Universal Orlando Resort Announces Brand-New Harry Potter Holiday Experiences!

There is no denying that theme parks pull out all the stops during the holidays. This year, the most wonderful time of the year will include one of the most immersive theme park experiences ever created. Universal Orlando Resort announced today that a new Christmas experience is coming to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter as part of its destination-wide Holiday celebration. The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter Christmas Christmas is a special time in the Harry Potter series, and fans from around the world have long wanted to enjoy that part of J.K. Rowling’s compelling story for themselves. This November, the new Christmas experience in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will give guests a special opportunity to see, feel and even taste what it’s like to celebrate the magic of Christmas in J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World. As night falls, a magical holiday transformation of Hogwarts castle will take place right before guests’ eyes.  Incredible state-of-the-art projection mapping and special effects will wrap the iconic castle – bringing holiday spirit and memorable Christmas moments from the Harry Potter series to life like never before. Festive décor like ornate garlands will line the streets of both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley.  Each storefront will be decked out with uniquely-themed decorations, and guests will enjoy special holiday themed food, drink and entertainment. Also look for Universal’s Holiday Parade with incredibly-detailed floats and balloons, and beloved characters like the mischievous Minions from Despicable Me, popular DreamWorks characters from Madagascar and Shrek – and even Santa Claus himself.  Universal is partnering with Macy’s, the global leader in balloon entertainment, to bring this new parade experience to life. Universal Orlando’s resort-wide Holidays celebration – including Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s – will run daily from November 18, 2017 to January 6, 2018. Access to the festivities is included in regular admission to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.

REVIEW! Port Orleans Riverside Standard Room

Located adjacent to Epcot at Walt Disney World, Orlando Port Orleans Riverside transforms guests to the South with its beautiful plantation style building and charming walkways and bridges.  We recently stayed at the resort for 4 nights – 2 nights in the Royal Room and 2 nights in the standard room.  Here is that tour! Our room was on the main floor of the Magnolia building. Walt Disney World Port Orleans Riverside Magnolia block Staying in one the Royal Rooms for the first half of the trip was good because it gave us a bit of contrast between the room categories.  The Royal room was definitely over the top with the fireworks headboards and princess additions throughout.  The standard room had a cleaner, more traditional feel which my boys liked. Walt Disney World Port Orleans Riverside standard roomAcross from the entrance is a small sitting table with two seats for quick meals. Walt Disney World Port Orleans Riverside standard room - sitting areaThe window in the front of the room has a box in front of it that houses the air conditioning unit.  To dress it up a bit Disney has added a quartz topper that worked perfectly as a place to dock my luggage.  Because we were on the ground floor we could hear families walking by early in the morning but it wasn’t too distracting. The room itself had 2 queen beds with scenes from around the resort painted on the headboards. Walt Disney World Port Orleans Riverside standard room The hutch in the middle of the room holds the flat screen TV, a single serve coffee maker, ice bucket, fridge, and 3 drawers to store your clothes. Walt Disney World Port Orleans Riverside standard room - TV hutch Beside that is a bench to hold a second suitcase and a rack to hang your jackets. I love the bright and airy bathroom with its double vanity and mirrors.  This was perfect for us because my husband could shave while I did my hair in the morning. Walt Disney World Port Orleans Riverside standard room - double vanity The toilet and bathtub are in the room next to the vanity – which was nice because it means 2 people can get ready while the third showers. Walt Disney World Port Orleans Riverside standard room - bathtub The bathroom also has a curtain that can be drawn if you’re getting ready early and don’t want to wake up the whole room. In the corner of the room there is also a safe, hairdryer, iron and ironing board. Walt Disney World Port Orleans Riverside standard room - iron and safeThere is also enough space in that corner to allow you to iron in the vanity area so you don’t have to drag the whole unit out into the middle of the room. We loved the layout of Port Orleans Riverside and the charm of the property.  At just under $200/night it fit our budget and was located close to all the parks.    

