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Best Winter Family Vacations

U.S. News Best Vacations Badge

School's out for the holiday season and work hours have finally let up, so why not gather the whole gang and head out on a family-friendly winter escape? Whether your needs are best suited by adventure travel, warm temperatures or cultural immersion, U.S. News has ranked the top destinations for families. Ask the kids to help you vote for the top spots and help us determine next year's ranking.

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#1 Orlando-Walt Disney World

#1 in Best Winter Family Vacations

Why go: Theme parks – Orlando, Florida's most notable attractions – are the dream vacation of families across the world. With enough entertainment and kid-friendly fare to satisfy your little ones for weeks, Orlando adds its warm winter weather to a long list of family vacation draws. Read More »

Disney Parades View 20 photos
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#2 Anaheim-Disneyland

#2 in Best Winter Family Vacations

Why go: Ideal wintertime temps in Anaheim, California, (hovering in the 70s) and a decked-out Disneyland for the holidays make for a great family vacation. But if you're planning a trip here over a school break, book well in advance to snag accommodations at reasonable prices. Read More »

Partners View 20 photos
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#3 Branson

#3 in Best Winter Family Vacations

Why go: This Missouri town is full of family-friendly attractions. Your tribe can walk through a replica of the Titanic, take in shows at the Sight & Sound Theatres or enjoy the lights at Silver Dollar City's An Old Time Christmas. Plus, affordable hotel rates are easy to find. Read More »

Branson Main View 15 photos
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#4 Honolulu - Oahu

#4 in Best Winter Family Vacations

Why go: The Honolulu Zoo, Wet 'n' Wild Hawaii and several family resorts help make Waikiki Beach an especially kid-friendly part of Honolulu. But the island's biggest wintertime appeal lies in its warm weather: High temps hover in the low 80s. Just keep in mind that you won't be the only family vying for space on the sand. Read More »

Wakiki Beach View 46 photos
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#5 Whistler

#5 in Best Winter Family Vacations

Why go: Winter activities abound in Whistler, British Columbia. The town's enormous Whistler Blackcomb resort has enough space for families to ski before sipping hot chocolate by the fire. If little ones tire of downhill runs, Whistler Village offers plenty of attractions, including Olympic Plaza, which shows off mementos from the 2010 Winter Olympics. Read More »

Whistler Blackcomb View 24 photos
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#6 Sanibel Island

#6 in Best Winter Family Vacations

Why go: Collecting shells along the sandy shores, exploring the Sanibel Lighthouse and indulging in fresh seafood are just a few activities that families can enjoy on Florida's Sanibel Island. Temperatures rest in the mid-70s this time of year but can get chilly at night, so pack layers. Read More »

Shelling View 16 photos
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#7 Gatlinburg

#7 in Best Winter Family Vacations

Why go: Winter vacations in this Tennessee town revolve around the Ober Gatlinburg Ski Area. Apart from enjoying winter sports like skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing, families can take in the views from the aerial tramway. You can also take the kids indoors to the popular Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies. Read More »

Gatlinburg Main View 14 photos
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#8 Breckenridge

#8 in Best Winter Family Vacations

Why go: While you'll run into expensive lodging rates and lift tickets on the weekends and around the holidays, if you visit midweek you may be able to snag deals. Plan your trip for late January to feast your eyes on the creations at the International Snow Sculpture Championships. Read More »

Breckenridge View 14 photos
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#9 New York City

#9 in Best Winter Family Vacations

Why go: From Broadway shows to a bevy of museums, your clan will find no shortage of things to do in the Big Apple. Schedule your visit in December to take in holiday offerings like Rockefeller Center's massive Christmas tree or wait until after the new year to save on hotel rates. Read More »

Buzzing Times Square View 75 photos
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#10 Vail

#10 in Best Winter Family Vacations

Why go: With 5,000-plus acres of skiable terrain, Vail, Colorado, is considered one of America's best ski regions– and for good reason. Families can spend their days on the slopes or visit the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Museum and Hall of Fame. But those fantastic mountain views don't come cheap, so book your lodging well in advance to secure a spot. Read More »

Big Air in Vail View 17 photos
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#11 Bahamas

#11 in Best Winter Family Vacations

Why go: Popular Bahamian resorts like Atlantis have kid-approved amenities like children's play areas, marine habitats and video arcades. Add in the reprieve of warm weather and the islands' close proximity to the U.S., and the Bahamas is perfectly suited for winter family fun. Read More »

Bahamian Architecture View 34 photos
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#12 Tampa

#12 in Best Winter Family Vacations

Why go: Winters in Tampa offer pleasant daytime temps (average highs are in the 70s) and plenty of animal-centric activities the littles ones will love. Spend your days at the Florida Aquarium and Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo, or catch a glimpse of manatees at Tampa Electric's Manatee Viewing Center. Read More »

On the Waterfront View 20 photos
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