December GoList: The Best Things To Do with Philly Kids This Month

No sooner have we packed away all the Thanksgiving leftovers than the Christmas season is upon us, full steam ahead. While many stores have been decorated for weeks, at the start of December we begin to see homes illuminate with holiday spirit, small town tree lightings, and Santa Claus appearances all over Philadelphia.

The Mommy Poppins calendar is filled with festive events this month for families to enjoy. Kids can be sure to get on Santa's nice list when they greet him coming to town by train and by helicopter. Find places where you can step back in history and experience 1840s London or a Revolutionary War event. Take in a Christmas show or visit with some reindeer. The list can be overwhelming, so we have narrowed down some of our favorite picks for December. 

Be sure to subscribe to our email newsletter to see our weekly roundups of events as well!

Midnight Mass with NYC Kids: Family-Friendly Christmas Eve Services

We've already shared festive ways to celebrate Christmas Eve with kids in New York City with you, but we know many families are looking for a more formal way to celebrate the season while praying for peace on earth and good will toward men.

While lots of NYC churches host kid-friendly religious services and pageants during the afternoon on December 24, you could also consider attending an authentic midnight mass with your family featuring the traditional Christmas Eve liturgy and caroling. We've found five Manhattan churches that welcome visitors to midnight mass with kids in tow—yes, even babies and toddlers (we're sure; we checked!). You don't need to be a regular parishioner to attend and they're not as jam-packed as St. Patrick's Cathedral, although arriving early is still recommended.

However you decide to spend Christmas Eve, we hope you find comfort and joy in the company of family and friends.

Cut Your Own Christmas Tree Farms Near NYC

Skip the NYC corner-stand haggle this year and head to one of these Christmas tree farms to spark a new family holiday tradition. We found 10 cut-your-own tree farms within an hour's drive of Midtown Manhattan, so the 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 $50 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.

December GoList: Things To Do with Long Island Kids this Month

'Tis the season for tons of family-friendly events and activities. From holiday light displays and breakfast with Santa to watching The Nutcracker and ringing in the New Year, there is something merry and bright going on practically every day of the week this month on Long Island. So bundle the kids up and enjoy everything the season has to offer.

And for even more fun, check out our Long Island Events Calendar, as well as our Long Island Holiday Fun Guide.

Weekday Picks: Christmas Tree Lights, Holiday Shopping, Snoopy on Ice November 30 - December 4

There is nothing I enjoy so much as a brilliant display of holiday lights. That said, there were quite a few lighting ceremonies on our calendar in November, yet you didn’t hear about them from me. As far as I’m concerned, the acquisition and lighting of Christmas trees belong firmly in the month of December. Anything before that is just a sneaky way to push the holiday shopping agenda. Well, here we are in December, and I’m happy to report that there are still plenty of chances to celebrate the next four weeks of shopping with a lighting ceremony, whether you head west to Santa Monica , east to Downtown LA, or south towards Hermosa or Long Beach.

It is likely that you are well on your way with the toy shopping, but don’t forget that Tuesday and Wednesday are free LEGO days: a perfect stocking stuffer or spoonful of sugar on sock night. For more grown up gift ideas, Montana Avenue’s annual holiday walk in Santa Monica is this week.

Pershing Square outdoor ice rink welcomes Snoopy and friends for a mini preview of Knott’s Merry Farm’s Merry Christmas Snoopy this week. Those Peanuts never get old, especially when they have a new movie. 'Tis the season for many celebrations; there is much more to do on our Daily Events Calendar and in our Holiday Guide.

Weekday Event Picks for NJ Kids: Gingerbread Wonderland, Scuba Santa, November 30-December 4

December has arrived, and so has the official start of the holiday season. Get in the holiday spirit at sensational, seasonal events that include Christmas Celebration: Scuba Santa, Skylands Stadium Christmas Lights Show and Gingerbread Wonderland. Treat the family to kid-friendly theatrical performances of Fancy Nancy Splendiferous Christmas, A Christmas Story and Peppa Pig’s Big Splash. And don’t forget to check out our Event Calendar for even more options!

Weekday Picks for LI Kids: Meet Santa, Smiling Snowpeople, Dickens Festival, November 30-December 4

There is plenty of holiday cheer this week. Kids can meet Santa and his reindeer at Hicks, make smiling snowpeople at LICM and enjoy a bevy of holiday-related activities at the Dickens Festival. And for even more, take a look at our Holiday Guide.

For even more activities, check out our Long Island Events Calendar, which is updated daily. You can also get the best events of the week sent directly to your inbox each week if you sign up for our newsletter.

Weekday Picks for Boston Kids: Tree Lightings, Little Mermaid & Holiday Pops, November 30-December 4

After a lovely (and filling) Thanksgiving, my family is finally ready to prepare for the next round of holidays. We always like to catch one of the local tree lightings, and there are a couple of great ones this week, including the spectacular on the Common. We're also down to the last days before Hanukkah begins, so make sure to check out our rundown of local celebrations, including a special story time this week.

Don't forget that many holiday activities and shows also run during the week with less of a crowd. My girls and I just saw Fiddlehead Theatre's production of The Little Mermaid (pictured), and it absolutely captivated us from the moment Ariel swam onstage (yes, swam!). From eye-popping sets to the familiar Disney songs to fantastic new ones sung by a fabulous cast, this is definitely one you don't want to miss.

As always, keep your eye on the full Event Calendar for more great upcoming events.


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