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Tuesday, December 10
Watch models of the MTA’s vintage and current trains and subway cars travel depart from a miniature replica of Grand Central Terminal to Santa’s workshop at the North Pole in this small yet charming display full of delightful details. This year’s exhibition showcases Lionel Metro-North, Polar Express, and vintage subway train set against a mural designed by cartoonist Julia Wertz. Shop in the charming train/subway themed gift shop or visit the nearby Grand Central Holiday Fair.
Explore a sensory playground centered around slime. Play with beautiful and seemingly endless vats full of slime, relax in an immersive tunnel, enter a glow-in-the-dark cove, and create at a 150-foot long DIY bar Wear clothes that can get messy. Every ticket comes with an 8-oz. custom slime and other surprises.
Celebrate the 100th birthday of Busytown author and illustrator Richard Scarry with artwork and graphics of Scarry’s characters (like Huckle Cat and Lowly Worm) alongside historical model trains, scenic elements and toys. Dynamic displays explore the workings of the railroad, the services it provides, and the jobs required to keep people and goods moving. Hop on custom-made Busytown vehicle-themed benches and take photos throughout the gallery with Busytown characters. Pick up an "I Spy" scavenger hunt at the 77th St.…
* Watch skaters - or skate yourself on the city's only free rink ($18-33/skate rentals - varies by day, free lockers available, $10/lock or bing you own). Penguin and snowmen skate aids available for wee learners ($22/hour). New this season, reserve your skate time online. * Shop over 100 boutique-style booths offering a wide array of handmade gifts. Favorites include soft sweet clothes and knit hats Luckypalmtree Organic, fun puppets Silly Puppets, wooden dinosaurs toys Boneyard Pets, NYC-inspired clothes &…
Special events and activations happening throughout the day at Hudson Yards include a performances by a gospel choir, Alexandra & Ensembles, harpist Emily Hopkins and Brooklyn Ballet's Nutcracker. At 5 pm, the stunning outdoor installation Shine On lights up.
Ice skate atop The Rooftop at Pier 17 with spectacular views of the East River, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan skyline. Skate aids available for $20 before 5 pm weekdays and 12 pm weekends and holidays. Unlimited season passes available. Discounts for residents of zip codes 10002, 10004, 10005, 10006, 10007, 10038, or 10280.
Embark on an illuminated safari with animal lanterns, animated sculptures, and colorful designs throughout the spacious Bronx Zoo and take in the musical light show. Also enjoy costumed carolers, ice sculpting demonstrations , train rides ($3), hot cocoa, roasted marshmallows and photo ops with favorite characters.
Go under five suspended large-scale stars comprised of 12,000 individually controllable LED lights, creating a visual spectacle synchronized to a classical soundtrack evoking the holiday season. Artist Christopher Schardt was inspired by the similarly named constellation, itself representative of the enchanting stringed instrument of Greek mythology Warm up in the Wells Fargo’s Lodge with a 360-degree photo booth, hot chocolate sampling, holiday selfie cookies, charging stations, and more.
This worldwide winter festival celebrates the holiday season with giant lantern displays, cultural arts and handicrafts, entertainment, food, modern art exhibits, interactive games, a holiday market, and live stage performances. Displays of light and color, handcrafted by world-class artisans. honor the traditional Chinese art of lantern-making. Over 120 lantern sets under 6 giant tentss. Take the 7 train to Mets-Willets Point Station. Paid parking lots.
Wednesday, December 11
Explore 5,000 square feet of shopping, services, and fun for children, parents, and caregivers at a pop-up overlooking Union Square. Book special events with New York’s kids activity providers and favorite brands plus visit Santa. Donut's and coffee avaialble from Du's Donuts. Stroller and ADA entrance on West 18th Street.
