TOP PICKS: PRESCHOOLERS

While we are missing being on the town with our kids in NYC, we've found ways to bring the fun & culture home during this crazy time.

We'll keep updating and expanding these carefully curated listings so subscribe to our email list and follow us on insta for updates (and please share your favorites with us).

Thanksgiving at CMOM: Potlucks & Parades

Join CMOM for a week-long festival and explore dishes to share, contribute to an evolving sculpture installation and create handheld parade floats inspired by the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. See our guide to CMOM.

Lincoln Center Presents at the Atrium

Join Lincoln Center for concerts with artists from across the globe in genres ranging from swing to Afro-Peruvian to opera. Performers change daily; some are more kid-friendly than others, but the vibe is usually relaxed with space to walk and dance in the back.

The indoor space is weather proof but with fountains and plant-covered…

Central Park Holiday Lighting

Meet Santa and friends, sing carols on the Plaza, and warm up with hot cocoa while enjoying a variety of seasonal activities. The event concludes with lighting a flotilla of trees on the Harlem Meer.

Little New-Yorkers

Join museum educators in the lovely children’s library for story time and crafts. Each class includes a special hello song, silly dances and games, a story book reading, and a craft to do after the story. Themes related to New York history and current exhibits change monthly.

See our guide to New-York Historical Society.

Ornament Painting Party

Choose 3 flat ornaments from a festive assortment to paint. Use a variety of paint colors, brushes and tools to personalize ornaments. Glazing and firing included. Cookies and drinks available.

Kids and adults welcome. To-go kits also available to paint at home.

New York City Ballet Children’s Workshops

NYCB Teaching Artists guide children in a ballet warm-up and movement combination, concluding in a lively performance for accompanying family and friends, in the company’s rehearsal studios. No prior dance training needed.

See and learn more dancing at Family Saturdays at the theater.

😷 Masks required. Attendees required to present either proof of full…

New-York Historical Society Sunday Story Time

This weekly program in a charming children’s library includes the reading of a New-York-themed book, a related craft project and silly dances and games.

See our guide to New-York Historical Society.

Griffins, Goblets, and Gold: A Wizarding Tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Find the bust of the Voldemort look-alike and other surprising connections in an interactive ‘wizarding’ tour in the magical Metropolitan Museum inspired by the Harry Potter books. See spaces, places and objects similar to those in the books, from part of an actual castle to depictions of mythical creatures like griffins and dragons.

Start with Art and Music: Water and Sky

Explore art and music in the galleries while you look, move, and sing. Fabulous museum educators engage children in conversations and activities related to a few works in the vast collection while listening to live music. Share ideas and enjoy stories, sketching, singing, and other gallery activities that bring works of art to life. Share…

Central Park Holiday Lighting

Meet Santa and friends, sing carols on the Plaza, and warm up with hot cocoa while enjoying a variety of seasonal activities. The event concludes with lighting a flotilla of trees on the Harlem Meer.

Drop-in Drawing

Experience The Met collection through creative drawing challenges in the galleries with expert teaching artists. Materials are provided, but you may bring your own sketchbook. Only pencils are allowed in the galleries.

Demonstrations repeat every 30 minutes. For visitors of all ages.

See our complete guide to visiting the Met.

Family Day at the Dairy

Enjoy a reading of Welcome to the World, Squirrelly Q (set in Central park) by author Cindy Rovtar; a special golden ticket scavenger hunt; the chance to win prizes and special discounts from our gift shop; and more kid-friendly activities.

At the historic visitor center, located in the heart of the Children’s District—the area…

Mozart For Munchkins: Nutcracker & Jingles

Join a unique (all-ages) Nutcracker experience with tap dance virtuoso Demi Remick, the sweet tones of Steve Whipple on the upright bass & Blanca González and Jesse Elder of Musiquita on violin and piano. The ensemble will also perform some holiday favorites, some Latin folk music & and a handful of children’s classics. An interactive,…

Guggenheim Pay-What-You-Wish Hours

Enjoy pay-what-you-wish admission to the Guggenheim on Saturday evenings.

