Toys for Tots, Spark of Love, and Other Holiday Toy Donations for Children

With Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday all behind us, can we take a breath to remember some of the ways we share joy this season that don't involve shopping here, there, and in our PJs? Maybe we can find some time to volunteer with our kids and help those less fortunate. If we are pursuing the parental thrill of buying super-cool toys, wrapping them, and making our kids' day on Christmas or Hanukkah, maybe we could add one for a child in need. Or, if money is too tight to donate a new toy, how about passing along some of last year's gifts to make room for what Santa delivers this season? We know of some great places to bring both kinds of toy donations and spread around some of that holiday joy.

Holiday Lights Spectacular at Jones Beach: Animated Displays, Santa, Music & More for LI Families

One of my family’s favorite holiday activities is checking out the many light displays on Long Island. Last year, after a seven year absence, the Holiday Lights Spectacular at Jones Beach returned—and we couldn’t be happier! With over 150 animated and synchronized displays and about 300,000 lights, it is the largest holiday light display on Long Island. There is something to wow every member of the family, so of course, we’ll be returning this year. For first time visitors, here's some insight into what you can expect.


Weekend Fun for NJ Kids: Santa Train, Country Christmas, December 12-13

‘Tis the season to be jolly! With Hanukkah celebrations in full swing and Christmas just around the corner, you can be sure there’s a holiday outing for everyone this weekend. Check out a Country Christmas with Santa with a cozy campfire and s’mores at Alstede Farms, take in a classic performance of New Jersey Ballet’s The Nutcracker featuring the NJ Symphony Orchestra or take a magical Santa’s Helpers Walking Tour in picturesque Princeton. For more activities to keep the kiddos busy, book tickets to an innovative puppet performance of Goodnight Moon, sign up for Winter Solstice Candle Making at the Watershed Reserve or make some deliciously sticky treats at PJ Library’s Messy Chanukah Celebration. Whatever you decide to do this weekend, we hope you enjoy it with family and friends. For additional activity options, check out our Event Calendar.


Holiday Drop and Shop for Philly Area Families

Last minute shopping calls for drastic measures. Fortunately for you, if you have little ones to tow along, you can drop them off at area gyms and play spaces, while you elbow through the crowds a little more hassle free! Whether you are still checking off that Christmas list, or you just need some “me” time in this hectic holiday season, drop-and-shop options give you that needed break. Some drop-offs are in the evening, in case you want to make it a date night post-shopping trip.

6 Holiday Shows that Aren't The Nutcracker: Christmas Carol, Panto, and Frozen on Ice

Christmastime. It's well nigh impossible to overstate the number of options SoCal families have for wholesome entertainment at this Yuletide time of year; in fact I'll go out on a Christmas tree limb and say it is impossible to exaggerate the array of lights, boats, Santas, and Nutcrackers that Angeleno kids could be enjoying at any given moment this month. But the theaters of LA and OC offer more theatrical experiences than just the 26 different productions of The Nutcracker (and counting). Looking for a Christmas show without a Sugar Plum Fairy? Try one of the seasonal classics below.


10 Best Holiday Things To Do with Kids in the Hudson Valley

There are only so many weekends left in December left to celebrate the holiday season, which can put some pressure on parents. Just which kind of family fun is worth the trip and your time? Fret not, for Mommy Poppins has come up with a list of our 10 favorite things to do with kids in the Lower Hudson Valley during the holiday season. 

We’ve already told you our favorite things to do with kids in Westchester during the holiday season, and now we’re going to turn our attention to the rest of the area. All of these family-friendly attractions are worth the drive and are a great way to explore the counties around Westchester. Check out our Holiday Guide for more Christmas and Hanukkah fun, or our Event Calendar for the latest doings. Be sure to follow us on Facebook to share what you’ve done!   

Best Hot Chocolate Spots in Manhattan

A cup of molten chocolaty goodness is the best way to thaw out and warm up—in fact, it's one of the best things about winter.

We took on the heinous job of running around the city taste-testing hot chocolates (don't say we've never done anything for you) and narrowed it down to nearly two dozen of our favorites. These spots are definitely worth the brief trip out into the cold, so read on for our recommendations for cafes and restaurants that have turned drinking hot cocoa into an experience not to be missed.


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