HOLIDAYS BY HOOD

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

See our complete NYC holiday guide, plus sign up for our email list and follow our insta for the latest.

West 40s/50s

The Rink at Winter Village

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 11…

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.

Skate Performances by Ice Theater of New York

See breathtaking ice choreography performed by Ice Theater of New York’s young skating apprentices and professional ensemble members on the Bryant Park Rink.

See our guide to Bryant Park’s Winter Village.

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…

West 30s/Cheslea

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…

Chelsea Market

Choose from doughnuts, tacos, hand-pulled noodles, lobster rolls, gelato to eat at covered outdoor tables along 15th and 16th Streets. Find fun Chinese merchandise & food at Pearl River Mart.

Look for art installations among twinkling lights and cool decor.  at this always happening historic market.

The narrow walkway of the former factory can get…

The Rink at Manhattan West & Citrovia Lemon Grove

Ice skate at a new small outdoor rink in the public plaza situated of Manhattan West. Skate aids available for small beginners ($15). Sign up for private instruction from Olympians Melissa Gregory and Denis Petukhov available.

Also visit a sprawling, fantastical citrus garden in free interactive, outdoor installation Citrovia, covered in sparkly snow for winter. …

UPTOWN

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).…

Downtown

Luminaries

Fidi

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 donate $1 up…

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 Greens

Seaport

Book a socially distanced, heated rooftop cabin for seasonal food and signature cocktails on a lit-up rooftop overlooking the East River.

Cabins fit 2 to 10 and have classic winter cabin décor, tables and cozy benches, virtual fireplaces, and floor-to-ceiling NYC views (request a cabin facing the river for best views) . Menu ($15-$30) features…

Gov­er­nors Island Win­ter Vil­lage

Fidi

Enjoy sea­son­al activ­i­ties, fes­tive win­ter lights, games and food and drinks along­side warm­ing fire pits. Friday through Sunday, spin on a 5,000-square foot skat­ing rink on his­toric Colonels Row.

Rent bikes or sleds from Blaz­ing Sad­dles NYC (see recommended hills), play lawn games like corn­hole, can jam and giant Jen­ga, explore win­ter arts and…

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…

Bronx

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).

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…

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…

Brooklyn

LeFrak Center Ice Skating

Lakeside Prospect Park

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…

Vale Rink

The William Vale

Glide on an impact absorbent/environmentally friendly ice-like surface with incredible city views at this outdoor rink on the 23rd floor of hip hotel The William Vale. Warm up in a rinkside tent with hot chocolate and treats.

50-minute skate sessions include skate and locker rentals.

 

Monday – Friday: 2pm – 10pm
Saturday &…

Brooklyn Children’s Museum & ArtRink

Brooklyn Children’s Museum

Inspired by Brooklyn’s energy and diversity, this beloved children’s museum (the first in the world when in opened in 1899) creates experiences that ignite curiosity, celebrate identity and cultivate joyful learning.

Skate & Play Sessions ($10 extra) include 60-minutes of skate time on a 3,200 square foot outdoor rooftop eco-friendly skating rink and art exhibition…

Winter at Industry City

Industry City

This public art & high design hub has cool art and seasonal photo-ops throughout in addition to tons of great international food options.

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

Enjoy candy coated hot chocolate, hot toddies, cider and other festive treat…

Queens

“A Wonderful, Awful Idea”: Animating the Grinch Who Stole Christmas

Museum of the Moving Image

See sketches, animation cels, and backgrounds from the 24-minute animated short Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas illustrating legendary animation director Chuck Jones’ approach to adapting Geisel’s story for the screen. In contrast to the book’s black, white, and red palette, Jones unleashed a riotous array of vivid colors to depict the story’s settings…

Illuminate The Farm

Queens County Farm Museum

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

WESTCHESTER/HUDSON VALLEY

Mohonk Mountain House

New Paltz

Explore an iconic Victorian castle resort surrounded by 40,000 acres of pristine forest.

* Tons of family-friendly seasonal activities to try including snow shoeing, ice skating in a covered outdoor rink, marshmallow roasting, cross-country skiing and more.

* Head indoors for craft kits, afternoon tea (and cookies), special evening kids’ entertainment, and family fun

*…

Legoland Discovery Center

Yonkers

This Lego extravaganza located in a nice outdoor mall features two rides, LEGO car racing, LEGO models of NYC landmarks, Star War lands, a NINAJO climbing area, a 4D cinema, karaoke and more.

* Much much smaller than theme parks, but still lots of opportunities building and playing.

* Limited menu and beverages available at…

Bear Mountain Ice Rink

Bear Mountain

Skate on a large outdoor, uncovered rink framed by trees and rugged mountains. Lots of hiking nearby and spectacular views.

Refreshments are available from vending machines.

Also visit the Trailside Museums and Zoo (open 10:30 am – 4 pm). small stone museums and fenced areas along a self-guided trail house bears, coyotes, turtles, snakes, frogs,…

CT

Stepping Stones

Norwalk

This recently re-opened award-winning children’s museum features exciting interactive exhibits and STEAM-infused programming in beautifully-renovated spaces.

