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
The summer is winding down, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to break out the board games! Fall is arguably the best season to get outside and enjoy all that NYC has to offer and any New York City nanny knows to take advantage of the cooler weather by enjoying some of the best parks and playgrounds for kids.
However, if you’re looking to branch out from your “regular” neighborhood jaunt, here are some top-notch, fun and kid-friendly parks across the five boroughs! Hop on the subway and take the kids somewhere new where they can explore, climb, play, run, and imagine. These spots are more than just swings, slides and sandboxes, but are great places for kids to make new friends and form memories that will last a lifetime.
Break out the fall scarves and sweaters and treat yourselves to a hot cider on the way!
If you're a New York City Nanny look no further! Here are our personal Top 5 NYC Playgrounds that are well worth the trip:
1. Tom Otterness Playground in Midtown West
Since it’s grand opening in 2009, this playground has been a huge hit with art lovers and children alike! This giant Tom Otterness sculpture that doubles as a climbable jungle gym is a must-go for you and the kids. Aptly titled 'Playground,' the sculpture of a man has slides for legs, seats for hands and arms a child can shimmy up with ease.
Located on W. 42nd St and 11th Ave, this park is a short walk from several Subway stops. If the kids can’t get enough Otterness, take them on a second trip to the 14th Street Subway Station where they can see his “Life Underground” permanent sculpture exhibit.
Visit the website here!
2. Billy Johnson Playground in Central Park
3. Ancient Playground in Central Park
So long as we’re talking Central Park, we can’t leave this playground off the list. Walk over towards the Metropolitan Museum of Art and check out the Egyptian-inspired Ancient Playground. Despite it’s name, this is one of the most recently reconstructed playgrounds in the area. The playground's climbing pyramids, obelisk and sundial were inspired by the museum's collection of Egyptian Art. In the main play area, pyramid-shaped climbers with slides and tunnels are linked by concrete bridges. Additional wooden climbers are ideal for older children who love to climb and explore. For younger children, the playground has an obelisk-shaped structure set in a sandbox. Bucket, tire and strap swings accommodate children of all ages.
Visit the website here!
Brooklyn nannies (like us) have been huge fans of the J.J. Byrne Playground ever since its very-grand re-opening in 2012. However, even if you don’t live close by, this park is well worth the trek. After many years and millions of dollars in renovations, the park is now a marvel of off-beat attractions and activities for kids of all ages. It has distinct play areas for kids of different ages. The playground has a nice design flow featuring bucket swings, animal picture boards, little kid equipment and a gated toddler area on one side and more challenging apparatus for older children on the other side. The equipment on the big kid side includes lots of ways to climb, spin and balance, as well as sectioned off big kid swings. There are lots of benches under shady trees in the playground, where you can relax while keeping a mindful eye on the kids. J.J. Byrne Playground is located in Washington Park on Fifth Avenue between 3rd and 4th Streets in Park Slope.
Visit the website here!
5. Playground for All Children in Queens
When it first opened in 1984, this Queen playground was the first of its kind; designed to accommodate kids of all abilities and disabilities. It has since served as a prototype for similar playgrounds worldwide. The site features a wide variety of activities for children ages 3 to 12. A network of wheelchair-accessible ramps connect various jungle gyms, play equipment, nature trails, sports areas, and meadows with Braille signs marking the way. The Apparatus Area has play equipment with safety surfacing, a traffic bridge with traffic lights, slides and swings, and a 12-foot-long suspension bridge. It is sure to be a place of unfettered fun for all. Located within Flushing-Meadows Corona Park, this playground can be a fun addition to a trip to the New York Hall of Science! If you're a New York City nanny, add this to your list for a Columbus Day trip!
Visit the website here!
Have a favorite NYC playground that we forgot to include on our list? Include it in the comments below!
- Kith & Kin
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