27 Things To Do on February Winter Break in NYC

Slip, slide, smash, and crash during a ride on the Bryant Park Bumper Cars on Ice. Photo by Jody Mercier
Slip, slide, smash, and crash during a ride on the Bryant Park Bumper Cars on Ice. Photo by Jody Mercier
1/26/24 - By Rosalind Muggeridge

For many families, February's midwinter break is a great time to slow down and create some special memories. The NYC public school winter break runs from Monday, February 19-Friday, February 23, 2024. 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 midwinter break in NYC, we've rounded up 26 things to do with kids in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island.

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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Things To Do Midwinter Break in NYC: Spyscape Museum.
Learn about the art of espionage at the Spyscape Museum in Midtown. Photo by Diana Kim

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

1. Nickelodeon Universe

Did you know the mega theme park at American Dream is less than a half-hour bus ride away from NYC's Port Authority Bus Terminal? Book your tickets for a day of fun at the largest indoor theme park in the Western Hemisphere. Read our full review here.

2. Spyscape Museum

Enjoy being a spy for a day at this cool, interactive museum, and learn about the history of famous spies.

3. DreamWorks Water Park

What if we told you that same speedy bus ride to American Dream would deposit you in this tropical-feeling water park? Enjoy slides, surfing, and plenty more wet and wild fun. Read our full review here.

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

Things To Do Midwinter Break in NYC: Gilder Center
Explore the architecture and STEM-inspired attractions at AMNH's Gilder Center. Photo by Diana Kim

4. Ringley Bros. Circus

Right in time for midwinter break in NYC, catch the Greatest Show on Earth at Barclays Center with an all-new, animal-free show.

5. Gilder Center at AMNH

Head to the kid-favorite American Museum of Natural History and explore the relatively new Gilder Center, which features an insectarium, butterfly vivarium, and floor-to-ceiling collection displays. Also, check out the new exhibit, the Secret World of Elephants.

6. 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.

7. Bryant Park's Bumper Cars

Book your tickets up to two weeks in advance for the chance to climb aboard the limited-time-only ice bumper cars at Bryant Park. There's more FREE fun to be had during its Kids Week at its Bank of America Winter Village, with free ice skating lessons, junior skate performances, and themed activities off the ice.

RELATED: Parks and Playgrounds Guide for NYC Kids

Things To Do Midwinter Break in NYC: Statue of Liberty Museum.
The Statue of Liberty Museum profiles the history of Lady Liberty and her construction. Photo by Diana Kim

8. Statute of Liberty

Avoid the summer crowds and visit Lady Liberty during midwinter break in NYC. Don't forget to check out the Statute of Liberty Museum.

9. Jackie Robinson Museum Family Fun Day

Start midwinter break off by learning about the legacy of Jackie Robinson and his local impact across New York City with a guided museum tour, games, and activities.

10. Trolls at CAMP

Step into the joyful, rainbow-colored world of Trolls for a one-of-a-kind musical adventure at Trolls x CAMP.

11. The Met

Use your cell phone and AR technology to discover how ancient Greek and Roman sculptures were once colorfully painted and richly adorned. Save time during your visit to check out the new creative play space, the 81st Street Studio.

RELATED: 49 Best Things To Do this Winter in NYC

Things To Do Midwinter Break in NYC: NYBG orchid show
The NYBG 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 17.

13. Winter Garden

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

14. 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: 26 Free Things To Do Indoors in NYC: Free Places To Play Indoors

Things To Do Midwinter Break in NYC: Hot chocolate at Max Brenner
Hot chocolate at Max Brenner is a destination-worthy outing. Photo courtesy of Max Brenner

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 Brooklyn Bridge Park, Central Park, Brookfield Place, 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 360 ALLSTARS

Break dancing, BMX biking, and incredible acrobatic performances are accompanied by a hip-hop tinged soundtrack when 360 ALLSTARS returns to the New Victory Theater and presents some special matinee performances during the break.

RELATED: 25 Winter Day Trips near NYC for Families

Things To Do Midwinter Break in NYC: Skiing at Mountain Creek
Hit the slopes at Mountain Creek for a Midwinter Break getaway. Photo courtesy of Mountain Creek

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 with DJs, food and drink, and theme nights, like Taylor Swift night.

20. Kids Week at the Intrepid Museum

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: 43 Things To Do on a Rainy Day Indoors in NYC

Things To Do Midwinter Break in NYC: Snow tubing at Camelback
Camelback offers snow tubing after dark. Photo courtesy of the Camelback Lodge

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: Best Museums for Kids in NYC

Things To Do Midwinter 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. Freezin' Season Winter Workshops

Keep the kids busy with Freezin' Season Winter Workshops at King Manor, the historic house museum, which celebrates the life and legacy of Rufus King. The workshop runs all midwinter break in NYC and includes activities like plastic recycling weaving, packing peanut igloos, and puzzle time.

26. 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 80 cultural institutions. Be sure to reserve your FREE passes for February's midwinter break in NYC now, though!

27. 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. Diana Kim contributed additional reporting.