With only 7 days left until Christmas, hopefully you are just about done with your shopping, wrapping, and baking. If so, take time this week to go on a date night with your sweetie or plan a night out with pals to have drinks at one of the Miracle locations. Miracle is a holiday cocktail bar pop-up that is only open from Black Friday until Christmas Eve, and they are currently in 50 locations across the United States, Canada, Brazil, Panama, France, Greece, and China.
While many restaurants and bars may put up a tree or a bit of holiday decorations during December, Miracle pop-ups are covered with Christmas cheer from top to bottom and wall to wall. The ceiling is dripping with lights, the tables are covered with wrapping paper, and there is Christmas decor galore. I even read about one location that has a gingerbread house photo booth! The decorations are retro and kitschy, bringing forth feelings of cozy nostalgia.
Miracle does offer some snacks and small plates, such as charcuterie and cheese, manchego stuffed dates, spinach salad, Chex mix, cookies, and lamb meatballs. However, with merry names and holiday flavours, the real star of the show are the cocktails. Here are just a few drinks that caught my eye:
Snowball Old Fashioned – gingerbread bourbon, wormwood bitters, lemon zest
You’ll Shoot Your Rye Out [Ha! Get it?] – pumpkin spiced rye whiskey, Budweiser-marshmallow syrup, egg
Fa La La La La, La La La La – gin, aquavit, hazelnut liqueur, cardamom, vanilla, lemon, egg white, club soda
Despite having a fear of heights, I strangely enough really enjoy going on rooftops, as they offer amazing views of the city below. So imagine my excitement when I found out that some buildings have ice skating rinks on their roofs! Festive fun + up high skyline views = a fantastic way to spend an afternoon or evening during the holiday season. Read on to find out more about some of these sky high rinks.
Perched on Ponce, The Roof at Ponce City Market boasts of breathtaking views of Atlanta’s skyline. I can absolutely attest to this, as I was married on the PCM rooftop 10 stories up. [What? You didn’t think an elf would have a destination wedding away from the North Pole?] Enjoy skating in this winter wonderland that includes seasonal treats, warming drinks such as hot toddies, and festive decor. After you’re finished skating, you could walk over to Skyline Park for skee ball and other games or 9 Mile Station, PCM’s rooftop beer garden with fire pits and fabulous food.
Skate the Sky
Ponce City Market
675 Ponce de Leon Avenue NE
Atlanta, GA 30308
Admission: $25 adults, $15 kids [includes admission to Skyline Park]
Skate Rental: Included!
Hours: Varies by day. Click here for details. 21+ after 5pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
The first rooftop ice skating surface in London, Skylight sits atop of a 200-year-old building from which you can see The Shard and The Gherkin. This would be a great spot for a date, as they offer wintery drinks, such as spice espresso martinis, mulled wine, and mulled cider. If that weren’t enough, they also have cheese fondue, chocolate fondue, mince pies, and Greek fusion food, including a Christmas burger and halloumi fries. Since admission is free, you could go to Skylight to simply enjoy the views and the food before they close for the season on 13 January 2018.
Tobacco Dock – Pennington Street Entrance
St. Katharine’s & Wapping
London E1W 2SF
+44 20 7680 4001
Skate Rental: £10
Hours: Open Thursday–Sunday. Hours vary by day. Click here for details.
Head to Whole Food Market’s flagship store in downtown Austin to skate on the roof between now and 15 January 2018. An Austin holiday tradition for the last 13 years, more than 16,000 folks visit the ice rink each year. If you get hungry or thirsty while skating, grab a drink or snack at the rink-side concession stand. Or you could pop into Whole Foods to do some shopping after getting in some wintery exercise.
Whole Foods Market Lamar
525 N Lamar Boulevard
Austin, TX 78703
With 360-degree views of the Potomac River, the Key and Arlington bridges, the Washington Monument, and the D.C. skyline, the roof of the Watergate Hotel is a sought-after destination for post-work drinks and date nights. For winter they have added a ice rink, along with warm cocktails like spiked hot chocolate and mulled wine, as well as toasty snacks such as soft pretzels and s’mores. If you want even more of a festive experience, book one of the Watergate’s cozy winter igloos.
Top of the Skate
The Watergate Hotel
2650 Virginia Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20037
Skate Rental: $20 adults, $10 kids
Hours: Open Wednesday–Sunday. Hours vary by day. Click here for details.
