WHEN A YEARLY BANQUET... has been around for decades upon decades, and slots at the supper used to be by lottery, and the setting is a world-famous lodge, and that lodge is in a world-famous national park, it can make scoring a ticket seem as hard as leaping over Half Dome in a single jump. Well, that's super-duper hard, unless you're wearing superhero sneakers, of course, but calling upon the Majestic Hotel on a select date before Christmas to enjoy the Bracebridge Dinner is doable, even when the middle of December arrives. Yes, tickets are still available for the dinner, and hotel packages, too, and while the 22nd of December is now sold out, there is room available on Dec. 16, 18, and 20, if you quickly huddle with your Yosemite-loving, costume-loving, history-minded family members and pals. This is the event that Ansel Adams once starred in, and a host of other players dressed in regal costumes of centuries gone by. It's all set in the hotel's capacious dining room, and the whole extravaganza runs for well over three hours.
ON THE MENU? Look for multiple courses, with dishes ranging from smoked filet sturgeon to medium-poached Burgundy wine beef tenderloin to The Peacock Pie (The Best of Mary's Local Chicken). Wassail and plum pudding add to the authentic ye olde yumminess, too, as do other goodies. And the show itself, which began at the historic property in 1927? It was "loosely based on Washington Irving's sketchbook 'A Christmas at Bracebridge Hall.'" If time-traveling to a manor in eighteenth-century England is on your holiday wish list, this is for you. The best part? You're in Yosemite, which itself has a time-travel-y feel, especially come the winter when things are a mite quieter, except when the brassy horns sound, and the songs are sung, at the legendary Bracebridge Dinner. Really and truly, though, tickets and packages are still out there for 2017, as of the middle of the month; check now.