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Things to do with kids in NYC for Valentine's Day

Celebrate Valentine's Day 2015 with your sweethearts at fun craft workshops, cooking classes and cute performances in NYC

Family Art Workshop: Hearts, Flowers and Love Birds

Family Art Workshop: Hearts, Flowers and Love Birds Photograph: Joshua Bright

With precious craft projects and super-sweet baking classes on offer, there's plenty to love about New York City around Valentine's Day. Round up your little lovebugs to tackle our roundup of extra-special V-day events, sample the city's best desserts for kids, and warm up with some fun indoor activities. Love is in the air!


RECOMMENDED: Valentine's Day for kids in NYC


Valentine's Day events for kids

Valentine's Day at Wave Hill

Roses are red and violets are blue at this Bronx public garden and cultural center. Celebrate Valentine's Day with a family-friendly program that includes hands-on creative projects and a chance to pick out a special gift for your beloved. Learn about pollinators and make a unique Valentine's Day card during the Family Art Project from 10am until 1pm in the Tropical House (draw inspiraton from the colorful greenhouse flowers). Then, get deliciously creative with icing and sprinkles in a cookie-decorating workshop from 11am to 3pm ($15 materials fee per project). Finally, peruse the nature-inspired designs of jeweler Erika Rosenbaum in Wave Hill's gift shop. All ages.

  1. Wave Hill W 249th St, at Independence Ave, 10471
  2. Sat Feb 14
More info

Valentine's Love Shack Workshop

  • Price band: 2/4

Bake your own Valentine's Day-themed "Love Shack" constructed from gingerbread cookies, then decorate it with candies and pink and red icing. Parent and child will work together to give the sugary shack their own personal touch. Ages 2 to 6.

  1. Taste Buds Classes 109 W 27th St, at Sixth Ave, tenth Floor
  2. Until Sun Feb 15
More info

The Gustafer Yellowgold Show

  • Price band: 2/4

Fans of the little yellow creature from the sun won't want to miss this performance from Gustafer Yellowgold creator and songwriter Morgan Taylor and his live band, accompanied by his signature illustrations. Ages 2 and up.

  1. Symphony Space 2537 Broadway, at 95th St, 10025
  2. Until Sat Feb 14
More info

Storybook Discovery: Spread the Love!

  • Price band: 1/4

At this special Valentine's Day story session, storyteller Karyn Mooney will read several holiday-themed books to little ones, including Happy Valentine's Day, Mouse! by Laura Numeroff and Plant a Kiss by Amy Krouse. Afterward, tots will make their own handcrafted valentines to give to loved ones. Ages 6 and under.

  1. Voelker Orth Museum 149-19 38th Ave, between 149th St and 149th Pl
  2. Sat Feb 14
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Hearts & Crafts

  • Price band: 2/4

At this holiday–themed workshop led by Amanda Kingloff, author of Project Kid: 100 Ingenious Crafts for Family Fun, girls will get creative making colorful Valentine's Day craft projects. Each participant gets a treat–filled goody bag to take home. Reserve advance tickets on Curious Jane's website. Ages 8 to 11.

  1. Curious Jane Various locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn,
  2. Sat Feb 7
More info

Central Park Conservancy Ice Festival

In true winter spirit, the Central Park Conservancy is hosting a festival celebrating all things icy. Tots can watch in amazement as artists from Okamoto Studio transform more than 3,000 pounds of ice into a chilly replica of Milton Hebald's iconic Romeo and Juliet statue using electric chainsaws and chisels. They can also test their Central Park knowledge in a trivia contest, get snapped in a photo booth, bop along to a silent disco and snack on sweet treats. All ages.

  1. Naumburg Bandshell, Central Park 72nd St, at Fifth Ave
  2. Sat Feb 14
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Cambuyon

  • Price band: 2/4

See how the dancers and musicians of Cambuyon use everyday objects like wooden crates or recycled glass bottles (hint: It's not what you expect!). African, Irish, Spanish and American influences abound in this hour-long performance, which combines percussion, tap and hip-hop to create surprises at every turn. Ages 6 and up.

  1. New Victory Theater 209 W 42nd St, between Seventh and Eighth Aves
  2. Until Sun Feb 22
More info

"Hello from Japan!"

