Posts Tagged ‘winter holiday travel’

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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Snow Resorts are Magical Places for Winter Holidays

December 8, 2017
Whistler-Blackcomb-Mitchell-Winton e2

Whistler-Blackcomb, British Columbia, Canada (© Mitchell Winton)

Snow-covered mountain resorts are particularly magical at the holidays, and they go all out.

“The quintessential holiday vacation is a ski trip in the mountains,” says CMO at Ski.com and industry veteran, Dan Sherman. “From elaborate light displays in quaint mountain villages and Santa races to holiday markets and torchlight parades, mountain destinations offer the epitome of an idyllic holiday atmosphere.”

Here are just a few examples:

Stowe, Vermont An idyllic New England town, Stowe is a winter wonderland. The streets of historic downtown come to life during the holidays with a local artisan market. From candy cane-making demos to the annual winter-themed ice carving, there is plenty to do off the mountain. Catch a holiday concert at the Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center or take the kids to a community screening of It’s a Wonderful Life. Ring in the New Year with Stowe’s on-mountain Torchlight Parade and Fireworks Show over Spruce Peak.

Vail, Colorado: Vail’s Holidays are held from November 29th through December 31st. The festivities kick off with the annual Kris Kringle Market, an outdoor market featuring 34 local and regional Colorado vendors, where travelers can pick up unique last minute gifts. On the evening of December 17th, join the Mayor and take in the Town of Vail Tree Lighting by the Covered Bridge, while the Vail Children’s Choir sings. On December 22nd, Vail Winterfest Ice Theater hosts their Grand Opening Celebration. Ice Sculptor Paul Wertin creates oversized ice chairs where travelers can kick back and relax while enjoying film projects, such as How the Grinch Stole Christmas. On New Year’s Eve, ski instructors and locals form a glowing train down the mountain, while fireworks bring in the new year, lighting up Vail’s iconic setting. Other activities include ice skating, lantern making, holiday sweater runs to burn off some extra calories and children’s cookies and tea parties.

Whistler Blackcomb, Canada Dress like Santa and Ms. Claus and ski for free on the annual Santa Ski Day, this December in Whistler. The first 75 guests to arrive at the Garibaldi Lift Company dressed in holiday garb will be awarded a free lift ticket. The iconic Fire & Ice shows light up the town every Sunday evening as skiers and snowboarders hit a big air jump through a ring of fire. The 34th annual Christmas Eve Carol Service takes place at the Westin Resort and Spa, bringing to life the story of the birth of Christ along with traditional carols and music. In addition, children can ice skate with Santa throughout the holiday season at the Whistler Olympic Plaza.

Vorderstadt Kitzb¸hel

Kitzbühel, Austria (© Markus Mitterer)

Kitzbuhel, Austria An ultimate holiday destination for skiing and festivities, the town of Kitzbuhel transforms into a Christmas market and winter wonderland from November 30th through December 26th. Featuring traditional Tyrolean crafts, food and traditions, the market celebrates the holidays with a variety of musical acts featuring local choirs and musicians, Christmas readings, petting zoos and pony rides for the children. On January 1st, thousands of locals and visitors ring in the New Year with a torch skiing and flame jumping show, complete with the 64th annual fireworks show put on by fireworks champion, Armin Lukasser.

Squaw Valley, California: The holidays kick off in Squaw and Alpine Meadows on December 16th with the Opening Ceremonies. The Ceremonies include a glow stick parade, lead by the one and only Santa. The parade meanders through Squaw’s “Ye Olde Christmas Village” and the “Merry Wonderland” (a transformed Olympic Village Lodge). Check out the Ice Garden and performances by the Truckee Tahoe Community Chorus. Participants will also enjoy the “Taste of Squaw,” where local dining establishments provide free bites of signature items. Santa continues his visits throughout the week, stopping at the Merry Wonderland, the Ice Garden, Village at Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows. On December 21st, visitors can enjoy a concert put on by the Squaw Valley Institute featuring blues-infused covers of classics by likes of BB King, Kat King Cole, Otis Redding, Eric Clapton and more. Other festivities include Ugly Sweater parties, brunch with Santa and skiing with Santa on December 25th.

