Christmas is just around the corner, and if you can't face the family — or want to take them away to avoid the hassles at home — there's still time to book a seasonal getaway.
New York in luxury
With its festive lights, illuminated Christmas trees, ice-skating rinks and the tantalising possibility of snow, New York rates right up there in terms of seasonal destinations.
To celebrate Christmas in style, luxury hotel The Peninsula New York has a Holly Jolly New York package, including accommodation with activities such as a decorative window display walking tour, a private ice-skating experience, VIP admission to Top of the Rock and a tour by chaffeur-driven car to Brooklyn's Dyker Heights to see the neighbourhood's famous Christmas lights.
There's also the chance to shop at Saks Fifth Avenue before the store opens, in-room holiday decorations and daily American breakfast for two, plus free wi-fi and other perks.
Valid for stays from November 24 to December 30, it costs from about $1778 per night.
- More at newyork.peninsula.com
Australia's illuminated red centre
Here's something that's both a little different and distinctly Australian: a Christmas celebration at Uluru, visiting artist Bruce Munro's remarkable Field of Light installation.
A special Night at Field of Light is available on December 25, including wine and canapes at sunset overlooking the more than 50,000 lights that make up the work, before time to explore the installation.
This will be followed by a three-course Christmas buffet dinner with traditional and bush-tucker-inspired dishes. The menu will include roasted turkey, Christmas ham with native chutney, Christmas pudding, chilled prawns, fruit mince tarts, smoked kangaroo with native pepperberry yoghurt, warm pear and lemon myrtle pudding, and Davidson plum baked cheesecake.
The evening costs $260 per adult and $130 for children aged 10-15.
- Go to ayersrockresort.com.au or phone 1300 134 044
Christmas at sea
For a festive family break, a cruise could be just the ticket, giving children and adults of all ages the independence to do their own thing while also enjoying some quality time together — crucially, without parents having to do the cooking or cleaning.
Numerous cruise ships homeporting in Australia for the summer season have Christmas cruises, including local favourite Astor. Its 11-night Christmas at Sea voyage will depart from Fremantle on December 18 and travel to Bali and back.
The itinerary includes eight full days at sea and has a buy one get one free offer on fares for the remaining handful of cabins, with prices from $3629 per person for a standard oceanview cabin, with the second person travelling for free.
- See cmvaustralia.com or phone 1300 307 934