Trips to beat the winter blues

  • San Juan in Puerto Rico is ideal for those looking for warmth or adventure or for those interested in the nightlife or shopping.

    San Juan in Puerto Rico is ideal for those looking for warmth or adventure or for those interested in the nightlife or shopping.  (iStock)

  • The Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival

    The Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival  (Headline Entertainment )

  • Jackson Hole, Wyoming

    Jackson Hole, Wyoming  (Patrick Nelson)

Wintertime can be a bummer. The cooler days limit the amount of outdoor activities and the lack of sunshine is draining. If you’re looking to cheer up, try visiting one of these mood-enhancing destinations.

Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival 

Jam out to 25 live acts over a span of three days at this popular kid-friendly festival that features classic Jamaican reggae artists as well as international artists. Some of the artists will include Mary J. Blige, Michael Bolton, John Legend, Rootz Underground and Third World Band

Dates: January 24-26

Location: Trelawny Multi-Purpose Stadium

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Online Ticket Prices: Varies depending on days. Children under age 10 are free. General admission on Friday and Saturday is $150. VIP admission on Friday and Saturday is $230.

Getting There: American Airlines, JetBlue, Delta and US Airways all fly into Sangster International Airport, which is a 30-minute drive from the festival.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming 

Rated number one on Forbes “Top 10 Ski Resorts in the United States,” Jackson Hole is a must-see destination for both adults and kids. It has one of the highest vertical drops in the U.S., but half of the terrain is meant for beginners and intermediates. For those not interested in skiing, there’s still plenty to do (perhaps a visit to nearby Yellowstone National Park?).

Lift Ticket Prices: Adult full day pass, online start from $94. Adult beginners can access limited terrain for $29.

Activities: Tram (Adult $29); Gondola (Adult $15); Kids Night Out ($65 per child); Tubing; National Elk Refuge Sleigh Ride (Adult $18); National Museum of Wildlife Art (Adult $12); Snowshoeing (from $75 per person)

Accommodations: Stay at Teton Village, the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, or in downtown Jackson. Check out hotels and packages here or call 888-838-6606.

Getting There: Direct flights from nine cities including Newark, San Francisco, Dallas and Chicago.

Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World is wildly popular among kids and even adults, which is why we had to include it in this list. Hang out with Mickey Mouse, splash through the water parks, relax at the spas or unwind at the golf courses.

Ticket Prices: Each ticket provides access to one theme park per day (three-day ticket $242 per person)

Accommodations: Walt Disney World Resort offers a variety of “Magic Your Way” vacation packages. One of the more basic packages (from $1,505 for a family of four) includes accommodation at one of the 20 Disney Resort hotels, free airport pickup and return, free transportation throughout the resort, tickets for entry into the theme parks and more.

Getting There: Most major airlines fly into Orlando International Airport. Disney provides transportation that will take you directly from the airport to the resort. If you’re driving, take either exit 64, 65 or 67 off of Interstate 4.

Quebec Winter Carnival

Today, the Quebec Winter Carnival is one of the largest winter carnivals in the world with over 300 activities (many of which are kid-focused). This two-week event features parades, ice sculptures, music, and snow sports. Just be sure to dress warm.

Dates: February 1-17

Admission Price: CAD$15 per person

Activities: Ice slides; International Snow Sculpture Competition; day and night parades; tubing; zip line; snow bath; Children’s Village; canoe race; dog sledding; Arctic Spas Village; ice skating; sleigh rides

Accommodations: Hilton Quebec (rates from CAD$179); Hotel Chateau Lauerier Quebec (rates from CAD$104) and more here.

Getting There: Most major airlines fly into the Jean Lesage International Airport.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico’s capital radiates Spanish culture with its colonial architecture and historic attractions. It’s an ideal destination for those looking for warmth or adventure or for those interested in the nightlife or shopping.

Accommodation: Hotel El Convento currently ranks as the number one hotel in San Juan on TripAdvisor. This historic hotel is located just 15 minutes from the airport and has a view of the ocean and Catedral de San Juan. The hotel offers vacation packages, such as the “My Puerto Rico Experience” package (from $225), which includes a free room upgrade, $100 debit card, and 20 percent discount on tours. For a little romance, you can add in rose petal turndown or champagne to any reservation.

Attractions: Check out El Morro, a historic six-story fortress overlooking the ocean (Adult $3). Beach enthusiasts should visit Sun Bay during the day or Mosquito Bay (which radiates a bluish glow due to a certain micro-organism) during the night. El Yunque National Rainforest (free admission) is the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. National Forest System.

Getting There: American Airlines, Delta, JetBlue and Continental all fly into the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport. The flight is 4 hours from New York and 2 ½ hours from Miami.