12 Unique Places to Spend Thanksgiving

Whether you’re flying solo, a party of 2 or traveling with relatives in tow, Thanksgiving is about making memories. We chose 12 unique spots guaranteed to serve up a stress-free experience. 

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Songkran Water Festival
Songkran Water Festival

Songkran Water Festival

Known as the Water Festival by visitors, this annual festival in Thailand falls shortly after the spring equinox. Songkran (based on a Sanskrit word for “astrological passage”) is celebrated in the country as the traditional New Year’s Day. Along with visiting elders and going to a Buddhist monastery, festivities include throwing of water – in this case, with a little help from an elephant! 960 1280

Getty Images  

White House Easter Egg Roll

White House Easter Egg Roll

President Obama gathers with schoolchildren on the White House lawn for the annual Easter Egg Roll. Held on Easter Monday, the yearly tradition is commonly believed to have started in 1814, organized by First Lady Dolley Madison. 960 1280

Reuters  

Semana Santa

Semana Santa

An important holiday in largely Catholic countries like Mexico and Spain, Semana Santa (Holy Week) showcases colorful parades, Masses, fireworks and elaborate ceremonies, like these celebrants in Roman garb placing crosses on a stone overlook. Semana Santa also coincides with spring break; you may see a sand sculpture of the Last Supper on a Mexican beach during this time! 960 1280

Getty Images  

Holi

Holi

Spring wouldn’t be the same in northern India without this annual festival. Celebrated by Hindus, who throw colored powder at each other, this vibrant festival of colors celebrates the season’s many hues, as well as events from Hindu mythology, such as when a devotee of Lord Vishnu was saved from death. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Nowruz

Nowruz

Widely referred to as the Persian New Year, this annual festival also marks the first day of spring -- which is celebrated on the day of the astronomical Northward equinox (usually around March 21). Nowruz is celebrated throughout Central Asia and here, in Kyrgyzstan’s capital city of Bishek. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Passover

Passover

One of the most widely observed Jewish holidays, Passover commemorates the story of the ancient Israelites’ deliverance from slavery in Egypt -- items on this “seder plate” showcase symbolic foods related to the story. The weeklong holiday always falls during the spring season, based on a biblical commandment: “Guard the month of spring, and make then the Passover offering.”  960 1280

Daniel Gonzalez / iStock / Thinkstock  

Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake

Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake

Competitors race down a steep hill -- known as Cooper’s Hill, near Gloucester, England -- as they vie for the day’s ultimate prize: a round of Double Gloucester cheese. This centuries-old tradition is held on the UK’s Spring Bank Holiday, attracting not only locals from the nearby village of Brockworth but also people from all over the world. 960 1280

Emma Wood / Britain On View / Getty Images  

Holla Mohalla

Holla Mohalla

One day after the Hindu festival of Holi, another big spring celebration occurs: Holla Mohalla. During this 3-day Sikh festival, celebrants showcase their martial skills in mock fights (thus, the meaning of the holiday’s name) -- and the art of fire breathing, like here on a street in the northwest Indian state of Punjab. The spring festival is also a time when followers reaffirm their dedication to Khalsa Panth (the worldwide community of Sikhs). 960 1280

Reuters  

Cimburijada (Festival of Scrambled Eggs)

Cimburijada (Festival of Scrambled Eggs)

Eggs, eggs and more eggs -- every year, at the crack of dawn, people from the Bosnian town of Zenica gather by the Bosna River to celebrate the first day of spring. Known as Ciumburijada, or “Festival of Scrambled Eggs,” the event begins with the preparation of a traditional breakfast -- or in this case, a super-sized bowl of eggs for the masses. 960 1280

Reuters  

Walpurgis Night

Walpurgis Night

Named after the English missionary Saint Walpurga, this traditional spring festival is celebrated across Central and Northern Europe -- exactly 6 months after All Hallows’ Eve. Among the places that hold celebrations (which include dancing and bonfires) is the open-air museum of Skansen in Stockholm, pictured here.  960 1280

