No school? No worries! (Reminder: Many NYC schools are not in session from February 20 -24.) In our book, that means more time to explore and play in the big city and beyond. We’ve rounded up 25 events, camps, shows and happenings the whole family can enjoy, to make this February break the best one ever.
1. It’s always good to arm yourself with a list of great play spaces around the city. Here are some of our favorites!
2. Catch a flick at The New York International Children’s Film Festival
The New York International Children’s Film Festival is back for its 20th year in NYC. Enjoy premieres, several popular shorts programs, Q & As with filmmakers and more! Festival begins February 24 and runs through March 19. (See our picks here!) Theaters throughout NYC: DGA Theater, IFC Center, Scandinavia House, SVA Theatre, Kinepolis Chelsea, and Alamo Drafthouse.
3. Experience a literary favorite on stage: A Year with Frog and Toad
NJPAC presents a musical following Frog and Toad, whom so many already know through the beloved children’s books.
Sat., Feb. 25th, 2.pm.
NJ Performing Arts Center
One Center St.
Online: : njpac.org
4. Learn some new skills in the kitchen with Freshmade NYC
Drop off your little ones off for Freshmade’s Feel Good Friday: Healthy & Homemade Pizza Party workshop on February 17. Kids will enjoy a hands-on 90 minute class and come away full.
February 17th, 3:45-5:15pm
636 Broadway, 5th Floor, Suite #516
photo: via City Parks Foundation Facebook page
5. Enjoy a classic in a classic location: The Princess, The Emperor, and The Duck in Central Park
City Parks Foundation is excited to offer this exciting production of Hans Christian Anderson’s classic tale at the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater in Central Park. Recommended for kids ages 3-9, it debuts February 7 and plays through Fall 2017.
February 20 – 24; 11:00am,1:00pm and 3:00pm
Tickets :$8/children under 12; $12 all others
Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre (81st St. and Central Park West)
photo: Brooklyn Children’s Museum
6. Take in the great outdoors from the inside: the Wilderness Camp Exhibit at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum
Want to get outside but not in February temps? We’ve got you covered. The Wilderness Camp Exhibit brings the great outdoors directly to you in an interactive installation featuring wilderness survival and preservation of natural resources.
Exhibit runs from January 21-June 2017
Brooklyn Children’s Museum
145 Brooklyn Ave.
7. Never Forget at the Noguchi Museum
The Noguchi is celebrating community day on February 19. Admission is free and features programming honoring the 75th anniversary of the order that authorized interment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. From 10:30-12:30 a special art for families workshop, recommended for kids ages five to 11, “Drawing in Sand” is available with artist Kimi Maeda; pre-register for it here: education.noguchi.org/art-for-families .
February 19, 10:30 a.m.- 12:30 p.m. (museum open until 6pm); $10 per family
Noguchi Museum 9-01 33rd Road (at Vernon Boulevard)
Long Island City, Queens
photo: Wave Hill
8. Take a trip out of the city for Wave Hill’s Family Art Projects and Workshops
Wave Hill, the 28-acre garden and cultural center about 30 minutes outside Manhattan, is offering special scheduled projects and workshops Feb 17-Feb24. Take part in creating wintry art together as a family and explore the grounds for some fresh air and breathtaking views. There is also a sale in The Shop on kids’ items during this week, and admission to the grounds is free for kids ages 6 to 18, Tuesday through Friday. Another perk? Free shuttle options from Metro-North’s Riverdale station.
649 W 249th St.
9. Go Underground at the Lowline Lab
Explore this innovative and exciting underground park through February 26. Learn about the lab’s use of solar technology and see its methods of growing and sustaining plants underground. Keep an eye out for closing events to be announced as well!
Sat. & Sun., 11 a.m.- 5p.m.
140 Essex St.(between Rivington and Stanton Streets)
Lower East Side
10. Keep the (Chinese) New Year Vibes Going in Flushing
Join the fun at Flushing Town Hall’s Lunar New Year exhibit featuring one of the largest shadow figure collections in the United States from puppeteer Pauline Benton. With both a unique historical perspective and art form, this exhibit is one the whole family can learn a lot from.
Weekends, Noon – 5 p.m. through Feb. 26
Tickets: Suggested donation $5 for adults, free for children
Flushing Town Hall
137-35 Northern Blvd.
photo: Hoodwinked Escape via Yelp
11. Work together to “Escape the Room”
Hoodwinked Escape is Harlem’s newest family bonding experience. Solve puzzles, clues, and more to “escape the room in 60 minutes (or less!) Choose from four different room experiences and get ready to problem-solve like you never have before! (Recommended ages 10 and up.)
151 W. 116 St. (at Historic Graham Court; at the corner of Adam Clayton Powell Blvd.)
12. Turn it Up at Exhibitionism-The Rolling Stones
Have you already brainwashed your child into loving The Stones? Head here to check out vintage items, artwork, and fashions that tell the story of one of the greatest bands ever. Kids will especially appreciate the 3D interactive experiences, even if they don’t quite understand who Mick Jagger is (yet).
