The holidays are a magical time when city streets are lit up with twinkling lights and families gather to celebrate with time-honored traditions. This year, mix up the merriment with an escape. These stays offer a slew of ways for everyone under your roof to ring in the season in festive fashion.
The Langham Huntington, Pasadena
Partake in a storied holiday ritual at this historic Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Pasadena hotel during December’s Teddy Bear Tea.
Surrounded by the Lobby Lounge’s glimmering lights and trimmed trees, you and your little ones can indulge in seasonal sweets and warming teas (or hot chocolate), all while being entertained in Yuletide style with a puppet show, storytelling and pictures with Santa.
Spread the holiday cheer to those who need it by bringing one unwrapped gift to this merry gathering — the hotel will donate it to a child in need.
Satiate your sweet tooth during a saccharine pop-up at this Five-Star Macau resort.
Hop over to the MGM Candy Experience (through March 31) for a celebration of all things sugary, including a colorful candy store, a lollipop workshop where you can create your own confections and a live candy show featuring a sweet surprise — this is a holiday shopping trip even the tiniest travelers will crave.
When that sugar crash sets in, retire to one of the hotel’s 600 sumptuously decorated rooms and watch the sun set over the skyline through floor-to-ceiling windows.
The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage
Palm Springs may not be known as a winter wonderland, but this Four-Star desert resort is pulling out all the seasonal stops on December 15 when it hosts Breakfast with Santa and The Grinch.
Belly up to this festive feast to enjoy Seuss-themed treats (Grinch’s green pancakes and Whoville holiday cheesecake French toast both grace the menu) and an array of activities to keep your little elves occupied.
Photo opportunities with both iconic Christmas characters will be available, and if you bring a non-perishable food item to donate, you’ll receive a special surprise: a can of green Grinch slime.
The Garden City Hotel
This Forbes Travel Guide Recommended Long Island retreat has no shortage of ways to ring in the season with a slew of glitzy gatherings and tasty treats running through New Year’s Eve.
To make the most of your family’s festive holiday, book the luxury lodging’s Breakfast with Santa on December 15 or opt for the magical Polar Express Tea on December 22.
Don your PJs for the latter to indulge in an array of Christmas-themed nibbles and activities, including a reading of the beloved children’s book, cookie decorating and Santa letter-writing.
COMO The Halkin, London
No Christmas in London is complete without a visit to luxury department store Harrods, and this Belgravia beauty has just the package to make your holiday dreams come true.
Reserve the Four-Star hotel’s Harrods Festive Experience offer to savor a magical stay, complete with gratis breakfast for your brood and an array of store-themed gifts, such as a mini bottle of champagne for the grown-ups, a Harrods Oliver Christmas teddy bear for the kids and a chocolate gift box to share.
Be sure to bundle up and stroll over to the iconic storefront (a 13-minute walk) to see it lit up in festive splendor.
Make the most of your holiday getaway in the Windy City when you stay at this Michigan Avenue retreat.
Not only is the stylish hotel decked out in joyous décor from head to toe, but it’s also offering up a Winter Wonderfest Package stuffed with seasonal savings, like 20 percent off admission to the annual Christmas carnival, a $5 food voucher and discounts on event photos and parking at Navy Pier.
With more than 170,000 square feet of winter-inspired attractions (giant slides, holiday-themed rides, photo ops with Santa and a massive ice-skating rink), this Chicago tradition delivers a jovial experience for all ages.
Four Seasons Hotel Boston
As the holidays return to the Hub, so too does this Five-Star stunner’s Teddy Bear Tea at Forbes Travel Guide Recommended Bristol Restaurant & Bar.
The 21st edition of this seasonal service includes a visit from Truffles the Bear (the hotel’s cuddly mascot), afternoon tea with festive treats and a reading of a popular holiday children’s book by a Boston celebrity — past readers have included former Red Sox star David Ortiz and model Gisele Bündchen.
This Yuletide tradition has become so popular that weekend seatings are already sold out, but don’t worry, weekday reservations are still available through December 23, as is an overnight package that features a table at tea and a special Truffles the Bear treat.
In addition, the holiday happening celebrates the spirit of giving by asking every guest to bring a teddy bear to be donated to a local children’s charity.
Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago
The city’s reputation for frigid winters makes it just the place to cozy up in style this season. At this Five-Star address, you can deck the halls with plenty of cheer without even setting foot outside when you book its Suite Holiday Traditions offer.
Upon check-in to your sumptuous sky-high unit, you’ll be greeted with stockings hung by the chimney with care and a Christmas tree ready to be decorated with ornaments. After a day of merriment, you and the family can snuggle up by the fire with a gratis plate of freshly baked cookies from the luxury hotel’s pastry team.
Be sure to also take a ride in the hotel’s Gingerbread Express, an elevator covered in cookie bricks and frosting.