Madison Square Park is small but nearby stores, quirky museums & more make it a great spot to send the day.

Also see what's happening in the rest of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and beyond NYC plus guides to museums, pop-ups, free public art and outdoor adventures.

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Police Officer Moira Ann Smith Playground

Toy soldiers welcome kids to this brightly colored playground featuring water fountains, tire-swings, water-spouting alphabet blocks, turrets, slides, and a large water wheel in the northeast corner of charming Madison Square Park..

Named after Officer Moira Ann Smith, the only NYPD policewoman to be lost on September 11, 2001, the playground stands as a loving tribute to this community hero and mother.

Poster House

Explore the impact, culture, and design of posters, both as historical documents and methods of contemporary visual communication through temporary exhibitions, a growing permanent collection, and educational event. The first poster museum in the United States provides a space for inquiry for all those interested in design, advertising, and public interventions.

Current exhibitions include Freak Power, about Hunter S. Thompson’s plan to become Sheriff of Aspen, Vera List & The Posters Of Lincoln Center and Julius Klinger: Posters for a Modern Age.

The museum’s café offers coffee, tea, other beverages, baked goods, and snacks with indoor seating Friday-Sunday, 11am-5pm.

Harry Potter New York

Shop for the largest collection of Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts products in the world from pocket money items to rare collectibles. Find exclusive lines, magical photo opportunities and lots more over three floors and over 20,000 sq. ft. Lots of fun photo ops; strike a pose inside a London phone box as if transporting yourself to the Ministry of Magic or step into Hagrid’s boots. Get one of a kind personalization including engraving a wand, embossing a journal and embroidering a house robe with your name. Guests at least 48 inches tall and 10+ years old can sign up for one of two (or both) virtual reality experiences: Chaos at Hogwarts & Wizards Take Flight

National Museum of Mathematics (MoMath)

Dynamic exhibits and programs stimulate inquiry, spark curiosity and reveal the wonders of mathematics. Learn about the math in patterns and structures all around us while interacting with hands-on displays. Play with light, arrange shapes, try to ride a bike with square wheels and more educational entertainment. Discover the stunning hidden patterns of moving objects…

The FRIENDS Experience: The One in New York City

Step inside the world of TV show FRIENDS With two floors of immersive experiences. Pose on the iconic orange couch, sit at Monica & Rachel’s kitchen table, kick back and relax in Joey and Chandler’s comfy chairs, and much more. Dance in front of the fountain, ride Pat the Dog and explore dozens of props…

Cristina Iglesias: Landscape and Memory

Five bronze sculptural pools, gently flowing with water arriving in different sequences, sit in the park’s Oval Lawn, harkening back to when the Cedar Creek—now buried underground—coursed across the land where the park stands today. BSpanish artist Cristina Iglesias unearthed the forgotten terrains and geographic history of the park to resurface in the imaginations of…

Disney Encanto x CAMP

Explore La Familia Madrigal’s real-life Casita, complete with secret passages, interactive magic, live music, and surprises behind every magic door in the world’s first immersive Disney Encanto experience.

A CAMP Counselor guides families through a narrative-driven adventure with games, live music, and a treasure hunt. Climb, slide, bounce, and dance through Antonio’s rainforest, Isabela’s floral…

Madison Square Park Tree Lighting Ceremony

Join the 110th annual holiday tree lighting at Madison Square Park,  home to the nation’s first public holiday tree.

Enjoy live music performances by Hannah Kidwell (Courtesy of Tin Pan Alley) and the NYL Singers (from New York Life Insurance Company).

Space is limited, so please consider leaving strollers at home if possible.

Poster House Free Fridays

Get free admission to this unique museum every Friday of every month. See colorful current exhibitions including Air-India’s Maharaja: Advertising Gone Rogue and Masked Vigilantes On Silent Motorbikes featuring art made from found, re-configured, and shredded posters.

Pick up a scavenger hunt and find interesting items throughout the museum to get a…

Poster Kids: Junior Fashionistas

Take a fashionable approach to Air-India’s Maharaja: Advertising Gone Rogue. More than any other mascot, the Maharaja has an incredible fashion sense. Learn about his incredible style and then create wearable art using recycled textiles.

Available in-person and virtually. For children 5–11 years old and their adults (siblings are welcome).

See our guide to…

Family Fridays at MoMath: Math, rhythmic patterns, and optical traces

Join Grammy award–winning percussionist Will Calhoun for an evening of interactive rhythm, movement, and art. Playing off his inventive artwork (now on display in Composite, the gallery at MoMath), families will first observe the mathematical patterns of independence created using light-up drumsticks, then make their own complex patterns, keeping the rhythmic beat as the streaks…


Dominique Ansel Workshop

Pastry legend Dominique Ansel’s newest shop is a celebration of croissants,  located inside the pastry production kitchens in Flatiron. Stop in for a taste of all different types of croissants and breakfast viennoiserie – pain au chocolat, ham & Gruyère, Chocolate Hazelnut S’mores Danishes, Pistachio Swirls, Raspberry Riz au Lait Cubes, Brown Sugar DKA…


Delicious yeast doughnuts are made in small batches throughout the day in inventive Latin-American flavors like chocolate chipotle, hibiscus, passion fruit and dulce de leche plus traditional glazed and chocolate.

Visit other locations in Rockefeller Center, Urbanspace Vanderbilt (230 Park Avenue at 45th St), Prospect Heights (646 Vanderbilt Ave) and Astoria

Monday-Saturday 9…

Eataly Chocolate & Gelato

Try rich Italian hot chocolate and/or some of the best gelato in the city in a range of flavors.

Shop by weight from bins of colorful Venchi bon-bons or pick up artisanal chocolate made in Italy with raw ingredients in a variety of shapes and textures according to traditional recipes, from smooth spread to crunchy…

Venchi Chocogelateria

Sip decadent Italian hot chocolate by a giant chocolate waterfall at the US outpost of a 140-year-old Italian chocolatier.

Shop a vast selection of flavored bon bons and bars plus try gelato in a variety of chocolate and other delicious flavors. Make it even yummier with creamy base of Suprema chocolate spread or a cone…

230 Fifth Ave

Enjoy breathtaking views of the city (including the Empire State Building) from heated plastic igloos on a rooftop garden with topiaries and fun snowflake photo-ops. The menu is kid-friendly with burgers, pizza, hummus guacamole and more standard fare.

Each igloo can sit up to 11 people. Only heated with small space heaters so dress…

Eataly Flatiron

This large Italian marketplace has restaurants, food counters, mozzarella making, Italian groceries, housewares and a nutella bar. We love the delizioso pizza, prosciutto, pasta, rotisserie chicken…really just about everything. One of our favorite spots for chocolate and gelato.

The always-lovely rooftop greenhouse restaurant SERRA by Birreria changes seasonally and is always lovely. Seating…

Rolf’s Bar & Restaurant

Dine under over 150,000 antique glass ornaments hanging from the ceiling and 150 antique dolls and other decor and this 50-year-old festive legend.  German/Bavarian far includes potato pancakes with applesauce, hamburgers, meatloaf, five types of schnitzel and more.

Reservations are a must and already booked for most of  December, Monday-Wednesday lunches are…