1. Christmas Markets. You don’t need to fly to Europe to enjoy the magic, the twinkling lights and the gluhwein of a Christmas Market. There are some great ones all across the U.S., including the Christmas Village in Baltimore and Christkindlmarket Chicago. Most are open through Christmas Eve.
2. ZooLights. I’ve yet to make it to ZooLights and this is going to be the year. The National Zoo in Washington, DC has a great ZooLights celebration complete with loads of holiday lights, a carousel, a holiday train and even snowless tubing. Zoos from Houston to Phoenix get all lit up for the holidays.
3. Holiday Lights Displays. Put the kids in the car and head out to your nearest drive-through holiday lights display. We go to the local Bull Run Festival of Lights every year and it’s such a great time, especially on warmer evenings when we can enjoy the carnival games and rides.
4. Botanical Gardens. Botanical gardens may not seem like the first place to go for holiday festivities, but many, like the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, feature twinkle lights and model trains as part of the Dominon GardenFest of Lights. Seasons Greenings at the U.S. Botanic Garden is also fantastic.
5. Christmas Trees. After Christmas has come and gone, you can still visit holiday trees in major cities, including the National Christmas Tree in Washington DC. Also, look for smaller decorated trees for each of the U.S. states and territories. Or, visit the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree through January 7.
What types of holiday festivities are you engaging in before and during the holiday break? Let me know in the comments section below.