Updated: Mar 25
Welcome to this month’s FREETOGO blog post. This is the last blog post of the year and comes at a very special time for many. There are holiday celebrations galore worldwide.
In this blog post, I’d like to bring your attention to five sites, four of which I highlighted one year ago.
1) The first site can be found in the Annual Events category.
The International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, China has gained international attention for its popular winter extravaganza which features elaborate ice sculptures.
The Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival (Chinese: 哈尔滨国际冰雪节; pinyin: Hā'ěrbīn Guójì Bīngxuě Jié) is an annual winter festival that takes place with a theme in Harbin, Heilongjiang, China, and now is the largest ice and snow festival in the world. At first, participants in the festival were mainly Chinese, however, it has since become an international festival and competition, with the 2018 festival attracting 18 million visitors and generating 28.7 billion yuan ($4.4 billion) of revenue. The festival includes the world's biggest ice sculptures.
Officially, the festival starts on January 5 and lasts till late February. However, exhibits often open earlier and stay longer, weather permitting. While ice sculptures are erected throughout the city, there are two main exhibition areas:
· Sun Island is a recreational area on the opposite side of the Songhua River from the city, which features an expo of enormous snow sculptures.
· Ice and Snow World is an area open in the afternoon and at night that features illuminated full-size buildings made from blocks of 2–3' thick ice taken directly from the Songhua River. The park usually opens from late December to late February. In 1999, the first Ice and Snow World opened to the public to celebrate the millennium. Each year the park has to be rebuilt with newly designed ice buildings and snow and ice sculptures. In recent years, the park has been as large as 80 hectares.
During the festival, there are ice lantern park touring activities held in many parks in the city. Winter activities during the festival include Yabuli alpine skiing, winter swimming in the Songhua River, and the ice-lantern exhibition in Zhaolin Garden.
2) Next, like last year, I’d like to call your attention to some fantastic light displays. I’ve added a couple more videos this year. These videos can be accessed below or in the Current Holiday & Season Showcase category, then in the Archive of Holiday & Season Showcase category in other months.
These families have turned their homes and their neighbors' homes into extravagant Christmas wonderlands.
This is a full tour of "Night of a Million Lights" at Give Kids the World Village, a Christmas light walk-through held in Kissimmee, Florida.
Christmas time is almost upon us, and the next best thing to being home for the celebration is going somewhere where the holiday spirit knows no bounds. As a result, you might be looking to go somewhere where you are sure to get holiday markets, twinkling lights, and warm mulled wine. Well, we have your back as we always do. Follow us as we take you through 7 of the most beautiful Christmas towns around the world. Without a doubt, these are some of the best places to visit at Christmas time because Christmas comes alive in these towns.
3) Lastly, for something a little different, check out the following video. Prepare to be amazed at some great sites in our world. This video can be found in the Special and Unique category.
Unbelievable and unique places that you wouldn't believe actually exist! The places in today's video are not from some distant planet. They are places that exist here on Earth. See these 15 most unbelievable places!
Note: FREETOGO is entirely free. Also, there are no ads on the site to interrupt your visit. Unfortunately, that is not true for many of the videos because YouTube hosts them. However, if you wish, you can eliminate the ads by paying to become a premium YouTube member.
You can access YouTube’s Premium Membership signup here:
I invite you to check out the above videos and the many others curated for this website.
Also, be sure to see all of the many ways people are using FREETOGO in the Scenarios category at the bottom of the ‘Travel Now’ page.
Most importantly, help to improve the quality of life of everyone. Please share this website far and wide, especially with anyone unable to travel freely. Sign up as a member, leave a testimonial, and visit the website regularly!
Get creative and have some fun traveling virtually. I look forward to the day when the term Virtual Travel will be as commonplace as the term travel.
Until next year, thank you.