Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite Ready for a Fun & Festive Holiday Season

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Sleigh rides and sweet treats, the return of the beloved Gingerbread House Decorating Workshop and visits from The Man in Red promise a merry and bright celebration this winter.

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As brightly hued leaves fall on the Yosemite-Sierra region, cheerful shades of red hint at a fun and festive holiday season ahead. At Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite, plans are already in store to create a true winter wonderland and make “the most wonderful time of the year” just that. Guests seeking solace from the hustle and bustle of the season can take refuge at Tenaya, where planning and shopping gives way to relaxing by a cozy fire, dashing through the snow in a horse-drawn sleigh and enjoying a one-of-a-kind holiday with those most near and dear. At this Four Diamond resort, travelers can create an experience that’s relaxing, packed with wintry activities or anywhere in between – the celebration is yours to create.

Just in time for Thanksgiving weekend, Tenaya’s ice skating rink will open on Nov. 26, inviting guests to lace up their skates and feel Jack Frost nipping at their nose. To offset all that chilling out, the lodge will have plenty of hot cocoa, s’mores and a roaring outdoor fire ready just steps away. For those whose greatest holiday wish is to make dishes disappear, Tenaya has all bases covered with three Thanksgiving Day feast options on Nov. 27. Work up an appetite as the smells of roasted turkey and pumpkin pie fill the lodge’s Grand Ballroom during a Thanksgiving Day Buffet accented by resplendent décor and live entertainment, or linger over special takes on holiday favorites at cozy Sierra Restaurant and elegant Embers. Tempted already? Be sure to book coveted seats at the Tenaya table before they’re gone – make a reservation by calling 559-692-8974.

The holiday season also brings the return of a beloved Tenaya tradition – its Gingerbread House Decorating Workshop and competition. Adored by guests of all ages, this is a deliciously fun show for everyone. On Nov. 28 and 29 and Dec. 20, guests can marvel at intricate mansions and colorful cottages or try their hand at a creation of their own at this sweet contest. For only $60 per house, competition participants get decorating access to everything from gumdrops to marshmallows to build an original gingerbread masterpiece (and yes – adult beverages will be available amidst the flurries of sugar and spice!). While creative license and personal touches are encouraged, Tenaya’s Executive Chef, Frederick Clabaugh, will be on hand to help perfect the advanced art of the frosting icicle.

Sparkling lights and glittering ornaments ignite “oohs” and “ahhs” as Tenaya decks the halls at the grand tree lighting ceremony on Nov. 29. While munching cookies, sipping cocoa and rubbing elbows with Santa; guests can marvel as the lodge’s towering, 35-foot tree is set aglow and the lobby is transformed into a cheery holiday haven. Staying true to green sensibilities, Tenaya’s tree is not only the biggest in Central California, it’s sustainably harvested, too. The lodge just “tops off” a Douglas Fir each year so the rest of the tree can continue to grow healthily for years to come. And, if the holiday season has a little extra sparkle in store for couples, the lodge’s enchanting grounds are the perfect place to pop the question when they’re all dressed up for the occasion.

Magical experiences help create happy holiday memories year after year. After working up an appetite on the ice, families or couples can bond over a campfire treat with the S’more Skating Package, which includes lodging, ice skating and a s’mores kit; available Nov. 29 through Jan. 3. Tiny tots’ eyes will be all aglow when they get to whisper wishes to Santa with the Kids Dinner with Santa Package. This special experience features lodging and a dinner with elves and Santa himself for the little ones. Be sure to book early – with his busy schedule, Santa can only stop in on Dec. 22 and 23. If wintertime visits fall on Dec. 20 and 23, creative kids and adults alike can frost and flock to their hearts’ content at the Holiday Decorating Workshop.

When Christmas Eve arrives, guests can gather ‘round and fill up on tasty dining specials at Sierra Restaurant, as well as indulge in the sweet results of the Christmas Eve Cookie Decorating Workshop. The lobby will be buzzing with the cheerful sounds of live entertainment and excitement when Mrs. Claus arrives to read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas under the tree – the perfect way to send the kids off to bed with visions of sugar plums. After enjoying a spirited trek through the forest or a celebratory spin around the ice rink, Christmas Day tempts taste buds with a Grand Ballroom Christmas Day Buffet and special menus at Sierra and Embers. And when it’s time to say goodbye to 2014 and welcome in a new year, Tenaya will cap off the festivities with its extravagant New Year’s Eve celebration, featuring everything from a gourmet surf-n-turf dinner and a show-stopping performance from award-winning Las Vegas impressionist Greg London to special parties just for kids.

More information on holiday happenings is available at TenayaLodge.com/HolidayEvents.

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Erica Schlesinger
(W)right On Communications
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