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Christmas events 2012 and things to do with kids over the holidays

Get ready to celebrate the Christmas holiday! We've rounded up tons of festive things to do with kids during the month of December.

  • Photograph: Jael Marschner

    Christmas events 2012 and things to do with kids over the holidays

    "Holiday Express: Toys and Trains from the Jerni Collection" at the New-York Historical Society

  • Photograph: Courtesy Scandinavia House/The American-Scandinavian Foundation

    Christmas events 2012 and things to do with kids over the holidays

    Swedish Christmas Children's Workshop at the Scandanavian House

  • Photograph: Yvonne Brooks

    Christmas events 2012 and things to do with kids over the holidays

    Winter Revels at McNally Jackson Books

  • Christmas events 2012 and things to do with kids over the holidays

    St. Nicholas Day at Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum

     

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Christmas events 2012 and things to do with kids over the holidays

    Saks Fifth Avenue holiday windows 2012: Snowflake Spectacular

  • Christmas events 2012 and things to do with kids over the holidays

    Photography Series: Presents for the Animals

  • Christmas events 2012 and things to do with kids over the holidays

    Breakfast with Santa at the Rock Center Café

     

     

  • Photograph: Patrick J. Cashin

    Christmas events 2012 and things to do with kids over the holidays

    New York Transit Museum's Holiday Train Show

     

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    Christmas events 2012 and things to do with kids over the holidays

    Tree Lighting at Winter's Eve

  • Photograph: MSG Entertainment

    Christmas events 2012 and things to do with kids over the holidays

    Radio City Christmas Spectacular

     

     

  • Photograph: Paul Kolnik

    Christmas events 2012 and things to do with kids over the holidays

    New York City Ballet: George Balanchine's The Nutcracker

  • Christmas events 2012 and things to do with kids over the holidays

    Union Square Holiday Market

     

  • Christmas events 2012 and things to do with kids over the holidays

    Literally Alive Presents A Christmas Carol

  • Photograph: Carlos Detres

    Christmas events 2012 and things to do with kids over the holidays

    The Mistletones

     

  • Photograph: Cinzia Reale-Castello

    Christmas events 2012 and things to do with kids over the holidays

    Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden

  • Photograph: Amber Haeckel

    Christmas events 2012 and things to do with kids over the holidays

    The Three Bears Holiday Bash

  • Photograph: Stephanie Powell

    Christmas events 2012 and things to do with kids over the holidays

    Still Hip Santa Claus

  • Christmas events 2012 and things to do with kids over the holidays

    City Harvest Gingerbread Extravaganza

  • Photograph courtesy of the City Reliquary

    Christmas events 2012 and things to do with kids over the holidays

    "The Santa Claus Association"

     

  • Photograph: Anna Simonak

    Christmas events 2012 and things to do with kids over the holidays

    The Grinch's Holiday Workshop at CMOM

  • Photos: Sun Production, Inc.

    Christmas events 2012 and things to do with kids over the holidays

    Angelina Ballerina: The Very Merry Holiday Musical

  • Photograph: Carol Rosegg

    Christmas events 2012 and things to do with kids over the holidays

    A Christmas Story, The Musical

  • Photograph: Rosalie O'Connor

    Christmas events 2012 and things to do with kids over the holidays

    American Ballet Theatre's The Nutcracker

     

  • Photograph: Talisman Brolin

    Christmas events 2012 and things to do with kids over the holidays

    Gingerbread Adventures

  • Christmas events 2012 and things to do with kids over the holidays

    Elf

     

  • Christmas events 2012 and things to do with kids over the holidays

    Highlights from "The Nutcracker Ballet"

  • Photograph: Shawn Ehlers

    Christmas events 2012 and things to do with kids over the holidays

    Winter Family Day at the Morgan Library & Museum

  • Christmas events 2012 and things to do with kids over the holidays

    Central Park Holiday Lighting

     

     

  • Photograph: Brian Friedman

    Christmas events 2012 and things to do with kids over the holidays

    Frolic's Rockin' Holiday Show

     

  • Christmas events 2012 and things to do with kids over the holidays

    powerHouse Kids Holiday Party

  • Christmas events 2012 and things to do with kids over the holidays

    Gingerbread House Decorating Classes

     

  • Christmas events 2012 and things to do with kids over the holidays

    The Yorkville Nutcracker

  • Christmas events 2012 and things to do with kids over the holidays

    Ballet for Young Audiences presents the Nutcracker

     

Photograph: Jael Marschner

Christmas events 2012 and things to do with kids over the holidays

"Holiday Express: Toys and Trains from the Jerni Collection" at the New-York Historical Society

Christmas in the city has arrived—the holiday windows are up, the the trees are lit and there's plenty of places to see Santa. To help your crew get into the jolly spirit even more, we've put together a list of things to do with kids in honor of Christmas. Our list, organized by week throughout the rest of the year, features everything from holiday shows and family concerts to holiday activities at museums.


