Christmas Crazy

Go "Christmas Crazy" with a German-style market, a gingerbread house competition and the brightest light displays, plus the coolest ice sculptures and the most extreme Santas on Earth.

Photos

Atlanta

Atlanta

There may be no better place in the South to catch this year’s fireworks than Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park. The Fourth of July celebration will host the largest ensemble of the United States Air Force Band of the West, followed by fireworks that are set to kick off at 9 p.m. on the dot. 960 1280

Dgrano20/iStock/Getty Images  

Minneapolis

Minneapolis

Get ready to celebrate our nation’s independence, Midwest style, at Minneapolis’ annual Red, White and Boom festival. Located at the city’s downtown riverfront, the 2-day celebration July 3-4 features tons of live music and family fun, as well as one of the largest fireworks displays in the country. 960 1280

RCDigitalPhotography/iStock/Getty Images  

Addison, TX

Addison, TX

Kaboom Town in Addison, TX, is the largest fireworks display in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. With more than 1,500 pounds of fireworks, this Texas-sized party — complete with live entertainment, air shows, family-fun activities and more — has been recognized by the American Pyrotechnics Association as one of the top 10 fireworks displays in the country.  960 1280

Scott Slocum  

Atlantic City, NJ

Atlantic City, NJ

Visible for a 1-mile stretch of the boardwalk and beach, the fireworks in Atlantic City, NJ, are a show not to be missed. For more bright, colorful fun, check out the nightly 3-D light show on the Boardwalk Hall facade.  960 1280

Rusty Kennedy / Atlantic City Alliance  

Boston

Boston

The Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular attracts more than 500,000 visitors to the Charles River Esplanade for the annual July Fourth celebration, which includes concerts and fireworks. Many locals argue that the best viewing spot for Boston's fireworks is across the river in Cambridge, MA. 960 1280

Jorge Antonio / iStock / Getty Image  

Chicago

Chicago

Navy Pier offers the perfect view of Fourth of July fireworks in the Windy City. Make the holiday even classier and take in the show from a dinner cruise on Lake Michigan, where fireworks are also shot off every Wednesday and Friday during the summer.  960 1280

City of Chicago  

Miami

Miami

What would Miami’s South Beach be without a little flair? Take in the dazzling fireworks display over the picturesque downtown landscape as the celebration on the Fourth is every bit as spectacular as the city’s world-famous nightlife. 960 1280

Steve Allen/Stockbyte/Getty Images  

Houston

Houston

Houston proves that everything is bigger in Texas with the country's largest land-based fireworks show. The annual Freedom Over Texas Fourth of July celebration features 6 hours of family activities and entertainment, followed by a fireworks show perfectly choreographed to music. 960 1280

Fuse / Getty Images  

Lake Tahoe, CA

Lake Tahoe, CA

Dig your feet into the sand at Lake Tahoe, CA, and take in the display that the Today show has recognized as one of the country's top fireworks shows. The Lights on the Lake spectacle, which takes place twice a year, on July Fourth and Labor Day, can be seen from all over town, but it doesn't get much better than watching fireworks from the 2 best spots on the beach — Edgewood and Lakeside Beach.  960 1280

North Lake Tahoe  

Nashville

Nashville

You’ll find fun for the whole family at the annual Music City July 4th: Let Freedom Sing celebration in Nashville, which attracts the largest Fourth of July crowd in the South. The event features daylong activities, musical performances by A-list country artists and the region's largest fireworks show — a 27-minute spectacle choreographed to a live performance by the Grammy-winning Nashville Symphony.  960 1280

Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation  

New Orleans

New Orleans

Barges battle on the Mississippi River at Go 4th on the River. The fireworks display, set to music provided by the Navy Band, can be seen from many places in New Orleans if you want to avoid the downtown scramble. 960 1280

New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau  

New York City

New York City

The annual Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks celebration in New York City is the country's largest pyrotechnic show, with fireworks shot from multiple barges along the East River near the Brooklyn Bridge. In addition to fireworks, the event features performances by A-list artists such as Lionel Richie, Ariana Grande and Miranda Lambert. 960 1280

Jeremy Edwards / E+ / Getty Images  

Pasadena, CA

Pasadena, CA

AmericaFest, a Rose Bowl Stadium tradition for more than 85 years, is the largest fireworks show in Southern California. The family event begins at 2 p.m. and includes live entertainment, motorcycle stunts, exhibits, vendors and a Pyro Spectaculars by Souza fireworks show at 9 p.m.  960 1280

WireImage / Getty Images  

Philadelphia

Philadelphia

For the best fireworks viewing in Philadelphia, lay out a blanket along Boathouse Row or in Schuylkill River Park. 960 1280

