If your household is anything like mine, everybody has gathered together to celebrate the holidays; distant relatives have flown in, days off of work have been secured and, depending on the school district, the kids are sitting on nearly two weeks of vacation time. Luckily, as we observed in our last post, Long Island has no shortage of holiday celebrations, so here are a few upcoming events to keep those youths entertained.
During the winter season many of our Gold Coast Mansions deck the halls in the finest decorations offering tours, parties, workshops and other events to partake in. The Vanderbilt in Centerport will be showing “T’was the Night Before Christmas”, a children’s theater performance presented by Arena Players Productions, as well as offering Christmas and New Year’s Eve “Twilight Tours” with cookies and hot chocolate. Old Westbury Gardens, however, will be closing for the season after the 21st, so be sure to take in the holiday experience they offer before it is gone!
Many theater performances around Long Island have also taken to the holiday theme. The BayWay Arts Center is hosting performances of Mary Poppins each weekend in December, a classic that may be enjoyed by all age groups, where the Broadhollow Theater offers more for the younger children with showings of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman on select days at the end of December. For a more immersive experience there are the “Candlelight Evenings” at the Old Bethpage Village Restoration, on the 20th, 21st and from the 26th through the 30th, with holiday songs, period tales and costumed storytellers.
Don’t worry about vacation brain-drain; there are a number of opportunities to educate as well as entertain thanks to local museums and the programs they offer. The Long Island Science Center in Riverhead will be frozen over for Snowflake Week, from the 27th to the 31st, where younger children can learn about ice crystals and formations and make snowflake crafts. The Long Island Children’s Museum, excellent for children up to age 4, continues its ‘Messy Afternoons’ program where kids can get the mess out of their systems while performing a number of sensory activities, and will be presenting a Kwanzaa Celebration on the 27th to educate about this holiday celebrating African American Culture. They also hold a New Year’s Eve Countdown where the ball drops at 4:00, an opportunity to wind down the kids before the real New Year’s parties begin.
This year we have another unique New Year’s Eve experience; Fishes & Wishes at the Long Island Aquarium. With great food, fun and the company of other families, this event is sure to be a blowout. Reservations are required, but the night offers a cocktail hour, buffet service, dancing, dessert, and a mock midnight toast. The grown-ups can mingle while the kids pine over the ice cream bar and piece together their crafts.
After the last of the holidays have passed us by you can finish off the break in classic Long Island fashion; with a trip to the beach. Despite the cold, and potential snow, both Montauk Point State Park and Jones Beach State Park will be offering Seal Walks from January through March. In order to take part you’ve always got to call ahead, so find a time that fits best and reach out to either the Theodore Roosevelt Nature Center At Jones Beach State Park or Montauk Point State Park. The Coastal Research and Education Society of Long Island offers guided and educational tours from Cupsogue Beach. Find a complete listing of seal watch opportunities here.
No matter what the family ends up doing, the Long Island Convention and Visitors Bureau & Sports Commission wishes everyone a happy holiday season on Long Island.