See exciting, well-designed exhibits in the striking Frank Lloyd Wright–designed landmark modern museum. Meet New Yorker poets, artists, critics, dancers, and filmmakers in paintings, oil sketches, collages, drawings, prints, and freestanding “cutout” works in Alex Katz: Gathering around the iconic spiral. Also explore Impressionist, post-Impressionist,…

Guggenheim Stroller Tour

Stroll around the ramps as museum educators lead an engaging one-hour tour for caregivers and their babies (up to 24 months). This interactive exploration of current exhibitions includes touchable objects, art-making, and adult conversation.

See our guide to the Guggenheim.

Juggling

Join free juggling lesson with the Bryant Park Jugglers.Try for a few minutes, stay for the whole time, or just enjoy watching them put their skills to the test.

All skill levels welcome. Equipment is provided. See our guide to Bryant Park.

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting

Kick off the holiday season with the annual lighting of the largest Christmas tree in NYC.

Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton will perform a duet of their holiday single, “You Make It Feel Like Christmas,” additional performances will be from Jimmie Allen, Andrea Bocelli along with Matteo Bocelli and Virginia Bocelli, David Foster and Katharine…

Morgan Library & Museum Free Fridays

Explore the stunning former private library of Gilded Age financier Pierpont Morgan, joined with other historic buildings and modern steel-and-glass pavilions with free admission 5 to 7 pm every Friday. Reservations are required – tickets are available one week in advance.

Admission to the historic rooms of J. Pierpont Morgan’s Library is free Tuesday…

MoMA UNIQLO NYC Nights

Visit MoMA for free the first Friday of every month. Tickets must be reserved in advance (up to two adults, unlimited kids) and are released one week before each event. Proof of residency required.

See our guide to MoMA.

American Girl Santa Brunch

Meet Santa at the American Girl store during breakfast in the cute cafe. Bring your own camera.

My First Nutcracker

* Save 20% with code WEEKEND

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 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…

Family First Saturdays: Exhibition Tour and Storytime at the Morgan

Leap off the page with this new family program geared towards younger readers. Enjoy a family tour of the exhibitions Ashley Bryan & Langston Hughes: Sail Away and The Little Prince: Taking Flight followed by a live picture book storytime.

Recommended for families and children ages 4–8.

See our guide to visiting the elegant Morgan Library…

Fancy Nancy: Splendiferous Christmas

Elegant, energetic beloved book character Fancy Nancy comes to live in an hour-long musical from Vital Theatre Company.

What could be fancier than Christmas? Presents with elegant wrapping paper, festive decorations, Christmas cookies with sprinkles – and who could forget the tree? After all, there is no such thing as too much tinsel. Ooh…

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…

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…

Home Depot Workshop

Develop hands-on skills by gluing, hammering with help from parents and store associates. Project change monthly. Receive a certificate of achievement, workshop apron and a commemorative pin while supplies last.

Also at Home Depots on 59th Street/Third Ave, Long Island City, New Rochelle and elsewhere.

Whitney Museum Open Studio

All ages are invited to get creative in the Laurie M. Tisch Education Center. Make art inspired by works on view in the collection and current exhibitions. Each week is a different artmaking project.

See our complete guide to the Whitney Museum.

The Joyce Theater Family Matinees

Enjoy family-friendly matinees in an intimate theater built by dancers for dance. See emerging and established dance artists from acclaimed domestic and international companies including  Camille A. Brown & Dancers, COMPLEXIONS Contemporary Ballet and Dorrance Dance.

⏱ 1 hour 10 minutes with no intermission

😷 Masks required

 

 

Live Music at Chelsea Market

Enjoy live music from local musicians outside Chelsea Market, which also has great food options.

