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

Motu Teta, Tahiti

Motu Teta, Tahiti

Want to get as far away from your relatives as possible? We suggest booking Tahiti’s Motu Teta, a private island located in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean on the Rangiroa atoll. Activities include doing absolutely nothing (one of our favorite pastimes) or a more adventurous midnight lobster hunt. But don’t get too attached to Mr. Crusty because your private staff will prepare and serve him as your Thanksgiving meal beachside.  960 1280

Courtesy of Motu Teta  

Your Own Private Archipelago

Your Own Private Archipelago

Spend the day snorkeling, diving or just relaxing. Not even your Aunt Edna’s bloodhound can find you on Motu Teta. Once your family sees the vacation photos surely they won’t begrudge your escape.  960 1280

Jon Whittle  

Room for 2 or More

Room for 2 or More

Should you be guilted into bringing along any family, such as your children, you’ll have enough room for up to 10. The island’s accommodations include a private bungalow and a larger main villa, both with sweeping verandas. Otherwise, wash those relatives right out of your hair. 960 1280

Courtesy of Motu Teta  

Plymouth Rocks

Plymouth Rocks

Those looking to kick it Old School will want to plan a visit to Plymouth, MA, the town that symbolizes our national traditional of giving thanks and eating our faces off. Spend your day at Plimouth Plantation with role-playing pilgrims who reenact events from 17th-century life. The plantation is open from March to the Sunday after Thanksgiving.  960 1280

Courtesy of Plimouth Plantation  

Plantation Vacation

Plantation Vacation

For Thanksgiving there is a seated dinner as well as a serve-yourself buffet with reservations starting in June. If you can’t book a table there are a plenty of other things to do at Plimouth Plantation such as taking a ride on the Mayflower II, a reproduction of one of the ships that landed at Plymouth in 1620. Or pay a visit to the Wampanoag Homesite, a living museum where you are hosted exclusively by Native People descended from Wampanoag and other Native Nations.  960 1280

Courtesy of Plimouth Plantation  

Casa Marina, Key West

Casa Marina, Key West

As hosts of the International Sand Art CompetitionCasa Marina launched a unique Thanksgiving tradition befitting of the quirky town that Ernest Hemingway once called home. Each year artists from all over the world create breathtaking sculptures right on the sandy shores of the Waldorf Astoria property.  960 1280

Courtesy of Casa Marina  

Castles of Sand

Castles of Sand

Veteran sculptor Marianne van den Broek founded the competition, which unites artists from places such as Mexico, the Netherlands, Canada and the United States. Guests of Casa Marina with beachfront balconies can watch the sculptures take shape all weekend long.  960 1280

Courtesy of Casa Marina  

Key West’s Best

Key West’s Best

The Spa al Maré at Casa Marina will be open on Thanksgiving Day and for this we give thanks.   960 1280

Courtesy of Casa Marina  

Belle Mont Farm, St. Kitts

Belle Mont Farm, St. Kitts

The Thanksgiving Feast at the Farm is one of the coolest holiday excursions we uncovered. Located on the island of St. Kitts, Belle Mont Farm will host a farm-to-table dinner with over 90% of the meal’s ingredients sourced directly from the farm. One- to 4-bedroom cottages are available and the experience is all-inclusive.  960 1280

Courtesy from Belle Mont Farm  

Sing for Your Supper

Sing for Your Supper

The Belle Mont Farm Feast is held at a gorgeous table in the middle of the property’s organic farm. Guests are both welcome and encouraged to forage for the meal’s bounty alongside the chefs, farmers and fellow travelers.  960 1280

DEXTER FASSALE  

Chef Tell

Chef Tell

The Belle Mont Farm chefs and farmers will be on hand to help you enjoy your holiday meal and even discuss the ingredients. Expect a lesson in sustainability and organic farming as well, lessons we can all benefit from and for which to be thankful.  960 1280

Courtesy of Belle Mont Farm  

La Posada, Santa Fe

La Posada, Santa Fe

Not only do we like the idea of having someone else doing the cooking, but we also like the thought of spending our holiday in a place known for its peaceful surroundings. La Posada in Santa Fe is steps from the capital city’s Historic Square and is partly housed in a structure dating back to the 1880s. Thanksgiving visitors can expect menu offerings with a southwestern flare. 960 1280

Courtesy of La Posada  

Inn & Spa at Loretto, Santa Fe

Inn & Spa at Loretto, Santa Fe

Chef Marc Quiñones creates incredibly tasty dishes for his guests at Luminaria all year using the freshest ingredients from Santa Fe’s local farmers markets. Holiday guests can choose to indulge in brunch or a prix-fixe dinner in the inn’s peaceful and serene dining room. With temperatures dropping, there could be snow on the ground just in time for your arrival.  960 1280

