Spring Break in NYC: 50 Fun Things to Do with Kids

Spring Vacation in New York City with Kids: Parks, Theater, STEM, Play Spaces, Mini Golf and Fun Events
Soar at Luna Park this spring. Photo by Alex Lopez for NYCGo

Worried about keeping the kids entertained over NYC's 10-day spring break? We know it's daunting, but we've also got it covered for you.

If you're sticking around the city, there's plenty to keep every age group busy. From interactive exhibits and hands-on museum programs to cool family theater shows, parks, playgrounds, and indoor play spaces, we've rounded up 50 things to do with kids in New York City during the break. Some of our picks only take place on specific dates; others run the entire duration, but all are engaging ways to get out and celebrate spring

If you're thinking of heading out of town for a last-minute vacation, or just a day trip or two during the break, which technically runs from runs from Friday, March 30, to Sunday, April 8, you can find great nearby getaways in our Day Trips Guide and more far-flung destinations in our Family Travel and Resort Guide.

Be sure to click the links for all the details, including addresses, and times.

Join Think N' Fun at Riverside Park on March 24th and Sakura Park on March 31st for Easter Egg Hunts.

1. Get your goodies before the Easter Bunny hops out of town by stopping at a treat-filled hunt.

2. Get dolled up in your fanciest headwear and join the masses along Fifth Avenue during the annual Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival. FREE

3. Do your best spy impression as you navigate the new Spyscape Museum in Midtown. You'll learn cool facts, navigate laser mazes, and put your spy knowledge to the test.

RELATED: Spring Break Camps for NYC Kids This April Vacation

The free flower show at Macy's, Once Upon a Springtime, is an NYC favorite! 

4. See the enchanting blooms at the annual Macy's Flower Show, which brings its fairy tale-themed show to life from March 25 through April 8. FREE

5. Head to the Museum of the Moving Image and check out its new permanent Jim Henson exhibit or catch up with some of Henson's muppets at daily showings of The Muppets Take Manhattan and Tale of the Bunny Picnic, and then craft some puppets of your own at the complementary workshop.

6. Head downtown to the always FREE National Museum of the American Indian. While you're there, check out artist Julie Nagam's work and create some of your own inspired by her pieces. FREE

7. Give rock climbing a try—NYC has a few kid-friendly indoor rock climbing centers with drop-in hours.

Test your athletic skills at the interactive NFL Experience.

8. It may be baseball season, but NFL mini camps are on the horizon. Stoke your inner football fan with a visit to the interactive NFL Experience in Times Square.

9. Although the beach is off limits for swimming until Memorial Day, Coney Island's Luna Park and Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park are open for the season with special spring-break hours.

10. Check out the history of New York's port and the role it played in building this city at the South Street Seaport Museum.

The Fantasy Forest at the Flushing Meadows Carousel is the perfect park to introduce your little ones to rides.

11. Those rides too intense for your tot? Then hit Queens' mini-amusement park Fantasy Forest at the Flushing Meadows Carousel.

12. Try some decidedly old-school fun and pick up the sport of axe throwing at Brooklyn's Kick Axe.

13. Or go new-school and immerse yourself in Midtown's gamer haven, VR World, or Brooklyn's VR Bar.

14. Stop in at Prospect Park's Audubon Center, where kids can participate in spring break events, such as a bird trivia game, go on a nature walk, or pick up a ready-made Discovery Pack full of nature-inspired fun to enjoy throughout the park. FREE

15. Ride a square-wheeled trike and enjoy other interactive fun at the Museum of Mathematics. Visit on Wednesday, April 4, for a special program on symmetry and patterns.

16. Hit the Bronx's bucolic Wave Hill to take in spring blooms and find inspiration for its Family Art programs.

Get immersed in life underwater at the National Geographic: Ocean Odyssey.

17. Up your kids' knowledge of the underwater worlds by checking out the newly opened Unseen Oceans at the American Museum of Natural History or National Geographic: Ocean Odyssey in Times Square.

18. Enjoy some farm-themed fun with the Queens County Farm Museum's annual Children's Carnival, with pony rides, carnival rides, midway games, and more.

19. Go on a trip to Poland for nothing more than the cost of a MetroCard swipe with this old-world tour of Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

20. Ice skating is so last season. Why not strap on some roller skates at Brooklyn Bridge Park's Pier 2 roller rink, which opens right in time for break!

Drive a NYC bus, wander through the old subway cars and grab a toy at the New York Transit Museum shop.

21. Make a mixed-up transportation book, enjoy an epic rap battle between an MTA bus and subway train, and explore all the art materials in the Discovery Room during the New York Transit Museum's special spring-break programs.

