Light Around the World
Light is the symbol of the season and candles become the source of light for many holiday traditions. The South Street Seaport Museum takes kids on a storytelling tour through Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa, as well as other festivals that utilize candles, then teaches them how to make their own wax creations. While at the Seaport, do a meet-and-greet with the man of the season, Santa Claus.
Candle drop-in workshop on December 17 and 18 from 1pm to 4pm.
South Street Seaport Museum, 12 Fulton St.; 212-748-8758 or southstseaport.org.
Free with museum admission or $8 grown-ups; $4 kids up to 12; free for kids 4 and younger.
Kugel's Amazing Hanukkah Adventure
Learn all about the festival of lights in Kugel's Amazing Hanukkah Adventure, with Morey the Menorah, Kaiser the not-so-kosher Kitty, Moisha the crazy Moose. This musical includes puppets, costumed characters, and live actors.
December 27 at 1pm and 3pm.
Hunter College, Kaye Playhouse, 68th St., between Park and Lexington Aves.; 212-772-4448 or find-kugel.com.
A Musical Christmas Carol
In a musical nod to Charles Dickens' classic tale of the meany who undergoes a spiritual transformation, A Christmas Carol at the Lucille Lortel Theatre finds Mr. Scrooge taking a hard look at his shortcomings, renouncing his money-hungry ways, and resolving to go the path of goodness and generosity. From Theatreworks/NYC.
Through December 31.
Lucille Lortel Theatre, 121 Christopher St., nr. Hudson St.; 212-279-4200 or twusa.org.
Joshua Nelson, a Jewish African American, also known as the Prince of Gospel, performs with his choir in a family show humorously titled, Challah-lujah. A brunch starts the day, featuring kosher soul food, followed by the performance of a spirited mix of Jewish and Gospel music.
December 25; brunch at 1pm, show at 2:30pm.
Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Pl.; 646-437-4339 or mjhnyc.org.
$35 grown-ups, $25 seniors, $20 students, $10 kids 11 and younger. Performance only: $18 grown-ups, $12 seniors, $10 students and kids.
A Couple of Christmas Classics
Manhattan Theatre Source's A Couple of Christmas Classics is a pair of one-man family shows that will amaze the kids. Charles Dickens tells his own story of A Christmas Carol and during the oration, becomes the very characters he created. In It's A Wonderful Life, the actor portrays all 32 characters.
Through December 30.
Manhattan Theatre Source, 177 MacDougal St. near W. 8th St.; 212-501-4751 or theatresource.org.
Ringing in The New Year at the Library
Toddlers and preschools may not quite get the whole concept of New Year's Eve, but they can certainly get in on the celebration factor of it all. The New York Public Library's Ottendorfer branch in the East Village throws a late afternoon party for the littlest ones with storytelling, a sing-along, and a mini countdown to get them in the mood.
December 29 at 4:15pm.
New York Public Library, Ottendorfer branch, 135 Second Ave. near. St. Marks Pl.; 212-674-0947 or nypl.org
A Multi-Culti Visit From St. Nick
Downeast's premiere of its original multi-culti dramatization of Clement C. Moore's A Visit From St. Nick weaves in traditional holiday songs, a menorah lighting, some Spanglish verses, and a Kwanzaa gift. The 45-minute show teaches kids a little of everything, including the custom of leaving lettuce under the bed for the Three Kings' camels. Pre-registration suggested. For toddlers on up.
December 22 and 23 at 5pm, December 24 at 3pm. Followed by a party with local entertainers.
Downeast Arts Center, 203 Ave. A, nr. 12th St.; 212-228-2886 or nyartists.org
Don your best cowpoke duds for a Hanukkah Hoedown at the 14th Street Y. Kids will love the great gelt rush treasure hunt, the Macca-cowboy obstacle course, and candle-making workshop. Along with the kids, parents can go hootenanny with real square dancing, old-fashioned family portraits, and the best latke competition. Shalom y'all.
December 25 from 1pm to 4pm.
14th Street Y, 344 E. 14th St., nr. First Ave.; 212-780-0800 or 14streety.org
$10, free for infants.
A Czech Take on A Christmas Carol
Take A Christmas Carol and whirl it with puppets and holidays songs in Swahili, Hebrew, and Czech and you've got a curious presentation by the Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theater.
Through January 1.
Jan Hus Playhouse, 351 E. 74th St., nr. First Ave.; 212-868-4444 or czechmarionettes.org.
$15 grown-ups, $11 seniors and kids.
Klezmer for Kids
While some will be lifting a cup of eggnog on Christmas day, others will venture to a mock Eastern European Jewish wedding from a century ago at the Eldridge Street Synagogue. Kids from the audience will be chosen to be part of the ceremony and Klezfest plays traditional music and tells stories from the old days. We've done it and it's tons of fun.
December 25 at 12:30pm and 2:30pm.
Eldridge Street Synagogue, 12 Eldridge St., nr. Division St.; 212-219-0888, ext. 302 or eldridgestreet.org.
$12 grown-ups, $10 kids.