Rubin Family Sundays: Crowing Attributes

Use the bodhisattvas, which embody compassion, love, power, wisdom, at the Rubin as inspiration to create an artwork that symbolizes your own positive attributes do you want to bring to the world or share with others

Pre-registration is required for either the 1 pm or 2 pm. Free tickets include access to the Museum galleries. Each month…

New York Stock Exchange Christmas Tree Lighting

Sip some hot cocoa, send a note to Santa, meet costumed characters and enjoy performances Maxx Factor, Dalton & the Sheriffs, Fogo Azul, The Salvation Army Choir, School of Rock, Brett Altman, Bella DeNapoli, and more.

The 78-foot pine tree and the iconic columns of the New York Stock Exchange will be lit at 4:15…

New York Theatre Ballet Nutcracker

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,…

Click Clack Moo

Cows that type?  Hens on strike! Whoever heard of such a thing!” The cows go on strike and the chickens join them in solidarity.  No blankets? No milk! No eggs! Will Farmer Brown give in to the animals’ demands? Find out in a hilariously moving musical about negotiation and compromise, based on the Caldecott Honor…

Season Of Miracles

See a sparkling collection of holiday stories from different cultures. With a book and lyrics by Ruth Fost, tales within this heart-warming musical include O. Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi,” an original tale set in Nigeria entitled, “The Kwanzaa Kite,” a fanciful tale from The Wise Folk of Chelm – “The Chanukah Miracle,” and…

Seaport Museum Free Family Activity Weekends

Enjoy fun activities for the whole family on the main deck of the tall ship Wavertree. Hands-on activities and engagement stations for kids of all ages enhance the onboard experience. Join creative projects illuminating history and life at sea.

Also visit the hands-on Seaport Discovery: Exploring our Waters with Eric Carle.

No registration…

Annual Santa Rescue

Watch as an FDNY ladder truck rescues Old Saint Nick from the very top of the museum and brings him inside to warm up. Once safely inside, Santa will take gift requests and pose for photos on the 3rd floor (bring your own camera, expect a long line). $15 tickets includes Santa and admission to…

Sea Chanteys and Maritime Music

Join South Street Seaport Museum in person or virtually for a round-robin of shared sea songs, featuring members of The New York Packet and friends. Listen in, lead or request a song, and belt out the choruses.

See our guide to the Seaport.

Holiday Nostalgia Train

Ride back in time on a vintage fleet of subway cars. Hop on ‘The Train of Many Colors’  along the 1 line with rattan seats, ceiling fans, incandescent bulb lighting, drop-sash style windows, vintage roll signs, and original advertisements.  Ride a selection of cars manufactured in the 1960s: the R-33, R-33WF and R-36 cars. With…

Light Up Brooklyn Commons

Celebrate the start of the holiday season with a variety of festive outdoor activities. Explore an exhibition of exquisitely carved ice sculptures in the theme of “Mystic Creatures,” by the talented NY-based Okamoto Studio, behold a joyful performance by Brooklyn United (6:30 pm), sample holiday treats, and watch Santa light the treasured Brooklyn Commons Christmas…

Brooklyn Children’s Museum Pay-What-You-Wish

Pay-what-you-wish for admission to this beloved children’s museum (the first in the world when in opened in 1899) inspired by Brooklyn’s energy and diversity,

Learn about world cultures, visual arts, nature, animals and more in well-designed, interactive exhibits including World Brooklyn, Neighborhood Nature, Totally Tots, Collections Central and The (outdoor) Nest.

In the ColorLab, try…

DUMBO Tree Lighting

See DUMBO’s tree lit at 5:30 pm, plus take a photo with Santa and enjoy calypso music from Brooklyn-based steel drum band Jah Pan, Chirstmas covers By Curtis J. Social and the Dumbo house band, performances by the PS307 Diamonds and Dock Street Middle School cheerleaders, complimentary hot cocoa and sweet treats, animated projections on…

Art in Dumbo’s First Thursday Art Walk

On the first Thursday of every month, DUMBO’s galleries stay open late for a night of art, openings, artist talks, and live performance. Enjoy incredible views of the East River and the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges while walking from one gallery to the next.

