12 Things to Do on Christmas Eve on Long Island with Your Kids
While many probably spend Christmas Eve doing last-minute shopping, wrapping presents, or visiting with friends and family, still more are looking for things to do to keep the kids busy while they anxiously await the arrival of the big man. And many others who don't celebrate the holiday are just looking for something non-Christmas related to entertain the family, We've compiled a list of 12 activities to enjoy, many of which have nothing to do with Christmas and others that are fun no matter your affiliation.
1. Go skating. The Rinx in Port Jefferson, Superior Ice Rink in Kings Park, Newbridge Arena in Bellmore, and the ice rink at Tanger Outlets in Deer Park are all open. United Skates of America is offering an early bird special from 10:30-12PM $8. includes skate rental, a slice of pizza and soda. Adults 18 and over can also enjoy a free dinner buffet from 8:30-12AM.
2. Spend the day at an outdoor camp. The Center for Science Teaching and Learning in Rockvile Centre is hosting a nature camp from 9am to 4pm for $50.
3. Go bowling. AMF lanes across the Island are open on Christmas Eve. Call your local alley for times.
4. Visit with Santa The big guy in red is still holding court at several area malls. Check out our post on places to meet Santa for times and locations. While Santa has left Hicks nurseries, you can still stop by to see the Christmas story as well as their tremendous display of Department 56 village displays.
5. Catch a holiday show Barnaby Saves Christmas at 11am and A Christmas Carol at 3pm are being shown at Theater 3 on Main Street in Port Jefferson,
6. Visit a specialty store to find a truly unique gift. Willis Hobbies on Willis Avenue in Mineola has a tremendous selection of model trains and an entire floor dedicated to remote controlled aircraft. Think Long Island First in Oyster Bay features local artists handmade products all made on Long Island. Dollhouse Alley offers a huge selection for he miniature enthusiast. Or visit the Milleridge Village where you'll find uique toys, retro gifts at the general store, jams and jellies for the sweet tooth and everything Christmas at the Christmas Shoppe. St. James General Store is on the national registry of historic places and offers a variety of old-time gifts and curiosities, many locally made.
7. Drop in for Open Play. Once Upon a Treetop in Plainview is open from 10am to 2pm.
8. Check out the holiday light displays. Long Island is in full glow for the holidays about now. Take a look at our guide to the Island homes with the most spectacular light displays, put the family in the car and check 'em all out. FREE
9. Learn about Simple Machines at the LICM at 1PM. There's always something fun going on at the Long Island Children's Museum and Christmas Eve is no exception. Roll on over to learn how 6 simple machines make our lives easier. $4. with museum admission and $8. theatre only.
11. Make homemade ornaments to decorate your home or Christmas tree. Ornaments aren't just for Christmas, they tell the story of our lives. Draw a picture of something special that happened this year to your family then pull out the construction paper, scissors, markers and glue and get creating. Young kids can make hand-print ornaments and you can track their growth year to year. And for those that don't have a tree yet, check out our guide to cutting your own.
12. Track Santa with NORAD See Kris Kringle during the day, and then track his progress online at night as he travels around the world bringing presents to all good little boys and girls. Just make sure your kids go to bed before he hits Long Island! FREE