The Holiday Season always brings about a great sense of community across the country, no matter where you live or your beliefs. There’s a magic in the air that clings to each twinkling light decorating town squares, beckoning locals and visitors alike to bundle up and get outside.
With community being one of the pillars of InTown Suites, especially when it comes to our extended stay guests, we are constantly on the lookout for events, festivals, and celebrations taking place near each of our 188 locations. With the hope of spreading some holiday cheer, we’ve gathered a solid list of merrymaking festivities across the county including personal favorites from our staff to help you and yours get out and about this December.
Where: McAdenville, North Carolina
Nearest InTown Suites: Intown Suites Extended Stay Charlotte NC – Pressley Rd
With a name like Christmas Town USA, it’s hard to imagine anywhere else we’d like to be right now. Small town McArdenville changes its name each December to reflect the sheer amount of effort and spirit they put into the Holidays. Join the annual crowd of more than 600,000 people to catch a glimpse of the towns brilliantly lit streets fringed by over 375 illuminated trees. Walk the perimeter of the lake at night guided by twinkling Christmas lights, or stop by the town center to see the fountain put on an elegant light show. With so much to see and do in Christmas Town USA, it’s the perfect place to take a winter stroll after a scrumptious dinner in Charlotte.
Where: Charlottesville, Virginia
Nearest InTown Suites: InTown Suites Extended Stay Richmond VA – Green Springs
It’s hard to pass up a good Christmas Market, and when it comes to the Eastern United States, well Charlottesville has you covered. This tight-knit community transforms its Historic Downtown Mall into a pedestrian-friendly winter scape around its bustling Holiday Market. Stroll down the Mall and visit up to 90 local vendors to peruse seasonal bites, sip hot cocoa, and pick up unique handicrafts. Or, hop over to James Madison’s Montpelier Estate for a 19th century Christmas Celebration that includes live entertainment, candlelit tours, and fun for little ones.
Where: Live Oak, Florida
Nearest InTown Suites: Valdosta (XVG) Extended Stay
“We love the lights at Suwannee Music Park’s Light Festival. It’s approximately 45 minutes to an hour south of Valdosta, Georgia, but well worth the journey! You can drive your vehicle through the park to look at the light displays, then park and get out near the end to explore the small shops and grab refreshments. My kids loved it when they were younger. There’s also Wild Adventures, located only five exits south of InTown’s Valdosta property. The park open this season between November 30-December 30, from 6-10 PM, and is completely decorated for Christmas, with tons of rides and fun for the entire family.”
-Rick Greer, Valdosta (XVG) Extended Stay
Where: New Orleans, Louisiana
Nearest InTown Suites: InTown Suites Extended Stay New Orleans LA – Metairie
“Christmas time in New Orleans has turned into a huge celebration, basically like everything else. We have an annual event called Celebration in the Oaks, where you can see the park completely decorated for the holidays and enjoy amusement park rides and attractions for the entire family. There’s also a the 7th annual NOLA Christmas Fest. It takes place at the New Orleans Convention Center and includes rides, an ice skating rink, and many other festive activities. In addition to these two events, the city plays host to several nationally recognized Christmas Parades, the main parade being the Krewe of Jingle.
Nothing is done small in New Orleans, including Christmas, and our team here at YML has fallen nothing short of that. We fully decorated our lobby including a big fat, 7-foot-tall Christmas tree that our guests love taking pictures in front of. Our team will also be delivering a stocking full of treats to each child staying in our hotel on Christmas Eve.”
– Brandon P. Hernandez, Metairie (YML) Extended Stay
Where: Branson, Missouri
Nearest InTown Suites: InTown Suites Extended Stay St. Louis MO – St. Charles
Mountains, snow—what can be more festive than that? Well, Branson kicks it up a few notches with its annual Ozark Mountain Christmas each December. Witness the city transform into a Winter Wonderland with bright lights wrapped from walkway to walkway, and verdant garlands draped along each shop front. Walk Main Street, get tickets to the Christmas Show at Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede, and visit Silver Dollar City’s An Old Time Christmas festival to see more than 100 decorated trees and hit the amusement park’s rides.
Where: Fredericksburg, Texas
Nearest InTown Suites: InTown Suites Extended Stay San Antonio TX – Airport
If you couldn’t tell by the name, Fredericksburg’s German heritage comes out in spades during the holiday season, starting with the opening of its Christkindlmarkt in November, parades, tree lightings, concerts, craft fairs, and spicy seasonally brewed German-inspired bock-style beers. Get the family out to explore the market stalls, see the twinkling lights, and take in the live entertainment.
Where: Durango, Colorado
Nearest InTown Suites: InTown Suites Extended Stay Colorado Springs CO
A historic mining town, Durango’s vintage steam engine train gets put to public use once a year during the holidays to offer a Polar Express inspired journey through the snowy mountains that hug the Animas River. Board the Durango & Silverton narrow gauge train this December with the kids for a whimsical ride or even take advantage of its passage to cut your own tree in the Colorado wilderness and bring it back home with you on the train.
Where: Ogden, Utah
Nearest InTown Suites: InTown Suites Extended Stay Salt Lake City UT – Woods Cross
Who knew that Santa’s other home was in Utah? The town of Ogden delivers some serious festive vibes and sightings of the big guy with their annual downtown Christmas Village. From the beautifully decorated Union Station to Santa’s North Pole Village, there’s plenty to explore no matter what your age. Wander the winter wonderland complete with 59 pint-sized pop-up cottages, each with their own holiday theme. Hop on one of the town’s historic railways for a train ride through an elaborately decorated glow in the dark tunnel. Or simply stroll the streets and take in the twinkling lights with a warm bevy in hand.
Where: Austin, TX
Nearest InTown Suites: InTown Suites Extended Stay Austin TX – North Lamar, InTown Suites Extended Stay Austin TX – Research Blvd
Over 400,000 people a year flock to Zilker Park to catch sight of the wonderous Trail of Lights in Austin, TX. The Trail of Lights Foundation works hard to keep half the event nights available for free so all can experience this favorite holiday event in Austin. Families can enjoy food, music, and of course, the thousands of lights while celebrating this year’s Yuletide season.
Where: Orlando, FL
Nearest InTown Suites: InTown Suites Extended Stay Orlando FL – Lee Rd
If your favorite part of the holiday season is decorating the tree, you won’t want to miss the Festival of Trees hosted by the Orlando Museum of Art in Orlando, FL. For 9 days, from November 16-24, the OMOA transforms into a sparkling wonderland with trees of all sizes decorated in every style you can imagine. Here families can also enjoy musical performances, entertainment, and special activities for kids. General admission is $15 for adults and $7 for children 3-11.
Where: Lisle, IL
Nearest InTown Suites: InTown Suites Extended Stay Chicago IL – Downers Grove
The Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IL offers a light show unlike any other across the United States. Walk along a one-mile trail as you watch an unparallel show of the arboretum’s trees lit up in a whole new way. Families can also enjoy the festive music, bonfire, where you can roast marshmallows, and sip hot cocoa or cider. Illumination: Tree Lights at the Morton is open from November 23-January 5, from 4:30-9:30 PM.