HOLIDAYS

Some favorite NYC traditions are back, plus discover new experiences. See our map to plan your adventures and find festivities in Westchester & beyond.

See ways to volunteer with kids to truly celebrate the season.

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West 40s/50s

Fifth Avenue Decor

Swanky store windows on and around Fifth Avenue are especially eye-catching during the holidays. Some highlights, listed north to south: * Giant illuminated animals bedeck the Pulitzer Fountain a 59th Street, plus look for 10 larger-than-life illuminated toys including a giant Rubik’s Cube and taxi along the avenue (though Jan 8). * At 58th…

Fifth Season

Walk around 32 illuminated, animated animal sculptures, hand-crafted-in-Brooklyn by the artisans of Harlequin Designs, at the Pulitzer Fountain (764 Central Park South across from The Plaza Hotel) and look for giant toys sculptures along Fifth Avenue.

Rockefeller Center

The famous 75 foot Norway Spruce has arrived, and will be illuminated with 30,000 LED lights and topped with a massive Swarovski crystal star on December 1.

* Skate or watch the skaters on the rink. Sometimes Santa shows for a spin.

* Pick up a cute holiday map by artist Lisa Congdon…

Winter Village at Bryant Park

* Watch skaters – or skate yourself on the city’s only free rink. Online advance reservations required.  Dates for skating reservations roll out daily  two weeks before skate time.

* Skate Rentals are $15-$45; discounted during off-peak hours and dates. Helmets also availble ($6).  Penguin skate aids available for younger kids ($22, free before…

The Rink at Rockefeller Center

This urban rink is one of the smallest and most expensive in the city, but the iconic location is pure magic. Mostly outdoors, but admission is through the indoor skate house.

Admission varies by day and time as much as $30, so go early in the day, week and season if you can.

Broadway Underground

Shop for unique Broadway merchandise from 20+ vendorsplus enjoy special weekly programming like concerts, coloring nights, ornament making and more. A unique Broadway holiday shopping experience for fans by fans underground in the Columbus Circle subway station. Join us underground in the subway shop at Columbus Circle all holiday season long for special events,

The Radio City Christmas Spectacular

This truly spectacular show is back! A fun treat 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.

* The…

Bloomingdale’s Santaland

Snap a photo with Santa Claus in a private 20-minute meet and greet. Select a traditional “North Pole” or a special “South Pole” setting. All appointments receive a complimentary digital and print photo, as well as a special holiday face mask and sweet treat. Also decorate the sweater of the collectible Bloomingdale’s Little Brown Bear, and enjoy…

Magic Hour Pink Winter Lodge

Have a pink Christmas with an instagrammable brunch at indoor/outdoor Magic Hour on Moxy Times Square hotel’s 18th floor. Feast on fancy pancakes, ‘Pink Bling’ donut rings and cotton candy-topped s’mores stacks amid pink logs, frosted pink blooms, diamond-encrusted, a flower arch with pink antler chandeliers and  seats fashioned after ski-lifts.

Online reservations recommended. Kids…

A Sherlock Carol

Two beloved classic tales come together in a holiday-themed mystery. Reunite with beloved the characters from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes and Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol in a story of intrigue and suspense, with a helping of holiday cheer. When a grown-up Tiny Tim asks Sherlock Holmes to investigate the peculiar death of…

Holiday Under The Stars

14-foot stars hanging from the 150-foot ceiling of the glass atrium light up in an array of colors. See a rainbow-colored light show to festive holiday music every half hour from 4 to 7 pm.⁠

Thursdays at 5 pm, catch Broadway Under The Stars featuring cast members of current Broadway shows on the second…

Skate with Santa at The Rink

This urban rink is one of the smallest and most expensive in the city, but the iconic location is pure magic. Mostly outdoors, but admission is through the indoor skate house.

Admission varies by day and time as much as $30, so go early in the day, week and season if you can.

North Pole Express

Aboard a polar express train on wheels (an open-topped double decker tourist bus) and drive by NYC’s stunning Christmas decorations. Sing along with Christmas carols and hear engaging stories from Elf while sipping hot chocolate. Those on Santa’s Nice List will get a sleigh bell as a present and tell him your wishes in person.

Bright Lights Big Menorah

Celebrate Chanukah in a heated tent, with holiday crafts, face painting, balloons, live music, hot drinks and Chanukah hors d’oeuvres. Ride the interactive Chanukah Train and collect chocolate gelt at the Great Big Chanukah Gelt Drop.
Ends with the kindling of the first light of the Menorah with…

Keith Michael’s The Nutcracker

New York Theatre Ballet performs a kid-friendly, one-hour version of the Tchaikovsky’s beloved holiday ballet set in Art Nouveau-style circa 1907 with innovative choreography by Keith Michael. Feautures clockwork imps, an owl that flies above the audience, mice dressed in polka dots, and dancers dancing with huge chopsticks. The intimate theatre providing excellent views from…

Jim Henson’s Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas: A New Musical

Based on Jim Henson’s beloved television special, this tuneful tale takes audiences to Frogtown Hollow where Ma and Emmet Otter risk what little they have to make each other’s holiday dreams come true. Featuring a lovable cast of performers with puppets from Jim Henson’s Creature Shop and a toe-tapping score by legendary songwriter Paul Williams.

West 30s/Cheslea

Shine Bright at Hudson Yards

See spectacular set pieces and over 2 million white lights illuminating all of Hudson Yards along with cool public art throughout the mall and plaza. Lots of fun photo-ops from each level,

Free family-friendly programming includes Broadway concerts Mondays at 5 pm, sparkly dancers Saturdays at 1pm, 3pm, 5pm, 7pm, Jazz at…

Macy’s Herald Square Windows

Follow a journey of discovery and triumph of a blue cartoon deer, named Tiptoe.  Watch Tiptoe learn to believe in herself to reach her high-flying dreams of taking to the sky to help Santa Claus bring joy to millions of children through scenes in holiday windows at its flagship Herald Square

Scan QR codes found on…

Macy’s Santaland

Crowded but a magical must for city kids. Advance reservations (required) can be booked online up to 5 days in advance starting at 5:30 am (weekend spots fill up immediately).

