17 Super Fun Puppet Shows

Who doesn’t love a puppet show, especially when it’s freezing cold outside and your options for keeping the kids entertained are very limited? Even the squirmiest kids sit still after the curtain is pulled back. Throughout the winter, stop by one of these 17 super fun puppet shows in New York City, Boston, Atlanta, the Hamptons, and San Francisco. We guarantee you will be wowed by gorgeous marionettes and smitten with cuddly puppets.

New York City

Swedish Cottage Jack and the BeanstalkPlanted in the middle of Central Park, the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre never fails to disappoint. Sponsored by the City Parks Foundation, the creative troupe delivers the goods with the perennial favorite Jack and the Beanstalk (Jan. 24-Feb. 28). Over in Brooklyn, another classic fairytale – Sleeping Beauty — gets the puppet treatment at Puppetworks (Jan. 24-Mar. 29), which will be adding performances during the mid-winter school break (yea!). At the Museum of Jewish Heritage, Yellow Sneaker throws a little music into the mix at its show (Jan. 25). This unique band uses cute puppets to keep the wee ones extra entertained as they groove to the tunes. For your youngest kiddos, stop by the Scandinavia House for Puppet Playtimes (Feb. 5 & 26). Join professional puppeteer Nicola McEldowney and her band of storytelling puppets for a cozy session of stories, music, and interactive games.


ATL Puppet Showplace Rainforest croppedThe Lizard and El Sol is a playful Mexican folktale about a determined lizard who tries to convince a sleepy El Sol to come out of his hiding (Jan. 24-31). This puppet production at the Alliance Theater is wildly popular, so hurry to get your tickets. For younger kids, be sure to check out The Big Bad, Little Red, Pig Show, a wonderful mashup of everyone’s favorite fairytales at the Center for Puppetry Arts (Jan. 24-31). Later in the month, teach your kids about ecosystems in the most fun way possible at Rainforest Adventure, another production at CPA (Jan. 27-March 15).


BOS Puppet Showplace  Lollipops for BreakfastIf your kids like puppet shows, Puppet Showplace has got you covered. The Pied Piper of Hamelin tells a story about a small town that has a rat problem (don’t worry: these rats are really cute), and there’s only one person who can help – the Pied Piper! Next month, get ready for Lollipops for Breakfast, which is told entirely without words and features multiple styles of puppetry, original music, acrobatics, and lots of audience participation (Jan.31-Feb. 16). For older kids, stop by the Boston Center for the Arts for the Bread and Puppet Theater show The Nothing Is Not Ready Circus, showcasing masked characters and giant papier-mâché puppets (Jan. 24-25, Jan. 28-Feb. 1). If your kids would like to learn more about the magic of puppetry, attend a performance of Sleeping Beauty at Regent Theatre (Feb. 1). Before each show, marionette masters will give a short demonstration on how they bring their puppets to life.

The Hamptons

Come February head over to Goat on a Boat – the premier puppet headquarters on the Hamptons – for two classic fairy tales for the young’uns.  On Feb. 4, Goat on the Boat hosts A Couple of Puppets’ production of Goldilocks and the Three Bears and on Feb. 21 Dream Tale Puppets will perform Jack and the Beanstalk.

San Francisco

SF Children's Creativity Electric Shadows WorkshopChildren’s Fairyland will keep all your little puppet pals pacified with its ongoing weekend puppet shows. Three Billy Goats Gruff is based on a Norwegian folk tale about three goats who think that the grass is greener on the other side of their bridge (Jan. 24-25, Jan. 31-Feb. 1, Feb. 7-8). Later in February, check out Mrs. Witherspoon’s Busy Day, which is about a kindly old lady, a purple dragon, and bravery (Feb. 14-15, Feb. 21-22, Feb. 28-Mar. 1). If your older kids are curious about the other side of the stage, sign up for Electric Shadows Workshop at Children’s Creativity Museum (Jan. 24). Kids age 7 and up will create a miniature shadow theater using a spotlight and paper puppets. Afterwards, kids can exhibit their creations at the museum. At Habitot Children’s Museum, the Music Puppet Dance Class is – not surprisingly – both a puppet show and a dance class. Kids will get those little hearts beating as they sing and dance along with cuddly and lovable puppets.


14 Martin Luther King Jr. Day Activities for Kids

Hurray! Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and that means a three-day weekend! But with that comes the nagging question for parents: What am I going to do with the kids? Well, banish that pesky thought because we found a slew of events celebrating the life of MLK. Here are 14 Martin Luther King Jr. Day activities for kids that will keep everyone busy and happy.

