Christmas/Hanukkah

Where To Donate Toys for the Holidays: Toys for Tots, Spark of Love, and More

The holidays can be a particularly rough time to be in need, and this year's terrible fire season has put far more families in this position than usual. Showing our kids how the community rallies is important. We can make time to volunteer with our kids—a great holiday tradition—and kids can also experience the joy of giving by passing along some of last year's gifts, sharing the old with someone new before finding out what Santa delivers this season. When we pursue the parental thrill of buying super-cool toys, wrapping them, and making our kids' day on Christmas or Hanukkah, maybe we could add just one more for a child in need. We know of some great places to bring both kinds of toy donations—new and gently used—to spread around some of that holiday joy.

Hanukkah Celebrations and Menorah Lightings for NYC Families

New York City knows how to celebrate the holidays, and Hanukkah is no different. The Festival of Lights arrives early in 2018, with the first night on Sunday, December 2. But have no fear: we've rounded up over two dozen ways to celebrate this wonderful Jewish holiday, and most of them are free.

Of note this year: there's the brilliant Menorah on the High Line, and the South Street Seaport District's awesome Hanukkah Party. We also have the annual mainstays, from the World's Largest Hanukkah Menorah Lighting, to Chanukah on Ice and Hanukkah Family Day at the Jewish Museum

As always, click through for time, price, and more event details.

 

Review: Holiday Show in Riverhead Lights Up the Season

Let the spirit of the season illuminate your heart at the new Holiday Light Show at the Long Island Sports Park in Calverton.

Uncrowded and located directly off the Long Island Expressway, the display is sure to enthrall kids and delight adults with its scintillating light creations, inspiring music, and overall holiday exuberance. And for more merriment, check out the Magic of Lights Show at Jones Beach, the Girl Scouts of Suffolk County light show, and these great things to do on Long Island with kids during the holiday season.

Your little ones might also want to visit a Nutcracker or another holiday show or perhaps travel along a nearby Polar Express train while the air is cold and light. 

Party City Opens Toy City Pop-up with Hot Holiday Toys

The holiday shopping season is in full swing, and the folks behind Party City are offering tired parents one more shopping outlet in 2018. Toy City, a seasonal pop-up similar to the Halloween City shops also owned by Party City, opened this fall with about 50 locations across the country. Expect to find some of the season's hottest toy items, from LOL dolls to Legos, at Toy City.

A number of the Toy City locations opened within former Halloween City stores and have been busy converting the shelves from spider webs and broomsticks to Play-Doh and Transformers. 

NYC's Most Dazzling 2018 Holiday Window Displays

There are very few things that can lure me into Midtown's big department stores during the holiday season. While I do make an annual exception for Macy's Santaland, the real holiday magic lies outside the doors as the holiday windows come alive with spectacular displays.

Always a Mommy Poppins favorite, and certainly a must-do FREE outing, a holiday windows walk in NYC is especially exciting this year, with interactive elements and beloved characters. We spent a good part of our Sunday afternoon checking out the dazzling displays. Read on for a peek at their magic, and relive the fun of NYC holiday windows in years past.

Christmas Tree Farms to Cut Your Own Near Boston

Whether it’s a family holiday tradition or a new experience, cutting your own Christmas tree adds a dimension to the holiday season that’s hard to match. There’s nothing quite like the real deal—a pine-smelling, sap-sticky, Christmas tree—and the opportunity for creating a lasting family memory in the process is an added bonus. We have rounded up a sampling of cut-your-own locations to get started; keep reading to the end for helpful tips to manage the selection process and keep your evergreen fresh through the season!

Hanukkah Events and Menorah Lightings for Philadelphia Families

Hanukkah begins on December 2 and continues until December 10 this year. During these eight nights known as The Jewish Festival of Lights, Philly families can celebrate throughout the Delaware Valley at many fantastic events that can be found in our events calendar. From attending menorah lighting ceremonies and listening to stories to making crafts and spinning the dreidel, everyone in the family can enjoy these special traditions while making lasting memories. We've rounded up some of our favorite activities so read on for ideas to incorporate into your family's calendar.

Things to Do and See at Rockefeller Center (Besides the Tree)

Rockefeller Center is undoubtedly the most crowded place in New York City during the holidays. Everyone, whether they live in town or are just visiting, goes to see "The Tree." But then what?

There is actually quite a bit for families to do besides gazing at the twinkling evergreen and battling tourists in this 22-acre complex. Rockefeller Center is a great holiday destination with plenty of shopping, eating, and culture for kids of all ages. Squeeze it in as part of a holiday windows walk; check it out while you wait for the Rockettes to start kicking; or grab a bite after your show—we've got great suggestions for no-reservation, family-friendly restaurants nearby.

Read on for some fun things to do at Rockefeller Center this winter.

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