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8 Best Affordable Christmas Vacations for Families Across the U.S.

From relaxing on a beach in Florida to hitting the slopes in Idaho, you'll be sure of a jolly time with these affordable Christmas vacations for families.

While prices are usually hiked up over the holiday period, there are still plenty of options for affordable Christmas vacations for families across the U.S. – no matter if you’re desperate for winter sun and warm temperatures or you prefer somewhere with a magical winter wonderland vibe.

Whether you’re dreaming of a beachy escape at a resort in Florida, a convenient condo by the ski slopes in Idaho, or a beautifully designed log cabin on a working ranch in Utah, you’ll find plenty of inspiration in this round up of affordable Christmas vacations for families.

A Newly Renovated Vacation Home in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin

If you’re looking for a family vacation in a magical winter wonderland, head to Elkhart Lake in Wisconsin. Built in the 1800s, this Midwestern town has a rich history and is home to the iconic Old-World Christmas Market at The Osthoff Resort.

The Newly Renovated Dt Elkhart Lake vacation home has four bedrooms and accommodates up to 12 guests. There is plenty of space to relax with an open concept kitchen/family room, featuring a large dining table perfect for dining in. It also has a first-floor bedroom and a bunk room for the kids. They’ll even do your grocery shopping, so the kitchen is stocked when you arrive.

An unrivaled location in the heart of town means you are close to top-notch eateries, such as the Paddock Club, and the Henning’s Wisconsin Cheese Museum, where you can watch cheese being made. Unique winter experiences on offer include horse-drawn carriage rides through town, snowshoeing at the Ice Age Trail, and ice fishing on the lake. For an unforgettable adventure for the whole family, head to The Siberian Outpost, where you can experience the thrill of a dog sled ride.

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Elkhart Lake

A Comfortable, Centrally Located Condo in Sun Valley, Idaho

For families who love to ski, Sun Valley, Idaho is one of the more affordable ski destinations in the U.S. This 2-bedroom Comfortable Family Condo Near Pool & Hot Tub is located in the Bonne Vie condo in Elkhorn and sleeps eight, including a loft room for kids to revel in. It’s also steps from a hot tub where you can relax after a tiring day on the mountain.

Dollar Mountain is only a mile away from the condo, where you’ll find gentle terrain ideal for kids or beginners, while Bald Mountain is a just few more minutes drive. Excellent ski programs are available for ages three and up, and they even offer night skiing. Regular free buses will take you where you need to go.

In this area, a staggering array of adventures are on offer – both on and off the mountain. Thrill-seekers can try snow biking or explore the backcountry on a snowmobile. The Gallery Walk that takes you past newly installed art through the snow-covered street is popular with both locals and tourists.

All sorts of festive events bring the holiday cheer to you, including tree lightings, holiday markets, and concerts. Families can gather to watch the spectacular winter wonderland ice show and torch parade on Christmas Eve, which culminates in fireworks. The celebrations continue on New Year’s Eve at the annual Bubbly Bash. It’s also worth jumping on the gondola and heading up to the Roundhouse for dinner one evening.

Family & Pet-Friendly Condo Near Pool & Hot Tub

Sun Valley
8.3 Very good (22 reviews)

A Modern Resort With Endless Amenities in Phoenix, Arizona

For those desperate for winter sun, Phoenix, Arizona should be on your radar. The Arizona Grand Resort & Spa is a luxurious resort that sits at the edge of the South Mountain Preserve, one of the world’s largest urban parks. Affordable rates, spacious suites, and endless amenities are what make this resort so appealing. If you’re looking for extra space and privacy for your brood, the large villas are perfect.

The property offers maximum fun for the whole family with six outdoor pools, a seven-acre water park, an 18-hole golf course, a spa, a fitness center with over 30 weekly classes, and multiple dining options. Families can rent cabanas and hang out poolside.

Only 15 minutes from the airport, the resort is also close to the Phoenix Art Museum, Halle Heart Children’s Museum, and the Heard Museum of Native American Arts. The first Friday night of each month in downtown Phoenix is Gallery Night, when the streets are lined with vendors and art galleries open their doors.

It’s also fun to get outdoors and explore the natural beauty of the area on horseback or mountain bikes. For the ultimate family adventure, a hot air balloon ride high above the desert landscape is not to be missed.

To get in the festive spirit, make a beeline for the holiday light displays at Las Noches de las Luminarias in the Desert Botanical Garden and Zoolights at Phoenix Zoo.

Arizona Grand Resort & Spa

Phoenix
8.2 Very good (2515 reviews)

A Stunning Boutique Hotel in the Heart of Savannah, Georgia

If you’re looking to escape the cold weather, winter in Savannah is mild. Families can take advantage of the off-season rates at the Kimpton Brice Hotel – a stunning boutique hotel with a pool in the heart of the city’s historic district and close to the riverfront. A daily cocktail hour for guests takes place at 5pm each evening. The hotel is also very dog-friendly (with no additional charge).

