Hanukkah with Kids

Hanukkah begins on the evening of Sunday, December 18, and ends on the evening of Monday, December 26. It commemorates a revolt led by the Maccabees against oppressors, as well as a rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. After the revolt, the temple was desecrated and only had enough oil to light the menorah for one night. By a miracle, the oil lasted for eight days, and Hanukkah celebrates that triumph of light over darkness.

The Jewish Museum (109 5th Avenue, New York City) will host Picture This! Dream Menorahs on Sunday, December 11, from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM. Discover unique Hanukkah menorahs made with unexpected materials in a virtual tour and create a folded sculptural menorah book with dreams and hopes for each night of the holiday. This is a virtual event and free with registration.

The Chabad Center of Passaic County will present a Chanukah Storytime & Craft on Monday, December 12, at 4:30 PM at Wayne Public Library (461 Valley Road, Wayne). Register online.

Chabad of Montclair will host A Tie Dye Chanukah Party on Sunday, December 18, at 10:00 AM, at 42 S. Park Street, Montclair (formerly Chocolate Works). This event is open to all, but registration is required.

The Jewish Museum (109 5th Avenue, New York City) will host Hanukkah Art Mix on Sunday, December 18, from 11:00 AM to 3:30 PM. Celebrate the beginning of Hanukkah ​with art-making and ​an exploration of striking Hanukkah menorahs in the ​Jewish Museum’s galleries. Capture your discoveries through playful drawing activities, collaborate on an “illuminated city” installation with The Giant Room (a creative hub for children), print unique Hanukkah cards, and re-mix everyday materials to design a holiday sculpture inspired by art on view in New York: 1962-1964.

Camp Kimama-Bereisheet (441 Route 9W, Alpine) will host Celebrating Hanukkah with Kimama-Bereisheet on Sunday, December 18, from 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM.  Do you miss the songs and dances from camp, the fun activities with your friends? This December the camp is bringing some of the summer back. Meet for an Israeli holiday event at Kimama-Bereisheet summer camp complex in Alpine New Jersey. This event is free, but registration is required.

The Chabad Center of Passaic County (194 Ratzer Road, Wayne) will host Chanukah in Legoland on Sunday, December 18, from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM. Build a Lego Menorah and Lego Dreidel, enjoy hot latkes and donuts, make Chanukah crafts, and see a lighting of a jumbo Lego menorah. Optional Family Donation is $54. Register online.

The Chabad Center of Passaic County will present a Menorah Lighting and the Grand Gelt Drop on Monday, December 19, at Wayne Town Hall (475 Valley Road, Wayne) at 7:00 PM. Collect as many chocolate gelt (coins) as you can, as it rains down from the fire truck. The Gelt Drop will follow the menorah lighting.

On December 20 at 5:30 PM, Chabad of Montclair will present Montclair Chanukah Fest & Grand Menorah Lighting at The Wellmont Arts Plaza (5 Seymour Street, Montclair). This event is free and open to all. Celebrate Chanukah with a Grand Menorah Lighting and a concert by the Maccabeats. Enjoy hot latkes, chocolate gelt, a gift for every child, and much more. RSVP online.

On December 21 at 7:00 PM, the Township of Verona (600 Bloomfield Avenue, Verona) will host a Hanukkah Celebration. The event will include a menorah lighting, live music, dancing, food, art, and community. This event is free.

Morristown Jewish Center Beit Yisrael in conjunction with Temple B’nai Or will host Hanukkah on the Morristown Green (10 N. Park Place, Morristown) on Wednesday, December 21 from 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM. Enjoy doughnuts, hot drinks, gelt, prizes, music, and more. This event is open to the community.

The Jewish Museum (109 5th Avenue, New York City) will host two performances of Oran Etkin & Friends on Sunday, December 25 at 11:30 AM and 2:30 PM. Hear jazz, klezmer, and the music of Africa as Oran Etkin weaves global melodies and rhythms into a gumbo of goodness. Sing, dance, and discover how Etkin’s friend Clara Net (his clarinet!) can talk musically with various traditional instruments, creating exciting music that transcends borders. Enjoy tunes from Wake Up Clarinet!Finding Friends Far From Home, and Gathering Light in honor of Hanukkah in this musical world party. Tickets are $18 for adults. Children 18 and under are free. Reservations are required for both adults and children to reserve seats.

Are you looking for some fun craft ideas to help you celebrate the holiday with kids?

Here’s a super easy menorah craft using toilet paper rolls, craft sticks, and yellow paper. Kids can decorate the tubes however they like, using paint, crayons, colored paper, and more. Glue the craft sticks inside and attach a teardrop shaped piece of yellow paper to represent the flame on the candle. Kids can then “light” one candle per night!

Another simple craft is to make a Star of David. This also uses craft sticks that are decorated and glued together. The tutorial calls for painting the sticks, but they could be colored with markers as well.

Kids can also make their own dreidel using polymer clay. The game involves everyone getting a pile of coins. You could use small candies, pennies, or anything that can represent points. The coins are divided amongst the players, and everyone contributes coins to the pot. Players then take turns spinning the dreidel to see what happens. They may get to take all or half of the pot, do nothing, or add to it.

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