Bing Crosby sang about yearning for a White Christmas, and the song painted a picture of an idyllic holiday. If you're looking for somewhere special to spend the Yuletide, look no further. We have seven places in America you can go to get your fireplace and hot chocolate on, where the chances of snow are as high as each city's Christmas spirit.
With a 40-50% chance of snow this Christmas, Chicago is a great place to celebrate a White Christmas. Forget New York – although movies like Miracle on 34th Street and Home Alone were set in New York, they were filmed in Chicago. The city is the perfect place to spend the holidays. You can go ice skating at Lincoln Park Zoo, watch A Christmas Carol at the Goodman Theater, and visit Christkindlmarket. The market is based on a German market dating back to the 16th century. At Christkindlmarket you can buy German nutcrackers, hand-blown ornaments, and go to town on the sauerkraut and hot spiced wine.
While Chicago has a good chance of getting just enough snow to look like a Christmas card, Caribou, Maine will be more like the North Pole. There’s a 97% chance that there will be snow for Christmas, and a 57% chance that the snow will reach 10 inches or more. If you’re not a huge fan of snowmobiles, cross-country skiing, and possibly getting snowed in, you might not be able to hack it in Caribou. But if you just see all of that fluff as a chance to make a never-ending snowman army, this town is your perfect Christmas destination – so grab your tree from one of its Christmas Tree Farms, and settle in.
With 137 inches of snowfall throughout the year and 23 in December, Aspen is the place to be for your white Christmas. If walking around the snowy town with the promise of skiing wasn’t enough to entice you, the Aspen Chamber of Commerce organized events for the 12 Days of Christmas. So while you’re there, you can attend an Ugly Sweater Party at the Little Nell Hotel, or go see the USPA World Snow Polo Championships in Wagner Park. Various performances are scheduled at night, from jazz vocalists to a cabaret show. Aspen will make you feel like you’re living in a Christmas snow globe.
This town on the Canadian border can boast a 77% chance of a snowy Christmas. Spending time in Massena will definitely fill you with the holiday spirit. You can visit Breezy Maples Farm and buy yourself a Christmas tree, wreath, and other arrangements. The farm prides itself on transforming into a winter wonderland come December; you’ll come for the greenery but stay to listen to the carols and pony rides. The farm is family-owned and promises a “friendly country atmosphere,” along with free delivery when you buy a 6-foot Balsam tree. On the way back to your back to your rented cottage from Auntie’z Lodging, you can warm up with the French Onion soup from Dar’s Place before decorating your new tree.
The odds are in your favor for a white Christmas in Montpelier, and while you’re waiting for the big day to arrive you can entertain yourself with a Candlelight Christmas Tour. The tours take you through James and Dolley Madison’s home while teaching you about 19th century traditions – and this year, Santa will be there too! After, you can go on a free horse-drawn wagon ride around town, and visit the Touch of Vermont Holiday Gift Market, for last-minute presents from local vendors and artisans. It’s the smallest state capital in the US population-wise, and with an average snowfall of 21 inches throughout the month of December you’re sure to get a charming, small town experience in the snow while you’re there.
North Pole, Alaska
Not only is the North Pole real, it has its own zip code. While you can’t go to the literal North Pole for Christmas, you can get pretty close when you visit North Pole, Alaska. It’s a bit out of the way, but the town sees a fair number of visitors each year who come for the novelty. And the town embraces its reputation. You can marvel at the artists creating masterpieces out of carved ice, slide down an ice slide, and buy mementos from the Christmas Store to prove to your family when you get back that yes, you were actually at the North Pole. Don’t forget to visit Santa Claus House, a trading post that holds the world’s largest fiberglass statue of the big man himself. You’ll definitely adore spending Christmas in a town that heavily embraces a candy cane motif from their streetlights to the storefronts.
Leavenworth looks like the model of a Christmas town your grandma sets up on the dining room table each year. With 31 inches of snowfall throughout December you’re nearly guaranteed a white Christmas, but the town itself is what makes it magical. Each year at the Christmas Lighting Ceremony the town lights up the half a million lights that decorate it. The combination of lights and snow leave the town with an unreal glow that you usually only see in movies. Its picturesque look is only highlighted by the nearby mountains and German-style buildings in town that will make you feel like you’re living in a gingerbread village as you walk around sipping on hot cider.