New York City

Scavenger Hunt MLKFor younger kids, start the day at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan where kids can honor Dr. King’s memory by creating a mosaic of his portrait. For older kids, begin the fun at DiMenna Children’s Museum at N-Y Historical Society for a Civil Rights Scavenger Hunt. By looking for clues at the museum’s exhibit “Freedom Journey 1965,” young scholars will learn about the courageous people who marched for equal voting rights. While you’re uptown, stop by the Museum of the City of New York for Activist NY: I Have A Dream where families can tour the exhibit and then design their own bookmark to remind them of Dr. King’s dream. Speaking of dreams, at What’s Your Dream? at the Museum at Eldridge Street, kids will hear a moving story and make collages inspired by Dr. King’s famous speech. Later in the day, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum will beckon you with beats by the Berean Community Drumline. This high energy performance will get your kids stomping and dancing in celebration.



Considering that Atlanta is the hometown of Martin Luther King Jr., you’ll find a ton of events celebrating Dr. King from marches to church services to tours. But we’re most interested in keeping the little ones entertained. For younger kids, stop by the Children’s Museum of Atlanta for its Let Freedom Ring celebration where kids will make a peace handprint flower craft and hear music and a presentation of the “I Have a Dream” speech. The Atlanta History Center will swing open its doors to families for free admission all day. Kids can explore 22 acres of gardens and trails and learn some history about their own hometown.


BOS Boston Children's Chorus MLK

Throughout the day, take advantage of all the family-friendly events at the Museum of Fine Arts. The museum’s MLK Day Free Open House features a story hour, crafty activities like creating dream catchers and puzzle “peaces,” and family tours of inspiring exhibits. Over at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, get to clapping at George Russell Jr.: Clap Your Hands. George Russell Jr. and friends will honor Martin Luther King in music and song, and kids will discover how music played an important role in the civil rights movement. For mini-cinephiles, check out the Belmont Film Festival’s special Family MLK Film Program, which will screen three short films inspired by Dr. King and the civil rights movement. End the day with a rousing MLK Jr. Day Concert by the Boston Children’s Chorus. The chorus and special musical guests will celebrate, sing, and pay tribute to Dr. King’s memory.

San Francisco

NYC Martin Luther King royalty free croppedThe Bay Area Discovery Museum has got you covered with its Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration. The day starts with a story time about Dr. King, includes an uplifting performance by E. W. Wainwright and the African Roots of Jazz, and wraps up with kids contributing to an MLK mural. Over at the Museum of African Diaspora, families can also find a whole day of fun at the museum’s MLK National Day of Service. Kids will have a blast drawing masterpieces with sidewalk chalk, watching films and cartoons, and going on scavenger hunts. At the Contemporary Jewish Museum, families can create Dreams of Freedom Posters inspired by quotes from Martin Luther King Jr. and other inspirational leaders of the civil rights movement.


21 Best Drop-in Classes to Get Out of the Cold

The temperatures are plummeting, and, for most of the country, the weather has been brutal. There are only so many times you can watch “The LEGO Movie” or build a fort in your living room before you go gaga. Fortunately, there are plenty of drop-in classes in New York, Atlanta, Boston, The Hamptons, and San Francisco. So get ready to escape the cold and quash cabin fever at one of these 21 drop-in classes this winter.

New York City

CMA winter art colony

For Mini-Artistes. Throughout the next few months, the Children’s Museum of the Arts hosts a lot of fun and inventive workshops for all ages. From designing super hero chest plates to operating a printing press or fashioning Minecraft masks, CMA will keep your kids creatively busy and inspired. For kids age 5 and under, check out Art Kids at Brooklyn Children’s Museum. Held on Fridays, the drop-in classes explore a new style of art each week. Just down the road at the Brooklyn Museum, your family can get more than just the facts at Arty Facts, which meets every Sunday. Or head uptown to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and throughout the week, your kids can travel through time at Art Trek and Start with Art and Music.

For Geeks. Do your kids like gadgets and the hottest techie toys? At New York Hall of Science, kids can get their hands on a 3-D printer at 3D Modeling with TinkerCAD and turn their ideas into something tangible.


ATL High Museum Book Bonanza

For Mini-Artistes: Every Sunday, the High Museum hosts Artful Afternoons for the whole family. Families create their own masterpieces after getting inspired by the museum’s permanent collection and special exhibits.

For Animal Lovers: For your little cubs, check out Zoo Atlanta’s weekly drop-in sessions like Stroller Cubs for toddlers and Adventure Cubs for older kids. Both allow kids to get up close to critters, make an art project, and play with new friends.

For Future Engineers and Scientists: Kids love anything big and tall. At Laugh and Learn at the Children’s Museum of Atlanta, which meets throughout the month, kids build the tallest tower they can and learn about simple machines. Or kids can don a lab coat at the museum’s Kids’ Science Show and learn about light and color.


