VISIT SANTA CLAUS
You might forgo that traditional pic with the kids on Santa’s lap this year, but that doesn’t mean visits with the Big Man are off limits. Simon malls around the state are offering socially distanced Santa Photo Experiences, and Bridgewater Commons is hosting a contactless Safe Santa Celebration. Most require advance reservations. Spots like the iconic Macy’s in Herald Square have opted for virtual visits, which means the kids can still make sure to put in their wish lists. You can also get a personalized email greeting from the big guy without leaving home from It’s the Real Santa.
GRAB YOUR MATCHING PJS
If you’re looking for the perfect Instaworthy holiday photo to share with friends, nothing is cuter than everyone sporting matching jammies on Christmas morning. You’ll find festive options at Target or Old Navy but Footed Pajamas even offer matching doggie outfits, so your furry friends can get in on the fun, too.
SEE HOLIDAY LIGHTS
Brighten up long winter nights by visiting Luminocity on Randall’s Island, a light up safari at the Bronx Zoo Holiday Lights or Six Flags’ Winter Festival in Jackson which has illuminated animals and more holiday fun. If you’d rather stay in your car, try the drive through Spectacular Christmas Light Show in Augusta or the South Jersey Holiday Light Show in Swedesboro. If you want more lights, see our Ultimate Guide to Holiday Lights with drive-thru experiences, over-the-top houses and more.
MAKE A GINGERBREAD HOUSE
If you spent your spring mastering sourdough, challenge yourself to make gingerbread from scratch. If that’s not your thing, snag a festive kit from Harry & David or Wilton. Or go unconventional with an Oreo house kit (available at most grocery stores). If you’re more interested in eating the gingerbread, order cookies from Finally Ginger, where you’ll find gift sets with flavors like orange, lemon and chocolate.
WATCH A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS
“I never thought it was such a bad little tree. It’s not bad at all really. Maybe it just needs a little love.” For more than 60 years, we’ve watched Charlie Brown share this sentiment during the holiday classic that has aired on CBS or ABC. Now, you can stream it on loop on AppleTV+. Even if you don’t subscribe, you can still do your Snoopy dance around the tree and watch it for free on the streaming platform from December 11-13.