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Note: All travel is subject to frequently changing governmental restrictions—please check federal, state and local advisories before scheduling trips.

States across the country are implementing new COVID-related restrictions, just as we’re approaching a time of year when many people are looking to celebrate with friends and family. After the year we’ve had, a little celebration seems like just what we all need. While sporting events may be cancelled and weddings postponed, many holiday festivities are still being planned, albeit with some slight adjustments. We’ve rounded up 11 festively fabulous options if you’re looking for something merry and bright to to lift your holiday spirits.

RELATED: 7 over the top holiday light displays you’ve got to see

Glow Holiday Festival: Minneapolis, MN

Head to the Twin Cities to bask in the glow of one million holiday lights from the safety of your own car. The drive-thru festivities are happening at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds and feature beautiful Christmas trees, art installations, dazzling light displays and even a gingerbread house! Tickets are $46 per car and can be purchased here.
When: Through January 3, 2021

The Rink  at Rockefeller Center: New York City

Always a highlight during the holiday season, the ice skating rink at Rockefeller Center in Midtown is open for business. Skate beneath the stunning Rockefeller Christmas tree or watch from the sidelines with a warm drink. The Rink is open daily from 9am-midnight,, beginning November 21; tickets start at just $5. New York City is always a special place but something about the city during the holidays truly feels magical.
When: Through January 17, 2021

Koziar’s Christmas Village: Bernville, PA

For 73 years, Koziar’s Christmas Village has been lighting up and welcoming guests to Bernville and this year is no exception. Running the first Saturday of the month through January 2, this lovely little village has it all. From the manger scene and Santa’s toy shop, to scenes from Christmas in other countries and an old-fashioned bakery, strolling through is bound to brighten your spirits!
When: First Saturdays through January 2,  2021

Christmas Train Rides: Chattanooga, TN

Visit the North Pole aboard a train so famous, it has its own song! The 60-minute Chattanooga choo-choo train rides depart from the Grand Junction Campus in Downtown Chattanooga and takes you on a magical journey to the North Pole. Along the way, you’ll get to write your own letter to Santa, while noshing on a warm chocolate chip cookie. Santa himself will greet you at the “North Pole” and there, elves will hand out hot chocolate to enjoy while chugging back to the station.
When: Friday–Sunday, and daily during Christmas week, through December 27, 2020

Disney Christmas Events: Multiple locations

Christmas in the Magic Kingdom

Christmas in the Magic Kingdom | Flickr CC: Sam Howzit

The holidays are a special time of year at Disney theme parks. Touting “Holiday magic at every park,” there are events happening at Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom. From parades to lights shows, you’re sure to find something fun for the whole family. And be sure to book your tickets well in advance; certain parks at limited capacity to support social distancing.
When: Some events end December 30, 2020; others run through January 5, 2021

Dyker Heights Christmas Lights: Brooklyn, NY

Manhattan gets all the attention when it comes to holiday celebrations but those in the know head to Brooklyn. Since the 1980s, homeowners in Dyker Heights have been having a little friendly competition decorating their homes. This year, you can expect to see massive displays, some put up by professions and costing upwards of $20,000.
When: Most houses remain decorated through January 4, 2021

Christmas in Color: Multiple locations

This multi-state event takes place in Salt Lake City, UT, Morrison, CO, Federal Heights, CO, San Dimas, CA, Shakopee, MN, Garden City, ID, and features more than a million lights hung in stunning displays and synchronized to holiday music you’ll play through your radio. From the comfort of your car, you’ll drive by giant candy canes, beautiful lighted archways, snowmen and brilliantly decorated buildings. Christmas in Color is sure to delight people of all ages!
When: Through Jan 4, 2021

Candy Cane Lane: Los Angeles, CA

For years, a group of neighbors in Woodland Hills has gotten together to put on one heck of a light show. At the intersection of Lubao and Oxnard Streets, cars slow to a crawl to take in the dozens of homes decked out for the holidays.  It begins the second Saturday in December and lasts through the month. Be sure to come before 10pm, when homeowners typically turn off their lights and head to bed.
When: Many houses remain decorated through January 4, 2021

Polar Express Train Ride: Palestine, TX

From November 27 through December 26, the Polar Express comes to life in Texas. The Texas State Railroad encourages guests to show up in their cozy pajamas for the ride of a lifetime. While enjoying hot chocolate and cookies, families sing Christmas carols, meet Santa, and get a glimpse at the North Pole.
When: Through December 27, 2020

