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Christmas events for kids in NYC

Mark your calendars for New York holiday train shows, tree lightings, winter festivals and things to do with kids this Christmas

Photograph: Jessica Lin
American Museum of Natural History's Holiday Origami Tree

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year in New York—the holiday windows and displays in the department stores are decorated with festive scenes, holiday trees are lighting up across the boroughs and we can't get enough of the spectacular seasonal events. Though there are countless things to do with kids this Christmas in New York, we rounded up the best can't-miss happenings, including annual favorites like the NYBG Holiday Train Show and Radio City Christmas Spectacular, plus new family shows like Junie B. in "Jingle Bells, Batman Smells." We guarantee you'll want to put all these events on your family's seasonal must-do list. Scroll through our slide show to see all of our Christmas in New York picks.

RECOMMENDED: All Christmas for kids in New York

The Three Bears Holiday Bash

This seasonal offering of song, dance and, of course, puppetry comes from the talented folks at the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre. Tots will see a mix of Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Christmas themes incorporated into the company's take on Goldilocks and the Three Bears. The plot snowballs after Baby Bear invites St. Nick to star in Mama and Papa Bear's festive spectacular. Be sure to check the website for an updated schedule; showtimes are subject to change. No performances on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Ages 3 to 9.

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Holiday Train Show

Some 150 landmarks featured in NYBG's popular diorama are made entirely out of plant-based materials such as twigs and acrons. Little locomotives zip along their tracks against a backdrop of diminutive sights that kids should recognize, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty among them. Tickets must be purchased in advance. All ages.

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"Fancy Nancy: Splendiferous Christmas"

Based on the children’s book series by Jane O’Connor, this new holiday musical tells the story of Nancy, who loves all things posh and glamorous. When her plan to decorate the Christmas tree with her brand-new, sparkly tree topper doesn't exactly work out as planned, she has to find a way to accept that Christmas can still be splendiferous. Ages 3 to 10.

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El Gato con Botas

Gotham Chamber Opera and Tectonic Theater Project are teaming up for a revamped revival of this classic fairy tale at El Museo del Barrio's El Teatro. Kids will be dazzled by the fantastical Bunraku puppetry—including a swashbucking, boot-clad cat and a rotund and menacing ogre—performed by London's Blind Summit Theater. All ages.

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Metropolitan Museum Christmas Tree and Neapolitan Baroque Crèche

The city’s most elegant tree is an exhibit unto itself, hung with more than 200 18th-century hand-sculpted Neapolitan crèche figures wearing jeweled and embroidered costumes. A traditional nativity scene and animal figurines of sheep, goats, horses and an elephant round out the display. All ages.

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