* Play with giant games, make noise with household objects, test your balance and get fresh air in a giant open-air tent in Celebration Courtyard.

* Be mesmerized by  ColorCoaster is a 27-foot kinetic sculpture and a non-stop giant…

New Jersey

American Dream

East Rutherford

This indoor mega-mall has towns over-the-top, entirely indoor activities. Prices vary by day. Gets crowded, so go early and mask up.

* Ride thrilling roller coasters and family-friendly rides plus meet favorite characters like Dora The Explorer, SpongeBob SquarePants and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at indoor theme park Nickelodeon Universe ($59–$85).

* Swim, splash…

LONG ISLAND

Virtual

TheaterWorksUSA TV

Rent videos of TheaterWorksUSA’s excellent family-friendly musicals including A Christmas Carol, Jungle Book, A Tribe Called Tubman and many more. Also see behind-the-scenes with the artists, and try theater activities and crafts to make and share online.

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Wednesday, January 1

Wow in the World

January 1, 2020 - December 31, 2023

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.  

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Circle Round

January 1, 2020 - December 31, 2023

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.

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Here Wee Read

January 1, 2020 - December 31, 2022

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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Gotham West Market

January 1, 2020 @ 8:00 am - December 31, 2022 @ 5:00 pm
Gotham West Market
600 11th Avenue between 44th & 45th Streets Midtown+ Google Map

Sample a mix of some of best eats in the city including Mikey Likes It pop culture inspired ice cream, Corner Slice’s square pizza, La Palapa's fresh tacos and more in an indoor, weather-proof hall.

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Thursday, January 2

BRAINPOP

January 2, 2020 - December 31, 2022

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

Art For Kids Hub

April 1, 2020 - December 31, 2022

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.

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Children’s Museum of the Arts

April 1, 2020 - December 31, 2022

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.

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Audible Kids

May 1, 2020 - December 31, 2023

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.  

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BUSY TODDLER

May 1, 2020 - December 31, 2022

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.

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DAYS WITH GREY

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2022

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

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VIRTUAL MUSEUM TOURS

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2022

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).

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New-York Historical Society Online

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2023

This fascinating historic  museum (now partially open for visits) hosts engaging live educational programs for all ages, audio and video resources (including the inspirational We Rise) and interactive 360 degree tours drawing on its world-renowned collections. Excellent educator resources including videos,  remote lesson plans, and media-rich curriculum website Women…

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MoMA Families At Home

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2022

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…

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Ailey All Access

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2022

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…

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Carnegie Hall Music Explorers

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2022

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.

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Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Jazz Academy

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2022

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.…

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Black Art Picture Books

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2022

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…

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Lincoln Center At Home

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2022

Watch short #concertsforkids recorded (at home) by world-class artists including musician Etienne Charles celebrating a cross-section of cultures from the African Diaspora, Soul Science Kids weaving soul, funk, hip-hop and educational themes and many more diverse voices. Learn puppetry, dance, songwriting and other art forms with simple materials found at home with Lincoln Center Pop-up…

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The Super Secret Hive

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2023

Join a former Disney duo on a musical adventure for the whole family. A cast of quirky characters navigate timely challenges to help kids save the world. Explore topics like honeybees and pollinators, plastic in the oceans, germs and our immune system, inclusion and kindness vs. bullying (as expressed by a T-Rex!) and…

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Dav Pilkey At Home

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2022

Get creative and have fun with the creator of cult favorites Dog Man and Captain Upderpants. Watch short videos of Pilkey drawing and reading aloud and download printable activity sheets, drawing guides, comic book creators, games and more.

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Kennedy Center Education

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2022

Explore music, dance, theater, opera, visual and media arts through informative and engaging Kennedy Center Education interactive lessons with music videos. Learn about African-American History,  US President's Favorite Music, all sorts of dance, popular American songs and more. Designed for grades K-12.

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TATE KIDS

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2022

Play art-inspired games, take cheeky quizzes, find art activities, and share your art on a fun website from British museums Tate and Tate Modern. Find detailed instructions for activities such as "think like the artist Alberto Giacometti" and create interesting portraits and landscapes.

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The Past & The Curious

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2023

Learn that history can be amazing, inspiring and relevant to anyone in a podcast featuring stories of Spies, funny foods, George Washington's foibles, early advancements in cartooning and ballooning and much more. A professional music…

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Story Pirates Podcast

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2023

This absurdist sketch comedy show based on stories written by kids features original music and celebrity special guests. Young listeners are invited to submit their own stories that might be brought to live in the podcast or a future live show. Find comprehensive activity guides for each episode online with recipes, poetry lessons, and more.…

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Ear Snacks

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2023

Kindie musicians Andrew & Polly and their friends consider music, science, art and culture in a fun-filled family-friendly podcast enjoyable for kids and grown-ups. Developmentally appropriate & absurdist but never untrue.

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Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2023

Learn about extraordinary, inspiring women women in a podcast based on global best-selling book series Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls (a great purchase for all ages). Features famous leaders like Harriet Tubman and RBG as well as lesser known heroes from around the world.

