Best Places For A White Christmas In The United States For Families

Two kids huddle together looking at the snow during Christmas at Jackson Hole, one of the best places for a White Christmas in the United States for families.
Photo Courtesy: Visit Jackson Hole

Experience the magic of a white Christmas with your family in the United States, which offers some truly enchanting destinations! From snow-covered mountains to charming small towns, these places provide a winter wonderland setting perfect for celebrating this joyous time of year. Imagine the magic of New York City at Christmastime, with its sparkling tree at Rockefeller Center and its iconic Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall. Of course, if you’d prefer something more sporty, there are scenic places like Colorado, where you can ski, snowboard, and cozy up around the fireplace with a hot cocoa. Regardless of your preference, these remarkable destinations each offer their unique take on celebrating this treasured yuletide tradition. We’ve put together things to do, where to stay, and more tips for traveling with kids this winter. Keep reading to plan your next Christmas adventure! 

Best Places for a White Christmas on the East Coast for Families

From picturesque New England towns to charming ski resorts, the East Coast guarantees a memorable Christmas for all ages! Whether you’re looking for idyllic small-town charm or thrilling winter activities, these best places for a white Christmas on the East Coast of the United States have you covered. Keep reading to find out more! 

Lake Placid, NY

Photo Courtesy: Lake Placid (ROOST)

Lake Placid is one of the best places for a white Christmas in the United States, especially for families looking to create magical holiday memories! Located in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains, this picturesque winter wonderland offers a variety of activities and attractions for kids. To get into the holiday spirit, make to plan your visit during the Lake Placid Village Holiday Stroll (December 8-10, 2023). This event offers holiday shopping, family fun, and numerous options for entertainment!

Warm up with hot cocoa while browsing local shops decorated for the season on Main Street. There are numerous picture-perfect spots for building snowmen or having a snowball fight around the lake. Families can also explore Mirror Lake by taking a cozy horse-drawn sleigh ride or a scenic winter hike. You can also go ice skating at the Olympic Speed Skating Oval. Kids will love seeing all the Olympic and sporting memorabilia at the Olympic Museum, where you can learn more about Lake Placid’s Olympic legacy.

Near Lake Placid, enjoy Schroon Lake Olde Tyme Christmas in the charming village of Schroon Lake. They host an annual Christmas celebration each December, which features beautifully decorated trees, a family ornament hunt, and more. For something a bit more thrilling, nearby Whiteface Mountain offers various skiing and snowboarding trails suitable for all ages. Plus, in nearby Wilmington, families can visit Santa’s Workshop. This family-friendly amusement park brings the fantasy of Christmas to life with costumes, classic rides, and shows!

Learn more about Lake Placid in the winter by reading this Family Guide To An Exciting Visit To Lake Placid This Winter With Kids.

Where to Stay in Lake Placid with Kids

If you need somewhere to stay in Lake Placid with kids, consider the Whiteface Lodge, Mirror Lake Inn & Spa, or the Placid Bay Hotel. Families visiting Lake Placid also opt to rent lakeside accommodations from places such as Airbnb or Vrbo

Maine

Photo Courtesy: Visit Maine

Spending Christmas in Maine with kids is an enchanting experience! Known for its picturesque snowy landscapes, this northeastern state offers some of the best places for a white Christmas in the United States for families.

Families can try winter hikes or go snowshoeing in Acadia National Park while enjoying the mountain air and stunning views. A visit to Portland’s historic Old Port district is a must, too. Stroll down the cobblestone streets decorated with twinkling lights and explore the boutiques selling handmade gifts. Plus, kids will adore The Polar Express Train Ride. Alternatively in Boothbay Harbor, families adore the Boothbay Lights, and Gardens Aglow at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in nearby Boothbay.

Then, parents and children alike will be impressed by Maine’s magnificent lighthouses, such as Pemaquid Point Lighthouse or Portland Head Light, which tower over rocky coastlines covered in snow. For more festivities, head to Kennebunkport’s Dock Square. This quintessential New England village transforms every December with ice skating, horse-drawn carriage rides, and a joyful atmosphere! And no Christmas-loving family can miss the Christmas Prelude in Kennebunkport. Finally, in Kringleville in Waterville, kids can also meet Santa Claus himself while listening to local folklore and enjoying live performances! 

