Ho, ho, holiday travels await in our second annual Hot Topic series, featuring Last Second Holiday Destinations! This two-part series features getaways that are anything but typical. Now, get on your Snuggie, sit back and start planning a holiday you’ll never forget…
Amazon Rain Forest - Accommodations in the Trees
The Amazing Amazon Rainforest – Fly out of Miami any day of the week to Manaus and in about 5 hours you will find yourself in one of Earth’s truly incredible natural wonders. Book a 3 night/4 day package with Ariau Amazon Towers Hotel now and get 20% off. Offer includes airport transfers (van + boat), all meals, excursions and bilingual guides for $945 plus 10% tax.
All Aboard The Polar Express – Families looking for a last-minute holiday experience might be surprised to learn there is still availability on select days in December for the Grand Canyon Railway’s (GCR) popular Polar Express excursion.
Closely following “The Polar Express” book by Chris Van Allsburg, this nighttime trip from the Grand Canyon Railway depot in Williams travels through the starlit wilderness to the North Pole and features a special reading of “The Polar Express” while passengers enjoy hot chocolate and cookies.
The Polar Express
The North Pole was extensively renovated recently with enhanced lighting and the addition of features, such as storefronts, mailboxes and other structures to give the village a more permanent and three-dimensional look and feel. Upon arrival at the North Pole, passengers are welcomed by Santa Claus and Elf Bernard before Santa boards the Polar Express for the return trip to Williams. Santa makes his way through the passenger cars, greeting every child and presenting each one with a special gift – a jingle bell signifying their belief in Santa Claus. The round-trip journey is a little more than an hour in length.
Though there are some sold-out days on weekends leading up to Christmas and New Year’s, there is still plenty of availability on many mid-week nights, so travelers can make a last-minute decision to experience one of the most popular Polar Express runs in the country.
Reservations can be made online at www.thetrain.com or by calling 1-888-848-3511. Some weekend dates are already sold-out, so Grand Canyon Railway recommends booking now for the best selection.
Kalahari Water Park
Sensational Sandusky — It’s always sunny and 84 degrees in Sandusky, Ohio.
Well not literally, but the multiple, award-winning water parks that populate the Lake Erie Shores and Islands region can make that claim.
Kalahari – Always wanted to learn how to surf? America’s largest indoor water park, Kalahari, invites you to try your luck on one of two Flowriders. These exciting attractions use 50,000 gallons of water each minute to create a five foot ocean-like wave right underneath your feet.
Combine this with over 15 other rides and attractions, a swim up bar, world class dining and 900 beautifully appointed authentic African-themed guest rooms and suites.
Great Wolf Lodge – Hold up in Fort Mackenzie, a four-story interactive tree house, or come crashing down the 100 foot water slide, Totem Towers. With over 33,000 square feet of water park excitement, The Great Wolf Lodge was designed with everyone in mind.
Also, explore the enchanted winter wonderland during Snowland. A month-long holiday celebration featuring daily indoor snow showers, North Pole University, toy creation stations and and a even visits from Santa. For more info on Lake Erie adventures, visit www.shoresandislands.com.
For more fabulous off-the-beaten-track last-second holiday sojourns, check back again for Part 2.