Glittering Lights at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway: Las Vegas, NV

Glittering Lights | Photo courtesy of Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Glittering Lights | Photo courtesy of Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Turns out the lights on the Las Vegas strip aren’t the only things dazzling tourists. The drive thru light show at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway is a favorite holiday tradition among local Nevadans and visitors alike.  For 20 years, millions of glittering lights have decked these “halls” and delighted passersby, while proceeds benefit a number of different charities so you can feel extra jolly about going.
When: Through January 10, 2021

Tagged: Cheap Tips, City, Destinations, Events, Festivals, Holidays, L.A., New York City, Texas, Texas, Top 10 list, Types of Travel

Note: CheapTickets compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site.

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Hawaiian shirt. Check. Colorful lei. Check. Laidback attitude and desire to escape everyday life. Check. Sounds like you’re well on your way to vacationing like a Parrot Head, those rollicking, rabid fans of trop rock troubadour Jimmy Buffett.

If you’ve got tickets to any of his upcoming shows and have travel plans around them, we’ve got a list of easy-to-follow rules that will make sure your change in latitude is the best it can be. In fact, these 10 pieces of priceless advice—which come courtesy of the 25,000-member-strong Jimmy Buffet fan group, Parrot Heads in Paradise (PHIP)—could apply to just about any vacation, or even life in general.

For those who don’t know, PHIP was first launched by fan Scott Nickerson in 1985 and the group has since raised over $46 million for charity. We can all drink to that. Now, here’s what can we learn from these rabid relaxationists…

RELATED: Don’t have Buffet tickets yet? Don’t worry, you can get them now right here on!

1. Pack the beach in your bag

Being a Parrot Head is all about that casual, relaxed beach vibe, so packing for a trip as a Parrot Head is relatively simple: shorts and a Hawaiian shirt. Beyond those basics you can add swimsuits, coconut bras, grass skirts, and even pirate paraphernalia. As for footwear, pack your flip-flops. No other footwear is required. Maybe throw in an extra pair along with some Band-Aids in case you suffer the fate that Jimmy sings about in “Margaritaville,” when he “blew out my flip flop. Stepped on a pop top. Cut my heel, had to cruise on back home.” What the Parrot Heads are trying to tell you here is, keep it simple; do not over pack.

2. Decorate your noggin’

The Kentucky Derby may be all about those elegant chapeaus the fancy ladies wear. For a Jimmy Buffet concert, fans don hats shaped like parrots, shark fins, coconuts and yes, even cheeseburgers. But why limit yourself to one item? Grab a straw hat and cover it with your own interpretation of the Parrot Head Nation—dangle plastic cheeseburgers, bananas, oranges, lobster and flamingos from it. Whatever floats your boat. There are very few sartorial rules for Parrot Heads. In other words, even on vacation, you do you.

3. Waste away in Margaritaville—any Margaritaville

Obviously, Parrot Heads flock to the chain of Margaritaville bars. But did you also know that they also convene at Landshark Bar & Grill, Cheeseburger in Paradise and 5 O’clock Somewhere? Consider the neon signs of these establishments to read “Welcome, Parrot Heads.” You may not always have a view of the ocean or be able to stick your toes in the sand at all the locations, but you’ll always be able to find an island drink served with a brightly colored umbrella. The Parrot Head life lesson here is that it’s not so much about the destination you’re in as it is the company you’re with (and the drink in your hand).

4. Set an alarm for 5pm

Parrot Heads are fond of reminding each other, “It’s 5 o’clock somewhere,” in tribute to the Alan Jackson music video featuring Jimmy Buffett. As he sings, “At a moment like this, I can’t help but wonder, what would Jimmy Buffet do?” Never miss the start of happy hour with a daily reminder of the unofficial kickoff to cocktail time. Does that mean you have to wait until 5 for a drink? The Parrot Heads don’t. As the song says, “It’s only half past twelve, but I don’t care. It’s 5 o’clock somewhere.” Parrot Heads aren’t known to adhere to rigid schedules, and neither should you—so on your next trip, leave some time to relax and see where the day takes you.

ALSO: Spend a little extra time in Margaritaville when you save big with CheapCash! Sign up today.