Still expect a 30-45 minute line slowly wandering through a charming North Pole village with animatronic toys and train displays. Express passes not available this…

Macy’s Breakfast with Santa

Enjoy a festive breakfast feast with Empire State Building views at Stella 34 Trattoria, Macy’s 6th floor restaurant. Then meet Macy’s Santa Claus and take a keepsake photo with him and his elves. Includes a family-style Italian breakfast feast, takeaway treats, holiday activities and a mimosa or bellini for adults

Seatings at 8 am, 9…

The PAW Patrol Experience

Live out PAW Patrol rescue team dreams through themed environments, games, and activities celebrating this beloved group of adventurous canines. Communicate with an intercom system at Adventure Bay’s iconic Lookout Tower, grab hold of a fire hose and douse a colorful projection of out-of-control fireworks alongside Marshall at City Hall, sail down an indoor zipline…

Chanukah on the High Line: Living Lights

New York Hebrew invites all to celebrate the brightness within in a pop-up interactive installation. Standing 10 feet tall, 18 feet wide, the Living Lights menorah awaits “quietly in the dark” to unleash its light when ignited by the warmth of human touch. Participants are invited to step up onto the stage and touch-activate one…

The Shop at Scandinavia House

Get Scandi style at the source at a Nordic lifestyle shop featuring a curated and rotating luxe collection of home décor, tableware, fashion, accessories, children’s, books, gifts and confections. Lots of well-designed holiday ornaments, decor, cards, wrapping paper, gifts, toys, sweet treats and more.

Personal shopping and shipping available.

Dine on delicious farm-to-table Scandinavian food…

Wednesdays with Wells Fargo

Celebrate the season with performances from Jazz at Lincoln Center as the Dizzy’s Club pop-up at Hudson Yards. Also check out the dazzling Shine On decor.

 

Chanukah Celebration at The Chelsea Green

Join New York Hebrew for a grand Menorah lighting at the Chelsea Green Park. Enjoy Chanukah crafts, dreidels, chocolate gelt and donuts.

‘Twas the Night Before… by Cirque du Soleil

Cirque du Soleil’s spin on the beloved Christmas poem ‘Twas the Night Before… follows a curious girl who’s become jaded by the hoopla surrounding Christmas as she is whisked away to an upside-down, inside-out world to meet acrobatic characters inspired by the original timeless poem.

* Lots of options for dates and times.

* Children…

Wonderspark Puppets: The Gingerbread Man

See the classic story of a little running cookie with a Christmas twist in a free family friendly puppet show from Wonderspark Puppets. Watch the Gingerbread Man outwit and outrun various hungry animals.

See our guide to Shine Bright  Hudson Yards for more all-ages fun.

 

Scandinavia House Holiday Concert

See a festive concert featuring Scandinavian and American holiday favorites as well as a traditional Saint Lucia procession, replete with traditional gowns and glowing candles.

Learn about the history of Lucia, one of the most popular holidays in Sweden, while enjoying music from members of the Swedish Church Choir in…

Mozart for Munchkins: Nutcracker and Holiday Favorites

Ballet, bells, holiday tunes –  this free interactive concert features holiday favorites and selections from the Nutcracker for woodwind quintet with holiday bells for all. A family friendly experience featuring live world class musicians. Each child receives a goodie bag and gets a close up look at beautiful instruments, plus special offers from The Shops…

UPTOWN

Metropolitan Museum Tree & Menorah

Metropolitan Museum Of Art

A vivid eighteenth-century Neapolitan Nativity scene adorns a candlelit spruce. Gorgeous 18th Century Baroque creche angels hover over an Italian village filled with animals and interesting characters. Look for a monkey, elephant and more. The installation is back in the atmospheric Medieval Sculpture Hall  in front of the eighteenth-century Spanish choir screen from…

Holiday Express: Toys and Trains from the Jerni Collection

New-York Historical Society

See historic toy trains, figurines, and miniature models from the renowned Jerni Collection. Look for fun details in a variety of toy train stations dating from the turn of the 19th century to the WWII era. Giant screens display animations and fun facts about the toys. this year’s festive display includes never-before-seen toy rides including…

Wollman Rink

Central Park, Wollman Rink

Skate in the middle of magical Central Park at this spacious rink, back under new management.

* A rink-side cafe that serves hot cocoa, hot dogs, burgers, tacos, grilled cheese sandwiches, vegan options and more.

* Lockers available for $7/day.

* Group and private lessons available.

* Adult admission is $9 less on Monday-Thursday (non-holiday).…

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker

Lincoln Center

After a year without mischievous mice and prancing sweets at Lincoln Center, the lavish New York City Ballet Nutcracker that started it all in 1954 makes its grand return. Celebrate the season with the exquisite costumes and magnificent sets of this beloved production, and allow Tschaikovsky’s iconic score to transport you to a land of…

Lobby Lights

JCC Manhattan

Each night of Chanukah, gather in the JCC Lobby (with a virtual, live-streamed option) for Chanukah candle-lighting, led by JCC staff. Kindle the lights of the season and enjoy live music from around the world.

Columbus Circle Holiday Market

Central Park

Shop for holiday gifts among booths featuring adorable puppets, gingerbread houses, handcrafted home accessories, handmade jewelry, and more at this charming market near the southwest entrance of Central Park. Don’t miss the nutella-stuffed churros, Japanese tacos, chocolate and savory truffles, and other delicious snacks.

Warm up in nearby Shops at…

Chanukah Shabbat in the Lot @ JCC Harlem

JCC Harlem

Join a safe, in-person Chanukah celebration in the JCC Harlem lot. Light candles, dance to live music by MusicTalks, and enjoy unlimited fresh sufganiyot (donuts) by the Glazed and Confused Donut Truck. Space is limited and will sell out, so reserve soon. Dress warmly and get ready to celebrate together.

