8 Best Holiday Locations for Travel Nursing Assignments
Make your holiday season a little brighter by choosing a travel nursing assignment at one of the most spectacular holiday destinations in the United States. Taking an assignment in one of these destinations will allow you to spend your days off celebrating the holiday season, which is especially fun if you are traveling with a significant other or children. This Holiday Season is definitely a bit different than in the past, but there are still many places where you can safely experience the wonder of winter and the holidays. Here are OneStaff’s top eight picks!
1. New York, New York
The magic that New York City offers around the holidays is unparalleled. Think of all the wonder surrounding some of the most significant holiday events in the United States.
LuminoCity Festival is a stunning display of illuminated sculptures located on Randall's Park Island. Just East of East Harlem, is the immersive art experience through a magical land of mystical art displays some as tall as 30 ft. To control the flow of guests, entry is by timed tickets which can only be purchased online.
The lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is another NYC staple. Each year, people gather to watch the giant tree light up in late November or early December. The current mayor of New York City is responsible for lighting the tree, typically a Norway spruce that reaches between 69 to 100 feet tall, along with many special guests. Each year, an estimated 125 million people visit the tree attraction.
The Largest Menorah Lighting kicks off the Hanukah celebration in New York’s Prospect Park. The 32-foot-tall, golden-color menorah is made out of 4,000 pounds of steel. Each night during the Hanukah celebration, another candle is lit. Prior to the first lighting each year, there is a kickoff concert with music and latkes.
And we can’t forget about New Year’s Eve! Watch the Ball Drop in person at Times Square to kick off the new year. Which this year, you can enjoy from the warmth of your own home!
While these NYC staples are four of the country’s biggest holiday celebrations, New York State has a lot more to offer during the holiday season. You won’t want to miss out on the Wonderland of Lights in Rome, a large decorative light display consisting of 70 different pieces. The Vanderbilt Mansion is another must-see holiday event. Decorators create beautiful displays in each room, including lit trees, ornaments, wreaths, and more.
2. Grapevine, Texas
Known as the Christmas Capital of Texas and one of the most Christmasy towns in the United States, you won’t want to miss out on a trip to Grapevine, Texas, located in the DFW area. Grapevine hosts 1,400 Christmas events in just 40 days, and the downtown area is decorated with millions of lights, animated displays, and massive decorations.
The Grapevine Christmas Passport allows you to go on an epic Elf Adventure full of unique activities. Decorate a wooden Christmas ornament at Cotton Belt Route Section Foreman House, create a piece of metal tinsel for your tree at the Grapevine Tin Shop at the Bragg House, stamp your own brass luggage or gift tag at Millican’s Blacksmith Shop, and design a necklace or bookmark at the Historic Cotton Belt Depot.
Board the Grapevine Vintage Railroad’s North Pole Express and enjoy so much more than a ride on a train. You will get a mug and silver bell, as well as a Christmas cookie. See Santa and his elves perform and take photos along the way, including one with Mr. Kringle himself.
The Historic Palace Theatre plays some of your favorite class Christmas movies all season long, and after the movie, you can explore Main Street to experience all the magic Grapevine has to offer. The Palace Theatre also hosts Christmas concerts that you won’t want to miss.
3. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Move over Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Philadelphia is home to the Dunkin’ Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade, which has been running for more than 100 years. The parade is free to attend and features numerous flying balloons, appearances from Disney favorites and Santa and Mrs. Claus, floats, musical performances, and more than 20 marching bands from across the country. – CANCELLED
Philadelphia’s German heritage makes it a very unique holiday destination. The traditional German Christmas markets of Christmas Village in Love Park will make you feel like you have time-traveled back to the past. Shop with numerous different vendors and enjoy Christmas-themed displays.
A pyrotechnic display over the Delaware River is the perfect way to ring in the New Year. Rivers Casino New Year’s Eve Fireworks on the Waterfront draws thousands of people to the area each year. The event consists of two different fireworks displays—one at 6 p.m. and one at midnight.
