50+ Amazing Things to Do this Holiday Season

COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS

You know the saying, “things can always be worst.” There is always someone out in the world that is going through the same. Or tougher times. This year I had a few difficulties, but when I sit back and think. I am truly blessed and grateful. I have my health, family, a roof over my head, and food to fill my belly. At times all we can see is the materialistic side of life. We forget the things we take for granted. We forget to lend out a helping hand to people in need. We forget to say thank you, we forget how to stop and live “LIFE”.

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I was caught up in work that I was not spending time with my family because I was always busy. Now, I find time to balance family, work, and do things I love. I took time and put together over 50 amazing things to do this holiday season. For the person who is always cooking, consider sitting back and going out to eat for the holidays. Time to get 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. Make some easy recipes for holidays that are delicious.

Buying gifts for others is not my favorite. I always get stuck trying to find the perfect gift and end up getting gifts cards. I have a list of great gifts ideas that everyone can use.

holiday dinner

DINING OUT FOR THE HOLIDAYS

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 can throw it down in the kitchen. 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 with 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 do the cooking, 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. We waited until the last minute the year before and ended up cooking 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 are promising the biggest and 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 meet and greet with Santa and ice carving demonstrations. Get aboard and book a train ride with Santa and some hot cocoa.

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, COVID restrictions, 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


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WALK

Shows


DRIVE

AMUSEMENT PARKS

TRAINS

 

Other Events


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snow tubing

WINTER FUN

I don’t think it’s never 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.

ICE SKATING


TripAdvisor

SNOW TUBING

SKI AND SNOWBOARDING

winter cabin

Plan Your Next Getaway

Looking for a 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 along with friends and rent a cabin, this is something I have always wanted to do. Plan a romantic time with your significant other and cuddle up at the fireplace overlooking amazing views.

Get outdoors for some 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


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 to 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 don’t overthink when you’re cooking. Enjoy what you’re doing and 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 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 25 – 30 minutes. Remove foil covering and bake for an additional 10 minutes. https://site.jiffymix.com/recipe/jiffy-cornbread-stuffing/

 

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. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. 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, top with the other half. https://chocolatewithgrace.com/cream-cheese-filled-pumpkin-whoopie-pies/

 

clutter free gifts

CLUTTER-FREE GIFT IDEAS

This list has been circulating across social media. As I stated in 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 on 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 on purchasing a few memberships, spa days and a few 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!

THE TRAVELING AQUARIAN

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