Guide to Viewing Houston's Annual Thanksgiving Parade With Kids

Houston's annual Thanksgiving is back with its larger-than-life floats and entertainment. The 2018 69th Annual H-E-B Thanksgiving Parade begins at 9 a.m. in Downtown Houston on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 22, 2018) with two grand marshalls who own our hearts: Jose Altuve and James Harden. Plan on joining the thousands of Houstonians and visitors who will line the streets on parade day? We have you covered with everything you need to know. But before getting into all of that, know that despite the large crowd, it's not as stressful as you might think to grab a good spot and enjoy the festivities.

20 Best Holiday Events in NYC for Toddlers and Preschoolers

New York City's annual transformation into a wonderland of holiday magic never gets old, especially with kids in tow. For younger kids, however, the Christmas crowds can be daunting—and the average toddler or preschooler tends to have limited patience for lines and lots of noise.

But there are still plenty of amazing seasonal spectacles just right for the 2-to-5 year-old set—including holiday lights, Christmas trains, and Santa visits. We've rounded up some stellar events that cater to toddlers and preschoolers, from abridged performances of holiday shows to gingerbread mania, plus interactive events and workshops, there's plenty of holiday wonder to go around.

Things To Do with Train-Loving Kids in New Jersey

If Thomas, Percy, and James are a part of your daily conversations, take advantage of the many train and railroad attractions throughout New Jersey. Each one offers a different experience that will surely put a smile on any train lover's face. From model trains to railroad museums, zoo and amusement park rides to North Pole excursions, the Garden State has it all—even the world's largest model railroad!

Read on for a list of places where you can ride the rails with your little one, check out amazing displays, and more. 

All Aboard! LI Holiday Model Train Exhibits

If watching a miniature train make its way around a tiny Christmas village isn’t on your family’s list of holiday traditions, why not make it one in 2018?

We guarantee children and adults alike will gaze with wide-eyed wonder at the sights and sounds of one of several model train exhibits on Long Island this holiday season. Not to mention the holiday-themed decorations of the towns through which they travel. To get you going, we’ve put together a list of some of the best displays, sure to delight the entire family.

And if all this train watching makes your family eager to climb aboard a real caboose, check out our roundup of Polar Express and other Santa trains near Long Island and NYC.

All aboard!

It's Christmastime at Sesame Place: A Parent's Review

This first snow has fallen, winter is coming, and it is Christmastime at Sesame Place! If you think Sesame Place is just a water park or summer attraction, put on your jacket and be prepared to be delighted by how they transform the entire park into a winter wonderland, with special guest visits from some of your favorite holiday heroes, including Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Bumble (aka the Abominable Snowman), and of course the big guy himself, Santa Claus, at their Very Furry Christmas celebration. 

I set out for a day of fun with my two kiddos (aged one and five) to get our holiday started extra early this year. With an early Thanksgiving, festivities are kicking into gear across the area and there are already a number of great winter-themed selections to partake in. If you have kids under 10, you will definitely want to make Sesame Place a holiday tradition. If your kids are older, be sure to check out our roundup of free holiday outings, and some can't miss events to celebrate the season, no matter your age.

Cut Your Own Christmas Tree This Year: Southern California Tree Farms

Ah, childhood in New England. I remember the hip-deep snows of December, building snowmen until my fingers froze, and drying my hand-knit mittens by the fire. Fast forward to my boys’ childhoods in LA, and I wonder: What will they remember? Sand sledding at the beach and wearing shorts on Christmas day? Will they never make snow angels in their best friend’s backyard?

Thankfully, one winter tradition we can carry on here in the Southland is cutting down our own Christmas tree. If you’re willing to cross county lines, you, too, can experience this classic holiday outing. If living Christmas trees aren’t your thing, and you want something other than a pre-cut or artificial tree, get ready to set hacksaw to tree trunk, watch the tree fall gently to the ground, and smell the sap on your hands as you sing carols on the car ride home. We have compiled a list of area tree farms to help you get started.

30+ Free Holiday and Christmas Events for NJ Kids

It's the most wonderful—and expensive—time of the year. While big-budget gifts take a toll on your wallet, our gift to you is a list of holiday events that don't cost a penny. Treat the family to free and fun holiday festivities throughout the state, including Christmas lights extravaganzas, Santa visits, carriage rides, New Years Eve crafts, storytimes, and more.

Mark your calendars with these 30 no-cost events that take place nearly every day of the season. For more budget-friendly holiday fun, check out A Dozen Must-Do Holiday Events for NJ Kids and The Best Nutcracker, Christmas, and Holiday Shows for NJ Kids

Christmas Tree and Menorah Lightings for Holidays in Westchester

The holiday season is upon us, and what better way to herald its arrival than with the lighting of Christmas trees and menorahs? You don't have to head to Rockefeller Center to enjoy that holiday magic.

Many tree lighting events in Westchester have live music, toasty refreshments, a visit from Santa himself and—in some cases—some extra bells and whistles. Menorah lighting celebrations include parties, music, and plenty of tasty treats. 

We’ve rounded up several lighting festivities, ranging from big celebrations to cozy, small-town affairs. 

Looking for more seasonal fun? Check out our November GoList and be sure to browse our Event Calendar. Don't forget to sign up for our newsletters to keep up to date on our latest info.

Best Holiday Train Shows in NYC for Kids: Botanical Garden and Beyond

Trains are a way of life for most New Yorkers, but there's something particularly special about the little engines and cabooses that take center stage during the holiday season. The New York Botanical Garden's Holiday Train show is one of the best things to do with kids in New York City during the Christmas season, with electric model trains whizzing by more than 150 NYC landmarks made out of acorns, twigs, bark, berries, leaves, and other botanical bits and pieces. My family and I make it a point to go every year—it's truly a quintessential New York holiday experience. There's a reason it's on our list of the top 100 things to do with kids in NYC.

But the big NYBG display isn't the only holiday train show in town. Read on for more details on all the Christmas train shows the city has to offer this season (including the Botanical Garden's big spectacle). And for an extra special holiday treat, take the kids on a full-size Christmas train ride with these nearby Polar Express and Santa locomotives.

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