HOLIDAYS BEYOND NYC

While Christmastime in the city is pretty magical, get to the suburbs and country this year for Santa, drive-though light displays, markets and more.

See our map to, plan your adventures plus non-holiday happenings and ideas for volunteering with kids to truly celebrate the season.

Also see our NYC holiday guide, plus sign up for our email list and follow our insta for the latest.

WESTCHESTER

Art Boutique

Pelham

Make holiday purchases that directly support local artists and the local arts scene. Shop unique artisan items, handmade gifts and affordable artworks include media–ceramics, wood, prints, jewelry, accessories and homewares, available at every price point. Collect works by local, emerging and mid-career artists. Monday– Wednesday 10am-5pm Thursday 10am-7pm Friday 10am-5pm Saturdays 10-4pm Thursday December 9…

Holidays at Cross County Center

Yonkers

Walk through the center of a lit 4o foot tall Christmas tree and look up to the top.  A professional photography team will be on site most nights and weekends to capture your photo, which you can print or have emailed directly to you.

Santa will be available for photos and visits in his new…

LUMAGICA

North Salem

Explore the biggest holiday light park in all of Westchester and Putnam counties in an apple orchard. Take a walking tour through a magical forest full of marvelous animal structures, tunnels and festive decorations, all brilliantly illuminated by over 750,000 LED lights.

All terrain strollers and warm outerwear & boots recommended. The walk-through experience takes…

Pop-up Ice Skating Rink

Yonkers

Skate in the courtyard of a mall with music, theme nights and other fun events. The synthetic ‘ice’ is easier to glide on for young and first time skaters – and the rink is tiny so best for beginners. Skates are provided with admission or bring your own.

Skaters must be 5 years old or…

Holiday Bricktacular

Yonkers

Explore an indoor winter wonderland filled with all kinds of LEGO® holiday-themed creations made up of thousands of LEGO bricks.

* Create holiday builds like a LEGO present, gingerbread house, snowman, candy cane and more.

* Journey through Candy Cane Lane in MINILAND to spot all of the hidden LEGO candy canes placed throughout MINILAND…

Christmas in America

Mount Vernon

Explore a 10,000 square-foot holiday walk-through with over 50,000 twinkling lights. Stroll through Santa’s Village with Dickens interactive holiday vignettes, visit the elves, have a seat on Santa’s chair, or take a photo with one of our 50+ mesmerizing animatronics.

Then head over to the “real workshop” for a sneak peek behind the scenes to…

Glenview Holiday Tour

Yonkers

Glenview, Hudson River Museum’s historic 1877 home on the National Register of Historic Places, is aglow for the holidays. Learn about Gilded Age holiday traditions on a 45-minute tour of the six fully restored period rooms, which will showcase beautiful Christmas trees, antique ornaments and toys, artwork featuring children through the ages, and a holiday-themed…

Drive-Thru Westchester’s Winter Wonderland

Valhalla

Drive 1.2 miles though a rainbow tunnel and dazzling light displays at already stunning Kensico Dam Plaza and see your favorite holiday characters (including sometimes Elmo or Batman – no confirmation if he smells). Listen to holiday music on your car radio, wave to Santa and enjoy other surprises.

New attractions this year include new North…

Lasdon Park Holidays On The Hill

Katonah

Stroll through over 5,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor whimsical holiday exhibits at this spacious garden complex. Explore a holiday village where elves are busy working, reindeer nod to the melody of holiday music and happy snowmen wave a cheerful welcome to visitors.

* In the Conservatory, watch trains chug along on twelve multi-level…

Ridge Hill Santa

Yonkers

Come see Santa in a special cottage at an outdoor mall.

Online reservations recommended, walk-ins will be worked into the line as time permits.

Also ice skate outdoors and visit the Legoland Discovery Center’s Holiday Bricktacular.

Harry Potter: A Forbidden Forest Experience

Yorktown Heights

Walk into the depths of a dark forest and discover fantastic beasts and iconic wizarding world moments. Follow a trail through a mysterious and magical forest full of interactive moments, mesmerizing lights, and theatrical illusions. Come face-to-face with magical creatures from the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts, including Hippogriffs, Centaurs, Unicorns, Nifflers, and more. Use…

White Plains Holiday Market

White Plains

Shop 50+ artisanal vendors from around the Westchester County region. Pick up your Christmas tree or holiday wreath and find interesting and unique gifts for all age, then walk to nearby downtown restaurants for a drink and a bite to eat.

Presented by the White Plains BID, the City of White Plains and 914PopUps.

