Dance, hike and be festive as the city ushers in a new year of family fun. Enjoy Urban Rangers-led nature events, cultural festivals, celebrations of MLK and even give back to the community as a family with these awesome free January 2020 events for kids in NYC!

photo: NYC Parks Department

Mulchfest 2020 in NYC Streets

Looking for a way to volunteer as a family and give back to the city, while also helping the city's nature thrive? Join many other volunteers and take to the city streets to weed, aerate, cultivate, and spread mulch around young trees to help them grow big and strong. Kids are allowed but must be accompanied by an adult, and all volunteers are encouraged to wear comfortable clothes you don't mind dirtying and bring their own water. Space is limited and registration is required.

Various dates, times, and locations
Online: nycgovparks.org

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New Year's Day Hike in NYC Parks

Start the year with an appreciation for nature and a touch of nature, through the easy to moderate hikes around NYC's parks. Dress warm, wear comfortable shoes, bring something to drink and get ready to unplug and enjoy the great outdoors. Led by the Urban Rangers, these city hikes will take you into the city's urban forests, hidden nature oases, and other great spots to relax and ring in the new year in peace and tech-free quiet.

Wed., Jan. 1
Various times and locations
Online: nycgovparks.org

Three Kings Day Parade at the Museo del Barrio

The annual parade is back for its 43rd year, and this time around the theme is "Nuestros Barrios Unidos: Celebrating our Collective Strength." Come celebrate NYC's immigrant community and everything it's contributed to the culture and diversity of the city. See live camels, giant puppets, live music and dancing as the parade makes its way down Park Ave. from 106th to 115th Sts. (11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.), then enjoy performances and events in the museum, which is providing free admission for the day.

Mon., Jan. 6
11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Museo del Barrio
1230 Fifth Ave.
Upper East Side
Online: elmuseo.org

Jiggy Tots at the NYPL

Kids ages 2-4 can jam and dance along to music designed for little ears and little feet! This is week 1 of a 4-week series, held in the Epiphany branch of the New York Public Library.

Fri., Jan. 10
11 a.m.
Epiphany Branch Library
228 East 23rd St.
Gramercy Park
Online: facebook.com

photo: Kristina Moy

Bald Eagle Watch at Inwood Park

Calling all bird-lovers! Birding events are held throughout NYC parks all year long; this one will focus on finding majestic bald eagles in your own backyard (along with other feathered friends, of course). Visitors can bring their own gear, but Urban Rangers will also be lending out binoculars and field guides.

Other birding events in January will have you searching for owls in Alley Pond Park and Pelham Bay Park.

Sat., Jan. 11
9-10:30 a.m.
Inwood Hill Park
Henshaw Street and Dyckman Street
Inwood
Online: nycgovparks.org

Nature's Workshop at Marine Park

This winter series encourages visitors to get hands-on with nature, develop a new skill and create a journal entry inspired by the environment. Supplies are provided for this event, led by NYC's Urban Rangers.

Sat., Jan. 18
1-2:30 p.m.

Click here for more info!

MLK Day Storytelling and Music Event in Flatbush

Broaden your horizons with this MLK day celebration, which is all about civil rights and literacy. The event strives to teach young visitors about the Civil Rights Movement and help them develop a love for reading. This year's event features authors Sharee Miller and Anastasia Higginbotham as well as music, arts and crafts and a free lunch.- at 12:30.

Mon., Jan. 20
11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Click here for more info! 

photo: NMAI

Winter Blast: A Family Day of Native Games at the Museum of the American Indian

Play traditional family-friendly American Indian games, like Hawaiian board games, Inuit yo-yos, hoop throwing, and more. Led by Jeremy Red Eagle (Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate).

Sat., Jan. 25
11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Click here for more info!

Firecracker Ceremony and Festival at Chinatown

Thousands of firecrackers will be set off to clear evil spirits and make way for the new year at this annual festival. Enjoy the show as traditional costumed performers take over the park and put on spectacular shows among decorations. Please be aware that this event is very crowded and loud (because, firecrackers).

Tues., Jan. 25
11 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Click here for more info!

Nature Scavenger Hunt at Juniper Valley Park

Find unusual natural items, get to know the park and nature around you, and have some family-friendly fun with this nature scavenger hunt in Queens. Get some clues from the Urban Rangers, then go exploring!

Sat., Jan. 25
11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Click here for more info!

photo: Jane Kratochvil

FrostFest at Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park

Have some wintery fun with live music, karaoke, "dueling pianos," a silent disco, and an ice carving performance at this festival. Kids will enjoy the puppet shows and "ice fishing" at the iconic Bryant Park fountain. Please note that although most of this event is free, the igloos and bumper cars are not.

Sat., Jan. 25-Mon., Feb. 3

Click here for more info! 

Chinese New Year Family Fitness at Recreation Center 54

Get fit and learn about Chinese culture with this family fitness day. Try your hand at active events like Tai Chi instruction, Tae Kwon Do, "dragon dancercise," and other fun activities.

Tues., Jan. 28
2:30-7 p.m.

Click here for more info! 

—Yuliya Geikhman

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