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Forget Juno: 5 Family Winter Trips to Book Now

Snow blanketed parts of the Northeast and temperatures have dropped. So it's time to snuggle in front of the fireplace with your kids, hot cocoa in one hand and a favorite book in another. Right?

Wrong! Winter months are the perfect excuse to pack your bags and head to even more snow for some winter fun (or, if you're already over it, a trip to tropical paradise to warm up).

Here are five thrilling places that make the most of the winter months and are fun for parents and kids.

RELATED: 8 Best Family Vacations for 2015

1. Reykjavik, Iceland

You are already cold, so why head to someplace that could be even colder than home? The Northern Lights my friends. Reykjavik is one of the easiest places to visit over a long weekend to check out the Aurora Borealis. Stay in a hotel that offers Northern Lights wake-up calls outside of the city, or hop on a tour bus to get away from the city lights and really increase your chances of seeing dancing lights in the sky. During the day take the Golden Circle tour to check out Gullfoss, Geysir and Thingvellir. All three are worth the trip even if the Northern Lights don’t pop up during your stay.

2. Loreto, Mexico

Down in Baja, you will find lazy little towns and plenty of sun to wash away your winter blues. The grey whales hang out in the warm waters on the Pacific side, which is an easy day trip from the quiet town of Loreto, situated on the Sea of Cortez. Although there are plenty of big resorts outside of the city, opt to stay in town at one of the little inns (We prefer the family-friendly and expat-owned La Damiana Inn) in the center of town. Hop on a small boat to Coronado Island to splash in the crystal blue waters or cruise along with dolphins towards the sea lion colony on the island. Food is cheap, fresh and divine for fish lovers. There are plenty of meat and veggie options to go around as well. And don’t worry kids. There is ice cream. Lots and lots of ice cream.

3. Panama City Beach, Fla.

Panama City is no longer just a spring break destination for rowdy college co-eds. Oh no, this beach has something for every family. What you will love the most is the fluffy white sand spread across the beach. If this were snow, it would be a skiers paradise. Instead, you get to sit in some of the softest sand around while watching your kids build sand castles and spot dolphins swimming past. Mini-golf and deep sea fishing tours are family favorites. A variety of food choices are available around town. Just don’t forget to relax a little, squish your toes in the warm, downy sand and take in the blue green waters of the Gulf Mexico. That’s why you came after all.

4. North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii

Cuddle up on the North Shore of Hawaii at Turtle Bay Resort for one of the most relaxing vacations imaginable. Turtle Bay believes that you don’t visit a hotel just to stay in the hotel; you actually want to see the destination you have traveled so far to visit. They have embraced the spirit of the North Shore and encourage guests to get out, catch a wave, try a new sport (SUPing anyone?), ride a horse along the beach and taste a few new flavors together. Above all, this part of the island stresses ohana, or family, in Hawaiian. You are on vacation with your kids. Make some memories together no matter what you do.

RELATED: 7 Trips That Will Thrill Kids in 2015

5. Keystone, Colo.

Families and ski resorts are a natural fit, and Keystone knows how to do it right. Kids ski free if their family is staying two or more nights. Kidtopia, Keystone’s kid program, has events running every day, including face-painting, fireworks, parades and ice skating parties. Camp Keystone will become your child’s second home as they ski the day away with their friends, while you hit the mountain on your own or run off for a spa treatment at Keystone Lodge. Don’t worry, at night you can come back together for a meal and jump in the hot tub.

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Images by Keryn Means

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