High above the Las Vegas Strip, The Ice Rink at The Cosmopolitan has everything: 4,200 square feet of real ice, s’mores, fire pits, twinkling lights, festive drinks, hearty food, and light snow showers. What’s more, on Mondays, they play holiday movies on their 65-foot digital marquee. Upcoming films include The Santa Clause and The Santa Claus 3: The Escape Clause on the 18th, Mickey’s Magical Christmas and How the Grinch Stole Christmas on Christmas Day, and Frozen and The Polar Express on New Year’s Day.
The Ice Rink
3708 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, NV 89109
Skate Rental: $20 [$10 for local residents and hotel guests Tuesday–Thursday]
Hours: Varies by day. Click here for details.
Probably because I don’t speak Russian, I was unable to find much information about BMW Rink 354, but I just had to share some photos and a video of this rink, as it’s on the 86th floor of Moscow City OKO Tower. That’s 354 meters up! Offering an unobstructed panorama of Moscow, I’m sure the highest rink in Europe is really neat, but personally, I don’t think I could ever skate there because I’m so scared of heights. Check it out!
Despite being the most wonderful time of the year, the holidays can also be rather stressful. With cookies to bake, trees to trim, gifts to purchase and wrap, friends and family to visit, and much more, it can sometimes seem as though there aren’t enough hours in the day! This holiday season, consider taking a break to relax and recentre by attending a festive yoga class. Besides getting some much needed exercise, you should also feel more mindful, tranquil, and composed after participating in one of the classes I’ve highlighted below.
YogiWino’s event this Thursday is part yoga class, part holiday market, part party! After an hour-long yoga session, you can sip on local wine and enjoy appetizers while you peruse the wares from some of YogiWino’s favourite Ottawa vendors and artists—all while listening to live Christmas music. They will also be accepting donations for the local food bank, and anyone who makes a donation will be entered into a drawing for a prize from Busy Bees Home Organizing.
Atlantans can head half an hour southwest to attend Holiday Presence: A Restorative Offering in Newnan, GA. This workshop focuses on self care during the busy holiday season. Calm your nervous system in a gentle 75-minute restorative yoga session. Afterwards, make a custom holiday aromatherapy blend in a roller, dropper, or spray that will help keep you relaxed all the way to Christmas. Then learn about healthy holiday snacks from Chef Nichole Langford, try some tasty samples, and take home some recipe cards.
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Yoga… and goats? Yep, that’s right! De-stress by doing yoga on a farm while baby goats cozy up next to you, climb on your back, or simply make you smile. What’s more, the goats will be in festive costumes, and the farm will be decorated for the holidays. This would be a fabulous event for the entire family. Goat Yoga Nashville is hosting 10 more events between now and Christmas, so you can find one that fits your schedule. Naaa…maste!
Wear your tackiest holiday sweater and hop on your mat with the Arlington Yoga Centre for an all-levels session. After class enjoy a pint of beer—perhaps the brewery’s own Legal Holiday Ale. If that weren’t enough, they will also be giving out a prize for the best sweater, have a backdrop for snapping some photos, and be accepting donations for Toys for Tots.
If you live in London, Christmas Yoga, Cocktails & Canapés would be a fun festive activity to partake in with your friends. Start the evening with a power yoga class; you will be lead through a dynamic flow that is suitable for all levels while listening to Christmas tunes. After the session, join your classmates for a private cocktails and canapés party at Farm Girl. Pre-booking is essential, so make sure to buy your tickets today.
While I would love to feature loads more holiday yoga classes, I have to get back to my other elfy duties. But, since I really just can’t help myself, after the jump you’ll find info on a handful more yoga workshops happening this month.
If you recall my posts about Christmas tree lightings and holiday boat parades, you may have gathered that I’m quite fond of Christmas light displays. Simply looking at some glowing, twinkling lights gets me feeling the warm fuzzies of Christmas. I also love all things nature: trees, plants, flowers, you name it. So, what do you get when you mash these two interests together? A gorgeous, glowing garden extravaganza! If you’re like me, you’ll enjoy immersing yourself in a spectacular holiday light experience at a botanical garden this winter.
Garden Lights have returned to the Atlanta Botanical Garden for the sixth year. Among the various light displays, you’ll enjoy walking through the Tunnel of Light and watching the Orchestral Orbs. If you plan on visiting the garden with your kids, nieces, or nephews, make sure you check out the model train. The holiday light exhibit will be on display until January 7, 2017.