Grand Holiday Illumination

Yonkers

Explore a free, outdoor holiday light display at the gorgeous Untermyer Gardens with striking architecture overlooking the Hudson River. Small in area (just in the ‘Temple of Love;’ the grand staircase and other parts of the garden are closed) but magical. Recorded music in the Zoroastrian, Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and Hindu traditions reflects the multicultural…

Candlelight Tree Tours

Bronx

A lovely historic mansion will be aglow during candlelight tree tours. Explore decorated period rooms with a variety of themed trees.

Mr. Dickens Tells A Christmas Carol

Tarrytown

Experience a recreation of the famous performance tour by Charles Dickens in 1867 with his classic tale bringing the travails of Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, and Tiny Tim to life. Taken from the original script, actor Mikel Von Brodbeck plays Charles Dickens and tells the well-loved tale as guests journey through the main floor of…

Santa Needs Your Help

Pelham

Help Santa Clause get ready for Christmas. Pick the clips from Santa’s video library. Help Santa with live games and songs. Ask Santa anything you want during the Q&A. After the show, you get your photo with Santa.

The family-friendly event is hosted by Emmy-nominated writer Kevin Maher, who will share his new book

New Rochelle Holiday Market

New Rochelle

Visit a special winter village inside the New Rochelle train station complex. Shop crafts, products, and wares, with a focus on minority- and women-owned businesses and take photos in theInstagram booth.

Stop by each day between 5 & 7 pm for fun to-dos like swag bag giveaways, food samples, DJs, local choirs, performers, and entertainment…

Family Studio Art & Science Workshops: Nebula-in-a-Bubble Holiday Ornament

Yonkers

Light up the darkest days of the year with a miniature, illuminated model of a stellar nebula, the nurseries where stars are born. Base your holiday ornament on a real stellar nebula, or make up your own.

See our guide to the Hudson River Museum.

The Nutcracker Wonderland Party

White Plains

Join Clara and her guests at a magical holiday party. Watch as Uncle Drosselymeyer performs magic tricks and brings the toys to life. Help defeat the Rat King, and ride Clara’s sleigh through swirling snowflakes to the Land of the Sweets. Watch ballerinas dance and meet the Sugar Plum Fairy, and then join in the…

CONNECTICUT/Hudson Valley

Bear Mountain Ice Rink

Bear Mountain

Skate on a large outdoor, uncovered rink framed by trees and rugged mountains. Lots of hiking nearby and spectacular views.

Refreshments available from vending machines.

Also visit the Trailside Museums and Zoo (open 10:30 am – 4 pm). small stone museums and fenced areas along a self-guided trail house bears, coyotes, turtles, snakes, frogs, toads,…

Mill River Park Skating Center

Stamford

Take a spin on an outdoor ice skating rink, featuring more than 9,000 square feet of ice that can accommodate up to 150 recreational skaters.

Skate to funky beats on DJ Nights (Fridays 6 – 10 pm) and skate with festive characters every Sunday 12 – 2 pm.

Mon– Thu 5 – 9 pm

Holiday Lights Spectacular

Stamford

Stroll through 60+ larger than life holiday displays in Mill River Park. See displays like Skating Polar Bears, 12 Days of Christmas, Reindeer in Training and more. Festive features include a state of the art 30′ Christmas Tree, a Christmas Village featuring Santa & Mrs. Claus (available for take-your-own photos,) carolers, a Winter Beer Garden…

A Frosty Fest

Ulster Park

Drive through Frosty’s Enchanted Forest, then walk around an out door festival with professional stage shows, a Candy Cane Lane, Frosty’s Animated Musical Light Show, a 3D walk through Frosty Magical Adventure and more.

Visit Santa inside a Magical Mansion with a choreographed light show.

🚙 Approx 1 hour 45 minute drive from mid-Manhattan.

Fri…

Arch in Bloom Flurry Fest

Greenwich

Explore a holiday market at a family owned nursery and landscaping shop, feast your eyes on festive displays, and enjoy delicious food & drinks. Enjoy elf-approved activities like DIY s’mores and a cozy hot cocoa station

Travel through the seven levels of the candy cane forest, past the sea of twirly-swirly gumdrops and browse the…

All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914

New Fairfield

New York City Opera celebrates the holidays with the true story of the first Christmas Eve of World War I, when soldiers across the Western Front laid down their weapons to celebrate Christmas together. For 48 hours, to more than a week on some battlefronts, soldiers on all sides declared a truce and ate and…

LONG ISLAND

Magic of Lights

Jones Beach

Drive through more than a mile dazzling holiday lights experience featuring favorite holiday scenes and characters of the season using the latest LED technology and digital animations. See a larger-than-life sparkling Christmas Barbie display, the supersized Bigfoot Monster Truck, and life-sized dinosaurs of Prehistoric Christmas.