Innsbruck, Austria: From mid-November through early January, the capitol of Tyrol is awash with Christmas festivities. The neighborhood of Alstadt features popular Medieval houses on the narrow Kiebachgasse street. Brothers Grimm characters peer down from the widows and tickle the imagination of children and the young at heart. Vendor booths are laden with festive goods like gingerbread, wooden toys and hand-blown ornaments. Every day at dusk, trumpeters perform traditional carols on the 500-year-old Golden Roof. Don’t miss Kiachln, a traditional Advent doughnut served with hot cranberry sauce. Take a ride up the funicular to Hafelekar, located just outside of Innsbruck to enjoy the twinkling city below.

Sun Valley-Kevin-Syms e2

Sun Valley, Idaho (© Kevin Syms)

Sun Valley, Idaho The birthplace of skiing in the U.S., Sun Valley, Idaho is a small town with five-star amenities, but without the crowds. Christmas festivities start early with the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony on December 16th. Santa will be present, as well as the Sun Valley Carolers, an ice carving demo and free cookies and hot chocolate. Carolers perform daily performances throughout the Sun Valley Village and at various Sun Valley restaurants through the holidays. A European-style open-air market on the Sun Valley Lawn features vendors and holiday goodies. On Christmas Eve, enjoy the Winter Wonderland Ice Show while warming up with free hot chocolate and fresh-baked cookies at the Lodge. Don’t miss Christmas Eve fireworks and a sky-illuminating torchlight parade down Dollar Mountain. Take sleigh rides to Trail Creek Cabin for dinner or amble down Main Street in Ketchum, lit up with a festive holiday gallery walk and festive decorations on all of the beautiful lodges.

Aspen, Colorado: The 12 Days of Aspen usher in the holidays in Aspen, Colorado. On December 20th, kids can make their parents a special gift at the St. Regis, while LeAnn Rimes will perform at the Belly Up that evening. The following day, Santa will be at the Winer Wonderland with his live reindeer. Come meet St. Nick and enjoy free hot cocoa and cookies while getting your picture taken. Santa will also be conducting sleigh rides throughout the 12 Days through town with Mrs. Claus; visitors can reserve spots in advance to take a ride. During the afternoons the spirited Hotel Jerome will be hosting carolers for visitors and locals alike. On the 23rd, everyone’s favorite characters from Peanuts come to life at the Wheeler Opera House with a presentation of A Charlie Brown Christmas. And finally, on the 31st, ring in the New Year with an astounding fireworks show over Aspen Mountain. The Infamous Stringdusters will cap off the evening with a performance at the Wheeler Opera House.

For assistance making travel arrangements, visit Ski.com (you can do an on-line chat with a specialist) or call 800-908-5000 or 970-429-3099.

 

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Capital Christmas: A December Vacation in Washington, DC Checks Every Box on a Holiday Wish List

December 5, 2017
Capitol Building at Night, Washington DC

December is an enchanting time to visit Washington DC. Destination DC can help plan a visit © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

(Washington, DC) –- Destination DC (DDC), the official marketing organization for Washington, DC is primed to help travelers plan unforgettable December holidays in the nation’s capital. Washington.org is packed with seasonal inspiration on a holiday landing page including hotel packages and deals, festive menus, ice skating rinks, Christmas markets, can’t-miss events and more. Scroll instant inspiration on DDC’s Instagram and Facebook accounts or speak with a travel concierge (1-800-422-8644), Monday-Friday, 8:30am-5pm EST.

“Whether your ideal December getaway includes a family photo with the National Christmas tree and A Christmas Carol at Ford’s Theatre or a morning at the MLK Memorial, an afternoon of ice skating at the National Gallery of Art’s rink and a Michelin-star dinner, we can help you plan an unforgettable holiday in Washington, DC,” said Elliott L. Ferguson II, president and CEO of DDC.

