Spending Christmas at home like you usually do with the family is fun, but it can get a little repetitive. So why not let some adventure into your life and travel to one of these spectacular destinations. Whether you want caroling in caves, partying, a tropical winter or a snow-blanketed one, we’ve got you covered.
1. Lapland, Finland
Finland is already pretty magical, but this location just North of the arctic circle. Children can make gingerbread cookies with Santa’s wife, take courses in elf school, and write the gifts of their dreams with an old-school quill. Also, a reindeer farm where you can basically go reindeer sledding.
Every Christmas in Malta, there is a life-size nativity experience that is 20,000 square meters of abandoned fields. With over 150 actors, you get to travel back in time 2,000 years ago in Judea, with turn mills, real-life grazing animals, oil lamps, taverns, and craft areas which teach traditional folklore and old-school skills.
3. Reykjavik, Iceland
The northern lights, with a city blanketed in snow and Christmas lights, is unimaginable. Don’t miss out on it. A Christmas market is made up of small, beautiful huts, called the Yule Town Christmas market.
4. Ogden, Utah
The Christmas village in Ogden is a breathtaking site out of a movie. It’s one of the USA’s most famous railway hubs, and every year, 59 elf-sized cottages have their own themes which families can visit. You can ride the polar express for free, as it rides through a glow-in-the-dark tunnel painted with holiday flourishes.
5. New York
Try spending the holidays in the city that never sleeps. Check out the significant mega-tree at Rockefeller Center, as well as various Christmas kiosks in different neighborhoods of the city. Window displays on 5th Ave are a majestic highlight. And the radio city Christmas spectacular with those gorgeous Rockettes!
Go ice-skating at the amazing Patnoire Du Bassin Bonsecours for an unforgettable time. There are multiple Christmas parades, and free concerts hosted by the Museum of Fine Art, as well as the Montreal Ballet’s take on the Nutcracker. And you can easily cut down your own tree for free!
7. Hong Kong, China
Hong Kong is simply magnificent, with shop fronts decked out in gift-wrap paper, loud and merry Christmas music blasting everywhere, and light dangling from skyscrapers. A truly surreal experience.
8. Boston, USA
This is as close to old-school Christmas as you’re going to get, in the states at least. The streets become gas lamp-lit, and the huge tree in Faneuil Hall is glorious as well, offering up some solid Rockefeller tree competition.
9. New Zealand
During Christmas time, they’re at the height of summer! With a breathtaking landscape (Lord of the Rings was filmed here), folks often celebrate the holiday outdoors, with a backyard barbecue. And you can hike the incomparable Kaikoura mountain range and New Zealand’s amazingly diverse marine environment in the Kaikoura Bay. Lord of the Rings summer for Christmas? Doesn’t get more unique than that.
10. Castleton, England
Like most small, stone English towns, this one is extremely charming. But what makes it stand out is the practice of candlelight caroling inside caves, which is a memorable and stunning experience.
11. Taos, New Mexico
If you’re looking for a an unusual desert plain setting on Christmas, Taos is home to a rich blend of cultural traditions, like reenactments of Mary and Joseph’s shelter search, streets dotted with luminaries, and a fantastic American Indian Christmas Eve celebration.
12. Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona will give you a warmer Christmas, and it even lets you celebrate Christmas a second time! That’s because these celebration start on January 4th – it’s a mind-blowing experience with fireworks, canons, and an amazing parade of giraffes, camels, and elephants.
13. Aspen, Colorado
You don’t have to dream of a white Christmas anymore if you stay in Aspen. Spend your days skiing down these beautiful snow-covered mountains, and in the evening, there are enough decorations and holiday music events to make you never want to leave.
14. Las Vegas, Nevada
Why not party it up for Christmas? You can go ice-skating with a view of the strip at the Cosmopolitan Hotel, and see cactus all lit up at the Ethel M Chocolate factory. Then you can stay for new year’s, which is unforgettable in Vegas. Perfect for a romantic holiday trip.