Maine also has plenty of ski resorts for family-friendly fun, from Sunday River Resort to Sugarloaf Mountain.

North Conway, NH

A Conway Scenic Railroad train parked in the tracks during a winter's ride near North Conway, one of the best places for a White Christmas in the United States for families.
Photo Courtesy: Conway Scenic Railroad

Looking for the best places for a white Christmas in the United States for families? North Conway, New Hampshire, is an absolute gem! Nestled in the heart of New England, this picturesque town provides a magical experience that children will never forget.

Strolling around North Conway Village, with its various shops selling homemade gifts and hot cocoa, will feel straight from a Hallmark movie. North Conway is also home to The Christmas Loft, featuring the largest collection of ornaments in the state – around 10,000! From Thanksgiving to Christmas, kids can also ride The Conway Scenic Railroad’s special Santa’s Holiday Express. Experience the magic of Christmas on an old-fashioned train with holiday decorations, milk and cookies, a treasure hunt, and an appearance from Santa Claus!

For some winter sports, the Bretton Woods Ski Area offers skiing or snowboarding. Plus, North Conway has numerous opportunities for ice skating, exploring snowy trails during hikes, or horse-drawn wagon rides in the nearby White Mountain National Forest.

New York City

Photo Courtesy (L-R): Michele Wallach, Colin Miller, Shinya Suzuki

Nothing says ‘white Christmas’ quite like visiting New York City in December! From iconic landmarks with festive decorations to seasonal shows, events, and pop-up markets, the Big Apple boasts an array of activities that will make the season all the more magical for your family. 

Central Park transforms into an idyllic wonderland when it snows, offering the chance to sled and build snowmen. Of course, don’t miss Rockefeller Center, where kids can ice skate against the backdrop of its iconic Christmas tree! Nearby, you’ll also find the famous Rockettes at the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Musical Hall. Families can also meander down 5th Avenue to check out the elaborate window displays. And, take advantage of the opportunity to meet Santa at Macy’s Herald Square’s Santaland! You can also find Christmas markets throughout the city, including the Union Square Holiday Market, the Columbus Circle Holiday Market, and the Bryant Park Winter Village. If you’re traveling with little ones, be sure to check out the Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden

Want to discover more holiday fun in NYC for families? Read about our favorite things to do in NYC with kids this Christmas!

Where to Stay in New York City with Kids

Need family-friendly hotels in New York City? If you’re staying in Lower Manhattan, you’ll love the Millennium Downtown New York in the Financial District or the trendy Greenwich Hotel in Tribeca. If you’re looking for somewhere to stay in Midtown Manhattan, try the Loews Regency New York or Omni Berkshire Place, which also has a kids’ club. Check out our list of the best hotels in NYC for families to learn more! 

Stowe, VT

Snow and Christmas lights adorn the city of Stowe, one of the best places for a White Christmas in the United States for families.

Stowe offers an incredible holiday experience for families, filled with snow-covered landscapes and charming festivities. As one of the best places for a white Christmas in the United States for families, this quaint New England town thrives during December, offering anything from live performances to wagon rides.

Explore Stowe’s historic downtown to browse the different specialty shops for any last-minute gifts. On certain weekends in December, the town usually hosts a holiday bazaar. Plus, families can embrace the holiday spirit with events like The Spruce Peak Lights Festival in mid-December, which features a tree lighting, performances on ice, and even fireworks. Your hotel may host different holiday events, too. Smugglers’ Notch Resort offers winter activities like dog sledding, family scavenger hunts on snowshoes, etc.

