Live Concerts. Every year since we were introduced to the Mama Doni Band, we never miss a Maccabeat at her Chanukah Fever concert. Just yesterday I took 4 kids to her performance the 92ndY in Manhattan. We danced. We sang. We noshed. This year, Streits has sponsored Mama Doni’s tour and generously gave Streit’s Chanukah Gelt and free music downloads to everybody. You can check out some of Mama Doni’s videos about Chanukah here.
The Grand Menorah Lighting. This is a lot of fun for the entire family. We are fortunate to live within a few miles of a Grand Menorah, but you can also find one in your area by searching here.
Chanukah Fair. These are great because they happen when kids are not in school and they can take on several creative activities all under one roof: create your own Menorah, olive oil making, design your own frame, and much more. Jewish organizations like the JCC, YMCA, and Chabad in your local community will have a listing of events near you. Most of them are FREE OF CHARGE! Other perks include music, dancing, free gifts, and plenty of traditional Chanukah foods like potato latkes and donuts! Yes, Chanukah definitely put the “oy” in oil this time of year!
Coloring. I am so thankful that my kids love coloring. This time of year there is no shortage of Chanukah related coloring pages on our kitchen table. Menorahs, dreidels, and Chanukah gelt, the coloring opportunities are endless. We always find some fantastic Chanukah coloring pages here.
Cooking. This is where we really have a “latke” fun!! The kids help mix the potatoes in a large pot, but mom takes it from there to the pan of hot oil. We use fun cookie cutters in the shapes of menorahs and dreidels and decorate cookies with blue and gold icing. For some great healthy cookie recipes and more check out http://www.levanacooks.com, and for some fun decorating tips check out http://www.jewishhostess.com.
Giving. This is the holiday of giving and we make it a priority to give to charitable organizations. Chai Lifeline has hosted events around the US, bringing miles of smiles to kids everywhere! We always try to find the nearest toy drive and give back!
Videos. If the weather gets frightful (and we know it is coming), we cook up some popcorn and watch some of our favorite Chanukah videos. We make a Chanukah playlist that rocks all ages!! Some of our favorites include Shalom Sesame, The Maccabeat, and ShalomTV.
Make your own Chanukah party. Invite some friends and family over for a Chanukah celebration in your very own home. Get the kids involved in the clean-up (good excuse to have them clean-up their rooms), make signs, hang decorations, and play dreidel. Kids love this game! Afterall, this is a time for the kids to celebrate and have fun! Make your own food, or even make it a pot-”latke” and have everybody bring a different type of potato latke.
Wishinig all the most enjoyable of days ahead, Whether you are an Aunt, or a mom, there is no shortage of activities to keep your nieces, nephews, and children busy this holiday season.