What are some of the best places to spend Christmas in the USA?
Christmas is a special time of year where we get to spend quality time with our friends and family. It is also a time where we can be like a kid again exchanging gifts with one another or just having some fun.
Throwing snowballs, catching snowflakes with our tongue, making snow angels, ice skating or even sipping on some hot cocoa while enjoying our surroundings.
Christmas is one of the best times of the year.
Which is why sometimes we want to do something even more special for this occasion. For instance, traveling during this time is one of the most popular things to do. After all there are so many different places that celebrate Christmas in a very special way.
But if you are wondering about where you should travel to, do not worry.
In this post, we’ll be detailing the best U.S destinations for you to visit during Christmas time. Filled with Christmas Trees, Christmas Carols, Santa, Snow, and a Christmas Spirit bigger than anything you can ever imagine, these top destinations will definitely leave you on your merry way.
So lets get started!
- Best Places To Spend Christmas In The USA
- New York City
- Washington, D.C.
- Houston, Texas
- Chicago, Illinois
- Las Vegas, Nevada
- Orlando, Florida
- San Diego, California
- Christmas Town, USA
- North Pole, Alaska
- Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
- Park City, Utah
- Greenville, South Carolina
- New Orleans, Louisiana
- Seattle, Washington
- Los Angeles, California
Best Places To Spend Christmas In The USA
Here are the best places in the United States to spend Christmas with your friends and family.
New York City
You seen it in Movies, you seen it on TV, New York City is one of the best places in the world to celebrate Christmas. After all, the entire city will be lit up with all kinds of unique and interesting Christmas decorations that will simply leave you in awe.
Plus you can head on down to Rockefeller Center where you can watch the Christmas Tree get lit up and go for a few rounds of ice skating at the ice rink here.
Not only that but with the wide range of shops and businesses here, you’ll be able to see all kinds of promotions and festive displays out in full force. Some of which are truly beautiful.
It truly is a remarkable experience.
Here is an awesome post detailing some of the best things to do during Christmas in New York!
Here in Washington D.C. you can witness one of the most iconic things to happen during Christmas, the illumination of the National Christmas Tree. Not only that but surrounding the tree you’ll be able to see 56 smaller trees which represents the 50 states, 5 territories, and the District of Columbia.
Also happening in this city is Georgetown Glow, which is a lights display. It is the region’s only curated exhibition of outdoor public light installations which brings D.C’s oldest neighborhood back to life.
If you love thrilling rides, you’ll be happy to know that Six Flags America is completely transformed into a Winter Wonderland with holiday entertainment, sweet seasonal treats, and all your favorite characters dressed up in their Christmas best.
The Christmas Spirit is alive and well here in the city of Houston. With the entire city joining in and transforming the city into a Christmas Paradise.
Downtown in Discovery Green park, you’ll be able to experience something like you never seen before. The park has been transformed into a giant ice rink where people can ice skate, and there will be concerts and performances being held at the same time.
Magical Winter Lights also happens here every year where you’ll be able to see all kinds of interesting structures decked out in wonderful Christmas lights.
Plus if you love looking at lights, you’ll love driving along River Oaks where the entire neighborhood will try to compete with each other trying to see who has the best Christmas lights decoration.
Chicago might be known as the “Windy City”, however when Christmas comes around, the city transforms into something special.
In fact, many people from all around the world flock to Chicago during this time of year to see something special. For instance, the annual lightning of the Christmas Tree at Millennium Park.
This city is also home to the world’s biggest German market outside of Germany, Christkindlmarket. And during Christmas, this market transforms into a winter paradise. You’ll be able to see local vendors selling all kinds of interesting things like glass ornaments, wooden cuckoo clocks, gloves, wine, and many other traditional German crafts and treats.
Plus this city is also host to at least 12 holiday lighting ceremonies which includes many interesting ones like Zoo Lights at Lincoln Park Zoo, St. Lucia Festival of Lights, and many more. So if you love looking at lights, this is definitely the place to be.
The museums here even take part in the tradition. For instance the Museum of Science will do an event called “Christmas Around The World”, with 50 elaborately decorated trees that represent holiday traditions from across the globe.
Las Vegas, Nevada
There is no better place to celebrate Christmas than Las Vegas.
This bustling area might be a paradise for food and gambling but it is in fact much more than that. During the Christmas holidays, this entire area is engulfed with a Christmas Spirit that is hard to beat.
Once you come here, you will immediately see that every Casino will be decked out in a Christmas themed fashion. Plus, there will be carolers and trees and lights all over the area.
The famous Bellagio fountains will start playing Christmas themed music and be dancing around in a Christmas fashion.
The Botanical Gardens at the Bellagio will also be filled with a Christmas Theme where you can take many pictures that your friends and family will be jealous of.
The Cosmopolitan will also host an ice rink each and every year during this time where you can ice skate all you want.
