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Winter Vacation Ideas


Winter vacations offer so many choices: do you say "bring it on", and do a snow holiday? Or escape the season, and head to sun and sea? Or maybe take advantage of Arizona's best weather months? See these and more, below...

1. Family Getaways in Winter Olympic Host Cities


Where better to sharpen your Olympic spirit than in one of the former host cities--Lake Placid, Salt Lake City, Squaw Valley, Calgary, or Whistler--and try some of the winter sports for yourself. Olympic parks offer the chance to take a ride on a bobsled, luge, or skeleton, go skating or skiing, or even try your hand at biathlon.

2. Winter Vacation Ideas by Region: Northeast US

photo courtesy of Smugglers Notch.

Great choices include family ranches and inns that are open year-round, with many outdoors activities; Smugglers' Notch family resort, known for skiing; resorts with indoor water parks.

3. New York Winter Vacations

Photo courtesy of Rocking Horse Ranch.

Ski resorts in the Catskills and Adirondacks; Rocking Horse Ranch - 500 acres with snow tubing, ice-skating, sleigh rides, skiing; Six Flags Great Escape Lodge and Indoor Water Park...

4. Ideas for January and February

photo © Teresa Plowright

Winter carnivals, Chinese New Year, Black History Month, NYC, London at bargain rates...

5. Winter Festivals and Carnivals

Photo of Winter Wonderfest, courtesy of About.com's Guide for Chicago for Visitors.

In cold climates, winter festivals are a wonderful way to liven up the long months after the holiday season. Lots of towns and ski resorts have a winter bash, perhaps with snow-sculpting or ice-sculpting championships. Quebec City has a major Winter Carnival, and it's a true "Carnival", like the one in Rio: a celebration before the somber time of Lent begins (in the Catholic religious year).

6. Ski Resort Choices for Families - In Six Regions

photo © Teresa Plowright

Winter vacations in the snow are truly winter vacations, where you revel in the snow and the fun it gives. These days, even non skiers or 'boarders can have fun in the snow: snow-shoeing, for instance, or tubing, or trying the spa. Also, all resorts offer lessons for any age; it's never too late to learn to ski. All resorts offer kids programs; many have teen programs and nurseries too.

7. Fun Things to Do at Ski Resorts (Besides Skiing or Boarding)

Snow bikes, photo courtesy of Vail Resorts.
Photo courtesy of Vail Resorts.
Even if some members in your party don't want to ski or board, the whole gang can still have fun together: try ski biking, snowshoeing, alpine roller coasters, tubing, snow cat tours...

8. Dog-Sledding

photo © Teresa Plowright

A fun type of outing. You can find dog-sledding opportunities offered by good companies in many snow vacation areas.

9. Mardi Gras at Universal Studios Orlando

Winter vacation idea - Mardi Gras at Universal Orlando - Photo courtesy of Universal Orlando.
Photo courtesy of Universal Orlando.

On 30 nights, from late February until late April, this Orlando theme park showcases a 10-block-long parade, 14 elaborate floats, extravagant costumes, and theme cuisine.

10. Orlando

photo © Teresa Plowright
More ideas, for those who want to escape winter's cold for the family vacation center of the universe, in Florida: Orlando has Disney World's four theme parks, two waterparks, and thirteen resorts; Universal Orlando's two theme parks and three resorts; plus other theme parks and family attractions.


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