Visitors to New York City can't escape the holiday influence around New York City -- from train shows and family-friendly Nutcracker performances to visits with Santa, we've got lots of ideas for great ways to enjoy the holiday season with your kids in New York City.
1. Visit Santa
2. Celebrate with Eloise at the Plaza HotelThe Plaza Hotel has planned several events for young kids this holiday season. On December 15, 2012 kids can decorate their own gingerbread house with William Greenberg for $100. Two sessions from 1-2 p.m. or 3-4 p.m. On December 20, 2012 from 4-5 p.m. kids can decorate ½ dozen gingerbread boys & girls for Santa with William Greenberg in the Eloise Tea Party Room. Children will be able to eat 2 of their cookies and the remaining cookies will be packaged in a cute tin to give to Santa or their favorite mostly companion. • $50 for 2 cookies, $75 for 5 cookies
Buy Tickets: Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical on Ticketmaster
4. Holiday Events at the Children's Museum of ManhattanGrinch lovers can enjoy a variety of events at The Children's Museum of Manhattan through January 6, 2013 in their Grinch's Holiday Workshop, including card making, story time, and visits from The Grinch. CMOM will also have performances by the Definitely Dickens Christmas Carolers on December 22, 2012 and holiday collage activities throughout December.
5. Holiday Fun for Kids at the NYBGThe Holiday Train Show at NYBG is a classic holiday experience, but young kids might not find it to be as exciting as more mature train aficionados. The good news is that NYBG has a number of fun things for kids to do during the holiday season, including The Little Engine That Could™ Puppet Show which is included with your holiday train show tickets. Performances are on Tuesdays–Thursdays, November 27–December 27 (except Tuesday, December 25), and Mondays, December 17 and 31. From January 1-27, 2013 enjoy a mini-performance of All Aboard with Thomas & Friends™ (also included with your ticket, but make sure you purchase a ticket with a specific performance time included on it). On Saturdays, December 8 & 15, Mastercard will be offering a Budding Masters Gingerbread House Workshop where kids 8-12 will make their own gingerbread house with Kate Sullivan of Cake Power.
6. Take Your Kids To See The NutcrackerNew York City has several different Nutcracker productions, including a few that are particularly suitable for children.
- The New York City Ballet - matinee performances of The Nutcracker are generally understood to be family-friendly (5+), and before select performances they even offer Children's Workshops where children 5-8 will explore the music, movement and themes of the ballet and then perform for family and friends before they watch the ballet.
- The New York Theatre Ballet - NYTB's 1-hour long Nutcracker performance is a great way to introduce little ones to ballet. Performances are very kid-friendly, so even the youngest dance fans can experience the ballet.
- American Ballet Theatre’s The Nutcracker - Deemed as being appropriate for kids 4 and up, this is a great choice if you're looking for the real-deal but don't want to splurge on the NYCB tickets.
New-York Historical Society through January 6, 2013. Kids 13 and under can get free admission if they color in this flyer and bring it to the museum. There are family scavenger hunts available daily throughout the exhibition and a special Historic Trains and Toys Weekend planned for December 15-16, 2012.