Weekend Fun: Christmas Carols, Tubas, Holiday Music

Charles Dickens's classic A Christmas Carol takes over NYC this weekend: The Museum of the Moving Image in Queens has a special screening of the 1938 film adaptation, there are live productions in the Village and in Brooklyn, a reading at the landmark Merchant's House Museum, and even a Ghosts of Christmas Past walking tour. Sunday, Christmas literature devotees can snuggle in for a candlelight reading of Clement Moore's 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, a century-old holiday tradition in Washington Heights.

This weekend also features a load of cool Christmas and holiday events known mostly by resident insiders, like Carnival of the Animals at Columbia University, Winter Wonderland at the Apollo and New York State of Mind's Holiday Mash-up on Saturday. On Sunday, there's nothing more unique than the 45th Annual Tuba Christmas at Rockefeller Center, or the village-to-village Unsilent Night parade.

You can take a break from the holidays (if you need a breather) with a stop at Bleecker Street's Dough Project Pop-up, where families can knead away any stress with playdough and hot chocolate, for FREE! Other holiday-free options include the new The Road Ahead exhibit at Cooper-Hewitt, the FREE Kellogg's Ping Pong Tournament on Saturday, an Andy Warhol Family workshop at the Whitney, and Brooklyn Children's Museum's Flex Olympics.

As always, our December GoList, our Holiday Fun Guide, and our Event Calendar are standing by at the ready, overstuffed with holiday fun.

Weekend Fun: Christmas on the Farm, Holiday House Hunt, Nutcracker

The holidays are closing in, and Westchester and Hudson Valley families are scrambling to soak up all the fun! This weekend, the festivities are ratcheted up, so put on your jingle bells, light those lights and don’t miss these highlights!

The big holiday events happening throughout December are still in full gear, though many ticketed events are sold out or close to it. Adding to the various iterations this month of the Tchaikovsky classic, this weekend showcases The Westchester Ballet Company’s The Nutcracker. Arrive early for the Christmas Handbell Concert, an uncommon art form, or follow the clues (and snack on a treat) at the historic Holiday House Hunt. Lower key is the FREE Magical Winter Wonderland show.

That's just the tip of the holiday iceberg—find lots more festive fun in our Event Calendar. Read on for our top picks, and also consult our Holiday Fun Guide. Enjoy it all!

Weekend Events: Holiday Crafts, Gingerbread, Theater, Nature

Chart a course and hit the open road this weekend to peep these Long Island homes with spectacular holiday lights. Inject some holiday culture into your family's lives this season with these Nutcracker and other holiday performances

Be sure to head full-steam ahead to check out this holiday train show in Babylon.

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

New Indoor Playground Offers Eco-Friendly Fun for Little Ones

Just in time for those cooped-up, cold winter months, a new imaginative, eco-friendly play space has arrived in NJ: Woodland Indoor Playground in Cedar Grove, a Scandinavian-inspired play space created by Montclair mom-preneurs Julija Stoliarova and Marina Miller. Woodland will offer fun for kids and families while giving back to the community via a partnership with the Community Food Bank of NJ.   

The play space is open for business as of today, Wednesday, December 12.

Circus Abyssinia Is a Jaw-Dropping Holiday Show Kids Will Love

I love that the New Victory Theater usually presents a circus show as its holiday production—after all, if there's anything as magical and sparkly as the holiday season itself, it's the circus. Circus Abyssinia: Ethiopian Dreams may have a different vibe than the Big Apple Circus, but it's just as charming and jaw-dropping. Especially when you realize the troupe was formed just last year!

At just 100 minutes including intermission, with inventive twists on familiar acts, Circus Abyssinia: Ethiopian Dreams is an exhilarating holiday show for the whole family. Read on to find out about the fabulous feats you'll see—and how you can meet and take pics with the performers.

Weekend Fun for Philly Kids: Trains, Santa, Museums December 15-16

During this December weekend, Philly families can fill the most wonderful time of the year with some holiday fun perfect for both the young and young at heart. Our event calendar is bursting at the seams with activities to enchant, delight, and mesmerize kids of all ages.

