2017 Christmas & New Years Destinations Announced!

You wouldn’t think it would be a difficult task to select our 2017 Christmas destination this year, but we did have a bit of back and forth with several destinations.  We want to thank everyone who made suggestions via comments, email and Facebook.  None of your suggestions will go to waste, but some may have to be for a future trip.  It is a double destination holiday for us, so keep on reading to find out where.

Where will Wagoners Abroad spend 2017 Christmas & New Years? This is the big announcement and Europe wins again! Read more about this traveling family of 4 on WagonersAbroad.com

As you recall, we had certain requirements for our Christmas trip this year.  You can read all about it here in our Where is the best European Christmas Vacation destination?  As it turns out we didn’t exactly meet all of our criteria, but we are very excited about our plans.  We’ve also decided to add a few extra days and an extra destination.  The experiences we have planned are quite unique and we are counting the days until departure.

Where are we going for 2017 Christmas?

After a great deal of research and family discussions, we have selected Amsterdam as our 2017 Christmas destination!  I can’t tell you how excited we are.  Alan and I have visited Amsterdam numerous times and the kids have also been a couple of times, but this will be the first time for Grandma Linda.  It will also be our first time in the winter, so I am sure we will be in for a bit of a shock with the weather.

Where will we stay?

That said we are so very excited about all that we have planned.  We have rented an apartment for the week, which has plenty of bedrooms, a canal view, fireplace and even a decorated Christmas tree!  We will be just on the outer edges of the city center, so it should be a great location to experience the city easily.  We booked our place through HomeAway.com and we are looking forward to sharing photos, once we are there.

These are the great tools we use to find self catering rentals, hotels, or house sits.

What’s the plan?

What I typically do for any trip is create a lovely spreadsheet loaded with activities and links.  I try to do all of my research before we go and then once we are there, I can see what we are in the mood to actually do.  It is a bit of extra work to have a list to choose from, including what part of the city it is located in, but it really saves time and stress while we are on the trip.  Some of the things we hope to experience are:

Over The Edge

over the edge Amsterdam. The kids saw this on the the Travel Man with Richard Ayoade.  We just love that show, but a few weeks ago it was all on Amsterdam.  When they spotted this rooftop swing, going over the edge of the AdamLookout building, it was quickly added to the to do list.  I am not sure if they will freeze, but we will see if we can do it.  Photo credit from AdamLookout

The kids saw this on the the Travel Man with Richard Ayoade.  We just love that show, but a few weeks ago it was all on Amsterdam.  When they spotted this rooftop swing, going over the edge of the A’DAM Lookout building, it was quickly added to the to do list.  I am not sure if they will freeze, but we will see if we can do it.

Ice Skating

This is what Lars and Anya are really looking forward to.  It seems to have become a Christmas Tradition for the kids to go ice skating.  I think their first time ever was our Christmas in Paris and it has continued!

Festival of lights

Amsterdam light festival. photo credit http://darkroom-cdn.s3.amazonaws.com/2016/11/APphoto_Netherlands-Amsterdam-Light-Festival-4.jpg

We just love lights and light shows and I can’t wait to see this.  Amsterdam offers a festival of lights, which looks amazing.  We plan to go on a cruise to see the lights on the canals.

Winterparade – Our 2017 Christmas Dinner

WinterParade Amsterdam Okay this will be great to experience and we really don't have a clear idea of what is going to happen.  It is dinner with about 500 people with the wait staff and a show on our dinner table! 

This is going to be our Christmas dinner experience!  Okay I’ll be honest we really aren’t sure what to expect, but I am sure it will be amazing.  It is dinner with about 500 people with the wait staff and a show on our dinner table!  Oh and there is a silent disco too!  I have to admit, I am showing my age.  I had to look up what the heck a silent disco was.  Well, hopefully we will capture some video for you, so you can see it too.  We can’t wait to see what this has to offer, but the Winterparade Amsterdam should be a blast.  Have you been before?  We can’t wait to share our experience with you!

Other activities

Of course we will head to some of the museums and partake in the Christmas markets and loads of food!  I can’t wait to check out the Foodhallen and possibly try a Dutch drink called Fockink.  Grandma Linda will head home after Amsterdam and the Wagoners will continue the Christmas spirit and bring in the New Year on another adventure!


