craft the contemporary holiday menu for the celebration. The sumptuous dinner buffet includes Tortilla Salad with mixed greens, heirloom tomatoes, avocado, mango vinaigrette; Beef Short Rib with apricot, jalapeño & habanero basted, crispy roasted corn and scallion polenta, charred brussel sprouts, queso fresco; Skillet Baked Salmon with paprika and ancho chili dusted salmon, rice medley of diced tomato, sweet corn, black beans and scallions in a cilantro agave glaze; Mexican Street Corn Pasta with chorizo sausage, sweet corn, asparagus tips and rigatoni finished in chipotle cream and topped with cotija cheese. The famous Deconstructed Chicken Enchilada satisfies a variety of palates, made with rojo chile sauce, queso blanco, asador cheese, pico de gallo, and avocado crema. The dessert table will include Union Churros, Tres Leches Cake and Apple Cinnamon Empanadas for a sweet ending to 2019.

Open Christmas Eve: 11:30 am to 8 pm, CLOSED Christmas Day. Open New Year’s Eve: 11:30 am to 4 pm; Open on New Year’s Day: 11:30 am to 10 pm Grand Fiesta New Year’s Eve Party at Union Cantina: 9 pm to 3 am Union Cantina, 40 Bowden Square, Southampton, NY. For reservations and more information, visit https://www.unioncantina.net/

Southampton Social Club

Heating things up in the Hamptons this holiday season, Southampton Social Club is the vibrant nightlife venue offering world-class fine dining, hip entertainment, private parties, weddings, corporate gatherings, special events and VIP occasions of all kinds. The Hamptons’ premier one-stop destination will host its 9th Annual New Year’s Bash featuring a passed and stationary hors d’oeuvres, a champagne toast at Midnight, assorted party favors and live coverage of the Ball Drop live from Times Square. DJ Loki will deliver an exhilarating soundtrack all night long as Southampton Social Club counts down the seconds of 2019, and that’s just the Silver Package Ticket ($95pp)!

The Premium level packages are: The Gold Package ($150pp) which includes all of the Silver Package and…. an exquisite Four-Course Dinner presented by award-winning Chef Scott Kampf featuring delicacies like Fresh Maine Lobster & Filet Mignon.  Please check out the website for the full menu and details. Seatings begin at 7pm. Wine and Cocktails are included throughout dinner service. The Platinum Package ($200pp) includes ALL of the Silver and Gold packages and…. you have your own table to party at all night long including bottle service. One bottle of Liquor and Champagne are included.

Southampton Social Club will re-open for nightly dinner service in early May but is available for private events all year long and of course for The 9th Annual New Year’s Bash Southampton Social Club, 256 Elm St, Southampton, NY. For reservations and more information, visit www.southamptonsocialclub.com or call 631-287-1400.

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Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite National Park Named a ‘Best Hotel for the Holidays’ in USA Today Readers Choice Contest

December 19, 2019
Tenaya Lodge Yosemite-xmas e2

Tenaya Lodge Yosemite, California was recently named a top two “Best Hotel for the Holidays” by USA TODAY’s 2019 10Best Readers’ Choice travel awards contest for its array of family-friendly holiday activities like Dinner with Santa, Gingerbread House Workshops, Ice-Skating and Bubbles and Bowties New Year’s Celebration.

FISH CAMP, Calif.  There’s still time to book a holiday stay at Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite, recently named a top two “Best Hotel for the Holidays” by USA TODAY’s 2019 10Best Readers’ Choice travel awards contest for its array of family-friendly holiday activities like Dinner with Santa, Gingerbread House Workshops, Ice-Skating and Bubbles and Bowties New Year’s Celebration.

Nominated hotels were selected by 10Best’s expert panel, and the public voted to award this honor

“This year, there is even more to be merry about with our new, two-bedroom cabin accommodations and a fun variety of old and new resort traditions that make the resort a top destination for holiday celebrations,” said Michael Broderick, director of sales and marketing.

Set on 75 forested acres at the doorstep to Yosemite National Park, Tenaya Lodge is a family-friendly holiday getaway in a “tree-mendous” setting. Tenaya’s popular holiday activities and events include Gingerbread House WorkshopsKids Dinner with SantaFamily Paint Classes, ornament decorating workshops, cookie decorating, good night yoga and complimentary hot chocolate.

