As usual, you don't have to travel further than maybe the outerboroughs for some good family times this President's Week break. There's plenty to do right here in New York City, like animated movie shorts, circus events, fun in the parks (even in the cold!) and more museum events than we bet you can handle. And while there is no need to go anywhere else, you could still skip town and try some of our suggestions for fun day trips (even some you can do without a car) in our Travel Guide.
Read on for 25 Things to Do Over Winter Recess
Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden
Washington's Birthday Ball
Sun, Feb 20th, 1pm
Celebrate the birthday of our Nation's First President, as NYers would have back in the 19th century. A period (read: in costume) dance ensamble will perform traditional country dances. Refreshments and museum tours included. $15/adults $10/kids under 12
Staten Island Children's Museum
Various days and times
In honor of the mid-winter recess, the Staten Island Children's Museum is having a week of cool activities that is kicked off with free admission all day on Monday, Feb 21. Other events include Paint like Van Gogh, Kidz Cook Dutch Treats, Clay Day, and more. Check the schedule for more information.
February School Vacation Activities
Tues 22nd- Fri 25, 11am and 2:30pm
Every day during winter break, kids can get on board and hear tales of subways, buses, and bridges, during Transportation Tales (11am). At 2:30pm, celebrate National Engineers Week as you Create a City, designing city structures and transporation systems. Free with museum admission.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
February Break Discovery Week
Feb 21, 22, 23, 24, Drop in 1-3pm
During February break you and your family can travel the world’s deserts and rainforests in the conservatories at BBG. Children discover plants through hands-on activities and pot up their own plant to bring home. Free with Garden admission; no registration required. Drop in at any point during workshop hours.
NYC Park's Dept.
Various times and locations, all free
Bring your kids to the various nature centers in all 5 boroughs to learn about history and nature, and then make related crafts to take home. Each nature center has different themes for each day of the week, such as Nature Hikes, Leaf Rubbing, Bugopoly, Animal Tracks, Nature Bingo, Backyard Bass Ice Fishing Derby, Seed Starting, and even more. Find a nature center near you and get exploring!
NY Hall of Science
Science of the Circus
Feb 23, Noon and 2pm
Join clowns and performers from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey
circus and learn about the science skills needed to perform many
circus tricks. Tickets are limited and are available on the day of the performance on a first-come, first-served basis. Free with general NYSCI admission.
Brooklyn Public Library
Sat, Feb 19 at 1pm
Central Library, Dweck Center
Traditional African folktakes come to life through movement, song and the beat of a live percussionist. At the end of the performance, Storyteller Caren Calder will teach kids a few techniques of African dance. This event is part of Brooklyn Public Library’s celebration of Black History Month.
Met Museum of Art
A Midwinter Recess's Dream
Feb 22-25, 11am-Noon
Spend your winter vacay at the Met, learning about the Museum's collections through discussions and sketching. For ages 5-12. Free with museum admission.
Tipi: Heritage of the Great Plains
Opens Feb 18
Though not specific to winter break, this cool, family-friendly exhibit opens during the vacation. The exhibit explores Native American Plains family life and features three full-size tipis. It offers a new perspective on a familiar icon of the American cultural landscape.
National Museum of the American Indian
The Art of Storytelling and a New Dolls Exhibition
22-24, And new exhibit
Storytelling programs take place Tues-Thurs (Feb 22-24) at 11am, 1pm, and 3pm at the Diker Pavillion. Also at the museum, Small Spirits: Dolls from the National Museum of the American Indian, a new exhibition, opens Feb 19. Small Spirits has over 90 dolls from throughout the Western hemisphere, most from the 19th C. to present day, that reflect different traditions of Native peoples. The museum and programs are FREE.
Museum of the Moving Image
President's Week screenings, events, and workshops
Various days and times, see schedule
The Museum of the Moving Image has some sweet events going on, like their Claymation workshops (Sat, Feb 19-27 at 1pm and 2:30pm). Kids (10+) can create their own 3D characters made from clay, then animate them using the same technique used to create the Wallae and Gromit Series ($10). Other events include a Special Effects Workshop, and Animation Sampler Programs that feature 60min of animated movie shorts.
Kids Week at the Intrepid
Various days (Feb 19-27) and times, see schedule
Every day of winter recess is a giant celebration at the Intrepid, with themes like Circus Day, Puppet Day, Broadway Day, PBS Kids Day, Sports & Recreation Day, and Fashion Fun Day. Each day is jam-packed with theme-appropriate events, like fashion shows, movie screenings, and performances from Broadway shows, such as the Addam's Family and Lombardi.
President's Week-- Terrarium Workshop
Feb 22-25, 2pm
$40/members, $50/non members
You could just stomp through the snow for some fresh, winter air this break at Wave Hill, or make your own tabletop landscape at one of their terrarium workshops. For Children 8+ are welcome with an adult. This is for sure a pricey event, but it should be a great experience for the family, and way fun. If you go, let us know how it was!
--Enjoy High Tea
with the kiddies at one of NYC’s best purveyors.
--Go ice skating at some of our favorite outdoor rinks.
--Grab some hot chocolate to-go from our picks for the City's best cocoas.
See other ideas:
--Share an "Experience Gift"
with your kids, at places like American Girl Place or NYC Trapeze School.