The stockings are in their place and the presents are wrapped; and honestly, the house is as clean as it going to get.
You did it; you got everything done with time to spare.
So, now what?
Avoid going stir crazy while waiting for the holidays (and extended family) to arrive by treating yourself and your family (or friends) to some holiday fun.
Here are three festive ways to keep everyone occupied and out of the house.
See the Lights
Bask in the warm glow of millions of lights during Holiday Lights on the River Walk
(through Jan. 9, 2017; from dusk until dawn) in San Antonio, Texas. Change up the view by enjoying the lights and scenery aboard a boat tour or taxi
Hop on the trolley or walk the route to enjoy the light show at the 2nd annual Gulfport (Miss.) Harbor Lights Winter Festival
(through Jan. 1, 2017; 5:30 - 9:30 p.m., $5 per person). Afterward, check out the Christmas Market tent to get something unique for a special someone. Extend your visit (and fun) with a ride on Santa’s Big Wheel - just one of many amusements at the festival.
Through Dec. 24, premium nights ($17.50 per vehicle) at Chehaw's annual Festival of Lights
(starts at 6 p.m.) in Albany, Ga., include last-minute visits with Santa, snow pit and crafts activities. Drive through the Park and then ride on the Wiregrass Express train to view bright displays of winter and holiday scenes. Lights-only nights run Dec. 26-30, $15 per vehicle.
The 1.1 long Wickham Park in Melbourne, Fla., is decked out for the holidays during Space Coast Lightfest
(through Jan. 1, 2017; 6 - 10:30 p.m., $15 per car). Enjoy over the brightness of over 2.5 million with a finale that features a 200-foot light tunnel.
And don't forget the twinkle and sparkle of gardens throughout the South.
Discover the magic of the holidays at Dallas (Texas) Arboretum and Botanical Garden with "The 12 Days of Christmas
" (through Jan. 8, 2017, 9 a.m.- 5 p.m., special evening viewing Wednesday through Sunday, through Dec. 31; $20 per adult, $15 per senior and $10 per child, age 3-12) outdoor exhibit. Enclosed in handcrafted glass gazebos are the animals and characters featured in the famous Christmas carol.
Over 1,000 set pieces decorate Bellingrath Gardens in Mobile, Ala., during the 21st annual Magic Christmas in Lights
(through Dec. 31; $15 per adult, $7.50 per child, age 5-12, 5 - 9 p.m.). Take them all in as you stroll through the 65-acre garden estate. Also, the Bellingrath Home is dressed up for the holidays. It's an additional cost to see the lights and tour the home ($24 per adult, $13 per child, age 5 - 12).
Various animated displays greet you as you drive through Galaxy of Lights
(through Dec. 31; 5:30 - 9 p.m., $25 per person) at Huntsville Botanical Garden in Huntsville, Ala. Be sure to keep a look out for the icicle forest.
Lights Before Christmas
(through Dec. 30; 5 - 9 p.m., $11 per adult, $9 per child, age 2 - 12) at Riverbank Zoo & Garden in Columbia, S.C., gets you into the holiday spirit. As "Columbia’s longest running holiday tradition," it features nearly one million lights, Jingle Bell Bonfire and other holiday treats.
Experience the joy of the holidays during Winter Lights presented by Southern Bank
(through Dec. 30 and again Jan. 6-7, 13-14 and 20-21, 2017; 6 - 9 p.m., $11 per adult, $9 per youth, ages 6-17, $6 per child, age 5 and under) at The Elizabethan Gardens in Manteo, N.C. Take in the various sights and sounds as you walk down the paths. Finish up by enjoying the open-air fire at the Great Lawn.
The Dominion GardenFest of Lights: Living Color
(through Jan. 9, 2017, 5 - 10 p.m., $13 per adult, $11 per senior and $8 per child, age 3 -12) at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, Va., explore the effects of color. Offering something for everyone, enjoy the over half-a-million twinkling lights, view the hand-crafted botanical decorations, see the model trains and more. Round out your experience with some s’mores and hot chocolate.
Go Ice Skating
Lace up those skates and try to maintain your balance as you take to the ice at such places as:
- NOLA ChristmasFest
(through Dec. 30, 10 a.m. - 8 p.m., excluding Christmas Eve, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., and
Christmas Day 2 - 8 p.m., $20 per person, which also include admission to the attractions and rides) in New Orleans, La.,
- The Wharf
in Orange Beach, Ala., (through Jan. 10, 2017, weekdays 3 - 10 p.m., weekend 10 a.m. - 10 p.m., $10 per person)
- Knoxville, Tenn.'s Holiday on Ice at Market Square
(through Jan. 8, 2017; Monday through Thursday, 1 - 9 p.m, Friday through Saturday, 10 a.m. - 10 p.m., and Sunday, 1 - 9 p.m., $10 per adult, $7 per child, age 12 and under)
- Baytowne on Ice
(through Feb. 10, 2017; various times, $11 to skate, $3 skate rental) at The Village at Baytowne Wharf in Sandestin, Fla.,
- Winter in the Park
in Winter Park, Fla. (through Jan. 8, 2017; Monday through Thursday, 3 - 9 p.m., Friday 3 - 10 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. - 10 p.m., Sunday noon- 8 p.m., $12 per person)
In Fairmont, WVa., enjoy "iceless" ice skating
(various dates and times; free) at Palatine Park.
View Gingerbread Displays
On display until Dec. 28 at Hilton Americas-Houston's main lobby
rotunda is a one-and-a-half-story gingerbread house. Created by the property's pastry team, the creation features chocolate children and deer, snow and much more. The finer details to the masterpiece include a mailbox with a letter to Santa and a Christmas tree with lights inside the house.
From the life-size gingerbread house replica of the city's famed 'Wedding Cake House' at Ritz-Carlton New Orleans
to the 16-foot-tall St. Louis Cathedral
at Harrah's New Orleans Hotel
, the Crescent City doesn't play around when it comes to constructing gingerbread structures. Also, don't miss the gingerbread model of Jackson Square at Sheraton NOLA
and the seven-foot gingerbread tree at Teddy's Cafe in The Roosevelt Hotel New Orleans
The "largest gingerbread village in east Alabama" is on display at The Hotel at Auburn University
Auburn, Ala. You can view it in the foyer of the conference center until the beginning of the new year.
Check out the creativity and craftsmanship of gingerbread houses from both amateurs and professionals at the annual Gingerbread House Contest
at Creole Nature Trail Adventure Point in Sulphur, La., the 2016 Savannah (Ga.) Harbor Gingerbread Village Competition
at The Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa, the 24th annual Gingerbread House Competition at Omni Grove Park Inn
in Asheville, N.C., and the Galt House Hotel Gingerbread Contest
in Louisville, Ky.
photo credits: (top right) "The 12 Days of Christmas" outdoor exhibit from November 6 to January 8, and the new Claus Collection Santa exhibit, November 25 to December 31 at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, courtesy of Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden; (middle right) ice skating at NOLA ChristmasFest, courtesy of NOLA ChristmasFest; (bottom right) Adult Top 10 Heather Haynes; Clarksville, IN, 2016 at 24th annual Gingerbread House Competition at Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, N.C.