25 Things To Do for February's Winter Break in NYC

During Kids Week at the Intrepid, children of all ages and interests will learn about STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts & math) through fun-filled activities,
During Kids Week at the Intrepid, children of all ages and interests will learn about STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts & math) through fun-filled activities,
2/5/23 - By Rosalind Muggeridge

For many families, February's winter break is a great time to slow down and create some special memories. The NYC public school winter break runs from Monday, February 20-Friday, February 24, 2022. Sandwiched between two weekends, that means you've got nine days to fill with kid-friendly fun! To help you make the most of the February winter break in NYC, we've rounded up 25 things to do with kids in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island. In fact, we're kicking off the fun with a Mommy Poppins' sponsored pizza-making workshop. Book your tickets now to avoid missing out!

Lucky for us, NYC museums, outdoor ice skating rinks, and playgrounds make fun any day destinations. The extra days off are also a perfect opportunity to book a getaway, and we've got picks for budget-minded escapes, family-friendly Catskills resorts, and the best things to do in the Adirondack Mountains if you're looking to get out of town. 


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Top Things To Do Over February's Winter Break in NYC

1. Family Skate and Play at IC

Cap off a day exploring Industry City with a twirl on the ice and unlimited arcade time as part of our exclusive Family Skate + Play Package on Thursday, February 23—or any other Thursday through March 2!

2. Heart-Shaped Pizza Making Workshop

Join Mommy Poppins at ANA Bar & Eatery in the action-packed Hudson Yards for a parent-and-me, heart-shaped pizza-making workshop in honor of the season of love on Saturday, February 18.

3. RiseNY

Soar over New York City and journey through time on this indoor simulation ride that offers a bird's eye view of city landmarks and seasonal events, as well as showcasing some local history and pop culture.

RELATED: Hunter Mountain with Kids: Best Things To Do and See on a Catskills Getaway

Winter break in NYC: AMNH's Sharks exhibit
Get an awe-inspiring look at sharks at the American Museum of Natural History. 

4. Sharks at AMNH

Head to the kid-favorite American Museum of Natural History to take a deep dive into the world of sharks with this exhibition that aims to answer whether they are hunters or the hunted.

5. Puppetworks' Cinderella

Park Slope's well-known puppet theater presents the classic tale with its famed marionettes.

6. Bryant Park's Bumper Cars

Book your tickets in advance for the chance to climb aboard the limited-time-only ice bumper cars at Bryant Park. If your kids are too little, consider skating instead—admission is FREE for ice skaters.

RELATED: Parks and Playgrounds Guide for NYC Kids

Winter break in NYC: Dreamworks Water Park
Spend the day at the American Dream Mall with a stop at Dreamworks Water Park. 

7. Indoor Water Park

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 American Dream. Kalahari Resorts or Aquatopia in the Poconos also offer day passes, or plan a multi-day adventure to Rocking Horse Ranch or The Kartrite.

8. The Met

Use your cell phone and AR technology to discover how ancient Greek and Roman sculptures were once colorfully painted and richly adorned. This is just one of the many wonderful exhibits to explore at The Met with kids.

9. Midwinter Olympics

Learn to play the fun sporting events the Winter Olympics highlight, like curling, bobsledding, ice skating, and hockey, with the New York City parks department. Can't make it to this event? NYC Parks Kids Week programming stages tons of FREE events across the city all week long. 

Winter break in NYC: Sky Skate
Skate far above the city streets at Sky Skate, now open on the 100th floor of Edge New York at Hudson Yards. Photo by Jody Mercier

10. Sky Skate at the Edge

Strap in and skate around the highest ice skating rink in the US at the Edge New York.

11. Governors Island Ice Sculpture Show

If you haven't explored winter fun on Governors Island, this FREE event on Saturday, February 18, is a great excuse to hop on the ferry and see what the wintertime buzz is all about.

RELATED: Free in February: Best Things To Do in NYC with Kids

Winter break in NYC: NYBG orchid show
The Orchid Show brings some tropical appeal to the winter season at the New York Botanical Garden. Photo by Jody Mercier

12. NYBG Orchid Show

For a taste of the tropics without leaving the five boroughs, head to the New York Botanical Garden's Annual Orchid Show, which opens just in time for winter break in NYC on Saturday, February 18.

13. Winter Garden

These cool indoor public spaces offer respite from the elements, plus fun perks like kid-friendly eats, artwork, and more.

14. February Winter Break Discovery Days at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Learn about the Earth's habitats, participate in the scavenger hunt, and even bring home a potted plant at Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

RELATED: 40 Best Things To Do this Winter in NYC 2023: Our Winter Fun List

Winter break in NYC: Blooming hot chocolate at Dominique Ansel Workshop
A blooming hot cocoa is a destination-worthy treat at Dominique Ansel Workshop. Photo by Jody Mercier

15. Hot Cocoa Crawl

If the cold's too much, head to one of these cafes, bakeries, and chocolatiers for a steamy hot cup of cocoa-y goodness.

16. Ice Skating

Lace up your skates and enjoy the crisp winter air at one of NYC's outdoor ice skating rinks, including options at Manhattan West, Brooklyn Commons, and on the roof of the Brooklyn Children's Museum. Prefer to glide indoors? Here's our list of indoor ice skating rinks in NYC.

17. See Hip Hop Cinderella

Check out a live performance at The New Victory Theater. This is a fun, futuristic take on a classic.

RELATED: 22 Free Indoor Places To Play in NYC

Winter break in NYC: snowboarding
Hit the slopes at Camelback for a Midwinter Break getaway. 

18. Go Skiing

Gear up for some winter fun at these downhill skiing destinations or shred at one of these snowboarding parks within driving distance.

19. Go Roller Skating

Head to the Rockways for a daycation at The Rockaway Hotel + Spa, which has a pop-up roller rink for day guests, or splurge on an overnight, and enjoy its Family Week programming.

20. Kids Week at the Intrepid

This is one of our favorite annual traditions! Not only can you explore the World War II-era aircraft carrier, but its hanger is turned into a veritable wonderland of kid-friendly activities, experiences, and live entertainment.

RELATED: 17 Family-Friendly Restaurants with Outdoor Dining in NYC: Igloo Dining and More

Winter break in NYC: Snow tubing at Camelback
Camelback offers snow tubing after dark. Photo courtesy of the Camelback Lodge and Indoor Water Park

21. Snow Tubing

Snow tubing is another great winter getaway. Bonus: It's easier than skiing and requires much less gear.

22. SUMMIT One Vanderbilt

This stunning observation deck has panoramic views and cool, reflective artwork.

23. Midwinter Recess in Prospect Park

Explore the park's plants, insects, birds, and mammals with the naturalists from Prospect Park Alliance. Classes run every weekday during the break.

RELATED: Registration Opens for Free Spring Break STEM Camps in NYC

Winter break in NYC: Sledding
Pray for a snow day so you can hit the sledding hills! Photo by Sara Marentette

24. Go Sledding

If the fresh powder flies in the city, check out one of our favorite sledding hills.

25. Culture Pass

Not only are NYC's public libraries cool spots to hang out—but having a library card grants you gratis access to more than 66 cultural institutions. Be sure to reserve your FREE passes for February's winter break in NYC now, though!

Bonus: Cross Something Off Our 100 Things List

If you've done all of the above, maybe it's time to revisit our list of the 100 things to do in NYC with kids before they grow up!

Unless noted, all photos courtesy of the respective venues

A version of this story was published in 2018; it is updated annually.