Listed below are the top 25 family-friendly holiday vacations for this season.

2023-01-01 00:01:35 - Drany Macley Drany Macley, the senior editor of, brings extensive journalism background and over eight years of experience in travel writing and editing to the site, offering practical insights and first-hand knowledge through articles on innovative hotels, backed by a BA in Journalism from Ithaca College.

Holiday travel can be both thrilling and nerve-wracking. All the kids' stuff needs to be packed, the car needs to be Tetrised, and don't forget to get an oil change before you leave. You may have grown accustomed to making the trip to a relative's house for the holidays, but what's stopping you from finally taking that dream vacation?

Preparation is the key to a successful holiday getaway with the family. Talk about where you'll go, how much it'll cost, and what kind of activities there are that the kids will enjoy. In spite of your initial hesitations and inquiries, you and your family will soon be making memories that will last a lifetime.

There are many places around the world that will give you the holiday spirit you've been missing if you want to spend the season there instead of at home. To help with your search, we've curated a list of the 25 best Christmas vacations and getaways for families that are sure to have you walking in a winter wonderland—be it a snowy morning in the mountains or a sunny, sand-filled day at the beach

Family-Friendly Holiday Destinations

Number one: Yosemite in California

Yosemite National Park is a fantastic place to spend the holidays with loved ones. With ice skating in Yosemite's outdoor rinks, sleigh rides through Curry's village, skiing and snowboarding, and so much more, this national park is a must-visit during the winter months. There is no need to make advance reservations to visit the park, and you can show up at any time of the year. The Wawona Hotel, Yosemite Valley Lodge, and The Ahwahnee all have delicious Christmas Day dinner menus, so you won't have to worry about cooking.

  • Yosemite Valley Lodge is the place to stay.
  • Rates start at $289 per night
  • Skiing, sleigh rides, ornament making, gingerbread house decorating, and other holiday-themed activities.

Two, Orlando, Florida's Disney World

Disney World in Orlando, Florida for Christmas


Honestly, is there ever a bad time to go to Disney World? Visit Disney's Magic Kingdom park during the holiday season for some jolly fun. As part of their newest event, Disney Very Merriest After Hours, guests can enjoy a themed parade, fireworks, and more! Disney's seasonal flavors are a must-try, and the park is decked out in holiday cheer, so don't miss out on either!

  • The Disney Wilderness Lodge is the place to stay.
  • Nightly rates start at 6
  • Entertainment: a Christmas parade, fireworks, amusement park rides, and a dance party

Third, Winter Haven, Florida's Legoland

Build your own massive Lego Christmas tree In fact, if you and your family plan a trip to Legoland during the holidays, you won't miss the chance to see this kid-friendly masterpiece and many others. The whole family will love this warm winter getaway with its festive food and drinks and Lego characters in their finest holiday attire. Moreover, you shouldn't miss out on Legoland's many rides and shows.

  • The Legoland Hotel is the place to stay.
  • Starting at + tax per night per person
  • Leisure options like a theme park, retail outlets, and restaurants

Place Number Four: Park City, Utah

Park City, Utah family Christmas trip


As if the winter season were complete without a trip to the slopes with the family, Visit Utah's Park City ski resort with the kids even if you've never put skis on your feet before; the snow and scenery are breathtaking. Jump aboard the Polar Express for a 90-minute ride filled with hot cocoa, live entertainment, and even a special gift from Santa to get into the true holiday spirit. A free screening of It's a Wonderful Life is being held in honor of the holiday season; those in attendance are encouraged to take it easy and bring tissues.

  • Check into the Park City Peaks Hotel
  • Rates start at $412 per night
  • Skiing, a tree-lighting ceremony, and discounted holiday meals are just some of the perks.

50 Greatest Road Trips

Los Angeles, California

L. does not experience winter, so you can forget about snowy trees or chilly evenings. A which could be beneficial for some households Even if it's a balmy 70 degrees and sunny in December, there will still be plenty of Christmas and other holiday celebrations to enjoy. Notorious L.A. gangster A For winter activities, the Hollywood Christmas Parade is a must-see because it so aptly captures the holiday spirit. The L tradition is a fun light-up custom for kids because of the various animals featured. A Light up the zoo, but avoid the lines by buying your tickets in advance.

