We are reminded each Christmas season to be grateful for all we have. We hold our children a little closer and make every effort to cherish the abundance we work so hard all year to provide.
With those reminders, many of us vow to avoid the holiday chaos that seems to arrive as reliably as the winter weather. The stress of decorating, grocery store trips, and of course, the mad rush for gifts our kids will probably only use for a week or two makes counting our blessings hard.
So instead, trade the hectic schedule and last-minute gift shopping for a family vacation. A family vacation for Christmas is a gift that keeps giving with the memories you’re sure to make by focusing on the experiential instead of the material. Forget bringing in the New Year with exhaustion and frustration and enjoy this Christmas as it should be. Let professionals handle the rest!
New York, New York
New York City has rightfully earned its reputation as the premier destination to celebrate Christmas for both domestic and world travelers. It feels like the city turns into a veritable winter wonderland overnight when the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is lit.
There are lots of accommodations perfectly suited to family travel in each of NYC’s five boroughs. Downtown Manhattan is considered the center of the holiday action with options for block room bookings or spacious suites for large families. Families can enjoy optimal location and luxury in the heart of notable Manhattan neighborhoods like SOHO, Greenwich Village, or the Upper East Side, where unparalleled luxury, comfort, and amenities can be found.
Family activities in downtown Manhattan at Christmas include the SUMMIT One Vanderbilt observatory and strolling down Fifth Avenue to view holiday window displays. Stay warm with visits to Bar Pisellino in the West Village or Squish Marshmallows to find out which famous hot chocolate your family enjoys most (don’t be surprised if everyone needs multiple tastings before choosing). If you like a little adventure with your hot chocolate, Statue & Skyline Holiday Cocoa Cruise is a unique option that combines this favorite winter treat with the beauty of Hudson Bay!
If a traditional Christmas village setting is more your speed, look no further than Vail. As you stroll Vail’s festive and intimate streets, you can’t help but wonder whether you’ve been cast in a Christmas movie. Its boutique family-owned shops and specialty bakeries provide hours of leisurely shopping.
If your family enjoys skiing, Vail’s slopes are among the best in Colorado. Larger families can block-book several rooms in a Vail bed and breakfast or rent a cozy cabin on the slopes. There are also a number of ski resorts to choose from with amenities like hot tubs, ice skating rinks, and working fireplaces. In addition to shopping and skiing, things to do in Vail include the Alpine Gardens and scenic gondola rides.
Woodstock is a serene and festive New England setting, with rustic but sophisticated charm. Lodging options include historic Victorian-era accommodations, resort-style hotels, and a handful of spacious and semi-secluded rentals like condos and short-term apartments perfect for extended stays.
Woodstock’s quaint streets are full of charm and are rarely overcrowded. Just outside town limits are beautiful dairy and horse farms with tours available. Woodstock’s skiing, horse-drawn sleigh rides, and antique shopping make it the ideal Christmas getaway with something for everyone. Woodstock is known for craft and artisanal shops featuring favorites like locally-made maple syrup and fresh cheeses made with milk from nearby dairy farms.
Our nation’s capital is a popular family and group travel destination, ideal for multi-city and history-themed trips. It’s also a great Christmas getaway. D.C. is home to both the National Christmas Tree and the National Menorah and the month of December includes holidays for a number of cultures and nationalities. The National Museum of African American History and Culture has several exhibits highlighting the meaning and traditions of Kwanzaa, enjoyed each year from December 26th to January 1st.
D.C.’s neighborhoods are famous for their light displays, with storied and walkable neighborhoods like Columbia Heights, Mount Pleasant, Dupont Circle, Logan Circle, U Street, and Woodley Park encouraging sightseers to come share in the merriment. For added fun, your family can participate in a citywide Christmas light scavenger hunt or vote for the best neighborhood light displays. Competition categories include Best Use of Merchandise, Best Window Display, and “Most Chevy Chase,” a nod to the classic holiday comedy film.