Friday, 7 December 2018

Top 5 Destinations For Christmas Gifts

Christmas is a fantastic and magical time of year, and as parents, we can sometimes spend hours and hours going through Christmas gift ideas and trying to sift through the hundreds of requests that we no doubted get from our children, friends and family. But, what do we do when we run out of gift ideas or we want something that can last longer than 24 hours

I have seen more and more people deciding to give fantastic weekends away for their children or loved ones. Last year I took ??? to Turkey for a Christmas gift and it was amazing and this year we are off to Denmark just after Christmas. I love the idea of a gift that lasts and a present that creates memories that will last a lifetime. There is something about visiting different countries and experiencing different cultures and enjoying all the wonderful people and places along the way that you just can’t get from a toy in a box.
I have got my top 5 destinations for Christmas gifts and hopefully, you’ll love these places as much as I do and might give you some ideas of trips you can take your loved ones on this Christmas.

5. Brussels, Belguim

With over 2.5 million visitors every year Winter Wonders draws Christmas loving people from all over the globe. With magical lights from the Great North, cultural and fun activities, original gift ideas and other novelties including children’s rides making for unforgettable family moments.

There are so many amazing activities for the whole family, they have a magnificent sound and light at the Grand-Place, the majestic tree, the life-sized manger, the skating rink, the magical lights, the various exhibitions and the famous Christmas markets, bursting with treasures.

This is the 18th year of this Christmas event and this year they have set up a high-tech dome on the pedestrian zone. In this dome will be 360° audio-visual performances, films, concerts and family activities to mark the marriage between visual and audio arts and new technologies to offer a completely unique experience. Even Santa Claus and the Smurfs will join in the party in one of the most beautiful places to spend a weekend.

4. Tromso, Norway

Tromso is one of the best places to go hunting for the Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis, now this is a Christmas show that the kids will remember forever. If you wanted to get a completely unrestricted view of the lights you can always try booking a cruise its a great way to see the lights in all their glory and it also gives you a chance to see the beautiful fjords that slice through the Norwegian coastline.

Polaria is a gorgeous town 10 minutes from Tromso which has a fantastic museum for children. There is also a walkway that takes visitors through films showcasing life in the Arctic, ending with an aquarium featuring bearded seals and various fish species found in northern waters. The building is an attraction in itself – its striking slanted design represents ice floes that have been pressed up against the land..


You can also take a trip on the towns cable car that takes you 1,382ft (421 metres) up Mount Storsteinen, passengers are dropped off at Alpine-style Fjellstua Cafe where they can admire the views of the city below and warm up by a beautiful log fire. It’s a lovely way to end the day with your family all snuggled up together.

3. Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia

If you are looking for something different, why not try stepping back in time to the 18th Century with a visit to Colonial Williamsburg during the holidays, it offers a wonderful chance to see how Christmas was celebrated two centuries ago.

The living history park's historic buildings are decorated with wreaths, garlands, and candle-lit windows that add a warm glow to evening walks. The season's calendar is filled with hundreds of special events, activities, and dining experiences for everyone to enjoy. They also have horse and cart rides around the town, carolling and a unique experience that you cannot find anywhere else. This really is Christmas with a twist.

One of the attractions that are a must see is Busch Gardens Christmas town. More than eight million Christmas lights twinkle as you wind your way through the European countries of Busch Gardens, Williamsburg. It’s the perfect combination of heartwarming and fun. You can also enjoy thrilling rides, Broadway-style holiday shows as well as interactive shows and dining experiences that feature all your favourite Sesame Street friends and of course the main man himself, Santa Claus.

2. Florida

Now, if you want to get away from the cold then Florida is a great place to consider for your Christmas gift, with highs of 22c and lows of 16c you can enjoy Christmas without getting frostbite, you can also swap that eggnog for some freshly squeezed orange juice when you head to Florida. You can go from vibrant and funky Miami to the incredible.

The theme parks here always make Christmas magical with Disney World leading the pack with their yearly festive parties. Photos of your kids with Goofy and Mickey, firework extravaganzas, and for Harry Potter fans hot Butterbeer as you stroll through Diagon Alley at Universal Orlando.

You can also visit Christmas itself, yes there really is a place called Christmas in Florida and every year thousands of people flock to a small post office 20 miles East of Orlando to get their Christmas cards stamped with ‘Christmas, Florida’ there is also lots of activities for the kids (and grownups) to enjoy


1.Lapland, Finland

Now, everyone knows that Santa lives in Lapland, so why not take the kids to pay him a little visit? A huge variety of tour companies offer trips to the frozen north, with a visit to the one and only Santa included, obviously. There are so many activities and days out including dog-sledging, tobogganing, snowmobiles and ice sculpting. There are also tour operators outside the main Santa village in Rovaniemi that are worth seeking out as they are far less expensive.

Bear in mind that temperatures can sink as low as minus 25°C now that is cold so proper thermal clothing is essential. But it is certainly worth it for a once in a lifetime chance to meet the man in red? It’s not all about Santa though there are plenty of great things to do.

You can visit Santa Claus’ village Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi is a good place to start, an amusement park where you can meet Santa, snap up some stocking fillers and cross the Arctic Circle and why not sit by the fire and write your letter for the ‘Postal Elves’ who will deliver your requests directly to Father Christmas. Why not feed Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, and Blitzen. You can meet them all in the town of Enonteki√∂. Ride a sleigh pulled along by real-life reindeer, or save them the effort and jump on a snowmobile safari. There are so many amazing things to do here and it had to be my number one place to go at Christmas

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Whenever you travel anywhere especially with children you need to make sure you're organised and you have remembered everything you need, you don’t need a Home Alone moment this Christmas. I have put together some tips I’ve found useful over the years.

TOP TIPS

Book early – Anything to do with Christmas gets booked up quickly, but you still have time to book some Cheapflights and grab a Christmas bargain

Pack appropriately – Whether it’s Florida or Finland you need to pack the right clothes especially with children being too cold or too hot can be a disaster. Packing hacks are the way forward.

Check your passport – There is nothing worse than booking a holiday only to realise your passport has expired or the kids have used a sharpie all over theirs. If you are travelling in 4 weeks or less you can always  Renew your passport using the urgent services.

Do your research – Whenever I go somewhere new, I love to research the place, what to do where to go, what’s available at what times. I often find that the official websites there is always great suggestions and information but also try reading blogs for some great inside info.

Keep your documents safe – I have already mentioned your passport but you often need a lot of documents when your travelling including your boarding passes, passports, including copies (just in case), your hotel information and much more. I always keep my things in one place and kept with one person in a  Document Holder just for that added piece of mind.



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