Head out for the holidays
Stroll through a half-million lights glowing red, white and green at the annual Longwood Gardens Christmas lighting display. See thousands of poinsettias, decorated trees and dancing fountains, all lit to create an outdoor wonderland.
Love Park in Center City welcomes visitors to the fifth annual Christmas Village modeled after a traditional German holiday market. Shoppers can browse holiday goods and goodies displayed in more than 60 decorated wooden booths, which form a European village selling international crafts, gifts, food and drink.
The village is through Dec. 24 at 16th Street and John F. Kennedy Boulevard. Go to philachristmas.com or call 215-820-5149.
Holiday Parade and the Fifth Annual Running of the Santas
Kicking off the countdown to Christmas on Dec. 1 is the Atlantic City Holiday Parade. The parade will begin at noon on Maine Avenue, traveling down Atlantic to end at Michigan and Baltic Avenue at The Walk Outlets. Visitors can view a large variety of decked out floats, local marching bands strutting their stuff, and a 35-foot-tall Christmas tree bedecked in over 3,000 lights. If that isn't enough, the parade will also include the arrival of Santa Claus in Atlantic City. If you happen to miss the jolly old man, you can get your fill of Santa in at the Fifth Annual Running of the Santas later that night. Beginning at 7 p.m. at the Hooters, tickets can be redeemed for a wristband that entitles guests to drink specials and free entrance to the parties.
For a schedule of events, go to atlanticcitynj.com. For more information about the Running of the Santas, visit http://runningofthesantas.com/santas/atlantic-city/.
New York City
Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree
New York City is always a busy place for the holidays. Start your trip with a visit to the colorful Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree in Rockefeller Plaza (rockefellercenter.com). Take in a holiday play or musical, whether it is Dr. Seuss' "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" at the Theater of Madison Square Garden (theateratmsg.com/grinch) or "A Chanticleer Christmas" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (metmuseum.org). See 14-foot lit stars at the Time Warner Center as they "dance" to holiday tunes in the Great Room (theshopsatcolumbucircle.com). Check out the Origami Holiday Tree at the American Museum of Natural History, where volunteers folded more than 500 creations to display on the tree (amnh.org). Join Le Parker Meridien hotel for its fourth annual Gingerbread Extravaganza, which will highlight confectionary replicas of monuments from around the world (parkermeridien.com).
For more information about these events, or for more holiday happenings in New York, visit nycgo.com/holidays.