Holiday break is almost over and 2013 is nearly here. What can you do this weekend to keep the kids busy? Our top New York City kids event for the weekend is the ice carving competition, demos and frozen play area at the Bronx Zoo. There’s fun at Prospect Park Zoo too, as it’s time to give presents to the animals and you can watch furry friends unwrap them. If you feel like traveling back in time, visit The Cloisters for a Medieval family festival. Also on tap – knot typing tips at South Street Seaport, a Kwanzaa celebration and a special family matinee from Alvin Ailey.


Wildlife Ice Carving Competition & Demos
Amazing ice sculptors will be carving up a storm at the Bronx Zoo in a Friday competition to sculpt an interpretation of wildlife. You can then vote for your favorite sculpture and help choose the winner. The ice sculpting fun continues all weekend long. Kids can sit on a giant throne made of ice for a photo opportunity and burn off energy in a marine-themed ice play area featuring a 25-foot long solid ice slide. You can also do good by creating a holiday card to show thanks to the men and women of the US military. Fri., Sat., & Sun., 11:00 am – 4:00 pm. Bronx. Zoo admission of $22.95 for adults, $17.95 for kids 3-12 years old. All ages. Event details.

Medieval Court Family Festival
Learn about the knights, jokers, courtiers and other members of the medieval court at a special family festival. Kids will learn about life in the medieval times including musical entertainment, games and feasting. The program includes a self-guided art hunt and family gallery workshops. Sat., 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm. Fort Tyron Park. Free with museum admission. All ages. Event details.


Alvin Ailey Family Matinee
Take your kids to the ballet at this special afternoon show designed for families. The performance includes pieces from Home, Takedeme, The Hunt and Revelations. Stay after the performance for a free Q&A with the dancers. Sat., 2:00 pm. Midtown. $25 and up. All agesEvent details.


Knot Tying and Sailor’s Macrame
Visit the South Street Seaport Museum to learn about different kinds of knots that sailors use and why they are important from square knots to figure eights. Kids will also get to see how the same knot patterns were used to create macrame belts, fringe and other decorative pieces. Have younger kids? Take them to the toy corner while your older tots enjoys the class. Interested? Sat., 10:30 am – 12:00 pm. South Street Seaport. Free with museum admission. Ages 5-12. Event details.


Kwanzaa Celebration
Kids can learn about the African-inspired holiday Kwanzaa with this fun class at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum. They’ll learn about the meaning, traditions and culture of the holiday and make a Kwanzaa craft to take home. Choose from two times: 11:30 am or 2:30 pm. Sat & Sun., 11:30 am & 2:30 pm. Crown Heights. Free with museum admission. Ages 5 and underEvent details.

Presents to the Animals
Santa visits the animals too at the Prospect Park Zoo and you can watch them open their gifts. See Geoffrey tamarins and North American river otters rip open treat-filled bags and boxes. See the fun at two times: 11:00 am and 3:30 pm. Sat. & Sun., 11:00 am & 3:30 pm. Prospect Park. Zoo admission of $8 for adults, $5 for children ages 3-12. All ages. Event details.

What is your family doing on this last weekend of 2012?

— Julie Seguss

Image courtesy of WCS