The Linq Promenade will also be transformed into the “Winter PARQ”, featuring decorations, carolers, holiday music, and a 35 foot tree. There will also be holiday shows nightly, every hour from 6:00-9:00 PM till December 30 at the Fountain stage, as well as the new Lights at the LINQ show.
Plus many more things will happen as well! This place will definitely be a magical place for you and your family to experience.
What better place to celebrate Christmas than Orlando as there is so many things for you to see and do.
Celebrate the start of the Christmas Season by attending the cities tree lighting event. The event features the 72-foot Christmas tree covered in lights, live music and performances, The Daily City’s Food Truck Bazaar, and other vendor booths.
Disneyworld is transformed into a winter wonderland as the entire park will have a Christmas feel to it. You’ll see characters dressed up in a Christmas fashion as well as trees and lights being all over the park. Not only in the the park but outside the park as well. The Christmas Tree Trail at Disney Springs is lined with 27 holiday trees each decorated for a different Disney character or theme. Star Wars, Little Mermaid, Toy Story, Snow White, Beauty and the Beast to name a few.
Universal Orlando is also transformed into a Christmas Fashion. You’ll be able to see rides decked out in a Christmas themed as well as characters dressed up in Christmas attire. You’ll be able to eat festive foods that you won’t see any other time of the year.
If you love lights, you’ll also love Jeater Bend as you’ll be able to see a whole bunch of houses that are synchronized with music as they light up and dance to the music.
San Diego, California
Celebrate the season of Christmas in San Diego by checking out the annual La Jolla Christmas Parade. It is a fun family event that includes marching bands, community groups, drill teams, vintage vehicles, horses, and even a camel!
If you like festivals, you’ll like the festival at Balboa Park. It is a two-day holiday wonderland of food, entertainment and fun. Here you’ll be able to see things like carolers, live holiday music, twinkling lights displayed all over the park, theater and dance performances, and delicious holiday treats and foods from around the world.
You’ll also be able to see some cool boats on display with the Mission Bay Christmas Boat Parade of Lights. It is a unique display where boats decorated for the holidays will sail around the Bay.
Christmas Town, USA
Right outside of Charlotte North Carolina, you’ll find a town called McAdenville. However during the Christmas Season, this town changes its name to Christmas Town.
And true to its name, you’ll be able to see all kinds of Christmas spirit all over the town. In fact, there are over 375 trees, 450,000 lights, and they also hand out free hot chocolate and kettle corn to the first 1,000 attendees each night!
You can even check out a fully decked out Gingerbread house room at the McAdenville Community Market.
North Pole, Alaska
Did you know that you don’t have to out of the country to visit the North Pole? That’s because here in Alaska, there is a town called the North Pole.
And during Christmas, this festive location comes to life with all kinds of Christmas Spirit.
One event you can participate in is the Christmas On Ice which is an annual event that lights up the season. The Ice Park features a Christmas-themed ice art competition during the month of December with sculptures by local and international carvers. There is a youth ice carving competition in addition to single block and multi-block competitions. There will also be a community picnic with Santas all around making your day.
There is even a Santa Claus House here where you can send letters to and have Santa himself even write back to you.
Plus the icing on the cake is that you might even have a chance to catch the Aurora Borealis lights up in the sky.
Bethlehem in Pennsylvania is also known as Christmas City. Because of this, you can be guaranteed to see all sorts of Christmas things happening in this city.
For instance, the markets here will all be transformed with a Christmas Vibe. Christkindlmarkt for example will feature rotating displays by artisans, live music, and glass blowing demonstrations.
If you love books, then you’ll absolutely love the Moravian Book Shop. it is known as the oldest continually-operating bookstore in the world. However, this shop is so much more than a bookstore. When Christmas comes, visitors can sample delicious beer, enjoy chocolates, and browse a great collection of holiday merchandise and Bethlehem souvenirs.
Also, located about 25 to 30 minutes away of downtown Bethlehem, you’ll be able to find the Lehigh Valley Zoo. This zoo comes to life during Christmas time with their Winter Light Spectacular event. It features over a million lights and visitors from all over are able to stroll around and see a bunch of holiday themed scenes all throughout the zoo.
Park City, Utah
Celebrate the Christmas Season with the annual tree lighting event at The Canyons Village. It is a fantastic event to take your family and friends to as you’ll be able to see things like live music, craft sales, and even fireworks and much more happening all around you. Plus there will even be Santa there taking pictures with everybody.
Enjoy SnowFest which happens on Park City Mountain and features a variety of things for you to do. You’ll be able to see things like ice sculpting, building gingerbread houses, get free s’mores and more. This event lasts for about 2 weeks so you’ll have plenty of time for some fun.
However the most magical event in this city is probably the Torchlight Parades that happen at SnowFest. It is one of our town’s longest-running traditions. As the sun fades behind the mountains and darkness creeps in, the resort itself lights up as staff carrying torches weave their way down the slopes, creating a dazzling display and setting a special holiday atmosphere as only ski towns can.
