We didn’t go travelling over Christmas but we made a trip in January to make up for it. Typically people try to avoid the cold so we did something similar and headed out to Las Vegas. We also decided to loop out to the Grand Canyon as well while we were there, which unfortunately was just as cold (if not more) than Toronto.
Even though the Grand Canyon is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, I was a bit skeptical that it would live up to its reputation – I was not impressed looking at the photos of it. However, I thought it might be one of those things that you had to witness in person to have your breath taken away. Now, after visiting it, I can conclusively say that it was underwhelming (we went for both sunset and sunrise). Part of it might be because it was cold, but it just felt like you were standing in front of a picture. It might be better if you were able to hike down into the canyon, but that was impossible in the winter (or with kids). We rented a car and drove around the majority of the South Rim so it was not like we just went to a bad lookout point.
We also spent some time in Las Vegas, and while I’ve seen a lot of kids there (I had a long stopover there in Nov 2014), there isn’t actually too much that kids can do. Basically it’s like they spent the entire time running around a large mall and/or eating. We ended up seeing one show which was suitable for young kids (Popovich Comedy Pet Theatre) and gorged on a couple of buffets. The pools were closed for the season, otherwise they might have had some fun there.
Lastly we made a side trip out to Hoover Dam. I thought this would be cool, because it was man-made and huge. It’s kind of strange to visit though, because unless you take one of the tours, you’re basically standing on the dam and you can’t see much. I did find out how to get on the bridge where the highway is located, and you have a nice view down (assuming you can see over the handrail).