Whatever holiday you celebrate, one thing's for sure -- you'll find events for children on Long Island throughout the month of December. From holiday performances to crafts, gingerbread houses, light shows, Santa breakfasts and more, here are some of our favorites.
Santa at Hicks Nurseries
Santa will be at Hicks Nurseries (100 Jericho Tpke., Westbury) from Nov. 24-Dec. 23 (Mon-Fri: 1 p.m.-4 p.m., 5 p.m.-8 p.m.; Sat-Sun: 10 a.m.-1 p.m., 2 p.m.-6 p.m.), so bring a camera for photos (no fee). Kids can also mail their letters to Santa at the North Pole Mailbox and Santa will answer them (last day for letter mailing is Dec. 15; a self-addressed, stamped envelope must be included to receive a reply). A free animated story with life-sized animatronic Christmas scenes will be open; customers are encouraged to donate a non-perishable food item to Long Island Cares. Weekends (Nov. 24-Dec. 17) will offer music from a brass band (noon-4 p.m.) Price: free. Visit hicksnurseries.com or call 516-272-4624 for more details.
Girl Scouts Holiday Light Show
The Girl Scouts Holiday Light Show returns to Smith County Point Park at 1 William Floyd Pkwy., Shirley, offering a drive-thru program with lights and displays Dec. 1-30 (closed Dec. 24-25); each show starts at 5 p.m. Price: $20 per car, $40 for mini-buses and RVs, $70 for coach and school buses; no cash, only credit and debit cards will be accepted for payment at the gate. Ending times vary; for more information visit gssc.us or call 631-543-6622.
Bayville Winter Wonderland
During the holiday season, Bayville Adventure Park (8 Bayville Ave.) turns into a Winter Wonderland. Families can visit Santa's Toy Factory Funhouse, watch Captain Bay's "Yo-Ho-Holiday" light show, ride the Holiday Express train and check out the ice skating rink, among other attractions. The Winter Wonderland runs from Nov. 24 through Jan. 1 on Friday-Sunday (also open Dec. 20-21 and 26-28); kids can meet Santa daily. Price: $22.75 (includes all activities; photo with, and letter from Santa are an additional charge). More information at bayvillewinterwonderland.com.
See how Jenny and Frosty save their town of Chillsvile from mean Ethel Pierpot, who wants to melt all the snow. They'll need everyone's help -- including yours -- to get Frosty to the North Pole.
WHEN | WHERE 11 a.m. Nov. 24-25, 10:30 a.m. Nov. 26, 11 a.m. Dec. 2, 10:30 a.m. Dec. 3, 11 a.m. Dec. 9, 10:30 a.m. Dec. 10, 11 a.m. Dec. 16, 10:30 a.m. Dec. 17, 11 a.m. Dec. 23-24, 2 p.m. Dec. 26, 11 a.m. Dec. 27, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Dec. 28, 11 a.m. Dec. 29-30 and 10:30 a.m. Dec. 31, now through Dec. 31, at the John W. Engeman Theater, 250 Main St., Northport
INFO $15; 631-261-2900, engemantheater.com
Holiday tree and crafts at Old Westbury Gardens
Head to Old Westbury Gardens (71 Old Westbury Rd., Old Westbury) to see the period rooms decorated with wreaths, mantelpiece drapes, topiaries and other plants and more. Kids can create crafts, share their holiday wishes with Santa and enjoy hot cider and cookies on the West Porch. The lighting of the holiday tree takes place Dec. 2 from 6:30 p.m.-9 p.m., featuring a visit from Santa, another tree lighting on the South Terrace (at 8:15 p.m.) and live music by members of the Bethel Concert Choir. Price: $15, $13 for members, $8 for children ages 7-17 (ages six and younger, member children: free). Advance registration is required, register online at oldwestburygardens.org.
Holiday crafts take place 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Dec. 2, 9, 16 and 23; holiday card making 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Dec. 3, 10 and 17. Price: Free with admission. More information and full event calendar at oldwestburygardens.org .
Holiday fun at White Post Farms
Head to White Post Farms (250 Old Country Rd., Melville) for their Holiday Extravaganza taking place Nov. 24-26 and Dec. 2-3, 9-10, 16-17 and 23. Guests can use their own cameras and take photos with Santa and the Mensch on a Bench for no charge; other features include the Monkey Exhibit, holiday singing chicken show, candy cane hunts and the bird aviary (open weather permitting). Price: TBA; trips on the holiday train and indoor pony rides will be available for an added fee. For more information, call 631-351-9373 or visit whitepostfarms.com.
‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’
A live version of the Emmy- and Peabody-award winning TV program follows the adventures of Charlie and Peanuts gang friends Lucy, Snoopy, Linus and others as they put on a play, save a tree and discover the real meaning of Christmas.
