Spring Break 2022: 50 Awesome Things To Do in NYC With Kids on Vacation
Worried about keeping the kids entertained over NYC's spring break? We've got it covered for you. If you're sticking around the city for a spring staycation, there's plenty to keep every age group busy. From exploring our favorite kid-friendly museums to playgrounds worthy of a subway schlep, and destination-worthy tourist attractions, we've rounded up 50 things to do with kids in New York City during the upcoming public school spring break.
New York City's spring break runs from Friday, April 15-Sunday, April 24, 2022. 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.
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1. Treat Yourself to a Relaxing Hotel Stay
Enjoy a New York staycation at one of these family-friendly hotels.
2. Enjoy Spring Blooms
Hit the Bronx's bucolic Wave Hill to take in spring's brilliance.
The Queens Botanical Garden offers plenty to see and do to celebrate spring's arrival. Photo by Sydney Ng
3. Explore Nature
The Queens Botanical Garden is another underrated delight to catch spring's beauty.
4. Make Some Aquatic Friends
Explore Ocean Wonders: Sharks! at the New York Aquarium or see Spineless.
5. Show Off Your Easter Sunday's Best
6. Browse Books and Tour the Library
Besides checking out books, there's a ton to see and do at the New York Public Library's Main Branch in Midtown.
Krispy Kreme's new Times Square mega-shop is a sweets lover's dream come true. Photo by Jody Mercier
7. Give Into Your Sweet Tooth
Indulge yourself with some sweet treats in Times Square. Visit M&Ms World, Hersey's Chocolate World, or Krispy Kreme's 4,500-square-foot doughnut wonderland.
8. See a Drive-in Movie
Catch a movie in your car at the Skyline Drive-In on the Greenpoint waterfront, which offers family-friendly movies with the Manhattan skyline as its backdrop. Don't have a car? No problem—seating on lawn chairs is also available, weather permitting.
9. Channel Your Inner Picasso
10. Take a Cruise
What better way to enjoy spring in NYC than a cruise up the Hudson River on one of the Circle Line's Spring Fling Day Cruises.
Find a moment of peace and head to the newly expanded Japan Village at Industry City for tea, a meal, groceries, books, and more. Photo by Ros Muggeridge
11. Hang Out at IC
12. Shop and Eat at Hudson Yards
13. Head to the Zoo
Explore the Bronx Zoo like a local and get a behind-the-scenes look at the zoo with these animal encounters, or come face-to-face with some prehistoric beasts as the Dinosaur Safari roars back into town just in time for break.
14. Test Your Need for Speed
The New York International Auto returns from Friday, April 15-Sunday, April 24. Head to the Javits Center to explore the latest in automotive innovation and enjoy freebies, cool cars to climb in, and more.
The Sloomoo Institute offers some hands-on sensory fun for all ages. Photo by Jody Mercier
15. Play Like a Kid
16. Explore an Unfamiliar Enclave
Explore a new-to-you corner of NYC. We have in-depth Kids' Neighborhood Guides for communities in all five boroughs, including Chelsea, the East Village, Gowanus in Brooklyn, and Long Island City, Queens.
17. Frolic in a Ball Pit
We're not talking those primary-colored plastic orbs; no, head to SUMMIT One Vanderbilt for an elevated ball pit experience, in every sense of the word.
Legoland Discovery Center is one of the myriad attractions for families at the American Dream Mall. Photo by Jody Mercier
18. Hang it the Mall
Head to the American Dream Mall where kid-friendly attractions abound, including Sea Life Aquarium, Legoland Discovery Center, and Nickelodeon Universe.
19. Get Active
Grab your bike, scooter, or walking shoes to check out the Empire State Trail. Pick it up in Lower Manhattan and make your way all the way to the Canadian border...if you dare.
20. Visit NYC's Iconic Landmarks
21. See a New Classic
Catch Wake Up, Daisy at the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater for a modern-day, marionette interpretation of Sleeping Beauty.
