Free Activities

Free Skating, VR Sleigh Rides, and Gingerbread House at Bloomingdale’s

Bloomingdale's, the iconic department store known for its dazzling holiday window displays, has a Santa's-sack-worth of festive delights in store this season. After marveling at the Grinch-themed holiday windows, just unveiled last week, and taking a turn on the Who-ville karaoke microphone to belt out a round or two of "Jingle Bells," head inside for even more fun and surprises.

This year, the store has opened an adorable, FREE indoor skating rink (complete with a hot chocolate bar), as well as a life-sized gingerbread house display, and a virtual reality experience that lets you take a ride on Santa's sleigh. For a peek inside this pop-up winter wonderland, read on.

New Play Area Opens at Cross County Shopping Center

Last week, Cross County Shopping Center in Yonkers opened a brand-new, free play area, the centerpiece of which is the area's first Luckey Climber.

The outdoor climbing structure—part jungle gym, part work of art—was designed by Hartford, CT–based "kid architect" Spencer Luckey, whose distinctive climbers can be found in public spaces and private institutions around the world, including Liberty Science Center in Newark, NJ; The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia; and the Long Island Children's Museum in Garden City, NY.

30 Free Holiday Events for Families and Kids in NYC

With Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Hanukkah all fast approaching, New York City is gearing up for a magical holiday season. There's something about the sheer delight and excitement in kids' faces that can make even dodging tourists and taxis fun. 

Some of the best family events in NYC happen in November and December: annual train displays, exciting holiday events, spectacular Nutcracker productions, and more. But FREE family fun is often the very best kind, especially with kids in tow. So we've rounded up 30 FREE Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hanukkah activities for the family to enjoy now through New Year's Eve. (Consider it our holiday gift to you!) For more of the best events of the holiday season in NYC, be sure to check out our Holiday Guide.

See Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon Inflation with Kids

Thanksgiving in New York City wouldn't be what it is without the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. If you're eager to take your kids to glimpse those giant balloons and don’t want to rise before dawn, visit the area near the American Museum of Natural History on Wednesday, November 21, 2018, to watch the giants come to life, including the brand-new balloons for 2018.

While the balloon inflation isn't crowd-free, it’s an only-in-New York event all its own—and a must-do holiday event for families. Read on for tips on when to go and where to eat dinner afterward. In need of more holiday inspiration? Visit our Thanksgiving Fun Guide.

Sand Sledding: Winter Fun on the Sand Berms at Venice Beach

November is time to hit the berms!

Rumor has it that in some parts of the country sledding involves getting cold and wet. How very... un-Californian. Oh, sure, there are places near LA to go sledding on snow if that's your thing, but we're raising California kids—and that means beach sledding. Every winter a few Los Angeles area beaches get their annual sand berms—intended as protection against winter storms and violent surf. Or so they say. The real purpose is clearly to lay the groundwork for the ultimate SoCal winter sport.

Free in November: 22 Free Things To Do with Kids In Los Angeles

With the Holiday Season fast approaching, pocketbooks can start to feel a little light. If you’re in need of some family fun but don’t want to break the bank, look no further. There are still plenty of things to do in Los Angeles this November, without ever cracking open that wallet. From the Day of the Dead to Santa’s Sled, it's time to kick off winter with a frugal bang.

30+ Free Things To Do with New Jersey Kids in November

November has arrived, and there’s so much to be thankful for—including free events! Enjoy some outdoor time early in the month at admission-free festivals like St. Anthony International FestivalDay of the Dead 2018, Ocean City's Quiet Festival, and Short Hills-Millburn Street Fair

Later in the month, Santa Claus is coming to town! Kick off the holiday season at no-cost celebrations in Princeton, Nutley, Morristown, Ridgewood, and Red Bank. Plus, seasonal light shows make their debut, including Smithville's Holiday Light Show and Atlantic City's Holiday Musical Light Show.

Keep the little ones busy and warm, without spending a dime, at weekly storytimes such as Penny's Storytime, Kids' Story Hour at Rutgers Landscape & Nursery, and Pottery Barn Kids Weekly Storytime. (Please check websites for Thanksgiving week schedules.)

Read on for this month's picks! For more free and low-cost fun, check out our Event Calendar, as well as our Fall Fun Guide for New Jersey Kids.

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