Holiday events

Places to Go. Cool Things to See & Do

Photo by Brian Tietz. Courtesy Edison & Ford Winter Estates

Ready for the weekend? And holiday adventures? Here are some events and activities around the country that caught our attention this week.

Greater Fort Myers Recovering from Hurricane Ian

Courtesy Edison & Ford Winter Estates

Hurricane Ian did a number on the Greater Fort Myer area in Florida, but recovery is underway.

The community is hoping visitors will return for some of the great inland holiday experiences, such as Holiday Nights at Edison and Ford Winter Estates.

Through January 1, the grounds and gardens of Thomas Edison’s winter retreat glow with thousands of lights and hundreds of historic decorations. Bonus activities include visits with Santa, carolers, family science shows, and more.

The Harley-Davidson Museum Campus is Lit for the Holidays

In Milwaukee, WI, the Harley-Davidson Museum campus is also transformed into a winter wonderland during its 12 Days of Holiday Fun event, which runs through December 18.

The museum promises dazzling lights, sparkling bikes, and visits from Saint Nick. Also, starting Dec. 17, the museum’s will debut its first bi-lingual exhibit, “My Papi Has a Motorcycle” / “Mi Papi Tiene una Moto,” based on the beloved children’s book by author Isabel Quintero and illustrator Zeke Peña.

Over the Top Holiday Display at Bellagio Resort in Las Vegas

Courtesy Bellagio Resort & Casino

In Las Vegas, the Bellagio Resort’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens is offering a free, decadent, over-the-top holiday display titled, “Gingerbread Dreams, a Holiday Confection.”

Now through January 1, the new winter display features a 42-foot-tall white fir tree sparkling with 10 thousand lights nestled among a snowy holiday village. The display includes a walk-through gingerbread cottage, three giant bejeweled eggs, and a bakeshop complete with elves and polar bear helpers.

Tuesday Travel Tidbits: JetBlue Trying Again

JetBlue’s first attempt at selling 200 copies of its limited edition “Get Packing” board game – which includes a real flight certificate in each box – was a big bust.

After a big promotional push, when it came time for the games to go on sale on Amazon, it appeared a shopping bot immediately grabbed up all available copies and complaints flooded in.

Now Jetblue is trying again.

This time they’re running a sweepstatakes: enter here by the end of 12/19/17 for a chance to win one of 195 games. 5 additional copies of the game are being auctioned off on Charitybuzz to benefit Make-A-Wish.

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport has added extra performances to its holiday music line-up:

On December 20, from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the airport’s Asleep on the Wheel stage (near Gate 10), Ray Benson will perform with The Barton Hills Choir backing him up.

The Choir will then go on to perform a mix of golden oldies, classic rock and modern favorites. December 22 from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m.,  The Austin Jazz Workshop will perform jazz infused instrumental versions of classic Christmas Carols.

See the full schedule of music offerings at AUS here.

Germany’s Dusseldorf Airport has brought back ice-skating inside the terminal for the holiday season – this time with real ice.

Ice-skating and loaner ice-skates are free each weekend through the first weekend in January.

Free airport ice-skating is also offered during the holiday season at the Munich Airport Christmas and Winter Market and at Denver International Airport.

More holiday events at airports

Orlando International Airport is ready for the holidays, with giant wreaths on the walls, a 40-foot tree and displays celebrating not just Christmas, but Chanukah and Kwanzaa.

From December 10 through December 22, entertainment at Orlando Int’l Airport will include performances by the Orlando Ballet, Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra Ensembles, The Dickens Carolers and other treats.

Alabama’s Mobile Regional Airport has a holiday tree decorating contest, a full schedule of school choirs lined up to perform and a red and white carved hand-made wooden sleigh on display, which was made by an airport employee.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
offers its holiday music series of jazz, gospel, rock and holiday classics in the Atrium area of the domestic and international terminal buildings, December 10 – 14 and December 17 -21, from 5 to 7 p.m. Carolers will also perform on these same dates on concourses T through D, from 2 to 6 p.m. Here’s the schedule.

At San Jose International Airport, this holiday scene greets arriving travelers on the roadway:

Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI) begins a three week schedule of holiday music on December 8th and the Food & Shops at New York’s LaGuardia Airport Terminal B host a coloring station for kids in the the center food court, between Gates B & C and welcome Kuddles the holiday elf, on Fridays (December 7, 14 and 21st), who will be handing out balloons and stickers. If you need to do some shopping, be sure to clip this coupon good for 20% off one item.

And on December 8th and 22nd at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), you can get your picture taken with Santa for free at the Starbucks in Terminal C (between C2 & C3 checkpoints) from 3 to 6 pm. They will also be handing out candy canes and complimentary Starbucks drink samples.

Stay tuned for more holiday events at airports.

Holiday events at airports

Many airports are rolling out their holiday entertainment schedules this week, so beware of elves when you head out for your next trip.

Here’s a sampling of what’s in store.

Music of all sorts – from student choirs to professional carolers and combos will be on duty in airports in Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Austin, Reno, Washington, D.C. and many other airports.

At the Reno-Tahoe International Airport, the food class from a local school is once again displaying gingerbread houses in the main lobby and asking passengers to “vote” for their favorite creation by dropping money in the appropriate slot. Funds raised go to a local charity and this year the funds will go to the Nevada Humane Society.

In Oregon, the annual Holidays Take Flight celebration is underway at Portland International Airport, with live entertainment, food and beverage sampling in many shops, and the opportunity to enter a contest to win a $1,000 Alaska Airlines travel certificate for travel from PDX.

From December 15th through the 24th, travelers passing through Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) will find carolers, elves, Frosty the Snowman, a comedy stilt walker, jugglers, a one-man band and other musicians roving the terminals and the concourses.

At Detroit Metro Airport (DTW) the fourth-annual Sing Because You Care karaoke event to benefit the local Salvation Army is scheduled for December 19 to the 22nd near the Water Feature in the Center of Concourse A. Passengers can cut their own Motown single (and entertain other passengers) with a $5 donation.

And from Friday December 7 through Monday December 10th, Miami International Airport (MIA) is hosting a wide variety of free holiday activities ranging from pictures with Santa and a chance to mingle with elves, to a craft table for kids, a North Pole mailbox, giveaways and music.

More holiday events at airports tomorrow…