Even if you are traveling this holiday, you may still want to bring along something home cooked and delicious to share with your host during Christmas dinner. Well, you still can! These wonderful recipes are all great to make ahead of time and take with you because they travel really well. Pack them in airtight containers to avoid any spilling and they will be ready to reheat or serve when you arrive. Here are 18 scrumptious Christmas recipes that travel well.
Hearst Castle is a National California Landmark mansion located on the Central Coast of California in San Simeon, just off Highway 1. Invitations to Hearst Castle were highly coveted in the 1920s and 30s, but today the mansion is open to everyone.
To start off your tour of Hearst Castle I recommend watching the Hearst Castle -Building a Dream video in the five-story theater located at the Visitor’s Center. The 45-minute video is included in the price of admission to the daytime tours of the castle and will give you history of William Randolph Hearst and the construction and design of the castle. Tickets can also be purchased for the video alone for $8.
There are three different tours to choose from each one taking you on a different part of the 165-room estate, 125 sprawling acres of gardens, two pools and more. Add to the fact the castle is located on the coast of California it offers spectacular views of the ocean. Your tour begins by taking a five-mile tram ride to the castle and then prepare to be amazed. Tours start at $25 for adults and $12 for children. You can also take a virtual tour before you go.
Although there is not specific tour set up for Christmas. Starting Thanksgiving weekend the castle is decorated in traditional holiday décor that would have been present during the 20s and 30s. The Grand Rooms Tour and the Evening Tour offer the best ways to see the holiday decorations.
I have had the opportunity to visit Hearst Castle three times and each time I went the beauty of the castle and all the historic artifacts and furniture located within the castle amazed me. It is a must stop destination for anyone in the San Simone area.
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Zoo Lights at the Fresno Chaffee Zoo
A day at the Zoo is always a great adventure, but this Christmas the Fresno Chaffee Zoo invites you to join in on a visit to the zoo with Christmas lights decorated through out the zoo.
My family was able to visit this event opening weekend, but there are still plenty of days available for visiting. It will definitely get you in the Christmas spirit. The event starts at 5:00 PM, ends at 8:00 PM and costs $8 for adults and $4 for children (Dates: Dec 5-7, 12-14, 19-23 & 26-30).
Besides walking through the many displays of lights and decorations it was fun to see some of the animal during the evening hours. The highlight for us was when the giraffes came out of their hut and walked right in front of us. 1, 2…6 giraffes. They were so much fun to look at as they walked, ate and played in their home. We were also able to see a few other animals, like elephants, seals and the reptile house was open. Stingray bay was also decorated and open for visitors.
We ended our evening by picking up the hot chocolate and cookies included for free with your ticket. It was a perfect way to end the evening and warmed us up from the inside out. A great event you should definitely not miss. If you need more information you can check out their website here. Can’t get enough Christmas lights this season? Us either. Check out Christmas Tree Lane, also in Fresno.
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Disclosure: Our friends at Dog Street Pub treated us to dinner to facilitate this review. All opinions are my own.
DoG Street Pub in Merchants Square
If you are planning a trip to Williamsburg, VA you should plan to stay a while. There is so much to see and do! One of the tough decisions is where to eat as great restaurants abound. To help you decide, we visited the DoG Street Pub in the Merchants Square Shopping District. This restaurant was amazing and you should consider adding it to the top of your list for places to eat near Colonial Williamsburg.
Make a reservation. This place was hopping busy but we had a reservation and we were seated within minutes if walking in the door. Folks who did not have a reservation had a bit of a wait. Which in my opinion as long as you plan ahead I like knowing that people are willing to wait to eat somewhere to me it is sign that it is a good choice.
Bring your growler! The DoG Street Pub has a fantastic selection of craft beers, not only from VA but from all over the globe. If you are a beer drinker you will have a hard time deciding which beer to take home and will not be disappointed with the selection.
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by the Williamsburg KOA @koafun #koa. All opinions are my own.
Do you KOA?
If you don’t, you should consider it. Camping is in my opinion the best way to vacation on a budget. We have camped in tents, cabins, and recently in our new Caboose Camper. We have been to several KOA Kampgrounds and love them all. Every KOA we have visited has been fantastic. There are always plenty of bathhouses which are always very clean. If you are worried about the kids getting bored while camping, then KOA is definitely the campground for you. There are always plenty of activities for the kids including playgrounds, pools, jump pillows and planned activities led by the KOA staff.
KOA Camping in Williamsburg
I would highly recommend the Williamsburg KOA, especially if you are planning a trip to Williamsburg. This KOA is a short drive from Colonial Williamsburg, Busch Gardens, and many other Williamsburg attractions.We were heading to Busch Gardens Christmas Town and since we knew it was going to be a late night we wanted to spend the night close by so we could hustle the kids back to the camper and get them to bed. We were so happy we found this KOA. The staff was kind, courteous, and very helpful. One of the best parts of camping is meeting new people and we loved chatting with other campers and also the folks in the yellow shirts (aka KOA employees). The staff was very knowledgeable.
The first question my kids always ask is “Do they have a pool?” Which is quickly followed by “Do they have a jumping pillow?” The kids were not disappointed as the Williamsburg KOA has both. But since we were camping in November we did not get to enjoy the pool at this KOA although the sight of the splash pad has made us decide to come back in the summertime. We did however enjoy the jumping pillow. My kids could play for hours on it. It is also a great place to meet other kids and make “camping friends”.
There is also a fantastic camp store. My kids always enjoy finding new treasures at campground stores. This KOA had plenty of treasures that didn’t break the bank. We also found much needed camping supplies and even a few little things that we forgot to pack. In the warmer months, you can buy buckets of dirt and pan for gems and fossils. Kids love to play in dirt and this is a great activity. We will be adding this to our list of reasons to visit the Williamsburg KOA again in the summertime! Take a look at all the available activities at their website and start planning your camping trip today. For us, we will be heading back sometime between May and August so we can participate in the activities led by the SummerShiners!
Follow That Caboose!
This was also our first time taking our caboose camper anywhere. The Caboose Camper is a one of a kind home built camper. We had a great time at the Williamsburg KOA in our Caboose Camper! We met some fellow campers who wanted to take a peek inside. The inside is just as awesome as the outside so of course we let them take a look. Our kids loved to say “We are staying in the big red caboose!” The caboose has been winterized and parked for the year but check back in the Spring as we will be taking the caboose on many new adventures.