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How to keep the kids entertained during this weekend's blizzard

Our 2013 blizzard survival guide is full of ways to stay busy during the February storm—family movie afternoon ideas, great places to go sledding and more.

Winter Jam 2013 in Central Park

Winter Jam 2013 in Central Park Photograph: Marielle Solan

Just when we were starting to think it was going to be another snow-free season, Mother Nature is set to dump a whole lot of the white stuff on the city this weekend (the worst of the storm should be late afternoon Friday into Saturday morning). Our blizzard survivial guide gives you suggestions on great indoor activities to do while you're stuck at home during the storm (movie night ideas, Grammy-nominated children's songs to listen to and top books to read) and also ways to take advantage of the city's winter wonderland once it's safe to go outside (sledding in Central Park, skating at Citi Pond, snowman-making). The Parks & Recreation Department will provide sleds and hot chocolate at five city sledding hills (one in each borough) on Saturday; Asphalt Green and the High Line often host snow-sculpting competitions after huge snowfalls, too (check individual websites to confirm if these events are happening). Other great options for a wintery weekend: Spending the afternoon at a city museum (CMA and Brooklyn Museum both open new shows this weekend) or hanging out at a city play space. Most of all, though, enjoy the snow day and be safe!


Go sledding at a city park

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City life has its ups and downs, but when it comes to sledding, that's a good thing. We've put together a list of  our favorite sledding hills for families in all five boroughs (who knew there were so many prime slopes in NYC?). Plus, on special snowy days, the Parks & Recreation Department provides sleds and hot chocolate at select sledding hills.


Watch one of our favorite films for families

It's the perfect weekend to have a family movie afternoon or night. Pop some popcorn and download (or rent from Netflix or Amazon) one of our favorite films for families.  As you'll see, a number of recent blockbusters that may already be in your family's regular movie-watching rotation made the cut, but some of our absolute favorites date back to as early as 1937.


Listen to Grammy-nominated kids tunes

While many articles about this weekend's Grammy Awards are focused on whether Fun, Gotye, The Black Keys, Kelly Clarkson, Frank Ocean or Taylor Swift will win record of the year, our Grammy coverage focuses on the four artists nominated in the Best Children's Album Category. Read our interviews with Bill Harley, Elizabeth Mitchell, the Okee Dokee Brothers and the Pop Ups, then listen to their Grammy nominated songs and have a family dance party—we've included playlists at the end of each article.


Download a classic children's book

Use the time inside to introduce kids to one of our top books for little readers—everything from Charlotte's Web and Knuffle Bunny to Matilda and The Invention of Hugo Cabret. Many of the books on our list any are available for download on your Kindle or ipad. Let the reading begin!



Start planning the summer

The city sidewalks may be full of snow, but it's a great weekend to start thinking about the summer. (If you're anything like us, you're already dreaming about swimming pools and flip flops.) Read through our 2013 camp guide with your kids and have them mark down which programs they may want to try out—we have the scoop on everything from day camps in the city to sleepaway camps near the metro area.


Enter the Doodle 4 Google contest

While you're stuck inside, encourage the kids to use their imaginations and come up with an original sketch for the annual Doodle 4 Google content (entries are accepted through March 22). The coolest part: The 50 state winners will get to see their doodles on display at the American Museum of Natural History from May 22 through June 14.


Have a family game afternoon

Though the city is packed with cold-weather outings for kids, some days are just better suited for time spent indoors.  Pass the time until the snow melts with a game of Scrabble, Monopoly (a cat playing piece will soon replace the iron) or one of these other options.


Spend the afternoon in a city museum

City museums are an obvious place for kids and their parents to find shelter from winter's onslaught. This weekend, families can check out two new exhibits—an interactive show that explores the history, concept and practice of children's self-portraiture at the Children's Museum of the Arts and an exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum featuring the amazing works of sculptor El Anatsui.


Hit up an ice-skating rink

There's nothing better than taking a spin on the ice at one of the city's rinks after snow has fallen. Once the blizzard conditions have stopped and it's safe to go out and about, head to one of our favorite rinks—Liberty View Rink, Wollman Rink or Citi Pond—for a family skate session. Call ahead (or check the rink's websites) to make sure they're open.

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