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Noodle Loaf

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2023

Explore music in an interactive podcast and video series born from the brain of a music education teacher and his goofball kids. Each approx. 10 minute episode features inventive sing-alongs and activities. Geared for kids 3-9 years old but all ages get into it.

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Cooper Hewitt Online Learning

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2022

Follow along with design activities (with clear, well-designed instructions) to create protoypes, chairs, zines, posters and more. Also explore design case studies, remarkable female and LBGQT+ creators, the digital mansion, and museum exhibitions. Great graphics, video and easy-to-understand text for all ages.

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Greeking Out

August 1, 2020 - December 31, 2023

Hear kid-friendly retelling of classic ancient Greek myths as featured in the Nat Geo Kids book Zeus the Mighty. Zippy and fun retellings with all the inappropriate parts glossed over.

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Radiolab for Kids

August 1, 2020 - December 31, 2023

Find family-friendly content from Radiolab, one of the most beloved podcasts in the world.  From “What do dogs see when they look at the rainbow?” to “Do animals laugh?” the topics are squeaky clean (mostly) and all about science and curiosity.

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Pajama Program

November 1, 2020 - December 31, 2022

Help kids in need have a loving bedtime and restful good night by collecting new pajamas and/or books to donate. Here’s info on starting a drive. A great solution for birthday or holiday presents for the kid who already has too much. Party guests still get to shop and have something fun to bring to…

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Volunteer

November 1, 2020 - December 31, 2022

Search for in-person and virtual family-friendly volunteering opportunities at New York CaresVolunteer New York (includes Westchester & Long Island) and Doing Good Together. Find opportunities for specific dates/times or ongoing with a range of non-profits including city parks and senior centers.

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Tuesday, November 3

Support Museums

November 3, 2020 - December 31, 2022

In a win/win for all, refresh your library/playroom at expertly curated online shops of local museums. Find great toys, books, crafts and games for at-home entertainment and consider becoming a member of your faves - so many perks all year round (including store discounts and the ability to visit in person whenever). Some favorite…

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Friday, January 1

Krispy Kreme Times Square Flagship

January 1, 2021 - December 31, 2023
Krispy Kreme Times Square Flagship
1601 Broadway at West 48th Street+ Google Map

Get hot, fresh addictively delicious doughnuts 24/7 at Krispy Kreme's Times Square Flagship store. The 4,500 square-foot shop features a doughnut-making theater, a Glazed Waterfall with digital projection, a giant conveyor belt that runs throughout the store and and a doughnut themed seating area. Choose from a variety of flavors, including an exclusive Big Apple…

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Cards For Seniors

January 1, 2021 - December 31, 2022

Make cheerful cards for isolated seniors. Use big print (not cursive) so the card is easy to read. Provide stickers and stencils to help the younger kids. Adults can make cards too. A great use for all the artwork kids bring home. Join the NYC-based Caring By Card Nursing Home Project, donate through

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#METKIDS

January 1, 2021 - December 31, 2023

Explore the Metropolitan Museum of Art's vast collection from home. Take a virtual time machine to explore great works of art from Prehistoric Egyptian tombs to Warhols Campbell Soup dresses. Each work has a short related video, interesting information and suggestions for imagining and creating works at home. Also watch videos on who protects the…

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Cook For Soup Kitchens

January 1, 2021 - March 2, 2022

Contact your local soup kitchen to ask if they accept donations of home cooked meals or desserts. Find easy recipes that include stirring, scooping, and other kid-friendly steps. Here are tips for cooking for crowds (you may need to borrow extra pots etc. from friends); we’ve found baked ziti, roasted baby carrots and brownies all scale well.…

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Pier 25 Playground

January 1, 2021 @ 7:00 am - January 1, 2023 @ 8:00 pm
Pier 25
227 West St+ Google Map

The longest pier in Hudson River Park hosts an awesome playground with eight different water features (including some very unpredictable fountains), rock climbing walls, swings, monkey bars, a big sandbox, geodesic-dome-shaped climbing net and more. Also explore an 18-hole miniature golf course, a snack bar, sand volleyball courts, berthing areas for historic ships and…

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Eataly NYC Downtown

January 1, 2021 @ 7:00 am - December 31, 2022 @ 11:00 pm
Eataly NYC Downtown
101 Liberty Street, Floor 3 Lower Manhattan+ Google Map

The downtown outpost of Italian marketplace Eataly is focused on bread, but you can also find delizioso pizza, fresh mozzarella, prosciutto, pasta, rotisserie chicken, chocolate, gelato and weekend kids cooking classes.

FREE
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Conservatory Gardens

January 1, 2021 @ 8:00 am - December 31, 2023 @ 7:00 pm
Conservatory Garden
Fifth Avenue between 104th & 105th Streets Upper East Side

Enter the magnificent 1894 Vanderbilt Gate to Central Park’s only formal garden, a six-acre oasis within an oasis with European charm. Climb onto the wisteria pergola in the Italianate Center Garden overlooking a yew hedges-bordered large lawn and 12-foot jet fountain. To the north, the French-style garden offers spectacular seasonal displays of tulips and Korean…

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