10 magical holiday things to do in Blueground cities

Get in the holiday spirit with these festive events and activities

Kevin Crain

By Kevin Crain

holiday celebrations

‘Tis the season for joy-filled events, magical experiences, and lasting memories. Ready to seize the holiday? It starts with a cozy Blueground home as your base camp for very merry fun. Our fully furnished apartments have flexible terms, so you can stay for a month, a year, or longer. Because there’s always something happening in each of our growing number of cities around the world. This season, check out these 10 activities to get yourself in the holiday spirit.

1. National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony | Washington, D.C.

Christmas in Washington, DC

This one-of-a-kind ceremony has been an American tradition since 1923! With musical performances and special guests, the actual event happens on Thursday, November 30, with a TV broadcast of the ceremony on December 15. However, you can stop by anytime during the holidays to snap a pic of this festive tree.

It’s located near the White House on the Ellipse in President’s Park — close to several Blueground apartments. A brilliant way to kick off the holiday season!

2. Hanukkah in the Bay Area | San Francisco

a menorah

Come take part in the sixth annual glowing Hanukkah party in Ghirardelli Square! Put on by the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco (JCCSF), this Festival of Lights celebration will feature:

  • Candle lightings
  • Live music
  • Hanukkah crafts
  • Classic games
  • Fantastic merchants
  • And more!

It’s all taking place on Sunday, December 10 from 3 to 6 pm close to several Blueground homes in San Francisco.

3. Christmas markets | Vienna

Christmas Markets in Vienna

Austria’s capital city is a legendary spot for Christmas markets. In fact, the first Christmas market in Vienna happened way back in the late 13th century. You can spend DAYS eating, drinking, and shopping your way through these holiday hot spots. Just be sure to sample some of the Weihnachtspunsch (Christmas punch). It usually comes in a cute mug and is available in several different flavors.

Some of the best Christmas markets in the area include:

Frohe Weihnachten!

4. Holiday Pops show | Boston

a christmas concert

Do you hear what we hear? It’s the Holiday Pops in Boston. Running from December 1 to 24, these concerts from the Boston Symphony Orchestra feature “festive favorites from cultural traditions around the world.” It’s a magical music experience that should be on everyone’s holiday bucket list. Have children? There are several matinee performances geared specifically toward kids. These concerts include shorter performances, no intermissions, and the opportunity to visit Santa and eat treats afterward.

5. ZooLights at the Lincoln Park Zoo | Chicago

ZooLights at the Lincoln Park Zoo

Now here’s a wild idea for a family outing, date night, or photo op with friends. Head to the Lincoln Park Zoo from November 17 through January 7 for a dazzling holiday display! Each year, Chicago’s most famous zoo celebrates the season with millions of LEDs throughout its grounds. Highlights of the event include a Ferris wheel, a light tunnel, and an awe-inspiring light show. As the zoo’s website shares, the affordable entry price “helps keep Lincoln Park Zoo free and supports our animal care, community, and conservation work.”

6. Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park | London

Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park

One of the most famous green spaces in the world, Hyde Park gets fa-la-la festive this time of year. Staying in a fully furnished Blueground apartment in London form November 17 through January 1? Check out Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park!

This massive holiday festival features:

  • Adrenaline-pumping rides
  • High-energy circus shows
  • Ice sculpting workshops
  • Christmas markets
  • Delicious street food
  • And so much more

It’s a London holiday experience like no other!

7. Kuumba Kwanzaa Celebration | Los Angeles

A Kwanzaa celebration

Concentrating on African Americans in California and the West from 1800 to the present, the California African American Museum (CAAM) is a hub for exploring art, history, and culture. Stop by this LA institution to celebrate the Kwanzaa principle of Kuumba, which focuses on creativity.

There will be songs, puppetry, stories, and so much more. Lastly, there’ll be a zine workshop where people of all ages and abilities can showcase their creativity. RSVP to this event here.

8. Sledding at Winter World | Berlin

Sledding at Winter World, Berlin

Can you have alpine fun in the heart of Berlin? You bet! Because each year, Potsdamer Platz is turned into Winter World. And the highlight of this seasonal space is the 12-meter high sledding hill. It’s an exciting way to get your heart racing. Perfect for kids or grown-ups!

Afterward, warm up with a mug of Glühwein (mulled wine) as you enjoy live music and traditional German sweets. It’s open until January 1, so be sure to find a Blueground apartment nearby in time.

9. Trail of Lights | Austin

Austin trail of lights

Perhaps the easiest way to brighten up your December? Take a stroll in Zilker Park along this festive, 1.25-mile walking trail in the Texas capital. An annual Austin tradition for nearly 60 years, the Trail of Lights features 2 million lights, 90 lighted holiday trees, and many more stunning displays and tunnels. Don’t worry if you work up an appetite during the walk. There are eats and drinks available from some of Austin’s top restaurants and food trucks. Learn more and get tickets here.

10. Ice Skating | New York City

Skating in NYC

Finally, no holiday bucket list would be complete without ice skating in the Big Apple. From Rockefeller Center to Central Park, NYC has plenty of frozen spots to glide, spin, or just hug the wall as you make your way around the rink.

Quick ice skating tips:

  • To avoid the crowds, arrive just before the rink opens or go on a weekday.
  • Remember to check the public skating times beforehand.
  • Belting out the chorus from “Let It Go” or “New York, New York” while you’re skating is totally okay.

With over 1,000 Blueground apartments in New York City, you’ll definitely find one in your preferred borough and neighborhood.

Your home for the holidays and beyond

Santa sees the entire world — and so can you — with our network of fully furnished Blueground apartments in major cities across the globe! Every apartment comes with a fully equipped kitchen and a comfortable work-from-home setup. Plus, high-tech extras like smart appliances, including a portable Bluetooth speaker, to help you upgrade your lifestyle.

Happy holidays!

Kevin Crain

Kevin Crain

Kevin Crain is a writer from Dallas, Texas. He’s dedicated to helping every Blueground guest live like a local and make their apartment feel like home. His favorite topics include active experiences, bucket list essentials, and hidden gems in cities around the world.