Christmas is just round the corner, with the kids jingle belling, the neighbors putting up their shiny lights, and grandpa telling everyone, “be of good cheer!” Aside from the excitement of Santa Claus and a ton of traditions for kids at home, you could get the family together for a fun-filled trip. In the spirit of creating a new tradition, we set out to discover the most amazing Christmas themed parks across the country, which would delight kids and grown-ups alike.
Disneyland Park At Anaheim, California
Since its inception in 1955, Disneyland began the tradition of decorating the place for Christmas and adding extra special attractions for children. The popular theme park has, in the past, gone all out at Christmas time; from the biggest Christmas tree in the state, to all characters, rides, shows, fireworks and children’s activities taking on a magical Christmas theme. For Christmas this year, the park will transform into, what they call, a winter wonderland.
Don’t Miss: Make sure you hop onto classic rides like the Haunted Mansion, It’s a Small World and the Jungle Cruise (called the Jingle Cruise for the holidays) as they get a special Christmas makeover. Catch the Christmas Fantasy Parade which takes place on Main Street, as all your favorite Disney characters and Santa Claus party together. Take the kids ice skating at the Frozen themed ice skating rink that’s opened up.
Address: 1313 Disneyland Drive, Anaheim, CA 92802; Google Maps Link
Hours Open: Monday to Friday 10 am to 8 pm, Saturday to Sunday, 8 am to 12 am
Seaworld At Orlando, Florida
The world’s largest marine and water based theme park celebrates Christmas in style; there’s a slew of festive themed shows, water-based spectacles and even a Christmas Village that only happens during the holiday season. If that’s not enough, there’s also the Sea of Trees that showcases over a hundred Christmas trees sparkling in the middle of a lake.
Don’t Miss: Based on the popular Christmas book and movie, kids can ride on The Polar Express train and meet Santa Clause, and see polar bears, walruses and whales along the way. Also catch the Christmas shows Winter Wonderland On Ice, with award winning ice skaters and a mind boggling fireworks display.
Address: 7007 Sea World Drive, Orlando, Fl 32821; Google Maps Link
Hours Open: Monday to Sunday, 9 am to 6 pm.
Santa’s Workshop In New York
Since 1949, kids and adults from across the country have stopped by to visit Santa’s Workshop at the ‘North Pole’ in a small corner of New York. Inspired by a popular children’s Christmas book, the amusement park is designed as a village, with plenty of rides, shows and attractions.
Don’t Miss: Santa’s Sleigh Coaster and the Bobsled Ride will have the kids screaming for more, while shows include a daily parade and a fantastic Nativity Pageant. Kids and adults get a chance to visit Santa and Mrs Claus in their home, play with real reindeers, build snowmen and roast marshmallows over a roaring fire. It’s a quintessential, old fashioned Christmas experience.
Address: 324 Whiteface Memorial Hwy, North Pole, New York 12997; Google Maps Link
Hours Open: Saturday to Sunday, 10 am to 3:30 pm (until 21st Dec), Monday to Sunday, 4.30 pm to 8 pm (21st, 26th, 30th December)
Busch Gardens Christmas Town At Williamsburg, Virginia
Voted the most beautiful theme park for the last 24 years by the National Amusement Park Historical Association, Busch Gardens is a colossal place that magically changes with the seasons. During Halloween, it’s a spooky affair; but it’s most famous for turning into Christmas Town for the holidays. Kids will be dazzled by the thousands of Christmas trees and more than six million lights and decorations on display. The park is modelled on different villages from European countries, complete with attractions, rides, live shows and yummy cuisine.
Don’t Miss: Get your dose of holiday cheer from roller coasters and train rides, and watch the live penguins, Border Collies and magnificent Clydesdale horses. Don’t miss Scrooge No More, a spectacular musical show based on A Christmas Carol.
Address: 1 Busch Gardens Boulevard, Williamsburg, VA 23185; Google Maps Link
Hours Open: Monday to Sunday, 2 pm to 9 pm. (Park closed on 25th December)
Santa’s Village, New Hampshire
In the heart of New Hampshire’s White Mountains—the most picturesque area in the Northeast—is one of the biggest and oldest Christmas themed amusement parks in the nation. Since it began in 1953, regardless of the weather, it’s been Christmas every day at Santa’s Village, and folks and their kids travel hundreds of miles to experience its old-world charm.
Don’t Miss: Kids are likely to enjoy the The Yule Log Flume water ride, Rudy’s Rapid Transit roller coaster and the Peppermint Twist. There’s also a ton of excitement with Santa’s Chimney Drop, kids can experience how Santa delivers presents down a chimney. Be sure to take the kids also to see the reindeers in Santa’s barn before you leave; they can pet and even feed them.
Address: Presidential Highway, Jefferson, NH 03583; Google Maps Link
Hours Open: Saturdays, 11 am to 7 pm and Sundays, 11 am to 6 pm (31st Dec, 4 pm to 9 pm).
10 Tips For Stress-Free Travel With Kids