Things to do with kids in NYC this Saturday

Kick off your weekend and spend Saturday with the family at the city's best events for kids

Photograph: Courtesy Jamie Salka

RECOMMENDED: See the best things to do with kids this weekend

Saturday, Dec 07

Photograph: Courtesy of the New York Transit Museum
Things to do, Quirky events

Holiday Nostalgia Rides

Various locations, Hell's Kitchen

The R1-9 train cars from the 1930s are rolling again: The MTA's "Holiday Nostalgia Ride" will take place every Sunday between Thanksgiving and New Year's from 10am-5pm. Board a vintage train for a rattling ride under the streets of Manhattan—the trains will run between Second Ave and 145th St on the Sixth Avenue line. (See a detailed schedule and other information here.) This is seasonal favorite is a literal nostalgia trip, but remember that the trains were at the cutting edge for their time, and so well-constructed that they remained in use until the 1970s. Best of all, there's no additional cost to ride the train: Pay your fare and you're good to go. All ages.

Macy's Santaland
Photograph: John Minchillo
Things to do, Exhibitions

Macy's Santaland

Macy’s Herald Square | Midtown West, NY, Midtown West

This holiday season, the eighth floor of Macy’s Herald Square transforms into a 13,000-square-foot winter village that’s decked out with Christmas trees, toys from Santa’s workshop and a light display that’s just the right backdrop for a family selfie. Meet-and-greets with Kris Kringle will commence on Nov 29; starting on Nov 24, visitors can R.S.V.P. online to nab a spot. All ages.

Photograph: Courtesy JMT Media & NYC Winter Lantern Festival
Things to do, Festivals

NYC Winter Lantern Festival

Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Staten Island

After a glowing reception in 2018, the NYC Winter Lantern Festival will return to Snug Harbor Cultural Center with eight acres of LED lights that manifest an Asian flair (thin kpandas, dragons and florals). But the gorgeous showcase is about more than just photo ops: Stick around for a taste of some international fare as well as juggling, Tibetan folk dancing, hoop tumbling and other live performances. All ages. 

Courtesy of Viator
Things to do, Walks and tours

A Slice of Brooklyn Original Christmas Lights Tour of Dyker Heights

Union Square, Union Square

The Brooklyn Christmas Lights tour of Dyker Heights is a 3.5 hour bus tour of the most extravagant Christmas light displays in the country which are located in the Dyker Heights section of Brooklyn, aka "Dyker Lights." Over 100,000 people flock to this area every year to see the most over-the-top Christmas decorations. If this tour doesn't get you in the Christmas spirit then your name is Ebeneezer Scrooge! Highlights: Informative, friendly and professional guide Ideal choice for families Seasonal Offer

Photograph: Courtesy CPAA + New York Mets
Things to do, Festivals

Hello Panda Festival

Citi Field, Queens

The Hello Panda Festival features more than 120 enormous lanterns that will dazzle the whole family. At this holiday home run at Citi Field, attendees can also take part in various cultural traditions (think paper cutting, dough sculpting and other Chinese crafts), taste-test dishes from 60 international vendors, and pick up trinkets and gifts at the market. All ages. 

Photograph: Courtesy LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester
Things to do

Holiday Bricktacular

Legoland Discovery Center Westchester,

Who doesn't love a LEGO winter wonderland? The Holiday Bricktacular proves just how festive your favorite building blocks can be: Attempt your own ornament during the LEGO builds, see LEGO Santa in his sleigh and catch a look at the (mini) NYC's winterized look in Winter Wonderful MINILAND. All ages. 

Music from the Sole
Photograph: Jesse Itskowitz
Dance, Tap

Music from the Sole at Lincoln Center Kids

A tap performance fused with a big band concert, Music from the Sole brings together Brazilian and Afro-Cuban music with funk, house and jazz—you don't just watch this concert, you feel it. $25. Ages 5-11.

Photograph: Courtesy Sean Twomey
Things to do

Breakfast with Santa

Hudson Yards, Midtown West

Neiman Marcus is taking its holiday tradition to its Hudson Yards location. Families are invited to a delicious brunch (lobster eggs benedict for the adults, scrambled eggs or buttermilk pancakes for the kiddos) with Santa. Admission also includes a photo with the man in the red suit and other seasonal suprises! Enter through 375 10th Ave and make your way to the seventh floor of Neiman Marcus. All ages. 

Photograph: Courtesy Sawyer + Union Square Play
Shopping, Pop-up shops

The Holiday Pop-Up

Union Square Play, Union Square

'Tis the season of giving! If you're shopping for your tot, look no further than Sawyer and Union Square Play's Holiday Pop-Up. The online activity marketplace and kids' play space joined forces to create a 5,000 square-foot winter wonderland complete with items from your favorite brands, like Lalo and Stride Rite. But it's not just about shopping—the Holiday Pop-Up will also include culinary events from Du’s Donuts, pictures with Santa and plenty of other festive activities. Make sure to book a visit! Note that the shop is closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. All ages. 

Photograph: Courtesy Paul Martinka
Things to do


The Paley Center for Media, Midtown West

Step into a winter wonderland at The Paley Center for Media and indulge in fun activities for the whole family. No worries if you missed your favorite holiday special when it aired on TV— catch screenings of many TV classics, including A Rugrats Chanukah, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and more. Children can check out a holiday-themed VR game, meet FAO toy soliders, enjoy crafts and much more while they await for the man in the big red suit. Santa’s hours are as follows: December 7: 1–6pm, December 8, 14, 15, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22: Noon–6pm. All ages. 