Train lovers can watch model trains barrel down the track at Morris Arboretum, Longwood Gardens, Brandywine River Museum, or The Museum of American History. Or, experience an actual train ride at Colebrookdale Railroad, New Hope & Ivyland Railroad, Strasburg Railroad, or West Chester Railroad. Those interested in catching up with Santa to find out if they made the nice list this year can find him at The Please Touch Museum, at The Hard Rock Cafe, or at Adventure Aquarium.

Families looking for a reprieve from holiday activities can explore nature at Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, go on a scavenger hunt at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, learn about Lila Liberty at the National Liberty Museum, discover how the Lenape used clay in daily life at Churchville Nature Center, or see Romeo and Juliette on stage at Wolf Performing Arts Center.

Be sure to filter our event calendar using the tags and locations to find the best activities for your crew. Enjoy your weekend!

6 Places Where Kids Can Learn to Ski or Snowboard Near Boston

Teaching a child to ski is no easy feat. Between the gear, ticketing costs, and power struggles, it can often be a better bet to sign a child up for ski lessons. Luckily, within an 80-minute drive of Boston, there are a half-dozen simple ski facilities—five downhill mountains, and one cross country course—with gentle, wide-open slopes that are perfect for learning this great winter activity. All offer rentals and lessons, courtesy of experienced instructors who are accustomed to working with new (and sometimes overwhelmed) skiers, and a family-friendly atmosphere where a slopes-confident parent can, alternatively, have plenty of space to teach a child on their own. While a good snowstorm can happen at any time, the mountains are making as much snow as they possibly can. Call or register online ahead as far in advance as possible, and take heart—just like a potty training and two-wheeling, they will get the hang of it eventually! After a few lessons, your family may even feel a bit more ambitious and ready for a classic New England ski weekend getaway!

Where to Donate Kids' Clothes, Toys, and Gear Across NYC

With two adults and three kids in my family's typically small NYC apartment, the holiday season stresses me out. Not because of all the things I need to do, but because of all the extra "stuff" that I know is about to flood our home. That's why this is my favorite time of year to donate my kids' gently (or sometimes never!) used clothes, toys, books, and other items so we can free up some space, support worthy charities, and get the whole family in a giving mindset.

We've gathered details on several organizations where you can donate quality used items during the holidays and beyond. Be sure to contact the charities directly to confirm what they accept and how best to drop off. 

7 Places to Have Afternoon Tea with Long Island Kids

When the weather is cold, enjoying a warm cup of tea with your favorite little person is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.

From sampling a variety of tea flavors to tasting yummy miniature sandwiches and scones, these Long Island tea rooms offer a warm welcome in an elegant setting just in time for Hot Tea Month in January.

For more delicious fun with your little ones, check out our list of the best Long Island brunch destinations for families, or treat yourself to our roundup of the Island's most decadent dessert spots

Weekend Fun: Shopkins Live, Cookie Crawl, Kwanzaa Festival

Christmas is less than two weeks away! Take a break from the mad rush of holiday preparation, and take in some light and sweet holiday fun. Brilliant holiday displays continue to shine throughout New Jersey, including Jenkinson's Sea of Lights, Turtle Back Zoo Holiday Lights, and Skylands Stadium Christmas Light Show.

Bring the family, and a sweet tooth, to tasty festivities like the Fourth Annual Hot Chocolate Hike Weekend, Holiday Cookie Crawl, and Grain House Cookie and Kindness Brunch. Still hungry? Load up on breakfast fare with St. Nick over the weekend at Santa brunches

Relax at warm, indoor events including Winter Traditions: Storytime and Craft, Storytime with Mrs. Claus, Shopkins Live at UCPAC, and Kwanzaa Family Festival. There are plenty of holiday shows and Nutcracker performances taking place over the weekend, too.

Find even more weekend options in our Holiday Guide, including 50+ Awesome Santa Activities in New Jersey and 30 Christmas and Holiday Events for NJ Babies and Toddlers. And look to our December GoList and event calendar for a complete listing of happenings this weekend and beyond.

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