Archives for January 2012

Boston in Winter: An Unexpected Treat

Many people have outdated notions about winter vacations. Of course, travelling to sunny locales like Florida or the Caribbean are great if you want to work on your tan, but with the crowds and skin cancer risk, why not consider another option: New England.

At the heart of the northeast lies Boston, MA, a city built around its ports and famous universities. A city often swallowed by the Apple to its south. However, Boston has a lot to offer tourists in terms of history, culture and winter fun. The “down” season is clearly one of the best times to visit here too. Even though you cannot go for a harbor cruise, you can see most everything else Bean Town has to offer and do it without the crowds.

Museums Galore!

Many people do not realize that Boston is home to over 40 museums that celebrate an awesome range of cultural attractions. This includes the famous JFK Presidential Library as well as a plethora of historical museums and sites dedicated to the Revolutionary War and Colonial era.

Boston is also home to several great “niche” museums such as the Children’s Museum, the Fuller Craft Museum, the USS Constitution Museum, and the Salem Witch Museum. Both Harvard and MIT sponsor museums on their campuses and there’s even a museum dedicated to Whaling in Nantucket.

One of the best aspects of travelling to Boston in the winter is that museums are always open regardless of weather and many even offer discounted entry for the “off season.” You may also consider purchasing a tourist card such as the Go Boston card which offers entry to over two dozen museums in and around the Boston area.

Boston Alley at the Holidays

Winter Weather Fun

In addition to great indoor activities, Boston’s location at the heart of New England allows easy travel to most of the best ski and snow resorts in America. There are several great cross country ski areas within a short drive including trails in Weston, Carlisle, and Northfield. New Hampshire is also close by offering excellent cross country trails in its Waterville Valley.

For the less agile, snow tubing is also a great way to spend the day. Nashoba Valley’s Snow Tubing Park in Westford offers four snow tube lifts and 17 lanes as well as an observation deck. Off of 495 in Amesbury, the Amesbury Sports Park offers three lifts and nine tracks as well as the Corner Kicks Pub for some good eats after hitting the lanes.

Finally, Frog Pond in the heart of The Commons offers ice skating from 10 am until well into the night all winter long. Admission is free for those under 13 and only $4 for everyone else. Skating in the Commons offers an unprecedented opportunity to see Boston from a new angle and have fun at the same time.

Don’t Forget to Eat

Finally, winter weather is no match for the world-class fare served at any of the hundreds of Boston’s fine restaurants and eateries. Located on the water, seafood here is superb and, like many big cities, Boston’s Little Italy on the north end and downtown Chinatown pockets offer cultural dishes to please any palate.

Whether you are going for the culture or going for some fun, winter time in Boston will not disappoint. It is clearly worth it to take time this winter to see the sights, get a little wet and cold, and then warm up with amazing foods in New England’s largest city.

Take Time this Winter to Celebrate One More Disney Day

No one plans a vacation to Los Angeles without visiting Disneyland. The brainchild of Walt Disney himself, it opened its doors on July 18, 1955. The day before (July 17th) Walt dedicated the park with these words:

To all who come to this happy place: Welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past, and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America, with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.

Today, Disneyland is often seen as the smaller sister to the much larger and well-known Disney World Theme parks in Orlando, FL. However, children young and old still travel in droves to this place each year – almost 16 million visited in 2010 making it the second most visited theme park in the world that year and reigniting the children in all those who entered.

2012 is a special year for Disney, it marks the 57th year since the park’s opening and, more importantly, is a leap year. In true Disney fashion, both the Los Angeles and Orlando parks will be celebrating “One More Disney Day” on February 29, 2012, and invite guests big and small to do the same.

24 Hours of Disney Fun

Since there are 366 days in a leap year, rather than 365, the folks at Disney have decided to take the opportunity to give their guests and friends more than one “ordinary” extra day to celebrate the magic of Disney, thus launched the “One More Disney Day” campaign.

The cornerstone of “One More Disney Day” will be the park hours on Wednesday, February 29th. Both Disneyland Park and the Magic Kingdom will open their doors at 6 am (rather than 10) and remain operating for a full 24-hours. The plan is to allow all guests the full benefit of “One More Disney Day” this year. On their website, Disney has asked celebrities to explain what they would do with their extra Disney day and challenges guests to do the same.

With Disney, There’s Always a Little Bit More…

The simple benefit to those travelling in the Los Angeles area at the end of February aside, Disney has taken the “One More Disney Day” initiative one step further by offering special promotional packages for guests at the Disney Resort as well as a host of give-a-ways from now through March.

If you already plan on travelling to Disney this winter, the “One More Disney Day” promotion will help you stay a little bit longer. Those booking 3 or more nights in Disneyland Resort and staying between February 26 and March 10, 2012 will be treated to a free night.

If your plans this February do not include Disney, you’re still in luck though. In an effort to continue to promote the “One More Disney Day” campaign, Disneyland and Disneyworld are giving away 60 vacation packages the months of January and February – one each day through to leap day. Each package is for a four people and includes a 5 day/ 4 night stay at the Disneyland Resort in California or its sister in Florida. You can enter once a day.

Los Angeles in Wintertime

Travelling to Los Angeles or Southern California in general during the cold months is certainly a treat. Whether you are a parent or merely a kid at heart, a stop at the original Disneyland Theme Park will make the difference between a good vacation and a great one.