12 Places the Grinch Would Abhor
When it comes to the holidays, Christmas spirit ranges from bah-humbuggers and grinches to overzealous Christmas fiends who put Buddy the Elf to shame. While most people tend to fall somewhere in between, the denizens of these 12 cities skew right and have created some of the most intricate Christmas fantasy lands in the world.
Brooklyn, New York
Each year, Brookyn’s Dyker Heights attracts nearly 100,000 visitors who want to get into the holiday spirit. The tradition first began in 1986, when one member of the community decided to decorate her house. While some residents weren’t thrilled at first, many joined in, and the unspoken desire to out-do other neighbors soon led the neighborhood to become one of the most extravagant displays of over-the-top Christmas decorations in the U.S.
New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans may not get much snow, but The Roosevelt Hotel brings the “most wonderful time of the year” to life with a captivating installation that transforms the lobby into a “White Christmas Wonderland.” Walk through a tunnel of brightly lit branches and gorgeous chandeliers to warm up at the hotel’s famous Sazerac Bar.
The Caretta Center is located in the heart of Tokyo’s Shiodome city district. For the past 11 years, the shopping complex has hosted a light display during the Christmas season that has been heralded by some as one of the best light shows in the world. Now in its 12th year, the center’s show is inspired by Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” and features approximately 250,000 LED lights.
The glowing streets of Hogsmeade at Islands of Adventure and Diagon Alley at Universal Studios are not to be missed this holiday season. Until Jan. 6, you can experience the magic of the holidays at Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. These two Wizarding Worlds will host live Christmas-focused musical shows every night, featuring seasonal treats like hot butterbeer.
As the second-oldest operating amusement park in the world, Tivoli Gardens is one of Copenhagen’s must-see attractions. The holiday season merely heightens the appeal of this tourist haven. From November through the end of December, spruce trees decked with fairy lights, jolly Christmas music and rich seasonal delicacies abound throughout the grounds.
Manhattan , New York
While the iconic Rockefeller Center Christmas tree has been featured in countless holiday movie cameos, Rolf’s German restaurant in Gramercy Park is just as legendary (with the added benefit of being indoors). If the out-the-door lines that frequent the establishment during Christmastime intimidate you, don’t fret — Rolf’s keeps its decorations up until the end of May.
Shopping for presents during the Christmas season can be hectic. With displays like the one at Galeries Lafayette in Paris, though, the stressful task becomes a wonderful experience filled with holiday cheer and merriment. This year, the theme of the famed display is aptly titled “Spectacular Spectacular”
“Miracle on 34th Street” has been dazzling locals and tourists alike in Baltimore’s Hampden neighborhood since 1947 — the same year its eponymous movie debuted. From its humble beginnings, the festive block has worked tirelessly, bulb-by-bulb to become one of the best displays of Christmas lights in the country.
The freezing cold weather isn’t the only reason Moscow rivals the North Pole. Complete with myriad light tunnels, ice slides, Christmas trees and other decorative installations, the Russian capital’s annual “Journey into Christmas” festival truly encapsulates the spirit of the holidays.
San Francisco, California
Each year on Nov. 25, the Fairmont San Francisco opens its two-story, life-sized Gingerbread House in the hotel’s grand lobby. The edible construct stands impressively at 22 feet high and 23 feet wide, with more than 7,500 gingerbread bricks, hundreds of pounds of candy and more than a ton of royal icing — that’s over 2,000 pounds if you aren’t on the metric system.
Vienna is notably one of the most romantic places to celebrate the holidays — aka no place for someone with a heart two sizes too small. Although the original “December Market” dates back to 1294 there are over 20 Christmas markets held in the city today, so you and your loved one will have plenty of holiday festivities from which to choose.
Monte Carlo, Monaco
Casino Square transforms into this winter wonderland every year on Dec. 5. From the Christmas Market in Port Hercule to the Michelin-star restaurants, 5-star hotels and world-renowned casinos, Monaco is the ultimate luxury Christmas destination.
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