Xiaoping Liang / E+ / Getty Images  

San Francisco

San Francisco

Launching from Municipal Pier and barges in San Francisco Bay, the fireworks can be seen all along the waterfront. But before the show begins, don't miss performances by the US Air Force Band and local 1980s cover band Tainted Love at San Francisco's Fourth of July celebration at Fisherman’s Wharf. 960 1280

PIER 39  

St. Louis

St. Louis

Celebrate July 4th at "America's biggest birthday party" under the Gateway Arch in St. Louis. The day kicks off with 4-mile and 1-mile runs, followed by a parade, air shows, concerts and, of course, fireworks. 960 1280

St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission  

Washington, DC

Washington, DC

Fireworks launched from the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool illuminate the sky behind the Capitol and Washington Monument during the annual Capitol Fourth celebration. If you’re looking to avoid crowds on the National Mall, book a boat cruise on the Potomac River for another great view of the fireworks.  960 1280

Stockbyte / Getty Images  

Los Angeles

Los Angeles

No matter where you are in Los Angeles, the fireworks displays are as big as the movie stars who roam the streets. From the famed Hollywood Bowl to the quaint waterfront in Long Beach, Los Angeles County is quickly becoming one of the best cities in the US to celebrate America’s independence. 960 1280

Matt Gush/iStock/Getty Images  

Las Vegas

Las Vegas

It’s hard to imagine even more bright lights illuminating the skies of Nevada’s most electric city, Las Vegas. However, they don’t call it the entertainment capital of the world for nothing! To get the best views in town, head to one of Sin City’s many rooftop bars overlooking the Strip. 960 1280

Franckreporter/E+/Getty Images   

Denver

Denver

Believe it or not, the biggest Fourth of July celebration in the Mile High City actually takes place July 3 at the annual Independence Eve Celebration in Civic Center Park. Overlooking the Denver City and County Building, this elaborate light and fireworks show attracts people from all over Colorado. 960 1280

Teri A. Virbickis/Moment/Getty Images  

Formal Tea

Formal Tea

There are various places to enjoy a formal tea, but we suggest treating mom to tea and delicious snacks at the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia. Enjoy the Mother’s Day Tea with Betsy and get a quick history lesson from an impersonator about Betsy and her life. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Go Paddle Boarding

Go Paddle Boarding

If your mom loves adventure, then head to the Hamptons in New York. Paddle Diva is offering 90-minute paddle boarding lessons to get mom ready for the summer. Try the paddle board Yoga class for a mind-body-spirit experience, if paddle boarding is something she may not enjoy. 960 1280

Penumatsa Family, Flickr  

Gourmet Chocolate Tour

Gourmet Chocolate Tour

Treat your mom to an indulgent afternoon of chocolate tastings on a Gourmet Chocolate Tour, starting at the Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco. The 3-hour walking tour includes 7 different stops at downtown chocolate boutiques.  All moms with the special Chocolate & Flowers package receive a colorful springtime bouquet. If chocolate is not her thing, there are alternative culinary walking tours that may fit your mother's taste. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Omni Mother's Day Package

Omni Mother's Day Package

The Omni Hotel in Asheville, NC, offers a Unlimited Mother's Day Package that offers moms a cooking class with Executive Sous Chef Jake Schmidt, unlimited rounds of golf, tennis and fitness classes without any additional fees.  It’s a unique experience your mom won’t want to miss.
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Omni Hotels & Resorts  

Bellagio Spa

Bellagio Spa

If you happen to be in Las Vegas on Mother's Day, try the Spa & Salon deal at the Bellagio. Sip on tea and nibble on scones in a private suite, while you're getting an organic manicure and pedicure. 960 1280

Bellagio  

Yoga Retreat

Yoga Retreat

Give her the gift of wellness and renewal. Send her on a trip to the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts. Help her de-stress and unwind with this relaxing retreat. 960 1280

Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health  

Cape Cod Brunch

Cape Cod Brunch

Visiting Cape Cod, MA, or nearby? Whisk mom away on a scenic train ride to see a different side of the Cape. The journey begins at the Hyannis station via Central Railroad. No need to pack a lunch, she’ll be served a gourmet 3-course brunch. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

National Museum for Women in the Arts

National Museum for Women in the Arts

In Washington, DC, explore the National Museum for Women in the Arts, dedicated to highlighting women artists of the past while also promoting women artists working today. The museum has a collection of 4,500 works of art – spanning over 6 centuries – and it also features 10 world-class exhibitions of women artists each year. It’s a must-see museum for moms who are art aficionados. 960 1280

Dakota Fine  

Fitness Camp

Fitness Camp

Work it out! Moms who enjoy a healthy lifestyle may enjoy a weekend at the Woman’s Fitness Camp at Camp Chief Ouray in Granby, CO. The camp, scheduled in August, fills up quickly; so make reservations soon. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Ghost Tour

