Top Things to Do This Holiday and Christmas Season with LI Kids

The holiday season is upon us, and that means it’s time to start making plans for festive, family-friendly outings. Of course, there’s a list as long as Santa’s of things to do this holiday and Christmas season with LI kids, but we’ve whittled it down to a baker’s dozen of the very best for your family to enjoy.

From Thanksgiving runs to Christmas shows and holiday train rides, we’ve got what you need to get your family into the spirit of the season. For more ways to make seasonal memories this holiday season, check out our Holiday Fun Guide and our Event Calendar. Hire a Santa Claus for your special celebration.

  1. Disney on Ice: Road Trip Adventures— Uniondale

November 21-24; 29-30, 2019 (except November 19-22)

This is a great way to kick off the holiday season, especially if your child loves Disney movies. Mickey and the gang hit the road, stopping at a number of fabulous Disney destinations. The show features some of Disney’s most beloved characters, including Moana, Aladdin, Woody and Forky.

  1. Magic of Lights — Jones Beach State Park

November 22, 2019-January 4, 2020

Pile your family into the car and drive through this enthralling, 2½-mile-long light show that returns to Jones Beach. Enjoy the “Enchanting Tunnel of Lights,” animated figures, and holiday characters. Be sure to stop at the Jolly Holiday Festival Village, where families can walk around and enjoy cocoa, s’mores, holiday music and movies, a hay maze, and pictures with the big guy himself, Santa. Tickets purchased online can be used at any show.

  1. Riverhead Holiday Light Show — Riverhead

Friday, November 22-Saturday. December 29, 2019

Thrill to more than 60 lighted displays at this new attraction at the Long Island Sports Park, five miles from downtown Riverhead. Some displays reach as high as three stories. The drive-through attraction is 1½ miles long and takes about 25 minutes to complete. It is open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays beginning at 5pm. Tickets, priced at $20 per car ($22 ticket includes photo with Santa), can be used any day during the show’s six-week run.

  1. Frosty at The John W. Engeman Theater — Northport

Various dates, Saturday, November 23-Sunday, December 29, 2019

Frosty and friend Jenny are united again in their adventures as they try to save the town of Chillsville. Kids in the audience help the duo in their quest to stop evil Ethel Pierpot from melting all the snow. Be sure to take a stroll along Northport’s picturesque Main Street after the show.

  1. Thanksgiving Native American Feast — Glen Cove

Saturday, November 23-Sunday, November 24, 2019

This more-than-25-year-old tradition is held at Garvies Point Museum and Preserve. It’s a wonderful way to celebrate the history and culture of Native Americans. Enjoy hands-on educational activities throughout the weekend, including pottery making, primitive fire building, and fire cooking with samples (don’t miss the famous popcorn soup). Tools and artifacts are on display. There’s also face painting, spear-throwing demonstrations, and more.

  1. Turkey Trots — Islandwide

Saturday, November 23-Thursday, November 28, 2019

If it’s not already a family tradition, this might be the year to start. Get the whole family outside for a run or walk before you sit down to a delicious, but calorie-filled Thanksgiving feast. From a 5k race or walk to a fun run for little ones, turkey trots are held all across Nassau, Suffolk, and the East End. Most take place in the early morning on Thanksgiving Day, so even if you’re hosting you still can participate—or at least get everyone out of your kitchen for an hour or two.

  1. Barnaby Saves Christmas — Port Jefferson

Weekends from Friday, November 23 to Saturday, December 28, 2019; sensory-sensitive performance Sunday, November 24

An hourlong musical is just long enough for the littlest theatergoers. Celebrating its 15th season, Barnaby Saves Christmas follows the journey of the little elf and his reindeer as they set off to save Christmas, ultimately learning the true meaning of the holiday season. After the show, enjoy the many restaurants and shops that line the streets of nautical Port Jefferson.

  1. Polar Express Trolley Ride — Riverhead and Southampton

Friday, November 29-Sunday, December 23, 2019

Inspired by Chris Van Allsburg’s award-winning book The Polar Express (that, in turn, inspired the movie, starring Tom Hanks), families take an interactive trolley ride while listening to actor Liam Neeson’s reading of the book and interacting with a character from the story. A visit from Santa and his elves along with hot cocoa and cookies await passengers as they disembark at the “North Pole.” For full effect, families are encouraged to wear their pajamas (Children must be 2 and older.) Trolleys depart from Riverhead and Southampton.

  1. Charles Dickens Festival — Port Jefferson

Saturday, December 7-Sunday, December 8, 2019

For more than 20 years, Port Jefferson has held an annual tribute to the great English writer. The Dickens Festival is held in the village center with characters in costume, including chimney sweeps, Scrooge, and the town crier. Weekend-long festivities include ice skating, musical performances, magic shows, a bonfire, Theatre Three’s annual production of A Christmas Carol, and more. It’s fun for all ages.

  1. Brookhaven Town Holiday Spectacular — Holtsville

Friday, December 7-Sunday, December 22, 2019

For several weekends in December, visitors can enjoy this indoor, walk-through holiday light show at the Holtsville Ecology Site. There are raffles, and children can have their picture taken with Santa. Proceeds help to take care of the more than 100 animals who live at the site.

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