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Free activities for kids over winter break in NYC 2012

With our guide to free activities for kids over winter break, your brood can have fun without spending a dime.

  • Free activities for kids over winter break in NYC 2012

    Brooklyn Craft Central Holiday Market

     

  • Free activities for kids over winter break in NYC 2012

    Handiwork: Tasks and Crafts from the Past

  • Photograph: Carlos Detres

    Free activities for kids over winter break in NYC 2012

    The Mistletones

     

  • Free activities for kids over winter break in NYC 2012

    New York Transit Museum's Holiday Train Show

  • Free activities for kids over winter break in NYC 2012

    City Harvest Gingerbread Extravaganza

  • Free activities for kids over winter break in NYC 2012

    "NYChildren"

     

  • Photograph: Don Riepe/American Littoral Society

    Free activities for kids over winter break in NYC 2012

    Be a Bird Detective

Free activities for kids over winter break in NYC 2012

Brooklyn Craft Central Holiday Market

 

Sunday, December 23

Brooklyn Craft Central's Fifth Annual Holiday Market

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Need to grab some last-minute gifts? Stop by Brooklyn Craft Central's Holiday Market to pick up handmade goodies like the cuddly stuffed animals from Sweatertoys or the stunning illustrations from Hans-My-Hedgehog. Enjoy some tasty snacks from food vendors as you wander the shops. If you like what you see the first time around, be sure to drop in again: The fair’s second weekend features a whole new crop of vendors. All ages.

  1. Littlefield 622 DeGraw St, between Third and Fourth Aves
  2. Sun Dec 28
More info

Handiwork: Tasks and Crafts from the Past

  • Free

Take a pretend trip to 19th-century Brooklyn, as kids enjoy old-time games and arts-and-crafts projects such as building and decorating whirligigs. Ages 6 to 16.

  1. Lefferts Historic House Museum 95 Prospect Park West, at Flatbush Ave
  2. Sun Dec 28
More info

The Mistletones

  • Free

What better way to get the little ones in the holiday spirit than to listen to "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and "Frosty the Snowman" in front of the Seaport's big tree? Known as the The Mistletones, this alternative caroling group prides themselves on their hipster-chic fashion sense and expertly sung a capella. All ages.

  1. South Street Seaport 19 Fulton St, at Front St
  2. Sun Dec 28
More info

New York Transit Museum's Holiday Train Show

  • Critics choice
  • Free

The iconic Grand Central Terminal turns 100 in 2013—and the railroad hub is kicking off the centennial celebration with its annual train show. Even your littlest tyke will feel like a giant while wandering around the 34-foot-long display, festooned with miniature versions of city landmarks like the Brooklyn Bridge, the Empire State Building and, of course, Grand Central. Watch as Lionel model trains travel over the river (the East River, to be exact) and through the woods to reach their final destination, the north pole. Free. All ages.

  1. New York Transit Museum Gallery Annex Grand Central Terminal, E 42nd St, between Lexington and Vanderbilt Aves
  2. Sun Dec 28
More info

City Harvest Gingerbread Extravaganza

  • Free

You may not be allowed to nibble on the confectionary edifices featured in Le Parker Meridien's third annual gingerbread-house exhibition, but you can gawk at the sugary sculptures, created by local culinary kings. This year's theme is "Landmarks Around the World," so expect to see recognizable buildings and sights in gingerbread form. For just a buck (which will be donated to City Harvest, an organization that helps feed people who are homeless), you can vote for your favorite and automatically be entered to win a five-night stay at the Parker Palm Springs. Hey, this is the season when wishes can come true! All ages.

  1. Le Parker Meridien 119 W 56th St, between Sixth and Seventh Aves
  2. Sun Dec 28
More info

"NYChildren"

  • Free

In 2003, while filling up at a gas station in Arizona, photographer Danny Goldfield met a Sikh man whose brothers had been victims of hate crimes. The man's mission to make the world a safer, more understanding place inspired Goldfield to embark on his own quest to foster more inclusive communities. He then set out to photograph one child from every country in the world, with the caveat that each child had to be living in New York City. Nearly a decade later, the artist's exhibit of 169 portraits is still growing—but the poignant collection of portraits already reflects the universality of childhood and captures the city's multinational character while envisioning a more harmonious future. All ages.

  1. JCC in Manhattan 334 Amsterdam Ave, at 76th St
  2. Sun Dec 28
More info

Be a Bird Detective

  • Free

Become an expert bird-watcher at this program, where kids can discover the many species of birds that live in the Jamaica Bay area, armed with a pair of binoculars and a bird detective checklist. Free. All ages.

  1. Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Crossbay Blvd, at Broad Channel
  2. Sun Dec 28
More info

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