Many of our holiday traditions are looking quite different this year because of the pandemic. Shopping, going to the local tree-lighting and other family-friendly events have been cancelled. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t experience them from the comfort of your own home. Here are some ways you can get your fill of the holiday season virtually:
Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Lights. The Museum of Science + Industry Chicago takes you on a tour of their annual exhibition of Christmas traditions around the world celebrated through Christmas trees. Each of the 40 trees and displays are decorated to represent the holiday traditions from cultures around the globe. The free event is available at various times through December 24th.
A Christmas Carol. The Old Vic in England continues its efforts to bring stage performances into our homes with Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. This isn’t a pre-recorded version – it’s done live each day through December 24th, performed on the Old Vic stage and live-streamed across the globe. Visit their website to find out how to purchase tickets and access your showing.
AskSanta.com. If your kids are begging to talk to Santa this year, then do it online through AskSanta.com. They’ll be able to talk to Santa in real time, and he’ll answer all their questions with the help of AI. They can talk about whatever they want, there are conversation starters to help get you going, and the best part is it’s free!
The Nutcracker. No holiday season would be complete without seeing The Nutcracker. Marquee TV brings you the ballet courtesy of the New York City Ballet. This version of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker was performed in 2019 at the Lincoln Center of the Performing Arts. Get ready to be swept away into the world of sugar plum fairies with this beautiful production. You can access it through Marquee TV’s website through January 3rd.
Virtual Scavenger Hunts. What could be more fun than a holiday scavenger hunt? Watsons Adventures has come up with a great way to find out more about holiday traditions around the world through their Joy Around the World: Virtual Holiday Scavenger Hunts. So grab your family, friends and colleagues through Zoom for an all-around good time. A kid’s version is also available. Join one of the public hunts through December 26th, or inquire about a private hunt just for your party.
Christmas Markets Around The World. Christmas markets around the world always are a sight to see, with the lights, the hustle and bustle, and the various traditions that underscore each one. It’s no wonder that they are some of the top holiday destinations each year. Even though most are closed because of the pandemic, you can still enjoy them with these virtual tours of some of the most famous markets around the world.
We hope you enjoy these virtual holiday tours and activities, and have a safe and happy holiday season. When you’re ready to plan your trip for 2021, Luxury Destinations Concierge is here to help. Give us a call at (805) 236-4437 to start planning your dream vacation today.
Are you missing live events? Even though parts of the country are starting to emerge from lockdown orders, major events like concerts, plays and more are not going to return anytime soon as we continue to practice social distancing. There are, however, opportunities to get your cultural fix – virtually. Here are some upcoming performances that will pique your interest (and I’m sure there are more to come):
Metropolitan Opera. Each night at 7:30pm ET, the Metropolitan Opera is live streaming performances from their repertoire for free. These will continue until the Met opens its doors again, so take advantage of some of the most amazing performances available.
The Show’s Must Go On. This YouTube Channel releases a different Andrew Lloyd Webber musical each Friday for 48 hours. Previous performances include Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Evita, Phantom of the Opera and more. This week (May 18th) is the ever-popular CATS!
National Theatre at Home. National Theatre normally performs live productions from around the world and streams them into cinemas for your viewing pleasure. During the pandemic, they have introduced National Theatre at Home, where each Thursday they release a different performance and make it available for viewing for 7 days.
Cirque du Soleil. Cirque du Soleil is featuring 60-minute performances of some of its best shows on line for your entertainment.
Billboard Livestreams and Concerts. Billboard knows that music fans need to hear their favorite artists in concert, so they have set up a page on their website dedicated specifically to livestreams and virtual concerts around the globe. The list is updated on a regular basis, so be sure to check back frequently.
Artists are adding more virtual concerts and performances as we continue through the coronavirus pandemic. You can find your favorite artist streaming on YouTube, Facebook and more. All are just a click away. And when you are ready to start planning a trip to your next live concert, festival or vacation, Luxury Destinations Concierge is also a click (or phone call) away. Give us a call at (805) 236-4437 to start planning.
