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Free (or cheap!) holiday events for kids on Long Island

There are lots of free or cheap holiday

There are lots of free or cheap holiday events for kids happening on Long Island in December. Photo Credit: Fotolia

From holiday performances to crafts, gingerbread houses, light shows and more, one thing is for sure -- there's no shortage of holiday events for kids on Long Island. Here you'll find free and cheap holiday events in December, whether you have one, two, three or more kids in tow.

Animated Christmas Holiday Story at Hicks Nurseries (100 Jericho Tpke., Westbury). Features child-size moving figures. You can visit the display during holiday store hours, which are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sundays until 8 p.m. Price: Free, donations of nonperishable food items for Long Island Cares requested.

Snowflake Week at Long Island Science Center (11 W. Main St., Riverhead). Children ages 3 to 11 can learn about weather conditions, make crystal decorations and more through hands-on activities on Saturday, Dec. 27, through Wednesday, Dec. 31, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Price: $5.

It's a Child's World: Exhibition of Antique Dolls and Toys at Clinton Academy Museum (151 Main St., East Hampton). Learn how Christmas was celebrated in the 19th and early 20th centuries on Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays, from noon to 5 p.m. Price: Free, donations welcome.

Boardwalk Lights at Long Beach boardwalk. A holiday nautical-themed light show display on the boardwalk from Long Beach Boulevard to Magnolia Boulevard. Families looking for a little sparkle during the holiday season are invited to stroll the boardwalk every evening from 5 to 9 through mid-January. Price: Free.

Breakfast with Santa at the Island Park Fire Department (440 Long Beach Rd., Island Park). Enjoy breakfast with Old St. Nick on Sunday, Dec. 14, at 10 a.m. Price: Free.

Children's Hanukkah Party at Reconstructionist Congregation Beth Emeth (430 DeMott Ave., Rockville Centre). Crafts, cookie baking, stories, Hanukkah sing-along and chocolate making on Sunday, Dec. 14, from noon to 2 p.m. Children of all ages are welcome; chaperones are required for second-graders and younger. Reservations are required. Price: Free.

Decorate a Holiday Tree for the Birds: Family Workshop at South Fork Natural History Museum and Nature Center (377 Bridgehampton/Sag Harbor Tpke., Bridgehampton). Join the SoFo staff to make bird-friendly decorations for a holiday tree, using seeds, suet and dried fruits. You'll also be able to make some of these treats to take home and use as decorations on your own holiday tree for the birds on Saturday, Dec. 13, at 10 a.m.; reservations are required. Price: $7 adult, $5 ages 3 to 12, free ages 2 and younger.

Hanukkah Family Celebration at Walt Whitman Shops (160 Walt Whitman Rd., Huntington Station). Families can enjoy live entertainment, face painting, raffles, Dreidel spin contest and more on Sunday, Dec. 14, at noon. Price: Free.

Do It Yourself Holiday Decor at Downs Farm Preserve (23800 County Route 25, Cutchogue). Create holiday decorations by reusing common household goods; reservations required on Saturday, Dec. 13, at 10 a.m. Price: $5.

Family Adventures: Ice Candles at Connetquot River State Park Preserve (Sunrise Highway P.O. 505, Oakdale). Learn the history of candles while using hot wax and ice to create a candle for the holidays on Sunday, Dec. 13, from 1:30 to 3 p.m.; registration is required. Price: $4 adult, $3 ages 3 to 17; $8 parking fee.

Re-enactment of the Flying Santa at the Fire Island Lighthouse (East of Robert Moses State Park, Fire Island). Relive this historic event as Santa arrives at the lighthouse on Saturday, Dec. 13, at 11:30 a.m. in Parking Field 5. Price: Free.

Great Menorah Car Parade and Menorah Lighting at Chabad Center for Jewish Life (2083 Seneca Gate, Merrick). A caravan-style parade in the Chabad Center parking lot through the streets of Merrick-Bellmore, culminating with the lighting of the 12-foot menorah at the Merrick LIRR gazebo on Tuesday, Dec. 16, at 6 p.m. Celebrate with music, latkas, doughnuts and more. Price: Free.

Hanukkah Spectacular at the ShopRite Mall (South Oyster Road and Woodbury Road in Plainview). On Wednesday, Dec. 17, at 4:30 p.m., check out Keith Leaf the Amazing Fire Juggler, live music, hot latkes, fresh doughnuts and the grand menorah lighting. Price: Free.

Holiday Nutrition at Long Island Science Center (11 W. Main St., Riverhead). Learn what a healthy portion and balanced meal consists of and test various foods to find nutrition content and examine bone density on Saturday, Dec. 13, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Price: $5.

Santa Floats Down the Peconic River in Downtown Riverhead. See Santa float down the Peconic River on boat, while fire pits are ablaze in the river and a single giant bonfire is lit in the Peconic River front parking lot in downtown Riverhead on Saturday, Dec. 13, at 4 p.m. Children can meet Santa, enjoy hot chocolate and cookies, caroling, music and more. Rain date is Sunday, Dec. 14. Price: Free.

Holiday Weekend at Coe Hall at Planting Fields Arboretum (1395 Planting Fields Rd., Oyster Bay). Coe Hall Mansion will be decorated for the holidays. Kids can visit Santa, the Madrigal Singers, make a gingerbread house and watch "Frosty the Snowman" by Plaza Theatrical Productions in the Great Hall on Saturday, Dec. 13 and Sunday, Dec. 14 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Show times for "Frosty" are at 2:30 p.m. both days. Price: $10, free for children 12 and younger.

Let's Celebrate the New Year at Maritime Explorium (101 East Broadway, Port Jefferson). Explore the principles of geometry and design your own Times Square ball on Saturday, Dec. 20, through Tuesday, Dec. 23, and Friday, Dec. 26 through Wednesday, Dec. 31, from 1 to 5 p.m. Price: $5.

Movie: "The Polar Express" at Peconic Community School (269 Main Rd., Aquebogue). Christmas animation starring the voice of Tom Hanks, rated G on Friday, Dec. 19, at 4 p.m. Price: Free.

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