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Santa's Resort Kakslauttanen, Finland

By Conde Nast Traveler Thursday, December 22 04:35 PM

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This Christmas, Santa isn't so much coming to town as inviting you to his town. At the newly minted Santa's Resort Kakslauttanen, close to the Arctic Circle in Finnish Lapland, guests are greeted by the big man himself and plied with hot beverages and gingerbread (served by elves, natch). Accommodations in this winter wonderland include 40 log cabins, a snow igloo, and--our personal favorite--20 glass igloos (another 33 are coming in 2012) specially designed for viewing the northern lights while you're snuggled up all toasty in bed.

If you can drag yourself away, there's also the chance to steam in the world's largest smoke sauna, hitch a ride on a reindeer-drawn sleigh, or kick back with eggnog in the Glass Kota, a traditional Lapland tepee. Lead the way, Donner and Blitzen.

Photo: Courtesy of Santa's Resort Kakslauttanen

Tiger & Turtle, Magic Mountain, Duisburg, Germany

By Conde Nast Traveler Monday, December 19 01:31 PM

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Step right up! Ladies and gents, we present Tiger & Turtle--Magic Mountain, now open on a hill a half hour north of Düsseldorf, Germany. Standing at 148 feet tall with nearly 1,000 feet of zinc-plated steel track, it is the world's first roller-coaster for the acceleration-averse, with speeds of up to two miles per hour.

Built by artists Heike Mutter and Ulrich Genth, the walkable sculpture has paths and stairs that careen and curve, plus views of the Rhine from the top. Unlike a typical roller-coaster, this one offers a climb that will get your heart pumping with effort rather than adrenaline. Gotta love art that keeps you in the loop.

Photo: Courtesy of Heike Mutter and Ulrich Genth

Legoland, Winter Haven, Florida

By Conde Nast Traveler Wednesday, October 26 01:08 PM

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Build it and they will come. That's the theory behind Florida's newly opened Legoland theme park. Spanning 150 acres, it's the world's largest Legoland and is positively stacked with attractions, including rides--try the junior roller-coaster that dips and loops through a jungle populated by animated and Lego brick dinosaurs--and a section called Fun Town, where you can see how those ingenious bricks are made.

The can't-miss attraction, in our book, is Miniland USA, featuring intricately detailed scale models of cities and landmarks such as the Empire State Building, the Las Vegas Strip, and Washington, D.C., complete with mini replicas of the First Family (hi there, Bo!) plus tiny cherry trees that blossom every spring. Move over Harry Potter, there's a new (plastic brick) kid in town.

Photo: Courtesy of Legoland

Prices and other information were accurate at press time, but are subject to change. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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