22 Epic Ideas for Spending Your Holidays Alone

by Gigi Griffis

I’ve spent a lot of holidays on my own.

Sometimes living in a new city, sometimes traveling. Sometimes by choice, sometimes not-so-by-choice.

And what I’ve learned over those many holidays is that you really don’t need someone else in order to celebrate, to take joy, to be a little decadent. And even if you are with a group, there are some normally-crowded things (like the Grand Canyon) that you might just have all to yourself if you go on Christmas Day.

In case you’re stuck for ideas for your own holidays, here are 22 interesting, beautiful, epic possibilities:

:: Spend the day at the spa (you’ll probably have the hot tub all to yourself)

:: Visit the Grand Canyon (you can drive up on the south side year-round)

:: Cook yourself a decadent five-course meal (who says you need to have people around to cook something fabulous?)

:: Join a yoga or health retreat (not only will you be centered, but you won’t actually be alone)

:: Volunteer at a soup kitchen, nursing home, or hospital (not only will you not be alone, but you’ll be bringing joy to others)

:: See a movie (you might just have the theater to yourself)

:: Go for a walk in the city (it’s strange how different things can be when everyone else is holed up indoors)

:: Do something creative (paint your masterpiece, stencil your favorite quote on your office walls, write a short story, start your novel)

:: Fly somewhere (flying on a holiday can mean loads more space than usual)

:: Meet up with someone new (one of my best first dates was on Thanksgiving Day with a man who was also living far from his family at the time)

:: Go out to eat and spend hours lingering over your food (there are always a few quality restaurants open on holidays)

:: Check something hilarious or fun off your bucket list (always wanted to travel by yourself, learn how to make your own ice cream, buy a pair of stripper heels, learn to read palms, or master some sleight of hand? Today’s your day.)

:: Go to the zoo (yep – they’re not always closed for the holidays!)

:: Hang out at a fancy hotel (fancy hotels often have activities going on over the holidays, like ice rinks and theme drinks)

:: Go for a solo hike somewhere beautiful (but make sure to tell someone where you’re going and when you’ll be back, for safety)

:: Take a long bike ride (the quiet roads and trails can be a nice change)

:: Lounge on the beach with a good book

:: Create a dream board

:: Find other solo-for-the-holidays folks and invite them for dinner

:: Have a day of pure focus, focusing fully on one thing at a time and not multi-tasking at all (it’s crazy how good coffee tastes when you’re just enjoying a cup of coffee without internet, books, or getting ready)

:: Learn a new skill (start the online Spanish course, learn to knit, take up origami)

:: Start planning a big adventure

Big thanks to everyone on Facebook who shared ideas and stories, including Melissa, Lynn, Tami, Jackie, Sue, Stacey, Marli, Erin, Laurie, and Lynn.

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lee laurino November 10, 2014 - 3:45 pm

spending a week or a weekend on an organized house stay: i will be posting a story about a prominent group in the UK that offers events during the holidays that offer organized events: hiking, bridge, dancing, painting, etc…..they tell me that a large percentage of guests are solo travelers

gigigriffis November 10, 2014 - 3:49 pm

Oh, that’s excellent!

rob December 23, 2014 - 10:53 am

I’m actually pretty accustomed to having good time alone in the holiday season, but this year I’m breaking the mold and traveling with a friend. We’re burning up fossil fuels exploring Spain and Portugal. And we’re at a Spa tonight, heading to a fancy hotel in Valencia for xmas and the next day…


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