Day 12 of 25 Days of Christmas: Winter Wonderland (Holiday Activities For All Ages)
Nothing’s better than quality time spent with the ones you love during Christmas time. They warm our hearts, brighten our lives and are pros at making any event or activity 100 times better. Make friend and family time extra magical with these 5 holiday activities that are fun at all ages!
Ice Skating: Let your inner figure skater loose on an outing to the ice rink! This is honestly a fun thing to do year round, but there’s something special about those Winter Wonderland vibes that only exist between November and January. Especially charming are the outdoor ice skating rinks that pop-up during the winter months. San Diego has a good amount of options to choose from like the Hotel Del Coronado which has their annual Skating by the Sea, the Rady Children’s Ice Rink (which used to be at Horton Plaza, but is now in Liberty Station), and the enormous rink at Viejas Casino & Resort which is hailed the largest outdoor skating rink in Southern California. In Vegas there’s really only one outdoor skating option on The Strip, but there are some good ones spread out between Summerlin and Henderson. The Ice Rink at The Cosmopolitan’s Boulevard Pool, The Rock Rink at Downtown Summerlin, and Winter’s Village at Green Valley Ranch are the only places to go ice skating in Las Vegas — as far as outdoor ice rinks go that is. And of course New York has plenty of options as well. Some of the best places to go ice skating in New York include the infamous rink at Rockefeller Center, Central Park, the FREE ice skating rink at Bryant Park (YES FREE), and the all new Winterland Rink located on the roof of Pier 17.
The Nutcracker: There’s usually a fun Christmas movie to see every year and this year it’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. Enjoy the new Nutcracker movie with your favorite people by piling up in your cars, trucks, crossovers, or vans and caravan down to the local drive-in theater! Get the most out of the night by keeping an open car policy and allowing everyone to carhop back and forth between vehicles because really it’s more about the people you’re there with and the memories you’ll make than the movie itself.
Christmas Lights: Hands down, my most beloved Christmas pastime is seeing those die-hard neighborhoods that put up the most extravagantly gorgeous Christmas lights. My favorite neighborhood to see holiday lights is off of Lana Drive in Clairemont, San Diego by my grandma’s house (it’s pretty small, but it’s the perfect amount of extra and I hope they never stop decking the halls for the holidays). There’s also the classic Jingle Bell Hill in El Cajon. In Fresno, California (where I spent a large part of my adolescence) there’s Christmas Tree Lane, the most extravagant display of lights along one of the oldest and nicest rows of houses in Fresno. In New York there are festive lights all around the city, but it’s the infamous Holiday Lights in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn that always leaves me with the most FOMO ever because I haven’t gotten a chance to see it in person yet. I don’t have much to say about the holiday lights they have here in Vegas yet because I haven’t gotten the chance to see any (except for the one at the speedway, but I wasn’t a fan of that). The first few years that we lived here I was working retail at a mall on The Strip and needless to say it was pretty draining. I have all the time in the world this year though, so I’ll be checking some out and updating here soon! The ones I plan on checking out are Ethel M.’s Botanical Cactus Garden, Opportunity Village’s Magical Forest, Winter PARQ at The LINQ Promenade, Sam's Town Mystic Falls Park, Snow in the Square at Town Square, and of course the decorations of the Bellagio Conservatory.
Snow Days: What’s more festive than a White Christmas snow day with your nearest and dearest? Coordinate with everyone and plan a day or two in the mountains, snowboarding, skiing, and sledding. If budgets and schedules are tight try going for just the day. Pack up the hot chocolate, spiced cider, sandwiches and some snacks, drive up to the nearest snowy mountain, have a picnic in the car and play in the snow! There are bound to be some areas with walkable hills that you can sled on, and don’t forget to bring some carrots for your snowmen’s noses! Capture memories of everyone having snowball fights and making snow angels, and share them with everyone afterwards.
Build a Gingerbread House: If indoor activities are more your preference you could always opt for hosting a night of watching your favorite Christmas movies and handcrafting gingerbread houses. Get as many kits as you need, stock up on extra candy decorations, and tell everyone to bring a snack or bottle of wine and their favorite Christmas flick. I found a really good gingerbread house kit at Trader Joe’s, but they have pre assembled ones at Winco, Walmart, and Target that might be better for a gingerbread house building party.
How many of these holiday activities do you plan on doing this year? I myself plan on trying to tackle them all!