Alabama is not your typical winter wonderland, but Andalusia’s Candyland has put the city on the map of the most fun places to celebrate Christmas. The city’s courthouse square is filled with snow (yes, thanks to snow machines) and the schedule is packed — a Christmas parade, concerts, carols, ice skating, meeting Elsa from “Frozen,” horse drawn carriage rides…Candyland is open every weekend in December and admission is free.
North Pole, Alaska
Alaska’s North Pole is nowhere near the North Pole where Santa lives with his elves, but it ranks right at the top of cool places to be during the holidays. The small town’s motto, after all, is “Where the spirit of Christmas lives year round.” Santa Claus House is the place to be for toys, cookies, and decorations. Kids will enjoy meeting live reindeer.
Solvang is an example of how you don’t need snow to celebrate Christmas in style. The small city that is about 30 miles from Santa Barbara was founded by Danish farmers. The “Little Denmark,” as it’s sometimes called, goes all out for Christmas. There are free candlelight tours, carolers singing, gorgeous holiday scenes, a Nativity Pageant, and probably many people’s favorite, the Skål Stroll, where wineries and breweries teach visitors about glogg, the Scandinvian version of mulled wine.
Durango loves this holiday so much, residents celebrate Christmas for the entire month of December. This winter wonderland, with real snow this time of year, is a skiers’ heaven. One of the best Christmas traditions in the city is the ride on the Polar Express train — all the way to the North Pole. Enjoy another Christmas-themed train ride — the Cascade Canyon Train. You can cut your own Christmas tree and have it transported back to Durango on the steam train.
St. Augustine, Florida
If you’re more interested in Christmas lights than a snowy wonderland, the historic small town of St. Augustine may be just the place. The annual Night of Lights event is the highlight of the season. The spectacular decorations light up buildings, trees, bushes, and lamp posts at night from Nov. 23, 2019 to Feb. 2, 2020.
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