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- and menorah-lighting celebrations, where to catch a live holiday performance, and where to have breakfast with Santa. Well beyond these, our Event Calendar is positively bursting with activities for kids every day of the week. And when a break from holiday mayhem is needed, we’ve got you covered there, too.
Read on for our top picks for December. 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!
Lace up those skates for a spin on the ice at the Winter Wonderland. Photo courtesy of the event
Winter Wonderland – Valhalla
This month-long holiday attraction returns with a circus tent, ice skating, a holiday market, treats, an expanded number of rides, a light show, hayrides, a meet-and-greet with Santa, and other holiday fun.
Holiday Spirit Festival – Wappingers Falls
Fridays-Sundays through December 29, 2018; plus Thursday, December 20
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: Visit the North Pole resort.
Frosty Fest – Ulster Park
Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through December 23, 2018
This holiday light spectacular brings Frosty and his friends, Candy Cane Lane, stage shows, gift shops, tasty treats, and more.
Holidays on the Hill Train Show – Somers
Saturdays and Sundays through December 31, 2018
Visit the main house all decked out for the holidays at Lasdon's holiday train show, as well as the decorated greenhouses and seven-foot, live poinsettia tree. Meet Santa in his workshop, warm up at the fire pit, enjoy refreshments, and more.
Hanukkah Village – Irvington
Sunday, December 2, 2018
Celebrate the Festival of Lights town-wide. See shows, go on a horse-drawn carriage ride, hop aboard a holiday train ride, build a clay Hanukkah village, enjoy a giant gelt drop, even get your Hanukkah nails done! A menorah-lighting caps off the affair.
Family Hanukkah Party – Scarsdale
Sunday, December 2, 2018
This Hanukkah bash features a menorah makerspace, dreidel sand art, Lego building, a slime station, upcycled crafting, dreidel mania, a latke toss, edible dreidels, a photo booth, holiday treats, a sing-along, stories, and much more. FREE
RELATED: 25 Awesome Santa Activities for Kids in Westchester and the Hudson Valley
The tried-and-true production of Dickens' Christmas Carol returns to Sleepy Hollow. Photo courtesy of Historic Hudson Valley
Dickens' Christmas Carol – Sleepy Hollow
Saturdays and Sundays, December 8-16, 2018
Nestle in to the cozy confines of the Old Dutch Church and enjoy an adaptation of this Charles Dickens classic.
RELATED: Must-Do Holiday Experiences for Westchester Kids
This sweet performance of Rainbow Fish is a good first theater experience for the littlest of theatergoers. Photo courtesy of the production
Rainbow Fish – Mamaroneck
Sunday, December 9, 2018
This original stage adaptation of Marcus Pfister’s colorful story incorporates innovative puppetry, striking visual effects in black light, and original music.
Carol of the King: The Irish Dance Christmas Spectacular – Peekskill
Friday, December 14, 2018
Twenty Irish dancers and musicians take the stage in the telling of an original Christmas story of love and salvation set to Irish music and the swift-moving footwork of Irish dance.
The Westchester Ballet Company Presents The Nutcracker – White Plains
Saturday, December 15 – Sunday, December 16, 2018
This quality production returns for its annual engagement at the Westchester County Center.
Holiday Tour by Candlelight – Yonkers
Tuesday, December 18 – Saturday, December 22, 2018
Step back in time for a vintage Christmas festivity, as you tour this historic home—bedecked in its holiday glory—by candlelight.
RELATED: 35+ Free December Activities for Westchester Kids
The Paper Bag Players will bring a smile to people of all ages. Photo courtesy of the production
The Paper Bag Players: Stand Up & Cheer, We're 60 This Year! – Mamaroneck
Wednesday, December 26, 2018
The Paper Bag Players celebrates its 60th anniversary with a new show featuring the troupe's signature humor, sketches, mime, song, dance, and audience participation. Larger-than-life characters are wrapped in signature paper amid cardboard costumes and sets.
Ring in the New Year at Noon – New Rochelle
Monday, December 31, 2018
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 enjoy family-friendly activities and entertainment.