Where to View Magical Holiday Scenes

“Just 14 shopping days left until Christmas!”

If I had a dime for every time I heard someone say that yesterday, I would have enough money to finish my Christmas shopping.

It’s hard to escape the holiday hoopla now that we’re nearly halfway through December.  The sales, the crowds, the craziness in the mall parking lot don’t do much to get me into the Christmas spirit.  However, there are places you can visit to immerse yourself in the season, minus the commercial madness.  For example:

Wisconsin:  The city of Green Bay is not only home to the world-famous Packers; it’s also where you can walk through a winter wonderland filled with more than 250,000 holiday lights.  The Green Bay Botanical Garden’s illuminated extravaganza features horse-drawn wagon rides that take you through an enchanted icicle forest dripping with 10,000 white LED lights.  In addition, you can get up close and personal with a 60-foot caterpillar gleaming with 20,000 lights, plus twinkling flowers, butterflies, swans, dragonflies and other natural wonders, including a dazzling 7-foot setting sun and gigantic rainbow.

California:  You’re guaranteed a white Christmas in San Diego this holiday season if you head to SeaWorld’s popular SnowWorld exhibit.  That’s where you can have breakfast with Shamu and Santa.  Guests can also explore the theme park’s 6,500- square-foot indoor winter wonderland which features a giant play area for kids.  Other highlights include meet and greets with live reindeer, plus a special 4-D Polar Express show.

Maryland:  Head to Timonium, Maryland, and you will be sure to catch holiday fever.  The city’s Festival of Trees event allows you to shop for Christmas decorations while touring a fairyland forest featuring more than 600 decorated trees, wreaths and gingerbread houses.  Other treats for the senses include views of a holiday-themed Harry Potter house, tours of a toy train garden, and sounds of the season courtesy of live bands.


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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.