Photograph: Courtesy Elizabeth Shrier
Things to do

Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park

Bryant Park, Midtown West

Every year, Bryant Park transforms into a winter village complete with an outdoor ice skating rink right at the center. Shop from local vendors selling food and drinks and get an early start on those holiday wish lists. Wonderful pop-up shops for kids and families abound, as well as eateries with sweet and savory cusines from around the globe. Holiday festivities are scheduled from the opening day, as Oct 31 will welcome kiddos for Tricks and Treats from 4–6:30pm. Later in the season, little ones can visit Santa from Dec 14–22, so tell your crew to start brainstorming! All ages.

Museum of the City of New York
Photograph: Presley Ann/PMC
Museums, Special interest

Celebrate the Holidays at Museum of the City of New York

Museum of the City of New York, East Harlem

There's a lot of holiday happenings going on at the Museum of the City of New York. Santa will stop by for photo ops on Saturdays (this is strictly DIY, so bring a camera if you want a Santa selfie), you can decorate cookies with Amy Scherber of Amy's bread (space is limited; free with full-price admission, which is $20 for adults, free for children ages 19 and under) and you can make your very own snow globe. Celebrate Kwanza on December 26, and celebrate Hanukkah on December 27. All ages.

Photograph: Courtesy Westfield World Trade Center
Shopping, Pop-up shops

Market at Westfield

Westfield World Trade Center, Financial District

Expect a dazzling display of holiday décor. The Market at Wetfield will make the most of the season with  beautiful garlands and life-size chrome Snowmen that adorn the picture-perfect winter village display. Not only will you be able to snag great gifts for loved ones, but you can enjoy Christmas carols, seasonal treats and more! All ages. 

Photograph: Grand Central Holiday Fair
Things to do

Grand Central Terminal Holiday Fair

Grand Central Terminal, Vanderbilt Hall, Midtown East

Forty unique vendors come together in one of NYC's most gorgeous architectural attractions to provide a can't-miss holiday experience. If your daily commute's got you down, the Grand Central Holiday Fair is surely one way to make you feel merry and bright. Explore the wide array of handmade goods—toys, games, accessories and more—before boarding your train home. Chances are, you're bound to find some great gifts for loved ones in this set up in Vanderbilt Hall. Note that the market won't be open on Thanksgiving or Christmas Eve, so plan your shopping ahead of time. All ages.

Photograph: Courtesy The Illusionists Shin Lim
Theater, Children's

The Illusionists—Magic of the Holidays

Neil Simon Theatre, Midtown West

They say Christmas is an enchanting time of year, and the Illusionists certainly prove it. Prepare for playful tricks and plenty of see-it-to-believe-it moments as the team tackles mind reading, disappearances and levitation. Ages 6 and up.  

Photgraph: Courtesy SHOWFIELDS
Shopping, Boutiques

Holiday x House of SHOWFIELDS


Why bring your kids to SHOWFIELDS, a permanent pop-up for obscure and interesting retailers that calls itself "the most interesting store in the world?" Because you can check out Holiday x House of SHOWFIELDS, an immersive theater experience that's part art gallery, part funhouse–and that includes a twisty slide. The Holiday x House is free, but you need to make a reservation here.

Photograph: Courtesy Classic Harbor Line
Things to do, Walks and tours

Cocoa and Carols Holiday Cruise

Pier 62, Chelsea

Cozy up in a 1920s-style yacht—all varnished wood and comfy banquettes—for a 90-minute cruise that stars cocoa, cookies and caroling. Spruced up for the season, the boat sails through New York Harbor to give you million-dollar viewsoftheStatueofLiberty, Governors Island and the Brooklyn Bridge. This time of year, the Manhattan skyline shimmers just like a Christmas tree. All ages.

Things to do

Origami Holiday Tree

American Museum of Natural History, Upper West Side

For a creative take on holiday decorations, look no further than the American Museum of Natural History. To celebrate this year’s theme—“T.rex and Friends: History in the Making”— the museum decks a 13-foot tree with origami ornaments made by artists from around the world. If you’re curious about how to fold a piece of paper into a mini masterpiece, the institution’s experts will be on hand throughout the season to give you tips! All ages.

Columbus Circle Holiday Market
Photograph: Liz Rees/Urban Space
Things to do

Columbus Circle Holiday Market

Columbus Circle, Midtown West

From the Shops at Columbus Circle, cross the street to Central Park and browse through this adorable outdoor holiday market. You’ll find handmade items for babies by Lil’ New Yorker, punk rock-styled onesies, or “punksies,” by Punkster and cool marionettes from Silly Puppets. All ages.

George Balanchine's The Nutcracker at New York City Ballet
Photograph: Paul Kolnik
Things to do

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker

David H. Koch Theater (at Lincoln Center), Upper West Side

Tchaikovsky’s gorgeous score, Balanchine’s timeless choreography and an impressive set—yes, that Christmas tree really is growing—ensure that this New York City Ballet performance will never go out of style. Ages 5 and up.

Photograph: Courtesy NY Hall of Science/Ann-Sophie Fjelloe-Jensen
Things to do

GingerBread Lane

New York Hall of Science | Queens, NY, Queens

Each winter, chef Jon Lovitch expertly crafts an adorable (and completely edible) gingerbread village at the New York Hall of Science. It takes the Queens food artist an entire year to whip up the charmingly detailed miniature homes and storefronts. In true New York fashion, Lovitch’s impressive handiwork has held the Guinness World Record title for the largest gingerbread village for four years in a row. On Jan 12 from 2 to 5pm, visitors can snag a piece of the tasty town on a first-come, first-served basis. If you want to construct a cookie city of your very own, you and your child (ages 4 and up) can attend the nifty $15 workshop on various days throughout the season. All ages.

