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Hamptons Holiday Happenings: Christmas Parades, Santa Sightings, Tree Lightings And More

Elsie Boskamp

Instead of lighting a traditional tree this holiday season, watch as the Montauk Lighthouse shines bright with thousands of white lights. (Courtesy Photo)

Don't miss out on this year's most anticipated holiday happenings in the Hamptons! Celebrate all through December with Christmas parades, Santa sightings, tree lightings, glamorous gingerbread and more. Here are the top nine family holiday activities and events going on in the Hamptons.

1. For a day that's perfect for snapping that coveted family holiday picture, head to Southampton on Saturday, November 29, 2014, for the annual Parade of Lights and Christmas Tree Lighting (631-283-0402, www.southamptonchamber.com). The Decorated Fire Truck Parade is set to begin at 4:45 p.m., and will wrap around the Village and culminate at Agawam Park, where caroling and Christmas fun will complete the annual tree lighting. Directly following the Parade of Lights and the tree lighting, the Southampton Cultural Center (25 Pond Lane, Southampton, 631-287-4377, www.scc-arts.org) will host a holiday reception where Santa's scheduled to stop by.

Once December hits, start the season off right with a parade full of festive Christmas floats and decorations. (Stock Photo)

2. Montauk Point and the beautiful Hamptons beaches go hand and hand, so this holiday season, instead of lighting a traditional tree, thousands of white lights will adorn the Montauk Lighthouse (2000 Montauk Highway, Montauk, 631-668-2428, www.montaukchamber.com) during the annual Lighthouse Lighting. The event is scheduled for Saturday, November 29th at 4:30 p.m., and will include Christmas caroling and a special visit from Santa himself.

3. Once December hits, start the season off right with a parade full of festive Christmas floats and decorations. Grab the family and head over to East Hampton Village on Saturday, December 6th at 10 a.m. for the annual East Hampton Chamber Santa Parade (631-324-0362, easthamptonchamber.com). Starting on Main Street, Santa and Mrs. Claus will ride their sleigh through Newtown Lane, and stop just before they reach the railroad tracks.

Kick off the holiday season with the Southampton Village Parade of Lights and Christmas Tree Lighting. (Photo: Nicole Barylski)

4. For fun holiday happenings from day till night, check out the Holiday Winterfest in the Village of Westhampton Beach (631-288-3337, www.westhamptonchamber.com ) on Saturday, December 6th. Starting at 10:30 a.m., families can enjoy holiday movies at the Hampton Arts Twin Cinema (2 Brook Road), which will be followed by craft sessions, kids' activities, holiday treats and discounts throughout Main Street stores and restaurants. To add to the Christmas cheer, Santa will be visiting the Village Gazebo, and Mrs. Claus will be hosting story time at the Westhampton Library (7 Library Avenue, Westhampton Beach, 631-288-3335, westhamptonlibrary.net) at 3 p.m. The day will culminate with the Christmas Tree and Menorah Lighting at 6:30 p.m.

5. Impress all your friends this holiday season with an original home-made gingerbread house from the Beach Bakery (112 Main Street, Westhampton Beach, 631-288-6552, www.beachbakerycafe.com). On Thursday, December 11th at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., the Westhampton Library (7 Library Avenue, Westhampton Beach, 631-288-3335, westhamptonlibrary.net) is hosting "Gingerbread House at the Beach Bakery." For the price of $20, families can register to participate in this fun-filled event complete with delicious gingerbread and decorations. You'll be sure to leave with a box of edible art!

Create beautiful seasonal treats during one of the Hamptons baking workshops. (Photo: Kristin Kraszewski)

6. For more in crafty cooking fun, check out the Holiday Cupcake Decorating event at the Hampton Bays Public Library (52 Ponquogue Avenue, Hampton Bays, 631-728-6241, hamptonbayslibrary.org) from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, December 11th. Get into the holiday spirit and bring the whole family down to decorate that perfect Christmas treat.

7. Making ornaments is always fun, but have your little ones ever made a snow globe? At 10 a.m. on Saturday, December 20th, bring the kids, ages 2 to 6, down to the Children's Museum of the East End (376 Bridgehampton/Sag Harbor Turnpike, Bridgehampton, 631-537-8250, www.cmee.org) for an interactive reading of Wong Herbert Yee's "Tracks In The Snow," and a workshop on how to make an original snow globe. All materials will be provided in order for the kids to make a winter wonderland that they can forever cherish. Reservations are required, and the class costs $15 for members and $20 for non-members.

The East Hampton Food Pantry is holding a food drive during The Maidstone's Tree Lighting. (Courtesy Photo)

8. After children finish playing with all their new toys, take them down to Parrish Art Museum (279 Montauk Highway, Water Mill, 631-283-2118, parrishart.org) from Monday, December 29th through Wednesday, December 31st for a special Holiday Art Workshops. With painting, sculpture and collage classes, children are sure to have a blast while creating their holiday craft. Each day is separated into two classes, one from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. for children ages 4 to 6, and a second from 1 to 3 p.m. for children ages 7 and up. Space is limited, and the class is $30 for members and $40 for non-members.

9. From 4 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, December 7th, join The Maidstone & The Living Room (207 Main Street, East Hampton, 631-324-5006, cohotels.maidstone) for their annual tree lighting. Featuring holiday music from the East Hampton High School choir, cookie decorating, and visits with Santa, this family friendly holiday happening is the perfect way to celebrate the Yuletide season. Throughout the evening, the East Hampton Food Pantry will collect non-perishable food and Toys for Tots will also hold a toy drive.

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