Spending the Christmas holiday abroad is a wonderful way for families to explore together. Without the hassle of doing your own cooking and decorating, families can enjoy new experiences together and create memories that will last a lifetime. Here are our favorite ideas for a Christmas getaway families will love.
Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland
While legend may say that Santa lives at the North Pole, everyone in Finland knows that Rovaniemi is the true home to Father Christmas. A Christmas holiday abroad in Rovaniemi is truly a once in a lifetime experience. Over 500,000 visitors flock to this Arctic town to visit Santa Claus’ Village. In the village, you can find shops, restaurants, and cafés. It also offers husky and reindeer rides, snowmobile tours, souvenirs, ice and snow constructions, an igloo hotel and holiday village accommodations. Christmas in Rovaniemi means more than just a visit with Santa. There are also a wide variety of snow activities such as skiing and snowshoeing.
There are dozens of different types of snow, and there’s a word for each one (and related phenomena) in the Finnish language, meaning “hanki”, “pyry“, “loska”, “puuteri”, “räntä”, “hile”, “viti” and “tuisku” are just the tip of the iceberg!
With only a few hours of daylight each day, you’ll also have a chance to see the Northern Lights, a truly magnificent experience.
Nuremberg is located between the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal in the heart of Bavaria. It is generally considered one of the best European destinations at Christmas, in large part due to its famous Christkindlesmarkt.
…until Christmas Eve, the “little town of wood and cloth” will shine in the heart of Nuremberg’s Old Town and turn it into “Christmas City”. More than 180 market stands – all decorated for Christmas with fresh greens and lights – invite you to enjoy traditional Christmas ornaments of all shapes and sizes, the local gold-foil angel, “Zwetschgenmännle” made of prunes, toys and games and delicious holiday treats to eat and drink.
Climb the stairs of the Christkind the Church of Our Lady to take in the wonderful view of the market. Children will also enjoy the children’s market for a ride on the merry-go-round and visiting with Santa. In addition to the market attractions, visitors enjoy Nuremberg’s medieval fortified buildings and Gothic brick architecture as well as the surrounding forests. A perfect Christmas getaway for those looking to spend time together as a family.
London is a great family destination year round, but it’s an extra special destination for a Christmas holiday abroad. The entire city is lit up starting in November. There are fabulous light displays at Regent Street, Oxford Street, and Covent Garden in particular. A visit to Trafalgar Square is worthwhile to see the enormous Christmas tree. Norway gifts the tree to the UK each year as a thank you for providing assistance in World War II. Adults and children alike will enjoy a trip to Syon Park, which hosts a lighting display called Enchanted Woodland.
Wrap up warm and discover Syon Park’s Enchanted Woodland, where an illuminated trail winds round the ornamental lake and through the historic arboretum of Syon House, ending at the spectacular Great Conservatory.
Families will also enjoy ice skating at the various rinks around town. A large rink in front of the Natural History Museum is a favorite. Finally, a visit to the Winter Wonderland and Christmas Market at Hyde Park is a can’t miss attraction.
Spending a Christmas holiday abroad is definitely a wonderful way to make memories as a family. If a Christmas getaway isn’t in your plans this year, instead explore The Five Best American Towns to Visit During the Holidays.