Photograph: Courtesy Magical Winter Light
Things to do, Festivals

LuminoCity Festival

Randalls Island Park, Randall's Island

Twelve acres of radiant art will take over Randalls Island with three fairy-tale themes: Winter Fantasy, Wild Adventure and Sweet Dream. You can wander through the colorful LED arches of the Donut Tunnel and get lost in the snow-covered trees of the Frosted Forest for an electrifying experience that is the epitome of merry and bright. Be sure to explore the children’s printmaking workshop (various dates, walk-ins available; $29) and other activities,then refuel with snacks from Nathan’s Famous, Baked in Color and other eateries.

Photograph: Courtesy Wildlife Conservation Society
Things to do, Festivals

Bronx Zoo Holiday Light Show

Bronx Zoo Wildlife Conservation Society | Bronx, NY, The Bronx

This year, the Bronx Zoo has decided to reinstate its beloved holiday light show, and the grand spectacle promises to be bigger—and greener—than ever. The celebration of Christmastime and conservationism will feature animated lights, Chinese lanterns and LED displays that depict species from around the globe—lions and elephants from Africa and pandas from Asia and more. All ages.   Note: Preview Days take place on Nov 21–24. The show opens Nov 29! 

Photograph: Filip Wolak
Things to do

Union Square Holiday Market

Union Square, Union Square

If there’s one alfresco shopping event worth braving the cold for, it’s this one. This European-style winter market boasts more than 150 local and national vendors hawking an impressive selection of handcrafted gifts, ranging from jewelry and accessories to leather goods and artwork. Go for the: Brew-your-own beer kits from the Brooklyn Brew Shop; handmade, monogrammed stuffed animals from Hazel Village; and wooden puzzles and board games from Kubiya Games. Stay for the: Food vendors like Veselka Pierogi Bar hailing in from Greenpoint, Arancini Bros, Sigmund's Pretzels. You could easily spend a whole day here. Open November 15 through December 24. Closed Thanksgiving Day and at 4 PM on Christmas Eve.

Photograph: Courtesy Aviator Sports + Dillon Clancy
News, Sports & Fitness

Ice bumper cars

An amusement park staple is getting a wintry makeover.  If your little ones can't find their balance while ice skating in NYC, why not give ice bumper cars a try? They're making a Kings County debut, and deserve prime-time real estate on your winter bucket list.  Venture to Aviator Sports, the gracious host of Big Bounce America, for the super-cool experience. Taking a cue from the Winter Village at Bryant Park, one of Brooklyn's most popular family attractions will offer families (with kids ages 7 and up) a chance to enjoy a 15-minute session for $13 on a first-come, first-serve basis. Time to channel those Coney Island summer days, but with a few cold-weather modifications! Before your bumper-car outing, here are a few things to note:  Sessions run on Fridays from 7:30–10:30pm, Saturdays from 2–5pm and 7:30–10:30pm and Sundays from 1–5pm. Aviator Sports states that there are 3 sessions per hour. Riders must be at least 7 years old, 36 inches tall and under 300 pounds.  Flat-toed shoes are required (no ice skates).  A parent or guardian's signature is required for riders who are under 18.  Call 718-758-7549 to learn how to add this experience onto birthday parties for kids. 

Things to do

Radio City Christmas Spectacular

Radio City Music Hall, Midtown West

Christmastime in NYC is a glamorous affair, and the Radio City Rockettes certainly make the season sparkle. Catch the performers in the annual Christmas Spectacular, a festive amalgamation of theater and dance that has been a tradition since 1933. It’s the perfect way to gear up for December 25. All ages.

Photograph: Courtesy New York Historical Society/The Jerni Collection
Museums, Childhood

Holiday Express: All Aboard to Richard Scarry’s Busytown at the New York Historical Society

New-York Historical Society | Manhattan, NY, Upper West Side

The holiday model-train show at the New-York Historical Society is always a stunner, and this year celebrates Richard Scarry’s Busytown to honor the 100th anniversary of the author and illustrator’s birth. You’ll see Huckle Cat, Lowly Worm and other favorite characters, plus trains, trains and more trains. All ages. 

Photograph: Courtesy Disney
Movies, Family and kids

Playtime: Family Matinees at Metrograph

Metrograph, Chinatown

'Tis the season at Playtime, the Metrograph series of family-friendly Weekend matinees for the budding cineaste in your life—you get to watch good films in a fantastic venue, while your little one is exposed to terrific movies and won't be shhh'd by your neighbors. First up is Raiders of the Lost Arc (1981), followed by the fabulous Gremlins (1984) and Little Women (1933). Christmas kicks in with Miracle on 34th Street (1947), the ghoulishly fun Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) and the super-silly Muppet Christmas Carrol (1992)—which stars a very game Michael Caine. The holiday wraps up with It's a Wonderful Life (1946) and Where the Wild Things Are (2009).

Photograph: Robert Altman

Peter and the Wolf at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Upper East Side

The Guggenheim Museum rotunda becomes a stage when fabulous fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi and a cast of dancers bring Peter and the Wolf to life. The Ensemble Signal plays Sergey Prokofiev’s gorgeous score, filling the building with music. Ages 3 and up.  

