While some may be dreaming of a white Christmas, not everyone loves the idea of shivering throughout the winter season. Whether you need to fly south for the winter or you’re California dreamin’, here are five hotspots to wait out Old Man Winter.
While not quite the south, and not quite the southwest, Texas can be blistering hot or it can see snow in many areas. Austin is ideal, however, as the temperatures stay mild throughout late fall and through the end of winter. Better still, winter is almost always dry, and in the unlikely event it snows, it won’t be very much.
Austin always has fun events being hosted, giving you plenty of opportunities to have your cool day in the sun while listening to live music. Austin is also home to the Armadillo Bazaar, an eleven-day event featuring artists, live music, and some of the most unique handcrafted Christmas gifts around. Zilker Park is also home to the annual Trail of Lights, a tradition that has been running for more than 50 years and features 2 million holiday lights and runs from December 10th through the 23rd.
Scottsdale is a unique part of the southwest, being less “home on the range” and more “Rodeo Drive”. Surrounded by mountain views, upscale shopping, and mild temperatures during the day, many call Scottsdale their winter home away from home. The city also hosts plenty of weekly art and family events to check out.
To help give the college football fans something to take their mind off of the big game (The Fiesta Bowl) Scottsdale hosts their annual artwalk through the downtown area. McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park is an enjoyable stroll any time of year, but is even more so when they host their Holiday Lights. This event features holiday lights, live music, and a quaint trip around the park in an actual train. And if you prefer your lights synchronized to music, Winter Wonderland is an annual display hosted by a local DJ and light enthusiast featuring 250,000 lights.
Known for being one of the more posh spots in California, Pasadena is home to many local artists, warmer winter months, and many things to see and do. The city regularly has comedians, artists, and musicians perform throughout the year, and especially throughout the winter season. From the annual Tournament of Roses and Rose Bowl Parade to the annual Breeders’ Cup horse race, Pasadena doesn’t stop hosting live exciting events simply because the year draws to a close.
Even though the weather is mild, Pasadena still celebrates winter with a plethora of fun and festive events. If your children are feeling left out of having a Snow Day, the Kidspace Children’s Museum has real snow brought in to their museum for children to play in. From late November to early January, the Descanso Gardens hosts their nightly illuminated display synchronized to music, making a hauntingly beautiful even stroll through the botanical gardens. And the three-day build up to the Rose Parade is not to be missed, as Live on the Green is an all-ages, free admission festival with the Air Force’s jet demonstrations, bands, and drill teams, face painting, family fun zones, and more.
The City Beautiful is a great place to hide from chilly weather. Whether you’re seeking thrills at the many theme and amusement parks or looking for something a little more traditional, this central Florida hotspot has it all.
Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center hosts their annual ICE! event, featuring a themed collection of ice sculptures, live carving demonstrations, slides, and more family friendly fun. The University of Central Florida hosts 50 nights of music, lights, unique shopping opportunities, holiday films, and more with their Light Up UCF event. This is a free admission event that runs from mid-November through January, and includes an ice skating rink, carnival rides, and more holiday fun.
The recent addition of the Orlando Eye and the I-Drive 360 complex gets into the holiday spirit with specialty holiday-themed capsules, lights, and even giving families a chance to meet Santa during their Frostival event.
Myrtle Beach, SC
While weather on the coast is always a little unpredictable, most winters are generally mild. Myrtle Beach has a great mix of beach days and typical family friendly tourist fare to enjoy while offering more adult options in entertainment as well, such as gambling cruises and salons. Myrtle Beach certainly offers something for everyone and is a great way to swap sand for snow during the holidays.
The Grand Strand plaza has numerous outlets stores, shopping malls, and unique offerings, allowing you to wait until the last minute to do your Christmas shopping and still have plenty to give. The local Brookgreen Gardens botanical garden hosts their annual Nights of a Thousand Candles which expands into an even bigger event each year. The local Ripley’s Aquarium also gets into the holiday spirit with a holiday salute to all 50 states with a display of 50 Christmas trees.