5. Practice your fin dance everywhere you go

Have you ever seen tens of thousands of grown adults simultaneously touching their hands above their heads and swinging their fins to the left, fins to the right? No? Well, then you haven’t been to a Buffet concert. Being silly and participating with total abandon are two things Parrot Heads excel at. Give it a try on your next vacation and you just might make some new friends or be a part of some really fun and unexpected new experiences.

Flickr CC: Sam Howzit

6. Lei one on at a tailgate party

The party for Parrot Heads starts in the parking lot, with decked-out party tents and truck beds filled with water and edged with grass skirts. Expect to find full tiki bars set up, shark-shaped golf carts and thousands of Parrot Heads roaming with inner tubes around their waists and festooned with dozens of leis. No tailgate around? You can still vacation like a Parrot Head. Just set up a similar compound on the beach. Parrot Heads will soon find you, drawn like moths to a flame to your tiki torch. What this translates to for your next vacation is, find your people. No matter what your destination or interests are (cooking, history, soccer, gaming, yoga, whatever), do a little research ahead of time to connect with like-minded locals.

7. Pack an extra shaker of salt

Who would have thought a song about sponge cake, sunburned tourists and boiling shrimp would end up on the song list for the 2016 Grammy Hall of Fame? “Margaritaville” has a lively tune, often belted at the top of their lungs by inebriated Parrot Heads. But it’s a sad song, really. Not only did his flip-flop break, he lost his shaker of salt, which every Parrot Head needs to rim his Margarita glass. This is just a metaphor for being prepared. Don’t suffer the same fate as poor Jimmy. Pack an extra of that thing you know you might lose on your trip—an extra phone charger, sunglasses, swim trunks, you name it.

8. Feast and imbibe like a Parrot Head

At the bottom of the Parrot Head food pyramid are of course margaritas and cheeseburgers. These food choices come courtesy of two of Buffet’s most popular tunes, odes to the “frozen concoction that helps me hang on,” and “that American creation on which I feed!” Other food and drinks mentioned in Jimmy Buffet songs include the Hurricane, gumbo, peanut butter, mango, fruitcake, dill pickles, Dreamsicles and Champagne. Beer drinkers sip on frosty bottles of Landshark Lager made by Margaritaville Brewing Co. The takeaway here? Calories don’t count on vacation. Live a little!

9. Laugh so you don’t go insane

This just might be the most important rule of all because sometimes travel presents you with unexpected challenges—a canceled flight, a bout of rain, a little Montezuma’s revenge. This is not the time to curl up on your hotel room floor and call it quits. Instead, take a cue from Jimmy’s “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes.” This is the time you look for a chum with a bottle of rum and make the most of it, laugh in the face of adversity and move on. The beach will still be there in the morning.

Stay in a colorful nest: A list of top Parrot Head hotels

Sashaying into the lobby in your flamingo-festooned straw hat and grass skirt should never feel awkward. If you’re following Jimmy on the road, or just want to spend your vacation with other Parrot Heads, these resorts welcome the lifestyle with open arms.

Fort Lauderdale, FL: Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort
Like the restaurant, Margaritaville hotels were tailor-made for relaxed sun-seekers.

Miami, FL: Circa 39
Get an instant change in attitude with the brightly colored décor and rum drinks like the Rumaway Bride at WunderBar at this Miami gem.

Montego Bay, Jamaica: Altamont West
The exterior and lobby are painted in parrot shades, of yellow, green and red.

Holetown, Barbados: Coral Reef Club
In addition to its name, so similar to Jimmy’s Coral Reefer Band, Parrot Heads will love this hotel for its laid-back luxury.

Key West, FL: NYAH
This affordable, quirky adults-only property charges by the room, not the person, encouraging Parrot Heads to nest together.

Key West FL: Casa Marina
The Parrot Head Mecca, this hotel hosts the annual conference for Parrot Heads, Meeting of the Minds.


Tagged: Caribbean, Destinations, Events, Florida, Music

Note: CheapTickets compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site.

Jan Schroder

Jan Schroder

An award-winner writer based in Atlanta, Jan is also an editor, book author, publisher of Girl on the Go and a really pathetic packer for a travel writer. She is also editorial director of The 100 Companies, a publishing platform with 100-word stories and 100-second videos.
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We all want the “big day” to be different, something special. For many, that means leaving town or even the country. The good news is, you can do just that without spending a fortune—if you pick your place wisely. Here are the best places for a fairytale destinations wedding that won’t break the bank.

