If you’re imagining a magical Christmas escape with your family, we’ve rounded up recommendations from six Bébé Voyage travel bloggers. Take in a performance of “A Christmas Carol” in London. Meet Santa in snowy Lapland. Or explore one of Europe’s oldest Christmas markets. These adventurous families will inspire you with memorable ways to share the magic of the season with your children.
Visit Santa in Lapland
Rovaniemi, Finland sits at the edge of the Arctic Circle and hosts the Santa Claus Village every winter. Here, you can travel via the Santa Express overnight train from Helsinki to experience Christmas at the North Pole.
Diana from The Elusive Family recommends staying in a cozy cottage in Santa’s Village. Then, meeting Santa is guaranteed. In addition, adventures such as ice fishing, husky sledding, and northern lights expeditions can be booked easily from the village.
Chelsea, who writes Pack More Into Life, “loved how much time Santa spent with our family and how friendly he was.” Children can meet Santa and his elves in individual visits complete with gifts and professional photos. Chelsea’s family embraced the winter wonderland of Finland. They took a nighttime reindeer sled ride, and visited the Arctic Farm and the Moomin Snowcastle, a play area made of snow and ice sculptures.
Both writers recommend booking December visits to Rovaniemi up to a year in advance. Also, because temperatures truly reflect Santa’s Arctic locale, it is essential to pack cold weather gear for everyone.
Explore One of Europe’s Iconic Markets
It’s impossible to resist the charms of Europe’s Christmas markets. Stroll the cobblestone streets between festive wooden stalls, and take part in a holiday tradition that dates back hundreds of years.
Strasbourg, France, hosts one of Europe’s largest and oldest markets, where stalls radiate out from the stately Gothic cathedral. Ashley from Daley Family Travels opted to book an apartment in the city’s historic center with a view of the city’s beautifully decorated Christmas tree. Therefore, her family was able to walk easily to all of the markets. She recommends a visit to the Guest Village, which hosts a different country each year. In addition, don’t miss the chance to sample traditional Alsatian cuisine like bretzels, choucroute, and manala. Their flavors reflect the historic influences of both France and Germany on the region.
Photo: Daley Family Travels
Take a Festive City Break
“There are beautiful decorations, lights, and displays in addition to all of the attractions that are already here,” writes Lindsey, Abroad Wife, of Washington D.C. Highlights include the seasonal trees that adorn the White House, the Capitol Building, and the Library of Congress. Just steps away, the U.S. Botanic Gardens offers gorgeous Christmas displays. Additionally, a miniature train and a passport scavenger hunt enthrall Lindsey’s kids every year.
For Vanessa and her Wanderlust Crew, London really comes to life at Christmas. She designed a three-week holiday stay there that let her family soak up the city’s magic. They embraced quintessentially British festivities, such as sampling mince pies at the Kew Gardens Christmas festival, viewing “A Christmas Carol” at the Rose Theater, and decorating the tree at their AirBnB with ornaments purchased from Westminster Abbey.
Restore and Relax
Finally, by the end of the year, sometimes we want to get away from it all. A restored farmhouse nestled between olive trees on the grounds of a Tuscan winery? For many, the perfect escape. Elizabeth writes Dutch Dutch Goose and recommends the Castello Del Trebbio for a getaway. They loved the winery tours and cooking in the outdoor pizza oven. The estate allowed everyone to focus on good food, good wine, and making the most of time together.