Princess Announces Caribbean Princess Renovation

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Next week the Caribbean Princess will undergo an extensive two-week drydock in Freeport, Bahamas.  Debuted in 2004, this will be the third refurbishment the ship has undergone in 13 years.  New for 2017, Princess Cruise Lines will add Camp Discovery Youth & Teen Center, upgraded Movies Under the Stars, Princess Luxury Bed and interconnecting staterooms, just in time for the upcoming Europe summer and fall Caribbean seasons. The cruise ship will also be wired for the Ocean Medallion launch that will be available for the 2018 summer Caribbean season. “With new amenities catering to families, Caribbean Princess not only provides comfort and technology to stay connected but enriching experiences that can be shared together as a family or in our new Camp Discovery Youth & Teen Center – all renovated with the goal of helping our guests create lifelong memories,” said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. New Caribbean Princess family-friendly features include: Camp Discovery on Caribbean Princess Caribbean Princess will now offer a reimagined youth center – Camp Discovery – created in partnership with Discovery Consumer Products as part of the cruise line’s Discovery at Sea program. Catering to specific age groups, there are three center themes where kids and teens can make new friends and participate in activities specially designed to help them Discover, Play, Create and Huddle, including:
  • The Treehouse, ages 3-7 (formerly Pelicans): A bright, whimsical forest and animal-themed center including captivating creatures and hands-on activities for kids to focus on play time, creativity and the world around them.
  • The Lodge, ages 8-12 (formerly Shockwaves): Inspired by the great outdoors, this cozy center is filled with sports activities and fun places for kids to explore, hang out and lounge.
  • The Beach House, for ages 13-17 (formerly Remix) offers a contemporary surf-themed lounge, featuring a cool place for teens to hang out and socialize.
New youth and teen center programming includes MythBusters science activities with new hands-on challenges, featuring show star, Tory Belleci. In addition, new Camp Discovery destination-themed programs focus on Europe and the Caribbean to immerse young cruisers into the culture, nature, and customs of this region. Families traveling together will love the addition of 87 new interconnecting staterooms, offering more room and comfort for everyone to enjoy. A new HD Movies Under the Stars outdoor movie screen will offer a higher resolution picture with double the image quality of previous systems. Guests will also be able to enjoy lively concerts and hit blockbuster movies with more sound power, truer color, extreme wide angle viewing and smart contrast/brightness for optimal viewing any time of day. After all of the island excitement, a good night sleep is a must!.  The Caribbean Princess will be outfitted with 3,200 Princess Luxury Beds and luxurious linens. Developed in collaboration with board-certified sleep expert, Dr. Michael Breus and renowned HGTV designer Candice Olson, the bed combines the science of sleep with the pinnacle of design. In addition, Caribbean Princess offers Club Class Mini-Suites, the new premium stateroom category featuring VIP amenities and exclusive dining. This elevated mini-suite category features select perks including new Club Class Dining, a reserved dining area with expedited seating and expanded menu options as well as priority embarkation and disembarkation.

Disney Vacation Club Announces Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

