There are few places more magical to spend the weeks leading up to the holidays than right here in NYC. In the weeks in between the spectacular Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and the world-watched Ball Drop in Times Square, you can find festive family fun and awesome holiday activities around every New York City corner. From tickets to The Nutcracker to Ice-Skating at Rockefeller Center, the possibilities for fun holiday events for kids in NYC can seem never-ending (and frankly exhausting!).
But, fear not, we've assembled our own short-list of some lesser-known but equally merry-inducing holiday events for you and your family to check out!
Our Top 2018 Holiday Events for Kids in NYC
1. GingerBread Lane Workshops at the New York Hall of Science --beginning Saturday November 17th
Get ready to have your mind blown at this massive gingerbread house display. In it, you won’t find just a couple of houses made of gingerbread cookies, candy and icing. That would be child’s play compared to this 500-square-foot village that has won the Guinness World Record for 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016! Visitors can make their own gingerbread houses or trains in this popular workshop that sells out every year. Each participant receives a kit with all of the materials that baker Jon Lovitch uses to create his GingerBread Lane exhibition: gingerbread pieces, icing and candy.
Recommended for ages 4 and older. $15 per project, plus museum admission.
2. Winter's Eve at Lincoln Square -- Monday November 26
The annual tree-lighting at Dante Park kicks off this huge neighborhood holiday celebration. From the Time Warner Center to 68th Street, enjoy tons of free entertainment and reasonably priced food tastings from the area's many restaurants. This year, kid-centric attractions include live music from Mister G, a performance by Jack Frost: The Original Mr. White Christmas, face time with Santa, and much more. A lot of the "grown-up" entertainment sounds great for families too, including performances by Arlo Guthrie and Judy Collins, multicultural dance troupes, ice sculpting, Jazz at Lincoln Center, youth choruses, jugglers, stilt-walkers, and more!
3. Winterfest at the Brooklyn Museum — Friday November 23–Monday December 31
We are so excited about this one! New to the scene is the Winterfest. Want to walk through a giant snowglobe? Commune with the world's largest snowman? Slide down a giant inflatable slide dubbed "Snowzilla"? The Brooklyn Museum's first- ever Winterfest promises all that and more, including a winter market, daily live performances, an enchanted tree maze, facetime with Mr. and Mrs. Santa, and a giant menorah. This is the first year for this holiday treat, but it sounds like a tradition in the making.
4. Chanukah on Ice at Central Park -- Monday, December 3rd, 6 - 9pm
Live music, kosher food, and a giant, hand-carved ice menorah. What's not to love? Join in the biggest Chanukah party in the city! Skate in the beautiful and magical setting of the Wollman Rink, in the heart of New York City’s Central Park.This annual celebration is a prime example of a holiday season event you need to sign up for ASAP, as it always sells out.
5. Winter Family Fair at The Morgan Library & Museum -- Sun Dec 9, 2018
Enjoy an old-fashioned celebration at the Morgan's Victorian era-style holiday fete for families in conjunction with its annual display of Charles Dickens' original A Christmas Carol manuscript. Meet Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, the famous ghosts, and the author himself as portrayed by members of the Grand Falloons troupe. The afternoon closes with a festive concert of Christmas carols. Free with museum admission.
Have any must-do ideas of your own for 2018 Holiday Events for Kids in NYC?
Let us know in the comments section below!
With March here at last, it's time to say goodbye to the winter blues and welcome the warmer weather by getting out to some of the many family-friendly activities in NYC this month. Daylight Savings Time this month means you might lose a little sleep, but on the bright side there are longer, sunnier days ahead and lots of ways to enjoy them with your kids in tow. Of course, St. Patricks Day is the big event on everyone's March radar, but if you're looking to avoid the crowds, here are a few more family-friendly March activities in NYC we can recommend!
Family-Friendly March Activities in NYC:
1. Children’s film festival - Weekends in March
During weekends in March, the Children’s Film Festival welcomes over 25,000 young people, parents, and movie-lovers to explore the world without leaving NYC. Presenting the best new animation, live action, documentary, and experimental film from across the globe, the NYICFF shows new, inspiring, and thought-provoking films about youth from all around the world, suitable for children and families. Check out what’s playing near you, you’re sure to find something the kids will love!
New York International Children’s Film Festival
2. Jiggy Tots Irish Movement Class - March 8th
Looking for a kid-friendly alternative to the St. Patrick's Day Parade, that still celebrates the Irish heritage of this March holiday? Introduce your toddler to Irish dancing with this class, developed with ages 2-5 in mind. Kids will work on their motor skills, coordination, and creativity with activities that include not only dance but also educational games that teach counting and colors. Combining traditional Irish ditties with toddler favorites, this is sure to get your toddler up and moving. Free on 4pm at the New York Public Library.
