Towns and cities worldwide has already been transformed in winter wonderlands ready. The holiday charm is turned as lights go up and festive decorations adorn shop fronts. If your students’ feet are itching to travel somewhere with the perfect amount of Christmas cheer, discuss in the lesson the most Christmassy places. Here are 9 of the most magical destinations in the world.
North Pole, Alaska
The North Pole is the most exciting Christmas town in the United States. Here in this community of 2,200 residents, it’s always Christmas with holiday decorations up 365 days of the year. You can drive down streets like Kris Kringle Drive, Mistletoe Lane or Santa Claus Lane and even stay the night at Santaland RV Park. It’s all about Santa here. In December, the residents hold an annual North Pole Christmas In Ice Contest attracting ice sculptors from across the globe. National newscasts are frequently broadcast live from the Santa Clause house as well. You can mail your postcards from Santa’s official zip code so that friends and family receive mail postmarked from North Pole, Alaska.
Santa Claus, Indiana
Santa Claus in Indiana is another real place that has Christmas spirit every day of the year. You can stay at Santa’s Lodge, go to Frosty’s Fun Center and take a 1.2-mile drive through one of the best light displays in the country.
Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland
Being located just north of the Arctic Circle, Rovaniemi may be the best place on earth to celebrate Christmas. It’s a real frozen winter wonderland of deep snow and pine forests. Here, children can make cookies with Mrs. Claus and even enroll in Elf School. Other activities are husky-dog riding, tobogganing, viewing the Northern Lights, taking a sled-led reindeer safari at the Sirmakko reindeer farm and staying at the Arctic Snow Hotel, constructed entirely of snow and ice for those who want an especially frosty experience.
Napapiiri, Lapland, Finland
It is believed to be the Christmas capital of Europe with the Christmas Village and Santa Park. These are two unique and mainstream places where sightseers get the opportunity to experience genuine reindeers and visit Santa’s workshops.
The Valkenburg Christmas market is the oldest and largest subterranean Christmas market in Europe, set up in a labyrinth of passages of caves that are underneath the town. The cavern houses sculptures and an 18th-century chapel, as well as preserved mural drawings dating back to Roman times. The market opens in mid-November and runs until just before Christmas with the entire town transformed into a glistening winter wonderland.
This renowned ski town is transformed into a beautiful Victorian-style Christmas town during the holidays. It kicks off with the Lightening of Breckenridge on the first weekend in December and throughout the holidays visitors can enjoy carriage rides, lots of shopping opportunities, and the chance to feel as you’ve you stepped into an old-fashioned holiday painting.
Bethlehem, West Bank
This is a perfect place for people wanting to reconnect with the religious meaning of the Christmas season. The city is filled with lights and decorations, and pilgrims gather in Manger Square to sing and celebrate on Christmas Eve. Processions, parades and more are hosted by different denominations in multiple languages. The Church of the Nativity, built on the site where Jesus is believed to have been born, hosts a midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. Visitors can also attend services at Shepherd’s Fields, where the Star of the Nativity is said to have been seen.
Every December, the historic city center of Deventer is transformed into the 19th-century world of Charles Dickens for a weekend known as Dickens Festival. More than 950 costumed performers dress as carolers, shopkeepers, dapper gentlemen, thieves, orphans and more, including the famous characters from Dickens’ works such as “A Christmas Carol,” “Oliver Twist” and “Great Expectations.”
Leavenworth, the USA
Leavenworth is modeled after a Bavarian village to give a taste of the Old World with its German holiday celebrations. The city hosts two big holiday festivals each year: a Christkindlmarkt with crafts, entertainment and food, and the Christmas Lighting Festival, during which the village is bedecked with 500,000 Christmas lights. Leavenworth also offers concerts, tubing, sleigh and dog sled rides and more ways to enjoy this winter wonderland.
What places would you recommend to visit at Christmas?