BOS New England Aquamium

For Mini-Artistes: Crayons and glitter glue aren’t the only art materials in town. At the Peabody Museum, kids can use felt to create a colorful and unique 3-D felt sculpture using wool roving at the Felt Forms drop-in class. At deCordorva Sculpture Park and Museum’s ARTfull Explorations, families make winter journals to document what the outdoors looks like in the winter. And at the Arsenal Center for the Arts, besides drawing and painting, kids can learn a little stage craft at Art and Theatre Workshop, which encourages kids to experiment with paint, collage, performance, and movement.

For Future Scientists: Learn more about the blue planet through art, science, and storytelling at Blue Discovery Family Day, held monthly at New England Aquarium.

The Hamptons

FParrish Museumor Mini-Artistes: Head over to the Parrish Art Museum for its weekly drop-in Open Studio for Families. You and the kids will take a tour of the galleries and then create art through hands-on activities.

For Future Scientists: Get your geek on at the Long Island Science Center every Saturday. Family Science Day explores the science behind the moon, Egypt, skeletons, and dinosaurs. Science is an integral part of cooking and recipes, and at the Children’s Museum of the East End’s In the Kitchen workshop, kids chop, measure, and pour all the ingredients to create a delish soup — with your help, of course.

San Francisco


For Mini-Artistes: During the winter, let your kids try their hand with all different types of art. At the Contemporary Jewish Museum, the Artist’s Studio gives kids a chance to experiment with beeswax, gesso, and charcoal. Or make a day of it at MakeArt Workshop with Polymer Clay held at the Museum of Craft and Design. Or inspire your little De Koonings and Pollacks at Children’s Creativity Museum’s Abstract Art Workshop. And, finally, the Presidio Officer’s Club drop-in art program focuses primarily on nautical-inspired art, from creating boats that float to lighthouses that illuminate.

For Future Scientists: Every Saturday, the Randall Museum’s Drop-in Science workshop explores topics that make science fun like designing and shooting off a paper rocket or making glow-in-the-dark slime.

For Little Gymnasts: Let your little ones burn off all that cooped up energy at JCCSF’s Kinderboogie or Kindergym, which both meet through the week.


Ring in the New Year at a Noon Year’s Eve Party

Since you’ve had kids, your wild New Year’s Eve parties may be over, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t have fun. In fact, you can have a blast with your kids about 12 hours before the stroke of midnight on Dec. 31. Many museums host Noon Year’s Eve parties where the whole fam can play games, drink punch, and usher in the new year at a saner hour for everyone. Here are RedRover’s picks for  Noon Year’s Eve parties in New York City, Atlanta, Boston, the Hamptons, and San Francisco.

New York City


Ring in the New Year at Children’s Museum of the Arts. Not only will there be plenty of drinks, snacks, and dancing but also lots of art-making—this is the Children’s Museum of the Arts after all!

• Start the countdown early at 3, 2, 1…Happy New Year! at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum. Join other families at either the 11:30 a.m. or 2:30 p.m. session, or stay for both.

• Make some noise (and noisemakers) at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan throughout the day. Be sure to be there at 12 p.m. for the Noon Ball Drop Dance Party & Parade.


ATL LEGO noon year's eve

• Celebrate the new year brick-style at Noon Year Eve’s at LEGOLAND. You and the kids can help build a gigantic “2015” with LEGOs and then watch LEGOLAND’s annual balloon drop.

• Sip mocktails with some of Atlanta’s biggest party animals and witness the noon balloon drop at Fernbank Museum of Natural History’s Noon Year’s Eve Celebration.

• Make a 16-hour day of it at Peach Drop, the largest New Year’s Eve celebration in the southeast.  Starting at 11 a.m., Underground Atlanta will be filled with carnival-style rides, live music, face painting, street performers, and festival food.

Count Down to the Noon Year at the Children’s Museum of Atlanta and then join the grand ballroom procession that ends in a massive dance party.


BOS First Night cropped

• Check out First Night Boston’s day-long Family Festival at the Hynes Convention Center, which includes puppet shows, face-painting, and magicians, as well as a parade and ice sculptures.

• Sing “Auld Lang Syne” throughout the day at the Children’s Museum In Easton’s Family New Year’s Party. The museum’s party will include arts & crafts, games, magic shows, and plenty of countdowns.

• Why wait until noon when you can start the party at 10 a.m. at Discovery Museums? At Bessie’s New Year’s Eve Party, kids will make party hats and noisemakers and then ring in the Noon Year with a dance party.

• Help decorate a lighted ball for the big drop at EcoTarium’s Noon Year’s Eve. Families will also create 2014 time capsules and take silly photos.

