It’s almost that time of year again! You’re finally getting over your Thanksgiving food coma and the crowds of Black Friday shoppers. It’s time now for Christmas music, cookies,and the best movies to play on TV! Some enjoy staying home during the Christmas holiday while their families come to them, and others enjoy visiting other places to spice things up. There are lots of wonderful destinations for the Christmas season to choose from, but these three are especially notable.
Denver, Colorado is a perfect spot to spend Christmas. Surrounded by beautiful mountains layered with snow, it’s nearly impossible not to be in the holiday spirit when you stay in the Mile High City; there are tons of free activities to do in Denver during the holiday season.
Skate around the Southwest Rink at Skyline Park throughout the entire winter season. Located at the corner of 16th and Arapahoe, this skate park is free to the public and even gives you the option of bringing your own skates or renting a pair at a very low cost!
Take a tour of the largest brewing site in the world! The Coors Brewery offers free tours to show each step in the brewing process and offers free samples for those over 21! “Taste the Rockies”!
Give the kids a holiday they’ll remember by taking them to a visit with Santa on Larimer Square! Larimer Square is the perfect place to spend the day during your Christmas vacation. With festive restaurants and a list of boutiques to choose from, you can get everyone on your list covered. Even take a break and listen to carolers and take a ride on a carriage! Visits with Santa are free!
What is better than Christmas lights on a starry Denver night? All season long you can gaze at the largest lighting display in Denver at the City & County Building. Complete with 600,000 lights and bell tower playing carols nightly, it will be a sight to remember, and it’s free!
Are you a lover of unique gifts? The 54th Annual Georgetown Christmas Market is open December 6, 7, 13 & 14. Old World Christmas in the little town of Georgetown is a European-inspired market perfect for browsing unique items, riding a horse-drawn carriage, carolers, roasted chestnuts, and even the Santa Lucia Children’s Procession.
Nothing compares to piling in Grandma’s house on Christmas, but a fun place to stay doesn’t hurt!
Worried about finding a place to stay that is both trustworthy and affordable? There are lots of places at great rates downtown, near the airport, or specialty hotels such as spa resorts or boutique hotels.
Hotel deals under $100 per night:
Quality Inn Central Denver is a three-star hotel starting at just $67 per night!
Ramada Plaza Denver Central Hotel is another three-star hotel also starting at just $67 per night!
Hyatt House Denver is right by the airport! This three-star hotel starts at $97 per night!
Not only are there great places to stay and tons of things to do, but there are also lots of great places to eat for all different families and tastes!
Frasca Food & Wine ranked number one on the 2013 25 Best Restaurants in Denver on 5280.com. With rave reviews in Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, and even the Wall Street Journal, this Italian restaurant is well worth the price. Located on 1738 Pearl Street, this restaurant has a lengthy wine list and a great bar if you don’t want to hassle with making reservations in advance.
Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery is the perfect place to go for a night out on the town. Located on Pearl Street as well, this relaxed pub serves all of your favorites from burgers, to sandwiches and subs, to coffee. Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery even earned a 90% on urbanspoon.com!
Want a little southern soul while in the west, try Lucile’s Creole Café on 14th Street! This diner serves breakfast and any comfort food you could imagine including a crawfish etouffe.
New York City, New York
New York City is one of the biggest hotspots for the Christmas season. Thousands leave their homes and head to the Big Apple to experience a Christmas season the family will never forget. With hundreds of unique places to eat, countless places to stay, and something new to do each day, it’s the perfect holiday destination!
Looking for fun, unique things to do but you don’t want to break the bank?
Grab your skates and head to Rockefeller Plaza. A meticulously decorated area with 45,000 LED lights, a 80-foot Christmas tree, all surrounded by a beautiful layer of snow would be an incredible way to spend Christmas eve.
Kick off your stay in NYC with the Rockettes annual Christmas show at Radio City Music Hall! The Radio City Music Spectacular plays December 2nd-December 31st. This year’s show includes an unforgettable living nativity, a beautiful Snow scene, and the fun rag dolls of Santa’s workshop! This would be wonderful experience for the entire family.
