With the holiday season in full swing, it’s a great time to go out and experience events taking place from coast to coast. From tree and menorah lightings to parades, live entertainment, exceptional cuisine, and family fun, you’re sure to find a local or regional celebration that appeals to you.
Starting in early December, plan a visit to this Bavarian-style town’s magnificent Village of Lights: Christmastown. In addition to enjoying over half a million lights, you can join in the fun with the various holiday festivities, including music and entertainment, photos with Santa, carolers, holiday characters, and more.
Now through January 8
Disney California Adventure Park
Explore Disneyland as it celebrates diverse cultures with the Disney Festival of Holidays. Enjoy many types of music, food, and other seasonal festivities and traditions, including Christmas, Hanukkah, Diwali, and Kwanzaa.
Now through December 30 (except Christmas Day)
Cañon City, CO
Hop on the Royal Gorge Route Railroad’s Santa Express Train for a trip to the North Pole to pick up Santa himself. Along the way, kids are treated to hot cocoa, cookies, and stories—and each ticketed child will also receive a special gift from Saint Nick.
Known as Michigan’s Little Bavaria, this Midwest town welcomes one million visitors from around the globe each year and boasts the world’s largest Christmas store. With its two square miles of boutique-lined streets, dazzling light displays, music shows, horse-drawn carriages, ice rink, and other festivities, it’s the perfect setting to celebrate the holidays with the entire family.
Now through January 3
Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago
Explore a myriad of festival trees and displays that will help you delve into the customs and traditions of more than fifty countries, from Assyria to Wales, and discover the meaning behind various cultures’ lighting traditions.
Bask in a luminary spectacle of more than 5,000 lights that bring the holiday season alive in this northwestern Illinois town. You can also revel in the holiday spirit as retail shop windows come alive on Main Street and enjoy extended shopping hours during this day of fun and adventure.
Mount Vernon, VA
Enjoy an evening of family fun with a captivating cascade of holiday lights while watching fireworks bursting over the Potomac River. Listen to holiday music classics as you saunter through the lit-up Historic Area, and take in history by touring George Washington’s mansion.
Now through December 31
James Island County Park
This three-mile driving tour boasts over 750 radiant light displays, and when you’re done you can indulge in shopping, dining, train rides, and other festive fun at places like Winter Wonderland and Santa’s Village.
Oak Point Park
Get ready to run for latkes at this Hanukkah 5K and 1M Dreidel Race. Whether you walk or run, enjoy a morning of fun with family members and friends, and then leave with a cool swag bag filled with goodies.
December 1-January 9
New York, NY
There’s nothing like New York City during the holidays, and the legendary Rockefeller Center is at the heart of it all. In addition to shopping and dining, you can take in the splendor of its world-renowned Christmas tree, join in the fun of skating at the Rink at Rockefeller Center, and see the Radio City Rockettes.
This festive outing will take you on a trolley ride around Boston proper as you hit the best holiday spots in town. Visit places like Boston Common, Copley Square Tree Lights, and Commonwealth Avenue Mall Lights, with each excursion having its own itinerary.
*Must be at least 21 years old to participate
Now through January 8
Kennett Square, PA
Voted by USA Today readers as the best botanical garden holiday lights in 2021, A Longwood Christmas showcases an array of breathtaking floral designs and decorative plants and trees. With its half-million fantastical lights throughout the gardens, you’ll feel as though you are in a winter wonderland.