No, your eyes aren't playing tricks on you—it's officially time for midwinter break. NYC schools will be closed from Feb 19–23, so there are plenty of opportunities to get together with loved ones and enjoy some exciting adventures.
To ensure that your midwinter break is a success, check out these indoor attractions for kids, plan a group outing to one of these Broadway shows for kids and top off each day with a visit to one of many fun restaurants in NYC.
Looking for a little R&R? We've got you covered. Schedule a night on the couch with one of these kids' movies or head to the library and take out one of the best kids' books around. No matter which route you take, you're guaranteed a lovely week. Enjoy!
Midwinter break events
During this family-friendly tour of the exhibition, tykes will learn about the island's evolution as well as its hidden history of farming, manufacturing and sports. Little ones will then commemorate the borough's storied past and present in a tile-making workshop, presented by the Staten Island's own Kreischer Brickworks and American Linoleum Manufacturing Company. Ages 7 to 12.
Based on novelist Gregory Maguire's 1995 adult variation on L. Frank Baum's Oz mythology, Wicked provides a prequel to the children's book and movie. The musical addresses complex themes, such as standards of beauty, morality and, believe it or not, opposition to fascism. Thanks to a witty book by Winnie Holzman (creator of ’90s cult angstfest My So-Called Life) and composer-lyricist Stephen Schwartz's robust score, Wicked soars. While children five and up are permitted in the theater, little ones might be afraid of the flying monkeys—we'd recommend this show for kids that are a tiny bit older. Ages 8 and up.
This adaptation of the Disney classic tops the rest with its kiddie-crowd-pleasing laughs and upbeat music. Charming street urchin Aladdin brings his exotic world to Broadway along with beloved songs like "A Whole New World" and "Friend Like Me," plus several new tunes, which come to life onstage through music composed by Alan Menken and lyrics penned by Howard Ashman and Tony Award winner Tim Rice. Kids will be dazzled by the color-drenched production and awe-inspiring special effects, like a confetti cannon and fireworks. Ages 6 and up.
Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? SpongeBob SquarePants! And soon, Nickelodeon’s clothed and spongey character will also live at the Palace Theater. The cast of underwater characters, including Squidward, Sandy Cheeks and Patrick, will be a part of a new Broadway Musical beginning December 4, 2017 and we can’t think of a better way to introduce little ones to the magic of Broadway! All ages.
Disney's Tony-winning show continues to dazzle at the Minskoff. Any child who hasn't yet seen it must catch director Julie Taymor's wildly imaginative puppet spectacle. A cast of 46 sings the Elton John–Tim Rice score, which tells the story of Simba, a cub destined to be king of his pride. The vibrant costumes, singalong-worthy music and unbelievable sets can't be beat. Ages 6 and up.
Three deadpan, blue-skinned men with extraterrestrial imaginations carry this tourist fave, a show as smart as it is ridiculous. They drum on open tubs of paint, creating splashes of color; they consume Twinkies and Cap'n Crunch; they engulf the audience in a roiling sea of toilet paper. For sheer weird, exuberant fun, it's hard to top this long-running treat. Ages 5 and up.
Ideal for kids who think banging on pots and pans (and garbage-can lids and buckets) is more fun than playing with the latest electronic toy, Stomp is a "percussion sensation" whose cast of aerobicized dancer-musicians makes lovely noise. If you're looking for an experience that will satisfy both a first-grader and a teen, this could be it. Ages 4 and up.
Created by Fan Yang, 16-time Guinness-record holder for blowing the biggest soap bubble, this show is an ode to airborne orbs. In the newest incarnation of the show, Yang's son, 20-year-old Deni Yang, takes over, presenting magic, lighting effects and bubbles—giant bubbles, walls of bubbles, helium bubbles and bubbles within bubbles. Ages 5 and up.
The Museum of the Moving Image finally unveils its new permanent exhibition on Jim Henson’s work. Head up to the second floor to find nearly 300 items from the Henson’s career in film and television, including sketches, storyboards, scripts, photos, costumes, behind-the-scenes video footage and 47 puppets (Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Elmo and Big Bird just to name a few). Kids can even try their hand at puppeteering on screen and designing their own puppet characters. All ages.
From the donations of many visitors' used shoelaces comes "We the People," an art installation by Nari Ward. From Feb 20–24, you can see the sculpture as it gets installed, and from February 20–26 you can post a sticky note on the museum's preamble wall to share how the words "We the People" make you feel. All ages.