School may be out between Christmas and New Year's Day, but this week doesn't always feel like a "break" to moms and dads. If you're searching for ways to keep kids busy, check out our list of 25 fun and enriching activities, from science museums to animal storytimes to winter walks that will give the whole family some exercise.
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Planning holiday celebrations and activities might take some extra imagination this year. But doing things a little differently doesn’t mean sacrificing any of the joy, traditions, or family memories that come with Christmas celebrations. In fact, let the limitations on travel and gatherings in 2020 spur your creativity to greater heights. From festive fun with grandparents to innovative ways to keep annual traditions going with friends, we have rounded-up our favorite socially distant ways to celebrate the season. With traditional gingerbread decorating, a newly imagined Christmas lights caravan, and even a Nailed It! challenge kids adore, these ideas are so crowd-pleasing, we bet a few become new family holiday traditions.
For more great ways to celebrate the season together, don’t forget about these 10 fabulous any-day zoom activities for kids and grandparents, the most fun games kids can play virtually with friends, and all the best virtual holiday events for families!
Your holiday table may not be full of family and friends this year, but it can still be packed with delicious food made with love by a professional chef. These Connecticut restaurants will prepare a meal for Christmas or Hanukkah takeout (or in some cases, delivery) so you can kick back, relax, and tuck into prime rib, an Italian fish dinner, peppermint cheesecake or other treats while staying safe at home.
Might we suggest pairing holiday takeout with one our all-time favorite family Christmas movies? If you are in the mood to spread even more holiday cheer, check out out our Holiday and Christmas Fun Guide for Connecticut Kids.
When winter weather turns into a day off from school it’s time to head for the hills—sledding hills, that is. We're lucky to have more than our fair share of awesome sledding hills here in Fairfield County, from gentle dips for toddlers and preschoolers to dramatic slopes that draw brave 'tweens and 'teens. Grab a thermos of cocoa, your warmest mittens, and yes—this year, at least—your face masks, of course.
Here is a list of some local favorite spots to spend a couple hours burning off that cabin fever. If you live in central Connecticut, check out these Hartford-area sledding hills, and for a little bit more of an adventure, visit our Connecticut Snowshoeing and Cross Country Skiing Guide.
Think cool, fresh air against your cheeks, hot cocoa around the fire, and quality outdoor time with your kids: A trip to a Northeast ski mountain is the perfect cure for cabin fever and the winter doldrums in 2020 and 2021. Parents looking for a day trip or weekend escape will be excited to know that many nearby ski resorts are adopting capacity restrictions and social distancing plans to keep families safe while they hit the slopes. Here are some of our favorite ski areas where you can purchase lift tickets, make reservations, or even book ski or snowboard lessons now, including spots in New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, and even one gem in Virginia.
Read on for our family ski picks, as well as important information about interstate travel restrictions and other safety policies that may guide your choice. Be sure to check out our Snow Sports Guide for the scoop on more winter fun in the great (and safe) outdoors.
If your family is getting ready to welcome the Elf on the Shelf back from the North Pole, we have a few fun new ideas for you this holiday season. Elves typically arrive sometime after Thanksgiving and return to the North Pole on Christmas Day, giving families 30 days (or so) to fill with hilarious Elf on the Shelf antics.
Like a good houseguest, Elf on the Shelf should be able to keep his mischievous acts generally mess-free and super easy to set-up, so we've put together a list of 30 simple but impressive elf antics. Many of these activities can be worked into your morning routine or popular holiday activities while requiring few extra props. We've also included some great excuses for those mornings when, whoops, the elf forgets (read: you forget) to move! (Pro tip: set a reminder on your mobile phone or electronic calendar to “move your elf” after you tuck the kids in each night.)
Find more fun things to do this season in our Christmas and Holiday Fun Guides.
Thanksgiving is all about spending time with the people we love; and even though Thanksgiving 2020 is likely to be celebrated with fewer people in the room than other years, there are still ways to create fun memories with family and friends. Before the turkey is in the oven, you can set up a few of these easy Thanksgiving crafts for kids, and whether in person or on a Thanksgiving Zoom call, holiday games can keep everyone connected. From traditional handprint turkeys to the Great Yam Race, stuff a little fun into your family dinner this year.
Don't forget to catch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and more virtual celebrations online!
Thanksgiving celebrations may look different in 2020, but this holiday is still best spent gathered around a table with loved ones. If you're looking for places that will prepare a Thanksgiving meal for you—more appealing than ever, perhaps, this stressful year—look no further than these Connecticut restaurants offering turkey and all the trimmings for takeout or pickup dinner. Think roasted turkey, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, green beans, kid-friendly mac and cheese, and, of course, pies of all kids.
If you are in the mood to cook (and learn a little history), consider rounding up your little chefs to try these old-fashioned, "first" Thanksgiving recipes that you can make with kids. Our Connecticut holiday guide has even more ideas for making your time at home and with family more festive and meaningful than ever in 2020.