New Year's Day 2013 for New York City Kids: Things to Do Together as a Family
One of the main reasons we live in New York City 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 do even more fun things with your kids, kick off 2013 with an enriching New Year's Day in our incredible city.
We came up with six resolutions for families and then found activities to fulfill each one—all at places that are open on January 1, 2013 in NYC.
From all of us at Mommy Poppins, we wish you and your families a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!
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 explore its special exhibits Spiders Alive!, Creatures of Light and the gorgeous origami Christmas tree before they all come down in early January. The Museum of Modern Art, usually closed on Tuesday, is open too, as is the Guggenheim where you can explore Picasso: Black and White, which closes on Wednesday, January 23.
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 folks have never 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 explore the temporary exhibit ReGeneration before it closes on Sunday, January 13. The Liberty Science Center in Jersey City is another not-as-far-away-as-you-think destination, and is easily accessible via public transportation. Over holiday break, families can enjoy its 12 Days of Science festival, which ends on New Year's Day with science-themed arts and crafts, insta-snow and liquid nitrogen ice cream demos, and more. You can also check out the Animation exhibit, which we loved when we caught it at NY Hall of Sci. Or head to Astoria, Queens to explore the Museum of the Moving Image, where you'll find a pair of kid-friendly exhibits. Spacewar! Video Games Blast Off chronicles the early history of video games and The Art of the Rise of the Guardians offers a behind-the-scenes look at DreamWorks Animation's film of the same name. The museum is also screening DreamWorks' Puss in Boots on New Year's Day. Even if you've been to all of these museums before, we've got one we're pretty sure you haven't visited yet: the brand-new Museum of Mathematics, an interactive and fun spot aimed at grade-schoolers that just opened in mid-December.
Resolution: Enjoy quirky only-in-NYC fun
We're always raving about various offbeat NYC experiences. On January 1, you can head to Coney Island to watch the annual Polar Bear Club's New Year's Day Swim at 1pm. 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:" In addition to raising money for their usual charity, Camp Sunshine, they're also calling for donations to the post-Hurricane Sandy recovery effort in Coney Island.
Resolution: Actually visit those tourists spots you've never seen
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? You can check out those iconic New York City attractions on New Year's Day, along with Times Square tourist spots Madame Tussauds, Ripley's Believe it or Not! Odditorium and Discovery Times Square, which has that cool Harry Potter exhibit.
Resolution: See more kid-friendly theater
Many Broadway shows have performances today, including family favorites Annie, Elf the Musical, Spider-Man and Wicked. If your kids aren't ready for the Great White Way, you can also catch the much more affordable Big Apple Circus: Legendarium at Lincoln Center, or Vital Children's Theater's Angelina Ballerina the Very Merry Holiday Musical.
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. Central, Prospect, Flushing Meadows Corona and Van Cortlandt Parks are all open. Or you could walk up Fifth Avenue to see the stunning department store holiday windows before they're gone. The Prospect Park, Queens and Central Park Zoos are also 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. Or you could go ice-skating at the rinks in Bryant, Central, Van Cortlandt or Riverbank State Parks. If you're up for spending more time waiting than skating, the Ice Rink at Rockefeller Center is also open.
- What's Open on Christmas Day in NYC 2012: 12 Things to Do with Kids After Opening Gifts
- Things to do New Year's Day 2009 with Kids in New York
- Best New Museum Exhibits for NYC Kids Spring 2012: 6 Awesome Installations for Families
- What's Open on Thanksgiving Day in NYC 2013: 12 Things to Do with Kids Besides the Parade