Welcome to the weekly Kid Picks Column – a curated list of must do experiences in NYC, and beyond!
This week – a concentration on activities to keep little ones busy during the Mid-Winter School Break. No need to be bored – get out and explore! Wintertime doesn’t mean that we need to hide inside – winter in the city brings numerous opportunities to share a fun experience with your family.
We’ll look at our favorite activities around town, with a special concentration on those further afield as well. Happy Exploring!
Experience (Classes, Special Events, and Fun)
February 18th – 20th: Culinary Kids Weekend at the NYBG
Kick off the weekend with a tasty experience! Join the New York Botanical Garden for a weekend celebrating the relationships among plants, farms and your favorite foods. Family garden staff as well as guest chefs will offer cooking demonstrations, tastings, interactive experiences, and more. We attended last year – see our full experience HERE.
New York Botanical Garden. Culinary Kids Weekend is included with general admission. 2900 Southern Blvd., Bronx, NY 10458More information HERE.
February 20th through February 25th – Kids Week has landed at the Intrepid
Timed to run in conjunction with the public school holiday break, The Intrepid is hosting a special kids week! Kids week activities including workshops, educational demos, appearances by Children’s Book authors and special guests, and more! All Children’s Week activities are free with general admission.
Intrepid Museum. Pier 86, 12th Ave. & 46th Street. Link to schedule and full list of Kids Week Activities HERE
February 20th – 24th Kids Week Activities at New York City Parks
No need to hang at home, Head to the park and explore the natural world! Join Urban Park Rangers for a plethora of free Kids Week programs. From history, wildlife, bugs and more – there’s a wild world out there to explore!
New York City Parks. Free. Multiple Locations – check website for details HERE
Ice Ice Baby
Slip and Slide through winter break with a tip to a local ice skating rink! While there are many ice rinks for little ones to experience, one of our favorites is The Rink at Brookfield Place. The reason – are these happy blue seal friends . The seals are shaped to aid a small child on their back – and the tail becomes a handle for mom or dad. A fun way to introduce ice fun to little ones (and a nice crutch to help mom or dad!). Read our in-depth visit (and how we skated with Olympians!) HERE.
The Rink at Brookfield Place. 230 Vessey Street. More information HERE.
Eat (fun ways to fill little bellies)
DŌ Cookie Dough Confections
Sweet cookie dreams are made of this! Welcome to the world of DŌ – raw cookie dough treats that are safe to eat! You can stop sneaking bites of dough from the kitchen – the brilliant team has found a way to (safely!) eat raw cookie dough straight from the mixing bowl. The company’s new store has opened its doors in Greenwich Village – and it’s spectacular. We recently discovered what this dough is made of, take a look at this new DŌ phenomenon – read our full article HERE.
DŌ Cookie Dough Confections. 550 LaGuardia Place. NYC. More on DŌ, including their full menu HERE.
Photo Credit: City Bakery
Month of February: City Bakery’s Hot Chocolate Festival
Loco for Coco? Get your fix at City Bakery’s Hot Chocolate Festival – a month-long celebration devoted to everyone’s warm chocolate concoction. The official list has been published HERE – what’s your favorite? Only a couple weeks left of the famous City Bakery’s Hot Chocolate Festival! We just visited with the family, and the hot chocolate lived up to all expectations. Be sure to opt in for the marshmallow – it’s so large, it could have its own zip code.
City Bakery’s Hot Chocolate Festival. The City Bakery. Multiple locations in NYC, HERE.
See (Art, Theater, and Exhibits)
Life in the fast lane has a new meaning at the FordHub at Westfield Shopping Center! Automotive brand Ford has installed its FordHub to “showcase the brand’s expansion into mobility solutions.” Inside the center, guests can take part in playful technology based activities such as a wobble board race, drive a Mustang over Manhattan, and a virtual reality room where you can build a Mustang atop the Empire State Building. Possibly even more impressive then this – is the lit Matchbox car wall of literally hundreds of the popular mini cars atop a dancing light display backdrop!
FordHub. Located in Westfield World Trade Center. More info on the Shopping Center HERE.
Photo Credit: City Parks
One Hip Hippo
Have a Hungry Hippo fan? Hop on over to New York’s newest statue friend, a Hippo! While this sculpture is not affiliated with the game (actually it is inspired by Degas and by Disney’s Fantasia) weighs in at 2 and 1/2 tons and is a lot of fun! The art installation, which is part of the Arts in the Parks program, will be on view outside of Lincoln Center until July 31st.
