Who hasn’t watched The Holiday and dreamed of escaping your life and spending Christmas in Iris’ fairytale-like English cottage (where, ideally, an adorably sensitive Jude Law will knock on your door and promptly fall in love with you)? Or of living it up in the penthouse of the Plaza like Kevin ? Or of experiencing the idyllic 1950s America laid out in A Christmas Story? Well, the good news is, you can. Here’s how you can experience those Christmas classics, and a few more, in real life this holiday season. And if you’re looking for more unusual ways to spend your holiday, here are the best beach towns for celebrating Christmas.
Home Alone 2
In honor of the 25th anniversary of Home Alone 2, the Plaza Hotel is offering up a “Live Like Kevin” package that offers guests a personal butler, a lush in-room service that includes his famous over-the-top sundae, and (for an additional price) a limousine ride around NYC at the most magical time of the year. It’s basically like being in the film.
Sadly, Iris’ infamously cozy cottage isn’t real (it was built for the film), but the enchanted little town its in does! Shere is a little village in Surrey, about an hour and a half south of London, and it’s just as cute in reality as it is on the screen. The home-swapping service that Amanda and Iris use, HomeExchange.com, is also real. So if you’re looking to swamp lives with someone for a week or so, you can join their community of 65,000 members in over 187 countries and have your own holiday adventure.
Miracle on 34th Street
This year also marks the 70th anniversary of the classic Miracle on 34th Street. To celebrate, Macy’s decided to bring back the enormous “Harold the Baseball Player” balloon feature in the film. Their famous window display pays tribute to the whimsical purity of the film, and, as always, you can visit Santa at the very top to let him know you don’t believe in him yourself. The only difference is that, this year, you’ll have to make an appointment because Santa is a very busy man.
A Christmas Carol
Every Saturday and Sunday from November 24 through December 24, the town of Skaneateles (within the Finger Lakes region of central New York) transforms the entire town into England circa 1842. Charles Dickens and his cast of 50 characters roam the streets in full period garb, interacting with passerby and regaling children with the tales of Ebenezer Scrooge. There’s horse-drawn carriages, carolers, warm figgy pudding served at Mid-Lakes Navigation, and the World’s Smallest Christmas Parade, to really make it feel like you’re in the beloved book.
It’s a Wonderful Life
This December marks the 71st anniversary of the Christmas classic, It’s a Wonderful Life. In celebration, the town of Seneca Falls, located in the Finger Lakes region of central New York (the real-life inspiration for the movie’s Bedford Falls) is hosting the annual It’s a Wonderful Life Festival with appearances by all three “Bailey Kids” actors—Carol Coombs (Janie Bailey), Karolyn Grimes (Zuzu Bailey) and Jimmy Hawkins (Tommy Bailey).
A Christmas Story
Set in Hohman, Indiana, A Christmas Story was actually filmed in the Midwestern city of Cleveland. Now that the house in which it was filmed has been fully restored to its former glory, people have been visiting the Christmas Story House & Museum in the suburbs right outside the city to see the famous leg lamp with their own eyes. The neighboring museum features tons of original props, costumes and memorabilia from the film (the toys from the Higbee’s window, Randy’s snowsuit, the chalkboard from Miss Shields’ classroom and the family cars) well as hundreds of rare behind-the-scenes photos.
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