It’s almost the holidays and families are preparing for their traditions, but why not mix it up this year?
Nickelodeon’s ParentsConnect Local, the premiere online destination for weekly calendar events and a complete listing of family-friendly resources, reveals some of the best family activities this holiday season. Tapping its editors from coast to coast, ParentsConnect has picked events from San Francisco, CA to Providence, RI and everywhere in between.
What: The Washington Ballet: The Nutcracker
Where: Washington, DC
Description: The city's favorite holiday tradition, Septime Webre's The Nutcracker, is nuanced with hints of both American and DC history, with George Washington as a heroic Nutcracker, the villainous Rat King as King George III, and the second act set amongst beautiful blooming cherry blossoms on the Potomac. The performance is adorned with opulent scenery and glamorous costumes, and is enveloped by Tchaikovsky's elaborate, sweeping score performed by a live orchestra.
What: Candlelight Nights
Where: Atlanta, GA
Description: Explore what life was like during the holiday season on an 1840s plantation, with candlelight tours of the Tullie Smith Farm and Swan House Mansion. Enjoy holiday music, storytelling, crafts, and candle dipping.
What: First Night 2010: Wonderland
Where: St. Louis, MO
Description: The city's New Year's Eve visual and performing arts festival adopts a Wonderland theme this year and includes a kick-off parade at 5:30pm, puppeteers, magicians, storytellers, street entertainers, and activities for children, including a children's fireworks show at 9pm.
What: Great Dickens Christmas Fair
Where: San Francisco, CA
Description: Described as a Christmas card come to life, Christmas Eve in Victorian London plays over and over during the course of five weekends. Families can visit Fezziwig's Warehouse Christmas Party, stroll the streets of London (alive with various Dickens characters), and wish a Happy Christmas to Scrooge himself. The event includes ongoing theatrical and musical performances, plenty of food, and entertainment by hundreds of costumed characters. Kids can enjoy tea with the Mad Hatter and other Alice in Wonderland characters, ride the human-powered Wild Animal Safari Carousel, try a hand at a printing press, and create their own holiday gifts such as ceramic painted ornaments and intricate brass rubbings.
When: Through 12/20/09
What: World’s Largest Menorah
Where: New York, NY
Description: The "World's Largest Menorah" is illuminated on Fifth Avenue to honor each night of Hanukkah. Jelly donuts are included! And the last lighting culminates in a celebration that includes live music, singing, folk dancing, and latkes.
What: Santa Fun Cruise
Where: Pittsburgh, PA
Description: Families can take a festive, two-hour fun cruise featuring holiday music, dancing, and visits from Santa and other characters.
When: Through 12/20/09
What: Hersheypark Christmas Candylane
Where: Hershey, PA
Description: The magic of the holidays comes to life at Hersheypark with more than 125,000 twinkling lights, a selection of more than 30 rides for all ages, festive decorations, Santa and his reindeer, holiday sing-alongs, shopping in quaint village shops, and more.
When: Through 12/31/09
What: Gingerbread Wonderland
Where: Providence, RI
Description: Visitors to the Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum can enjoy a huge display of too-good-to-eat gingerbread houses.
What: Newport Beach Boat Parade
Where: Newport Beach, CA
Description: A Christmastime tradition celebrating its 101st year, the country's oldest boat parade sets the harbor alight for five consecutive nights. Boat owners are invited to join in and sail to the theme "The Joys of Christmas Toys." The parade starts and finishes off Bay Island, sailing against the backdrop of the Ring of Lights contest, in which bayside homeowners go all out with their holiday lights. Even for families on the other side of town, it's worth the drive to Newport Beach for the event the New York Times calls, "one of the top ten holiday happenings in the nation.
Whether traveling for the holiday or staying close to home, ParentsConnect Local offers a number of suggestions for ways to celebrate the holidays in a fun and unique way. We wanted to let you and your readers know about all these fun events; log onto parentsconnect.com to find more near you!