Snow Birds’ Delight: First Class Deals and Southern Hemisphere Holidays
Many North Americans plan to spend the holiday season abroad this year, traveling for business on first class flights or looking for warmer vacation climates. South America and Oceania are popular regions, offering balmy summer temperatures and even a few magnificent holiday light displays. We list some of our favorite towns in South America and Oceania to provide a little holiday flair.
Gramado goes all out with its Natal Luz, or Christmas of Lights, event. The two-month festival boasts a “magic” 99-foot Christmas tree that allows visitors to experience what the world looks like from inside the tree. Parades, choreographed light shows, concerts, theatrical productions and games are a few of Natal Luz activities, but they’re often eclipsed by the event’s Nativitaten floating light show and concert.
The entire town gets into the act in Medellin, with locals decorating their yards and homes in anticipation of “The Lighting.” During “The Lighting,” the town decks out parks, streets and thoroughfares with thousands of creative illumination displays. At a popular spot along the Medellin River, 15 million lights illuminate an amazing wonderland of events, with street vendors and performers joining in to create a nightly celebration.
When it’s frigid winter in the U.S., it’s summer in Australia, and it’s a great time to enjoy cheap business class fares to the Southern Hemisphere. Even with its warm weather, Melbourne celebrates the holidays in exuberant style, lighting most public buildings and projecting a stellar Christmas show onto Town Hall. In Federation Square, the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest LEGO Christmas tree is the center of the action, and dozens of musical performances, art displays, outdoor movies and family activities occur around it.
We’ve saved the best for last. Canberra is home to the world’s largest Christmas light display in the world, according to Guinness Book of World Records. Seventy-five miles of cable support millions of LED lights in the Petrie Plaza Mall, featuring a walk-through light display. Throughout town, locals and visitors revel in the month-long celebration that includes exciting night markets, an ice castle, concerts and countless other activities and displays.
Whether you take that long-awaited business class flight to Australia or enjoy wintering in South America, Christmas decorations and lights offer a little touch of home to a foreign country. Wherever you are this holiday, take a few minutes to enjoy the local celebrations and decorations.