• Get festive and fancy at Boston Children’s Museum. At Happy Noon Year, kids will fashion their own party hats, paint their own faces, and then gather in the lobby along the bridges to watch the crystal ball drop.

The Hamptons

• Kick off the new year at CMEE’s Annual New Year’s Eve Ball Drop at Noon. Kids will make special holiday noisemakers, shout out the countdown, and then toss bucketloads of confetti.

San Francisco

Balloon Drop cropped

• Get showered with hundreds of colorful balloons at Chabot Space & Science Center’s Balloon Drop Celebration. Celebrate strokes of midnight around the world at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 4 p.m.

• Dance to DJ jams, create a crown, and count down at Noon Year’s Eve at the Bay Area Discovery Museum.

• Literally ring in the new year at the Japanese New Year’s Bell-Ringing Ceremony. Held at the Asian Art Museum, the unique event allows families to strike the museum’s 2,100-lb., 16th-century Japanese bronze bell.

• Good grief! Not another new year already! Celebrate the holiday with all the Peanuts characters at Happy New Year, Charlie Brown at the Charles M. Schulz Museum. Kids can mingle with Snoopy, watch the balloon drop, and partake in a Root Beer toast.


Top Holiday Light Displays

We’re getting down to the zero hour, folks. We’re in the midst of Hanukkah and Christmas is just a few days away. With all the shopping and prepping for the holidays and Winter Break with the kids, your holiday cheer could quickly morph into holiday jeers. As a preemptive strike and a tonic to your droopy spirit, check out RedRover’s top holiday light displays in New York City, Atlanta, Boston, the Hamptons, and San Francisco that will definitely help to make the season bright.

New York City

NYC Rockefeller Center Tree lighting

• Get your kids’ eyes all aglow at the granddaddy (or grand dame, whichever you prefer) of all X-mas trees and visit the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center; and

• Go Zen with the Origami Holiday Tree at the American Museum of Natural History; and

• See the sea and a glorious tree at the Holiday on the Hudson Christmas Tree at West Harlem Piers Park; and

• Be awed by the Christmas Tree and Neapolitan Baroque Crèche at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; and

• Light it up at the World’s Largest Menorah as you and the kids nibble on latkes.


ATL Duluth Xmas tree

• Marvel at the massive Christmas Tree at Gwinnett Historic Courthouse; and

• Check out the Christmas Tree in Duluth with the stunning background of the majestic City Hall; and

• Add some sparkle to your holiday at Sparkle! A Celebration of Kids, Creativity and Magic, featuring a Christmas tree, a menorah, and plenty of fun for the wee ones; and

• Santa may have left the building, but you can still see the Giant Christmas Tree at Glover Park in Marietta.


BOS Blink2

• Open your eyes for Blink! at Faneuil Hall, which boasts 350,000 LED lights to illuminate Boston’s skyline; and

• Thank Friends of Copley Square for the amazing Christmas Tree on the Square; and

• Let it glow at Frozen Chanukah where you can witness a giant menorah lighting ceremony at Center Ice and partake in lots of fun activities for the kids.

The Hamptons

Hamptons Lighthouse

• Mix it up a bit and see the nontraditional Montauk Point Lighthouse all lighted up with thousands lights; and

• The Parade of Lights may have ended a few weeks ago, but you and the kids can still visit the Christmas Tree at Agawam Park; and

• Spread the light at the huge Public Menorah in front of the Amagansett Fire House.

San Francisco

SF zoolight 02

• Roar at the lights along with all the other animals at Zoo Lights; and

• Imagine the beauty of twinkling lights reflected in the bay, and then see just that at Pier 39 Christmas Tree; and

• Spin around at Holiday Circle of Lights and see not only festive displays but also giant nutcrackers and a reindeer sled; and

• Experience a beautiful Holiday Tree in its natural habitat at McLaren Lodge in Golden Gate Park.


Best Holiday Shows for Kids

They’ve been called banal, hackneyed, and schmaltzy. But we can’t help it. We love holiday shows. Check out RedRover’s picks in NYC, Atlanta, Boston, the Hamptons, and San Francisco, enjoy the most wonderful time of the year.

New York

NYC Guggenheim Peter and the WolfHow’s this for a holiday recipe: one part Isaac Mizrahi and one part the iconic Guggenheim Museum mixed with a classic tale told through instruments. What do you get? Peter & the Wolf with Isaac Mizrahi (Dec. 13 & 14). Fashion designer Mizrahi narrates and puts his spin on Sergei Prokofiev’s charming story in the Guggenheim’s auditorium.

