There’s a chill in the air, and the holiday season is upon us!  Your family is likely decorating, cooking and baking, shopping, and getting into the spirit of the season. Our favorite local holiday festivities will bring even more joy to your holidays this year.nyc xmas

1. Families love to head into NYC to watch the Nutcracker around the holidays! Some performances are specifically geared toward toddlers and preschool age children. Keith Michael’s The Nutcracker, in midtown, is an abridged version that runs just under an hour in order to give young children a taste of the traditional ballet, without running the risk of a toddler revolt!

2. Visiting the tree at Rockefeller Center can be a fun way to celebrate the season with your children.  There are nearby family-friendly activities as well, which can make the day even more special. Treats at the Bouchon Bakery, a sculpture scavenger hunt, and a peek at Nintendo World should have your kids begging to stay just a little longer in the city.

3. Need a little more action in your holiday tree lighting? Check out Heights and Lights: Rappelling Santa and Holiday Tree Lighting! Santa Claus will begin his descent from 22 stories above Stamford Downtown, and will twist, turn, and fly down to street level for a walk up Bedford Street that ends in a gorgeous tree lighting at Latham Park.

4. Are your children all about winter sports and outdoor athletics, mixed with a bit of sentimental winter fun? Head to the Bear Mountain Rink this season for special holiday hours, free skate rentals, and tons of fun for kids of all ages and skill levels.

family christmas tree5. A truly unique event awaits at the Greenwich Reindeer Festival and Santa’s Workshop at McArdle’s Florist and Garden Center in Greenwich, CT. Meet Santa, enjoy balloon artists and facepainting, and meet and feed real reindeer! Your children will never forget meeting Santa’s reindeer at this spectacular event.

6. One of the largest, literally, Menorah lightings in the area takes place at Stew Leonard’s in Norwalk, CT.  The beautiful menorah stands at 18 feet tall!  It is delightful!

7. The historic Burr Homestead in Fairfield, CT is transformed each year, featuring beautifully decorated rooms filled with holiday trees, wreaths, and other seasonal items. A holiday boutique will offers ornaments and gifts, and Santa is even on hand for visits from the kids.

8. One of the regions most beloved events, the Annual Holiday Festival in Newtown, CT, is celebrating 30 years of fun, family togetherness, and charity. A narrated trolley ride, historic house tours, the Festival of Trees, a performance of The Nutcracker, and a Holiday Tea, are the highlights of this event. Proceeds benefit Newtown Youth and Family Services.

What are your favorite holiday events in your local area? Tell us how your family rings in the season each year?