1 Best escapes for Christmas New Year 2012 2 Drink some mulled wine and chomp on a gingerbread man at one of the Christmas markets skate at one of the ice rinks set up around the city or take-in the Eiffel Tower light show on New Years Eve. Theres plenty to do in Paris over the festive period. And if your version of partying is with your children in a family-friendly environment Disneyland isnt far away. Sipa Press/Rex Features 3 During the festive season visit one of Barcelonas traditional Catalan Christmas markets - just dont expect to find a bratwurst or stein in sight. On Christmas Day itself you can watch the annual swimming race in the harbour - it is truly an original experience! Getty Images 4 If you want to see in the new year in style jump aboard a boat and cruise the river while enjoying fine dining dancing champagne and stunning views of the citys night skyline. During the festive period head up to Grouse Mountain for the Christmas celebration there which includes Santas workshop an outdoor skating pond real reindeer and Christmas choirs. Canadian Press/Rex Features 5 The festive season in the city is something special go skating at the Rockefeller Center Christmas shopping down snow-lined streets and if youre in New York for the first time for New Years Eve theres only one place to be when the clock strikes midnight on the 31st. Getty Images 6 LA has loads of options for partying throughout the festive season especially on New Years Eve. Two of the biggest are the Hollywood VIP Pass a ticket to multiple clubs around the city and Cleopatras New Years Eve Ball at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. CHAD EHLERS/Rex Features 7 If youre going to be in Dublin this New Years Eve be sure to get tickets to the NYE Dublin Festival so you can enjoy the music dancing and fireworks set to take place. The festival this year marks the start of The Gathering Ireland 2013 a year-long event celebrating all things Irish. THE TRAVEL LIBRARY/Rex Features 8 Catch the Dutch National Ballet performing Cinderella until 1 January go skating on one of the numerous ice rinks around the city and take in the festive feel of the markets and lights festivals. If youre in Amsterdam for New Year spend the night on Museumplein (Museum Square) for the citys own version of the Times Square celebrations. THE TRAVEL LIBRARY/Rex Feature 9 Instead of escaping for some winter sun this year head to Canada and embrace snowier climes. In Calgary there are loads of events going on for Christmas and new year. Take your kids along to the Calgary Zoo Zoolights there will be fire pits ice-carving demos delicious hot chocolate and 1.5 million twinkling lights to take in. Rick Rudnicki/Getty Images 10 New Years Eve in Toronto is a big deal so you wont struggle to find the perfect event to suit you. There are plenty of balls club nights and pubs open to the early hours to see in the new year. Or for something a little different join in on the Toronto Midnite New Years Eve run. Its 5k in distance and proceeds go to charity but dont worry theres still champagne and fireworks as you cross the finishing line. KeystoneUSA-ZUMA/Rex Features 11 Rome is the home of Christmas and even if you arent religious theres something special about the tradition and ceremony that takes place throughout the season. When it comes to New Years Eve if youd prefer to spend the evening outside enjoying live music with hundreds of other people rather than in a busy nightclub then Rome is for you. Image Broker/Rex Features 12 show from MSN Lifestyle Photos
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