In their Hanukkah show “Latkes & Applesauce” at Merkin Hall, The Poppy Seed Players play rousing klezmer music and perform a Hanukkah version of A Christmas Carol and the story of Thomas, the Shammus (Dec. 14). Meanwhile, over in the West Village, Dan Zanes brings his Fourth Annual Holiday Sing-Along show to City Winery for kids and anyone who likes to have a rollicking fun time (Dec. 14). Or how about some Menorah Madness with Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights at the Museum of Jewish Heritage (Dec. 14)? Enjoy super fun songs and make some holiday-themed crafts as well.

Throughout the rest of December, catch one of these perennial holiday productions: the breath-taking The Nutcracker at BAM (Dec. 13-21), the always excellent Three Bears Holiday Bash at the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre (Dec. 13-30), and the silly Fancy Nancy Splendiferous Christmas at Vital Theatre Company (Dec. 13-Jan. 4).


ATL ACC chorusAdmit it: you really love those standard holiday songs like The Little Drummer Boy and Rudolph, the Red Nose Reindeer. Hear ’em all at A Special Time of Year Holiday Concert performed by the Alpharetta Community Chorus at Ocee Library (Dec. 13). While your kids may be partial to Frosty the Snowman, Santa actually digs chamber music. At Santa’s Favorite Chamber Music, the Michael C. Carlos Museum welcomes back Old Saint Nick himself to introduce some of his favorite classical works and give treats to good listeners (Dec. 14).

For the rest of the month, stop by and get in the spirit with one of these kid-pleasers: Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus at New Dawn Theater in Duluth (Dec. 13-21); The Nutcracker at the Gwinnett Center (Dec. 13-21); Rudoph, the Red-nosed Reindeer at the Center for Puppetry Arts (Dec. 13-28); and Madeline’s Christmas at Horizon Theatre.


Christmas or Hanukkah? Ben Rudnick & Friends Holiday Extravaganza covers all the bases (Dec. 13). Ben and friends will play everyone’s favorite Christmas and Hanukkah songs, and holiday cheer will fill the air at the Regent Theatre. The New England Philharmonic’s Annual Family Concert brings alive – musically, that is — Chris van Allsburg’s The Polar Express along with other classics (Dec. 14). After the performance, kids can go on stage to try out some of the instruments.

BOS BSO Kids MatineeThroughout December, you and your family can jingle all the way to one these holiday shows: Langston Hughes’ Black Nativity, this song-play touches a special chord in the hearts of all (Dec. 13-21); Holiday Pops Kids Matinee at Symphony Hall, a special family concert that includes a children’s sing-along and post-concert photos with Santa (Dec. 13-24); Christmas Revels where you and the kids can step back in time to Victorian England, filled with familiar carols and lush dances (Dec. 13-28); and Urban Nutcracker, which fuses Tchaikovsky’s classic score with Duke Ellington’s jazz interpretation (Dec. 13-28).

The Hamptons

Throughout the upcoming weekend, you and the family have three chances to see The Nutcracker, presented Hampton Ballet Theatre School (Dec. 12-14). Your kids will love this magical story and seeing younger dancers up on the stage. Next weekend, the Bay Street Theatre puts a fun spin on the classic ballet with Mixed Nuts: A Classic Holiday Nutcracker…with a Twist (Dec. 19-20).

If your kids prefer to rock around the Christmas tree, you’ve got two options. Either check out the Brady Rymer Winter Concert at the Southold High School Auditorium (Dec. 20) or The Vendettas’ Rock n’ Roll Holiday Spectacular at the Bay Street Theatre (Dec. 21).

San Francisco

She’s won every award possible, and now actor Rita Moreno is taking on Peter & the Wolf with the help of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra (Dec. 14). If you’re an all-inclusive type of family, SF Saul Goodman bandcheck out Dream Circle Holiday Concert with Miss Kitty who’ll perform uplifting seasonal songs for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Chinese New Year at the Bay Area Discovery Museum (Dec. 20). For a stripped-down but amped up version of a Hanukkah concert, stop by the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco for Saturdays Unplugged: Hanukkah (Dec. 20). Saul Goodman’s Klezmer Band (not that Saul Goodman!) plays Hanukkah favorites in an old school mash-up.

The Children’s Fairyland is a one-stop shop for all types of holiday performances. Take in one of the ongoing holiday puppet shows: King Midas and the Magic Touch and The Nutcracker (both Dec. 13-28).


Make This the Best Holiday Season Ever

‘Tis the season when the calendar is jammed full of super fun holiday festivities like visiting Christmas tree and menorah lightings, designing ornaments and gingerbread houses, and seeing The Nutcracker or a holiday train show. The problem?  How do you navigate and sift through all these events? It’s simple: Just use the RedRover app and make this the best holiday season ever.