RELATED: 6 places for a 4-day mini moon

Sirata Beach Resort.jpg

Sirata Beach Resort

1. St. Petersburg, Florida

St. Pete is known for its beaches, the Dali Museum, Fort De Soto Park and all that lovely sunshine that sparkles between Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. It’s also ideal for a wedding. One top spot is the Sirata Beach Resort featuring 13 acres of abundant tropical landscape, white sand beaches and clear Gulf waters. Sirata has earned kudos from Wedding Wire and The Knot as a destination wedding favorite and it’s obvious why: You can choose a beachfront setting or if you prefer indoors, there’s a waterfront ballroom with 270-degree views of the ocean and Tampa Bay. Meanwhile, your guests can enjoy three beachfront pools, whirlpools and three on-site restaurants. Nearby, there’s Adventure Island, an outdoor water theme park, Busch Gardens, Clearwater Marine Aquarium and the Museum of Fine Arts. Wedding packages for 50 guests or more start at $5,950, including venue, average menu price, ceremony and cocktail hour.


Sandos Playcar.jpg

Sandos Playacar

2. Playa del Carmen, Mexico

It’s not hard to find good flight deals to Cancun, and nearby Playa del Carmen offers much for happy couples. The area is home to awesome beaches, Mayan ruins, all manner of watersports, plus ziplining, underwater caves and more. The exchange rate from dollars to pesos is very favorable, so expect your wedding dollars to stretch even further. Sandos Playacar, an all-inclusive resort for up to 30 guests, has a wedding package around $4,200 that includes beach set up with decorations, bouquet and boutonniere, private cocktail hour with canapes, private dinner, wedding cake and sparkling wine, DJ, light and sound during reception, basic décor for tables, a couples massage, make-up and hair for one member of the couple for the wedding day and complimentary honeymoon package. Guest rooms start at $105 nightly. Because Sandos is all inclusive, it’s way cool on the wallet.

ALSO: Say “I do” to sweet deals when you sign up for CheapCash!

Palacio de Marqueso.jpg

3. Taos, New Mexico

Taos, with its historic churches, quaint hotels and bed and breakfasts, has more than enough picture-perfect wedding locations. One popular option is Palacio de Marquesa. This Spanish-style adobe boutique hotel is just minutes from the central Taos Plaza. Every room is dedicated to the unique spirit and contributions of Taos icons like Georgia O’Keeffe, Millicent Rogers, Dorothy Brett, Agnes Martin, Mabel Dodge Luhan, Gene Kloss and Martha Reed. There is a wedding package which includes renting all eight boutique rooms for approximately $5,000. Before, or after the wedding, guests can enjoy hot air balloon rides, wineries and intimate spa days surrounded by breathtaking mountains, forest and desert. Thrill seekers can spend a day rafting the Class IV rapids of the Rio Grande.


4. Finger Lakes Wine Country, New York

With rolling hills, lakes and vineyards, the Finger Lakes region makes for a lovely wedding locale. Waterfalls, wineries, wine trails, gorges and small towns only add to your time of celebration. Consider the Heron Hill Winery & Café in Hammondsport which is burrowed into a slate hillside overlooking scenic Keuka Lake. The facility fee on weekends runs $3,500–$4,500, plus $800 (including tax) for an on-site ceremony for up to 170 guests, which includes white folding chairs and a one-hour rehearsal the day before with the event coordinator. Buffet and served dinner options range between $15–$35 a person, and local activities are numerous, from fishing, boating, circumnavigating the lake by car and wine tasting (lots of it).


5. Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

On the shore of Lake Atitlan sits a private home turned luxury boutique hotel offering magnificent lake and volcano views as a backdrop. A region built upon ancient Mayan culture and practices, Casa Palopó offers couples the opportunity to say “I do” with a ceremony officiated by a Mayan Shaman, followed by a personalized Mayan Shaman blessing. The ancient ritual is performed in front of a fire pit and is meant to offer well-wishes from spirits who give this gift, for a continuous happy relationship. Better still, this momentous occasion is outdoors on a lush green patch of grass, amidst magical views of the three volcanoes and indigenous villages across the shore (an even more magical vista during sunset). For the more traditional couple, an elegant chapel just on top of the hill near the hotel is also available. At Casa Palopó, an intimate, candlelit reception party awaits. Wedding packages start at under $3,000 for 25 guests and include accommodations, transportation to the hotel, food and beverage, ceremony, reception, event set-up, decor, music, flower arrangements, and a photographer. The nine-room hotel offers nightly accommodations starting at $184.