RECOMMENDED: Christmas for kids in New York City


Things to do with kids from December 1 to 7

Swedish Christmas Children's Workshop

  • Price band: 1/4

Youngsters can celebrate the holidays Swedish-style by observing julpysselsdag–a Christmas craft day. Ages 5 to 10.

  1. Scandinavia House 58 Park Ave, between 37th and 38th Sts
  2. Sat Dec 6
More info

Winter Revels

  • Free

At this celebration of all things wintry, tots are invited to design wrapping paper and cards, decorate cookies and create a translucent ornament to bring home. All ages.

  1. McNally Jackson Books 52 Prince St, between Lafayette and Mulberry Sts
  2. Sat Dec 6
More info

St. Nicholas Day

  • Price band: 1/4

Head to Flatbush to learn about St. Nicholas, the man who inspired North America's Santa Claus. The man in red will arrive on horseback at 2pm. All ages.

  1. Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum 5816 Clarendon Rd, at Ralph Ave
  2. Sat Dec 7
More info

First Annual China Town Holiday Street Fair

Spend an afternoon picking up small gifts for as little as $1, tasting offerings from local eateries and watching a traditional Lion Dance. All ages.

Marvel at holiday window displays

Take the family on a tour of this year's stunning department store holiday windows including brand-new displays at favorites like Macy's and Lord & Taylor.

  1. Sat Dec 1 - Fri Dec 7

Photography Series: Presents for the Animals

  • Price band: 3/4

The city zoos' enrichment program Presents for the Animals, where zookeepers give resident animals treats and toys to play with over the holidays, is yet another way kids can bond with the natural world around them. Ages 6 to 12.

  1. Prospect Park Zoo 450 Flatbush Ave, at Empire Blvd
  2. Sat Dec 6
More info

At the Kids’ Table: Cornelia Van Varick’s Holiday Kitchen

  • Price band: 1/4

This history-themed cooking class immerses kids in the world of a Dutch child living in New Amsterdam in the 17th century. Ages 8 and up.

  1. DiMenna Children's History Museum 170 Central Park West, at Richard Gilder Way (77th Street)
  2. Sat Dec 6
More info

Winter Festival and Artisan Craft Fair

Parents can peruse the wares of local craftspeople while tykes take in activity stations, a magic show, carnival rides and more. All ages.

  1. Brooklyn Friends School 375 Pearl St, at Willoughby St
  2. Sat Dec 7
More info

Holiday Kids' Bazaar

  • Price band: 1/4

Head to Astoria for a market extravaganza featuring unique, hand-crafted gifts just for kids. All ages.

Breakfast with Santa

  • Price band: 2/4

Kids chat with Santa and his elves, nosh on breakfast at the Rock Center Café and go ice-skating in the shade of the Rockefeller Center tree. All ages.

  1. Rock Center Café 20 W 50th St, between Fifth and Sixth Aves, 10020
  2. Sat Dec 1 - Fri Dec 7
More info

New York Transit Museum's Holiday Train Show

  • Critics choice
  • Free

The iconic Grand Central Terminal turns 100 in 2013—and the railroad hub is kicking off the centennial celebration with its annual train show. All ages.

  1. New York Transit Museum Gallery Annex Grand Central Terminal, E 42nd St, between Lexington and Vanderbilt Aves
  2. Sat Dec 1 - Fri Dec 7
More info

Check out a tree lighting ceremony

Enjoy festive entertainment at a family-friendly tree lighting celebration or wait till the crowds die down to check out some dazzlingly decorated boughs.

  1. Sat Dec 1 - Fri Dec 7

Radio City Christmas Spectacular

  • Price band: 3/4

You'll get a kick out of this holiday stalwart, which still features Santa, wooden soldiers and the leggy, spunky Rockettes. All ages.

  1. Radio City Music Hall 1260 Sixth Ave, at 50th St
  2. Sat Dec 1 - Fri Dec 7
Buy tickets

New York City Ballet: George Balanchine's The Nutcracker

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

This Lincoln Center production is the one people have in mind when they ask, "Have you been to The Nutcracker?" Ages 5 and up.

  1. David H. Koch Theater (at Lincoln Center) 20 Lincoln Center Plaza, at 63rd St
  2. Sat Dec 1, Sun Dec 2; Tue Dec 4 - Fri Dec 7
More info

Head to a holiday market

Skip the Macy's madness and find crafty gifts at one of the city's winter fairs.

