Archive for the ‘U.S. Travel’ category

4 Holiday Packages at the Kingsmill Resort & Spa

November 13th, 2014

The Kingsmill Resort & Spa during the holidays in Williamsburg, VirginiaAs the holiday season begins, families looking for festive events should visit Williamsburg, Virginia. Besides the colonial villages all dressed in lights and holiday colors, resorts in the area are offering special packages for families who really want to celebrate together. This season, book one of these four holiday packages at the Kingsmill Resort & Spa for a magical, mini-vacation with kids.

Christmas Town
Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s Christmas Town is a sight to see this season. Book the Christmas Town package and enjoy overnight accommodations, multi-day tickets to Christmas Town, breakfast for each guest, each morning, and complimentary transportation to and from Busch Gardens and other Williamsburg locations. Guests can also take advantage of the resort’s onsite amenities like the fitness center and indoor pool. Rates start from $261 per night, for two adults and one child. Package available for stays Nov. 20 to Dec. 31, 2014. Room upgrades are available starting from $40 more per night.

Let someone else trim the turkey this year by booking the Thanksgiving package at the Kingsmill Resort & Spa. Package includes a two-night stay in a resort guestroom, a breakfast buffet daily for all guests, a Thanksgiving buffet on Thursday, Nov. 27, and complimentary shuttle service to and from Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Colonial Williamsburg on the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving. Rates start from $365 per night for a family of four. Package available for a two-night stay, Nov. 25 to Dec. 1, 2014. Additional nights may be added and room upgrades are available starting from $40 more per night.

Fireworks in Williamsburg
See the sky light up during your stay with the Fireworks in Williamsburg package. Package includes a two-night stay in a one-bedroom suite, a breakfast buffet daily for all guests, a 2 p.m. late check-out on Sunday and/or Monday and complimentary shuttle service to and from Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Colonial Williamsburg on Friday, Saturday and/or Sunday. Stay on Dec. 7 and enjoy the Grand Illumination at Colonial Williamsburg, with musical performances and a spectacular fireworks display. Rates start from $219 per night for a family of four. Package available from Dec. 5-9, 2014. Two-night minimum stay required.

Holiday Traditions
Open presents under the tree at the Kingsmill Resort & Spa this year when you book the Holiday Traditions package. Package includes a two-night stay in a two-bedroom suite, a breakfast buffet daily for all guests, Christmas stockings, a decorated tree with lights, milk and cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve, a Christmas buffet dinner for all guests and complimentary shuttle service to and from Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Colonial Williamsburg on Friday, Saturday and/or Sunday. Rates start from $602 per night for a family of four. Package available from Dec. 23-27, 2014. Two-night minimum stay required.

Offer based on availability. Additional restrictions and blackout dates may apply.

– Hilarey Wojtowicz

U.S. Memorials That Honor Veterans

November 11th, 2014

American flags waving in the windVeterans Day became a legal federal holiday in the United States in 1938 and every year we honor military and service members, both current and retired, with parades, services, events and activities. This year – and for years to come – visit memorial attractions like these around the country with your kids in order to teach them more about the history of those who have fought and those who are currently fighting to protect our nation.

American Revolution
The Freedom Trail in Boston takes families through famous areas that were involved in the American Revolution in the late 1700s. See the Paul Revere House, the U.S.S. Constitution, and the Old State House. There are 16 official sites on the trail and all are within walking distance of one another. Follow the trail with kids and teach them more about the history of the U.S.

War of 1812
Although Fort Mackinac dates back to the American Revolution, it also played a part in the War of 1812 when the British captured it. It was returned to the U.S. after the war and is now home to demonstrations and tours, which families will surely find interesting. The Mackinac Island memorial has hands-on displays and interactive games that kids will enjoy, as well.

American Civil War
The American Civil War involved numerous towns, cities and states. A few commemorative sites to see include the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, the historic ships that reside in Baltimore’s harbor and Fort Delaware State Park, which is home to a former Union Civil War Prison. All sites are filled with history and information that will teach kids while honoring those who fought in the war.

