By Anne Taylor Hartzell, on December 18, 2015

Holiday hotel fun for families

Each year during the holidays, our family books a hotel room before Christmas to enjoy the sights and lights of the season and do some holiday shopping. A simple hotel stay can take us away from the daily grind and help our family reconnect before the hustle and bustle of the season take over. We typically book a quick overnight stay in downtown Seattle, but also enjoy spending holiday weekends in Portland, Oregon, and Victoria, British Columbia.

Looking for things to do with kids over winter break? During the holidays, hotels and area attractions roll out the red carpet for families. Here are a few tips to plan a fun holiday hotel stay with family.

1. Map out fun family holiday attractions in or around your hometown. For example, in our hometown of Seattle, there are many fun and festive family activities to experience during the holidays. We love trekking downtown to the Sheraton Seattle’s annual Gingerbread Village, a larger-than-life display of gingerbread houses centered around an annual theme. The kids also love to visit Westlake Center in downtown Seattle during the holidays to ride the carousel, stop for donut holes at the food cart, and check out the window displays.

Viewfinder Tip: Call the hotel and ask the concierge for recommendations on nearby family-friendly holiday fun.

2. Book a hotel within walking distance to your favorite holiday activities. To make your holiday stay stress-free, consider skipping the car and opt for a hotel that is walkable to holiday events. For example, on a recent holiday stay in Victoria, British Columbia, we took the Victoria Clipper from downtown Seattle to Victoria and stayed at the Hotel Grand Pacific, a grand hotel across the street from the ferry terminal with stunning views of the Inner Harbour and Parliament building all decked out in lights for the holiday. We spent the weekend enjoying the holiday lights and shopping without ever needing a car.

3. Search for holiday package deals. Many hotels offer special packages for the holidays. Extra perks can include free room upgrades, in-room amenities, or gift cards for shopping. For example, the W Seattle offers an “It’s a Wrap Holiday” package that features overnight accommodations, a $100 gift card to the University Village shopping center, a complimentary shuttle, two complimentary cocktails, and free gift wrapping for three packages at the hotel’s “Wrappy Hour.”

4. Opt for a Sunday night or mid-week stay for the best hotel rates. During the holidays, hotels can be especially busy on Friday and Saturday nights. If the kids are on holiday break, consider staying over on a Sunday night or mid-week to secure a lower rate on the hotel room.  

Our family has made an overnight hotel stay during the holiday an annual tradition, and I love how a simple trip that takes little effort can transform and reset the hectic pace of our daily routine that the holiday season seems to bring. Happy holidays!

What is your favorite hotel to stay at during the holidays?