If you thought winter would slow down New York City, you’ve got another thing coming. Regardless of if there are chilly temps and snow—or like recently, unseasonably warm weather—there are still plenty of things to do with kids in NYC this season. Have some winter fun outdoors (rooftop iceskating? ice rink bumper cars? giant seesaws?) or head inside to see a new movie in 3D, check out a fresh skatepark, experience high-tech art and more. Here’s how to make sure your family rocks winter this year!

photo: Frost Fest Jane Kratochvil

Bank of America Winter Village’s FrostFest

Bank of America Winter Village’s FrostFest is back for 10 fun-filled days. Running from January 24 to February 2, the fest includes Bumper Cars on Ice, ice-fishing, live entertainment at The Lodge, Silent Disco, an Igloo Experience, and much more. 

Click here for more info! 

photo: CMOM

Inside Art at the Children's Museum of Manhattan

This new exhibit at the Children's Museum of Manhattan invites kids to explore larger-than-life art installations and giant sculptures by  11 contemporary visual artists. A sculpture allows children to move like a groundhog as they dwell in one of two burrows built to human scale; a spandex wall of tropical patterns invites kids to stretch, pull and punch their way through, and cylindrical sculpture encourages pint-sized visitors to crawl under and peek through a panorama of three-dimensional leaves. That's just the tip of the art iceberg! The show includes pieces by Adrienne Elise Tarver, Borinquen Gallo, Carlos Jesus Martinez Dominguez, Damien Davis, Joiri Minaya, Julie Ann Nagle, Leah Tinari, Roberto Visani, Tamara Kostianovsky,  and Yeju & Chat, and features hands-on workshops and pop-up performances of dance, theater and music. 

Children’s Museum of Manhattan
212 West 83rd St.
Upper West Side
212-721-1234
Hours: Tues.-Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Sun., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Online: cmom.org

Year of the Rat Festivities

Welcome the Year of the Rat with events in Chinatown. January 25 brings the Firecracker Ceremony and Festival, which features the explosives clearing out evil spirits to make way for the new year. Click here for more info!

Then, on February 9, it's the 21st Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade and Festival. It kicks off at 1 p.m. at Mott and Canal Street and makes its way to Grand Street next to Sara D. Roosevelt Park. Click here for more info! 

photo: Time Out New York Market

Time Out New York Market Iglounge

Head to the Time Out New York Market in DUMBO for a snack, lunch, or cup of hot something and make your way to the fifth floor terrace. There, you'll find the "Rooftop Iglounge," where you can dine in the comfort of an igloo-like dome filled with fake fur covered chairs, fluffy blankets and twinkling lights, as you take in panoramic views of Manhattan's skyline, the East River, Manhattan Bridge and Brooklyn Bridge. (Best to go when the weather is mild, as they are not heated.)

Time Out New York Market at Empire Stores 
55 Water St. 
DUMBO
917-810-4855
Online: timeoutmarket.com/newyork

photo: C. Frausini for WKC

Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

The Super Bowl for dogs, AKA the Westminster Kennel Club, returns to Madison Square Garden for the 144th year, and a new breed joins the competition in 2020, the West African Azawakh. Thinking about adding a fuzzy friend to the family? Westminster is one of the remaining benched shows, which means that you can visit with handlers, breeders and the dogs on their ‘bench’. This allows you to speak to breeders and to learn the specific breed you might be interested in. (All tickets include access to see the Best of Breed winners on their benches at Madison Square Garden before the show.) Note that you can buy tickets to attend during the day to see group judging. Click here for ticketing options.

If you're really looking to familiarize yourself with different kinds of dogs, attend the Meet the Breeds event on Jan 25 and 26 at the Javitz Center, where you can get up close and personal with dogs and breeders in a more low-key setting. Click here for more info! 