Exhibitionism-The Rolling Stones
Through March 2017
Industria, West Village
West 12th St. (between Washington and Greenwich Streets)
photo: via Funtopia Facebook page
13. Take a Visit to Funtopia
Throw it back with arcade games, bumper cars, playgrounds and more at this Queens family fun center for all ages. Looking for an arcade in a different place? Check out our top family friendly arcade picks here.
Admission: $5/child; no charge for adults accompanying a child
66-26 Metropolitan Ave.
photo: Silveira Neto via Flickr
14. Get your sweet tooth on at Dylan’s Candy Bar
Treat your family and let your kids can indulge in their favorite sweets, enjoy the cafe, and explore each of the three floors to their heart’s desire! The cafe takes reservations if your kids want to head over with a larger group.
1011 Third Ave. (at 60th Street)
Upper East Side
15. Get your hands dirty at Clay & Art Spring Break Camp
Have your kids join the fun at The Painted Pot’s day camps Feb 20-24. Handbuilding techniques, mosaic building, glass fusion and more await campers looking to create up to 12 projects throughout the camp. Both single day and full week options available depending on your schedule.
Locations in Bay Ridge, Carroll Gardens, and Park Slope
$580 Full Week; $120 Single day
16. Ride with BRIC’s BKLYN Bike Meet-up
Join local bike enthusiasts to celebrate bike culture! Food, music by DJ Sol Nova, family activities, giveaways, and a raffle for one of 10 brand new Schwinn bicycles!
February 25, 2-5 p.m.
445 Albee Square W.
photo: via Sky Zone South Plainfield Facebook page
17. Jump On Over To One of the NYC area Trampoline Parks
18. Get Cultured at MoMA and With Free Family Programs
During the week of the 20th, MoMA is holding free family programs. From sculptures for four-year-olds to line, shape and color for kids ages 5-10 ,to modern interiors for tweens, MoMA has something for all ages to enjoy! Check out its programs here to see what works best for your family.
11 W. 53rd St.
photo: NYBG/Marlon Co
19. Transport to Thailand at the New York Botanical Garden’s Orchid Show. Now marking its 15th year, this celebration of one of the world’s most exquisite flowers is dedicated to Thailand’s wealth of orchids and rich cultural history. Forget winter and take in lush tropical garden conservatory filled with these unique blooms. The show culminates in a jaw-dropping scene of a large arched façade in the style of a traditional Thai pavilion—festooned with hundreds of exquisite orchids. Thai dance performances, film screenings, tours, orchid care demonstrations, expert Q&As, and more makeup daytime programming.
Feb. 18-April 9
Tickets: Weekends and holiday Mondays, $25/adults; $10/kids ages two- 12; free/kids under two; Weekdays, $20/adults; $8/kids ages two – 12
Enid A. Haupt Conservatory
The New York Botanical Garden
2900 Southern Blvd.
20. Stay Active with Multi-Sport or Gymnastics Camp at Chelsea Piers
Need a way for the kids to burn of some steam over the break? Chelsea Piers keeps kids moving with a half-day Preschool camp for 3 to 5-year-olds, and full-day camps for 5 to 12-year-olds. Choose form multisport or gymnastics camps; full schedules and pricing available here.
62 Chelsea Piers
23rd Street and Hudson River Park
21. Reach New Heights at Brooklyn Boulders
Head to Brooklyn Boulders and sign your kids up for the MID-WINTER ADVENTURES or the BKB X BEANSTALK CIRCUS ADVENTURES program. Both offered from Feb 20 -Feb 24, these programs engage kids ages five to 12 in a fully-programmed day of rock climbing, team-building, and learning activities.
Feb 20- 24; 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
575 Degraw St.
22. Take a Ride on the Seaglass Carousel at the Battery Conservancy
When it opened, lines were quite long. Now’s your chance to hop on — with, one can hope — less wait!
State and Water Street
photo: via AMNH Facebook page
23. Explore Cuba at the American Museum of Natural History
This bilingual exhibit takes visitors inside the Cuban experience, from its bustling boulevards to wild spots like caves and coral reefs. Learn about the people, the culture, and the amazing biodiversity found in the largest island nation in the Caribbean. (Live animals and domino-playing included!)
Through Aug. 13
Tickets: $27/adults; $16.00/kids ages 2 – 12; $22/seniors and students with ID
Central Park West at 79th St.
24. Check Out More Than Books at the Library
Just because it’s spring break, doesn’t mean you need to avoid the books! Head to your local NYPL, or venture to a new location and take advantage of classic movie day, storytimes, and bilingual learning through music, all offered the week of Feb 20th at varying NYPL locations.
25. Ride Strong at the New York Transit Museum
A perennial favorite of kids (and adults when it’s rainy or cold out) the museum is offering special activities for kids during the break week. Check out Design a Winter Vehicle, Electricity Live!, and Get Kinetic events during the week of February 20.
Tickets: Adults; $10; Children (2-17)/ $5 (Events free with Museum admission)
Boerum Place & Schermerhorn Street
What’s Your Plan for February Break? Tell us in the comments below!
— Ilyssa Smith