Tenaya Lodge is currently offering a two-night New Year’s Eve Package that includes two tickets to the Bubbles and Bowties New Year’s Eve party, New Year’s Day breakfast and a late check-out. The package starts at $490 per night. To learn more about spending the holidays at Tenaya Lodge, visit TenayaLodge.com/HolidayEvents.

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. For more information, visit TenayaLodge.com.

Delaware North is one of the largest privately-held hospitality and food service companies in the world. Founded in 1915 and owned by the Jacobs family for 100 years, Delaware North has global operations at high-profile places such as sports and entertainment venues, national and state parks, destination resorts and restaurants, airports and regional casinos. Learn more about Delaware North at delawarenorth.com.

 

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46th Annual Nantucket Noel 2019 of Winter Nights & Holiday Lights Underway Nov 29-Jan 1

November 18, 2019
Nantrucket Lighthouse during Christmas

Nantucket Island’s month-long (November 29, 2019 to January 1, 2020) Nantucket Noel is a venerable tradition.

Nantucket Island’s month-long (November 29, 2019 to January 1, 2020) Nantucket Noel is a venerable tradition. With the influx of visitors and return of islanders with homes here for the holidays, Island population swells along with the intense feeling that something very special is about to happen. And, to be sure, Nantucket Noel and its dazzling Christmas Stroll Weekend remind us of every reason why Christmas season is so special to us all.

This year’s theme is Winter Nights & Holiday Nights — a reminder that, on Nantucket, the winter holidays commence with the Tree Lighting and continue for 33 days through The New Nantucket New Year’s Event and The Nantucket Hotel’s Anchor Drop on New Year’s Eve.

Nantucket Noel’s magic begins on Friday, November 29, 2019 with the annual Tree Lighting & Community Caroling Ceremony at the top of Main Street (which will be closed to vehicular traffic). Islanders, visitors and others convene in holiday spirit, gleefully anticipating the Town Crier’s countdown to the illumination of more than 150 balsam holiday trees. After the balsam trees are ablaze with light, rounds of traditional holiday carols spontaneously break out in song with the remarkably colorful and energy-efficient LED lights in the background. Caroling is led by Nantucket High School’s renowned a cappella group Accidentals & Naturals.

Nantucket Noel 2019’s festivities — including the incomparable signature event Christmas Stroll Weekend (December 6-8, 2019) — commence first at dusk on November 29 with the annual Tree Lighting & Community Caroling Ceremony presented by Stop & Shop. This much anticipated tradition features more than 150 majestically attired balsam Christmas trees lining the side perimeters of cobblestoned Main Street and adjoining byways. The 46th Annual Christmas Stroll Weekend (December 6-8, 2019), presented by The Steamship Authority, is the following weekend.

“The Steamship Authority is pleased to again sponsor the Nantucket Christmas Stroll Weekend” said Kimberlee McHugh, Steamship Authority’s Director of Marketing. “We look forward to transporting many visitors to and from Nantucket during the festivities. If you haven’t already done so, please book your ferry reservations online at www.SteamshipAuthority.com or call 508-477-8600. On behalf of all of us at the Steamship Authority, we wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season.”

Christmas Stroll Weekend is truly an inspiring event comprising the ultimate holiday imaginings of every child, teenager and adult! Every nuance of Christmas past, present and future is rolled into one weekend here on Nantucket. Nantucket presents the Christmas of everyone’s dreams for all to experience and participate in year after year.

On Saturday, December 7, everyone awaits the arrival of Santa Claus himself! Promptly at 11:45AM, when Nantucket’s Town Crier, in full regalia, will ring in the 46th Annual Christmas Stroll Weekend presented by The Steamship Authority. The Crier then leads the procession to Straight Wharf to meet Santa, who arrives via Coast Guard cutter. Santa — held aloft on his nautical sleigh (minus the reindeer, of course!) — will greet his enthusiastic fans before riding to the Discovery Room at the NHA Whaling Museum on Broad Street to meet with the hopeful children who will regale Santa with their ‘wish lists.’

After Santa Claus’ departure to the Discovery Room at the NHA Whaling Museum, a full day of holiday activities and events including strolling Victorian carolers, bell ringers, local talent of every description, Main Street’s Magical Talking Tree, the Christmas Marketplace, styled after the authentic holiday markets of Europe, and other traditional holiday activities will be on offered for every member of the family! Grown-ups are as enthusiastic as the little ones about Nantucket Noel events and, especially, Christmas Stroll Weekend.

