The best winter activities for kids in NYC
The most delightful winter activities for kids will have you singing "Let It Snow." Now is the time to conquer those steep sledding hills and lace up for ice skating in NYC. Sure the temperatures are wicked, but with the help of a warm winter coat and a mug of hot cocoa, you will be ready to tackle any adventure that awaits. Plus, there are plenty of indoor activities for kids worth exploring: from pop-ups to escape rooms to cooking classes and book clubs. (Whether you're staying in or going out, hot chocolate should be a requirement.) Don't forget to also check out our go-to Christmas events for kids like The Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Rockefeller Christmas tree lighting and so much more!
Brooklyn's new ice skating rink for kids is the perfect winter hangout
Brownstone Brooklyn's newest attraction is a win-win for kids and parents. While you're sipping a hot chocolate (perhaps with a shot of Bailey’s Irish Cream), your kiddos can whip around Court Street Tavern's debut ice skating rink. The newly opened Carroll Gardens restaurant has taken outdoor accommodations and upped the ante; while most eateries have opted for heated tents, this South Brooklyn spot has created its own destination for winter fun. Meet the Court Street Ice Rink. Photograph: Time Out / Danielle Valente Photograph: Time Out / Danielle Valente Photograph: Courtesy Emily Bartlett Perfect for ages 13 and under, the super-cute "glice" rink from Matt Shendell of Paige Concepts is open daily from 12:15–7:15pm for $25 per child (including skate rentals). Parents can make reservations on Resy for 45-minute sessions and walk-ins are welcome. For an additional $10, moms and dads can rent a skate aid seal—an adorable buddy looking to help your little skaters keep their balance. Note that lockers are not available, so be prepared to hang onto those winter boots. Plus, there's more good news. TVs are stationed right above the rink, so you can have your eyes on the game, your lil' winter Olympian and that tasty Hot Toddy. We told you this would be a win-win for everyone! Court Street Tavern is located at 449 Court St in Carroll Gardens. Most popular on Time Out - Awesome things NYC families can’t miss in 2021- New kids’ movies coming out in 2021 that you can’t miss- The best places for snow tubing near NYC- The best hot chocolate in NYC- January events calendar for kids in NYC Get us in your inbox! Sign up to our newsletter for the latest and greatest from NYC and beyond.
January events calendar for kids in NYC
We're all looking forward to a fresh start after the tumultuous 2020. Fortunately, our January events calendar for kids and families in NYC is the perfect way to start the new year. We have a slew of fun offerings: online classes for kids from your go-to family attractions (think the Museum of Natural History and the 92nd Street Y). Plus, you have a little bit of time to catch up on any Christmas events you might've missed. (It's always the perfect time for a light show!) RECOMMENDED: NYC events calendar for kids Whether you're looking for something virtually or in-person, we'll guide you toward the best—and safest—activities. We wish you and yours all good things for the new year ahead!
NYC's new toy store is the perfect place for creative kids
Winter is coming and you'll likely need a project or two (maybe even 30) for the kiddos. Fortunately, Clixo has hit the scene and will help keep curious minds engaged when boredom creeps in. This newly-opened toy store in Clinton Hill will wow kids—and adults—with the origami-block hybrid on its shelves. Clixo functions as both a shop and a design space, providing visitors an interactive experience. And trust us, the creative potential with these colorful gadgets—perfect for ages 4 and up—is endless. Courtesy: Eilon Paz(C) Eilon Paz | eilonpaz.com "Throughout my career, I was always fascinated by the way kids think and how agile and flexible their minds are," says Toyish Labs CEO and creator of Clixo, Assaf Eshet. "I was really inspired to give them—and even us as adults—tools to channel this creativity, not in a forced way. My intention is to experiment and keep creating without self-judgement." Courtesy: Clixo + Toyish Labs Stacking and restructuring are all part of the process that will lead children toward an inventive masterpiece. They can let their imaginations run wild while in the store, taking classes or building at home. (For those who are wondering: New safety protocols are in place, including reduced capacity, tracing waivers, mask requirements, sanitizing play stations and so on.) Clixo is even working with early childhood educators to incorporate their products into math and art lessons for children in elementary school. "First of all, just have fun, be inspired, smile and enjoy creating with your parents." Eshet says. Stop by your new favorite New York toy store and pick up a few goodies (packages start at $29.99). We'll see you there! Clixo is located at 109 Gates Ave in Brooklyn. Be sure to explore local book shops and clothing stores for kids while you're out! Most popular on Time Out - The best fall activities for kids in NYC- Skate reservations opened for Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park- New York Botanical Garden will ring in the holidays with a new light experience- NYC DOE reveals a new grading system for the 2020-2021 school year- Macy’s Santaland is making some changes for its 2020 celebration Get us in your inbox! Sign up to our newsletter for the latest and greatest from NYC and beyond.