3. Luna Park Opening Day - March 24th
Did you miss those special trips to Luna Park over the long winter season? Don't miss opening day at Luna Park this season. While the beach won't open until Memorial Day, ring in Spring with a family outing to NYC's largest amusement park. All the park's established rides and attractions, both thrilling and tame, will be open—even the water rides. BONUS: Following tradition, the first 100 visitors score a FREE ride on the Cyclone.
4. Women's Empowerment Festival - March 24th and 25th
The Children's Museum of Manhattan celebrates equality, empowerment, and talent during this year’s Women’s History Month with kid-friendly film and animation workshops, art installations, and interactive storytelling. Look for workshops on the amazing women directing the biggest movies today like Patty Jenkins, director of Wonder Woman, and Ava DuVernay, who is directing A Wrinkle in Time, as well as readings from Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls.
Have any family-friendly March activities in NYC that we missed? Let us know in the comments below!
- KITH & KIN
It's that time of year again!
At the end of each year, it's pretty typical of families to provide some type of year-end bonus as a way to say thank you. (If this is new to you, check out our blogpost from last year here, detailing some of the "norms" in NYC.) In addition to a cash bonus, some families like to give a little gift to show the appreciation, too! While I don't recommend reducing the cash bonus much if at all, some families do choose heartfelt gifts for nannies as a little extra something.
Needing a little inspiration?
Here below are 12 fun ideas and gifts for nannies for all budgets and all occasions!
1. "Bad" weather gear
• As the saying goes, "There is no bad weather; only bad clothing." When I was a nanny, I had clothing that simply could not brave the Upper West Side, Riverside Drive winds, and every spring, my rain boots would somehow tear, rendering them worthless. Quite frankly, I couldn't afford the awesome gear that my bosses had, even though I knew it was worth the investment!
Nice boots, a rain or winter coat, or mittens make wonderful gifts for nannies, along with a note that says, "We appreciate your willingness to get out there and get the job done! Hope this makes your life a little easier!"
2. Nanny's Day Out: self-care and pampering to the max!
• Getting a massage is wonderful! Your nanny may appreciate a gift certificate to a spa, but the crème de la crème is doing this while getting an extra paid half-day off! What a nice treat. If you have the ability to come home from work around noon to relieve your nanny, it will truly be a “Nanny's Day Out”. Book the appointment slot, and make it into a whole afternoon planned for their relaxation and rejuvenation. It doesn't have to be the highest end package! A simple massage plus the gesture of the whole "event" is incredibly touching.
But, are they not much of a massage/pedicure/manicure person, or is that on the higher end of your budget? Get them a movie theater gift card instead, and put a date in the calendar to them off just a few hours early instead of a half day.
4. INA membership
• Your nanny is a professional, and you respect that person as a vital part of your family. As such, providing them opportunities to develop as a professional is key! The mission of the International Nanny Association is to serve as the umbrella association for the in-home child care industry by providing information, education and guidance to the public and to industry professionals. By giving your nanny a membership, you're making a statement that you respect them as a professional and desire them to keep growing in their work!
7. Matching socks!
• Want to make your nanny feel a part of the family? Get some fun socks for him or her, and also the kiddos! Your children will love matching with their best buddy. Just a little something cozy and fun to wear around the house. These are great gifts for nannies AND kids!
We personally love Socks & Souls, a company that gives an additional free pair of socks to someone in need with each pair of socks purchased. Think Warby Parker and TOMS.
9. Drinks for Days!
• What drink does your nanny always have in her hand? (Or rather, wishes they had in their hand [if it's wine, you hopefully wouldn't see that on the job! ;)]) If it's coffee or a juice, get them a large gift card to their favorite place with a note that says, "Hope this will keep you warm through the winter (or healthy and strong through winter), as you push Kayden around town!"
If you'd really like to be an overachiever, stash the gift card inside a cute travel mug or to-go cup with a straw!
10. "Tile" - a GPS gadget
• Has your nanny lost her keys before (and is this something they're able to laugh at yet? ;)) This cool little gadget comes in handy! It is a square little tile to clip on to a key ring, connect it with the app on a smart phone. When the keys are lost, pull up the app and it will tell you roughly where the item is located. Hooray! No keys lost again!
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Copyright, Kith and Kin NYC LLC, 2018. Licensed and bonded by the NY State Department of Consumer Affairs, License #2038511-DCA. Kith & Kin Household Staffing Agency seeks to pair exceptional caregivers with vibrant families. Candidates who are legally authorized to work in the United States, and meet our requirements are encouraged to send us your résumé if you are seeking a position as a Nanny, Manny, Housekeeper, Governess, Mother's Helper, or a Baby Nurse / Newborn Care Specialist in New York City, New York State, New Jersey, or Connecticut. Kith & Kin Household Staffing Agency does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression, age, height, weight, physical disabilities, veteran status, and marital status. We are a nanny agency in NYC that services the metro area.
Hours are by appointment only. Address: 195 Montague Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201 and 450 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10017 We make house calls! Call us at 929-445-2016. Unfortunately, due to the high volume of interest, no calls regarding available jobs are accepted. Please check our job board here.