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50 things to do with kids in New York City during winter 2014

Bundle up for winter festivals and indoor fun! Our guide to the best things to do with kids this winter will keep you cozy through March.

  • Photograph: Mike Ratliff

    50 things to do in New York City with kids during winter 2014: Illuminated 

  • Courtesy BAM

    50 things to do in New York City with kids during winter 2014: BAMkids Film Festival

  • Photograph: courtesy the National Film Archive

    50 things to do in New York City with kids during winter 2014: "Report on the Construction of a Spaceship Module"

  • 50 things to do in New York City with kids during winter 2014: The Big Family Quiz Thing

  • Photograph: Anna Simonak

    50 things to do in New York City with kids during winter 2014: Kids Food Festival

  • Rendering: Hernan Rivera and Ivan Navarro. Courtesy Paul Kasmin Gallery. 

    50 things to do in New York City with kids during winter 2014: "This Land Is Your Land" in Madison Square Park

  • Photograph: Cylla von Tiedemann


    50 things to do in New York City with kids during winter 2014: Aladdin 

  • Photograph: Lizz Kuehl

    50 things to do in New York City with kids during winter 2014: Hot Chocolate Festival

  • 50 things to do in New York City with kids during winter 2014: Soul on Ice Winter Skating Party

  • 50 things to do in New York City with kids during winter 2014: Hip Tot Music Fest

Photograph: Mike Ratliff

50 things to do in New York City with kids during winter 2014: Illuminated 

We know winter is a tough season for finding things to do with kids, what with freezing weather, shorter days and the flu, which is why we’ve taken the liberty of giving you 50 reasons why bundling up and braving the cold is totally worth it! From cool new museum exhibits to the best ice-skating rinks and great indoor activities, here are the best things to do with kids that make New York City winters that much warmer.

RECOMMENDED: 20 things to do indoors this winterVisit: http://www.timeout.com/new-york-kids/things-to-do/best-things-to-do-in-nyc-for-kids-this-weekend


Light up dark days at the BBG's Illuminated

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Celebrate the darkest season with midwinter traditions from around the world, with crafty workshops, storytelling, bird-watching, outdoor games, warm treats and tunes courtesy of the garden's resident pirate station, Northern Lights Radio, for two full weekends. Check back for the full schedule. All ages.

  1. Brooklyn Botanic Garden 990 Washington Ave, at President St
  2. Until Sun Feb 2
More info

View international films at the BAMkids Film Fest

  • Price band: 1/4

During this two-day fest, little cinema-hounds can fill up on international fare—74 films from 27 countries, to be exact—some making their world debuts and others screening in New York or the U.S. for the first time. The fest will also include face-painting, filmmaker Q&As, music video– and flipbook–making activities, plus live performances by Brooklyn bands Rabbit Days & Dumplings (Sat, 12pm & 2:30pm) and Mil's Trills (Sun, 12pm & 2:30pm). The lineup includes "Cutting Hedge Animation," a special shorts program for ages 7 to 11 as well as short films just for tots. Visit the website for the full schedule. Ages 2 to 11.

  1. BAM Rose Cinemas 30 Lafayette Ave, between Ashland Pl and St. Felix St, 11217
  2. Sun Feb 23
More info

See a spaceship at the New Museum

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

The entire fifth floor of the New Museum will morph into an Enterprise-like spaceship interior thanks to the constructive nostalgia of Eastern European artist collective Tranzit in the exhibit "Report on the Construction of a Spaceship Module". Artwork by its various members will be installed throughout the museum in a way that blurs the borders between science fiction art and anthropology. Kids are bound to love the sense of strangeness and excitement the space is sure to elicit. Ages 5 and up.