How to Use RedRover App to Find Holiday Events

photo 1If you don’t already have the RedRover app, first download it for your iPhone/iPad or Android. After you sign in and select your city, open the menu on the left side and select “Events.” You’ll see a number of categories, such as “All,” “Drop-in Classes,” and “Exhibits.” Tap the “Holiday” category. Immediately, you’ll see a curated listing of the best holiday events going on around the city. Tap an event like Gingerbread Lane at New York Hall of Science, and unleash the fun. You can also use the filter option to select activities based on age and distance from home.

There’s a ton of cool seasonal stuff do, but here’s just a sampling of some of RedRover’s favorite upcoming holiday events:


• Dress your pooch in his/her holiday finery to compete for prizes with celebrity judges or to just show off at the Reindog Parade at Atlanta Botanical Garden;

• Watch Clara and her beloved Nutcracker Prince dance in the holiday classic The Nutcracker at the Gwinnett Performing Arts Center;

• Enjoy a season of celebrations during Fernbank Museum of Natural History’s 5th annual Winter Wonderland; and

• Turn back the hands of time at Wren’s Nest Victorian Holiday Party.


BOS Swedish Christmas• Experience Christmas Swedish-style and enjoy Swedish culture, food, and song at Swedish Yuletide;

• Make one-of-a-kind holiday cards at the Holiday Card-Making Party at the Eric Carle Museum of Book Art;

• If your family wants exclusive early entry to ZooLights, a winter wonderland of lights at Franklin Park Zoo, check out Holiday Hot Chocolate with Reindeer; and

• Sing, dance, and move ‘n’ groove with Karen K & the Jitterbugs at Chanukah in the City.

The Hamptons

• Let your child’s imagination run wild at the Gingerbread Workshop at the Children’s Museum of the East End;

• For older kids, stop by the Wreath-making Workshop and use freshly cut evergreens at the Longhouse Reserve; and

• Meet Santa at the Holiday Open House at Shelter Island Historical Society and sample some cookies baked by elves.

New York City

NYC Morgan Winter family day• Enjoy an eclectic selection of yuletide music and warm up to hot chocolate and cider at the Holiday Concert on the High Line;

• Create your own gifts and holiday decorations inspired by Wave Hill’s wintry landscape at Natural Wreaths & Swags;

• Learn all about and experience Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol at the Morgan Library’s Winter Family Day; and

• And, of course, can’t forget the majestic Holiday Train Show at NY Botanical Garden, a holiday tradition.

San Francisco

SF Symphony deck the hall• At Tots Winter Carnival, the little ones can play lots of games like the Snowflake Toss, Big Rain Drop Throw, Windy Parachute Games, and Pin the Nose on the Snowman;

• At its annual holiday show, the Children’s Theater Holiday Program at Children’s Fairyland sends a message of love that crosses all religions;

• Sing along to holiday favorites with the San Francisco Symphony at Deck the Hall, a concert tailored just for kids; and

• Be bedazzled at the Eighth Annual Holiday Circle of Lights.  A giant Nutcracker soldier awaits your family’s arrival, and the magical storyland of lights will delight you.


Best Bets for Thanksgiving Weekend

Congratulations! You conquered Thanksgiving. Everyone’s belly is full, and the kids have chased each other around the house a million times. Now your big job is fill up the rest of the weekend. RedRover to the rescue! Check out our best bets for Thanksgiving weekend.

New York City

NYC MMI studioThroughout the weekend, the Museum of the Moving Image invites families to Holiday Tunes (Nov. 29-30). Using its exhibit “What’s Up Doc? The Animation Art of Chuck Jones” as a jumping-off point, families create animated videos inspired by a piece of classical music. If you’re not quite ready to say goodbye to the fall, stop by Wave Hill for its Family Art Project: Harvest Time Hangings (Nov. 29-30). Kids will gather and weave together leaves, cones, and pods to make a decorative wall hanging. For all you crafty families, many museums are hosting arts workshops on Nov. 30 like the Jewish Museum’s Drop-in Art Workshop, the Guggenheim’s Open Studio for Families, and the New York Hall of Science’s Little Makers. Wrap up the weekend with some games and music with Very Young People’s Concert at Lincoln Center (Nov. 30). Together your family will discover how music can be fun for everyone.


The play (and ballet) is the thing in Atlanta this weekend. You and the kids can watch either a classic children’s book or a classic children’s toy come alive on the stage. At Ansley Park Playhouse, “Lyle the Crocodile” tells the tale with song and dance about what happens when a crocodile winds up in a family’s bathtub (Nov. 29-30). Meanwhile, the Northeast Atlanta Ballet presents “The Nutcracker” where you can watch Clara and the Nutcracker Prince dance through a magical journey (Nov. 29-30). If you need a break to decompress from the Thanksgiving festivities, drop the kids off at Kids’ Drive-in Movie Night at the Little House of Art where they can watch Arthur Christmas (Nov. 29).


