Christmas/Hanukkah

Macy’s Unveils Santaland Details for 2018 Christmas Season

Santa is sprucing up his sleigh and getting ready to fly into New York City’s very own North Pole, Macy’s Santaland, where for the second year in a row, visits with Santa will be by (FREE) reservation only.

Santaland will open for the holiday season Friday, November 23, 2018, the day after the Thanksgiving Day parade, and will welcome visitors through December 24, 2018, Macy’s revealed in a statement.

The 34th Street retailer will reinstate the reservations-only policy it implemented for the first time last year as a way to cut down on the lines. (Around 170,000 people visit the NYC Macy's Santaland each Christmas season.) This year also sees the return of the popular Express Lane option. Read on for everything you need to know about visiting Santa at Macy's this year.

Polar Express and Santa Trains Near NYC This Holiday Season

The magic of Chris Van Allsburg’s popular Christmas picture book The Polar Express comes to life again this winter with festive holiday trains within a whistle's blow of the New York City metro area. A huge hit with kids and parents alike, these trains spark the imagination and holiday spirit with seasonal snacks, stories, even gifts—not to mention a visit from Santa himself.

These old-school cabooses (some harking back to the 1920s) offer a classic holiday ambience. There's a Polar Express just an hour south into New Jersey, as well as the one-day-only Tri-State Santa Train about 50 minutes away. You could also consider a day trip to the Catskills, or a weekend getaway to Pennsylvania Dutch Country for the Santa's Paradise Express. No matter which Santa Train experience you choose, your family can combine the annual Santa Claus photo op with lasting memories of a sweet adventure.

Remember: these train rides sell out quickly, often months in advance, so book now if you want to go.

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-themed rides for the whole family. Wait—Christmas? We know, it's a bit early to start hauling out the holly, but these rides 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 Mr. and Mrs. Claus, along with treats, caroling, and stories. One storybook Santa train 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 holiday train ride with Santa Claus, and book your tickets as soon as possible. Then you can put Christmas aside for a while and get back to your fall fun.  

Indie Toy Stores: LA's Best Spots To Shop for Toys

Toys. Kids love ‘em; parents wish they would put them away. But in this the age of electronics, we can all agree that a good old-fashioned manipulative beats a device with a screen any day. With even big toy store chains like FAO Schwartz and Toys 'R' Us closing shop, it's time for us to rally and support the local toy stores we love if we want them to be here next year—particularly the ones where you find an unusual gift just when you need it.

How To Recycle Your Christmas Tree in LA

On the 12th day of Christmas my city gave to me - a chance to recycle my Christmas tree!

Whether from a lot at the corner or a cut-your-own farm in LA's outer regions, we lug those lovely-smelling, triangular chunks of evergreen wonder home on top of our cars each December amid singing, warm drinks, and family bonding. Thoughts of what will become of them a few weeks later are pushed to the outer regions of our To Do Lists. Well, the 12th day of Christmas is fast upon us, and our To Do Lists have come home to roost. Exhausting as it may sound after all the revelry, recycling a Christmas tree does not have to be difficult to arrange; all you need is a little information - which we've taken the time to assemble here!

New Year's Day in Los Angeles: 17 Fun Things To Do with Kids

The last holiday of winter break or the first holiday of the new year—however you look at it, New Year is a day for family time; and if you opt for a kid-friendly New Year's Eve activity, you could even have the energy for an early start. You might just choose an outing from our list of 47 Things To Do While Everyone Else Is Out of Town, but how to know if it's an option on the holiday? All of the outings below are great choices for a New Year's Day activity—in fact some of them can only be enjoyed on January 1st. Happy New Year!

New Year's Eve Fireworks in NYC and More 2018 Family Celebrations

There are plenty of ways to ring in 2018 in New York City. We've rounded up the city's best family-friendly options from Brooklyn fireworks and FREE bike rides to swanky (and admittedly expensive) Times Square parties. 

However you welcome the New Year, we hope it's a blast. You can find even more seasonal fun in our Holiday Guide, and more fun activities to do on school break.

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