These cities celebrate Christmas better than anyone else
Well, it’s official. Now that Thanksgiving is over, it’s officially acceptable everywhere to get in the holiday spirit. Personally, my Christmas tree was up on November 14th, and I have no shame. I’ve always loved Christmas, and my parents always spared no effort to make the season as magical as possible for our family.
Maybe it’s because I usually work Christmas and love to embrace every second of this beautifully magical season, but I can’t get enough of it. I love the lights, the music and the cold weather. I also love how families come together to spend time together. With the holiday season approaching, you may be itching to plan a last minute trip with your friends and loved ones. If that’s the case for you, you can’t miss these cities that go above and beyond for the holiday season.
New York, NY:
As the setting for some of the most popular Christmas movies, December is one of the most romantic and magical times of year for the city that never sleeps. With hotels averaging anywhere from $250-350 a night on weekends, it’s easy to be deterred by the glitz and glam of New York. Never fear, as Air BNB’s and budget hotels are available in all 5 boro’s.
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If you’re really itching to see New York, but don’t want to spend the extra cash, you have options to stay in hotels outside of the island for about $150 a night.
Admire the festive store fronts, see the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall, and go ice skating beneath the famous Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. There is no limit to the number of magical holiday-themed adventures that you can have in New York City.
Walt Disney World, Orlando, FL:
It should come as no surprise that the most magical place on earth has the best Christmas celebration on earth. Starting late November, you can look forward to celebrating Christmas in every corner of the park. Each hotel and park is uniquely decorated for the holiday season.
If you’re traveling with children, you won’t want to miss Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, which includes exclusive access to the park, ‘snow,’ and a parade featuring the big man himself- Santa Claus! Attractions are open to guests that have purchased tickets during the event, so if you missed your opportunity to ride the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train during normal hours, you’ll be able to do that during the event.
If you decide to visit Walt Disney World, you don’t want to miss my article about the top ten tips and hack when visiting Disney World. The guide is sure to transform your trip.
Looking to surprise the family with a trip to Disney World for a Christmas trip? Never fear, the decorations and celebration of Christmas continue well into January.
Our nation’s capital is beautiful all times of year, but especially during Christmas. My top tip for visiting DC during the Christmas season is the Georgetown Glow. This outdoor light exhibition is completely free to the public, and features a wide variety of interactive lights.
Light artists from all over the world collaborate to create a truly unique experience. Admire colorful flowers, prisms, cylinders, and more as you walk through the beautifully lit exhibit. Your trip will create holiday memories that you’ll remember for a lifetime.
Something else to add to your bucket list is a candlelight tour of historic DC. Admire the beautifully decorated historic homes by candlelight. This is the perfect tour for the history geek or the Christmas fanatic.
Charlotte, North Carolina:
Influenced by Germany’s tradition of holding Christmas markets, the Charlotte Christmas Village is reason enough to visit Charlotte this December. Beginning the day after Thanksgiving and continuing until Christmas Eve, Romare Bearden Park transforms into a charming European Christmas Village.
Enjoy live performances, beer, wine, and purchase handmade items for your friends and family’s Christmas gifts. Charlotte knows that it wouldn’t be a Christmas Village without Santa Claus, and you’ll have your opportunity to see Santa and get your family’s photo.
While the windy city is certainly the place to be if you’re dreaming of a white Christmas, there is so much more to this city than just the weather.
Longing for an international Christmas but can’t swing the cash for that flight? Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry hosts “Christmas Around the World” each year, celebrating holiday traditions from around the world. Admission to the Museum of Science and Industry and many more attractions around Chicago is included with a Go Chicago Card.
Do you enjoy Christmas caroling? Head to Millennium park to watch choir groups perform Christmas carols and go ice skating afterwards. Like my friend Buddy the Elf says, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.”
If you’d rather shop, Chicago has a holiday twist to that as well. Held between Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Eve, tourists and locals have the opportunity to visit Christkindlmarket, a German-inspired marketplace. Enjoy live music, German food, and hand made craft sales. Hosted at Daley Plaza at Washington and Dearborn, the market is a great way to celebrate Christmas time in Chicago.
So what do you have planned for your Christmas travels? Do you think you’ll visit any of these cities to celebrate the most magical season? How does your home town celebrate Christmas? Share your city’s traditions in the comments below!