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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

    New York Transit Museum's Holiday Train Show

  • Free activities for kids over winter break in NYC 2012

    City Harvest Gingerbread Extravaganza

  • Courtesy Queens County Farm Museum

    Free activities for kids over winter break in NYC 2012

    Holiday Open House

     

     

  • Free activities for kids over winter break in NYC 2012

    30th Annual Wreath Exhibition

  • Photograph: Don Pollard

    Free activities for kids over winter break in NYC 2012

    200 Years of Grimm

  • Photograph courtesy of the JCC

    Free activities for kids over winter break in NYC 2012

    "NYChildren"

  • Free activities for kids over winter break in NYC 2012

    Tech for Tots: Digital Storytelling

  • Free activities for kids over winter break in NYC 2012

    Needlecrafts

     

     

  • Free activities for kids over winter break in NYC 2012

    Matter of Fact

Free activities for kids over winter break in NYC 2012

New York Transit Museum's Holiday Train Show

Thursday, December 27

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. Thu Jan 1
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. Thu Jan 1
More info

Holiday Open House

  • Free

Just because they live in the city doesn't mean your kids can't enjoy a country Christmas. Today, children tour a seasonally decorated farmhouse, sip warm cider and craft a holiday-themed masterpiece. All ages.

  1. Queens County Farm Museum 73-50 Little Neck Pkwy, between 73rd Rd and 74th Ave
  2. Thu Jan 1
More info

30th Annual Wreath Exhibition

  • Critics choice
  • Free

This multifaceted display of door hangings features 43 unconventional wreaths—the creations of fine artists, metal workers, horticulturalists, designers and more—representing themes that range from simplistic (nature) to specific (the recent impact of Hurricane Sandy). Expect to see the likes of pistachio shells, bicycle tubes and even Chinese takeout containers as you make your way through this innovative display of holiday cheer. All ages.

  1. Arsenal Gallery in Central Park 830 Fifth Ave, at 64th St, third floor
  2. Thu Jan 1
More info

200 Years of Grimm

  • Free

Celebrate the bicentennial anniversary of the first publication of the Brothers Grimm fairytales. Local favorites LuAnn Adams, Robin Bady and Julia Morris will read the classic tale of Little Red and other Grimm favorites. Ages 6 and up.

"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. Thu Jan 1
More info

Tech for Tots: Digital Storytelling

  • Free

Little book worms can participate in an interactive story time using Sony Tablets. Reservations are required. Ages 4 to 6.

  1. Sony Wonder Technology Lab 550 Madison Ave, Sony Plaza, at 56th St
  2. Sat Mar 16
More info

Needlecrafts

  • Free

Today's city kids havethe luxury of playing video games and watching television in a heated apartment while the weather outside is oh-so-frightful. Switch things up and brave the chilly air to pass time the old-fashioned way at Lefferts House, where kids can busy themselves with needlepoint crafts or dip a quill into ink and jot down a New Year's resolution or two. Ages 5 to 12.

  1. Lefferts Historic House Museum 95 Prospect Park West, at Flatbush Ave
  2. Thu Jan 1
More info

Matter of Fact

  • Free

Future chemists can get a head start with a hands-on lesson about the elements that make up the universe. Kids will construct a molecule, learn the difference between physical and chemical changes, and turn a nickel into gold—well, almost! Participation is limited to 20 children. Reserve your spot at the first floor librarian's desk a half hour before the event. Ages 5 to 12.

  1. Queens Library, Central Library 89-11 Merrick Blvd, between 89th and 90th Aves
  2. Until Thu Dec 27
More info

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