Get out of the house and enjoy one of these fun holiday family activities.
See the Nutcracker ballet
Tchaikovsky’s famous classical suite comes to life across the country and the world in ballet theaters everywhere. If you live in Utah, Ballet West is showing a traditional version of the Nutcracker ballet; tickets are available here.
Visit your local zoo
Many zoos provide special Christmas activities during December, and some of them do so for free. The Oakland, CA, zoo is famous for their ZooLights show where visitors can see the light show, “enjoy a fantasyland of giant toy soldiers with over-sized candy canes, lollipops, and gingerbread cookies in the rides area,” and “mingle among hundreds of thousands of energy-efficient LED lights” while listening to Christmas music. See Zoolights' Flickr page. Zoo Boise provides a day of free admission with a visit from Santa and special animal enrichment activities. Call your zoo or look them up online to find out if they have any seasonal events scheduled.
Ride the Polar Express
“The Polar Express” is one of the most famous and beloved children’s books around on the Christmas theme. There are lots of train rides that provide caroling, hot chocolate, treats and, of course, a meeting with Santa. Here are the five best Polar Expresses of the west:
Grand Canyon Railway (AZ)
Royal Gorge Route (CO)
Mount Hood Railroad (OR)
Don’t live close to any of these? Find your state here to see if there are any other polar express rides available. Or make your own, by bringing cookies and a thermos along on the trains or subway or other sorts of public transportation available, and read the story together as a family.
1. Go caroling through your neighborhood, especially visiting those that are elderly or ill.
2. Work at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter. You can find homeless shelters in your area here, or by looking them up in your phone book.