Whether you’re a stickler for celebrating one holiday at a time or ready to embrace all of them at once, we’ve got a weekend filled with ways to celebrate. Want to focus on turkey day? Hit the kitchen for some turkey cupcakes (design not flavor, we promise) or party at a Thanks and Giving bash. Feel like mixing in some other holiday festivities? Take your little elves and their dollies to visit jolly old St. Nick, feel the beat at the Hip Hop Nutcracker or roll into a holiday train show. Happy (fill in the holiday)!
Hip Hop Nutcracker
Be prepared to be wowed, because this is not your average performance. The Hip Hop Nutcracker re-imagines Tchaikovsky’s classic score through explosive hip hop choreography. A dozen all-star dancers, on-stage DJ and an electric violinist bring the traditional Nutcracker story to life in contemporary New York City. Fri. at 8 p.m. & Sat. at 2 p.m. Washington Heights. $10-$100/person. All ages. Event details.
Bring Your Dolly to Meet Santa
Santa is stopping by American Girl Place for the morning and you and your dollies are invited. Dress your little ones and their favorite doll up in their best holiday outfits and swing by the store to take a picture with jolly St. Nick. Then enjoy a delicious meal, complete with a special seat for your doll and some tiny plates and cups so she can enjoy the meal too. The event includes one 5×7 keepsake photo per girl. Reservations required; call (877) 247-5223. Sun. 9:30-10:30 a.m. Upper East Side. $28/person. Age 3 and up. Event details.
Be a Junior Zoo Keeper for the Day
This is not your average trip to zoo. Go behind the scenes and let your little animal lovers roll up their sleeves and help the keepers care for the animals. Your aspiring keepers will study animal behavior and help create toys for the zoo’s curious critters. Beware though, your kiddos will be such pros by the end of class they may be asking for a monkey of their own. Sun. 9-10:30 a.m. Central Park. $60/person; $50/member. Age 7-10. Event details.
Bake a Turkey…Cupcake That Is!
Gobble, gobble, gobble…it’s time to eat! Bring your little turkeys to the kitchen to learn the trick to making a perfect Turkey cupcake: moist, delicious and addictive. And while your tiny chefs are baking up a storm you can try your hand at some cool decorating tips. Sat. 9-10 a.m. Chelsea. $40/parent, child pair. Age 2-5. Event details.
Make Thanksgiving Placemats
Teach your little ones what Thanksgiving is all about and have fun doing it! Let your little ones decide what they are thankful for and then put it on their very own personalized placemat. Their works of art will be the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving dinner table. Sat. Noon-1 p.m. Midtown East. $5/child. All ages. Event details.
Thanks and Giving with Kidville
Teach your little turkeys what Thanksgiving is all about with an afternoon of Thanks and Giving. Celebrate with a Rockin’ Railroad concert, Jumpy Castle play time, a festive craft, and pizza and juice. Bring along a donation of canned goods for their Canned Good Drive in support of City Harvest. Fri. 1:30-3:30 p.m. Financial District. $32.64/child; $27.37/member. All ages. Event details.
Farmhouse Family Day
Travel back to a simpler time for the day and pay a visit to NYC’s oldest house. Your little farm hands can explore the gardens, create seasonal crafts, and run around on a scavenger hunt. Pack a picnic and have lunch on the grounds. Sat. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Flatbush. Free. Age 3 and up. Event details.
Build an Edible Masterpiece
Ok sure, there are dozens of places you can go to make a gingerbread house this season, but how many places can you create a tasty house with the guidance of the Guinness book of World Records title holder for the largest gingerbread village in the world? Gingerbread Lane creator Jon Lovitch will be on hand to help your little ones create an edible masterpiece from gingerbread pieces, icing and candy. This event is for members only (if you’re not a member yet, you can sign up for a family plan for $85). Sun. 2-3:30 p.m. Corona. $10/house. Age 4 and up. Event details.
Opening Weekend: Holiday Train Show
Take the kiddos to The Botanical Garden and marvel at model trains zooming through familiar NYC landmarks like the Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty, and Rockefeller Center–all made from plant parts such as nuts, bark, and leaves. The Artist’s Studio will provide an insider’s look at how the building replicas are constructed and feature a showcase of unique and historic model trains. If you can’t make it this weekend, the trains will keep on chugging until Jan. 18th. Tip: the lines can get long, especially on the weekends, make sure to make a reservation in advance. Sat. & Sun. Bronx. $30/adult; $18/child; children 2 and under are free. All ages. Event details.
Where will your family celebrate this weekend? Share with us in the comment section below.