North America has got to be one of the best places in the world to celebrate Christmas and the December/January festive season. Not only do you get to live out your winter wonderland dream, play and fight in the snow, sing carols and drink gallons of eggnog, but you can mix it up with (or swap it completely for) Santa and cocktails under the warm Florida sun.
New York – just like in the movies
Enjoy the kind of New York Christmas holiday experience you only see at the flicks – a romantic arm-in-arm skate around the Rockefeller Center ice rink surrounded by glittering lights and happy faces. If you don’t ‘accidentally’ leave the kids Home Alone, take them to the amazing FAO Schwartz toy store and check out the window displays of Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s as they attempt to out-bling each other.
Right in the midst of all this festive fun you’ll find the Wolcott Hotel New York, which also has an on-site gift shop in case Santa forgot you’d be travelling.
Miami – I’m dreaming of a tan this Christmas
If the last thing you want to see this Christmas is another snowman, then head down south to sunny Florida for yuletide. You can even try out a unique Christmas dinner at the BLT Steak restaurant inside The Betsy South Beach Hotel Miami – a 3-course meal of lobster, chicken and truffles in cream sauce, finished off with dessert options, such as guava soup and caramelised pineapple.
You can also give your body, mind and soul the gift of a visit to the on-site Wellness Garden and Spa for a massage and coconut hot towel facial.
Toronto – The ghost of Christmas Past
Head up to Toronto anytime between now and January 8 for the 19th century themed Christmas in the Park. At Colborne Lodge you can sip on hot mulled cider and other treats from the hearth. There’s also a Christmas wreath-making workshop at High Park Lodge, while kids at Fort York can make and bake gingerbread cookies using 1800s tools of the trade.
The Westin Harbour Castle Toronto has just what every family needs to get a good night’s sleep, even on Christmas Eve! Each room comes with Westin’s super comfy Heavenly Beds, and video games to keep the excitable from requesting Santa-countdown updates every fifteen minutes.
Austin – lazier than Santa’s helpers in springtime
You’re guaranteed a very merry Christmas at the Hyatt Regency Austin, where someone else does all the stuffing, carving and cleaning up for the Christmas Day lunch buffet. Your job is simply to get through the delicious selection of antipasto, salad, meats and all-important desserts that come in a range of flavours that will make children and gourmands alike let out a big “Ho ho ho y’all!”
If you’ve over-indulged on turducken, take some time out in the hotel’s StayFit fitness centre, or bend and stretch along to the Yoga Away program on TV in comfort and privacy of your own room.
Seattle – who has time to sleep?
It’s happy holidays in Seattle, with the annual Winterfest running from November 25 – December 31. You can drive a miniature train, sing along with Dickens carollers and watch as renowned artists carve an amazing ice sculpture.
Plus, you won’t want to miss the classic Christmas ballet, the Nutcracker, with its the stunning costumes and catchy tunes.
The Sorrento Hotel knows how to lift Christmas spirits with holiday music pianists, free internet to put you in touch with faraway friends and family, and a homey warm Fireside Room serving afternoon tea.
Image: Photographer, Bruin from Columbus, Ohio, U.S.A.