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Best Hanukkah events for kids in NYC

Teach your kids about the meaning behind the holiday at these exciting Hanukkah events for kids in New York City

Photograph courtesy of the JCC
Chanukah Pop-Up Party at the JCC

Your family has eight nights of celebrations coming up, but don't forget to supplement your at-home festivities with Hanukkah events for kids throughout the city! These exciting celebrations, crafts and even a giant menorah lighting will get you and your children in the spirit of the holiday.

RECOMMENDED: Hanukkah for kids in NYC

Keep busy with other fun stuff like our favorite winter activities for kids, great winter weekend getaways from NYC and fun snow tubing near NYC.

Hanukkah events for kids

Hanukkah Family Day

Make menorahs from funky found objects, and enjoy a family- friendly show by ShirLaLa,
who uses a unique approach to Jewish education through music, storytelling, imaginative play and spirituality. Jeff Hopkins returns this year to tell tales using live drawing, animation and narration. Before leaving, check out the museum’s collection of Hanukkah lamps. Ages 3 and up.

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Until Sun Dec 18

World's Largest Menorah Lighting

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This 32-foot menorah requires a crane to light its eight oil lamps, which makes for a monumental Hanukkah spectacle. Throughout the holiday, catch a nightly menorah lighting beginning at 5:30pm, with the exception of Friday's, which will be at 3:30pm and Saturday's, which is at 8:00pm in accordance with Jewish tradition. Follow up the gathering with a stroll through the Columbus Circle holiday market or a carriage ride around Central Park—hey, it's the holidays! Fifth Avenue at 59th St (across the street from The Plaza Hotel). All ages.

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Until Sat Dec 31

Hanukkah Family Day at Museum of the City of New York

Learn about Jewish culture from the Museum of the City of New York's collections, then try a traditional snack and build your very own menorah just in time to light the first candle that evening! This event is free to attend with the purchase of museum admission. All ages.

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24 Dec 2016
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Eight Nights, Eight Lights: Hanukkah Calendar

Need a place to store your Hanukkah treasures? You've come to the right place. At this CMOM craft workship, kids and parents can work together to design and create a banner with pockets! Sign up in the lobby one hour before the event to reserve your spot. Ages 6 and up.

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Until Thu Dec 29

Chanukah Festival

Known for their long history of providing family-friendly events and programming, the 92nd Street Y continues their tradition of throwing a fun-filled Chanukah festival this year. The day’s schedule of events is full of crafts, music, and games. The day will start off with holiday songs sung in English and Hebrew, followed by a “Miracle of Light” holiday show. Stick around for Jewish Drum Tales at 1pm to hear “The Delightful Story of Chanukah.” Throughout the day, little artists will learn to make their own snowflakes, dreidels, menorahs, holiday cards and much more. All ages.

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Until Sun Dec 18

Film Forum Jr.

Your kids may never tire of watching Frozen, but they'll be exposed to plenty of family-friendly classics as well, thanks to this weekly film series. On Sundays, the downtown theater hosts a matinee screening of a bona fide family favorites. This season kicks off with a viewing of An American Tail, a musical about a Jewish immigrant mouse Fievel (Dec 18), Gene Kelly’s classic Singing’ in the Rain (Dec 25) shown in 4K restoration, and silent comedy masterpiece Steamboat Bill, Jr. (Jan 1). Other top-notch picks include Jailhouse Rock (Jan 8), Cover Girl (Jan 15), The Invisible Man (Jan 22), Abbott & Costello Meet The Invisible Man (Jan 29), Time Bandits (Feb 5), It Happened One Night (Feb 12), Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines (Feb 19), Lassie Come Home (Feb 26), Planet of the Apes (Mar 5), Lili (Mar 12), and The Witches (Mar 19). All ages.

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Until Sun Mar 19
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Oran Etkin: Family Concert

Join in for cool jazz, African music and klezmer with Oran Etkin, who's the king of blending global sounds into kid-friendly goodness. The event celebrates Hanukkah with tunes from Etkin's albums Wake Up Clarinet! and Gathering Light. Ages 2–7.

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25 Dec 2016

Picture This!

The Jewish Museum kicks off a new monthly family program featuring hands-on art projects and storybook readings, all inspired by the museum's contents. Each program concludes with a live performance: FunkyMonkeys (Sep 25), Josh & the Jamtones (Oct 9), Alex & the Kaleidoscope (Nov 20) and Oran Etkin (Dec 25). Buy a series package for all four dates at thejewishmuseum.org. Ages 4 to 10.

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25 Dec 2016

Archaeology Mondays

Get out your shovels! The Jewish Museum is hosting a simulated archaeological dig each third Monday of the month. Kids will get to dig for ancient or modern artifacts and learn about how these objects change over time. Each month will focus on a specific artifact and after searching for these treasures, participants will examine and sketch the object. Every kid will receive an archaeologist’s passport which they will use to collect stamps during each hunt they attend. After earning three stamps, they’ll receive a prize! Ages 3 to 10.

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26 Dec 2016
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