northeast holiday

Fun Places to Visit in the Northeast for the Holidays

If you’re in search of fun places to visit in the Northeast for the holidays, you never have to look too far.

New York City

Let’s start at the very beginning, the epicenter of holiday cheer: Rockefeller Center. Rockefeller Center is full of amazing holiday sights and traditions, from the famous giant Christmas tree to one of the most iconic ice skating rinks. See the angel sculptures at the Channel Gardens and the fantastical windows and light displays at Saks Fifth Avenue.

If you can’t get enough twinkling lights, you’ll find them as far as the eye can see on a nighttime trip to the Top of the Rock Observation Deck. Save over 25% on tickets with AAA Discounts and Rewards.

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Right around the corner from Rockefeller Center is the idyllic Bryant Park Winter Village. The Bryant Park Winter Village consists of over 150 pop-up boutiques and eateries, surrounding a free-to-skate ice rink. It’s an amazing market to do your holiday shopping (and your holiday eating), and it’s one of the most fun places to visit in the Northeast for the holidays.

fun places to visit in the northeast
Portland’s Monument Square during the holidays. (Photo: Corey Templeton / CC BY)

Portland, Maine

In Portland, Maine, there’s an 83% chance of a white Christmas, and this little city is full of holiday events. Walk through Downtown Portland to see colorful winter lights, part of an installation by artist Pandora LaCasse, or try one of Portland’s free horse and wagon rides. You can also take a ride on the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co.’s special Polar Express-themed train rides. Destination: the North Pole! And at the Victoria Mansion, the halls are decked to the nines.

fun places to visit in the northeast
A covered bridge in Woodstock, Vermont. (Photo: Doug Kerr / CC BY)

Woodstock, Vt.

Woodstock is the quintessential Vermont town, complete with covered bridges, idyllic bed-and-breakfasts and beautiful ski slopes. Adding to all this holiday fun is the annual Wassail Weekend, a local festival where you can tour the historic homes of Woodstock, feast at the Woodstock Inn’s Wassail Celebration Feast and learn what an old New England Christmas was like at the Billings Farm. The crown jewel of the weekend’s events is the parade, which features people dressed in colorful Christmas costumes on horseback. Don’t forget to bring some Woodstock maple syrup home with you!

fun things to do in the northeast
A window decorated for the Vintage Christmas candlelit walk. (Photo: Amy Meredith / CCBY)

Portsmouth, N.H.

For fun places to visit in the Northeast during the holidays, New Hampshire’s historic seaside city of Portsmouth is the New England Christmas you are looking for. For over a decade, Portsmouth has celebrated a month-long festival called “Vintage Christmas.” You can hop on their free Christmas trolley and ride through the town to different events, like the annual gingerbread house contest, the outdoor skating rink at Puddle Dock Pond and a glowing holiday parade. Before you leave, make sure to load up on all the presents you can carry. After all, New Hampshire doesn’t have any sales tax.

fun places to visit in the northeast
You can see the beautifully decorated interior of Gilded Age Newport mansions like The Breakers on a specially themed Christmas tour. (Photo: SomeoneSaidFire / CC BY)

Newport, R.I.

Newport has always been one of the most fun places to visit in the Northeast, no matter the time of year. It’s no surprise that this town is chock-full of events tailored to the holiday season. There are tons of holiday events throughout December. You can tour the seasonally decorated Newport mansions, join in many Christmas concerts and carols, witness the Bowen’s Wharf tree lighting and so much more. There are also many Hanukkah events, like the Hanukkah celebration at the Edward King House. To get an idea of the history of the holidays in Newport, go on a holiday lantern walking tour and catch a glimpse of Christmas past.

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What’s your favorite place to spend the holiday season? Let us know in the comments below.

3 Thoughts on “Fun Places to Visit in the Northeast for the Holidays

  1. Mystic Ct. has a small town holiday atmosphere with a seaside theme. So many choices to explore – downtown Mystic, Olde Mistic Village, and of course the decorated Mystic Seaport – a gem any Season!

  2. NYC, of course! But a close second is the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC. I know its not the Northeast,but its in the mountains, its cold, and there is snow!

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