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

Midwinter Break Recess New York City February Winter Vacation Best Things to Do

Kids can stop praying for more snow days. Midwinter recess kicks off for New York City public schools over Presidents Day weekend, offering nine days of uninterrupted holiday playtime. To help you make the most of the February vacation, we've rounded up more than 35 things to do with kids across all five boroughs, right through Sunday, February 26.

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.")

Read on for dozens of fun ideas. Be sure to click through the links for full details, including addresses, times, and prices.


Indulge your STEM fix at Kids Week at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. Photo by Erika Kapin/courtesy of the museum.

1. Head to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum for a slew of special Kids Week activities. This year's theme is the Science and Art of Games, and gives kids a chance to think about the STEM skills required for game building with special guests from Games for Change, the Institute of Play, NASA, and more.

2. Learn about engineering through hands-on projects at the New York Hall of Science's Engineering Week program, which kicks off with Civil Engineering Day on Monday, February 20.

3. You can also keep the wheels turning with some drop-in fun at one of these eight maker spaces.

4. Head to the Brooklyn Children's Museum to explore its new Wilderness Camp exhibit and workshops, the permanent exhibits, such as the water table, plus enjoy tons of Black History Month programming all week.

5. Celebrate the city's diversity with great eats and fun finds in NYC neighborhood like Chinatown, Koreatown, or Japantown

6. Forget dinner and a movie, indulge in both at one of these theaters serving restaurant-quality meals with big-screen flicks for the grown-ups or family night.

7. Head to the Museum of the Moving Image for a screening of Winnie the Pooh and stick around for some open studio time, where kids can make flip books, try their hands at stop-motion animation, and more.

8. Catch a performance of the New York Sword Dance Festival on February 18 or 19. Seven FREE performances will be held throughout the city.

9. Visit Manhattan's oldest house to celebrate George Washington's birthday. See the room from which he commanded his troops.

10. Come hungry to the New York Botanical Garden for its Culinary Kids Food Weekend, featuring cooking demos, tastings, and other food adventures with New York City chefs.

11. If your child prefers to roll up his or her sleeves and do the work themselves, register for one of these cooking classes.

12. Get outside and enjoy special Kids Week activities with the Urban Park Rangers at nature centers across the city, including crafts, animal interactions, and outdoor tours.

13. Head to the Children's Museum of Manhattan to see the just reopened Hello from Japan exhibit, the recently extended America to Zanzibar: Muslim Cultures Near and Far, or a variety of family programs scheduled for the week.

14. Hit a nearby slope for some downhill or cross-country skiing.

RELATED: February GoList: Best Things to Do All Month


Catch the circus before it rides out of town for the final time. Photo courtesy of Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey circus.

15. Catch the final city performances of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus as it hits the Barclays Center one final time before closing up shop later this year.

16. Take the kids on a snow tubing day trip—it's much easier than skiing. If the fresh powder flies in the city, check out one of our favorite sledding hills.

17. Twirl on the ice at one of NYC's outdoor ice skating rinks.

18. See some spectacular kids flicks at the New York International Children's Film Festival, which opens Friday, February 24. Bonus: Use code 17MOPO for a $2 discount per ticket.

19. Fish out your bathing suit and head to an indoor water park. There are plenty well suited for a day trip, such as the massive one at Kalahari Resorts, or you can plan a multiday adventure to Rocking Horse Ranch in the Hudson Valley, Aquatopia at Camelback Mountain, or Split Rock Resort.

RELATED: Winter Fun List: 50 Things NYC Kids Can Do Indoors


Enjoy a marionette show at Central Park's Swedish Cottage. Photos courtesy of the City Parks Foundation.

20. Catch The Princess, the Emperor, and the Duck at Central Park's Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre.

21. Warm up at one of our favorite hot cocoa spots in Brooklyn, Queens, or Manhattan. Chelsea's City Bakery is hosting its 25th annual, monthlong Hot Chocolate Festival with a new flavor each day. Or brave the line at the city's first, and brand-new cookie dough dessert shop!

22. Burn off energy at a an indoor play space. We have roundups of all the options in Brooklyn, plus fun spots to romp in Manhattan and Queens.

23. Too old for kiddie gyms? Go bowling, play pool as a family, or take a dip at an indoor pool with a day pass.

24. Head to the New-York Historical Society to participate in a week of events honoring our nation's presidents. If you're a wannabe presidential historian, consider visiting on Monday, February 20 for The Big Quiz Thing’s Presidents’ Day Family Trivia Spectacular, where you and your child can compete for prizes.

25. Go underground at the New York Transit Museum, where you can celebrate the Second Avenue Subway's opening by building your own infrastructure or take the controls of a subway car. If you're near Grand Central, stop by the museum's annex and store to catch a final glimpse of the annual holiday train display before it's packed away until next winter.

26. If you haven't visited the American Museum of Natural History lately, break is the perfect time to warm up in the Butterfly Conservatory or check out the new ¡Cuba! exhibit.

RELATED: Guide to Indoor Play Spaces for NYC Kids


Interact with art at the Sugar Hill Children's Museum of Art & Storytelling. Photo courtesy of the museum.

27. Head uptown to visit the Sugar Hill Children's Museum of Art & Storytelling, which has debuted an interactive sculpture and large-scale painting by artist Shinque Smith, which encourages kids to crawl through and interact with the work.

28. If downtown is more your vibe, head to the Children's Museum of the Arts to contribute to its interactive endangered species sculpture inspired by the works of Blane De St. Croix.

29. Consider a day trip to Long Island to visit the Sagamore Hill National Historic Site, which is participating in the National Parks Service FREE entrance day on Monday, February 20.

30. Catch a kid-friendly stage performance at the New Victory Theater, which is offering Water on Mars all week. Major bonus: The 3pm performance on Monday, February 20 is Mommy Poppins day! Get discounted tickets, plus access to a special post-show workshop.

31. Pick up a new hobby at one of these old-school model shops across the five boroughs.

32. Check out some only-in-New York art work at these museums and public spaces, including a giant ballerina hippo and an immigrant-themed, color-shifting giant heart sculpture.

33. Commune with nature at Prospect Park's Audubon Center. Meet the resident animals, tour the grounds, and help with the Great Backyard Bird Count.

34. Kids still have energy to burn? Hit Staten Island's Fly High trampoline park, or one of the city's bounce houses. Our sister site in Westchester just reviewed several nearby tramp parks, too!

35. Cross something off your bucket list: Print out a copy of our 100 Things to Do With Kids Before They Grow Up and get going. Done all of those already? See if you've been to the best new family attractions that opened in 2016, or try our 100 Things to Do in New York State Before Kids Grow Up.

Top image: Kids can skate on both of the nearly new ice rinks at the LeFrak Center in Brooklyn's Prospect Park. Photo courtesy Upsilon Ventures.

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