JCC Harlem and Repair the…

Hanukkah Hunt Gallery Program

The Jewish Museum

Explore striking Hanukkah menorahs from around the world at the Jewish Museum. Embark on a playful hunt, draw discoveries in a sketchbook, experiment with whimsical shapes, and chat with Jewish Museum Educators in this special opportunity to see treasured works of art in person during the holiday.

Advance timed tickets required.

The Magic Flute

Lincoln Center

The Met’s English-language, abridged, family-friendly adaptation of Mozart’s sublime and mystical journey returns in Julie Taymor’s fanciful production featuring giant bear puppets, boys flying on dragons and stunning scenery. Plus grand spiral staircases and chandeliers in the lobby.

* Entertaining for all but the vibe is formal and there is a lot of operatic singing…

Dances Patrelle’s The Yorkville Nutcracker

The Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College

This annual production at Hunter College’s cozy Kaye Playhouse features dance students, ages 5 to 85, alongside professional artists. The lavish Olde New York settings give this production a more local vibe. Expect ice skating in Central Park, Teddy Roosevelt at Gracie Mansion and a sleigh-ride to the New York Botanical Garden.

Saturday 2 pm…

The Knickerbocker Suite

Manhattan Movement & Arts Center

A New York City themed 70-minute Nutcracker features famous landmarks woven into the time-honored tale. Based on the jocular story by artist Elliott Arkin, the first act opens with a satirical animated film narrated by Tony award winner Michael Cerveris with imaginative contemporary visual scenarios and characters inspired by the Nutcracker story. In the second…

Living History: 18th-Century Winter Traditions

New-York Historical Society

Learn fascinating facts about winter traditions in 18th-century America from historical interpreters . Did you know that decorating trees for the holidays wasn’t a common practice until the mid-19th century? Afterwards, create your own festive decorations.

Choose from two sessions at 12:30pm & 2:30pm

Also see and play with trains in Holiday Express: Toys…

Cinderella—Holiday Presentation

Lincoln Center

Continuing a treasured holiday tradition, the Met presents a new installment in its series of abridged opera adaptations for family audiences.

* Laurent Pelly’s storybook staging of Massenet’s Cendrillon is presented with an all-new English translation in an abridged 90 minutes, with mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard as its rags-to-riches princess. Gorgeous sets, stunning costumes, dancing horses…

Princess Tea with Santa

Let’s Dress Up

Dress up in provided princess costumes and accessories and join Santa for tea. Say hello and take a picture with him (photo print included). Includes dress up, special holiday snacks and themed coloring or activity.

Drop off recommended; any adults that wish to stay must be vaccinated.

Downtown

Winter Garden at The Standard East Village

East Village

Hunker down in private alpine yurts, or outside (with heaters) among the twinkling evergreens, with raclette burgers, fresh oysters, brick chicken, spiked hot cider, gooey fondue, freshly baked beignets and more.

The Rink at Brookfield Place

Fidi

Skate on a small rink overlooking New York Harbor with incredible views. Uncovered and windy so dress accordingly.

Skate aids and pushable sit-down sleighs for small beginners available for $15. Sign up for one hour sessions. Private and group learn to skate and hockey lessons available.

Eat at an array of yummy food options including…

Chashama at The Oculus Holiday Market

Manhattan: Downtown

Explore a curated mix of giftable and handcrafted items at a bespoke themed marketplace for digitally native vertical brands and curated first-to-retail brands presented by NYC-based art non-profit Chashama and The Market at The Oculus.

Innovative artisans include Loaf & Butters’ homemade baked goods based in Greenpoint; Art to Ware, a curated fashion pop-up presented…

Aritzia Soho Winter Wonderland

Soho

Enter a small winter wonderland in a clothing store with fake snow, trees, cute yetis, butterflies and more fun details.

Photo by bellajordan.23.

Union Square Holiday Market

Union Square

Shop over 160 vendors for unique gifts created by local craftsmen, artists and entrepreneurs. Nibble on sweet and savory treats and sip on cider and cappuccino at this unique and eclectic holiday experience.

We love the NYC-themed artwork at Natchie, taco stuffies at Squishable, fried mozzarella hot dogs from Oh-K…

Present Camp

Flatiron/Gramercy

Go behind a secret bookcase entrance to a winter family play zone packed with presents galore & fun. Test ride scooters, spin the Holiday Fun Wheel, mix up some merry beats, set some time for snow slime, present hunt with Scout the Bear, and more.

Find more fun shopping at nearby Union Square Holiday…

Museum of Ice Cream Pinkmas

Soho

Explore a pink ice cream winter wonderland of holiday-themed spaces and installations across three floors (with a giant slide). Enjoy holiday treats, festive games and engaging activations featuring interactive moments like crafting ornaments, decorating the MOIC trees, tasting festive treats and learning about holiday traditions and symbols from different cultures around the world. Hunt for…

New York Theatre Ballet Nutcracker

Fidi

See a ticketed performance of New York Theatre Ballet’s kid-friendly, one-hour version of the Tchaikovsky’s beloved holiday ballet The Nutcracker in the Winter Garden benefitting Brookfield Place’s charitable partner, City Harvest.

Set in Art Nouveau-style circa 1907 with innovative choreography by Keith Michael, this production features clockwork imps, an owl that flies above the audience,…

Santa Fun Cruise

Seaport

Visit and take photos with Santa and his elves, decorate a gingerbread house, sing carols, enjoy live storytelling and nosh on a cookie, brownie, hot chocolate with marshmallow and other treats while watching stunning NYC views. Complimentary glass of sparkling wine for adults.

Includes open-air outdoor with panoramic views and heated indoor seating. See the…

Chanukah at the Seaport

Seaport

Cheerful sculptures by Scott Gerber, artist and founder of Tube Dude have been moved to the edge of the East River, framing dramatic views. Climb inside a giant Heart, Peace Sign and Smiley Face.

