Christmas is more than one day for kids. Especially school age kids. The holiday vacation begins on the 23rd of December and lasts until January 2. Unless you’ve planned some things to do, ten days can be a really long time.
There are some marvelous old-time things your children can do, such as spending the day in the park collecting acorns and squirrel nuts for tree decorations or even popping pop corn, coloring it with different colors of food dye, letting it dry, then stringing it around the Christmas tree.
One of the largest Christmas trees lights up on December 3. It happens at Rockefeller Plaza. People from miles around travel to see this spectacle. You should arrange to let your kids see this sight. Carols are sung periodically by various choral groups and hundreds of blooming poinsettia strew the area making the scene an irresistible sight to behold.
I am sure you are going to be involved in a lot of shopping. To most kids shopping can be a bore, unless you are in the toy department. But there is one good thing about shopping during this time of year — the store windows. Stores like Lord & Taylor, Saks Fifth Avenue, B. Altman’s, Gimbels, Macy’s and F. A. O. Schwartz, all put on what they call window shows. They offer life-like characters, or puppets telling different stories, showing various costumes and customs, all very interesting and appealing to children. And, do you know that F. A. O. Schwartz is the Toy Store. Four entire floors, full of nothing but toys. A kid could spend the whole day in this toy haven, I never get bored. Parents even can’t resist tinkering with a few.
Ice skating should be planned during the vacation period. Wollman Memorial Rink in Central Park (64th St), Lasker Rink in Central Park (110th & LenoxAve.) and Rockefeller Center are outdoor skating areas. The Sky Rink at 450 W. 33rd St. is a nice indoor spot. Ice Skating is not just for kids either. Parents can rent skates and use the exercise too. Plus it is a wonderful family sport that all ages can enjoy.
The theater should be considered during the Christmas vacation. At the 13th Street Theatre, 50 W. 13th St., you can see two plays from now until Christmas. One is the The Little Wild West Fighter and the other is Gingerbread. Both are for kids and very entertaining. The shows are on Saturday and Sunday at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. For further information call 924-9785. There is also the Cottage Marionette Theatre at 81st St. and Central Park West. The Reluctant Dragon opens on December 27. Showtime is 11:30 a.m.and 1:30 p.m. For reservations call YU 8-9093. The Little Peoples’ Theatre Co. at 39 Grove St. near Sheridan Square, is where Wilbur, the Christmas Mouse and Pinocchio’s Christmas Journey are being performed. Shows: 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, December 3, 4, 10, 11 and everyday from December 17 through 31.
From December 20 through January 2, the famous Moscow Circus will be in town at Madison Square Garden’s Felt Forum (3rd Street at 8th Avenue). That’s right, a circus all the way from Moscow, Russia.
Every Friday and Saturday at 7:30, 9 and 10:30 p.m. there is Laserium, a show combining a laser beam, electronics and optical devices. It’s at the Hayden Planetarium on 81st St. and Central Park West.