Photograph: Courtesy Russ Rowland
Theater, Children's

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show Experience

South Street Seaport Museum, Financial District

Experience puppetry magic as Eric Carle’s beloved story comes to life on stage at the South Street Seaport Museum. The production will also feature one of three of Carle’s other children’s books, 10 Little Rubber Ducks, The Very Lonely Firefly, 10 Little Rubber Ducks and Brown Bear, Brown Bear—check the schedule to see when each is performed. Little bibliophiles will love seeing their favorite stories unfold before their eyes. All ages.

Photograph courtesy Museum of Chinese in America.
Things to do, Quirky events


Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA), Little Italy

At this monthly event, the whole family will find inspiration from the Museum of Chinese in America's latest exhibits, and in turn, create masterpieces of their own. November's activity celebrates sculptor Jerome Seu, who turned wooden crates from his family's grocery store into wonderful pieces. Attendees who visit the Museum for this month's activity will be tasked with transforming ordinary objects into something extraordinary, showing how they've evolved. Decemeber's events will focus on gathering and collecting. Attendees will make a time capsule! Don't forget to open it in a few years from now to see what's changed. Ages 3 and up.  

Photograph: Courtesy Sony Square NYC
Things to do

Jumanji: The Next Level Experience

Sony Square, Midtown West

You and your kiddos can experience Jumanji’s desert, jungle, and snowy mountain top for yourselves. In celebration of the film's Dec 13 release, Sony Square NYC will invite visitors to test out a sonic surf VR experience. Think you can handle the challenges this 26-foot-wide screen throws your way? All ages.   

kids.dough02 copy.jpg
Photograph: Melissa Sinclair
Things to do


25 Kent, Greenpoint

The venerable epicurean extravaganza spends Saturdays in Williamsburg and Sundays in Prospect Park. No matter your preference, there's a little something for everyone. While kids can delight in sweets like fried cookie dough, those with a more expansive palate can opt for offerings such as seafood from Lobsterdamus, Boutros' pork shawarma tacos or PopdUp brewed teas, among seemingly hundreds of other dishes. This year, the new Pizza Cupcake and Fluffies Soufflé Pancakes (available Saturdays and Sundays) will be on hand to wow visitors! Note that admission to the food fest is free, but each vendor charges various prices. All ages. 

Photograph: Courtesy Joshua Bright
Things to do, Classes and workshops

Wave Hill's Family Art Project

Wave Hill, The Bronx

Every weekend, Wave Hill hosts an art workshop class catered to toddlers and families. Using the seasons, holidays and—of course— Riverdale's gorgeous grounds as a muse, the morning workshop tackles a variety of DIY projects. From painting and planting to coloring and sculpting, this offering is perfect for the creative kiddos in your crew. On Saturdays, arrive before noon to score free access to the venue. All ages. 

Photograph: Courtesy Lola Star
Sports and fitness

Lola Star’s Dreamland Roller Rink at City Point

City Point, Downtown Brooklyn

Prepare for a lively celebration! Lola Star’s Dreamland Roller Rink will welcome the holiday season with its beloved roller disco events at City Point, and kids can get in the action! Lace up and enjoy. The schedule, which will run until Feb 15, 2020, is as follows:  Learn to Skate for Kids: Thursdays 5–5:45pm (7+) Holiday Themed Dress-up Skate Party for Families: Fridays 3–5pm (7+) Toddler Skate: Saturdays 10–11am (6 and under)  Learn to Skate for Kids: Saturdays 11–11:45am (7+) Santa Skate: Holiday Themed Dress-up Skate Party for Families: Saturdays noon–2pm (7+) Dazzle Disco Dress-up Skate Party for Families: Saturdays 2:30–5:30pm 

Photograph: Courtesy Rock & Roll Playhouse
Things to do, Concerts

Rock and Roll Playhouse Kids Concert Series

Multiple venues

This is one event parents might enjoy just as much as the kids...maybe even more so. Rock & Roll Playhouse is a family-friendly concert series that introduces littles to the greats—The Beatles, Queen, U2, to name a few—as the house band plays some of the most popular tunes. The weekend happening adds a few kid-friendly elements such as stories and crafts to make the program extra epic. All events in Industry City (Saturdays at 12:30pm) are free, but tickets are required. Shows at Brooklyn Bowl (Sundays at noon) are $12. Head to the event's website for a full lineup. Ages 10 and under. 

Photograph: Courtesy Pixabay + LAWJR
Things to do, Walks and tours

Sugartooth Tours

Various locations, Hell's Kitchen

Get the scoop on all-things sweet. Sugartooth Tours, a local dessert tour company, explores different neighborhoods to uncover the tastiest treats throughout NYC, so bring your appetite. You'll want to explore the newest offering, Village to Village Cupcake and Cookie Crawl (Fridays, Saturdays at 3pm) but don't miss out on favorites like Bright Lights & Broadway Bites Dessert Tour (Saturdays at 11am, Sundays at noon), Sweeter Than Sugar Chelsea & West Village Dessert Tour (Saturdays and Sundays at 4pm) and more. Learn more online. All ages.  