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Disney fans looking for a new place to hang their hat while visiting Walt Disney World, Orlando will be excited to hear Disney’s Vacation club has announced that sales for Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, will begin on March 8 for current Disney Vacation Club Members with general sales following on April 5. Copper Creek Villas and Cabins at Disney's Wilderness Lodge rooms Copper Creek Villas & Cabins offers guests a new frontier for magical vacations where the comforts of home and the wonders of the wilderness are deeply rooted in the magic of Disney. Inspired by the mining and railroad history of the Pacific Northwest, the new resort will offer rustic elegance with a mix of modern designs to create a tranquil retreat. Copper Creek Villas and Cabins at Disney's Wilderness Lodge rooms “We’re excited to introduce Copper Creek Villas & Cabins to our Members and guests,” said Ken Potrock, senior vice president and general manager of Disney Vacation Club. “Whether it’s a quiet night spent in a cabin unwinding by the living room fireplace or venturing out into the endless action of nearby Magic Kingdom Park, Copper Creek Villas & Cabins is the perfect place for families to embrace the simple joys of nature and reconnect with each other for a lifetime of memories.” Copper Creek Villas and Cabins at Disney's Wilderness Lodge Copper Creek Villas & Cabins features 184 modern, nature-inspired vacation homes, including Deluxe Studios, one- and two-bedroom Villas, and three-bedroom Grand Villas, which sleep up to 12. Each unit adds the conveniences and comforts of home, such as well-appointed kitchen areas, expanded storage space for belongings and private patios or balconies with scenic views. Natural finishing touches throughout add a sense of nature to each room. Copper Creek Villas & Cabins will also include 26 all-new luxurious waterfront cabins. Sleeping up to eight and featuring two bedrooms, two baths and large dining and living room spaces, the cabins’ floor-to-ceiling windows, exposed wooden beams and interior-exterior stone-hearth fireplace bring the beauty of the outdoors in, offering plenty of room for families. After an exciting day at the nearby theme parks, guests can return to their porch to take in the fresh air and relax in the built-in hot tub, and for some, enjoy the Electrical Water Pageant on Bay Lake and firework views from the Magic Kingdom. Copper Creek Villas and Cabins at Disney's Wilderness Lodge The resort is still under construction with a scheduled opening date of July 17. Guests will love that it is just a water-taxi ride away from Magic Kingdom Park. Save

8 Tips For Taking Better Vacation Photos

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I will fully admit I am a picture addict. It’s not uncommon for me to take a couple thousand photos while away on a week long vacation. I love putting photo albums together of our trips and create a yearbook for my family that includes hundreds of pictures from our adventures. Over the years the way I take pictures has evolved.  I have also added a variety of cameras to my arsenal to ensure I’m always prepared.  Go-pro, drone, SLR, camcorder…  We bring a lot of gear, but we also bring home a lot of very cool memories. 8 Tips For taking better vacation photos Here are 8 tips I use to take better vacation photos.

Take the picture when you see it.

Never think you’re going to come back. If you see it take the picture to ensure you have it. Often you come back a different route, the lighting may have changed or you get distracted.  Many times, my favorite pictures are ones I’ve taken on the first day of a trip when I’m fresh and excited.  I appreciate this when I get home and look back on the vacation.

Look back!

When you visit a new destination you can go into ‘what’s next’ mode – anxiously looking around the next corner to see what vista or sight is ahead.  But, some of the best photos I have taken have been of what’s behind me because it’s an accumulation of everything you’ve seen so far but from a different perspective.  This hit me a couple of years ago while we were visiting Watkins Glen.  As we walked around each corner, the view was more and more majestic, but when I looked back I was equally impressed. Watkins Glen State Park, NY

Find a new angle

Don’t be afraid to get on the ground, hold your camera over your head or shoot through objects to get the shot.  I love the Bellagio fountain in Las Vegas and I have many photos of it from the front.  It wasn’t until I was visiting on my own this past Fall that I realized you could actually take photos of it from behind as well.  This was exciting because I was able to get the Paris tower and the fountain together! Bellagio Fountain with Paris hotel in background I have also found that dropping the camera down can get a different perspective of a shot, as does holding it over my head.  I have also shot beautiful houses through a gate or window and like capturing spaces from a side view.

Forget the filters

In this day in age, filters are way overused and often ruin a beautiful photo. If the lighting is off do a fine adjustment to bring out the details you want to feature.

