Presidents' Day Weekend for NYC Kids: Kids Week at the Intrepid, Engineering Day, Family Carnaval, Midwinter Break Fun
Presidents' Day weekend kicks off the nine-day February break for New York City public school kids, and there's plenty to do on Saturday, Sunday and beyond. Three of our top February picks take place this weekend: Washington's Birthday Ball at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden, Engineering Day at the New York Hall of Science and the Intrepid's Kids Week, nine days of themed fun for families.
There are also lots of multicultural celebrations this weekend including a Valentine's Day-themed concert by Gustafer Yellowgold, a FREE Carnaval family fest at El Museo del Barrio and a FREE Lunar New Year dance sampler in our neighborhood of the month, Flushing, Queens.
Those are just a few of the great things going on this Presidents' Day weekend. All of our best bets are below. You can find lots of other options in our Event Calendar, our Winter Fun Guide and our list of 30 things to do over midwinter break.
Before heading out on your adventures, be sure to download our FREE Mommy Poppins Kids on the Go app so you can find the best family destinations wherever you happen to be in NYC.
Kids Week at the Intrepid – Midtown West
One of our February Go List picks: The Sea, Air & Space Museum's annual fest starts on Saturday and lasts nine days, each with a different theme. This weekend, enjoy tech and sci-fi fun like workshops run by East Village robot store Tinkersphere; displays from the Liberty Science Center, the Museum of Math and RoboFun; roaming Stars Wars characters and more. Most activities are free with admission: In advance: $22 for adults, $17 for children ages 7-17, $10 for ages 3-6; at the door: $2 more per person. But there's a great buy one general admission, get one free deal going on.
Sword Dance Festival – Manhattan & Brooklyn
Enjoy live performances of this jolly old English art form, which features teams of dancers holding linked swords to create intricate patterns. NYC’s own Half Moon Sword troupe and many others perform in various Manhattan and Brooklyn locations. Saturday and Sunday only. FREE
IndieCade East – Astoria
Got a hardcore gamer in your home? Then head to the Museum of the Moving Image for this independent video game showcase in conjunction with the Indie Essentials: 25 Must-Play Video Games exhibit. While not specifically aimed at families, children ages 6 and up are welcome to play a variety of titles. There are also two game-making workshops for ages 8 and up on Monday. $10-$55 for passes depending on age. Game-making workshop is free with admission: $12 for adults, $6 for children ages 3-12 plus a $5 materials fee
Saturday, February 15
Gustafer Yellowgold's Valentine Ball – Upper West Side
Catch the one-of-a-kind Gustafer Yellowgold, a unique mash up of music, animation and whimsy. The cartoon adventures of a ray of sun living on Earth are set to singer/songwriter/artist Morgan Taylor's Beatles-esque tunes. At this concert, Taylor will be joined by his full band, plus, you'll get to see what happens when Gustafer's pet eel, Slim, goes on a Valentine's date. $25 for adults, $15 for children
Charlie Chaplin: 100 Years in Comedy Films – Park Slope
Introduce the kids to the silent movie comedy genius at the Brooklyn Lyceum. Brooklyn-based entertainer, author and dad, Trav S.D., hosts a screening of the Little Tramp's first three films: Making a Living, Kid Auto Races at Venice and Mabel’s Strange Predicament, all released 100 years ago this month. $5
Super Sabado: Carnaval – East Harlem
Head to El Museo del Barrio to celebrate Carnaval family-style. Dance to Peruvian music, create festive masks, hear Puerto Rican folktales and music, and take kid-friendly gallery tours. FREE
Clifford's Valentine's Day –Soho
Celebrate the love with every preschooler's favorite oversize pooch at the Scholastic Store. Enjoy storytime, card making and a store-wide parade, plus photo ops and face time with the big red dog. FREE
Hands-on Nano Demos – Midtown East
Head to the Sony Wonder Technology Lab to learn about nanoscience and nanotechnology, and participate in activities that explore the properties, structures, materials and scale of this field of science. Afterward, stay and play at the interactive tech museum at no cost. FREE but advance reservations recommended
Hands-on History: Tiny Valentine – Jamaica
Mark Valentine's Day at the King Manor Museum, where kids can make 19th-century-style lockets and other period crafts. FREE
Sunday, February 16
Washington’s Birthday Ball – Upper East Side
Another February Go List pick: Celebrate George Washington’s birthday 19th-century style at the historic Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden. Watch and learn country dances from the era, take a tour of the museum and enjoy some old-fashioned refreshments. Reservations recommended. $15 for adults, $10 for children under 12
Lunar New Year Dance Sampler – Flushing
Head to Flushing Town Hall to catch dance performances from China, Korea, India, Taiwan and beyond. FREE but tickets are given out on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 11am.
Elena Moon Park and Friends – the Bronx
Enjoy traditional East Asian folk songs performed with a contemporary twist at this no-cost concert at the Bronx Library Center. FREE
Monday, February 17
Engineering Day – Corona
Another February Go List pick: Spend the day building and tinkering at the New York Hall of Science's annual engineering fest. Projects include making toothpick and gumdrop domes, creating aluminum foil boats, crafting bridges from paper and paperclips, building towers out of Jenga blocks and more. My eight-year-old son and I went last year and had a blast. Free with admission: $11 for adults, $8 for children ages 2-17
History of Chocolate – Upper West Side
Warm up on Presidents' Day with Colonial-era hot chocolate. Watch as American Heritage Chocolate® educators grind cocoa beans, add spices like red pepper, nutmeg and cinnamon, and heat up the beverage. Then stay and explore everything the museum has to offer, including the interactive DiMenna Children's History Museum. Space is limited so sign up for slots when you arrive. Free with admission: $18 for adults, $12 for students, $6 for children ages 5-13
Culinary Kids Food Festival – the Bronx
Calling all junior foodies: the New York Botanical Garden's week-long fest includes cooking demos, tastings, hands-on activity stations, live music and crafts. Free with admission: $20 for adults, $10 for children ages 2-12
Staten Island Children’s Museum Cool School Holiday – Staten Island
If you've always wanted to check out this tot spot, go today: Due to the holiday, the museum is offering no-cost admission. FREE
Presidents' Day WinterPlay with Project Playdate – Soho
Need a few hours to yourself? Our friends at Project Playdate are hosting a drop-off playgroup for kids at Citibabes. $45, $25 for siblings plus $15 Citibabes admission
Don’t forget: There are lots of other options in our Event Calendar.
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