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2021 Christmas Activities for Families in NYC, Westchester, and Long Island

2021 Christmas Activities for Families in NYC, Westchester, and Long Island

Check out these fun events and Christmas activities for families happening in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Westchester, and Long Island this holiday season.


Have a jolly holiday season this year with the dozens of Christmas activities for families and events happening in our area. From Christmas events in NYC, Brooklyn holiday events, and Christmas activities in Queens to Long Island Christmas events and activities on Long Island, you'll find something fun for everyone in your family to celebrate the season. Reference our list for the best Christmas activities for families—like arts and crafts, Christmas lights displays, holiday concerts, and more—this holiday season. 

After you check out these events, visit a farm to cut down your own Christmas tree, see a tree lighting, and visit and take pics with Santa.

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Christmas Events in NYC 2021

FREE Holiday Lights

WHEN: Thursday, Dec. 2, 6-8:30pm
WHERE: South Cove Park, Battery Place and 2nd Place, Battery Park City
WHAT: Kick-off the season at the Holiday Lights celebration with your Battery Park City Authority community! Special guest appearances by Sing Harlem Choir, PS/IS 276 Advanced Chorus, and you-know-who!
WANT TO GO? 212-417-2000.

PaleyLand

WHEN: Dec. 4-Jan. 6, 2022, see website for schedule
WHERE: Paley Center, 25 W. 52nd St., Upper West Side
WHAT: Explore 4-floors of holiday exhibits and fun with holiday character meet-and-greets, exclusive sneak preview screenings on the big screen, interactive holiday photo experiences, and family fun, including arts, crafts, gaming, meet Santa, and so much more! 
WANT TO GO? $20; $16 for students, teachers, seniors, veterans, early responders; free for children 12 and younger and members. Reservations recommended. 

Skate with Santa at the Rink

WHEN: Dec. 4-18, Saturdays, 10:15am-3pm
WHERE: Brookfield Place, 230 Vesey St., Financial District
WHAT: Sign up for a skating session with Santa and enjoy two solo performances by the jolly man in red at the Rink!
WANT TO GO? $17; $5 skate rental. Advanced registration required.

Holiday Adventures from The Shed

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 4 and Saturday, Dec. 18, 10:15am
WHERE: 14th Street Y, 344 E. 14th St., East Village
WHAT: Puppetry, music, movement, storytelling—and a bit of theater magic! Preschoolers and their families love Adventures from The Shed, an immersive and inclusive performance. Talented teaching artists will lead you through an adventure with familiar characters: Blurg!, Lion Down, and Mary Jo, to name a few–and new friends as well. You’ll even learn a bit of American Sign Language!
WANT TO GO? $15. Advanced registration required.

FREE Summer on the Hudson: Holiday on the Hudson

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 4, 4:30-6pm
WHERE: West Harlem Piers, 125th and Marginal streets, West Harlem
WHAT: Come out for a holiday tree lighting party and celebrate the season with live music, tree decoration making, and hot chocolate (while supplies last).
WANT TO GO? Email [email protected] with any questions.

FREE Holiday-Themed Walking Tour Through Flatiron District

WHEN: Dec. 5-19, Sundays, 11am
WHERE: Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership, 23rd Street just east of Fifth Avenue, Flatiron District
WHAT: During this special holiday tour, attendees will learn about the Star of Hope, the first public Christmas tree, the international toy and gift center, and Dr. Clement Clarke Moore writing his famous Christmas poem "A Visit From St. Nicholas" (commonly known as “The Night Before Christmas”) in his country home on 23rd Street in 1822. 
WANT TO GO? Meet at the tip of the Flatiron building at 23rd Street just east of Fifth Avenue. No advance registration is required.

'Twas the Night Before... by Cirque du Soleil

WHEN: Dec. 9-27, see website for schedule
WHERE: Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, Seventh Avenue at 32nd Street, Midtown
WHAT: Cirque du Soleil’s first-ever Christmas show, “‘Twas the Night Before…” is a flurry of Christmas cheer, rip-roaring fun and hugely lovable characters, while introducing audiences to the magic of Cirque du Soleil and helping families create new holiday traditions.
WANT TO GO? $50 and up. Advanced registration required.

Jim Henson's Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas

WHEN: Dec. 10-Jan. 2, 2022, see website for schedule
WHERE: New Victory Theater, 209 W. 42nd St., Midtown West
WHAT: Based on Jim Henson’s beloved television special, this tuneful tale takes us to Frogtown Hollow where Ma and Emmet Otter risk what little they have to make each other’s holiday dreams come true.
WANT TO GO? $25 and up. Advanced registration required.

Jim Henson's Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas: Sensory-Friendly

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 11, 7pm
WHERE: New Victory Theater, 209 W. 42nd St., Midtown West
WHAT: Based on Jim Henson’s beloved television special, this tuneful tale takes us to Frogtown Hollow where Ma and Emmet Otter risk what little they have to make each other’s holiday dreams come true. During this special performance there will be modified lighting and sound, a judgement-free, inclusive environment, a calming corner and activity area, and specialists and support resources. 
WANT TO GO? $25. Advanced registration required.

Winter Family Fair

WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 12, 2-4pm
WHERE: The Morgan Library & Museum, 225 Madison Ave., Murray Hill
WHAT: Celebrate the holiday season with the Morgan's annual display of the original manuscript of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol and enjoy the current exhibitions.Enjoy an afternoon of live music, gallery exploration, prizes, a film screening, and more!
WANT TO GO? $22; $14 seniors 65 and older; $13 students with ID; free for children younger than 12 and members

FREE Puppet Shows by Wonderspark Puppets: The Gingerbread Man

WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 12, 3-4pm
WHERE: Hudson Yards, 20 Hudson Yards, Chelsea
WHAT: The classic story of a little running cookie with a Christmas twist. Watch the Gingerbread Man outwit and outrun various hungry animals.
WANT TO GO? Advanced registration required. 

