Labor Day weekend has come and gone, so for healthcare travelers, it’s time to decide where you’re going to spend your holidays for the season. You have the unique privilege of experiencing the holiday happenings of many different places – perhaps somewhere new each year! Additionally, travel nurses and other travel clinicians are known for their willingness to step in during the year-end holidays, allowing a hospital’s perm staff to take PTO and be with family.
For a traveler, this can be a difficult time to be parted from friends and family, so Cirrus helps to sweeten the season by offering a $150 bonus on your paycheck during three holiday weeks where 40 or more hours are worked, in addition to any overtime or extra hours pay received: Thanksgiving week (Nov. 22), Christmas week (Dec. 25) and New Year’s week (Dec. 31).
We’ve also got some suggestions on where to go on your next assignment based on the exciting happenings in three states: New York, California and (believe it or not) Pennsylvania! Here are the hot spots (or should we say cold?) to spend your holidays this year on assignment.
Welcome to New York
It goes without saying that the holiday season in New York has some of the most famous spectacles in the world. If you happen to be in the Big Apple, you can’t miss the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade if your shift allows – despite the crowds, it’s kind of a bucket-list activity to experience it in person. Not to mention the lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree! You can also attend “the largest menorah lighting” and Hanukah kickoff in Prospect Park for free latkes by the light of some very large candles. Watch the ball drop on New Year’s Eve…the possibilities are endless!
There’s a whole lot more to New York State than NYC, so check out the Wonderland of Lights in Rome or the Niagara Power Project Festival of Trees in Lewiston. The Old Westbury Gardens will make you feel nostalgic for simpler times (though you’ll be extra thankful to live in the age of vaccines and antibiotics). The Vanderbilt Mansion in Centerport is another attraction you won’t want to miss if you’re in Long Island.
Even if you’re not around for the winter holidays, the State of New York has something going on all year-round, so it’s one state you definitely want to be licensed and ready for.
As far as the north is from the south, there is a multitude of holiday activities and fun in California, but it’s equally as fun and exciting no matter where you are.
The winter temperature might be in the 60s in LA, but ice skating at Pershing Square is a place where you can enjoy Christmas concerts and other events throughout the season without a winter coat. Head to the Mission Inn to see one of the best holiday light shows in the state: The Festival of Lights. The Newport Boat Parade is ranked as one of the best holiday events in the U.S. – watch million-dollar yachts get decked out in twinkling lights, parading down the harbor for four nights in December.
Make your way up to the northern coast and experience the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens – this little village is a breath of fresh air for busy travelers to relax on their day off. Little shops line the downtown streets among music and light displays throughout the holidays. Nevada City is another quaint destination up north, where the town embraces a historic, Victorian-style celebration. You’ll feel like you’re walking through a dream when you come across carolers in period dress while munching on roasted pecans drenched in brown sugar.
If you want snow, California probably isn’t the first place on your mind, but Mammoth Lakes turns into a Winter Wonderland come December. Hit the ski slopes for some of the best skiing/snowboarding in the U.S. by day, then get into the holiday spirit at The Village at Mammoth by night. Santa’s there!
We can’t list them all, but here are more holiday displays in California to check out:
- LA Zoo Lights
- Robolights in Palm Springs
- Griffith Park Holiday Train Ride
- San Diego Liberty Station Ice Rink
- Hydrobike along the harbor in Long Beach
Macy isn’t the only gal having a parade on Thanksgiving – Philadelphia’s Dunkin’ Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade is a tradition going on 100 years. This event features performers, floats and festivities galore. Watch from the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art for the best view! Philly travelers can also partake in the Dilworth Park Wintergarden and the Holidays at City Hall to experience holiday pop-ups all season long, or Christmas Village in Love Park to give a nod to Philadelphia’s German heritage via traditional German Christmas markets. Philly throws down a spectacular New Year’s Eve celebration with pyrotechnic displays over the Delaware River, so you can ring in the New Year waterfront.
Okay, we’re done talking about Philadelphia now – there’s a lot more to do throughout the state of PA! Market Square and PPG Place in Pittsburgh make for a fantastic destination this holiday season: visit Santa, taste some authentic German treats, explore shops and take in the view of Pittsburgh’s Christmas tree while skating the ice rink encircling it. Finally, temporary Pennsylvanians can check out Bethlehem, PA – with a name like that, it’s clear that they know how Christmas is done. Heralded as “Christmas City USA”, head to Bethlehem for a small-town Christmas feel.
There are holiday activities no matter where you get placed as a travel nurse or travel clinician – have fun exploring the fun your city has to offer during your 13-week stay, and bask in the knowledge that you’re doing important work while getting to see pockets of the U.S. you wouldn’t otherwise.
Questions about getting a $150 bonus for 40+ hours worked on holiday weeks this year? Contact our recruiters.