Mon., Feb. 10 & Tues. Feb. 11, 7 p.m.
Tickets: $40-$65
Madison Square Garden
4 Penn Plaza
Midtown 
Online: msg.com

photo: Erika Kapin Photography

Kids Week at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Complex

The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum Complex does not mess around when it comes to February break. Head here for non-stop activities over eight days during Kids Week. Programming varies by day, but you can expect live animal shows, pop-up planetarium shows, maker spaces, live performances, celeb appearances, book readings, face-painting, puppet-making the Story Pirates and more! (P.S. activities and demonstrations are designed to educate and inspire kids relating to all things STEAM.) 

Feb. 15-22
Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
Tickets: $33/ages 13-64; $24/kids 5-12, free/kids four and under 
Pier 84, 12th Avenue and 46th Street
Midtown West
212-245-0072
Online: intrepidmuseum.org

photo: NYICFF

New York International Children's Film Festival

It's North America’s largest film festival for children and teens, and it's screening 18 features from 11 countries in seven venues over four weekends. Wow! Now in its 23rd year, the festival will present a slate of new animated, live action, and documentary features, alongside 10 short film collections. Selections are for audiences of all ages (with recommended ages for individual titles), with a dedicated focus for those aged 3-18. Major themes for 2020 include kids taking steps to make the world a better place with creative activism, and the pivotal role that music plays in young people’s self-definition as they grow up. Films include a preview of season two of Hilda (show here), a celebration of Aardman Animation with A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, and special selections from Japan and Canada. Tickets are one sale now! 

 

Feb. 21- March 15
Tickets: $14.50/screening; $17.50 special events 
Various venues
Online: nyicff.org

photo: Sip 'N' Play

Sip 'N' Play Board Game Cafe

A new board game cafe is in town, just in time to hunker down and get cozy! Sip 'N' Play stocks an impressive roster of more than 200 games, from beginner to serious strategy. (You can see the full list here.) It's easy on the wallet, too: it's $5 per person for three hours, or $10 for unlimited play. The cafe serves up sweet and savory bites that include pastries, sandwiches, salads and toasts, and hot and cold beverages both classic and creative. 

Sip 'N' Play
471 Fifth Ave. 
718-971-1684
Online: facebook.com/sipnplaynyc

photo: Showfields

Game for Free at SHOWFIELDS

Don't live near the Slope? No problem! Head to downtown concept store SHOWFIELDS, where you can play games in its pop-up gaming lounge for free through January 26! SHOWFIELDS has more than 20 different board games to choose from, like Jenga, Settlers of Catan, Uno, Risk,  Candyland, Apples to Apples and many more! 

Through Jan. 26
Free
11 Bond St., 3rd Fl.
Noho
Online: showfields.com

photo: Seaport District/Wagstaff

Giant Illuminated Interactive Seesaws

Take your pick from two different free installations of musical, illuminated seesaws this winter! These bright, interactive takes on the playground classic come alive when you and a partner hop on.

In Midtown's Garment District, Broadway between 37th and 38th has been blocked off to traffic to make way for Impulse, on display through January 31. 

Downtown in the Seaport District you'll find a similar field of teeter totters dubbed Wave-Field. Head to Seaport Square next to Pier 17 to give those a whirl. 

photo: William Vale Hotel

A New Rink with Skyline Views

As we've mentioned before, this is a stellar season for ice rinks in NYC. Yet another new rink recently debuted, this one on the roof of coolio Williamsburg hotel The William Vale. Not only does it provide amazing views of Manhattan, it's made of synthetic ice technology "Glice", which is neither cold or wet. Still, when you're done taking a spin, head inside a heated tent for hot chocolate and treats. 

