5 Christmas Vacation Ideas for Those Who Love the Holidays

By Lisa Medeiros Nov. 27, 2020
(Credit: TerraceStudio/Shutterstock)

Nothing creates lasting family memories like a holiday adventure. Make the most wonderful time of the year even more wonderful by packing up the family and welcoming in the holidays with an exciting yuletide excursion. We’ve put together a list of the five best Christmas vacation ideas to help jump start your holiday travel plans. From ice skating and alpine skiing to tree lightings and Christmas markets, these destinations boast activities to suit the whole family.

5 Best Christmas Vacation Ideas: Leavenworth, Washington (Credit: Checubus/Shutterstock)

Leavenworth, Washington

Why travel to Germany this holiday season when you can experience a Bavarian Christmas right in the Pacific Northwest. Throughout the year, Leavenworth, Washington, reflects German culture in its architecture, festivals and beer gardens, and Christmas is no exception. This quaint town offers a brilliant display of lights, tree lighting ceremonies and a traditional German Christmas market to get you in the Christmas spirit. Tour the Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum, showcasing thousands of nutcrackers from around the world. Then sample popular winter brews at the München Haus Beer Garden. Be sure to pack the ski gear to enjoy nearby Badger Mountain for some holiday family fun on the slopes.

5 Best Christmas Vacation Ideas: Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia (Credit: Christopher W Becke)

Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia

Journey back to the 18th century to experience an early American Christmas in Colonial Williamsburg. With an annual Christmas Parade, holiday productions at Kimball Theatre and tea with Mrs. Claus, it’s sure to be a Christmas to remember. Take a guided walking tour of the old-time Christmas decorations displayed throughout town and learn the centuries-old garland and wreath making process. A coachman will lead you through Williamsburg on a carriage ride past carolers, Christmas trees and ice skaters. Have an authentic colonial Christmas dinner at the King Arms Tavern, with period-costumed servers and colonial decor. You’ll soon see why Colonial Williamsburg is one of the most festive towns in the country to celebrate the holiday season. 

5 Best Christmas Vacation Ideas: Aspen, Colorado (Credit: The World in HDR/Shutterstock)

Aspen, Colorado

If you’re dreaming of a white Christmas, Aspen is the place to be. Providing a spectacular holiday celebration and plenty of family fun on the slopes, it’s a guaranteedChristmas to remember. The resort encompasses four separate ski areas, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk, and Snowmass – all accessible on one lift ticket. When the ski day’s done, enjoy all of the holiday activities during the 12 Days of Aspen celebration. With live music, caroling, cookie decorating and plenty of free hot cocoa, this annual holiday event offers something for everyone. Winterskol celebrates the season across all four mountains with fireworks, ice sculpting and live music. Cap off your week with Aspen’s firework-filled New Year’s Eve celebration. 

5 Best Christmas Vacation Ideas: New York City, New York (Credit: Winston Tan/Shutterstock)

New York City, New York

The Big Apple offers an iconic Christmas celebration with its celebrity-studded tree-lighting ceremony in Rockefeller Center. Each year, the most awe-inspiring evergreen is chosen as the focal point of the city’s holiday festivities. Lace-up a pair of skates and glide around the ice in Rockefeller Center, or shop the holiday markets offering unique gifts from artisans all around the world. Visit Union Square Holiday Market, Columbus Circle Holiday Market, Grand Central Holiday Fair and Holiday Shops at Bryant Park. Stroll past the impressive department store displays the city is known for at Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor, Bergdorf Goodman, Barney’s and Bloomingdale’s. 

5 Best Christmas Vacation Ideas: Branson, Missouri (Credit: Corey Mathery/Shutterstock)

Branson, Missouri

Dubbed America’s Christmas Tree City, Branson showcases more than 700 spectacular holiday trees on their Christmas Tree Tour. Christmas festivities at Silver Dollar City amusement park offers impressive light displays, Broadway-style shows and an additional 1,000 Christmas trees on display. Branson Scenic Railway transforms into the Polar Express each holiday season, delighting fans of the beloved children’s holiday book. Visit the region’s only reindeer herd at Promised Land Zoo for a photo with Rudolph himself.

More Recommended

7 Excellent Spring Break Ski Destinations in the Pacific Northwest

Itching to get in a few more runs before you stow your gear? The Pacific Northwest receives some of the heaviest snowfall in the United ...


7 Best Places to Go Snow Tubing in the USA

Whether you’re interested in a wintertime family activity, an alternative to skiing or an add-on to a ski trip itinerary, snow tubing is just ...


Ski Towns in New England You Won’t Want to Miss

When the snow is falling and spirits are high, there are few places you’d rather be than a ski town in New England. Even if ...


The Best Spring Break Skiing in the Pacific Northwest

Itching to get in a few more runs before you stow your gear? The Pacific Northwest receives some of the heaviest snowfall in the United ...


The Best Ski Season Passes for 2020-21: Which One is Right for You?

As the lifts fire up to kick off the 2020-21 ski season, you may still be debating the best options for ski season passes. We ...


Best Ski Regions in the USA

Best Ski Destinations in the USA

Highest Vertical in USA