Tagged: Cheap Tips, Destinations, Events, Mexico, Romance & honeymoon, Tips & advice, Top 10 list, Types of Travel

Note: CheapTickets compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site.

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Hello there. Do you like beer? Do you like sausage? If you’re nodding your head ‘yes,’ then it might not be a big jump to think you might enjoy an Oktoberfest celebration. But the original Oktoberfest, a festival dedicated to all things autumnal and German, is all the way in Munich! We can’t afford Munich right now!

Thank heavens we have Oktoberfest Zinzinnati. First held in 1976, Oktoberfest Zinzinnati (in Cincinnati, Ohio) is America’s largest Oktoberfest celebration—more than 500,000 people visit each year! Here’s why you should stop what you’re doing and head to Ohio for the party:

Repeat after us: dachshunds in hot dog costumes.

Every year, Oktoberfest Zinzinnati opens festivities with the Running of the Wieners, this year on Friday, September 16, 2016 at 11:30 a.m. What is the Running of the Wieners? It’s 100 dachshunds in hot dog costumes streaking down the street in race heats towards their owners while thousands of people cheer. Only one dachshund can be the King of the Wiener Dogs. You want to witness this, we promise.

Photo: Flickr | David K, Hot Dog

Photo: Flickr | David K, Hot Dog

Have a drink at the glockenspiel.

The Christian Moerlein Glockenspiel is—get this—a working clock with a bar on the ground level, as well as a stage. Every hour, when the clock strikes, performers in traditional lederhosen appear to sing, dance, and toast with the crowd. Prost!

Have a drink anywhere, actually.

There are five different beer gardens at Oktoberfest Zinzinnati. All of them have an enormous selection of beers on tap, and all of them have live music. Some band names this year include The Fest Meisters, Zinzinnati Bier Band, and Smittie’s Schnapps Band. Get your polka on!

Allen Burt,, Attribution CC BY 2.0

Photo: Allen Burt, Oktoberfest in Zinzinnati

Raise a glass.

Try not to lower it! The Sam Adams Stein Hoisting Championship on Saturday, September 17, 2016 at 5 p.m. is a test of strength, mental endurance, and true love for beer. All you have to do is raise your stein of beer and keep it raised longer than anyone else in the crowd to be crowned this year’s Hoisting Champion.

Become one with the brat.

On Saturday, September 17, at 3 p.m., it’s time for the greatest sausage spectacle you may ever see: The World Brat Eating Championship. Will anyone be able to defeat reigning world champion brat-eater, Joey Chestnut? Who would dare to try? Is the newest contender…you?

ljv,, Attribution CC BY-ND 2.0

Photo: Flicker | ljv, Sausage Party

Demonstrate your barrel-roll and beer-stein race aptitude.

On Friday, September 16, at 6 p.m, head over to Freedom Platz on Second Street for the German Games, where live music and German dance groups frolic around contestants trying to roll a wooden barrel around a timed course or race a short distance holding two filled-to-the-brim beer steins.

Participate in the World’s Largest Chicken Dance.

You heard us. Jump in and join the official World’s Largest Chicken Dance on Sunday, September 18 at 4:30 p.m. Thousands participate in the dance each year, and in 1994, Oktoberfest Zinzinnati chicken dancersset the world record, with 48,000 people flappin’ their arms and waddlin’ to the beat.

Jim,, Attribution CC BY-SA 2.0

Photo: Flickr | Jim, Chicken Dance


Tagged: City, Events, Festivals, Food & drink, Music, Seasonal

Note: CheapTickets compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site.

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Everyone knows the opening theme of “Star Wars.” Whether you heard the first triumphant brass notes in ‘70s theater seats or while couching it in front of your flat screen, it probably sent a shiver of excitement down your neck. When “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” opens on Dec. 18, those thrilling notes will undoubtedly be met with cheers and clapping.

