Dogs pulling a sled in a snowy landscape.
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Enchanting winter wonderland destinations for your next family adventure

As chilly air descends and snowflakes start to dance, winter brings in a season of enchantment, cozy moments and creating memories that will warm your kids’ hearts for years to come. So grab your warmest weather get-up and dive into our list of the seven best winter wonderland destinations for your next family adventure. 

Lapland, Finland 

Known as Santa’s official Arctic home, Lapland is a fascinating place where the spirit of Christmas is felt year-round.

Once there, you’ll immediately be greeted by a world of pristine white snow and a forest of frosted pine trees. Take in the magic of Lapland at Santa Claus Village, where your children’s fantasies come true as they meet the big guy in person. Make your trip even more memorable by crossing the Arctic Circle. Wondering what exactly the Arctic Circle is? It’s a circle of latitude that runs 66°33′45.9″ north of the Equator and marks the southernmost latitude where the sun can stay continuously below or above the horizon for 24 hours, which is known as the Midnight Sun in the summer and the Polar Night (also known as Kaamos) in the winter.

As night falls, prepare to be dazzled by one of nature’s most breathtaking spectacles – the Northern Lights. With clear, dark skies, Lapland offers one of the best opportunities to witness the famous show in the sky. Stand beneath the lights while hues of green, purple and blue shine above you.  

A building in Lapland, Finland with a snowy landscape around it.

Harbin, China

What better place to visit than the famous Ice City? Take a walk through Zhongyang Street while sipping on hot beverages like white tea and indulging in delicious local snacks like sugar-coated haws

During the winter season, Harbin turns into a dazzling icy dream at its world-renowned Ice and Snow Festival which showcases a sprawling display of ice sculptures with hundreds of vibrant lights. The Sun Island Scenic Area is an impressive snow sculpture exhibition that depicts intricate scenes, characters and landmarks. It’s like you’re living in a dream as you wander through this captivating landscape made entirely of snow.

Love marine life? From playful penguins to adorable polar bears, Harbin Polarland is an incredible marine theme park where your family can get acquainted with the wonders of the Arctic. Featuring family-friendly shows including acrobatics, dolphin performances and sea lions, it’s the place to be where children can learn about marine life while gaining a meaningful experience.

Ice sculptures in Harbin, China.

Alaska

Journey through breathtaking landscapes, icy fjords, towering glaciers and close up encounters with wildlife, all while enjoying luxurious amenities and entertainment onboard an Alaskan cruise

On your stops, enjoy the thrill of dog sledding through the snowy wilderness, take a whale-watching tour to spot humpback whales and orcas or sit back and take in the beauty of a scenic train ride through the heart of the Alaskan wilderness. 

Whale coming out of the water in Alaska.

Hallstatt, Austria 

A picturesque village nestled in the heart of the Austrian Alps, Hallstatt is an alluring town where fairytale charm meets breathtaking natural beauty. Take a stroll along the Hallstatt Skywalk where you’ll feel like you’re on top of the world. Here you can venture high above with the shimmering Lake Hallstatt stretching out before you; not to mention, the majestic Austrian Alps as your backdrop.

Make sure to bundle up and wear your warmest clothes as your next stop should be the Dachstein ice cave where your family can explore the heart of the Dachstein mountain and witness a world of ice and crystal formations. 

Hallstatt, Austria lit up at night with large snowy mountains in the background.

Zermatt, Switzerland 

If you’re looking to hit the slopes this winter, Zermatt is the place to be with its breathtaking mountain views, world-class skiing and snowboarding opportunities and a wide range of activities for the whole fam. 

Suit up and head over to Glacier Paradise Snow Park to soar up to 3,883 meters, surrounded by jaw-dropping views of the Swiss Alps. This park has slopes for everyone, from the little ones taking their first steps on skis to the seasoned pros looking for a black diamond challenge. 

When all the snow adventures are done for the day, prepare to have your taste buds tantalized at the Swiss Chocolate Chalet. Right when you step inside, you’ll be surrounded by shelves filled to the brim with an incredible array of Swiss chocolates, beautifully wrapped and ready to be savored. 

Overhead view of Zermatt, Switzerland covered in snow.

Quebec City, Canada

From its cobblestone streets and historic architecture to its lively festivals and exhilarating outdoor activities, Quebec City is a must this winter. Start your vacation off right by attending the Quebec Winter Carnival – which transforms the city into a playground filled with joy, excitement, and activities. With its snow sculptures, ice slides, ice canoe races and night parades, there is no shortage of entertainment and adventure. 

Looking for a natural take on Quebec? Standing taller than Niagara Falls, Montmorency Falls is a breathtaking sight. During the winter months, its cascading waters freeze and create a stunning icy landscape. For a true bucket list-worthy activity, partake in the Via Ferrate and zipline experience, an adventure that will have you flying through the air while taking in the views of the frozen falls and the surrounding winter scenery. 

Pedestrian bridge over Montmorency Falls in Quebec city, Canada.

Budapest, Hungary 

Get into the holiday spirit and journey to Budapest this winter – a European gem offering everything your family needs for a memorable vacation. Voted the best Christmas market in 2022 (also in 2020 and 2021), Advent Feast is an excellent blend of history, culture, and winter wonderland charm. Shop for handmade crafts and indulge in mouthwatering treats while immersing yourself in the joyous holiday spirit. After perusing the market stalls, lace up your skates and glide across the ice at City Park Ice Rink, Europe’s largest open-air ice rink. 

Need to relax? Budapest is famous for its thermal baths. Take a dip in the warm, soothing waters at Széchenyi or Gellért for that much-needed family spa day. 

People ice skating at night at the City Park Ice Rink in Budapest, Hungary.

Snowy escapes

Get ready to embrace the crisp air, the frosty landscapes, and the joy of spending quality time with your loved ones in the most idyllic winter wonderlands. Enjoy your holiday vacation to the fullest with Faye Travel Insurance.

Disclaimer

These websites and activities are suggestions and Faye is in no way associated with them. This post is meant to give you ideas and inspiration on where to go for an enchanting winter vacation.

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