best christmas vacations for families – Where to go for Christmas with the family? Which destination for a family holiday in December? The ideal destination combines the magic of Christmas and family travel, a two-in-one for parents to stay away from the excitement of Christmas while enjoying the holidays. You spend the holidays in relaxation mode with your children!
Find destination ideas for Christmas with the family, from the most traditional family destinations to the most unusual and original destinations, to make your family trip unforgettable during the end-of-year celebrations.
Spend Christmas with your family at the market in France and Europe!
Going at Christmas to discover the Christmas markets in France or Europe with the family is the traditional trip in December and is full of festive magic! Whether before or during the Christmas holidays, for a weekend or a more extended stay, you can stroll through golden and sparkling markets that make your children’s eyes shine. In these Christmas markets, everything is done to amuse children: activities, workshops, and shows are organized for them. As a result, the holidays turn into a real Christmas party!
Christmas market in Strasbourg in Alsace with the family
Christmas markets take up winter quarters in many towns and villages in France. To see THE essential Christmas market in France, go to the capital of Christmas celebrations, Strasbourg in Alsace, and its famous festive market created more than 400 years ago. It is the oldest Christmas market in France. The Christmas market with its 300 chalets is spread over a dozen sites in Strasbourg, the best known being the Christkindelsmärik on Place Broglie. Good to know: the Christmas market takes place from November 24th to December 24th, but after December 24th, you still have two open markets. Less market but fewer tourists to enjoy it more quietly, and the Christmas garlands will still be in place. In addition, you will be able to discover the giant natural fir tree in Europe, which rises on Place Kleber.
Your family’s stay in Strasbourg is also an opportunity to visit the historic center listed by Unesco.
Do not miss to taste the bredelles; these small Alsatian cakes are made at Christmas.
For children, entertainment, storytelling, shows, and workshops are offered each year during the Christmas holidays.
Namely, during our own Christmas stay with the family, we also visited Colmar and its Christmas market, a favorite.
Christmas markets in Germany
Fancy a trip to Europe in December with your children? Visit the Christmas markets for a festive family holiday.
Germany has been the cradle of Christmas markets; since because that’s where the first Christmas market appeared. The most famous Christmas market is that of Nuremberg, which has been taking place for four centuries and has managed to retain the charm of tradition.
You can also discover the dozens of Christmas markets in Berlin and take the opportunity to visit the German capital with your family.
Christmas market in Brussels
The Brussels Christmas market “Plaisirs d’Hiver” focuses on originality by offering more than 250 chalets and evoking the different Christmas traditions: it’s a real Christmas trip with the family! A lot of entertainment is provided for children and parents: parade, ice rink, Ferris wheel, giant slalom, sound, and light show. And you can taste Christmas specialties from all over Europe!
Christmas in Vienna with the family
Head to Austria in Vienna to spend a traditional Christmas with the family. For over seven centuries, a dozen Christmas markets have been set up in the capital, the most important being that of the Town Hall Square with its 150 stalls. At the Christmas village on Place Maria-Theresien, you will find original gifts craftsmen offer. Skating rinks, training for children, and carousels will make you spend real Christmas holidays with your family. Many activities for children. Also, take the opportunity to visit Vienna with your family!
Going to Christmas with the family in the mountains
Go to the mountains for Christmas with your children: the ski season is just beginning with more advantageous prices. In addition to skiing, snow activities with children have multiplied recently, from tobogganing to snowshoeing, ice rink, introduction to dog sledding, or biathlon. Family ski resorts don their Christmas finery with a festive atmosphere, entertainment, and Christmas show for children.
The significant advantage, if you are in a hotel or a family residence, is to have nothing to prepare for Christmas or New Year’s Day meals! To have experienced it once is very palpable! And what’s more, you can work out on the snowy slopes before and after Christmas feasts!
In France, many ski resorts adapt their reception for families, offer nurseries for babies and children, clubs for older children, and fun activities for everyone.
Pyrenees, Alps, Vosges, Jura, Massif Central, there are family resorts in many massifs in France. And why not take to their heels and go to a resort in Switzerland, Italy, or Austria? You add the change of scenery and the discovery of Christmas traditions abroad.
Family stays at Christmas in a shining city.
Do you want to leave for Christmas with your family to visit a city adorned with lights and magical colors? It is an opportunity to discover or rediscover cities and capitals in a festive light in December.
Your children will be delighted to discover the illuminations of the cities and the Christmas decorations in the windows.
Many cities and capitals in the world put on their clothes of light from November to December: Paris, London, New York, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Belgrade, Budapest, Prague, Bruges, Rome, and more.
Find below three destination ideas to spend Christmas with your family in a flagship city!
