Things to Do this Holiday Season

The holidays are here; some keep saying, “it came so fast.” I can agree with this. There was no delay in setting up displays of Christmas when Halloween ended. I think I see more Christmas decorations over Thanksgiving this year. It’s time to plan things to do this holiday season.

Go outdoors to see the beautiful holiday decorations that fill the city and small Christmas villages that resemble the North Pole. Get in your car for a family road trip or a romantic getaway during the winter break. Take a break from cooking this holiday season and have dinner at a restaurant. 

Or, if you prefer cooking, try out one of the recipes I have listed here. Let me know if you make something, and leave it in the comments. Buying gifts for others is not one of my favorites. I always get stuck trying to find the perfect gift for someone and get gift cards. I have a list of great gift ideas that everyone can use.

I researched and searched for the best 50+ Amazing Things to Do this Holiday Season!

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Family Friendly Vacation Deals

Key Ingram Photography

holiday dinner

Dining out for the Holiday

I am one of the lucky ones. When I say, “my husband does all the cooking,” people automatically think I cannot cook. This is not the case. I do not love cooking, but when the time comes, I enjoy trying new recipes and cooking for my family. My husband, on the other hand, loves cooking. This is his passion. He is the best, and I am not just saying this because we are married. Our guests love his food too. So, for the past 15 years, I have been spoiled by just supplying desserts or making my homemade stuffing for Thanksgiving.

For others and myself included, I thought about going out to dinner and having someone else cook, serve us, and not worry about dishes at the end of the night. Many restaurants have holiday meals planned, traditional and non-traditional, depending on what you want. If it were up to my daughter, she would choose her favorite, going to a nice restaurant that offers sushi. You can dine in or preorder your food and bring it back home.


I suggest placing orders or making reservations in advance. I would plan a month in advance. We waited until the last minute this year, and there are no reservations at a close restaurant. So we will be cooking dinner at home.

Here are a few of my favorite restaurants that are offering a Thanksgiving menu and other delicious food and desserts. 

NEW JERSEY


NEW YORK


PENNSYLVANIA

Holiday Light Displays

The holiday light shows, walking trails, and drive-throughs are gearing up. Amusement parks promise the biggest and most spectacular lights to amaze guests. I will be heading out to a few to see myself. I enjoyed visiting Turtle Back Zoo Free Holiday Lights in the past. This year they will have a meet and greet with Santa and ice carving demonstrations. Get aboard and book a train ride with Santa and some hot cocoa.


VRBO

I have a list of great places to visit for the entire family. I suggest checking the websites to see if you have to purchase tickets online, if there is parking, and special times and dates. Some destinations offer food and Christmas trees for purchase. Get your cameras ready, make some memories and get into the holiday spirit.


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Turtle Back Zoo

Key Ingram Photography

WALK

Shows


DRIVE

AMUSEMENT PARKS

TRAINS

Other Events


Shop now at Columbia.com!

snow tubing

Winter Fun

I don’t think it’s too cold to have fun skating on the ice, racing down the snowy hill on a tube, or skiing down some slopes. Last year I brought a pair of sleds and had fun. For a moment, I was one of the kids sliding down the hill, screaming and wiping out in a pile of snow. The best thing after is coming home to some warm cocoa. Get out and put on your ice skates, get a snow tube, or go skiing. If it’s too cold out and you prefer to stay indoors, check out https://thetravelingaquarian.com/rainy-days-fun-indoor-activities/

ICE SKATING


TripAdvisor

SNOW TUBING

SKI AND SNOWBOARDING

 

winter cabin

Plan Your Next Getaway

Looking for a holiday getaway for the weekend or an extended vacation? I have some beautiful resorts nestled in the mountains with dining and activities for the entire family. Or plan a weekend with friends and rent a cabin; I have always wanted to do this. Plan a romantic time with your significant other and cuddle up at the fireplace overlooking amazing views. Get outdoors for hiking, fishing, skiing, and tubing at these lovely destinations.