Among special packages and events:

SEASONAL HOTEL PACKAGES

Between Nov. 28-Dec. 20, the Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC displays lavish holiday décor from 20 area designers. The luxury Georgetown hotel treats travelers with 30% off suites, Dec. 4-31, 2017.
The Ritz-Carlton Georgetown’s Deck the Halls offer includes Santa’s milk and cookies at turn-down and an in-suite holiday tree. The Ritz-Carlton Washington, DC welcomes guests to Savor the Season with a 30-foot gingerbread Washington Monument and a $50 food and beverage credit.
Winter packages at the Willard InterContinental include a delicious welcome amenity and the official 2017 White House Christmas ornament thru Dec. 31.

ICE SKATING RINKS

Twirl around the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden’s rink thru March 11, 2018. Warm up inside the Pavilion Café and visit Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting: Inspiration and Rivalry in the West Building thru Jan. 21, 2018. FREE
New: The Potomac-side rink at The Wharf in SW DC joins the party of neighborhood rinks in Georgetown and Capitol Riverfront.
New: Glide on iceless”rinks at the Fairmont Washington, D.C. Georgetown and the Watergate Hotel.

HOLIDAY LIGHTS AND TOURS

ZooLights animates the National Zoo with more than 500,000 LED lights, snowless tubing and concerts between 5-9pm until Jan. 1 (closed Dec. 24, 25, 31). FREE

George Washington’s Mount Vernon offers character-guided candlelit tours, 18th century dancing and fireside caroling, Dec. 1-2, 8-9, 17.
Holiday in the Park illuminates Six Flags America with lights, rides and s’mores Dec. 2-3, 9-10, 16-17, 22-23, 26- Jan. 1.
Tour America’s roadside attractions in miniature at Seasons Greenings: National Parks and Historic Parks at the U.S. Botanic Gardens thru Jan. 2. FREE
The National Christmas tree in President’s Park on the Ellipse is attended by 56 decorated trees, Santa’s Workshop and musical performances thru Dec. 31. FREE
The National Menorah will be lit on the Ellipse throughout Hanukah. On Dec. 12 at 4pm, the American Friends of Lubavitch celebrates with dreidels and donuts. FREE

SHOPPING

Find only-in-DC gifts at Made in DC, a new store in Dupont Circle and Steadfast Supply in Capitol Riverfront. Pop-up Christmas markets: Downtown Holiday Market in Penn Quarter and Union Market’s Brief Assembly run thru Dec. 23.
CityCenterDC, the Penn Quarter’s luxury shopping and restaurant destination, dresses up with a giant reindeer, a sky-high tree for the season. Between Dec. 1-3, a 12-foot-high igloo adds to the Instagram fun.
Georgetown Glow, an outdoor exhibition of light-art installations dots the historic shopping district between 5-10pm, Dec. 8, 2017-Jan. 7, 2018. FREE

PERFORMANCES AND ATTRACTIONS

New: Digital gallery Artechouse welcomes The Imaginary World of the Nutcracker, Dec. 7, 2017-Jan. 7, 2018.
The Kennedy Center hosts seasonal shows including Merry Tubachristmas! (Dec. 11, FREE), Second City’s Twist Your Dickens (Dec. 5-31) and the National Symphony Orchestra’s Handel’s Messiah (Dec. 14-17).
The Washington Ballet’s version of The Nutcracker (thru Dec. 24) swaps George Washington for the Nutcracker Prince at Warner Theatre.
A richly dressed A Christmas Carol (thru Dec. 31) takes over Ford’s Theatre.
New: Christmas Illuminated is one of many exhibits at the Museum of the Bible.

DINING AND NIGHTLIFE

Toasts the season at Drink Company’s Miracle on Seventh Street, a trio of over-the-top pop-up bars thru Dec. 31.
Find lavish holiday teas in the Lounge at the Mandarin Oriental Washington, DC and Tea Cellar at the Park Hyatt Washington DC. The St. Regis Washington D.C. celebrates 12 days of Champagne (Dec. 12-24).
Among the city’s New Year’s Eve delights, Michelin-starred chef José Andrés offers tasting menus at China Chilcano, Jaleo and Oyamel.

Destination DC, the official destination marketing organization for the nation’s capital, is a private, non-profit membership organization of 1,000 businesses committed to marketing the area as a premier global convention, tourism and special events destination with a special emphasis on the arts, cultural and historic communities.