Go back at night

Often when we travel we retire for the night and don’t think about capturing a location at night.  This can be the best time because often you can get a string of buildings lit up or the reflection of a city in the water. Years ago when we went camping at Letchworth State park, I headed down to the main Falls just after the kids went to bed and was excited to see them lit up.  It was literally me and one other couple standing there taking pictures, which was a dream because during the day it’s hard to get a picture without a pile of people crowding your shot.  Plus, the way they lit the falls at night really brought out every break point in the water’s course. Letchworth State Park at night

Set time aside to navigate just for the intention of taking pictures

Often when I visit a resort I will wake up around 6am just to wander around the property to capture it without the kids or crowds distracting me.  I also prefer photos and video of a resort without crowds of people all over the place.  It looks nicer for articles and I like those photos for my photo albums and to frame. Disney's beach club pier

Make a list

If you are visiting a destination and you’ve seen a picture online that you would like to replicate write it down. Make a list of the photos you would like to get so you have a point of reference to keep you on track when you are in the excitement of a trip.

Get a tripod

Even if it’s just a small one, keep one in your bag for times when you want to get a group picture and there isn’t someone around or just want to ensure the shot you get is stable. Often if you are zooming right in on something it’s hard I get a stable shot. Having a tripod reduces these issues.

Asheville North Carolina Named the #1 destination in the US to visit in 2017

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Asheville, North Carolina has been on my list of places to visit for years. The mountains, charm of the city and local attractions all make it a great location to visit and explore. It appears it will only more popular now that Lonely Planet has named it the #1 destination to travel to in 2017. Asheville NC Nature seekers will love the short hike to the top of Craggy Pinnacle along the Blue Ridge Parkway for mountain views or enjoying a picnic near the top of Mt. Mitchell. Those looking for more adventure can ride down the chilly waters of Sliding Rock in Pisgah National Forest, ride the rapids on the Nantahala River or canoe down the French Broad River. And if you’re looking to get away from it all you can rent a cabin or pick your own produce at a local farm. The big draw for me, however, is the famous Biltmore Estate. Biltmore Estate Asheville NC Created by George Vanderbilt in 1895 as a retreat reminiscent of the grand castles and estates of France and Britain, the Biltmore is America’s largest home with four acres of floor space and a total of 250 rooms in the house including 33 bedrooms for family and guests, 43 bathrooms, 65 fireplaces, three kitchens. Beyond Biltmore House and grounds is The Biltmore Legacy, a permanent exhibit hall displaying personal artifacts and stories of the Vanderbilt family. Asheville is also well known for being an arts and crafts mecca. If you are looking for something unique, it’s likely there! The area boasts 4 areas where visitors can find art, quilts, blown glass and handcrafted ceramics. No trip is complete without a good home cooked meal. Asheville is home to a large variety of restaurants that run the gamut from Mediterranean to vegetarian, four-star cuisine to down-home cooking. I personally would love to try the Lobster Trap. Since opening in 2005 it has been the seafood destination for locals and visitors who are looking for favorites like the Maine Lobster Roll, crab cakes or their signature lobster trap feast that includes 24 Oysters, 2 Crab Cakes, Maple Bacon Scallops, 1 lb. Shrimp, 2 Lobsters, 1 lb. Alaskan King Crab Legs, 24 Mussels, 12 Clams, Corn and potatoes and Whole Baguette. Whew! Bring the family! The Lobster Trap Asheville NC  

Star Wars Day at Sea Returns to Disney Cruise Line in Early 2018!

