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A Dozen Must-Do Holiday and Christmas Experiences for NJ Kids

This year, 2018, has the earliest possible date for Thanksgiving: November 22. What we lost in turkey prep time, we'll make up for in a lovely, elongated holiday season on the road to Christmas and New Year's. In between your Christmas shopping and holiday to-dos, we've assembled our annual list of activities kids will love—and won't cost an arm and a leg. From holiday light shows to breakfast with Santa to Christmas trains, we’ve compiled 12 great memory-making activities for this month.

Check out our full calendar of events and our holiday guide for even more options.

25 Holiday Activities for Westchester Toddlers and Preschoolers

The holidays are a special time for all children, but toddlers and preschoolers help keep the rest of us young with their awe and delight at simple holiday pleasures. No matter what holiday you celebrate, it’s a wonderful age to share family traditions—or introduce new ones.  

We’ve rounded up 25 things you can do with your toddler or preschooler this holiday season, many of which are FREE! Looking for more ideas? Consult our Event Calendar and follow us on Facebook—we've got many, many more! 

12 Holiday Craft Fairs and Markets in and Around Boston

This time of year, holiday markets are springing up all around the greater Boston area, from church fairs to school bazaars to high-end artist markets. We’ve highlighted 12 fun finds that feature the handiwork of artisans from both near and far. Many have extras like food and live entertainment, and some even have Santa on hand for sharing holiday wishes! Take this opportunity to get into the holiday spirit; and find one-of-a-kind gifts for loved ones, too.

Best Family Shows in NYC for Christmas 2018 (That Aren't "The Nutcracker")

'Tis the season to get the gang all dressed up to see some holiday shows. While there are plenty of spectacles to splurge on, like the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and all those beautiful Nutcrackers, if you've got young children you may not want to blow all of your bucks on theater tickets.

That's why our roundup of Christmas-season family theater includes a range of productions, from inexpensive, low-key offerings perfect for fidgety preschoolers, to extravaganzas that are worth the investment.

From live stage adaptations of classics such as How the Grinch Stole Christmas, to seasonal musicals based on popular picture books, to amazing circus feats and offbeat spectacles (like drag queen ballerinas and performing-arts activists), here are our top 18 holiday shows for NYC families.

Best High Tea Spots in NYC to Enjoy a Cup with Kids

Whether you're celebrating a special occasion or just looking for a memorable experience, afternoon tea—sometimes called high tea in New York City—can be a fun outing with kids. It's an especially great winter outing and particularly fitting during the holidays.

Several places serve high tea in New York City, with varying degrees of appropriateness for children. From the fancy Eloise Tea at the Plaza Hotel to the less frilly Russian Tea Room, there are teas—and goodies—for children of all ages and parents of all budgets. Here's our take on some of the best spots for afternoon tea with kids in NYC.

Where To Go Ice Skating Indoors with Kids in NJ

Indoor ice skating is a fun way to take part in a winter activity without exposing yourself to the elements. Happily, there are many indoor rinks throughout the Garden State. We've focused on those that host public skate sessions, but most of them also offer skating lessons, hockey, birthday parties, and more.

Read on for our indoor rink recommendations for NJ families—and for more wintry sports, check out our Ski & Snow Guide.

Cut-Your-Own Christmas Tree Farms on Long Island

The Thanksgiving turkey has been consumed. You've completed your Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping. Now it’s time for the next holiday ritual—finding the perfect Christmas tree.

From Cold Spring Harbor to Montauk, Long Island has close to a dozen tree farms, where enthusiastic families can cut a super-fresh spruce (or fir, or pine) at modest cost. These farms range from simple, roadside acreage to full-fledged holiday extravaganzas. So whether you prefer a quick tree-cutting errand or a day out in Santa’s wonderland, consider a visit to one of these outdoor emporiums.

These farms are all located in Suffolk County, where farmland is more abundant, and are listed below by town. As always, find more ways to celebrate in our Holiday Fun Guide.

Billy Johnson Playground Reopens in Central Park After Renovation

The Billy Johnson Playground in Central Park has reopened after a months-long rehabilitation and reconstruction project, bringing with it not only the re-opening of the iconic, long, curving granite slide, but also a second granite slide that's accessible for smaller kids.

While the original slide helped land the playground on our list of 100 things to do with city kids before they grow up, the renovation adds a few new noteworthy features to one of our favorite playgrounds in Central Park.

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