Spring Break 2023: 50 Fun Things To Do in NYC

Step into the Magentaverse at Artechouse in the Chelsea Market for an immersive art installation. Photo courtesy of ARTECHOUSE
Step into the Magentaverse at Artechouse in the Chelsea Market for an immersive art installation. Photo courtesy of ARTECHOUSE
3/31/23 - By Jody Mercier

Spring break 2023 is barreling toward us. If you're 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 Thursday, April 6-Friday, April 14, 2023. 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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1. Book an NYC Hotel

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

2. Wave Hill

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

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

Spring break 2023 in NYC: Queens Botanical Garden
The Queens Botanical Garden offers plenty to see and do to celebrate spring's arrival. Photo by Sydney Ng

3. Queens Botanical Garden

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

4. 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.

5. New York Aquarium

Explore the New York Aquarium and the rest of the fun in Coney Island.

6. Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival

Don your finest bonnet and strut your stuff at the Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival, one of our favorite FREE annual parades.

RELATED: 53 Things To Do During a Spring Staycation with NYC Kids

Spring break 2023 in NYC: Krispy Kreme Times Square
Krispy Kreme's Times Square mega-shop is a sweets lover's dream come true. Photo by Jody Mercier

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. Skyline Drive-in

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.

10. Playday

Drop-in for a unique art class with inspiring teachers at Playday Cobble Hill or Playday LIC.

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

Spring break 2023 in NYC: Powerhouse Books
Spend a few hours exploring Powerhouse Books at IC. Photo by Diana Kim

11. Industry City

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

12. Peter Rabbit Afternoon Tea at The Peninsula New York

Get some extra mileage out of your Easter outfits by booking a reservation for a special Peter Rabbit Afternoon Tea in the stylish Gotham Lounge at The Peninsula New York.

13. Hudson Yards

Explore Hudson Yards, including the outpost of play space/toy store Camp, Dylan's Candy Bar, and José Andrés Mercado Little Spain to enjoy amazing Spanish food.

14. Bronx Zoo

Explore the Bronx Zoo like a local and get a behind-the-scenes look with these animal encounters, or try a ropes course at the Tree Top Adventure, reopening just in time for break.

RELATED: 28 Spectacular Spring Day Trips near NYC for Families

Spring break 2023 in NYC: Smoomoo Institute
The Sloomoo Institute offers some hands-on sensory fun for all ages. Photo by Jody Mercier

15. Offbeat Museums

Enjoy some ooey-gooey playtime at Soho's Sloomoo Institute, the Museum of Ice Cream, or Color Factory.

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

17. 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.

18. New York International Auto Show

The New York International Auto returns from Friday, April 7-Sunday, April 16. Head to the Javits Center to explore the latest in automotive innovation and enjoy freebies, cool cars to climb in, and more.

RELATED: 20 Things To Do with Kids in NYC on Easter Sunday

SeaLife Aquarium NYC spring break day trip
The Sea Life Aquarium is one of the myriad attractions for families at the American Dream Mall. Photo by Diana Kim

19. Hang at the American Dream Mall

Head to the American Dream Mall where kid-friendly attractions abound, including Sea Life Aquarium, Legoland Discovery Center, Nickelodeon Universe, DreamWorks Water Park, and more.

20. 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.

21. Statue of Liberty

Play tourist for a day and visit Lady Liberty, where you can climb to the crown once again!

22. Bronx Children's Museum

Nab your FREE tickets to explore the newly opened Bronx Children's Museum, which offers tons of room to romp for kids up to 10 years old, plus one epic water table!

RELATED: New York City Parks and Playground Guide

Spring break 2023 in NYC: The High Line
Wander above the city on The High Line. Photo by Sydney Ng

23. The High Line

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

24. Visit a New Playground

See how many of these newly installed or remodeled NYC playgrounds you can visit during the week off.

25. Prospect Park

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

26. NYGB Orchid Show

See spring in full bloom by booking tickets to the New York Botanical Garden's Orchid Show. Time your visit right to see the spectacular blooms all across this family-friendly garden.

