7 Tips for Taking Your Preschooler to See The Nutcracker at the Boston Opera House

Moms of preschoolers: Are you ready to incorporate The Nutcracker into your holiday traditions, but wondering if your child is ready for the show? I attended the dress rehearsal of Boston Ballet’s performance of Mikko Nissinen’s The Nutcracker at the Boston Opera House with my nearly 4-year-old son to find out exactly what it’s like to attend with a young child, and we had a fabulous time on our mother-son date at the ballet. Here are some tips for you and your young ballet-goer to have a wonderful time, too.

Weekend Fun for LA Kids: Holiday Festivals, Lights, Parades, and Santa Everywhere, Dec 3 - 4

And now it starts. We've had our fill of Thanksgiving turkey, shopped Black Friday, supported Small Business Saturday, surfed Cyber Monday, gave on Giving Tuesday, and wandered through There Must Be Something Left to Buy Wednesday. There's no kidding ourselves: the Christmas season is here and now. Santa Claus has come to town, and he won't leave until he's had a year's worth of breakfasts. (He really likes breakfast.)

Of course, December in LA is more than just Santa Claus. It's holiday lights. It's boat parades. It's Nutcracker upon Nutcracker, and snowsnowsnow. And this year, it's full on Chrismakkuh.

It's also the time of year that our calendar is so unbelievably jam-packed that our weekly posts can only scratch the surface of the infinite possibilities for family fun. Trust me, though we do our best to highlight the hottest and the coolest, you're going to want to peruse our full calendar to make sure you're not missing a thing.

Here are our favorite picks for the weekend, just to get you started......

Volunteering with Kids in Fairfield County

With all the getting that goes on this time of year, you have to be intentional to get your kids to understand the importance of giving as well.  If you'd like to go beyond the family gift exchange to teach your kids about the needs in their community, there are several ways to do it here in Fairfield County -- even if they're quite young.

(We've listed some options for volunteering with kids as well in Litchfield County and Hartford County.)

Weekend Fun for Philly Kids: Zoo Noel, Lucia Fest, Dickens Festival December 3-4

Forget about Christmas shopping, holiday cards, and to-do lists for a moment. Holiday festivals, seasonal theater productions, and chance encounters with Santa Claus await Philly families this weekend!

Soak in the holiday spirit at Peddler's Village's Christmas Festival or the American Swedish Historical Museum's Lucia Fest. Immerse yourself in 1840's London at Narberth Dickens Festival. Watch one of the many traditional holiday shows such as The Walnut Street Theatre's Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol or The Media Theatre's A Christmas Story. Take the kids to The Philadelphia Zoo to visit the animals and search for Santa on a scavenger hunt throughout the grounds. Or, experience a Greccio Live Nativity at Neumman University.

Be sure to browse through our December GoList to find the best picks for the month. Now, keep reading to find all the fun that this weekend has in store.

Weekend Fun for Boston Kids: Holiday Pops, Frozen Tea Party, Model Trains, Dec 3-4

We have been lucky with the weather staying sunny and mild, but with dipping temperatures comes outdoor ice skating, which now includes the brand new 11,000 square foot Skating Path opening this weekend at City Hall Plaza. When you’re ready to come in from the cold, warm up at a holiday tea party hosted by the Wellesley Library Holiday Tea Party with Elsa, Olaf, warm drinks, and sweet treats to benefit branch libraries. Speaking of books, visit the Writers' Loft Holiday Bazaar and Book Fair where an impressive bunch of local authors will be meeting with fans and signing copies of their books.

For more indoor fun, Boston Symphony’s Holiday Pops starts this weekend including a special matinee especially for children. Don’t forget to visit the Bay State Railroad Museum for its annual holiday celebration, one of only two times the museum is open to the public each year.

Also on Mommy Poppins this week:

On November 29, we celebrated our Boston Besties with an award ceremony and reception. It was so nice to meet many of the finalists. Thanks to all who attended and congratulations to the winners!

Need more family fun ideas? Check out our full events calendar.

Weekend Fun for Houston Kids: Tree Lightings, Parades, Dec 2-4

December is here! It's time to get the most out of this chilly Houston weather. If you are looking to spend quality time with Santa and read him your list (OK, maybe your kid's list), then we have the perfect list of places to enjoy breakfast, hot cocoa and cookies with the jolly ole' man. There are still a few weekends left to catch a holiday performance or to see the classic "Nutcracker" somewhere in town. 

Are you still looking for a special gift for your kids but are dreading the experience at the big box stores? We've rounded up some locally owned toy shops that will provide a more personalized experience. The holidays are expensive enough already, but your family experiences don't have to be. We have put together a list of fun and free events to enjoy with the entire family, or you can hop in the car and visit some pretty awesome public light displays around Houston.

Look at our events calendar for a complete picture of what's happening this weekend and beyond, and we've also rounded up the best things to do as a family in the month of December. Remember to sign up for our weekly newsletter to read about fun things to do each weekend in Houston. Now, it's time to check out this list of fun events happening this weekend in Houston. 

Weekend Fun: Holiday Decorations, Santa, and Rockin' with Elvis, Dec. 3-4

With the last of the Thanksgiving leftovers made into soup and sandwiches, it's time for the final holiday countdown. It's the first weekend of December and for many that means the hunt for the perfect tree has begun. You'll find many places to pick your own in our CT Holiday Fun Guide. Also, Santa has arrived and we know where you can meet him in Stamford, Danbury and Bristol. Make sure you subscribe to our weekly newsletters and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest so that you won't miss any of the fun! As always, our event calendar is updated with the latest activities. Our top suggestions for fun this weekend are broken out below. Enjoy!

Weekend Fun for Westchester Kids: Snowkus-Pocus, St. Nicholas Day

‘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!

Some weekend events get a boost from period charm at historic sites, including the St. Nicholas Day Celebration and Somers Holiday Celebration, while several live holiday shows and Nutcracker productions take the stage this weekend, including the eccentric Cirque-Tacular - Snowkus Pocus. But if you’re not ready for total holiday immersion, another highlight is the cultural celebration Diwali, Hindu Festival of Lights. Many of our top picks this weekend are FREE!

Read on for more details, and know that there are many more events to choose from on our Event Calendar and our brand-new December GoList. Be sure to sign up for our weekly newsletters to stay up to date on all kinds of fun—holiday and otherwise!


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