New York City

10 Things to Do on Thanksgiving Day with NYC Kids

Other than the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, is there really anything else New York City can offer on the holiday? Of course! We found 10 fun ways to spend the day with your kids that don't involve eating turkey or watching giant balloons. And by 10 events, we mean almost 20, as you'll see below. Many of these events are FREE, and some of them occur only this year. Some, like Ai Weiwei's Good Fences Make Good Neighbors, are both free and here only in 2017.  

Read on for our picks, from zoos to bowling alleys, or movies, and even an exhibit dedicated to Downton Abbey. Got a car? Loads of events right outside New York City are open on Thanksgiving. See our guide to 10 picture-perfect holiday day-trips near NYC

Oh, also: A Happy Thanksgiving to your family from all of the parents at Mommy Poppins NYC. Here's to a happy holiday season

Find more Thanksgiving weekend events in our Event Calendar and November GoList.

21 NYC Holiday Activities Every Kid Should Try Once

From train shows to Santa brunches, New York City serves up so many festive offerings there's no way one family can see and do it all in a single holiday season. Our holiday bucket list grows every year. In fact, we found 12 must-do events this year already, and nine, picture-perfect holiday-themed day trips.

But there are a few holiday activities that are extra special, extra big, and extra over the top that can only be found in NYC, and that every kid ought to experience at least once a childhood. These include ice skating under the iconic Rockefeller Center Christmas tree and walking the illuminated streets of Dyker Heights in Brooklyn.

Whether you call NYC home or you're in for a holiday visit, our list of 21 once-in-a-lifetime experiences for families represents the quintessential NYC holiday. The best part? More than half are FREE.

Christmas Tree Lightings in New York City This Holiday Season

You don't have to brave the Rockefeller Center commotion to witness a fabulous Christmas tree lighting in New York City.

We've rounded up some tree lightings that are much less crowded and every bit as hip, from Brooklyn and Queens to the Bronx and everywhere in between. These community holiday celebrations are festive and (mostly) FREE, and there’s no need to stand on your car to glimpse the goings-on. So grab that cup of hot chocolate and cozy up to one of these holiday illuminations in New York City. Find even more seasonal fun in our Holiday Guide.

Santa Claus Brunches, Teas, and Cruises for NYC Kids

A picture with Santa can be thrilling for a little kid. But if your child wants a heartier visit with the big red guy, a tasty breakfast, brunch, or tea might be in order.

We've found eight spots in New York City where families can enjoy a special holiday meal with Old St. Nick. These range from inexpensive pancake brunches hosted by local organizations to lavish spreads at Rockefeller Center and the Plaza Hotel. You can even hop on a cruise with Santa.

All require advance reservations and sell out quickly. Whichever one you choose, bring your camera—and your appetite—and for more seasonal family fun check out our Holiday Guide.

Weekend Fun: Holiday Trains, Circus Stunts, and a Coney Drive-In

New York City kids are officially calling it: holiday season has begun. With events like the opening of Holiday Train Show at Grand Central, and the I Am Thankful Celebration at the Brooklyn Children's Museum, parents really can't argue that point. Not convinced? Take a look at our action-stuffed holiday event guide

Of course, there are events this weekend that aren't holiday-related, but nonetheless as important and not-to-be-missed. On Saturday, Elizabeth Mitchell brings her lovely family band into Symphony Space for a special-guest-packed show, while BAM hosts the delightfully surreal dreamworld of A Billion Nights on Earth. On Sunday, in Brooklyn, the Muse brings in a super cool and potentially crazy motorcycle stunt, while in uptown Manhattan there's a chance to see Chitty Chitty Bang Bang with a replica of the famous car. Have your own car? Enjoy a FREE pop-up drive-in at the aquarium this weekend.

Meanwhile, it's not too late to make your plans for the Thanksgiving Parade, but don't wait much longer to buy tickets to the wealth of NYC Nutcracker shows, which are right around the corner. See? The kids are all right: the holidays are here. And as always, for more fun, see our November GoList and our Event Calendar
 

American Girl Debuts a Sparkling New Store at Rockefeller Center

Just in time for the holiday season, American Girl gave fans citywide a shiny new gift with the opening of its brand-new mega store in Rockefeller Plaza.

The 38,000-square-foot, two-story store opened November 11, replacing its old digs on Fifth Avenue, and is sure to be a destination for lovers of these iconic dolls for years to come. While the original location offered shopping, dining, and salon services, the upgraded spot serves up even more treats for kids (matching makeovers!) and adults (plush benches!) alike.

10 Picture-Perfect Holiday Day Trips Near NYC

New York City is magical during the holiday season. However, if you're looking to experience some holiday happenings not too far from home, we've rounded up great options for family day trips, where kids can see Santa, dazzling holiday lights, and even a North Pole village.

From right-in-our-backyard picks to rustic Christmas fun in Mystic, Connecticut and Hudson Valley, here are 10 holiday outings—listed from nearest to farthest from Midtown—worth a drive or train trek.

VRBar Brings Virtual Reality Gaming Fun to Brooklyn

The promise of virtual reality has been dangled before us, enticingly, for years. Until now, disappointing and expensive forays into the virtual world have left us happy to leave VR to hardcore gamers and “boys with toys”... and disposable income. But, finally, virtual reality arcades and an explosion of fun games are making it an actual reality for families.

We recently reviewed VR World in Manhattan and the positive experience made us excited to seek out another virtual reality spot in Brooklyn. The recently relocated vrbar in Dumbo offers virtual reality gaming in a less crowded, reservation-based environment.

20 Things To Do with NYC Babies Before They Turn 1

The whole "New York City is a terrible place to raise babies" debate seems to continue, especially in conversations on local parenting groups. But as a mom of three who had all my babies right here in NYC, I disagree. Yes, it can be a nuisance to find subway stations with working elevators and contend with tiny spaces and noisy neighbors, but there are so many enriching first-time experiences to share with your baby in the city that make it worth muddling through the inconveniences.

So stock your diaper bag, strap your infant into a stroller or carrier and try these 20 things to do with your baby before age 1.

See the Nutcracker in New York City: 15 Family Shows

The Nutcracker ballet is a classic holiday experience for kids and parents, and NYC offers dozens of wonderful interpretations of this beautiful Christmas show.

While many children love the energy and drama of a Nutcracker—from the sweet Sugar Plum fairy visit to the frantic battle with the Rat King—it can be long for some. So we've rounded up more than a dozen variations of The Nutcracker playing this season in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens, including the classic showing at Lincoln Center to just-for-kids versions. Many of our picks are abridged versions and inexpensive (or FREE) while still possessing the charm to keep kids wide-eyed.

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