Brooklyn Irish Dance Company presents A Celtic Christmas Story

WHEN: Dec. 17-19, Friday-Saturday, 7:30pm; Sunday, 3pm
WHERE: Sheen Center for Arts and Culture, 18 Bleecker St., Noho
WHAT: This holiday-themed, family-friendly theatrical production combines Irish dancers, musicians, and singers with intoxicating storytelling and beautiful choreography. Experience the magic of Christmas with a story of friendship, love, and coming home for the holidays, presented in full merriment, all set to your favorite holiday music and classic Irish tunes.
WANT TO GO? $45. Advanced registration required.

Santa's Sing-A-Long

WHEN: Dec. 17-23, Friday, 5pm; Saturday, 2pm and 5pm; Sunday-Monday, 2pm; Tuesday, 5pm; Wednesday-Thursday, 2pm and 5pm
WHERE: Theatre Row, 410 W. 42nd St., Midtown
WHAT: “Oh No!” Santa’s reindeer have lost their Christmas spirit and can’t fly Santa’s sleigh. Help them get it back by singing Christmas songs with Santa and Mrs. Claus, such as “Jingle Bells,” “Deck the Halls,” and “Frosty the Snowman” so his Reindeer can take flight again!
WANT TO GO? $30 and up. Advanced registration required. 

A Charlie Brown Christmas: Live on Stage

WHEN: Dec. 21-24 Tuesday, 7pm; Wednesday-Thursday, 12:30pm and 7pm; Friday, 11am and 3pm
WHERE: The Palladium Times Square, 1515 Broadway, Midtown
WHAT: Everyone’s favorite holiday classic comes to life in this spectacular new touring production. Join Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus, and the whole Peanuts gang as they sing, dance, and learn the true meaning of Christmas!
WANT TO GO? $23.50 and up. Advanced registration required.

"A Christmas Carol, Oy! Hanukkah, Merry Kwanzaa"

WHEN: Dec. 22-Jan. 2, 2022, see website for schedule
WHERE: Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave., East Village
WHAT: It's an adaptation of Dickens' classic with Old World accents and New World inclusiveness, featuring more than 30 puppets including a quartet of Rockettes in Slovak, Moravian, and Ruthenian folk costumes, and holiday songs in Czech, English, Hebrew, and Swahili. 
WANT TO GO? $18; $12 seniors and students; $10 kids. Advanced registration required. 

FREE 2021 Washington Square Christmas Eve Caroling

WHEN: Friday, Dec. 24, 5-6pm
WHERE: Washington Square Park Arch, Washington Square North, Greenwich Village
WHAT: This is the traditional time to celebrate the holiday with carols. The Rob Susman Brass Quartet, song leader, and the revelers from all over the city will lustily sing out the familiar tunes. The words are in the songbooks distributed by the Washington Square Association, but many will know them by heart. 
WANT TO GO? FREE

NYC Christmas Dinner Cruise 2021

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 25, 7-10pm
WHERE: Event Cruises NYC, Pier 36, 299 South St., Downtown Manhattan
WHAT: Your family will be surrounded by festive decorations, holiday DJ music, and the sparkling NYC skyline view. Enjoy a delicious 4-course Christmas Eve or Christmas dinner at your private table with loved ones. Remember to dress up and muffle up. After the dinner, take a walk on Sky Deck for some memorable family photos with the Statue of Liberty as your backdrop.
WANT TO GO? $159 and up. Advanced registration required. 

A Christmas Carol the Musical

WHEN: Through Dec. 30: Family matinee, Sundays, 11am; see website for complete schedule
WHERE: The Players Theatre, 115 MacDougal St., Noho
WHAT: Charles Dickens’ classic holiday tale about the joy of community triumphing over selfishness, presented in this fresh musical adaptation by Sgouros & Bell. Follow Ebenezer Scrooge on his emotional journey, as he is visited by four forewarning ghosts. FAMILY WORKSHOP: Families can attend a free pre-show workshop 1 hour before the Sunday 11am performances. Meet and interact with members of the cast and creative team to see first-hand how Dickens’ novel is brought to life onstage. Then families are invited to create an art project that they can keep as a souvenir or give away as a holiday gift.
WANT TO GO? $42-$62. Advanced registration required.

Santa Fun Cruise with Treats 2021

WHEN: Through Dec. 31: See website for schedule
WHERE: Event Cruises NYC, Pier 36, 299 South St., Downtown Manhattan
WHAT: Enjoy a Santa cruise filled with fun Christmas activities for families. Visit Santa's home at the North Pole, take photos, decorate your own holiday crafts, and enjoy an engaging storytelling by Santa's elves. Sip on sparkling wine and take in views of the Manhattan skyline while the kids are having fun with Santa and Elves.
WANT TO GO? Tickets start at $59. Advanced registration required.

FREE Luminaries at Brookfield Place

WHEN: Through Jan. 2, 2022: daily, 10am-8pm
WHERE: Brookfield Place, 230 Vesey St., Battery Park
WHAT: Luminaries features colorful lights emanating from hundreds of suspended lanterns. Visitors can conduct their own symphony with a new interactive experience, Maestro, which uses a gesture-controlled instrument to display unique light shows in unison with holiday music. Visitors will also have the chance to send a motion-activated 'wish' into the canopy of lanterns. For each wish made, Brookfield Place will donate $1 up to $25,000 to City Harvest.
WANT TO GO? 212-978-1673.

