Spring Break 2024: 49 Fun Things To Do in NYC

Enjoy a tropical spring break daycation with a trip to DreamWorks Water Park at American Dream Mall in New Jersey. Photo by the author
Enjoy a tropical spring break daycation with a trip to DreamWorks Water Park at American Dream Mall in New Jersey. Photo by the author
4/7/24 - By Jody Mercier

Spring break 2024 is barreling toward us. If you're worried about keeping the kids entertained over NYC's spring break, we've got it covered. 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 49 things to do with kids in New York City during the upcoming public school spring break.

New York City's spring break runs from Monday, April 22-Tuesday, April 30, 2024. Add in two weekends and you've got nine days to fill with fun. 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 hoping to get out of town, be sure to visit our Guide to Day Trips and Weekend Getaways for some inspiration or consider booking a last-minute spring break vacation on the cheap.


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Best Things To Do Spring Break 2024 with NYC Kids

1. Hit DreamWorks Water Park

No matter what the weather is outside, it's a perfect day for a dip at DreamWorks Water Park the largest indoor water park in North America. Book your tickets online in advance and save 15 percent with code MPSPRING15.

2. Teach Me Wall Street

Give your middle schooler a leg up on finances with this four-day boot camp from Teach Me Wall Street dedicated to learning the stock market, its players, how to invest, and the safeguards employed to prevent counterfeiting and money laundering.

3. Nickelodeon Universe

Climb aboard a wild ride at Nickelodeon Universe. Use code MPSPRING15 to score discounted tickets for the all-ages attractions at this indoor theme park at American Dream Mall. While you're there, be sure to check out some of the other family-friendly attractions!

4. Book an NYC Hotel

Enjoy an upgraded staycation and book a night at one of these family-friendly hotels.

5. Wave Hill

Hit the Bronx's bucolic Wave Hill to take in spring's brilliance.

6. RiseNY

Soar over New York City at RiseNY to journey through time on an indoor simulation ride offering a bird's eye view of city landmarks, seasonal events, local history, and pop culture.

7. New York Aquarium

Explore the New York Aquarium and the rest of the fun in Coney Island, including Luna Park, which is open daily during the break.

8. Genius Gems

Book some playtime at STEM hot spot Genius Gems or consider enrolling the kids in one of its half-day camps full of hands-on fun.

9. Times Square's Sweet Treats

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.

10. Stephen A. Schwarzman NYPL Branch

Besides checking out books, there's a ton to see and do at the New York Public Library's Main Branch in Midtown.

RELATED: Best Carousels in NYC: 13 Merry-Go-Rounds City Kids Love

Spring break 2024 in NYC: Queens Botanical Garden
The Queens Botanical Garden offers plenty to see and do to celebrate spring's arrival. Photo by Sydney Ng

11. Queens Botanical Garden

The Queens Botanical Garden is an underrated delight to catch spring's beauty.

12. Hudson Yards

Explore Hudson Yards and grab a treat at Dylan's Candy Bar or nosh at José Andrés' Mercado Little Spain and enjoy amazing Spanish food.

13. Bronx Zoo

Explore the Bronx Zoo like a local and get a behind-the-scenes look with these animal encounters, or enjoy the all-new Animal Chronicles walking trail that provides a timeline of the zoo's 125 years of conservation.

14. 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 Battery Park City, Harlem, Bay Ridge, Long Island City, and more.

15. Summit One Vanderbilt

Spend a day frolicking in a ball pit—and we're not talking about those primary-colored plastic orbs. No, head to Summit One Vanderbilt for an elevated ball pit experience, in every sense of the word.

16. Intrepid Museum

Head to the Intrepid Museum to explore the wonders of this WWII-era aircraft carrier and its brand-new Apollo exhibition, plus book a tour of the newly-restored British Airways Concorde.

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Spring break 2024 in NYC: Snug Harbor
Snug Harbor on Staten Island is a fun spring break trip. Photo by Janet Bloom

17. Explore an Off-the-Beaten-Path Park

Explore some outer-borough green space gems like Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens, The Greenbelt in Staten Island, or one of these other underrated NYC parks.

18. Apple Blossom Children's Carnival

Bookend spring break 2024 with a visit to the Queens County Farm Museum, which hosts its annual Apple Blossom Children's Carnival on weekends from Saturday, April 20-Sunday, April 28, 2024.

19. Empire State Trail

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. Statue of Liberty

Play tourist for a day and visit Lady Liberty, where you can climb to the crown if your legs can bear it!

RELATED: 33 Spectacular Spring Day Trips near NYC for Families

Spring break 2024 in NYC: Smoomoo Institute
The Sloomoo Institute offers some hands-on sensory fun for all ages. Photo by Jody Mercier

21. Immersive Museums

Enjoy some ooey-gooey playtime at Soho's Sloomoo Institute, the Museum of Ice CreamColor Factory, or one of these other immersive museums in NYC.

