February Break: 30 Fun Things to Do with NYC Kids
Kids can stop praying for snow days. Starting this Saturday, February 15, public school students have nine days off for midwinter recess. If you need to work during the week and are in need of child care, there are lots of enriching school break camps all over NYC. But if you're lucky enough to have the time off, too, there's lots of winter fun to be had in all five boroughs.
Spend your staycation watching fabulous family theater shows, exploring cool museum exhibits or catching offbeat kids' flicks. Or enjoy seasonal sports in the city, like ice-skating and sledding, or take a day trip to a nearby skiing and snow tubing resort. Plus lots of cultural institutions like museums and botanical gardens run special family programs over break, where kids can enjoy a wide variety of hands-on activities.
To help you make the most of the school recess, we've rounded up our top 30 things to do with kids in New York City over February break, which runs from Saturday, February 15 through Sunday, February 23. Some of our picks only take place on specific dates, others run the entire time and all are great ways to celebrate the freezin' season. Be sure to click the links for all the details, including address and time. And don't forget to download our FREE Mommy Poppins Kids on the Go app before heading out on your adventures so you can find the best family destinations wherever you happen to be in NYC.
- Head to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum for a slew of special Kids Week activities; every day has a different theme and highlights include hands-on science and tech workshops, performances by Broadway shows, kids' concerts and more
- Try to become a pinball wizard at the brand-new Modern Pinball arcade
- Learn about engineering through fun hands-on activities during Engineering Week at the New York Hall of Science
- Commune with nature at Prospect Park's Audubon Center by feeding the resident animals, touring the grounds and helping with the Great Backyard Bird Count. FREE
- 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. FREE
- Sing along to Frozen or find out why everything is awesome about The Lego Movie and then go play with the popular building bricks
- Or skip the big Hollywood releases and see international family flicks at the BAMkids Film Festival or classics at Film Forum Jr. on Sunday mornings
- Solve toxic whodunits at the American Museum of Natural History's educational and interactive The Power of Poison exhibit and then duck into the Discovery Room for more hands-on fun
- Gawk at classic graffiti in the City as Canvas exhibit and create winter wonderland collages at the Museum of the City of New York
- Come hungry to the New York Botanical Garden for its week-long Culinary Kids Food Festival featuring cooking demos, tastings and other food adventures
- Explore the beautiful Brooklyn Botanic Garden during Discovery Week and pot your own plant to take home. FREE.
- Play games at the Museum of the Moving Image's interactive exhibit Indie Essentials: 25 Must-Play Video Games, which includes the super-popular Minecraft
- Or hit MoMI's screening room to watch classic Muppet Show episodes
- Hit a nearby slope for some downhill or cross-country skiing. Don't have a car? We found six ski resorts in NY and NJ that are accessible by public transportation
- Or take the kids on a snow tubing day trip—it's much easier than skiing
- Twirl on the ice at the brand-new rink in Prospect Park or one of NYC's other outdoor skating spots—the new South Street Seaport rink is offering half-priced skate days through Friday, February 21
- Get wet at an indoor water park like my family's favorite Sahara Sam's in New Jersey
- Check out the spruced up Panorama of the City of New York at the recently renovated Queens Museum
- Catch a high-quality family theater show like the New Victory Theater's Bob Marley's Three Little Birds, Cinderella at Puppetworks in Park Slope or Bessie's Big Shot at Central Park's Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre
- Warm up at one of our favorite hot cocoa spots—Chelsea's City Bakery is even hosting a month-long Hot Chocolate Festival
- Learn about George Washington and Abraham Lincoln at the DiMenna Children's History Museum with a presidential scavenger hunt, a history quiz and other themed activities
- Burn off energy at a drop-in indoor play space; our Inside Activity Guide has a slew of options in Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn
- Kid too old for kiddie gyms? Go bowling or play pool
- Or give rock climbing a try: NYC has a host of indoor rock climbing centers with drop-in hours
- Travel the world without getting on a plane at the Metropolitan Museum of Art by touring its galleries with museum educators
- Head out of town for a quick getaway: You'll find plenty of destination inspiration in our NYC Day Trip Guide and on our Travel site, where we just rounded up last-minute February break vacation deals
- Break out the craft materials and give some of our simple and fun WeeWork projects a try—if you do one, make sure you take a photo so you can enter our Baby Loves Disco giveaway
- Need a few hours to yourself? Our friends at Project Playdate are hosting a series of drop-off field trips for kids at top NYC culture spots
- Explore a new-to-you corner of NYC: We have in-depth Kids' Neighborhood Guides for communities in all five boroughs
- 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 20 best new attractions that opened in 2013.