Brighten up the holidays with the annual Luminaries tradition in the Winter Garden. Photo courtesy of BFPL.
Brighten up the holidays with the annual Luminaries tradition in the Winter Garden. Photo courtesy of BFPL.

25 Free Holiday and Christmas Events for NYC Kids

With Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Hanukkah all fast approaching, New York City is gearing up for a very different—yet still magical—holiday season. Some of our favorite annual events happen this time of the year, and between filling the Thanksgiving table and embarking on some epic holiday adventures, things can get expensive. So, we've rounded up up 25 FREE holiday and Christmas activities to enjoy now through New Year's Eve. Consider it our holiday gift to you! Most are local, in-person celebrations, though we've also included a selection of annual favorites that have gone online for 2020, too.

For more holiday season highlights, be sure to check out our Holiday Guide and our always-up-to-date Event Calendar.

Editor's note: While we are trying to promote safer activities that occur outdoors or with social distancing guidelines in place, please keep your family and others safe by always wearing a mask and maintaining an appropriate distance. If you arrive at an event that appears too crowded, try using the “nearby” search feature on our Event Calendar to find something else to do. Keep in mind, reservations are required for many of these events, so plan your outings in advance, and be sure to click through to our listing for all the details, including address, time, and pricing.

Places featured in this article:


Brookfield Place

Brookfield Place -- Waterfront Plaza

Visitor Center in Conference House Park

Washington Square Park Carols online

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on NBC

Facebook Live

New-York Historical Society Online
Kusama: Cosmic Nature
The New York Botanical Garden - 10:00 AM Pick
Paleo Playdates
The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University - 10:00 AM Pick
New York Theater Ballet: LIFT Lab Live
St. Mark's Church-in-the-Bowery. - various times Pick
Yarn Painting
Children's Museum of Manhattan - various times Pick
Reflect
Domino Park - 8:00 AM
Neighborhood Guides
Activity Guides