Visit washington.org.
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Ski and Ride in Vermont this Holiday Season

November 26, 2014
Smugglers' Notch Resort's holiday celebration December 19-26, 2014 includes elf tuck-ins & bedtime stories, a holiday crafts party, and on Christmas Eve, the arrival of Santa, a torchlight parade and fireworks © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Smugglers’ Notch Resort’s holiday celebration December 19-26, 2014 includes elf tuck-ins & bedtime stories, a holiday crafts party, and on Christmas Eve, the arrival of Santa, a torchlight parade and fireworks © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Snow covered pine trees, quaint villages decked out in lights, and the feeling of gliding down a mountain side, followed by hot cocoa by the fire. What could be a better way to spend a holiday? Vermont ski and snowboard resorts are a majestic destination during the holidays and offer many cheerful activities and packages to get the family there.

Bolton Valley

Nothing brings friends and families together for good times quite like the holidays, and holidays spent on snow create lasting memories. Bolton Valley’s cozy base village will be trimmed in white lights for the holidays, creating a festive atmosphere for guests at the resort. In the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, the mountain will be full of guests enjoying skiing, riding and daily family events. The Indoor Amusement Center will be open every day this week. Free, family oriented evens include a Magic Show and a Balloon Twister creating balloon sculptures. Skiers and riders will also have a chance to warm up around a campfire with complimentary hot cocoa and cookies or head inside for family movie night. The best holiday’s are spent at Bolton Valley, your neighborhood ski area.

Bromley Mountain

Join Bromley for some classic Christmas holiday fun to kick off the vacation week. Dress up like Santa on 12/25/14 and ski or ride for just $25.  Yup, that’s right… break out the red, white and jelly belly and be on the hill for cheap. Wear a santa outfit to the ticket office to redeem savings. Coat, pants, hat and beard (real or fake) are a must.

Jay Peak Resort

Food comas are something to be thankful for.  Try Thanksgiving at Howie’s or Alice’s for a hearty homemade meal slopeside.  Work off the buffet on opening day when Stateside gets the lifts rolling on November 28th.

Ring in the New Year at Jay Peak with fireworks and music.  Details soon at jaypeakresort.com.

Killington Resort

Thanksgiving at Killington means shredding the slopes, and the first rail jams of the season in Loaded Turkey and Rails 2 Riches. Another tradition, the Killington Test Fest, goes down at the base of Superstar on Tuesday, December 16 and Wednesday, December 17, showcasing the best gear for the 2015 season. And be sure to hit the after party at the Wobbly Barn on Tuesday night.

Lift ticket deals up to 60% off are available at Killington.com, where you get Beast Tickets, Best Price.

Pico Mountain opens on December 13, 2014, and a full season of Family Mountain Fun awaits.

Magic Mountain

This upcoming Holiday season will be one to remember at Magic! Opening on the 20th of December, Magic will get everyone’s ski legs back just in time for Holidays. Magic will be making more snow than ever before with our improved system and the newly rebuilt Red Chair will smoothly bring you up to the top of mountain with ease. A New Year’s Eve fireworks bash will be held to show the beauty of Magic against a brilliant night sky. Make walk-to-slopes reservations at the Upper Pass Lodge or Blue Gentian Inn now and get the lowest holiday ticket prices around at the online Magic Store. www.magicmtn.com

Mount Snow Resort

The holidays are a special time at Mount Snow starting Thanksgiving weekend. Friday, November 28 is the Turkey Hangover Hill Climb and then on the 29th the resort will have its first Torchlight Parade (conditions permitting) and Fireworks Extravaganza with a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus.  Book two nights and get the third night free over Thanksgiving weekend.

The Christmas holiday week is loaded with events and activities including Grommet Jam #1 for kids age 12 and under on Monday, December 29.  New for this year, enjoy a huge family-friendly Torchlight Parade and Fireworks display on New Years Eve plus live music all week long, family activities and more.

