If you’re a parent, you’re probably anticipating the holiday break with equal parts excitement and dread. On one hand: Christmas! Quality time with the family! On the other: Quality time with the family. Without a plan, the days can get pret-ty long. COVID’s only complicating matters. Venues’ hours are shifting with the threat level, which can change from one day to the next. Assuming things don’t change too much between now and New Year’s Day, here are seven ideas for Christmas events around the Delaware River towns.
Blind them with science
The Bucks County Children’s Museum in New Hope makes the wonders of everyday life kid-friendly. They can design their own racetrack, sort mail in a post office, and shop for groceries. Even cooler, they can cross a covered bridge and step into Bucks County Country, where they can traverse the High Rocks cliffs and clean up a segment of the Delaware. (Reservations are required December 26-31.)
Step back in time
On any given day, you’ll find adults and kids alike gawking at the New Hope Railroad’s steam train as it pulls out of and into its Bridge Street station. It brings history to life in a way that’s easy for almost anyone to be appreciate. And it only gets better once you hop aboard. The popular North Pole Express rides are available through Dec. 30. Tickets are also available for the traditional excursions.
Drill them with foam berries
You could easily spend an entire afternoon ducking for cover at Giggleberry Mountain, the three-story, six-level obstacle course and maze at Giggleberry Fair at Peddler’s Village in Lahaska, where there’s also an old-time-y carousel, an arcade, and an interactive educational area. But once you’ve fired a berry blaster, good luck pulling yourself away.
Go for a swim
The YMCA of Bucks County and Hunterdon County YMCA are offering free admission to their facilities and programs through the end of the year – including their pools. If you’re already feeling seasonal affective disorder coming on, splashing around in 80-degree water could temporarily relieve your symptoms.
Or climb a mountain (indoors)
At Doylestown Rock Gym, you’ll find seasoned climbers in full gear negotiating the ledges alongside first-timers of all ages. The sharp angles of some of the outcroppings can look a little intimidating, but with big, cushy mats everywhere, it’s almost as much fun falling as it is climbing. Even more, you’ll work muscles you never knew you had.
Dust off the ice skates
Speaking of having fun falling, you could dig out your ice skates from the depths of the coat closet and head over to the Flemington Ice Arena, which regularly offers public skating sessions. You’ll need to need to bring bike helmets for the kids (they’re required), but you can rent skates there and even arrange for a 15-minute private lesson if your kids are under six-years-old.
Or the roller skates
Step inside the Frenchtown Roller Rink and you’ll be immediately transported back to 1987. Only now, instead of showing off for your friends, you can chase your kids around the rink until your quads ache and your butt bruises like an overripened peach.