22. Bronx Children's Museum

Nab your tickets now to explore the Bronx Children's Museum, which offers tons of room to romp for kids up to 10 years old. The water table is epic!

23. Play Tourist

Open a new window on the world by viewing it through the eyes of a local tour guide on one of these 25 kid-friendly tours of NYC. You can discover everything from the haunted secrets of Broadway to the best bites in Flushing with the help of a local expert.

24. Prospect Park

Spend a day in Prospect Park and enjoy nature walks and birdwatching, or hit up one of the many playgrounds—we've even ranked our favorites!

25. Central Park

Spring weather is the perfect time to reacquaint yourself with Central Park's fun, hidden finds.

26. Morris-Jumel Mansion

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

27. Legoland New York

You don't need to fly to Florida to get some Spring Break theme park action. Head to Legoland in the Hudson Valley and take advantage of early season deals

RELATED: Weekend Getaways near NYC: Lake Resorts in New York State

Spring break 2024 in NYC: Powerhouse Books
Spend a few hours exploring Powerhouse Books at IC. Photo by Diana Kim

28. Industry City

Explore Brooklyn's booming Industry City with its cool eats, Japan Village, a family-fun game room, Powerhouse@IC bookstoreUrban Air, and more.

29. Black Comic Book Festival

Harlem's Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture is a can't-miss destination on Friday, April 26 and Saturday, April 27, 2024, when it hosts its annual two-day Black Comic Book Festival. Enjoy cosplay, workshops, live entertainment, and more.

30. Go Bouldering

Check out the supersized bouldering gym at The Cliffs at Harlem or visit its outpost in Gowanus. The Brooklyn Bouldering Project is another option and has a dedicated kids room!

31. Whale Watching

You've likely heard about the uptick in marine mammal sightings in the waterways near NYC, but have you seen one yourself? Book one of these whale watching cruises and pack your binoculars for a memorable day on the water.

32. Play Street Museum

Book your tickets now for playtime at this popular Upper West Side play space that offers open play and artmaking for kids up to age 8.

33. Architects of Air's Daedalum

Head to Lincoln Center to see this airy installation of a giant, whimsical labyrinth that's popped up in Damrosch Park before it closes on Sunday, April 21, 2024.

34. See a Broadway Show

We've outlined our top picks for all ages on the Great White Way, and you can even find discounted tickets here.

35. The New Victory Theater

If your kids are too little for Broadway, bring them to The New Victory Theater, which hosts Omnium Circus this week in a production of I'mPossible, which features an inclusive, all-abilities cast.

36. Revisit Our Favorite Playgrounds

See how many of these best-of-the-best kid- (and mom!) tested playgrounds you can visit over the break.

37. Batting Cages

Get in the swing of spring by taking some cracks at these indoor batting cages spread throughout the five boroughs.

38. Celebrate Earth Day

There are tons of Earth Day celebrations across the five boroughs, but we'd like to cordially invite you to our fete at the South Street Seaport. We're again joining forces with Brooklyn Bridge Parents and Seaport Kids to bring an expansive fun, FREE, family program to life on Saturday, April 20, 2024.

RELATED: New York City Parks and Playground Guide

Spring break 2024 in NYC: The High Line
Wander above the city on The High Line. Photo by Sydney Ng

39. The High Line

Head to The High Line for a spring walk or visit the floating park, Little Island, nearby.

40. American Museum of Natural History

The American Museum of Natural History could easily entertain your brood for a whole week. If you haven't been there lately, we suggest visiting the Gilder Center or stopping by the temporary Secret Life of Elephants exhibit.

41. Paw Patrol Live!

Got little ones to entertain? It's hard to go wrong with the Paw Patrol in the Great Pirate Adventure at the Theater at Madison Square Garden. See one of five showings on Saturday, April 20 or Sunday, April 21, 2024.

42. Brooklyn Museum

The Brooklyn Museum debuted a new Education Center earlier this year and kids can get hands-on with materials, contribute to a collective art installation, and enjoy tons of artmaking.

43. Pier 26 Playground

This whimsical new Hudson River Park playground lets guests climb inside the belly of a fish for some wild romping. There's plenty to climb and the super-fast slide is a crowd-pleaser.

44. Indoor Play Spaces

Our list of the best indoor playgrounds in NYC can't keep up with the new openings. We recently checked out Manhattan's Complete Playground and loved it!

45. Hone Your Green Thumb

April showers bring May flowers. Why not help them along with one of these gardening programs for kids in NYC?

46. DiMenna Children's History Museum

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.

47. Blow Bedtime

No school is the perfect reason to stay up late and enjoy one of these fun things to do with kids after dark. From stargazing to sunset watching, there's plenty to do at all hours in the city that never sleeps.

48. Hit the Road

Enjoy one of these 33 destinations for a spring day trip and enjoy the great outdoors and the glory of the season. 

49. Bucket List Fun

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.

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