Photograph: Courtesy Shutterstock
Shopping, Pop-up shops

Hello Kitty Pop-Up

Cost Plus World Market, Flatiron

Our favorite feline (Hello Kitty) is celebrating a milestone: her 45th anniversary. To mark the momentous occasion, New Yorkers can enjoy a Chelsea pop-up (18th St and Sixth Ave) dedicated to the super-adorable advocate of kindness and friendship. Until Dec 24, shoppers will be able to visit Cost Plus World Market to stock up on exclusive merch (toys, accessories, kitchen goods) in honor of our leading lady. Snag Hello Kitty pasta sauce for dinner, sip on Hello Kitty soda, find a cute plush and of course, strike a pose in the Instagrammable spot while you're there! Learn more about the event and items at or 

Photogrpah: Courtesy of Boogie Down Books
Things to do, Literary events

Storytime with Boogie Down Books at Sugar Hill Creamery

Sugar Hill Creamery, Harlem

Sugar Hill Creamery on Lenox Ave is more than a small-batch ice cream store, it's a community space with a full schedule of events. We particularly like Saturday afternoon storytime that starts on Oct 26 with Boogie Down Books, a self-described "bookstore-without-walls for kids, teens, families, and educators in the Bronx and beyond." Come for for a slice of mud pie, a scoop of "Gone Till November," an ice cream sandwich dipped in chocolate; stay for the storytelling. Ages 11 and under.

Photograph: Courtesy THEGINGERB3ARDMEN
Things to do, Quirky events

Big Apple Circus

Lincoln Center, Hearst Plaza, Upper West Side

The 42nd season of the Big Apple Circus is officially underway! Brooklyn-born singer and Ringmaster Storm Marrero will lead the way as the show celebrates all-things NYC. There are plenty of acts that'll make your jaw drop, including the Dupla Mão na Roda hand-balancing duo, performances from International Juggling Association Gold Medalist Kyle Driggs, aerial acrobatics with Aliev Troupe and so much more. All ages. 

Things to do, Classes and workshops

Toddler Time at Central Park Zoo

Central Park Zoo, Central Park

Tiny tots can have early-morning access to the zoo and its inhabitants. During this weekly series, your little animals will enjoy animal encounters, hands-on activities and guided tours throughout the grounds. A parent or guardian should be present throughout the duration of the program, as it is a "caregiver and me" series. The Friday and Saturday programs this November and December will focus on animal senses. Ages 2–3.  

Photograph: Courtesy Books Are Magic

Story Time at Books Are Magic

Books Are Magic, Carroll Gardens

Each Saturday and Sunday, this enchanting independant kids bookstore in Cobble Hill hosts a story time. Authors read from their dazzling picture books, that can be incredibly funny, heart-warming, educational or all of the above. Be sure to check out all of the store's unique special events for children and young adult readers, too. Check out the lineup here. All ages.

Photograph: Danielle Valente
Things to do

DreamWorks Trolls the Experience

DreamWorks Trolls the Experience, Midtown West

New York City is going to be treated to a dose of color thanks to "DreamWorks Trolls the Experience." When little visitors enter the 90-minute walkthrough exhibit, located at 218 W 57th St, they'll fall in love with a bunch of exciting features. Poppy's Party Room will include augmented reality and 3D technology in the midst of musical fun. Before getting wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of Troll Village and playing in the life-size Caterbus, youngsters will want to hit the bright, imaginative Hair-We-Go Salon and Barbershop—which is sure to be an Instagram hit for moms and dads. This will be open until Nov 3, 2019! All ages. 

Photograph: courtesy New York Transit Museum
Museums, Special interest

Reign of the Redbirds at the New York Transit Museum

New York Transit Museum, Boerum Hill

Reign of the Redbirds looks at the iconic subway cars that came to be known as Redbirds that first appeared in New York in 1959, and that were in kept in service until 2003. These workhorses evoke an era of great transformation in New York, and many of them met a poetic ending: decommissioned red cars were scuttled off the coast and helped anchor an artificial reef. Reign of the Redbirds is in the museum's atmospheric home in a decommissioned subway station under the streets of Downtown Brooklyn. Note: Museum is closed major holidays. $10, $5 ages 2-17, free 2 and under.

The Intrepid
Photograph: Courtesy Shutterstock
Museums, Science and technology

Discover Exoplanets: The Search for Alien Worlds at the Intrepid Air & Space Museum

Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, Hell's Kitchen

Is there life out there? (The correct answer is "yes.") You'll be better prepared to answer that eternal question after exploring Discover Exoplanets: The Search for Alien Worlds, a traveling exhibition that lands at the Intrepid Air & Space Museum. The show looks at the pursuit of habitable worlds beyond our solar system, and how NASA scientists is a part of that search. Intrepid Air & Space Museum, Hell's Kitchen (, Free with museum entry. All ages.

Photograph: Courtesy The Art of the Brick
News, Art

"The Art of the Brick"

The blueprint to a great museum adventure certainly includes "The Art of the Brick." Budding engineers and artists will be equally enthralled by the masterpieces Nathan Sawaya has intricately crafted with over 1,000,000 toy blocks. (No, that number is not a typo.) Venture to one of your favorite kids' museums, the New York Hall of Science, beginning Sept 28 for a glimpse at this record-breaking exhibit. Visitors who love dinosaur activities will gawk at the artist's 20-foot t. rex, which is comprised of over 80,000 pieces alone. Creative youngsters who participate in fun art classes for kids will enjoy Sawaya's recreation of Van Gogh’s Starry Night and Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. Additionally, photographer Dean West partnered with Sawaya to produce a multimedia collection of LEGO brick-infused photos.  

