If you’re looking to get away from your hometown this Christmas, you should start weighing out your destination options now. Whether you want to relax in a peaceful country or embark on winter sports in a famous city, you will find a place on this list that fits your desires.
Experience the magic of the holidays in New York City. The city transforms into a winter wonderland. Take photos by the famous Rockefeller Christmas tree, go ice-skating across the Rockefeller Center Skating Rink, admire the incredible Christmas window displays, and don’t miss your chance to see Santa at Macy’s New York.
Yes, you can actually visit the “North Pole” this Christmas. Its motto is “Where the spirit of Christmas lives year ‘round.’” This small Alaskan city is home to the Santa Claus House where children’s letters are received and answered. Visitors enjoy admiring the unique lit up ice sculptures, and taking photos with the World’s Largest Santa, standing at nearly 50ft tall.
If you’re trying to decide on a beautiful Christmas getaway, look no further than Quebec City in Canada. The lights, decorations and snow make for a magical setting. There are plenty of activities to participate in during the holiday season; attend Christmas Markets, enjoy concerts and shows, meet Santa Claus in the Petit Champlain District, and attend the Quebec Aquarium Light Festival.
The city is known for their extraordinary landscapes, but during the holidays tourists enjoy their exciting events and Christmas decorations throughout the month of December. View the enchanting Northern Lights and visit the peaceful Reykjavik Botanic Garden; admire their beautiful arboretum and incredible displays of indoor and outdoor lights.
A light dusting of snow, cheerful displays, Christmas parades, and exciting events are just some of the many things you have to look forward to during Christmas in Woodstock. This historic town welcomes all to attend their pre-Christmas Winter Wassail Weekend; don’t miss the Wassail Parade, it runs through the center of Woodstock and features more than 50 horses and riders dressed in costumes.
Experience Christmas in one of the world’s most romantic cities. It offers some of the most spectacular picturesque views in the world. This historic, medieval town makes for the perfect Christmas destination. Wander the cobblestone streets and go to their Christmas markets, drink tons of hot chocolate, and admire festive window displays.
Shutterstock/Arina P Habich
Head to the world’s largest après ski town for Christmas fun. If you’re looking for holiday lights, look no further than Zoo Lights at the Denver Zoo, the Denver Botanic Gardens annual Blossoms of Light display, and the Denver Parade of Lights. Also make sure that you attend “The Nutcracker” Ballet, ride the Holiday Carousel at the Denver Pavilions and go ice skating on Evergreen Lake.
Christmas in this old-fashioned European city is absolutely stunning. Make sure you visit the Christkindlmarkts, which is one of the oldest Christmas markets in all of Europe, dating back to the 13th century, even if it’s just to marvel at the gorgeous Baroque architecture with twinkling decorations. The Vienna Boys’ Choir concerts are fabulous. The food alone is a good enough reason to spend the winter in Vienna. Don’t leave without trying the Gugelhupf, truffles, or the coconut-coated Topfenknödel.
Germany is credited with starting the Christmas tree tradition, as we now know it, in the 16th century. Nuremberg Christmas market, the country’s most famous one, draws over 2 million people every year. Locals are very serious about hand-made decorations – you won’t find more beautiful ornaments than those sold in the city. Visit the Old Town and see what a traditional Christmas glory is all about. Don’t resist the temptations of mulled wine, sweet roasted almonds, Nuremberg sausages and gingerbread.
This underrated European city is a great destination for Christmas. The city is one of the most preserved on the Old Continent. The interesting mix of modern and medieval architecture is even more beautiful when covered in snow with lanterns lit at night. Locals say that the world’s first Christmas tree was erected in Tallinn in 1441. Estonia in general is on our list of unforgettable bucket list trips you can do on a budget if you don’t want to spend a lot.
Stay in glass igloos and log cabins with extraordinary views. They were designed so visitors can enjoy the Northern Lights in their full glory, but sleeping there is an amazing experience even if you don’t catch them. Finland, along with Sweden, are often referred to as the original home of Santa Claus because of the world famous Santa Claus village in Rovaniemi where you get to “meet” him and watch his elves work.
The American home of Santa Claus takes Christmas very seriously. The small town of about 2,500 people has a local post office that has been sending letters to kids “from Santa” for over a century. Dubbed “America’s Christmas Hometown,” it offers a lot to locals and visitors. Book now a package at Santa’s Lodge, a pass to Santa Claus Land of Lights, an access card to chat with an elf on the Northpole Network at Santa’s Candy Castle, story time and milk and cookies with Santa, and Christmas crafts.
Copenhagen, the capital of the country where the happiest people on the planet live, is a real Christmas city and radiates with positive vibes during the holiday. The famous Tivoli Gardens’ Christmas market is a must-visit if you want to see a fantastic winter wonderland in an urban environment. There is a Christmas carnival, an ice palace and a light show. Take a horse-drawn carriage ride and try a glass of glogg and freshly baked ebleskiver.
Holland’s largest city is a popular place to be come Christmas time. Locals get really into the legend of Santa Claus. The beautiful century-old houses are stunningly lit and decorated as early as the first week of December. At Museum Square you will find Amsterdam’s most spectacular ice rink and Christmas market. Some popular museums, such as Anne Frank House and Rijksmuseum, are open on December 25.
Go on a tour walking on cobble stone streets to see the beautiful baroque and Gothic architecture. The glittering decorations only make them look more magical. Christmas trees embellish the town squares and the early sundown is filled with warm light. The Christmas markets in Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square are an absolute must as well. Have a traditional meal, possibly at U Fleku, the only brewery in Central Europe that has been brewing continuously for more than five centuries.
What better way to celebrate Christmas than at Disneyland in California? Between entertainment, decorations and attractions, it’s no surprise that they know how to generate excitement around the holidays. Visit Disney California Adventure Park through Jan. 8, 2017 for an out of this world light show – World of Color-Season of Light. The all-new show transforms water, light, song and story into incredible holiday magic.