New York City

February School Break: 35 Fun Things to Do with NYC Kids

Kids can stop praying for more snow days. Midwinter recess kicks off for New York City public schools on Friday, February 16, aka Lunar New Year and continues through Sunday, February 25, giving kids 10 days of uninterrupted holiday playtime. To help you make the most of the February vacation, we've rounded up 35 things to do with kids across all five boroughs.

Lucky for us, NYC museums, ice rinks, parks, and other fun zones host a slew of special activities and promotions during the school break. Some of our picks take place on specific dates, others run the entire time, and all are great ways to celebrate the freezin' season.

The extra days off also make it a great time to book a couple of nights away as a family with these more budget-minded getaways, or to pile onto the train or into the car for a day trip to a top kid spot.

Remember you can always search our Event Calendar for more February break week happenings. (Tip: Search for a specific day or with the word "break.")

NYC Bowling Alleys That Welcome Kids and Families

Bowling is a perfect indoor family activity when you find yourself with some spare time (sorry—couldn't resist). At about age 5, children really start enjoying it, making it an ideal family outing. Bowling birthday parties are a hit for the school-age set and most venues offer special packages and pricing.

There are traditional bowling alleys—think leagues, snack bars, pro shops—in the outer boroughs, but Manhattan's spots err on the side of grown-ups. Don’t worry though: Kids can still find lanes—you just have to know when to go. Here are 16 places to bowl with kids all across New York City.

The South Street Seaport Museum: Tall Ships and NYC Beginnings

Looking for something unique to do with your family on the weekend in Lower Manhattan?

Stop by the gem of a historic spot, the South Street Seaport Museum—a place every New Yorker should visit at least once. Housed in New York’s southern-most seaport, this spot tells the story of how New York’s harbor gave rise to the metropolis we know and love today. After a major restoration post-Hurricane Sandy, the museum is back in action and ready to educate and entertain family members of all ages through tours, activities, workshops, and special events.

Read about other great exhibits for NYC kids in our Museum Guide.

25 Best Things to Do in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn with Kids

Prospect Heights is a small Brooklyn neighborhood that's in the middle of all the action. Nestled between Crown Heights, Boerum Hill, and Fort Greene, it's brownstone Brooklyn at its best, with tree-lined streets, eateries galore, and a mix of longtime residents and new transplants. Much like the rest of the borough, the community has seen its fair share of gentrification; however, it remains quite diverse, and is a wonderful place for families to live or visit.

An array of kid-friendly cafes, bars, restaurants and shops line Vanderbilt Avenue, and Washington Avenue is another thriving commercial strip. The southern periphery of Prospect Heights features some of Brooklyn’s most famous landmarks: the Brooklyn Museum and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (also covered in our Crown Heights guide), along with the central branch of the Brooklyn Public Library and the northern edge of Prospect Park. Meanwhile, Barclays Center (also covered in our Fort Greene guide) is located in its northwestern corner.

The Snow Day: An Iconic NYC Story for Little Theatergoers

When you have a 4-year-old jumping bean like I do, the idea of taking him or her to a quiet, please-stay-in-your-seat performance is a little intimidating. But it'll never get better unless we practice, so we headed to MidtownTimes Square, to be exact—to try out a performance of the brand-new The Snowy Day and Other Stories by Jack Ezra Keats. With a runtime of 45 minutes, I was hopeful we could make it through this special series of tales from one of NYC's homegrown literary legends. 

Read on to find out all about the creative and inventive play/musical hybrid perfect for toddlers, preschoolers, and even elementary-age kids.

Weekend Fun: Lunar New Year, V-Day Activities, and Sesame Street

It's a busy weekend in New York City heading into a week of two festive February holidays: Valentine's Day and the Chinese Lunar New Year. Kick off the celebrations early with Lunar Year of the Dog at the Prospect Park Zoo, the Chinese New Year Temple Bazaar, Valentine's Weekend at Wave Hill, and the​ Valentine's Instax Photo workshop. If you'd rather see a show, check out the New York Theatre Ballet's Mother Goose, Bromance from the New Vic, or the big Sesame Street show, Let's Party.

If you'll be in Brooklyn on Saturday, don't miss a drum and dance ensemble and a screening of Wonder with author RJ Palacio. In Manhattan, join the celebration at Lunar New Year Madison Street To Madison Avenue or at the CirKiz Valentine's Dance Party. Or head over to watch the fur fly at the 5th Annual Masters Agility Championship at Westminster and AKC Meet the Breeds.

On Sunday, the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company performs its Fifth Annual Lunar New Year Celebration in Brooklyn. There's still time to make a craft for your sweetheart at the Valentine Making Workshop and the Valentine's Love Shack Workshop. Mix things up a bit at BAM's Black Comix Expo, or just party down with the whole family at the Once Upon a Drag costume and performance party.

Get Ready for Glamping on Governors Island This Summer!

The seasonal perks on Governors Island, long one of our favorite favorite summertime playgrounds, just keep getting better. New in store for summer 2018: Luxury tent camping, or glamping, and an expanded Adventures at Governors Island are two big developments announced by the Trust for Governors Island on Wednesday.

Read on to learn all about the additions coming this summer.

9 NYSCI Exhibits Every NYC Kid Needs To See At Least Once

Queens natives know where to find the best pizza and the best dim sum. They know the best outdoor playgrounds and the best indoor play spaces. Knowing that the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) is one of Queens’ best places to visit with kids comes as no surprise to us. So it’s shocking to learn how many people outside of the borough haven’t ever stepped foot into NYSCI!

Serving families since 1986, NYSCI is an outstanding, educational, hands-on learning center with over 450 interactive exhibits. Some children's museums might go light on education, but NYSCI is 100% dedicated to learning and the love of science and STEM.

My family and I recently had the pleasure of returning to the museum for a guided tour of its top exhibits, so we could share with you what's new, plus all our old favorites and upcoming events. Check out permanent exhibits you can rely on one year after the next, top outdoor activities for when the weather gets a little more agreeable, and temporary events arriving for a limited time only.

Find more of NYC's latest exhibits and top art spots in our Museum Guide for Families.

YMCA Offers Affordable Day Camps, Sleepaway Camps, and Specialty Summer Programs for All Ages

With more than twenty locations that proudly served a combined total of over 12,000 young New Yorkers last year alone, you're unlikely to make it through all those parenting listserv threads about summer coverage without coming across YMCA's much-loved camps. Offering fun-filled early childhood options for tots, traditional sleepaway options for tweens and teens, and specialty programs focusing on everything from STEAM to soccer, it's no surprise the popular programming has been a hit with parents and kids across the city since 1885.


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