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The best winter activities for kids in NYC

NYC's coolest winter activities for kids (sledding, cocoa crawls) just might put it in the running for the best season

Allie Early
Written by
Allie Early
&
Danielle Valente
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The most delightful winter activities for kids will have you singing "Let It Snow." 

Now is the time to conquer those steep sledding hills and lace up for ice skating in NYC. Sure the temperatures are wicked, but with the help of a warm winter coat and a mug of hot cocoa, you will be ready to tackle any adventure that awaits. 

This season might look a little different in NYC, but with our guide, we'll help you make the most of it—and safely. 

Best winter activities for kids

  • Things to do

The most wonderful time of year might look a little different in 2020, but we can still help those who are searching for "Christmas events near me." From fun holiday light show installations to the (virtual) Macy's Santaland, there is plenty of winter goodness to go around. Plus, new rules are in place at each venue to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Before the man in the big red suit pulls into town, tackle all of these great seasonal happenings! Then, curl up with some hot chocolate and one of our favorite Christmas movies for kids!

  • Things to do
  • Festivals

'Tis the season to be jolly and visit a holiday light show or two! Fortunately for you, we've rounded up the coolest Christmas events in and near NYC that are totally illuminating—literally! From the visiting LuminoCity Festival at Randall's Island to Sesame Place's brand-new drive-thru experience, these events allow visitors to enjoy the best of the season while staying socially distanced. 

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  • Things to do

The season of lights is getting even brighter: Drive-thru Christmas lights have popped up around NYC, and they're the perfect way to ring in the holidays safely. Twinkling tunnels, larger-than-life seasonal displays—they're all ready to wow your little elves! We suggest you bring along some hot chocolate and crank up the Christmas songs for kids while out on your adventure. 

  • Things to do
  • Markets and fairs

No one wants to find themselves with a skimpy tree a la Charlie Brown. Bundle up and map out where to find a Christmas tree farm near NYC. The smell of pine is practically a necessity come the holidays. 

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  • Things to do
  • Quirky events

When Elsa sends a blizzard our way, your brood will ditch those indoor activities for kids and opt for tallest hill he or she can find. We mapped out our go-to kids' playgrounds and parks equipped with the perfect slopes for sledding in NYC, from  Central Park to Van Cortlandt Park. 

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Best winter activities for kids

  • Restaurants

Sometimes bundling up in a winter ensemble is just too much to bear. Swap the coat and scarf for some jammies and let the treats come to you. The best cookie delivery services in NYC—Levain Bakery, Schmackary’s, to name a few—bring top-notch sweets right right to the comfort of your home. If you’re in the middle of a fun holiday movie or can’t quite find the strength to brave the cold, this is the perfect way to snag some dessert without any winter discomfort...just make sure you have some hot cocoa before you order!

  • Things to do
  • City Life

"Mall" isn't necessarily an accurate way to describe American Dream.  Sure, the long-awaited Jersey attraction boasts hundreds of retail options, from Zara and H&M to Saks Fifth Avenue and Tiffany & Co., but the three-million-square-foot destination is definitely an entertainment hub that needs to be on your radar.  The estimated $5 billion project from Triple Five Group, the masterminds behind the Mall of America in Minnesota, worked to ensure that the Meadowlands shopping and entertainment behemoth is the talk of the town. Here's what you can look forward to:  Nickelodeon Universe (Opens Oct 25), DreamWorks Water Park (Opens Nov 27), Big SNOW Ski and Snowboard Park (Opens Dec 5) and SO much more. 

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Build a snowman

While adults might not be terribly pleased about commuting in the snow, kids pray for fierce winter weather, and rightfully so. Once NYC is transformed into a bright-white blanket, it’s go time. Grab accessories, carrots and buttons to create a unique, trendy snowman that adds some flair to NYC winters.

Best winter activities for kids

  • Travel
  • getaways

Give your youngsters a dose of fresh air and introduce them to a variety of exciting East Coast cities this spring. These destinations, each just a short drive or train ride from the city, are bursting with family-friendly activities, making them the perfect spots for spring day trips from NYC. Make the most of the kids' time off school during their spring break or plan a quick weekend outing away from the hustle and bustle to explore awesome museum exhibits for kids, check out unique fairs and festivals and enjoy the great outdoors—NYC will still be here when you get back!

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