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Star Wars fans rejoice!  Disney Cruise Line’s epic day at sea returns in 2018 with 15 special Disney Fantasy sailings to the Caribbean from January through April. Star Wars Day At Sea - darth vader with storm troopers Guests sailing on Fantasy for the Star Wars Day at Sea cruises will be transported to a galaxy far, far away to celebrate the legendary adventures from the Star Wars saga with Jedi, Wookiees, droids, Stormtroopers and others during the special day-long celebration. Star Wars Day At Sea - meeting Darth Vader “The Force is stronger than ever onboard the Disney Fantasy, and we are excited to bring back Star Wars Day at Sea in 2018,” said Karl Holz, president of Disney Cruise Line. “The popularity of the event over the past two years inspired us to continue immersing our guests in the Star Wars galaxy. Everyone, from the youngest Padawan to the most knowledgeable Jedi Master, is invited to enjoy this event of galactic proportions and make memories that will last a lifetime.” Star Wars Day At Sea Guests get a full day of Star Wars celebrations including a deck party spectacular with an extraordinary fireworks display, encounters with the characters, Star Wars-themed family and youth activities, unique food and beverage offerings and special merchandise. Star Wars Day At Sea - pool patrol with boba fett Throughout the day, guests can also enjoy some of these activities: Discover the Force
  • Characters from across the Star Wars galaxy are onboard for interactions and photos.
  • Guests are encouraged to bring costumes for a special gathering in the atrium lobby.
  • Guests indulge in the Star Wars films and television series, including all the films in the Star Wars saga, Star Wars Rebels and the latest installment in the new standalone series “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.”
  • Specialty Star Wars-themed beverages, snacks, dinner menu items and desserts please the palates of everyone from Padawans to Rebel pilots to Tusken Raiders.
 Learn the Ways of the Jedi Star Wars Day At Sea - jedi training
  • In “Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple,” Force-sensitive children learn the ways of the Jedi and use their new-found skills in a final face-off with Darth Vader and the Seventh Sister.
  • Star Wars-themed arts and crafts, games and activities are offered throughout the day in all youth spaces for younglings to explore their powers.
  • Kids and families test their knowledge during Star Wars trivia games.
“Summon the Force” Star Wars Day At Sea - fireworks on the pool deck
  • The epic day at sea concludes with the “Summon the Force” deck celebration where guests unleash the Force during games, music and a galactic dance party.
  • The grand finale features legendary Star Wars characters, pyrotechnics, stunts, special effects and a stunning fireworks display accompanied by John Williams’ iconic music.
Star Wars Day At Sea Star Wars Day at Sea will only be on 15 Disney Fantasy seven-night Caribbean cruises sailing from Port Canaveral, Fla. Those dates are: Western Caribbean departing Jan. 6, 20; Feb. 3, 17; March 3, 17, 31; and April 14, 2018,  visiting Cozumel, Mexico; Falmouth, Jamaica; Grand Cayman, and Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay. Eastern Caribbean departing Jan. 13, 27; Feb. 10, 24; March 10, 24; and April 7, 2018, visiting Tortola, St. Thomas and Castaway Cay.
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Carnival Corporation Announces Ocean Medallion Guest Wearable Device