“From Downtown Nantucket across the entire Island, there is a feeling of anticipation as the Christmas holidays unfold. Commencing with the Tree Lighting and continuing through Stroll Weekend and Nantucket New Years, the joy and tradition are amazing,” said David Martin, President & CEO of Nantucket Chamber.

“Nantucket evolves into a living ‘snow globe,’ evocative of every wondrous emotion and memory of Christmas holidays past and present. Holiday bells, the twinkle of holiday ornaments on trees and Christmas carols complete the spell. Nantucket presents the Christmas of a lifetime, every year, with its Nantucket Noel, Christmas Stroll and Nantucket New Years,” Martin continued.

To encourage shopping local for the holiday season and promote the sustainability of Island commerce, the Chamber continues its popular Holiday Red Ticket Program, with participating Chamber member businesses giving out one red ticket for every $25 purchase.  The program commences on November 1st, with merchants dispensing one red tickets for every $25 spent. On Double Red Ticket Days, December 14th, merchants will dispense two red tickets for every $25 spent.  At 3pm on December 24th, five lucky winners of $1,000, one luck winner of $5,000, and one extra-lucky winner of a surprise prize valued at $1,000 will be chosen at random from the multitude of tickets filling the enormous bed of a Don Allen Ford truck parked outside the Pacific National Bank at the head of Main Street. A list of participating merchants can be found at www.nantucketredtickets.com.

The month of December draws to a close with the new Nantucket New Years on December 31, 2019. More details to follow on this day full of events. In 2018, Nantucket Hotel hosted a Countdown to 2019 at its first-ever complimentary ‘Anchor Drop’ from the top of The Nantucket Hotel. The tradition will continue this year with a Countdown to 2020. Gather outside the Hotel at 5:00PM for an Anchor Drop or an Anchor Drop at 12:00AM, both with hot chocolate for all.

 

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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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Enjoy Holiday Traditions at The Willard, Historic Hotel That Has Hosted Presidents, Dignitaries for 200 Years

November 1, 2019
Willard Hotel DC-xmas e2

There’s something about the holiday season at the Willard InterContinental, a legendary hotel, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, located in the heart of the nation’s capital that has welcomed U.S. presidents, foreign dignitaries and celebrities, as well as has been the site of many historic moments in U.S. history for 200 years.

Washington, D.C.– There’s something about the holiday season at the Willard InterContinental. The elegant garland-wrapped columns outside lure visitors to take in the stately lobby décor, snap a photo by the tree dripping in glittering ornaments and wind through the lobby to find this year’s “how did they do that?” gingerbread display. Year after year the music, aromas, events and traditions offered at The Willard suspend the stress of the season to allow for enjoyment of the simple pleasures that only the holidays can bring, all within the formal yet welcoming backdrop of the beloved property.

The Willard’s collection of holiday offerings fills the hotel, calling visitors from around the world and locals from around the region to pop in and linger longer than they anticipated. Here is an at-a-glance rundown of the seasonal events:

Nightly Caroling Program

Step into the lobby of the Willard InterContinental between December 1 and 23, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., to enjoy complimentary caroling performances.  A time-honored tradition for over 18 years, The Willard’s holiday caroling program features a wide range of highly accomplished vocal and choral ensembles, and is regarded as one of the most comprehensive of its kind in Washington, D.C.  Sip a seasonally inspired cocktail from the lobby’s pop-up bar while listening to a medley of classic holiday carols from groups including The Gay Men’s Chorus, Washington Saengerbund, Arlington Children’s Chorus, Georgetown Visitation and Vox Pulchra, just to name a few.

2019 Gingerbread Display

The unveiling of the hotel’s annual gingerbread display, a cornerstone of the Willard InterContinental’s holiday décor, is one of the most highly anticipated events each holiday season. Every year, The Willard’s pastry department works to create a gingerbread display that pays tribute to an iconic landmark around the nation’s capital. This year, The Willard is thrilled to announce that their 2019 official gingerbread display will be of the Jefferson Memorial, including The Tidal Basin and D.C.’s iconic cherry blossom trees.

