Christmas is a special holiday and whether the perfect vacation for you means snow and magical lights or parties and Santa girls, we managed to come up with a list with the top 10 places to spend Christmas.
1. Las Vegas – Christmas is all about indulgence and treating yourself and your family, and what better place for this than the city of over the top luxury and entertainment that is Las Vegas. There are a number of impressive hotels that go all out for the Christmas and New Year period with some visually stunning decorations, and this time of year you can also get some great bargains as there is heavy competition among hotels to secure Christmas bookings. The Mirage is one of the biggest luxury hotels, and the massive aquarium in the lobby will take your breath away. It is also a casino and has its own shows such as the very popular Cirque du Soleil extravaganza, which you will need to book in advance as it can sell out at peak times.
2. Honolulu, Oahu – tropical beach resorts are always popular at Christmas time and the heart of Hawaii, the island of Oahu, is one of the best mid winter sun destinations, full of warm and welcoming traditional culture and beautiful natural scenery. The famous white tropical beaches of Waikiki are the perfect place to treat your family to a relaxing, memorable Christmas, and Honolulu city spares no expense on the holiday decorations and electric Christmas light parades.
3. Disneyland, Orlando, Florida – perhaps one of the most special places you can take your children for the Christmas break is Disneyland. It really is a magical place, and Christmas is extra special with some fantastic decorations all across the park and its hotels, with an amazing 50,000 lights decorating Sleeping Beauty’s Castle and a 60 foot Christmas tree at the end of Main Street. The rides themselves are also redecorated at Christmas, and kids will love the seasonal changes to the Haunted House, with a whole theme based on Tim Burton’s popular “The Nightmare Before Christmas” film featuring Jack Skelington. There is also an amazing Christmas Fantasy Parade which is unmissable as well as “West Pole” which is set up in Frontierland and features a get away for Santa so that he can unwind before his big day.
4. New York – Christmas in New York is spectacular, with some impressive decorations and fantastic shows and entertainments. A visit to the huge kids toy stores FAO Schwarz and Toys R Us in Times Square are truly magical, as well as the famous Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center and the amazing Christmas window displays at Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue. New York is very cold at this time of year and there is a good chance of snow falling, which can make getting around a bit awkward but adds to the magical atmosphere.
5. Meran, Southern Tirol Italy – This is one of the most popular skiing destinations in the world and also provides a number of other fantastic activities including hiking tours, mountain biking and the very popular lighted night skiing and sledding. The beautiful old Meran town centre was built in the 13th century and was formerly the capital of the Tirol area and offers some excellent and atmospheric shopping and dining experiences over the Christmas break.
6. Bay of Islands, New Zealand – New Zealand is an amazing country with such a lot to offer, and it is summer here in December so expect barbecues on the beach rather than open fires and eggnog. The Bay of Islands has some of the world’s most outstanding natural scenery with over 150 different tiny islands and secluded beaches, and you can stay in beautiful little secluded villas which look out over the miles of blue ocean. Seaside restaurants in the area provide fantastic Christmas feasts if you don’t feel in the mood to cook for yourself, and you can take memorable Christmas morning cruises out from Russell Harbour to watch wildlife such as dolphins and whales.
7. Edinburgh, Scotland – Christmas is always celebrated in style in Edinburgh, with fantastic firework displays and some great Christmas shopping and dining experiences. The luxurious Caledonian Hilton provides an atmospheric and intimate stay with roaring fireplaces and tasteful decorations, and a trip to the 600 year old St. Giles Cathedral on Christmas Eve to hear the sermon and carol singing is truly special and will get you in the perfect mood for Christmas day.
8. Malmö, Sweden – this beautiful city was built back in the 16th century and has some amazing buildings that look simply magical covered in decorations and a light blanket of snow. Christmas is celebrated on Christmas Eve by most families in Sweden, so make sure that if you want to eat Christmas dinner out you book up in advance on 24th, as most restaurants actually close on Christmas Day. Traditional Swedish Christmas feasts are based on mainly fish dishes, but you will find the odd turkey roast here and there.
9. Mexico City – there is a real party vibe in the capital of Mexico all year long, but things get especially hot at Christmas time, making this one of the best Christmas party towns in the world. Check into the Hotel Habita, which has a wonderful swinging rooftop lounge and lap pool, and is full of experienced party people looking to unwind and have a great time. You can eat a traditional Mexican Christmas meal in the fantastic courtyard at San Ángel Inn, which is a former Carmelite monastery built in 1692, and there is also some excellent gift shopping places in the nearby main square where artists and craftsman display their wares in various shops and stalls.
10. Boston USA – Boston has a real old world feel, with its grand old architecture and cobblestoned streets , and it is a real treat to spend Christmas here browsing through the shops and stalls and relaxing in one of the many coffee houses and cafes. The XV Beacon Hotel is a great place to stay combining vintage detail such as four poster beds with modern amenities (Internet connections and CD players) and it is close to the one of the oldest parks in the USA, Boston Common which looks simply stunning when it snows in mid winter.
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