Sometimes, amusement parks are even more fun during the winter holidays! Many major theme parks offer holiday settings with twinkling lights, hot cocoa, crafts, live entertainment and visits with Santa. Plus, many of the rides — roller coasters included — remain open! Get in the holiday spirit at one of these dazzling Christmas theme parks.
Smoky Mountain Christmas Festival - Dollywood
Recommended Hotel: Dollywood's DreamMore Resort and Spa
A Very Furry Christmas - Sesame Place
Recommended Hotel: SpringHill Suites Philadelphia Langhorne
An Old Time Christmas - Silver Dollar City
An Old Time Christmas at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri, is like no other holiday celebration. From a parade to rides to shops, there is a little something to get everyone in the holiday spirit.
Kids will be amazed by Christmas in Midtown, a huge area filled with light displays more than nine-stories high, a 50-foot Christmas trees, two moving trains and much more. Families can meet Santa on Santa Claus Lane, or watch the interactive show "Tinker Junior's Toy Shop." Other Christmas events include Rudolph leading the Christmas Light Parade and Christmas on Main Street (Silver Dollar City's largest light show).
Recommended Hotel: Fairfield Inn & Suites Branson
Holiday in the Park - Six Flags Locations
Families will find some Six Flags parks completely transformed during Holiday in the Park. Trees are trimmed with lights, the air smells of pine needles and sweet and savory baked goods, and fun is on every corner. Kids can meet their friends from Looney Tunes or dive into a funnel cake, while parents hop on the Texas SkyScreamer or treat themselves to an enormous Bavarian creme puff. Other festive foods include hot chocolate, cider, and fried S'mores.
Holiday in the Park is offered at the following parks: Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey; Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California; Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Valejo, California; Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington; Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio; and Six Flags Over Georgia in Austell.
Holiday Lights - Lake Compounce
Recommended Hotel: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Bristol
Cliff's Magical Christmas - Cliff's Amusement Park
Recommended Hotel: Hampton Inn Albuquerque-University/Midtown
Knott's Merry Farm - Knott's Berry Farm
Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, California, transforms into -- wait for it -- Knott's Merry Farm! Live entertainment includes the Snoopy Ice Show, Christmas On Engine 41 and A Christmas Carol. Families can visit with Santa, as well, in his cabin located within the Wilderness Dance Hall in Ghost Town. Tasty treats such as cookies, eggnog, winter wine, craft beer and hot chocolate are also served.
Recommended Hotel: Knott's Berry Farm Hotel
Christmas Candylane - Hersheypark
Recommended Hotel: Hotel Hershey
Winter Wonderland - Dutch Wonderland
Recommended Hotel: BEST WESTERN Premier Eden Resort & Suites
Macy's Holiday Parade - Universal Studios Florida
Next, head on over to Islands of Adventure for Grinchmas! Families can meet The Grinch himself, as well as other Whos from Who-ville. Come hungry and enjoy breakfast with The Grinch and friends, too.
Recommended Hotel: Loews Portofino Bay Hotel
Christmas Town - Busch Gardens Williamsburg
With one of the largest Christmas light displays in North America, Christmas Town at Busch Gardens, Williamsburg, VA shines bright for the holiday season. There are more than 10 million lights twinkling and there's even a lite Christmas train ride that will chug through holiday vignettes while families sing along to holiday favorites. Kids can visit Santa at his workshop, meet Rudolph, ride the roller coasters, or sing and dance at one of the many holiday shows
Recommended Hotel: Kingsmill Resort & Spa