RELATED: Astoria Park's Charybdis Playground Reopens

Spring break 2023 in NYC: Snug Harbor
Snug Harbor on Staten Island is a fun spring break trip. Photo by Janet Bloom

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

Explore some outer-borough 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.

28. Central Park

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

29. 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.

30. Immersive Art

Revel in Magentaverse, the newest immersive audio-visual installation at Artechouse, a one-of-a-kind gallery space. Another option: Monet's Garden.

RELATED: Visiting Governors Island: 20 Things To Do and See

Spring break 2023 in NYC: VR World
Need a little break from NYC? Then, head into VR World and choose an adventure. Photo by Jody Mercier

31. Experience Virtual Reality

Immerse yourself in Midtown's gamer haven, VR World, or Brooklyn's Beat The Bomb.

32. City Pickle

Have you gotten swept up in the pickleball craze? Book court time at the opening-just-in-time-for-spring-break City Pickle.

33. Black Comic Festival

Head to the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture on Friday, April 14 and Saturday, April 15 for the Black Comic Book Festival with plenty of all-ages fun.

34. View the Cherry Blossoms

Nothing says spring like cherry blossoms. Head to the many parks and gardens all over the city to enjoy the blooms while they last.

RELATED: Best Things To Do in NYC this April with Kids

Spring break 2023 in NYC: The Cliffs at Gowanus
Bouldering is beginner-friendly and kids as young as age 3 can scale the walls at The Cliffs at Gowanus. Photo by Diana Kim

35. Climb The Cliffs

Or check out the supersized bouldering gym at The Cliffs at Harlem or visit its outpost in Gowanus.

36. Go Rock Climbing

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

37. Fotografsika

Older kids get a kick out of exploring Fotografsika, the photo-centric museum housed in a stunning landmark building on Park Avenue South.

38. Brunch with Easter Bunny

After finding all your treats, recharge with brunch with the Easter Bunny.

RELATED: Where to Take Easter Bunny Pictures With NYC Kids in 2023

Spring Break 2023 in NYC: Easter egg hunts
Join an Easter Egg Hunt in the city. Photo courtesy of Think n' Fun

39. Hunt for Easter Eggs

Get your goodies before the Easter Bunny hops out of town by stopping at a treat-filled hunt, including our own Mommy Poppins egg hunt in conjunction with the South Street Seaport.

40. See a Broadway Show

We've outlined our top picks for all ages on the Great White Way.

41. Zephyr

If your kids are too little for Broadway, bring them to The New Victory Theater, which hosts the action-packed, whimsical Zephyr from Cirque Mechanics through Sunday, April 16.

42. Revisit Our Favorite Playgrounds

See how many of these best-of-the-best kid- (and mom!) tested playgrounds you can visit over the 11-day stretch.

RELATEDBest Winter and Spring Break Camps for NYC Kids

Spring break 2023 in NYC: Flip Circus
Daring performers push the boundaries of possibility under the big top at Flip Circus. Photo by Gwen Tundermann

43. Flip Circus

Attend the Flip Circus to see jugglers, acrobats, aerial artists, magicians, and motorcyclists through Monday, April 10 at the Staten Island Mall.

44. Roller Skate at Rockefeller Rink

The famed rink at Rockefeller Center reopens its retro roller skating rink on Friday, April 14.

45. Jackie Robinson Day

Join the Brooklyn Dodger's stars namesake museum in celebrating the day he broke MLB's color barrier with a fun-filled day of activities.

46. Indoor Play Spaces

Head to the Children's Museum of Manhattan for a day of fun, or enjoy one of our favorite indoor play spaces.

RELATEDNYC on a Budget: Cheap Things To Do and Money Saving Tips

Spring break 2023 in NYC: The Brooklyn Magic Shop
Apolino the Magician at the Brooklyn Magic Shop hosts magic shows that delight kids and adults alike. Photo by Diana Kim

47. Brooklyn Magic Shop

Explore all the fun in store at the Brooklyn Magic Shop, which includes camps, classes, and family-friendly magic shows.

48. 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.

49. See a Puppet Show

Book your tickets to see Little Red Riding Hood, which premieres Saturday, April 8, or catch Puppetsburg's Puppets and Bubbly at The Wild on Sunday, April 16.

50. 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.