Click here for tickets and here for transportation info for the Atlanta Botanical Garden.
Located just outside of Charlotte in Belmont, the plethora of holiday happenings at the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden will give everyone in your family a boost of Christmas cheer. More than 600,000 lights illuminate the gorgeous grounds, transforming trees and fountains into a twinkling wonderland. Some other festive activities include horse-drawn carriage rides, marshmallow roasting, live holiday music, and a visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus.
Click here for tickets and here to see the live music and food truck schedule at the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden.
If you’re in Wilmington, DE or Philadelphia, celebrate the holidays at Longwood Gardens with enjoyable activities both indoors and outside. As you walk the grounds, your senses will be engulfed with sights and sounds of the season, such as twinkling lights illuminating the night sky, songs of strolling carolers filling the air, and tunes from daily organ performances. If you start feel chilly, simply stop by a fire pit to warm up!
Garden Glow has decked out the Missouri Botanical Garden with millions of Christmas lights that will be on display until January 1, 2017. As you stroll through the garden, there are several spots for you to stop and strike a pose with your loved ones for a festive photo. To get a glimpse of the dazzling lights, watch the video above.
As the holidays approach every year, Bellevue Botanical Garden transforms into a colorful and magical wonderland. Critters are hidden throughout the grounds of this garden, so children will have fun spotting them among the lights. (For example, see Charlotte’s Web in the image above.) Garden d’Lights is on display until December 31, so make plans to visit before it closes for the season.
Click here for tickets and here for transportation info for Garden d’Lights.
A holiday activity that will leave the young and young at heart filled with awe is a trip to see a model train display. At first sight, it’s quite impressive to see the trains, buildings, and various miniatures. Then when you consider how many hours it takes to construct each set and the skill required to wire the circuits, it’s really amazing. I’ve rounded up a handful of train displays for you to visit, and since words cannot adequately convey how grand these various exhibits are, there are videos for you to enjoy!
EnterTRAINment Junction is home to a humongous model train display and other interactive activities for children. After oohing and aahing over the life-like trains, structures, and landscapes, kids can head over to Imagination Junction and play. You might even get to say “Hi” to Santa and Mrs. Claus while you’re there. EnterTRAINment Junction is open year-round, but the holiday fun will end on January 1st.
Click here to purchase tickets and here for EnterTRAINment Junction’s hours of operation.
What began as one man’s hobby turned into a local tradition, and in 1961 the Choo Choo Barn opened its doors to the public. Fast forward to the present, the crew at Choo Choo Barn transforms their giant model train display, Traintown USA, into a wintery wonderland each November. Miniature houses and buildings are donned with holiday decorations, and the surrounding landscape gets a dusting of snow. While you’re there, try and see how many hidden Santas you can find in the display. (Hint: There’s a Santa for each year the Choo Choo Barn has been open.)
Click here the Choo Choo Barn’s rates and hours of operation.
The holiday trains at Homestead Gardens are a Christmas tradition that locals eagerly anticipate every year. Whether you want to share the experience with your out-of-town guests or pass the tradition on to your children, your trip to Homestead Gardens will be a memory you’ll cherish for years to come. The trains are set up in the Davidsonville store and will continue to be on display through the end of December.
Click here for Homestead Gardens’ hours of operation.
If you live near Blackstone, Virginia, then you’ll want to head over to Bevell’s Hardware to marvel at their holiday train display. Admission is free, so this Christmas outing is budget friendly! The trains will be rolling away for the season soon, so make sure you visit before January 8, 2017.
Click here for the hours of operation of Bevell’s Hardware.
With over 1,000 trains, 9 miles of track, and 250,000 figurines, it’s no wonder why this fascinating exhibit attracts more than one million people each year. Miniatur Wunderland is the largest model railway in the world and is still growing. The exhibit currently has 9 completed sections that include: Italy, Scandinavia, USA, Middle Germany, and more! In the video above, you’ll get a glimpse of the marvelous model displays, but it doesn’t do justice to how amazing Miniature Wunderland is. Something this spectacular necessitates a visit! If you’re unable to go to Miniatur Wunderland this year, click here to enjoy another video.
Click here for tickets and here for Miniatur Wunderland’s hours of operation.