14 Theme Parks that Go All-Out for the Holidays
Theme parks are fun any time of year but there’s something extra special about visiting during the holidays. Here are how the best theme parks go all out during the holidays!
Every product is independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Silver Dollar City
Starting the first week in November, people from all over the country flock to Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri for their spectacular Old Time Christmas bathed in over six million lights! A pair of theatrical productions take center stage during the holidays as A Dickens’ Christmas Carol and It’s A Wonderful Life delight audiences of all-ages, and twice-nightly during the festive period, Rudolph leads his famous Holly Jolly Christmas Light Parade featuring 45 costumed characters including everyone’s favorite, the Bumble, 12-foot tall elves and 10-foot candy canes illuminated by 200,000 LED lights. These are the best cities in the world to experience Christmas.
The Sweetest Place on Earth transforms into Santa’s North Pole during the Christmas Candylane celebration that sees roller coasters upgraded for holiday thrills and choreographed light shows with 4 million twinkling lights that will dazzle your sugar buzzed kids. But that’s not all, as Santa and all nine of his reindeer are at Hersheypark too. Stroll the stables for an up-close look at your favorite famous flying reindeer. If the weather is too frightful this winter, crank up the heat in the car, spin the best Christmas songs ever, and drive the Hershey Sweet Lights to gaze upon 600 illuminated, animated displays set along two miles of wooded trails.
courtesy American Dream
This brand new, immense Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park officials opens in late October but come December 5th when Santa arrives, the Big SNOW portion of the park will be awash in Christmas spirit. Expect to see festive decor and enjoy holiday programming every bit as impressive as the property itself to go along with skiing and snowboarding at North America’s only indoor real-snow park featuring a trail for every skill level, from bunny hill beginners to black diamond experts. Expect to see a lot of red and green at American Dream this holiday season—here’s why are those the colors of Christmas.
Courtesy Conner Prairie
Located in Hamilton County Indiana, just a short drive up from the state capital is this Smithsonian affiliate historical park that goes all out at Christmastime with the Merry Prairie Holiday celebration. Listen to carolers sing, take the Polar Bear Plunge by going down the dry snow tubing hill, play at the Reindeer Games Midway, watch artists make seasonal crafts, ride on a winterland wagon across the grounds through thousands of twinkle lights, and stroll around the new 400 Reynolds Christmas light structures. Stay closer to home with the best Christmas market in every state.
Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark
courtesy Schlitterbahn Waterparks and Resorts
Water parks beneath the still-warm Texas sun may seem an unusual place to spend your holiday season but Schlitterbahn Galveston is hosting Holiday Splash on weekends this year starting at the end of November, and you should go. Let the stress of the Christmas season melt away in the heated indoor water park in a Snow Globe Float Conquer the waves of the Torrent River while watching snow fall around you, making you feel like you’re in a magical snow globe. After your time chilling out on the water, enjoy the Bahn Borealis Light Show, a cool indoor display animated to classic Christmas songs that runs every hour on the hour. Next, read on to discover 20 of the best small towns for Christmas lights.