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This week it was announced that Princess Cruises will be the first Carnival Corporation brand to feature the Ocean Medallion™, a wearable device powered by a first-of-its-kind interactive technology platform that enables a new level of personalization for guests onboard their cruise ships. Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald unveiled the Ocean Medallion during his opening keynote at CES 2017. “We are in the business of providing our guests incredible vacation experiences that create memories that they will cherish for a lifetime,” said Jan Swartz, president, Princess Cruises. “Ocean Medallion Class will deliver an elevated cruise vacation experience by connecting people, places and cultures from around the world in a more profound way. The service Princess guests have always loved will be amplified by the Ocean Medallion.” Princess Cruises to Debut Ocean Medallion Class Created to eliminate the room key, the Ocean Medallion is a personal digital experience concierge accessible by all guests using interactive displays throughout the ship, on stateroom TVs or via guests’ own mobile devices. For example, guests can find their way to venues around the ship; make reservations at the Lotus Spa, specialty dining restaurant, and shore excursions; arrange celebrations; view photographs; learn about the destinations they will visit and activities at each port of call and more. The Ocean Compass via Ocean Concierge will invite guests to experiences based on their individual needs, wants and desires. Similar to the Smart Bands vacationers use while visit Disney Properties, The Ocean Medallion has no on-off switch, no charging, no menu to navigate. Unlike anything in the industry, it can be worn as a pendant on a wristband in a clip or simply placed in a pocket to reveal enhanced services and personalized experiences without guests having to push a button or take any action.  It is also waterproof so you don’t have to worry about taking it off when you swim or shower. Carnival Corporation Announces Ocean Medallion - Guest Wearable Device Some of the initial service innovations include:
  • Ocean Ready: The Ocean Medallion expedites embarkation as required information is added to the guest profile at home.
  • Stateroom Access: The Ocean Medallion will also unlock a guest’s stateroom door – replacing the key card and its sign and sail functions.
  • HERE and NOW™: Guests can place dining orders and have them delivered to their current location. For example, by using the Ocean Compass guests can order select food and beverages from a lounge chair and not miss a moment of Movies Under The Stars. While Stargazing with Discovery at Sea™ on the top deck, parents can order and surprise the kids with hot chocolate without interrupting a moment of the family fun.
  • THERE and THEN™: Guests can place a beverage order and have it delivered to where they plan to be at a designated time. For example, guests wanting to enjoy a glass of wine at the theater can place an order prior to the show and it will be delivered to them at their seat.
  • Crew at Your Service: With the OCEAN Medallion, from the moment you embark, your experiences will be curated in alignment with your preferences allowing the crew to assist at all times. For example, a room attendant or bartender will have the ability to assist a guest with booking Lotus Spa services or specialty dining reservations.
  • Ocean Navigate: Accessed through the Ocean Compass, guests can learn the whereabouts of their family as they enjoy activities throughout the ship and be guided seamlessly in finding their way around the ship. Friends and family will also be able to easily communicate with each other through seamless messaging service.
Look for the Ocean Medallion Class™ to be available November 13, 2017, onboard Regal Princess, followed by Royal Princess and Caribbean Princess in early 2018.

Underwater Drone Provides First Images of USS Arizona Since Its Sinking 75 Years Ago

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Though nearly an entire generation has lived and died since the day Pearl Harbor was bombed, those that were alive at the time remember it well. Among the most intensely affected were the families, friends, and shipmates of the USS Arizona, which was bombed and sank that day. It hasn’t been seen since, but technology recently gave us a peek of what it looks like underwater. The footage was aired to commemorate the bombing’s 75th anniversary. Deep Trekker At USS Arizona Hawaii Submerged in a shallow harbor off Honolulu, the ship was long ago deemed too damaged to salvage. Oil still seeps from the wreckage – an estimated 9 quarts each day, which are often referred to as the “tears of the Arizona.” Remains of the fallen men were not seen in the ominous footage, but more than 30 surviving crew members have had their ashes scattered above the site so they could rejoin their brethren. What you can see is the years of sediment and sludge covering nearly every surface. Underwater ROV exploring the USS Arizona “The phone was there on the desk, and the lightbulb was in the socket. It’s just kind of eerie,” said surviving crewman, Donald Stratton, upon seeing the footage. “I never thought you could see something like that 75 years later.” Underwater ROV Looking at Cabinet USS Arizona It would not have been seen without the help of useful ROV with underwater camera. The internal structure is just too dangerous and too damaged for divers to explore. But the remote-controlled drone managed to get inside and send images back to the explorers. They hope to use the information to preserve the site for future generations. It is an important part of American history, after all. Underwater ROV Looking at Stairs USS Arizona “The National Parks Service, along with a team of companies, such as Etrack, Autodesk, and others are aiming to develop a baseline comparison model in order to understand how the steel ship continues to change as it rests in the salt waters of Hawaii,” said a spokesperson for Deep Trekker. “The mission is important to ensure this active grave site remains an intact memorial for years to come.” But the implications of the footage goes much further than just site preservation. It could help encourage future explorations of other wreckage sites. It could help us better understand our history, both on a national level and a whole world scale. It may even serve as a sense of encouragement for future generations, pushing them to explore areas we once thought impossible to see. “Underwater drones provide a way for people to see and interact with history,” Sam Macdonald, Deep Trekker’s president, said. “We hope that this expedition inspires other citizen scientists to start searching and discovering the many mysteries our waterways hold.” Source, Source, Source