  1. Sat Dec 1 - Fri Dec 7

A Christmas Carol

  • Price band: 2/4

Literally Alive Children's Theatre presents a musical twist on the classic holiday tale about a Christmas-hating grouch. Ages 5 and up.

  1. Players Theatre 115 MacDougal St, at Minetta Ln
  2. Sat Dec 1, Thu Dec 6, Fri Dec 7
More info

The Mistletones

  • Free

Known as the The Mistletones, this alternative caroling group prides themselves on their hipster-chic fashion sense and expertly sung a capella. All ages.

  1. South Street Seaport 19 Fulton St, at Front St
  2. Sat Dec 1, Sun Dec 2, Fri Dec 7
More info

Holiday Train Show

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Some 150 landmarks featured in NYBG's popular diorama are made entirely out of plant-based materials such as twigs and acrons. All ages.

  1. New York Botanical Garden Bronx River Pkwy, at Fordham Rd
  2. Sat Dec 1, Sun Dec 2; Tue Dec 4 - Fri Dec 7
More info

The Three Bears Holiday Bash

  • Price band: 1/4

This seasonal offering of song, dance and, of course, puppetry comes from the talented folks at the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre. All ages.

  1. Central Park Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre west side, at 79th St
  2. Sat Dec 1 - Fri Dec 7
More info

The Chubbchubbs Save Xmas

  • Free

Stop by the lab’s HD Theater for repeated screenings of this five-minute flick, the sequel to the 2002 CGI short The ChubbChubbs! All ages.

  1. Sony Wonder Technology Lab 550 Madison Ave, Sony Plaza, at 56th St
  2. Sat Dec 1; Tue Dec 4 - Fri Dec 7
More info

Pose for a photo with Santa

Forget the North Pole—with our tips on where to see Santa, your kids won't have to look beyond the five boroughs to spot St. Nick.

  1. Sat Dec 1 - Fri Dec 7

City Harvest Gingerbread Extravaganza

  • Free

You may not be allowed to nibble on the confectionary edifices, but you can gawk at the sugary sculptures, created by local culinary kings. All ages.

  1. Le Parker Meridien 119 W 56th St, between Sixth and Seventh Aves
  2. Sat Dec 1 - Fri Dec 7
More info

"The Santa Claus Association"

  • Critics choice

Starting in 1913 and lasting for a little over a decade, the Santa Claus Association intercepted North Pole–bound mail and delivered presents to needy children. All ages.

  1. City Reliquary Museum 370 Metropolitan Ave, at Havemeyer St
  2. Sat Dec 1, Sun Dec 2, Thu Dec 6, Fri Dec 7
More info

"The Grinch's Holiday Workshop"

At CMOM's latest interactive exhibit, kids immerse themselves in the world of Dr. Seuss's The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. All ages.

  1. Children's Museum of Manhattan 212 W 83rd St, between Amsterdam Ave and Broadway
  2. Sat Dec 1, Sun Dec 2; Tue Dec 4 - Fri Dec 7
More info

"Holiday Express: Toys and Trains from the Jerni Collection"

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Take a journey back in time as you peruse this vintage collection of European toys and trains. All ages.

  1. New-York Historical Society 170 Central Park West, between 76th and 77th Sts
  2. Sat Dec 1, Sun Dec 2; Tue Dec 4 - Fri Dec 7
More info

Angelina Ballerina: The Very Merry Holiday Musical

  • Price band: 2/4

Katherine Holabird's lovable, rosy-hued mouse dances into the holiday season in this new take on the original play. All ages.

  1. McGinn/Cazale Theatre 2162 Broadway, at 76th St, fourth floor
  2. Sat Dec 1 - Fri Dec 7
More info

A Christmas Story, The Musical

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 3/4

Will nine-year-old Ralphie receive his dream Christmas present, a Red Ryder BB Gun? Ages 7 and up.

  1. Lunt-Fontanne Theatre 205 W 46th St, between Broadway and Eighth Ave
  2. Sat Dec 1 - Fri Dec 7
More info

American Ballet Theatre's The Nutcracker

  • Price band: 2/4

The American Ballet Theatre is back for the another year of performing this winter favorite. Ages 4 and up.

  1. BAM Howard Gilman Opera House 30 Lafayette Ave, between Ashland Pl and St. Felix St
  2. Fri Dec 12
More info

Gingerbread Adventures

  • Price band: 1/4

Families can check out gingerbread houses designed by city bakers, then decorate their own festive version. All ages.