Save little legs with a Christmas light trolley tour past some of Savannah’s magical light displays. Adults and older kids will enjoy a special Christmas ghost walk tour. The Pirates’ House, which was once a pirate hangout, is a fun spot for lunch. Any animal lovers in the family will love visiting the Savannah Wildlife Refuge, where you can see alligators and bobcats.

If you feel like a day away from the city, hit the beaches on Tybee Island, only a short drive away. Here, you can take a boat ride through the back channels and spot dolphins. On the way back, stop off a Desposito’s for steamed shrimp and oysters.

Kimpton Brice Hotel

Top rated
Savannah
8.5 Excellent (1805 reviews)

An Enchanting Escape with Acres of Outdoor Space in Rancho Bernardo, California

Set on 265 acres of lush gardens in California‘s Carmel Mountains, Rancho Bernardo Inn is a charming hotel with a low-key vibe. It offers plenty of outdoor space and amenities for families wanting to escape the tourists and enjoy an affordable Christmas vacation. As well as spacious suites with oversized balconies, there are multiple pools, a spa, a golf course, and plenty of activities for kids, including poolside movies and daily lawn games.

Although the resort is not far from San Diego and the coast, North County has a long list of experiences on offer for families. Stroll through the Queen Califia’s Magical Circle sculpture park, sip local wine at the Bernardo Winery, watch masterpieces being made at the Lux Art Institute, or go for a family hike in the Blue Sky Ecological Reserve. You’re also very close to San Diego Zoo.

Rancho Bernardo Inn

Top rated
San Diego
8.7 Excellent (1560 reviews)

A Relaxing Beachfront Resort in St Pete's Beach, Florida

With temperature Highs of 72 degrees, beautiful beaches, and so much to do in the surrounding area, Sirata Beach Resort in St Pete’s Beach is the perfect spot for an affordable Christmas family vacation. The resort is set on one of the best beaches in the U.S. on Florida’s Central Coast, and seeing dolphins swim by is common. It was built in the fifties, but was recently renovated and maintains its retro vibe.

Amenities include two pools, a Splash Zone for kids, and a water sports center where you can try jet skiing, kayaking, or parasailing. You can also board a boat to nearby Shell Island for a spot of snorkeling. As night falls, sip cocktails and relax by the fire pit at Rum Rummers while the kids play in the sand.

The center of St Petersburg is only a short drive away. You’ll find an array of excellent eateries, including FarmTable Cucina (a favorite with the locals) and craft breweries. It is also home to the new St Pete Pier  and the Salvador Dali Museum, which has  an incredible virtual reality experience that older kids will love.

The city’s streets are often referred to as an outdoor museum thanks to stunning street art. You can book a fascinating walking tour that takes you past the impressive murals, or explore by yourselves.

Sirata Beach Resort

St. Pete Beach
7.7 Good (8077 reviews)

A Rustic Mountain Ranch Retreat in Mt Carmel, Utah

For a fun and affordable Christmas family vacation away from the masses, Zion Mountain Ranch in Mt Carmel, Utah checks all the boxes. This kid-friendly, 8000-acre working ranch offers an authentic western experience and is the perfect base camp for exploring Zion National Park. It is also only an hour from Bryce Canyon National Park and two hours from the Grand Canyon.

The rustic retreat is home to a herd of buffalo and features exquisitely designed lodges for larger families, which come with kitchens and incredible views. A farm-to-table restaurant promises show-stopping dishes. A campfire burns for colder evenings, and it would be hard to find a better place for stargazing than these wide open skies.

There are plenty of opportunities to explore Zion National Park’s magnificent sandstone formations and slot canyons on foot, horseback, or by jeep. For any adrenaline junkies in the family, a canyoneering tour is sure to please. Make a pitstop for ice-cream with kids at The Rock Stop, which looks like it could be straight out of The Flintstones. Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park is also worth a visit to see the dune fields – you can even try sandboarding!

Zion Mountain Ranch

Zion National Park
8.3 Very good (333 reviews)

A Cozy Log Cabin in Branson, Missouri

For an affordable Christmas vacation for your family and the chance to surround yourselves with natural beauty, head to the Cabins at Grand Mountain by Thousand Hills. This secluded riverside retreat in the foothills of Branson, Missouri’s Ozark Mountains features rustic log cabins with full kitchens, propane fireplaces, and spa baths. Some are tailored for larger families.

Historic Downtown Branson is a short drive away. You’ll find plenty of locally-owned shops, including Dicks 5 & 10, a general store packed with everything from old-fashioned candy to home décor. For maximum thrills, hit the Silver Dollar City theme park, which has all sorts of rides, magical holiday entertainment, light displays, and an 8-story Christmas tree.

You can continue the festivities on the Branson Scenic Railway’s Polar Express ride or book a Christmas light limousine tour. Take a trip down memory lane at The World’s Largest Toy Museum Complex, which features over a million toys and six museums. This is a great place for adults and kids alike.

Make sure you leave time to visit Branson Mountain Adventure in the Ozarks, where you can enjoy flying through the trees on their mountain roller coaster.

Cabins At Grand Mountain By Thousand Hills Resort

Top rated
Branson
9.0 Excellent (28 reviews)