Alaska’s Christmas 2023: Discover the Finest Christmas Experiences at These 9 Remarkable Destinations

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Alaska provides visitors with a one-of-a-kind experience during the Christmas season. Situated in the most northern part of the United States, the state of Alaska offers a variety of festivities such as the parade of lights, mule bucking, and beautifully decorated trees. With its perpetual cold weather and snowy landscapes, it often feels like Christmas all year round in Alaska. In fact, people even travel to the North Pole in July and August to “visit Santa.” Visitors will surely enjoy and participate in these unique celebrations, which vary from region to region. Here is a list of 10 places in Alaska where you can enjoy and celebrate Christmas.

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Christmas In Alaska: 9 Must-Visit Places

Christmas in Alaska offers visitors unparalleled experiences. Check out the top destinations for Christmas in Alaska that you should explore for a perfect holiday, whether you’re traveling with your family or friends!

  • North Pole
  • Juneau
  • Anchorage
  • Nome
  • Palmer
  • Cordova
  • Soldotna
  • Fairbanks
  • Kenai

1. North Pole

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The North Pole is where Santa resides, as everyone knows, so what better way to wish someone a Merry Christmas than by visiting this place itself? In Alaska, you can enjoy a reindeer ride and witness various other ice events featuring impressive ice sculptures. The town is filled with holiday spirit, with houses adorned with stunning Christmas lights and Nativity scenes. In the downtown area, you’ll find a massive tree adorned with gifts from ships, adding to the festive atmosphere. This is the ultimate Christmas town in Alaska. While you’re here, don’t forget to visit the Santa Claus house in Alaska.

Location: Situated 13 miles southeast of Fairbanks on the Richardson Highway.

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2. Juneau

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The Juneau Public Market is a hub of holiday festivities with all sorts of varieties being discovered here. This market is brimming with handcrafted items that are presented by local artisans, and these products are renowned for their excellence and intricate details. Ideal for those last-minute presents. However, there are more activities to be enjoyed here than simply visiting the public market. Take a stroll down to the harbor to admire the boats beautifully adorned with Christmas lights in the enchanting setting of Alaska. Alternatively, spend an evening at the renowned Holiday Pops Concert to relish the nostalgic melodies of the holiday season. If you have a fondness for nature, you can lend a hand to the Juneau Audubon Society Christmas Bird Count and assist in tallying the bird population during the winter months. So, be sure to include this in your Christmas vacation itinerary in Alaska.

Location: Southeastern part of Alaska, on the Gastineau Channel.

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3. Anchorage

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We recommend securing a vacation rental right in the heart of downtown Anchorage during Christmas in Alaska to fully immerse yourself in the experience. Anchorage offers breathtaking and picturesque locations to explore, adorned with intricate ice sculptures. During Christmas, embark on a journey aboard the Holiday Train that traverses the Alaska Railroad, accompanied by festive music and mesmerizing views of the glistening winter wonderland through the train windows. You can also attend the Family Holiday Pops Concert, a delightful evening filled with enchanting carols performed by the Holiday Pops Orchestra and the Anchorage Concert Chorus. There are numerous upscale stores where you can find Christmas gifts for your loved ones. This is the perfect place to witness the traditions of Christmas in Alaska.


Location: Situated in the south-central part of Alaska, at the terminus of the Cook Inlet.

4. Nome

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This charming town offers delightful vacation rentals to spend your time in. The Old St. Joe’s Civic Center will transport you into the holiday spirit with its melodic Christmas carols, and you’ll have the opportunity to capture a photo with Santa Claus and his reindeer. During the chilly evenings, take a leisurely stroll through the downtown area and marvel at the sparkling Christmas lights adorning the buildings and lamp posts. This location is renowned for its exceptional Christmas activities in Alaska.


Location: Located on the southern coast of the Seward Peninsula, overlooking Norton Sound of the Bering Sea.

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5. Palmer

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The enchanting period of the whole years descends every December from 9th to 11th. The festivities are initiated with Colony Christmas celebration and they bring all the magical fireworks, gingerbreads, parades of stunning lights and also bring along the assurance of enjoyment and merriment. It’s a guarantee that the entire family will experience amusement for days in the end. This region of the Mat-Su Valley truly knows how to participate and have a great time regardless of the temperature outside because Christmas occurs only once a year.


Location: Mat-Su Valley, Palmer, AK 99645, US

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6. Cordova

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Christmas vacations in Alaska, Cordova is for those who desire to abandon everything and experience the serenity of a different place. This secluded small town springs to life with an array of Christmas illuminations and embellishments. If you arrive in time for the Christmas Tree Lighting and Santa Parade, consider yourself fortunate. Within the parade, you will find floats, marching bands, and locals who are thoroughly enjoying themselves. Join in on the merriment and afterward, capture a photo with Santa to treasure the memory forever.