World War I
Your children may learn about World War I in their history books, but taking them to see sites like the Indiana War Memorial in Indianapolis and the National World War I Museum in Kansas City will offer first-hand looks into history. The former has artifacts like gas masks on display and the latter is home to Liberty Memorial – a 217-foot tower that honors WWI veterans, as well as amazing views of the city.

World War II
The 1941 attacks on Pearl Harbor will never be forgotten and families should see the Pearl Harbor Memorial Museum and Visitor Center and the USS Arizona Memorial – both of which are in Oahu, Hawaii. If you can’t make it to the islands, visit the Palm Springs Air Museum in Palm Springs, California, for a look at WWII aircraft carriers, plus other educational exhibits.

Korean War
The Korean War Memorial in Washington, D.C. honors those who served in the 1953 war. The Memorial pays homage to all of those who were wounded, went missing or were killed. Statues of 19 soldiers stand near the Pool of Remembrance and will really catch the attention of children and teens, who should know the history of the Korean War.

Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was and is a controversial topic for many, but families and children can learn about those who fought by visiting the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. The site is humbling and a powerful reminder of the soldiers who risked their lives in the Vietnam War.

September 11
Children may not be old enough to remember or even know what really happened on September 11, 2001, but many are still haunted by the sites of the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers falling on that day not-so-many years ago. To honor those military soldiers, firefighters, police officers, emergency squads and so many others involved in the New York City terrorist attacks, the National September 11 Memorial and Museum is now home to every name of every person who died that day, as well as a museum with artifacts, like a portion of the stairs from the World Trade Center.

– Hilarey Wojtowicz

Celebrate the Season at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

November 9th, 2014

Exterior view of the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess at nightSnow may not be in the forecast for Phoenix and Scottsdale often, but the holiday season is still in full swing at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess. The resort’s annual Christmas at the Princess festival kicks off Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014, and guests can expect magical lights, ice skating, train rides and more.

Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony
Nov. 20, 2014
Start your holiday season with the resort’s tree lighting ceremony at 6:45 p.m. and then enjoy ice skating, twinkling light displays and the Princess Express Train.

Desert Ice Skating Rink
Nov. 20, 2014, to Feb. 1, 2015
Arizona might be warm, but the ice is cold and ready for skaters starting Nov. 20, 2014. Enjoy afternoon and evening sessions for $15 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under. Skate rentals will be available for $5 each. Fire pits, S’mores and blankets will also be available on the sidelines during the sessions for guests to keep warm.

Lagoon Lights
Nov. 20, 2014, to Jan. 4, 2015
The light display is bigger than ever with more than two million lights spread across 130 trees, menorahs, arches, 3D giant reindeers, a 20-foot snowman, 14-foot poinsettias and more. There will be a pirate ship, teddy bears, toy soldiers, Santa Claus and a candy cane forest, too. The area can be seen via the Princess Express Train.

Princess Express Train
Nov. 20, 2014, to Jan. 4, 2015
Enjoy complimentary rides through Lagoon Lights every night via the Princess Express Train. Open to all ages, guests on the train are greeted by falling snow and singing carolers on weekends, too.

Christmas Carousel
Nov. 20, 2014, to Jan. 4, 2015
Ride galloping glitter horses on the new Christmas Carousel. Rides will be offered nightly to guests of all ages and are complimentary.

Santa’s Workshop
Nov. 28 to Dec. 20, 2014
Take photos with Santa on Friday and Saturday evenings in his workshop in the La Hacienda Plaza. Photos are $10 each and will be available from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., Friday and Saturdays, from Nov. 28 to Dec. 20, 2014.

Christmas at the Princess is open to the public. Parking is $30 per car for self-parking and $40 per car for valet after 5 p.m. Valet is complimentary when dining at any of the resort’s restaurants. All activities are complimentary, except for ice skating, photos with Santa, shopping and dining.

For an even better experience, book the Magical Memories Package and enjoy a festive family getaway in honor of the holidays.

