Top Christmas Attractions For Kids In NYC
Tis the season to get your kids in the holiday spirit by taking them to the best Christmas attractions in NYC. Below, we’ve rounded up the top Manhattan events that will put a sparkle in the eye of every child on the island this December!
Santaland at Macy’s
If you’re going to see one Santa this season, make it the absolute best! Head to Macy’s Santaland on the Westside in Herald Square for a truly epic holiday experience. Santaland is located on the 8th floor of Macy’s and is open daily through Christmas Eve (December 24th). Admission is free, but do note that visits are done through reservations only. You can simply go onto their website and make a reservation anywhere from 30 minutes to 5 days in advance (and don’t worry, you can also cancel reservations on their site, too, if something comes up.) If you want to document the experience, professional photos are available for purchase with packages starting at $21.99. These would also make great holiday gifts for the grandparents!
Pro Tip: If you’re looking for the speediest way to get through the line, Macy’s suggests visiting Santaland during the week, Monday through Thursdays. Weekends get quite packed! Santaland is super convenient for Glenwood residents living at Emerald Green and Crystal Green.
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Radio City Christmas Spectacular
The Radio City Christmas Spectacular is a Midtown East favorite! Happening now through New Year’s Day (January 1st), you can catch the performance that is family friendly, and appropriate for all ages! Tickets start at $46 and go up from there, depending on the date and where you sit in the theater. In addition, there’s plenty of add-ons you can put onto the package, such as a backstage tour (where you get to meet a Rockette in person!), or a Rockettes 101 experience, which allows you to dance with one of the Rockettes and learn real choreography from the show.
Pro Tip: The line and security for the Christmas Spectacular is understandably quite long and intense. Make sure to arrive early, as their website says that if you arrive less than 30 minutes before showtime, you risk missing the first few numbers.
Luminocity Festival open from November 23rd through January 5th on Randall’s Island is an incredible and immersive wonderland of lights! Click here to get tickets. This will be such a great activity for the whole family! From wintery forrest light scenes to a forest of sweets— there is a light attraction for everyone to enjoy!
Holiday Train Show
Head to Grand Central Terminal for the 17th Annual Holiday Train Show! Located inside the New York Transit Museum Gallery Annex and Store, this train display is truly a delight for kids as well as any train enthusiast! It features Lionel trains traveling along a 34’ long, two-level, “O” gauge model train layout, and the trains depart from a replica of Grand Central Terminal on their way to the North Pole…so cute, right? The train show is free and is open through December 24th, 2019.
Pro Tip: After taking in the train show, head to the Grand Central Holiday Fair, where you can find unique gifts for everyone on your list. The fair is indoors, hence perfect for pushing strollers through and keeping up with kids on the go! And don’t forget to head down to the food court afterwards for a fun family meal.
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Tips For Enjoying Events With Kids
Kids require a few extra layers of comfort to enjoy holiday events in the city…after all, New York is crowded, loud, and super cold this time of year! Here are a few tips that will ensure that your kiddos have the very best time enjoying these events, and all the events you bring them to this season.
- Dress warm! You can always take clothes off, but there’s nothing to do if you don’t have enough on. Layer your little one with long johns, coats, mittens, a hat, and even wool socks. If everyone is warm, this will cut down on any potential weather-related tantrums or moodiness.
- Pack snacks and water. While you can typically find food available for purchase anywhere in the city, at events like these it tends to be overpriced junk food (not to mention you’ll have to wait in line for a very long time to buy it.) Instead, come prepared with healthy options you know your kids are into. A happy belly is a happy kid!
- Bring distractions (that are not your phone). When waiting in line at the theater or to see Santa for an hour, it’s totally normal that kids will get fussy and irritated. Rather than give your smart phone to them (which you may want/need to use), come prepared with an activity they can easily do on the go…perhaps the “paint with water pens” sets, handheld games, or a Rubik’s Cube. These activities will entertain and keep them occupied, and they will be in a better, more focused mood for when the event actually begins.