BOS ElskaAre your kids bouncing off the walls yet? No problem. Head over to the Open House at My Gym for a free (yes!) session, and your kids can jump, climb, and burn off all that pumpkin pie energy (Nov. 29). Afterwards, start to get ready for the next big holiday at Boston Tuba Christmas Concert and watch over 150 tuba players serenade the crowd with holiday favorites (Nov. 29). Keep the music going at Play Date: Family Concert with Mister G at Institute of Contemporary Art where Mr. G mixes up bluegrass and bossa nova (Nov. 29). The next day Elska performs her modern pop music for children and families at the Norwood Theatre (Nov. 30).

The Hamptons

The Parrish Art Museum opens its doors to families at its Open Studio for Families throughout the weekend (Nov. 29-30). Go on a family tour and create art projects inspired by the works on view including painting, sculpture, and collage. For younger kiddos, take in the adorable puppet show The Princess, the Frog, and the Pea at Goat on a Boat (Nov. 29). If you can’t wait to dive into the holiday season, check out Parade of Lights & Tree Lighting where kids can watch a parade of decorated fire trucks and witness the annual Christmas tree lighting at Agawam Park (Nov. 29). If your family is anywhere near Montauk, see the Lighting at the Lighthouse at the Montauk Point Lighthouse and watch thousands of lights herald in the holiday season (Nov. 29). Visit the lighthouse the next day for Christmas at the Lighthouse for lots of kid-centric holiday activities like meeting Santa, pony rides, and nibbling on holiday treats.

San Francisco

Children's Creativity Carousel - NightWe know that Thanksgiving just ended, but why not use the weekend as prelude to the next holiday? At the Winter Carousel Lighting at the Children’s Creativity Museum, the Bay Area’s oldest carousel will be illuminated as kids enjoy an evening of free rides, seasonal treats, and family-friendly activities (Nov. 29). Throughout the weekend, there are plenty of live performances for the whole family, such as the “King Midas and the Golden Touch” puppet show at Children’s Fairyland, a musical version of “James and the Giant Peach,” a dance-centric “The Velveteen Rabbit,” and a favorite classic opera La Bohème for Families.


16 Fun Ways to Get Ready for Thanksgiving

Even though Thanksgiving comes late this year, we still can’t believe that it’s less than a week away. Have no fear! We found a ton of fun things for you and the kids to do that will get you in the mood to baste the bird and puree the potatoes. Here are RedRover’s 16 fun ways to get ready for Thanksgiving.

New York

NYC Museum at Eldridge Turkey 01Even before the weekend hits, your kids can make some super cute Thanksgiving decorations at a number of Queens libraries, such as a cornucopia door sign  to welcome your guests (Nov. 21) or a totem pole craft to honor Native Americans for their contribution to Thanksgiving (Nov. 21). After you decorate your home, head over to the Strand Bookstore to see Curious George before he makes his appearance at the Macy’s Day Parade (Nov. 22 & 23).  The mischievous monkey will share some Thanksgiving stories with the kiddos. If your children love mysteries and searching for clues, stop by the Museum at Eldridge Street for its Great Turkey Scavenger Hunt (Nov. 23). Kids will follow a trail of old clues and discover Eldridge’s own special Thanksgiving tale and turkey. The DiMenna Children’s History Museum is going all-out this weekend to gear up for the big day. At the Kids’ Table with Sarah Lohman (Nov. 22), kids can learn about colonial times’ Thanksgiving food and then make their own mini-apple pie. For younger kids, visit the museum for a cozy Thanksgiving storytime (Nov. 23). Kids will hear Balloons Over Broadway, a true story about a parade puppeteer. If you have a family museum membership at DiMenna, your kids are in for a treat! Family members will receive priority access to view the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon inflation (Nov. 26) and can warm up with hot chocolate, treats, and activities at the museum.


Throughout the weekend, the Children’s Museum of Atlanta will be revving up for Thanksgiving during its Meet the Holidays festivities (Nov. 22 & 23). Kids will learn about Thanksgivings of yesteryear, listen to a Thanksgiving story, and make their own “I Am Thankful” tags. Before you write up your Thanksgiving menu, stop by Peachtree Road Farmer’s Market for a chef demo by Brian Jones of Restaurant Eugene and get some scrumptious dish ideas (Nov. 22). A few days before Turkey Day, kids can feast on a bunch of Thanksgiving stories at the Perry Homes Branch Library’s storytime, part of Atlanta-Fulton Public Library system (Nov. 25).


