Fun holiday events at favorite hotels this season

Will you be celebrating the holidays on vacation this year? If so, we have a round-up of holiday events at hotels, with deals and and happenings at some of our favorite resorts and family vacation hot spots. Read on to learn where to book your holiday getaway, whether you’re headed to sand or snow:


Tropical and beach holiday events:


Head to South Seas Island Resort on Captiva Island, Florida for a tropical holiday paradise. The Captiva Holiday Village runs from Nov. 27 – Dec. 21, 2015 on this popular southwest Florida barrier island. Families traveling to Captiva Island during Captiva Holiday Village weekends enjoy a Mullet Band parade, lighted boat parade, South Seas holiday strolls, a Junkanoo Parade, a carol sing at the Chapel by the Sea, sunset arias, a holiday golf cart parade and much more. Check website for schedule.

In Boca Raton, Florida, the Boca Raton Resort & Club, A Waldorf Astoria Resort will host its third annual New Year’s Eve celebration, Rock the Block, an over-the-top, quarter mile long block party offering live music, indulgent cuisine and festive activities for all ages.

While this event is designed to be family friendly, adults will not miss out on a full-fledged party: everyone will enjoy an extravagant buffet dinner complete with an abundant raw bar, sushi bar, premium carving stations and indulgent kids options. Free-flowing Champagne will complement a deluxe open-bar. The night will begin with the Spazmatics, and the resort’s Grand Lawn, located on one end of the Block Party, will be transformed into a carnival complete with a 300 ft long zip line, a Wipeout-style obstacle course, spider tower, balloon artists and carnival games. Don’t miss the private fireworks at midnight! Learn more.


 In Dana Point, California, Monarch Beach Resort is offering the “Winter Sandy-land” package that includes a “snowman” sand building kit, nightly milk and cookie turndown, and more at this coastal hotel. Need more incentive? The St. Regis has year-round swimming via private beach and an outdoor fire pit surrounded by couches for families to cozy up in the evenings. Rates start at an incredible $245/night for a stay at this iconic property. It’s good through December 30, 2015.

At Ponte Vedra Beach Resorts in North Florida, families can book Breakfast with Santa, complete with a buffet, children’s craft table, candy bar, and photo opps. Families also enjoy gingerbread house decorating parties and Santa’s Workshop, where kids can create an arts & crafts holiday gift. The activity list doesn’t end there: sign up for hayrides with Santa, Christmas caroling, holiday movie nights, baking class,  or story time with Mrs. Claus. Those staying for New Year can ‘enjoy’ the resorts’ 15th annual New Year’s Day Polar Bear Plunge, or the ‘Noon’ Year’s Eve for the younger set.

Mountain holiday events:


Santa is coming to town…or rather, to Keystone Resort, Colorado, beginning Saturday, Nov. 28 through Christmas Eve. From photo opportunities and story time to parades and ice skating, the holiday spirit is alive and well at Keystone. Events include the Keystone Chocolate Village, celebrating its 20th year, featuring a working chocolate gondola, cascading chocolate waterfall, four-foot tall chocolate Christmas tree, and many other winter scenes.

Additional family activities at the resort include Kidtopia events like a Giant Snowball Launch and Bigfoot Adventure Walk. All season long through Kidtopia, kids can play on a huge snow fort and participate in free activities that are scheduled by the day and week. Here’s the whole 2015-2016 Kidtopia winter schedule. And remember, kids ski free at Keystone, even during the holidays.

At the Ritz Carlton Lake Tahoe, located at Northstar Resort, special appearances by Santa and Mrs. Claus are scheduled in The Living Room, the hotel’s spacious front lobby, followed by story time with Mrs. Claus in the evenings. Kids are also invited to participate in Ritz Kids crafts with Mrs. Claus. For the adults, the Art of Mixology, on December 6, offers an entertaining, educational experience featuring freshly cut herbs, use of classic ingredients such as bitters, and infused liquors to create three unique cocktails paired with appetizers.

Santa’s Gingerbread Workshop is designed for parents to enjoy with the kids, alongside a Ritz-Carlton pastry chef…oh, and holiday beverages are included. If you’d rather not make edible crafts, try the Atelier Holiday Workshops, offered by a local Truckee business, where families can learn to make hand-crafted wrapping paper. If you’re planning a stay over the actual Christmas holiday, book at table at Manzanita, either for the lunch buffet from December 21-January 3, or for the holiday dinner December 24th and 25th.

At Mt. Hood Meadows, visit Santa on December 20th…on skis! Families can also join Santa for a holiday breakfast buffet at the Mt. Hood Meadow’s Vertical North Pole restaurant, located at the top level of the North Lodge. Santa will be on the slopes from 10-10:30 am. Nearby in Hood River, the Columbia Gorge Hotel  hosts a Lights & Santa Visit. This historic national landmark looks even more beautiful during the holiday season, when the hotel and riverside grounds are festooned with lights. Enjoy a Holiday High Tea on December 192-4 PM, and An Evening with St. Nick on December 206-6:30 PM.


At Sunriver Resort in Central Oregon, families can take advantage of a long list of holiday events and happenings for kids, including sleigh rides, elf tuck-ins, visits with Santa, and tons of excitement at Fort Funnigan, the resort’s gathering place for children. Funnigan’s Very Crafty Christmas takes place on December 19, 2015, during which kids become elves in Santa’s workshop, making gifts for Mom and Dad.

The day after Christmas, kids can return to Fort Funnigan for the Holiday Pajama Rama from 6-9 pm. This pajama party includes pillow fights, sessions at the fort’s Bear Factory, and yummy dessert. Holiday let-down will be a thing of the past!



At The Omni Grove Park Inn outside Asheville, North Carolina, gingerbread reigns! This hotel will continue the tradition of their annual gingerbread house contest, first begun in 1992. Hundreds of intricate holiday designs will be on display, along with 80-themed Christmas trees and thousands of twinkling lights. Families can book the Gingerbread Holiday package from Nov. 15 to Dec. 29, 2015, which includes deluxe accommodations, their Art of Breakfast Buffet in the Blue Ridge restaurant, one gingerbread cookie per registered guest, and overnight valet or garage parking .