Christmas-themed locales in the US

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These four towns take their Christmas spirit to the next level.

Christmastime is here, and while homes and cities around the country are decorated for this festive holiday, some towns take their Christmas spirit to the next level. From tree lighting ceremonies to live music to petting reindeer, get into the holiday spirit with these five Christmas-themed locales in the United States.

Santa Claus, Indiana

Santa Clause Christmas Store in Santa Claus, Indiana (Image: Dougtone used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license)
Santa Claus Christmas Store in Santa Claus, Ind. (Image: Doug Kerr, Santa Claus, Indiana via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0)

America’s Christmas hometown is aptly named, and Santa Claus, Indiana gets into the Christmas spirit all year long with Christmas-themed shops, attractions and street names through the town. During the holiday season, the Santa Claus Christmas Celebration features three weekends of festivities like tree lighting ceremonies and arts and crafts shows. Kids are also welcome to write letters to Santa at the Santa Claus Post Office at the Santa Claus Museum & Village. Come December, a team of volunteer elves will answer every letter written to Santa.

Solvang, California

Store sign in Solvang, California (Image: Doug Wertman)
Store sign in Solvang, California (Image: Doug Wertman, Jule Hus via Flickr CC BY 2.0)

Solvang, California is known as the Danish capital of America and it does not disappoint come Christmas time. Along with colorful decorations and light shows, people travel from all over to participate in Julefest. Julefest brings a tradtional Danish Christmas celebration to the town’s streets and you can expect to see a tree lighting ceremony, live music, a parade, a tree burning ceremony, wine tastings and so much more to really get you into the Christmas spirit.

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Branson, Missouri

Santa statue (Image: Dougtone used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license)
Santa statue (Image: (Image: Doug Kerr, Santa Claus, Indiana via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0)

When it comes to Christmas lights, even the most ambitious of outdoor decorators can’t hold a candle to the festivities in Branson, Missouri. The Ozark Mountain town erupts in a flurry of lights during the annual Branson Area Festival of Lights, one of the country’s most impressive light festivals at 175 displays over a one-mile drive. Do not miss the Annual Adoration Parade, when Christmas floats and dozens of bands pour into the streets of Branson to celebrate the meaning of Christmas.

Durango, Colorado

Reindeer (Image: jepoirrier used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license)
Reindeer (Image: Jean-Etienne Minh-Duy Poirrier, Patiently waiting for Santa Claus via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0)

Head to this Colorado town during the holiday season to take a ride abroad the Polar Express, a Christmas-themed steam train by Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. From Thanksgiving through early January, you and the kids can experience the magic of “The Polar Express”- a classic children’s book – with a special ride to the North Pole. One your way there enjoy warm hot chocolate, listen to the story that started the train ride, sing Christmas carols and even meet Santa Claus as he makes his way through train handing out presents.

Christmas, Florida

Whether it’s Dec. 25 or the Fourth of July, visitors to the whimsically named town of Christmas, Florida will find holiday decorations like Christmas trees, wreaths and Santa’s reindeer. One of the must-dos during the holiday season? Send your holiday cards from the local post office – they’ll be stamped with Christmas, Florida.

Featured image: Tengrrl, Santa Claus, Indiana via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

Christmas-themed locales in the US was last modified: June 26th, 2019 by Marissa Willman
Author: Marissa Willman (786 posts)

Marissa Willman earned a bachelor's degree in journalism before downsizing her life into two suitcases for a teaching gig in South Korea. Seoul was her home base for two years of wanderlusting throughout six countries in Asia. In 2011, Marissa swapped teaching for travel writing and now calls Southern California home.