  • You should stay at the Hotel Indigo Los Angeles.
  • Rates start at $161 per night
  • Accommodations with L A Outdoor ice skating, the zoo, and the Hollywood holiday parade

Steamboat Springs, Colorado, number 6

Steamboat Springs, Colorado christmas trip for families


Steamboat Springs has everything a ski-loving family could want for a memorable holiday season, and then some. Meat for your holiday meal should be ordered in advance from Steamboat Meat & Seafood Co. and Health Food Stores Rather than cooking a meal at your Steamboat lodge, why not have a private chef prepare it for you? However, if you want to eat out, you should definitely plan ahead and make a reservation. Steamboat has great restaurants, but it also has hot springs, fireworks shows, and snowshoe trails. The downtown area is beautiful and would make a great backdrop for a family photo.  

7 - El Paso, Texas

The city of El Paso, Texas, has a wide variety of interesting holiday customs. Help local merchants out at the Christmas fair that has been kicking off the holiday season for 40 years. Experience the depth of El Paso's culture by participating in a posada, a public ritual party held nightly for nine days prior to Christmas Eve. If you're still in town after the holidays, you should check out the Sun Bowl Game, one of the nation's oldest college football bowl games.

  • The Stanton House is the place to stay.
  • Nightly rates start at $195
  • Facilities: ice skating, a Sun Bowl game, a Christmas fair, and traditional festivities

Located in Wyoming's Jackson Hole

Ski gear and family in tow, head to Jackson Hole Resort, where Santa is guaranteed to make a "drop-in." That what Don't worry, that's just Santa skiing down the mountain in true Jackson Hole style to visit with the kids. It's okay if you don't want to spend all your time on the ski lifts; Santa will be at the tree lighting ceremony in the town square. This winter, why not take your family on a sleigh ride through Teton's beautiful scenery for a change?

  • Elk Country Inn is the place to stay.
  • Rooms start at $238 per night.
  • Skiing, sleigh rides, arts and crafts, firework displays.

Instagram Travel Captions

Position 9: Frankfurt, Germany

Visit Frankfurt, Germany, and educate your loved ones on Europe's rich history. Located just minutes from Frankfurt Airport, this 600-year-old Christmas Market defies description. Stroll through the market and take in the wonderful aromas of baked apples, gingerbread, and mulled wine, but don't let your nose overshadow your appreciation of the stunning buildings. Check out one of the city's many medieval churches if you're in need of a place to worship on Christmas Day. (Before making any reservations, please review the current COVID-19 travel restrictions)

Rank: #10 The Grand Canyon, Arizona

If you want to avoid the holiday crowds, spending the holidays in Arizona might not be on most people's radar. This holiday season, visit the Grand Canyon and take in the beautiful winter sunrises, low floating clouds, and cooler temperatures. At the El Tovar, you can enjoy a delicious Christmas feast while gazing out at the snowy canyon. For a night of camping in the great outdoors, pack up the kids and head 7 miles south to South Kaibab, where you can stay at Phantom Ranch. There has never been a better time to be an explorer than at Christmas. (Before making any reservations, please review the current COVID-19 travel restrictions)

  • The El Tovar is the place to stay.
  • Price range: $338-$409 per night
  • Amenities include Polar Express train rides, dining, and hiking.

No. 11: Highlands, NC

North Carolina's Highlands is a mountain town, so take it easy. Each year, Santa brings millions of lights to Kelsey-Hutchinson Founders Park, where families can enjoy free treats and warm beverages while admiring the holiday displays. Enjoy the outdoors on a sunny day by hiking to one of the many waterfalls in the Highlands. If you're ever in a small town, you must go see the parade with the floats, bands, and camels.

  • Here's where to stay: Skyline Lodge
  • Rates start at $229 per night (a 3-night stay is required).
  • Attractions: a Christmas parade, a live music venue, and hiking

Place No. 12 in Texas: Grapevine

Grapevine, Texas family Christmas trip


Grapevine, also known as "The Christmas Capital of Texas," makes every occasion brighter. You can celebrate the holiday season for 40 days straight with a variety of special events, all of which will be uniquely Christmas-themed. Cities go all out for the holidays, illuminating their streets with millions of lights and garish decorations that bring the spirit of the season to life. Nash Farm is hosting a 5k and Victorian Christmas Tours, both of which are family-friendly activities. Walk along the Historic grapevine to finish up any last-minute Christmas shopping you may have.

