Many of our favorite Christmas decorations, foods and even symbols began in Saxony, from fierce wooden nutcracker soldiers and candle arches to cherubic, painted angels; and fruit-filled stollen. Families traveling in southeast Germany will find reminders of this Christmas legacy whatever time of year they visit.
But in December, Christmas seems everywhere. The center of Dresden becomes one big Christkindlmarkt, every square lined by wooden cabins bursting with decorations, festive foods and gifts. Many of the most iconic decorations had their origins in the Ore Mountains, south of Dresden, where out-of-work miners perfected the art of woodcarving.
When the mines closed, miners turned their talents to carving wooden arches for displaying candles in windows and intricate twirling pyramid carousels, populated with tiny painted figures and propelled by the heat of candles. Fierce-looking nutcrackers began as caricatures of the feared mine foremen.
The traditional rosy-cheeked angels and choristers — those iconic wooden ornaments found in every Christmas market and shop throughout Germany and on Christmas trees throughout the world — originated here. The center of all this is Annaberg-Buchholz, where the contemporary Manufaktur der Träume museum exhibits the history of the region’s beautiful carved and painted Christmas decorations and wooden toys.
Nearby Seiffen is famed for wooden toys, and Christmas shops in the town center are filled with rows of tiny painted figures to decorate Christmas trees. Another museum in Seiffen displays a giant, 9-foot-tall wooden pyramid of painted Christmas figures.
An even larger carousel is the centerpiece of the Kristkindlmarkt in Annaberg-Buchholz; the highlight here is the miner’s parade on the fourth Advent Sunday (Dec. 22), bringing 1,000 people in traditional costumes and 300 miner musicians.
You’ll find Christmas markets wherever you go in December. Almost as big as Dresden’s markets are those filling the streets and squares of Leipzig, Saxony’s other major city. But during December, each of these large cities takes on the cozy feel of a smaller town, the air filled with sweet spicy fragrances, jingling bells and Christmas music.
Ever dreamed of being a mermaid? Well, your dreams could come true on your next family trip. With March 29 National Mermaid Day, these two resorts offer experiences for guests of all ages to enjoy.
Making travel plans can be exciting; did you know planning on how to spend time at the airport the right way can enrich the overall trip experience? As a transfer hub, traveling through Doha's Hamad International Airport is a unique experience, as waiting never feels like waiting at one of the best airports in the world.
Make Best Western your hotel of choice during spring family travels for a sweet reward. This spring, BWH Hotels offers members of its Best Western Rewards loyalty program the opportunity to earn a free night stay.
Known for its clear, vibrantly blue-green waters and varied and historic ports of call, the Adriatic is the new Mediterranean for cruise enthusiasts and family travelers. An Adriatic cruise is especially suited to multigen family trips, since it appeals to all ages with its beautiful beaches, water sports, rich marine life, historic cities, ancient archaeological sites, colorful cultures and varied cuisines. There is truly something for every traveler.
United Airlines is in the midst of a major initiative to modernize its fleet over the next several years. After first announcing the plan in 2021, planes fitted with United’s signature interior are finally beginning to appear across the airline’s narrowbody fleet of Boeing and Airbus planes. United flyers are sure to notice these enhancements from the moment they step on board: Each new or updated plane sports remodeled seats, seatback entertainment screens for everyone, Bluetooth connectivity and more, all adding up to a better experience on every journey.
Parents, it’s time to ditch family travel and embark on a romantic vacation at Solmar Hotels and Resorts in Los Cabos. Renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, pristine beaches and unparalleled hospitality, Los Cabos sets the stage for couples looking for a romantic escape away from the kids. At Solmar Hotels and Resorts, guests are invited to take advantage of the romantic accommodations, spa experiences, gastronomic delights and more.