Kids can stop praying for snow days. Midwinter recess kicks off for New York City public school kids starting this Presidents Day weekend, serving up nine days of uninterrupted holiday playtime. To help you make the most of the winter holiday, we've rounded up our top 35 things to do with kids across all five boroughs, right up through Sunday, February 21.
Lucky for us, NYC museums, ice rinks, parks and other institutions 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.
Need to get some work in next week? Try one of these February winter break camps for last-minute openings.
Be sure to click through the links for full details, including address, time and price.
Kids Week at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum coincides with midwinter break. 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. Extreme Environments is this year's theme with events that let visitors get up close with animals adapted to survive in Earth's harshest conditions. Learn how NASA researchers study our climates and catch a show in the pop-up planetarium.
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 February 15 and includes career talks from a different engineer each day.
3. Find even more scientific fun by heading over the river the New Jersey's Liberty Science Center, which is hosting a three-day long Star Wars extravaganza in honor of R2-D2, who's taking up permanent residence there.
4. Commune with nature at Prospect Park's Audubon Center by meeting the resident animals, touring the grounds and helping with the Great Backyard Bird Count.
5. More nature fun: Enjoy special Kids Week activities with the Urban Park Rangers at nature centers across the city including crafts, animal interactions and outdoor tours.
6. Forget dinner and a movie. Go for brunch with Nitehawk Cinema's Little Bookworms brunch series, which is showing big-screen adaptations of favorite children's books every Saturday and Sunday this month.
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The tearjerker Pixar flick Inside Out is playing in 3D in Queens. Photo courtesy of Disney/Pixar.
7. Head to the Museum of the Moving Image, for a 3D screening of Inside Out and then create your own emotion-inspired character at a family workshop entitled The Ins and Outs of Character Design.
8. Visit the American Museum of Natural History to see the new Titanosaur, a dinosaur so big its head peers through the door of the exhibition hall! When you've gaped at the giant long enough, duck into the Discovery Room for some hands-on learning.
Join an indoor archeology dig at the Jewish Museum. Photo courtesy of the museum.
9. Roll up your sleeves and dig in at The Jewish Museum's new Archeology Mondays where there's a different artifact to uncover, sketch and explore every week.
10. Come hungry to the New York Botanical Garden for its Culinary Kids Food Festival, featuring cooking demos, tastings and other food adventures with New York City chefs.
11. If your child prefers to roll up their sleeves and do the work, register your aspiring chef for one of these cooking classes.
12. Warm up for the upcoming baseball season by taking a few swings at one of these nine batting cages within city limits.
13. Drop by the Museum of the City of New York for special hands-on activities like teddy bear making in honor of one-time NYC police commissioner (and late president) Teddy Roosevelt.
14. Hit a nearby slope for some downhill or cross-country skiing.
15. Short on funds? Read our roundup of how to score free lift tickets nearby. Living car-free? We found six tri-state area ski resorts accessible by public transportation.
Snow tubing fun can be had even when the white stuff isn't available in the city. Photo by Jody Mercier.
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.
Kids can test out ice hockey and other winter sports at LeFrak Center's Try It for Free Day. Photo courtesy of Upsilon Ventures.
Unfortunately, this event was canceled at the last minute but you can still ice skate at the rink.
18. Better yet, try your hand at a variety of ice sports at the LeFrak Center's Try It for Free Day in Prospect Park.
19. Fish out your bathing suit and head to an indoor water park. There are plenty well suited for a day trip, or you can plan a multi-day adventure to Rocking Horse Ranch in the Hudson Valley or Aquatopia at Camelback Mountain, which both require an overnight stay to enjoy their water attractions.
20. Catch a fun family puppet show like the just arrived Very Hungry Caterpillar Show or Little Red's Hood 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 even hosting a monthlong Hot Chocolate Festival with a new flavor each day.
22. Burn off energy at a drop-in indoor play space. Brooklyn is home to two brand-news spots: Curiosity on Court and Giocare. We also have roundups of all the other options in the borough, plus fun spots to romp in Manhattan and Queens.
23. Too old for kiddie gyms? Go bowling or play pool as a family.
24. Head to the New-York Historical Society to take in the Superheroes in Gotham exhibit and participate in a Presidential Superheroes Scavenger Hunt through the galleries.
25. Go underground at the New York Transit Museum to hear some tunes and judge which performers are worthy of performing under their very own banner in an NYC subway station.
26. Keep it subterranean with a visit to the Lowline and check out the spot's STEM-lab which opens this week.
27. Head uptown to visit the new-to-the-scene Sugar Hill Children's Museum of Art & Storytelling which always offers plenty of space and art-making supplies as well as interactive story hours. Meet artist-in-residence David Shrobe during his monthly open studio where kids can see his work up close, ask questions and garner inspiration.
Family sketching tour at the Whitney. Photo by Andrew Kist/courtesy of the museum.
28. If downtown is more your vibe, head to the recently revamped Whitney Museum for its family-friendly painting event.
29. See how many new museums you can explore for FREE with the help of your IDNYC card or hit one the pay-what-you-wish times.
30. Catch a kid-friendly stage performance like the New Victory Theater's Untapped or the Riverdale Children's Theater Production of Beauty and the Beast Jr. at Bronx House.
31. Get a taste of the science behind food flavoring at the Museum of Food and Drink in Williamsburg.
32. Embark on an all-in-one food tour at one of the city's many kid-friendly food halls.
33. Head to the Brooklyn Children's Museum to explore all the permanent exhibitions, plus enjoy temporary interactive exhibits in the Brooklyn Block Lab & Studio and the play:ground.
34. Kids still have energy to burn? Hit Staten Island's just opened Fly High trampoline park, or one of the city's bounce houses.
35. Or 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 top 15 new family attractions that opened in 2015.
You can find additional options in our Event Calendar, Winter Fun Guide and Indoor Activity Guide.
Top image: Kids can skate on both of the nearly brand-new ice rinks at the LeFrak Center in Brooklyn's Prospect Park. Photo courtesy Upsilon Ventures.