Photograph: Bruce White
Museums, Military and maritime

"The Last Knight"

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Central Park

The armor of Emperor Maximilian I, who ruled the Holy Roman Empire until 1519, was made for battle, and for showing off—just look at that lacy metalwork and exquisite details. There are over 180 items are in the exhibit, including the childhood armor of Maximilian's son, the future Philip I, King of Castile: This knight at the museum is sure to get the imaginations of your young ones racing. Mark your calendar for a special family afternoon on Nov 10 from 1pm–4pm that will include story time, a shadow puppet performance by Caroline Borderies and a chance for your young knights to embellish their custom armor. All Ages.

Photograph: New York Historical Society
Museums, History

Beyond Midnight: Paul Revere at the New York Historical Society

New-York Historical Society | Manhattan, NY, Upper West Side

Paul Revere was more than the country's most famous patriot, he was a master silversmith, engraver and printmaker who was one of the premier artisans of his age. This show includes more than 150 objects from his life and times—including some of the tea that Revere and others tossed into Boston Harbor. Be sure to check the New York Historical Society website for special events. $22, $6 ages 5-13, free ages 4 and under.


The Butterfly Conservatory: Tropical Butterflies Alive in Winter

American Museum of Natural History, Upper West Side

It's a balmy 80 degrees in the museum's 1,200-square-foot vivarium, which houses up to 500 butterflies living among tropical flowers. The free-flying butterflies often land on the shoulders of visitors, allowing tykes to come into direct contact with monarchs, zebra longwings, paper kites other species as they emerge from their chrysalises. Outside the vivarium, youngsters can watch a short film and read displays on the life cycle of butterflies, how to protect their habitats and what kinds of adaptations certain species have. All ages.

Photograph: Courtesy Evan Joseph Images
Things to do

Empire State Building's Reimagined Observatory Experience

Empire State Building | Manhattan, NY, Midtown West

NYC's most popular Instagram landmark underwent a renovation that is practically as breathtaking as its views of Manhattan. The $165 million reimagined Observatory Experience at the Empire State Building allows visitors to learn about all aspects of the iconic building: from the moment it was built to its place in pop culture today. Galleries focus on the construction, opening day and everything in between. Catch 70+ screens depicting the building's place in the NYC skyline, see if your favorite celebrity has made a visit and, of course, get a taste of King Kong! Giant ape fingers pierce the wall of a 1930s-themed office. Yikes! All ages. 

Tyrannosaurus Rex, 4th floor halls
Photograph: Courtesy Craig Chesek
Museums, Natural history

“T. rex: The Ultimate Predator”

American Museum of Natural History, Upper West Side

Prepare to dig deep like a true paleontologist thanks to "T. Rex: The Ultimate Predator." The Museum of Natural History's new exhibit will give visitors a peek into how the massive creatures came to be. Patrons will get a good look at the new findings about the tyrannosaurs genus, with a special focus on our main man, the T. rex. Unlike what people may think—and what movies led us to believe—T. rex is simply one part of the species' 100-million-year evolution. Who knew that tyrannosaurs species actually include small, agile creatures? For real! All ages. 

Photograph: Courtesy David Mitchel + Arcadia Earth
Things to do, Exhibitions

Arcadia Earth

718 Broadway, Downtown

This is planet Earth like you've never seen her before. NYC's latest immersive installation—located at 718 Broadway—is photo-worthy for a cause: While venturing through 15 rooms of underwater realms and fictional landscapes, "Arcadia Earth" visitors will be able to participate in virtual and augmented reality offerings while learning how our lifestyle choices will impact the future of our planet. Proceeds from all ticket sales will also directly support Arcadia’s educational and charity partner, Oceanic Global. All ages. 

Photograph courtesy of MacGillivrary Freeman Films.
Movies, Documentary

Apollo 11: First Steps

New York Hall of Science | Queens, NY, Queens

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing with a screening of this 20 minute movie. The whole family will be amazed by the Apollo 11's story, as the filmmakers reconstruct the vessel's preparation, launch and return using never-before-seen footage. After the film, take your future astronauts to check out the museum's Search for Life Beyond Earth exhibition. All ages.

Photograph: Courtesy Alex Vail copyright BBC NHU 2017
Things to do, Film events

"Oceans: Our Blue Planet"

American Museum of Natural History, Upper West Side

Although the spotlight is oftentimes on the dinosaurs, the Museum of Natural History wants to give patrons a chance to experience life under the waves, too, not just on land during prehistoric times. Thanks to the new film, Oceans: Our Blue Planet, musumer-goers can journey with the OceanX research vessel Alucia as it uncovers what's lurking beneath the sea. This film will be shown daily in the Museum’s Samuel J. and Ethel LeFrak Theater in 2D at 11:30am and 4:30pm, and in 3D at 10:30am and 12:30, 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30pm. The schedule is subject to change. All ages. 

Photo Courtesy Cosmic Picture, Ltd.
Movies, Family and kids

'Superpower Dogs 3D'

New York Hall of Science | Queens, NY, Queens

The amazing life-saving dogs in this immersive 3D movie are like real-life PAW Patrol pups. Find out the remarkable stories of canines and their human companions who work hard everyday to rescue people in snowy avalanches and off the coasts of warm beaches. There's even a pair of Bloodhound brothers who are helping save endangered species in Africa. 45 minutes. All ages  

Photograph: Courtesy Scott Frances
Museums, Special interest


Spyscape, Midtown West

NYC's museum dedicated to all-things espionage will soon shed some light on 007. The first James Bond exhibit in New York examines the creativity that went into bringing the movies to life. Car aficionados: You'll be pleased to know that Bond's Aston Martin DB5 will on display. There are also many interactive components to the exhibit: You can check out gadgets and gizmos in the Q's lab, get a behind-the-scenes look at how the Skyfall finale came to be and so much more. All ages. 

