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50 things to do with kids in New York City during winter 2012

Your family's guide to the best things to do with kids this winter, including hot chocolate festivals, ice-skating parties and other winter activities for kids.

  • Things to do with kids during winter 2012

    Donate to the Wildlife Conservation Society Toy Drive

  • Things to do with kids during winter 2012

    Get hands on at the Animals Illuminated Family Day

  • Photograph: Vinnie Amesse

    Things to do with kids during winter 2012

    Keep kids busy during winter break

  • Things to do with kids during winter 2012

    Sing along to Purim tunes with the Mama Doni Band

  • Photograph: Nadia Chaudhury

    Things to do with kids during winter 2012

    Take a tour of the holiday windows

  • Things to do with kids during winter 2012

    Design creations at the 3DEA pop-up

  • Photo: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    Things to do with kids during winter 2012

    Visit an indoor playground at the Park Avenue Armory

  • Things to do with kids during winter 2012

    Make crafts at Hiho Batik

  • Things to do with kids during winter 2012

    Head downtown for the Lunar New Year Parade

  • John Minchillo

    Things to do with kids during winter 2012

    Visit Santaland at Macy's in Herald Square

Things to do with kids during winter 2012

Donate to the Wildlife Conservation Society Toy Drive

Things to do with kids this winter

42

Get hands-on at the Animals Illuminated Family Day

Among the offerings at this family day are stations where kids can create a golden illustration or animal crown inspired by the colorful manuscripts on view; a hands-on calligraphy session; and animal dress-up. Musician Father Goose (featured on many a Dan Zanes album) will be on hand to provide the boogie-down tunes. Ages 3 and up.

  1. The Jewish Museum 1109 Fifth Ave, at 92nd St
  2. Sun Jan 20
More info
43

Keep kids busy during winter break

If your little one gets restless during school vacations, the Museum of the City of New York will offer hands-on workshops throughout the week of winter break. In "Winter Wonderland: Collages," tots stroll through the museum's Holiday Exhibition, then create collages of winter scenes. In "Chet the Secret Agent Architect," an architecture-themed scavenger hunt lets kids search for educational clues, then create their own model buildings. "Pushing Buttons: Activist New York" allows tykes to explore the museum's related exhibition and then create their own button showcasing a cause important to them. Kids can choose to participate in one, two, or all three activities. Registration is required. All ages.

  1. Museum of the City of New York 1220 Fifth Ave, between 103rd and 104th Sts
  2. Wed Dec 26 - Fri Dec 28
More info
44

Sing along to Purim tunes with the Mama Doni Band

  • Price band: 1/4

This funky band plays tunes that focus on Jewish themes, but with a twist: Your tyke will be reggae dancing to "Mazel Tov" and disco jiving to "Sabbath Queen." Expect some new tunes and a wacky costume parade to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim. Bonus: Ticket holders can get there early (1pm) for a preshow crafting session. Ages 3 to 10.

45

Take a tour of the holiday windows

It just doesn’t feel like the holidays in New York City until the department store window displays go up, transforming Fifth Avenue and the surrounding areas into a festive bastion of glitter, cheer and animatronic Santas. We recommend making a day of it with the family: Grab a cup of hot chocolate and then check out some of our favorites including Bloomingdale’s Cirque du Soleil-inspired display, Macy’s more classic depiction of holiday traditions and Barneys ode to Disney and fashion in “Electric Holiday.”

  1. Various locations
  2. Through Tue Jan 1
46

Design creations at the 3DEA pop-up

Pop-up 3-D printing shop 3DEA has rows of printers for famiiies to try out, an Inventor Bar and Customization Center where you can dream up and replicate products, and a 3-D photo booth. Plus, there's an area just for kids featuring the Doodle 3-D Roundtable: Tykes can draw on an iPad interface, press a button, and the colorful Ultimaker will print out their creation. Little ones can print out two copies of their 3-D doodle—one to take home and one to hang on the 3DEA Christmas tree. Kids ages three to 11 can even enter their tree ornaments in a contest to win an Ultimaker for their school.

  1. Eventi Hotel, Sixth Ave at 29th St
  2. Through Thu Dec 27
47

Visit an indoor playground at the Park Avenue Armory

Installation artist Ann Hamilton blends elements of nostalgia, sound, movement and time in her latest exhibition, "The Event of a Thread," at the Armory. As tots roam through a field of swings, live events will allow them to explore their memories and connect to others around them. A special family workshop will take place on Saturday, December 8, and Sunday, December 9. All ages.

  1. 643 Park Ave, (between 66th and 67th Sts)
  2. Through Sat Jan 5, 2013
More info
48

Make crafts at Hiho Batik

  • Price band: 2/4

This new Brooklyn shop features colorful, quirky clothes for adults and kids as well as an "open kitchen" production space where visitors can see items being designed and created. At the store's cojoined art space, families can walk in and learn batiking (a method of dying only certain parts of fabrics using a removeable wax) and create a unique item to take home. The art space also hosts DIY crafting and dyeing classes for kids and adults and can be reserved for children's birthday parties or other private events.

  1. 184 Fifth Ave, (at Berkeley Pl), 11217
  2. Ongoing
More info
49
Lunar New Year

Head downtown for the Lunar New Year Parade

The main event of Chinese New Year in Manhattan, this parade travels from Little Italy through Chinatown, with marching bands, floats, and lion and dragon dancers twirling the entire way. All ages.

  1. Various locations
  2. Sun Feb 17
50

Visit Santaland at Macy's Herald Square

  • Price band: 2/4

Twinkling lights, faux snow and elf helpers fill Santa land on the eighth floor of Macy's Herald Square. Of course, St. Nick's there too. Kids gab about gifts and receive a free treat. Visit on a weekday to avoid long waits. While you're there, stop by the Macy's Puppet Theatre to see a version of the holiday classic Miracle on 34th Street. All ages.

  1. Macy's Herald Square 151 W 34th St, between Sixth and Seventh Aves
  2. Sat Dec 1 - Mon Dec 24
More info


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