Pinkmas

WHEN: Through Jan. 9, 2022: Daytime Experience: Monday-Friday, 11:30am-4:30pm; Saturday-Sunday, 10am-4:30pm. Nighttime Experience: Sunday-Thursday, 5:30-7:30pm; Friday-Saturday, 5:30-8:30pm
WHERE: Museum of Ice Cream, 558 Broadway, Soho
WHAT: MOIC NYC will serve up three immersive floors of new holiday treats, festive games, and engaging activations only available during Pinkmas! MOIC guides will educate guests about holiday traditions and symbols from different cultures around the world and set intentions and resolutions for the year to come.
WANT TO GO? Tickets starting at $44. Advanced registration required. Guests are encouraged to bring a new toy in exchange for one scoop of ice cream at the MOIC Cafe. All toys will be donated to Toys For Tots. 

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Brooklyn Holiday Events

FREE Holiday Fam Jam

WHEN: Tuesday, Nov. 30, 3-5pm
WHERE: Brooklyn Bridge Park, 334 Furman St., Brooklyn Heights
WHAT: Please join Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy for a Holiday Fam Jam: an afternoon outdoor dance party where people of all ages can bust a move, celebrate the end of the year, and enjoy a winter gathering on the waterfront. Bundle up and put on your dancing shoes!
WANT TO GO? Advanced registration required. 

FREE 20th Annual Sinterklaas: St. Nicholas Day Celebration

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 4, 2-4:30pm
WHERE: Wyckoff House Museum, 5816 Clarendon Road, East Flatbush
WHAT: Celebrate Sinterklaas at this outdoor, socially-distanced event full of craft activities, a tree lighting, and a special visit from St. Nick as he arrives on horseback around 2:30pm. St. Nicholas will tell the traditional tale of The Bakers Dozen and children are invited to sign the Red Book. Sip hot cider, try your hand at colonial games, create a holiday pomander, decorate a Dutch clog for Sinterklaas, and dress the tree for the tree lighting that will close the day as the sun goes down.
WANT TO GO? Advanced registration required.

FREE Mark Morris Dance Group: Holiday Party on the Plaza

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 4, 11am-12pm
WHERE: The Plaza at 300 Ashland, 300 Ashland Place, Boerum Hill
WHAT: Join the Mark Morris Dance Center for a little caroling and holiday cheer! Mark Morris Dance Group dancers Domingo Estrada Jr. and Malik Q. Williams will lead a Dance with MMDG class for the entire family. Participants will learn excerpts from The Hard Nut’s Snow variation. Elise Gaugert, The Hard Nut Singers Choral Director, will lead a holiday sing-along. There will be hot chocolate for everyone!
WANT TO GO? FREE

Winter Wonderland

WHEN: Through Dec. 5: Saturday-Sunday, 11am-5pm 
WHERE: Aviator Sports and Events Center, Floyd Bennett Field, 3159 Flatbush Ave., Marine Park
WHAT: Celebrate the season of joy as you wander into this holiday wonderland of endless photo ops created by thousands of beautiful flowers. Take a stroll to the family selfie stations, enjoy the candy hunt, and visit Santa’s workshop. Plus, don’t forget to say hello to the animals…they love treats, too!
WANT TO GO? $12; free for children younger than 2; additional fee for animal feed.

FREE Holiday Caroling with Brooklyn Conservatory of Music

WHEN: Friday, Dec. 17, 6pm
WHERE: Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, 58 7th Ave., Park Slope
WHAT: All ages, voices and faiths are invited to join the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music for a joyous evening of caroling. Carolers will meet at 6pm and take their songs to the streets.
WANT TO GO? 718-622-3300.

The Steadfast Tin Soldier & Nutcracker Sweets

WHEN: Through Jan. 2, 2022: Saturday-Sunday, 12:30pm and 2:30pm (No show Jan. 01)
WHERE: Puppetworks, Inc., 338 6th Ave., Park Slope
WHAT: See two holiday classics The Steadfast Tin Soldier and Nutcracker Sweets featuring Tchaikovsky's 'Land of Sweets' dances.
WANT TO GO? $11; $10 children.

Lightscape

WHEN: Through Jan. 9, 2022: See website for schedule
WHERE: Brooklyn Botanic Garden, 1000 Washington Ave., Prospect Leffert
WHAT: This winter, explore Brooklyn Botanic Garden like never before at the after-dark, illuminated spectacular Lightscape. Join with family and friends to celebrate the beauty of nature in winter on this enchanting trail animated by dazzling light, color, and sound.
WANT TO GO? $34; $30 members; $18 children ages 3-12; $16 members ages 3-12; free for children ages 2 and younger. Advanced registration required.

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Christmas Activities in Queens, NY

FREE Winter Wonder at the Garden

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 4, 12-5pm
WHERE: Queens Botanical Garden, 43-50 Main St., Flushing
WHAT: Celebrate the best of December with free live musical performances, a tree and menorah lighting, holiday crafts, a tree tour, selfies with Santa (donations welcome), and sales at the QBG Shop! 
WANT TO GO? Advanced registration required. Dress for the weather! This event is mainly outdoors.

Winter Wonderland

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 4, 11am-2pm
WHERE: Flushing YMCA, 138-46 Northern Blvd., Flushing
WHAT: Get in the holiday spirit with ice-skating (skates will be provided), family photos with Santa, bounce house fun, hot chocolate, and doughnut making.
WANT TO GO? $15. Advanced registration required.