Find more art (and playgrounds) in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

The Good Ms. Padgett

Sing, dance, and act out stories with The Good Ms. Padgett, joined by her 15-year-old daughter Penelope and many special guests, both young and older. Hear lovely lullabies and wild rock jams about lollipops, monsters, singing rabbits, and pizza.

Mark Morris Dance Group Holiday Party on the Plaza

Join the Mark Morris Dance Center for a little caroling and holiday cheer. MMDG Music Director, Colin Fowler, will lead the singing and there will be a short performance by the MMDG Student Company inspired by The Hard Nut.

Santa Land Community Parade

Santa comes to Brooklyn in a parade with clowns, elves, stilt-walkers, bikers, Mickey Mouse and more.

Starts on Washington/Atlantic Mall and ends at Atlantic Terminal Mall.

Sinterklass – Saint Nicholas Day

This annual celebration 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 a Dutch clog for Sinterklaas,…

Holiday First Friday at Bartow-Pell

Explore a historic mansion decked out for the holidays and enjoy the mellifluous and merry sounds of the a cappella MetropoliTones. Light refreshments available. Online registration requested.

Museum of the Moving Image Free Hours

Enjoy free admission to the fun museum with film, TV and video games from nineteenth century optical toys to the latest in digital art with lots of hand-on exhibits in a spacious, modern building.

* The hands-on core exhibition Behind the Screen features over 1,400 artifacts including early cameras, a real Chewbacca mask from the…

Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas: 45th Anniversary Screening

See one of Jim Henson’s most beloved television specials on the big screen. Ma Otter and her son Emmet both secretly enter a talent contest to win money for each other’s Christmas presents. On November 26 and December 3, Jim Henson Legacy President Craig Shemin will appear in person and present outtakes from the special and excerpts…

New York Hall of Science Free Hours

This center for interactive science featuring tons of fun hands-on learning opportunities in a gorgeous, spacious building offers free admission on Friday afternoons. Reserve online on Friday morning.

See our guide to New York Hall of Science.

Free Admission Noguchi Museum

On the first Friday of every month, enjoy  free admission to a serene museum and gardens  founded and designed by internationally renowned Japanese-American artist Isamu Noguchi. Advance reservations are highly recommended; tickets are released two weeks before each date.

Housed in a repurposed 1920s red brick industrial building, with an attached concrete pavilion designed and…

Hands on History: Elections Then and Now

The home-turned-museum of Rufus King – Founding Father and early voice in the anti-slavery movement- hosts free family programs the first & third Saturday each month with seasonal themes.

Not only was Rufus King a U.S. senator and ambassador to Great Britain, but he also ran for president in 1816 against James Monroe.  Learn…

Winter Wonder at the Garden

Celebrate the best of December with free live musical performances, a tree lighting, menorah display, holiday crafts, ice sculpting, a tree tour and selfies with Santa (donations welcome).

Shop sales Queens Botanical Garden Shop and support local businesses at the outdoor Holiday Market. Enjoy a selection of beverages at the Holiday Bar for purchase.

Dress…

A Very Electric Christmas

Queens Theatre audience favorite Lightwire Theater returns for one performance of their holiday show.

Follow the story of a young bird, named Max and his family, as they begin their journey south for the winter. When Max gets blown off course and ends up at the North Pole…his adventure begins. Dancing toy soldiers, caroling worms…

Metropolitan Opera/ABT Rush Tickets

Get $25 rush tickets online for Metropolitan Opera and American Ballet Theatre performances. Available online, first-come, first-served, same day at for Monday through Friday evening performances, four hours before curtain for matinees and at 2 pm for Saturday evenings.

* Create an account and log on before the tickets go on sale, they go quickly.