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Family Travel Files Ezine Family Vacations Resource
Six Cozy Holiday Escapes Where Memory Making Is Easy. Currier and Ives scenes look a bit more chaotic when populated with 21st century families, but the idea is timeless - sharing time together.  Christmas holiday escape options include festively decorated cabins and cozy lodges ideal for sharing adventures, making discoveries, and creating memories. Cabins for you Festive Christmas Cabin 

It seems to me the perfect recipe for a family holiday break is to change the pace - take a recess from schedules and relax with something old (comfy slippers), something new (a tempting book), something borrowed (a sled or telescope), and do something “cool”.

Here's the scoop.
I have identified seven tempting ideas well-suited for a family winter holiday break. The family-friendly locations include remarkable mountainside cabins, cozy cabins with fireplaces. In Nashville you will find music and dancing lights, in Georgia snow tubing thrills, and in California and Colorado stargazing near tents with fire rings. If none strike your fancy then I suggest browsing our Away for the Holidays folder which features dozens of family vacation ideas - some classic and a few uncommon.  At Eagles Ridge Christmas Bath Is Waiting  

Eagles Ridge Mountain Side Cabins in Pigeon Forge. This Appalachian at retreat offers families a choice of more than 200 remarkable cabins each with a distinct personality yet family-friendly and often pet-friendly. Too Cool: With each stay guests receive free tickets to popular Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge attractions including  Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, WonderWorks, Lumberjack Feud and Country Tonite, Lazerport and mini golf. Cozy Part: Each cabin offers a distinctive home-away-from home experience and many have Christmas decorations already in place to make a holiday stay more festive. The rich menu of cabin choices includes cozy two bedroom units as well as expansive five-bedroom plus retreats ideal for three generations. Each cabin is distinctive and includes the synergy of rustic and elegant indicative of Eastern Tennessee craftsmanship. Some have wrap-around porches and media/game rooms while others have hot tubs, pool tables and Jacuzzis. Details: Eagles Ridge Resort 2740 Florence Dr., Pigeon Forge, TN  37863. (877) 920-1927 or Nashville Dancing Lights of Christmas

Jellystone Nashville Holiday Lights, Music and Camping. “A Country Christmas” begins in mid-November at the Opryland Hotel and includes thousands of lights, carved ice sculptures, and festive entertainment plus a two-story tall ice slide. It’s also the location of a six-lane snow tubing hill and a 6,000 square-foot outdoor ice skating rink. Too Cool: Less than a mile from Opryland Nashville Jellystone Campground has a drive through holiday lights experience “Dancing Lights of Christmas.” Campground guests may enjoy the lights at no cost. Cozy Part: Jellystone Park Camp-Resort offers camping amenities including tent sites, RV slots and several cozy camping cabins. Even though Yogi and friends are hibernating for the winter the playground is open and Santa’s Village offers active family fun including a spider jump, climbing wall, mini train, mobile zipline, and petting zoo. Details: Jellystone Campground 2572 Music Valley Drive, Nashville TN 37214. (615) 889-4225 or or

Gatlinburg Christmas Hideaways by Cabins for You. The menu of choices is extensive and even includes cabins conveniently located within walking distance of the shops, attractions, and restaurants of downtown Gatlinburg, a bonus for families with teens or two-something children. Others offer secret and secluded views from locations tucked amid the woods or perched on the edge of a mountain meadow with a postcard view of the Smoky Mountains. Too Cool: Each reservation receives a welcome gift on arrival and during the holiday season each of the cabins is uniquely decorated with festive accents such as trees, candy canes, snowmen, or garland. Cozy Part: The extensive menu of cabin choices means you will find more than one match for your family. Units come in all sizes and prices. There are outdoor hot tubs, Blu-ray and DVD players, stunning home theaters, private pools, game tables, fully-equipped kitchens, and places for togethering. Details: Gatlinburg Cabin Rentals 436 East Parkway, Gatlinburg TN 37738. (865) 436-2109 or toll-free 800- 684-7865 or

Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado. The coolest months Southwestern Colorado of offers awesome outdoor experiences. Within the park it is possible to sandboarding, sledding or even skiing on the dunes. The days will be clear and dry, the sand warm and the nights chilly and covered with an impressive star blanket. Too Cool: What could be more fun than sharing a glimpse of wild kingdom with your kids? During the winter months binoculars may not be necessary to observe elk roaming on the meadows or mule deer foraging along the roadside. Cozy Part: Not far from the park is a terrific family vacation base - Joyful Journey Hot Springs with cozy yurts, spa facilities and best of all natural (without sulfur aroma) hot springs. It’s a place for a family soak with snowy mountains as a backdrop. Details: Joyful Journey Hot Springs At Hwy. 17 and 285. (719) 256-4328 or Mountain Geogria Snowman

Stone Mountain Christmas Camping. Not far from Atlanta’s urban center Stone Mountain provides oodles of options for families of all ages to have fun including snow tubing down Memorial Lawn, mini golf at the Crossroads and Homespun Christmas activities at the Antebellum Plantation. Visit the farmyard where young children may engage with the animals. Too Cool: Ride a restored 1940s era train with open-air cars and a lively crew. The five-mile excursion through the park is a terrific mini adventure for all ages especially with grandpa and grandma. Cozy Part: On select days in November and December camp vacation packages include campsite hookup, attraction tickets, a bundle of firewood, and s'mores snack pack. Details: Stone Mountain Georgia 1000 Robert E. Lee Blvd. Stone Mountain, GA 30083. (770) 498-5690 or State Park Cozy Winter Cabin

Ohio State Parks Lodges and Cabins. A string of five locations in Ohio offer Christmas cabin possibilities - Deer Creek Lodge, Maumee Bay Lodge, Mohican Lodge, Punderson Manor Lodge, and Salt Fork Lodge. Too Cool: Salt Fork Lodge, for example, is just minutes from the town of Cambridge and its annual Dickens Victorian Village. And Maumee Bay Lodge will again stage its popular Winter Carnival between the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s. Cozy Part: Happy family memories made at Deer Creek make it one of my favorite spots for a wintery getaway. Every cabin has a fireplace and there are lodge rooms with bunks and lofts. During the snowy months it is possible to enjoy a warm fire with cup of cocoa and if Mother Nature permits, go snowmobiling and sledding but the clincher for me, spa services on site. Details: Ohio State Park Lodges toll-free 1-800-AT-A-PARK (1-800-282-7275) or use the appropriate promotional code found at
Looking for more winter holiday family vacation ideas? Browse our Away for the Holidays folder for inspiration. 
Content researched and posted by Nancy Nelson-Duac, Curator of the Good Stuff for the Family Travel Files. Images courtesy, Ohio State Parks & Lodges, Cabins for You in Gatlinburg, and Nashville Jellystone. Copyright updated 2017.

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