🎟 $20/car tickets available Monday-Thursday at this link.

Waterdrinker Winter Wonderland

Manorville

Visit a holiday light display, vintage Airstream Christmas village, barnyard animals and tons of seasonal photo ops. Make s’mores in fire pits, play mini golf, bounce on a jump pad, climb an obstacle course and pick your own Christmas tree.

🎅🏼 Take photos with Santa Saturday & Sunday 12-5 pm.

⛸ Ice skating on a…

Luminocity Festival

East Meadow

Wander through 10 acres of outdoor spectacular light art displays based on the tradition of Chinese Lanterns.

* New displays include fantastical ancient civilizations, lush illuminated jungles, can & dog influencers and 30-foot high towers.

* Learn about the history and culture behind lantern-making traditions and get a behind the scenes look at the light…

Shimmering Solstice

Old Westbury

Walk through magical light displays that are set along Old Westbury Gardens’ beautiful paths accompanied by seasonal music. Explore the world-famous Walled Garden, Rose Garden, South Lawn and Allée, now twinkling in lively rhythmic patterns, enormous dandelions lining the edge of the pond, a giant Christmas tree made of lit globes and an astonishing light…

Santa at White Post Farms

Melville

Visit Santa in the Giraffe Experience and meet new baby giraffe Savanna. Feed the giraffe parents carrots and take photos with Santa.

Holiday magic show runs throughout the day. Both the Giraffe Encounter and the magic show are enclosed and heated. Also pet farm animals, become a perch for parakeets, watch primates play and ride…

Bronx

New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show

Marvel at model trains zipping through an enchanting display of more than 175 famous New York landmarks—imagine the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, Rockefeller Center, and other favorites—each delightfully re-created from natural materials such as pine cones, acorns, and seeds.

* The show itself is in the Haupt Conservatory and climate-controlled, but there is a…

NYBG Glow

Explore a glowing world of color and light featuring the Haupt Conservatory as the centerpiece—its iconic exterior a glittering canvas.

* Washes of brilliant colors, thousands of dazzling lights installations fill the Reflecting Pool and enliven surrounding gardens and collections.

* Also enjoy artistic ice sculptures, music, roving dancers, plus more…

Holiday Lights at the Bronx Zoo

Embark on an illuminated safari with animal lanterns, animated sculptures, and colorful designs throughout the spacious Bronx Zoo plus more holiday fun.

🦋 More than 260 lanterns representing almost 70 animal and plant species throughout the park showcase different wildlife regions from gorillas in Africa to sea turtles in the ocean. Look up to larger…

Candlelight Tree Tours

A lovely historic mansion will be aglow during candlelight tree tours. Explore decorated period rooms with a variety of themed trees.

Selfies with Santa + Cookies and Crafts

Explore a historic mansion decorated with festive holiday trees in each of the period rooms, take selfies with Santa, and decorate holiday cookies in the conservatory.

The Westchester Ballet Company Presents The Nutcracker

Westchester Ballet Company’ sumptuous Nutcracker production, performing since 1950, tells the classic holiday story with stunning costumes and special effects with a cast of 100 dancers. The cast is made up of world-class adult guest performers and approximately 100 young dancers from 17 different towns and villages in and around Westchester who are selected each…

New Jersey

American Dream

East Rutherford

This indoor mega-mall has towns over-the-top, entirely indoor activities. Prices vary by day. Gets crowded, so go early.

* Ride thrilling roller coasters and family-friendly rides plus meet favorite characters like Dora The Explorer, SpongeBob SquarePants and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at indoor theme park Nickelodeon Universe ($59–$85).

* Swim, splash and slide with…

Essex County Turtle Back Zoo Holiday Lights Spectacular

West Orange

Take a winter stroll through the Essex County Turtle Back Zoo decorated with over 50 winter and animal characters in sparkling lights. Meet & greet with Santa in an outdoor gazebo. Personal photos are allowed with options to purchase professional photos on site. No appointments necessary.

On Saturdays, watch a block of ice transform into…

Holiday Adventure at Liberty Science Center

Jersey City

Enjoy holiday experiences throughout Liberty Science Center to celebrate the joy – and the science – of the season.

* Find your way through the outdoor Snowflake Maze, and learn about the science of snowflakes. Take a spin on the Sock Skating Rink. Rock out at the Holiday Dance Party with a snowy finale.

Get…

The Hip Hop Nutcracker

Newark

Virtuosic break dancing tells an uplifting, family-friendly story set in the 1980s and today. The music is still mostly Tchaikovsky’s classic score, though some songs are sonically updated with live electric violin.

This version of the Nutcracker is much louder than its traditional counterparts with a pre-show by hip-hop legend Kurtis Blow. For…