Greenville, South Carolina
If you want to enjoy Christmas in a much smaller area without all the touristy stuff, then you’ll definitely like Greenville.
Here you won’t see many places being lit up or many decorations being installed all around town. Instead you’ll find a nice quiet area where you can enjoy the Christmas holiday in peace. They’ll still be some festive activities that happen in this area in which you’ll be able to enjoy. So don’t worry.
For instance, the Festival of Trees is an annual event where dozens of trees are displayed across several hotels. Each tree is decorated differently so you can try to judge and see which one is the best looking one.
The Poinsettia Parade is another annual parade where it features festive floats and spirited music, that draws in thousands of locals and visitors each December.
Night of Lights which is a newer event that happened recently is one where the entire family can go out and enjoy. Here you’ll have tons of things lighted up along with festive music and food trucks all along the area. Not only that but you can also ice skate, browse art galleries, check out the shops, and treat yourself to a nice dinner.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Now we definitely have to add New Orleans to this list because of its amazing Christmas Spirit during the holidays.
One of the things you have to do is to head to Lafayette Square for LUNA Fête. It is a newer event that started up in recent years and features light projections, illuminated installations, and more as it explores new technology each year. In addition to the light displays, you’ll also be able to enjoy nightly arts market, drinks, and food from local vendors. This is a fantastic place to enjoy with your friends and family.
There are also a few parades that will be simply magical. Jingle on the Boulevard Parade is a holiday parade that rolls in New Orleans East. It features some of the city’s best marching units along with signature souvenir throws and surprise celebrity guest appearances. Another parade is the Krewe of Jingle Parade, which is an annual parade that features creative holiday floats, marching bands, stilt walkers, and more rolling down Canal Street.
Also if you love trees decorated with lights, you’ll definitely want to roam around City Park as the Oak Trees are covered in glistening lights throughout 25 acres of the park.
Does getting lost in the worlds largest Christmas Light Maze sound fun to you? If it does then you’ll want to head on over to Enchant Christmas At T-Mobile Park. Inside you’ll find a beautifully decorated Christmas themed maze where you can get lost for ages on end. Aside from the maze, you’ll also find things like an ice skating trail, live entertainment, holiday shops, craft workshops, a Kid’s Zone with games and activities and even snow!
If you love to shop and browse then you’ll want to come check out Fremont’s Winter Feast and Holiday Bazaar. Here you’ll be able to find many vintage and hand crafted items for you to buy. Plus there will be tons of food trucks all around that will be serving you some delicious festive foods for you to enjoy.
Also if you want to see a parade, you can stop by downtown and catch the annual Macy’s Parade. The parade includes floats, characters, music and of course “Santa”, who officially takes his place at Macy’s for photos and wish lists after the parade. At the end of the parade, they’ll light up the Christmas Star and start popping fireworks all around.
Los Angeles, California
What better way to celebrate Christmas than in Los Angeles.
There is so many things for you to see and do as the entire city gets transformed into a Christmas Wonderland.
As you know, Disneyland is really close by and you are able to visit it to see the entire park celebrating the Christmas season. The park is completely redecorated with dazzling lights, and there’s even a nightly snowfall that Disneyland produces to put park guests in the holiday spirit. Additionally, Christmas themed characters and shows join the classic Disney family and entertains the crowd.
Not just Disneyland, but there are other parks decked out in a Christmas theme as well. For instance, Knott’s Merry Farm is open all day and night and has tons of holiday shows along with festive food, unique shopping, great decor, and family fun for all ages.
If you want to see something other than theme parks, then you might be interested in a boat parade. The waters off the Southern California coast sparkle with lights as festively decorated boats parade through the night. Another parade you might be interested in is the Holiday Christmas Parade which is one of the longest standing traditions in the city comes around and lets you see all kind of beautifully decorated floats in a Christmas theme.
Another thing you could do is to go aboard the Queen Merry Christmas ship. This is not just your average ship by the way, since there will be so many Christmas themed events for you to see and do. Some activities include a 6,000-square-foot ice rink, carousel, several winter-themed rides, gingerbread house making, and Mr. and Mrs. Claus. The special cinema on-board the ship will also be playing a 4-D version of “The Polar Express,” which you can enjoy with hot cocoa while artificial slow flurries fall around you.
As you can see, there are a bunch of different places where you can visit for celebrating the Christmas Spirit.
This list features the cities in which I think offer the best activities for you to see and do.
If you have any other cities that you think should be added to this list, please message me and I will definitely check it out.
Also if you are interested in reading some of my other posts about traveling, you can do so by clicking these links:
- Essential steps for planning a trip
- How to find cheap flights
- There is no such thing as a perfect time to travel
Or you can check out all my blog posts by click this link.
Hope you have a safe and fun trip~