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9 Airports That Really Get Into the Holiday Spirit

Dec. 17, 2017
6 min read
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'Tis the season for holiday cheer and busy travel. As the Christmas season rolls in, airports around the world are creating unforgettable holiday experiences for travelers. From London to Singapore, these airports help ease the stress of flying by recreating remarkable displays and hosting exciting holiday-themed events. Going beyond illuminating Christmas trees and Santa Claus appearances, these airport terminals stand out with their impressive holiday setting. No matter your destination this season, a trip through one of these nine airports will surely put you in the spirit.

1. Munich Airport

Munich Airport (MUC) is kicking off the holidays season with their 19th annual Winter Market. Every year, the market is turned into a winter wonderland with a 50-foot tall Christmas tree decorated with 5,000 lights and an additional 450 pine trees. Visitors can enjoy more than 40 stands that offers seasonal foods until December 30. At at the center of the market is the 600-square-meter ice rink, where travelers can lace up their skates for free. This year’s edition of the ever-popular Christmas Market is now open in the Munich Airport Center Forum (MAC), a covered outdoor space between the two terminals.

Photo by Stephan Goerlich / FMG

2. Singapore Changi Airport

Want to experience a white Christmas in Singapore? Head over to Terminal 3 at Changi International Airport (SIN) and enjoy a one-of-a-kind experience. The airport has drones lighting up the terminal departure hall, forming snowflakes. This year’s theme is Hello Kitty and Friends, which entails an array of holiday theme displays, games and activities. Get ready for some kawaii awesomeness with performances by Hello Kitty and Friends every weekend until January 5. If you’re still not getting your fill of adorable characters, go check out the Christmas tree at Terminal 1 departure hall. In conjunction with the year-end gifting season, eight limited-edition Sanrio character plush toys are up for grabs exclusively at the airport.

3. Los Angeles International Airport

Los Angeles World Airports, Westfield and DFS are helping travelers get into the holiday spirit by providing festive entertainment in LAX terminals. The airport kicked off the holiday season with the annual Santa Fly-In at the Flight Path Learning Center where Santa emerged from the skies, handing out gifts to 350 local elementary school students. Holiday decorations include lit snowflakes and icicles on the iconic silver letters at the airport entrance on Century Boulevard. Even the infamous LAX sign is decorated with wintry stars and icicles accented by the pylons’ blue glow. While there, don't forget to catch a selfie with Santa at Tom Bradley International Terminal.

4. Zürich Airport

A Swiss holiday hub, Zürich Airport (ZRH) is decked out with over 500,000 lights throughout the airport this season and visitors and travelers are treated to a very friendly holiday surprise from Frosty the Snowman and friends. As a part of the airport's snowmen campaign, travelers will discover dozens of friendly snowmen joining them on their journey, including at baggage claim. Zürich Airport's magical build-up to Christmas includes daily competitions, events for the whole family and, of course, countless ideas for gifts. Holiday events include an Advent brunch, fondue and wine tastings at airport restaurants; enjoy some free Swiss chocolate from Santa every weekend in December and make your holidays that much sweeter.

5. Vancouver International Airport

You can’t help but hum a carol when you enter Vancouver International Airport (YVR): The sounds of seasonal music entertain arriving and departing passengers at each of the terminal. Be on the look-out for holiday perks for passengers including include free gift-wrapping for all purchases from December 15 to December 25. In addition to decorating the terminals, Vancouver Airport turns their holiday celebrations into a charitable cause for Quest Food Exchange. The airport has collected 1,057 hampers from the incredible YVR community, which means 1,057 families will be able to eat this winter.

6.  Heathrow Airport

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas: Heathrow Airport (LHR) welcomes travelers this holiday season with daily events that are guaranteed to spread joy. Known for its famous ribbon tree, the airport decorates from terminal to terminal with bright trees. Daily Santa Claus appearances, carolers and a brass band are just some of the acts set to entertain travelers throughout the airport’s terminals. To boot, Heathrow also has friendly “gift helpers” on hand in all terminals to help travelers find the perfect gifts for loved ones.

7. Washington Dulles International Airport

Tis the season for more over-the-top decorations. Travelers arriving at Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD) will be greeted by holiday trees decorated by local school children, as well as Mr. and Mrs. Claus themselves. Those traveling on the Aerotrain can admire oversized holiday ornaments and decorations. Holiday music lovers are in luck, too as the airport features carolers, classical music performances and high school bands. If that isn't enough, travelers can partake in some last-minute holiday shopping.

8. Hong Kong International Airport 

Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) rings in the seasonal cheer with Christmas decorations and an array of festive activities at the terminals. Various spots in the terminal turn into show stages for a lineup of singing, light show and other events featuring performances delivered by the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, members of the airport community, primary and secondary schools and other organizations.

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9. Orlando International Airport

Even though Orlando doesn't get much snow, that doesn't stop the second-busiest airport in Florida from dazzling in a winter wonderland. For nearly 3 million travelers, the journey to spend the season with family and friends will take them through Orlando International Airport (MCO). Just before entering security, check out the 40-foot Christmas tree decorated with multi-colored LEDs, set in the atrium of the Hyatt Regency. MCO continues its tradition of brightening the busy holiday travel season with daily live performances from the Orlando Ballet Company of the Nutcracker.

Featured Image by Heathrow Airport