Christmas Vacation Ideas #1: A favorite Christmas vacation ideas one year was a trip to Williams, Arizona for a Polar Express ride – stayed in the Hotel there also! It was spectacular! We did not have kids with us but the place is full of kids with their families.
They all are dressed in their pajamas for the ride and it is so much fun! Hot cookies and bells given out by Santa were so much fun – I can remember singing Christmas Carols on the train!
The big fireplace in the hotel lobby was where I parked myself that evening.
After the ride just watching all the kids, their excitement & joy was a sight to see.
Kids and Christmas – how can you go wrong-probably for me the best part of the whole trip was this train ride and hanging out at the hotel by fireplace.
The next day we took a ride to the Grand Canyon on the train in the Luxury Parlor Class which was what I recommend doing.
We got to go outside the back of the train to take pictures.
Loved going at that time of year because there was snow on the ground and in the canyon. This was my first time to the Canyon.
After that we went to Sedona to stay at a Bed & Breakfast called Sedona Dream Maker. It was wonderful as well and owners are warm, friendly & have created a beautiful vacation spot! Views are amazing and we were in the TUCTU room!
Spent rest of trip there – 2 or 3 nights I think and just spent the days touring/discovering Sedona. I would do it all over again – the drive to the bed & breakfast is through a modern residential area but is secluded once you get there.
#2: Chicago One of my favorite things to do on vacation is shop. And in my opinion, there is no better place to do that than Chicago at Christmas time. The city transforms into a beautifully lit place with magical sights everywhere you look. The shops are still the same as they are at any other time in the year, but the magic of the Christmas spirit transforms the experience like none other.
Even if you are not in the position to spend a lot of money at the moment, the stores are still a great place to browse and warm up before you venture out into the winter wonderland again.
Along with the shopping, there are cozy places where you can slip in and grab a bite to eat or a get a cup of coffee to carry with you as a hand warmer. All in all, whether you've never been to Chicago or visit it every couple of months, Chicago is one place that never ceases to provide a great place to shop and relax and enjoy the beauty of winter in the mid-west. - By Courtney from Cedar Rapids
Christmas Vacation Ideas #3: My wife Lilleana is originally from Costa Rica so we have made an effort to visit our family there every other year of so. Of course, last year with the challenging economic situation, we made a compromise to meet "halfway" in Orlando at Walt Disney World so our 9 year old niece Lucia could experience a Disney Christmas.
We purchased tickets for all the Disney theme parks and also visited Sea World which featured an innovative "Polar Express" themed ride complete with a live Santa to greet the children at the end.
The family makes every effort to acknowledge the "reason for the season" and this trip allowed my brother-in-law Roberto to drive up from Pensacola, Florida to join us. Roberto works in the hard hit construction industry so he had not had an opportunity to see his family in many years.
We were very impressed with the "Disney Christmas" experience including all the parades, Hollywood studios Christmas light show complete with artificial snow, Animal Kingdom fireworks show, and family bonding time.
In addition to making little princess Lucia's dream come true, my sister-in-law Vanessa and her husband had been trying for years without success to have another child. Soon after they arrived home, Vanessa became pregnant with twins and two healthy baby girls were born in San Jose last month. I call this the "Disney" Christmas miracle.
This year, Lilly and I will return to Costa Rica as we were able to get a great deal on flights with Jet Blue. Ironically, our connecting flight is in Orlando so we'll have a day or two to relive the Disney magic. - By John from Ohio
#4: Pigeon Forge, Tennessee My husband and I took a Christmas-themed vacation earlier this year -- July to be exact. We are huge fans of Christmas, not from a religious standpoint, but for the pure fun and happiness of the season. We spend the entire year preparing for holidays as we put together a very large light display in our front yard each year.
We left our home in Mooresville, North Carolina and headed for Pigeon Forge, Tennessee where we had made reservations for a themed suite at the Inn at Christmas Place. We stayed in a beautiful room, toured the hotel, sang carols with the Christmas band and had our photo taken with Santa.
We also searched out the Christmas shops throughout the area and were able to purchase several ornaments and other accessories during our three days in Pigeon Forge. We then left Pigeon Forge for Louisville, Kentucky where we attended a Christmas decorator’s seminar downtown as well as took a riverboat tour of the Ohio River with our new Christmas enthusiast friends.
After two days in Louisville, we headed north to Ohio where we were visiting family while heading to two additional Christmas stores in Michigan -- including the 'World's Largest Christmas Store' in Frankenmuth.
We were able to make it to a total of eight Christmas stores in seven days while traveling through a total of six states. It was such a great experience that we have already made reservations at the Inn at Christmas Place again for next year's "Christmas in July" -- we have reserved 'The Nutcracker Suite' for our next trip. - By Lisa from NC
#5: Palm Springs, California A very unique vacation idea, which is undoubtedly an unforgettable experience, is to spend Christmas in Palm Springs, California. Just hours east of Los Angeles, the desert landscape provides the perfect backdrop for Christmas light decorations, which take place all over town, especially in the shopping districts. Because winter is such a busy time in Palm Springs, crowds and festivals are plentiful during the Christmas season.
An annual Festival of Lights in the main shopping district adorns the palm trees with decorations and lights. The Wildlights Holiday Festival of the Living Desert combines lighting effects with the natural beauty of the desert, with a dazzling display of over 300,000 lights. Many of the affluent neighborhoods of the Palm Springs area have well organized and beautiful displays of lights.
McCallum Theater hosts renditions of The Nutcracker and other holiday favorites. Make sure not to miss the annual Santa Claus arrival to the air museum, which also allows children to meet Santa, get their photos taken, and receive presents and goodies. Warm up your Christmas with a trip to Palm Springs!
Christmas Vacation Ideas #6: I have a Senior Citizen Group travel business and we have taken Christmas themed trips. We have taken folks to Leavenworth, Wa. The whole town is like a Bavarian Christmas card. Lights, Sleigh rides, Christmas Carols, the works. In fact when we were there in 2007 Good Morning America was there doing a story on the most Christmasy place in the country.
We also have taken folks to Branson, Mo. at Christmas - The shows are all decorated for the holidays and lots and lots of Christmas Music. Leavenworth is a good Christmas vacation ideas. By Denise from Oregon