  • Price band: 1/4

Delve into the cultural traditions of Tokyo and explore two very different sides of the city when this interactive exhibit takes over the Children's Museum of Manhattan's lower-level gallery. Girst comes Kawaii Central, a bustling street in the Harajuku district, inviting little ones to sing karaoke, snap pics in a photo booth, serve up an imaginary Japanese meal and design cute mascots inspired by the kawaii style. After the colorful cityscape, seek solace in the Shinto shrine park, a beautiful natural area where they'll build bridges, crawl through a gorest, meet kami spirits and form dreams for the future at a wishing tree. Discover evern more about Japanese cuisine, art and national holidays via monthly family festivals supplementing the exhibit through May. All ages.

  1. Children's Museum of Manhattan 212 W 83rd St, between Amsterdam Ave and Broadway, 10024
  2. Tue Mar 3 - Sun May 17
More info

Hot Chocolate Festival

  • 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 café offers flavors like Sunken Treasure—an indulgent cup with submerged caramel coins and chocolate truffles—On a Peanut Butter Barge and Banana Peel, to name a few. Stop by any day of the week for the shop's delicious milk chocolate and dark chocolate varieties and snag a freshly baked snack while you're at it.

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

Family Workshop: Who Do You Love?

  • Price band: 1/4

Little ones can celebrate Valentine's Day at the Sony Wonder Technology Lab by letting their creativity flow. In this family workshop, they'll create unique valentines to deliver heartfelt messages of love. Reservations required. All ages.

  1. Sony Wonder Technology Lab 550 Madison Ave, Sony Plaza, at 56th St
  2. Sat Feb 14
More info

Dinosaur Encounter at the Staten Island Zoo

  • Price band: 1/4

If your kids are too young to see Jurassic Park, pay a visit to some friendlier prehistoric creatures instead at the Staten Island Zoo's "Dinosaur Encounter," Eight life-sized, robotic dinosaurs—on loan from Field Station: Dinosaurs—educate and entertain kids with growling sounds and movements generated by motion detectors. Dilophosaurus and Triceratops welcome you, and pet dinosaur puppets teach children about everything from the Mesozoic Era to extinction. The exhibit offers little ones the chance to see and even touch living relatives of the dinosaur, like emus, chickens and snakes. These friendly dinosaurs are only visiting for the winter so hightail it over the the heated tent they call home before they head back to New Jersey. Ages 3–10.

  1. Staten Island Zoo 614 Broadway, between Colonial Ct and Glenwood Pl
  2. Until Wed Apr 1
More info

Jack and the Beanstalk

  • Price band: 1/4

Help Jack find the Giant at this fresh re-telling of the classic English fairytale. The beloved adventure returns to the Swedish Cottage stage for the first time since 2008, bringing young audiences up a magical beanstalk in a 45-minute show with a revision of the original script and a live actor who will interact with the marionettes in fun new ways. Ages 3–9.

  1. Central Park Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre west side, at 79th St
  2. Tue Mar 3 - Sun Jun 28
More info

"Pixelated: Sum of Its Pieces"

Explore perception in the digital world at the Children's Museum of the Arts' new spring exhibition. "Pixelated: Sum of Its Pieces" is composed of works by various emerging and mid-career artists, including Omar Chacon, Christian Faur, Al Souza and Devorah Sperber. The works on view consider the intersection between art and technology; while some have been created using computers, others are handmade. Kids can let their imaginations guide them as they examine various pieces of art from different distances and viewpoints. Among the exhibit are paintings made with wax and bubble wrap, sculpture constructed with found objects and digital installations. Stop in for hands-on gallery workshops inspired by the exhibit including mega collages, found-object frames, rolled-paper mosaics and Minecraft masks, all led by one of the museum’s Teaching Artists. Ages 6 and up.

  1. Children's Museum of the Arts 103 Charlton St, between Greenwich and Hudson Sts, 10014
  2. Until Sun May 3
More info

Time Travel Through History

  • Price band: 2/4

Need to get the kids out of the house over winter break? During vacation weeks, the New York Historical Society offers a weekly camp to occupy kids from cabin fever. Kids will get to explore the historical society and time travel through history. The camp offers scavenger hunts, story time, and arts and crafts every day of the session so kids will have something different to look forward to everyday. Ages 4 and up.

