25 Free Activities For Midwinter Break

Visit Bryant Park Kid's Week for skate lessons + performances, take-away crafts, and  more. Photo by Angelito Jusay
Visit Bryant Park Kid's Week for skate lessons + performances, take-away crafts, and more. Photo by Angelito Jusay

Midwinter Break always seems to sneak up on me. We're barely into a post-holiday groove, and yet again, we've got a full week off from school to fill. While we've already rounded up 25 fun-filled Midwinter Break activities for the week, many of them come with a high price tag. To give your budget a bit of relief, we've got 25 more ideas for the February school break that are entirely FREE. Visit our Free in NYC Guide for more money-saving options for school break or any day you need to entertain your kids on the cheap.

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Some of these picks happen every day, while others are one-time events. Be sure to click through the links for full details.

1. Visit Prospect Park

Head to "Brooklyn's Back Yard" for some fun outdoor events including a nature scavenger hunt and sensory perception hike.

2. Hit the Rink

Visit NYC's only free skating rink in Bryant Park. There are lots of other fun events planned throughout the park during the week, too.

RELATED: 100 Free Things To Do in NYC With Kids

Meet animals with park Rangers 25 Free Activities For Midwinter Break
Bring your kids to parks throughout the city for Kids Week programs led by Urban Park Rangers. Photos courtesy of NYC Parks

3. Hang Out With the Urban Park Rangers

Join the Urban Park Rangers for Kids Week activities, which introduce your kids to the wildlife right here in the city.

4. Watch a Parade

It's back! Grab a spot early for the annual New York City Lunar New Year Parade & Festival in Chinatown on Sunday, February 20. We've got lots of other fun—and FREE—ways to celebrate the Lunar New Year.

Visit the Brooklyn Botanic Garden 25 Free Activities For Midwinter Break
Check out the kid-friendly programming at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Photo courtesy of BBG

5. Visit a Brooklyn Garden

Visit the kid-friendly Brooklyn Botanic Garden, where you can use your senses to explore the ecosystems in the lush (read: warm) conservatories. For February, admission is pay-what-you-wish Tuesday-Friday. The Garden is even open on Presidents Day.

6. Or a Garden in the Bronx

Visit the New York Botanical Garden, which offers free grounds admission to New Yorkers on Wednesdays. While it won't get you into the orchid show, it will grant access to the family-friendly Everett Children's Adventure Garden.

RELATED: 20+ Free Activities in NYC This February for Families

Visit The Pool for a Free Midwinter Break activity
Dance across The Pool in Industry City. Photo by Jen Lewin Photography/Alex Berreto

7. Peep Some Public Art

Check out the interactive installation The Pool, at Industry City in Sunset Park.

8. Snag a Culture Pass

Plan in advance and reserve a Culture Pass with your library card.

Participate in a free event at the Skyscraper Museum. Photo courtesy of the museum

9. Reach New Heights

Learn the basics of skyscraper construction at a storytelling event, Up, Up, Up Skyscraper!, at the Skyscraper Museum on Saturday, February 19.

National Museum of the American Indian 25 Free Activities For Midwinter Break
Explore the innovations of native people at the National Museum of the American Indian. Photo by Jason DeCrow/AP Images

10. Check Out a Free Museum

Visit the always-free National Museum of the American Indian.

11. Find a Hidden Gem

Or visit an off-the-beaten-path, only-in-NYC museum. Several are completely FREE.

RELATED: NYC Restaurants Where Kids Eat Free

Hit the sledding hills for some free Midwinter Break fun
Fort Greene Park has amazing sledding hills. Photo by Kate Lewis Andrews

12. Enjoy Some Free Wintertime Fun

Pray for a big storm so you can burn off some energy at one of these fabulous sledding hills.

13. See Some Ice Sculptures

Head to Governors Island to see some super cool ice creations at the island's inaugural winter ice sculpture show on Saturday, February 26.

Sugar Hill Museum 25 Free Activities For Midwinter Break
Spend a day at the Sugar Hill Children's Museum of Art and Storytelling, then explore the neighborhood! Photo by Janet Bloom

14. Head to Harlem

Another fun spot with complimentary admission (at least for the kids!) is the Sugar Hill Children's Museum of Art and Storytelling.

15. Find the Free Hours

Drop into another one of New York's many cultural hubs during FREE times.

16. Head to the High Line

If Staten Island Chuck is right and spring comes early, hit up The High Line for a family-friendly stroll. Check out the changing face of the skyline with stops at Hudson Yards and Manhattan West.

RELATED: 25 Free Things To Do in NYC This Winter

Clay Pit Ponds State Park Maple Sugaring 25 Free Activities For Midwinter Break
Collect some sweet sap during maple sugaring events at Staten Island's Clay Pit Ponds State Park Preserve. Photo courtesy of the venue

17. Spend A Sweet Saturday

Learn the process of making maple syrup from tap to table at maple Saturdays at Clay Pit Ponds State Park Preserve in Staten Island

18. Do a Deep Dive into Nature

Join educator Thalia Flores-Perez on Saturdays through March 26 as she leads the Nature Connections program at the Queens County Farm Museum, which helps kids discover patterns in nature followed by some nifty nature-inspired craft projects.

19. See Love Bloom

Head to Times Square, which is filled with fun beyond the tourist traps like the pop-up, love-inspired installation, Bloom

Dance on the giant piano at FAO Schwarz for a Free Midwinter Break outing
You can have plenty of fun at FAO Schwarz without spending a dime. Photo by Jody Mercier

20. Find the Free Indoor Places to Play

Dance on the piano at FAO Schwarz or visit one of these other stores where kids play for FREE.

21. Go to a Gallery

The Renaming Project exhibition of historical and contemporary photographs highlights some of the spaces the New York City Parks Department has recently renamed to honor the Black experience in NYC. Open daily through Monday, February 28 (except for February 21).

22. Visit a Farm Right in NYC

Get some face time with the animals at NYC's only working farm, the Queens County Farm Museum.

RELATED: NYC Stores Offering Free (or Cheap) Classes for Kids

the historic ship Wavertree 25 Free Activities For Midwinter Break
Explore the decidedly old-school Wavertree at the South Street Seaport

23. Board a Historic Ship

Mark the return of the fully restored 1885 cargo sailing ship Wavertree. Guests embark on a FREE self-guided visit along a set route, which includes access to outdoor areas, the main deck, and the quarter deck. Tours run every weekend through April 24, 2022.

24. Set Sail

Climb aboard the FREE Staten Island Ferry and explore all the family-friendly fun on Staten Island before heading home.

25. Take the Tram

Another unique form of public transit: Jump on the Roosevelt Island Tram and soar above the city streets and the East River. While it costs a MetroCard swipe, the views are priceless, and there's plenty to explore across the river.

This post, originally published in February 2019, has since been updated.

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