Ice Skating

Traveling during the holiday season is as old as the holidays themselves – literally, if you ask anyone who owns a manger in Bethlehem. But just because people hit the road doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be able to feel the spirit of the season wherever they go. To help get you feeling festive, here are some killer seasonal perks that hotels have provided to their guests.

Santa Paws at the Eventi

Santa and his helper meet with the Eventi's four-legged guests

The holidays are for everyone: not just adults and children, but for pets as well. This past weekend, the second annual Santa Paws event at the Eventi Hotel in Manhattan treated four-legged guests to a visit from St. Nick. There was no shortage of festive dog biscuits or fresh water bowls as pets took their turns explaining to Santa why they can’t seem to stop digging up the front yard.

Ripken meets Santa at the Eventi

Kimpton properties such as the Eventi are already well-known for being super pet-friendly, so arranging a pet photo opp with Santa and his helper is simply par for the course. Of course, everyone was on their best behavior – including owners, who were treated to candy canes and delicious hot chocolate. If this was any indication of who made the “nice” list, Santa is going to be delivering a ton of bones this year. Read More »

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Everyone promised that you would have skiing down in no time, right? Instead, you got stuck on the “Magic Carpet” and could barely manage the “pizza” while ski-clad tots were gracefully whizzing past you. Trust us, we’ve been there. But after many failed attempts at tricky ski maneuvers like getting off the ski-lift without face planting, we’ve learned a new trick: how to find the coolest non-skiing activities in ski towns. In fact, ski towns have a lot more to offer than just the slopes — we promise! So for those of you who got roped into a ski-centric vacation, check out our favorite non-skier activities in nine ski destinations below.

Vail

The Arrabelle at Vail Square, a RockResort

The Arrabelle at Vail Square, a RockResort

Ice-skate: If you’d rather not hit the slopes, ice-skating is a great way to still get outdoors and get your heart rate pumping. There is an ice-skating rink right out the front door of The Arrabelle in Vail Square, with views of the slopes, the village, and the massive Christmas tree.

The Sebastian - Vail

The Sebastian - Vail

Go on a Dogsled Tour: While your friends are out enjoying the fresh powder on the slopes, you can be too — but in the comfort of a horse, er, dog-drawn sleigh. Winterhawk Dogsled Adventures runs daily tours in Alaskan husky-drawn sleds; the basic tour explores the expansive grounds of the historic 4 Eagle Ranch, while adventure tours run across more remote terrain at a higher altitude. The concierge at The Sebastian can arrange a tour for you, even ahead of your stay.

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Ice Skating in Union Square

Ice Skating in Union Square

[Flickr/ingridtaylar]

Outdoor ice skating doesn’t last long in San Francisco, but three city rinks offer traditional winter fun during the holiday season. Head to the outdoor rinks before they melt–or hit the indoor Yerba Buena skating center year-round. Read More »

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Ice Skating the Embarcadero

Ice Skating the Embarcadero

[Flickr/Thomas Hawk]

Though we don’t get to see any snow here, San Franciscans embrace the fun of the holiday season with joy. Our favorite gifts may be shiny new iPhones rather than shiny new sleds, but we know how and where to find some traditional Christmas spirit.

Union Square: The epicenter of the San Francisco Christmas season, Union Square draws revelers by the thousands. The giant Christmas tree was lit the day after Thanksgiving. Kids love to play and dream in the giant Disney store, while their parents may prefer the more grown-up toys in the Tiffany’s, Macy’s, Saks, and dozens of other shops ringing in the Square and surrounding blocks. Zillions of hotels ring Union Square—if you’re trying to save up for shopping, get a room at the Hotel Rex or the Handlery Hotel. Read More »

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