St. Nicholas Day

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 4, 12-4pm
WHERE: Vander Ende-Onderdonk House, 1820 Flushing Ave., Ridgewood
WHAT: This annual St. Nicholas Day celebration will feature caroling, crafts, story time, and, of course, a chance to visit with St. Nicholas himself! 
WANT TO GO? $10; free for children. Advanced registration required. Rain date: Sunday, Dec. 5.

FREE Hands on History: All the World's a (Puppet) Stage!

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 4, 1-4pm
WHERE: King Manor Museum, 150-03 Jamaica Ave., Jamaica
WHAT: As the year comes to an end, celebrate the holiday season with King Manor! Since puppets were a popular holiday gift for children living in the 19th century, you'll get to make your own puppets and miniature puppet theatre!
WANT TO GO? 718-206-0545. 

Holiday Wreath Making Workshop

WHEN: Dec. 5-11, Saturday, 11am-1pm; Sunday, 11am-1pm or 2-4pm 
WHERE: Queens Botanical Garden, 43-50 Main St., Flushing
WHAT: Create your own festive holiday wreath using fresh cut pine, fir, and other evergreens!
WANT TO GO? $35; $30 members. Advanced registration required. Dress for the weather. 

FREE Holiday Reading: O. Henry's The Gift of Magi

WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 19, 1-2pm
WHERE: Queens County Farm Museum, 73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Floral Park
WHAT: Renowned actor and raconteur, Queens native Kevin R. Free will lead story time in the farm's 3-acre pasture. First published in 1905, The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry tells the story of struggling newlyweds so eager to give each other a Christmas gift that each sells the one thing the other holds most dear.
WANT TO GO? Advanced registration required. 

FREE Holiday Cheer

WHEN: Through Dec. 19: Friday, 5-7pm; Saturday, 1-4pm; Sunday, 1-5pm
WHERE: Queens Center Mall, 90-15 Queens Blvd., Elmhurst
WHAT: See strolling entertainment throughout the mall! There will be costumed characters, carolers, jugglers, and more!
WANT TO GO? 718-690-3222.

NYC Winter Lantern Festival: Illuminate The Farm

WHEN: Through Jan. 9, 2022: See website for schedule
WHERE: Queens County Farm Museum, 73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Floral Park
WHAT: This experience will be a dazzling display of festive holiday lights and handmade lanterns in the shape of flowers, tractors, your favorite farm animals, and many many more.
WANT TO GO? $24.99; $29.99 Dec. 23-Jan. 2, 2022; $16.99 children ages 3-12. Advanced registration required.

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Christmas Activities in Westchester County, NY

A Charlie Brown Christmas: Live on Stage

WHEN: Dec. 3-19, see website for schedule.
WHERE: Chappaqua Performing Arts Center, 480 N. Bedford Road, Chappaqua
WHAT: Adapted from Charles M. Schulz’s timeless story of the spirit of Christmas and features the unforgettable music of Vince Guaraldi. Join Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus, and the rest of the Peanuts gang as they mount a play, save a tree, and uncover the true meaning of Christmas. After the final bow the audience is invited to join the Peanuts gang in singing traditional Christmas songs and carols.
WANT TO GO? $23 and up. Advanced registration required.

A Christmas Carol: The Musical

WHEN: Dec. 3-30, see website for schedule.
WHERE: White Plains Performing Arts Center, 11 City Place, White Plains
WHAT: Broadway heavy hitters, Alan Menken and Lynn Ahrens, breathe fantastic new life into the classic tale of Ebenezer Scrooge. This spectacular adaptation of Charles Dickens’ most well-known story proved it’s staying power with a decade-long run at the Theatre at Madison Square Garden. 
WANT TO GO? $39-$61. Advanced registration required

FREE 2021 Holiday Electric Lights Parade

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 4, 6:30pm
WHERE: Yorktown Parks & Recreation, Front Street, Yorktown Heights
WHAT: The Holiday Electric Lights Parade has beautifully lit Trucks and Vehicles and tons of Holiday Spirit! All are welcome and encouraged to attend this fun and festive Yorktown tradition!
WANT TO GO? The parade will start and travel down Front Street, left onto Underhill Avenue, right onto Commerce Street, follow to Yorktown Fire House, make left and continue on Commerce Street, right onto Veterans Road. Parade will end at the Jack DeVito Memorial Field.

Ride a Vintage Train to Visit Santa Claus

WHEN: Dec. 4-19, Saturday-Sunday, 12-7pm
WHERE: Danbury Railway Museum, 120 White St., Danbury, CT
WHAT: Take a ride in a vintage train through the historic rail yard to visit Santa! When guests arrive and check-in at the restored 1903 train station, kids and parents will be able to enjoy the festively decorated museum interior. This includes a Letters to Santa coloring station, operating model railroads, and many interesting exhibits and artifact displays. After a short train ride in a restored 1953 Rail Diesel Car through historic Danbury rail yard, you'll be escorted back to the station for a meet-and-greet with Santa and Mrs. Claus, where the big man himself will give out the first gifts of Christmas. Photos, too! Afterward, you are free to enjoy a walk through the rail yard with a cup of hot chocolate! 
WANT TO GO? $20; free for children younger than 2. Advanced registration required. When making your reservation, use the code “FPEC21” to save $2 per paid admission.



