February Break: 35 Fun Things to Do with NYC Kids

Midwinter Break Recess New York City February Winter Vacation Best Things to Do

Kids can stop praying for snow days because midwinter recess kicks off for public school kids starting this weekend. If you're lucky enough to have the week off, too, there's lots of winter fun to be had in all five boroughs. To help you make the most of the school recess, we've rounded up our top 35 things to do with kids in New York City over midwinter break, which runs through Sunday, February 21. Some of our picks take place on specific dates, others run the entire time and all are great ways to celebrate the freezin' season. Be sure to click through the links for full details, including address and time.

  1. Head to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum for a slew of special Kids Week activities. Extreme Environments is this year's theme with events that let visitors get up close with animals adapted to survive in Earth's harshest conditions, learn how NASA researchers study our climates and catch a show in the pop-up planetarium.
  2. Learn about engineering through hands-on projects at the New York Hall of Science's Engineering Week program, which kicks off with Civil Engineering Day on February 15 and includes career talks from a different engineer each day.
  3. Find even more scientific fun by heading over the river the New Jersey's Liberty Science Center which is hosting a three-day long Star Wars extravaganza in honor of R2-D2, who's taking up permanent residence there.
  4. Commune with nature at Prospect Park's Audubon Center by meeting the resident animals, touring the grounds and helping with the Great Backyard Bird Count.
  5. More nature fun: Enjoy special Kids Week activities with the Urban Park Rangers at nature centers across the city including crafts, face time with animals and outdoor tours.
  6. Forget dinner and a movie, go for brunch with Nitehawk Cinema's Little Bookworms brunch series, which is showing big-screen adaptations of favorite children's books every Saturday and Sunday this month.
  7. Head to the Museum of the Moving Image, for a 3D screening of Inside Out and then create your own emotion-inspired character at a family workshop entitled The Ins and Outs of Character Design.
  8. Head to the American Museum of Natural History to see the new Titanosaur, a dinosaur so big its head peers through the door of the exhibition hall! When you've gaped at the giant long enough, duck into the Discovery Room for some hands-on learning.
  9. Roll up your sleeves and dig in at The Jewish Museum's new Archeology Mondays where there's a different artifact to uncover, sketch and explore every week.
  10. Come hungry to the New York Botanical Garden for its Culinary Kids Food Festival featuring cooking demos, tastings and other food adventures with New York City chefs.
  11. If your child prefers to roll up their sleeves and do the work, register your aspiring chef for one of these cooking classes.
  12. Warm up for the upcoming baseball season by taking a few swings at one of these nine batting cages within city limits.
  13. Drop by the Museum of the City of New York for special hands-on activities like teddy bear making in honor of one-time NYC police commissioner Teddy Roosevelt.
  14. Hit a nearby slope for some downhill or cross-country skiing.
  15. Short on funds? Read our roundup of how to score free lift tickets nearby. Living car-free? We found six tri-state area ski resorts accessible by public transportation.
  16. Take the kids on a snow tubing day trip—it's much easier than skiing! If the fresh powder flies in the city, check out one of our favorite sledding hills.
  17. Twirl on the ice at one of NYC's outdoor ice-skating rinks.
  18. Better yet, try your hand at a variety of ice sports at the LeFrak Center's Try it For Free Day.
  19. Fish out your bathing suit and head to an indoor water park. There are plenty well suited for a day trip or you can plan a multi-day adventure to Rocking Horse Ranch in the Hudson Valley or Aquatopia at Camelback Mountain, which both require an overnight stay to enjoy their water attractions.
  20. Catch a fun family puppet show like the New Victory's intimate production of Handa's Surprise or Little Red's Hood at Central Park's Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre.
  21. Warm up at one of our favorite hot cocoa spots in Brooklyn, Queens or Manhattan. Chelsea's City Bakery is even hosting a month-long Hot Chocolate Festival.
  22. Burn off energy at a drop-in indoor play space. Brooklyn is home to two brand-news spots: Curiosity on Court and Giocare. We also have roundups of all the other options in the borough, plus fun spots to romp in Manhattan and Queens, too.
  23. Too old for kiddie gyms? Go bowling or play pool as a family.
  24. Head to the New-York Historical Society to take in the Superheros in Gotham exhibit and participate in a Presidential Superheros Scavenger Hunt through the galleries.
  25. Go underground at the New York Transit Museum to hear some tunes and judge which performers are worthy of performing under their very own banner in an NYC subway station.
  26. Keep it subterranean with a visit to the Lowline and check out the spot's STEM-lab which opens this week.
  27. Head uptown to visit the new-to-the-scene Sugar Hill Children's Museum of Art & Storytelling which always offers plenty of space and artmaking supplies as well as interactive story hours. Meet artist-in-residence David Shrobe during his monthly open studio where kids can see his work up close, ask questions and garner inspiration.
  28. If downtown is more your vibe, head to the recently revamped Whitney Museum for its family-friendly painting event.
  29. See how many new museums you can explore for FREE with the help of your IDNYC card.
  30. Catch a kid-friendly stage performance like the New Victory Theater's Untapped or the Riverdale Children's Theater Production of Beauty and the Beast Jr. at Bronx House.
  31. Get a taste of the science behind food flavoring at the Museum of Food and Drink in Williamsburg.
  32. Embark on an all-in-one food tour at one of the city's many kid-friendly food halls.
  33. Prefer to see more of the city and get a fix for your sweet tooth? Try a doughnut crawl.
  34. Head to the Brooklyn Children's Museum to explore all the permanent exhibitions, plus enjoy temporary interactive exhibits in the Brooklyn Block Lab & Studio and the play:ground.
  35. Or cross something off your bucket list: Print out a copy of our 100 things to do with kids before they grow up and get going! Done all of those already? See if you've been to the top 15 new family attractions that opened in 2015.

You can find additional options in our Event Calendar, Winter Fun Guide and Indoor Activity Guide.