What about New Years 2018?

We will be hopping on the train at Amsterdam Central and heading to Brussels for New Years Eve!  We have a hotel right near the Grand Place and it was free!  Yep, we booked it with airline points, so hopefully it is all worth it.  Alan and I haven’t been to Brussels in about 18 years and the kids have never been to this city, so we are very excited.

Winter wonderland pleasures of winter in Brussels. Plaisirs d'hiver will be something to look forward to.

We don’t have too much planned for Brussels yet, but we do plan to use the Brussels card with the hop on hop off bus.  That usually gives us access to many free museums and a great way to get around the city and drop us at the important sites.  I am sure we will also use public transport and do plenty of walking as well.

2 Celebrations in One!

We will still catch the tail end of many of the Brussels Christmas activities, with a day or two of their Christmas markets and lights at the Grand Place.  We will certainly be doing more ice skating and of course experience the Atomium.  Here is a video showing what we should experience.so we plan to make the most of it.

Belgian Delights!

We are also going to end 2017 with happy bellies.  This is what the kids are most excited about, our Belgian chocolate workshop and Belgian waffle workshop!  Okay I will admit Alan and I are pretty excited too!  We can’t wait to tell you all about it, but we will get to make our own waffles one day and the next will be all about making chocolate candy delights!  Then later that night we will welcome in the new year.  There are supposed to be magical viewings of fireworks right from central Brussels, so we can’t wait to experience New Year’s Eve!

Belgian Waffle Workshop in Brussels!

 

 

Organized Tours & Amsterdam Attractions

If you are trying to figure out what to do in Amsterdam, there are also many organized tours for you to enjoy.  From being active on walking or biking tour, to enjoying a food or wine tour.  There is so much to do and Viator has so many great offers for you.  Click here to see their latest Amsterdam Deals!


Thank You!

Okay that sums it all up.  We would love to hear from you if you have any suggestions for us.  We don’t like to pack every day full of activities, as we need to just hang out and have some hot chocolate too.  We are so excited, so follow Wagoners Abroad on Facebook to see live videos and photos during our holiday travel schedule 22 December – 4 January.

This entry was posted in Belgium, Experiences, Netherlands and tagged , , by Heidi. Bookmark the permalink.

About Heidi

Heidi has a passion for travel and has been exploring the world with her husband and 2 kids, since August 2012. She's visited more than 50 countries and loves to write about their family adventures, mishaps and costs. She has been an inspiration to others wanting to live their dreams. Her travel tips, planning posts, cost breakdowns, accommodation, and product reviews are also very popular. Her current home base is in Spain. Any post on this site may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase, there is no extra cost for you and we may receive a commission.

4 thoughts on “2017 Christmas & New Years Destinations Announced!

  1. Hi Wagoners.

    Your trip sounds great! When I read about the Belgium chocolate waffle workshop, I remembered a trip I took many years ago to Lausanne, Switzerland. From there you can go to the Nestle factory and to a Gruyere Cheese factory, take a tour and see how it is all done. It was a beautiful train ride through brooks and rolling hills. This could be a great spring trip if you are in the area.

    I’ve been following your posts as our family of 4, with kids at about the same age of yours when you moved, plan to move to Spain in June. Originally we wanted to go to Malaga, but now we might switch gears and check out Alicante. It seems that your money goes a lot further there. We’ll see. We have still not decided 100%

    Anyway, Have a wonderful Holiday season and looking forward to hearing all about your trips in the coming months!

    Karen

    • Aw thanks Karen! We would love your Switzerland activities. So much to do! How exciting for you all. Yes, choosing the right place to live is much easier when you can see and feel it in person. What you see online, may not be the same as in real life. Let us know how it goes for you and if you need any help, you can contact us! 🙂

  2. I did A Christmas trip to abrussels and Amsterdam 3 years ago – more time in Brussels so need to plan another Amsterdam trip one day. They are great holiday cities the markets are better in Brussels so plan accordingly. There is a giant Ferris wheel in the market area that you should take at night for a spectacular view of the holiday lights. Enjoy!

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