Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Holiday Lights and Christmas Hanukah Kwanzaa Cheer

Do you need some pumping up for the holidays? Start enjoying the season's cheer now by visiting one of America's top holiday lights festivals and public displays with the family.

Our friend Eileen Ogintz shared the following on her blog, TakingtheKids.com:
Who can’t love the coming of winter, when holiday lights, Christmas decorations, colorfully wrapped presents and the most imaginative displays take over neighborhoods, parks, zoos and downtowns around the world, snow or not. Maybe it’s time for a holiday getaway, or visiting relatives, preparing for church recitals, baking cookies or chopping your own Christmas tree.

Holiday Lights

Holiday city-goers must plan ahead; with a CityPASS discounted ticket booklet you can jump to the head of endless lines at major attractions and treat everyone to souvenirs with the savings. Having about half a dozen attractions (varies by city) already paid for also helps to keep the family on-course, too, making itinerary planning less stressful.

Even a historic city like Philadelphia — where there’s lots of free family fun but also cool things to do with CityPASS — begins to sparkle with holiday attractions. Last year’s “Waterfront Winterfest” is returning to Penn’s Landing for an extended run, and the events at independence era sites, like those noted under “Philadelphia” below, are great for all ages as long as you bundle up. Plan to stay for the famous New Year’s Mummers Parade.

Both cozy B&Bs and major hotels dress up for the holidays, but some go all out to attract family vacationers. Big selfie-worthy decor and winter discounts are offered by Omni Hotels & Resorts, whose Resort Stocking Stuffers package, for example, promises 15% off plus a fun holiday turndown service delivered by hotel elves.

So whether you’re planning a vacation or a staycation — sleeping in a hotel, villa rental or at the in-laws — add a visit to a seasonal lights display in a botanic garden, zoo or theme park to your annual holiday ritual.

Our roundup of the top holiday displays across America is compiled with the Family Travel Forum.

If we left out your neighborhood or you want to share a favorite find, please use the Comments section below. 

Happy Holidays!

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