If you're all out of winter vacation ideas, head to your local national park. Even in the colder months you can enjoy scenic vistas and have an active day. As you explore the snow-covered park, you might even notice a different kind of beauty. So put down your cup of cocoa and head to one of these national parks.
Arches National Park1 of 9
There are few things that compare to seeing fluffy white snow contrasted against the brilliant red rock arches that this national park is famous for. However, Arches actually receives very little snow accumulation this time of year, which makes it a great place to visit during the winter months. Take your family camping, hiking or backpacking, all of which are year-round activities that everyone can enjoy. Check out Arches National Park: Your Winter Vacation Spot for more winter vacation ideas.
Death Valley National Park2 of 9
Extreme summer weather makes winter the perfect time to visit Death Valley National Park. Temperatures in the off-season are mild, allowing you to stay outside and enjoy the park from sun up to sun down. A variety of ranger-guided programs are presented from October through April, and you can also go hiking, camping or backpacking.
Everglades National Park3 of 9
Add this Florida national park to your list of winter vacation ideas because there's no better time of year to visit. Mosquitos and hot temperatures make this area difficult to navigate in the mid-summer months. Winter temperatures, however, hover around the 80s, which is ideal for exploring. View wildlife and 14 different types of endangered species from your car, the tram, a canoe, a bike or guided motorboat.
Mt. Rainier National Park4 of 9
This winter, grab your gear and cross-country ski through Mt. Rainier National Park. Head to the Ohanepecosh-Stevens Canyon area for stunning views and fewer people, or spend your day gliding through Paradise, where the trails—though not groomed—are some of the most popular this time of year.
Acadia National Park5 of 9
Acadia National Park has a variety of winter activities that the whole family can enjoy. Bring your snowmobiles, load up the cross-country skis, pack your snowshoes, or bring along your fishing poles. A more exciting winter vacation idea: go dog sledding and then spend the night in a tent.
It's important to note that some roads and facilities are closed during the winter so check NPS.gov before you head out.
Rocky Mountain National Park6 of 9
If you want to introduce your tykes to winter camping this is the park to do it in. Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the few that allow winter camping, with more than 20 backcountry camping areas open this time of year. Keep in mind, there's no available water, other than what you bring yourself, and you must be a designated winter zone.
If you're not up for a winter camping adventure take your little ones ice skating, sledding, skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling.
Yellowstone National Park7 of 9
Do you want to see steam rise out of geyser basins from a landscape blanketed with snow? Maybe you want to go snowmobiling, take a snow coach tour, cross-country ski, or observe wildlife in a winter wonderland. No matter what you want to do, this park needs to be on your list of winter vacation ideas.
Although many roads in the park are closed during the winter, you can still access other areas of the park via guided tours on snow coaches and snowmobiles. For detailed park information visit NPS.gov.
Yosemite National Park8 of 9
Yosemite has a variety of fun winter activities for every age. Bring your tykes to the outdoor ice rink, suit them up for a day of down hill or cross-country skiing, or find a hill for sledding. Spend the night in the primitive Ostrander Ski Hut, located on the shores of Ostrander Lake. With only 10 miles between you and Badger Pass, you'll ski your way through vacation.