Luminaries

Fidi

Opens Nov 29

Dance on giant stairs underneath a canopy of 650 ever changing rainbow hanging lantern in the Winter Garden at Brookfield Place. Cool choreographed light shows at the top of every hour.

Illuminate your holiday wish by sending a motion-activated wish into the glowing lanterns above. For each wish made, Brookfield Place will…

Roaming Carolers @ The Oculus

Fidi

Look for roaming carolers (The Songful Artists) performing on the festively-decorated Oculus floor and the South Concourse balcony.

Also shop local artists at Chashama at The Oculus Holiday Market.

Seven in One Blow, or the Brave Little Kid

West Village

See Axis Company’s winter show for children, adapted from the classic fairy tale by The Brothers Grimm. An interactive play with music features Axis’ signature blend of advanced technology and live performance. Though the poignant tale was created for kids, the Axis production—which teases out some of the many plausible subtexts and includes timely pop…

Holiday Adventures from The Shed

Lower East Side

Talented Chickenshed teaching artists lead preschoolers and their families through a holiday-themed immersive and inclusive performance with puppetry, music, movement, storytelling and a bit of American Sign Language.

Proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID test required for ages 12+

 

Skate With Santa & Holiday Crafts

Fidi

Sign up for a skating session with Santa and enjoy two solo performances by the jolly man in red at an ice rink overlooking New York Harbor.  One hour sessions start at 10:15, 11:30, 12:45 or 2 pm and Santa performs at 12:40 pm and 1:55 pm.

Skate aids and pushable sit-down sleighs for small…

Skyscraper Museum Family Program: Supertall Holiday Cards

Fidi

Make skyscraper-shaped holiday cards for family and friends In this event, we will

Explore the world’s supertall skyscrapers in exhibit, Supertal, then make skyscraper-shaped holiday cards drawing inspiration from the buildings’ designs.

Availble indoors in-person or via zoom. Online rsvp required.

BIPOC Holiday Marketplace

Lower East Side

Discover some amazing makers and artists from the BIPOC community at a special indoor two-day holiday marketplace. Shop 15+ BIPOC artisans and makers, plus enjoy live dj music, photo booth, raffle and more.

Takes place on the mezzanine level of a spacious market with tons of delicious food options including creative pancake emporium

Holiday Impromptunes

Fidi

Enjoy the magic of the season and experience free holiday music performances by The Mistletones and Jason Green throughout Brookfield Place,

Check out the gorgeous Luminaries plus art & decor throughout the shopping center. Eat at an array of yummy food options including French market Le District,

Ajkun Ballet Theatre’s The Nutcracker

Flatiron/Gramercy

A small local ballet company presents the classic Nutcracker story in an intimate studio setting featuring new choreography by artistic director Chiara Ajkun.

Includes complimentary photos with the dancers.

Skyscraper Museum Family Program: Wonderland Skyline Lantern

Fidi

Learn about skyscrapers and skylines around the world and build lanterns illuminated with various cityscapes or buildings.

Availble indoors in-person or via zoom. Online rsvp required.

Family Day: Architectural Lanterns

West Village

Join the Center for Architecture for a celebration of light. Explore the role of light in architecture and learn how global communities brighten up the dark night. Design a lantern to illuminate a space at home.

Santa Visits The Market

Lower East Side

Visit Essex Market mezzanine level to get a photo taken with Santa (1 free print-out per family) and to decorate ornaments. Free to attend; no registration required.

Takes place on the mezzanine level of a spacious market with tons of delicious food options including creative pancake emporium Shopsin’s.

Tree Lighting at Tompkins Square Park

Lower East Side

Theater for the New City hosts Tompkins Square Park’s tree illumination, with Carolers of Olde New York and music from the Mandel & Lydon Trio. Refreshments courtesy of Veselka Restaurant, Apple Savings Bank and C&B Cafe.

This evergreen, a live tree that lives in the park year-round, was planted in 1992, as part of a…

Nut/Cracked

Soho

The Bang Group’s beloved, witty response to The Nutcracker  takes inspiration from all corners of the dance canon, from tap riffs to en pointe ballet, by way of bubble wrap, disco, and Chinese take-out noodles.

Choreographer David Parker finds beauty in the ridiculous, waltzing through many incarnations of Tchaikovsky’s score, including versions by Duke Ellington…

Bronx

Holiday Lights at the Bronx Zoo

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.

* More than 260 lanterns representing almost 70 animal and plant species spread out throughout the park each showcase a different wildlife region from gorillas in Africa to sea turtles…

NYBG Glow

Explore a glowing world of color and light featuring the Haupt Conservatory as the centerpiece—its iconic exterior a glittering canvas.

* Washes of brilliant colors, thousands of dazzling lights installations fill the Reflecting Pool and enliven surrounding gardens and collections.

* Also enjoy artistic ice sculptures, music, roving dancers, plus more…

New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show

Marvel at model trains zipping around stunning New York landmark replicas made of plant parts such as nuts, bark, and leaves, and enjoy hands-on holiday fun for the entire family (most of it in the climate-controlled indoors).

Brooklyn

LeFrak Center Ice Skating

Brookyln

Skate in a half-covered/half-open rink in Prospect Park.

* Timed tickets for 90-minute sessions are available to purchase up to one week in advance, with limited tickets set aside for on-site purchase.

* Olympic figure-skating athletes Melissa Gregory and Denis Petukhov direct the Sports Programs for Lakeside’s growing Skate School which offers learn-to-Skate and…

Winter at Industry City

Brooklyn

The public art & high design at this innovative hub has cool art and  photo-ops throughout in addition to tons of great international food options & with lots of heated outdoor seating.

Ice skate outside in courtyard 5/6 ($15-19, $10/skate rentals). Penguin skate aids available for $10/half hour.

