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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 Thursday morning.
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New York's Empire State Building may have unveiled its new LED light show a few months ago around Halloween, but it's these winter holidays that are showing exactly what spectacle the building's new 16 million LED color combinations are capable of, following the upgrade.
Holiday-theme light shows started on December 20th and will continue to play every night through December 24, with the action starting at 7pm. Each show is 4-5 minutes long and entirely unique, including synchronized holiday music selections simultaneously broadcast on Clear Channel New York’s 106.7 Lite FM.
We’ve featured all the fun stuff that the airlines are doing to celebrate the season both inside and outside of the airport. However, at this point we kind of consider WestJet to be the winner when it comes to the holiday hijinks. If you haven’t seen their action during the holidays, be sure to head over here and take a minute to see their viral video.
This week we’re back in the airport, as plenty of Cathay Pacific employees have gotten into the fun over at Chek Lap Kok Airport in Hong Kong. This time it’s not just flight attendants and ground crew, as it looks like they’ve finally dragged the pilots into the fun as well.
Even if there’s still way too much shopping left it’s fine to take a little holiday break to enjoy the season. Load up on the hot chocolate or one of those red cup beverages from Starbucks and head out to the zoo. It might not seem that seasonal, but when they flip the switch on the lights and decorations it 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 they have been having this kind of fun for 45 years, and things continue this year each and ever night—between 5pm and 9pm—through December 30. They actually claim the title for the first zoo in the country to do this kind of thing, so we can only assume they know how to combine animals with the holidays—like the holiday dolphin shows. There’s carolers, LED lights everywhere you look, and even Santa is around to say hello. Offseason admission starts at $10 for adults, and all the seasonal stuff is included with your ticket.
Zoo Lights – Houston Zoo, Texas
This is the best chance to celebrate the holidays at the zoo well into the New Year, as the Houston Zoo does their Zoo Lights thing through January 4—with a couple days off on Christmas and Christmas Eve. Things run between 6pm and 10pm, as the zoo is transformed into a winter wonderland. Stroll through the oak trees that have been covered in colorful LED lights, and then take in their holiday trains, dollhouse village, and enchanted forest. Even some of the critters will be around to check things out as well, as the lights do their thing in and around where the cougars, jaguars, lions, and leopards call home. Admission here is $10 if you order things in advance, but at the gate it’ll be $12.
Whether you're headed out town or staying home for the holidays, it's likely that some holiday downtime will be spent in front of the TV.
Here are our recommendations for five classic holiday travel movies you'll want to rewatch right now:
Christmas Travel / Lufthansa / Virgin America / KLM / SWISS / WestJet / Business Class Travel / First Class Travel / Food Travel / In-Flight Meals / Holiday Travel / → All Tags
Flying during the holiday season is frustrating at best, and you can better believe that the airlines and airports know travelers aren't exactly happy to be paying top dollar for packed flights, likely during winter weather. Thus, airlines attempt to create smiles for the season by introducing little festive touches to their inflight service.
The littlest things can go a long way to get passengers in a positive mood. Here is the list of those airlines going the extra mile, getting into the spirit, and giving back to their passengers with something special:
Driving around the neighborhood checking out lights is one way to celebrate the season, but unless the guy down the street is Santa, it’s not going to be that exciting. That’s why we’re throwing out our picks for the best Christmas trees around the country for 2013. There’s no artificial or plastic pine needles here, as these trees were all pulled right from the ground. We’re just glad we’re not in charge of refilling their stand with gallons and gallons water throughout the season.
Chicago, Illinois - Daley Plaza
When it comes to Christmas trees, Chicago knows what it's doing, as the city is quick to pick only the biggest and the best. This year Chicago is celebrating its 100th anniversary of decorating a tree, as it sets things up right in Daley Plaza. This year’s tree was selected from the Moore Family Tree in South Holland, Illinois. For those keeping track, it’s a 57-foot Colorado blue spruce this year, and we’ve got to say it looks pretty darn nice. Christkindlmarket Chicago sits right next door, so make sure to pick up some seasonal gifts at the city’s German winter holiday market.
‘Tis the season for the airlines to get in the holiday spirit, and Delta is certainly one of the first ready to pass out a little cheer and merriment.
They’re using the in-flight beverage cart as a makeshift sleigh, and they’ve even released a video showing off both their musical talent and their commitment to the season. Flight attendants, pilots, and other employees do their best to play a little song, using everything from seatbelts to spoons to make their melody, and it’s actually pretty cute.
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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.