Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 2018: Where to Watch, What's New

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade celebrates its 92nd anniversary this November, taking over the streets of Manhattan on Thursday, November 22, 2018, and decorating the city with its boisterous marching bands, extravagant floats, and giant balloon characters. Every year brings a mix of old and new characters to the parade, and 2018 is no exception, with a mix of new balloons, floats, and balloonicles set to make their NYC debuts.

If you're planning to attend the parade with the kids (and millions of others!), read on for the most up-to-date information on the route, best viewing locations, and other highlights. Check out our in-depth inflation post for an overview of the Wednesday-night festivities. You'll find more holiday inspiration in our Thanksgiving Fun Guide.

Polar Express: Christmas Train Rides for Kids Near Philly

There is something about trains that evokes nostalgia at Christmastime. For some, it stirs up childhood memories of building a model train set under the twinkling tree lights. For others it may be a simple reminder of that "coming home for the holidays" feel, where folks would arrive at the train station, arms filled with Christmas packages for family at home. Whatever the reason might be, many railroads in the tri-state area hold events to bring back that old-fashioned holiday tradition. At many of these special outings, families can ride a real locomotive with Santa Claus, hear Christmas stories, sing carols, sip hot chocolate and admire the views of the passing countryside. Children are even invited to wear their pajamas at some of these events!  

We have rounded up a list of railroads hosting holiday-themed trains of all kinds. Some of these are located more than an hour's drive from Philadelphia but can make for a fantastic holiday outing.

All aboard for some Christmas fun!

10 Ways To Take Photos with Santa Claus Like an Angeleno

Mall Santas have a special place in many of our hearts (and in most Southland shopping centers), and the holidays really aren't complete without a round of Miracle on 34th Street. Still, we're not raising little Manhattanites; we're raising Southern California babies, and that calls for an outside-the-box kind of Santa Claus photo. If you're in search of quantity, Santa can be found in every mall, at every Christmas tree lighting, and at any number of holiday shopping events. But for some real Angeleno quality, snap a photo with Santa at one of these fun, funky, and totally LA Father Christmas experiences.

25 Family Staycation Ideas for the NJ School Holidays in November

School kids across the country are looking at abbreviated November schedules, but New Jersey kids have several holidays to look forward to this month. First up is Election Day, Tuesday, November 6, 2018. While not all schools are closed, many are off or have half-days. NJ schools also will be closed for the statewide teacher conferences happening Thursday, November 8, and Friday, November 9, 2018. 

Of course, don't forget about Thanksgiving later this month, when kids have off on Thursday, November 22, and Friday, November 23, 2018, and some have a half-day or no school on the Wednesday prior. Yikes! That means more time off than the December holidays for some NJ school kids.

With that in mind, we're putting together a list of 25 fantastic things to do this November in New Jersey with the kids. Lucky for you, dear parent, the holiday season also means plenty of fun activities, many of which are FREE. Read on for more ideas. 

Don't forget to find more fun in our November GoList and our daily Event Calendar of activities around New Jersey. It might also be a good time to check off one or two items on our list of 100 things to do in New Jersey with kids before they grow up

The Coder School Expands to a Second Location on LI

You can never have too much of a good thing.

Luckily, Nisha Bhalla and Noreen Kazi, co-owners of The Coder School in Syosset, feel exactly the same way, especially when it comes to providing kids ages 6-18-plus with a cool place to learn about coding. The entrepreneurs recently opened a second Nassau County location, in Roslyn, at 17-21 Lumber Road, Suite 3.

8 Polar Express and other Christmas Train Rides Near Boston

What is it about trains and Christmas? The two have become inextricably linked—especially since The Polar Express, Chris Van Allsburg's glorious picture book about the magic of Christmas, captured the hearts and imaginations of kids and adults alike. During the holiday season, train rides complete with hot chocolate and visits from Santa bring Christmas stories like The Polar Express to life..for all who believe, of course.

Lucky for us, we have plenty of delightful train ride options close to Boston, from cozy, seaside New England journeys to 4-D movie experiences that feel like a real locomotive ride, right down to the sounds, sights, and even smells. The seats on all these trains fill up quickly, though, so we recommend getting your golden tickets now.

12 Holiday Craft Fairs and Markets in Westchester and the Hudson Valley

‘Tis the season for holiday craft fairs, where an abundance of handmade goodies are presented by local makers across Westchester and the lower Hudson Valley. Whether it’s sweet-smelling soaps, handmade jewelry, or blown glass, you are sure to find something special for everyone on your Nice list. 

We’ve gathered up some of our favorite holiday markets and Christmas craft fairs occurring across the area, many of which pack in extra kid-friendly events like games and photos with Santa. Looking for more holiday activities? Check out our Event Calendar and sign up for our newsletters!

Four New Indoor Play Spaces to Try This Season in NYC

You’re faced with another chilly, dreary, rainy day and your kids are climbing the apartment walls. You’ve done all of the fun seasonal activities and the playgrounds are out of the question. That's when NYC's indoor play spaces can be real lifesavers. We're always on the hunt for the latest and greatest indoor play spaces, and a handful of new spots have opened up this year that are definitely worth the trip. Pack your socks, because here's the scoop on four new spots where the kids can get all of their energy out—and you can regain your sanity (and even have a cup of coffee).

Polar Express: Christmas and Holiday Train Rides in Connecticut

To be honest, I don’t know the last time I saw Santa in a sleigh.  Nope, over the past several years, I’ve seen Santa arrive to greet crowds of believers in a fire truck, a police car, a helicopter, and a Porsche (really, Santa??). 

So it was no surprise when my 5-year-old came home from school telling me her friend Abby saw Santa on a train.  And she’s absolutely right – there are a few amazing Holiday Trains in Connecticut, where you and your kids can enjoy both your love of trains and the holiday season!  Watching the steam roll and waft in front of the train's headlight, while giant snowflakes fall will throw you back 60 years – in the most wonderful, magical, 'It's a Wonderful Life' sort of way.  

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