Looking for fun and low-cost things to do with kids in Rockland County NY? We've hand-picked the best kids events from our full calendar and compiled them here, including holiday events and shows for families, a workshop to reinvent your (and your child's) lunch, a book drive at Barnes & Noble, and a seasonal nature activity.
For even more things to do with kids in Rockland and the NYC area, check out our full, searchable calendar of events.
Love Your Lunch
A nutritious lunchbox can help keep kids focused and ready to learn. During this season of leftovers, let Diane Hoch at The Food Evolution show you how to re-invent classic sandwiches using leftovers and other options that save time and money. The class is called Creating a Healthy Lunchbox. December 8. 9:30am. $65.
The Food Evolution, 295 Route 304, Bardonia. 845-507-0260. www.thefoodevolution.com.
Give the Gift of Reading
Stop by either local Barnes & Noble (in Nanuet or the Palisades Center) on December 9 at 7pm for a free holiday reading of The Polar Express. Then help bring the gift of reading to children in need: Both stores will collect books for Project Linus through January 1.
Barnes & Noble at The Palisades Center, 4416 Palisades Center Drive, West Nyack. 845-348-4701.
Barnes & Noble in Nanuet, 140 Rockland Plaza, Nanuet. 845-624-2920.
For the Birds
Take a break from the holiday hoopla to learn about some feathered friends native to the Hudson Valley area. Come to Decorate for the Birds and make a simple feeder to help these birds find food through the winter. December 10. 10am. $5.
Hudson Highlands Nature Museum Outdoor Discovery Center, Muser Drive, Cornwall. 845-534-5506. www.hhnaturemuseum.org.
Feel the Rhythm
Take a break from the sights and sounds of the season when BergenPAC presents Kidz Cabaret - African Rhythm Tap, a catchy combination of Western-style tap dancing and African music and dress. December 11 at 1pm and 3pm. $17.
Bergen PAC, 30 North Van Brunt Street, Englewood, NJ. 201-227-1030. www.bergenpac.org.
Sights and Sounds of the Season
Tis the season, and there are plenty of Christmas celebrations happening in our area. Here are some noteworthy ones:
1. The Rockland Youth Dance Ensemble (RYDE) presents one of several area performances of that classic holiday ballet, The Nutcracker. December 9 at 7pm; December 10-11 at 1pm and 4pm. $20. Cultural Arts Theater at Rockland Community College, 145 College Road, Suffern. 845-624-7933. www.sunyrockland.edu.
Performances by the RYDE Junior Company will be held at Clarkstown Senior High School South. December 3 at 4pm; December 4 at 1pm and 4pm. $18-$20. 31 Demarest Hill Road, West Nyack. 845-624-7933. www.ccsd.edu/south.
2. Have Breakfast With Santa this month at the Platzl Brauhaus. December 3, 10-11, or 17-18. 9am-12pm. $18; $12 children. 127 Call Hollow Road, Pomona. 845-354-2111. www.platzlbrauhaus.com.
The jolly fellow will also break bread on the morning of December 10 in the H&M Court of the Palisades Center mall. 9am. $3. 1000 Palisades Center Drive, West Nyack. 845-348-1000. www.palisadescenter.com.
3. In nearby Bergen County, two local theater groups will present Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. One production, geared for ages 8 and older, is at the Saddle River Valley Cultural Center. December 18. 3pm. $12 in advance; $15 at door and four days prior to show. 305 West Saddle River Road, Upper Saddle River, NJ. 201-825-3366. www.srvcc.org.
Bergen Performing Arts Center hosts another version for all ages, this one presented by TheatreworksUSA, on December 18. 4pm. $10-$25. 30 North Van Brunt Street, Englewood, NJ. 201-227-1030. www.bergenpac.org.
Lots of Latkes
Whether you prefer them plain or with applesauce, there are plenty of places to nosh on latkes and light candles this month. Here are a few of the Hanukkah events happening nearby:
1. If you have kids, chances are you need eight gifts for each of them. Find something fun and perhaps funky at the Nanuet Hebrew Center, which hosts its annual Arts Festival and Crafts Fair. December 4. 10am-5pm. $6; free for children. 411 South Little Tor Road, New City. 845-708-9181. www.nanuethc.org.
2. Also on December 4, check out the Holiday Boutique at Montebello Jewish Center from 11am-3pm. FREE. 34 Montebello Road, Montebello. 845-357-2430. www.montebellojc.org.
3. Hanukkah maven Mama Doni and her band present a special holiday show, Chanukah Fever, at the JCC Rockland that promises to be fun for young audiences. December 11. 4pm. $12 in advance; $15 at the door. JCC Rockland, 450 West Nyack Road,?West Nyack. 845-362-4400. www.jccyofrockland.org.
4. The Chabad Jewish Enrichment Center hosts festive public menorah lightings: December 20 at 6pm at Braunsdorf Park, next to the Pearl River train station; December 21 at 7pm at Piermont Village Hall, 478 Piermont Avenue; and December 25 at 4:30pm at the Chabad Jewish Enrichment Center, 6 Whitefield Road, Chestnut Ridge. For more information, call 845-356-6686 or visit www.chabadjec.org.
Beary Merry Holiday
In one of my favorite holiday traditions, the folks at the Bear Mountain Zoo once again invite members of the public to make special "presents" for the zoo's black bears. Arrive by 10:30am to make tasty ursine treats, then stand back at 11am when zookeepers present the treats inside wrapped holiday packages. December 17. All ages. $8 parking per car; zoo admission by donation.
Bear Mountain Zoo, Palisades Interstate Parkway, Bear Mountain. 845-786-2701. www.palisadesparksconservancy.org.