Lonely Planet Writer

Hot in travel: whistle stop tour of the world's wackiest events this weekend

Coming up to Christmas there is no shortage of weird and wacky festive fun to be had, whether your interests lie in small riders on tiny horses, or a rather NSFW burlesque version of The Nutcracker, every taste is catered for. Here’s a selection of some of the most interesting events on around the world this weekend.

The Shetland Grand National is one of the Olympia Horse Show's highlights
The Shetland Grand National is one of the Olympia Horse Show’s highlights Image by Olympia Horse Show

The Olympia Horse Show

The Olympia Horse Show in London has for a long time attracted four-legged and two-legged beasts around Christmas time to celebrate the equine world. Olympic Gold Medallists and riders alike will gather in London for everything equine, including a performance by world famous horse whisperer Jean-François Pignon. The highlight every year however is the Shetland Grand National, we can all understand why.

15 – 21 December  Read more: here

The troupe from The Nutrcracker Rouge. Definitely not one for all the family
The troupe from The Nutrcracker Rouge. Definitely not one for all the family Image by Company XIV Instagram

The Nutcracker Rouge

Minetta Lane Theatre in the Greenwich Village, NYC  will be hosting a rare reimagining of the Christmas classic, The Nutcracker Rouge. Conceived by neo-baroque dance company, Company XIV, the bold reimagining features bondage outfits and partial nudity, so not quite your classic festive tale.

Now til mid January. Read more: here

Berlin's Museum für Naturkunde.
Berlin’s Museum für Naturkunde. Image by Indra Hajar / CC BY 2.0

Tristan the T Rex in Berlin

Berlin’s Museum of Natural History will be hosting Tristan, one of the best preserved T Rexs ever to have been found with one of the most intact and best preserved skulls. He will be exhibited in the museum starting this weekend, while the scientists and paleontologists of the museum will be studying the diseases and injuries that may have killed him.

Read more: here.

Nothing beats Vienna's atmosphere around Christmas
Nothing beats Vienna’s atmosphere around Christmas Image by Craig Moore / CC BY 2.0

Vienna Christmas Market at Rathausplatz

The Vienna Christmas Market is world renowned as one of the best. Dating back to the 13th century it is now 150 stalls large and takes up much of the area in front of City Hall at the Rathausplatz. Few cities do chocolate-box Christmas as well as Vienna, and the gifting options as well as the nearby decorated Rathauspark are well worth the visit.

SantaCon New York 2014.
SantaCon New York 2014. Image by Anthony Quintano / CC BY 2.0

SantaCon at large

And if you can’t get enough of the festive season, you might consider getting involved in any of these Santa Cons taking place all over the US and beyond, from Albuquerque, Mexico to Okinawa, Japan. All you need is a red hat and your best Ho Ho Ho for a memorable and global get-together of Santas.