Wander above the city on The High Line. Photo by Sydney Ng
22. Walk the High Line
23. Check Out a New Playground
Visit the brand new Battery Playscape in Lower Manhattan.
24. Explore Brooklyn's Favorite Park
25. Enter the Kaleidoscope
Take a hike in The Greenbelt on Staten Island. Photo by Mommy Poppins
26. Step Off the Beaten Path
27. Revisit Our Favorite Playgrounds
See how many of these best of the best kid- (and mom!) tested playgrounds you can visit during one spring break.
28. Romp in Central Park
Spring weather is the perfect time to reacquaint yourself with Central Park's fun, hidden finds.
29. Take a History Lesson
Historical fun awaits at the Morris-Jumel Mansion, Manhattan's oldest house, where George Washington once plotted his attacks on the Redcoats.
30. Step Into an Immersive Art Gallery
Need a little break from NYC? Then head into VR World and choose an adventure. Photo by Jody Mercier
31. Experience Virtual Reality
32. Attend a New Basquiat Exhibit
Check out the new Jean-Michel Basquiat exhibit, curated by his family, and featuring 200 never-before-seen or rarely exhibited pieces from the well-known local artist.
33. Discover a New Green Space
Enjoy the warm spring weather at the recently renovated sections of Bushwick Inlet Park where almost 2 acres of green space have been added, including a new sprayground for children.
34. Watch Your Favorite Characters Come Alive
Take your lil' Pinkalicious fans to the new Pinkalicious The Musical.
35. Learn About Photography and Architecture
Older kids get a kick out of exploring Fotografsika, the photo-centric museum housed in a stunning landmark building on Park Avenue South.
Bouldering is beginner-friendly and kids as young as age 3 can scale the walls at The Cliffs at Harlem. Photo by Jody Mercier
36. Seek New Adventures
37. Or Try Rock Climbing
Give rock climbing a try—NYC has a few kid-friendly indoor rock climbing centers with drop-in hours.
38. Take Your Teen to Broadway
Big kids will love the live adaptation of Tim Burton's classic Beetlejuice, premiering at the Marquis Theater on Friday, April 8.
39. And Your Little Ones, Too
The entire family can enjoy the Broadway production of the beloved classic, The Little Prince, with aerial artistry and stunning choreography.
Join an Easter Egg Hunt in the city.
40. Hunt for Easter Eggs
Get your goodies before the Easter Bunny hops out of town by stopping at a treat-filled hunt.
41. Brunch with Easter Bunny
After finding all your treats, recharge with brunch with the Easter Bunny.
42. Virtually Soar Over NYC's Landmarks
Check out RiseNY, the new Times Square attraction featuring a 46-seat "flying theater," which lifts guests 30 feet in the air, feet dangling, as they soar over some of NYC's most popular destinations.
43. Roller Skate at Rockefeller Rink
The famed rink at Rockefeller Center opens its retro roller skating rink just in time for spring break.
Daring performers push the boundaries of possibility under the big top at Flip Circus. Photo by Gwen Tundermann
44. Run Away to the Circus
Or just attend the Flip Circus to see jugglers, acrobats, aerial artists, magicians, and motorcyclists. Catch it in Yonkers over break or Staten Island just before!
45. Stay Active and Play Some Tennis
Prep for the upcoming tennis season by checking out Court 16 in Long Island City.
46. Play Indoors On a Rainy Day
47. Explore a Museum Within a Museum
The DiMenna Children's History Museum at the New-York Historical Society is perfect for school-aged children with interactive exhibits and a diverse selection of historical artifacts.
48. Catch a Magic Show
Be amazed by the sleight of hand feats performed by Apolino the Magician at the Brooklyn Magic Shop.
49. Enjoy a Puppet Show
Brooklyn's Puppetworks is playing Pinocchio premiering Saturday, April 16.
50. Tackle That Bucket List
Or cross something off your bucket list: Print out a copy of our 100 things to do with NYC kids before they grow up and get going!
This post, originally published in April 2010, is updated annually. Unless noted, photos courtesy of the venues