A Magical Cirque Christmas

WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 5, 4pm and 8pm
WHERE: The Palace Theatre, 61 Atlantic St., Stamford, CT
WHAT: Experience the enchantment of Christmas as magical hostess Lucy Darling takes you through an evening of dazzling performers and breathtaking cirque artists, accompanied by your favorite holiday music performed live.
WANT TO GO? $27-$62. Advanced registration required.

Candlelight Tree Tours

WHEN: Dec. 10-23, daily, 4-9pm
WHERE: Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum, 895 Shore Road, Bronx
WHAT: The mansion will be aglow during the evening hours. It's a magical time to visit the mansion and see the holiday trees!
WANT TO GO? $12. Evening Tree Tours are 45 minute long with the last one beginning at 8pm. Tickets can be purchased online.

13th Annual Greenwich Reindeer Festival & Santa's Workshop

WHEN: Through Dec. 24: Monday-Sat, 8:30am-6pm; Photos with Santa: Monday-Friday, 12-6pm; Saturday, 9am-6pm; Dec. 24, 9am-3pm
WHERE: Sam Bridge Nursery & Greenhouses, 437 North St., Greenwich, CT
WHAT: Santa and his LIVE reindeer are returning to Greenwich this year. The cherished town tradition continues for the 12th consecutive year at this expansive nursery where visitors can have their photo taken with Santa, meet the reindeer, and enjoy the new Santa's Workshop, which provides more space for families while they wait in line for their photo with Santa.
WANT TO GO? Admission is free; prices vary for photos with Santa.

NYBG GLOW

WHEN: Through Jan. 2, 2022: See website for schedule.
WHERE: The New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Blvd., Bronx
WHAT: See NYBG’s iconic sights and buildings come to life as dramatic, glittering canvases with the Haupt Conservatory and Mertz Library Building as the centerpieces. Washes of brilliant color, thousands of dazzling LEDs, illuminated plant stories, and whimsical, picture-perfect installations reflect the surrounding gardens and collections—creating a spectacle not to be missed!
WANT TO GO? $35; $20 children ages 2-12; Patron/Members: $25; $15 children ages 2-12. Advanced registration required.

Shark-Diving Santa

WHEN: Through Jan. 2, 2022: Friday-Sunday, 11am and 1pm
WHERE: Maritime Aquarium, 10 N. Water St., Norwalk, CT
WHAT: Santa Claus will join the aquarium’s dive team to help demonstrate that sharks aren’t the blood-thirsty killers of myth. See Santa strap on his custom scuba outfit and enter the Aquarium’s 110,000-gallon Ocean Beyond the Sound exhibit, which is home to 7- and 8-foot sand tiger and lemon sharks. He’ll swim up to the exhibit window and pose with children, so bring your camera for a unique holiday photo. 
WANT TO GO? Included with general admission: $28.95; $24.95 seniors ages 65 and older; $19.95 children ages 3-12.

Holiday Bricktacular

WHEN: Through Jan. 2, 2022: Monday-Friday, 12-5:30pm; Saturday-Sunday, 10am-5:30pm
WHERE: LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester, 39 Fitzgerald St., Yonkers
WHAT: Get in the Holiday Spirit with the help of the Holiday Bricktacular Event at LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester! Explore a Bricktacular Winter Wonderland at the Ultimate Indoor LEGO Playground!
WANT TO GO? $24.99. Advanced registration required.

Westchester's Winter Wonderland Drive-Thru Holiday Light Extravaganza

WHEN: Through Jan. 2, 2022: Monday-Friday, 6pm to close; Saturday-Sunday, 5pm to close
WHERE: Kensico Dam Plaza, Kensico Dam Plaza, 1 Bronx River Parkway, Valhalla
WHAT: Cruise along 1.2 miles of holiday lights with a new electrifying Elf Disco, a whimsical display of jubilant children from around the world, a breathtaking Peace on Earth LED display with animated trumpets and angels, and two new 30-foot snowflakes to light up the largest holiday Christmas tree in Westchester! Holiday classics will be simulcast through your vehicle’s FM radio, setting the mood from the moment you enter the park. Guests should allow 25-30 minutes to drive through the attraction. Additional attractions include favorite elves Ned and Albert, glittering angels of peace, 50-foot dove, dancing trees, glowing snowballs, candy cane lane, a spectacular 100-foot light tunnel, Westchester’s favorite 40-foot Christmas tree, Santa and friends, and more!
WANT TO GO? $25 per car off-peak; $35 per car peak. Advanced registration required.

The Great Holiday Train Show

WHEN: Through Jan 9, 2022: Saturday-Sunday, 11am, 12:30pm, 2pm, and 3pm 
WHERE: Horace Greeley House, 100 King St., Chappaqua
WHAT: See numerous vintage train sets, one dating back 100 years, running throughout the festively decorated rooms of the Horace Greeley House for the holidays. Children and adults alike can experience the magic of these heirloom items as they watch trains travel through such backdrops as a Bavarian countryside scene, the Rip Roaring 20s, or ride the rails with the rugged Jesse James Gang, and then take it East to the New York Central….and more!
WANT TO GO? $15; $10 members; $8 children 8 and younger. Advanced registration required.

Holiday Lights

WHEN: Through Jan. 9, 2022: See website for schedule
WHERE: Bronx Zoo, 2300 Southern Blvd., Bronx
WHAT: During the evenings, the park comes to life with holiday cheer as immersive light displays, custom-designed animal lanterns, and animated light shows sparkle across the zoo. The outdoor celebration is complete with festive entertainment, seasonal treats, and classic holiday music. The walk-through experience is a beloved tradition, enchanting and fun for all ages.
WANT TO GO? $39.95; $34.95 seniors 65 and older; $24.95 children ages 3-12. Advanced registration required.

