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US: Bristol, RI – ’Tis The Day After Christmas Children’s Tea

’Tis the day after Christmas, and throughout Blithewold the beautiful decorations and a fragrance of cinnamon and cloves linger. All the hustle and bustle of the holidays is winding down, so come share the last of the season’s magic with your family and friends.Xmad Childrens Tea2017-12-13_14-54-03

Children are welcome to come dressed in their finest pajamas and nightgowns, and enjoy goodies and treats one last time before the decorations come down. After tea sandwiches, cookies, fresh-baked scones and a warm pot of tea, children will sit around the fireplace to enjoy one last holiday story.

Blithewold is a 33-acre summer estate with grand views of Narragansett Bay and is nationally significant in American history as one of the most fully developed and authentic examples of the Country Place Era.

Seating is limited, Advance registration required.  Click to purchase your seat: Tuesday, December 26

Location: Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum  101 Ferry Rd, Bristol, RI 02809
Date: Tues, Dec 26, 2017
Time: 5 – 6:30 PM
Tel: 401-253-2707
blithewold.org/event/tis-day-christmas-childrens-tea
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: goprovidence.com

US: Clinton, MD – Surratt House Museum for Christmas Past and Present

As you enter the side door of the Surratt House Museum you are walking in the path of John Wilkes Booth the night he killed President Lincoln, since he came here to retrieve a rifle, field glasses and supplies for his run from the law.Surratt House Building2017-10-18_9-42-17

Built in 1852, this was a tavern, an inn, a post office and a polling place. It was a safe house for the Confederate underground. The massive search for Booth led them here to Mary Surratt’s house, and as a result she was tried in a military court and convicted of conspiracy to assassinate the President. On July 7, 1865 Mary Surratt was the first woman to be executed by the federal government.Surratt House Lincolns 2017-10-18_9-40-59

In your visit to this famous house, a docent in 1860’s period clothing walks you through the typical middle class home.  History buffs can make reservations for the 12-hour “Escape Route” bus tour. Many of the same roads and houses used by Booth are still in existence and are visited on this excursion which is narrated by nationally-recognized authorities on the Lincoln assassination and John Wilkes Booth’s flight.  Tour Dates for 2018: Apr 14, 21, 28 and Sept 8, 15, 22.Surratt House - Escape Route 2017-10-18_9-34-58

If you’re in the Clinton area Sat, Dec 2 – Sun, Dec 10, stop by the Surratt House Museum for their special Christmas program- An Old Fashioned Holiday: Bringing Christmas Past to Christmas Present, celebrating the Christmas of yesteryear amid period decorations, special exhibits and seasonal histories. On the weekend of December 9 and 10, return to enjoy special activities for all ages, cookies, cider, and holiday discounts in the museum’s gift shop.

Location: Surratt House Museum, 9118 Brandywine Road, Clinton, MD 20735
Hours: Wed – Fri 11am – 3pm, Sat -Sun 12 – 4pm
The Surratt House Museum is closed from Dec 12th to Jan 17th.
Tel: 301-868-1121
surrattmuseum.org
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitprincegeorgescounty.com

US: Fayetteville, NC – Fayetteville Rolls Back the Clock for “A Dickens Holiday”

The holiday season would not be complete stepping back into the Victorian era in Fayetteville Christmas tradition. Ever wish for a simpler time, when the pace of life wasn’t hectic and families still enjoyed spending evenings together? Roll back the clock with Fayetteville for A Dickens Holiday.Scrooge 2017-10-09_12-14-27

Horse drawn carriages roll up and down Hay Street, carrying shoppers the old fashioned way by merchants, artisans and vendors of all sorts of delightful treats. Joyful children pose with Father Christmas for memory laden pictures. Savor the inviting aroma of cider and gingerbread permeating the chilly air.

Throughout the day, sounds of the season fill the air as carolers and musicians stroll among the crowd. There is Ebenezer Scrooge himself, pursued by the ghost of Jacob Marley. Perhaps you will be greeted by Tiny Tim and his family.Carolers 2017-10-09_12-16-12

As darkness approaches and the clock reaches 5pm,  join the townspeople for the candlelight procession to the Market House, followed by fireworks. After the fireworks, the festivities continue until 9pm. Enjoy this truly unique experience and create some lasting memories with your loved ones.

Photo Credit: Wick Smith

Location: Historic Downtown Fayetteville, Hay Street – Fayetteville, NC 28301
Date: Fri,  Nov 24, 2017
Time: 1pm – 9pm
Tel: 910-323-1776
theartscouncil.com/dickensmain
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitfayettevillenc.com

US: Selma, NC – From Pumpkin Patch to Shopping Destination

DeWayne’s – Would you believe this amazing gift, clothes and garden decor shop started out as a pumpkin stand? DeWayne persevered with his produce stand after having to move it 3 times. What began as DeWayne’s Country Garden in 1991 has transitioned through the years to become known as simply… DeWayne’s.DeWaynes - Pumpkin Patch

Nowadays it has grown and grown beyond the trolls, birdbaths, gargoyles, trellises, fountains, bears and benches outside. It is a destination for shoppers to experience the gift shop, garden center, ladies clothing boutique, menswear and Christmas Land.

