Gingerbread houses, dazzling light displays and Christmas trees made of macarons and recycled bottles are among this season’s holiday attractions. Here’s where to see them.
O, CHRISTMAS TREES Visit any major U.S. city and you’re sure to find a tree most fair and lovely. In Washington, D.C., the National Christmas Tree stands on the Ellipse at President’s Park near the White House. Chicago’s official Christmas tree is at Millennium Park after decades at Daley Plaza. Boston’s Faneuil Hall hosts a tree and a light-and-sound show called Blink! In Charlotte, North Carolina, the Ritz-Carlton displays a 17-foot sustainable tree made from 789 recycled green plastic bottles and three trees made from thousands of colorful macaron cookies.
THEME PARKS The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Walt Disney World in Florida, featuring millions of lights synchronized to holiday music, will end after this year. Universal Studios Hollywood in Los Angeles features the Grinch and live Grinchmas shows. In Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas offers 4 million lights, Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer and holiday shows, including “A Christmas Carol.” All run through Jan. 3.
GINGERBREAD, LIGHTS AND MORE In Wheeling, West Virginia, Oglebay Park hosts its annual Winter Festival of Lights featuring 80 displays. In Missouri, Branson’s Silver Dollar City features more than 5 million lights and 1,000 decorated trees as part of An Old Time Christmas festival through Dec. 30. Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks area’s Enchanted Village of Lights covers 27 acres on the Laurie Fairgrounds. In Asheville, North Carolina, the historic Biltmore House displays a 34-foot tree in the Banquet Hall, with a 55-foot Norway spruce lit up outside by 45,000 tiny white lights.
NEW YORK CITY After seeing the traditional holiday fare (the tree at Rockefeller Center, the Radio City Christmas Spectacular), head to Lower Manhattan for Luminaries, a colorful, choreographed light show at the Winter Garden near One World Trade. Also check out the New York Botanical Garden’s holiday train show in the Bronx, with model trains chugging past replicas of landmarks; the Christmas Lights Tour of Brooklyn’s Dyker Heights; and a village with 1,050 gingerbread houses at the New York Hall of Science in Corona, Queens.