Christmas in Paris with the family
Discover Paris at Christmas with the family, one of the best times to visit the capital in a festive and magical light. In addition to the regular visits, your walks in the capital will be transformed and will motivate your children to walk along the decorated streets:
This is the perfect opportunity to walk the Champs Elysées lit by the Christmas lights.
Marvel at the animated scenes in Boulevard Hausmann and Galeries Lafayette shop windows.
Take them for a ride on one of the many merry-go-rounds installed in Paris for the Christmas holidays.
Go to Bercy Village to admire a tree more than 10 meters high. And a little slide for fun on the ice rinks in the Trocadéro gardens or the Christmas village on the Champs Elysées.
And we take the height, climbing in the Ferris Wheel place de la Concorde to have an overview of Paris.
Christmas in London with the family
Go to London with the family for the Christmas holidays and visit the illuminated capital:
Discover the Christmas market in Hyde Park and its famous Winter Wonderland. It’s the biggest funfair in London with its ice rink and Ferris wheel, allowing you to see the English capital as seen from the sky, its carousels, and other rides (opening from mid-November to early January). Your children meet Santa Claus in a cave, the Santa Grotto in Santa Land (free entrance to the cave and the park).
You can also gaze at the famous Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square and listen to Christmas carols in the square.
Christmas in New York with the family
Why not take the family across the Atlantic for Christmas? Live the holidays on the family adventure travel mode! Skating rinks, giant Christmas tree, decorated windows, and kisses to Santa Claus, everything is there to celebrate an unforgettable family Christmas:
Do not miss the Rockefeller fir tree loaded with kilometers of decorations at its 20 m height.
The whole family embarks on slides on one of New York’s outdoor ice rinks, including those in Bryant Park, Rockefeller Center, or Central Park.
The windows of department stores are getting dressed up (or instead their 25!): go to the Macy’s store, which recreates a whole aisle in a Christmas village with the presence of Santa Claus to take some pictures (free, but you have to queue ).
Stroll through the New York Christmas markets, the most popular is the market in Bryant Park.
Faraway destinations at Christmas with the children
Do you have a lot of holidays? Why not aim far? Some destinations have a favorable climate around Christmas time, around December. This is an opportunity to make a big end-of-year break.
Cuba with the family at Christmas
Departure under the Cuban sun with the family in Central America: a beautiful program awaits you there, a rich program between the colorful cities, the paradisiacal beaches of the Caribbean, the spectacular landscapes:
The essential visits are the capital Havana, the city of a thousand columns, and Trinidad, classified by Unesco.
Travel through the Viñales Valley: with its jungle, it offers one of the most beautiful landscapes on the island. Also, it discovered the Ciénaga de Zapata, classified as a UNESCO biosphere reserve.
And of course, you put your towel on the Cuban beaches: the best known is Playa Giron in the Bay of Pigs.
Dubai with family at Christmas
Destination Dubai with the family in the United Arab Emirates for a trip like no other but is very suitable with children. It is a very exotic stay for the Christmas holidays:
Go perch on Burj Khalifa, the tallest tower in the world
Stroll through the souks or shopping centers set up as leisure parks like Ibn Battuta Mall
Take a walk on the water on abras, a form of a wooden boat.
Dubai is located by the sea in the Persian Gulf: you can enjoy white sand beaches with turquoise waters.
Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic with family at Christmas
Want a dream spot in the Caribbean with the family for a Christmas in the sun? So destination Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic with its heavenly beaches but not only:
Also, swim in cenotes and water holes with crystal clear blue water. The most famous cenote is that of Hoyo Azul
Walk through the jungle, discovering fantastic flora and fauna, for example, at the Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park
Go to the Yucayeke Museo Indígena, an open-air museum with a reconstruction of a Taino village
Miami with the family at Christmas
December is one of the best times to visit Miami with your family. In addition to enjoying the beaches, you can have great family experiences with the feeling of immersing yourself in an American series!
Visit Miami Beach with the family, famous beaches, and Art Deco buildings from the 30s in pastel colors and lit with fluorescent neon lights.
Take an airboat ride through the gigantic Everglades National Park
Take a trip to the Keys archipelago. The best-known islands are Key Biscayne, Bahia Honda, and Key West.
Unusual and original Christmas with the family
Do you want to leave with your family at Christmas for an original destination off the beaten track? Find these four destination ideas to go in December with your children.
Lapland with the family at Christmas
Lapland is THE destination for the winter holidays… but on condition that you avoid Santa Claus’ village near Rovaniemi… Hey! Yes, we do not recommend this crowded amusement park at Christmas unless the tourist trap side in Disneyland Christmas decor does not put you off. We had the opportunity to pass by this village, and fellow travelers have set foot there—final verdict: avoid it.
As for seeing Santa Claus, we see him everywhere in the world, and that of Rovaniemi is not more or less authentic than his congeners who show up worldwide. So if you come just for that, go and see Santa Claus near you, it will be cheaper for you.
