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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

  • Free activities for kids over winter break in NYC 2012

    Needlecrafts

     

     

  • 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

New York Transit Museum's Holiday Train Show

Sunday, December 30

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 Jan 4
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 Jan 4
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. Sun Jan 4
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 Jan 4
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 Jan 4
More info

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