Santa Claus Brunches, Teas, and Cruises for NYC Kids

A picture with Santa can be thrilling for a little kid. But if your child wants a heartier visit with the big red guy, a tasty breakfast, brunch, or tea with Santa might be in order.

We've found nine spots in New York City where families can enjoy a special holiday meal with Old St. Nick. These range from inexpensive pancake brunches hosted by local organizations to lavish spreads at Rockefeller Center and the Plaza Hotel. You can even hop on a cruise with Santa.

All require advance reservations and sell out quickly. Whichever one you choose, bring your camera—and your appetite—and for more seasonal family fun check out our Holiday Guide.

The Ultimate Roundup of Free LA Holiday Events for Families

The Holidays have arrived, despite what the palm trees outside your window might be telling you. With a Santa in every mall, and a shopping list as long as your arm, it’s time to ring in the most magical time of year. But if you need a little help finding some cost-cutting events to share with the whole family, look no further. From boat parades to menorah lightings, there’s plenty of free fun to be had this Holiday season.

Sherlock Exhibit Solves the Most Confounding Mystery of Them All

Calling all sleuths! There’s a mystery brewing in Jersey City, and Liberty Science Center needs your help to solve it. At The International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes, the latest exhibit at the favorite New Jersey science spot, children and adults hunt for clues in a beautifully detailed exhibit that teaches the science behind detective work and puts it to the test to solve an elaborate murder mystery.

Hunt for clues on the streets of Victorian London, learn about poisonous plants, forensics, send Morse code messages, and then, detective notebook in hand, document your deductions by embossing, stamping, rubbing, and punching holes in paper. Finally, puzzle out what the all evidence means to solve the mystery.

This highly interactive and educational exhibit solves the one mystery families are always looking to crack: where to spend a great day that the whole family will enjoy. And we’re here to clue you in on what to expect, who it’s best for, and what you need to know before you go.

Kidmoto: NYC Airport Car Service With Car Seats, or Even More Than One!

If you’ve ever traveled to an NYC-area airport in a car service with a baby or toddler in tow, you’re likely familiar with your options. Either you lug your own car or booster seat along and install it on the fly, you take your chances and hold your little one on your lap for the ride, or you try out a service that offers car seats.

The problem with the last option is that many of the companies offering car and booster seats often arrive with improperly installed seats, a driver who doesn't know how to install them, or an old or out-of-date model. Or, sometimes, no car seat at all. The last time I tried using our local car service, the driver shrugged his shoulders and popped the trunk revealing an ancient car seat that was clearly the wrong size for my 3 year old. And, if you need more than one car seat? Fuggedaboutit. 

Enter Kidmoto: a new service in NYC that is striving to solve this dilemma. Catering to those traveling with small children, the Kidmoto app connects parents to a network of professionally trained drivers who provide secured child car seats for safe airport and cruise ship transportation.

Read on for the lowdown on everything you’ll need to know to make your next airport trip a car seat success story.

Interactive Mickey Mouse Pop-Up Museum Lands in NYC

Attention, Disney fans: Celebrate Mickey’s 90th birthday at at the latest family pop-up to hit New York City. From his humble beginnings in “Steamboat Willie” to the cultural icon that we all know and love today, Mickey Mouse gets the full biographical treatment in a museum experience that offers a little something for everyone.

Located near NYC's High LineMickey: The True Original Exhibition celebrates 90 years of Mickey Mouse’s influence on art and pop culture. The 16,000 square-foot exhibition features classic memorabilia for all the nostalgic feels, plus contemporary work from popular artists. We were lucky enough to get a sneak peek of the pop-up, immersive museum celebrating Disney’s most beloved character.

Cut Your Own Christmas Tree Farms in the Philadelphia Area

Most of us still have Thanksgiving on the brain--and the stomach--but Christmas time is just around the corner. Between shopping, seeing all the lights,and taking photos with Santa, it might be tricky fitting in the time to find a good place to cut down your tree.  Still, there are no shortage of good places to go tree hunting near Philadelphia, so if you have the will, there is definitely a way.

Create a new family tradition or continue a long-standing ritual by picking out an evergreen that’s going to be front and center for the month of December! Some of these local farms offer additional family fun, such as crafts, cider and hot cocoa sampling, or other treats.  The hours posted here pertain to the cut your own fields, but many of the farms stay open later.

Looking for even more fun this season? Check out our Holiday Guide and our Events Calendar for the latest events!

Fun and Free Things To Do Thanksgiving Weekend with LA Kids, November 22-25

In recent years, Thanksgiving was all about cute mash-ups (remember Thanksgivvikuh?), Black Friday shopping, and outrage over Thursday-is-Not-Friday-But-the-Middle-of-a-Holiday sales. This year, Hanukkah holds off until early December, and many major retailers are promising to stay closed on Thursday. (You go, Lakeshore Learning, Home Depot, and Barnes & Noble! As for the rest of you, time out with no pumpkin pie.)

We've found a few family friendly venues open on Thanksgiving, where you can enjoy a little morning cardio, a visit with animal friends, and maybe a good meal. (Make sure you check the hours for the day; some places are closing early.) You can make your Friday about shopping, or you can gather the family for a flick, whether new or timeless. Once again, Saturday is the new Friday, and it's all about the local.

We here are thankful for much, and hope you feel the same way. We're grateful for the truly unique shows, spectacles, and experiences that come our way this time of year. We're thankful for our beautiful climate, which lets us sled on the sand as easily as on the snow. We're grateful for our brave first responders, who put themselves in harm's way to keep us and the land safe. We're grateful for the health and well-being of our loved ones,  and we're grateful for you, our readers. Happy Thanksgiving, guys!

Keep reading for some of our best finds for fun this Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and, thankfully, Thanksgiving weekend...

Thanksgiving Weekend Fun for Houston Kids: Nov. 24-25

From all of us on the Mommy Poppins Houston team, we want to wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving! We are so grateful for all of you who support us by reading our content and sharing our articles. Y'all are the best!

For those of you who may have waited until the last minute to plan your Thanksgiving feast and are suddenly looking to outsource it, we have you covered! Just check out our round-up of kid-friendly restaurants open on Thanksgiving for an easy fix to feeding the family this holiday. 

If you're officially ready to start kicking off the Christmas holiday activities, we are your one stop shop for all of the events: 

Looking for even more activities and events? Head over to our Fall Fun and Harvest Guideevent calendarNovember GoList, and a roundup of 20 FREE things to do in November for an exhaustive look at what's happening in Houston. You can also subscribe to our FREE weekly newsletter to have all of the content on Mommy Poppins delivered to your inbox in one or two emails per week. 

Have an event you want to share? We would love for you to submit your own event to our calendar! 

Now let's check out all of the awesome post-Thanksgiving activities Houston has to offer this weekend. 

Thanksgiving Weekend Fun for Boston Kids; Nov 23-25

With the holidays approaching but not quite yet in full swing, why not spend this weekend appreciating all the excitement of the season (and try to leave the stress behind)? Head to the birthplace of Thanksgiving for a jubilant three-day celebration, and immerse kids in our rich early American history on these Thanksgiving Tours. The Enchanted Village (one of my favorites as a child!) is up this weekend, along with Edaville's always magical Festival of Lights. Kids also have a chance to celebrate and learn about anteaters, explore the awesomeness of trains, and breathe fresh air on a post-Turkey Day nature walk.

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