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Holiday Preview: 25 great holiday activities for kids

Mark these winning holiday activities for kids, from Broadway shows to tree lightings, on your family's calendar.

  • Photograph: Denis Finnin

    Holiday activities for kids

    AMNH's Origami Holiday Tree

  • Photograph: Elena Olivo

    Holiday activities for kids

    Winter's Eve

  • Photograph: Ellen Palm

    Holiday activities for kids

    Beastly Breakfast with Santa at the Staten Island Zoo



  • Photograph: Carol Rosegg

    Holiday activities for kids

    A Christmas Story, The Musical on Broadway

  • Photograph: Cinzia Reale-Castell

    Holiday activities for kids

    "Harry Potter: The Exhibition" at Discovery Times Square

Photograph: Denis Finnin

Holiday activities for kids

AMNH's Origami Holiday Tree

AMNH Origami Tree

View the American Museum of Natural History's Origami Holiday Tree

More than 500 folded-paper decorations adorn the museum’s 13-foot-tree. This year’s theme is “Museum’s Collections”: The origami creations celebrate current exhibitions like “Spiders Alive!” and “Creatures of Light: Nature’s Bioluminescence,” as well as upcoming shows like “Whales: Giants of the Deep.” Volunteers started folding the paper sculptures in July to prepare for the November debut, and they’ll offer origami lessons to museum visitors throughout the holidays. All ages.

  1. American Museum of Natural History
  2. Mon Nov 19 - Sun Jan 6

Watch a tree lighting at Winter's Eve

  • Critics choice
  • Free

The festive UWS block party kicks off with a neighborhood tree lighting (5pm) and performances by Suzanne Vega, the cast of Avenue Q, Laurie Berkner and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus in Dante Park, at Broadway and 63rd Street, and continues along Broadway from Columbus Circle to West 68th Street. The Dirty Sock Funtime Band will also perform two shows at the American Bible Society (6, 7pm).As your family ambles along the route, you’ll find yummy grub from area restaurants and sidewalks full of street musicians, jugglers, stilt walkers and more. Bring a gently used coat to Dante Park at 63rd Street for the New York Cares Coat Drive; your kids will feel proud to be helping out. All ages.


Sign up for a Beastly Breakfast with Santa

Start your morning by sharing a little holiday cheer with the zoo's inhabitants. Pose for a photo with Santa, then take a guided tour of the grounds. Preregistration required. All ages.

  1. Staten Island Zoo 614 Broadway, between Clove Rd and Forest Ave
  2. Until Sat Dec 15
More info

Travel to Hogwarts and beyond at "Harry Potter: The Exhibiton"

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

After a successful run at Discovery Times Square last spring, "Harry Potter: The Exhibition" is returning to the midtown space. Fans of J.K. Rowling's fantasy series will revel in the magical world, viewing displays inspired by the films sets, plus more than 200 models, costumes and props from the movies. The exhibit, which will be updated to include artifacts from the final HP film (a Deathly Hallows display case, a silicon model of Voldemort's snake), will also sport holiday decor. All ages.

  1. Discovery Times Square 226 W 44th St, between Seventh and Eighth Aves
  2. Tue May 7 - Sun Apr 7
More info

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