4. Alexandria, Virginia
Alexandria has become a beloved holiday destination for all those who love Christmas. King Street is home to a canopy of twinkling lights and historical buildings. It is also home to a host of unique shops and eateries. City Hall is also home to the annual Tree Lighting ceremony.
The Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights showcases thousands of lights on the Potomac River. Enjoy holiday music, giveaways, crafts, and food while you watch all the boats. Santa and Mrs. Claus will also be there for photos!
George Washington’s Mount Vernon hosts holiday programs and tours where you and your family can hear Christmas stories from costumed characters. Mount Vernon also holds many different Christmas events that you won’t want to miss.
Alexandria is home to a winter wonderland experience that your family will love. Ice & Lights—the Winter Village at Cameron Run. The waterpark is transformed into an ice rink with beautiful holiday décor. There are plenty of places for photo ops, as well. There will be music, a fire pit, and s’mores.
5. Disney World, Florida
The most magical place in the world only gets better at Christmas! Walt Disney World is home to special events that will make your family feel like they are getting the all-star treatment. Santa Claus will be available for appearances at all four parks, and special Christmas friends will be in the park. Reindeer, Elves, and Gingerbread Men are just a few of the new friends you can make.
The Main Street Philharmonic will march down Main Street USA in Magic Kingdom, and Cinderella’s Castle will showcase various Christmas-themed designs at night.
Enjoy a meal with your favorite female mouse, Minnie. Minnie’s Holiday Dine is a festive gathering, including Goofy and other Disney characters. Epcot International Festival of the Holidays will introduce you to festive dishes from around the world, and there will be live music ranging from R&B to traditional Christmas genres.
6. North Pole, Alaska
Where can you find more Christmas magic than the North Pole? While Christmas is celebrated all year long in North Pole, Alaska, you won’t want to miss out on all the festivities around the true holiday season. Visit the Santa Claus House to see amazing ice art, Santa, and so much more. You also won’t want to miss out on the Letter from Santa tradition. While at the Santa Claus House, you can order a letter to be sent to your child that comes with a photo, a Santa Claus dollar, and a sticker that says, “I’m on Santa’s Good List.”
7. Chicago, Illinois
Visit Chicago for a Midwest winter wonderland. Thanksgiving kicks off lights, ice skating, holiday markets, and more. The Museum of Science and Industry features gorgeous holiday tree and light displays. Sixty trees, including the 45-foot-tall Grand Tree, are all decorated by volunteers to showcase more than 50 different cultures. Learn more about the Holidays of Light, which includes Kwanzaa, Diwali, and Ramadan.
Lincoln Park Zoo’s ZooLights event allows you to wander the zoo after hours to see 2.5 million lights and all the animals. Sip on spiced wine, watch live ice-sculpting competitions, eat at the café, and take photos with Santa.
Navy Pier turns into a fun carnival with rides, a skating rink, giant slides, and so many holiday activities during Winter Wonderfest. With more than 170,000 square feet of space, you are sure to find all kinds of things to keep your kids entertained.
The Renegade Craft Fair, located in the Bridgeport Arts Center, is a free event where local vendors show off their one-of-a-kind gifts, often offering personalization. Browse through the hundreds of stalls to find apparel, jewelry, accessories, decorations, ceramics, jewelry, and more. There are also food trucks on-site to provide provisions for those in need.
8. Leavenworth, Washington
Leavenworth is a Bavarian-inspired town that takes Christmas to the extreme. Join locals at the Christmas Lighting Festival, where more than half a million lights will be lit in celebration. While the Christmas lights provide a new glow about the town, participate in themed activities such as cider tastings and sledding.
At Christkindlmarkt, which takes place the weekend after Thanksgiving, enjoy live music while you shop for handmade gifts from local vendors. This Bavarian-style Christmas market also serves delicious Bavarian foods.
Visit the Icicle Village Resort for a relaxing winter getaway. The hotel offers many amenities, such as a sports bar, miniature golf course, and spa, while providing a warm ambiance throughout your stay.
Have you traveled to a great holiday season location? Let us know in the comments!
Keep in mind that some events may be canceled due to COVID-19.
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