New Year's Day 2015 with NYC Kids: Things to Do Together as a Family
One of the main reasons we choose to live in New York City (and pay crazy rents and take packed subways and research early education options as if we're going for a PhD) is to take advantage of all the amazing cultural experiences it has to offer year-round. If one of your New Year's resolutions is to get out there and do even more fun things with your kids, why not kick off 2015 with an enriching New Year's Day in our incredible city?
We came up with seven resolutions for families and then found activities to fulfill each one—all at places that are open on January 1 in NYC. You can find more seasonal fun, including kid-friendly ways to celebrate New Year's Eve, in our Holiday Guide. From all of us at Mommy Poppins, we wish you and your families a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!
Resolution: Visit a museum you've never been to before
Even though most NYC families have heard of Queens' New York Hall of Science, many haven't been there. It's open on New Year's Day and is just a 40-minute subway ride from midtown Manhattan. In addition to lots of permanent hands-on installations for all ages, you can check out its massive seasonal GingerBread Lane display before it comes down. New Year's Day is also a great time to check out the Museum of Mathematics, which has an awesome new Robot Swarm installation, and the New-York Historical Society, where kids can explore the DiMenna Children's History Museum and an immersive holiday train exhibit. Just across the Hudson in Jersey City you'll find the Liberty Science Center, which wraps up its popular 12 Days of Science festival on January 1. holiday. Other off the beaten path museums open on the holiday include Brooklyn's Jewish Children's Museum, the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum and the historic Merchant's House Museum in the East Village.
Resolution: Find more ways to play together as a family
You're never to old to fill your day with play. On New Year's Day, you can make like a pinball wizard at Modern Pinball, play video games at Dave & Buster's, hit the alley at Brooklyn Bowl or go beyond bowling at Chelsea Bowlmor, which recently opened a laser tag arena and ropes course. Of course, you don't need to leave your home to play as a family. For inspiration, check out our posts about ways to play while doing chores, fun exercise games and easy science experiments to try with kids.
Resolution: Explore more cool kid-friendly exhibits
The American Museum of Natural History is open on New Year's Day. In addition to its usual attractions, you can check out its special nature and pterosaurs installations, as well as its gorgeous origami Christmas tree before it comes down. Other top options include Discovery Times Square's high-tech Marvel’s Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. The Exhibition, the Museum of Modern Art's hands-on Art Lab: Places and Spaces and the Museum of the Moving Image's Chuck Jones exhibit, where school-age kids can try a stop-motion animation workshop on January 1.
Resolution: Enjoy quirky only-in-NYC fun
We're always raving about various offbeat NYC experiences and one of our favorites is the annual Polar Bear Club New Year's Day Swim in Coney Island. In case you're wondering, the members of this organization may be a little nutty but they're not naked, and since the swim is open to the public, you're welcome to join them in the ocean! As always, these cold-water enthusiasts are "freezin' for a reason" and are raising money for Camp Sunshine, a retreat for children with life-threatening illnesses.
Resolution: Actually visit those tourists spots you've never been to
When's the last time you enjoyed the view at the top of the Empire State Building or went to the Top of the Rock? How about the Statue of Liberty or Ellis Island? You can check out all of these iconic New York City attractions on New Year's Day, along with Times Square tourist spots Madame Tussauds and Ripley’s Believe It or Not!.
Resolution: See more kid-friendly theater
Many Broadway shows have performances today, including family favorites Matilda, Wicked, On the Town and the soon-to-close Cinderella. If your kids (or your wallet) aren't up for the Great White Way, you can also catch Big Apple Circus: Metamorphosis at Lincoln Center, Cirque Ziva at the New Victory Theater, or Vital Children's Theatre's Fancy Nancy Splendiferous Christmas or Pinkalicious on New Year's Day.
Resolution: Spend more time outside
While the rest of the city sleeps it off, take a quiet stroll through one of NYC's lovely green spaces. They're all open on New Year's Day, including Central Park, Prospect Park, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Van Cortlandt Park and the recently completed High Line. Or you could stroll down Fifth Avenue to see the stunning department store holiday windows before they're gone. The Prospect Park Zoo, Queens Zoo, Central Park Zoo and the New York Aquarium are also all open on January 1 (the Bronx and Staten Island Zoos are closed for the holiday). The Holiday Train Show continues at the New York Botanical Garden. You can also go ice-skating—most outdoor rinks are open on the holiday (weather permitting), including the ones in Bryant Park, Central Park, Riverbank State Park, Brookfield Place, McCarren Park, Prospect Park and the South Street Seaport. If you're up for spending more time waiting than skating, the Rink at Rockefeller Center is also open.
- New Year's Eve 2014 for NYC Kids: Best Ways to Celebrate NYE with the Whole Family
- The New Museum of Mathematics Adds Up to Educational Fun for NYC Kids
- Must-See New Kids' Museum: DiMenna Children's History Museum at the New York Historical Society
- Check Out Cool Antique Model Trains & Toys at the New-York Historical Society Over the Holidays