The holidays are here, but there’s still plenty of time to travel as a family, as well as plenty of fun places to explore whether you like to ski, hike, cruise or simply see the sights and holiday lights. Here are 10 of the best places to visit in December with kids. Have fun. 🙂
New York City
We’ve been to New York City several times, but never in December when the streets and storefronts are decorated and all lit up for the holidays. Best bets include the Christmas Spectacular featuring the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree and THE RIDE: Holiday Edition (we’ll be checking out all three in mid-December).
December is a great time to visit the Caribbean, even better when you can hop off on a couple of different islands as part of a five- or seven-day cruise. Look to the brand new Carnival Vista, which will be cruising the Eastern Caribbean this winter, making stops in the Bahamas and Dominican Republic.
In December, the weather is ideal in Orlando (generally in the 70s) and the theme parks are all decked out for the holidays. Head to Magic Kingdom for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, Disney’s Hollywood Studios for Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! and LEGOLAND for Christmas Bricktacular.
Williamsburg, Virginia is a fantastic place to visit year-round, but go during the winter holidays for the feel of a true colonial Christmas complete with costumed carolers, a holiday decorations walking tour and skating on the ice pavilion. You may also want to head to Christmas Town at Busch Gardens.
Death Valley National Park, CA/NV
Temperatures top the 100s (even 110s) in the summer, but in December, mild temperatures make it perfect to hike around and explore Death Valley National Park. I was there a couple of weeks ago and it was just 69 degrees. Stay in nearby Beatty, NV and head to the park for the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes and Zabriskie Point.
Colorado is already getting loads of snow, so whether you’re a skier or more of an apres-skier, Keystone is a great ski destination for families. Go for Camp Keystone, a world-class ski school, a huge snow fort, ice skating and nature walks. As a bonus, look for the Kidtopia Mountaintop Spectacular in December.
Just because Las Vegas is full of casinos doesn’t mean there aren’t a lot of fun things to do with kids. Go for a hike at Red Rock Canyon, enjoy hands-on fun at the Discovery Children’s Museum, see the Seven Magic Mountains and watch free circus acts at Circus Circus. There are great family-friendly hotels too, particularly in nearby Henderson.
Stowe is a great place for outdoor-loving families. We spent time there in summer hiking, fishing and kayaking. Go skiing and snowboarding at Smugglers’ Notch. Or, engage in any number of other family activities at the resort, like ice skating, snowmobile tours, snowcat rides and a weekly winter carnival.
Pocono Mountains, PA
In the Poconos of Pennsylvania, there’s a lot of winter fun to be had as a family. For those who like to get outside, book a dog sledding tour with Arctic Paws Dog Sled Tours. Stay at nearby Woodloch Resort for snow tubing, go-karts and ziplines. Or, head inside for waterpark fun at Kalahari, Great Wolf Lodge or Camelback Resort.
For lovely beaches and perfect weather nearly every day, San Diego is the place to be. As a bonus, there are lots of free things to do in San Diego, like strolling the Gaslamp Quarter and watching sunset from Sunset Cliffs Natural Park. Watch sea lions sun themselves and ride bikes along the boardwalk.
Photo Credit: Giovanni Volpato/Flickr (Radio City Music Hall)