Holiday Travel: 5 wacky winter activities and traditions

Spice up your holiday traditions with one of these wacky winter activities in Paris, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and other cities around the world.

Lighted Farm Implement Parade
Where: Yakima Valley, WA
Holiday parades are a dime a dozen, but this one can’t help but make you smile. More than 50 farm implements (as in tractors), trucks, and floats participate in this 21-year-old tradition in Sunnyside, WA.
Cost: Free
When: 6 p.m. Dec. 4, 2010

Roving Snowcat Food Trucks
Where: Mammoth Mountain, CA
Starting Dec. 18, Roving Mammoth snowcat food trucks will serve breakfast, lunch, and snacks (including churros, burritos, and calzones) to skiers and snowboarders on Mammoth Mountain. Non-alcoholic beverages will also be sold, but you’ll have to save your après-ski cocktails for after you unstrap your skis and snowboards.
Cost: A one-day ski lift ticket is $92 for adults, $69 for teens, and $46 for kids 7-12; kids 6 and under are free.

Snow Bar
Where: Paris
The Hilton Arc de Triomphe, about a 10-minute walk from the world’s most famous arch, has transformed its outdoor courtyard into a winter wonderland. Expect snow makers, a cozy chalet bar with cocktails, and hostesses dressed up like Mrs. Claus.
When: Dec. 2, 2010-Jan. 1, 2011
Cost: Rooms start at 295 euros ($385) per night in December.

Pool-Turned-Ice Skating Rink
Where: Los Angeles
The W Los Angeles-Westwood has once again transformed its pool deck into an ice skating rink. The hybrid ice rink means that if you fall, you won’t feel cold or wet. The Snowy Snack Bar also lets you decorate your own gingerbread men or mini holiday cupcakes (add $10 per person).
Cost: $10 for a one-hour session with skate rentals; open to the public
When: Until Jan. 2, 2011

Chocolate Carousel
Where: Las Vegas, Nevada
A life-size (and fully functional) carousel made with chocolate and sugar is part of the annual Holiday Village at the Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas. Alas, the drool-worthy carousel isn’t meant for rides, but you can admire the intricate handiwork up close.
Cost: Free and open to the public
When: Until Dec. 25, 2010

[Photo: Courtesy Daily Sun News, Sunnyside]