Photograph: Courtesy Courtesy of the National Museum of Mathematics
Museums, Special interest

“Math Unfolded”

Museum of Mathematics (MoMath), Flatiron
Things to do, Exhibitions

Our Senses: An Immersive Experience

Step inside the world of senses in this funhouse-like exhibtion at AMNH. There are eleven unique galleries in all. You’ll be able to explore how real our “reality” is (and what it’s shaped by.) And what our mind tells us through our different senses. Step into a room that tests your balance as the walls will appear to wave and ripple, through your feet tell you otherwise. Fly through a garden seen through the eyes of a bee or butterfly to learn how other animals experience flowers. Take a smell test and learn how what we think is one scent really is a symphony of different smells. There will also be a live presentation on why our senses are necessary for survival, how our senses are different from other animals and why human perception is unique. All ages.

Photo: Courtesy Deen van Meer
Theater, Broadway

Frozen: The Broadway Musical

St. James Theatre, Midtown West

For the first time in forever, Disney's "Snow Queen"-inspired movie about sisterly love and a talking snowman is coming to Broadway. Elsa, Anna, Kristoff and the whole gang will turn the St. James Theater into a winter wonderland full of songs from the original soundtrack. Expect phenomenal sets and stage-magic, plus a certain Oscar-winning song to get stuck in your head.

Photograph: Courtesy NYC GO and Off Broadway Week

Blue Man Group

Astor Place Theatre, Downtown
4 out of 5 stars

  A sea of toilet paper, neon paint splashes and three blue men have kept audiences laughing and amazed in this long-running Off-Broadway hit. Stand by as these other-worldly fellows learn about the environment around them...and make a bit of noise in the process (largely thanks to the large tubs of paint). You'll laugh, you'll catch one of the group members in the audience and you'll love the wonky happenings throughout the performance. If you catch a show in the first row, wear the poncho—chances are you're going to get splattered with something! Ages 5 and up. 

Photograph: Courtesy NYC GO and Off Broadway Week

Gazillion Bubble Show

New World Stages, Hell's Kitchen
4 out of 5 stars

Husband and wife duo Fan and Ana Yang have traveled world-wide to dazzle their audiences with their self-titled masterpiece, "bubble artistry." As lights flicker and music plays, prepare to catch some of the wonkiest looking bubbles you've ever encountered. Kids and parents alike will love how these soapy spectacles create a can't-miss experience. Ages 5 and up.

Photograph: Courtesy + Michelle D
Theater, Musicals


Orpheum Theater, East Village
3 out of 5 stars

Stomp takes percussion to a whole new level. A small cast of characters makes use of atypical objects—wooden polls, push brooms—to create a unique musical experience. A catchy rhythm, impressive dance moves and laugh-out-loud moments prove why this Off-Broadway show is such a crowd pleaser, even if there isn't any dialogue. Your kiddos might be inspired to take household items and start a jam session of their own! Ages 4 and up.

The Lion King
Photograph: Courtesy Joan Marcus
Theater, Musicals

The Lion King

Minskoff Theatre, Midtown West
Open run
4 out of 5 stars

Director-designer Julie Taymor takes a reactionary Disney cartoon about the natural right of kings—in which the circle of life is putted against a queeny villain and his jive-talking ghetto pals—and transforms it into a gorgeous celebration of color and movement. The movie’s Elton John–Tim Rice score is expanded with African rhythm and music, and through elegant puppetry, Taymor populates the stage with an amazing menagerie of beasts; her audacious staging expands a simple cub into the pride of Broadway, not merely a fable of heredity but a celebration of heritage. Minskoff Theatre (Broadway). Music by Elton John. Lyrics by Tim Rice. Book by Roger Allers and Irene Mecchi. Directed by Julie Taymor. With ensemble cast. Running time: 2hrs 40mins. One intermission.

Photograph: Courtesy Jeremy Daniel
Theater, Broadway

The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical

Longacre Theatre, Midtown West

This YA Greeky mythology mashup is perfect for the whole family. The performance brings Rick Riordian’s popular novel to life in musical form as we follow 12-year-old Percy Jackson as he tracks down who stole the god Zeus’ lightning bolt. Along the way, the brave one must figure out how to control his new powers, solve an Oracle’s riddle, escape from monsters and restore peace between the Greek gods. Ages 8 and up. 

Photograph: Courtesy Maike Schulz
Theater, Children's

Cirque Mechanics' 42FT

New Victory Theater, Midtown West

Imagine an old-school circus that pulses with energy: The tumbles, dips and aerial flips in this wildly entertaining show will have you and yours on the edge of your seats. Hailing from Las Vegas, the Cirque Mechanics take the stunts up a notch, and you won't want to miss a single act. Ages 5 and up. 

