Kids

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.

Home Holiday Light Displays in Connecticut

Ah, the cheerful glow of holiday lights; few things make a season brighter. And while there are lots of pro light shows you can take in around the state, let's not forget those neighborhoods where some houses go over the top when it comes to putting on a holiday light show. If you know where to look, you can find some truly dazzling displays. So pile in the car, fire up the GPS, and get your holiday light fix with these spectacular home holiday light displays around Connecticut.

Restaurants Open on Christmas Day in Connecticut

Generally speaking, the streets of Connecticut empty out for the Christmas holiday, with most restaurants and shops staying closed for the day, but in case you're looking for a home cooked meal alternative or just an excuse to get out of the house for a few hours (did I say that?), we've rounded up some of our favorite Christmas Day meals in Fairfield County. And we've listed restaurants open in the Hartford area as well as Litchfield County.

You'll want to make reservations soon, particularly if you have a large group, and take note that not all prix fixe menus offer a lower-priced children's alternative. And maybe after dinner, plan to check out the Christmas lights in one of these areas.

Bon appetit!

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.

Litchfield County Restaurants Open During the Holidays

Over the holiday break you may desire a reprieve from the kitchen or just a nice night out with the family. We've rounded up some of the more popular restaurants in Litchfield County that are suitable for families. Some will be serving up special holiday menus and others will just continue with their regular menu. Don't forget to call for reservations! We've also listed restaurants open on Christmas day in Fairfield County and the Hartford area.

Fun and Free Things To Do Thanksgiving Weekend with LA Kids, November 23-26

In recent years, Thanksgiving was all about cute mash-ups (remember Thanksgivvikuh?), Black Friday shopping, and outrage over Thursday-is-Not-Friday-But-the-Middle-of-a-Holiday sales. This year, Hanukkah is buried unobtrusively in December, and many major retailers are promising to stay closed on Thursday. (You go, Lakeshore LearningHome Depot, and Barnes & Noble! As for the rest of you, time out with no pumpkin pie.)

We've found a few family friendly venues open on Thanksgiving, where you can enjoy a little morning cardio, a visit with animal friends, and maybe a good meal. (Make sure you check the hours for the day; some places are closing early.) You can make your Friday about shopping, or you can gather the family for a flick, whether new or timeless. Once again, Saturday is the new Friday, and it's all about the local.

We here are thankful for much, and hope you feel the same way. We're thankful for our beautiful climate, which lets us sled on the sand as easily as on the snow. We're grateful for the truly unique shows, spectacles, and experiences that come our way this time of year. We're grateful for the health and well-being of our loved ones, and we're grateful for you, our readers. Happy Thanksgiving, guys!

Keep reading for some of our best finds for fun this Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and, thankfully, Thanksgiving weekend...

Thanksgiving Weekend Fun for Houston Kids: Parades, Turkey Trots, Holiday Lights, Nov. 23-26

First and foremost: Happy Thanksgiving! While our city suffered major devastation earlier this year, we still have so much to be thankful for in our great city, and for those interested in spending paying it forward we've rounded up some wonderful holiday volunteering opportunities

If you find yourself in a last-minute panic over how to feed incoming guests and decide you just want to scrap the cooking entirely, there are plenty of great restaurants open on Thanksgiving Day ready to serve you and your family and friends. 

After Thursday's feast, it's officially time to start looking at Christmas. That means planning photos with Santa, as well as breakfast, brunch, and more with the big guy. There are also still plenty of craft fairs and markets happening, making gift-buying for the holidays a breeze, especially if you decided to opt out of the Black Friday shopping craziness. 

Find yourself in need of some family-friendly activities to fill up the upcoming weeks and weekends? Check out our fall bucket listevent calendar, and November GoList for tons of family events and activities. You can also subscribe to our free weekly newsletter to make sure you're always in the loop with everything happening around Houston. 

Have an event you want to share? You'll definitely want to submit your event to our calendar, and we'll share it with all of our loyal readers.

Now, let's get on to this weekend's events!

Macy's Santaland NYC: When and How to See Santa at Herald Square

Few places to see Santa in New York City compare with Macy's Santaland. It's a magical experience for tourists and natives, so why not take your kids for the holidays?

'Tis the season for Macy's to open its 13,000-square-foot winter wonderland, which overflows with holiday cheer from its live "elves," to an enchanted forest, animatronic toys, and a train display. Santa holds court from Friday, November 24 (the day after Thanksgiving and the parade) through Sunday, December 24, aka Christmas Eve.

This year visitors are treated to a brand-new reservation system to hopefully foil those pesky long lines of the past. A major bonus: There are great photo-ops all along the way, so the kids barely have time to squirm or fuss.

Holiday Volunteering Opportunities for Philly Area Families

Ready to do more as a family this season? Sure, the holiday lights, must-see experiences, and other festivities are great, but sometimes it's nice to give back to the community. The Greater Philadelphia region is full of opportunities to volunteer and work together as a family. Build strong memories of sharing and caring this holiday season with this roundup of ways to give back!

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.

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