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The best things to do with kids in NYC this week

Look no further for the best things to do with kids in NYC this week including festivals, museum exhibits and more

Photograph: Courtesy Children's Museum of Manhattan

Celebrate the best things to do with kids in NYC this week! There's so much going on, and you're going to regret it if you miss out. You'll find family fun on the best NYC playgrounds, cool local carousels, neat family attractions and even exciting free activities for kids.

For more things to do, check out our favorite 101 things to do with kids in New York City.

Best things to do with kids in NYC Dec 5–9


Rawther Fancy Tea with Santa

Little ones should don their best tea-time garb for this stylish holiday event at the Eloise at The Plaza shop. They'll sip lemonade and holiday teas, munch on fresh fruit kabobs and assorted mini sandwiches, and sample sweet treats for dessert. After the kiddies fill their bellies, they can gather ‘round to hear a cozy Christmas story and take pictures with Santa, for a holiday experience they’re sure to remember. Reservations required. All ages.

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The Plaza , Midtown West Wednesday December 14 2016 - Wednesday December 21 2016

Christmas Lights Tour


There is no more wonderful a place in all five boroughs to incite the holiday spirit than in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, where you’ll find some of the most over-the-top Christmas light displays in the country. Having been featured in specials on both PBS and TLC, this neighborhood—which has truly earned the nickname Dyker Lights—attracts over 100,000 people every year, for their spectacle of decorations that you really must see to believe. One way to enjoy the spectacle is a three-and-a-half-hour (heated!) bus tour, held annually by A Slice of Brooklyn, which departs and returns in a convenient Union Square location. Alternatively, you can skip the bus altogether, bundle up and make a walking trip of it–word is the best displays are from 11th Avenue to 13th Avenue and from 83rd to 86th Street. Leaves from Union Square. All ages.

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Union Square , Union Square Until Friday December 30 2016

The Yorkville Nutcracker

Choreographed by Francis Patrelle, the troupe's annual production is a ballet infused with a cursory lesson in New York history. Set in 1895, the action takes place in Manhattan, with stops at Gracie Mansion and Central Park, and at the New York Botanical Garden's version of the Crystal Palace, in the Bronx. This year's show features New York City Ballet Principal Dancers Abi Stafford (as the Sugar Plum) and Adrian Danchig-Waring (as the Cavalier). Ages 8 and up.

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Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College , Lenox Hill Until Sunday December 11 2016

Shababa Fridays

You and your littlest tot can spend a relaxing Friday morning celebrating Shabbat through songs and stories while enjoying challah and snacks. Ages newborn to 3 years.  

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92nd Street Y , Upper East Side Friday December 9 2016 - Friday December 30 2016

"I Approve This Message"

Just in time for this year's election, the Children's Museum of Manhattan opens a new exhibit featuring presidential penmanship. In addition to seeing artifacts like Richard Nixon's resignation letter, a two-page legal document handwritten by Abraham Lincoln and checks signed by Harry Truman, Calvin Coolidge and Theodore Roosevelt in a 40-foot display, kiddos can practice their own signatures and participate in fun educational activities like mock elections. All ages.

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Children's Museum of Manhattan , Upper West Side Until Saturday December 31 2016

The Charlie Brown Christmas

Pig Brooch Theatre Company pays homage to the holiday favorite by performing verbatim the television special A Charlie Brown Christmas. The show is accompanied by a jazz trio belting out all of the Vince Guaraldi favorites, while the actors have been trained to match the exact voices and physicality of the cartoon characters. This play is a gentle reminder of what the holidays signify as the Peanuts crew shows Charlie Brown what Christmas is all about. All ages.

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ShapeShifter Lab , Gowanus Friday December 9 2016 - Sunday December 11 2016

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical

See the classic 1964 stop-motion tale of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer brought to life before your eyes in this special musical production. The show features beloved characters—Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice and Yukon Cornelius—whom Rudolph befriends along his journey after an epic snowstorm threatens Christmas. The production touts improved sets and intricate scenic designs including new “flying” elements, plus iconic songs that will have audiences dancing in their seats, such as “Fame and Fortune” and “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.” All ages.

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Theater at Madison Square Garden , Midtown West Until Sunday December 18 2016

Hanna and the Moonlit Dress

The interactive musical is based on Izhak Scheiger-Dmi’el’s tale about a girl who helps a coal miner, but winds up with black spots all over her new white dress. Hanna and her friends go in search of the moon in the hopes of finding an answer for her woes and learns about the magic behind doing good deeds. Children in the audience will join in on the adventure by creating paper masks, costumes, and set pieces with the actors. Ages 2-8.

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14th Street Y , East Village Friday December 9 2016 - Sunday December 18 2016
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