Enjoy candy coated hot chocolate, hot toddies,…

Lightscape at Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Brooklyn

Celebrate the beauty of nature in winter on an enchanting trail animated by over one million dazzling lights. Encounter monumental lighted sculptures, colorful effects on Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s trees, architecture, and water features, and site-specific music and sound. Discover dazzling international showstoppers like the Winter Cathedral tunnel, Fire Garden, and Sea of Light, as well…

Jewish Children’s Museum Chanukah Family Fest

Brooklyn

Join the Jewish Children’s Museum for a multi-day Chanukah family experience. Learn how olive oil was made in the temple era, decorate some doughnuts and more. Explore the museum’s unique exhibits, and help create a Chanukah mural on a Menorah.

Advanced reservation required.

The Steadfast Tin Soldier with Nutcracker Sweets

Brooklyn

See classic Christmas tales – The Steadfast Tin Soldier by Hans Christian Andersen’ and Tchaikovsky’s ‘Land of Sweets’ dances- adapted for hand-painted marionettes
Masks required.

Call or email in advance for reservations.

Also at 2:30 pm.

The Largest Menorah in Brooklyn

New York

See a 35-foot menorah being lit each night of Chanukah with live music, hot latkes and gifts for children.

A 4 pm concert on the first night will be followed by a 5 pm menorah lighting. After that, the lightings will be at 6 pm Monday-Thursday, 3:30 Friday, 7 pm Saturday and 5 pm Sunday.

Santa Land at Atlantic Terminal Mall

Brooklyn

See a community-favorite Santa. Pets welcome. Masks optional for photo. Digital photos available from a professional photographer.

Special events include pet night and special sensory-aware mornings for kids with special needs. Note that this Santa, like many New Yorkers, is Black.

$5 non-refundable deposit required to hold your 15-minute time slot; can be applied to…

Sinterklass – Saint Nicholas Day

Brookyln

This annual celebration, adjusted for social distancing guidelines, includes craft activities, tree lighting, and a visit from St. Nick.

St. Nicholas arrives on horseback around 2:30 pm to tell the traditional tale of The Bakers Dozen and invite children to sign the Red Book. Sip hot cider, try colonial games, create a holiday pomander, decorate…

The Brooklyn Nutcracker

Brooklyn

A culturally inclusive production of the beloved holiday ballet fuses ballet, hip-hop and a myriad of world dance genres to create a new tradition for today’s audience. From the landscape of the old Dutch Brooklyn to the iconic Flatbush Avenue,  familiar Nutcracker characters and scenes transform to represent the diverse traditions and vibrant culture of…

The Hip Hop Nutcracker

Brooklyn

Virtuosic break dancing tells an uplifting, family-friendly story set in the 1980s and today. The music is still mostly Tchaikovsky’s classic score, though some songs are sonically updated with live electric violin.

This version of the Nutcracker is much louder than its traditional counterparts with a pre-show by hip-hop legend Kurtis Blow. For…

Queens

Illuminate The Farm

Floral Park

Enter an illuminated world of color on a historic farm. Walk through a dazzling display of festive holiday lights and handmade lanterns in the shape of flowers, tractors, favorite farm animals, and more.

For $5m pick a wish lantern from our field of lights to decorate at an art table and then take home as…

Winter Wonder at the Garden

Flushing

Celebrate the best of December with free live musical performances, a tree and menorah lighting, holiday crafts, a tree tour, selfies with Santa (donations welcome), and sales at the Queens Botanical Garden Shop!.Enjoy a selection of beverages at the Holiday Bar for purchase.

Dress for the weather. This event is mainly outdoors on the…

O. Henry’s The Gift of the Magi

Floral Park

Bundle up to enjoy special outdoor holiday reading of O. Henry’s The Gift of the Magi. Renowned actor and raconteur, Queens native Kevin R. Free will lead socially distanced story time in the farm’s 3-acre pasture.

Also explore 47-acres of the longest continuously farmed site in New York State (since 1697). See historic farm…

WESTCHESTER/CT

Holiday Bricktacular

Yonkers

Explore an indoor winter wonderland filled with all kinds of LEGO® holiday-themed creations made up of thousands of LEGO bricks.

* Create holiday builds like a LEGO present, gingerbread house, snowman, candy cane and more.

* Journey through Candy Cane Lane in MINILAND to spot all of the hidden LEGO candy canes placed throughout MINILAND…

Santa Photo Experience

White Plains

Take a photo with a classic mall Santa in a small Santaland. Advanced reservations encouraged. Pets welcome.

Santa is vaxxed and will not be masked. Guests can choose to stay distanced or sit on Santa’s lap. Masks can be removed for photos.

Pop-up Ice Skating Rink

Yonkers

Ages 5 and up can skate in the courtyard of a mall with music, theme nights and other fun events. The synthetic ‘ice’ is easier to glide on for young and first time skaters – and the rink is tiny so best for beginners. Skates are provided with admission or bring your own.

Other

Drive-Thru Westchester’s Winter Wonderland

Valhalla

Opens Nov 26

Drive 1.2 miles though a rainbow tunnel and dazzling light displays at already stunning Kensico Dam Plaza and see your favorite holiday characters (including sometimes Elmo or Batman – no confirmation if he smells). Listen to holiday music on your car radio, wave to Santa and enjoy other surprises.

New attractions this…

Lasdon Park Holidays On The Hill

Katonah

Stroll through over 5,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor whimsical holiday exhibits at this spacious garden complex.

* In the Conservatory, watch trains chug along on nine multi-level tracks, over bridges, under tunnels, through quaint holiday scenes and colorful seasonal plants.

* Meet Santa in his Holiday Cottage from 10 am – 11:45 am…

Ridge Hill Santa

Yonkers

Come see Santa in a special cottage at an outdoor mall.

Santa is vaccinated and will wear a mask upon request. All staff will be masked. Guests are required to wear masks but may remove them for the photo. Online reservations recommended, walk-ins will be worked into the line as time permits.

Also visit the…

Holidays at Cross County Center

Yonkers

Walk through the center of a lit 44 foot tall Christmas tree and look up to the top.  A professional photography team will be on site most nights and weekends to capture your photo, which you can print or have emailed directly to you.

