Getting into the Christmas spirit may have several different meanings for every individual. For some, nothing feels more like the holidays than sitting by a fire and watching Christmas movies. For others, a massive display of Christmas lights and decorated trees screams merriment. Whether you live in a bustling city or a quaint small town, you likely know of some local must-sees to visit each holiday season. 

If you are able to travel for the season, there are some noteworthy cities in the U.S. that offer spectacular showcases sure to inspire Christmas cheer. 


New York City, New York

There is a reason that the city that never sleeps serves as a backdrop for countless movies and Christmas films. The Rockefeller Center boasts a near-100 foot Christmas tree overlooking an ice rink, and the Rockettes at Radio City are a must-see show. Taking a stroll down Fifth Avenue, you will be blown away by the elaborate window dressings in all of the department stores and boutiques. 


Washington, D.C.

The National Christmas Tree is a giant pine decorated with lights on every inch. Surrounding the tree are 56 smaller decorated trees to represent all of the United States, territories, and the District of Columbia. Check out the Georgetown GLOW DC for a curated display of outdoor lights and exhibits every night in December. 


Chicago, Illinois

You will undoubtedly feel right in the season with the weather in Chicago this time of year, and may even catch some snow while you are there. The most famous attraction to the city, Millennium Park, hosts its annual Christmas Tree Lighting, as well as opens a seasonal ice skating rink. The city is also home to the largest German Market in the United States, Christkindlmarket. 


Jackson Hole, Wyoming

A lesser-known relic, Jackson Hole, Wyoming is an optimal Christmas destination for those who love the outdoors. Walking through the small town is like stepping foot into a Christmas village, with holiday lights and decorations abundant. The local resorts offer a number of activities, like skiing with Santa, horse-drawn carriage rides, and countless other winter activities. 


Kennet Square, Pennsylvania

Located just under an hour’s drive from historic Philadelphia, Kennet Square is home to Longwood Gardens. This 1,077-acre plot of land is open year-round and decorated for each season. During the holidays, the Longwood Christmas display features both indoor and outdoor exhibits of color, lights, trees, exotic plants, and more. To walk the entire loop and interact with all of the displays is about 3.6 total miles.