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Family(ish) time during Christmas

The holidays typically include lots and lots of family time. Here are some ideas for when you are looking for a little break from all that "quality time."
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Is it just us, or does even Santa seem to be indicating he'd like a break?

Is it just us, or does even Santa seem to be indicating he'd like a break? /Eric Lanning

Yes, we all know that the holidays are intended to be spent with family, friends and loved ones. Office parties, egg nog, twinkly lights, 24 hours of "A Christmas Story." These are all integral parts of the holiday experience. However, for better or for worse, we don't exactly live in the Rockwell era anymore. All that family interaction has the potential to be overwhelming. Luckily, there is no shortage of other options during the Christmas weekend.


Steal away from the adults with your little nieces and nephews, young cousins or your own children. Check out the Snowflake Break Days at the Public Museum every afternoon except Christmas Day: buy one children's admission and you'll get a second one free... and access to a snowflake creation station, an "Elf Hunt" and lots of old-fashioned games and toys. The Children's Museum has an activity going on these days called "Giftworks: Make it, Take it, Give it..." as well as a very discounted family night next Wednesday with $1.50 admission. With the warm weather, a bundled-up last trip to the park near your home with the kids in tow may be just what they need to use up some of that sugar high, and it'll get you some fresh air and probably lots of laughter as well.

For a couple hours of not talking, movies can provide a great distraction. Celebration Cinema locations in the area have plenty of options of movies to see. Christmas Day you can catch a flick as early as 10:00 in the morning and as late as 10:30 at night.

A break from the kitchen

Though it can be difficult to find a restaurant that's open Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, you may have noticed that it's not uncommon for Chinese restaurants to be open during Christmas holidays. If the traditional Chinese meal at Christmastime isn't your favorite, you'll find other options in the area as well. 25 Kitchen and Bar will be open Christmas Even until 9 p.m., serving their full menu. Pearl Street Grill, a hotel restaurant downtown, is open for both breakfast and lunch with a special "Christmas Dinner" menu. Hotel restaurants will often stay open during holidays, so check out your local hotel's restaurant as well.

Cup of courage

For those looking for something stronger, a recent law passed now allows bars to be open on Christmas Day. While many are remaining closed, a number of watering holes throughout the city have chosen to take advantage of this change in the laws. Many bars that we spoke with said they wouldn't keep their staff there if they weren't getting any customers, so be sure to call first to make sure they haven't closed early. Planned hours for those we were able to get in touch with, however, are as follows.

Great escapes

If you are looking for a longer getaway than a few hours, many downtown hotels are offering a special "Get your Joy On" pricing. Treat yourself to a restful getaway without having to fight holiday traffic-just head downtown to Amway Grand Plaza, JW Marriott, the Downtown Courtyard by Marriott, or CityFlats. The package includes a discounted rate on your hotel stay along with other special offers and treats included in the package.

Maybe you don't need time away during these busy tradition-packed days. Maybe you'll bring the whole family along to the movies, or the watering hole, or get your joy on together in a hotel downtown. By all means, you can include your family in these getaways as well. But we won't hold it against you if you steal away for some time to yourself.

Did we miss something? Add your own discoveries in our comments section!

Disclosure: Nick is an employee of the Meanwhile Bar, one of the bars open on Christmas and will be working that night. Stop in and see him!

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