A Traveling Guide for the Christmas Season
As Christmas speedily approaches, Neopians are preparing for that oh so special day. And what better way to celebrate than taking your Neo-family away for a while to see the sights? Sure, Neopia Central is nice and cozy, but getting away for a while would be a good way to spice up the holiday season! But... where should you go? After all, there are so many different options! And so, as my Christmas gift to you, here is a list of the pros and cons of each potential destination!
Pros: Obviously, Terror Mountain is the clear choice for the traveling Neopian around Christmas time. It's always snowy, so you'll be guaranteed your white Christmas this year! And there are so many wintery activities to partake in, from having the best snowball fight ever to visiting Taelia, the Snow Faerie While there, you can get all the best winter-themed food, including slushies galore! Terror Mountain also offers plenty of shopping opportunities, from the Garage Sale to the Shop of Mystery to Wintery Petpets, so you can get your Christmas shopping done easily (and grab some souvenirs at the same time). Plus, if anything were to get broken, avoid a Christmas disaster and have it taken care of at the Toy Repair shop.
Cons: With so much to offer in terms of a classic Christmas getaway, Terror Mountain is going to be more crowded than you could imagine. If you don't mind waiting in line for hours, this will be fine for you, but if you want to be able to spend your vacation actually doing something instead of standing in a queue, you might want to skip out on this destination.
The Lost Desert:
Pros: Unlike Terror Mountain, the Lost Desert isn't what you first think of when you think "Christmas," so you'll be able to see everything without worrying about it being too busy. If the cold isn't for you, this is a great destination as well—it's sweltering, so no heavy winter coats for you! There are plenty of games to play in the Lost Desert, so you'll never be bored during your stay. In addition, you can get a special piece of pottery to commemorate your trip; nothing looks better in clay than a candy cane! Or visit Desert Arms or Battle Supplies and buy some new weapons on your trip. While everyone else sits around drinking hot chocolate, you can get some training in and really make the most of the season.
Cons: Don't come there if you're looking for a traditional Christmas atmosphere. The Lost Desert is the polar opposite of everything winter, so if you want to get into the spirit of the season, this isn't the best choice. Plus, sand is a constant risk, and it's much harder to clean up than snow.
Pros: If you're looking for a magical Christmas, this is the place to be! If sickness tends to be a threat to your holiday season, worry no more, because the Healing Springs is there to keep you in tip-top shape so you can enjoy your vacation. Fun, faerie-themed gifts are easy to come by there, and if you know where to look, you can also stop off by the Hidden Tower to get an extra-special present for those back at home! Who knows, you might even get lucky and earn a visit to the Rainbow Fountain, and get to go home at the end of your trip with a spiffy new color. Plus, all these lovely buildings look even more amazing with a fine layer of frost to make them sparkle.
Cons: Faeries are all about fun, but they also value hard work. Relaxation might not be possible, when you're faced with the Faerieland Employment Agency on top of all those quests! If you want to be able to just kick back, this might not be the place for you.
Pros: Let's just get straight to the point: you will never find a more delicious Christmas dinner than those served at Kelp every year. Sure, the restaurant can be a little pricey, but it's well worth it. In addition, you can spend some quality time fishing, the perfect, low-stress activity for after you're full on Kelp. Plus, you haven't had a true Christmas until you've seen the amazing, sea-shell dominated Christmas decorations Maraqua puts up for the season; they're truly breathtaking, and you can always pick one up to take home so you can recreate the experience on your own next year.
Cons: If you think it's cold in Neopia Central, wait until you add cold water to that feeling. Christmas in Maraqua isn't for the faint of heart—you need some serious gusto to make it through the freezing water. Plus, if you aren't an aquatic Neopet, you'll be needing some sort of gear to make the trip down there.
Pros: Christmas carols are never more impressive than when heard in Tyrannia. The unique beat and language will really get you into the spirit, especially if you're a bit sick of the traditional versions. Go to the Concert Hall for the professional versions, or just visit with the locals as they sing. In addition, like the Lost Desert, this is a warmer option, with either a plateau or jungle setting that's much hotter than Terror Mountain ever could be. Tyrannia is also a more economical option, with free food available every day from the Giant Omelette.
Cons: You won't be able to understand anyone, which could make holiday shopping a bit of a challenge. Trying to find a translator is a bit of a task, so this could be a high-stress situation you want to avoid this Christmas.
The Haunted Woods:
Pros: If you're more into creepiness than cheer, the Haunted Woods is for you. Win special, Christmas-themed prizes at the Deserted Fairground, or create your own, unique holiday experience at Edna's Tower or the Castle of Eliv Thade. Or you can open your eyes to the sinister side of Christmas at the Gypsy Camp, where you can hear the dark side to holiday stories—if you dare.
Cons: Again, the Haunted Woods is not a good place for the traditional fan. If you want a classic Christmas experience, don't make this you're destination. The cheer of the season just isn't there.
Pros: If you like a bit of risk around the holidays, there are plenty of gambling opportunities to be found in Krawk island to add a thrill to your Christmas. Like Faerieland, Krawk Island also may offer the most unique gifts at Smuggler's Cove—but they aren't stocked all the time, so make sure you keep an eye out. You can also look for treasure or buried goods on the Forgotten Shore, if you know how to get there. And if you do end up spending (or losing!) all your money, you can take a visit to the Governor's Mansion to see all the Christmas-themed riches you could have won to get your spirits back up so you can go have another go at Food Club.
