Long Island

Minecraft Lovers Get Something New for Hour of Code 2017

The annual Hour of Code is entering its fourth year next month, and Microsoft is adding something for 2017 that your little Minecraft lovers will surely go nuts over. Whether your family is new to this free international mass coding phenomenon or you've explored it before, the 2017 campaign has new and exciting features for everyone—including coding projects about Moana, Star Wars, and Minecraft.

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.

December GoList: Things to Do with Long Island Kids This Month

No need to remind you of all that is going on this month. In fact, among our 12 monthly GoLists, it’s unlikely you’ll find one with more entertainment possibilities than December, assuming, of course that between shopping, and surfing (the Web), traveling, and organizing you have time to take advantage of them.

Our gift to you this holiday season is a month’s worth of opportunities. From light shows to train shows, tree and menorah lightings, Santa brunches, and more, we are committed this month to being your source for seasonal entertainment.

With so much to do, what’s the point of an extended introduction? Let’s move headfirst into the month’s must-do events. And for more great seasonal happenings, why not head to our Long Island guide to the holiday season or Long Island events calendar.  As always, best to you and all those who matter to you from your friends at Mommy Poppins. 

Top Places to See Santa on Long Island

Santa has the magical ability to be in several places at once, but often for only a few hours.

To help you pin down St. Nick, here's a sample of fun venues where he will appear on a regular basis throughout the holiday season. Remember, though, that Santa sometimes has to take a break for milk and cookies, so build a little extra time into your schedule. And while some winter wonderlands are still open after Christmas, Santa returns to the North Pole on Christmas Eve, December 24. For more seasonal month, check out our LI holiday guide for information on dining with Santa, holiday light displays, and more.

Coco: Pixar's New Day of the Dead Animated Film, a Parent Review

Mortality, legacy, and forgiveness. These are heavy subjects for an animated movie aimed at families but, once again, Pixar rises to the challenge. Coco is a visually stunning, thematically rich, and emotionally powerful film that resonates differently for various ages. Set against the backdrop of Día de los Muertos—the Mexican holiday honoring the dead—Coco is Pixar's first feature to focus on a character of color. Miguel Rivera, a 12-year-old aspiring musician, is magically transported to a luminous afterlife where he uncovers long-buried secrets and realizes the importance of family.

Chances are this movie is on your kids' wishlist, but perhaps you're worried a flick focused on—let's be blunt—death might make for an upsetting experience, especially if you have tots in tow. Read on for everything you need to know before you go to this PG-rated release, as well as whether it's worth splurging on 3D.

Birthday Freebies for Long Island Kids on Their Big Day

What kid doesn’t like special treats on his or her birthday? There are plenty of places on Long Island that offer free meals and other goodies for your child on that special day. Many of these birthday treats can be cashed in anytime during the child’s birthday month, so the fun can be enjoyed before or after the birthday itself.

We love to support local small businesses when we can, but some of these chain-store birthday clubs are pretty sweet, and many have locations across Long Island so there's bound to be an outpost near you. Be sure to check out our Long Island Party Guide for more on how to make your child's birthday a day to remember, including information on venues, entertainers, and more.

Thanksgiving Weekend for Long Island Kids: Holiday Lights, Trains, Santa

Get ready to gobble your way into some serious family fun this Thanksgiving weekend. Exercise before the feast in a Turkey Day trot. Be transported back to days of old at Old Bethpage Village Restoration's 1863 Thanksgiving Holiday. Marvel at the colorful Festival of Trees at the Cradle of Aviation Museum, and get ready for full holiday fun, including those seasonal model train shows and holiday light displays.

The Bayville Winter Wonderland is open, and Santa is popping up all over the island this weekend, including at Polar Express Trolley Ride in Riverhead, with his Reindeer at Old Westbury, at the Port Jefferson Santa Parade and Workshop, and in children's holiday theater. He'll even join us for brunch soon, so make your reservations!

For more seasonal fun, check out our Long Island Holiday Guide, and close out this holiday weekend with our final top event picks in the November GoList.

All Aboard! LI Holiday Model Train Exhibits

If watching a miniature train make its way around a tiny Christmas village isn’t on your family’s list of holiday traditions, why not make it one this year?

We guarantee children and adults alike will gaze with wide-eyed wonder at the sights and sounds of the trains and the holiday-themed decorations of the towns through which they travel at one of the many model train exhibits on Long Island this holiday season. To get you going, we’ve put together a list of some of the best displays, sure to delight the entire family.

And if all this train watching makes your family eager to climb aboard a real caboose, check out our roundup of Polar Expresses and Santa Trains near NYC.

All aboard!

Amazing, Kid-friendly Features at these Airports Make Family Travel Way Better

There are all sorts of things to look forward to when we travel, but the airport is not generally one of them. If flying with kids conjures up images of agonizing lines, stressful bathroom visits, and long walks down grimy hallways with cranky toddlers, maybe for your next trip you should try rerouting through one of the airports below. These 10 US hubs have all gone the extra mile to make an airport into a destination kids will remember as part of the adventure. If your trip starts, finishes, or lays over at one of our favorite kid-friendly terminals, you can look forward to play areas, interactive exhibits, rides, and more to keep ahead of the turbulence.

Spectacular Holiday Light Displays on Long Island

Watch your little ones' faces light up as they see the glow coming off these spectacular holiday light shows across Long Island. That's not all: Most are complete destination stops with hot cocoa, ice skating, and photo-ops with Santa.

For more seasonal fun, see our Long Island Holidays Guide. Our events calendar is packed with up-to-date holiday activities for kids of all ages, including more holiday lights at private houses around Long Island.

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