DeWayne’s is celebrating the completion of a two-year construction project, a 23,500 sq ft expansion and 9,000 sq ft renovation. The final phase is the redesign and expansion of existing space into a larger women’s clothing Boutique along with a new customer service / checkout area.

The new space allows for the amplification of The Boutique to incorporate more complimenting brands and product trends to the existing lines, including ladies clothing, footwear, jewelry, handbags & accessories. With an outstanding knack of seeking out the hottest and most desired brands, shoppers will love their assortment, including: Alex and Ani, Brighton, Jack Rogers, Dansko, Hobo, Joseph Ribkoff, Hatley, Escapada and Clara Son Woo . You can also buy paper goods, soap, candles and flags.

DeWayne’s family owned business provides customers with a unique shopping experience in over 40,000 sq ft of specialty retailing. Exceptional Customer Service, amazing selection and an unforgettable experience await you.

Dewayne's

Location: DeWayne’s – 1575 Outlet Center Dr, Selma, NC 27576
Hours: Mon – Fri 9:30– 7pm, Sat 9 – 7:30pm, Sun 10 – 6pm
Tel: 919-202-8471
dewaynes.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: johnstoncountync.org

US: Newburyport, MA – Xmas Tree Bonfire Party with Music, S’mores & Flashlight Treasure Hunt

This is no ordinary Bonfire, it’s a 3-story community bonfire where Greater Newburyport’s residents burn their well-loved Christmas trees, and boy can those babies burn and it gets hot, real hot! newburyport-bonfire

In honor of the original purchase of Newbury, MA in 1701, It’s the 6th Annual Christmas Tree Burn Fundraiser/ Old Newbury Bonfire  to benefit the Newbury Volunteer Fire Department. Why not support this community and enjoy the local entertainment with music, games, food and fun at an event that is becoming a Greater Newburyport Winter tradition.

In addition to the bonfire, there will be tours of the 17th century stone and brick manor house at Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm,  and you can participate in a  flashlight treasure hunt and other children’s activities. Enjoy great food and drinks from local businesses, roast marshmallows or make S’mores.  At 5 PM there’s an  auction to be one of the two official bonfire lighters. Other prizes include a ride to school on a fire truck, cords of wood, local art and other surprise. Admission FREE, food and drinks available for purchase. Parking: $5 at Spencer Peirce Little Farm.

Location: Spencer Pierce Little Farm – 5 Little’s Lane, Newbury, MA 01951
Date: Sat, Jan 14, 2017
Time: 3 pm  – 9 pm w/ Bonfire Auction at 5 pm, lighting to follow – See more at:
newburyport.com/old-newbury-bonfire/
Tel: 978-462-2282,  978-462-2634
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: newburyportchamber.org
newburyport.com

US: St. Augustine, FL – St. Augustine Illuminated with Holiday Magic from Ground to Rooftops

The  23rd Annual Nights of Lights festival turns the city of St. Augustine into a dazzling holiday display, glowing with holiday magic – from the ground to the rooftops. Selected by National Geographic in 2011 and 2012 as one of the ten best holiday lighting displays in the world, St. Augustine’s Night of Lights features three millions tiny white lights that create a magical atmosphere in the Nation’s oldest city.

Tracing its origins to the Spanish tradition of displaying a white candle in the window during the Christmas holidays, the spectacular lighting reflects the city’s 450-year history and illuminates the beautiful setting for lasting holiday memories.nights-of-lights-lightner-museum

Many historic landmarks and locations are beautifully ablaze during Nights of Lights. The waters of Matanzas Bay glow from the nightly reflections of lights strewn along the bay walk and displayed on the Bridge of Lions. The Plaza de la Constitucion shines from the top of trees and throughout the famous center of St. Augustine’s historic district. The Guilded-Age Hotel Ponce de Leon, now the campus of Flagler College, is outlined in lights. And the Lightner Museum, once a resort hotel also built by Flagler, is lit so brilliantly that it is a favorite among visitors.nights-of-lights-bridge-of-lions

The trains and trolleys offer special seasonal tours that take you through the best areas of Nights of Lights, and there are also a variety of specialty tours; everything from walking to horse-and-carriage tours, and even tours to see the lights from the water and from the air. This holiday season don’t miss St Augustine’s Night of Lights.

Photos Courtesy of FloridasHistoricCoast.com

Location: Plaza de la Constitucion, 106 King Street, St. Augustine, FL 32084
Dates: Daily until Jan. 31, 2017
Tel: 800-653-2489
floridashistoriccoast.com/nights-lights
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: floridashistoriccoast.com

US: Fredericksburg, VA – Gingerbread Houses, Miniature Dollhouses, and even the Grinch

Looking for some fun, family friendly entertainment this holiday season, well Fredericksburg has you covered.

