If you want a change from the beach this holiday season then head to the northern hemisphere and celebrate a Winter Christmas. All those Holiday movies you've enjoyed will come to life and it's a wonderful time to enjoy the festivities on offer.
In late November the holiday season begins with the famous Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. Then it's a month of en masse twinkling fairy lights and seasonal decorations where the iconic department stores window dressings are true works of art. There's even a map that guides you from one store venue to another...in sense an independent walking tour.
Also look at the Holiday Lights night tour-a coach tour that includes Times Square, the Grand Central Station laser light show and of course the famous Rockefeller Christmas Tree.
Another city all dressed up for Christmas is San Francisco and it's on show at Union Square where the big stores and hotels are located. In the square's centre is an ice skating rink so test your skills and then warm up with a hot toddy at the St Francis hotel. In San Francisco and New York(and other U.S./Canadian cities) the Holidays are synonymous with the delightful Nutcracker Suite ballet but do book early.
The Continent and U.K are also all about Christmas lights that transform their beautiful cities and even villages into fairylands. Paris, already the City of Lights goes all out with the piece de resistance being the sparkling Champs Elysees. London and it's famous Regent St turn on an equally brilliant display that is updated annually.
During the Holidays there's special entertainment and shopping throughout Europe. London celebrates the silly season with the traditional pantomine whereby Paris has ballet and cabaret galore. But it's the famous Christmas Markets(from England to Eastern Europe) that lure locals and tourists alike with the German,French and Austrian markets being especially known for their festive feel. Their historic locations add to the charm and on offer is a variety of magical delicacies whether crafts or food. You can pick up nativity scenes, unique hand made gifts and sample the delicious seasonal tidbits whether savoury or sweet accompanied by a mug of steaming hot mulled wine.
Anne's tip: Yes, it's cold outside so wrap up warm but once inside you'll feel cosy as hotels and stores are heated for your comfort...besides the celebrations will warm your heart!
To plan your travel itinerary contact Anne Van Dyke: www.annevandyke.com
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