13 Jolly Small Towns That Sleigh Christmas

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Christmas lights on a wooden bridge
©Derek Macdonald
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black train in snow
Branson, Missouri

Bring the family along for a scenic Polar Express-themed train ride through the snowy Ozark Mountains. Nicknamed the Live Music Show Capital of the World, expect plenty of live music with your Christmas festivities.

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lights festival
© Ben Yanis/Flickr, Creative Commons
Bernville, Pennsylvania

Nobody lights up Christmas quite like Bernville's extravagant Koziars Christmas Village light display. This year's event will be celebrating more than 70 years as it draws in thousands of visitors. We recommend visiting early in November to avoid the large crowds in December.

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reindeer as a street sign
©neverbutterfly/Flickr, Creative Commons
North Pole, Alaska

No, not the official North Pole, but a small town near Fairbanks, Alaska, that celebrates Christmas year round. Visit this holiday-loving town for candy cane street lights, street names that allude to Christmas and enough snow to make Snow Miser envious.

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christmas lights around a wooden pole
©Kendall Hoopes/Pexels
Natchitoches, Louisiana

This Louisiana town hosts a holiday festival that boasts more lights than the 18,000 people that live there. This city is also the oldest in Louisiana so be sure to take part in its living history tour.

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interior of christmas store
©Ken Lund/Flickr, Creative Commons
Frankenmuth, Michigan

Home to the world's largest Christmas store, Bronner's Christmas Wonderland, this small town knows how to spread the Christmas spirit. After you shop at Bronner's, tour the German town for its Bavarian-style architecture.

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a child writing a letter to santa
©Chely Frantzen
Santa Claus, Indiana

This charming town loves Christmas so much, the founders named it after jolly Saint Nick himself. Take the kids to the Santa Claus Museum and Village where they can write their letters to Santa and afterward, visit the nearby Holiday World and Splashin' Safari theme park.

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lights on a bridge
©Derek Macdonald
Woodstock, Vermont

Visit the picturesque New England town of Woodstock, Vermont, for a weekend of holiday fun. Wassail Weekend is a time for every Christmas festivity you can imagine from caroling to craft fairs.

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Bavarian architecture town
©Humberto Moreno/Flickr, Creative Commons
Helen, Georgia

Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, this town is known for its Oktoberfest but during the holidays this German town transforms into a winter wonderland. Participate in the Festival of Trees and bid on your favorite tree to take home.

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christmas lights hanging from trees
Sierre Madre, California

Every year, the locals shovel snow down from the mountains for a winter festival that marks the start of their holiday season. You also don't want to miss nearby Christmas Tree Lane in a town so small you won't find a single stoplight.

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drummers marching
©Tony Alter/Flickr, Creative Commons
Williamsburg, Virginia

The historic district here continues the holiday tradition of lighting candles in windows, which dates back to the American Revolution. Create memories by taking a stroll along the cobblestone paths and caroling by torchlight in this small, colonial town.

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©nosha/Flickr, Creative Commons
Leavenworth, Washington

This town of 2,000 has more nutcrackers than citizens thanks to its Nutcracker Museum, but the holiday spirit doesn't end there. Visit Leavenworth's annual Christkindlmarkt festival for traditional food, art and holiday entertainment. 

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actors and carolers
©Michigan Municipal League/Flickr, Creative Commons
Skaneateles, New York

Fans of Charles Dickens will need to clear their schedule for a trip to upper New York for this literary Christmas event. The town's annual Dickens Christmas includes 50 characters that walk around town to interact with visitors, restaurants and shops to bring Charles Dickens' characters to life.

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festive gnomes in snowy grass
©Brigitta Schneiter/Unsplash
Solvang, California

This tiny Danish town goes all out during its month-long celebration of Julefest. From a festive gnome scavenger hunt to a wine and beer crawl, Solvang, California is the place to be in December.

By Tyler Carnahan on 11/15/2018

Many small towns look forward to Christmas throughout the year and some even celebrate it 365 days of the year. Shining brighter than some towns five times their size, the joy of Christmas these locals show rivals the best and biggest cities. The small and charming towns on this list prove that big things come in small packages.