Another way to kick off your vacation is visiting Stowe Mountain Resort or Smugglers’ Notch for skiing or snowboarding. Kids will love taking a traditional sleigh ride at the Trapp Family Lodge! Winter sports such as ice skating and snowmobiling are also popular, plus riding The Gondola Skyride

Ice cream lovers can also visit nearby Waterbury to tour the Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory

Other Places in Vermont to Visit for Christmas 

The mountain at Killington Ski Resort, covered in snow, perfect for skiing.
Photo Courtesy: Killington Ski Resort

Looking for more places in Vermont to visit this Christmas? Check out Killington, home to the Killington Ski Resort. Also known as the “Beast of the East,” it’s ideal for teens or more advanced skiers since it’s known for its 4,241-foot summit. Beyond skiing and snowboarding, families can take scenic sleigh rides or go tubing down snowy hillsides. 

In Woodstock, you’ll get the more traditional Christmas experience on the town’s festive Main Street. Here, the historic architecture seems even more spectacular under the glow of holiday lights. Families can also browse the charming boutiques offering unique gifts and crafts. Winter activities such as s’more making, fat biking, and more also appeal to kids staying at the cozy Woodstock Inn and Resort.

Best Places for a White Christmas in the Midwest for Families

If you’re seeking a picture-perfect white Christmas with your family, look no further than the Midwest region in the United States! With its adorable small towns and beautiful landscapes, this area offers some of the best places to celebrate the festive season, surrounded by sparkling snow. Here are some fun options!

Grand Marais, MN

A dad and his young daughter walk through the snow near a light house in Grand Marais, Minnesota, one of the best places for a White Christmas in the United States for families.
Photo Courtesy: Antonia Grant

Visiting Grand Marais during Christmas with kids is an enchanting experience that guarantees a memorable white Christmas! Located on the shores of Lake Superior, this charming town becomes a winter wonderland during the holiday season. 

In late November, downtown Grand Marais kicks off the Christmas season with its annual Oh Ole Night Parade. It celebrates the town’s Scandinavian heritage with traditional costumes, tree lighting, and more fun, like fireworks. Families can also explore the cozy boutiques selling handmade holiday goodies throughout downtown. Then, at North House Folk School, indulge in traditional crafts like weaving, woodworking, or baking delicious holiday treats.

For an outdoor adventure, bring your kids to Artist’s Point, where icicles and rock formations abound around Lake Superior’s icy shores. Or, head to Lutsen Mountain Ski Resort. Here, kids can learn to ski or snowboard on gentle slopes while parents tackle more challenging trails. Snowshoeing, sleigh rides, and other winter sports make this one of the best places for a white Christmas in the United States for families! 

RELATED: 31+ Amazing Places To Visit In Northern Minnesota With Kids

Best Places for a White Christmas in the Mountain States for Families

For families seeking a postcard-worthy holiday experience, the Mountain States offer some of the best places for a white Christmas! From the scenic ski towns of Colorado to the traditional Western charm of Wyoming, these states provide breathtaking landscapes that truly embody the magic of winter. Stay tuned to discover our favorite options for spending Christmas as a family in the United States!

Park City, UT

Two kids play in the snow outside of a resort in Park City, one of the best places for a White Christmas in the United States for families.
Photo Courtesy: Gretchen Rubell

Enjoy majestic snow-covered mountains and adorable alpine villages when you plan a trip to Park City! This charming town in Utah’s Wasatch Mountains showcases plenty of exciting activities that appeal to all ages. It’s undoubtedly one of the best places for a white Christmas in the United States for families! 

In the Park City Main Street Historic District, you’ll find a variety of shops, restaurants, and other fun destinations to explore, like the Park City Museum. Park City Mountain Resort also has terrain for a variety of skill levels. Kids will have a blast riding the Mountain Coaster through the snowy winter landscape! At the Snowed Inn Sleigh Co. Restaurant, which is on-site at the resort, families can enjoy a unique meal experience combined with a sleigh ride. At the base of the resort, visit Canyons Village for farm-to-table dining, live music, and more. Or, go ice skating at the Resort Center Ice Skating Rink inside The Lodge at the Mountain Village. Finally, Woodward Park City offers some of the longest tubing lanes in Utah, available for kids 4 and up. 