  1. New York Historical Society New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, at Richard Gilder Way (77h Street), 10024
  2. Sun Feb 22
More info

Sony Wonder Technology Lab 2015 Children's Screenings

Beat the winter chill with a kid-friendly movie screening at the totally amazing (and totally free) Sony Wonder Technology Lab. In January, learn why preschool is cool in a Sesame Street episode about making friends (Jan 10), catch a double feature of The Wonder Pets (Jan 24) and sing along to Elmo The Musical (Jan 31). This February, the lineup includes offerings from Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. (Team Umizoomi on Feb 7, Ni Hao, Kai-Lan on Feb 19 and Go, Diego, Go! The Great Panda Adventure on Feb 21) and Sesame Street (Elmo Loves You on Feb 14 and Dinosaurs on Feb 28). Reservations are required and screenings are approximately 40 to 50 minutes.

  1. Sony Wonder Technology Lab 550 Madison Ave, Sony Plaza, at 56th St
  2. Sat Mar 7 - Sat Mar 28
More info

Everything About a Family (Almost)

  • Price band: 1/4

Audiences will love this unique musical with a script and music made almost entirely by kids. Watch the story of a little girl who doesn't feel like she belongs—She'll join another family reunion only to realize her own quirky family has been the one for her all along. All ages.

  1. TADA! Theater 15 W 28th St, between Fifth Ave and Broadway, second floor
  2. Until Sun Feb 15
More info

Robot Swarm

Kids will marvel at the Museum of Mathematics' futuristic new exhibit, featuring more than 20 small, light-up robots. The 'bots zoom across the floor, interacting with museum-goers and communicating with each other thanks to high-tech motion control and positioning systems. Families can learn all about the exciting field of swarm technology in robotics and explore the mathematical rules that make the robots work. All ages.

  1. Museum of Mathematics (MoMath) 11 E 26th St, between Fifth and Madison Aves, 10010
  2. Until Mon Dec 14
More info

"Sesame Street presents The Body Exhibit"

  • Price band: 1/4

Explore the way the body works with help from Elmo, Oscar and the rest of the Sesame Street crew. At Liberty Science Center's newest exhibition, kids get schooled by their favorite characters on how different body parts function and learn ways to stay healthy through fun, hands-on activities. The large, interactive exhibit takes youngsters through a re-creation of Sesame Street where they'll get a look inside Oscar's digestive system, pull the lever on a giant sneeze machine and shop for healthy food at Mr. Hooper's Store. Interactive video games, sign language challenges, shadow puppets, puzzles and more keep kids entertained and teach them a thing or two along the way. Little ones can even meet Elmo in person on select dates throughout the exhibition. Ages 2 to 8.

  1. Liberty Science Center 222 Jersey City Blvd, between Philip and Wilson Sts
  2. Tue Mar 3 - Sun May 3
More info

Family Art Labs

  • Price band: 1/4

Families get inspired by works of art in the museum, then try their hand at sculpture and painting. In January, families can make traditional Indian kites in celebration of Makar Sankranti festival. Families can see where Makar Sankranti is commonly celebrated and check out some artwork from Nepal and India. In February, families will explore images from photographer Marc Riboud's travels in Asia, then make their own pinhole cameras. Ages 5 and up.

  1. The Rubin Museum of Art 150 W 17th St, at Seventh Ave, 10011
  2. Sat Mar 14
More info

"The Butterfly Conservatory: Tropical Butterflies Alive in Winter"

  • Critics choice

It's a balmy 80 degrees in the museum's 1,200-square-foot vivarium, which holds up to 500 tropical lepidoptera. The free-flying butterflies often land on the shoulders of visitors, allowing tykes to come into direct contact with the ethereal creatures. All ages.

  1. American Museum of Natural History Central Park West, at 79th St, 10024
  2. Tue Mar 3 - Mon May 25
More info

Great Backyard Bird Count

  • Price band: 1/4

Half walk, half scavenger hunt, this 17th annual event brings children and adults together to tally up the red-tailed hawks, robins and pheasants that call the garden home. Ages 5 and up.

  1. Queens Botanical Garden 43-50 Main St, at Dahlia Ave
  2. Mon Feb 16
More info

Honey Bees: Home Is Where the Hive Is

  • Price band: 1/4

See what all the buzz is about at Liberty Science Center's new permanent exhibition exporing the role of honey bees in our ecosystem. Peek inside an observation hive indoors and explore two field hives on the outdoor deck to see how the busy bees convert nectar into honey, how their larvae grow and more. All ages.

  1. Liberty Science Center 222 Jersey City Blvd, between Philip and Wilson Sts
  2. Until Sat Feb 28
More info


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