Holiday Train Show

WHEN: Through Jan. 23, 2022: See website for schedule.
WHERE: The New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Blvd., Bronx
WHAT: Marvel at model trains zipping through an enchanting display of more than 175 famous New York landmarks each delightfully re-created from natural materials such as pine cones, acorns, and seeds. You’ll also discover a showcase of NYBG buildings such as the iconic Haupt Conservatory and—new for this year—the majestic LuEsther T. Mertz Library Building, both designated New York City Landmarks.
WANT TO GO? $32; $30 seniors 65 and older and students with ID; $18 children ages 2-12. Advanced registration required.

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Long Island Christmas Events

A Magical Cirque Christmas

WHEN: Thursday, Dec. 2, 7:30pm
WHERE: Tilles Center for the Performing Arts, LIU Post/720 Northern Blvd., Brookville
WHAT: Experience the enchantment of Christmas as magical hostess Lucy Darling takes you through an evening of dazzling performers and breathtaking cirque artists, accompanied by your favorite holiday music performed live. Get into the spirit of the season with this merry treat that’s perfect for the entire family.
WANT TO GO? $43-$103. Advanced registration required.

FREE Village of Westbury Holiday Festivities

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 4, 4:30pm
WHERE: Village Community Center, 360 Post Ave., Westbury
WHAT: Join neighbors and friends at this holiday celebration. Refreshments will be served (outside) as the Mayor, board, and village staff welcome everyone. The Atlantic Wind Symphony Band is scheduled to perform seasonal music, followed by the lighting of the Village Christmas Tree. Refreshments are compliments of the Westbury/Carle Place Chamber of Commerce.
WANT TO GO? 516-334-1700.

Christmas Meet & Greet Walkthrough

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 4, 10:30am-12pm
WHERE: United Skates of America, 1276 Hicksville Road, Seaford
WHAT: Walkthrough five stations and meet Frosty the Snowman, The Grinch, The Gingerbread Man, The Merry Minion, and The Red Nosed Reindeer, then mail your letter to Santa in our North Pole Mailbox! Admission includes Meet & Greets, Holiday Shutter Shades, Holiday Slime, LED Bracelet, LED Holiday Ring & Holiday Glow Stick. 
WANT TO GO? $10. Advanced registration required. 

FREE The 25th Annual Charles Dickens Festival

WHEN: Dec. 4-5; see website for schedule
WHERE: Various locations around Port Jefferson
WHAT: Celebrate beloved author, Charles Dickens, as this quaint seaport village is turned into a living Dickens stage. ?Visit the Artisan Square, showing how handcrafted works were made during Victorian England, and the spectacular Tiny Tim’s Train Station (a Toys for Tots location), presented by the Reed Family Train Project at the Harbormaster’s building, rounds out the big attractions. The restaurants offer Dickensian-inspired fare, while the wide range of shops in the village will stay open for extended hours for holiday shopping. The Village will be rich with a troupe of Dickens’ Street Characters and alive with a host of musical, magical and theatrical presentations sure to delight the Scroogiest of curmudgeons.
WANT TO GO? 631-473-5220. 

Hot Chocolate and Santa

WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 5, 2pm, 3pm, and 4pm
WHERE: Ballet Long Island, 1863 Pond Road, Ronkonkoma
WHAT: Have hot chocolate and cookies during this Christmas themed performance, then decorate a Christmas ornament before you get to meet and take a photo with Santa!
WANT TO GO? $20; $10 children and seniors; additional fee for photos with Santa. Advanced registration required.

FREE The 42nd Annual Holiday Festival

WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 5, 12-6pm; 5:30pm, tree lighting
WHERE: Stony Brook Village Center, Main Street on the Harbor, Stony Brook
WHAT: Join the Ward Melville Heritage Organization in its celebration of the 42nd Annual Holiday Festival! Vote for your favorite tree in the 42nd Annual Holiday Tree Competition, see Legends & Spies Puppet Procession, visit with Santa, and enjoy the Holiday Train Display at Wiggs Opticians and Carolers and live music before the Holiday Tree Lighting at 5:30pm on the Village Green.
WANT TO GO? 631-751-2244.

Seashell Celebration & Ornament Workshop

WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 5, 1pm and 2pm
WHERE: The Whaling Museum and Education Center, 301 Main St., Cold Spring Harbor
WHAT: From clams to sea snails to nautilus squid, explore the wonderful world of shelled animals in this educator-led workshop. Find out how to identify shells local to Long Island, and decorate a special shell ornament to hang up at home during this festive time of year.
WANT TO GO? $10; $5 members, plus admission: $6; $5 seniors 62 and older and children ages 4-18; free for children ages 3 and younger and those with ?Active Military with ID.

Cirque Musica Holiday Spectacular

WHEN: Thursday, Dec. 9, 7pm
WHERE: NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Road, Westbury
WHAT: Cirque Musica Holiday Spectacular brings the joy and excitement of the holiday season to the theater like never before. This all-new production features some of the greatest holiday songs of all time performed with the world-renowned cast of Cirque Musica. 
WANT TO GO? $39.50-$189.50. Advanced registration required.