  • Here's where to stay: the luxurious Gaylord Texan Resort
  • Rates start at $263 per night
  • Enjoy the Christmas market, wine tasting, carolers, and dinner theater.

Large Bear Mountain, California

Make Big Bear Mountain your winter vacation destination. Family-friendly activities include: making a snowman in front of your cabin, panning for gold at Gold Rush Mining Adventures, and zipping through the trees at top speed on a Segway or booking a high-speed zip-line experience. Building a fire and roasting marshmallows at the end of the day in the cabin is the perfect way to cap off an amazing adventure.

  • The Vintage Lakeside Inn is a great place to stay.
  • Starting at $219 per night
  • Zip-lining, skiing, horseback riding, and retail therapy are just a few of the available activities.

Destin, Florida, number 14

Visiting Santa during family Christmas trip

Unsplash/Tim Mossholder

Enjoy the warm weather in the Sunshine State. You can't really have a gripe if you're in a swimsuit on Christmas, can you? Destin is well-known for its beautiful beaches, stunning sunsets, and delicious southern seafood. See the tree being lit and the fireworks at Destin Commons, and keep an eye out for Santa at Baytown Warf.

Cancun, Mexico, No. 15

Even without snow, Christmas in Mexico is still a joyous time. Magical holiday surprises and cheery tunes are illuminated by the sun as it rises over the Caribbean. El Grinch performing acrobatic numbers at a beach party with a holiday theme? Winter in Cancn is paradise for those who prefer warmer climates.

  • The Marriott Cancun Resort is the place to stay.
  • Stays start at $237 per night
  • Conveniences: a lit Christmas tree, a Candyland beach party, Christmas Day dinner, and a dance party with live music.

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Faroe Islands, a Danish territory

Faroe Islands, Denmark family christmas trip

Photography by Meg Jerrard on Unsplash

Have you ever heard of it? The Faroe Islands are a group of autonomous islands in the North Atlantic with a rugged landscape, active volcanoes, and some of the friendliest people you'll ever meet. Annually, the islanders construct a Christmas City decked out in dazzling displays of lights and ornaments. Hike with the family during the day to the ancient Kirkjub church or up the hill for a breathtaking panorama of the islands. Head to Rst for a Faroese-style meal of fermented lamb and fish served with rye bread. If you're looking for a more intimate dining experience, the Faroese offer Heimabldni, or "home hospitality," where you can eat at the homes of local families. (Before making reservations, you should research the current COVID-19 travel restrictions)

  • The 62N Guesthouse is a great place to stay.
  • Rates start at per night
  • Recreational opportunities, Convention Center, and Christmas City

Locale #17: The District of Columbia C

The nation's capital is a hub of holiday cheer, and Washington is no exception. D C location of the National Christmas Tree, a live evergreen tree decorated for the holiday season and placed in President Park adjacent to the White House This is the best part Artists from all over the country decorate its trimmings. You won't want to miss the Washington Ballet's spectacular production of The Nutcracker this year. Union Station is decked out in Norwegian-style Christmas decorations, food, and ice sculptures, so be sure to check it out if you're in the area.

  • The Grand Hyatt Washington is the place to stay.
  • Nightly rates start at $136.
  • Attractions include a lighted boat parade, a rink, and a garden filled with twinkling lights.

Gatlinburg, Tennessee, population 18, at the time of this writing

Gatlinburg, Tennessee family christmas trip


Gatlinburg, a tourist trap in Germany, is the perfect place to spend Christmas with the family. It's impossible to find a place where you don't encounter some form of holiday magic, what with all the decorations and the twinkling lights. Their winter schedule is jam-packed with festive activities, such as a holiday parade, a fireworks display, and an arts and crafts fair. We rate a holiday spent in a rustic cabin in the Smokies a perfect 10!

  • Parkside Cabin Rentals, the place to stay
  • Starting at per night
  • Festival features include a parade, arts and crafts, breakfast with Santa, and a fireworks display.

