Go to the nearby Billings Farm & Museum to get a photo in front of the 12-foot Christmas tree. Holiday activities are offered throughout December, including candle dipping and Victorian-style ornament-making. On the property, the Learning Kitchen hosts cooking demonstrations of rugelach and gingerbread ornaments, and the Dairy Bar sells warm drinks and cider donuts. Families can also take part in the sleigh rides on offer.
21. The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch, Colorado
Nestled sweetly into the slopes of Colorado, between Beaver Creek and Avon, is the Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch, a stunning wonderland for all winter sports lovers. The resort offers ski-in and ski-out privileges, an in-house outfitter and ticket office, a dedicated ski concierge, and—for anyone inspired by the snowy landscape to begin learning—access to a ski and snowboard school. The holidays are a true treat on the property: Traditionally, the Ritz-Carlton rings in the season with a tree lighting ceremony right after Thanksgiving and even more festive activities in December, including a lighting of the menorah for Hanukkah, as well as their Nine Days of Wonder event, which includes holiday crafts, ornament making, snow globes, letters to Santa, holiday cookies, and guided snowshoe adventures.
22. The Plaza Hotel, New York City
This stately hotel first opened its doors in 1902 and, over a century later, is still one of the most iconic buildings in Manhattan. If you have ever watched Home Alone 2, you’ll recognize The Plaza as the hotel where young Kevin McCallister, while lost in New York, lived lavishly in a posh suite for the holidays. Fittingly, the hotel has a “Home Alone 2: Fun in New York” experience package, offered throughout the year, that lets guests mimic memorable moments from the movie. It includes a limousine ride all over the city to landmarks like Central Park and Radio City Music Hall, a large cheese pizza (to be eaten in the limo, naturally), and the Home Alone sundae, made to fit Kevin’s exacting taste (specifically: 16 scoops of assorted ice cream, whipped cream, maraschino cherries, M&M’s, brownie bits, chocolate, caramel, and raspberry sauce). If a more traditional Christmas is what you’re looking for, there’s also the “Suitest Season of All” package that comes with a seven-foot tall decorated Balsam Hill tree placed directly in your suite.
23. San Diego, California
True, sandy and sunny San Diego isn’t going to offer you the winter wonderland of your dreams, but make no mistake: It is unofficially the Christmas (merchandise) capital of the United States. Long story short, two megastores selling Christmas decorations opened in the area a few decades ago and have built such a fanbase of shoppers obsessed with Christmas decor that they now draw holiday enthusiasts to San Diego year-round. As a result, the city goes ham whenever December inevitably rolls around; you’ll find an ice skating rink by the beach and many a Santa surfing out on the water. Sure, there (probably) won’t be any snow, but a white-sand beach still makes for a good white Christmas, right?