Whether your family is celebrating Christmas, Chanukah, or the winter months ahead, we’ve got the lowdown on how to make this weekend great. Watch the heroic men of the FDNY come to Santa’s rescue, witness the lighting of the world’s largest menorah, celebrate Winter Solstice at the botanical garden or embrace the giving season with a tasty cookie benefit. This season is all about friends and family, so get out there and enjoy yours!
Photo: Historic Richmond Town
Join Pins & Needles for the 2nd Annual Creative Holiday DIY Event. Stop by the studio anytime between 2:30pm – 5:30pm to make handmade ornaments, cards, wrapping paper and more! There will be sweet treats and lots of creative fun. This event is free but spots are limited so please RSVP: info@
Rawther Fancy Tea with Santa
Spend a rawther mahvelous time with the man of the season, Santa Claus! Enjoy a delightful tea party in the Eloise shop, and then settle in for a magical story time with Mr. Claus himself. Every good little girl and boy will also get to take a picture with jolly ol’ Saint Nick. Must register in advance, call (212) 546-5460 or email eloise@ . Fri. 2 p.m., 3 p.m., 4 p.m. & 5 p.m. Midtown. $100/child; $50/adult. All ages. Event details.
Be a ‘Good Cookie’ Family Fun Day
It’s a giving season, so swing by this delicious event put on by Cookies for Cancer. You’ll get to indulge in delicious cupcakes, cookies, ice cream and other tasty treats by some of the city’s best pastry chefs and bakers, all while giving to a good cause. And while you’re munching away, your family can also enjoy live music, crafts and more. All proceeds from the event will go to pediatric cancer research. Sat. 1-5 p.m. Chelsea. $75/person and up. All ages. Event details.
Holiday Open House Party
Head to New York’s most well-known library to celebrate the holidays at their annual party. The library will be transformed into a winter wonderland filled with puppets, circus acts, magic shows, stilt walkers, caroling, dancing and more. And keep your eyes peeled because Frosty, Scrooge, the Grinch and others will be making the rounds and possibly dancing! You will even have the chance to check out Charlies Dickens’ personal copy of A Christmas Carol. This party is for members of the library only, but you can join to receive tickets for as low as $40. Hang out after or arrive early to enjoy even more holiday cheer at the Bryant Park Village right outside the library. Sun. 1-4 p.m. Midtown East. Free for members (join starting at $40). All ages. Event details.
All Aboard the Annual Holiday Train Show Benefit
Make your little conductors feel like VIPs for the day, skip the crowds, and enjoy a private viewing of the Holiday Train Show at Grand Central Terminal. Enjoy coffee, hot coco and breakfast, all while watching trains zip through tunnels, by subway stops, around familiar skyscrapers and through underground passages. Your tickets will also get you a 20% discount at the store, so get a little holiday shopping done and scoop up some cool transit merchandise for all the train enthusiasts in your life. Sun. 9-11 a.m. Midtown East. $55/adult; $30/child; $150/family four pack. All ages. Event details.
Free Nutcracker Performance
Your little ones may not be ready to sit through a full production of the Nutcracker, and you may not be willing to pay for the ticket to find out. But here’s the good news, you can bring your tiny dancers to this abbreviated one hour kid-friendly production for free. Before the show, your little ones can even take pictures with their favorite sugar-plum fairies and other fun characters. Hang out after to enjoy all the other holiday festivities at Brookfield Place, including Santa, ice skating and a holiday light show. Fri. at 5 p.m.; Sat. at 1 p.m. & 7 p.m. Financial District. Free. All ages. Event details.
Watch the FDNY Rescue Santa
Have your kids ever wondered if Santa gets stuck going down a chimney? Well, today, Santa needs to be rescued from the New York City Fire Museum’s roof and your kids can watch FDNY firefighters get the job done. Once he is brought to safety, head inside the museum where Santa will pose for photos, bring your camera! There will also be festive holiday caroling, snacks and hot cocoa. Sun. 11:30 a.m. West Village. $8/adult; $5/child ages 2-17; children under 2 are free. All ages. Event details.
Ahoy! Decorate a Gingerbread Ship
Okay, so you may have already decorated a gingerbread house, but what about a delicious cookie ship? The pastry chef behind Brooklyn’s delicious Buttermilk Bakeshop will help your kiddos decorate and “commission” a gingerbread ship model with tasty supplies. Your little ship builders will also get to go on an interactive exhibit tour and enjoy some arts and crafts. Sat. Noon. Brooklyn Navy Yard. $10/child. All ages. Event details.
Celebrate Chanukah at the World’s Largest Menorah
Come celebrate the holiday with an evening lighting of this gigantic 32 foot menorah in Grand Army Plaza. There will be live music, hot latkes and even special gifts for the little ones. Whether you celebrate Chanukah or not, this menorah is a must see and all are welcome to the party. Dec. 6-13. 7-8 p.m. Prospect Heights. Free. All ages. Event details.
strong>Light Up the Queens Botanical Garden
Celebrate the Winter Solstice with an afternoon of fun, crafts, music and a tree lighting. This free event will feature a performance by the a capella group Rough Dozen, photo ops with Santa and a tree illumination to cap off the day. Sun. 1-6 p.m. Flushing. Free (fee for Santa photo). All ages. Event details.
Santa Claus Pajama Story Time
Dress your kiddies in their holiday jammies and swing by for a very special story time with the man himself, Mr. Claus. Your little elves will get to gather around and hear the classic Twas the Night Before Christmas. Then your kiddies can grab a pic with Santa (bring your cameras) and of course tell him how good they’ve been this year! Reservations required, call (718) 543-3344. Sun. 6:45 p.m. & 7:45 p.m. Van Cortlandt Park. Free. All ages. Event details.
Have a Very Merry Christmas in Historic Richmond Town
Nostalgic for an old-fashioned Christmas? Historic Richmond Town will give you a traditional holiday experience that will fill your whole family with joy. With carolers singing in the streets and horse-drawn carriages rolling past, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time. There will also be story-telling, tours of historic homes, a choir performance, plus a visit from Santa (arriving on a fire engine!) for you and your little elves to enjoy. Be sure not to miss the free traditional tree lighting at 5 p.m. Sun. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Historic Richmond Town. $2/person; children 6 and under are free. All ages. Event details.
Where will your family celebrate the season this weekend? Share with us in the comment section below.