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Weekend Fun for NYC Kids: Holiday Train Show at NYBG, Mommy Poppins Holiday Photo Shoot, New Vic Dance Spectacle November 16-17

Even though Thanksgiving is still a few weeks away, some of our favorite annual holiday attractions open for the season this weekend. Holiday Train Shows are set to start chugging at the New York Botanical Garden and Grand Central Terminal, and the New York Hall of Science is unveiling its enormous Gingerbread Lane display. Plus, skaters can hit the ice at the grand opening of Williamsburg's McCarren Park Rink.

Another great way to get into the seasonal spirit? Come to our Holiday Photo Event on Saturday. In addition to getting adorable pictures of your kids with Santa or against a seasonal backdrop, there will be crafts, storytime, giveaways and discounts on holiday cards. Sessions are filling up fast, so book yours now.

Of course there's plenty of non-holiday fun this weekend, too, like the dance show Feet Don't Fail Me Now! at the New Victory Theater, a reenactment of the Battle of Fort Washington in Washington Heights and Grammy-nominated rocker Justin Roberts at Symphony Space.

These are just a few of the great things going on this weekend. All of our best bets are below. You can find additional options in our Event Calendar and our Holiday Fun Guide. Before heading out on your adventures, be sure to download our FREE Mommy Poppins Kids on the Go app so you can find the best family destinations wherever you happen to be in NYC.

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All Weekend

New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show – the Bronx
One of my family's must-do holiday events, the NYBG's annual train show opens for its 22nd season this weekend. Watch model trains go whizzing by more than 140 NYC landmarks made out of acorns, twigs, bark, berries and leaves. New this year: The garden has changed the layout, revamped the kids' activities and added a NYC-themed Dining Pavilion. Free with All-Garden Pass: $25 for adults, $15 for children ages 2-12

Holiday Train Show at Grand Central Terminal – Midtown East
Looking for a more low-key and less expensive holiday train show? Then hit the New York Transit Museum gallery annex in Grand Central Terminal to see its modest annual display. Hey, it's FREE.

The Three Bears Holiday Bash – Upper West Side
Hit Central Park's Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre for its annual seasonal show featuring the three bears and all of their fairy-tale friends. This spirited puppet performance celebrates all of the holidays: Christmas, Kwanzaa and Hanukkah. $10 for adults, $7 for children under 12

Feet Don't Fail Me Now! – Midtown West
Head to the New Victory to catch Minneapolis' Rhythmic Circus in a tap-dance spectacle featuring kooky costumes, a seven-piece brass band and some seriously athletic hoofers. Bonus: Learn some fancy footwork at one of the Saturday afternoon dance workshops. Show: $14-$38, workshop: $17

LaMaMa Kids: Puppet Series – East Village
The venerable downtown theater presents three puppet shows this weekend. Preschoolers can catch WonderSpark Puppets' Goldilocks & the Three Bears on Saturday or The Three Little Pigs on Sunday. School-age kids can check out Bonnie Duncan's quirky Squirrel Stole My Underpants all weekend. All performances are $10 per family
 

Saturday, November 16

Mommy Poppins Holiday Photo Event – Upper East Side
Cross your holiday cards off your to-do list as the pros from Big Apple Portrait shoot lively pics of your kids with Santa or against a seasonal background at Kidville. Other activities include cookie decorating with Cookie Party, holiday crafts by Kidville and storytime with Scholastic, plus giveaways. And since we love giving back to the community, this event will also help raise funds for the Food Bank for NYC. Read our post for more info or book your session now! $100 per family includes two hi-res digital photos and $25 credit for Minted holiday cards

Super Sabado: We ♥ Música – East Harlem
Celebrate music at El Museo del Barrio. Make collages based on your favorite songs, enjoy musical storytelling with the Little Orchestra Society, learn how to Bomba, groove to Latin funk/rock band La Chiva Gantiva and take a kid-friendly tour of the galleries. FREE

Justin Roberts and the Not Ready for Naptime Players – Upper West Side
Catch the Grammy-nominated kindie rockers as they play catchy tunes off their latest family album, Recess, at Symphony Space. $25 for adults, $15 for children

PBS Kids Club Thirteen Presents: TXT Marks the Spot at the New Victory Theater – Midtown West
Are you a member of Kids Club Thirteen? It certainly has its privileges, including free or discounted admission to 13 family events throughout the year, like today's offering at the New Victory. Members can snag discounted tickets to Feet Don't Fail Me Now! and also enjoy a fun high-tech scavenger hunt throughout the theater. Read our post about Kids Club Thirteen for details on member benefits. Free for Kids Club Thirteen members. Join today and score tickets to the upcoming Jim Henson's Dinosaur Train—Live at the Skirball Center on Thanksgiving weekend.

See all Saturday events.
 

Sunday, November 17

Battle of Fort Washington – Washington Heights
One of our November NYC Go List picks: Watch history come alive at the 237th anniversary of this epic Revolutionary War battle in Fort Tryon Park. In addition to mingling with members of the Brigade of the American Revolution to find out what life was like during the war, families can watch blacksmith demos, listen to local historians, and try period arts and crafts courtesy of the historic Morris-Jumel Mansion. FREE

Gingerbread Lane Opening Day – Corona
Marvel at Chef Jon Lovitch's brand-new 300-square-foot Gingerbread Village at the New York Hall of Science. The enormous display includes 150 houses, trains, cable cars and even an underground subway station, all made entirely from gingerbread. While in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, check out the nearby Queens Museum, which recently reopened after a long renovation. Free with admission: $11 for adults, $8 for children ages 2-17, free to all between 10-11am

Bindlestiff Cavalcade of Youth – Coney Island
See the stars of tomorrow today at this variety show featuring jugglers, dancers, acrobats, contortionists and other circus artists all under age 21. $15 for adults, $10 for children

Mother Goose Tales with Goldilocks and the Three Bears – Greenwich Village
Beloved nursery rhymes come to life in this show by the Penny Jones Puppet Co. The troupe's simple and inexpensive productions are a great way to introduce young tots to live theater. $5

Meet the Music: A Trilling Event – Upper West Side
At this interactive Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center kids' concert, Inspector Pulse explains how melodies can be embellished by delving into works by Telemann, Handel and Bach. $10-$30

See all Sunday events.


Don't forget: There's more fun to be found in our Event Calendar.

Sunflower Picking at Happy Day Farm
Happy Day Farm - 8:00 AM Pick
Jenkinson's Amusement Park Reopens
Jenkinson's Amusement Park - 12:00 PM Pick
Marina del Rey WaterBus
various boarding locations, including Burton Chace Park - 1:00 PM Pick
Kutztown Folk Festival
- various times Pick
The Shows Must Go On
Youtube - various times Pick
Activity Guides