Learn more about visiting Park City in the winter by reading our guide on how to Plan An Exciting Visit To Park City / Deer Valley This Winter With Kids.

Where to Stay in Park City with Kids

There are plenty of places to stay with kids in Park City! Families love the Hyatt Centric Park City, which offers a shuttle service, ski-in/ski-out access, and an outdoor pool. Families looking for condominium-style accommodations can stay at the Lodge at Mountain Village, located right next to the chairlifts at Park City Mountain Resort. Or, try the Washington School House Hotel, the Waldorf Astoria Park City, Westgate Park City Resort and Spa, The Grand Summit Hotel, or Marriott’s Mountainside.

Lake Tahoe, CA/NV

Two parents look on excitedly as two of their kids ride together on a sled down a snowy hill in North Lake Tahoe, one of the best places for a White Christmas in the United States for families.
Photo Courtesy: Go Tahoe North

Lake Tahoe is known for its natural beauty, making it a wonderful place to spend Christmas with your family! Straddling the border between California and Nevada, this gorgeous lake offers various winter activities that will keep kids entertained.

Palisades Tahoe, Northstar, and Heavenly Mountain Resort are the most popular ski resorts in Lake Tahoe, with slopes for all skill levels. Each resort also puts its own spin on Christmas with various events, including Noel Night at the Village at Northstar in North Lake Tahoe. After all those outdoor activities, warm up with some hot cocoa as you explore Heavenly Village in South Lake Tahoe and its charming shops decorated with beautiful lights and ornaments. Kids will delight in the 70-foot-tall Christmas tree, which towers over the village and lights up every day at exactly 5:30 PM! There’s also an ice skating rink, a giant Ferris wheel, and more family fun. Other events take place periodically throughout the season, like Breakfast with Santa at the Shops at Heavenly Village.

Jackson, WY

Photo Courtesy: Visit Jackson Hole

If you’re searching for the best places for a white Christmas in the United States for families, look no further than Jackson, Wyoming. Nestled amidst the stunning Teton Range and blanketed with powdery snow during December, this charming mountain town offers various activities for kids and adults alike.

Downtown Jackson’s charming streets showcase twinkling lights, festive decorations, and cozy shops offering unique gifts. At the iconic Town Square, you can even see Jackson’s unique elk antler arches decorated for Christmas! Outdoorsy families can hit the slopes at Snow King Mountain Resort or Jackson Hole Mountain Resort too. Both offer skiing facilities suitable for all skill levels, including dedicated areas specifically designed for little ones starting off on skis or snowboards.

During the winter, thousands of elk also gather on the snowy grounds of the National Elk Refuge, making it a must-see for animal lovers. You can even take a sleigh ride through the landscape to see these beautiful creatures up close! For more outdoor adventures, explore nearby Grand Teton National Park. While part of the park is closed for the season, there is a section open that is great for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Or, adventurous families may want to venture a little further to Yellowstone National Park to avoid the usual crowds (please note, however, Yellowstone is only accessible via snow coach or snowmobile in the winter months)! 

Colorado 

Photo Courtesy: Gunjan Prakash, Gunjan Prakash, Ray Clark

Families thinking about spending Christmas in Colorado with kids can expect an unforgettable experience filled with joy and wonder! Known for its breathtaking mountain landscapes and abundance of winter activities, this vast state offers some of the best places for a white Christmas in the United States for families. 

Breckenridge

Yuletide events pop off all season long in Breckenridge, starting with a holiday kick-off Santa event. Families can also hit the slopes at Breckenridge Ski Resort, which offers classes for kids. You can also go snowmobiling, hiking, and say hi to the Breckenridge Troll. Nearby destinations like Copper Mountain, Frisco Adventure Park, or Keystone also offer large-scale snow tubing and sledding hills at a fee. Find out more about winter in Breckenridge by reading our Guide To Breckenridge In The Winter With Kids.