FREE Downtown Riverhead’s Holiday Parade & Riverfront Bonfire

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 11, 3pm parade, 4pm bonfire, 5-7pm Santa House
WHERE: Downtown Riverhead, Main Street, Riverhead
WHAT: Watch the Riverhead Lions Club 69th Annual Holiday Parade begin on Main Street and loop south to the Peconic Riverfront, for Downtown Riverhead's bonfire. Santa awaits in the town's Gingerbread House, stop by to hand him your wish list and snap a photo with the jolly fella! Bring your own thermos for complimentary hot cocoa and treats. 
WANT TO GO? Rain date: Dec. 18

Gingerbread Holiday Event

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 11, 10-11:30am, 12:30-2pm, 2:30-4pm
WHERE: Old Bethpage Restoration Village, 1303 Round Swamp Road, Old Bethpage
WHAT: Each child will receive a gingerbread house kit, cookies, bottle of water, and craft. Plus, Santa will stop by and staff dressed in Victorian clothing. Each gingerbread house allows 1 child and 2 adults.
WANT TO GO? $25 per gingerbread house. Advanced registration required.

Candlelight Evenings

WHEN: Dec. 17-21 and 26-29, daily, 5:30-9:30pm (last entry at 8pm)
WHERE: Old Bethpage Restoration Village, 1303 Round Swamp Road, Old Bethpage
WHAT: Walk through the candlelit village as it would have looked and sounded in the evening during the 18th and 19th centuries. Enjoy numerous historical musicians, warm up by the bonfire, purchase a hot cider and stroll the grounds, visit with St. Nicholas, learn about 19th-century holiday traditions, and so much more! 
WANT TO GO? $20; $15 seniors ages 60 and older and children ages 5-12; free for children ages 4 and younger. Advanced registration required.

The Gateway presents Holiday Spectacular on Ice

WHEN: Dec. 17-Jan. 1, 2022, see website for schedule. 
WHERE: Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts, 71 E. Main St., Patchogue
WHAT: Capture the magic of the season as The Gateway transforms Patchogue Theatre's stage into an ice rink for Holiday Spectacular On Ice. This enchanting musical celebration brings beloved holiday songs to life while emphasizing the beauty, grace, and artistry of figure skating. Featuring show-stopping singers and dancers and astonishing performance artistry, this family-friendly musical celebration is literally the "coolest" show for all ages this holiday season.
WANT TO GO? $29.50-$71. Advanced registration required.

Madison Theatre Christmas Celebration

WHEN: Dec. 18-19, Saturday-Sunday, 2pm, 3pm, and 6pm
WHERE: The Madison Theatre at Molloy College, 1000 Hempstead Ave, Rockville Centre
WHAT: This Christmas spectacular will have you singing along to your favorite Christmas tunes. Featuring Broadway's own exceptional performers and designers! Come share in the joy of Christmas with this annual tradition.
WANT TO GO? $40-$55. Advanced registration required.

Long Island Garden Railway Society Holiday Display

WHEN: Dec. 22-Jan. 2, 2022, Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-5pm
WHERE: Cradle of Aviation Museum, Charles Lindbergh Boulevard, Garden City
WHAT: Take a trip back in time by visiting the Long Island Garden Railway Society's 2021 Holiday Train Display at the Cradle of Aviation Museum! Bring the children and grandchildren and share reminiscing your childhood days by watching period large scale steam and diesel trains traversing the 40-by-40-foot modular display containing various scenic vignettes, including a model drive-in theater, carousel, and a Grumman hanger!
WANT TO GO? Free with museum admission: $16; $14 children ages 2-12 and seniors.

Bright Lights

WHEN: Through Dec. 23: See website for exact times
WHERE: Vanderbilt Museum and Planetarium, 180 Little Neck Road, Centerport
WHAT: This Magical Holiday Celebration features themed displays, festive food, music, Santa and friends, and, of course, holiday lights!
WANT TO GO? $25; $15 children ages 2-12; free for children younger than 2. Advanced registration required.

Barnaby Saves Christmas

WHEN: Through Dec. 26: See website for schedule
WHERE: Theatre Three, 412 Main St., Port Jefferson
WHAT: Join Santa, Barnaby, Franklynne, and all of their friends for a wonderful holiday treat. As the littlest elf and his reindeer friend set off on their journey to save Christmas, they meet some new friends along the way and learn the true meaning of Christmas, Hanukkah, and the holiday season.
WANT TO GO? $10. Advanced registration required.

A Christmas Carol

WHEN: Through Dec. 26: See website for schedule
WHERE: Theatre Three, 412 Main St., Port Jefferson
WHAT: Follow the miser Ebenezer Scrooge on a journey that teaches him the true meaning of Christmas—past, present and future.
WANT TO GO? $35; $28 seniors ages 65 and older and students ages 13 and older; $20 children ages 5-12. Advanced registration required. 

Riverhead Holiday Light Show

WHEN: Through Dec. 30: See website for schedule
WHERE: Splish Splash, 2549 Splish Splash Drive, Calverton
WHAT: Visitors are treated to more than a mile of larger-than-life holiday light displays (some more than 3 stories tall!) right from the warmth of their car.
WANT TO GO? $35 per vehicle VIP; $23 per vehicle general admission. Advanced registration required.

Frosty

WHEN: Through Jan. 2, 2022: See website for schedule
WHERE: John W. Engeman Theater, 250 Main St., Northport
WHAT: Join Jenny and Frosty on their chilly adventures as they try to save the town of Chillsville from mean old Ethel Pierpot and her evil machine that will melt all the snow. Jenny calls on her Mom, the mayor, and all of you to help her save her home, get Frosty to the North Pole, and make this holiday season a Winter Wonderland for one and all!
WANT TO GO? $20. Advanced registration required.