Standing at 8.5 feet by 5 feet, The Willard’s gingerbread display will feature a southeast view of the famed Jefferson Memorial, and include the famed bronze statue of Jefferson by Rudulph Evans and all four quotations from Jefferson’s writings that are carved into the walls of the actual memorial. The display will also include an audio feed of Thomas Jefferson’s Inaugural Address, as well as a real water simulate the Tidal Basin complete with live fish. Intricate chocolate techniques, along with the use of fondant, will bring the famed cherry blossom trees surrounding the memorial to life.  Spearheaded by Executive Pastry Chef Jason Jimenez, Pastry Cook Magenta Livengood, and Engineer David Sanabria, the display’s creation is currently underway and is expected to take over 600 hours to complete.  The displays anticipated reveal is slated for November 20th.

The Gift of Giving Back Campaign

This memorial was chosen to be the featured landmark in this year’s gingerbread display as it speaks to The Willard’s newly formed partnership with the Trust for Historic Preservation and the Trust for the National Mall and the fundraising campaign the hotel will launch this holiday season in an effort to bring awareness and necessary funds  for the ongoing efforts needed to preserve the Jefferson Memorial, the Tidal Basin and the surrounding historic grounds, recently named as one of America’s most endangered historic places. Official announcement to follow shortly.

Holiday Afternoon Tea in Peacock Alley

Beloved by visitors and locals alike, Afternoon Tea remains one of the Willard InterContinental’s most cherished holiday traditions.  Seated in the gilded hall of Peacock Alley, lined with Christmas trees, adorned with whimsical holiday décor, and featuring the elegant sounds of a live harpist, the Willard’s signature holiday afternoon tea experience offers an exquisite menu of sandwiches, scones and pastries with a seasonal twist.  Inspired by Tchaikovsky’s iconic Nutcracker Ballet, Executive Pastry Chef Jason Jimenez has created an assortment of decadent desserts that speak to scenes of the classic Christmas story including sugar plum scones, inspired by the Dance of the Sugar Plum, and Pryanki, a traditional Russian gingerbread cookie inspired by the famed Russian Dance.  An indulgent affair, named among “the top ten places to do Afternoon Tea like a royal” by the Travel Channel, The Willard remains one of the most premiere venues for Afternoon Tea in Washington, D.C., and is a must do event this holiday season. Afternoon Tea is offered daily in December (excluding December 24, 25 and 31) with seatings from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. The cost is $75 per adult, or $85 with a glass of champagne, $45 per child (5-12 years of age). Guests younger than five years of age dine complimentarily.

History Happy Hour – The Sweet World of the White House

Back by popular demand, Roland Mesnier, former Executive Pastry Chef at The White House, returns to the Willard InterContinental this December to join The Willard’s veteran bartender Jim Hewes for the holiday edition of History Happy Hour. Providing an insider’s perspective on White House holiday traditions, Chef Mesnier will share memorable moments and entertaining stories from his 26-year tenure serving five American presidents from 1979 to 2004. As no History Happy Hour would be complete without a cocktail lesson or two, Jim will provide attendees with hands-on instruction on how to craft two holiday cocktails inspired by a few of Chef Mesnier’s famous desserts, as noted in his new book, Creating the Sweet World of White House Desserts: A Pastry Chef’s Secrets.  Hosted in partnership with the White House Historical Association, this event will take place on December 19 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  Tickets are $56 per adult (21 years+) and can be purchased on the hotel’s website, under the events calendar. Cost includes three cocktails and light appetizers. Due to the overwhelming popularity of this event last year, this event is expected to sell-out quickly.

Holiday Cookie Decorating Class

Calling all junior bakers! Step into the sweet world of the Willard InterContinental’s pastry department this holiday season for a hands-on class on all things cookies! Led by Executive Pastry Chef Jason Jimenez and his talented team of pastry chefs, bakers will learn the art of cookie decorating using a variety of techniques and decorating tools.  Ideal for children ages 4-12, this two-hour interactive experience will take place on December 14 at 11 a.m.  Tickets can be purchased on the Willard InterContinental’s website, under the events calendar. $45 per child.

Chocolate Making Class with SPAGnVOLA

Join the Willard InterContinental and SPAGnVOLA recognized by National Geographic as one of the world’s best chocolate shops, for a two-hour hands-on chocolate truffle making class.  Guided by Head Chocolatier Crisoire Reid from SPAGnVOLA, participants will learn the artisan technique of tempering chocolate, the process to making chocolate ganache, as well as the steps to using the ganache to handcraft your own delicious seasonally inspired chocolate truffles to take home.  Attendees will also have the opportunity to taste a variety of SPAGnVOLA’s signature bon-bon’s and truffles, as well as their incredibly popular hot chocolate, all while hearing from Eric Reid, co-owner of SPAGnVOLA, on his experience as a cacao grower in the Dominican Republic. Offered on December 14 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., tickets can be purchased on the Willard InterContinental’s website, under the events calendar. $65 per ticket or $100 for two tickets.

