As nights linger and the cold closes in on the northern hemisphere, the itchy footed can either escape south to sun-lathered landscapes or wrap up warm for winter fun. Frosty Christmas festivities spread their cheer across Europe in December, from German-style markets pouring steamy mugs of mulled wine to carol singers on cathedral steps. Cities such as New York also celebrate the season with fervour: the Big Apple’s offerings include ice skating, The Nutcracker on Broadway and the Rockefeller Center’s twinkling, towering spruce tree.
The month is ideal for polar play. The midnight sun illuminates warmer and longer days for wildlife spotting in Antarctica, while the Northern Lights dance across clear skies around the Arctic Circle. Meanwhile, in resorts across the USA, Canada and Europe, fresh powder heralds the opening of the slopes for winter sports enthusiasts.
Shivering already? Eschew the chilly temperatures and try Southeast Asia, where countries including Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia are stepping out of the wellies and into their dry season. Argentina, Chile and the Caribbean are all warm and dry, while the sunnies are out down under as Australia and New Zealand bask in their balmy summer.
December goes out with a bang as countries across the globe celebrate New Year’s Eve. Choose from a sky of fireworks in Sydney, beach fun in Rio de Janeiro, the multiday Hogmanay festivities across Scotland, the ball drop in Times Square, New York, or Miami for bottle-popping parties.