Because of the ongoing pandemic, some people won’t be traveling home this holiday season. Luckily, there are wonderful holiday activities in cities all across America, so no matter where you are, you too can celebrate the holidays in style. Here are some of the best activities from around the country.
New York City
New York City is famous for its holiday spectaculars, and despite COVID, this year will be no different. Residents can still be amazed by the dazzling tree at Rockafeller Center and the magnificently decorated storefronts at Macy’s, Saks Fifth Ave, and more.
On top of that, the Bronx Zoo will be doing their annual holiday lights where the zoo becomes a Christmas wonderland filled with lights of all colors and sizes. You can also visit Brookfield Place in downtown, which is decked out with interactive displays, Santa, and light shows. Brookfield Place is also loaded with lots of shops and restaurants for those who need to do a little last-minute shopping. If you enjoy the outdoors this time of year, head to Central Park for some ice skating at the Wollman Rink.
LA is the city of cars, so it’s no surprise that many of the city’s COVID-adapted holiday activities are car-based. First off, there’s the Street Food Cinema, a drive-in where audiences can dine on a smorgasbord of food truck offerings, from ice cream to burgers, boba, and more. During December they’ll be showing movies like Elf, Home Alone, Christmas Vacation, and more.
Six Flags Magic Mountain has also gotten into the holiday spirit and is allowing cars to literally drive through the park at night. Magic Mountain is decked out with Christmas lights, displays, and performances. It’s not only set to be a magical adventure, but it’s a unique and fun new way to experience a theme park.
While New York City may have the most famous Macy’s store, Chicago easily has the most beautiful. Originally built in the early 1900s as the flagship Marshall Field’s store, the State Street Macy’s in Chicago is absolutely stunning. And at Christmas, they go balls-to-the-wall decorations and festivities. Most notable is the store’s annual Christmas tree that’s displayed in the Walnut Room restaurant. A walk through this memorizing piece of history is like stepping into holidays past.
For outdoor excitement, you can’t miss Art on theMART. Chicago’s famous Joffrey Ballet will be projecting a 30-minute Nutcracker program onto the side of Chicago’s massive Merchandise Mart building. The show will combine dancing with animation, music, and art pieces. It seems that not even COVID can destroy people’s desire for the annual Nutcracker performance.
Christkindlmarkts are German Christmas markets that pop up during the holidays. At them, you can buy handmade gifts as well as tasty European treats like apple strudel, giant pretzels, Italian chocolates, and more. And while many markets have been canceled due to COVID, Denver is keeping theirs open. The market will be socially distanced which means there may be a line to enter, but knowing that it’s keeping you safe makes it worth the wait.
There’s also the December Delights festival all month long at the Four Mile Historic Park. This outdoor event is complete with an ice skating rink, art installations, kid’s scavenger hunts, and hot chocolate to keep you warm during the winter’s nights.
Not far from Seattle is the small town of Leavenworth...where it’s Christmas all the time! Visit the local reindeer farm or the Nutcracker museum, or if you want to stay really socially distanced, simply grab a hot drink and drive around. Every street in the down is decked out to the nines with holiday cheer.
If you don’t feel like leaving your house, don’t worry, Seattle’s local drag superstars Jinkx Monsoon and BenDeLaCreme (both were fan-favorites on Drag Race) are putting on their own Christmas special which centers around the two queens trying to make a holiday special. It’s perfect not only for fans of drag, but for anyone who loves comedy. The Jinkx and DeLa Holiday Special can be viewed here.