Okemo Mountain Resort

Okemo kicks off the holidays with a traditional Thanksgiving Day dinner at Coleman Brook Tavern, followed by the annual Trot it Off 5k, November 29. The holiday season is sugarplum-packed with fun events and activities like visits with Santa, a food drive, a Demo Day, a torchlight parade with fireworks, a moonlight hike, an ice skating party, the Mountain Dew Vertical Challenge and more. Finally, Okemo rings in the New Year with its annual Family New Year’s Eve – an evening of fun that culminates with a DJ dance party and fireworks show. And of course, there’s lots of great skiing and snowboarding at Okemo. Call (802) 228-1600, or visit okemo.com.

Smugglers’ Notch Resort

Gobble up a Thanksgiving weekend getaway at Smugglers’ Notch Resort with a three night stay in condominium lodging starting at $372 in a studio home. On Thanksgiving Day, the resort’s Hearth & Candle will serve dinner. Ski or ride on intermediate terrain beginning Friday, November 28 at early season lift ticket pricing ($50/adult, $38/youth ages 6-18). Other holiday weekend activities include enjoying a zip line canopy tour and family fun such as a minigolf tourney in the indoor FunZone, nature walk, or bingo.

Smugglers’ Notch Resort’s holiday celebration December 19-26, 2014 includes elf tuck-ins & bedtime stories, a holiday crafts party, and on Christmas Eve, the arrival of Santa, a torchlight parade and fireworks. Rates per night start at $115 per youth and $145 per adult, with inclusions of condominium lodging, daily lift tickets, outdoor ice skating, use of the heated pool and hot tubs, the indoor FunZone with games & inflatables, evening snow tubing, use of cross country skiing & snowshoeing trails, and nightly family & adult entertainment. During this period, bookings of 6 nights or more receive the next night free. www.smuggs.com/skivtw

Stowe Mountain Resort

Take everything you don’t like about holiday lift ticket lines and make that easy, as easy as walking from your car directly to the lift and going skiing. That’s the ByPass at Stowe Mountain Resort. Simply get an Evolution Stowe Card online, sign-up for ByPass and go direct to the lift every day you ski or ride in Stowe. Add to that, instantaneous savings by automatically paying the discounted ByPass rate, even during the holidays, the first time you’re scanned at the lift each day. The Evolution Stowe Card has replaced traditional tickets, using RFID technology for optimum convenience and value throughout Stowe Mountain Resort.

Stratton Mountain Resort

The holidays are a tradition at Stratton Mountain where Thanksgiving starts with the Gobble Gobble Wobble 5K. That’s one way to earn your dinner, served up at restaurants throughout the Village including Table 43.1 where the feast is Vermont farm-to-table. Skiing, riding and plenty of family activities round out the opening weekend celebration.

There’s no place like the mountains to ring in the New Year. This year, those new gondola cabins will provide a perfect vantage point for viewing the torchlight parade and fireworks. Movies and music. Sugar on Snow. Snowshoe treks. Snowmobile tours. Snowtubing. Ice Castle. Dogsledding… It’s all on the holiday week menu at Stratton Mountain.

Sugarbush Resort

Sugarbush hosts numerous fun activities for the whole family starting in November through the holidays. Don’t miss The Big Kicker, the winter kickoff party complete with films, freestyle expos, food, presentations, and more. The annual Taste of Timbers event takes place on December 8th where you can sample locally inspired foods prepared by our culinary team. Christmas week, enjoy everything from the kids’ cooking class and cookie decorating to a live bird show and family fun nights with street performers. Be sure to enjoy the Torchlight Parade and Fireworks Display on New Years Eve, as well as a dog parade earlier in the day.

 

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Winter Market in Munich Airport Center Features Exciting New Holiday Attractions

November 26, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

 

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CardHub Picks Best Credit Cards for Winter, Holiday Travel

November 7, 2014

cardhub-credit card

CardHub.com, a leading credit card comparison website, announced its picks for Best Travel Credit Cards for Winter 2014.

“While American wallets are getting a bit of a break these days thanks to low oil and gas prices, a volatile stock market and economic growth concerns are likely to send consumers searching for deals. Initial rewards bonuses, in particular, have displayed impressive and continued growth in the post-Great Recession environment. It is now possible to get $400 cash, a couple of free flights, or weeks of free hotel nights just by opening the right new credit card.

“But in order to leverage plastic to maximum benefit this winter travel season, you’ll need to find a card that complements your spending and payment habits and then open it far enough in advance of your trip to qualify for your rewards bounty.”

