Have you checked out all the holiday events in your own backyard and are looking for some new sights and activities this year? Maybe you’re looking to pack your weekends full of adventures after missing out on much of the holidays last year. Or maybe your kids will nap in the car and you want them to wake up to a winter wonderland when you reach your destination. Whatever the case may be, I’ve rounded up some great holiday activities that are only a car ride away! Here are 10 holiday attractions that are worth the drive.
Yankee Candle; South Deerfield, MA
In addition to what you’d expect to find at Yankee Candle’s flagship location (200,000 candles!) there is lots of holiday cheer to be had as well! This year, Santa will return to Santa’s Workshop by helicopter! Boasting a 25 foot tall Christmas tree, model railroads, and loads of hands-on activities, Yankee Candle’s South Deerfield Village has something for everyone.
Newport Mansions; Newport, RI
The Breakers, Marble House (pictured), and the Elms are open and decorated lavishly for the holiday season! Decorations include 28 Christmas trees and an impressive 15 foot tree made of Poinsettias. Newport is a longer ride than the other attractions on the list, but it would be a great day trip for older children, the decorations-obsessed, or Victorian-era fans.
Winterlights; Stockbridge, Canton, and North Andover, MA
Three Trustees garden properties (Naumkeag in Stockbridge, Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate in Canton, and Stevens-Coolidge House and Gardens in North Andover) have decorated their gardens with thousands of twinkling lights! Bundle up for this outdoor experience and stroll through these lavish garden estates, lit up for the holidays.
Enchanted Village; Jordan’s Furniture, Avon, MA
The Enchanted Village has been a Boston staple since it’s inception in the 1960s. This year, the addition of indoor tubing makes the Enchanted Village a great day-trip destination! Perfect for those looking to start a new family tradition or re-live their own childhood memories.
Gift of Lights; Loudon, NH
This event at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway is a 2.5-mile drive-through lights experience! There are more than 520 displays and the entrance and exit are each a 130 foot tunnel of 25,000 lights. Plus, it’s at the race track! Super fun for all ages.
Christmas by Candlelight; Sturbridge, MA
At Old Sturbridge Village, horse-drawn carriages will tour you through the property, where all 200 acres are decorated for the holidays! He might not arrive by helicopter here, but your children can visit with a 19th century Santa Claus, attend a nightly tree lighting ceremony, make a craft, or listen to stories and music.
Ice Castles; Lincoln, NH
This attraction won’t be open until January but it’s still worth adding to your list of winter adventures! Each castle is made with thousands of hand-placed icicles and the result is breathtaking. Explore the tunnels or take a carriage ride through the woods! Be sure to wear your parkas and snowsuits.
The Polar Express; Buzzards Bay, MA
Hop into your Christmas jammies for this ninety-minute train ride to meet Santa! Hot chocolate and cookies are served while Christmas songs and stories are shared. Your littles would be delighted to see a holiday classic story come to life. A unique holiday experience!
Holiday in the Park; Six Flags, Agawam, MA
Walk or drive through Six Flags’ holiday lights display! Ride the rides, warm up with a s’more at a fire pit, and watch light shows synchronized with Christmas carols. Snap some photos with your favorite characters decked out for the holidays! This is a fun holiday activity, especially for older kids.
Christmas Festival of Lights; Carver, MA
Meet Santa and the Gingerbreads, see millions of twinkling Christmas lights, ride the rides and even a steam train. Edaville USA is a popular family destination in all seasons, and it is extra special at Christmas time. A great day trip for younger kids and locomotive enthusiasts alike!
Not only are we blessed with a colorful fall season, but in New England we also have a great selection of holiday activities as well! Get your family in the holiday spirit, hop in the car, and get out there! Which of these destinations would your family like best?