The countdown to Christmas is on and your children are sure to have a little extra energy this weekend from all that excitement. Don’t worry, there are plenty of fun events for kids in the city this weekend to keep them occupied. They can do good by crafting a fabric square that will be made into a quilt to donate to Hurricane Sandy victims (shown below), power down by making crafts and playing games of the 19th century or experiment with balloon-powered cars at the NYC Transit Museum. For festive fun, send your kid to a cooking camp to make winter snack favorites, attend a special St. Nick story hour or take the family to see a kid-friendly 1-hour performance of the Nutcracker.


Story Hour with St. Nicholas
Catch a glimpse of St. Nicholas at this special Sunday story hour. Kids will hear a reading about old St. Nick and Twas the Night Before Christmas. Then kids will get to view the desk where Clement Clark Moore may have written A Visit from St. Nicholas. Sun., 11:30 am. UWS. Museum admission of $15 for adults, $5 for kids 5-13 years old. Ages 4 to 7. Event details.


Keith Michael’s the Nutcracker
Want to take your child to see the Nutcracker for the first time? This 1-hour version of the classic holiday ballet is a smart way to start. Choose from two performances to introduce your little one to all the charms of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Sat., 11:00 am & 1:00 pm. Midtown. $40. All agesEvent details.


Caring is Squaring
Decorate a fabric square for a collaborative quilt. Your child’s handiwork will be made into a quilt by teaching artist Cecilia de Corral and then donated to a families affected by Hurricane Sandy. Fabric donations are also welcome and you’re encouraged to bring your own fabric to incorporate into your squares. Fri., 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm. West Village. Free with museum admission. All ages. Event details.

Snowstorm Snacks Camp
School is out, but cooking is in! Kids will spend the afternoon in the winter wonderland kitchen making snowman cupcakes with hot chocolate and marshmallows. Fri., 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm. Chelsea. $85. Ages 4-10. Event details.


Junior Engineer: How Things Go
For a vehicle-loving kid, NYC is the bees knees with vehicles on the street and trains underground and this weekend at the NYC Transit Museum your kid can learn all about things that go. Children can visit the testing lab to experiment with balloon-powered cars and more. Sat & Sun., 1:30 pm. Brooklyn Heights. Free with museum admission. Ages 4 and olderEvent details.

Tasks and Crafts from the Past
Visit the Lefferts Historic House to spend a day the old-fashioned way. Kids will use their hands and skills to make crafts and play games popular 150 years ago. This is a great way to power down and take a break during the holiday season for a 19th century-style afternoon. Sat. & Sun., 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm. Prospect Park. Free. All ages. Event details.

What is your family doing to fill the time before Christmas?

— Julie Seguss

Image courtesy of the Children’s Museum of the Arts