White Christmas

WHEN: Through Jan. 2, 2022: See website for schedule.
WHERE: John W. Engeman Theater, 250 Main St., Northport
WHAT: Based on the beloved film, this heartwarming adaptation follows vaudeville stars and veterans Bob Wallace and Phil Davis as they head to Vermont to pursue romance with a duo of beautiful singing sisters. This family classic features beloved songs by Irving Berlin including Blue Skies, I Love A Piano, How Deep Is The Ocean, and the perennial favorite, White Christmas.
WANT TO GO? $75. Advanced registration required.

ELF The Musical

WHEN: Through Jan. 2, 2022: See website for schedule
WHERE: The Argyle Theatre, 34 W. Main St., Babylon Village
WHAT: A title known the world over, ELF The Musical is a must-see holiday musical tradition. Based on the cherished 2003 New Line Cinema hit, this modern day holiday classic brought to life onstage is sure to make everyone embrace their inner elf.
WANT TO GO? $49-$79; $40 children ages 12 and younger. Advanced registration required.

Harry Connick, Jr.'s The Happy Elf

WHEN: Through Jan. 2, 2022: See website for schedule
WHERE: The Argyle Children's Theatre, 34 W. Main St., Babylon Village
WHAT: The new musical comedy by the Grammy Award-winning and Tony Award-nominated composer and lyricist, Harry Connick, Jr.'s The Happy Elf tells the tale of Eubie the elf, a lovable fellow who wants to spread Christmas joy throughout the town of Bluesville. This festive tale of overcoming adversity, friendship, the power of positivity and believing in yourself is the perfect treat for the whole family!
WANT TO GO? $16. Advanced registration required.

Magic of Lights

WHEN: Through Jan. 2, 2022: Sunday-Thursday, 5-10pm; Friday-Saturday, 5-11pm
WHERE: Jones Beach State Park, 1 Ocean Parkway, Wantagh
WHAT: Magic of Lights™ guests will slowly guide their vehicles through the winding 1.2-mile course to view sparkling LED displays depicting the favorite characters of the season, including animated snowmen, elves, poinsettias, candy canes, and more!
WANT TO GO? $30 per car any day in advance; $25 per car weekdays in advance; $60 limo in advance. Price increases after Nov. 30 to $40 weekdays and $45 weekends. 

Christmas House Long Island

WHEN: Through Jan. 5, 2022: Monday-Wednesday, 3-9pm; Thursday, 3-10pm; Friday, 3pm-1am; Saturday, 11am-1am; Sunday, 11am-9pm
WHERE: Samanea Mall, 1504 Old Country Road, Westbury
WHAT: Christmas House Long Island offers guests a wondrous 10,000-square-foot multi-room walk-through experience. Each of the 10 rooms has been curated by actual Hollywood set designers using creative lighting and theatrical effects that bring to life all the sights, sounds, lights, decorations, ornaments, and characters associated with the holiday season with some interesting twists. Christmas House Long Island has treats and treasures that will delight the senses.
WANT TO GO? Monday-Thursday: $25; $20 children ages 10 and younger. Friday-Sunday: $30; $25 children ages 10 and younger. Advanced registration required.

Shimmering Solstice

WHEN: Through Jan. 9, 2022: See website for schedule
WHERE: Old Westbury Gardens, 71 Old Westbury Road, Old Westbury
WHAT: Be enchanted by magical light displays that are set along Old Westbury Gardens’ beautiful paths that will lead you through the world-famous Walled Garden, Rose Garden, South Lawn, and Allée. Especially designed for Old Westbury Gardens by Lightswitch (a collective of internationally-recognized lighting, media, and visual designers), Shimmering Solstice will allow guests to experience what is familiar every day in a whole new shimmering light. In a dramatic finale, an astonishing light and projection show will be displayed onto the south face of Westbury House.
WANT TO GO? Peak: $32.95; $17.95 children ages 3-17; Off Peak: $29.95; $16.95 children ages 3-17. Advanced registration required.

NYC Winter Lantern Festival: A Bug's Night Drive-thru Adventure

WHEN: Through Jan. 9, 2022: See website for schedule
WHERE: Nassau County Museum of Art, 1 Museum Drive, Roslyn Harbor
WHAT: A Bug’s Night will dazzle your friends and family as you roll through more than 20 acres of vivid lanterns and holiday lights! This luminescent experience will be an unforgettable display of festive holiday lights, projection mapping, and handmade lanterns in the shape of flowers, bugs, animals, and more! 
WANT TO GO? $34.99 Monday-Friday; $49.99 Saturday-Sunday; $59.99 Dec. 24-Jan. 2, 2022. Advanced registration required.

LuminoCity Festival Holiday Lights

WHEN: Through Jan. 9, 2022: See website for schedule
WHERE: Whitney Pond Park, 7 Community Drive E., Manhasset
WHAT: Set upon a world lit up with towering luminescent sculptures, LuminoCity Festival will take you to a dazzling new world with Lumi, the LuminoCity mascot, as your guide. The immersive outdoor event will be a festive, and timed entry experience for guests of all ages!
WANT TO GO? $76 VIP; $38 general admission; $27 kids ages 3-12. Advanced registration required.

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Shara Levine

Author:

Shara Levine, originally from Brooklyn, is the Events Manager for NYMetroParents. As a lifelong New Yorker, and mom of four raising her kids on Long Island, Shara knows her hometown well and brings her love of all things fun to NYMetroParents by sharing the best in kid friendly events, festival, concerts, and performances in NYC, Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island, Westchester, and Rockland. When not helping parents plan their family's day out, Shara enjoys making random Seinfeld references and going on late-night Target runs. 

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