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Christmas Vacation

November 28, 2011

I Heart NYC: A Big Apple Holiday for Every Kind of Traveler

Rockefeller Center of Christmas,NY(Top Photo Group,Thinkstock)
Rockefeller Center during Christmas, New York City (Top Photo Group/Thinkstock)

If one city in the continental U.S. represents everything the holidays stand for, New York City is that place. It has vibrant colors, soft white blankets of snow, beautifully decorated trees, ice skating rinks, and store window treatments that come straight from all of our childhood dreams. In our opinion, NYC is iconic and whimsical during the holidays, a place where even the most Grinchiest can find some sort of joy.

For The Dancer
Radio City Christmas Spectacular
Say the word Rockettes and you automatically think of high kicks, glitz, and glam, which is why Radio City's Christmas Spectacular is a must-see over the holidays. The Rockettes dance and dazzle their way through The Twelve Days of Christmas Carol, the Parade of the Wooden Soldiers, the Living Nativity, and more. Each 90-minute performance showcases 36 Rockettes (who are all between 5'6" and 5'10.5") and 1,300 costumes. Live animals such as donkeys, camels, and sheep are a part of the cast as well. Get your jazz hands ready!

For The Shopper
Holiday Window Displays
Many high-end stores on Fifth Avenue, such as Sak's, Lord & Taylor, Bergdorf Goodman, and others off 5th Ave, such as Barneys, Bloomingdale's, and Macy's have display designers working for months on the creations that they place in their store windows.  Long ago, Macy's started this tradition of creating magical tales of the holidays in their windows and the other stores have since followed. Children will be in awe of the displays and adults will appreciate the show of artist ability as well. Best of all, window shopping is free!

For The Arborist
Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree
A world-wide symbol of the season, the Rockefeller Christmas tree has been a tradition for over 75 years. This year it stands tall, bright, and beautiful; lit by 30,000 LED lights on five miles of wire and topped with a Swarovski crystal star. If trees are your thing, also hop around the city and check out the trees at Madison Square Park, Wall Street, South Street Seaport, Botanical Gardens, and a few of the museums like the MET.

Continue reading "I Heart NYC: A Big Apple Holiday for Every Kind of Traveler" »

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Related Topics: Budget Travel · Christmas Vacation · Family Vacation · Holidays, Events, & Festivals · US Travel

December 16, 2010

Holiday Horror Stories Contest: Winner Announced

By awayblog

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(Ryan McFarland/Flickr)

"While traveling to the UK, I stored our passports in the seat pocket on the airplane. I ran 1-2 miles through hallways that were packed before I realized that I had no hope of getting back. An airline employee told me that I should go to the connecting flight counter. They discovered that the plane was to be cleaned and was still at the airport. One employee offered to fetch our passports. Thankfully he returned with the passports and we were able to enter the UK and celebrate Christmas with no problem. Mommy is no longer in charge of passports!"

We're pleased to announce that the above entry from Jessica S. of Minnesota is the winner of our recent Holiday Horror Stories contest. The judges felt her entry captured that spine-tingling moment when we discover something's gone awry on our journey. And that mad dash through an airport with hope slipping away, not to mention the daunting consequences of "what if...?" filling frantic minds, encapsulates the emotional downsides of travel. Happily, Jessica's ordeal also reminds us that airline and airport employees are there to help and do good in small but hugely important ways every day. Certainly something we should all keep in mind as we take to the skies this holiday season. Jessica is the winner of two round-trip flight vouchers on Delta to help salve the trauma of Holiday Travel Nightmares Past. Congratulations, Jessica, and thanks to everyone else who took part!

Need some help planning your next (non-dramatic) vacation? Sign up for our new Travel Insider newsletter, packed with the latest travel features, tips from our editors, and money-saving deals.