Courtesy of Inn & Spa at Loretto  

New York’s Midtown Hilton

New York’s Midtown Hilton

Forget sitting out in the cold! The New York Hilton Midtown has your ringside seat for all the action of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  960 1280

Courtesy of New York Hilton Midtown  

A Suite of Sweets

A Suite of Sweets

This Manhattan hotel, located directly on the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade route, is creating an all-chocolate suite featuring delicacies from truffles and beignets to macaroons by the hotel’s pastry chef as well as master chocolatier, Jacques Torres. They’re also hosting classic, holiday movie screenings in the ballroom and a photo booth complete with holiday-themed props. 960 1280

Courtesy of New York Hilton Midtown  

Bell Book & Candle

Bell Book & Candle

More than ever, people want to know where their food is sourced. Diners at the Bell Book & Candle need only to look up. Many of the vegetables, fruits and herbs served by Chef John Mooney are grown in hydroponic towers 6 stories up, on the rooftop of the West Village eatery. Not only will BBC be open on Thanksgiving, but locals can also order to-go meals.  960 1280

Courtesy of Bell, Book & Candle  

Tower of Power

Tower of Power

The food at Manhattan’s Bell Book & Candle is so fresh you might want to slap it. We recommend eating it. And in glorious New York tradition, you can order takeaway and tell everyone you made it yourself.  960 1280

Courtesy of Bell, Book & Candle  

Minton’s

Minton’s

Talk about soul food. We love the idea of a collard green salad and roasted turkey marinated in sugar brine, served up with a side of live music. Located in Harlem, legendary Minton’s recently experienced a rebirth and the venue was restored to its former glory.  960 1280

Evan Sung  

Jazz Hands

Jazz Hands

For Thanksgiving, Minton’s Harlem will host 3 seatings, all accompanied by live music. If you can’t make the trek for Turkey Day we highly recommend adding this legendary spot to your New York must-see list.  960 1280

Evan Sung  

Wynn Las Vegas

Wynn Las Vegas

The City of Sin is better known for over-the-top decadence, so it may come as a surprise that Steve Wynn, proprietor of the Wynn Las Vegas, takes a special interest in vegetarian and vegan options on all of his menus. He also has included a low-calorie menu at all of his restaurants as well.  960 1280

Courtesy of Wynn Las Vegas  

Win-Wynn

Win-Wynn

We have it on good authority that Costa di Mare in the Wynn is the place to eat. The menu boasts fresh, flown-in seafood as well as tasty vegan options. It all sounds like a win-win to us. 960 1280

Courtesy of Wynn Las Vegas  

Hotel Zamora

Hotel Zamora

The Hotel Zamora is the first brand-spanking-new hotel to be built in St. Pete Beach, FL, in 20 years.  The Mediterranean-inspired property features a private marina and new 360-degree rooftop lounge with stunning oceanfront views. We suggest ordering up a Thanksgiving picnic basket from the resort’s award-winning restaurant Castile and have it served poolside.  960 1280

Raif Fluker  

Sandwiches by the Seashore

Sandwiches by the Seashore

Want a turkey waffle sandwich served to you on the beach? So do we! How about one with fresh oven-roasted turkey breast topped with Grand Marnier cranberry compote? The meal also comes with roasted butternut squash, a Neuske-bacon-and-brussels-sprout salad, a bottle of wine and chocolate, sea-salt truffles. If the tryptophan hasn’t taken over, take a sunset dolphin-watching cruise, which departs from the property’s private marina or have cocktails on the rooftop bar. Put the fun back in dysfunctional.  960 1280

Courtesy of Hotel Zamora  

Kobe, Japan

Kobe, Japan

A tribute to the loss suffered in 1995’s Great Hanshen Earthquake, which left 6,000 dead and much of Kobe in darkness, the city’s annual Luminaire lights up for two weeks every December as a symbol of hope.  960 1280

Marser  

Madrid, Spain

Madrid, Spain

The last Friday of November, Madrid’s streets light up with overhead displays created by Spain’s best-known designers, architects and artists. The lighting installations vary from street to street.  960 1280

Gabriel Solera  

Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen

Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen

The proto-amusement park and fantasy gardens in Copenhagen’s center is a wonderland at Christmas when it fills with the holiday market and special lighting. Tivoli's Moorish Palace shines with Christmas decorations. 960 1280

