Young George Washington Presidents' Day
Photograph: Courtesy Oliver Strand

The best things to do with kids Presidents Day weekend in NYC

Presidents Day weekend for kids in NYC means an extra day of play

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Kids love an extra day off school, but we know that means you have to find more ways to entertain them! There are plenty of things to do with kids in NYC, so finding things to do for kids on Presidents Day weekend should be a breeze. You can tackle a museum or two, using the extra day as a chance to explore our nation's history. Or you can round up the crew and head to one of the best family attractions in NYC. If the weather is just right, get some fresh air with with some hiking, biking or a visit to one of NYC's best parks. The kids are sure to be hungry after all that activity, so take them out to a kid-friendly pizza place when they're done.

When is Presidents' Day?

Presidents' Day is Monday, February 20, 2023

Things to do with kids Presidents Day weekend

  • Museums
  • Art and design
  • Central Park
  • price 3 of 4

This encyclopedia of human civilization is one of the greatest museums in the world, a sprawling complex where the whole family could spend an entire day wandering the galleries and see only a fraction of what's on display. Head to the Egyptian wing to see the mummies and an intact temple, then go to the armory to see the knights, wander through a rebuilt Frank Lloyd Wright house, spend a moment in a Rennaissance library, marvel at the gold treasures of the Maya, walk around a marble portrait of Alexander the Great…and then see if you have time to go up to the second floor. Workshops for kids help introduce little ones to different kinds of art, plus the museum hosts family days throughout the year.

  • Museums
  • History
  • Central Park
  • price 1 of 4

The Jewish Museum was established in 1904 when Judge Mayer Sulzberger gave 26 ceremonial objects to the Jewish Theological Seiminary as the core of a museum collection. Since then, the museum's offerings have grown to offer more than 30,000 works of art, artifacts and media installations. The museums's location in the Warburg Mansion offers plenty of space for amazing things to see, plus activities for kids and families

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  • Museums
  • History
  • East Harlem
  • price 1 of 4

Located at the northern end of Museum Mile, this institution contains a wealth of city history and includes paintings, sculptures, photographs, military and naval uniforms, theater memorabilia, manuscripts, ship models and rare books. The extensive toy collection, full of New Yorkers’ playthings dating from the colonial era to the present, is especially well loved. Toy trains, lead soldiers and battered teddy bears share shelf space with exquisite bisque dolls (decked out in extravagant Parisian fashions) and lavishly appointed dolls’ houses. Don’t miss the amazing Stettheimer Dollhouse, created during the 1920s by Carrie Stettheimer, whose artist friends re-created their masterpieces in miniature to hang on the walls.

  • Museums
  • Science and technology
  • Upper West Side
  • price 2 of 4

Home to the largest and arguably most fabulous collection of dinosaur fossils in the world, AMNH’s fourth-floor dino halls have been blowing kids' minds for decades. Don't miss out on other great opportunities to see artifacts, models and casts from centuries past, including The Hall of Human Origins and the Hall of Ocean Life, which boasts the museum's iconic 100-foot-long model of a blue whale. You'll also want to explore the Rose Center for Earth & Space if you're into space-themed fun: Hayden Planetarium and Big Bang Theater host 3-D and IMAX screenings.

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  • Attractions
  • Monuments and memorials
  • Liberty Island
  • price 1 of 4
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended
The Statue of Liberty | Manhattan, NY
The Statue of Liberty | Manhattan, NY

The iconic American symbol, a gift from the French crafted by artist Frédéric Barthold, is one of the most iconic sculptures in the world. Recently, visiting Lady Liberty became that much more pleasant thanks to a new 26,000 square-foot museum. Kickstart your journey with a trip back in time inside the Immersive Theater where you can watch NYC's evolution, starting with the statue's arrival in the 1800s. Next, the Engagement Gallery allows little ones to size themselves up beside a life-size replica of Lady Liberty's foot and strike a pose at the Becoming Liberty Station. The Inspiration Gallery provides an up-close look at the historic statue's original torch, while Liberty Vista, a green roof directly above, boasts swoon-worthy views.

  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Central Park
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended

Comfy shoes? Check! Bags of energy? Check! These are two absolute essentials you'll need before exploring the sprawling 843 acres that make up Central Park. It's not even possible to do it all in a day, but you can darn well try. Take your pick of the activities on their website beforehand and set course for fun. We recomend beelining for the two 45-foot slides at the Billy Johnson Playground, Pilgrim Hill for the ultimate sledding in winter, and the outdoor movies and performances are just magical, so don't miss one if the timing is right.

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  • Museums
  • Military and maritime
  • Hell's Kitchen
  • price 3 of 4
Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

The highlight of the aircraft carrier-turned-science museum for the littlest ones is the Exploreum, an indoor activity zone where kids get to board small boats, learn why huge metal ships don't sink, wander around the living quarters of the Intrepid's former crew and try on astronaut gloves. Up on the flight deck, be sure to go into the Space Pavillion, where kids come face-to-face with the Enterprise, the first Space Shuttle to take to the air. As they tread up the elevated viewing platform to the shuttle’s nose, they’ll even catch a rare glimpse of an astronaut’s life—and just how confined their quarters are when they’re in orbit.

  • Attractions
  • Towers and viewpoints
  • Financial District
  • price 2 of 4

One World Observatory at World Trade Center lets visitors experience panoramic views of NYC from atop the tallest building in the United States. Kids will love arriving at their destination Jetsons-style via Sky Pod elevators (some of the fastest in the world) which lead to a two-minute video presentation of gorgeous city images on the 102nd floor. Check out City Pulse on the 100th floor, showing HD videos of notable NYC landmarks and neighborhoods, then daredevil kids (and parents) can brave the Sky Portal, where a 14-foot wide circular disc provides a view of real-time, high-definition footage of the streets below.

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  • Museums
  • Childhood
  • Upper West Side
  • price 1 of 4

Worried the Met or Guggenheim might be a wee bit too advanced for your pint-sized Picasso? Then let your kid’s creativity run wild in an institution strictly devoted to budding artists. The Children’s Museum of Manhattan houses five floors of fun for families, including interactive exhibits, workshop space and birthday party fun. Little patrons will learn about a wide variety of subjects, such as nutrition and dance, try their hand at craft projects, enjoy a fun storytime with friends and so much more.

  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Astoria

Taken over by Mark DiSuvero in 1986, this is one of the few locations in the city specifically designated for artists to create outdoor works. The splendid Queens space looks out over the Manhattan skyline and is open 365 days a year.

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  • Museums
  • Natural history
  • Prospect Park
  • price 2 of 4

Learn everything you’ve wanted to know about the borough and more at this Prospect Heights cultural hub. Peer into the windows of old farmhouses to see how the neighborhood’s people used to live, or creep up next to mummies and other ancient artifacts from a past Egyptian life. When little legs start to tire, take a cookie and coffee break by the Steinberg Family Sculpture Garden, then leave some time to peruse the goodies in the gift shop (a must for every museum visit).

  • Museums
  • Special interest
  • West Village

As the saying goes, "You have to see it to believe it." The now-permanent Museum of Illusions offers 70+ exhibits in science, tech, mathematics and other fields that will have patrons doing a double take. This sensory-driven experience allows visitors to take a look at unusual works, try their hand at games and puzzles and get to the bottom of the opitical illusions.

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