Posts in the category "Holidays":

St. Patrick’s Day at O’Hare & Midway Airports



Chicago’s O’Hareand Midway  airports will be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with Celtic dance and musical entertainment, as well as “Shamrock Specials” at airport restaurants and shops.

Today  – (Thursday, March 13) from 5 to 6 p.m., dancers from the Sheila Tully Academy of Irish Dance will perform at O’Hare International Terminal 5, post security and just outside of the new duty free store.  At Midway, Catherine O’Connell will sing with musicians at Reilly’s Daughter, located in the Midway Boulevard Food Court at 5 p.m.


The fun continues Friday, March 14 with performances at O’Hare and Midway by the  Trinity Irish Dancers.

Here’s the schedule for O’Hare:

  • Terminal 1: 6:10 to 7 p.m. Lower level baggage claim near Door 1E

  • Terminal 2 : 5 to 6 p.m. Post security next to Wicker Park Seafood and Sushi

  • Terminal 3: 5 to 6 p.m. Post security near the entrance to the L Concourse
  • Terminal 5: 6:10 to 7 p.m. in the lower level meeter/greeter area across from the Information Booth

At Midway, the dancers will perform from 4 to 6 p.m. post security in Concourse A near the Battle of Midway exhibit.

And on St. Patrick’s Day, Monday, March 17, concessions throughout both airports will offer “Shamrock Specials” that will include green beer, green kettle corn and discounts on green merchandise and Celtic jewelry.


Airports ready for Valentine’s Day

Charles Lindbergh-themed Valentine

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Here’s to being with your sweetheart today. But if instead you’re at an airport or on an airplane, here’s a round-up of Valentine’s Day events you’ll find along the way.

If you’re flying on a Southwest Airlines, go ahead and order an alcoholic drink. Your first one is free, compliments of the “LUV” airline.

PHL, Valentine Origami Demonstration

At Philadelphia International Airport there will be a floral arranging demonstration from 2-4pm, during which time the airport will be giving away 400 carnations to passengers who stop by.

From 4-6pm, PHL will hosting a Valentine-themed origami paper folding demonstration. You can learn how to fold your own form, then take some paper and directions and fold a heart when you have more time. During the demonstration, the airport will be giving away 400 pre-folded red or pink paper hearts to passengers.



On Friday Pittsburgh International Airport is hosting a “LovePort” welcome table from noon to 5 p.m. in the center of the baggage claim area so “meeters and greeters’ can create valentine signs to welcome arriving sweethearts. The airport will provide the paper and the markers and Volunteer Ambassadors will be on hand to help out with the signs.

Snapshots of the welcome signs will also be posted on the airport’s Twitter feed at (@PITAirport) and can be found by searching #LoveYou.


Courtesy of Supreme Chocolatier

LaGuardia Airport’s Food & Shops will have all sorts of heart-shaped gifts ready to go and all pre-security stores will be giving out complimentary chocolate hearts. From noon to 4 pm, look for Cupid, who will handing out chocolate hearts as well.

Reno-Tahoe International Airport will have a Valentine’s Day Photo Booth set up on Friday in the Baggage Claim area so customers can have a picture taken with their sweetheart. Local athletic mascots from the University of Nevada – Alphie and Wolfie – will be onsite to help out with photos and the airport’s Kindness Takes Flight team will be handing out Valentine’s Day goodies.


Miami International Airport is having a full day of hearty events on Friday with a DJ spinning tunes, a stilt walker passing out chocolate roses, a craft table for making valentines, photo keepsake opportunities and a chance to win prizes.

At both Chicago’s O’Hare Airport and Los Angeles International Airport (in the Tom Bradley International Terminal) representatives from HMS Host will be all dressed up and passing out Valentine’s Day cards and roses to passengers.

Jacksonville Airport carnations

Volunteers at Jacksonville International Airport in Florida will once again be handing out more than 1,000 carnations to travelers. (They do this on Mother’s Day as well.)

And at Halifax Stanfield International Airport (HSIA) volunteers will be handing out chocolates and valentines -as well a free books and boxer shorts – and there will be a Valentine’s Day themed photo booth in the main lobby where Valentine’s Day photos can be snapped for free.

Zorro will also be strolling around serenading people he finds between the main lobby and the arrivals area. Last year, Elvis did that.

Halifax Elvis


Valentine’s Day at Philadelphia Int’l Airport

Valentine couple

Traveling on Valentine’s Day? No need to miss out on the fun.

Especially at Philadelphia International Airport.

On Friday the airport has a floral arranging demonstration scheduled from 2-4pm and during the demonstration carnations will be available for passengers who stop by.

From 4-6pm there will be a valentine-themed origami paper folding demonstration.

PHL, Valentine Origami Demonstration

Passengers can fold their own valentine or pick up some paper and directions so they can fold their own heart later.

For those who don’t want to fold their own valentine, pre-folded red or pink valentines will be given out during the demonstration.

