The holiday season is a time to spend with the special people in your life.
Here are four great places to get in the spirit.
In Hermitage, Pa, visitors will discover Christmas spirit at Kraynak's, located at 2525 E. State Street. Through Dec. 31, Kraynak's will transport you to a magical world of twinkling lights, glittering trees, and loveable, adorable characters with Santa’s Christmasland. Walk through a set of displays reminiscent of the old, downtown shop windows with animatronics and holiday music. This year’s display includes a look at Santa’s workshop, a woodland wonderland filled with critters and even an art class with Mrs. Claus.
Kraynak’s was first opened in 1949 and there are three divisions of the business, starting with a main retail store, which is the home of Santa’s Christmasland. Visiting Kraynak’s has become a holiday tradition for many families.
For more information call 724-347-4511 or visit www.kraynaks.com.
Not far from home is the very popular Oglebay Winter Festival of Lights. Oglebay Park offers many things to do throughout the year, but the holiday season brings people from far away to see the impressive collection of light displays. The annual light event is one of the nation's largest as it covers more than 300 acres – a six-mile drive by car. The light display has been listed as one of the 10 Best Christmas Light Displays in the US by AOL Travel as well as awarded many other titles.
Each year something new is added and, to date, there are more than 80 larger-than-life displays. A favorite is the 300-foot tunnel with 30 arches.
For more information visit www.oglebay-resort.com
3.CHRISTMAS STORY HOUSE
Nearly everyone can quote a line or two from the “A Christmas Story,” the 1983 film starring Peter Billingsley as Ralphie Parker, a boy who wants nothing more than a Red Ryder BB Gun for Christmas. The story has won over generations of family members and become a holiday favorite.
You can visit Ralphie’s house – the house used in filming “A Christmas Story.” You’ll become part of the film as you climb under the kitchen sink like Ralphie’s younger brother Randy, shoot a Red Rider BB gun and see the film’s infamous leg lamp.
The house is located at 3159 11th Street in Cleveland. Owner Brian Jones purchased the house in 2005 during an eBay auction and paid for it with money he made by selling leg lamps similar to the one in the film. Jones restored the home from its more modern look to a detailed rendition of the movie house.
Across the street is the official “A Christmas Story” museum displaying props, costumes and memorabilia including behind the scenes photos and a gift shop.
The cost is $10 for adults, $8 for senior citizens, $6 for children ages 7 to 12, and free for children ages 6 and younger. Tickets include admission to the house and museum and can be purchase at the museum or the online gift shop. For information on tour times call 216-298-4919 or visit firstname.lastname@example.org.
The house and museum are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.
4. DICKENS CHRISTMAS
Have a Dickens of a Christmas in Cambridge. Just a short ride south on Interstate 77 will get you to a place sure to spark that holiday spirit. It is the Dickens Victorian Village and the Guernsey County Courthouse light show.
Visitors flock to this Ohio city to take in the Victorian Christmas feel.
More than 1,000 volunteers work to shape the city into a Victorian village. They work year round to create a display of more than 180 lifelike figures in over 80 scenes.
The figures are displayed along historic Route 40, known as Wheeling Avenue, and at some additional city sites.
Displays depict popular scenes from Dickens’ work such as Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, singing carolers, school children, Father Christmas, lamplighters and so much more. Telling the “real” people from the figures is sometimes difficult.
Make sure you schedule your time wisely to be in Cambridge after sunset to catch one of the biggest attractions — the Guernsey County Courthouse light show. The historic 1881 building takes a leap into the 21st century with 36 animated light displays — more than 30,000 lights — synchronized to holiday music.
First stop in at the Ye Ole Curiosity Shoppe and Dickens Welcome Center, 643 Wheeling Avenue, and pick up a walking tour brochure. Visit the website for times of the light show and more information www.dickensvictorianvillage.com/.