Cold weather gets a bad rap, but anyone who lives someplace where you get a winter full of snow knows that the folks down south are really missing out. Let’s face it— you can’t ski down a sandy beach, you never have a real reason to snuggle up next to a crackling fire if it isn’t cold out, and sipping hot cocoa in warm, humid weather is just plain silly.
This year, set off on a fun-filled adventure in a winter wonderland. Whether you want to hit the slopes or relax in a steamy hot tub surrounded by soft white snow— here are 12 unique winter vacation ideas.
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
If you are interested in an almost surreal winter vacation, Yellowstone National Park is for you! Fields of snow are broken by towering geysers, steaming streams, and boiling hot springs.Old Faithful erupts year-round, and snowmobile explorations of the picturesque landscape are easy to arrange. Bring your family and stay at one of the many accommodating hotels in the area, or take a walk on the wild side and camp. Book a sleigh ride through an elk herd in Jackson Hole, take yourFUNBOY Inflatable Snowmobile Sled down one of Yellowstone’s world-class ski and snowboard slopes, or take a dip in a hot spring. Yellowstone National Park is definitely a unique winter vacation to consider!
Lake Tahoe, Nevada/California
Ahh, Lake Tahoe! Arguably the best spot for skiing, Lake Tahoe is absolutely breathtaking. The laid back Tahoe vibe makes this destination feel especially welcoming. Located in the stunning Sierra Nevada mountain range, Lake Tahoe is a unique vacation idea that the whole family will enjoy. Grab your ice skates and skate the day away at one of the many beautiful ice-skating locations that Lake Tahoe has to offer. Not a fan of skating? Grab your snowshoes and marvel at the spectacular views, and break a sweat in the crisp mountain air. Open meadows and tree-lined trails are easily accessible, making this destination one to remember.
If dog sledding is on your bucket list, look no further than Anchorage, Alaska! Deep powder and crystal-clear ice, flawless, crisp days, and shimmering nights all combine to make Anchorage the place to play all winter long. This remarkable city offers a whole host of unique winter activities. Lace-up your snow boots and take the family on a glacier hiking tour, or check out the Running of the Reindeer at theFur Rendezvous Festival. Spend a sparkling night under the dancing northern lights, and enjoy the breathtaking Anchorage sunrise in the morning.
Want a truly unique winter wonderland experience? Go to Greenland. This icy island is one of the most mysterious and naturally beautiful places on the planet. When most people think about Greenland, they think of long, harsh winters that keep residents locked inside all season long, but this couldn’t be further from the truth! Greenland has a ton of unique and funactivities such as dog sledding, glacier hiking, snowshoeing, helicopter tours, and snowmobiling. If you are looking for a fun-filled arctic adventure, Greenland is for you.
So, you’re looking for unique vacation ideas, eh? Look no further and travel to Ottawa, Canada! For winter fun Canada-style, it’s all aboutWinterlude, the annual festival in Ottawa that takes place over two-and-a-half weeks each year from late January to mid-February. This enormous celebration attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the world, yearning to see massive snow sculptures, participating in a winter triathlon (skate, ski, run), and ice skating on the world-famous Rideau Canal Skateway. You can also take your family and warm-up inside theCanadian Museum of Nature, where the little ones can explore five fun floors of hands-on activities and galleries dedicated to marine life, fossils, birds, and mammals.
For a truly magical family vacation in a winter wonderland, head north to Jeffersonville, Vermont. Home toSmuggler’s Notch, this super kid-friendly ski resort goes above and beyond to ensure the kiddos are all smiles when out on the slopes. Children as young as two-and-a-half can learn to ski and pick up skills in no time. Beyond skiing, you can bring yourFUNBOY Snowmobile Sled and race your pals down the slopes as well as take part in indoor activities like karaoke and bingo. You can also check outVermont’s craft beer scene and taste unique beers on a popular tasting tour across many breweries in the area.
Sure, Minnesota might be famous for its sub-zero winter temperatures, but the residents of Minneapolis sure know how to embrace it! This vibrant city is home to a winter carnival calledThe Great Northern, and it is definitely something you don’t want to miss. From ice carving competitions to drag queen bingo and barstool ski races, this exciting festival is a unique experience that you're sure to remember. Grab yourFUNBOY Retro Lawn Chair and let your mind escape into the music as you listen to live performances from local musicians. Sip on tasty hot cocoa while you watch the fire dancers or root for your favorite team at theU.S. Pond Hockey Championships.
If you thoughtPrague was stunning in the summertime, just wait until you see it during the winter months! The city’s gothic architecture provides the perfect backdrop for savoring roasted ham and irresistible pastries, warming up with delicious mulled wine, and indulging in some serious holiday shopping. Prague’s main holiday markets take place in theOld Town and Wenceslas squares, which are conveniently just five minutes apart on foot. Aside from the drool-worthy food and beverages, the markets are filled with unique traditional Czech goods and ornaments and marked by a frenzy of holiday lights and carols.
New York City, New York
If you haven’t been to the Big Apple in the winter, you are truly missing out on a unique experience. Fun for the whole family, New York City is absolutely breathtaking— especially when the skyscrapers are dusted in soft white powder. Take the little ones toThe Rooftop at Pier 17 Winterland and skate the night away on the city’s only outdoor rooftop ice skating rink. Go to the city’s stunning tree lighting ceremonies to watch the famous Rockefeller tree light up the night sky or bring out your inner child at Gingerbread Lane, the world’s largest Gingerbread Village. Yes, you heard us right— Gingerbread Village.
Nestled in the heart of the White River National Forest and surrounded by the stunning peaks of the Elk Mountains, Aspen is another unique winter destination to consider. Go on an extraordinary excursion and try your hand at ice climbing, or strap on your skis and fly down the same runs that have hosted theWorld Cup Finals. Want to relax? Get youromon and breathe in the crisp mountain air with an outdoor yoga class, or head to the Roaring Fork River for fly-fishing and listen to the water ripple over the rocks for a truly peaceful experience.
For a unique winter experience that your family will surely never forget, head to Harbin, China, forThe Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival. Why? Because it’s the largest ice and snow festivalin the world.Though it started off primarily with Chinese participants, it has since become an international celebration and includes the world’s largest ice sculptures. The festival has fun activities and things to see for people of all ages, such as Ice and Snow World, the international snow sculpture art expo, dog sledding, the ice lantern art fair, ice hotels, and safari-style Siberian Tiger watching. You can go ice skating, snowmobiling, skiing, or enjoy a beautiful and relaxing sleigh ride. The scenery in Harbin is awe-inspiring, with the mountains and countryside that you may not expect to find in such a densely populated area.
Big Bear Lake, California
Last on the list of unique winter vacations but definitely not least, Big Bear Lake in California is a must. For families who want to split their time between skiing the slopes and surfing the waves of the cool Pacific waters, make your way to Southern California, where it’s possible to do both in one day. Grab yourFUNBOY iridescent beach tote and favorite surfboard to catch a few gnarly waves in Huntington Beach, better known as Surf City, U.S.A. Then, make the two-hour drive to Big Bear Lake for snowboarding, skiing, and tubing atBig Bear Mountain Resort. Home to two mountains, Bear Mountain and Snow Summit, there’s plenty of outdoor fun to be had across 55 impressive ski runs. Off the slopes, keep your eyes peeled for winter wildlife on ahigh-speed zipline tour through the forest of snow-covered ponderosa pines.
Make this winter season one to remember and explore one of our top 12 unique vacation ideas. Trust us— you’ll be glad that you did!