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Immerse yourself in the “Holiday Spirit” in these great U.S. destinations

 There is nothing like a quick getaway to a destination glowing with a festive air to get you in the mood for the holidays. You don’t have to go far, as many U.S. cities are all decked out in their holiday finest just waiting to make your spirits bright.

New York City is often considered the premier holiday destination. As Santa arrives during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and Rockefeller Center lights its sparkling 75-foot-tall Christmas tree, visitors can’t help but feel the magic. Shoppers will enjoy fantastic holiday window displays at the big department stores as well as the European-style Winter Village holiday market at Bryant Park. Outdoor ice skating is a classic New York City holiday activity, and you can strap on your skates at Rockefeller Center, Central Park, Bryant Park, or try the roof top rink at Pier 17. New York’s Citi Field will host the largest winter lantern festival in North America. The Hello Panda Festival will feature 120 handcrafted lantern exhibits with both a cultural and holiday feel. The event will also feature international food, arts experiences, entertainment, and a holiday market.

New York is not the only place to get your dose of holiday cheer. Chicago also provides visitors with beautifully decorated store windows, dazzling light displays, and other holiday merriment. Visitors will want to stop at Chicago’s famous Christkindlmarket, which is inspired by the renowned Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg, Germany.

In addition to the National Christmas Tree near the White House, Washington D.C. is offering a new holiday light extravaganza at Nationals Park, home to the Washington Nationals MLB team. Enchant at Nationals Park will feature five “Light Maze” experiences, skating on the ice trail, which has its own light display, Christmas Market shopping, and holiday-themed food. (Other Enchant events can be found in Seattle and St. Petersburg, FL.) Visitors to D.C. should also head down to the National Harbor for another amazing holiday experience at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, which features more than 2 million holiday lights and acres of magnificent decorations and festive activities including reindeer tubing, gingerbread decorating, and the Cirque Dreams Unwrapped Stage Show. Visitors will also want to experience ICE! This magnificent display, comprised of hand-carved sculptures made from more than 2 million pounds of ice and done by 40 artisans from Harbin China (home to the internationally famous Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival), tells the story of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”  

The Gaylord Opryland Resort and Conference Center in Nashville also offers a merry holiday extravaganza, which is hard to beat with 3 million+ lights and acres of stunning decorations. At “A Country Christmas,” guests will also be mesmerized by the Gaylord Opryland’s own ICE! Spectacle, which is based on the holiday classic “A Christmas Story.” An amazing array of additional special activities, shows, and events will surely create lasting memories.

San Antonio, known for being a festive city, really shines during the holidays. The famous River Walk features 100,000 twinkling lights along with the Ford Holiday River Parade, which features 28 decorated and illuminated floats. The Ford Fiesta de las Luminarias features a century’s old tradition while boasting more than 2,000 Luminarias. Other holiday celebrations can be found at Sea World’s Christmas Celebration and Six Flags Fiesta Texas Holiday in the Park and Zoo Lights. With so much to offer, there is something to get you in the spirit of the season.


And while you are thinking of the holidays, consider the gift of travel…

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