'Celestial' at ARTECHOUSE
Pantone's Color of the Year (Classic Blue) is at the center of ARTECHOUSE's latest multimedia exhibit—"Celestial." Visitors to the underground attraction will be taken on a "journey beyond the skies." Classic Blue, according to Pantone, brings a sense of peace and tranquility to the human spirit, offering refuge. The new installation aim to do the same through sights, sounds and sensations. “During these unprecedented times as a society we have found ourselves in a new state of existence. Before 2020 even began, Pantone selected Classic Blue as the color of the year because they saw it as the hue to sustain us during a time of change,” said Sandro Keserelidze, co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of ARTECHOUSE. “2020 ended up bringing changes no one expected, making the hue of Classic Blue, and the qualities it represents, more relatable now than ever before. We couldn’t think of a more timeless and timely theme to end the year and launch a new chapter of experiences.”
Things to do outdoors
All the best sledding hills in NYC
You know what to do when a blizzard comes our way and schools are closed: Head for the hills! By that we mean the best sledding hills in NYC of course—sledding is one of our favorite winter activities for kids, so grab a warm coat and a pair of the best winter boots for kids, and prepare for an epic day in the snow. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to outdoor activities for kids in NYC We mapped out all of our go-to hills for sledding in NYC. What's on your list? Central Park? Van Cortlandt Park? Prospect Park? Options abound when planning an epic snow day. Once the sun starts to go down in the early afternoon and you're ready to pack it in why not head out for some of the best hot chocolate in NYC for kids and grownups? Winter can be so much fun. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park
Winter Village is on its way to Bryant Park! Every year, the midtown green space transforms into a holiday wonderland, complete with shops, sweets, ice skating, a Christmas tree and more. Things will look a little different in 2020: The event will be spaced out appropriately, everything will take place outdoors and timed skating sessions will be required. (Tickets open at the end of October.) Visit the Bryant Park website for more details. All ages.
This Google doc shows all NYC restaurants with heaters
With outdoor dining a permanent fixture across the five boroughs these days, one of the most common questions New Yorkers have found themselves asking is: Where can I eat or drink outside without freezing my ass off? Restaurants with heaters? Bars with heaters? For you dear reader, we’ve started a Google doc with more than 100 restaurants and bars with outdoor dining setups that will keep you warm. Find the running list here—or check it out below—which we’ll be updating regularly. It’s like the chain letter we all need this year (email us at email@example.com for all the spots we’ve still yet to add.) The list is divided by boroughs and each restaurant or bar is hyperlinked where possible so you can find out more because like everything else in 2020, things are constantly changing. But once you’ve found a spot to hang out (don’t be surprised if the restaurant throws in a blanket or foot warmers), enjoy yourself—and remember to wear a mask when you’re not eating or drinking and of course, tip well. Looking for more options? Here’s everything you need to know about outdoor dining in NYC. Most popular on Time Out - The most haunted places in NYC- The 101 best sex scenes of all time- A former Eleven Madison Park chef opens an underground fried chicken restaurant- Here’s how to track your mail-in ballot this year in NYC- The best Halloween events in NYC for 2020 Want to know what’s cool in the city before your friends do? Sign up to our newsletter for the latest and greatest from NYC and beyond.
The best places for snow tubing near NYC
Update: New rules and regulations are likely in place. Some locations might require advanced reservations. Always call ahead before making a trip. Planning a few winter weekend getaways? Make sure snow tubing is on the family to-do list. Bundle up and get ready to slide down lengthy lanes of snow—you'll feel like you're gliding! It's the perfect outdoor activity for all ages and it'll get everyone's adrenaline going. Even better? Most spots have snack areas where you can refuel afterwards with a delightful cup of hot chocolate. Be sure to check out our other favorite winter activities for kids, too. (If we are blessed with snow in NYC, these sledding hills are a must-visit.)
Free and cheap things to do
Free activities for families in NYC
NYC might be famous for its sticker shock (that upgraded soft-serve costs how much?), but this is also a city that knows the best things in life are free. Here are places and activities that will entertain the crew—and that let you keep your credit card in your pocket.
