Weekday Picks for Philly Kids: Outdoor Exploration, Mall Fun, PNO, December 12-16

How many more days until Christmas?! Many Philly families are faced with tackling a growing to-do list while keeping children involved and occupied during the holiday season. This week provides opportunities to do both.

Coordinate your holiday shopping with a visit to see Santa for pictures and wish list sharing at your local mall. Then, check out some of the special events available. This week, Exton Square Mall hosts Kid Crew featuring an interactive storyteller and Neshaminy Mall offers a special Good Night Grinch experience. Once errands are complete, pause for a reprieve outdoors at Tyler Arboretum's Garden Sprouts or Toddlers in Nature. Or, take a parents' 'time out' by signing the kids up for Briar Bush Nature Center's Parents' Night Out, Kids' Night In.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest to find the latest holiday fun for your family.

Weekday Fun: Holiday Concert, STEAM fun, Ice Sculptures

The coming week in NYC features festive holiday fun including a concert at St. Patrick's Cathedral, a stunning ice sculpture exhibition, coding fun, and of course, a performance of The Nutcracker!

During the height of the holiday season, be sure to check out our list of holiday activities every kid should try at least once, or take a break from holiday-themed fun to visit some of NYC's outdoor ice skating rinks before the temperatures really start to dip.

Thinking of heading out town? Consider one of these winter day trips, or check out our Family Travel Guide for more ideas. All of our best weekday picks are below. As always, our December GoList and Event Calendar are chock-full of even more options and happenings throughout NYC.

11 Things to Do on Christmas Day with Your Family in Houston

Not everything is closed on Christmas Day, and that's good news for those of us who find ourselves wishing for something to do other than eat more food or play another game of Scrabble Junior. Here are 11 fun things to do around Houston you can make a part of your holiday traditions. And here is our holiday guide for more Christmas and Hanukkah fun around the Bayou City.

Annual Festival of Trees at the Wadsworth Atheneum: Parent Review

It's that time of year when twinkling lights and shiny bulbs are everywhere.  But I'll bet you have never seen a unique bevy of Christmas trees like the ones you will see at the Festival of Trees at the Wadsworth Atheneum.  This annual event has been going for 43 years (I know!), and was established by the Women's Committee of the Museum as a fundraiser. Don't miss out, this Sunday is the last day of the festival.

Every year, my family and I make our trek into Hartford. It's a great opportunity for my boys to be exposed to some amazing artists and to see the beautiful decorated trees people have created.

12 Restaurants Open on Christmas Day in Los Angeles and Orange Country

The tree is trimmed; the presents are wrapped, and the cookies are baked and boxed. Hmm. Now, what to make for Christmas dinner. Our suggestion? Reservations. That’s right. Many Southland restaurants will be open and happy to serve you on Christmas Day. You’ve already done so much to get ready for the holidays. Instead of once again slaving over that hot stove, pile your family and out-of-town guests into the car and give yourself the gift of dining out. That way you can kick back and enjoy the day!

Long Island Restaurants Open on Christmas Eve & Day 2016

Hosting a holiday takes much preparation and energy. From shopping to cooking to staging, being a hostess is a daunting task. If you're looking for a break from slaving over the stove and cleaning dirty dishes, we've compiled a list of local restaurants that will serve you this Christmas, and even have some with kid-friendly menus, too. Please be sure to call ahead for reservations. And for more activities and events this month, check out our Holiday Guide.

Must-See Christmas Lights in NYC's Five Boroughs

Manhattan may have the glamorous department store holiday windows, but when it comes to private homes decked out for the season, the outer boroughs have it beat. We're not talking about a few strings of twinkling lights and a blowup Santa. Why, these holiday houses are so well-lit, it's amazing they don't cause power blackouts.

We've written about some of these Christmas houses in the past, but here we have photos, precise addresses, a map, and in some cases the stories behind these destination displays that make the schlepping worthwhile—we know, we've schlepped. Considering most are in the far-flung reaches of Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island, you really need to drive. If you want to avoid the crowds and traffic jams, go early in the evening on a weekday. These places tend to get busy on weekends.

You can find even more seasonal fun in our Holiday Guide as well as posts on amazing holiday displays on Long Island, in New Jersey, Hudson Valley, and Connecticut.

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