Christmas Tree Lightings in New York City This Holiday Season

You don't have to brave the Rockefeller Center commotion to witness a fabulous Christmas tree lighting in New York City.

We've rounded up some tree lightings that are much less crowded and every bit as hip, from Brooklyn and Queens to the Bronx and everywhere in between. These community holiday celebrations are festive and (mostly) FREE, and there’s no need to stand on your car to glimpse the goings-on. So grab that cup of hot chocolate and cozy up to one of these holiday illuminations in New York City. Find even more seasonal fun in our Holiday Guide.

Sugar-Hi: A New Sweet Spot for Westchester Families that's Simply to Die for

A new sweet shop has arrived in Westchester, and it’s so good that it’s worth a drive from wherever you live. Introducing: Sugar Hi.

At first glance, the sugar shack may resemble other similar spots—and with respect to the selection of candy and ice cream, a comparison can fairly be made. But make no mistake: The baked goods and frozen beverages are to die for. And while the ice cream and candy are provided by other suppliers, the baked goods are made by the Sugar Hi team for a one-of-a-kind tastebud experience.

Read on to learn more about our recent visit and sign up for our newsletters to have news like this delivered straight to your inbox.

From Nutcrackers to A Christmas Carol: Shows for Philly Families during the Holidays

Does your family keep the tradition of seeing a show during the holidays? Performances such as The Nutcracker or A Christmas Carol, which share a joyful holiday message, come to mind. In addition to these classic holiday performances, there are other shows on stage in and around Philadelphia that are sure to provide Philly families with a chance for quality time together during this festive season.

We have rounded up professional Nutcracker productions, symphony experiences, holiday favorites, and family friendly musicals from our event calendar. Whether it is your family's first experience seeing a Christmas production this year, or it's a new bucket list item for your crew, there are plenty of funny, heartwarming, and magical events on our list that they will enjoy.

The Newark Museum: Out-of-This-World Fun for NJ Kids and Families

Nestled in the heart of downtown Newark’s Art District, 10 miles from New York City, is New Jersey's largest museum. The Newark Museum, established in 1909, is an art and science center that truly has something for everybody. I recently visited with my 5-year-old daughter to see a show at the planetarium, and I was impressed—not only is the planetarium perfect for young kids, but the museum offers tons of other family-friendly programs as well.

If you're looking for indoor activities for the winter ahead, put the Newark Museum on your to-do list. Read on for more about this Essex County gem.

Santa Claus Brunches, Teas, and Cruises for NYC Kids

A picture with Santa can be thrilling for a little kid. But if your child wants a heartier visit with the big red guy, a tasty breakfast, brunch, or tea might be in order.

We've found eight spots in New York City where families can enjoy a special holiday meal with Old St. Nick. These range from inexpensive pancake brunches hosted by local organizations to lavish spreads at Rockefeller Center and the Plaza Hotel. You can even hop on a cruise with Santa.

All require advance reservations and sell out quickly. Whichever one you choose, bring your camera—and your appetite—and for more seasonal family fun check out our Holiday Guide.

Eataly LA: A Taste of Italy without the Airfare

For those who pine for fresh pasta, Neopolitan pizzas, and every Italian delicacy that never pops up at Trader Joe's, there's good news. Eataly L.A., the latest outpost of what has been called the Disneyland for Italian food (and has become a New York institution), opened its first North American location west of Chicago last week in the newly redone Westfield Century City shopping center. Eataly now has 39 locations throughout Italy and around the world, and just five of those can be found in the US. Eataly L.A. has three floors (the third is an as-yet unopened restaurant) and offers a little bit of everything: a grocery store, sit-down restaurants, prepared food counters, cafes, and fresh food for home preparation. There's even a cooking school (La Scuola), and foodies who don't want to cook for themselves can watch fresh food being made as well as sample olive oils, balsamic vinegars, and pestos.

So what should kids try? Even picky eaters who hesitate to try Italy's more adventurous fare will be able to find some satisfying pizza and gelato to excite their palates, whether you want to eat in-house, grab a quick bite, or purchase food to make at home.

American Girl Debuts a Sparkling New Store at Rockefeller Center

Just in time for the holiday season, American Girl gave fans citywide a shiny new gift with the opening of its brand-new mega store in Rockefeller Plaza.

The 38,000-square-foot, two-story store opened November 11, replacing its old digs on Fifth Avenue, and is sure to be a destination for lovers of these iconic dolls for years to come. While the original location offered shopping, dining, and salon services, the upgraded spot serves up even more treats for kids (matching makeovers!) and adults (plush benches!) alike.

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