More airport Valentine’s Day happenings are on their way.

Free compliments at Reno-Tahoe Int’l Airport

RENO compliments

Friday, January 24 was National Compliment Day (yeah, that’s a thing) and to celebrate the staff at Reno-Tahoe International Airport set up a Free Compliments booth to hand out kind words to passengers.

Some travelers were complimented on their glasses, colorful scarves or boots. One gentleman who was about to pass right by the booth without stopping was told “Sir, what a confident gait you have.”

Airport spokeswoman Heidi Jared said many passengers returned the compliment with another and that one woman who stopped by the booth for a free compliment was a Columbine High School shooting survivor, arriving in town to facilitate a student therapy group at nearby Sparks Middle School, where a recent shooting took place.

“She told us what a great thing the airport was doing. It was neat to know that we could add just a little bright spot to someone’s day who had been through such a tragedy,” said Jared.

High-flying Valentine’s Day packages

Valentine couple

On Valentine’s Day, winning a heart can cost an arm and a leg.

In 2013, Americans spent about $18.6 billion (an average $131 per person,) on Valentine’s Day cards, candy, jewelry, flowers, clothing, meals and other gifts, according to the National Federation of Retailers.

And that doesn’t take into account the cash some flush romantics spend on over-the-top hotel packages.

This year, for example, the Pelican Grand Beach Resort in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is offering a $13,000, three-night “Mega Yachts & Martinis” package through Feb. 28 with one night on a private chartered yacht and two nights in an oceanfront suite.

It includes sedan service to and from the yacht, catered shipboard meals and a magnum of Moët & Chandon. Back on land, there are “bottomless martinis” in the lounge—with a limit of five per person.

In Miami Beach, the three-night, $55,000 “Turn the Lights Down Low” package at the W South Beach Hotel is available Feb. 13 through 17.

In addition to a penthouse suite, this package provides round-trip helicopter transportation between Miami International Airport and Miami Beach’s Watson Island helipad, a Ferrari California loaner car and an aphrodisiac menu served en suite on Valentine’s Day. A seaplane tour of South Florida, a Miami night sky helicopter tour and a four-hour sunset cruise with dinner on a 120-foot yacht round things out.

Too busy to plan a special evening but thinking of popping the question on Valentine’s Day? Then the “Capital Engagement” package available Feb. 10 to 16 at the Capella Washington, D.C., might work for you.

Priced at the lucky sum of $777,777, this package has a long list of activities and amenities, including private jet transport for two from anywhere in the United States to Washington, two nights in the hotel’s presidential suite, a five-course en-suite dinner with a string trio accompaniment and a private tour of Mount Vernon, George Washington’s home.

The engagement part of the package covers (commercial) flights, hotel rooms and meals for 20 guests; a surprise rooftop engagement party; and a 5.01-carat diamond engagement ring.

“We’ll take it from A to Z,” said Alex Obertop, Capella’s general manager and the creator of the turnkey plan. “We wanted to make this over the top but comprehensive enough so that someone didn’t have to put their own imagination to work. We’ll do the work for them.”

Not enough for your sweetheart? Then “Proposal of the Century Package” at the Langham Huntington in Pasadena, Calif., could be the ticket.

This $100,000 plan includes private use of the Rose Bowl Stadium so you can pop the question out on the field in front of 40 friends. A performance by the 40-piece Pasadena Symphony Orchestra and a 2.5-carat diamond engagement ring worth $35,000 will help seal the deal. Back at the hotel, two nights in the presidential suite come with Champagne, 100 long-stemmed roses, meals and a host of other amenities.

If proposing on Valentine’s Day seems cliché, the package is available through the end of the year.


Courtesy Farnsworth Art Museum



Those with smaller budgets might consider taking their true love to the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland, Maine, for an exhibition of work by Robert Indiana, whose LOVE imagery has become iconic in American art (admission is $12).

Or stop by Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass., to see the annual display of valentines from the collection of Esther Howland, the savvy businesswoman credited with inventing the commercial valentine industry in the United States in 1848 (admission is free).

And if you and your honey would rather stay close to home, you could instead let your Valentine’s Day card do the traveling.

For the price of a few first-class stamps, you can have a card remailed from Bliss, N.Y., or Hartsville, Tenn. And in Loveland, Colo., about 50 volunteers gather each year to hand-stamp and repost more than 160,000 valentines with a special Valentine’s Day cancellation.

“We get everything from handmade valentines to store-bought Hallmark cards, along with what we call ‘Chunky Monkeys,’ which are boxes filled with gifts and envelopes stuffed with letters,” said Mindy McCloughan, president and CEO of the Loveland Chamber of Commerce.

Loveland’s Valentine Remailing Program also sells its own official valentine each year.

For $9.75, volunteers will not only hand-stamp the card but write your love message inside.

(My story about high-flying Valentine’s Day packages first appeared on CNBC Road Warrior).


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