Win a wintercation along Oregon Coast

This winter, take advantage of one of Oregon’s best-kept secrets — winter on the Coast. This is the season that the Coast reveals some of its most beautiful treasures.

Catch sight of great gray whales on their southern migration from the Bering Sea to the warm waters of Baja. Look for spouts from 24 designated whale-watching spots staffed with volunteers during Whale Watching Week in December.

Winter is also storm-watching season — time to curl up by the fire and catch the tremendous wave show going on outside. The calm weather that follows is perfect for agate hunting and beaching combing on freshly scoured sands.

Try your handcrabbing from the dock during Dungeness season, which peaks in December, or purchase a freshly caught crustacean from a Coast fish market.

Get out on the water and explore miles of kayaking trails. Winter’s higher water levels on Coast rivers, bays and estuaries make for great wildlife- and bird-watching from the boat. And for some indoor pleasure, warm up inside with a pint of Oregon craft beer from a growing number of fine Coast breweries.

Want to win an Oregon Coast Wintercation of your own? Enter to win a trip for two on a guided whale-watching charter from Newport Tradewinds, $100 to spend at Rogue Ales and a stay at the Elizabeth Street Inn. We’re also including tickets to the Oregon Coast Aquarium, Ripley’s Believe it Or Not, Undersea Gardens and Wax Works, and a couple of bowls of clam chowder at Mo’s.

Get inspired: Read more about some of our favorite Oregon Coast Wintercations.

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Legoland California offers Holiday Snow Days

Celebrate the holidays with us at these Special Events! Winter Nights festivities at 5-7pm every Saturday in December, plus December 22-23, 26-30. Nightly Tree Lighting at 5pm, now through December 25. Holiday Fireworks at 7pm on December 26-30. Kids’ New Year’s Eve celebration from 11:30am-6pm on December on December 31.

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Christmas markets entice visitors in Ireland

Christmas markets in Dublin and Belfast are bursting with unique gifts, festive spirit, fantastic craic, and adventure-shopping.

Fall under the spell of spicy mulled wine, the scent of gourmet food, Christmas carols and the spirit of jolly shoppers. Dublin is a magical place at Christmas.

The first city-center Christmas Market on St Stephen’s Green promises to be the jewel of Dublin’s festive calendar through Dec. 23.

More than 60 traditional wooden chalets line St Stephen’s Green Park, next to the famous Dublin shopping mecca of Grafton Street – itself a great Christmas destination – offering a unique selection of quality goods.
There’ll be everything from handcrafted gifts, spices and chutneys as well as gourmet crepes, bratwurst, chocolate fountains, Glühwein and other seasonal non-alcoholic drinks to enjoy. Entertainment from local choirs and carollers add to the festive spirit.

There‘s an amazing amount of events around Dublin too, everything from the Peter Pan panto at the Gaiety Theatre to Ireland’s largest Christmas ice rink at Christmas Wonderland to a Live Animal Crib and Carols by Candlelight at Christ Church Cathedral.

In Belfast, there’s the huge, lively Continental Market that transforms the City Hall lawns into a bustling village.
Almost 100 European traders offer something for everyone, including a wide selection of food, unique gifts, drinks and entertainment.

Everyone comes to chill out in the onsite bars serving the best local and European brews, and to sample exotic tastes like ostrich burgers and eggnog.

The Victorian-vintage St George’s Market was voted the UK’s Best Large Indoor Market 2014 by the National Association of British Market Authorities.

It runs an annual Christmas Craft Fair and opens for additional days during the Christmas period. Enjoy the experience of being at St George’s Market at Yuletide.

Rediscover the adventure of real-life market browsing.

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Universal Studios offers 20 Days of “Grinchmas”

Photo courtesy of Universal Studios Hollywod

Photo courtesy of Universal Studios Hollywod

It’s the most wonderful time of the year as Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal CityWalk deck the halls for a wintry calendar of cool holiday activities at The Entertainment Capital of L.A.

A very, merry Grinchmas returns to Universal Studios Hollywood as the theme park celebrates the Who-lidays with The Grinch, his faithful dog Max and a roster of Whos from the town of Who-ville.

“Grinchmas” runs weekends on Dec. 6-7 and 13-14, then continues daily from Dec. 19 through Jan. 3.

The Universal Plaza, an elaborate grand piazza at the heart of the theme park, will serve as the backdrop for the lighting of the towering “Grinchmas” tree – a whimsical centerpiece twisting and spiraling 60 feet above visitors and providing the ideal setting for merry holiday making memories, while The Grinch, his adorable dog Max and the WhovilleWhos entertain guests nearby with fun-filled photo opportunities.

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Guest of honor will win trip of a lifetime in London

There are seven days to go until the international search for London’s Official Guest of Honour ends. Launched last month (November 12) byVISITLONDON.COM, the official Visitor Guide to the capital, together with VisitBritain and the GREAT Britain campaign, the opportunity has drawn thousands of people from all over the world to  apply for this once-in-a-lifetime chance to experience London as never before, with many more expected before applications close on TuesdayDecember 9.
The winning guest will be invited to London in February 2015 and will have the unique honor of opening Tower Bridge, the most famous bridge in the world, visiting the Science Museum with renowned physicist Professor Stephen Hawking. Downton Abbey’s butler Carson – actor Jim Carter – will provide the winner with afternoon tea at Lord’s Cricket Ground; and both the world-famous singer and conductor, Plácido Domingo and British ballerina and Strictly Come Dancing judge Darcey Bussell, will take the winner to one of their favorite theatres in the world, the Royal Opera House.
The Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton will personally cook a meal for the Official Guest of Honour at one of the capital’s best restaurants and the Speaker of the House of Commons, the Rt Hon John Bercow MP, will take the Guest of Honour behind the scenes of the Houses of Parliament.
As part of the experience, the Guest of Honour will fire the guns from HMS Belfast, be an extra in the West End smash hit musical Mamma Mia!, walk the red carpet at a film premiere in Central London, and meet the English tennis star Tim Henman for a VIP tour of the All England Tennis Club, which hosts The Wimbledon Championships.
To apply to be London’s Official Guest of Honour, entrants must go to, submit a short film or image and in 70 words describe their perfect day in London. The closing date is December 9, 2014 and participants must be ages 18 and over. For all terms and conditions see website.
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