WHEN | WHERE 4 p.m. Dec. 28, 2 and 6 p.m. Dec. 29, 11 a.m., 2 and 6 p.m. Dec. 30 at Madison Theatre at Molloy College, 1000 Hempstead Ave., Rockville Centre
INFO $45-$55, 10 percent off for seniors; 516-323-4444, madisontheatreny.org
See the Holiday Lights Spectacular at Jones Beach
At Jones Beach State Park, West End in Wantagh, kids can meet Santa after a drive through the Holiday Lights Spectacular through Jan. 3. After the drive through Holiday Park, which features more than 150 displays and animated characters synced to holiday music, families can stop by the heated Holiday Village for pictures with Santa. Kids can also make their own s'mores, check out holiday-themed vendors and even enjoy a hay maze ride. On Wednesday nights, you can bring your pet. Prices are $20 weekdays, $25 weekends.
‘A Christmas Carol’
This is Theatre Three's 34th annual production of Charles Dickens' timeless tale of redemption in which miserly Ebenezer Scrooge explores Christmases past, present and future to learn the true meaning of the holiday.
WHEN | WHERE 7 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, except Dec. 28 and 29 (3 and 7 p.m.), 3 and 7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays (except Nov. 25 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 26 and Dec. 24 at 3 p.m.), 2 p.m. Dec 6 and 7 p.m. Dec. 20, now through Dec. 30, at Theatre Three, 412 Main St., Port Jefferson
INFO $35 adults, $28 seniors/students, $20 children 5-12; 631-928-9100, theatrethree.com
'Barnaby Saves Christmas'
As the littlest elf, Barnaby and his reindeer friend Franklynne set off on a journey to save Christmas, and on their way, they meet new friends and learn the true meaning of Christmas, Hanukkah and the holiday season. The performance will be held 11 a.m. Nov. 24, 25, Dec. 2, 9, 16, 23, 24 and 28-30 at Theatre Three, 412 Main St. in Port Jefferson. Price: $10; 631-928-9100; theatrethree.com.
‘A Christmas Story’
Will Ralphie Parker get the present of his dreams for Christmas? You'll see all the wonderful scenes from the eponymous movie in this production by the Gateway Playhouse, including when Ralphie's friend Flick gets his tongue frozen to a flagpole, all set to a wonderful score ranging from soulful ballads to big ensemble numbers.
WHEN | WHERE 7 p.m. Dec. 15, Dec. 20, Dec. 22; 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 16-17, Dec. 21, Dec. 23, Dec. 26-27 at the Patchogue Theater, 71 E. Main St.
INFO $59-$89, half price for children 5-16; 631-286-1133, thegateway.org or 631-207-1313, patchoguetheater.org
'Elf on the Shelf' movie nights, more holiday fun at Dees'
Dees' Nursery (69 Atlantic Ave.) in Oceanside is hosting a bunch of holiday events for kids. Santa will be available for photos 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 24-26 and Dec. 2-3, 9-10, 16-17, 22-23; families are welcome to take their own pics but photo packages will also be available.
"Elf on the Shelf" movie nights will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 13 and 20 at 6 p.m. The fee includes an elf hat, Christmas ornament craft, scavenger hunt, popcorn and refreshments. Price: $17 per child; reservations required.
Kids can also take part in a Children's Gingerbread Night (Dec. 8, 15) with a pastry chef; fee includes a chef hat, gingerbread house, icing, candy, decorations and an apron craft. Price: $39.99 per child.
Pancake Breakfast with Mrs. Claus will be on Dec. 2, 3, 9, 10, 16 and 17 at 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Mrs. Claus will read a story, and kids can participate in crafts and a scavenger hunt. Pancakes for the kids, tea and coffee will be served. Price: $20 per child.
The Pajama Night with Mr. & Mrs. Claus will take place on Dec. 21-22 at 6 p.m. Santa and Mrs. Claus will read stories; kids will also take part in crafts and get to decorate a candy gingerbread house. Children are welcome to wear their pajamas. Refreshments will be served for children and adults. Price: $20 per child. Tickets should be purchased ahead of time for all events by calling 516-678-3535; reservations are required for most events.
'Frosty' at John W. Engeman Theater
In "Frosty," the famed snowman and his friend, Jenny, must save the town of Chillsville from Ethel Pierpot's evil plan to melt all the snow. WHEN | WHERE Nov. 18-19, 24-26 and Dec. 2-3, 9-10, 16-17, 23-24, 26-31 (Sunday shows are at 10:30 a.m., Fri-Sat shows at 11 a.m.; a number of added shows are at 2 p.m.) at the John W. Engeman Theater at Northport, 250 Main St., Northport INFO $15; 631-261-2900, engemantheater.com
Visit with Santa
Ho! Ho! Ho! Santa Claus landed his sleigh on Long Island and is ready to meet and greet kids, hear their wish lists and find out if they've been naughty or nice. Old St. Nick will be making appearances all over Nassau and Suffolk throughout the holiday season, from local malls and nurseries to more off-the-beaten-path venues. Check out our complete guide of places to see Santa.
Boardwalk Lights in Long Beach
A nautical-themed light show will be on display along the Long Beach boardwalk from Long Beach Boulevard to Magnolia Boulevard now through mid-January 2018. Stroll the boardwalk and then grab dinner with your family in town. Lights will also be displayed throughout Long Beach on Park Avenue, the West End, East End and Canal Bridges.