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Winter Wonderland

Unsure what to do for the holidays? We've got you covered.

By Niki Gregoriou

Are you on Santa’s naughty or nice list? Now is the time when kids start writing Santa long lists of what they want for the holidays, in hopes of not waking up to a coal-filled stocking on Christmas. While kids keep busy, trying to find ways to spy on Santa and his elves at the North Pole; parents rush out to packed stores to buy last-minute gifts. With temperatures dropping and flurries starting, we know that winter has arrived. There are many essentials to a well-spent holiday that you and your family can enjoy together.

The first exciting “to-do” in preparation for the holidays is picking a tree. Here are several locations to find the perfect tree for you: Baiting Hollow Nurseries at Fresh Pond Avenue and Sound Avenue in Calverton, Dart’s Christmas Tree Farm at 2355 Main Bayview Rd. in Southold, Mike’s Christmas Tree Farm at 323 Weeks Ave. in Manorville, Muller’s Christmas Tree Farm at 338 Woodland Ave. in Manorville, North Fork Preserve Christmas Tree Farm at 119A Sound Ave. in Aquebogue, Santa’s Christmas Tree Farm on Main Road in Cutchogue, Shamrock Christmas Tree Farm at Main Road and Elijahs Lane in Mattituck, Tilden Lane Farm at 48 Wyckoff St. in Greenlawn, and Carter Christmas Tree Farm at 123 North Country Rd. in Miller Place.  Once your tree is picked and fastened tightly onto the roof of your car, you are ready to kick off the countdown till Christmas.

Brad Oscar and Victoria Oscar portraying Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus perform during the lighting of the National Christmas Tree, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2009, in Washington. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)

Brad Oscar and Victoria Oscar portraying Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus perform during the lighting of the National Christmas Tree, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2009, in Washington. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)

After getting the tree comes the hard part—decorating it. Long Island gives the opportunity to see some incredible Christmas tree lightings. On Nov. 28, from 1 to 6 p.m., the Glen Cove Village Square will be holding a Christmas tree lighting. There will be carolers, horse and carriage rides, and visits with Santa. For further information you can call 516-759-6970. The Montauk Point Lighthouse will hold its second annual lighting of the lighthouse for the holidays. This will be on Nov. 28, from 4:30 to 7 p.m. If you have any question you can call 631-668-2428 or go to visit the Lighthouse’s website. For another spectacular light show, come to Camp Edey. This show, at 1500 Lakeview Ave. in Bayport, is open every night until Dec. 23, Thursday through Saturday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and Sunday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Twelve dollars per car will buy you this 3-D holiday lights display that will light up your very own winter wonderland.

Long Island also offers plenty of shows for you and your family to come watch. “Mickey’s Magical Christmas” will be showing at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center at 76 Main St. on Dec. 19 at 11 a.m. Following the movie, there will be a special visit from Santa Claus. Tickets are distributed on a first come, first serve basis; call 631-288-1500 for further questions. Another show taking place on Long Island for the holidays is “Clara’s Dream–The Nutcracker Ballet.” This will happen on Dec. 5 from 2 to 7, and December 6 from 1 to 6, at the Patchogue Theater. For ticket information call 631-472-3455. Another show, at the BayWay Arts Center, is “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer.” This will be shown at 265 E. Main St. in East Islip, from Nov. 28 to Dec. 26. After the show, milk and cookies will be offered with the one and only Saint Nick. Space is limited and reservations must be made in advance, so call 631-581 2700. “A Christmas Carol,” on Dec. 11 at 7:30 p.m., will give you a dramatic reading of the Charles Dickens classic. This will happen in the Old Westbury Garden’s Red Ballroom, located at 71 Old Westbury Rd. To make reservations call 516-333-0048. Another “Christmas Carol” show will be held at Theatre Three of Port Jefferson, 412 Main St. This presentation will be shown from Nov. 13 to Dec. 27; for times call 631-928-9100.  These shows will carry on the spirit of the holidays and re-tell stories that have been around for many generations.

After you’ve set decorations in place, mailed out your wish lists, seen all the Christmas lightings offered and watched shows of holiday tales and legends, you are ready to enjoy the holidays with your family. There are many events on Long Island to help embrace and celebrate the Holiday festivities. Are you curious to meet Dasher, Dancer and Prancer, along with the rest of Santa’s reindeers? Hicks Nursery, at 100 Jericho Tpke. in Westbury, displays live reindeers throughout the month of December. Come any day, Monday through Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sundays till 8 p.m. Santa will also make a guest appearance every day from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 5 p.m. For further details call 516-334-0066. If you’ve ever wondered what a Christmas would look like in the early Victorian period, now’s your chance to find out! Christmas at Hallockville, at the Hallockville Museum Farm and Folklife Center, will let you catch a glimpse into life during this time. Come to 6038 Sound Ave., in Riverhead on Dec. 6 from noon to 4 p.m. If you have any questions concerning this event call 631-298-5292 These are just some of the many things to do on Long Island for the holidays, but most importantly having a safe and happy holiday is the key.

Additional Things To Do

The PTSA will be hosting their annual Holiday Boutique and Craft Fair on Saturday, Dec. 12 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Central H.S. Gymnasium, at 135 Fletcher Ave. There will be a variety of goods being sold to match anyone’s Holiday needs.  Retail goods, vintage clothes, limited edition art, jewelry, handbags, T-shirts, collectible coins, spa massages, and baked good are just some of the items you may come across. Admission will be free. For more information, call 516-825-PTSA or check their website.

Bayville Winter Wonderland offers food and fun for the whole family. There are many activities to choose from like the 3-D Santa Toy Factory Funhouse, or Captain Bay’s Yo-Ho-Holiday Light Show. You can also buy tickets for the Arctic Skating Adventure, the holiday express train ride, or a magical meeting with Santa. An arcade and rock climbing wall add onto the endless possibilities of entertainment. After spending a night of fun, enjoy a meal from any of Bayville’s nearby restaurants such as the Tiki Bar Café, The Shipwreck Tavern, Skully’s Pub, or Beaches and Cream Soda Shoppe. Admission for five attractions is $15. Prices vary for additional activities. Bayville will open Nov. 27 on weekends, only throughout the month of December. For further information check their website.

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