Christmas Day Brunch

For Washingtonians and visitors alike, Christmas at The Willard is a feast for the senses. Stepping into the lobby your eyes are drawn not only to the majestic 20-foot Christmas tree but to the whimsical décor throughout. Your nose is drawn to the blend of sweet and savory scents emanating from the extravagant brunch buffet set throughout the gilded hall of Peacock Alley, lined with Christmas trees, while your ears are drawn to the sounds of the season gently playing in the background. Set in the picturesque and ornately decorated Willard & Crystal Ballrooms, Christmas Day Brunch features a festive menu of items, including a variety of action stations offering a range of cuisine from pancakes and waffles, to seafood and wild game, to risotto made in a parmesan wheel, to a carving station with traditional Christmas meats including Herb-Crusted Rack of Lamb, Baked Ham and Slow Roasted Prime Rib. An elaborate dessert display, including an action station for cherries jubilee flambe with vanilla ice cream, will also be offered. For the youngest of diners, a buffet offering a selection of tot-approved dishes, such as mac & cheese, pizza, and chicken fingers, will also be available.

Christmas Brunch at the Willard InterContinental is a longstanding tradition among generations of families. As no Christmas would be complete without a visit from Santa Claus himself, families are able to meet and greet the man himself throughout the duration of brunch. Four seatings for Christmas Day brunch will be offered between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. The cost is $125 per adult, which includes bottomless mimosas, bellinis and bloody mary’s, and $55 per child (ages 5-12 years old). Guests younger than five years of age dine complimentarily.

Holiday Package

There is really no other place quite like the nation’s capital during the holiday months. Whether wanting to escape for a long weekend away or for a midweek break, guests can keep cozy with the Winter Wonderland Package and receive upgraded room accommodations to an Executive Suite, complimentary breakfast for two at Café du Parc and valet parking for one vehicle.  This wintry retreat will be available for stays between November 21 and March 20, 2020 with rates beginning at $359.  Reservations must be booked 72 hours in advance of arrival and upgrades are based upon availability.

A legendary hotel, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Willard InterContinental Washington, D.C., is a world-class destination known for its rich history, luxurious accommodations, premier meeting spaces and inventive cuisine. Often referred to as the “Residence of Presidents,” this iconic property located in the heart of the nation’s capital has welcomed U.S. presidents, foreign dignitaries and celebrities, as well as has been the site of many historic moments in U.S. history for 200 years. Recently named among the top two hotels in Washington, D.C. by Travel + Leisure, The Willard offers 335 spacious and elegantly appointed guest rooms and suites that exude a unique blend of contemporary luxury and historic charm.

For more information, visit www.washington.intercontinental.com  or call 202-628-9100.

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USTOA Tour Operators Offer Potpourri of Last-Minute Trips for the 2019 Holiday Season

November 1, 2019

 

Austria-Xmas Mkt e2

Christmas Markets in Austria by Insight Vacations

Whether travelers are looking to visit Christmas markets in Europe to celebrate the season or take a beach vacation to Costa Rica to escape the holidays, the tour operators of the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) offer a wide variety of itineraries for end-of-the-year getaways, no matter the reason.

Trips for the 2019 holiday season still have availability, including a romantic New Year’s Eve spent under the Eiffel Tower, a cycling escape through Southeast Asia, and a Rhine River cruise through snow-capped mountains and castles.

Here are examples of just some of the holiday trips offered, more can be found at https://ustoa.tripwing.com

