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

Fly-Fishing, Idaho

Fly-Fishing, Idaho

For the dad who loves fly-fishing … book a rustic vacation by the bend of a river. Eastern Idaho’s Natural Retreats South Fork Lodge rests along the south fork of Snake River, the largest North American river that empties into the Pacific Ocean. It’s also one of the best places in the US for tailwater and dry fly fisheries. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Rock Climbing, Utah

Rock Climbing, Utah

For the dad who likes to live on the edge … head to Moab, UT, the adventure capital of America. Popular places include Wall Street, a sandstone cliff along the Colorado River. After a day of climbing, Dad can unwind with a hearty meal of Grilled Cowboy Steak at Sorrel River Ranch. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Mega-Male Spa Treatment at the Arizona Biltmore

Mega-Male Spa Treatment at the Arizona Biltmore

For the dad who needs a little pampering … treat him to a mega-male spa treatment at the Arizona Biltmore, a resort crowned the “Jewel of the Desert” when it opened in 1929. Spa options include the deep tissue and soothing back treatments. 960 1280

iStock  

Golf Getaway, Wyoming

Golf Getaway, Wyoming

For the dad who likes to tee it up … treat him to a golf getaway at Hotel Terra near Jackson Hole, WY. Dad will enjoy a round of golf on a Robert Trent Jones course. When he’s not hitting the green, he can explore Grand Teton and Yellowstone. 960 1280

Tuck Fauntleroy  

Paintball, West Virginia

Paintball, West Virginia

For the dad who likes to let loose … kapow! See Dad put his strategic skills to the test in the forests of West Virginia at Ambush West Virginia’s paintball center. He’ll enjoy a real-life gaming adventure on a 4-acre paintball course, with game options such as Civil War-style battles and the ever-popular “Capture the Flag.” 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Skydiving, Chicagoland

Skydiving, Chicagoland

For the dad who’s got skydiving on his bucket list … help him score bragging rights (and maybe a few laughs) with a tandem skydive. Dad will get his “knees in the breeze” as he ascends 18,000 feet in an aircraft courtesy of the Chicagoland Skydiving Center, one of the safest skydiving facilities in the US. 960 1280

Paracaidismo Chile, flickr  

Foodie Getaway, New Orleans

Foodie Getaway, New Orleans

For the foodie dad … satisfy his gourmet taste buds with a trip to the Crescent City. Try the Hyatt Regency New Orleans, where Dad will enjoy a breakfast buffet at 8 Block Kitchen & Bar with classic and local menu options such as fried-oyster eggs Benedict and New Orleans beignets. 960 1280

Besh Restaurant Group  

Diving, Grand Cayman

Diving, Grand Cayman

For the diving dad … he just might love Grand Cayman’s Seven Mile Beach. The 5.5-mile beach has received travel mag accolades as “the Caribbean’s best beach.” During his stay at the Westin Grand Cayman (where the fifth night is free), Dad will enjoy diving beneath the area’s aquamarine waters -- and seeing coral reefs, colorful fish and even shipwrecks. 960 1280

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Brewery Tour

Brewery Tour

For the dad who can appreciate a good craft ale … take him to a major <a title="beer destination" href="www.travelchannel.com/interests/food-and-drink/articles/top-7-beer-destinations" target="_blank">beer destination</a>. Our top picks for Dad: Portland, OR, which has more breweries per capita than any other city in the US; and Milwaukee, home to 4 of the world’s largest breweries.  960 1280

Star 5112, flickr   

Flight School, Florida

Flight School, Florida

For the dad who always wished he could do something really cool … help his dreams take flight. Cover his admission to Paragon Flight, an FAA-approved flight training center. Dad will enjoy the scenic flights over Florida, and will be speaking pilot lingo in no time. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Great Smoky Mountains

Great Smoky Mountains

For the dad who loves the outdoors … enjoy a hike through the Great Smoky Mountains. June is an especially good time to visit; mark National Great Outdoors Month with an America the Beautiful Annual Pass for Dad. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

NASCAR Glory, Myrtle Beach

NASCAR Glory, Myrtle Beach

For the dad with a need for speed … treat him to short-track racing stint at the Myrtle Beach Speedway. The racecourse has been the training grounds for some of NASCAR’s top names like Dale Earnhardt Jr. Now it’s Dad’s turn to shine. See Dad zoom around the half-mile racetrack in a NASCAR vehicle -- at speeds of about 100 mph. 960 1280

TheDigitel, flickr  

Foxwoods Resort Casino, Mashantucket, Connecticut

Foxwoods Resort Casino, Mashantucket, Connecticut

For the dad seeking high-stakes gaming fun … head to the largest resort casino in the Western Hemisphere. A complex of 6 casinos, Foxwoods Resort Casino spans 4,700,000 square feet. For something closer to home, check out more of America’s high-stakes casinos. 960 1280

Foxwoods Resort Casino  

Yankee Stadium Tour

Yankee Stadium Tour

For the baseball-loving dad … take him out to the ballpark. Enjoy a tour of classic Yankee Stadium. Or take your pick from among more of baseball’s great stadiums. 960 1280

Reuters  

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. 2015 marks Chicago Polar Plunge’s 15th 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  

