Best Nutcrackers and Holiday Shows for New Jersey Kids

The holidays are the most wonderful time of the year for lots of things, including performances. Over the next several weeks, New Jersey theaters will come alive with dancing sugar plum fairies, singing elves, and more than a few Christmas ghosts. 

This season, you can dance and sing along with the Laurie Berkner Band or check out musical versions of holiday favorites like Elf and A Christmas Story

Charlie Brown and friends learn the true meaning of Christmas in A Charlie Brown Christmas: Live Onstage, with productions taking place at multiple venues throughout NJ. And Ebeneezer Scrooge gets spooked into a change of heart in several productions of A Christmas Carol, including an area favorite at McCarter Theatre, as well as kid-friendly musical versions at Paper Mill and bergenPAC.

If your child is nuts about The Nutcracker, you don't have to go to New York City to see a great production—there are several top-notch companies performing the holiday fave right here in NJ, at multiple venues across the state, including American Repertory Ballet, New Jersey Ballet, and Moscow Ballet. For a sweet twist on the classic, don't miss the Hip Hop Nutcracker at NJPAC. We couldn't list all of them here, so be sure to check out our event calendar for more!

Read on for a list of the best productions happening this holiday season.

10 Things to Do on Thanksgiving Day With NYC Kids

Other than the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, is there really anything else to do in New York City on Thursday, November 22? You bet! We found fun ways to spend Thanksgiving Day in NYC with kids that don't involve eating turkey or watching giant balloons. Many of these events are FREE, and some of them occur only this year. Some, like the public art exhibit B. Wurtz: Kitchen Trees, are both free and here only in 2018.

Read on for our picks, from zoos to bowling alleys to movies, and even a super fun exhibit dedicated to Trolls. Got a car? Loads of events right outside New York City are open on Thanksgiving. See our guide to 10 picture-perfect holiday day-trips near NYC. In town for the whole holiday weekend? Here are 16 fun things to do in NYC over Thanksgiving break.

And finally, a very Happy Thanksgiving to your family from everyone at Mommy Poppins NYC. Here's to a festive holiday season.

For more events happening over Thanksgiving weekend, check out our Event Calendar and November GoList.

Watchung Reservation Sensory Trail Caters To NJ Kids of All Abilities

Sensory play—any activity that stimulates any one or all of a child’s five senses—is a crucial part of development. And for children who have difficulties processing all the different sensations that they receive from their senses, sensory stimulation can be even more valuable.

Enter the Watchung Reservation Sensory Trail in Mountainside. The first of its kind in Union County, the trail, located in Union County's largest park, is designed to provide sensory stimulation and interaction for all kids, with an emphasis on special needs children and their families. According to Union County park officials, it is the most extensive sensory trail in the U.S.

On a recent visit with my 5-year-old, we set out to determine if this sensory-friendly trail would stimulate all five of our senses. Read on to find out what we saw, heard, smelled, touched, and yes, maybe tasted, too.

Check out our Fall Fun Guide to find more easy trails along with other seasonal fun.

Macy's Santaland NYC: When and How to See Santa at Herald Square

There are few places to see Santa in New York City that compare with Macy's Santaland. It's a magical experience for tourists and natives alike during the Christmas season.

'Tis the season for Macy's to open its 13,000-square-foot winter wonderland, which overflows with holiday cheer from its live "elves," to an enchanted forest, animatronic toys, and a train display. Santa holds court from Friday, November 23, 2018 (the day after Thanksgiving and the parade) through Monday, December 24, Christmas Eve.

For the second year in a row, visitors must book a FREE reservation to visit with Santa at Santaland, which requires some advance planning but does mean a much shorter wait when you get there. Read on for everything you need to know about visiting Santaland this year.

New Light Show to Illuminate the Holiday Season in Riverhead

No one is more electrified by the spirit of the holidays than kids. This year, the Town of Riverhead is presenting a new holiday light show with dazzling displays sure to warm the hearts of everyone in your family.

If you are looking for a seasonal adventure that beats ambling through the neighborhood, this drive-through exhibit will saturate everyone with the holiday spirit. And for a full day of fun on the East End,  check out the Long Island Aquarium or the Railroad Museum of Long Island before your twinkly excursion.

You might also want to check out the Polar Express Trolley Ride, departing from the North and South Forks beginning November 23. As always, our November GoList and events calendar contain the best in holiday activities across Long Island.

Weekend Fun for LA Kids: Veterans Day, Superheroes, and Snow Tubing Downtown

We have so much to be grateful for in this country, and we owe so much to our veterans—those who have put themselves in harm's way to defend the liberties we hold dear. This year, Veterans Day falls on a Sunday, though some observances are held on Monday, too (including that kid favorite: day off from school). 

Thanks to our valiant warriors, we are free to do things our own way. Even if that means we need two advent calendars to mark off the days between now and that other holiday. (You can still get away with one if you're more of a menorah kind of family.)

So, like, if we want to start lighting our trees and singing holiday tunes and playing in the snow and sayin' hi to Santa and dancing to the Nutcracker and buying holiday gifties, even if we want to do all that, even though it is barely the second week in November and that is downright nutballs, we have the right to do it. Because America, and thank you veterans. They are the true superheroes of our story.

Feel free to keep reading for our most nutball picks for this weekend...

Weekend Fun for Houston Kids: Children's Festival, Saluting Our Veterans, Nov. 10-11

With Veteran's Day coming this weekend, the Mommy Poppins Houston team would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to all of our veterans for serving for our country so that we can continue to live in freedom. Your service and commitment to this country is appreciated greatly. You can pay tribute to our veterans this weekend too by attending one of the awesome Veteran's Day events around our city, like the Musical Salute to Our Veterans at Miller Outdoor Theatre on Saturday or the City of Houston Annual Veteran's Day Celebration on Sunday.

Now that Halloween has passed and Thanksgiving is on the horizon, it's time to clear out that excess candy in preparation for all of the delicious turkey day leftovers that are sure to be filling your fridge. Instead of tossing it in the trash, we've rounded up several ways you can donate your treats in an extra sweet way. Now is also the time to start solidifying your Thanksgiving plans, and if you're intersted in skipping the typical day spent in the kitchen in favor of dining out, we have a whole list of kid-friendly restaurants open on Thanksgiving. Stuffing yourself silly has never been so easy!

Calendar looking a little light this month? In need of ways to entertain visiting family and friends? We've got you covered! Just check out our Fall Fun and Harvest Guide, event calendar, November GoList, and roundup of 20 FREE things to do in November for even more family events and activities. 

You can also always submit your own event to our calendar to promote your upcoming event and stay on the up and up with everything happening around Houston when you subscribe to our free weekly newsletter.

That's enough chatting, though; it's time to check out this weekend's events!

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