Kids

11 Things to Do on Christmas Day with Your Family in Houston

Not everything is closed on Christmas Day, and that's good news for those of us who find ourselves wishing for something to do other than eat more food or play another game of Scrabble Junior. Here are 11 fun things to do around Houston you can make a part of your holiday traditions. And here is our holiday guide for more Christmas and Hanukkah fun around the Bayou City.

Annual Festival of Trees at the Wadsworth Atheneum: Parent Review

It's that time of year when twinkling lights and shiny bulbs are everywhere.  But I'll bet you have never seen a unique bevy of Christmas trees like the ones you will see at the Festival of Trees at the Wadsworth Atheneum.  This annual event has been going for 43 years (I know!), and was established by the Women's Committee of the Museum as a fundraiser. Don't miss out, this Sunday is the last day of the festival.

Every year, my family and I make our trek into Hartford. It's a great opportunity for my boys to be exposed to some amazing artists and to see the beautiful decorated trees people have created.

12 Restaurants Open on Christmas Day in Los Angeles and Orange Country

The tree is trimmed; the presents are wrapped, and the cookies are baked and boxed. Hmm. Now, what to make for Christmas dinner. Our suggestion? Reservations. That’s right. Many Southland restaurants will be open and happy to serve you on Christmas Day. You’ve already done so much to get ready for the holidays. Instead of once again slaving over that hot stove, pile your family and out-of-town guests into the car and give yourself the gift of dining out. That way you can kick back and enjoy the day!

The Best Holiday Train Displays In and Around Westchester

Train displays have become as much a part of the holiday season as the Nutcracker and holiday tree lightings. They are so festive and fun, it’s no wonder families look forward to them each year.

The Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden is a sure crowd pleaser for all ages; however, there are other train shows in Westchester and the Hudson Valley, and we’ve rounded up several local options to celebrate locomotion for the holidays. Read on for more info about holiday train shows in and around Westchester. (Looking for a "real" Polar Express? We have details on that too!) 

Rudolph Live On Stage: A Nostalgia Trip with a Certain Reindeer

After a few seasons of touring North America, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer has flown into the Theater at Madison Square Garden for a holiday run just right for NYC and visiting families

Unless you're a screen-free family, chances are you and your kids have seen Rankin/Bass' classic, stop-motion holiday TV special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer—probably many times. After all, it's been airing annually on CBS since it debuted in 1964! And if not, you certainly have heard a thing or two about the most famous reindeer of all.

With its iconic aesthetic, and kooky but cute characters like Hermey the aspiring dentist elf, gold prospector Yukon Cornelius, an entire island of misfit toys, and the red-nose afflicted hero, the somewhat surreal tale charms children and sparks warm waves of nostalgia in parents. It was inevitable that some enterprising producers would adapt the property for a live stage show. The big questions are: Is the live version any good; is it worth the money; and which ages is it best suited for? We've got the answers, plus links to deeply discounted tickets!

10 Fun Things to Do on Christmas Eve in Houston

Christmas Eve is my favorite day of the Christmas season. I know a lot of people have holiday traditions that they enjoy throughout the month of December, like seeing a favorite play or visiting the same Santa for photos each year, while others have special activities reserved for Christmas Day, like enjoying a meal out with family or driving around to see the holiday lights and displays one last time. But to me there's always been something magical about the night before Christmas. Growing up, that was the day we opened all of our presents from family members, attended the candlelight church service, and listened to Christmas carols while sipping hot chocolate and eating holiday treats, so I guess it's no surprise that I find myself wanting to make the day just as special in our house now that I have my own family. Luckily, there are no shortage of fun things to do with the kids on Christmas Eve, and we've rounded up 10 of the best activities you can enjoy at home and around the Houston area this year.

18 Hanukkah Celebrations for Kids in LA and Orange County

However you spell it—Hanukkah, Hanukka, Hannukah, Chanukah, or Channuka—SoCal is a great place to be for the Festival of Lights. Home to a Jewish population larger than that of Jerusalem, Los Angeles is all about "lighting candles, wearing sandals, by the sea" (at least, that's why Tom Leher spent Hanukkah in Santa Monica). Giant menorahs light up open spaces from The OC to the Valley. Two of the season's biggest events are at the Skirball Center and the Shalom Institute, but these major festivals are just the tip of the dreidel; local events and candle lightings burn the sunset oil all week long...

Calling Santa: Mostly Free Apps for St. Nick Fun with Kids

Ready or not, Santa Claus is coming to town, and the kids couldn't be more excited. Thanks to technology, families today have a lot more ways than a quick photo with the mall Santa to catch up with (or just plain catch!) the jolly bearded man. 

Now kids can talk directly with St. Nick via the phone or an app, track his progress on Christmas Eve, and even watch a live reindeer cam. Want to really blow their minds? There are apps that let you share a photo of Santa handing out presents in your very own living room. Christmastime is already among the most magical seasons for children, but these fun tools take it to the next level. Read on for our favorite ways to check in with Santa before Christmas and follow all his antics on Christmas Eve. Our special gift for you: These 11 special Santa experiences are (mostly) FREE!

Review: Ballerina Swan Meets Her Nutcracker in New Holiday Show

The city is awash in Nutcracker performances come holiday season, from the iconic New York City Ballet’s production at Lincoln Center to the abridged, children-friendly Keith Michael's The Nutcracker. For NYC families with kids under 5, the question always is: are they ready? Will they even make it to intermission before they lose it?

I had that same thought as my almost 4-year-old and I took our seats at the Clurman Theatre on 42nd Street for a Nutcracker-themed family musical, Ballerina Swan and The Nutcracker, from The New York City Children’s Theater, and it was only 50 minutes with no intermission.

I shouldn’t have worried. As soon as the dancers took to the stage, my daughter was riveted. Read on for our parent review of this brand-new piece that incorporates ballet, acting, and puppetry into a special holiday show for young children.

Weekend Fun for Houston Kids: Christmas Markets, Touchdown Tour, Boat Parade, Dec 9-11

While this week was pretty cold and rainy, the weather this weekend is already looking much nicer - still chilly, but no rain! So bundle up and celebrate the holidays with the family at one of the many events going on around town. Now's the time when most people have their Christmas decorations up, and these Houston neighborhoods you can enjoy from the comfort of your own warm seat. If you want to brave the cold, then you can visit Houston Zoo Lights, a Houston tradition everyone should experience this holiday season. 

This time of the year more than ever is a time to give back, so if you have a lot of unwanted clothes or maybe too many toys consider attending a toy drive at your local charity organizations. If you haven't yet, check out our list of places where to find places to take a photo with Santa or breakfast, brunch, or cookies and hot cocoa with the big man in red. 

Look at our events calendar for a complete picture of what's happening this weekend and beyond, our holiday guide for the best things to do this season, and we've also rounded up the best things to do as a family in the month of December. Remember to sign up for our weekly newsletter to read about fun things to do each weekend in Houston. Now, it's time to check out this list of fun events happening this weekend in Houston. 

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