When most people think of going on vacation usually pictures of beaches, water parks and other warm weather activities come to mind. But there are other times of the year that make for excellent vacations and one of those times is during Christmas. And though traditionally a time spent at home with friends and family having dinners and opening gifts planning a time away from home during Christmas can have many benefits. Some good examples include getting away from all the typical headaches and hassles of the holiday season, not having to use so much of your vacation time to take off work because you are already off and probably even getting paid. And the best benefit of all is there are tons of great places to go on cheap Christmas holidays and vacations that the whole family will love without maxing out your credit cards. There are literally hundreds of festivals, parades and huge Christmas light shows all over the country. And many of the places where these events take place also have art and craft shows as well as malls and other unique mom and pop stores for shopping. Which reminds me of another benefit of vacationing during Christmas and that is all the sales you can take advantage of right before and right after the 25th. Finding a place to spend your next holiday vacation is as easy as doing a little searching on the web. But for those that would like some examples below you will a list of some random events that may be of interest.

Places to go for Cheap Xmas Holidays

One of the first places you might consider visiting is Lake Lanier, Georgia for the annual Magical Night of Lights. Advertized as the world’s largest light extravaganza the Magical Night of Lights is a seven mile drive through tour of Christmas lights and displays. Then once you reach the end of the tour there is the festive Holiday Village which consists of carnival rides and games, pony rides for the kids and all the carnival food you can eat. Plus there is a Santa’s Workshop where you can shop and visit with Santa. You can also visit the Legacy Lodge and Conference Center where you can enjoy their dinner buffet. And if you choose you can stay the night and have breakfast with Santa. Besides all of this there are many other activities at Lake Lanier Island Resorts to occupy your time like horse back riding, camping, golf, fishing, zip lines and a sky bridge. Lake Lanier Islands Resort is located in Buford, GA on the shores of Lake Sidney Lanier which forty five minutes northeast of Atlanta. For more information you can visit their website at Lakelanierislands.com.

The Winter Festival of Lights at the Oglebay Resort and Conference Center in Wheeling, West Virginia is another great place to spend some quality time with the family during Christmas. It is one of the largest light shows in the nation covering over three hundred acres that can be seen from your car on the six mile drive. It was named one of the ten best Christmas light displays in the US by AOL Travel and is continually recognized by many as one of the top Christmas events in the country. There are more than 75 lighted displays with something new added every year. A few of the displays include a Ferris wheel, two dinosaurs, a snowflake tunnel, a poinsettia wreath with candles that stands over sixty feet high, The Twelve Days of Christmas and a Cinderella display that took two years to build. There is even a “Garden of Lights” tour which includes one hundred and fifty hanging baskets plus thousands of other trees and plants that are all lit. The garden tour will take you through all the main attractions of the resort like the Carriage House Glass shop, the Christmas Tree Garden and the life size Nativity. The Oglebay Resort also has many other activities including the Good Zoo with over thirty acres of animals, a gem sluice where you can prospect for your very own rough gems, fossils and sharks teeth, a golf course, pools, tennis courts, stables and even segway tours. For event hours, reservations and other information visit their site at oglebay-resorts.com.

As I mentioned before there are hundreds of these types of festivals all over the country and for those a little more to the west there is the Chickasha, Oklahoma Festival of Light. This event has been taking place for almost twenty years and in that time it has been recognized as one of the top Christmas events in the country. There are over three and a half million lights, one hundred plus displays, four miles of lighted walkways, carriage rides, gift shops, concession stands and a state of the art computer animated light show. You can visit their website at Chickashafestivaloflight.com for recommendations on where to stay, where to eat, hours of operation and all other details pertaining to the festival.

Other destinations you might want to investigate further include the Holidazzle Parade in Minneapolis, Minn., Legendary Christmas Lights of Clifton Mills in Clifton, Ohio and the National Christmas Tree Lighting in Washington D.C.

These types of places might not be what you had in mind when you started reading this article but if you are looking for ideas for cheap Christmas holidays and vacations these are some of the best places to go. Going south to warmer climates is typically more expensive during the winter months not to mention busier so if you are trying not to spend a lot of money going to the beach probably isn’t your best option. Besides who doesn’t enjoy the beauty of Christmas lights and live festive music. And you never know you if you might make going on vacation during Christmas a family tradition that could last for years. Then you could be the one telling people about all the great places they can visit during the Christmas season.