Preschoolers

Foxwoods Resort: A Mini Vacation for Families

Okay, okay. We know what you’re thinking. Casinos are not for children. There’s the gambling. And then there are the bars. And then the nightclubs. Except that there actually are a number of kid things tucked into Connecticut’s adult playground. We decided to check out the Connecticut casino midweek to see if Foxwoods proved to be a kid-friendly destination. And as it turns out, it is. Here’s what you can expect to find.

50 Awesome Santa Activities in Connecticut

Shopping mall Santas have been de rigueur since store owner James Edgar donned a red suit and snowy beard to entertain children in 1890. Today the tradition is alive and well in malls across Connecticut, including Stamford Town Center, Danbury Fair, and Westfarms.

If you're looking to mix it up with a Santa outing that's a little bit different, we have rounded up our 50 favorite Santa activities across the state. Some events are free and require no preregistration, but many of those that do require advanced tickets are VERY popular and can sell out early, so you'll want to buy tickets as soon as possible. In a separate post we've also rounded up where to have a yummy breakfast with Santa. Don't forget to check our Holiday Fun Guide and events calendar often for more holiday happenings!

Christmas Tree Lightings in New York City This Holiday Season

You don't have to brave the Rockefeller Center commotion to witness a fabulous Christmas tree lighting in New York City.

We've rounded up some tree lightings that are much less crowded and every bit as hip, from Brooklyn and Queens to the Bronx and everywhere in between. These community holiday celebrations are festive and (mostly) FREE, and there’s no need to stand on your car to glimpse the goings-on. So grab that cup of hot chocolate and cozy up to one of these holiday illuminations in New York City. Find even more seasonal fun in our Holiday Guide.

The Newark Museum: Out-of-This-World Fun for NJ Kids and Families

Nestled in the heart of downtown Newark’s Art District, 10 miles from New York City, is New Jersey's largest museum. The Newark Museum, established in 1909, is an art and science center that truly has something for everybody. I recently visited with my 5-year-old daughter to see a show at the planetarium, and I was impressed—not only is the planetarium perfect for young kids, but the museum offers tons of other family-friendly programs as well.

If you're looking for indoor activities for the winter ahead, put the Newark Museum on your to-do list. Read on for more about this Essex County gem.

Santa Claus Brunches, Teas, and Cruises for NYC Kids

A picture with Santa can be thrilling for a little kid. But if your child wants a heartier visit with the big red guy, a tasty breakfast, brunch, or tea might be in order.

We've found eight spots in New York City where families can enjoy a special holiday meal with Old St. Nick. These range from inexpensive pancake brunches hosted by local organizations to lavish spreads at Rockefeller Center and the Plaza Hotel. You can even hop on a cruise with Santa.

All require advance reservations and sell out quickly. Whichever one you choose, bring your camera—and your appetite—and for more seasonal family fun check out our Holiday Guide.

Weekend Fun for Houston Kids: Zoo Lights, Winter Wonderland Kids Festival, Pecan Harvest Festival, Nov. 18-19

If you're anything like us, then your calendar is probably filling up at an alarming rate right now with seasonal favorites like breakfast with Santa, The Nutcracker, and other kid-friendly holiday shows. With so many great events happening, it can be hard to pick which ones to attend! To help ease the stress of sifting through the overwhelming number of events coming up, we put together a handy little list of the top things to do with preschoolers during the holidays.

Or maybe that just made your calendar even fuller. Even so, you'll thank us when you see those great big smiles, promise. 

Suddenly feel like you need to get away? A family camping trip to Bastrop State Park might be just what you need. We're positive you'll come back feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to tackle the holidays.

Don't forget: there's still time to vote for your favorite local businesses during this year's Houston Besties; voting puts you in the running to win some awesome prizes!

Find your calendar looking a little light this month? In need of ways to entertain visiting family and friends? Check out our fall bucket listevent calendar, and November GoList for even more 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 worth sharing? Share it with us by submitting your own 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!

American Girl Debuts a Sparkling New Store at Rockefeller Center

Just in time for the holiday season, American Girl gave fans citywide a shiny new gift with the opening of its brand-new mega store in Rockefeller Plaza.

The 38,000-square-foot, two-story store opened November 11, replacing its old digs on Fifth Avenue, and is sure to be a destination for lovers of these iconic dolls for years to come. While the original location offered shopping, dining, and salon services, the upgraded spot serves up even more treats for kids (matching makeovers!) and adults (plush benches!) alike.

Weekend Fun for CT Kids: Penguins, Turkeys, and Holiday Lights, November 18 & 19

It's the last weekend before Black Friday and the official start of the Holiday Season. But before you begin your annual gift-shopping in earnest, make sure to take some time out for family fun. This weekend there are turkey-themed health runs in New Canaan and New Fairfield. Show the kids what it was like in the olden days by attending a demonstration of Colonial Thanksgiving cooking, or for the animal lover, learn about how animals adapt to the changing seasons. If you simply can't wait to start getting into the Christmas spirit, check out the annual Fantasy of Lights, with 60 animated displays containing over 100,000 lights in a mile-long display. You'll find all sorts of holiday fun recommendations in our Holiday Fun Guide.

This busy time of year, make sure that you subscribe to our weekly newsletters and follow us on FacebookTwitter, Pinterest, and Instagram so that you won't miss any of the fun. Have a great weekend!

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