Wed. & Thurs., 2 - 10 p.m.; Fri., 2 p.m.-midnight; Sat., Noon-midnight, sun. Noon - 10 p.m.
Tickets: $20/adults; $12/kids
The William Vale 
111 N. 12th St. 
718-631-8400
Williamsburg
Online: thewilliamvale.com

 

A Hot New Movie at the American Museum of Natural History

A new giant-screen film has arrived at the AMNH's Samuel J. and Ethel LeFrak Theater. Volcanoes: The Fires of Creation will be shown in 2D and 3D daily. Viewers encounter molten worlds and exploding craters in this adrenaline-filled experience, while also following the story of volcanoes from the Earth’s beginnings to the present day. Follow adventurer and photographer Carsten Peter and “stand” on the edge of an active volcano, visit the archaeological ghost town of Pompeii, see the incredible mineral deposit fields in Ethiopia and more.  Through never-before-seen footage, visitors will learn how volcanoes create nutrient-rich soils and diverse ecosystems on land and under the sea.

Through July 5
Tickets: General Admission Plus One includes general admission plus one special exhibition, giant-screen 2D or 3D film, or Space Show: $28 (adults), $22.50 (students/seniors), $16.50 (children ages 2–12).
American Museum of Natural History 
Central Park West at 79th Street
Upper West Side
212-769-5100
Online: amnh.org

A New Free Indoor Skatepark in Brooklyn

Grab the board and head to Vans Skate Space 198 a brand new indoor skate park in Bushwick from the iconic streetwear brand. Designed by California Skateparks, Vans Skate Space 198’s design is a true representation of both park and street, with several features inspired by classic New York City skate spots. In addition to features proposed by the local New York City skate community, the brand new park is designed with a mix of unique materials and textures, making it a truly one-of-a-kind, collaborative skate space in the heart of Brooklyn. It's free to skate, and the park holds special "Grom" sessions (for kids) for skaters ages six to 12 on Saturdays and Sundays. You must RSVP in advance, and space is limited. Do that here. Also: parents must sign a waiver and helmets are required. 

198 Randolph St. 
Bushwick
Online: vans.com

photo: BAM

Ted Riederer's Never Records at BAM

Head over to BAM's Rudin Family Gallery to take part in your own free, three-hour recording session as part of New York-based conceptual artist and musician Ted Riederer's Never Records. (You do need to sign up in advance, though.) Throughout the exhibition, community members and performers are invited to sign up and record anything they choose—whether it be a song, a poem, a story, an instrumental work or any sound imaginable. During each session Riederer imparts what he calls the “transcendental science” of cutting a vinyl record, as well as leading participants on a mediation of the visualization of sound. At the close of each session, the performer leaves with a freshly cut vinyl record, along with a digital file, of their piece. Each recording then goes into the stacks of the “record shop” where the public can experience both old and new Never Records recordings. Gallery visitors can also view the unique artwork in the shop which is designed to mimic a long-operating record store while watching performances being recorded and cut live.

Jan. 15 to Mar. 15, Wed. - Sun., 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
BAM Strong
The Rudin Family Gallery
651 Fulton St. 
Fort Greene
Online: bam.org

photo: BAM

Teknopolis Returns

The BAMKids season launches with the return of the popular, interactive digital arts showcase Teknopolis™— designed to inspire creativity, connect with the future, and encourage a renewed sense of play for all ages. The three-week-long digital playground offers the latest in technology-fueled art and participatory environments featuring work by leading artists and technologists who are pushing the artistic boundaries of VR, AR, mixed reality (MR), and sensor-based technology and displays. This year's lineup includes 17 highly interactive installations with artists from seven different countries. Many of them allow participants to interact with the installations directly. Recommended for kids ages six and up. 

Feb. 22-March 8
BAM Fisher
321 Ashland Pl. 
Fort Green
718-636-4100 x1
Online: bam.org

Get Out of Town

Don't forget! School break returns in February—you still have a chance to make a getaway with the kids. Here are some of our favorite spots for family vacations of all kinds that you can get to in three hours or less. ! 

—Mimi O’Connor

RELATED STORIES: 

Best Theater Shows for Kids This Winter in NYC

The Top Museum Exhibits for Kids This Winter

NYC Winter Birthday Party Spots for Kids