25 Free Activities For Midwinter Break
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
2. Hit the Rink
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.
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.
Dance across The Pool in Industry City. Photo by Jen Lewin Photography/Alex Berreto
7. Peep Some Public Art
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.