– Hilarey Wojtowicz

How to Save at Hershey’s Christmas Candylane

November 8th, 2014

Hershey's Christmas CandylaneThe holidays really come to life in Hershey when its annual Christmas Candylane and Sweet Lights kicks off for the season in November each year. There’s so much for families to do during the event that it can add up and not seem so sweet. Rather than worry about breaking the bank before Christmas, save with these tips and tricks before your visit to Hershey with your family this holiday season.

Purchase an admission package. Rather than pay for each event and activity separately, purchase combination tickets for Christmas Candylane, dining options, games and more.

The Ride, Dine and Play package includes one Christmas Candylane ticket, one meal voucher, and one single game voucher at the Goblet Toss for just $22.80 per person. The Snack Pack package offers the same, but with a snack voucher instead of a meal voucher, for just $17 per person.

Buy the day before. Plan on seeing the Christmas Candylane the next day? Buy your ticket on that current day no more than 2.5 hours before closing and receive free admission to the park for the remainder that day. If the park closes at 8 p.m., purchase your next-day ticket and get free admission from 5:30 p.m. until closing. If the park closes at 10 or 11 p.m., purchase your next-day ticket and get free admission from 7:30 p.m. until closing. That’s at least 2.5 hours of free time in the park!

Add the Sweet Lights to your order. Purchase your admission tickets to the Hershey Sweet Lights in conjunction with your Christmas Candylane order and pay just $18 for the second attraction.

See it twice. If you’re planning a weekend in Hershey, don’t cram the Christmas Candylane into just one day. Purchase a regular price ticket for your first day and keep it. Present it at the Ticketing Services Building the next day and pay just $7 for admission to Christmas Candylane for that day.

Find a Giant Food store near you. Buy your Christmas Candylane tickets at a participating Giant Food Store and receive a discount on general admission rates. Giant Food Stores are located throughout Pennsylvania.

Go as a group. Get your friends and family all together for a big, sweet visit to Hershey and purchase your tickets as a group. You can save up to 40 percent off admission the Christmas Candylane. Offer valid for groups of 20 or more people.

Hershey’s Christmas Candylane opens at 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 14, 2014, and runs through Dec. 31, 2014. Parking is $8 per car, per day. The Hershey Sweet Lights opens at 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 14, 2014, and runs through Jan. 1, 2015.

– Hilarey Wojtowicz

11 Holiday Events to Kick Off in Chicago

November 6th, 2014

View of the Christkindlmarket ChicagoStart the holidays on the right foot in Chicago this year. Eleven family-friendly events kick off this month and will surely get the entire family in the holiday spirit.

Macy’s Great Tree Lighting & Holiday Window Display
Nov. 8, 2014
See the 45-foot Great Tree in the store’s onsite restaurant, the Walnut Room, light up for the season on Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014. The tree contains more than 1,200 ornaments and more than 25,000 twinkling lights. On your way out, see the various window displays with festive themes and traditional holiday stories told through decorations.

McCormick Tribune Ice Skating Rink in Millennium Park
Nov. 14, 2014, to Mar. 7, 2015
Visit Millennium Park on Friday, Nov. 14, 2014, to be one of the first ice skaters to grace the McCormick Tribune rink. Open daily, guests can celebrate the season with friends and family on the ice for free. Skate rentals will be offered for $10 each.

Christkindlmarket Chicago
Nov. 21 to Dec. 24, 2014
The 19th annual Christkindlmarket Chicago kicks off on Friday, Nov. 21, 2014, and will run through Christmas Eve. The market will be located on Daley Plaza between Washington, Clark and Dearborn Street. Pick up holiday gifts and goodies at the market, which opens daily at 11 a.m. Admission is free.

Magnificent Mile Lights Festival
Nov. 22, 2014
Enjoy free family-friendly activities, live music, a tree-lighting parade with Mickey and Minnie, a spectacular fireworks display over the Chicago River, holiday shopping and more at the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival on Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014. The event begins at 11 a.m. on Michigan Avenue.

Randolph Street Market Festival
Nov. 22-23, 2014
The annual Randolph Street Market begins on Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, and will host its eighth annual holiday market Saturday and Sunday. A Family Package is offered and two adults and up to four kids will receive discounted admission, drinks and snacks, and will have access to face painting, tattoos and more. The package in $25 and must be purchased in advance. General admission is $8 per person, in advance, or $10 at the door; kids 12 and under are free.

Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
Nov. 25, 2014
The 101st annual tree lighting will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, at Daley Plaza. Enjoy live music leading up to the lighting at 5 p.m.

Santa House at Daley Plaza
Nov. 25 to Dec. 24, 2014
A brand new Santa House will be on display at Daley Plaza starting Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014. Kids can take pictures with Mr. Claus and tell them what they want for Christmas. Admission is free.

McDonald’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
Nov. 27, 2014
Gaze at gigantic balloons and elegantly decorated floats in this year’s McDonald’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The parade begins at 8 a.m. and runs from Downtown Chicago on State Street to Randolph Avenue. Special guests scheduled to appear include the Harlem Globetrotters, Miss Chicago and Santa Claus. The parade is free for all viewers.

Wreathing of the Lions at the Art Institute of Chicago
Nov. 28, 2014
Watch the 23rd annual wreathing of the lions at the Art Institute of Chicago on Friday, Nov. 28, 2014, at 10 a.m., and then let the kids make their own. Families are invited to decorate wreaths at the Ryan Education Center after the ceremony until 3 p.m.

Caroling at Cloud Gate in Millennium Park
Nov. 28 to Dec. 19, 2014
Enjoy local carolers and chorus groups at Cloud Gate in Millennium Park at 6 p.m. on Fridays from Nov. 28 to Dec. 19, 2014. Performances last about one hour, and admission is free.

ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo
Nov. 28, 2014, to Jan. 4, 2015
See the colorful light display that is ZooLights at the Lincoln Park Zoo beginning Friday, Nov. 28, 2014. Festive activities will include photos with Santa (through Dec. 23, 2014), animal encounters, holiday gift shopping, live ice carving, ice skating, and more. The holiday event and activities are free.

– Hilarey Wojtowicz

New York City to Unveil New GingerBread Lanes for 2014

November 5th, 2014

GingerBread LaneThree brand new versions of the Guinness World Record-holding GingerBread Lane villages will debut in New York City this November. This year mark’s GingerBread Lane’s 21st season, with its 30th, 31st and 32nd villages. The completely edible villages – made from gingerbread, icing and candy – will be on display at three different locations in New York City, starting on three different dates this month. Families and visitors are invited to see the masterpieces, as well as take part in workshops and sign up for giveaways.

GingerBread Lane, Queens
Nov. 14, 2014, to Jan. 11, 2015
Visit the New York Hall of Science in Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens on Nov. 14, 2014, for the unveiling of the largest village. Gaze at the 1.5-ton, 450-square-foot village that contains 1,000 houses, all completely made from edible ingredients. Creator Jon Lovitch took one year to develop and complete the village. Gingerbread workshops will take place on Nov. 22, Dec. 13 and Dec. 27, 2014. On Jan. 11, 2015, Lovitch will give away all of the houses, too. Admission is $11 for adults 18 and older, and $8 for kids between 2 and 17 years.

GingerBread Lane, Manhattan
Nov. 20, 2014, to Jan. 5, 2015
A slightly smaller version of the GingerBread Lane in Queens will be on display at The Algonquin Hotel in Manhattan from Nov. 20, 2014, to Jan. 5, 2015. It’s free for all ages. The display at the hotel will include all of the favorite GingerBread Lane areas, including Eggnog Bay, Gum Drop Row and Candy Cane Place.

GingerBread Lane, Brooklyn
Nov. 27, 2014, to Jan. 4, 2015
The second, smaller version of the original GingerBread Lane will be on display at the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge from Nov. 27, 2014, to Jan. 4, 2015. It’s free for all ages and visitors can expect to see Peppermint Central Park and Toffee Boulevard, as well as the other classic candy- and New York City-inspired areas.

Plus, book an overnight stay between Nov. 14, 2014, and Jan. 19, 2015, at one of The Algonquin Hotel or the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge, and receive up to $50 per night to use at the hotel. Rates vary per hotel, per night.

For more information on the displays, visit the GingerBread Lane website.

– Hilarey Wojtowicz