Photo: The Mission Inn Festival of Lights in Riverside, CA
Santa can stick with his sleigh. Anyone else eager to visit the country's best winter festivals in first-class style and comfort may want to charter a plane from Las Vegas with Cirrus Aviation’s robust fleet.
Forget about making a list and checking it twice. The readers of USA Today have already voted for their favorite festivals. You'll arrive well ahead of Santa's sleigh by enjoying the perks of a private jet.
November 10 to January 1
See how more than two million lights strung throughout James Island County Park make many family-friendly activities sparkle. Enjoy a sculpture made from more than 50 tons of sand, handmade gingerbread houses, mouth-watering treats from Santa's Sweet Shoppe, giant greeting cards created by local students, a Victorian carousel and a holiday train. You can also take a three-mile driving tour and see more than 700 light displays of all shapes and sizes or park the car and take a stroll through the Enchanted Forest.
November 17 and weekends to December 23
When you can't travel to the biblical Bethlehem, Christkindlmarkt in this Pennsylvania town may be a great way to put reason back into the season. Travel + Leisure has twice recognized this holiday market as one of the best in the United States. Shop for distinctive handmade gifts, including nutcrackers and collectibles from Germany made by more than 150 of the country's finest artisans. Or pull up a chair and enjoy ice-carving and glass-blowing demonstrations while listening to live Christmas music played by German bands.
November 18 to December 17
If you love Charles Dickens, you’ll gain a greater appreciation for him as Victorian England is recreated at the Dickens Fair. About 800 characters from the writer’s work roam winding streets amid strolling musicians and other live entertainers from the era. The aroma of roasted chestnuts in the air is a fitting prelude to British dishes that include fish and chips, bacon sandwiches, crumpets and Yorkshire pudding.
November 24 to January 6
Expect lights – more than 5 million of them– and see everything this California favorite has to offer. The attractions include horse-drawn carriage rides, ice skating, an expansive arts and crafts market and live entertainment featuring the region’s best-known talent. Out-of-towners are particularly drawn to the gingerbread dreams suites in gingerbread villages, decorated with a tree, stockings and (of course) gingerbread. And if you’re good? An elf will even tuck you in at night.
Friday, December 1 (3 to 11 p.m.) and Saturday, December 2 (noon to 11 p.m.)
Set in Balboa Park, the December Nights festival celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. The robust entertainment schedule includes food from around the globe at the International Christmas Festival at the House of Pacific Relations Cottages, music and dance presentations from the San Diego Junior Theatre and San Diego Civic Youth Ballet, and the Timken Museum’s annual Christmas tree displaying the exquisite Schlappi collection of Hord and Schlappi Christmas ornaments.
Charter a Plane from Las Vegas to a Top Winter Festival
Time to grab your jacket and head to one of these top winter festival locales. Call Cirrus Aviation at 702-472-9714 to charter a plane from Las Vegas and celebrate the winter festivities.