Preschoolers

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!

The Top 10 Things to do with Preschoolers this Holiday Season

From Pinterest-perfect teacher presents to waiting online for those coveted tickets, the Christmas season can be, well, stressful. There's the Christmas parties, the Christmas cards, and then the presents. And the shopping for the presents. We all seriously need a vacation by 5 p.m. on December 25th. But, when you see those little faces light up when they see the guy in red or when they come across an actual living, breathing reindeer, or when they hear that whistle blow. Every second is worth it. We've rounded up the top 10 things to do with your preschooler during the holidays. So get out there and embrace the magic of the season and make yourself some memories to last a lifetime. Be sure to check out our CT Holiday Guide for even more holiday fun. 

Where to Have Breakfast with Santa in CT

It's that time of the year, when the kiddos are ready to whisper their heart's desires in Santa's ear! But dude, standing in line at the mall for 10 seconds of laptime is diabolical! Better to plan ahead for a meet-and-greet with the head Elf himself! These family-friendly holiday events not only give you QT with Santa (and friends!), but serve up enough bacon, pancakes, and hot cocoa to get that winter layer rolling! Tip: These breakfast with Santa events fill up fast! Book now to get the date and time you want. Then hurry back to make more holiday plans with our CT Holiday Fun Guide.

Holiday Volunteering With Kids in Boston

We all have our hands full with family and work obligations, and the pending holidays certainly don't lighten the load. And yet, it's the time of year when we're also inspired to count our blessings—and teach our children to do the same. To inspire my children to think about what they are grateful for this Thanksgiving and throughout the holiday season, we’re going to try one of the Fun Projects That Help Kids Give Thanks. But I also want my kids to think about other people and do something to make a difference in our community, and we've found some great opportunities for volunteering as a family during the holiday season. 

Top Things to Do With Preschoolers During the Holidays in Houston

It's the most wonderful time of the year! This is especially true for preschoolers, who may be just now starting to really understand what is happening during the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Breakfasts with Santa, holiday light displays, parades, and craft fairs top the list of things to do with kids this season, but sometimes it's hard to navigate what might be age-appropriate to attend with a preschooler. This handy list not only includes area events that are the most kid-friendly, but also gives you some tips for activities to do at home with preschoolers during Thanksgiving and Christmas. 

For even more ideas on how to have fun with your preschooler this holiday season (and the rest of the year, too!) check out our ultimate bucket list of 100 things to do in Houston with kids

The Nutcracker: Holiday Performances of the Classic Ballet for LA & OC Kids this Christmas

Most of the year, most of us parents don't attempt to take our children to full-length ballet productions, but Christmas just doesn't feel like Christmas without one good Nutcracker. And if one good Nutcracker begins to make it feel a lot like Christmas, then LA, Orange, and Ventura counties are evidently hitting Uber-Christmas in the coming weeks with more than two dozen professional Nutcracker productions.

Incidentally, we've got answers to the two questions posed most often by LA parents in search of a Nutcracker Ballet for their families: Yes, there is a condensed version staged specifically for kids, offered by the Pacific Ballet down in Costa Mesa or Classical Ballet Theater in Palos Verdes; and yes, there are local productions performed with full orchestra - at the Long Beach Terrace Theater, the Broad Stage, the Dolby Theatre, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, and the Anaheim Ballet. There is even the odd Nutcracker Tea or two—in case you were wondering.

And when you've had your fill of Sugarplum Fairies, we can direct you to a whole bunch of other kinds of holiday shows and concerts

Holiday Giving in New Jersey: Volunteering for Families

Looking for new ways to connect as a family this holiday season? Volunteering together can spark the joy of giving in children of all ages. 

Holiday time is full of family traditions like carving turkeys, sharing gifts, and ringing in the New Year. It's also a great time to inspire your kids to give back. Create new family traditions this year by contributing to a favorite charity or reaching out to those in need. From the youngest kids coloring holiday greeting cards to teenagers serving Thanksgiving dinners, we've got the low-down on family-friendly holiday volunteering in New Jersey. 

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