Polar Express and Christmas Trains for New Jersey Kids

Every year, New Jersey's railroads get decked out in their holiday best to offer special Christmas train rides for the whole family. Wait—Christmas? We know, it's a bit early to start hauling out the holly, but these Christmas trains are a popular holiday tradition, and they sell out fast!

Though these trains don't go all the way to the North Pole, most include a visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, along with treats, caroling, and stories. The popular Polar Express in Whippany invites kids to wear their pajamas and hear a classic Christmas story read aloud on the rails, while another ferries passengers to a Christmas tree farm.

Read on to find out where to take a Christmas train ride with Santa, and book your tickets as soon as possible. Then you can put Christmas aside for a while and get back to your fall fun.

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. So climb aboard for some Christmas fun!

New Art of the Brick Exhibit Dazzles at New York Hall of Science

Lego maniacs in the five boroughs now have an alternative to making a trek to Westchester (or awaiting the opening of the Legoland Resort coming next year to the Hudson Valley) if they want to commune with huge piles of colorful building bricks. The New York Hall of Science's spectacular Art of the Brick exhibit is on view now through January 26.

Using more than a million bricks, artist Nathan Sawaya created over 100 pieces for this exhibition, from recreations of iconic pieces of art to original sculptures including a stunning T. Rex. In collaboration with photographer Dean West, the exhibit also showcases an innovative multimedia collection of Lego art photography. For more details about the interactive play stations and installations, read on.

Family-Friendly Sukkot and Simchat Torah Services and Events Across Westchester

These days, synagogue services aren't the only way for families to celebrate the Jewish holidays! From fall festivals complete with petting zoos, crafts, and sukkah decorating to meaningful volunteer opportunities for all ages, there are so many ways to mark this sacred time of year surrounding the High Holidays.

Together with UJA-Federation of New York, we've created a calendar to help connect families to services, programs, and free events across the Westchester area. Below, you'll find a number of kid-friendly opportunities to celebrate Sukkot and Simchat Torrah 2019. Take a look at the complete calendar for Shabbat services, special yoga classes, and more.

Museum of Ice Cream Returns to NYC This Winter

Clearly someone was listening in on our dreams. The Museum of Ice Cream, an imaginative pop-up experience celebrating everybody's favorite frozen dessert, is returning to NYC later this year, with a new location in Soho, new installations, and a bigger-than-ever "sprinkle pool." Tickets went on sale yesterday, and if previous incarnations of the museum are any indication, the timed entry slots will go fast. Read on for the scoop...or the double scoop with chocolate sauce.

Things To Do in LA this Weekend: Farmers Market Fall Fest, Depot Day, and Lots of Halloween Scares

The weekends around here have been Halloweeny for a while now, but they're starting to get a little...scary. And I don't just mean because you realized that your kid's desired costume is on backorder til Christmas so you may have to make one yourself. I mean honest to goodness, Momma's too old for this, scare the bejeebus out of you, old school nightmare-inducing terror.

Thank heavens for the light side. The pumpkin paths with a little extra, the fall festival in the middle of our big city, the old fashioned mechanisms, and the prehistoric history. Nothing beats the look of joy on an elephant's face as he chows down on a whole pumpkin. (At least I think that's joy?) Nothing beats the look of joy on a mom's face when she meets her childhood hearthrob. (Now I know that's joy!)

This weekend you can go to your happy place, whether it's a train depot, a Japanese garden, the land of the dead, or outer space. Tons of fun, and none of it scary. Except for that thing about the costume. Anyone know a good seamstress?

Keep reading for our favorite picks for the weekend, which totally aren't scary...

Drop-In Childcare and Babysitting Services for Parents on Long Island

When parents need time to run errands, get work done, or even have a date night, it can be difficult to find impromptu childcare. We've created a list of drop-in childcare and babysitting services on Long Island to accommodate whatever your schedule throws at you. These services provide safe and fun childcare for your child to thrive, while you tick off items on your to-do list or even have some fun of your own! You’ll find mini-camps, drop-in childcare, parents’ night out, and babysitting services to meet all of your last-minute and sporadic childcare needs.

And for more family-friendly activities, be sure to check out our Long Island Events Calendar. You can also sign up for our FREE newsletters to get the best local events and reviews delivered right to your inbox.

Things to Do in Houston This Weekend: Bayou City Art Festival, Dragon Boat Regatta

This weekend is packed with so many awesome events, narrowing them down to just a few to feature became a monumental task. And that, friends, is a great problem to have! Some noteworthy events: the Earth Science Day Family Festival at HMNS, KBR Kids Day at Guadalupe Park, and Houston Grand Opera's Opera to Go! performance of Strega Nona.

We also have been rockin' and rollin' behind the scenes getting ready for all the fall festivities, and are proud to share some amazing resources with you, starting with our Fall Fun and Harvest Guide that we are confident will quickly become your go-to resource for all the fall-inspired events. We also recommend checking out our Fall Festival round-up, Fall Bucket List, and our Halloween Fun Guide.

Now all we need is temperatures in the 70's and we can officially call it Fall, y'all.

Whenever you're in need of some more activity inspiration, we'd love for you to check out our event calendar, which is full of events happening all over the Houston. You can also use our October GoList to find the top events happening around town throughout the month. Have an awesome event you want to share? Submit your event to our calendar so we can check it out and get it published. And last but not least, you can also make staying up to speed with everything happening on our little corner of the web a breeze by signing up for our weekly newsletter.

Now let's see what's on tap for the weekend!

Columbus Day Weekend Things To Do in Boston: Parades, Indigenous People Fests, and HONK!

Ready to take a break from apple picking and pumpkin patches? Why not celebrate indigenous people with music and dance performances at the Museum of Fine Arts or at the JFK Library's Behind the Mask storytelling event (both free)? Feeling patriotic? The annual Columbus Day Parade returns to East Boston. Speaking of parades, don't miss three days of HONK!, with all the organized musical chaos that these jolly brass musicians bring to Somerville. Visit with fairies at the Enchanted Garden, listen to live music for a good cause at Mad Love Music Festival, and enjoy the arts and culture of the Fenway at Opening Our Doors (also for free!). 

Columbus Day Weekend Things To Do in Connecticut: Parades, Pink Pumpkins, and Slime

Whether your town celebrates Columbus Day or not, Connecticut is brimming with all manner of fall fun this weekend, including country fairs, school carnivals, and Halloween adventures (for little and big kids). October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and Lyman Orchards is sponsoring a Paint the Pumpkin Pink event on Saturday that will raise funds for the Middlesex Comprehensive Breast Center. While you're there, do some apple picking and check out the corn maze. For more non-Halloween fun, celebrate Hispanic Heritage month at the Mystic Aquarium or the Peabody Museum.

Finally, if your weekend isn't complete without taking a culinary adventure, check out the Taste of Fairfield in Fairfield or sample some chowder in Mystic and Guilford. If you are lucky enough to have a three-day weekend, check out the Columbus Day Parades in Bridgeport and Bristol, or enjoy any of these 25 Things To Do With Kids on Columbus Day. 


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