  1. New Museum of Contemporary Art 235 Bowery, at Prince St
  2. Sun Apr 13
More info

Study up for the Big Family Quiz Thing

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

The Big Quiz Thing has been stumping participants for ten years with its wacky and original trivia questions—and now, for the first time ever, the trivia tournament will be played family-style. Quizmaster (and resident Time Out copy chief) Noah Tarnow will host six rounds of brain-tingling multimedia trivia that even those not yet in high school can try to answer.The competition culminates in a Three-Way Finale with the winner taking home some well-earned prizes. Study up on your history, pop culture, and who knows what else, and get ready to buzz in. Ages 7 and up.

  1. SubCulture 45 Bleecker St, between Bowery and Lafayette St, 10012
  2. Until Sun Jan 26
Buy tickets

Meet superstar chefs at Kids Food Festival

  • Price band: 2/4

During this two-day celebration of healthy eating, families mingle with chefs and culinary icons, plus check out demos, classes for kids, samples, live entertainment and a Balanced Plate Scavenger Hunt. While this spring's lineup is still TBA, last year, families had the chance to meet Chef Cricket Azima and learned to make tasty, nutritious (and pretty) fruit and yogurt treats, then went through "Veggiecation," in which they studied the artful process of creating a Crazy, Crunchy, Cool Cucumber Salad. Performances are also in the mix; last year's included Songs for Seeds, Yumiloo & The Rainbow Machine, Super Sprowtz and The Dirty Sock Funtime Band. For tickets, visit kidsfoodfestival.com. All ages.

  1. Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park Sixth Ave, between 40th and 42nd Sts
  2. Sun Mar 2
More info

Ogle Madison Square Park's latest installation

Mad Sq. Park's latest art installation, Chilean-born Iván Navarro's This Land Is Your Land, is a series of three water towers set within the confines of the park. Each of them is lit up from within with neon signage that repeats infinitely thanks to a set of internal mirrors. Visitors can have a look inside by walking right under the 80-foot-tall towers, an experience that's bound to be as cool as it is spooky. All ages.

  1. Madison Square Park 23rd St to 26th St, between Fifth and Madison Aves, 10010
  2. Until Sun Mar 30
More info

Take a magic carpet ride on Broadway

We've been humming "A Whole New World" ever since we saw the first production shots of Disney's latest movie-turned-Broadway show Aladdin. The new musical is set to begin previews on February 26 and open on March 20, 2014.

  1. New Amsterdam Theater
  2. Wed Feb 26

Indulge in 30 days of hot chocolate

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Heat-seeking chocoholic families flock to this annual festival, where City Bakery owner Maury Rubin serves a different flavor of his intoxicating cocoa every day during the month February. The lineup won’t be announced until late January, but previous year’s highlights have included electic flavors like banana peel, spicy fig and even beer. Another favorite: Sunken Treasure, an indulgent cup with submerged caramel coins and chocolate truffles. Want a hot chocolate fix before February? Stop by any day of the week for the shop's delicious milk chocolate and dark chocolate varieties.

  1. City Bakery 3 W 18th St, between Fifth and Sixth Aves, 10003
  2. Fri Feb 28
More info

Brave the ice at a figure skating party

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Families can glide and twirl to music at Soul on ice, a fund-raiser for Figure Skating in Harlem. Competitive figure skater Sharon Cohen founded the organization in 1997 to help young girls learn how to ice skate and to boost their confidence and leadership skills. In addition to rink time, the party will feature snacks, activities, raffle prizes and a performance by FSH’s synchronized-skating team, Harlem Ice. Visit figureskatinginharlem.org for more information. Ages 4 and up.

  1. Trump Lasker Rink Central Park, enter at W 110th and Malcolm X Blvd (Lenox Ave), 10026
  2. Sat Feb 8
More info

Jam out at Hip Tot Music Fest

  • Price band: 2/4

The monthly concert series for (especially cool) Brooklyn families is back for more kindie music, live DJs, craft projects, giveaways and storytime throughout the school year. Februrary's show is, of course, all about love with Audra Rox (2/9), while March's features the Trummytones (3/9). Ages 2 to 5.

  1. ShapeShifter Lab 18 Whitwell Pl, between Carroll and 1st Sts, 11215
  2. Sun Apr 13
More info

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