Weekend Fun for Houston Kids: Santa Social with a Peppermint Twist, Magical Winter Lights, Dec. 8-9

The weekends leading up to Christmas just keep getting better and better, am I right? I mean, with options like having Breakfast with Santa at Hermann Park, touring Santa's Wonderland, or attending the 10th Annual Gingerbread Build-Off filling the calendar, it's hard to choose the wrong event! Sure, the hustle and bustle of the holiday season can be overwhelming at times - especially if you're walking into Target on a Saturday - but when you take a second to step back and immerse yourself in the magic of Christmas as your kids do, it can be pretty amazing. To help get you in the holiday spirit, we have all sorts of resources full of seasonal family activities:

And that's just the start! Our event calendar is packed with awesome activities and constantly being updated, our December GoList features all the hottest events happening throughout the month, our Guide to Holiday and Christmas Events for Houston Families is an unparalleled treasure trove of events, and our weekly newsletter keeps you up to speed by delivering everything straight to your inbox. Plus, if you're the one planning an event, you can also submit your own event to our calendar so we can share it with all of our readers! 

Weekend Fun: Gingerbread, Nutcrackers, and Pops; Dec 8-9

This weekend is all about gingerbread and nutcrackers with these special storytimes. Celebrate winter with sock skating and winter crafts, catch this Disney winter classic on the big screen (for free!), and listen to the music of the season at this popular family-friendly show. With Hanukkah's eighth and final night on Monday, don't miss the last of the celebrations at a menorah lighting and one more Vanessa Trien concert

Weekend Fun: Holiday Parties, Christmas (and non-Christmas) Shows, Maker Fun

One week deeper into the holiday season, and festive celebrations rule the Mommy Poppins calendar. Standouts this weekend include the Christmas Party in Washington Market Park, Holiday Blvd in Hudson Park, Holiday on the Hudson, Holiday Time in PaleyLand, the Chanukah Art Festival at the Jewish Children's Museum, the Hanukkah Family Celebration at the Museum of the City of New York, and the Winter Family Fair at the Morgan. Plus, Christ Church's 10th Annual Blessing of the Animals!

Looking for a great holiday show? We have a curated list of the Best Family Shows in NYC for Christmas 2018 (that aren't the Nutcracker) plus the full 411 on all those Nutcrackers as well. Hans Christian Andersen tales are playing all over town: there's The Snow Queen at Galli Theatre, The Emperor's New Clothes at Brooklyn's Puppetworks, and a quartet of Andersen stories at the New York City Children's Theater. New this weekend: Boing at the Duke on 42nd Street, as well as Angelina Ballerina's Very Merry Holiday Musical, plus productions of A Christmas Carol in Greenwich Village and Brooklyn's John Bourne Theater

Little makers and crafters are in luck this weekend, with opportunities to make die-cut ornaments on Staten Island, try traditional Irish crafts midtown, create pomanders at Morris-Jumel, up-cycle wearables at BRIC, or craft cookies and sweets at the 10th Annual Taste of Christmas Cookie Walk.

For more December fun, check our December GoList, our Holiday Fun Guide, and our bulging Event Calendar. And don't miss out on all the FREE activities taking place this month!

Chicago’s Best Indoor Play Spaces for Keeping Kids Busy this Winter

Get out of the house this winter and explore a new-to-you indoor play space for kids in Chicago. There’s a climate-controlled play zone for every age, every interest, and every kind of kid. Does your toddler love fire trucks? Head to the kid-sized play town at Little Beans. Got a grade schooler who won’t stop doing gymnastics on your couch? She’ll love the climbing structures at Present Place. Need a spot where your older kid and your preschooler can play happily while you get some work done? Take a Break Playcare is your wish come true. Many play spaces around the city even offer coffee, wi-fi, and snacks for grateful parents, so you can catch up on email (and caffeine) while your little ones get their sillies out. Here are 14 places to play when the weather’s cold and gray.