Ghost Tour

Take mom on a spooky ghost tour in Ocala, FL, where they offer ghost walks and historical tours for free, but to mothers only.  Learn about Ocala’s supernatural history, and make sure you stop by the Seven Sisters Inn, the site of several unexplained paranormal phenomena. 960 1280

Martin Belam, Flickr  

12 Photos
Blowing Rock Winterfest

Blowing Rock Winterfest

Head to the mountains of North Carolina for the annual Blowing Rock Winterfest. This lively winterfest features a plunge into the icy waters of Lake Chetola, followed by the chance to warm up with hot chocolate and chili in downtown Blowing Rock. When: Late January 960 1280

Todd Bush Photography  

Vancouver Polar Bear Swim

Vancouver Polar Bear Swim

Run for your life! This group of New Year’s revelers rushes from the freezing waters of Vancouver’s English Bay. 2014 marks the Vancouver Polar Bear Swim’s 94th year, making it one of the largest and oldest clubs of its kind in the world. When: New Year's Day 960 1280

Reuters   

Courage Polar Bear Dip

Courage Polar Bear Dip

Courage, lads! Since its start in 1985, the annual Courage Polar Bear Dip in Oakville, Ontario, has become the largest polar bear dip for charity in Canada. Money raised supports clean water projects organized by the advocacy organization World Vision Canada. When: New Year’s Day 960 1280

Courage Polar Bear Dip  

Seattle Polar Bear Plunge

Seattle Polar Bear Plunge

They’re freezin’ for a reason. Plungers take to the waters off Seattle’s Matthews Beach for the city’s annual polar bear plunge. Now in its 12th year, the Seattle Polar Bear Plunge is one of 8 statewide plunges to benefit Special Olympics Washington. When: New Year’s Day 960 1280

mordac, flickr   

Aruba New Year's Plunge

Aruba New Year's Plunge

In search of warmer climes to take the plunge? Head to Aruba for the Caribbean island’s annual Aruba New Year's Plunge. Hundreds of people gather at MooMba Beach for the “Unox Nieuwjaarsduik” (New Year’s plunge), which takes place at noon sharp. The event is open to everyone; no charge. When: New Year’s Day 960 1280

Aruba Daily Newspaper  

Coney Island Plunge

Coney Island Plunge

Cold enough for you? These 2 brave guys take part in the annual Coney Island Plunge organized by the Coney Island Polar Bear Club, the oldest ice swimming club in the US. The yearly dip into the Atlantic begins at 1 p.m. sharp; afterward, if you’re still breathing, check out the famous Coney Island boardwalk. When: Jan. 1 960 1280

Getty Images  

Russian Orthodox Epiphany

Russian Orthodox Epiphany

In the name of the …wow, this water is cold! A Russian man celebrates the Russian Orthodox Epiphany with a dip in frigid waters. The age-old ritual commemorates Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan River, but we have a feeling the Jordan’s waters were a lot less cold. When: Mid-January 960 1280

Reuters  

Tybee Polar Plunge

Tybee Polar Plunge

Thousands of people flock to Tybee Island, near Savannah, GA, for the annual Tybee Polar Plunge plunge into the brisk waters of the Atlantic. Plungers register for a nominal fee, with proceeds going toward the historic Tybee Post Theater, built in 1930. When: New Year’s Day 960 1280

Tybee Polar Plunge   

Scotland's Loony Dook

Scotland's Loony Dook

Showing their white-and-blue Scottish pride, these 2 “loony dookers” take a dip in Scotland’s River Forth. The annual Loony Dook event in Scotland began in 1987 with a handful of participants; the event has since grown into a New Year’s rite of passage for thousands. When: New Year’s Day 960 1280

Lee Carson, flickr  

Baltimore PlungeFest

Baltimore PlungeFest

Holy moly, ma, Darth Vader’s not wearing any clothes under that cape! This wickedly cool plunger takes a dip in the Chesapeake Bay’s cold waters near Baltimore. The annual Baltimore PlungeFest kicks off in Annapolis, MD’s Sandy Point State Park, with proceeds going to Special Olympics Maryland. When: Late January 960 1280

Steve Ruark Photography  

Chicago Polar Plunge

Chicago Polar Plunge

Skip the clothes, grab a wig! Celebrate the New Year (and a good cause) with hundreds of revelers who dive into the icy waters of Chicago’s Lake Michigan in early spring. 2014 marks Chicago Polar Plunge’s 14th year, with proceeds going toward Special Olympics Chicago. When: Early March 960 1280

Grace Trivino, flickr   

Netherlands New Year's

Netherlands New Year's

Wearing colorful vestments, this man takes a dip in the waters off Scheveningen, a beachside resort town in the Netherlands. The annual event began in 1960, and attracts more than 10,000 people, who plunge into the icy North Sea on New Year’s Day. When: Jan. 1 960 1280

Reuters