PNC Festival of Lights at Cincinnati Zoo

PNC Festival of Lights at Cincinnati Zoo

Strolling entertainment awaits visitors to Cincinnati Zoo's Festival of Lights, who will also be privy to a "Wild Lights" show at Swan Lake and a black-light puppet show. It's possible to see the lights from aboard the North Polar Express Train, and pay a visit with Santa -- and Mrs. Claus. 960 1280

  

Wildlights at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Wildlights at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

More than 3 million lights spread holiday cheer to adults and children at the Wildlights celebration. Kids can decorate cookies with Mrs. Claus and get photos with Santa; it's even possible to take a camel ride or whirl around an ice skating rink. 960 1280

Grahm S. Jones  

Zoo Lights 2015 at Denver Zoo

Zoo Lights 2015 at Denver Zoo

The Denver Zoo's holiday light safari leads visitors through 38 acres of dazzling light displays, including more than 150 animal sculptures that leap across lawns, dangle from trees and appear in the most unexpected places. You'll even hear holiday songs from children's and handbell choirs. 960 1280

  

Zoo Lights at Utah's Hogle Zoo

Zoo Lights at Utah's Hogle Zoo

You'll feel festive amidst the 250 illuminated sculptures and displays at Utah's Hogle Zoo. Walk through the 135-foot twinkling tunnel while wearing hologram glasses before riding the carousel or telling Santa what you'd like for Christmas at Santa Station -- with real, live reindeer. 960 1280

  

Lights Before Christmas at Toledo Zoo

Lights Before Christmas at Toledo Zoo

Millions of lights deck the halls -- and trees and lawns -- at the Toledo Zoo, included a dancing lights display near Cheetah Valley. The celebration is marked by carolers, live reindeer, and a glowing ice slide, as well as a buffet-style Festive Feast in The Lodge. 960 1280

  

Houston Zoo Lights

Houston Zoo Lights

Millions of holiday lights are draped in displays throughout the Houston Zoo, and visitors can experience the world from inside a life-size snow globe or stroll through the illuminated African Forest past enormous glowing ornaments. Carolers sing nightly at the Reflecting Pool stage. 960 1280

  

Los Angeles Zoo Lights

Los Angeles Zoo Lights

Those aren't the flashes of LA's paparazzi cameras -- its simply LA's Zoo Lights, designed by Bionic League, who have created light shows for Daft Punk and Kanye West (only in LA, right?). The park fills with LED-sculptures and lasers that visitors can see on a 90-minute self-guided tour. 960 1280

  

SunTrust Zoo Lights at Memphis Zoo

SunTrust Zoo Lights at Memphis Zoo

There's guaranteed to be "snow" at the Memphis Zoo's holiday display; folks looking to see the white stuff can visit Snow Alley, or take a stroll past twinkling light displays to meet Santa in his shop, and even get a peek at his helpful reindeer friends. There's even a Zoo on Ice performance. 960 1280

DONNY_GRANGER  

ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo

ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo

More than 2 million lights dazzle ZooLights visitors at Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo, and the zoo has made the event an extravaganza beyond the twinkling lumens. Visitors can take a spin around the park's ice skating rink, snap photos with Santa, and watch "arctic artists" carve ice sculptures. 960 1280

Todd Rosenberg  

ZooLights at Oregon Zoo

ZooLights at Oregon Zoo

Ride through the Oregon Zoo in twinkling style aboard the ZooLights train, past more than a million sparkling lights. You'll see tunnels of light near the African Rainforest and can warm up with hot chocolate and the zoo's signature elephant ear treats from vendors along the ZooLights path. 960 1280

  

Zoolights at Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium

Zoolights at Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium

Zoolights at Point Defiance bedazzle the Pacific Northwest with more than 500,000 LED lights and animal-themed displays, including a 3-D light display of an entire polar bear family. Visitors can take spin on the zoo'z antique carousel and see scuba diving Santa at the aquarium. 960 1280

  

ZooLights at National Zoo

ZooLights at National Zoo

Visitors to the National Zoo will feel the electrified as more than 500,000 environmentally friendly LED lights fill the park with a sparkly glow. You can warm up with hot chocolate or watch the nightly live performances, while little ones can take a spin on 150-foot-long "snow tubing" tracks. 960 1280

JAMES D JENKINS  

Jungle Bells at San Diego Zoo

Jungle Bells at San Diego Zoo

The San Diego Zoo transforms into a Winter Wonderland, and you can admire the lighted animal sculptures while riding the Twinkle Light Trolley through the zoo. You'll hear Dr. Zoolittle's version of "'Twas the Night Before Christmas," hear carolers  sing and gape at Toy Shop Hop acrobats. 960 1280

Photo: Ken Bohn  

ZooLights at Phoenix Zoo

ZooLights at Phoenix Zoo

Feel the glow at the Phoenix Zoo's celebration of nearly 4 million lights, where in addition to the glowing displays, visitors can also experience The Polar Express in 4-D, with special effects like snow and fog. Ice sculptors carve a 300-lb. block of ice and the zoo even has camel and wagon rides. 960 1280

  

Wild Lights at St. Louis Zoo

Wild Lights at St. Louis Zoo

The St. Louis Zoo comes to life after dark with animated Wild Lights displays like the Arctic Wonderland, Swan Lake and fantasy butterfly garden illuminating the property. Storytellers like Tundra Tom spin tales around a fire as visitors stay warming sipping hot cocoa. 960 1280

  

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