Mass Audubon turkeysCurl up with your kids at a Thanksgiving PJ Storytime at Catching Joy (Nov. 21). Staff will read stories about gratitude to kids, who are encouraged to wear their pajamas, and then make a “thankful” turkey craft. Don’t forget to bring non-perishable food items, which Catching Joy will donate to the Dedham Food Pantry. If your kids are curious about those birds we’ll all be gobbling up, check out Turkey Trot at Mass Audubon (Nov. 23) Kids will search for turkey habitats and then make a special turkey project to brighten your holiday table. To learn more about turkeys and how they eat, stop by Fetch! Eat Like a Bird at Discovery Museums (Nov. 25) where kids will test different bird beaks to discover what it really means to “eat like a bird.”

The Hamptons

While kids’ help in the kitchen is limited as you prepare the big meal, kids can create a festive centerpiece (Nov. 22) for the table at Westhampton Free Library’s arts and crafts session, part of the Suffolk Library system. Ever wonder what’s the difference between a turkey and a chicken? Kids can learn all about our feathered friends at the Long Island Science Center’s Thanksgiving (Nov. 22) and amaze your guests with facts and trivia.

San Francisco

SF Marin Farmers Market PieWhat are you most thankful for? For some kids, it’s trains, and that’s where the Walt Disney Family Museum comes in. Inspired by Walt Disney’s fascination with trains and miniatures, the museum’s Open Studio hosts Miniature Diorama Train: What I’m Thankful For (Nov. 22 & 23) where kids will create a display of what they’re most thankful for within a small diorama. Thanksgiving is not only about giving thanks; it’s also about giving back. Marin Country Mart Farmers Market is asking families to Make a Pie for Charity (Nov. 22). Participants will make a pie onsite with a chef’s help for the St. Vincent De Paul Society of Marin County, which will bake the pie on Thanksgiving Day and serve it in their free dining room.


Top Museum Exhibits for Kids This Holiday Season

As the days get shorter and colder, indoor fun becomes all the more important — especially during the upcoming holiday breaks. Thankfully, a ton of museums are hosting fun and hip exhibits that both parent and kids will love. From the Keith Haring show in San Francisco to the Maurice Sendak exhibit in Atlanta and the “Sesame Street” celebration in New York City, here are RedRover’s top museum exhibit picks for kids this holiday season.

New York

RR MoMA MatisseThe Museum of Modern Art wraps up the year with a major bang with Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs. With only scissors and colored paper, Matisse abolished the boundary that separates line and color. Although he’s an old master, young kids love and relate to his colorful paper cut-outs and collages. At Lincoln Center, check out some other old masters – of the puppet persuasion – at Somebody Come and Play: 45 Years of Sesame Street. Kids can get up close to Elmo, Oscar, and Grover, watch show highlights, and even curl up for story time at this exhibit celebrating everyone’s favorite children program. In this age of keyboards and Swype, Drawn to Language at Children’s Museum of the Arts is a welcomed reminder that hand-printed letters and words are an artform. The exhibit brings together paintings, drawings, and collages that all use handwritten words as jumping-off point for art.


One of kids’ (and grown-ups’ too) favorite books Where the Wild Things Are comes alive at Maurice Sendak in His Own Words and Pictures at The Breman Museum. While parents will be fascinated by the story’s preliminary sketches, kids will dig the interactive stations, such as a dress-up area, a mini-slide, and a model of Rosie’s Stoop.


BOS Model Train Bos Mus fine artsHalloween may be over, but monsters – the cute and lovable ones – still live on at the Monster Party exhibit at Boston Children’s Museum. The show highlights paintings and sculpture with a playful monster bent as well as plenty of interactive games. When it comes to anything that has wheels and moves, little kids aren’t the only ones who are fascinated. Sometimes serious museum curators are just as curious. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles at the Museum of Fine Arts celebrates all things vehicular – but in miniature form.

The Hamptons

The East Hampton Historical Society likes to keep things small too in terms of exhibit items. At It’s a Child’s World: Exhibition of Antique Dolls and Toys, you and the kids can experience how Christmas was celebrated in the 19th and early-20th centuries. The fun part is that all the displays are in dollhouse proportions. At Alan Shields: In Motion at the Parrish Art Museum, the artwork is definitely bigger and more interactive. In fact, kids can walk through it. The show’s centerpiece is a massive pole and fabric maze through which kids can wander.

San Francisco

SF Keith Haring deYoungThe Contemporary Jewish Museum shines the light on the work of children’s book illustrator J. Otto Seibold and Mr. Lunch. Based on the artist’s three books on the exploits of a professional bird-chasing dog, the show also includes several interactive play areas. Keith Haring also excelled at drawing cartoonish characters, but his creations all had an undercurrent of political urgency.  At the De Young Museum of Fine Arts, Keith Haring: The Political Line focuses both on Haring’s medium and message. While the show may be a bit serious in content, the stick figure art is still fun. (Note: the exhibition contains certain artworks that are adult in nature.)