Weekend Fun: Colonial Nutcracker, A Christmas Carol, Rainbow Fish

The weekend ahead is jam-packed with Santa sightings, breakfasts with Santa, craft fairs, and a host of other seasonal attractions. How to optimize each weekend this month requires some planning and even strategy.

The recurring holiday events taking place throughout the month are now supplemented with a fresh batch of festive fanfare, including Dickens' Christmas Carol and multiple ways to incorporate elements of nature into your holiday decor. Holiday performances continue, including Amahl and the Night Visitors. For a break from holiday hullaballoo, have a laugh at Silent Films with Live Piano Music.

Read on for all our top picks—then be sure to consult our Event Calendar for the full panoply of options (and there are many!). Don’t forget to check out our Holiday Fun Guide to plan the remaining days of the season and our December GoList for our top picks for the month (including events that are unrelated to holiday fanfare). 

Be sure to sign up for our newsletters to stay up to date on all kinds of fun!

Weekend Events: Trains, Lights, Flying Santa, Hanukkah

Holiday train shows are chugging into town this weekend in Levittown, Farmingdale, and Babylon.

Hanukkah celebrations continue in East Rockaway, Rockville Centre and East Hampton, while seasonal festivities headline in Bellmore, Long Beach, and Wading River

See our Holiday Family Fun Guide for the best in seasonal entertainment, including our Christmas tree cutting guide, breakfast with Santa events, Hanukkah fun roundupice skating rinks and plenty of FREE events and activities. As always, our Event Calendar and December GoList are loaded with fun, daily happenings for Long Island kids.

Weekend Fun for Philly Kids: SantaFest, Winter Wonderland, Parade of Lights December 8-9

Looking for some ways to make magical holiday moments with Philly kids this weekend? Our event calendar glistens with lights, Santa encounters, and theatrical performances to get everyone in the spirit of the season.

First, get your wish list ready to share with the jolly ol' elf from the North Pole as he can be found landing at the American Helicopter Museum, along the waterfront at the Independence Seaport Museum, driving a tractor on the farm, and aboard trains located throughout the Delaware Valley. Yeah, that guy gets around...Then, settle into a seat at Delaware Children's Theatre, Upper Darby Performing Arts Center, or Act II Playhouse to see a festive show. Conclude the fun by viewing holiday lights with the animals, near the canal, or at the snack factory.

More more ideas, continue reading our top picks.

Weekend Fun for CT Kids: Aquatic Santas, Get Crafty, and Spin Like a Dreidel

Is your holiday to-do list spinning out of control? Holiday cards, decorating your tree, cookie swaps, and . . this time of year can be so stressful. Thankfully, this weekend offers Connecticut families plenty of opportunities to create a hand-made gift, snag an awesome “card-worthy” photo, and enjoy some holiday magic. This weekend, we are going to enjoy some quality family time driving around to look at Christmas Light Displays, and perhaps even enjoying a Breakfast with Santa.

Queen Mary Christmas: A New Holiday Tradition To Chill with this Year

Christmas at the Queen Mary is a great place for a family to chill. That said, if you're looking for Chill with a capital C, the ship's hitherto popular holiday extravaganza, well, that is just so last year. This year, the vintage ocean liner debuts an all-new Christmas event, based entirely on board The Queen Mary. While in previous years the entertainment was spread out on the adjacent tarmac, featured against the backdrop of the photogenic floating monument at the heart of Long Beach, this year all the festive action is located right on the art deco decks of the beloved ship.

Nutella Cafe Brings New Level of Chocolatey Goodness to NYC

Hang out with my 5-year-old long enough, and she'll inevitably ask for a Nutella sandwich. The creamy, chocolatey spread is practically its own food group in her eyes, so the arrival of a Nutella Cafe in the Union Square neighborhood was cause for a sugar-high induced happy dance.

It took us two trips—thanks to the down-the-block line on our first visit—to get inside the sweet new eatery. Read on to find out if it deserves a spot on our list of must-try sweet spots for New York City kids.

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