The 10 Best Places to Spend New Year’s Eve, Mapped

iStock.com/AleksandarNakic
iStock.com/AleksandarNakic

If you're still finalizing your plans for New Year’s Eve, you may want to consider a last-minute getaway. WalletHub recently ran the data to figure out exactly which U.S. cities provide the best New Year’s Eve celebration experiences, and there are a few unexpected metros on the list.

The rankings take into account the number of planned New Year’s events, availability of restaurants and shopping destinations, the relative abundance of party stores, prices, weather, flight delay frequency, and more, comparing 28 different factors across the categories of entertainment and food, cost, and safety and accessibility.

Below are the top 10 cities to spend New Year’s Eve in, according to WalletHub:

1. New York, New York
2. Los Angeles, California
3. Atlanta, Georgia
4. San Diego, California
5. Las Vegas, Nevada
6. Denver, Colorado
7. Orlando, Florida
8. Chicago, Illinois
9. Washington, D.C.
10. San Francisco, California

New York City, with its famous Times Square ball-drop celebration, came in at No. 1, while Los Angeles ranked second and Atlanta came in third. San Diego, California makes a surprising showing, besting the notoriously hard-partying Las Vegas. Orlando’s spot on the list no doubt owes a great deal to the popularity of Disney World’s New Year’s celebrations, while Washington, D.C. got high marks for its safety and accessibility.

Did your city make the list?

Explore the data for yourself in the map below.

Source: WalletHub

How Mister Rogers Used King Friday to Make Friday the 13th Less Scary for Kids

Getty Images
Getty Images

King Friday XIII, son of King Charming Thursday XII and Queen Cinderella Monday, is an avid arts lover, a talented whistler, and a former pole vaulter. He reigns over Calendarland with lots of pomp and poise, and he’s usually correct.

Fans of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood may also remember that the monarch was born on Friday the 13th, because his birthday was celebrated on the program every Friday the 13th. Though the math isn’t perfect—according to Timeanddate.com, Friday the 13th sometimes happens two or three times a year—the heartwarming reason behind the unconventionally-timed birthday celebrations absolutely is.

Fred Rogers explained that he wanted to give children a reason to look forward to Friday the 13th, instead of buying into the negative superstitions that surround the dreaded date. “We thought, ‘Let’s start children out thinking that Friday the 13th was a fun day,’” he said in a 1999 interview. “So we would celebrate his birthday every time a Friday the 13th came.”

Rogers added that the tradition worked out so well partially because the show was broadcast live, and viewers knew to anticipate an especially festive episode whenever they spotted a Friday the 13th on the calendar.

Speaking of calendars: There’s an equally charming story behind the name Calendarland. In the same interview, Rogers disclosed that King Friday once asked children to write in with suggestions for his then-nameless country. One boy posited that since King Friday was named after a calendar date, his realm should be named after the calendar. Then, the lucky youngster was invited to the set, where King Friday christened him a prince of Calendarland.

King Friday might be king of Calendarland, but Mister Rogers is definitely the king of understanding how to make kids feel safe, smart, and special.

Mattel Is Releasing a Day of the Dead Barbie Doll

Mattel
Mattel

Barbie may be celebrating her 60th birthday, but she she looks as fresh-faced today as she did when she first emerged from her box in the spring of 1959. In celebration of Barbie's new sexagenarian status, Mattel—the toy company that has sold more than a billion Barbie dolls—is releasing a range of limited-edition Barbies, including Rosa Parks, Sally Ride, and David Bowie dolls. Now, according to USA Today, the company is getting into the autumnal spirit with its latest collectible: a Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, Barbie.

Retailing for $75, the doll will be sold on Amazon and at Target and Walmart stores beginning tomorrow, September 12. The doll “honors the traditions, symbols, and rituals often seen throughout this time,” Mattel told CNN. Día de los Muertos is celebrated primarily in Mexico from October 31 to November 2 and is a day to pay tribute to those who have passed on—who supposedly return for a brief visit of their own.

Barbie has always been known for her excellent fashion sense, and she’s dressed for this occasion wearing a black, ruffled dress embroidered with monarch butterflies, as well as yellow and red marigolds. The Día de los Muertos Barbie's face is painted as a traditional Day of the Dead skull mask and she's decked out with a headpiece featuring marigolds and more monarchs.

The butterflies are symbolic: Every winter in Mexico, billions of monarch butterflies descend into the mountains and forests in Mexico. Because they arrive at the beginning of Day of the Dead, some people believe that the insects are carrying the spirits of the dearly departed with them.

[h/t USA Today]

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