Without the music of John Williams, “Star Wars” wouldn’t be the phenomenon it is today. Darth Vader wouldn’t be as terrifying without the ominous notes of “The Imperial March.” Nor would Han Solo’s entrance be as memorable without the loopy “Cantina Band” playing over the den of Tatooine’s most dangerous gangsters and thieves.


If you want to really geek out on a night of galactic symphony, check out these two events featuring the music from the films:

1. The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra plays the music of John Williams

If you can’t wait until December to hear the iconic music of “Star Wars” ringing through an auditorium, the Atlanta Symphony Hall will blast you with music from a galaxy far, far away. Tickets start at $165 for the event on Nov. 28. This show makes for a greatearly Christmas present for “Star Wars” super fans. Not only will the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra be playing the most famous scores from “Star Wars,” they’ll also be tributing Williams’ pieces from other great movies such as “Harry Potter,” “Indiana Jones” and “Saving Private Ryan.”

2. The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra plays music from Episodes I-VI

For “Star Wars” fans in Pittsburgh looking for something to do before heading to the midnight premiere of “The Force Awakens,” this symphonic overture of the movie scores is the perfect appetizer to the big show. Tickets to the performance on Nov. 17 start as low as $34 (if they were any cheaper, you’d have to smuggle yourself in on the Millennium Falcon).

Tagged: City, Music, Tips & advice, Uncategorized

Note: CheapTickets compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site.

Alexander Santo

Alexander Santo

Alexander Santo

Latest posts by Alexander Santo (see all)

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Memories are really the most precious gift that can be given, but have you ever tried to stick a memory in a box and put a bow on it? It’s darn-right impossible. So let us turn to experiential gift giving this holiday season, because gifting experiences is fun for everyone and the best bang for your buck. It also comes with the guarantee that your carefully thought-out gift won’t be re-gifted or end up stuffed in the back of the closet behind dusty VHS tapes. 

The Nutcracker at the Joffrey Ballet

The Nutcracker at the Joffrey Ballet | Flickr CC: Gabriel Saldana

Tickets to ‘The Nutcracker’ — Chicago’s renowned Joffrey Ballet will be putting on The Nutcracker throughout December. Make this an early Christmas present for family or friends and get in the holiday mood with one of the most cultural Christmastime classics. Get 10% off tickets to “The Nutcracker” performances and other ballets across major U.S. cities by using the promo code BLACKFRIDAY10*

Seats at a Big Ten basketball game — Winter is great time to hunker down and watch some basketball. College teams play nearly every night of the week, so there are plenty of dates to choose from, and tickets are usually pretty affordable. Ohio State plays Illinois in Columbus on Jan. 3 at 5 p.m. Tickets start at $32 on

Beach getaway

A trip to the tropics — Forget the gift giving and put that money toward a tropical getaway for you and your bae this holiday season. All-inclusive resorts can be quite affordable and typically include food and some excursions. An all-inclusive trip to the Grand Park Royal Cancun Caribe resort through Cheaptickets starts at about $144 per night, for example. Deals are constantly changing, and holiday sales are burstingwith them right now**, so keep your eye out for a dream destination.

Related: Urban holiday escapes: Cheap rates in big cities


Take up yoga

Take up yoga | Flickr CC: elidr

Pass to a yoga studio — Or really any sort of gym membership, depending on who you buy for. Plenty of people are desperate to spend some time on themselves, be that through the calming effects of yoga or relieving stress at, say, a boxing gym, but don’t want to fork out the extra $100 or so per month for a membership. Gyms in every city offer varying membership packages so you can choose what would work best for your gift receiver.

Tickets to the first showing of Star Wars: The Force Awakens — This may be the perfect gift, assuming, of course, that the person you’re buying for is into Star Wars and this isn’t just some scam to get them to the midnight premier with you. Buy tickets ASAP though–some theaters are already selling out.

Go on a distillery tour

Go on a distillery tour | Flickr CC: Ben

Distillery tour — A trip along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail might be exactly what your gift receiver needs to warm up this winter. Tours at any of the most well-known distilleries run between $5 to $30 and typically include tons of rich, bourbon-soaked history and lessons on how to get the most flavor out of your bourbon.

