Holidays

A Visit to the Torrington Christmas Village

There are some Christmas traditions that sustain over generations. The Christmas Village in Torrington is one of them. Families have been coming to visit Santa's amazing playground for decades. Started by Carl Bozenski, former Parks and Recreation Direction circa 1948, the Christmas Village began with a 3-week run and has come back for years since. Every year the opening festivities begin with a parade that draws thousands of holiday lovers. Santa and Mrs. Claus have even arrived in a helicopter!

Best Houston Neighborhoods and Homes for Viewing Holiday Lights

During the most magical time of the year, there are many ways to get your holiday light fix. Houston has beautiful public lighting displays, but nothing beats driving the family around a neighborhood in your Christmas pajamas. For those evenings when you want to enjoy the beauty of the holiday season at your own pace, it's helpful to know which Houston neighborhoods go above and beyond in the decoration department.

We've rounded up the neighborhoods with must-see lighting displays, so all you have to do is gather the family into the car, turn on some holiday tunes, and explore the Bayou City on your own time. However, many neighborhoods prefer visitors between 6-10 p.m. Lights are typically up from Thanksgiving through New Years. Also, for all things holiday in Houston - from free events to shows - check out our ultimate holiday guide for families.

The Most Spectacular Holiday Light Displays in NYC

Every year it seems holiday light installations in New York City get more elaborate, making a visit to the top displays a must-do seasonal activity. These days there are even tour buses that will take you to some of the neighborhoods decked out for the season.

We've rounded up some of the best holiday displays in NYC. Some of these attractions are in the more far-flung stretches of the city such as Pelham Gardens in the Bronx, Dyker Heights in Brooklyn and Jamaica Estates in Queens, and there's even one spot on Staten Island. All are definitely worth the trip. We can vouch for it!

So start your own holiday tradition this year by checking out these spectacular sights when dusk hits. Find more seasonal fun, including more holiday lights, such as Midtown's holiday store windows, in our NYC Holiday Fun Guide.

Free Holiday Events for Chicago Kids

Free holiday fun for kids is around every corner in Chicago this month, from long-standing annual favorites like Zoo Lights at the Lincoln Park Zoo to hilarious modern takes on the holiday like the Ugly Sweater Skate at Maggie Daley Park. Menorah and Christmas tree lightings give dark winter afternoons a much-needed glow-up. And if you need another reason to blow past bedtime, you can spread out your blanket for a holiday movie screening with an indoor picnic.

Click through the the event listings for details, including times and location information, and keep an eye on our action-packed Event Calendar—there's always something new to do in the Chicago area.

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35+ Free December Activities for Westchester Kids

December is a magical time for kids, with the advent of winter fun and an abundance of holiday festivities occurring all month long. All this (plus gifts!) can cost families a pretty penny, so we've rounded up FREE ways to get out of the house and have fun. Your piggy banks—and kids—will thank us!

Read on for frugal fun that doesn't skimp on festivity. These are in addition to other resources we've already posted, like tree- and menorah-lighting celebrations and must-see holiday light displays. Also consult our December GoList and our Holiday Fun Guide for many more ways to savor the season!

Our Event Calendar is well-stocked with many more options to choose from, and more keep coming. You can also sign up for our FREE newsletters to get our picks delivered straight to your inbox!

Holiday Volunteering Opportunities for Houston Families

Many children worry about whether they are on Santa’s naughty or nice list. One way to help your little elves feel confident about their spot on the nice list is to encourage them to volunteer. Volunteering as a family is a great way to teach children that the holidays are about more than just presents while also creating a meaningful family holiday tradition. The holiday season is a busy time for many families with so much shopping, cooking, and socializing to do, not to mention all the exciting winter festivals and other seasonal events, so we’ve rounded up a variety of easy ways your family can volunteer locally or through national organizations.

20+ Santa Claus Activities for LI Kids During the Christmas Season

If you're looking to mix it up with jolly ol' St. Nick at an outing that's a wee bit different, we have rounded up some of our favorite Santa activities across Long Island. While some events are FREE and require no preregistration, many that are require advanced tickets. These events are quite popular and can sell out early, so you'll want to book reservations as soon as possible.

For more seasonal cheer, check out our roundup of LI holiday lights, and our list of seasonal entertainment, including our Christmas tree farm guide and breakfast with Santa events. Don't forget to check out our Holiday Fun Guide and events calendar often for more hopping holiday happenings.

Cut Your Own Christmas Tree Farms Near NYC

Is there anything that smells better than a fresh Christmas tree? Spark a new family holiday tradition this year and head to one of these cut-your-own tree farms within an hour's drive of Midtown Manhattan, so kids (and parents!) can fulfill that lumberjack fantasy and still have time to deck the halls.

You can find a 12-foot tree for just $55 at one of the nearby New Jersey Christmas tree farms, gulp down a free cup of hot cider at another in Westchester, or do a little birding at a Connecticut tree farm situated in an Audubon nature sanctuary. Nearby Long Island is packed with pretty family tree farms, too. Read on for our top 10 picks for New York families.

Looking for more holiday day trips? We have a few to recommend for local families.

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