Why not check out the 30th Annual Gingerbread House Contest and Exhibit at George Washington’s Ferry Farm . This year’s theme is “Home for the Holidays.” A long-standing holiday tradition,  adults and children alike will enjoy the sights and smells of the festive creations displayed at George Washington’s Ferry Farm.gingerbread-house-txt
Location: 268 Kings Hwy (Route 3 East) Fredericksburg, VA 22401
Dates: until Dec 30th (Closed December 24 & 25)
Hours: Mon – Sat 10am – 4pm; Sun 12pm – 4pm
Tel: 540-370-0733 x24
ferryfarm.org

Visit Historic Kenmore this holiday season for an exhibit of highly detailed, replica dollhouses – including the mansion – and miniatures in the Crowninshield Museum Building. A Wee Christmas – Dollhouses and Miniatures Show where you can  share memories as you explore life in miniature. Put your mind and eye to the test with their “I Spy Miniatures” challenge – fun for young and old alike. doll-house-exhibit
Location: 1201 Washington Ave, Fredericksburg, VA 22401
Dates: until Dec 30th (Closed December 24 & 25)
Hours: Mon – Sat 10am – 4pm; Sun 12pm – 4pm
Tel: 540-373-3381
kenmore.org

And for the kid in all of us, Mr. Grinch is coming to Downtown Fredericksburg! Every Sunday in December Mr. Grinch will be available for a 15 minute ride down Caroline Street, sing some Whoville songs, admire the decorated store windows and enjoy the ride. This is a great photo opportunity and kids get a Christmas Goody Bag.grinch-carriage-ride
Location: 706 Caroline St., Fredericksburg, VA 22401
Dates: every Sunday in December
Hours: 11 to 4pm
Tel: 540-371-0094
visitfred.com/events/mr-grinch-coming-to-downtown-fredericksburg

For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants and Attractions: visitfred.com

 

US: Fort Lauderdale, FL – It’s 12 Miles of the “Greatest Show on H20”

Christmas is that special time of year when winterfest-parade-fireworkslights illuminate the night sky. In South Florida, they have an annual tradition of the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel Winterfest Boat Parade where privately owned boats and yachts take over the intracoastal waterway and display all of their Christmas glory.

The Boat Parade sets sail for 12 miles starting in downtown Fort Lauderdale heading North to Lake Santa Barbara in Pompano Beach. Approximately one million spectators view the parade, along with millions more via television and the internet, bringing national and international recognition to South Florida. The event is the Top 20th Parade in the World and considered the Greatest Show on H2O.

Private boats to the giant showboats and corporate mega yachts will be adorned winterfest-parade-boatswith hundreds of thousands of lights, music, entertainment, decorations, celebrities, musical groups, beauty queens and many other exciting entries. Parade highlights: Grand Marshal Showboat, Galleria Mall Reindeer Barge and the Santa Showboat.

Fun, Family entertainment. Free admission along the Rwinterfest-boat-parade-logo2iverwalk.

Parade Route: Downtown Fort Lauderdale on the New River, heading East to the Intracoastal then North to Pompano Beach
Date: Saturday, December 10, 2016
Time: 6:30PM to 11:00PM
Tel: 954-7670-0686
WinterfestParade.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: sunny.org

US: Queens, New York – Over the Top Xmas Decorations

Over the top Christmas decorations on a private home in Whitestone. This is the same private home in summer and winter. What a difference!

Queens Xmas home

 

Cosmos Tour: Prague Vienna Budapest – Good King Wencelas

StVitus

St Vitus Cathedral

In Prague we learned about Wenceslas I, or Svatý Václav in Czech, who was the duke of Bohemia from 921 until his assassination in 935, purportedly in a plot by his own brother, Boleslav the Cruel.

In the optional excursion of Medieval Prague, you get to see the Gothic St. Vitus Cathedral, the biggest and most important church in the Czech Republic. It’s located in Prague Castle and contains the tombs of many Bohemian kings and Holy Roman Emperors as well as the St. Wenceslas Chapel.

Due to the popularity of some books which elevated Wenceslas I to a place of heroic goodness and resulted in his being elevated to sainthood, was posthumously declared king, and then became the patron saint of the Czech state. He is that one and only “Good King Wenceslas” of the popular song which is a Saint Stephen’s Day carol written in 1853. over 900 years after he lived.

His death in September 935 (or perhaps 929) was committed by a group of nobles allied with Wenceslas’ younger brother Boleslav. Boleslav invited Wenceslas to a feast, they quarreled, and 3 of his buddies murdered Wenceslas on his way to church. Boleslav thus succeeded him as the Duke of Bohemia.

Since 2000, the feast day of Saint Wenceslas (September 28) is a public holiday in the Czech Republic, celebrated as Czech Statehood Day.

On the Cosmos optional excursion, one is wowed by the grandeur of the St. Wenceslas Chapel in St. Vitus Cathedral where his relics are kept. The room, built between 1344 and 1364, has walls encrusted with over 1,300 semi-precious stones and paintings about the Passion of Christ. The upper part of the walls have paintings about the life of St Wenceslas, and in the middle is a Gothic statue of him.

The Crown of King Wenceslas

The Crown of King Wenceslas

There is a small door with seven locks in the chapel, which leads to the Crown Chamber containing the Czech Crown Jewels, which are displayed to the public only once every (circa) eight years. Seven different people have seven keys.

www.cosmos.com/Product.aspx?trip=46050