Santa…

Armonk Frosty Day

Armonk

Celebrate the season with a special parade honoring Frosty the Snowman, plus enjoy train rides, magicians, clowns, ornament decorating, music & dance performances, free cookies & hot cocoa and more festive activities.

Parade starts at 4pm, followed by a lighting ceremony with singing.

Menorah Lighting

Yonkers

 Light a menorah with the Chabad of Yonkers plus enjoy live music, cultural dancing and delicious treats.

The menorah will be located near H&M and Forever 21.

Also stop by the pop-up skating rink.

Village of Larchmont Chanukah Walk

Mamaroneck

Stop by local vendors in downtown Larchmont for Chanukah festivities. At 4:30 pm join a menorah lighting in Constitution Park with hot latkes, live entertainment and “the Great Big Chocolate Gelt Drop.”

Grand Holiday Illumination

Yonkers

Opens Dec 10

Explore a free, outdoor holiday light display at the gorgeous Untermyer Gardens with striking architecture overlooking the Hudson River. Small in area (just in the ‘Temple of Love;’ the grand staircase and other parts of the garden are closed) but magical.

Free admission no tickets required,. Come sunset to see the garden…

New Jersey

Essex County Turtle Back Zoo Holiday Lights Spectacular

West Orange

Take a winter stroll through the Essex County Turtle Back Zoo decorated with over 50 winter and animal characters in sparkling lights. Meet & greet with Santa in an outdoor gazebo. Personal photos are allowed with options to purchase professional photos on site. No appointments necessary.

On Saturdays, watch a block of ice transform into…

Holiday in the Park Drive-Thru

Jackson

Opens Nov 15

Drive through 10 themed areas of more than a million dazzling lights set to seasonal music favorites. Say hello to favorite holiday characters including Santa and Mrs. Claus.

New for 2021! Once you’ve made it through the Drive-Thru Experience, extend your magical evening with the NEW
Also enjoy the Merry Market…

LONG ISLAND

Waterdrinker Winder Wonderland

Manorville

Visit a holiday light display, vintage Airstream Christmas village, barnyard animals and tons of seasonal photo ops. Make s’mores in fire pits, play mini golf and pick your own Christmas tree.

Ice skating available for an additional $10.

Visit the gift barn and greenhouse for fresh baked treats, holiday plants and souvenirs. Santa will be…

Luminocity Festival

Manhasset

Wander through 10 acres of outdoor spectacular light art displays based on the tradition of Chinese Lanterns.

* New displays include fantastical ancient civilizations, lush illuminated jungles, can & dog influencers and 30-foot high towers.

* Learn about the history and culture behind lantern-making traditions and get a behind the scenes look at the light…

Magic of Lights

Jones Beach

Opens Nov 19

Drive through dazzling holiday lights experience featuring favorite holiday scenes and characters of the season using the latest LED technology and digital animations.

At The North Pole, drop off letters to Santa, watch colorful Mega Trees and pick up holiday refreshments with contactless ordering and pick-up.

Prices increase to $30/$35 after…

Virtual

My First Nutcracker

Join Clara and the Prince as they travel to a magical kingdom filled with delicious treats, dancing flowers and a pesky mouse king in this 45-minute filmed version of the holiday classic reimagined by New York City Children’s Theater for theatergoers ages 3-8. Clara’s narration throughout the performance helps young theatergoers follow the classic holiday…

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker

The lavish New York City Ballet Nutcracker that started it all in 1954 is a rightly beloved American tradition – and now available on your TV. Watch a broadcast filmed at Lincoln Center in 2019 featuring Maria Kowroski as the Sugarplum Fairy, Tyler Angle as Her Cavalier, Megan Fairchild as Dewdrop, and more than 50…

Macy’s Santaland

New York

Crowded but a magical must for city kids. Advance reservations (required) can be booked online up to 5 days in advance starting at 5:30 am (weekend spots fill up immediately).

Still expect a 30-45 minute line slowly wandering through a charming North Pole village with animatronic toys and train displays. Express passes not available this…

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Friday, November 1

Joe’s Pizza

November 1, 2019 @ 10:00 am - December 31, 2021 @ 11:30 am
Joes Pizza
7 Carmine Street+ Google Map

Get a classic NY slice to go at this Greenwich Village institution (established in 1975 ), still owned and operated by 75-year-old Neapolitan native Joe Pozzuoli.

FREE
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Storyline Online

January 1, 2020 - December 31, 2021

Watch videos of celebrated actors reading children’s books alongside creative footage of the illustrations. Readers include Oprah Winfrey Viola Davis, Lily Tomlin, Kevin Costner, Annette Bening, James Earl Jones, Betty White and dozens more.  

FREE
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Wow in the World

January 1, 2020 - December 31, 2021

Join hosts Guy Raz and the hilarious Mindy Thomas on a journey into the wonders of the world. Go inside brains, out into space and deep into the coolest new stories in science and technology - with lots of wacky fun along the way. One of our family's faves.  

FREE
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Circle Round

January 1, 2020 - December 31, 2021

Hear sound- and music-rich radio plays based on folktales from around the world. Explore important issues like kindness, persistence and generosity with guest stage and screen stars. Each episode ends with an activity that inspires a deeper conversation between children and grown-ups. My daughter's favorite at bedtime.

FREE
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Here Wee Read

January 1, 2020 - December 31, 2021

Find great books recommendations for all ages in all sorts of diverse & inclusive categories, from Harlem Renaissance picture books to graphic novels talking about race. Includes themed collections like Halloween, Weddings,, Kids with Disabilities and RBG. Find links to buy at bookshop.org, an alternative to amazon that supports independent bookstores.

FREE
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Billy Johnson Playground

January 1, 2020 @ 8:00 am - December 31, 2021 @ 8:00 pm
Billy Johnson Playground, Central Park
East 67th Street & Fifth Avenue Upper East SIde+ Google Map

This rustic playground hosts an amazing 45-foot granite slide nestled into a rocky hill, bucket and tire swings, and an amphitheater and miniature stone bridge made of natural materials like plants, stone, and wood at a child’s scale.