London, United Kingdom

Just what is it that you cannot do in London during the holiday season? Many fun activities can be enjoyed during this time including ice skating, shopping, afternoon tea, and even a visit to Santa! The Warner Bros. Studio Tour is a magical experience for any Harry Potter fan family this time of year. The Great Hall is decorated with a magical Christmas tree, and the Gryffindor common room looks like it was plucked straight out of a holiday card. Blenheim Palace (Winston Churchill's birthplace) goes all out for the holidays with a Christmas market, light trail, and more if you have time to venture outside of London for a weekend.

  • The Tower Hotel is where you should be staying.
  • Rates start at $153 per night
  • Features: Ice skating, shopping, sightseeing tours, and art galleries

Twenty-fifth, Rovaniemi, Finland

Rovaniemi, Finland family christmas trip


Visit Santa Claus in Rovaniemi, Finland, and travel across the Arctic Circle at Santa Claus Village. The land of reindeer, the polar night sky, and the x-country ski trail is a magical place. Bring the kids to Elf's Farmyard Zoo, where they can pet alpacas and learn about other arctic animals. Drop by salmon-place/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Santa's Salmon Place for some freshly grilled salmon after a day of winter fun.

  • Santa Claus's Village is the place to stay.
  • Prices start at 2 per night
  • Features: Santa Claus Village, a Petting Zoo, Skiing, and the Northern Lights

Santa Fe, New Mexico, Number Twenty-One

At Christmastime, Santa Fe is nothing short of a fairy tale. You and your family will never be bored with the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony, a performance of The Nutcracker, and dances at the Indian Pueblos. Children of all ages enjoy the New Mexico Art Museum's yearly Christmas Open House. Explore the rich history of Santa Fe by attending a traditional event like Las Posadas, a recreation of the Holy Family's search for lodging in Bethlehem.

  • You should stay at the Hotel Santa Fe.
  • Nightly rates start at $254
  • Enjoy the art museum, festive lights, holiday market, and ceremonial tree lighting.

Stowe, Vermont, Number 22

Gather your loved ones in Stowe, Vermont, for a classic Christmas celebration. When you arrive in Stowe, you'll see that the entire town is committed to maintaining its Christmas heritage. All over town, people go all out with lights and decorations, making for a lovely evening stroll while sipping hot cocoa and choosing your favorite light display. Spend some quality time together as a family by participating in a sled race during the snowy days.

  • Accommodations: Green Mountain Inn
  • Price: $261 Prices start at $50/night.
  • Skiing, sledding, ice skating, and sleigh rides are all available.

Town of Fairhope, Alabama

Vacation in south Alabama for the annual Christmas boat parade. Fairhope, Alabama, is a beautiful bayside city that is worth visiting any time of year, but it really comes to life during the winter holidays. Enjoy the festive atmosphere of downtown Fairhope by taking a walk in the Polar Vortex. Santa makes an appearance at the Magical Parade and then stays to listen to the children's Christmas wish lists. The town's "Movie In The Street," where kids and adults alike watch a Christmas film in the downtown area, deserves special mention.

  • Hotel recommendation: Jubilee Suites
  • Rates start at $220 per night
  • Facilities include beaches, a Christmas open house, shopping, and dining.

New York, New York Number 24

New York christmas trip for family


During the holiday season, New York City is the setting for countless songs and films. Families all over the world have long held New York City as a Christmastime fantasy, and we couldn't agree more. Go ice skating at Rockefeller Center, see The Nutcracker at the Lincoln Center, browse the Christmas markets, and more to experience the city's winter wonderland atmosphere. At Radio City, the night culminates in a Christmas Spectacular featuring the world-famous Rockettes that is sure to get you in the holiday spirit and on your feet.

In the 25th spot we have Florida's Keys.

What we really want for Christmas is a trip to the tropics. Santa's favorite vacation spot is in Key West, so get your bags packed and come see him there! The Holiday Lights and Sights Tour, a trolley ride through town with cookies and cider, is the best way to see all the holiday lights across the island. Take a guided tour of the Southernmost City's historic inns this holiday season and marvel at the city's charming architecture. You might be lucky enough to witness the lighted boat parade that boat owners have been preparing for for weeks.

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