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The TV movie marathon hasn’t started just yet, but it’s only a matter of a time before A Christmas Story is rolling 24/7 on screens around the nation. This year you can actually skip watching the film and check it out in real life, as the house used for some of the filming has been restored, is looking great, and is open for public tours all year long.
Yes—there is a leg lamp in the window—and there’s plenty of props, memorabilia, costumes, and other bits and pieces from the film. The place is one part movie set and one part museum, and of course there’s a gift shop where you can bring home a little of the movie back to where you call home. The address has seen its share of visitors thus far, as they’ve had more than 100,000 fans swing on through.
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With security lines, crowds, and other less than awesome features—an airport isn’t necessarily the best place to welcome the holiday season. Some airports are looking to change this, however, and one in particular has embraced the holiday spirit in grand style. Germany's Frankfurt Airport is the must-visit airport for December, as they've installed a full-on Weihnachtsmarkt, or Christmas Market.
FRA is boasting decorations, trees, lights, and all of the usual holiday trimmings as they do their best to bring a traditional German holiday market atmosphere right to the terminals. The over 300 shops and restaurants at the airport are in the holiday spirit with Christmas specials and other deals and, on Christmas Eve, many of the stores will even stay open later than usual—just in case you need one more thing for that special someone.
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'Tis the season for New York City to unearth its transportation gems in the name of holiday fun, as the Big Apple again runs their special annual historic subway trains and city buses.
The subway train is the main attraction, and though it's technically called the "Nostalgia Shoppers' Special Train," you'll hear it referred to as the "vintage train" much more often. Clanking down the rails between Queens and the East Village, the train is an amalgam of rolling stock from the 1930s through 1950s.
A ride on the train costs the same as every other MTA ride—$2.25—and passengers are allowed to hop on/off at any stop just as if it were a normal subway train; the big difference is that the vintage train quickly turns into a party!
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Today is Cyber Monday, and that means there’s all kinds of discounts to be had across the internet. However, after scoring a few digital deals, we suggest hitting the terminals and concourses to look for the next big thing in holiday gifts, and that’s because Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is all about shipping and shopping for the next few weeks.
The airport is offering to ship gifts back to where you call home—no checked baggage free required—for those items purchased at the airport. Things started up on November 22, and the option will run through December 24. It’s called "You Shop, We Ship," and is available to all travelers who grab something valued at $50 or more in the airport—but there are some certain restrictions depending on the store or the seller. Let’s just say that the copy of US Weekly from Hudson News isn’t going to be eligible for this promotion.
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In case you’ve forgotten to flip the pages on your puppies and kitties calendar it’s already October, and in fact next week is Halloween. That means November—and apparently the start of the holiday season—is just about a week away. We can’t fight it and say it’s too soon to start talking about Santa and his elves, so we just say congratulations to Delta for being the first in the industry to officially welcome the holiday season—even if it’s October.
Delta just revealed a revamped in-flight safety video building off their previous versions, as they wanted something to welcome one and all during the busy travel season that is just weeks ahead. The video runs almost five minutes, and is a great distraction as you’re enjoying your morning coffee and ignoring the messages arriving within your inbox.
Happy Holidays to you, our awesome readers. We've already got everything we wantedyou guys.
Have safe and excellent travels this long weekend and we'll be back bright and early on Wednesday morning.
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Can you handle one more airline holiday video? We promise it's good, and not a flashmob for once!
Back in October, Delta got a few good flights attendants and pilots and ramp staff and red coats out on the tarmac at LAX in the wee hours of the morning to film what would be their 2012 Holiday Card to the world. Above is the finished product, which takes marshalling (signalling at aircraft with those handheld lightsticks) to a new, awesome level andshockershows airline employees smiling!
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It might not be as polished and clean as some of those overly planned "flashmobs" at the airport, but when it comes to holiday greetings—JetBlue knows what they doing.
The airline's most festive crew penned a little set of lyrics to the tune of Jingle Bells, and they made it all about what to do at the airport to keep your holiday stress-free. Initially it was just words on paper, but after a request over on Twitter it was time for JetBlue employees to put on their Santa hats and sing for the masses.
Even if you’ve still got plenty of shopping to do, we say it’s fine to take a little holiday break to enjoy the season. Load up on the hot chocolate or one of those peppermint mochas, and head out to the zoo. It might not seem that seasonal, but when they flip the switch on the lights it’s becomes a winter wonderland. Here’s a few zoos doing the Christmas lights thing this holiday season:
Christmas at the Zoo – Indianapolis Zoo, Indiana
At the Indianapolis Zoo the fun has been going on since around Thanksgiving, and the lights are turned on nightly—between 5pm and 9pm—through December 30. This zoo was the very first in the country to do something like this, so at this point they’ve got it pretty darn figured out. They’re bringing out the animals that enjoy the cooler nights like the sea lions, tigers, brown bears, and off course the polar bears. Lights are pretty much everywhere you look, and there are even a few holiday themed dolphin shows. Carolers round out the holiday zoo experience, and it’s all included in your admission. Offseason tickets start at $10 per adult, but you can save a buck by donating a new hat, scarf, or pair of gloves when you visit.
The nicely canopied entrance to Munich Airport Center
Sure, airports across the country and the globe get into the holiday spirit with lights, trees, and decorations, but that’s usually it. There is at least one airport over in Germany that takes it to the next level, as one of the country’s famous Christmas markets makes an appearance outside the terminals.
All the holiday stuff goes down at the Munich Airport Center, as they’ve been enjoying their own version of a Christmas market amidst the arrivals and departures. Holiday stuff includes at least 50 different vendors, 400 Christmas trees, Bavarian curling, and even an ice skating rink—with free skate rentals.
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Airlines and airport love flashmobs. Why? Well, it could have something to do with the fact there's always a large enough captive audience to view, record and social media share the spectacle, but there's also the fact that travelers during the holiday season aren't exactly the happiest bunch and maybe need a little positive boost before boarding that plane. Whatever the reason, travel flashmobs go hand-in-hand with holidays now, and WestJet is first out of the gate for 2012.
On December 4, WestJet organized one of their aircraft to "arrive" from the North Pole to Calgary International and, at 11:30pm before a packed red-eye flight to Toronto, gift those passengers with stockings full of goodies (including Apple iPod Shuffles).
We'll keep other spoilers to ourselves, but do watch the video below and be on the look-out over the next couple weeks as more airports and airlines are, without a doubt, entering final rehearsal for their own flashmobs.
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If you’re more bah humbug than ho, ho, ho, there are trees out there for you too: Moon Trees. These trees, located all over the U.S., don’t have sparkly lights or flashy ornaments but they have been to the moon.
Back in the 1971 Stuart Roosa brought along close to 500 seeds from five tree species on the Apollo 14 mission as part of an experiment. As Apollo 14 re-entered Earth's atmosphere the container carrying the seeds opened and the seeds all mixed together.