FREE
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Gotham West Market

January 1, 2020 @ 8:00 am - December 31, 2021 @ 5:00 pm
Gotham West Market
600 11th Avenue between 44th & 45th Streets Midtown+ Google Map

Sample some of the best eats in the city including Ample Hills Creamery ice cream, Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop noodles, Jianbing Company's Chinese seasoned pancake/omelet, Corner Slice’s square pizza, Choza’s vegetarian tacos and more in an indoor, weather-proof hall.

FREE
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Bella Abzug Park

January 1, 2020 @ 8:00 am - December 31, 2021 @ 6:00 pm
Bella Abzug Park
542 West 36th Street+ Google Map

Climb on rope webs in a colorful structure surrounded by undulating soft surfaces. Communicate through underground pipes, relax on tables and chairs, splash int he fountain and admire the Hudson River view.

FREE
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New York at Its Core

January 1, 2020 @ 8:00 am - December 31, 2021 @ 5:00 pm
Museum of the City of New York
1220 Fifth Avenue at 105th Street+ Google Map

Follow the story of NYC’s rise from a striving Dutch village to today’s “Capital of the World,” and consider its future in a changing world through more than 400 objects as well as interactive digital experiences. Framed around the key themes of money, density, diversity, and creativity, New York City’s history comes alive through the…

Free with museum admission
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DiMenna Children’s History Museum

January 1, 2020 @ 10:00 am - December 31, 2021 @ 6:00 pm
New-York Historical Society
70 Central Park West at 77th Street+ Google Map

Ride an orphan train, play a newsies video game  and explore lots of other interactive exhibits on a entire floor devoted to kids. Pick up a printed scavenger hunt or just explore the many installations covering centuries of New York history. Lots to learn for older kids and lots to touch including a train table…

Free with museum admission
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Time Out Market New York

January 1, 2020 @ 11:00 am - December 31, 2021 @ 10:00 pm
Empire Stores
55 Water Street+ Google Map

Sample some of the best NYC food: fluffy pancakes from the venerable Clinton Street Baking Co., thin-crust pizza from Patsy Grimaldi’s Juliana’s, Middle Eastern bites from Miss Ada, fried chicken from Jacob’s Pickles, Japanese comfort food from Bessou, cookie dough scoops from DŌ and more amazing eateries—all cherry-picked by Time Out New York. 21,000 delicious…

FREE
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Garden Court Café at Asia Society

January 1, 2020 @ 11:30 am - December 31, 2021 @ 3:00 pm
Asia Society
725 Park Avenue at East 70th Street Upper East Side+ Google Map

Lunch on brunch on seasonal dishes that reflect elements of the diverse cultures of Asia in the modern, glass-enclosed space filled with light, flowering vines, trees, and art. Gorgeous bento boxes. Tuesday—Sunday, 11:30 am—3 pm

FREE
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Kefi

January 1, 2020 @ 12:00 pm - December 31, 2021 @ 11:00 pm
Kefi
222 West 79th Street+ Google Map

Dine on reasonably priced tradtional Greek cuisine including tasty mezes, fried meatballs, slouvaki, house-made Greek yogurt and more among cheerful, rustic decor in chef Michael Psilakis' friendly cafe.

FREE
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Sebastian Brecht’s Obsessive Chocolate Disorder

January 1, 2020 @ 1:00 pm - December 31, 2021 @ 8:00 pm

Try unique, small batch, handmade chocolates and pastries, made fresh every week in a small, quirky East Village shop with rotating art on the wall. The constantly evolving menu featuring unusual and delicious combinations of flavors and textures with fun names like bob’s dark passion, the pucker and looky cookie snookie was created by the…

FREE
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Thursday, January 2

BRAINPOP

January 2, 2020 - December 31, 2021

Watch short, well-written animated films on a variety of topics including antiracism & Black history, STEM, arts, math and much more starring a very funny robot. Take quizzes and play games to test what you learned. Two editions, for ages K-3 or 4th -12th Grade (which can thoughtfully address some weighty topics, so monitor…

FREE
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Wednesday, April 1

Treehouse Shakers

April 1, 2020 - December 31, 2021

This local family-friendly theater/dance company offers its charming shows online: Hatched (designed for babies through preschoolers) the story of a newborn chick who emerges from her shell to a strange, busy world told through movement, music, and puppets and Under the Tangle (ages 8+), the story of a young orphaned girl lost in a mysterious…

FREE
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Art For Kids Hub

April 1, 2020 - December 31, 2021

Follow along step by step as a professional artist and his kid draw animals, emojis, people, vehicles and more. Clear, simple steps turn anyone into an illustrator.

FREE
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Children’s Museum of the Arts

April 1, 2020 - December 31, 2021

Children's Museum of the Arts' blog features how-to videos and detailed instructions for art projects like Paper Chains of Kindness and Collaborative Drawing Games. Projects can be adapted for different ages and made with materials around the house.

FREE
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Tuesday, April 28

EduHam at Home

April 28, 2020 - December 31, 2021

Explore the world of the Broadway phenomenon Hamilton and America's founding era. Access free materials to create songs or scenes inspired by history. Follow in Lin-Manuel Miranda's footsteps, learning how he incorporated primary sources into the songs he wrote for the show. Includes video clips of the show; interviews with Miranda, Alexander Hamilton biographer Ron…

FREE
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Friday, May 1

Audible Kids

May 1, 2020 - December 31, 2021

Find hundreds of free audio books handpicked by Audible editors. Choose from a mix of stories to entertain, engage, and inform young people, ages 0–18. Spanish, German, French, Japanese and Italian selections also available.  

FREE
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BUSY TODDLER

May 1, 2020 - December 31, 2021

Find a trove of educational, easy-to-set up creative and sensory activities from a K-1 teacher turned SAHM. So many great ideas, quick & easy to messy messy, babies to tweens plus links to useful art supplies. Follow their great instagram account for daily inspiration.