CardHub compared more than 1,000 credit card offers (some are CardHub advertising partners) in order to identify the most rewarding cards for winter and holiday travel.

Here is a summary of CardHub’s Editor’s Picks. For more information about each card as well as CardHub’s money-saving travel tips and expert insights on the outlook for winter and holiday travel, visit: http://www.cardhub.com/best-travel-credit-cards/

Best All-Around Cards

Best Airline Credit Cards

Best Hotel Credit Cards

  • Club Carlson Premier Rewards: 85,000 bonus points = up to 18 free nights, 10 points per $1 at Carlson properties, 40,000 bonus points each account anniversary
  • HHonors Surpass Credit Card: 60,000 bonus points = up to 12 free nights, 12 points per $1 at Hilton properties
  • IHG Credit Card: 60,000 bonus points = 12 free nights, 1 free night on account anniversary, 5 points per $1 spent at IHG hotel chains, 2 points per $1 spent at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants
  • Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card: 25,000 bonus points, redeemable for up to 8 free nights, and 2 points per $1 spent at SPG properties

Best Roadtrip Credit Cards

Best Cards for Financing Travel

Buy More Time to Pay for Winter Travel:

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Study Shows 2014’s Best and Worst Cities for Winter Holiday Travel

November 7, 2014
The festive air in New York City is one reason it is the most top domestic winter holiday destination, according to WalletHub © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The festive air in New York City is one reason it is the most top domestic winter holiday destination, according to WalletHub © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

With Americans spending $53 billion every year on winter-related travel and gear and nearly a third of them planning to increase their leisure travel spending in the coming months, a leading personal finance social network, WalletHub, conducted an in-depth analysis of 2014’s Best and Worst Cities for Winter Holiday Travel. This study supplements the money-saving reports on Currency Conversion and Best Travel Credit Cards available through a sister site, CardHub.

In anticipation of the holiday season, WalletHub identified the best and worst winter travel destinations and departure points, based on 16 different metrics such as airfare costs, flight times, the number of flight connections and hotel costs.

Best US Departure Points for Domestic Travel:

  1. Atlanta, GA
  2. Salt Lake City
  3. Metrolina
  4. Valley of the Sun
  5. Denver

Best US Departure Points for International Travel

  1. Miami
  2. Atlanta
  3. Washington DC
  4. Metrolina
  5. Greater Twin Cities

Top Domestic Destinations

  1. New York
  2. Las Vegas Valley
  3. Greater Orlando
  4. Southland
  5. San Francisco

Top International Destinations

  1. Riviera Maya, Mexico
  2. Cancun, Mexico
  3. London, UK
  4. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
  5. Paris France.

Here are more of the findings:

  • The best overall points of departure are Atlanta (GA), Metrolina, Miami (FL) and Greater Twin Cities.
  • The average international flight to a popular destination costs $2,318, takes 18 hours and has one connection.
  • The average domestic flight to a popular destination costs $1,056, lasts a little more than 7 hours and has 0.66 connections.
  • Despite LAX being the third-busiest airport in the U.S., California cities average a dismal ranking of No. 43 in terms of international travel affordability. This can be attributed to the popularity of European and Caribbean vacations over Asian getaways among U.S. winter travelers.
  • Atlanta (GA) is not only home to the busiest airport in the U.S. but also the most affordable East Coast departure port for winter travelers. It ranks No. 1 in terms of domestic flight affordability, No. 2 for international affordability and No. 1 overall.
  • Of the top 10 most popular winter destinations on our list, New York ranks as the No. 1 domestic destination, whereas Maui (HI), ranks last. For foreign destinations, Riviera Maya, Mexico, snags the top spot, while Sydney, Australia, falls to the bottom.