Atlantide Phototravel  

Tbilisi, Georgia

Tbilisi, Georgia

The giant illuminated Christmas tree in Freedom Square is the centerpiece of the holiday lighting displays in Tbilisi’s town center. Overhead lights adorn numerous streets throughout the area, most notably Rustaveli Avenue.  960 1280

VANO SHLAMOV  

Rockefeller Center, New York City

Rockefeller Center, New York City

Thousands of visitors flood Rockefeller Center for the annual Christmas tree lighting which is televised for an audience of millions. The tree and the surrounding area, including the world-famous ice rink, remain lit 5:30 p.m. to midnight until January 7. 960 1280

STAN HONDA  

Monte Carlo, Monaco

Monte Carlo, Monaco

The Christmas lights in Monte Carlo’s Casino Square are a draw for holiday visitors beginning December 5. The spectacular light show illuminates the square in an array of shifting colors. 960 1280

VALERY HACHE  

Ayala Triangle Gardens, Manila, Philippines

Ayala Triangle Gardens, Manila, Philippines

Running from November through early January, Manilla’s annual Festival of Lights illuminates the Ayala Triangle Gardens in Makati City. The light and sound show, which has a new theme each year, runs every thirty minutes between 6 and 10 p.m. 960 1280

Pacific Press  

Medellin, Colombia

Medellin, Colombia

Beginning December 7, which is known as the Night of the Candles, Medellin, Colombia lights up with holiday displays. The Medellin River area is the most elaborately decorated--and visited--light display area in the country.  960 1280

AFP  

Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne, Australia

One of the most popular features of Melbourne’s Christmas Festival, which runs between November 27 and December 25 each year, are the colorful, dynamic and illuminated images projected onto Melbourne Town Hall between 9 and 10:45 p.m. nightly.  960 1280

Nigel Killeen#113409  

Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore, Maryland

Dubbed “Miracle on 34th Street,” the over-the-top lighting displays along a row of houses on 34th Street in Baltimore’s Hamden neighborhood draw crowds of spectators each December.  960 1280

MLADEN ANTONOV  

Sicily, Italy

Sicily, Italy

In Sicily, the Feast of the Seven Fishes, also known as The Vigil, is the typical Christmas Eve meal that features a variety of seafood dishes. 960 1280

Jupiterimages  

Venezuela

Venezuela

Traditional Venezuelan hallacas, which are similar to Mexican tamales, are served around Christmas. Families gather for the task of preparing large batches of the savory meat stews stuffed inside cornmeal dough steamed in plantain leaves. A salad of diced carrots, potatoes and mayonnaise is a typical accompaniment. 960 1280

camacho9999  

South Korea

South Korea

On New Year’s Day, South Koreans typically celebrate with a traditional meal of Duk Gook, a rice cake soup. 960 1280

TongRo Images Inc.  

Germany

Germany

The traditional Christmas meal in Germany includes roast goose with dumplings, red cabbage and stollen, a festive bread made with dried fruits and sprinkled with powdered sugar. 960 1280

GMVozd  

France

France

The French celebrate Christmas with a réveillon (long dinner) that features the most luxurious foods including oysters, langoustines and foie gras. 960 1280

Maica  

Mallorca, Spain

Mallorca, Spain

On Christmas day in Mallorca, the classic dish is Escaldums de Nadal, a stew of turkey or suckling pig, with dried fruits served in an almond-y sauce. 960 1280

PaulRobles  

The Phillipines

The Phillipines

During Paso (Christmas), Filipinos enjoy lechon (whole roasted pig) or jamon dulce (sweet ham) as part of their Christmas feasts.  960 1280

Sofia Moro  

Sweden

Sweden

Sweden’s Christmas Julbord, is a smörgåsbord featuring herring, ham, meatballs, sausages, breads, cheeses, and cabbage. 960 1280

Andersson, Staffan  

Poland

Poland

In Poland, Ukraine and Lithuania, the traditional Christmas dinner is a 12-dish spread that includes, herring, sauerkraut, mushrooms and dumplings. A festive red borscht with mushroom dumplings is traditional in Poland. 960 1280

Teresa Kasprzycka  

Israel

Israel

The typical Chanukkah dinner in Israel includes latkes, potato pancakes deep fried in oil, in a nod to the Chanukah story in which oil that should have lasted only one night instead lasted eight. 960 1280

zia_shusha  

Cuba

Cuba

As in other Latin countries, Cubans celebrate Noche Bueno or Christmas Eve, with a feast that centers on a whole roast pig. Accompaniments include black beans and rice and fried yuca and plantains. 960 1280

dtimiraos  

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