NYC Holiday Store Windows Sparkle in 2017

You don't have to go far in NYC to see gorgeous holiday lights and festive Christmas displays. Right here in Midtown Manhattan, the big department stores, such as Macy's and Saks Fifth Avenue, light up the streets with gorgeous gratis holiday window displays. They're playful, colorful, whimisical, and even interactive in some cases.

Take a family stroll down Fifth Avenue to see the 2017 windows—it's one of our favorite FREE holiday activities in the city! But first get a sneak peek of this year's fun with our video and photos of the the top displays.

Be sure to visit our Holiday Fun Guide to find other activities and things to do along the route and throughout the season, including Santa picturestree lightings, and train shows.

Zoo Lights Holiday Display: Animals Light up the Night at the LA Zoo

We Angelenos love our holiday lights, and we are blessed with an abundance of viewing opportunities. But sometimes logistics can be an obstacle, particularly for families with small children. Where do we park? How far do we have to walk or drive? Can we find all the displays…? One simple and family-friendly solution is the Zoo Lights display at the Los Angeles Zoo. This large scale sparkle, which replaces the old Griffith Park Lights drive-through event, puts everything you want to see within the grounds of the LA Zoo, and parking is free (merry Christmas to me!).

Weekend Fun: Scuba Santa, Gingerbread Wonderland, Model Railroad Show

It's the first weekend of the last month of 2017! Take in everything early December has to offer, including holiday festivals, children's theater, and plenty of gingerbread fun.

Party with Santa at local holiday celebrations held at Casino Pier and Morristown Green, or watch Scuba Santa swim at Adventure Aquarium. Spend some warm, indoor time at family-friendly productions of AnnieClick Clack Moo, Milk & Cookies: Spook Handy, and many wonderful Nutcracker productions, including performances by NJ Ballet. Sugar-coat your weekend with gingerbread adventures like Gingerbread House Workshop & Contest and Gingerbread Wonderland Craft Show

Find many more ideas for fun this weekend and throughout the season in our December GoList and Holiday Guide, including where to see the best holiday light displays and must-do holiday activities for NJ kids. And be sure to check our Event Calendar for a full listing of activities this weekend and beyond. 

Cut-Your-Own Christmas Tree Farms on Long Island

The Thanksgiving turkey has been consumed. You've completed your Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping. Now it’s time for the next holiday ritual—finding the perfect Christmas tree.

From Cold Spring Harbor to Montauk, Long Island has close to a dozen tree farms, where enthusiastic families can cut a super-fresh spruce (or fir, or pine) at modest cost. These farms range from simple, roadside acreage to full-fledged holiday extravaganzas. So whether you prefer a quick tree-cutting errand or a day out in Santa’s wonderland, consider a visit to one of these outdoor emporiums.

These farms are all located in Suffolk County, where farmland is more abundant, and are listed below by town. As always, find more ways to celebrate in our Holiday Fun Guide.

Santa Sightings: Where To See Santa with Kids in and Around Boston

This time of year, kids can find Santa ho-ho-ho-ing it up at most holiday events in the area, like tree lightings, craft fairs, and festive breakfasts. We've rounded up some of our other favorite places where the kids can see Santa in and around Boston. These visits pair well with holiday shopping or a fancy meal out...after all, children might be happy they're already wearing their holiday finest for a photo with the man of the hour. Parents only have to pay extra for photo packages, in some cases, not face time; all the kids have to do is be sure that they're good, for goodness sake! 

18 Ways Families Can Volunteer and Donate in NYC for the Holidays

During the holiday season, families gather to enjoy delicious meals, exchange gifts, and celebrate the year gone by. But for a number of underprivileged New Yorkers, the holiday season can be a particularly difficult time. Volunteering is a wonderful way to help others in the community and an ideal opportunity to teach children the true spirit of the season.

We've rounded up some of our favorite kid-friendly volunteering opportunities. No matter where in the tristate area you live, the age of your children, or your family's interests, chances are there is a program to fulfill your holiday volunteering desires.

December GoList: Top Things To Do with Kids in Boston for the Holidays

Holiday celebrations kick into high gear in December, and the month brings the return of many beloved seasonal traditions like tree lighting ceremonies, performances of The Nutcracker, and outdoor ice skatingOur Event Calendar is packed with events for the holidays, family-friendly performances, and vacation week activities for the kids. With so much going on it's not easy to choose, but here are our top 10 picks for holiday activities and special events for all ages this month.

Dyker Heights Christmas Lights: Tour Brooklyn's Holiday Hot Spot

For years I had been hearing about the awesome Christmas displays in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn. I'd seen plenty of videos and photos online. But once I saw those jaw-dropping sights in person, I knew visiting "Dyker Lights" would become a family holiday tradition.

Living in upper Manhattan, reaching Dyker Heights, Brooklyn is a serious schlep. It's really not doable via public transportation, especially at night with kids in tow. One year I hitched a ride with a neighbor, but the following I decided to play tourist and go on A Slice of Brooklyn's Christmas Lights guided bus tour. If you're considering taking the kids to Dyker Heights this holiday season but are wondering about the best way to go, here's how the two experiences compare, plus details on a third, more budget-friendly option.

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