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Related Topics: News · Christmas Vacation · Free Stuff

December 15, 2010

There's an App for Family Time

By awayblog

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Smithsonian Zoo Lights(Smithsonian's National Zoo)
Zoo Lights in the Dark, Washington, DC (Smithsonian National Zoo)

Everyone loves animals, Christmas, and (other people's) kids, so why not combine them all? Teaming up with SCVNGR, a mobile gaming app company, three of the U.S.'s top family destinations have created interactive "treks" for getting the family together this holiday season.

Children's Museum of Indianapolis
The largest children's museum in the world has two family-focused treks for the museum's annual Jolly Days event. The Jolly Days line trek on SCVNGR provides a way for families to have fun and talk about family traditions while standing in line for the famous giant Yule Slide or for a photo with Santa. The Jolly Days Magic Trek provides an interactive way for families to experience the museum's holiday exhibits together. Sample challenges include:

-Every family has their own special traditions when it's cold outside. What's your favorite outdoor tradition you do with your family?

-Holiday movies, TV shows, and songs can also be a part of your family tradition. What songs do you sing or shows do you watch this time of year?

Duration of treks: December 7, 2010 to January 9, 2011

Continue reading "There's an App for Family Time" »

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Related Topics: Christmas Vacation · Family Vacation · US Travel

November 17, 2010

Powder and Sunshine at Breckenridge's Opening

Breckenridge, Colorado (Gerry Wingenbach)

It’s here. We’re on. Warren Miller’s latest ski flick is history. It’s time to live your own ski and riding movie.

Thanksgiving is approaching, and prime options for turkey with heaps of snowy trimmings appear to be the usual suspects: Colorado, Utah, British Columbia, and Alberta. Sunday River, Killington, and other major-league Eastern resorts will pull it off, too. They almost always do.

The first week in November saw the US Alpine ski team leave the glaciers of Austria for the slopes of Vail and Copper Mountain. Families are returning to Keystone. The Austrian ski team is at Sun Peaks in British Columbia. Lake Louise opened Nov. 5, with World Cup races just weeks away.

Utah’s Solitude, Brighton, Alta, and Snowbird are cranking up the lifts, and by Thanksgiving almost all the state’s top-shelf resorts should be running on close to all cylinders. Park City Mountain Resort (the best-run ski resort in America; they’re in the ski business, not the real estate business) is tweaking operations for a Nov. 20 opening. (I boot skied a black-diamond run in a foot of powder up there the third week of October.) The Canyons opens about the same time with some major improvements. Deer Valley is holding off until early December, ensuring corduroy for the privileged seniors who inhabit the place and can’t handle free-spirited snowboarders. (Still no riding allowed up there.) 

Aspen and Telluride will be running by Turkey Day. And in the heart of Colorado, Breckenridge opened Nov. 12 with nothing but blue skies and powder. Last season, more skiers and boarders (1.6 million) visited Breckenridge than any other resort in the US. What’s that about?

So let’s start the season at Breckenridge.

Continue reading "Powder and Sunshine at Breckenridge's Opening" »

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Related Topics: Christmas Vacation · Skiing & Snowboarding

August 03, 2010

Ask the Experts: Christmas Vacation Destinations

Providenciales in Turks and Caicos is just one of the destinations our experts have their eye on for the holidays (Greg Dale/National Geographic/Getty Images)

It may be hot enough outside to fry an egg on the sidewalk, but across the country people are slinking back into their air-conditioned offices after summer getaways and wondering where they're going to escape to next. You could start digging into those 9,500 unread emails, but we at the Away Network suggest you cure the post-vacay blues by looking into Christmas vacation destinations instead. To help, we polled some of our office mates and the travel writers and editors who contribute to our network on where they're thinking about going this holiday season. Here are their responses, along with links to some photo galleries, travel guides, and articles with more info on these Christmas vacation destinations. Happy hunting!

Where do you want to go for YOUR next vacation? Let us know in the comments section.

Continue reading "Ask the Experts: Christmas Vacation Destinations" »

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Related Topics: Christmas Vacation · Trip Ideas

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