Located in Dante Park outside of Lincoln Center. 74th and Broadway.
Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy
Take In a Theater Show
No better time to catch a matinee then when the kids are on break! While our little guy is only four, there’s nothing he loves more than taking in a show at the theater. Not all shows are great for such a young age, but plenty do accommodate young children and families. We recently went to School of Rock – and our entire family loved it, read our full show review HERE. Younger theater fans should check out the New York City Children’s Theater. Shows here are shorter in length, and best for little fans starting at age 2! The newest show, Please Bring Balloons, is based on the beautifully illustrated book of the same name.
School of Rock. Winter Garden Theater. 51st and Broadway. More Information/tickets HERE
NY Children’s Theater. 502 West 53rd Street. More Information/tickets HERE
Puppets in the Park
It doesn’t get better than the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater! The charming marionette theater has been creating memories for children and families for over half a decade, where talented puppeteers bring magical fairy tales of princesses, pirates, paupers, and giants, alive to enchanted audiences. Set within the background of Central Park’s forestry and gardens, this magical experience is not to be missed. You’re in luck, a new show just opened; The Princess, The Emperor and the Duck is now showing! Read our in-depth experience on this incredible theater HERE.
Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater. 79th Street and Central Park West Drive (located inside Central Park). More information and tickets HERE.
Further Afield (Day Trips and Experiences)
Schools out for winter break – Get out of town with our fun list of ways to please a young crowd!
Photo Credit: Kalahari Resorts
A Waterful World
The incredible safari themed Kalahari Resort and Indoor Water Park is the place to be! We love Kalahari for family trips, as the waterpark is brilliantly broken up into different themes and age appropriate areas for children to play in! There are plenty of toddler attractions and interactive play spaces, as well as big thrill slides and surf simulator for older kids to engage in. A wonderful place to escape the winter weather, or even just as exciting in Summer (with an incredible retractable roof and outdoor waterpark too!) Even more exciting – on March 8th this famous attraction will be adding even more action! Kalahari as been busy, they have been working on a massive expansion – including adding more fun to the indoor and outdoor waterparks, a larger arcade, new guest rooms, and dining attractions too. The additions will officially give Kalahari the name of America’s largest waterpark (and possibly the most fun place on earth)!
Kalahari Resort and Indoor Water Park. 250 Kalahari Blvd., Pocono Manor, PA. Apx 2 hours from the city. More information and reservations HERE. Day Pass information HERE.
A Colorful Experience
There’s no better way to beat the winter blues then immersing yourself in color and fun creative tools at the Crayola Experience in Easton. This mega complex is the only place in the world where the magic of Crayola comes to life, and you can color outside of the lines. There are literally 4 floors of activities to explore – from going on a 4-D adventure, seeing how crayons are made, to staring in your own coloring page, and grabbing a bite to eat at the Crayola café – the Crayola experience has endless creative fun for little ones. Be sure to check out the worlds largest crayon, straight out of a child’s imagination!
Crayola Experience. 30 Center Square, Easton, PA. Apx 1 hr 30 Mins from Manhattan. More info HERE.
Photo Credit: Camelback Mountain
Approximately two hours away from NYC- Camelback Mountain located in the Poconos makes for a great day trip from the city. With over 34 trails, the largest tubing park in the USA, and even snowboarder terrain – there’s something for everyone. Camelback offers Learn to Ski packages and 13 “green” runs for beginners and novices. If you need more than only a day – the on-site resort offers an indoor waterpark to play (the best of both worlds!).
Camelback Mountain . 301 Resort Drive in Tannersville, PA. Apx 2 hours from Manhattan. Note: While there are no age requirements, there are height restrictions for tubing. Please check website for details.
A Look Ahead!
Early March – Maple Sugaring Season!
We love hitting the farms to see the maple sugaring process straight from the tree! An educational (and delicious) experience not to be missed!
Mardi Gras (French for “Fat Tuesday”) is a Carnival celebration that takes place the day before Ash Wednesday. New Orleans is the place to be, but there’s plenty of ways for families to celebrate in the city! Stay tuned for some fun events is next week’s post.