Cons: It's no secret that a seedier bunch live on Krawk Island. You might end up having some of your Christmas winnings stolen when your back is turned, so if you're not prepared to constantly keep one eye on your wallet instead of the sights, skip it.
Pros: Kiko Lake is located right next to Neopia Central, so if you're not much of a traveler, you can get away without having to go too far. The treats to be found at Kiko Lake are simply scrumptious, especially around the holiday season, and just like in Maraqua, the Glass Bottom Boat Tours offer the chance to see some beautiful underwater decorations—without having to get wet yourself!
Cons: Kiko Lake is a pretty quaint little place, so if you're looking for some serious adventure this Christmas, it's not the place for you.
Pros: Again, Roo Island isn't too far away from Neopia Central, so travelling won't be too rough. And as far as nearby destinations, Roo Island has more to offer than anywhere else, as it hosts the entire Games Room! You simply can't get bored while staying there. Roo Island is also full of culture, with Storytelling and the Poetry Contest—and a Coffee Shop right next to them, so you can enjoy a delicious drink along with the literature. The Art Gallery is also located on Roo Island, so if you're more visual, you can go there instead! Add all that to the Merry-Go-Round (which is even more fun when lit up with Christmas lights), and you've got a great vacation spot.
Cons: With all that it has going on, Roo Island can be a bit overwhelming. For some, this is too much to handle. If you want a calmer, less busy vacation, choose a different place to visit this year.
Pros: Another warm option for travelers, Mystery Island is nevertheless quite festive. The natives are always ready to throw a party, and Christmas is no exception. Do some serious shopping at the Trading Post, or just pick up some knick knacks at the Tiki Shack. Be adventurous this holiday season and try some tropical fruit in place of a traditional Christmas dinner! And once you're all done partying it up, get some words of wisdom from the Island Mystic to end off the trip in a thoughtful manner.
Cons: With all the celebrating, you are likely to be excessive if you take a trip to Mystery Island. In addition, getting lost in the City of Geraptiku is always a threat, and not necessarily the best way to celebrate the holiday.
Brightvale and Meridell:
Pros: With these two kingdoms so close to each other, you can enjoy two vacations in one! Do some learning about the history of Christmas in Brightvale, and then try to impress King Hagan with what you've discovered. Or, you can pick up a stunning piece of stained glass artistry for the holiday season. Then head over to Meridell to play some games of visit Illusen, who is always ready to spread the Christmas cheer, even if King Skarl is a little grumpy. Afterwards, you can go to Meri Acres Farm for some (admittedly messy) fun.
Cons: The two kingdoms are very different, which can cause some arguments if one member of the family likes Brightvale while another prefers Meridell. You also want to be careful not to end up on Darigan Citadel while visiting the latter—that's a dangerous addition to Christmas no one wants.
Pros: You definitely won't be cold this Christmas, surrounded by all that lava! Nevertheless, the townsfolk don't let their climate ruin their holiday cheer, and they set out some lovely glow worm decorations that will blow your mind. As a more recently discovered land, Moltara is also more likely to surprise you than anywhere else. Plus, if you're lucky, while there you might be able to sneak past the guard to the Magma Pool and be able to be painted Magma!
Cons: The city is located underground, so if your vacation party has a member with claustrophobia, skip Moltara. There's also always the risk of accidentally falling to a lava pool and getting seriously injured, which is something no one wants over Christmas.
Pros: Those mountaintops are simply gorgeous when covered in snow, and the locals of Shenkuu add a special cultural flair to the holiday season. The food is delicious, and you don't want to miss the fireworks show they put on—you'll be talking about it for days! While there, visit the Lunar Temple and learn about the moon and what it's position means for you this Christmas.
Cons: Heights. Shenkuu is stretched across several peaks, spanned by rope bridges, so if you're afraid of falling that far, this could be a bad destination for you.
Pros: Experience Christmas in the most regal way possible. You won't find any cheap decorations or cheesy red and green in Altador—everything will be classy and tasteful. This is also a great place to go if you're a Yooyuball fan, as you can watch teams practice for next year's Altador Cup! In addition, the Altadorian Archives are home to plenty of clubs, so perhaps you can meet some new friends with similar interests—what better way to celebrate Christmas than spreading the cheer with new people?
Cons: Altadorians are very smart, so it may be hard to keep up with what they're saying sometimes. Either that, or you may end up in a scholarly debate with someone, which can quickly turn the Christmas mood sour.
Pros: If you need to get away from Neopia Central, there isn't anywhere further than Kreludor! The gravity is low there, so you'll be able to experience an interestingly light feeling that might be a fun experience. Plus, the Grundos that live on Kreludor are extremely kind, and their decorations have an cool, spacey feel to them that will be truly unique to see.
Cons: Once you're there, you're stuck there until the next spaceship comes in to take you home, and really, there isn't much to do on Kreludor. You might be a little bored on a vacation there.
Virtupets Space Station:
Pros: Like Kreludor, Virtupets is nice and far away. All the technology there allows for some spectacular light shows, and the food at Grundo's Café is always a nice treat. In addition, you can adopt a Grundo at Virtupets, and get to end the trip with a larger family than before, which is always heartwarming.
Cons: There's always the off chance that you might be enslaved by Dr. Sloth.
Pros: If you're able to get in, you will see a sight no one else has had the chance to see! Plus, you'll be famous forever if you can manage to make a way in for everyone else.
Cons: You have no idea what you might find there—it could be very dangerous.
So there you have it. I hope this list has made your decision a little easier this year, and whether you decide to stay home or go on a trip, I hope you have a Merry Christmas!