How To Create An Unforgettable Christmas-Themed Vacation For Your Family
A themed vacation is a great way to combine the holiday season with the family’s favorite holiday memories. After all, this is the beauty of a themed vacation; the joining of personal interests with relevant travel and sightseeing. If your family loves the idea of Christmas or you simply desire a break from the traditional, planning a Christmas-themed vacation can be an exciting adventure.
Wine lovers may enjoy a summertime trek through great wine regions, which combine superb wine and cheese tastings with some of the most stunningly beautiful landscapes in the world. A family on a Lewis and Clark expedition in autumn may traverse magnificent waterways and explore varied wildlife and terrains.
The winter season offers a great time to create an unforgettable Christmas vacation for families. Before you shrink back at the thought of more crowded streets filled with bustling shoppers or the sounds and sights of tinsel, and bells, and all that glitters (ad infinitum) – think again!
A vacation with a subtle Christmas theme can offer just the right amount of holiday infusion along with quiet rest, beautiful photo-op scenery, fresh crisp air, a bit of exercise, historical references, and ample holiday memories.
8 Starter Ideas To A Themed Christmas Vacation
The best themed vacations will begin with and center around either a novel idea and/or a personally relevant statement. In this case, the relevant statement is Christmas, but the novel idea is brought forth from your family’s unique and personal holiday favorites.
Here are a few ideas to gather geographical location possibilities:
- Favorite family Christmas movie, story, or author
- Historical Christmas traditions to explore
- Quaint towns famous for celebrating Christmas
- Serene and quiet winter locations for family bonding
- Locations with quirky Christmas-related names
- Musical or other culturally relevant Christmas locations
- Popular Christmas sports or entertainment venue
- Existing Christmas sightseeing tours
7 Themed Christmas Vacation Locations To Explore
Once you’ve settled on a few location options, explore each area for family indulgences: dining, famous sights, historical architecture, cultural guided tours, sports and entertainment venues, and special outdoor locations to visit.
Here are 8 possible Christmas themed vacations you might enjoy:
1. Stowe, VT: Stay at the Trapp Family Lodge (a 2,500-acre resort) which features a charming farm, sweeping mountainsides and a 96-room alpine lodge. The city of Stowe offers a traditional New England Christmas experience with wagon rides, family entertainment, and seasonal food and beverages.
2. Asheville, NC: Enjoy an 1895 Christmas at the famous Vanderbilt mansion. The city goes all out with holiday decorations and also offers an established River Arts District, unique shopping opportunities, and a temperate climate for leisurely walking tours through urban or natural landscapes.
3. New York, NY: The quintessential Christmas spot and the site of many traditional holiday movies from Miracle on 34th Street, Home Alone 2, and Elf. Christmas is the perfect time to take the family to this culturally relevant city, where the Rockefeller Center, the Rockettes, and Radio City Music Hall offer plenty of entertainment for children and adults.
4. Bethlehem, PA: This quaint and affordable vacation town is known as ‘The Christmas City’. Enjoy self-guided tours to a day spent at the Christkindlmart for all things Christmas. Plan a short drive to the Koziars Christmas Village, which offers the best privately owned outdoor Christmas display in the world.
5. Aspen, CO: This stunning town will guarantee a white Christmas spent with family, sipping hot chocolate in front of a blazing fireplace, enjoying outdoor or skiing adventures or simply strolling through the snow-filled trails.
6. Christmas in Germany: From Salzburg to Munich, the Christmas season offers activities and sightseeing opportunities to learn about this country’s history of Christmas tradition.
7. Greenough, MT: ‘The Resort at Paws Up’ offers a storybook Christmas vacation experience with luxury lodges, horse-drawn sleigh rides, snow covered countryside, mountain vistas, and plenty of time for quiet reflection.
Whether you’re looking for a quiet family weekend getaway or an extended holiday retreat this season, keep in mind what holiday memories you hope to create and let your unique family experiences guide the way.
Dashing Through The Snow: 6 Weird-But-Wonderful Travel Ideas For An Unforgettable Family Christmas
You won’t need a one-horse open sleigh to get to these unusual, holiday locales for the perfect family getaway. These five weird-but-wonderful Christmas vacation ideas for families are just the thing to help you celebrate the kind of Christmas that is truly your own…
1. Taos, New Mexico
Want to experience the magic of the North Pole? Don’t travel north… head south instead and find yourself in Taos, New Mexico, a warm, welcoming town that is dripping in yuletide. With a massive arts and crafts fair that is followed up with holiday festivities galore, Taos’s historic streets are lit up by whimsical luminaries and crackling bonfires, beckoning you to cuddle up with those you love most.
With a casual, hometown vibe and comforting atmosphere, you will feel right at home around the bonfire, even amongst strangers, because no one in Taos stays a stranger for long.
2. Bali, Indonesia
Bali may not be the first place to cross your mind when you think about capturing the “holiday spirit”, but Christmas is, after all, all about magic… and Bali has magic in spades.
With exotic beaches, mysterious islands and vibrant temples at every turn, if you are looking for an off-beat way to spend the season, you will find it all in Bali. If you want something that feels more familiar, simply travel west to explore the Christian enclaves of Palasari and Belimbingsari… you won’t be “sari.” (Get it?)
3. Antigua, Guatemala
There is no place that honors the traditional roots of Christmas quite like Guatemala. Drenched in history and a rich appreciation of Christian roots, Antigua is truly one of the most inspirational spaces on the globe in which to spend your holiday.
Here, everyone and every building is lit up with Christmas spirit. Featuring Spanish colonial buildings, cobblestone streets and tiny, unique shops, you will never be at a loss for adventure… or the perfect gift. If you want to experience Christmas, the real, true meaning of the season, drop anchor here. You’ll be glad you did.
4. Gramado, Brazil
Gramado is not just another little dot on the map. It is, in fact, the Christmas capital of Brazil, hosting the area’s largest Christmas festival with plenty of experiences ready for the taking. Here, you will be entertained from morning until night with extravagant parades, live music, traditional holiday plays and over-the-top tree lightings.
Bring your camera and your inner child… they will both be put to good use.
5. Christmas Island
Ah, who could have a dream Christmas travel list without a place called Christmas Island… but don’t let the name fool you. The island has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas. It was, however, founded on Christmas Day which is where this beautiful island, drenched in flora and fauna, got its namesake. Scattered along the Indian Ocean, each year millions upon millions of red crabs migrate to the locale to spawn.
It is beautiful. It is awe-inspiring. It is captivating… and a little bit creepy – but you’ll quickly get over it when you take a diving lesson into the crystal-blue waters to explore some of the best displays of sea life on the planet.
Unique does not begin to describe Christmas in Singapore which boasts of one of the best and most unusual Christmas markets in all the world. Here, perfectly scattered lights illuminate the Orchard Road shopping district which beckons patrons to its doors with truly festive decorations that will leave you feeling like you stepped inside a movie screen. The area also has plenty of festive events which you will find by heading towards the Singapore River. If you can swing the extra time away from work, stay for New Year’s Eve and be treated to a fireworks display that rivals Times Square.
Whether you spend your Christmas floating on the seas of Christmas Island or walking the cobblestone streets of Guatemala, the Christmas spirit will always find you when you are with the ones you love most… no matter where your travels take you.