The December holiday season is prime family vacation time, so finding deals can be next to impossible. But Christmas vacation packages do exist and deals can be had. We searched far and wide to find winter vacation deals so you won’t need to break the bank to spend some quality time with the kids on a family getaway.
Consider alternate Christmas vacation ideas like Colonial Williamsburg and Richmond, Virginia; Lancaster and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; the bucolic Finger Lakes in upstate New York; Vancouver, Canada; sunny Phoenix, Arizona; or historic San Antonio, Texas. Read on to get the scoop on these Christmas break packages.
Known as Christmas City USA, this town really gets dressed up for the holidays and it is only two hours from NYC and even closer to Philly. Bethlehem offers themed walking tours, sing-alongs, horse and carriage rides and an arts and crafts market modeled after Europe’s open-air holiday marketplaces, set under heated tents. All this takes place in the revitalized downtown that was once a steel capital. Expect lots of entertainment and activities geared to kids. The old-world Hotel Bethlehem has a “Christkindlmarkt” package for $189 per room per night including a copious breakfast for two and admission to the market. Children stay free in parent’s room.
Lancaster is located in the heart of the Pennsylvania Dutch Country. You can learn about the Amish by visiting the region, but families can also engage in 21st century fun. The Heritage Hotel Lancaster offers 166 modern guest rooms that feature complimentary Internet, Premium Pay Movies, local calls and HBO. The Family Chill on the Hill package rates start at $109 for a Family of Four and include overnight accommodation, 2-day passes for unlimited snow tubing and ice skating for the four of you at AvalancheXpress, a snow tubing center in nearby York. Valid through March 15, 2013. Taxes and gratuity are not included. Call 1-800-223-8963 or visit the website.
Colonial Willliamsburg, Virginia
Colonial Willliamsburg is a vacation destination that is both educational and fun. Learn how the winter holidays were celebrated in pre-Revolutionary times with the Holiday Bounce Package for $208 per family of four, per night, valid thru December 31st. The package includes a room at the comfy Woodlands Hotel, plus discounted admission to many area attractions. In addition to all the usual activities, caroling and holiday craft workshops are available.
Do you live with a tween or teen movie buff who enjoyed the movie Lincoln? Lincoln fans wishing to sleep in the same hotel that the stars did while they were in town filming can take advantage of the elegant Jefferson Hotel’s “Lincoln Stayed Here” rate of $195 per night for a superior guest room, available Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. With accommodations this posh, you will all feel like celebrities in this grand hotel. Richmond is an interesting family destination, with easy access to NYC, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. For reservations, call 804-788-8000 or visit the website and use the promotion code LINCOLN. Valid through March 3, 2013.
San Antonio, Texas
San Antonio is a festive place to spend the holidays. The Embassy Suites Riverwalk is perfectly located on the scenic Riverwalk, close to the Alamo. The "Home for the Holidays" package offers a family-sized suite, free hot breakfast for the entire family, a nightly cocktail reception with loads of appetizers, plus cookies and cocoa for $ 159 per night. San Antonio is home to a wonderful children’s museum, SeaWorld and Kiddie Park, the oldest children’s amusement park in the nation.
Finger Lakes, New York
To mark the numerical coincidence 12/12/12, the Inn at the Finger Lakes in Auburn, N. Y., is offering a special deal. If you book from December 12 until the 25th, you receive a third night free when you pay for two nights. Rates start at a low $79.99 per night, including free deluxe continental breakfast and a Complimentary hosted wine tasting each weekday evening. The Finger Lakes region is a stunning area, with lots of outdoor winter activities, and of course wonderful wines that are produced locally for parents to enjoy.
Spend this holiday season in the Phoenix sunshine.The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in upscale Scottsdale is offering a Holiday Surf and Shop Getaway. The surf portion of this package will have you riding the resorts “Kierland FlowRider”, a machine that simulates surfing. The shopping portion is at nearby upscale Kierland Commons or Scottsdale Quarter retail districts. Rates start at $259 per night and include room and a $100 resort credit to be used towards dining, golf, spa, or activities. The package also includes a complimentary shopping shuttle and discounts and savings at select restaurants and retailers. The Resort has lots of festivities planned, including visits from Santa and his elves, holiday decorations and a nightly light show set to holiday music. The package is available for stays through December 31, 2012.
Vancouver, British Columbia is an interesting destination for families, particularly for West Coast residents. Glorious Stanley Park, the world-class Museum of Anthropology, the Vancouver Aquarium and riding the Aquabus to funky Granville Island are just four of its many family-friendly attractions. The Moda Hotel’s 67 rooms enjoy a central location and hip décor. They are offering a room rate starting at $80 (Canadian dollars) that includes free parking, valid until December 30th.