Where to go for Winter Break 2014

Where to go for Winter Break 2014

Elana Marcus, Staff Writer

Winter break is slowly approaching, and with two full weeks of freedom under your belt (or rather, coat), this is the perfect time to explore new environments.  All over the world, people are getting in the winter spirit with the many events taking place to celebrate the holidays.  So whether you plan on staying in the sunshine state or traveling abroad, here are some suggestions of cool places to visit this winter break.


In Florida:


Florida attractions tend to be more crowded in the winter as northerners come down to escape the cold.  If you are one to tolerate large crowds of people, winter is the perfect time to visit Key West.  For most of the year, Key West experiences scorching hot weather and large amounts of rainfall.  In the winter however, temperatures average in the mid seventies to the low eighties, which is a nice cooling off for the average Floridian.  With attractions like the Ernest Hemingway House, Mallory Square, the Southernmost Point Buoy, and plenty of beautiful beaches, Key West is a great place to visit in the winter.


Another Florida winter destination is Downtown Delray Beach.  Every year, Downtown Delray hosts many holiday events with the backdrop of a one hundred foot christmas tree.  Surrounding the tree is an ice skating rink, a carousel, a kiddie train ride, and gift shops which are all open until early January.  On New Years Eve, Downtown Delray hosts a large celebration from 4:00 PM to midnight which includes a fireworks show at the end of the night.


To get a taste of world cultures, Disney World’s Epcot World Showcase has a Holidays Around the World event, which displays holiday traditions from around the globe.  The event features tons of live entertainment as well as a special holiday edition of Epcot’s fireworks show “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth”.


Traveling Out of State:


One great place to travel to this winter break is Vail, Colorado.  Vail is a world renowned ski resort that holds a series of holiday events every year called “Vail Holidaze”.  Among these events are a tree lighting ceremony that consists of live entertainment and complimentary hot chocolate, followed by a lantern walk.  On New Years Eve, Vail has an annual torchlight parade in which skiers ski down a mountain at night forming a glowing train behind them.  The parade is then followed by a fireworks show.


For more holiday festivities, New Orleans, Louisiana hosts a variety of events.  From oak tree light exhibits and riverfront bonfires to street parties and a New Years ball drop, New Orleans has it all.  This city is known for its culture, and no visit would be complete without experiencing the French Quarter.  A great place to warm up with hot coffee and Beignets is the famous Cafe Du Monde, but be sure to get their early to lessen the wait for a table.  To make your adventure even more interesting, New Orleans is only an eleven hour drive from Wellington and would make for a great family road trip!


If you want to explore the winter outside the U.S., some great winter destinations are Montreal, Paris, and New Zealand.  Montreal and Paris are two budget friendly cities in the winter that offer lower hotel rates and discounted museum admissions.  Paris has its low season in the winter, so there is a lack of crowds at restaurants and attractions.  Paris is also a lovely place to celebrate New Years Eve, as many people gather by the Eiffel Tower to wait for the new year.  If you want to experience the holidays in the summer, New Zealand is a great place to be.  The weather is warm and there are plenty of holiday celebrations all over the beautiful country.