TIPS FOR THE PERFECT STAY

  • Check the Weather
  • Do you need a 4-wheel drive to access it when there’s snow?
  • Make an Itinerary
  • Have Meals at Your Cabin
  • Will you be able to stock up on or have easy access to food if you’re snowed in?
  • Add on Travel Insurance
  • Pack the Appropriate Clothing
  • Purchase Show and Attraction Tickets in Advance
  • Take Advantage of Cabin Amenities

WINTER ESCAPES

Tropical Getaways

Hawaii

If you’re looking for a tropical getaway, I would suggest visiting Hawaii. I know, you may be thinking Hawaii. Yes, Hawaii may be expensive during the holiday season, but I definitely suggest it for some who want to visit these beautiful islands. I had a wonderful first-time experience and went during the Christmas holiday. We spent 10 days here. I booked a hotel through Groupon too. Read about my experience.

https://thetravelingaquarian.com/visiting-hawaii-for-the-first-time/

I even found things to do with my family that didn’t break the bank. Check out my list of places to visit. https://thetravelingaquarian.com/things-to-do-in-hawaii-for-20-or-less/


Chichen Itza


Family Friendly Vacation Deals

Another favorite tropical holiday I suggest is visiting Mexico. I have been over ten times, and I will never get tired of visiting. There’s so much to do!  Visit All-Inclusive resorts where you don’t have to worry about meals and unlimited drinks are the best when booking a vacation. Have a friendly staff that greets you each time they see you with a smile. It makes your day even more enjoyable. Or check out some Vrbo’s and stay with family or friends. I have a list of my favorite places I visited.


Vrbo

pumpkin whoopie pie

Recipes from the Heart

It’s time to go to the secret stash of your family recipes. The recipes that have been passed down to you keep your family memories close at heart. For others, this may be your first time cooking for your family. The number one rule is to relax and not overthink when cooking. Enjoy what you’re doing with the thousands of cookbooks on shelves and Google.

You can prepare any dish. Here are some simple and tasty recipes to try this holiday season.

Jiffy Cornbread Dressing

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg. “JIFFY” Corn Muffin Mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup celery, chopped
  • 3/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 cups fresh mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1½ tsp. sage
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 5 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 8 oz breakfast sausage, cooked and drained

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease an 8” square pan. Combine muffin mix, 1 egg, and milk—Bake as directed on the package. Reduce heat to 350°F. Crumble cornbread on a baking sheet and bake for an additional 5 minutes or let set out to dry. In a separate pan, sauté celery, onion, and mushrooms in melted margarine or butter. In a separate bowl, combine 2 eggs, broth, sage, garlic powder, thyme, and pepper. Blend well. Stir in bacon, sausage, and sautéed vegetables. Fold in crumbled cornbread. Spread in a greased 8” square pan and cover with foil. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes. Remove the foil covering and bake for an additional 10 minutes. https://site.jiffymix.com/recipe/jiffy-cornbread-stuffing/

Key Ingram Photography

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Cream Cheese Filling

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt

Cookie Directions: Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugars until well creamed. Beat in eggs, pumpkin, and vanilla. Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a separate bowl. Add dry ingredients to the wet and stir until combined. Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto cookie sheets. Bake for 13-14 minutes or until the edges are slightly browned. Do not overbake. Let cool completely.

Filling Directions: Beat the butter and cream cheese with a mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla and salt, and powdered sugar until smooth. To assemble the whoopie pies, spread a thick layer of cream cheese filling on the bottom half of a cookie and top with the other half. https://chocolatewithgrace.com/cream-cheese-filled-pumpkin-whoopie-pies/

 

 

clutter free gifts

Clutter-free gifts

This list has been circulating across social media. As I stated at the beginning of this newsletter, I wasn’t good at getting gifts for others. But after looking through this list, I had a fresh new look at things. My daughter also told me, “no toys for the kids this year.” Of course, I already broke that rule and brought an early birthday gift for my grandson. Moving forward, I plan to purchase a few memberships, spa days, and other clutter-free gifts for family and friends.

For the complete list, click here! https://www.becomingminimalist.com/clutter-free-gift-ideas/

  • Comedy Club
  • Concert Tickets
  • Dinner Gift Card
  • Manicure/Pedicure
  • Massage
  • Movie Pass
  • Theater Tickets
  • Amazon Prime Membership
  • Art Museum Membership
  • Children’s Museum
  • Community Pool
  • Dollar Shave Club
  • Farm Share
  • State Parks
  • Theme Park
  • Baking
  • Cake Decorating
  • Coding
  • Cooking Class
  • Dance Class

Happy Holidays!

 

Key Ingram Photography

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3 Comments

  1. avatar
    Breyanna King says:

    I will definitely try some of these recipes! Thanks

    1. avatar

      I can’t wait to visit these fun places too!

  2. […] Traveling Aquarian and if you are following me, I’m here to take you on your next adventure. I have many holiday events listed from now until February. Some of my events are outdoors. You need to keep warm with the latest trends while you are […]

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Welcome! My name is Keyanna your travel guide. Photography is my passion and I want to show you through my lens, new adventures to explore. I'm here to bring you events, roadside attractions, shopping, dining, great vacations, and help bring mental awareness.

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