Best Christmas Vacations for Families
The “most wonderful time of the year” is approaching and destinations across the United States and the world are feeling the festive spirit. The best places to go for Christmas are destinations that offer cheerful decorations and festive events that capture the holiday joy — and it doesn’t hurt if there’s also beautiful scenery. Not to mention, with many of these ideal Christmas destinations located across the country, you’re only a road trip away from a perfect December vacation.
Take advantage of perfect skiing and delightful holiday events at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort this December. During the Holiday Roundup from Dec. 23 to Dec. 31, guests enjoy family-friendly events like New Year’s Eve fireworks. There are several stunning slopeside lodges to choose from, including the luxurious Teton Mountain Lodge & Spa and the ski-in/ski-out Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole. While exploring downtown Jackson, keep a lookout for the elk antler arches that frame the Town Square as they’ll be lit up with white lights during the holiday season. Or, for a unique adventure that embraces the hot and cold, you could plan a trip to the Granite Hot Springs Pool, which can only be accessed by snowmobile, fat bike, dog sled, or by ski.
There’s truly nothing like Christmas in New York City. Seeing the city decorated with twinkling lights and impressive trees as you shop for last-minute gifts or sip hot cocoa is really an experience everyone should have at least once in their life. You can partake in a beloved holiday tradition, like the Christmas Spectacular starring the Radio City Rockettes and the holiday markets.
With pleasantly warm December weather, the Florida Keys are an ideal escape for those looking to spend the holidays in a U.S. beach destination. Take a scenic road trip through the Florida Keys, stopping at islands en route to the famous Key West. December is a popular time to visit these beautiful islands, so you may want to opt for a secluded stay at Sunset Key Cottages. To get to this charming resort, guests take a ferry from Key West to the 27-acre island. Upon arriving, you’ll find serenity just a short ride from the attractions of Key West.
Even though cozying up by the fireplace at home is definitely tempting, if you find yourself considering spending the holidays somewhere new, there are plenty of destinations that sure know how to take the Christmas spirit to the next level for your family. It’s a great bonding experience for families to be on vacation together at Christmas and these vacation ideas should get you thinking about where your family could spend Christmas.
Christmas in the Bavarian Alps is as dreamy as it gets, but if you can’t quite make it to Germany this year, visiting the town of Leavenworth in Washington State is a great alternative. Get that European Christmas vacation feel at Leavenworth Bavarian Town and Christmastown, The Village of Lights, without having to leave the US!
Tucked away amid the enchanting Cascade Mountains, Leavenworth has still managed to preserve its Bavarian roots, which become even more visible once the holiday season begins.
As you walk along its downtown, you’ll stumble across remnants from when Leavenworth was inhabited by Germans – think half-timbered houses, German craft beer served at quaint bars, and plenty of culture that has stood the test of time.
During the Christmas season, Leavenworth turns itself into what’s known as “the Village of Lights” when over half a million lights cover its streets. As a bonus, you’ll also find an authentic German Christmas market here for all things shopping, and you can take a look at the town’s calendar in order to plan for more Christmasy activities such as gingerbread house contests, advent calendar competitions, and so much more!
It’s not exactly a secret that Germans love all things Christmas, and if you want to enjoy a holiday season that’s as unique as it gets, the city of Stuttgart is a wonderful choice.
Once late November creeps in, the somehow sleepy city of Stuttgart bursts to life with a plethora of authentic Christmas markets, decorations all over historical buildings, and a calendar filled with exciting activities that take the spirit to an entirely new level.
As if that weren’t enough reason to convince you to make Stuttgart your next Christmas family destination, the city is known for being the gateway to the alluring Black Forest, where you’ll find plenty of small villages that also host their own holiday events and markets for a truly local experience.
Esslingen is a gorgeous medieval town that’s worth taking a look at, while Gegenbach hosts a wonderful Christmas market away from the tourist crowds you’ll find in bigger cities. If you love chocolate, you can head over to Tübingen to celebrate their annual chocolate festival, or you can opt to take a day trip out to Breitnau in order to attend a Christmas market set right under a gorge in the middle of the forest.
If you don’t mind a little cold, Rovaniemi in northern Finland is definitely one of the best places to visit around the world for Christmas for postcard-perfect scenery and experiences you’ll be very unlikely to ever top.
Whether Santa actually lives here or not still remains a mystery, but there is a Santa Claus-themed village in town where you’ll find plenty of hands-on activities where you can help elves prepare for the big event.
As if that weren’t enough, Rovaniemi is known for its fun-in-the-snow entertainment, with tons of activities ready for you to take the season to a whole new level. Snowmobiling safaris are a favorite, as are reindeer sleigh rides, ice skating, and husky sledding, to name just a few!
Paris is a dream destination no matter the time of the year you decide to visit, but during the festive season, the City of Lights sure knows how to put on a show in order to fully showcase its love for Christmas.
Come December, Paris gets decorated with garlands and thousands upon thousands of colorful Christmas lights, not to mention you’ll find classic European Christmas markets, events, and ice skating rinks all over the city.
For the ultimate Christmas experience, make sure to book yourself a holiday cruise over the Seine River, check out Lafayette’s Paris Haussman to awe at their incredible Christmas decor, ice skate right under the Eiffel Tower, and treat the family to a day of festive fun at Disneyland Paris’ annual Christmas festival.
Alternatively, take your family to the Parc Asterix theme park just outside Paris.
In December in Dubai temperatures are pretty moderate, and December and Christmas into New Year are very popular times to visit Dubai on vacation. Enjoy activities such as dune bashing, camel safaris, and cultural tours and explore the souks along The Dubai Creek. Don’t miss the dancing fountains outside the fabulous Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa.
Romania is something very different for a family Christmas trip! I always mention Romania because we have so many good memories of spending Christmas in Romania.