Weekday Picks for Boston Kids: Big Joe, Giant Peach, and Sock Skating; Dec 19-23

We know that some kids are already out of school, so we have you covered with ideas for each day leading up to the weekend of Christmas and the start of Hanukkah. It's a wonderfully literary week, with two stage adaptations of beloved children's book classics, and celebrations of the season – the winter season, that is – will keep kids' spirits high even when rain washes away the sledding snow.

Have a holly jolly week, and remember to check our Event Calendar for more family fun and holiday-themed events each day.

Weekday Fun in NJ: Holiday Countdown, Lights, Hanukkah Fun

This is it—just one more week until Christmas and Hanukkah. When you're finished making your list and checking it twice, take a minute to check out our big list of fun holiday events. You can get ready for Hanukkah at Barnes & Noble’s Hanukkah storytime; enjoy Christmas entertainment at a Holiday Express Benefit Concert and a performance of NJ Ballet’s The Nutcrackerand ring in the official start of winter at Bergen County Winter Wonderland.

Read on for our best children's events the week of December 23, and don’t forget to check out our Event Calendar, December GoList, and Holiday Guide for even more holiday happenings.

FREE Weekday Picks for Westchester Kids: Candlelight Tours, Holiday Crafting

The excitement is mounting as we enter the final week before Christmas and Hanukkah! If you celebrate either holiday, you’re probably super busy with last-minute preparations. Don’t worry, we’re not recommending any frivolous activities to add to the craziness but rather some possible enhancements to optimize your family's enjoyment of the season.

Several events help prepare for the holidays by having kids create decorations, gifts or greetings. For one, at Teen Crafternoons participants will use cornstarch to create beautiful molded ornaments. We’ve also identified programs that promote holiday serenity, with an escape from the modern-day commercial trappings that often consume us to see old-fashioned Christmas charm at Holiday Tour by Candlelight (and remind your kids that children used to be lucky to get an orange in their stocking!). And though the recent weather bears no relation to fall, in fact winter begins this week, and Winter Solstice Celebration lends cheer to the shortest day of the year.

There are more options to choose from, including for those who don’t celebrate Christmas, so read on and visit our Event Calendar for ideas. Be sure to sign up for our weekly newsletters to ensure you receive our upcoming weekend roundup, which will highlight what to do December 24-25!

20 Indoor Places Where NYC Kids Play for Free

We're on the cusp of another long Northeast winter, and entertaining the kids during this long, chilly season isn't easy, or cheap. Throw in a cramped New York City apartment and a shortage of vitamin D and of course, everyone is eyeing the exit. Luckily, in NYC some of the best things in life are FREE (really).

If your kids are bouncing off the walls and your wallet is screaming for a break after all the holidays, we've got you covered. Check out our list of 20 FREE indoor destinations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and elsewhere in NYC for fun, games, or just a much-needed change of scenery.

For more great indoor places, check out our Indoor Family Fun Guide, which is loaded with all-ages drop-in spots like bowling!

Weekday Fun for LI Kids: Santa, Shows, and Nature Walks

The week before the holidays is shaping up to be an exciting one filled with fun activities across Long Island. From trolley rides on the Polar Express to holiday theatrical performances and even a playable exhibit of video games, there is no shortage of ways you can get your family even more excited about the holidays or, if you prefer, help them relax and chill out before the madness really begins. Perhaps a Winter Solstice Walk or an indoor ice skating session is more your speed?

Plus, heading out during a weekday usually means fewer crowds for the hottest holiday activities like light displays or a visit with Santa and his reindeer.

And don't forget to check out our December GoList and events calendar for even more great ideas on how to keep your kids engaged and entertained throughout the week.

Weekday Picks for Philly Kids: Winter Solstice, Hanukkah Fun, Christmas Lights December 19-23

Philly families welcome the arrival of winter this week as the season officially begins with the winter solstice on Wednesday, December 21st. Mark the start of a new season with a peaceful walk at Bowman Hill's Wildflower Preserve or a bonfire and hot chocolate at Stateline Wood Preserve. Continue outdoor fun with a visit to Longwood Garden's A Longwood Christmas or St. Peter's Episcopal Church's Lights of Christmas. Or, get a history lesson and head to Valley Forge as performers reenact George Washington's Annual March-In of the Continental Army Commemoration.

In addition to winter fun, there is Hanukkah excitement in the days leading up to the holiday. Upper Merion Library features two Hanukkah Story Times, Tiferet Bet Israel hosts Hanukkah fun with Puppets Pizzazz event, and Franklin Square celebrates the Festival of Lights at its Hanukkah Celebration.

Stay up to date with the latest fun by following us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Keep reading to discover the fun that awaits this week.

Did you nominate your favorite go-to spot, play space, or family-friendly service for our Philly Bestie Award yet? If not, nominate your Besties today! Starting in January, fans can vote for your favorites and win awesome prizes.

Weekday Fun: Freebies, Make Music, Holiday Crafts, Santa

NYC kids are no doubt worked into a holiday frenzy this week. They can sense the school vacation headed their way—and are hopped up on holiday treats, and good cheer! Keep 'em focused with cool art projects like snowy dioramas and reindeer sock puppet making, or let them shake out some of that energy with Make Music Winter, a free outdoor musical event happening all over the city this Wednesday.

Catch Santa for FREE all week at Bryant Park, and kick off the holiday vacation with FREE museum hours this Friday. There are also Hanukkah celebrations, concerts, and menorah lightings, and don't miss out on these NYC maker spaces for drop-in fun, especially as the weather turns, well, frightful.

Whether you're sticking around the city this whole week, or headed off for the holidays, it's worth getting out to cross off those last items on your NYC holiday bucket list, from a department store windows walk to checking out some of the most colorful and brightly lit trees. Don't forget what the city looks like come February. OK, a lot less crowded, but a lot less festive, too.

Read on for our best bets for NYC kids this week, December 19-23, and don't forget to check out our daily Event Calendar for more things to do with the kids the week, or our Holiday Activities Guide for more seasonal NYC fun...all December break long.

Hartford Area Sledding Hills

The first storm of the season creates quite a stir for those of us who excitedly await a winter wonderland. Sure, building snowmen and having snowball fights leave us breathless with fun, but it's hard to match the thrill of holding tight to a sled while careening down a hill on a quest to be the one who finishes first and travels the farthest. For a truly great sledding experience, check out these awesome hills in the Hartford area. Winter lasts only about 12 weeks, so pack a thermos with hot chocolate, maybe grab an extra pair of mittens and socks (don't forget lip balm and sunscreen!), and embrace the snowy adventures.

If you are looking to explore more winter activities, check out our Ski and Snow Sports GuideMount Southington for downhill skiing and Winding Trails for cross-country are two local attractions worth exploring. Sledding fun also awaits in Fairfield County.

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