If you’re sick of the cold weather – escaping the norm and heading to a warm, sunny beach destination can be a great alternative way to spend the holidays… But if you’re actually a fan of cold and snowy weather, and want to elevate your Christmas spirit and enjoy the winter wonderland to its fullest… there are also plenty of cold weather retreats for you! Either way, you can leave the in-laws at home and have a holly, jolly Christmas – it’s the best time of the year!
While most would associate Christmastime with snowmen, sleigh rides and plenty of hot cocoa, (afterall, Santa does live in the North Pole) turning the tradition on its head and enjoying a beach retreat is a fun alternative way to celebrate the holidays with your family. Here are a few of our suggestions… feel free to share your own below!
Disneyland & Disneyworld
While both are distinctly different, they’re each located in wonderfully warm locations your family can enjoy in the wintertime. For a family with young children, what Christmas could be more memorable than one at DISNEY? First up is Disneyland in Anaheim California. Stay at any of their resorts or nearby at beautiful Newport Beach. Southern California in December will make you forget its winter. If the east coast is more accessible to you, try Disney World in Orlando Florida. Arguably the “better” of the two, Disney World boasts a bigger park with a huge variety of sights to see, rides to ride and fun to have. You’re also just down the road from Universal Studios.
Many of the major cruise liners run holiday themed family cruises in the wintertime. All-inclusive with stops at islands like The Bahamas, Jamaica and Puerto Rico… talk about a relaxing Christmas getaway! No major decisions to make on destination, because you’re going to a few! Many of the islands depend on tourism to support the economy, so believe me they go all out for their guests who travel for the holidays. Do your research to find the best fit for your family’s interests in activities, and take note to any early booking discounts! Can’t do it this year? If you book a year or two in advance… it could save you big time.
Hawaii is a dream destination year-round for any occasion – honeymoon #2 anyone? Build a sandman (Hawaiian snowman) with the kids, replace your hot chocolate with a daiquiri, and enjoy a beachside performance by the locals instead of caroling this year. Don’t let the beautiful beach weather fool you, Hawaii does it up for Christmas. Do your research to see what types of tree lighting ceremonies, parades, fairs and more are happening on which islands.
There’s nothing wrong with a little snow! Sometimes the escape we crave has nothing to do with winter weather. The holidays are a great time to experience something fun and new with the family, without feeling forced to visit every family member and attend every office party in the tristate area. If skiing, cuddling by a fire and sight-seeing are your thing… a cold weather retreat may be for you!
New York City, NY
New York is every bit as magical around Christmastime as it seems in the movies. From the enormous, illuminated tree and ice skating at Rockefeller Center to elaborate holiday window displays on Fifth Avenue to performances at Radio City Music Hall… New York in December is a historic sight best experienced in-person. New York offers the best in shopping, dining and entertainment for the whole family all winter long! Stay an extra week for the spectacle that is Times Square on New Year’s Eve. Watching the ball drop in person is quite exceptional – much different than watching Dick Clark (and now Ryan Seacrest) count it down on TV.
Vail, Colorado & Aspen, Colorado
If you’re looking to spend some time outdoors in the winter wonderland, these snowy mountain towns are for you! Nestled in the Rocky Mountains just a few driving hours west of Denver, these two cozy ski towns match up so closely we couldn’t pick just one! (if you have an argument for either, please share your experience below!) With luxurious accommodations and endless family friendly activities like tubing, skiing, snowboarding, ice skating and attend annual holiday festivals… you’re guaranteed a wonderful holiday.
While London is a great destination year-round, many families are taking a trip across the pond to enjoy the festivities at Christmastime. From ice skating to extravagant lighting ceremonies to live ballet and musical performances, London at Christmastime finds itself quite comparable to New York City. Go caroling, take a historical tour or cozy up indoors for the weekend – whatever it may be, London’s typically foggy, grey and drab aesthetic is nowhere to be found in the month of December.
Tell us about your wonderful Christmas vacation away from home! Where did you go? Would you recommend it to a friend? Share in the comments below…