Many states across the South offer fun events and holiday programming for family travelers this season. Whether you’re in Texas or Florida this winter, head to these areas to create memorable experiences for all.
Fort Worth, Texas
Experience a cowboy-inspired Christmas getaway in Fort Worth. In the city’s historic Stockyards District, visitors can take a step back in time to the Wild West. This holiday season, the front lawn of the Exchange Building turns into a winter wonderland, complete with warm holiday drinks, an ice-skating rink and a cowboy Santa. Cowtown Coliseum will host Christmas-themed rodeos Dec. 14–17, accompanied by festive country music performances. Fort Worth also hosts Lightscape at Fort Worth Botanic Garden. This event includes trails of illuminated art installations, tunnels of light and a fire garden. Lightscape runs through Jan. 8.
Head to the happiest place on Earth with a stay at Caribe Royale Orlando. The hotel sits near Walt Disney World and Orlando’s other top theme parks. Spend a day in the theme parks before returning to the hotel to continue the festive celebrations. Caribe Royale Orlando features seasonal movies under the stars on weekends, daily hidden holiday gnome hunts with special prizes, visits from Santa and Mrs. Claus, hot cocoa check-ins on weekends, and more. The hotel also boasts a 32-foot-long chocolate train, all handcrafted by the hotel’s pastry team.
For a warm-weather holiday vacation, Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve Puerto Rico serves as the perfect hub for a tropical trip. Located in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, the hotel offers new holiday programming each day between Christmas and New Year’s. Events include meet and greets with Santa, a Coca-Cola parade, outdoor movie night on the lawn and more. Family fun continues Dec. 27–29 with the resort’s and island’s first ice-skating rink on the beach. Music, food trucks and an open bar surround the rink.
Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort launches its first Winterwonderville this year with activities lasting through New Year’s Eve. Throughout December, the resort features a surfing Santa on the wave-simulating FlowRider, a beachside skating rink and live entertainment.
Falcon’s Resort by Meliá is a new, all-suites resort made by possible via a partnership between the hospitality brand and Falcon’s Beyond, an entertainment company. Situated in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, the property is the first of its kind — and it’s ready to cater to your traveling teen (and accompanying family travelers, of course).
As the only major U.S. airline to own a flight school, United Airlines already hit a major milestone, and now the carrier celebrates another important — and historic — step as the inaugural class of United Aviate Academy pilots graduates, leading the next generation of aviators. The 51 students in the graduating class were majority, at 80 percent, women and people of color — another stride toward United’s goal of training 5,000 new pilots by 2030 with half women or POC.
The bucket-list experience is not a new travel phenomenon, but how can U.S. family travelers know what exactly are the most popular bucket-list trips in 2023? Inspiration might await!
Gardens by the Bay, home to some of the most beautiful attractions in Singapore, offers the most recognizable photo ops in the country. It’s no wonder this nearly 10.9-million-square-foot nature park attracts millions of visitors and family travelers each year. From the iconic Supertree Grove, the massive tree-like structures covered in flowers and foliage towering as high as 160 feet above the garden, to the OCBC Skyway, a suspended walkway that circles the gardens and gives you sprawling views of the park and the city skyline beyond, this space has it all.
United Airlines is in the midst of a major initiative to modernize its fleet over the next several years. After first announcing the plan in 2021, planes fitted with United’s signature interior are finally beginning to appear across the airline’s narrowbody fleet of Boeing and Airbus planes. United flyers are sure to notice these enhancements from the moment they step on board: Each new or updated plane sports remodeled seats, seatback entertainment screens for everyone, Bluetooth connectivity and more, all adding up to a better experience on every journey.
New to the world of RV adventure travel, but can’t wait to get on the road this fall? Spacious Skies Campgrounds offers a selection of RV sites, tent sites, cabins, yurts and retro RV rentals, plus full rental cottages. That means there’s something to make everyone, from camping pros to first-timers to family travelers, happy.