New York City is the stuff Christmas dreams are made of. As the setting of so many of our favourite Christmas films – Home Alone 2, Elf, Miracle on 34th Street and Scrooged, to name a few – it would be a crime not to visit during the festive season. Here’s how you can recreate those classic film moments while you’re there…
– Take your kids to Macy’s from Miracle On 34th Street to tell Santa their Christmas wishes
– See the famous Christmas tree in the Rockefeller Centre where Macaulay Culkin reunites with his mum in Home Alone 2
– Recreate Buddy the Elf and Jovie’s ice skating date at the Rockefeller Centre (or Central Park)
– Cruise around in a yellow cab, Scrooged-style
Nothing beats a trip to the epicentre of festive spirit – Santa’s very own home in Lapland. You can meet the big man himself, whizz through his hometown on a sleigh, hang out with Rudolph and co. on a reindeer farm and have a snowball fight with the elves. We run two special day trips to Lapland – you can find out more about them here.
Germany is the home of the original Christmas market so it’s no surprise they still do it best. You can browse homemade crafts on beautifully-decorated stalls, feast on toasted chestnuts, gingerbread and sausages, and sample all the mulled wine. There are markets all over Germany but the biggest are in Berlin, Cologne, Frankfurt and Munich.
The most magical place on earth + the most magical time of year = the best Christmas ever. Walt Disney World Resort does festive like nowhere else, with the biggest fireworks displays you’ve ever seen, special holiday parades, re-themed rides and, of course, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. The parks are completely decked out in dancing lights, dazzling decorations and a sprinkling of snow, and your favourite Disney characters will be donning their festive gear.
And if that wasn’t enough, there’s also a town in Florida called Christmas. Thousands travel there every year to post their mail so they can get a special Christmas postmark.
A special Christmas mass featuring the Pope himself is usually held every year at 10pm on Christmas Eve and 12pm on Christmas Day at St Peter’s Basilica. And when in Rome, it would be rude not to pay the Pope a visit – right? Plus, you don’t even need to be a regular churchgoer to take part in this Christmas tradition.
Want to do something entirely different? Grab your Santa hats and your bikinis and jet off for some winter sun. You can still get your dose of decorations, food and Christmas spirit, just with some beaches added in to the mix. Mexico, Tenerife and Madiera are all winter sun hotspots that get into the festive spirit. And in Australia, Santa even rocks up to the beach on a surfboard.
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Author: Selina Akhtar
Published: November 25, 2015
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