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Holi-Day Trips

Quick day trips for holiday break

The holidays are right around the corner (yikes, how did that happen so fast?!)... Do you have your family time planned out? If not, no sweat. Check out these great "Holi-Day Trips" that can get your family out of the house for the day, but back home in time for dinner.

Holiday in the Park
Six Flags Great Adventure
599 Monmouth Rd., Jackson, NJ. 800-772-2287.
Open select days through January 2. Check website for hours of operation.

*Must purchase tickets

During the winter months, Six Flags Great Adventure transforms into a winter wonderland boasting over one million lights! HITP is truly a wonderful family-friendly spot to visit for the holidays… there’s something for everyone! Below are a few of my family’s favorite park happenings:

  • Coasters in the Cold. A handful of roller coasters are open (including the ever-popular Nitro) to keep your tweens and teens entertained while the little ones meet Santa, the Snow Queen and the Poinsettia Princess.
  • Live Shows. This year the park features “Frost” in their theater. Experience a holiday cirque spectacular with amazing feats, stunts and illusions!  Doors will close promptly at show time or when theater reaches capacity.
  • Tap into the Holiday Spirit. Take a stroll through Joy to the World, a pathway lit by beautiful white lights, luminaries and stained glass displays showcasing December holidays from around the world.
  • Enjoy milk and cookies. Santa isn’t the only one who gets milk and cookies! The best part of the holidays are the tasty treats. Indulge in a cup of rich hot chocolate or funnel cake in exclusive flavors like chocolate peppermint. You’ll feel cozy all the way to the North Pole.

 READ MORE: Check out these Hudson Valley light displays!

Kwanzaa Family Day
Throughout Rochester
December 26-29. Various times.

Kwanzaa is a celebration of Nguzo Saba (the seven principles of Kwanzaa). This year, Rochester is holding a city-wide celebration throughout the seven days of Kwanzaa with family-friendly activities such as storytelling, music performances, dance demonstrations, hands-on crafts, and more. Learn about a new principle each day.

  • December 26
    6-9pm. Baobab Cultural Center, 728 University Ave., Rochester

    Families will learn all about the first principle, Umoja. This principle means unity and the quest to maintain unity within the family, community, nation and race. Celebrate with a myriad of family-friendly activities. The center is open to the public during this event, but a $5 donation is suggested.
  • December 27
    2-5pm. Rochester Museum and Science Center,  657 East Ave., Rochester

    Families will learn about the second principle, Kujichagulia. This principle focuses on self-determination. Kids will learn to create and speak for themselves through several kid-friendly activities. Entry to the museum is free during this event, but a $5 donation is suggested.
  • December 28
    2-5pm. Phillis Wheatley Library, 33 Sanuel McCree Way, Rochester

    Families will learn about the third principle. This principle, Ujima, instills the value of collective work and responsibility. Learn to identify and solve problems together with your family through insightful activities.
  • December 29
    12-5pm. Memorial Art Gallery, 500 University Ave., Rochester

    Families will learn about the fourth principle, Ujamaa. The fourth principle discusses cooperative economics. Learn all about the benefits of being part of a community through crafts, dance demonstrations, music, and more. Gallery tours also available. The gallery is open to the public during this event, but a $5 donation is suggested.
  • December 30
    2-4pm. Edgerton Recreation Center, 41 Backus St., Rochester

    Families will learn about the fifth principle, Nia. This is possibly my favorite Kwanzaa principle – Purpose.  Not sure what your life’s purpose is, no problem… this day, you and your family will discover your purpose through crafts, games, and demonstrations.
  • December 31
    6-9pm. Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church, 549 Clarissa St., Rochester

    Families will learn about the sixth principle, Kuumba. This principle is all about letting your creativity flow.  Learn what your family can do in order to leave your community more beautiful that it was when you first arrived.
  • January 1
    On the last day of Kwanzaa, it’s encouraged for you and your family to celebrate, Imani (faith), at home with family and friends.

 READ MORE: Check out our round-up for more holiday happenings

Chanukah Art Festival
Jewish Children’s Museum
792 Eastern Pkwy., Brooklyn, NY
December 25-29. 11am-5pm.
*Must purchase tickets in advance.

Did you know, you’re just a short train ride away from an amazing Chanukah Art Extravaganza?!? The Jewish Children’s Museum in Brooklyn is hosting a Chanukah Art bash that includes:

  • Donut Decorating – Kids can decorate their own donut with festive sprinkles and icing.
  • Kids’ Canvas – Kids can don a smock, grab a canvas, and create their own beautiful Chanukah masterpiece.
  • Game Show – Step on the museum’s game show set and compete against other museum goers in a game show all about Jewish life.
  • Grand Menorah Lighting – Gather together as the museum lights their Menorah each night. Kids will receive Chanukah gelt and a souvenir.
  • Olive Oil Workshops – Explore the art of olive oil making as you pick, press and pour your own olives and olive oils during this interactive workshop. This workshop starts every half-hour from 12:30-4:30pm.

 READ MORE: Don't miss these Hudson Valley Menorah Lightings!

Holiday Train Show
New York Botanical Garden
2900 Southern Blvd., Bronx, NY
Please visit website for available dates and times.

*Must purchase tickets in advance

Who could resist a trip to the NYBG for their Annual Holiday Train Show?! Your kids will watch in amazement as model trains cruise around a display of 150 landmarks all created from natural materials. New to the show, a model of the Queensboro bridge and the iconic Coney Island amusement park. While you’re there, opt for a guided tour and listen to a cappella performance and poetry readings.