Winter holidays are just around the corner and now is an excellent time to start planning some fun, family-friendly trips for you and your crew. Whatever kind of adventures you’re seeking (skiing, snowboard or escaping the cold), one of these winter holiday destinations may help your family create some wonderful new memories. One tip to consider is that if you’re already a Discover it® Miles cardmember, you can earn Miles on everyday purchases and redeem them conveniently. You can earn 1.5 Miles on every dollar spent on purchases – which can be redeemed as a statement credit for recent travel purchases. This includes all hotels, airlines and rental car services, potentially making your family-friendly winter getaway just a little bit more affordable.

1. Winter Park, Colorado

Ski buffs of all ages and abilities will find plenty of thrills in Mile High country. The Amtrak Winter Park Express takes you from Denver International Airport to Winter Park, the heart of ski country. The namesake resort offers ski lessons to children as young as three years old, and child care is available starting at six months of age, offering parents a break to hit the slopes or enjoy a quiet fireside meal.

Older kids can check out ski biking, a unique hybrid of skiing and mountain biking. There are many areas of Winter Park that include a full slate of family activities each day. If you’d like to find off-resort lodging, consider nearby areas that offer cabins, lodge rooms and yurts that are typically available to rent year round.

2. Sarasota, Florida

Florida is well-known as a family-friendly hot spot year-round, but there’s no better place to go when you want to escape the winter chill. For some of the best beaches, consider the western coast, including Sarasota’s Siesta Key Beach, which consistently earns top ratings for its white sand. It earned the top spot in TripAdvisor’s 2017 Traveler’s Choice Awards and followed it up with a No. 2 ranking in the 2018 awards.

While you’re there, you can check out the Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium, a working research station that lets visitors get up close and personal with rays, sharks and other sea creatures. Or visit The Ringling, the estate of circus pioneer John Ringling that includes a circus and art museum. Further south, you can take the kids hunting for shark teeth on the beaches around Venice, Florida.

3. Taos, New Mexico

New Mexico is an-often under-the-radar destination filled with outdoor and cultural adventure. The ski resorts here tend not to get as crowded as others in the western part of the country. And keep in mind, skiing and snowboarding aren’t the only ways you can enjoy the powder — snowshoeing, sledding and tubing are among some of the offerings, followed of course by a mug of steaming hot cocoa.

For a rich cultural educational experience, you can take your kids to Taos Pueblo, the site of a 1,000-year-old indigenous American community and a designated UNESCO World Heritage site.

4. Frisco, Texas

Are your kids into sports or video games? If so, you’re in luck in this ultimate sports fan destination, located 25 miles northeast of the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. Frisco is home to five professional sports teams, including the famous Dallas Cowboys.

The National Videogame Museum opened there in 2016 and is chock-full of interactive, fun exhibits designed for old-school and new gamers alike. Closer to the airport in Grapevine, you’ll find the Grapevine Vintage Railroad, which runs year-round in this adorable wine-themed downtown.

5. Maui, Hawaii

Why not make this the year of a truly epic family getaway to Hawaii? Maui is a great choice for a mix of activities for kids and, with ocean temperatures averaging 75 degrees Fahrenheit, swimming, snorkeling and surfing should definitely be on your itinerary. Locals recommend Napili Beach for families traveling with kids, as waves tend to be calmer.

If you make it to Maui, you might as well schedule some time for a whale watching tour. Whales visit the Hawaiian islands from November through May. If you want to bring your kids to a luau, check out Legends of Ka’anapali, which has the largest Tiki in the Hawaiian Islands. For older kids, plan a sunrise trip to Haleakala and bike down the crater for a guaranteed top family memory.

Originally published December 5, 2016

Updated September 24, 2018

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