8 Must-See Holiday Attractions in Pennsylvania

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Tis the season to take a break from the usual hustle and bustle and enjoy some holiday cheer with friends. If you are looking for some yuletide cheer across the commonwealth, there are quite a few unique holiday attractions in Pennsylvania that you can check out! “Nothing shines like Pennsylvania during the holiday season. From lighted walking trails to glimmering shops, holiday spirit is bright across the Keystone State,” said Carrie Fischer Lepore, Deputy Secretary of the Office of Marketing, Tourism, and Film, Department of Community and Economic Development. “So bundle up, hit the road, and pursue your happiness at the various charming attractions open now across the state.” Eight of Pennsylvania’s must-see holiday attractions are:

Christmas Magic – A Festival of Lights; York, York County

This half-mile walking trail – accessible to anyone – wanders through a forest nestled on a quiet mountaintop and includes 600,000 Christmas lights, holiday scenes, train displays, and more. The event runs through Dec. 31, but is closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Shadrack Christmas Wonderland; Prospect, Butler County

The Shadrack Christmas Wonderland is the world’s largest drive-through, fully synchronized light and music show of its kind. Featuring hundreds of thousands of environmentally friendly LED Christmas lights, guests can sync their radio with the show. Shows are held nightly through Jan. 8, 2017.

Winter Lights Spectacular; Schnecksville, Lehigh County

This winter wonderland boasts giant snow globes, “snowballs” for children to toss, and milk and cookies with Santa. The event is open Wednesday to Sunday through Jan. 1, 2017, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.

Hershey Sweet Lights; Hershey, Dauphin County

NOEL in Hersheypark, is a light show featuring more than 200,000 dancing lights synchronized to Christmas music. Nightly shows take place every half hour starting at 5 p.m. in The Hollow of Hersheypark. Hershey Sweet Lights is a two-mile wooded driving path with more than 600 animated displays.

Illuminaire Nights in Scenic Skippack Village; Skippack, Montgomery County

Hundreds of candles line the pathways and retail spaces of picturesque Skippack Village and are joined by carolers. See the spectacle Wednesdays and Fridays until Dec. 23.

Winter Flower & Light Show at Phipps Conservatory; Pittsburgh, Allegheny County

Built around a whimsical “Snow Day at Phipps” theme, the changing exhibit rooms will feature topiary penguins, bears and reindeer frolicking in showcases of artful LED lights, decorated fir trees, whimsical props, colorful poinsettias, aromatic paperwhites, showy amaryllis and more. From snowball fights and ice skating to cuddly blanket forts, the displays will revive the wonder of a winter’s day of childhood play in guests of every age. The site is open until Jan. 8, 2017.

Koziar’s Christmas Village; Bernville, Berks County

Celebrating 68 years of Season’s Greetings, Koziar’s Christmas Village has grown to a mammoth and extraordinary seasonal attraction drawing visitors from great distances as well as local families who have made Koziar’s part of their Christmas tradition for three generations. It is a seasonal attraction that includes displays, a train, a kissing bridge, and thousands of twinkling lights. It is open seven nights a week through Jan. 1, 2017.

Overly’s Country Christmas; Greensburg, Westmoreland County

Overly’s Country Christmas, a nonprofit organization operated mainly by volunteers who are committed to creating holiday memories with a walk-around Christmas Village that’s filled with an array of old-fashioned traditions and treats.  Sing carols ’round the bonfire, revel in the model train display, have your picture taken with Santa (in the days before Christmas), take a horse drawn wagon/sleigh ride or shop for gifts in the C. Edgar & Sons General Store plus much, much more as you experience the warmth of this traditional Christmas Village!