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Photos courtesy of St. Mary's Hospital for Children
An MTA bus used for last year's holiday gift ride

As the holidays draw nearer, St. Mary’s Hospital for Children in Bayside continues its slate of festive events.

This weekend, the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) and the New York Fire Department (FDNY) will make the holidays brighter for hospital patients with visits from costumed characters, Santa and a gift ride on a holiday bus.

On Thursday, Dec. 19, MTA workers will drive a vintage MTA bus and one specially decked out for the holidays for a gift ride around the neighborhood. With Santa’s sleigh out of commission until Christmas Day, drivers will take St. Mary’s patients out for a morning of fun.

Santa comes down from an FDNY truck with his bag of gifts

From 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., kids will go on special holiday-themed rides while participating in music therapy. Leading up to the event, MTA employees at seven Queens bus depots have been collecting toys and musical instruments for St. Mary’s music therapy program.

The following day, New York’s Bravest will pay a special visit to St. Mary’s kids and their families. On Friday, Dec. 20, local firefighters will spread some holiday cheer with a drive-by with FDNY trucks a visit from Santa Claus and special costumed guests.

Last year, Santa made a surprise entrance from the roof of a firetruck and distributed his bag of toys to the eager children.

For more information, visit stmaryskids.org or find St. Mary’s on Facebook and Twitter.

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