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Tips for Traveling during the Holidays

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Here are our tips for holiday travel, from what attractions are closed to how to get around on public transportation. The winter holidays can be a great time to travel - whether it is experiencing a new city for Christmas or taking advantage of some good deals in the downtime between Thanksgiving and Christmas, but there are a few things to keep in mind.

 

If you're visiting us after the holiday season, check out our Winter Travel tips for January and February.

London

Read our posts on the best things to do in November and December. And if you're joining us specifically for Christmas, you may be interested in 7 London Christmas Lights Tours.

One thing you don't have to worry about in London is Thanksgiving. No holiday hours for this one since it is an American holiday.

We do not offer tours on Christmas Day but check us out for the rest of the holiday season, including New Years Day and look into our self guided and audio tours.

Public Transportation Tips:

  • The Tube and buses don't run on Christmas Day.
  • The Tube runs free of charge all night on New Years Eve but buses are on diversion to avoid the fireworks area in the middle of town.
  • Buses are also less frequent in between Christmas and New Year.

Find out more here: https://tfl.gov.uk/status-updates/major-works-and-events/christmas-travel


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Philadelphia

Things To Do:

We will be premiering a new Holiday tour on 11/23 and running until 12/31. Keep an eye on our Philadelphia Walking Tour page for more information.

The National Museum of American Jewish History is closed Thanksgiving and New Years Day, but it is open on Christmas Day.

Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell Center open 11am to 4pm on Thanksgiving Day and New Years day. It is closed on Christmas Day. Buildings close at 3pm on Christmas Eve.

We offer our regular selection of tours, even on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, including a Holiday Lights tour! Check us out.

Public Transportation Tips:

Expect a Sunday schedule for Thanksgiving Day and the day after.

SEPTA will run on holiday schedule for most of the Christmas week but there will be extra trains on New Years Eve to accommodate City Center fireworks.

SPECIAL HOLIDAY EVENT: Our own guide and manager, Jenn, is a Mummer with Golden Sunrise. They start the parade and she will be in a large peacock outfit. Keep an eye out for her. For more information on the Mummer Parade on Jan 01 2019: http://phillymummers.com/


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Boston

Things to Do:

Read our posts on the best things to do in November and December. And if you're joining us specifically for Christmas, you may be interested in Holiday Events in Boston

What's Open on Christmas Day in Boston?

Public Transportation Tips:
  • The subway trains and buses do run on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day, but are on a Sunday schedule. 
  • On New Year's Eve, the MBTA will provide extra trains, and extended service until 2:00am. 
  • The subway is free of charge after 8:00pm on New Year's Eve.

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Chicago

Things to Do:

Read our posts on the best things to do in November and December. And if you're joining us specifically for Christmas, you may be interested in Christmas in Chicago

What's Open on Christmas Day in Chicago?

  • Skydeck Chicago
  • Brookfield Zoo
  • Chicago Botanic Garden
  • We do not offer tours on Christmas Day, but we do have tours on Thanksgiving and New Years Day, check us out for the rest of the holiday season and look into our self guided tours.

Public Transportation Tips:

  • The subway trains and buses do run on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day, but are on a Sunday schedule. 
  • On New Year's Eve, the MBTA will provide extra trains, and extended service until 2:00am. 
  • The subway is free of charge after 8:00pm on New Year's Eve.

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New York City

Things to Do:

Read our posts on the best things to do in November and December. Read all about attending the Thanksgiving Day parade and if you're here for Christmas, join us on a number of holiday tours - Dyker Heights Lights, Holiday Lights, and the Christmas Movie Tour.

What's Open on Christmas Day in New York City?

Public Transportation Tips:

  • On Thanksgiving Day, expect a weekend service and closures/rerouting due to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
  • On Christmas and New Years, expect limited service.

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New Orleans<

Things to Do:

Read our posts on the best things to do in November and December. And if you're joining us specifically for Christmas, you may be interested in our Creole French Quarter Christmas Tour.

What's Open on Christmas Day in New Orleans?

Public Transportation Tips:

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Washington DC

Things to Do:

Read our posts on the best things to do in November and December. And if you're joining us specifically for Christmas, you may be interested in Christmas in DC post.

What's Open on Christmas Day in DC?

Public Transportation Tips:
  • Metro runs on limited holiday schedule on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
  • The Metro stays open late (usually 2am) on New Years Eve
  • Circulator runs regular service on Thanksgiving and New Years Day and runs late on New Years Eve but is closed on Christmas Day.

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San Francisco

Things to Do:

Read our posts on the best things to do in November and December. And if you're joining us specifically for Christmas, you may be interested in Christmas in San Francisco

What's Open on Christmas Day in San Francisco?

  • San Francisco Zoo and Gardens
  • The Palace Hotel for Brunch 
  • Union Square for Ice Skating 
  • Botanical Gardens Society
  • Grace Cathedral 
  • Contemporary Jewish Museum
  • We do not offer tours on Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Years Day, but check us out for the rest of the holiday season! Or take one of our self guided or audio tours.
Public Transportation Tips:
  • Most forms of transportation in San Francisco run on a limited holiday schedule, but ferries are closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Years Day.

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Charleston

Things to Do:

Read our posts on the best things to do in November and December. And if you're joining us specifically for Christmas, you may be interested in Christmas in Charleston

What's Open on Christmas Day in Charleston?


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Los Angeles

Things to Do:

Read our posts on the best things to do in November and December.


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About The Author

Canden Arciniega

Canden is a historian and tour guide in Washington DC with 4 published books about the city. She has written for HuffPost Travel and has been featured in the Washington Post, WTOP, and numerous other DC papers. She's also been interviewed by the BBC, NPR, Travel Channel and Discovery Family Channel. Canden is the producer of our podcast, Tour Guide Tell All With a M.A. in History from University College London and a B.A. in History from Elon University, she is an authority on D.C. history, and has led tours in the city for over 10 years. She currently resides in DC, but has also lived in London and South Korea, and has travelled to 28 countries. Her two children (both under the age of 4) have their passports and own frequent flier accounts.
Updated: June 2nd, 2019
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