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hayden planetarium amnh
Photograph: Shutterstock

The best things to do with kids in NYC this week

We found the best things to do in NYC this week (virtually and in-person) to keep your little urbanites entertained

By Danielle Valente
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The holidays are over, winter break has passed and a new year is upon us. To kick of 2021 on the right foot, we've rounded up the best things to do with kids in NYC this week. 

Your favorite family attractions are hosting online classes for kids (AMNH has a fun astronomy offering for wannabe astronauts) while some of the city's beloved puppet theaters are gearing up for a new (socially distanced) season.   

RECOMMENDED: Full NYC events calendar for families 

Plus, a few Christmas events for kids, including light shows like LuminoCity, are still going strong for one more week, and you'll want to catch 'em if you didn't get a chance to make a visit earlier in the season. 

For those who are looking to spend time in, we've got you covered with new streaming updates, board games and engaging podcasts. 

Best things to do with kids in NYC January 04-08

Time Out + NYPL
Time Out + NYPL
Photograph: Time Out + NYPL

1. Time Out + New York Public Library daily storytimes

Things to do Literary events

Time Out is partnering with the New York Public Library to present digital storytimes for pint-sized bookworms. 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!

 

amnh hayden planetarium
amnh hayden planetarium
Photograph: Courtesy AMNH/D. Finnin

2. AMNH's Astronomy Online

Things to do Classes and workshops Remote, Midtown West

Although the American Museum of Natural History is open, the Hayden Planetarium has remained closed. But that doesn't mean out-of-this-world astronomy lessons have to stop. Quite the opposite, actually. The first Friday of each month is dedicated to a virtual lesson on the cosmos on the Museum's YouTube channel. To kickstart the year will be "Secrets of Saturn" on Jan 8. All ages. 

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Photograph: Courtesy Michael Moran

3. Ice skating

Things to do

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.) Be sure to check on hours and rules, as things are subject to change in 2020. 

 

Bar Pisellino Hot Chocolate
Bar Pisellino Hot Chocolate
Photograph: Oliver Strand

4. Hot chocolate

Restaurants

The hot chocolate in NYC has never been better! There are so many amazing, high-quality options in this city that you could take your kid on a season-long cocoa crawl, and try everything from classic cups to more creative expressions: cardamom almond milk hot chocolate, anyone?

 

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Central Park Bethesda Fountain
Central Park Bethesda Fountain
Photograph: Courtesy Shutterstock

5. Park visits

Things to do

Our guide to the best NYC parks for kids will help you make the most of your sunny autumn afternoon! Simply put, these parks amazing. Have a look at some of our favorites and their activity offerings. 

Domino Park Playground
Domino Park Playground
Photograph: Courtesy Daniel Levin

6. Playground visits

Things to do

This is a golden age of playgrounds. In recent years NYC has completely transformed what playtime is like for a city kid, introducing creative playgrounds to every corner of the Big Apple. There are so many gorgeous playgrounds to visit in NYC, and this list will help you set off on a fabulous adventure.

 

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Cheesequake State Park
Cheesequake State Park
Photograph: Shutterstock

7. Hiking trails

Things to do

Just because you live in the Big Apple doesn't mean you can't spend time in the great outdoors. There are amazing family-friendly hikes close to NYC—in fact, the Bronx River Greenway and Inwood Hill Park are right in the middle of the city! So: Check the weather, grab a heavy coat and make plans to visit mother nature with the fam.

See more events this week

More fun things to do

lotte palace
Photograph: Courtesy Shutterstock

1. Christmas trees in NYC

Attractions

The holidays might be a little lopsided this year, but we can all agree that we deserve some good cheer. Fortunately, NYC Christmas trees deliver those holly jolly vibes in spades. From the traditional attractions (we're lookin' at you, Rockefeller Center) to the more unique setups (wait until you see what's happening at Queens County Farm), these beauties will definitely give you a sentimental feeling. 

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