Winterfest of Lights
Sure, you've been to Ocean City. But have you been in the winter? Enjoy the offseason with one last beach trip before next summer. Head to Ocean City for the inaugural weekend of the 21st annual Winterfest of Lights. After you grab a cup of hot chocolate at Winterfest Pavillion, hop aboard the Winterfest Express tram to travel through 58 acres of Christmas-themed light displays overlooking the bay. While in town, be sure to check out some indoor entertainment options as well, including Old Pro Golf and the nearby Casino at Ocean Downs.
Winterfest is Nov. 21- Jan. 1. Admission is $5 for visitors age 12 and older. Children age 11 and under are free. Hours are Sunday -Thursday, 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. For more information, go to ococean.com.
New York City
Winter Village at Bryant Park
It's Christmastime in the city, and for those willing to make the trip to New York, the Winter Village at Bryant Park is a great way to celebrate the holiday season. Visitors and ice skaters make their way to the park each winter, and this year, Bank of America has teamed up with the city to offer free ice skating, rinkside dining, and holiday shopping, all in one place. Pop-up boutiques featuring more than 100 vendors and retailers will be present, allowing visitors to take care of some holiday shopping.
The rink is open until March 2, while the holiday shops are open until Jan. 5. General admission to the park is free. Skate rental is $15. For more information, go to wintervillage.org
Holiday tours at Nemours and Winterthur
Explore the peaceful grounds of the du Pont family's mansions at Winterthur and Nemours. Now decorated for the winter season, both locations offer guided holiday tours of the facilities and world-class collections of American decorative arts. At Winterthur, the home of Henry Francis du Pont, tour the house and see how the du Pont family lavishly celebrated the holiday season before heading to the museum or gardens. At Nemours, see more rare artwork and sculptures in the 70-room, one-acre mansion of Alfred I. DuPont.
Various tour options available, ranging from one to three hours and including garden tours. Reservations are recommended. Guided tours at Nemours are $10 for garden and $15 for the mansion, and guests must be age 12 or older. Yuletide at Winterthur runs Nov. 23-Jan. 5 with various events. Tours start at $20. The Yuletide Brunch with Santa, weekends through Dec. 22, is $34.95 per person. Visit nemoursmansion.org and winterthur.org for more information.
Hersheypark Christmas Candylane & Sweet Lights
Back for its 30th anniversary, Christmas Candylane at Hersheypark will transform the park into a winter wonderland for the season. In addition to holiday rides, guests can enjoy live entertainment, holiday games, and meet Santa and his live reindeer. Visitors are also encouraged to check out N.O.E.L., a light show synchronized to favorite holiday tunes. Additionally, Hershey Sweet Lights, a 2.3-mile drive-through light show with over 600 holiday themed displays, is a short drive away.
Candylane open until Dec. 31. Admission is $12 and hours and days can vary. Sweet Lights will run until Jan. 1. For more information, go to christmasinhershey.com
Christkindlmarkt is regarded as one of the best holiday marketplaces in the world by Travel+Leisure magazine. It features thousands of gift ideas from artisans across the country. Vendors will offer German and Austrian food accompanied by live music. The event also will offer a "Make Your Own Ornament" event where adults and children alike can work with glass artists to create their own hand-blown ornaments.
The market will run Thursdays to Sundays, Nov. 21 to Dec. 22, at SteelStacks in Bethlehem, Pa. Hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. On Saturdays the market will stay open until 8 p.m. Free parking is available adjacent to the venue at PNC Plaza. Through Nov. 20, advance tickets are $8 for ages 13 and older, $4 for ages 6-12, and free for children 5 and under. For more information, go to christkindlmarkt.org