Winter Activities

7 Things to Love About the Queens County Farm Museum

While NYC families have full access to the best museums and shows that the world has to offer, life in the city can sometimes leave us feeling disconnected from nature. We’re always seeking ways to let our little ones get their hands dirty, so it’s no surprise that the Queens County Farm Museum in Floral Park is a family favorite.

Spanning 47 acres, the Queens County Farm Museum dates back to the 17th century and features old-fashioned farm buildings, a greenhouse complex, livestock, planting fields, an orchard, an herb garden and a vineyard, all within city limits. As soon as you walk through the gates, you’ll feel miles away from the city.

Here are the reasons we are forever loving New York City's only historic working farm and why it's a fantastic destination for NYC kids. While you’re there, make a day of it with our Queens Family Neighborhood Guide.
 

10 Things to Love About the New York Botanical Garden

Founded in 1891, the New York Botanical Garden is a 250-acre oasis in the middle of Bronx Park, housing 50 specialty gardens, and more than one million plants. The largest botanic garden in the United States, it's also a National Historic Landmark and well worth a visit in any season. 

When I was growing up, my family ran a generations-old business selling plants and designing fabulous landscapes for the well-to-do in my native Colorado. My first job was weeding the plants in the garden center, and for a time, I thought I'd go to school to become a landscape architect and follow in my father's footsteps. Plants are practically in my blood, and to this day, I still crave a connection with nature and want my born-and-bred New Yorkers to feel blades of grass between their toes and get their hands dirty.

While we've always found our nature fix in Central Park and some of the wonderful gardensflower shows, and greenspaces the city has to offer, no park in the city has captivated me as much as the Bronx's New York Botanical Garden. Read on for 10 things to love about this green treasure, as the cultural gem embarks on its yearlong celebration of #plantlove.

Meet the Easter Bunny in NYC for a Photo Op with the Kids

The Easter Bunny is making appearances all over New York City this spring, including on Easter Sunday, April 21, 2019—so you'll have plenty of opportunities to snap a picture with your child cozied up to the festive rabbit.

We've rounded up some of the top places in all five boroughs to take a picture with the Easter Bunny, beginning in March. These range from professional shots you can have taken ahead of time to DIY opportunities at your local egg hunt. Get those reservations booked!

Ski Free All Spring with the 2019 Ikon Pass - And Save $100 on Kids’ Passes

If you hit the slopes at least one week a year, a ski pass can mean serious savings for your family. Ikon Pass is an annual ski pass that gives you access to over 30 skiing and snowboarding destinations across 12 states, 4 Canadian provinces, and 4 continents. And even better, if you buy your pass now, you get this year’s spring skiing for free!

While you might think of skiing as a quintessential winter activity, the higher temps, longer days, and shorter chairlift waits make spring break the perfect time for a family ski trip. Whether you're a bunch of black diamond die-hards or some of your gang's still all about the bunny hill, an Ikon Pass will definitely help you make the most of spring on the slopes—and since the pass for the 19/20 season literally just went on sale, you can use it for the rest of this season, as well as all of next year.

Register for Free Spring Swim Lessons for NYC Kids

The New York City Parks Department offers FREE swim lessons for children and adults all year round, but you have to apply through an online lottery for each session. The FREE spring swimming lessons are on the horizon, and the lottery for registration opens Monday, March 11, 2019, at noon.

Read on for the details on where to swim for free, or check our directory of paid kids' swim classes, and mommy-and-me swim lessons for babies and toddlers, including those in Brooklyn and in Queens.

St. Patrick's Day Events and Free Parades for NYC Kids

If your days of celebrating until you're green around the gills on St. Patrick's Day are a distant memory, don’t worry: There are plenty of kid-friendly ways to mark the holiday in New York City this March. After all, everyone in the city feels a wee bit Irish around St. Patrick’s Day. Best of all? Most of these festivities are FREE.

This year, St. Patrick's Day—Sunday, March 17, 2019—is a Sunday, but you can get started a day early with the Midtown Manhattan parade. The festivities continue with additional popular parades in Rockaway and Sunnyside, Queens, as well as Staten Island. In addition to St. Patrick's Day processions in all five boroughs, there are family fests, stepdancing performances (and places to learn), Gaelic workshops, and kids flicks.

Here are our favorite ways to celebrate Irish culture and St. Patrick’s Day with kids in New York City. Sláinte!

Nearly 50 Free Family Events This March in NYC

March means the first glimmer of hope for warmer days ahead. This month also hosts a slew of stellar events that won't break the bank—in fact, they're all FREE! Get ready for Dr. Seuss celebrations, Irish revelry for St. Patrick's Day, and early springtime flowers. There are also slightly more offbeat (and still FREE) events like a 90-second kids' film festival, National Pancake Day, and Pi Day at MoMath.

Read on for almost 50(!) FREE things to do this March in New York City, including in Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx. Find more top events in our March GoList, or our always packed daily NYC event calendar. Plus, find lots of seasonal to-dos in our NYC Spring Guide for Families.

Where to Celebrate Maple Sugaring Season with Kids in Connecticut

Soon, sugar houses all across the state get to work on the process of collecting and evaporating clear watery sap into tasty, golden syrup. The traditional maple sugaring season extends from February until late March, though that depends greatly on the weather (freezing nights and warm, sunny days are necessary to provide good sap yields). If you and the kids are interested in learning more about this sweet New England tradition, choose among the many open housesdemonstrations and festivals in LitchfieldHartford, Fairfield, and New Haven counties. Some sugar houses invite you to stop in anytime the evaporator is running (but call before heading out).

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