Given the choice between cozying up at home or going to one of the best destinations to spend Christmas, which would you pick? This list of destinations may help you decide, and will eliminate the need to spend hours researching and contemplating.
Without a doubt, Orlando is the most family-friendly destination in the US. Orlando International Airport welcomes over 30 different airlines from around the world. Besides the theme park holiday attractions, Orlando offers Christmas dinner and entertainment options for every budget.
Here are 4 reasons why you should consider Orlando:
- Mild winters with high of 73 and low of 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Many hotels, condos, and apartments for rent.
- Activities galore for every age group – parades, lights, shows, events and of course the theme parks. Check out Visit Orlando’s Holly Jolly Christmas and Holiday Events in Orlando.
- Easily accessible if you choose to drive from neighboring cities, or fly. You can use Travelmath’s cost to drive or fly calculator to find out which is more cost effective.
One unique place we recommend is Christmas at Gaylord Palms‘ Christmas Around the World, featuring two million pounds of ice sculptures.
2. New York City
New York City is magical during the holiday season when the buzzing streets of Manhattan are filled with festivities, holiday lights and of course, crowds of people. You can explore on foot with your family and friends – walking along Fifth Avenue and enjoying the Christmas window displays from Lord and Taylor to Bergdorf Goodman.
Join in the fun and skate at Rockefeller Center, Bryant Park or Wollman Rink in Central Park.
Don’t miss these three favorites:
- Guided Holiday Sights Walking Tour.
- The Rockettes Christmas Spectacular at the Radio City Music Hall.
- Holiday Markets – Union Square Holiday Market, Columbus Circle Holiday Market and Bryant Park Holiday Market. If you prefer indoor holiday markets, head over to Grand Central Holiday Fair in Grand Central Station.
There are thousands of flights landing in the three major airports serving New York City. Depending on where you’ll be staying, you can fly into JFK, La Guardia or Newark (New Jersey) airports.
3. San Diego
Not only will you enjoy winter temperatures in the 60s, in San Diego, but there are also over 30 holiday events available absolutely free throughout December. For additional information check out the list at SanDiego.org.
We think these three activities will make your money’s worth when you are visiting San Diego with family and friends:
- Whale watching from the shores and cliffs of Point Loma.
- Take a walk on the beach like Coronado Beach, Oceanside, Solana Beach, Del Mar and La Jolla.
- Go winter tubing at Rohr Park and visit the giant gingerbread house.
San Diego is served by almost 30 airlines and has vacation rentals for every budget. The mild temperatures give adventurous families lots of choices to camp at beach or mountain locations.
In Seattle, holiday celebrations start with 40 caroling teams singing outside Westlake Center and a Winter Beer Fest in Magnuson Park. It ends with a spectacular New Year’s fireworks at The Space Needle.
Get a list of events by events12.com for ideas on what to do while you’re in Seattle in December.
Kids and adults will be delighted to spend time in three of these places in Seattle:
- The Wildlights at Woodland Park Zoo.
- The Argosy Cruises Christmas Ship Festival.
- Winterfest at Seattle Center.
Compared to the north, Atlanta’s December temperatures rarely go below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, making it an ideal city to spend the Christmas holidays. Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) serves 90 million passengers per year. It’s the hub for Delta and connects to 315 destinations in the US and around the world, which means it’s easy to get an ideal flight to and from Atlanta.
Here are three spots that are perfectly suited for the holidays:
- Atlanta Botanical Garden featuring Garden Lights Holiday Nights, Holiday Train Show, Ride on Train and Botanical Saint Nick.
- Snow Mountain in Stone Mountain Park.
- Center for Puppetry Arts’ Rudolph the Reindeer performance and workshop.
If your preference is to visit small towns, we recommend Skaneateles. The village of Skaneateles is located in the Finger Lakes region of New York, about 660 miles from Chicago and 317 miles from Cleveland.
This year, the village is presenting their 24th annual Dickens Christmas. Every Saturday and Sunday from the day after Thanksgiving through December 23rd and December 24th, from noon to 4 pm, Charles Dickens and his 50 cast members roam around the village streets, stores and restaurants. Make sure to take a family photo with one of the cast members.
Take the time to visit Father Christmas on the porch of the Masonic Temple and pick up last minute gifts from one of the boutiques. What makes Skaneateles such a pleasurable Christmas destination is the fact that it is less hectic and is just minutes away from hundreds of wineries and breweries.
7. Bernville, PA
Bernville, a town about 81 miles from Pennsylvania and 129 miles from New York City, is home to Koziar’s Christmas Village. It started in 1948 as a well-decorated home by the Koziar family and has evolved, becoming the most enchanting Christmas village in Pennsylvania.
The village with over one million Christmas lights presents indoor and outdoor train displays, manger scene, buildings with indoor and outdoor Christmas displays, and shops with unique gifts, toys, and ornaments.
Do you have any favorite destinations to visit with friends and family during Christmas season?