If you are getting bored looking at the four corners of your home, it’s time to mix it up and take a walk around some of the most spectacular cities in the world! No, you don’t need to get on a plane for these trips, but you could get on your treadmill and get some exercise while watching these virtual walking tours:
Paris, France. This 12-mile walk will take you to the Louvre, up the Champs-Élysées, past Notre Dame (before the fire) and the Eiffel Tower, and through the streets of Paris. The cool thing about this video is that it has time stamps for the main sites, so if you just want to see the Arc de Triomphe , you can virtually run there! (It’s at the 25 minute mark).
Florence, Italy. This is a slow, meandering walk through the streets of Florence, Italy. You get to experience the sights and sounds of the city on a warm July afternoon, starting at the Santa Maria Novella Train Station and finishing at Piazzale Michelangelo. Walk through the Duomo, climb Giotto's Bell Tower, see a replica of the statue of David and much, much more.
Tokyo, Japan. Ikebukuro lies in the north-western corner of Tokyo, and this quick walking tour takes you through parks as well as the busier streets of the area with shopping, restaurants and entertainment galore.
Vancouver, British Columbia. Explore this city on a beautiful fall afternoon. This virtual tour shows you the hustle and bustle of downtown Vancouver.
New York City. This tour takes you all over Manhattan at different times of the day. See Times Square, Central Park, Harlem, Soho and more as you explore the streets of this historic city.
Trakai Trails, Lithuania. If nature is more your style, take this hiking tour of the Trakai trails in Lithuania. Through forests and sand dunes, this virtual hike will get you back in touch with nature – and make you fall in love with Lithuania!
Redwood National Park, USA. This hike through the Redwood National Park is a spectacular 1-hour walk through the forest. Set to music, it is well worth watching.
Pyramids of Giza Walking Tour. Have you ever wanted to visit the pyramids in Egypt, but never thought you’d have a chance? Now you and virtually be there with this walking tour! You’ll explore the Giza pyramid complex, “ride” a horse and even see the Sphynx!
Tunnel of Love, Ukraine. If you are in the mood for a romantic afternoon walk, then this virtual tour is for you. The Tunnel of Love in Klevan, Ukraine is actually old train tracks that have been taken over by nature – and the result is spectacular!
We hope these “walks” inspire you to start dreaming of your next vacation. When you are ready for your next in-person trip, give Luxury Destinations Concierge a call at (805) 236-4437. We’ll help you plan an unforgettable trip!
While the coronavirus pandemic may have us cooped up at home, it doesn’t mean that we have to forgo our vacations to distant lands. With the help of technology, you can now take a leisurely journey through the Swiss countryside, explore the Andes in Peru or see the cherry blossoms in Japan by way of virtual train rides. You can even travel the real Hogwarts Express through Scotland!
All aboard for these adventures:
Bernina Express, Switzerland. This is by far one of the best virtual train rides available. This two-hour virtual trip takes you from St. Moritz in the Alps to Tirano, Italy on the Mediterranean coast via the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as Rhaetian Railway in the Albula / Bernina Landscapes, which links two historic rail lines through remote areas of the Alps. You be travelling through the highest railway crossing on the highest adhesion railway in Europe.
Pike’s Peak, Colorado. From the heights of the Alps to North America’s highest train, this quick ride up to Pike’s Peak provides a 360-degree view of your trip to 14,115 ft on Manitou Springs' world famous Cog Railway. It’s a short trip, but well worth the watch.
North West Coast Line – Chester, England to Holyhead, Wales. This virtual journey takes you along the north coast of Wales, and provides a wonderful commentary on what you are seeing as you travel through the countryside.
Amtrak’s Southwest Chief – Chicago to Los Angeles. Once considered the “Train of the Stars”, this narrated journey takes you from farmland to the prairie, through the Rockies and the southwest until reaching it’s final stop in Los Angeles.
Jacobite Steam Train – Highlands, Scotland. If you are a Harry Potter fan, this virtual train ride is right up your alley! The West Highland Line is the exact trip featured in the films. While it’s not Hogwart’s Express, it is a pretty ride through the Highlands of Scotland – and you’ll catch one or two familiar scenes from the movies.