If you want to take the kids to do something unique and to teach them all about the true Christmas spirit, stop by the Macy’s Believe Campaign, a 6th annual event where Macy’s encourages kids from all over to drop off their letter to Santa at the Macy’s mailbox. For each stamped letter dropped off, Macy’s will donate $1 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. What a better way to let the kids reach Santa by simultaneously helping children with life-threatening diseases!
New York City is known for a lot of things, especially their diverse and unique dining options.
If you’re on a budget, there are still endless options for good food. One delicious southern style restaurant called Cheeky Sandwiches in the Lower East Side is one of the best in New Orleans style food. Their popular chicken biscuit is just $6.50!
What is a New York City experience if you don’t have some New York style pizza? Di Fara located in Brooklyn earned its spot at number one on the top 10 Best Pizzas in NYC on villagevoice.com. Since 1964, this pizza dive has been creating some of the best NYC style pizza in the Big Apple. With a review like that, a two-hour wait doesn’t seem so bad.
If you’re looking for the comfort food you love at home, Wilma Jean in Carroll Gardens is the perfect place. Complete with a menu including fried chicken, hamburgers, and a crunchy chicken dinner, this restaurant captures comfort food in the best light.
Stay where you play! Getting away from home during the Christmas season can be a hassle, but it can be made easy knowing you have a comfortable, affordable place to stay while you play around NYC!
If you are interested in being in the middle of the action, the Manhattan Broadway Hotel is located on W 38th Street. Starting at just $107 per night, this two-star hotel is both affordable and within walking distance of all of your favorite attractions and restaurants.
Built in 1882 and luxuriously renovated in 2013, the New York Palace on Madison Avenue is the perfect hot spot to stay for the Christmas season. Although it is a little pricey at $229 per night, this 4.5 star hotel is close to the Grand Central Terminal and the Chrysler building. The hotel even has a full-service spa and a full service restaurant!
There’s no place quite like a Christmas in the Lone Star state. Dallas, Texas is a wonderful place to spend the Christmas season. There are all kinds of events and activities to experience!
From November 29-January 4, the Hilton Anatole brings to life an outdoor ice rink complete with a scenic pond, live stage entertainment, activities for kids, holiday food, and much more!
Experience the brand new, unique exhibit called The 12 Days of Christmas at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. This incredible exhibit features 25-foot Victorian gazebos containing costumed characters and animals. Each gazebo is enclosed with glass and meticulously decorated on all sides to create a unique, dramatic experience including moving parts and festive music. This ¾ mile walk through the garden will be an experience you will never forget!
Take the family to see the infamous ICE! Experience. Through January 3rd, this Frosty the Snowman themed experience will be brought to life through the incredible ice-sculptures and 20-foot ice slides at the Gaylord Texan Resport in Grapevine, Texas.
Stay where you play!
While a little on the pricey side at $139 per night, the Omni Dallas Hotel is a 4.2 star rating on South Lamar Street. This hotel includes a spa and an infinity pool with skyline views!
If you’re on a budget, don’t sacrifice price for comfort. The Hampton Inn Dallas/Addison is a $58 per night stay with free breakfast, free Internet in room, and free parking!
The Hyatt House Dallas/Lincoln Park is a $99 per night hotel with a 9.1/10 rating according to priceline.com! This hotel includes free breakfast and free Internet in room at a pretty fair price!
There are thousands of unique restaurants all over Dallas. Whether you are looking for American, Mexican, Italian or seafood, there is always a delicious option to choose from.
Pappas Bros. Steakhouse is a incredible place to go for a fancy night out. A winner of the Traveler’s Choice 2014 in best restaurant and ranked #2 on tripadvisor.com’s Best Dallas Restaurants, you can’t go wrong!
Jimmy’s Food Store is an Italian restaurant perfect for those who want good food at a reasonable price. Not only do they offer delicious Italian cuisine, but a long list of Italian wine as well. Great Italian subs for $3.99 is a price you can’t beat!
Looking for some good seafood? S & D Oyster Co. on Mckinney Avenue is a great place to go, it even received the Certificate of Excellence in 2014! One review from tripadvisor.com raved that they have the “Best oysters west of NOLA”.
Traveling for the Christmas season is a great way to mix things up. Keep the traditions and add new memories whether it is in Denver, New York City, or Dallas. You’ll never regret the experiences and memories made when you venture out and discover what these great cities have to offer.
3 Great Cities To Spend Christmas
By Military Travel Exchange