Holiday Train Shows in NYC for Kids: Botanical Garden and More

Trains are a way of life for most New Yorkers, but there's something particularly special about the little engines and cabooses that take center stage during the holiday season. The New York Botanical Garden's Holiday Train show is one of New York City's top seasonal attractions for families, with electric model trains whizzing by more than 150 NYC landmarks made out of acorns, twigs, bark, berries, and leaves. My family and I make it a point to go every year—it's truly a quintessential New York holiday experience. There's a reason it's on our list of the top 100 things to do with kids in NYC.

But the big NYBG display isn't the only train-centric show in town. Read on for more details on this annual spectacle, as well as a roundup of the other train shows the city has to offer this holiday season. And for an extra special holiday treat, take the kids on a full-size train ride with these nearby Polar Express and Santa locomotives.

Breakfast with Santa for Kids and Families in Westchester

Though Santa is busy preparing for his famous ride on Christmas Eve, he still somehow has time to break bread (or pancakes) with children in Westchester this holiday season. These cozy get-togethers have become increasingly popular, typically featuring a full breakfast and holiday activity, with added perks at some. The best part? Quality time and photo-op with St. Nick.

We’ve rounded up some top picks for Breakfast with Santa throughout Westchester to help you spread some holiday cheer. Advance registration is either required or recommended, so don't delay. And don't forget to bring your wish list! 

If you're looking for more holiday activities, check our Event Calendar and sign up for our newsletters.

Best Nutcrackers and Holiday Shows for New Jersey Kids

The holidays are the most wonderful time of the year for lots of things, including performances. Over the next several weeks, New Jersey theaters will come alive with dancing sugar plum fairies, singing reindeer, and more than a few Christmas ghosts. 

This season, you can dance and sing along with the Laurie Berkner Band or listen to the world-famous Vienna Boys' Choir. Beloved characters such as Charlie Brown, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and Garfield take the stage in musicals based on animated holiday specials. 

Annie brings Broadway talent to NJ in an all-star production at the Paper Mill Playhouse (OK, this one isn't technically a holiday show, but the story takes place at Christmastime, and it's a classic). And Ebeneezer Scrooge gets spooked into a change of heart in several productions of A Christmas Carol at theaters throughout the state, including McCarter Theatre and the Theatre at Raritan Valley Community College, plus kid-friendly musical versions at Paper Mill and BergenPAC.

If your child is nuts about The Nutcracker, you don't have to go to New York City to see a great production—there are several top-notch companies performing the holiday fave right here in NJ, including American Repertory Ballet, New Jersey Ballet, and Moscow Ballet. For a sweet twist on the classic, don't miss the Hip Hop Nutcracker at NJPAC. 

Read on for a list of the best productions happening this holiday season.

Ultimate Holiday Experiences in Connecticut

Ask any kid what they love most about the holidays and you might get the same answer--PRESENTS! But as they grow up, while a few of those precious treasures may linger in their minds, it's the traditions and special memories that will really stick. Those little moments that made holidays so special are what nurture the nostalgia we often feel around this time of year. Here in Connecticut, there is no shortage of amazing opportunities to make one of a kind memories for your family during the holidays. Tap into the magic of the season at any one of these ultimate holiday experiences throughout the state.

10 Brooklyn Spots That Both Little and Big Kids Will Love

Whether you have a large brood that ranges from babies to tweens or simply a few who have somewhat of an age gap, finding activities and restaurants that cater to each and every age and stage can be challenging. The desire to go out and spend time together in NYC can sometimes be overshadowed by the task of finding place that will keep babies, toddlers, preschoolers, older children, and parents entertained.

So whether you want to sit down and have a meal, or spend an afternoon at a museum, we've rounded up 10 mid-Brooklyn locales that offer a little something every member of the family—even the adults!

30 Free Things To Do with Philly Kids this Holiday Season

The holidays are right around the corner. A chill is in the air, and lights and festive fun are popping up everywhere you look. With holiday time, comes lots of spending on presents, food, and travel. For families on a tight budget, it can be tough to find a way to get out of the house and celebrate the season. We've rounded up 25 things Philly families can enjoy for free this holiday season. So, give your wallet a break and grab your mittens.

Christmas Trains: All Aboard the Polar Express for Kids in LA, Ventura, & Orange County

Trains in Los Angeles are more or less novelties all year round, which means they hold onto that wonderful Thomas-the-Tank-Engine, Polar-Express mystique far longer for LA kids than for urban kids who take the A train regularly. And for anyone who loves trains, Christmas trains offer the ultimate "old world charm" rail experience. Add an appearance by Santa Claus and a few Christmas trees, and you have a recipe for a memorable holiday experience. Some of the dates are limited, though, so booking ahead when possible is the best way to make sure this train doesn't pass you by. All aboard the Santa Express!

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