FREE
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DAYS WITH GREY

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2021

An educator and mom to 3 shares daily 'Breakfast Invitations,' easy-to-set-up sensory and art activities for preschoolers and toddlers.

FREE
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NEW YORK CITY CHILDREN’S THEATER

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2021

Lovely local kids theater company provides entertaining and enriching activities for little ones inspired by past productions including art projects, theater games, storytimes, downloadable activity books and video sing-alongs.

FREE
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VIRTUAL MUSEUM TOURS

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2021

Take virtual journeys to over 1,200 museums around the world via Google Arts & Culture. See collections and gallery views of  Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, Florence’s Uffizi Gallery, Mexico City's Museum of Anthropology, Paris's Musée d'Orsay and more (plus NYC faves like the Whitney, Guggenheim and MoMA).

FREE
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Mission US 

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2021

Learn American history with a choose-your-adventure interactive, online game. Take the role of printer’s apprentice in 1770 Boston deciding whether to join the revolutionary movement, a Cheyenne teen in 1866, an enslaved 14-year-old girl escaping to freedom in Ohio, teenage farmers in the Great Depression and more young people. Explore rich, historical settings, make choices…

FREE
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MoMA Families At Home

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2021

MoMA provides resources and ideas—from art-making activities to books and films—to spark creativity and fun at home. Explore artworks in MoMA’s collection through activities (available in English and Spanish), watch favorite kid-friendly short films with prompts to spark discussion, dig deeper into Dorothea Lange: Words & Pictures, find favorite Children’s Books about Art, listen…

FREE
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Ailey All Access

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2021

The acclaimed Alvin Ailey dance company shares full length videos of past performances. Also see videos of company members dancing the landmark Revelations and other pieces together from home, join free online dance classes and check out the  great Resource Guide for Educators. Find free live and on-demand classes for all ages in a variety of dance…

FREE
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Carnegie Hall Music Explorers

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2021

Learn about musical culture and tradition around the world - African-American Freedom Songs, South African Zulu songs and many more - with lessons plans, music and video featuring global artists. The well-designed site features a world map to explore. Also Learn about symphony orchestras in an animated adventure in Carnegie Hall Listening Adventures.

FREE
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Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Jazz Academy

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2021

Watch curated educated videos on the from Jazz at Lincoln Center's educational programs and learn about it's roots in African-American traditions and communities.  WeBop instructors demonstrate fun activities to get families swinging and singing, members of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra share performance secrets,  and Middle School Jazz Academy instructors break down jazz techniques.…

FREE
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Black Art Picture Books

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2021

Learn about African American art history with curated lists from Culture Type, a website exploring art by and about people of African descent. Find gorgeous books about Jean-Michel Basquiat, fashion designer Ann Cole Lowe,  Jacob Lawrence and other great black artists on posts Black Art History: 10 Children’s Books Illuminate the…

FREE
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Starfall

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2021

Learn letters, reading and math with untimed, sometimes silly interactive games for preschool through second grade. Includes letter recognition, games, stories, and animations that showcase letter sounds, short reading selections that emphasize vocabulary, and online books that provide fluency and comprehension practice. A favorite of our kids from an early age.

FREE
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FLOCABULARY

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2021

Learn about a range of subjects for grades K-12 though catchy, educational hip-hop songs. Watch videos about math, history, science and more, learn new words, take quizzes then (this is the coolest part) write short raps/songs using your new words and knowledge.

FREE
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ArtsPower Theatre On Demand

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2021

Watch ArtsPower’s acclaimed, full-length literature-based musicals and dramas online. Includes fun activities that families can complete together. School Editions with a multiple-lesson, academic course also available. Currently showing Chicken Dance, Anne of Green Gables, The Monster Who Ate My Peas and From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

$15
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KHAN ACADEMY

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2021

Watch short videos taught by excellent instructors with an electronic whiteboard in just about any subject for preschool through college. The free Khan Academy Kids app (for ages 2-7) teaches reading, language, writing, math, social-emotional development, and more through open-ended activities and games like drawing, storytelling, and coloring guided by adorable animal characters. Also…

FREE
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SCHOLASTIC LEARN AT HOME

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2021

Find online courses for pre-K to sixth grade+ with four separate learning experiences, each built around a  meaningful story or video. Subjects include social studies; English language arts; STEM; science; and social-emotional learning.

$5.99/month
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MYSTERY SCIENCE

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2021

Science mysteries like 'What is the most dangerous animal in the world?' and the topical 'How does hand sanitizer kill germs?' are explored with images, entertaining videos and opportunities for discussion. Ends with simple hands-on activities designed with easy-to-find supplies.

FREE
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Black-Owned Chocolate

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2021

Treat yourself while supporting local black-owned business buy ordering  delicious chocolate treats from Sol Cacao (Bronx artisan “bean to bar” chocolate manufacturer), Dalloway Chocolate (vegan, gluten-free, bars & truffles with no refined sugar made in Brooklyn),  and Harlem Chocolate Factory (bars, bon-bons, bark, cookies & more inspired by Harlem). We suggest eating…

FREE
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The Paper Bag Players At Home

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2021

Watch short sketches from The Paper Bag Players, an acclaimed NYC troupe that makes stories out of cardboard and paper, paired with questions and/or activities that will help children think more about what they’ve watched and provide opportunities for them to create and imagine on their own. Play games and make cars, crazy faces, and…

FREE
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NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC KIDS

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2021

Learn about animals, science, geography and more with videos, games, quizzes and great photos. We love the 'Weird but True' facts about everything from Star Wars to eyebrows. Bright and simple enough for toddlers but interesting enough for tweens & teens (and a parents).

FREE
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TANG MATH

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2021

The author of The Grapes Of Math and Math-terpieces: The Art of Problem-Solving Greg Tang brings his innovative approach to math online with highly visual games, animated books and downloadable materials that encourage creative problem solving. Difficulty levels can be adjusted for just about every age.

FREE
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