Time Out New York Kids + New York Public Library daily storytimes
Are your little ones missing their favorite reading circle? Don’t worry, Mom and Dad: We have the perfect solution! Time Out is partnering with the New York Public Library to present digital storytimes for pint-sized bookworms. Beginning August 10, families can tune in Monday through Friday at 10am—right here—for a remote read-aloud. Curious about the lineup? The Time Out New York Kids newsletter will reveal forthcoming story time schedules on Fridays, so sign up today! Things might be confusing right now—especially to little New Yorkers—but the NYPL and Time Out are here to ensure your family can experience the best of the city, even while you’re at home. THIS WEEK: Catch a special reading on Tuesday, Aug 18 with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment with her picture book, Bold & Brave: Ten Heroes Who Won Women the Right to Vote. Don't forget to visit the library's website and check out its great activities for kids, too! Monday, August 17 Kristy Raffensberger from Hudson Park Library in Manhattan John Coltrane's Giant Steps by Chris Raschk and What! Cried Granny: An Almost Bedtime Story by Kate Lum Tuesday, August 18 Jennie Mayfield from Parkchester Library in the BronxRuby Gets Crafty by Rosemary Wells Wednesday, August 19 Mleeka Khan from Dongan Hills in Staten IslandThe Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle and Bark, George by Jules FeifferThursday, August 20 Michael Kirby from Van Nest Library in the BronxAccordionly: Abuelo and Opa Make Music by Michael Genhart and Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed by Eileen ChristelowFriday, August 21 Krystina Humbert from Mariners Harbor Library in Staten Island Monkey and Me by Emily Gravett and Get Out of My Bath! by Britta Teckentrup Monday, August 10: Nobuko Wilson from St. George Library in Staten IslandPapa, Please Get the Moon for Me by Eric Carle and Ten in the Bed by Jane Cabrera Tuesday, August 11: Kelly Smith from Woodstock Library in the BronxBilly Bloo is Stuck in Goo by Jennifer Hamburg Wednesday, August 12: Lauren Wrenn from Melrose Library in the BronxFeast for 10 by Cathryn Falwell and How About a Night Out by Sam Williams Thursday, August 13: Sarah West from St. Agnes Library in ManhattanKitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes and The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli Friday, August 14: Olisha James from Stapleton Library in Staten IslandA Perfectly Messed-Up Story by Patrick McDonnel and We Are in a Book! by Mo Willems Be sure to explore our favorite summer activities for kids while you're at it! After all, a visit to the beach or park isn't complete without a good book.
The best hot chocolate in NYC
When the temperature dips, we can't help but search for a cup of the best hot chocolate in NYC. Whether we're off to fun Christmas events or just staying in with a few good family movies, delicious cocoa in the winter is a necessity—much like a big helping (or two) of whipped cream. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Christmas for kids in NYC Instagrammable dessert spots like Max Brenner are famous for their renditions of the winter drink of choice while shops like Dylan's Candy Bar offer kits that allow you to bring the sweetness home. While you're out and about, be sure to check out fun ice skating spots and peruse our December events calendar for fun, socially distanced seasonal events.
You can once again get into these 25 NYC attractions for free with Culture Pass
A library card goes a long way in New York City. Today, the New York Public Library, Queens Public Library and Brooklyn Public Library announced that Culture Pass will resume for 25 attractions—with limited capacity—on Nov 1. This program provides New Yorkers with library cards free access to their favorite family attractions. The 25 institutions participating: Alice Austen House Museum American Museum of Natural History Asia Society Museum Brooklyn Museum The Drawing Center Dyckman Farmhouse Museum Fraunces Tavern Museum International Studio & Curatorial Program The Jewish Museum King Manor Museum Kingsland Homestead The Metropolitan Museum of Art Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) MoMA PS1 Morris-Jumel Mansion Museum of Arts and Design Museum of the City of New York National Lighthouse Museum New Museum New York Botanical Garden The Noble Maritime Collection The Noguchi Museum Poster House The Rubin Museum of Art SculptureCenter How to snag a freebie: Beginning Nov 1, in-person passes can be reserved up to one month in advance on culturepass.nyc. (Learn more about Culture Pass rules.) More good news: Additionally, Culture Pass is rebroadcasting virtual arts and cultural programs for all ages from NYC's favorite institutions through Nov 21. Besides mapping out your Culture Pass plans, be sure to check out the best new and upcoming exhibits at our go-to kids' museums, sit in for virtual storytimes from the New York Public Library every Monday through Friday and see what else is happening on NYC's fall calendar. For all-things Culture Pass, visit the program's website. Most popular on Time Out - NYC schools closed: a running list of building shutdowns- NYC schools have cancelled snow days for the 2020–2021 term- The best apple picking NY kids and families love- The best spots for pumpkin picking NY families love- The best Halloween movies for kids of all ages Get us in your inbox! Sign up to our newsletter for the latest and greatest from NYC and beyond.