For the full report and key stats and to see where your city ranks, visit:
http://wallethub.com/edu/best-worst-cities-for-winter-travel/7930/

 

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Newport Mansions Host Christmas Festivities at Breakers, Elms, Marble House

November 19, 2013
Alva Vanderbilt's grand Marble House, one of the Newport Mansions, is inviting guests for Christmas © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Alva Vanderbilt’s grand Marble House, one of the Newport Mansions, is inviting guests for Christmas © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The famed Newport, Rhode Island, Gilded Age mansions, The Breakers, The Elms and Marble House, welcome visitors for Christmas from November 23 through January 1, 2014. The Preservation Society of Newport County is presenting music, tours, shopping events, and visits from Santa Claus at three of America’s grandest historic houses.

New this year is a gingerbread house competition at The Breakers.  Four local pastry programs have created gingerbread models of the Newport Mansions that are on display in the kitchen.  The competitors are Clements’ Marketplace in Portsmouth, RI; Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School of Fall River, MA;  Fatulli’s Gourmet Bakery in  Middletown, RI; and Russell Morin Fine Catering of Newport and Providence, RI.

Returning to the Great Hall of The Breakers this year is the 15-foot tall poinsettia tree, which for the past few years had been displayed at The Elms.   The “tree” is made up of 150 individual poinsettia plants, grown in the Preservation Society’s own greenhouses.  The plants are removed and replaced several times during the six-week holiday season to ensure the display remains fresh.

Christmas trees of various sizes throughout the houses are adorned with new flickering LED candle lights. Additional decorations in the three houses include dozens of wreaths, hundreds of yards of garland and thousands of flowers, including poinsettia plants, lilies, roses, carnations and potted palms.  Ornaments reflect the colors and décor of individual rooms, and white candles illuminate the windows.  Additional highlights include an eight-foot decorated wreath on the grand staircase of Marble House, new large evergreen kissing balls hung in each house, and a pastel floral theme in the ballroom of The Elms.

Three Houses Open Daily

Christmas officially arrives at the Newport Mansions on Saturday, November 23.  The Breakers, The Elms and Marble House will be fully decorated and open daily for tours, except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, through January 1, 2014.  A Winter Passport ticket providing daytime admission to all three houses can be purchased for $28 for adults, $9 for children 6-17. Children under the age of 6 are admitted free.  Individual house tickets are also available. Tickets can be purchased online at www.NewportMansions.org, or at each property.

Holiday Evenings at the Newport Mansions

Holiday Evenings at the Newport Mansions provide a unique opportunity to see these historic houses lit up for a night-time celebration. Guests can take a leisurely self-guided tour through the museum, enjoying live holiday music and a stop for cookies and pastries, eggnog and cider.  Holiday Evenings at The Breakers are scheduled for November 30 and December 7, 14, and 28, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. On December 21, guests can enjoy a Holiday Evening Duet: The Elms and Marble House, and see both of the houses for the price of one, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Admission to Holiday Evenings is $28 in advance, $35 at the door.  Children 6-17 are admitted for $10. Children under the age of 6 are admitted free.  Preservation Society members enjoy reduced admission, $25 in advance, $30 at the door.  On December 21, a single ticket provides admission to both The Elms and Marble House, as well as shuttle service operating between the two houses.  More information, including the schedule of Holiday Evening entertainment, and advance tickets are available online at www.NewportMansions.org, or call (401) 847-1000.

Visits with Santa Claus 

Children can visit with Santa Claus in a spectacular setting at each of the three mansions on Sundays in December.  Santa will make public appearances from noon to 3 p.m. at The Breakers on December 8, Marble House on December 15, and The Elms on December 22.  The visit with Santa is included in the regular admission price.

About The Mansions

The Breakers, a 70-room Italian Renaissance-style palazzo, was designed by architect Richard Morris Hunt and completed in 1895 for Cornelius Vanderbilt II, President and Chairman of the New York Central Railroad.  Its interiors include rich marbles and gilded rooms, a 50-foot high Great Hall, mosaic tile floors and ceilings, and open-air terraces with magnificent ocean views.

The Elms is an elegant French-style chateau built in 1901 for Philadelphia coal magnate Edward J. Berwind.  It serves as a backdrop for monumental artworks, including wall-sized 18th century Venetian paintings and Chinese lacquer panels.  The Elms is situated on a 10-acre park with an elaborate sunken garden.

