Your birthday comes annually, and even Halley’s Comet stops by every 75 years or so, but 11/11/11 is a once-in-a-century occurrence, and it’s worth celebrating. You may not have an activity planned, but here are 11 ways to celebrate the spirit of the day in the coming months.
1. Enjoy elevenses: Elevenses, the British snack-before-lunch, is usually marked with a delicious bun, a cup of tea, or some other small nibble or quaff to help bridge the gap between meals. At St. John Hotel near Leicester Square in London, you can stop by for an 11 a.m. slice of seed cake and a small glass of Madeira.
2. Get artsy in Tokyo: 11/11/11 marks the start of a weeklong program of exhibitions, concerts, performances, and talks at galleries in Tokyo. The Villa Tokyo event, a joint project involving dozens of European and Japanese artists, runs through November 18.
3. Score an 11/11/11 hotel deal: Hundreds of hotels are offering special rates in celebration of 11/11/11, and some of the deals even extend through late fall and into early winter. For instance, at the Wyndham Rio Mar in Puerto Rico, promo code DISFALL11 will get you nightly rates starting at $111 through December 23. And the “Ocean’s 11” package (promo code OCN11) at the Atlantic Resort & Spa luxury boutique resort in Ft. Lauderdale runs for 11 days starting on 11/11/11; the deal offers an over-the-top oceanfront penthouse suite experience for $1,111 per night.
4. Kick up your heels (by watching others kick up theirs): The brand-new holiday Rockettes show at Radio City Music Hall starts on 11/11/11 and runs through January 2. The performance blends old favorites with new numbers and even some special effects.
5. Turn it up to 11 (at Stonehenge): Combine two of the best moments from the 1984 mockumentary This is Spinal Tap by turning it up to 11 (or better yet, 11/11/11) at Stonehenge. You can pay homage to ill-conceived set design and volume-control knobs all at once. Bonus points for wearing leather pants when you go.
6. Celebrate Veterans Day: 11/11/11 is Veterans Day, and veterans and civilians alike can participate in honoring the men and women of the armed services. In Washington, D.C., events include wreath-laying ceremonies at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery, and the World War II Memorial. Around the country, cities will celebrate with Veterans Day parades, and some hotels are extending discounts to veterans beyond the holiday. For instance, the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa is offering U.S. military members and civil first responders a nightly rate of $99 for stays through January 18 with rate code SIU.
7. Get married in Vegas: Couples looking for an auspicious start to married life (or just a wedding anniversary that’s easy to remember) are jumping at the chance to tie the knot on 11/11/11. In Las Vegas, the quickie-wedding capital of the world, white dresses and drunken toasts are the order of the day. Lovebirds can find 11/11/11 wedding packages at the Venetian and wedding chapels around the city. Didn’t book in advance? You only have a few more hours left in the day, but that’s why Vegas weddings are fast, right?
8. Visit Toothpick City: It’s a pretty good guess that in Stan Munro’s creation, Toothpick City II—the 4-million-toothpick re-creation of 40 well-known religious buildings and tall towers from around the world—11/11/11 is a holiday. Through December, Toothpick City II is on display at the Phelps Arts Center in Phelps, New York. And Munro’s first toothpick metropolis, Toothpick City I, is on permanent display in Mallorca, Spain.
9. Take in a view: Did you know that the gift to give on your 11th wedding anniversary is steel? Celebrate 11/11/11, and love, and steel for that matter, by venturing up one of the world’s tallest skyscrapers. Because without the development of mass-produced steel, skyscrapers could never have come to define urban skylines the way they have. Check out the 124th-story observation deck at the Burj Khalifa in Dubai or step into one of the glass boxes suspended 1,353 feet up at the Skydeck in Chicago’s Willis Tower.
10. Visit the Galapagos: The Galapagos archipelago is made up of 11 major islands (as well as 200 small islands, according to the Center for Galapagos Studies). Explore the Ecuadorian island chain and discover the unique flora and fauna that inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. See marine iguanas and giant tortoises, or time your visit right and catch the courtship ritual of the blue-footed booby.
11. Break out your corduroy: If you’re going to celebrate corduroy, it makes perfect sense to do it on 11/11/11, the day that most resembles the timeless fabric. The tongue-in-cheek Corduroy Appreciation Club is hosting events in New York City, Washington, D.C., Chicago, and Fromberg, Montana. From the looks of it, other cities may be organizing parties as well.
Have other 11/11/11 ideas? Share them below!