Winter Activities

9 Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks to Visit with Kids in NYC

Now that the beaches are closed for the season, it's time to bundle up and sharpen those ice skates. Many of New York City's outdoor rinks are open for family fall, er, winter fun.

Whether you prefer an iconic New York City destination like the ice rink at Rockefeller Center or something off the beaten path like Lasker Rink, the city offers plenty of options for beginner and experienced skaters alike — there’s even a FREE skate spot. And if it ever gets too cold to glide outside, you can always hit one of NYC's indoor ice skating rinks.

Register for Free Fall/Winter 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 fall/winter swimming lessons are on the horizon, and the lottery for registration opens Monday, October 1, 2018, 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.

Snow Games and Outdoor Winter Activities for Kids Beyond Sledding

Cold temps usually make kids want to stay inside for baking, eating, crafting, their devices and maybe even DIY science experiements. But add a dose of fun and it’s easy to draw them out into the white stuff for snow day activities.

Once the wind has died down and it's safe to hit the local park or your backyard, there are myriad outdoor winter activities to be had on even the bleakest of winter days. With serious snowfall, you can build a snow fort or maze, and with sub-freezing temperatures, kids can try to blow frozen bubbles or even make colorful ice gems! Read on for more outdoor winter boredom busters to try come the next school snow day.

Easter Egg Hunts for Kids in New York City 2018

Easter Sunday is April 1 this year—no joke! It's just a hop, skip, and a jump away. One of the best ways to celebrate with kids is to attend one of NYC's treat-filled egg hunts. Most are outdoors in playgrounds and parks, zoos, and gardens, but a few are indoors at museums and other cultural spots. Many offer additional spring fun, including seasonal crafts, face painting, and live entertainment.

Remember, Easter egg hunts in NYC are extremely popular so arrive early and expect hordes. If you dislike crowds, avoid the free hunts and opt for those that carry a small fee as they usually cap the number of participants. Or get your photo op with the Easter Bunny in ahead of time at these brunches.

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 1, 2018, 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!

Find bunny brunches or egg hunts in NYC, too! Or lean on our March GoList for more must-do events and activities.

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—March 17, 2018—is a Saturday, which is when the big Midtown Manhattan parade takes place. However, the festivities begin with a trio of popular parades stepping off on the first weekend of this month 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

This month we get ready for Dr. Seuss, Irish revelry for St. Patrick's Day, early springtime fetes, and yes, Easter. New York City kids might have to deal with crowds at a few, or all of these events, but the city also dishes up a number of freebies for family fun to counteract all that time waiting in line, including interactive art, storytimes, and 

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.

Don't forget that NYC schools kick off the spring break later this month, too. Get a jump on planning with our NYC Day Trips Guide or Family Travel Guide.

Where To See Whales in LA: Whale Watching Cruises, Festivals and Spots

Winter is prime whale watching season in Southern California, and there are several ways to spy on the giant mammals as they pass through on their 6,000-mile quest for Mexican romance. Each year, between December and April, roughly 20,000 Pacific gray whales migrate past our beaches, and March brings particularly high traffic because that's when the underwater procession starts to turn around. Pregnant, south-bound she-whales still trying to make it to Baja before the contractions start are blasted past by upwardly mobile young he-whales, finished with romance and headed for an appointment in the Arctic Circle. All that toing and froing is the inspiration for many a whale cruise and festival. With a little luck and clear skies, even a hike or sand sledding can turn into a whale watching activity.

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