Marble House was the summer home of Mr. and Mrs. William K. Vanderbilt. Built and furnished at a reported cost of $11 million, it was the most lavish house in America when it opened in 1892.  It became a grand stage for Alva Vanderbilt’s climb to social and political power, first as a leading society hostess and later as a leader of the “Votes for Women” campaign.

The Preservation Society of Newport County, Rhode Island is a non-profit organization accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and dedicated to preserving and interpreting the area’s historic architecture, landscapes and decorative arts.  Its 11 historic properties—seven of them National Historic Landmarks—span more than 250 years of American architectural and social development.

For further information, visit www.NewportMansions.org.

Christmas on the Potomac at Gaylord National Resort

November 19, 2013
The Gaylord National Resort is the "capital of Christmas" with its "Christmas on the Potomac" festival, featuring nightly fountain shows and a new edition of ICE! © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The Gaylord National Resort is the “capital of Christmas” with its “Christmas on the Potomac” festival, featuring nightly fountain shows and a new edition of ICE! © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

From indoor snowfalls to a 60-foot-tall glass Christmas tree to 12 miles of dazzling lights, every year Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center is transformed into the Washington, D.C. region’s “Capital of Christmas.” The sixth annual Christmas on the Potomac is a 52-day celebration running from November 15 through January 5 at Gaylord National Resort in National Harbor, Maryland (just eight miles south of Washington, D.C.).

Marvel at the hotel’s largest, award-winning indoor attraction, ICE! featuring a brand-new theme, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. Hand-carved from more than two million pounds of colorful ice (all kept at a frigid 9 degrees), Clement Moore’s classic American holiday poem is brought to life in an icy wonderland. The attraction includes beloved scenes such as Ma in her kerchief, Pa in his cap, visions of Sugar Plums, and Saint Nick with his eight reindeer – all hand-carved into life-size ice sculptures. Children and adults alike thrill going down the 20-foot-tall ice slides. New this year: “Christmas in New York City,” bringing to life the iconic sights and sounds of the Big Apple at Christmastime, and featuring the tallest ice sculptures ever created at ICE!

ICE! is open daily and can be accessed at its new location, connected to the resort and entered from inside the hotel’s 19-story atrium. Tickets start at $27 for adults ages 12 and older, $19 for children ages 3 to 11 and free for kids ages 2 and younger.

For the ultimate ICE! experience, overnight guests at the hotel who book the “Christmas on the Potomac” Hotel Package receive unlimited admission to the attraction available at any time during daily operating hours throughout their stay. The package also includes one-night accommodations, a souvenir photo and $100 resort credit that can be used on-site toward dining, seasonal spa treatments, Gingy’s Gingerbread Decorating and additional activities. The package is available for select dates from November 15 through January 5 and starts at $269** for two guests. To make a reservation, call 301-965-4000 or book online at www.ChristmasOnThePotomac.com.

Additional hotel offerings include: Gingy’s Gingerbread Decorating, Brunch with Santa, DreamWorks’ Madagascar Crack’ A Lackin’ Cook-in Character Breakfast, a new Gourmet Holiday Cake Pop Experience, PEEPS & COMPANY Potomac Express Train Rides, Photos with Santa Claus, Tree of Light and Nightly Tree Lighting Show; and DreamWorks Themed Scavenger Hunt and Seasonal Spa Treatments at Reláche Spa

Also, each night, from 5 to 9 pm, there are four free Holiday Fountain Shows and Nightly Indoor Snowfalls. These feature a narration of the classic Christmas story during the Brightest Star Fountain Show, or both modern and classical Christmas carols during the Sounds & Songs of Christmas Show. Each show also features an indoor snowfall within the 72 degree atrium.

Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center is the largest, non-gaming hotel and convention center on the Eastern Coast, located along the banks of the Potomac River in National Harbor, Maryland. Opened in April 2008 and only eight miles from Washington, D.C., the AAA-Four Diamond resort offers 2,000 rooms including 110 suites; a 19-story atrium; 470,000 square-feet of convention space; acclaimed restaurants including Old Hickory Steakhouse; a modern resort spa, Relache Spa and Salon; and Pose Rooftop Lounge.

For additional information on Christmas on the Potomac and its offerings, visit www.ChristmasOnThePotomac.com or call 301-965-4000.

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