  1. New York Botanical Garden Bronx River Pkwy, at Fordham Rd
  2. Sat Dec 1, Sun Dec 2; Tue Dec 4 - Fri Dec 7
More info

Elf

  • Price band: 2/4

If your kids were too young to enjoy the 2003 Will Ferrell film Elf, then introduce them to the holiday comedy in its brand-new Broadway incarnation. All ages.

  1. Al Hirschfeld Theatre 302 W 45th St, between Eighth and Ninth Aves
  2. Sat Dec 1 - Fri Dec 7
More info

Highlights from "The Nutcracker Ballet"

  • Price band: 2/4

In this sneak-peak geared toward short attention-spans, little ones can watch a presentation of excerpts from The Rebecca Kelly Ballet's "Nutcracker Ballet." Ages 4 and up.

  1. Rebecca Kelly Ballet Studio 579 Broadway, between Houston and Prince Sts
  2. Sat Dec 1, Sun Dec 2
More info

Family Art Project: Festive Candles

  • Price band: 1/4

Make your holidays a little brighter with a homemade candle. Ages 5 and up.

  1. Wave Hill W 249th St, at Independence Ave
  2. Sat Dec 1 - Sun Dec 2
More info

Winter Family Day 2012

  • Price band: 1/4

Celebrate winter with the Morgan’s annual Winter Family Day! Ages 3 to 12.

  1. The Morgan Library & Museum 225 Madison Ave, at 36th St
  2. Sun Dec 8
More info

Central Park Holiday Lighting

  • Free

Central Park invites families to kick off the holiday season with a tree lighting ceremony. All ages.

  1. Central Park, Charles A. Dana Discovery Center enter at E 110th St and Fifth Ave
  2. Until Sun Dec 2
More info

Frolic's Rockin' Holiday Show

  • Price band: 2/4

Listen to seasonal tunes from Tim Kubart of Tim and the Space Cadets and take pictures in a holiday photo booth. All ages.

  1. Music Hall of Williamsburg 66 North 6th St, between Kent and Wythe Aves
  2. Sun Dec 8
More info

powerHouse Kids Holiday Party

  • Free

We're thrilled that powerHouse Kids is back on its feet after Hurricane Sandy, just in time for their super-fun Holiday Party. Ages 3 to 9.

  1. The powerHouse Arena 37 Main St, at Water St
  2. Sun Dec 8
More info

St. Nicholas Day

  • Price band: 1/4

Celebrate the Christmas season with the jolly North Pole resident. All ages.

  1. Vander Ende–Onderdonk House 1820 Flushing Ave, at Onderdonk Ave
  2. Until Sun Dec 2
More info

Christmas Family Workshop

  • Price band: 1/4

You and your tot can learn about Ukrainian Christmas traditions and check out the museum's vertep, or Christmas puppet theater, on display. Ages 3 and up.

  1. The Ukrainian Museum 222 E 6th St, between Second and Third Aves
  2. Until Sun Dec 2
More info

Gingerbread House Decorating Classes

  • Price band: 3/4

Parents and their petite pastry chefs can craft delicious dwellings out of gingerbread, frosting and other tasty trimmings. Ages 2 to 10.

  1. Taste Buds Classes 109 W 27th St, at Sixth Ave, tenth Floor
  2. Sun Dec 2, Mon Dec 3, Wed Dec 5, Thu Dec 6
More info

Winter Pajama Fest

  • Price band: 2/4

Tots can wear their favorite cozy pajamas while working on a winter-themed art project, then cuddle up to a snowy story with homemade s'mores and hot cocoa. Ages 3 to 12.

  1. 74th Street Magic 510 E 74th St, between York Ave and FDR Dr
  2. Until Mon Dec 2
More info

Kid Row Holiday Extravaganza

Bundle up your family and welcome winter at a day-long block party. All ages.

  1. Cozy's Cuts for Kids, UES 1416 Second Ave, at 74th St
  2. Tue Dec 9
More info

The Yorkville Nutcracker

  • Price band: 3/4

Choreographed by Francis Patrelle, the troupe's annual production is a ballet infused with a cursory lesson in New York history. Ages 8 and up.

  1. Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College 695 Park Ave, at 68th St
  2. Thu Dec 6, Fri Dec 7
More info

Ballet for Young Audiences presents the Nutcracker

  • Price band: 1/4

In addition to the usual music and dance, this production also features dialogue. All ages.

  1. 92nd Street Y 1395 Lexington Ave, between 91st and 92nd Sts
  2. Fri Dec 12
More info

Children's Candlelight Tours

  • Price band: 1/4

The Wyckoff House invites families into the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries to explore the way things used to be after sunset. Ages 4 to 12.

  1. Wyckoff House 5816 Clarendon Rd, at Ralph Ave
  2. Fri Dec 12
More info


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