Enter two-floor exhibition of entirely new work by 90-year-old Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama—including paintings, sculptures, an immersive installation, and the debut of a new infinity room. Lots of polka dots, eyeballs and reflective surfaces make it fun for all ages. You can just walk in to most of the show, but the Infinity Room is first come, first entry with crazy outdoor lines (1-4 hours) . Bring entertainment for the expect long lines and go on weekday mornings if possible.…
An original production from the historic, cozy Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre features a young girl who teaches a sweet, snow-hating yeti with a sparkly silver cat the value of snow and friendship. A fun musical with clever staging in a magical Central Park setting. Short and sweet and a good starter shows for toddlers (though my 9-year-old was also enchanted). Unassigned seating on benches in a small theater (grown-ups are encouraged to sit in the back). Stroller parking available in…
This truly spectacular show is great for all ages, even toddlers, with fabulous dancing by the talented Rockettes, dazzling costumes, special effects, camels, sheep and Santa Clause (many, many Santa Clauses in one of our favorite numbers). Includes a 10-minute Nutcracker section danced by giant bears that little kids love. * Can be a bit loud and over-stimulating for some kids but the noise and bustle are more forgiving for those not behaving perfectly. * The theater is gorgeous but…
Join Amy Virginia Buchanan for reading, singing, and dancing. Appropriate for kids 3 and under and their caretakers.
These weekly drop-in classes feature incredible music performed by world-class musicians, familiar songs, activities, movement and singing. Each week meet a different professional musician and explore and try a new instrument. Save with semester passes ($20 for 8 classes).
Join CMA’s teaching artists in a dedicated, specially-designed, safe art and play studio for children ages 1 to 5. Daily drop-in sessions feature a range of stimulating activities including music, storytime and art-making with a variety of materials and techniques. Stay and explore the Children's Museum of The Arts after for $6 more.
Experiential retail store SHOWFIELDS' immersive experience gets a holiday update. Find a hidden slide, then touch smell, eat, and test products and artwork led by actots with a story. Book (free) timed slots in advance online.
Past a secret magic door in a toy and clothing store find an an immersive retail experience where families can test (and shop) for the best toys of the season. Pick a job (FunFluencer, Awesomeness Agent, Play Pioneer) and then test and rate toys in colorful vignettes including a retro board game room, disco music room and race track. Hosts daily free activities plus ticketed singalongs, author storytimes, performances, classes and themed art workshops ($23-$30). S'mores ice cream cone and…
Local troupe Big Apple Circus presents intimate family-friendly shows with clowns, horse-riding dogs, horizontal juggling, aerial duo, flying trapeze and more in a one-ring Big Top tent with comfortable arena style tiered seating. It's a small venue so pretty much any seat location is great, and there are fun photo ops in the lobby. Schedule varies week to week; lots of options at all times of day.
Saks’s center six windows feature action packed scenes from Frozen 2 with Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, Olaf and the cool ice horse. On the ninth floor, enter a Frozen 2 Enchanted Forest Experience at Saks for magic snowflakes and princess photo-ops. $5 timed tickets are sold out but went we went by last weekend they were taking walk-ins. An extravagant light show on the facade repeats every ten minutes from 5 to 11 pm daily.
Take an epic journey to a galaxy far, far away and discover the legacy of Star Wars through 11 immersive exhibit. Travel through hyperspace and relive epic lightsaber battles while exploring the iconic sights and sounds of the Star Wars universe in immersive video and sound. The first 100 guests to arrive each day will receive an exclusive Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker item.
The lavish New York City Ballet Nutcracker that started it all in 1954 is a rightly beloved American tradition. The first act is full of action with (actual) children playing at a party, mischievous giant mice battling toy soldiers and a blizzard of ballerinas. The costumes, sets and dancing are stunning in the Land of Sweets second act. * Pricey but priceless; though wait until your kid is able to sit very still and quiet for 2 hours. * Save…
Three visionary Tony Award winners — playwright Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child), director Matthew Warchus (Matilda) and set and costume designer Rob Howell (The Ferryman) — offer a magical new interpretation of Charles Dickens’ beloved story with lots of music and christmas treats for all. Transferring from a critically acclaimed run at London’s Old Vic. Limited available at box office day of show.
This wistful, mostly language-free theatrical adventure offers a dreamlike vision that overflows with magical dynamism and humorous antics, set within an absurd and surrealistic world. Created and staged by Slava Polunin, considered by many to be one of the world's greatest clowns, this Tony Award-nominated Olivier Award-winning spectacle is known for its climactic blizzard and its wordless clowns who roam a wintry landscape. Includes (fake) snow fights at intermission.
Look, listen, sing, and have fun with picture books; then continue your adventure with a self-guided gallery hunt in the Museum. Geared toward families with children ages 3–6, but all ages welcome. Space is limited; first come, first served.