22. Gamers unite at Brooklyn Geek Fest, a comic con of sorts for serious gamers. There will be plenty of game play, vendors selling new and classic gaming gear, and awards for best dressed.

23. Start your engines and head on over to the Javits Center, where the always-popular New York International Auto Show makes its annual appearance from Friday, March 30 through Sunday, April 8.

24. Introduce your kids to some old-school fun with a trip to a family-friendly arcade, where they'll learn the ins and outs of classic video games.

You'll think differently about the way you eat after visiting the Bon Appetite exhibit at the New York Hall of Science. 

25. Explore your eating habits at the New York Hall of Science's Bon Appetit exhibit, get in a round of mini-golf, or get hands on at Lego Brick Fest Live.

26. Prep for the upcoming tennis season by checking out the newly opened Court 16 in Long Island City; you can even sign up for a FREE session.

27. Head to the Children's Museum of Manhattan to check out the Hello from Japan! exhibit, which has returned for a third run. Visit Easter weekend to take part in a museum-wide egg hunt for prizes, craft sun catchers, and weave your own basket.

28. Catch a puppet show at Central Park's Swedish Marionette Theater, which plays Neverland: Peter Returns, or see the Puppetworks presentation of The Prince & The Magic Flute playing in Brooklyn.

The Salt Marsh Nature Center, Brooklyn's largest park, offers nature programs and a variety of workshops for kids.

29. Go on a hunt for creepy crawlies with the help of the Salt Marsh Nature Center in Brooklyn, as it invites kids to get their hands dirty searching for insects and learning why they are important to our eco system. FREE

30. Since you're saving money by staying home this break, consider springing for one of these splurge-worthy, only-in-NY experiences.

31. Head to Central Park for a FREE Discovery Walk, focused on the Park's statues and monuments. Check out some other fun, hidden finds in one of our favorite green spaces or see how many of our top playgrounds you can visit.

32. Check out the amazing inventions at the FIRST Robotics Competition, then use that as inspiration to pursue your own STEM projects at one of these maker spaces offering drop-in fun.

33. Bad-weather day got you down? It's always warm inside the Butterfly Conservatory at AMNH.

34. Historical fun awaits at the Morris-Jumel Mansion, Manhattan's oldest house, where George Washington once plotted his attacks on the Redcoats.

35. Take your tween to one of these local spots that are sure to head off attitudes and rolling eyes.

The Orchid Show at New York Botanical Garden showcases thousands of dramatically displayed orchids.

36. Check out the blooms inside the New York Botanical Garden, where the annual orchid show is on view. Find early spring blooms on the grounds or at these other NYC gardens!

37. For interactive, chocolate-centric fun, visit one of these spots to whip up your own sweets, or if you prefer the packaged variety, try these cool NYC candy shops.

38. Visit the Queens Botanical Garden to see pretty spring blooms and let kids get a little dirty at the Exploration Station.

39. Head to the Museum of the City of New York in East Harlem to participate in its rich family programming or see its ode to ice skating and fashion in the city.

RELATED: New Exhibits, Galleries, and More Museum Fun for NYC Kids

Visit the kitties at Koneko cat cafe. 

40. Adopt a pet for a day, or at least a few hours, at one of the cat cafes popping up across the five boroughs. Pooches more your style? Check out Frolic on the Upper East Side.

41. Spend an afternoon perusing the aisles at one of these wonderful, independent kid-lit spots, many of which offer FREE storytimes.

42. Got a board game enthusiast on your hands? Visit Hex & Co. on the Upper West Side or The Geekery HQ in Astoria.

The whole family will be pleased with a feast at Gotham Market.

43. Grab a nosh at the massive Dekalb Market Hall or nearby Gotham Market or one of these other popular city food halls. Find more kid eats (and sweets) in our NYC Restaurant Guide.

44. Never been to the Staten Island Children's Museum? Check out its events calendar for fun happenings, including its Kidz Cook workshops.

45.  If Mother Nature cooperates, you can always hit one of our city's fabulous playgrounds or parks. Too many to choose from? We narrowed it down to the best of the best in this kid- (and mom!) tested list.

46. Burn off crazy-kid energy at drop-in play spaces in Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn.

47. Children too old for kiddie gyms? Go bowling, play pool, or go for brunch at these dine-in movie theaters.

48. Head to the High Line for a spring walk.

49. Explore a new-to-you corner of NYC. We have in-depth Kids' Neighborhood Guides for communities in all five boroughs, including Chelsea and the East Village or Gowanus in Brooklyn and Long Island City, Queens.

50. 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 all of our favorite new attractions that opened in 2017.

We have additional options in our jam-packed Events Calendar and our Spring Fun Guide.

This post, originally published in April 2010, is updated annually.

Unless otherwise noted photos courtesy of the venues.