Vail

Photo Courtesy: Gunjan Prakash

In Vail, visit the Vail Ski Resort, which has two dedicated learning areas: Golden Peak (medium to large trails) and Avanti (better for beginners). Beyond skiing, explore the decorated streets of the Vail Villages, which consist of Vail Village, West Vail Village, Lionshead, and Cascade. Kids can also go ice skating at Vail Square Ice Rink, go snowmobiling, or visit Adventure Ridge for tubing, ski biking, and more fun. Discover more winter fun in Vail by reading our Fantastic Guide To Visiting Vail This Winter With Kids.

More Fun Colorado Destinations for Christmas

Beaver Creek, a short drive from Vail, also provides holiday cheer and a quaint atmosphere. It houses the Beaver Creek Ski Resort, with multiple signature learning areas for skiers of all skill levels. Parents who have younger kids especially favor Beaver Creek for its accessibility and easy runs. For shopping, dining, and more family fun, head to the Beaver Creek Village!

Looking for more places to visit in Colorado this winter? Check out Steamboat Springs, home to the Steamboat Ski Resort. Families can hit the slopes, take a sleigh ride through the picturesque town, and more! 

RELATED: 12 Ways To Plan A Family Ski Trip On A Budget

Where to Stay in Colorado with Kids

Need somewhere to stay in Colorado with kids? In Vail, check out The Arrabelle at Vail Square, the Grand Hyatt Vail, the Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail, the Ritz Carlton Club, Vail, Antlers at Vail, or Manor Vail Lodge.

Families visiting Breckenridge can consider One Ski Hill Place – Peak 8, the Grand Colorado Resort, and Beaver Run Resort. Then, find more options in Breckenridge by reading about these Amazing Places To Stay In Breckenridge With Kids This Winter.

Best Places for a White Christmas on the West Coast for Families

While snow-covered landscapes may be synonymous with traditional wintertime festivities, the West Coast has its fair share of enchanting Christmas destinations. Keep reading to find out more! 

Leavenworth, WA

Kids play in the snow and highly decorated town of Leavenworth during its Christmas season.
Photo Courtesy: Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce

Leavenworth, located in the beautiful state of Washington, transforms into a winter wonderland during the holiday season! Each winter, this picturesque Bavarian-style city becomes the “Village of Lights,” featuring over 500,000 lights in the city’s magical display. No wonder it’s one of the best places for a white Christmas in the United States for families!

Wander the charming streets of downtown Leavenworth with its old-world charm, classic German timber accents, and festive lights and decorations. Kids will feel like they’ve just stepped into a fairytale at places such as Kris Kringl, a year-round Christmas store. You can also enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride, snowshoeing, or a sleigh ride. Bundle up and go dog sledding, snow tubing, or snowmen building with your kids in Front Street Park!

Then, the Nutcracker Museum is another must-visit, spot where kids can marvel at hundreds of nutcrackers on display, each telling its own story. To truly embrace the spirit of Christmas, attend one of Leavenworth’s live performances by local musicians and choirs dressed in traditional German attire. Then, enjoy a mug of hot cocoa with some gingerbread cookies to warm up! 

Merry Christmas!

A mom and her young child enjoy a dog sledding experience near Jackson Hole.
Photo Courtesy: Visit Jackson Hole

We hope you liked this list of the Best Places for a White Christmas in the United States for Families! From the magic of Colorado’s scenic winter landscape to towering skyscrapers decked in holiday decorations in New York City, there are so many possibilities for a wonderful Christmas from coast to coast. Merry Christmas, and enjoy your holiday travels with your family! 

*This post may contain affiliate links that may earn us a small commission, at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links in no way inform the hotels, sights, products, or other recommendations included in our articles. All opinions and recommendations expressed here are compiled from submissions submitted by the generous members of our Families Who Love To Travel community.

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The Families Love Travel Team has a zest for life and an even bigger passion for globetrotting! Comprised of real-life travel professionals, we work hard behind the scenes to provide dynamic solutions for adventuring with children. Our enthusiastic team understands the challenges that often accompany traveling with kids and is committed to making Families Love Travel an inclusive space to convey these experiences.