Best Christmas Eve Activities in NYC for Families

Whether your family already has established Christmas Eve traditions or decides to wing it every year, there are plenty of ways to celebrate in New York City on Monday, December 24. From holiday shows to Christmas pageants, amazing holiday light and window displays to Christmas caroling, miniature trains, and ice skating, we found plenty of festive things to do on Christmas Eve with kids—during the day and after dark. We even included a number of non-holiday-themed activities for those not celebrating.

Remember, a number of places close early on Christmas Eve, so click through to the full listing or website to confirm times before hopping on the train. Still, there's plenty open on this holiday.

You can find more seasonal activities in our Holiday Fun Guide or in our daily Event Calendar.

Christmas Weekend Fun: Holiday at the Park, Airport Santa, Sea of Lights

It's the holly jolly weekend leading up to the big event! Christmas will finally be here on Tuesday, and this weekend is the perfect time to squeeze in all those last-minute Santa visits, light displays, and holiday festivities.

Make the most of the concluding weekend for popular seasonal celebrations. Don't miss the final opportunity to experience a Visit with Santa at Longstreet Farm, Country Christmas with Santa, Red Bank's Holiday Horse & Wagon Rides, and Princeton's Holiday Trolley Tours. Holiday-themed theatrical performances will get everyone in the spirit this weekend. Bring the family to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Magic & Mistletoe, Snow Day, and New Jersey Ballet's Nutcracker, which includes a Monday performance. 

If you've made your list and checked it twice, avoid shopping on Monday and spend the day at fun events like Chatham's Christmas Eve North Pole Express and Santa Flies into Princeton Airport. And once those gifts are all unwrapped on Tuesday, you can take a breather at Hopewell Theater's showing of It's a Wonderful Life. Plus, Adventure Aquarium is open on both Monday and Tuesday.

Find even more weekend and Christmas week options in our Holiday Guide, including 25 Things to Do with New Jersey Kids Over Holiday Break. And look to our December GoList and event calendar for a complete listing of happenings this weekend and beyond.

Winter Day Trips for LI Families for Christmas Break and Beyond

Although it might be tempting to spend your family time during the winter months snuggled under a blanket or in front of a roaring fire, eventually someone’s going to get cabin fever. No worries: We’ve got just what you need to get everyone off the couch and out of the house with our list of fun, family-friendly winter day trips for Long Island families.

So pile into the car, hop on a ferry, or jump on the Long Island Rail Road because there is plenty to do and see on and off Long Island. From the excitement of New York City to the serene beauty of the North Fork to skiing and more in New England or the Hudson Valley, with our roundup of winter day trips (and some weekend getaways) your family has plenty of options for keeping busy this winter.

Stay warm! 

Mommy Poppins’ New City Sites Washington DC and Chicago Launch for Holidays

As we approach the 12 year anniversary of Mommy Poppins, it’s amazing to reflect back on the past years, even as we are looking forward and adding new cities to our community.  Just like my children, who have grown in ways I never would have imagined, Mommy Poppins has become so much more than I ever planned for it to be when I started writing those first blog posts as a New Year’s resolution in 2007. 

This week we added Washington DC and Chicago to our growing list of cities that now includes Boston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Houston, as well as NYC, Long Island, New Jersey, Westchester, and Connecticut.

Kids Play for Free at These New York City Stores

Looking for a new winter play destination? With a shiny new FAO Schwarz filled with delights and an American Girl mega-store, there's no shortage of stores in New York City where kids can play for free. You'll find options as varied as building Lego friends, exercising on the Wii Fit, or getting their train fix for the day, and the kids will be so exhausted by day's end, they might not even whine about leaving the Nintendo system behind (fingers crossed).

For more indoor play options, check out our guide to Indoor Play Spaces and Fun Zones in NYC.
 

12 Fun Things to Do Over the Holiday Break with DC Kids

Waterskiing Santas, tree lightings, and holiday markets, oh my! It's almost Christmas, which means it's almost Christmas break. What are DC area families to do when all the gifts are open and kids are chomping at the bit to get out of the house? From free fun to great winter activities, Mommy Poppins DC has you covered. Read on for our top picks on what to do during this holiday school break. 

Check in with our events calendar, too, for more ideas.

Where To Enjoy High Tea in New Jersey with Kids

If your little sweetie loves the finer things in life—and has the patience to make it through a sit-down meal—he or she may be ready to enjoy an afternoon at one of NJ's many local tea rooms. From the fine china and finger sandwiches to the tempting sweets, your little one will be enchanted during this special one-on-one mommy time. Many host sweet birthday parties, and several offer special holiday events.

New Roller Rink at Industry City Hosts Family Skate Weekends

NYC has a brand-new indoor roller skating rink, just in time to skate out those rainy winter afternoon crazies. Lola Starr, longtime host of roller skate parties for grownups at the LeFrak Center in Prospect Park, debuted a 15,000 square-foot indoor roller skating space on December 8 in Industry City, Brooklyn, which will host family skating parties every Saturday and Sunday all winter long. We recently visited for a satisfying afternoon skate, and had a chance to talk with Starr about upcoming plans for NYC's newest roller rink. For a peek inside the colorful new space, read on.

Outdoor Ice Skating in the Philadelphia Area

During the chill of the holidays in the Philadelphia area it's tough to think of a more traditional outdoor winter activity to do with the family than ice skating. Getting bundled in hats and scarves, lacing up your skates, and warming up with a steaming cup of hot chocolate after a spin on the ice is sure to please kids young and old.

There are several temporary outdoor ice rinks set up in the Philadelphia area this season, providing unique settings for this fun winter sport. We also have a list of Pennsylvania state parks that offer ice skating when the conditions are right. So whether you are a novice on the ice, or you're ready to show off your triple axel, see our list of outdoor rinks for a memorable day with the family.

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