Weekend Events: Hanukkah, Holiday Lights, Dickens Fest

Glow all weekend with these holiday light show spectaculars across Long Island. Celebrate Hanukkah with a Menoracade or bash at Nassau Coliseum. Stay connected to nature this weekend at the Holtsville Ecology Site or Sunken Meadow State Park.

See our Holiday Family Fun Guide for the best in seasonal entertainment, including our Christmas tree cutting guide, breakfast with Santa events, Hanukkah fun guideice skating rinks and plenty of FREE events and activities. As always, our Event Calendar and November and December GoLists are loaded with fun, daily happenings for Long Island kids.

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.

Weekend Fun: Sinterklaas Festival, Hanukkah, Laurie Berkner

‘Tis the season to be jolly, and you’ve come to the right place for kicking off a season of holiday fun for Westchester and Hudson Valley families. Incredibly, most of our top picks for the weekend are FREE!

Town charm is tangible at the elaborate Sinterklaas Family Day—which is produced by the same organizer as the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade, to give a sense of scope—while New Paltz glows with its two-day Holiday on Huguenot Street. Among the standout holiday performances we’ve rounded up is a concert by kiddie-bop icon Laurie Berkner. The St. Nicholas Day Celebration features reflections of a traditional Dutch holiday (spoiler alert: kids used to be happy to receive an orange in their stocking!). And with the Festival of Lights kicking off this weekend, several noteworthy celebrations are planned, among them the multifaceted Hanukkah Village.

With so many exciting events happening this weekend, we couldn’t include them all in our top picks below. Also refer to our roundup of must-do holiday events and tree- and menorah-lighting celebrations, many of which take place this weekend as well. Event Calendar for numerous options happening daily, and rely on our newsletters to organize and prioritize the whole holiday season!

Beloved Bear Corduroy Stars in New Must-See Exhibit

All three of my kids have been fans of Corduroy since they were toddlers, possibly because I was a fan way before they were even born. It’s impossible not to fall for the endearing, mild-mannered stuffed bear created by prolific author, illustrator, and painter Don Freeman. His two books starring the lovable bear—Corduroy and A Pocket for Corduroy—are among the author’s best-known works.

Naturally, when I learned that The Museum of the City of New York, one of my family’s favorite NYC destinations, was opening a new exhibit dedicated to Corduroy and a curated collection of Don Freeman’s other works celebrating NYC, I knew I’d be first in line. The exhibit is a loving tribute to Freeman, whose affection for New York City is evident in masterful works that display the intricacies and liveliness of a city like no other. A City for Corduroy: Don Freeman’s New York is an engaging, colorful display and makes for a wonderful outing for little ones and grownups alike—a fitting tribute to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Corduroy.

Weekend Fun for Philly Kids: Lucia Fest, Narberth Festival, Hanukkah December 1-2

A December weekend is often filled with holiday to-do's. Philly families can bake delicious goodies, select the perfect tree, untangle strands of lights to decorate the house, and try to capture the perfect picture for holiday cards to send to loved ones. Once these tasks are complete, turn your attention to our amazing event calendar, which is filled with lots of seasonal fun.

Learn about the Swedish culture with a visit to American Swedish Historical Museum for its annual Lucia Fest, complete with music, food, and special procession. Step back in time to 1840s London for the annual Narberth Dickens Festival or colonial times with a trip to Elfreth's Alley. Celebrate with a holiday parade in Coatesville, Yardley, Philadelphia or attend a musical parade recognizing The Cat's Pajamas.  In addition, Hanukkah begins this weekend so, as expected, there are plenty of menorah lightings and celebrations throughout the Delaware Valley.

Continue reading for our top picks for the weekend.

20 Things We Are Excited To Do with DC Kids this Winter

Winter can be tough - trying to keep boredom at bay when the weather is cold and wet. But sometimes the only thing to do is to brave the weather and get out of the house! With everything Washington, DC has to offer, kids in the nation's capitol won't have trouble being entertained, and moms and dads can appreciate the break from winter fatigue that exploring the city can provide. 

Don't forget to check out our events calendar for even more fun ideas in the DC area!

Weekend Fun: Christmas Underwater, Hanukkah, Dickens Village

Holiday celebrations are in full swing on this first weekend of the last month of 2018. December kicks off with an aquatic-Santa theme: you'll find the big guy making rounds on a ferry, celebrating Christmas Underwater, and diving into the pool for a Snack and Swim.  Local towns are gearing up for the holidays with Maplewood's Dickens Village, Morristown's Christmas Festival, Red Bank's Holiday Horse & Wagon Rides, and Bergen County Winter Wonderland

Hanukkah makes its debut this weekend! Celebrate the first night at the Jewish Center of Springfield Menorah Lighting, Hooray for Hanukkah, and the unique Car Menorah Parade

Come in from the cold at theatrical performances of Milk & Cookies: Alex & The KaleidoscopeCharlotte's Web, and Junie B. Jones The Musical. Plus, warm up at free storytimes, including Where's Spot? Storytime at Indigo and Barnes & Noble's Snowman and Hanukkah Storytimes

Find even more options in our Holiday Guide, including A Dozen Must-Do Holiday and Christmas Experiences and 30+ Free Holiday and Christmas Events for NJ Kids. And look to our event calendar for a complete listing of happenings this weekend and beyond.

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. 

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