Photograph: Courtesy Jeremy Daniel
Theater, Children's

New Victory Theater's 2019-2020 Season

New Victory Theater, Midtown West

The NYC theater scene is gearing up for a kid-friendly lineup. During the 2019-2020 season at the New Victory Theater, families will be able to hang with their favorite picture-book fishes, listen to Aesop's fables and much more. The schedule, which is available on the theater's website, is as follows:   The Pout-Pout Fish: Oct 12–20 for ages 4–7 Aesop's Fables: Nov 1–2 for ages 7 and up  RE:PLAY: Nov 15–Dec 1 for ages 6 and up  42 FT–A Menagerie of Mechanical Marvels: Dec 6–Jan 5 for ages 5 and up  Cartography: Jan 10–19 for ages 10 and up Riddle of the Trilobites: Feb 7–23 for ages 6 and up  Drumfolk: Feb 28–Mar 15 for ages 7 and up  Treasure Island: Mar 20–29 for ages 8 and up  Magic Shadows: Apr 3–19 for ages 5 and up  Snow White: Apr 24–May 4 for ages 7 and up  Jabberbabble: May 9–17 for ages 4–7 Fierce 5: May 30–June 14 for ages 9 and up 

Photograph: Courtesy Justina Wong
Theater, Puppet shows

Yeti, Set, Snow

Central Park Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre, Central Park

Who can resist a snow day? Looks like Widget and Twig found someone who would rather take a pass. In Yeti, Set, Snow!, an original play from City Parks Foundation, a dynamic duo stumbles upon a yeti, Pascetti, who would rather not deal with flurries and the cold. Time will tell if Pascetti’s new friends will have him singing “Let It Snow.” Ages 3–8. Note: There are no performances on: Nov 28, Dec 24, Dec 25, Jan 1, Jan 2 and Jan 3. Note that showtimes on Nov 29 are: 11am, 1pm and 3pm. 

Photograph courtesy Sarah Todes
Things to do, Performances


Multiple venues

In the span of 45 minutes, little ones are exposed to a world of music, dancing, bubbles and puppets. This troupe of "puppsters" promises to bring young audience members an interactive show each week, exploring important topics for little ones like counting, hygiene, and vocabulary. Expect zany characters (like a puppet RuPaul and Bob Dylan), plenty of laughs and a large helping of originality. Ages 0 to 4.

Photograph: Courtesy Paolo Mastrangelo
Theater, Children's

Snow White and the S-E-V-E-N Dwarfs

Expect the famed fairy tale with a twist: In this adaptation of a Disney favorite, we meet Snow White, who is tasked with competing against Georgia in the Spell-Off. The overbearing word master is too much for Snow White, and soon she vanishes to the Magic Library where she gets a few lessons from quirky dwarfs. Who doesn't love a literary twist? All ages. 

Seven in One Blow, or the Brave Little Kid from Axis Theatre Company
Theater, Comedy

"Seven in One Blow, or the Brave Little Kid" at Axis Theater Company

Axis Theatre, West Village

Adapted from the Brothers Grimm, Seven in One Blow, or the Brave Little Kid tells the story of a young boy who learns important lessons from the most unlikely of creatures. This popular family show has become a holiday classic, and is back for its 18th year. Ages 4 and up.  

Photograph: Courtesy Lisa
Theater, Children's

CHALK at the Fringe BYOV

Kraine Theater, East Village

A play in the classic style of the silent film era, CHALK stars a clowning Alex Curtis who uses only a few simple props and a pocket full of chalk. Part Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd, part “Harold and the Purple Crayon," CHALK is a whimsical physical comedy in which anything can happen. 

Photogrpah: Courtsey TA Smith and Puppetworks
Things to do

Puppetworks presents Sleeping Beauty

Puppetworks, Park Slope

This Park Slope institution's fall performance is the Charles Perrault version of Sleeping Beauty, written in 1697. The familiar story comes to life when portrayed by a cast of hand-carved wooden marionettes dressed in intricate Medieval costumes. Set to the Tchaikovsky ballet score, it's an elegant telling that will delight your children. Note: bonus performances will be held on the school holidays on Oct 14 and Nov 11. Reservations suggested. Ages 4 and up.

Theater, Broadway

A Christmas Carol

Lyceum Theatre, Midtown West

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas on the Great White Way: After a run at London’s Old Vic, Charles Dickens’s famed tale will come to life on the Lyceum Theatre stage. Playwright Jack Thorne (the mastermind behind Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) and Tony Award–winning actors Andrea Martin and LaChanze will join forces to put crowds in a holiday state of mind— even if Scrooge is not. Ages 8 and up. 

Things to do

City Harvest Daily News Food Drive

Various locations, Hell's Kitchen

Give back this season by participating in the 37th annual Daily New Food Drive. Non-perishable food donations are needed to keep NYC food pantries and programs across the city well stocked. Drop off goods from Oct 31–Jan 17 at City Harvest’s Manhattan office (6 E 32nd St, fifth floor), any FDNY or NYPD station and Apple Bank locations throughout the five boroughs. Learn more about donations and how to participate on the City Harvest website. All ages. 

Things to do, Play spaces

Saturdays Are for Spanish

Various locations, Hell's Kitchen

One World Project (302 Vanderbilt St) is looking to bridge the gap between cultures. Come to the Saturday play sessions (for both children and adults) to immerse yourself in the Spanish language by way of outside play, story time, music and other fun activities. Scholarships are available. Register online. Ages 5 and under. 

Shopping, Pop-up shops

Strasbourg & Alsace Christmas Market

Bowling Green Park, Financial District

No passport required for this wintertime celebration. For a holiday experience with French flair, venture to Bowling Green for a taste of Europe's oldest Christmas market in NYC's oldest park. A tree lighting ceremony will kickstart the festivities on Dec 5 at 6pm, but there's so much more to look forward to: traditional décor, light displays (a popular trend for 2019) and wooden chalets holding French knick-knacks and delicacies. Oui, oui! All ages.

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