On the other hand, Lapland with the family at Christmas remains a magnificent trip with the promise of spending unique and original winter holidays. Do you prefer going there with children who are not too small because of the cold but also so they can enjoy a family trip for which you have to plan a decent budget? The countries of the North are sublime but not cheap on the wallet side.
As a reminder, Lapland covers three countries, Finland, Sweden, and Norway. So yes, Lapland is not just Finland!
A frozen program with numerous snow activities awaits you for your family stay in Lapland: in vast white spaces of immaculate snow, you walk on snowshoes, do dog sledding, or reindeer sledding, go downhill or cross-country skiing, practice ice fishing, etc. And above all, we go to Lapland to admire the magnificent aurora borealis. And after a good day, we relax with a family sauna session, a real institution in Lapland.
Norwegian Lapland with the family at Christmas
The most spectacular landscapes are found in Norwegian Lapland!
If you want to get off the beaten track of the “traditional trip” to Lapland in winter with your children, we advise you to take the direction of Tromsø, the capital of the Arctic, known for its famous Arctic church in the shape of a Lapland tent. You will have the best chance of observing the Northern Lights in this corner of Norwegian Lapland.
You can go sledding, skiing, or snowshoeing in the beautiful Lyngen Alps.
And you can even go by boat to observe whales (but very expensive in Norway).
Finnish Lapland with the family at Christmas
If in Rovaniemi, you can skip the Santa Claus village and enjoy many other cool discoveries and activities: sleigh rides, observation of the northern lights, ice sculpture, and discovery of arctic animals at the zoo Ranua.
And don’t miss the excellent Artikum museum (a thousand times more interesting than Santa Claus’ village). After spending several weeks crisscrossing Lapland with the family, we spent an exciting morning there discovering Arctic nature and culture Sami with many interactive activities and fun animations.
Swedish Lapland with the family at Christmas
Direction Abisko is far from everything in Swedish Lapland. The program magnificent snowshoe or sled rides, skiing in Abisko National Park, observation of the Northern Lights, visit the famous ice hotel in Kiruna.
Unusual family Christmas in Arles
Arles organizes the Funny Christmas festival every year at the end of December: for four days, the festival offers in its streets around 100 funny, poetic, and fantastic performances staged by companies from all over the world. Good to know: the shows are free! You live with your children an offbeat, original, and unforgettable Christmas!
Prague, Czech Republic
We do not laugh at the traditions of the end of the year in the Czech capital: with its Christmas markets in the old town, its giant Christmas tree, or its magical concerts, the city is full of activities to spend an unforgettable year. A short stay will allow you to visit St. Vitus Cathedral, the former Royal Palace, and St. Michael’s Church, nestled in the heart of the pretty Petřín Park. At night, the enthusiasm of Christmas can be experienced by gaining height and climbing to the top of the Clock Tower.
Nice, in France
With its life-size nativity scene and activities that spread the Christmas spirit throughout the city throughout December, Nice appears to be a pretty destination for spending the end-of-year holidays with the family in peace on the Côte of Azure.
On the occasion of the end-of-year celebrations, the emblematic sites of Arles, in particular, its arenas and its ancient theatre, are adorned with their most beautiful festive clothes. Discover the tradition of santons in the heart of Provence, and don’t miss tasting the thirteen Christmas desserts, including nougats, candied fruit, and calissons.
What would you say about celebrating Christmas far from the frosts of winter, in a mild climate and Catalan time? Among the Christmas traditions in Barcelona, discover the essential “managers,” the typical figurines of Catalan Christmas cribs, in a funny position (that of defecating). In the traditions section, there is also the Tió de Nadal, also called Caga Tió: it is a log topped with a red beret, which can be found in all the Christmas markets in the city. Good news: in Barcelona, the festivities do not stop on December 31, since the Catalans celebrate the Epiphany with great fanfare at the beginning of January; enough to spend extra time in the sun!
While the children will marvel at the giant Christmas tree installed on Place Kleber, parents will not fail to do their shopping at one of the many Christmas markets in the city – the capital of Alsace is famous for being the capital of Christmas. The Strasbourg market is also considered one of France’s most beautiful Christmas markets.
The castles of the Loire
Are you looking for Christmas holiday activities to do with your children? The various chateaux of the Loire celebrate “Christmas in the land of castles” every year: on the program, sumptuous fir trees, nativity scenes full of life as well as activities that will put sparkles in the eyes of children, from the chateau of Chenonceau to that of Villandry passing by the royal castle of Amboise.
The Dolomites, Italy
In the heart of Italian Tyrol, come and admire the most beautiful Christmas markets in the country and experience Christmas the Italian way! In addition to the breathtaking mountain panoramas, which will begin to immerse you in a winter atmosphere, walks in the picturesque small towns of the region will make you spend dream end-of-year holidays with your family.