Sven Nackstrand / AFP / Getty Images  

Las Fallas

Las Fallas

Whimsical characters, known as fallas, are a familiar sight during this annual 5-day celebration. The origin of one of Spain’s most rowdy holidays is uncertain; some say Las Fallas began in the Middle Ages, when artisans burned pieces of wood they’d saved during the winter in celebration of the spring equinox. Over time, under the Catholic Church’s influence, the holiday has developed into a celebration to commemorate Saint Joseph. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Spring Equinox in Teotihuacán

Spring Equinox in Teotihuacán

Every year, on the 20th or 21st of March, thousands of people gather at this enormous, pre-Hispanic archeological site, roughly 30 miles northeast of Mexico City, to celebrate the spring equinox. Between 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., many celebrants climb the 360 steps to the top of Pyramid of the Sun, the largest structure in the area, to get closer to portals of energy. 960 1280

REUTERS/Gerardo Garcia  

Photos

Christmas tree in Waitangi Park in Wellington, New Zealand

Christmas tree in Waitangi Park in Wellington, New Zealand

Is it just us or is this Christmas tree in Waitangi Park in Wellington, New Zealand, one of the tallest displays you've even seen? 960 1280

Aidan on flickr  

Holiday display on 34th street in Baltimore

Holiday display on 34th street in Baltimore

The Grinch, Frosty and some toy soldiers are all celebrating the holidays on 34th Street in Baltimore. 960 1280

Kathleen Conklin, flickr  

Christmas Light Tour in VA

Christmas Light Tour in VA

Is there even a house under all that? 960 1280

Katie Dwyer  

San Antonio Texas Riverwalk

San Antonio Texas Riverwalk

Make your spirits bright with a walk down the San Antonio Riverwalk. 960 1280

Rod Eubanks, flickr  

Decorations at London's Peter Jones store

Decorations at London's Peter Jones store

Get a bird's-eye view of the decorations at London's Peter Jones store. 960 1280

Monica Arellano-Ongpin, flickr  

Holiday lights in San Carlos, CA

Holiday lights in San Carlos, CA

This house in San Carlos, CA, has got to have a huge electric bill. 960 1280

Ed Bierman, flickr  

Christmas Tree in Union Square San Francisco

Christmas Tree in Union Square San Francisco

A beautiful Christmas tree towers over the Macy's store in San Francisco's Union Square. 960 1280

Jenny Pascual  

Christmas display on Orchard Road in Singapore

Christmas display on Orchard Road in Singapore

This Christmas display on Orchard Road in Singapore sends out holiday wishes to all. 960 1280

Eustaquio Santimano, flickr  

Kermit and Miss Piggy holiday display

Kermit and Miss Piggy holiday display

Here's one thing that Kermit and Miss Piggy agree on: Christmas rules on Alameda Island's Christmas Tree Lane. 960 1280

  

Christmas display at mid valley

Christmas display at mid valley

It's a candy wonderland! 960 1280

Shirley, flickr  

Trees lit up at the Lincoln Zoo in Chicago

Trees lit up at the Lincoln Zoo in Chicago

The trees of the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago are illuminated with a rainbow of colors. 960 1280

  

Christmas in Knightsbridge

Christmas in Knightsbridge

That is one big tree for a balcony. Guess that's how they celebrate Christmas in Knightsbridge! 960 1280

gorfor, flickr  

Holiday decorations in Bucharest, Romania

Holiday decorations in Bucharest, Romania

Holiday decorations in Bucharest ... we are sensing a trend with Christmas trees on balconies and roofs. 960 1280

Nicu Buculei, flickr  

Detailed Christmas decorations

Detailed Christmas decorations

Santa, his reindeer and elves make a pit stop at this house. 960 1280

Casey Fleser, flickr  

Santa roof decoration

Santa roof decoration

After a little rest, Santa and the gang are off again. Rudolph leads the way with his shiny nose. 960 1280

Ed Bierman, flickr  

Steve Di Schiavi's decorated house

Steve Di Schiavi's decorated house

The Dead Files' detective Steve Di Schiavi shares his decorated house with us. 960 1280

  

Decorated house in Wilmington, DE

Decorated house in Wilmington, DE

Here's another house that must have a high electric bill. Hope power is cheap in Wilmington, DE. 960 1280

Allee Sangiolo  

Light up house in VA

Light up house in VA

Wait, wait, you missed a spot. Get some more lights out here! 960 1280

Katie Dwyer  

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  

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.
960 1280

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  

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