The holiday season is so hectic, it’s easy to get caught up in the tasks of the season at the expense of the enjoyment. Luckily, there are many festivities in Westchester and the Hudson Valley, so be sure to clear some time to savor the magic, the splendor and the thrill that families can enjoy together.
So far, we've told you where to go for holiday tree-lighting celebrations, where to catch a live holiday performance and where to have breakfast with Santa. Our Event Calendar is positively bursting with activities for kids every day of the week.
Our top picks for the month include holiday highlights as well as a diverse assortment of other fun activities. For even more great options, be sure to peruse our Holiday Fun Guide, full of yet more ideas to help you get the most out of the holidays with kids. Also, sign up for our newsletters to stay up to date on all kinds of fun—holiday and otherwise!
Hop aboard a horse-drawn carriage ride, one of the many attractions at Holiday on Huguenot Street.
A Holiday on Huguenot Street - New Paltz
Friday, December 1, and Saturday, December 2, 2017
Historic New Paltz comes to life for this two-day seasonal celebration featuring a paper-lantern parade, family and pet portraits, a tree-lighting ceremony, a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, live music, historic-house tours, a petting zoo, horse-drawn wagon rides, a teddy-bear-building workshop and more. Most of these attractions are free.
Winter Wonderland - Valhalla
This month-long holiday attraction returns with circus performances, ice skating, a holiday market, treats, rides, a light show, a meet-and-greet with Santa and other holiday fun.
Holiday Spirit Festival - Wappingers Falls
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through December 23, plus December 21, 2017
This holiday festival features a magical Christmas village and train display, enchanted forest of lights, Santa's workshop, stage shows and more. New this year: Help the elves set things right in their workshop!
Festive lights set the stage at the Holiday Spirit Festival.
Frosty Fest - Ulster Park
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through December 23, 2017
This holiday light spectacular brings Frosty and his friends, Candy Cane Lane, stage shows, gift shops, tasty treats and more.
Sinterklaas Festival Day - Rhinebeck
Saturday, December 2, 2017
This annual tradition, which celebrates Dutch heritage at holiday time, is a large affair that's full of magic and town charm. Throughout Rhinebeck are sites hosting everything from children's workshops to performances, storytelling to a photo booth, food to forest fairies and more.
Sinterklaas Festival Day
Holidays on the Hill Train Show - Somers
Saturdays and Sundays, December 2-17 and December 30, 2017
Visit the main house all decked out for the holidays at Lasdon's holiday train show, as well as the decorated greenhouses and 7-foot live poinsettia tree. MeetSanta in his workshop, warm up at the firepit, enjoy refreshments and more.
Greenwich Ballet Academy Nutcracker - White Plains
Saturday, December 2 and Sunday, December 3, 2017
This Connecticut troupe visits Westchester, bringing Clara, the Sugar Plum Fairy and other beloved characters of Tchaikovsky’s holiday ballet to the local stage. View our roundup of other Nutcracker and holiday performances as well.
The Greenwich Ballet Academy performs The Nutcracker.
Winterfest - Tuckahoe
Saturday, December 2, and Sunday, December 3, 2017
Celebrate Tuckahoe's two-day Winterfest. Enjoy ice skating, holiday music, a tree lighting, hay rides, a petting zoo and more. Little ones can also have their picture taken with Santa. Free
Suzanne Farrell Ballet Farewell Tour - Purchase
Sunday, December 3, 2017
In the midst of Nutcracker season, the ballet company established by the muse of George Balanchine will be perform several works that had been created for her, preceded by a rare opportunity to witness the dancers partake in a pre-performance ballet class led by Ms. Farrell. A discussion follows the performance.
Dickens' Christmas Carol - Sleepy Hollow
Saturdays and Sundays, December 9-17, 2017
Nestle in to the cozy confines of the Old Dutch Church and enjoy an adaptation of this Charles Dickens’ classic.
Master storyteller Jonathan Kruk returns to bring his performance as Charles Dickens to life.
Hanukkah Village - Irvington
Sunday, December 17, 2017
Irvington becomes a Chanukah village, with festivities scheduled throughout the village. See shows by Mario “the Maker” Magician ahnd The Inventor Mentor, go on a horse-drawn carriage ride, build a fidget dreidel, hop aboard a holiday train ride and enjoy a giant gelt drop, Chanukah crafts, Chanukah nails, latkes, hot chocolate and more. The event is capped off with a menorah lighting.
Hanukkah Magical Spectacular - Pelham
Sunday, December 17, 2017
Celebrate the Festival of Lights with a magic show, make-your-own dreidels, a photo booth, crafts, face painting, latkes and more. Free
Holiday Tour by Candlelight - Yonkers
Tuesday, December 19-Saturday, December 23, 2017
Step back in time for a vintage Christmas festivity, as you tour this historic home—bedecked in its holiday glory—by candlelight.
Kids get their own ball(-oon) drop at Ring in the New Year at Noon!
Ring in the New Year at Noon - New Rochelle
Sunday, December 31, 2017
Enjoy a Times Square-style atmosphere to ring in the new year, complete with a countdown to a daytime balloon release (3,000 of them!) at the reasonable hour of noon. Children can also participate in family-friendly games, arts and crafts, and more.
All images courtesy of their respective venues unless otherwise noted.