Ferrocarril Centro Andino, Peru. This 4-part series takes you on a scenic ride from the port of Callao up to the Galera railway station in the Andes. You’ll see beautiful vistas of the countryside and many points of interest along the way.
Flåm Railway, Norway. Considered one of the most scenic journeys in the world, the Flåm Railway in Norway travels from the end of Aurlandsfjord, a tributary of the Sognefjord, up to the high mountains at Myrdal station. Along the way, you’ll pass waterfalls, deep ravines, snow-capped mountains, and high-altitude farms, all while watching the weather shift from sun to rain.
Venice to London on the Simplon Orient Express. One of the most romanticized trips is aboard the Orient Express. While the original Orient Express doesn’t exist anymore, there is a joint venture that operates as the Simplon Orient Express. They have restored the carriages from the original trains, and operate from Venice to London and other lines through Europe. This video takes you on a tour of the cars as well as narrates the 3-day journey from Venice to London – giving you a small taste of what it must have been to travel on this opulent train.
We hope these “trips” take you to places that you have wanted to visit. When you are ready for your next in-person trip, give Luxury Destinations Concierge a call at (805) 236-4437. We’ll help you plan an unforgettable trip!
Sticking to the self-quarantine guidelines during the coronavirus pandemic can get a little monotonous. There are just so many board games we can play or hours we can spend binge-watching the latest Netflix series before boredom sinks in. To avoid a bad case of cabin fever, why not escape for a while with a virtual tour?
Whether you want to visit a museum, go to the zoo or check out a piece of history on the other side of the ocean, virtual tours can give you the experience of (almost) being there. Here are some great examples to indulge any interest:
The British Museum, London. The British Museum offers an excellent “tour through history” on it’s website, where you can virtually travel through time to the distant past and learn all about the history of Africa, Europe, Asia and the Americas.
The Louvre, Paris. If you’ve always wanted to go to the Louvre, now’s your chance. They currently have four virtual tours for you to explore – The Advent of the Artist, Egyptian Antiquities, The Remains of the Louvre’s Moat, and Galerie d’Apollon.
The Vatican Museums. Always wanted to visit the Vatican? Now’s your chance! See the Sistine Chapel, Raphael’s Rooms and more through the power of 360-degree imagery.
National Museum of the United States Air Force. For aviation and history buffs, the National Museum of the United States Air Force virtual tours offers a look at models of America’s early airplanes and their history.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts has 17 virtual exhibits to tour. Whether it’s fashion or art, there is much to discover here.
The Winchester Mystery House. If museums aren’t your cup of tea, then maybe a virtual tour of the Winchester Mystery House will pique your interest. Built in 1884 by Sarah Winchester, heiress to a large portion of the Winchester repeating rifle fortune, under odd circumstances, this house certainly lives up to its name.
Houston Zoo. If you need a little diversion, watch the live feeds from Houston Zoo. Whether it’s the giraffes, gorillas or ants (yes ants!) you’ll have a front seat to how they spend their time.
Monterey Bay Aquarium. Sea life more your thing? Then tune into the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s 24-hr livecams to catch a variety of creatures from the deep (including sharks!)
NASA Tours. If you really want to get out of this world, then take one of NASA’s virtual tours. From the Hubble telescope and NASA Research Centers to the International Space Station, you can learn a lot about our universe.
Machu Picchu, Cuzco. Take a tour of Machu Picchu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, from the comfort of your living room. This 360-degree guided tour details all you would see and learn about Machu Picchu in all its glory.
Ellis Island. Want to learn about the immigration process in the late 19th and early 20th centuries? Then take a virtual tour of Ellis Island, where over 12 million immigrants passed through the doors overlooking the Statue of Liberty.
Virtual tours allow you to discover the world – from the comfort of your own home. If you fall in love with any of these places and want to see more, Luxury Destinations Concierge is here to help you plan your next in-person trip. Give us a call at (805) 236-4437 to get started.
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