Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Activities for LI Kids

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are among those rare times on Long Island when many family-friendly places are closed. But not everything is shut down.

As it turns out, there is quite a bit to do December 24-25. While some of your options are out of the house and may cost money, some free possibilities are listed in this roundup of activities the whole family can enjoy.

For more seasonal fun, be sure to check out our Long Island Events Calendar and Holiday Fun Guide. Plus, we have your best bets for things to do with kids over the holiday break, too.

1. Go skating. Many rinks are open, including the Port Washington Skating Center, The Rinx in Port Jefferson, Superior Ice Rink in Kings Park (Christmas Eve only), Newbridge Arena in Bellmore (Christmas Eve only), and the ice rink at Tanger Outlets in Deer Park (Christmas Eve only). United Skates of America in Seaford is open on Christmas Eve for indoor roller skating.

2. Catch a holiday show. There are still Christmas Eve tickets left to Frosty at John W. Engeman Theater and Barnaby Saves Christmas at Theatre Three. See our events calendar for other options.

3. Visit a museum. The Children's Museum of the East End in Bridgehampton is open on Christmas Eve, as is the Long Island Children's Museum.

4. Make homemade ornaments. Choose from cookie cutter ornaments, easy salt dough handprint ornaments, or just get out the construction paper and markers for simpler ones. 

5. Cut your own Christmas tree. If you haven't picked out a tree yet, there's still time. Several locations remain open until Christmas Eve, plus you might get a deal.

6. See a movie. Catch Ferdinand, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Coco, or another family flick. Many theaters are open on Christmas Day, but might be operating on holiday hours.

RELATED: 12 great things to do with kids during the holiday season 


Get into the spirit of the season in Rockville Centre with Christmas lights and a toy drive on Cedar Avenue. Photo by Ian Stark 

7. Check out holiday light displays. Looking at the beautiful displays lighting up Long Island is a holiday tradition. Choose from among many planned displays, or take a tour to see the spectacular lights adorning homes across LI.

8. Put the finishing touches on your Santa photo. Prove to the kids Santa visited with these apps that let you create a photo of Santa in your living room.

9. Take a hike. Bundle up the kiddies and enjoy the great outdoors on an LI winter walk.

10. Day-trip into NYC for a quiet but festive holiday walk, or see our New York City calendar for spots that remain open on the holiday.

11. Make it a family day. Tackle something on our list of 100 things to do on Long Island with kids, play board games, or make a family craft using one of these dozens of DIY ideas.

RELATED: Nutcrackers and other holiday theater for LI kids


Eric's Italian Bistro in Mineola offers signature specialties on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. 

12. Enjoy dinner out. There are several Long Island restaurants open on Christmas Eve and Day, so take advantage of the chance to have someone else cook (and clean up) for you.

13. Volunteer. It's the season for giving, so why not give to those less fortunate by volunteering. You can adopt a family for the season, donate toys, or work in a soup kitchen on the big day.

Top photo: Jenny and Frosty save Chillsville at the John W. Engeman Theater in Northport on Christmas Eve. Photo courtesy of the theater

This post is updated annually.