If you believe the spirit of the season is born of family togetherness, then one of these family-focused, traditional getaways will appeal to your tastes.
Festival of Lights, Charleston, SC – Featuring thousands of twinkling Christmas lights, Santa’s Village, walking tours of the Enchanted Forest, live music, carousel rides and much more, Charleston’s Festival of Lights is a treat for the entire family.
- Holiday Festival of Lights, James Island County Park, Nov. 10, 2011 – Jan. 1, 2012
The Great Dickens Christmas Fair, San Francisco, CA – Victorian London comes alive in San Francisco, with more than 700 costumed performers depicting real historic figures and fictional characters from the Dickens era. Merchant shops and artisans line the streets, holiday parties abound and historic wonder is everywhere. An educational and entertaining experience for the entire family awaits at The Great Dickens Christmas Fair.
The Great Dickens Christmas Fair & Holiday Party, San Francisco Cow Palace Exhibition Halls, Weekends, Nov. 25 – Dec. 18, 2011
Christmas by the Sea, Ogunquit, ME – One of the best Christmas family vacations you’ll ever experience includes ringing in the season in traditional New England style at the annual Ogunquit Christmas by the Sea Celebration. Festivities include the official tree-lighting ceremony, beach bonfires, live entertainment, the Chowder & Chocolate Fest and much more.
- Christmas by the Sea, Throughout the Town of Ogunquit, Weekends, Dec. 3 – 11, 2011
Holiday Train RidesKids love trains, and holiday train rides are an excellent way to spend a fun-filled day with the entire family celebrating the magic of the holiday season. Whether you’re chugging through the mountains of New England or speeding along the Pacific coastline, Santa, Mrs. Claus and their merry band of elves will join in the fun on one of these family-oriented holiday train rides. Be sure to book your passage early, though, because holiday train excursions sell out quickly.
- The Polar Express , North Conway & Lincoln, NH
- The Polar Express , Williams, AZ
- Essex Steam Train Santa Special , Essex, CT
- Santa’s Surprise Trains , Middleton, PA
- Santa’s Special and the North Pole Express , Parrish, FL
- Christmas Trains , Stone Mountain Park, Atlanta, GA
Holiday Theme Park VacationsTheme parks are magical places year-round, but they especially come alive during the holiday season and make for some of the best Christmas family vacations ever! Celebrate the joy and excitement of the season at one of these theme parks, where even the adults in your party are sure to feel the childlike wonder that only a magical land can create.
- North Pole, Home of Santa’s Workshop , Cascade, CO
- Holiday World , Santa Claus, IN
- Holidays Around the World at Epcot , Orlando, FL
- Santa’s Village , Jefferson, NH
- Six Flags Holiday in the Park , Arlington, TX
- Disney Christmas at Magic Kingdom , Orlando, FL