The holidays are here and all throughout the United States hotel properties are celebrating now through the beginning of 2022. Pop-ups, activities and activations of all kinds are now in operation, to be experienced by groups of all sizes and ice-skating abilities.

Setting the (Pop-up) Bar

Mistletoe-to-Toe cocktail. Photo by Randy Schmidt.

Sippin’ Santa Pop-up Bar at Prince Waikiki in Honolulu is a Miracle Bar. This cocktail experience, which began in 2015 in New York City, offers Tiki-inspired drinks and grub, running now through Dec. 31. Additionally, Holly Jolly Waikiki Trolley, which built its service around Sippin’ Santa, uses Prince Waikiki as the pick-up location to see the Honolulu City Lights at Honolulu Hale, running through Dec. 25.

Over in mainland United States, Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley in Palo Alto, California, is home to the winter-themed Apres Village. The pop-up experience is located at the 32-capacity Quattro Terrace and its other outdoor spaces. From now through Feb. 26, 2022, Apres Village is available for reservations of up to four in its semi-private chalets Friday-Sunday, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Christmas-themed movies are showing every Sunday at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., some of which include classics Elf, Grinch and Soul. Private events in the whole space can be held Monday-Thursday.

Apres Village. Photo by Marianna Jamadi.

Festive cocktails by the names of Nog on the Rooftop, Naughty List Dirty Martini, and Junior and Mrs. Mint are to be accompanied by the holiday-themed decor at St. Henry’s Winter Wonderland at The Henry in Dallas. The bar transformed its rooftop into a pop-up with not only those colorfully named cocktails but a healthy list of dining options, as well. For groups of more than six, reservations are best; and private dining rooms are available for large groups.

Marriott International’s Moxy brand has established itself as one of the unorthodox members of the hotel group, and its pop-ups only furthers its reputation as such. Open through March 2022, Moxy Times Square’s The Pink Winter Lodge in New York City doesn’t have “pink” in its name just for fun. Its decor, lighting, treats, drinks and Instagram-worthy backdrops are replete with pink, pink…and more pink.

Moxy Times Square’s The Pink Winter Lodge

While The Pink Winter Lodge offers much-loved classics such as chips and guac’, sliders and curly fries, its themed treats steal the show. Future favorites such as the pink cotton candy-topped Pink AF Pancake Stack is a shareable pancake dish that also comes with bananas, blueberries and apple compote; and Moxy Apres Ski, which features pink hot chocolate, vodka, white chocolate liquor and soy milk.

Also offered in NYC is Palm Holiday, Moxy East Village’s first pop-up bar, open through March 2022. The Ready, the property’s rooftop bar and location of the pop-up, has been decked out in tropical decor, from the palm trees and flamingos to the cocktails, with such offerings as Spice Spice Baby and Tropical Holiday Frozen Hot Chocolate. Events can be held here for semi-private groups of 11 to 150.

Dazzling Lights and Ice Rinks

The annual Christmas at the Princess at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in Arizona is a six-week festival that runs through Jan. 2, 2022, featuring two ice-skating rinks, an 84-foot “singing tree,” a 90-foot Ferris wheel and six million LED lights.

Ten climate-controlled igloos sit just outside the property, which can accommodate up to eight people; if you’re looking for more, the igloo fire pit package comes with a charcuterie board, s’mores platter, an exclusive fire pit table at The Village and one-hour ice skating access. New to Christmas at the Princess, is the 120-foot-long Snow Mountain Trail at The Village.

Every winter in Las Vegas, what normally serves at The Cosmopolitan’s Boulevard Pool turns into The Ice Rink, named one the 10 best ice skating rinks in North America by USA Today in 2017. Alongside which you can help yourself to s’mores and the property’s seasonal F&B. New this year is The Chalet, a makeshift ski mountain lounge area, replete with an oversized firepit, cocktails and small bites. Reservations, which are required, are available for up to 102 people.

Trails for Winterized Exploration

Over in Manchester, Virginia, at The Equinox Golf Resort & Spa, they’re doing the holidays in style. The property’s 914 acres of Green Mountain trails offer enough winter activities to keep groups busy. There’s downhill skiing, cross country skiing—both for skill levels of all kinds—scenic sleigh rides, snow shoeing, ice skating, tubing and snowmobiling. Although offered year-round, Land Rover Experience Driving School’s off-road adventuring feels just that much cooler when riding through the snow; during the driving school, attendees will be able to learn and master unpredictable terrain.

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