Weekend Fun for Connecticut Kids: Santa with Sharks, Handbells, and Curious George

Have you put your tree up yet? How's the shopping coming? An early Hanukkah has given 2018 a more spread-out holiday season, which means more weekends of fun! This week family activities abound, both indoors and out. For starters, there's the 34th Annual Santa's Workshop in Manchester, a Storybook Holiday tour in Derby, and the annual Christmas Village in Torrington. In the mood for a show? Try Curious George and the Golden Meatball in West Hartford, a free handbell concert in Bristol, and holiday classics like The Nutcracker and A Christmas Story in Hartford, Putnam, and Ridgefield.

To make sure that you don't miss any of the fun, subscribe to our weekly newsletters and follow us on Facebook, TwitterPinterest, and Instagram. Read on for our highlights of events happening this weekend, and check our frequently updated daily event calendar for even more ideas.

New Indoor Playground Offers Eco-Friendly Fun for Little Ones

Just in time for those cooped-up, cold winter months, a new imaginative, eco-friendly play space has arrived in NJ: Woodland Indoor Playground in Cedar Grove, a Scandinavian-inspired play space created by Montclair mom-preneurs Julija Stoliarova and Marina Miller. Woodland will offer fun for kids and families while giving back to the community via a partnership with the Community Food Bank of NJ.   

The play space is open for business as of today, Wednesday, December 12.

Circus Abyssinia Is a Jaw-Dropping Holiday Show Kids Will Love

I love that the New Victory Theater usually presents a circus show as its holiday production—after all, if there's anything as magical and sparkly as the holiday season itself, it's the circus. Circus Abyssinia: Ethiopian Dreams may have a different vibe than the Big Apple Circus, but it's just as charming and jaw-dropping. Especially when you realize the troupe was formed just last year!

At just 100 minutes including intermission, with inventive twists on familiar acts, Circus Abyssinia: Ethiopian Dreams is an exhilarating holiday show for the whole family. Read on to find out about the fabulous feats you'll see—and how you can meet and take pics with the performers.

6 Places Where Kids Can Learn to Ski or Snowboard Near Boston

Teaching a child to ski is no easy feat. Between the gear, ticketing costs, and power struggles, it can often be a better bet to sign a child up for ski lessons. Luckily, within an 80-minute drive of Boston, there are a half-dozen simple ski facilities—five downhill mountains, and one cross country course—with gentle, wide-open slopes that are perfect for learning this great winter activity. All offer rentals and lessons, courtesy of experienced instructors who are accustomed to working with new (and sometimes overwhelmed) skiers, and a family-friendly atmosphere where a slopes-confident parent can, alternatively, have plenty of space to teach a child on their own. While a good snowstorm can happen at any time, the mountains are making as much snow as they possibly can. Call or register online ahead as far in advance as possible, and take heart—just like a potty training and two-wheeling, they will get the hang of it eventually! After a few lessons, your family may even feel a bit more ambitious and ready for a classic New England ski weekend getaway!

Where to Donate Kids' Clothes, Toys, and Gear Across NYC

With two adults and three kids in my family's typically small NYC apartment, the holiday season stresses me out. Not because of all the things I need to do, but because of all the extra "stuff" that I know is about to flood our home. That's why this is my favorite time of year to donate my kids' gently (or sometimes never!) used clothes, toys, books, and other items so we can free up some space, support worthy charities, and get the whole family in a giving mindset.

We've gathered details on several organizations where you can donate quality used items during the holidays and beyond. Be sure to contact the charities directly to confirm what they accept and how best to drop off. 

7 Places to Have Afternoon Tea with Long Island Kids

When the weather is cold, enjoying a warm cup of tea with your favorite little person is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.

From sampling a variety of tea flavors to tasting yummy miniature sandwiches and scones, these Long Island tea rooms offer a warm welcome in an elegant setting just in time for Hot Tea Month in January.

For more delicious fun with your little ones, check out our list of the best Long Island brunch destinations for families, or treat yourself to our roundup of the Island's most decadent dessert spots

Don't Miss PA Ballet's The Nutcracker this Holiday Season

This classic Christmas ballet returns to Philadelphia for another season of holiday pageantry. Since 1968 the Pennsylvania Ballet has been performing The Nutcracker, drawing countless families and performing arts fans. If you have the chance to see this year's show, you won't be disappointed. The sights and sounds of the dazzling dancers, eye-catching costumes, vivid sets, and phenomenal orchestral performance will make you eager to take your seat again after intermission. Having been there, we're here to tell you all about it. Keep reading for more a sneak peek of this ballet performance.

Best Toy Stores in NYC: 13 Family Favorites and Destination Toy Shops

Whether your toy shopping trip is a winter day activity, a pre-birthday party stop, a bit of Santa research, or a special family outing, NYC's toy store options do not disappoint. From painstakingly curated indie experiences to unforgettable big-brand toy extravaganzas, we’ve rounded up over a dozen of our favorite go-to toy stores across New York City, where you’re sure to find the perfect item for your little one or the winning gift for a birthday party

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