Participating in the whole rush that revolves around the holiday season isn’t for everyone, or maybe you just need a change from the usual traditions… Whatever your reason may be for seeking out something different this year, there are many opportunities to enjoy the holiday in a unique way.
Whether you still desire some traditional elements on your holiday getaway or you prefer an alternative to Christmas carols, twinkling lights, and holiday parties, there is no shortage of popular Christmas time destinations. Some of the most popular places to spend the holiday, both offering traditional celebrations and others with a more non-traditional atmosphere, are listed below.
If any of these pique your interest don’t hesitate to contact your travel agent right away to start planning your perfect holiday getaway.
Feel the Holiday Spirit in the Air
- Bath, England – In Bath the spirit of Christmas comes alive and the customs date back as far as the early celebrations of the holiday in the country. Here you will find caroling on a superior level, with a dedicated carol trail complete with uniquely decorated, musically themed Christmas trees, as well as Carols by Candlelight festivities in various places with the Bath Bach Choir in the days right before Christmas. If that isn’t enough to get the spirit flowing you can also head out to enjoy the Cycle of Lights on Old Bond Street, ice skating at Royal Victoria Park, or one of the city’s most popular attractions, the Bath Christmas Market where you will find handmade British products to give for holiday gifts.
- Nuremberg, Germany – Nuremberg is known as Germany’s “Christmas City” and as much of Europe, it features a fantastic holiday market that runs from the end of November to the day before Christmas. At the Christkindlesmarkt you will be treated to time-honored traditions celebrated only in this charming city, like enjoying Nuremberg gingerbread and bratwurst. Elsewhere in the city, you can witness the arrival of the Nuremberg Christkind at the Church of Our Lady. The city itself looks like something taken right out of a storybook and it’s even more special with the twinkling lights aglow throughout its streets, providing for a beautiful backdrop for the holiday season.
- Santa Claus, Indiana – What better place to celebrate the holiday season with the family that a city with the name of the big man himself. In Santa Claus, Indiana the magic of Christmas lives on every street and around every corner during the weeks leading up to that special day that every child waits for all year long. Everything from the lodging options to the shopping venues are trimmed with holiday lights, ornaments and other embellishments for a supremely festive atmosphere. You’ll also have the opportunity to visit the original Santa Claus Post Office, the Santa Claus Museum & Village, and attend a parade, roast chestnuts on an open fire and pick up some special gifts at the Santa’s TOYS shop.
Celebrate the Holiday a Little Differently This Year
- Barcelona, Spain – Barcelona may not be the first city that comes to mind when you’re thinking of where to spend the holidays but it has a lot to offer in the way of celebrated traditions and it’s a bit warmer than the previously mentioned destinations. The unique holiday traditions will give you a completely different experience and you’ll be mesmerized by the romance in the air. From Tio de Nadal, a tradition that involves children feeding a hollowed-out log with a smiley face painted on it before beating it with sticks and singing upon the arrival of Christmas until gifts appear, to the well-known and ever-present Caganer that you will find in various nativity scenes and for sale in the many holiday markets and the Fira de Santa Llucía, a Christmas fair that has been taking place for more than 225 years – Christmas in Barcelona is full of culture and fun.
- Dubai, United Arab Emirates – In Dubai, you’ll find luxury at its finest and during the holidays that luxury transcends the tradition of holiday trimmings with beautiful displays and delightful tree lightings. The warm weather might make it feel like Christmas is months away but there is no doubt you will feel the spirit in the air. Celebrate the holiday the traditional Dubai way by ordering in a turkey dinner, attend one of the many festive fairs, enjoy a Christmas Day brunch or shop for gifts at one of the many different Christmas markets. You can even ski if you want to at the city’s Ski Dubai or sit and watch other skiers while enjoying fondue at the Après bar and restaurant if you think you’ll miss seeing the snow.
- Las Vegas, Nevada – For a truly different kind of holiday you can take a trip to Las Vegas. Not only is it warm but super festive during the holiday season as well, as you would only expect from the “city of lights.” While the city is very busy during the holidays, the many ways to enjoy it are worth the crowds if you don’t mind waiting for certain things here and there. The many extravagant sights to see that are already in place develop into something magical during the holidays. The botanical gardens at the Bellagio are decorated in holiday trimmings and the fountains dance to classic holiday music, you can tour a holiday cactus garden, take in the spectacular view of the 80-foot tree at The Park or enjoy one of the many Christmas shows held at various venues throughout the city. These uniquely Vegas attractions may not be your traditional holiday festivities but will still surely put you in the holiday spirit.
Tradition is great but sometimes we all want to experience something a little bit different. By traveling to any of these popular holiday destinations you can enjoy culture and customs a little bit different than your own. You’ll be sure to get in the holiday spirit while learning about how others celebrate the holiday at the same time. Talk to your travel agent before it’s too late to book for this year or start planning your 2019 Christmas adventure now. You may find a deeper appreciation for your own traditions after experiencing those of another culture, or you may develop new traditions based on your travels that you can make your own, a special Christmas gift for yourself for sure.