The best kids' library branches in NYC
When you venture to the best kids' library branches in NYC, your pint-sized bibliophiles are bound to get lost in the stacks. Options abound for curious little ones, whether they're searching for kids' books about NYC or hoping to get involved in the library's coolest free classes for kids. Make a pitstop at each venue's children's room, sit in for a fun storytime and don't forget to go home with a bestseller or two! (Our favorite children's books are sure to inspire a swipe of your library card.) Great libraries for kids are waiting for your family's arrival! Find your nearest location, grab a tote and prepare for an afternoon fit for a wordsmith.
The best puppet theaters in NYC that kids will love
The NYC theater scene is alive and well...but that doesn't necessarily mean everyone on stage has to be an actor. In fact, for the city's younger fan base, puppets are preferred, and thanks to these puppet theaters, we can't blame the kiddos. These NYC venues make perfect outings for families in search of a show with style. From classics to the avant garde, NYC puppet shows have a little bit of everything. RECOMMENDED: Best indoor activities for kids Looking for more fun on stage? Check out these Broadway shows for kids, Off-Broadway shows for kids and finish up your show with a bite to eat at one of these fun restaurants.
The best spots for ice skating NYC kids and families love
Lace up for the best ice skating NYC has on its roster. Classic options (such as Rockefeller Center) are just as thrilling as newcomers like the rink at Industry City. After gaining the necessary stamina with a cup of the best hot chocolate in NYC, it's time to hit the ice with your crew! All ages and skill levels are welcome to give the winter sport a whirl. (We recommend these ice skating lessons for kids to get your little ones comfortable.) RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Christmas for kids in New York After a few loops around, we think you should top off your winter adventure with a trip to our favorite holiday markets in NYC and holiday train shows. 'Tis the season, after all! For those who can't get enough, make sure to sign up for bumper cars on ice! The theme park-inspired activity is available at Bryant Park and Aviator Sports!
The best kids' museums in NYC
Visit the best kids museums in NYC and you'll get a lot of "wow," and "cool," and "aww!" What you won't hear? "I'm bored." That's because the best children's museums in NYC are as entertaining as they are educational—your kids will have so much fun they won't even know they're learning. The 13 best museums for kids in NYC–okay, 12 plus the Bronx Children's Museum, which will open later this year–are some of the family attractions that make this city so awesome. Going to a children's museum in NYC is one of our favorite things to do with kids in NYC! When you're ready to extend your experience, consider taking part in one of the amazing museum sleepovers in NYC. Just imagine: You can spend the night on the Intrepid aircraft carrier, or have your very own Night at the Museum of Natural History—without the dinosaures waking up, thank you very much.
The best family restaurants you and your kids will love
UPDATE: Events, venues, shops and restaurants in NYC have been cancelled or closed due to coronavirus. Some offerings here might be affected—if you're unsure, please call to confirm. If you're looking for the best family restaurants in NYC, we have the definitive list for you. We mix the best of the newest restaurants that make this city's scene so exciting with the classics every New Yorker should visit, plus restaurants with play areas and other fun restaurants in NYC in all five boroughs. Little New Yorkers want more than just chicken fingers and hot dogs (not that there's anything wrong with those), and we include the dim sum palaces, udon counters, and taco joints that make local kids flip out. Our list of kid-friendly restaurants in NYC even includes some low-key kid-friendly bars and beer gardens (JG Melon, Greenwood Park, Berg'n, Donovan's and Harlem Tavern, among others) for those late afternoons when you just want to grab a beer with your friends. Most importantly, we only include restaurants that welcome children and families—there's no side-eye if you show up with a stroller. Many of the spots on our list have comfortable booth seating, easy take-out options, booster seats, impressive kid's menus and other amenities to make your lives easier. Happy feasting!