Chocolates, elves and giant lights, the run up to Christmas is almost as enjoyable as the holiday itself, especially as Santa, Mrs Claus and their helpers are making their appearance around the country to delight kids and adults alike. For all those who don’t want to wait till December 24 to experience the season’s typical treats, here are some fantastic deals that give the feeling Christmas came in early.
New Orleans Bonanza, Louisiana
Who said you needed to wait till Christmas eve for a seasonal feast? New Orleans’ best restaurants, among which the family-friendly Court of Two Sisters, Andrea’s Restaurant, and Crescent City Brewhouse, offer splendid four-course holiday menus every night from December 1-31 with prices starting at $34. These mouthwatering Reveillon deals are available from Travelzoo. And if you wish to stay overnight in the Big Easy with the family, take advantage of a 50% saving at the Quality Inn & Suites Maison St. Charles, where nights in a suite accommodating up to four people costs from $109, including breakfast and parking. The offer is valid for stays through April 20, 2015.
Escaping from the winter freeze to this year-round sunny Texas Hill Country resort doesn’t mean you have to forego any Christmas paraphernalia. And there are many great activities here to enchant the whole family, ranging from a display of gingerbread houses themed after popular Christmas movies (from November 30) to nightly light and music shows featuring thousands of twinkling lights, and even an Elf School. And if you want to take the kids to a German-style traditional celebration without leaving Texas, head to Fredericksburg, within easy reach of the resort, for a 30-foot Christmas tree, ice skating and fairytale like décor. Holiday rates at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa start at $199 offering 40% savings from high season rates.
Few places can create as much holiday magic for kids as Walt Disney World. Make the most of what the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel has to offer during the holiday season with special rates starting at $159 per night. Set in the Epcot area, the resort is visited by Santa, his wife and elf Kandy Kane on select nights, ensuring a month-long celebration. Kids will marvel at the 45-foot Christmas tree and a 2,000-pound chocolate display featuring a life-size Santa -- however tempting, no one is allowed to bite into it!. Add to these dancing lights shows, regularly timed snowfall, carol choirs, dessert decorating workshops, and free holiday-themed movies and kids will wish this Florida getaway would never end.
Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village, California
Surrounded by the Santa Monica Mountain range, this Five Diamond hotel and spa offers luxurious accommodations, proximity to the Malibu Coast, and a beautiful indoor family pool. As part of the hotel’s Winter Wonderland package guests can take their breakfast with Holiday Characters -- a great opportunity for fun photos -- attend the Let it Snow show, and share their experience with their family and friends thanks to free internet. Other seasonal activities include an hybrid ice skating rink and Holiday Express train rides.
Little ones will love listening to Elf Story Time which is complimentary and parents might treat them to an Elf Tuck-In ($20). Rooms start from $284 per night with the offer valid for a family of three on Dec 5-6; Dec 12-13; Dec 19-20. (MORE: Find more winter deals and save big on your next getaway.)
The North Pole Express, Heber Valley, Utah
Savor chocolate chip cookies and hot cocoa to the sound of carols on this highly entertaining train ride. The 90-minute North Pole Express trip goes through the atmospheric settings of the Heber Valley and enables kids to share their wishes with Santa who’s onboard, sing Christmas song, and play games. The season runs from November 28 to December 24 and you can take advantage of a special offer through which you’ll receive a discount of $10 on First Class tickets and $5 on Coach, bringing down cost to $35/$25 (children 3-12) and $25/15 respectively. The deal is valid on select days between December 4-18.
Sonia Esther Soltani contributed this to MiniTime.