  • Christmas Markets of Germany, Switzerland & Austria – EF Go Ahead Tours celebrates the holiday season in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria by visiting the swiss mountains and Bavarian forest, drinking German beer and Austrian wine, and visiting the Christmas markets of Munich over 12 days. Departures are available on select dates in November and December 2020 and 2021. 
  • Holiday Markets Cruise: The Festive Rhine River – AHI International’s seven-day Rhine River cruise takes place on a first-class river ship surrounded by snow-dusted hills and clifftop castles, stopping at the Old World holiday markets in France, Germany, and Switzerland. Departures are available November 27 – December 5, 2019 starting at $2,295. 
  • New Year’s in Paris – Go-Today takes travelers to Paris to celebrate New Year’s Eve with the Eiffel Tower as the backdrop.  The six-day trip is filled with the city’s famed jazz clubs, champagne, and walks along the Seine. Departure is available December 25, 2019 starting at $949 per person.  
  • Christmas on the Elbe – CroisiEurope Cruises leads travelers to the oldest Christmas markets in Germany for seven days to listen to the symphony, join Midnight Mass in Dresden, and have Christmas dinner. Departures is available December 20, 2019 starting at $2,360 per person. 
  • Christmas Markets of Austria & Bavaria – Insight Vacations offers an eight-day journey through the Bavarian Alps to listen to music in Salzburg, take a horse-drawn carriage ride through Innsbruck, and view local handicrafts and festive treats in the Christmas Markets. Departures are available November 24 – December 10, 2019 starting at $1,850 per person. 

To escape, here are a couple of outgoing adventures for families, friends, and solo travelers looking for a great getaway from the festivities:  

  • Borneo: Hike, Bike, & Kayak – Intrepid Travel showcases rainforests, mountains, and beaches on a nine-day adventure through Borneo Island in Southeast Asia. Built for active travelers, the itinerary is filled with hiking, biking, and kayaking. Departures are available November 18 and December 30 starting at $1,798 per person.   
  • Highlights of Botswana – Goway Travel offers an eight-day safari through Botswana for travelers looking to escape in the new year, with accommodations in Makgadikgadi Pans National Park, Chobe National Park The trip includes Daily departures are available beginning January 5, 2020 starting at $4,385 per person. 
  • Costa Rica: Jungles & Rainforests – Tauck presents an eight-day journey for families looking to adventure together during the holidays, with zip lining, jungle river-rafting, wildlife walks, a pineapple farm tour, and a chocolate-making demonstration. Departures are available December 18 and 24, 2019 starting at $3,868 per person. 
  • Dreams Playa Mujeres Golf & Spa Resort – GoGo Vacations offers a golf adventure package at the Dreams Playa Mujeres Golf & Spa Resort, located just north of Cancun and surrounded by sandy beaches, with 65,000 square feet of swimming pools for families and a world-famous golf course and spa. Departures available through December 31, 2019 starting at $849 per person.

 For more information on USTOA, visit www.ustoa.com, call 212-599-6599, or email information@ustoa.com.

Representing nearly $19 billion in revenue, the member companies of U.S. Tour Operators Association provide tours, packages and custom arrangements that allow 9.8 million travelers annually unparalleled access, insider knowledge, peace-of-mind, value and freedom to enjoy destinations and experiences across the entire globe. Each member company has met the travel industry’s highest standards, including participation in the USTOA’s Travelers Assistance Program, which protects consumer payments up to $1 million if the company goes out of business.  As a voice for the tour operator industry for more than 40 years, USTOA also provides education and assistance for consumers and travel agents.

 

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The Willard Intercontinental, DC’s Iconic Hotel, Decks its Halls for the Holidays

November 16, 2018
Willard Hotel, Washington DC

The Nation’s Capital is pure magic during the holiday season and the iconic Willard Intercontinental, where Abraham Lincoln stayed before his inauguration, is offering a Wintertime Holiday Package © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Washington, D.C. – The elegant and historical Willard InterContinental will transform into a holiday-inspired wonderland, a beloved tradition that both locals and visitors have come to anticipate each year.  Beginning on November 24, an unforgettable display of yuletide trimmings, musical fanfare and epicurean delights will permeate the property through January 1, 2019. From the historical happenings at the Round Robin Bar to the highly-sought after holiday afternoon tea in Peacock Alley, guests will have their pick of endless festive offerings.

At the center of each Willard Christmas stands the treasured tree, boasting decades of sentiment on each carefully curated branch. The only hotel in D.C. to feature the White House Ornament Collection, an initiative founded by the White House Historical Association in 1981, each ornament honors a different U.S. President or special White House event. This year will honor Harry S. Truman, the 33rd President of the United States, and will reflect three significant changes made by Truman during his administration – one to the Presidential Seal and two to the White House itself.  Another iconic facet of the hotel’s décor is their picturesque gingerbread display in the lobby that pays tribute to an iconic landmark in and around D.C.  This year’s display will pay homage to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and its storied past with a magnificent replica that will include all terminals, lighted runways, a control tower and even parts of the Washington Metro.