Location: Situated near the entrance of the Copper River in the Valdez-Cordova

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7. Soldotna

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The finest destination to spend Christmas in Alaska 2023 as the Christmas tree illuminated with enchanting fairy lights at Soldotna Creek Park is truly a marvel to behold. This splendid park is situated alongside the rushing Kenai river, creating a magical ambiance. Another delightful place to visit is the Watershed Forum Holiday Open House, where you can encounter the local community, savor delicious eggnog, and listen to the soothing melodies of Christmas carols playing softly in the background. Take a leisurely stroll through the town to admire the diverse range of decorations, but exercise caution not to wander too far as there is a notable bear population.

Location: Located in the Southcentral region of Alaska on the central-western part of the Kenai Peninsula.


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8. Fairbanks

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When visiting during the joyful holiday season, a ride on the Santa train is an absolute must. Departing from the Tanana Valley Railroad Museum in Fairbanks’ Pioneer Park, this journey will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression. To set the festive mood, you can also attend the Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra’s Design Alaska Holiday Concert, where you can delight in the enchanting melodies of the holiday season. Prepare to be mesmerized by the night sky bursting with lights during the Celebration of Lights Fireworks. Fairbanks is a place where the Christmas festivities will linger in your memories long after you have departed.

Location: The city is situated extremely far north, approximately 16 parallels north of the Pacific border between the U.S. and Canada. It is also roughly on the same latitude as the northern Swedish city of Skellefteå and the Finnish city of Oulu.


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9. Kenai

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When the festive season arrives in Kenai, it wraps the city in splendor, affection, and enchantment. It is rumored that Christmas graces this destination to spread joy. Christmas is brimming with enjoyable activities and processions, which are the idealized flawless methods to welcome the snowy season and love with the rest of the family in tow. Here, the motto is to either go big or go home, and this is evident in their extravagant lights, wreaths, and decorations that illuminate the entire place.

Location: It is a coastal city in Alaska, situated southwest of Anchorage. It is located at the mouth of the Kenai River.


Top 3 Activities To Experience In Alaska During Christmas

Alaska is a remarkable place to spend a vacation during the Christmas season. A variety of fantastic events take place in different locations and the town is a hub of festive spirit. Explore the top activities to enjoy here during Christmas. 

1. Explore Winter Arts Faire in Ketchikan

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Ketchikan hosts an annual winter arts faire where more than 80 skilled artisans display their crafts, including jewelry, pottery, and photography. In addition to admiring the work of these vendors, children can also have fun with Santa. Visiting this small island town is undoubtedly one of the finest things to do in Alaska during Christmas. 

2. Delight in the Festival Of Lights In Petersburg

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Petersburg transforms into a mesmerizing winter wonderland during Christmas. The festivities begin with a tree lighting ceremony. To experience Norwegian traditions, consider visiting Petersburg during Christmas week and make the most of your holiday time. 

3. Enjoy the Holiday Fair In Seward

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Seward is an excellent destination to spend quality time with family during the Christmas season in Alaska. Take a trip to the Holiday Arts and Crafts Fair where you can catch a glimpse of Santa Claus, savor delicious food from various vendors, enjoy lively music, and bask in the beautiful atmosphere.

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The Christmas festivities in Alaska are truly magnificent, with its breathtaking valleys and pristine white snow creating a magical and enchanting ambiance. Every town celebrates the holiday season with their unique festivals, and the Christmas tree becomes a focal point, standing tall and sparkling like a stunning night on the calm sea. This tree has the power to bring families together, strengthening their bonds. So, why not plan a trip to Alaska and immerse yourself in the joy and merriment!

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Commonly Asked Questions About Christmas in Alaska

Is December a suitable time to visit Alaska?

Yes, December is an ideal time to explore Alaska as it is a festive month. Additionally, the chances of witnessing the captivating Northern Lights are higher during this time.

What activities are available in Alaska during December?

Some of the exciting activities to enjoy in Alaska during the winter season are: 1. Relaxing at hot springs 2. Engaging in skiing and snowboarding 3. Going sledding at Hatcher Pass

How cold does it get in Alaska during December?

Different regions of Alaska experience varying temperatures. In December, the mercury can drop to as low as -10 °C, while the highest recorded temperature hovers around 5°C.

What is the winter like in Alaska?

Alaska transforms into a winter wonderland, with a stunning blanket of white snow covering the landscape. The presence of limited sunlight provides a perfect opportunity to witness the awe-inspiring Northern Lights.

Is Alaska always cold?

Indeed, Alaska is known for its cold weather throughout both the summer and winter seasons.

What is the distance between Alaska and the North Pole?

Alaska is approximately 7000 kilometers away from the North Pole.

How densely populated is Alaska?

Alaska boasts a population of approximately 700,000 people.

Can you catch a glimpse of Russia from Alaska?

Yes, you can observe Russia from Alaska, particularly from a village located in Little Diomede.

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