Winter Family Holiday Ideas

Some people prefer to be tucked up in their own beds over the holiday season, but in our family we know that winter is the best time to escape for a much-needed break. After a long autumn in chilly London a holiday is by far the best way to ring in the new year.

Winter holiday destinations tend to be less obvious than summer getaways, so I always have to do plenty of research to find the best places for my family. If you look hard enough, there are tons of wonderful places to visit around the world- here are some of my favourites.


New York City

Nowhere in the world does Christmas like New York City. It’s especially magical for children, but even us cynical adults can’t resist the charm of winter in NYC. From the lights to the many wonderful museums and great shopping, you’re never short of things to do in the Big Apple.

For the ultimate NYC Christmas experience, make sure you take the little ones to the Radio City Christmas Spectacular to see the Rockettes, and be sure to stop along 5th Avenue to see the incredible holiday light displays. There are also several lovely ice rinks around the city for the kids to skate at- our favourite is the one under the huge tree at Rockefeller Center.

If you have time to book a longer holiday, head to the more rural upstate region in New York for skiing and beautiful scenery.


Santa’s Lapland

To help keep the Christmas magic alive in your children, take them for the real life Santa experience at Santa’s Lapland. Located in Saariselkä, Finland,this family resort is a truly special place. We took our son their last year and he was beside himself with happiness.

The resort offers lovely Christmas Cabins to sleep comfortably in, snowmobile rides, reindeer-drawn sleighs, tons of exciting activities, and a ‘Search for Santa’ that ends with a private meeting with the big man himself, along with his elves! The whole experience can be customised to suit your budget- it’s great value and most importantly, it’s an amazing experience for children. My husband and I really enjoyed ourselves, too. Just remember to wrap up warm!


Cape Town

Sometimes the best winter holiday takes you away from winter altogether. If you’re truly fed up of sleet and fog, head down to the Southern Hemisphere for some genuine African sunshine. December is one of the hottest months in South Africa, and once you hit the beaches of Cape Town, you won’t miss that winter weather at all. Cape Town is our favourite city in South Africa because it’s ideal for families.

We love the big aquarium at the V&A Waterfront, the family-friendly Afrikaans cuisine at Ons Huisie in Big Bay and the spectacular views from Cape Point. If your little ones are too old for the trek then cable cars are available to take you up Table Mountain- an experience that can’t be missed. If you do nothing else in Cape Town, make sure you head to Simons Town to swim with the penguins at Boulders Beach.


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