Sugar Bowl tickets — Since tickets to the Super Bowl are a little unattainable (think upwards of $4k), nab up a pair of tickets to the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans. Isn’t college football more exciting anyway? The game is scheduled for New Year’s Day, so these tickets come with the added perk of ringing in the New Year in the Big Easy. Tickets start at $166 on Prices will spike once the teams that will actually play in the Sugar Bowl are determined, so throw your allegiances aside and get a head start on your shopping.

Play laser tag

Play laser tag | Flickr CC: heipei

Laser tag — Insert a little competition into your gift. Laser tag has the potential to provide hours of good ol’ fashioned, competitive fun, and it is usually very affordable. It’s only $8.99 per person for a round at the Blazer Tag Adventure Center in Austin, Texas, for example. So find the nearest laser tag center near you and have at it.

Take flying lessons

Take flying lessons | Flickr CC: woodleywonderworks

Flying lessons — Giving flying lessons could also mean making someone’s dream come true. You can choose the extremity of this gift as well, opting in for the whole nine yards and giving the beginnings of a flying career, or gifting a pass for a one-time trip up into the air. Companies all over the country offer different packages. Windy City Flyers in Chicago offers a “Discovery Flight” package for $225 that includes an hour flight in a Cessna 172 and pre- and post-flight briefings. Twoadditional passengers can ride along for free.

Become a master chef

Become a master chef | Flickr CC: DC Central Kitchen

Cooking class — A cooking class is the gift the keeps on giving, especially if you plan on gifting this to a roommate. Take your pick of food and type of class, because these offerings span the spectrum. Learn how to make desserts or ethnic foods, or dishes that pair well with certain types of wine. Learn to prepare four courses or just an appetizer, vegan or meat-focused. Some cooking classes are even diving into the BYOB trend so you can get your buzz on behind the counter.

*Use promo code BLACKFRIDAY10 to get 10% off all event tickets Nov. 23-30, 2015.

**Use promo code RIBBON to get 20% off qualifying hotel stays Nov. 23-30, 2015.

Also, get up to $20 back in CheapCa$h with any flight booking of $100 or more Nov. 23-30, 2015.

CTIXblog CTA _ cheap of the week

Tagged: Cheap Tips, Family, Holidays, Seasonal

Note: CheapTickets compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site.

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Whether you object to the treatment of animals or you’re just bored with the usual dog and pony show, check out one of these animal-free alternatives to the traditional three-ring circus. For more amusements, visit Use promo code TICKETS10 to get 10 percent off event tickets.

La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil is big on artistry. Credit Walt Disney World and Cirque du Soleil.

La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil is big on artistry. Credit Walt Disney World and Cirque du Soleil.

Cirque du SoleilThe Quebec-based company started in 1984 and now showcases its stunts in 17 countries. Stateside, there are Cirque shows from California to Rhode Island. O at the Bellagio in Las Vegas adds water to the mix for a show that’s anything but washed up. Sin City is also how to Cirque shows celebrating the music of both Michael Jackson and the Beatles. On the kid-friendly end, La Noube in Orlando’s Downtown Disney lets families experience top-notch artistry without the top-tier theme park ticket price.

Circus Smirkus:
In this Vermont-based performance troupe, kids don’t just watch the circus; they are the circus. The cast features children ages 10 to 18 who spend summers touring New England in their one-ring, big-top circus tent. If young audience members are inspired by what they see, they can enroll in Circus Smirkus Camp to learn acrobatics, juggling and other circus skills.

Circus Center: This San Francisco training center offers adult and child classes in everything from flying trapeze to aerial (remember Pink at the 2014 Grammys?) to clowning around. If you’d rather just watch, then check out the venue’s monthly cabaret series. These professional, 21-and-up shows offer an intimate, speakeasy-style setting; a drink ticket is included with each entry for a circus experience that’s truly intoxicating.

Acrobats of China: This show is a lotcloser than it sounds. The New Shanghai Circus in Branson, Missouri displays feats of strength, flexibility and balance, including diving through hoops, juggling people and an entire family riding a single bicycle. Arrive early to see the “show before the show,” a traditional Chinese tea ceremony.

Circus Arts Conservatory: You could say Sarasota, Florida, is the circus capital of the world, being home to the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art to daredevil high wire walker Nik Wallenda. The conservatory brings performances yearround, from the kids’ Sailor Circus to Cirque des Voix, which combines circus acts with choir and full orchestra.

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