As always, Holiday Pies to Go will be available through the Willard’s French-inspired brasserie, Café du Parc.  From November 1 through December 24, holiday foodies can rely on pastry chefs at the property to provide an assortment of homemade, seasonal pies using the freshest of ingredients including the famed Candied Pecan Gingerbread Pumpkin Pie, Classic Chocolate Crème Pie, Citrus-Cranberry Crumble Apple Pie, Cinnamon-Oatmeal Crumble Blueberry Pie and Limencello Merengue Pie created with Executive Pastry Chef Jason Jimenez’s famous lemon curd, a popular favorite at the hotel’s afternoon tea.  Ranging from $30 to $38, forty-eight-hour notice is required for all pie orders, which can be placed by calling 202-942-7000.

Those visiting the hotel or the D.C. area at Thanksgiving and Christmas can indulge in the Thanksgiving Day Brunch and Christmas Day Brunch set against the magnificence of the Willard and Crystal Ballrooms. This scrumptious presentation offers epicurean delights involving both traditional and original Thanksgiving dishes created by Executive Chef Luca De Marchis.  This year’s highlights include a Mash Potato Martini Bar, a Carpaccio Station on a Himalayan Salt Block, a Risotto Station, and a Wild Game Meat Station plus all the holiday fixings. Kids can also rest assure that all the tot-friendly staples will be on hand from chicken fingers and mini cheese burgers to mac and cheese and curly fries. Seatings are offered between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. on both November 24 and December 25. The cost is $125 per adult and $55 for children under 12 (complimentary for 4 and under).  Reservations are required and can be booked by calling 202-628-9100.

Café du Parc will offer its customary breakfast, lunch and brunch a la carte options during the holidays in addition to a four-course prix-fixe lunch and dinner menu for $75 per person on Thanksgiving. Likewise, the café will create a three-course prix-fixe Christmas Eve menu for $85 per person and a New Year’s Eve prix-fixe dinner menu at $155 per person for a six-course meal. Reservations are required and can be secured by calling 202-942-7000.

The highly anticipated and quick-to-sell out Holiday Afternoon Tea presented in the grandeur of The Willard’s Peacock Alley will be held daily throughout December from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. (excluding December 24, 25 and 31) priced at $65 per person and $75 with champagne. Surrounded by festive décor, visitors can indulge in a medley of distinctive teas, delectable sandwiches including Mini Pimento “BLT” Cheddar Biscuits and Citrus Crab Salad Vol-Au-Vent and seasonally inspired pastries such as Eggnog Meringue Tarts and Peppermint Profiteroles.

Now in its 17th year, The Willard’s nightly caroling program has evolved into one of the most comprehensive of its kind in Washington, with a wide array of highly accomplished choral and vocal ensembles from around the D.C. metropolitan area.  Between December 1 and December 23, city dwellers and visitors alike can enjoy the sounds of the season with complimentary, nightly chorale performances from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m in the hotel lobby. The Washington Chorus, Gay Men’s Chorus, Arlington Children’s Choir, Potomac Harmony Chorus and Carmina & Illuminare are only a few of the many musical troupes making an appearance this year.

For those seeking a festive night out, The Willard will present a special Holiday Edition of History Happy Hour on December 14 from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. This two-hour event combines mixology and history for an unforgettable curated experience. Jim Hewes, the esteemed mixologist and legendary bartender at The Willard’s iconic Round Robin Bar will be joined by former renowned White House Executive Pastry Chef Roland Mesnier.  Bakers and history buffs alike will appreciate an insider’s perspective of White House holiday traditions as Chef Mesnier leads an intimate conversation regarding his 26-year tenure in the White House pastry kitchen. Guests will observe firsthand his famed culinary skills while hearing fresh insight into the six presidencies during which he worked, all while sipping on holiday-inspired dessert cocktails.

The Nation’s Capital is pure magic during the holiday season and the Willard is offering a Wintertime Holiday Package for all those interested in an overnight stay with upgraded accommodations. Booking now for November 16 through February 11, 2019 rates begin at $299 and include a $50 food and beverage credit and a 2018 commemorative White House Christmas Ornament (minimum two-night booking, 72 hours advance notice required, all based on availability).

For more information, visit www.washington.intercontinental.com  or call 202-628-9100.

 

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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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