Struggling to come up with new and interesting activities to do with your kids on the weekend as winter drags on? We found 24 indoor drop-in activities all over Manhattan happening on Saturdays and Sundays that will give you and your little ones a guaranteed awesome time, making your weekend one to remember.
1. Play and learn at the Children’s Museum: Spend the day at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan and while there, check out hands-on programming covering everything from healthy eating and celebrations to craft projects and story times. 4 years and younger; $11 admission, under 1 year old – Free; Sat. & Sun. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; 212 West 83rd St.; 212-721-1223.
2. Explore Chelsea Piers: A perfect “open play” space designed for your little one to run, jump and bounce, so you won’t climb the walls. 6 months – 4 years; $12/session; Sat. & Sun. 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.; Pier 62 23rd St. & Hudson River Park; 212-336-6500.
3. Story time at Pottery Barn Kids: If your little ones love listening to a good story, bring them to PB Kids. Be sure to sign up for a story time passport to receive a special gift after your fifth visit. Newborn – toddlers; Free; Sat., 10 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.; 1311 Second Ave.; 212-879-4746.
4. Learn how to cook: Tired of struggling with your picky eater? Let them learn how to cook their own food at The Art Farm. On the menu: cheesy mashed potatoes bread, baked pizza wontons and banana caramel brioche. Ages 2-8; $40; Sat., 9 a.m. – 10 a.m.; 419 East 91st St.; 212-410-3117.
5. Build a computer: Tech for Tots workshops at the Sony Wonder Technology Lab teach your curious kids the proper way to use your computer, smartphone or digital camera, before it’s too late. Ages 3-6; Pricing varies by project; Hours: Sat., 12 p.m. – 1 p.m.; 550 Madison Ave., 212-833-8100.
6. Write and publish a book: Unleash your child’s creativity and help them become a published author. Through a partnership with Scribble Press kids are able to create their own book at Make Meaning. It’s a great alternative to painting another bowl! Ages 5 and older; $39 and up; Sat. & Sun., 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.; UWS 329 Columbus Ave., 212-362-0350; UES: 1501 Third Ave., 212-744-0011.
7. DIY project at Home Depot: Give the kids a reason to run errands with you on a Saturday morning – a free, do-it-yourself kid’s workshop. Help them design a race car or build a birdcage, but be sure to register online because it’s first come-first served. Ages 5 and older; Free; First Saturday of the month, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.; 40 West 23rd St., 212-929-9571; 980 Third Ave., 212-888-1512.
8. Climb a tree in the city: At City Treehouse it’s a little bit burbs and a little bit city. With splashing water stations, a two-story tree to climb, secret caves and den-style playroom, you’ll finally have the space for your little ones to destroy and someone else to tidy up when you’re done. Ages18 months – 8 years; First visit – $10/hour, Single visit: $20/hour; Sat. & Sun., 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; 129A West 20th St.; 212-255-2050.
9. Create a modern art project: Put your budding modern artist to the test at MoMa’s family-friendly, two-hour workshop. Ages 4-6; Kids under 16 years/Free, Adults/$25 admission; Sat. & Sun., 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. & 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.; 11 West 53rd St.; 212-708-9400.
10. Visit a storybook character: Watch your child’s face light up when they meet their favorite storybook heroes at The Strand – a different one makes an appearance each month. February’s character is Clifford the Big Red Dog. All ages; Free; Sat. & Sun., 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.; 828 Broadway; 212-473-1452.
11. Pass on kitchen memories: Give your kids a chance to experience the same amazing kitchen memories you have with your mom at Kids in the Kitchen with Grandparents at the 92nd Street Y. Ages 2 1/2 – 5; $45 and up; Sun., 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.; 1395 Lexington Ave.; 212-531-2723.
12. Make a stuffed lovey at The Little Shop of Crafts: Help your little one create (and take home the same day) a new stuffed cuddly animal with its very own hand-designed t-shirt. More to love – the stuffing is hypoallergenic. All ages; $32 and up; Sat., 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. & Sun., 10 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.; 711 Amsterdam Ave.; 212-531-2723.
13. Paint a picture at the Children’s Museum of Arts: The Wee Arts studio is filled with clay, painting, drawing, blocks, flubber and everything else to get creative and messy. Smocks provided. Ages 5 years and younger; 1 year and up/$11, under 1/Free; Sat. & Sun., 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; 103 Charlton St.; 212-274-0986.
14. Get artsy and crafty at a real studio: Feeling inspired? Take the kids for a walk-in craft project at The Craft Studio. Future artists can decoupage a flowerpot or paint a picture frame, cleanup included! Ages 4 and older; $14 minimum charge for painting tables; Sat. & Sun., 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; 1657 Third Ave.; 212-831-6626.
15. Take the field for sports: If you’re looking for an activity to keep your sporty kid busy bring them to Field House at Chelsea Piers. Kids play soccer, shoot hoops, use batting cages, climb rock walls and show off their gymnastic skills, all under one roof. Ages 6 months – 11 years; Pricing varies by activity; Pier 62 West 23rd St. & Hudson River Park; 212-336-6500.
16. Learn the Nordic lifestyle: It’s like visiting Scandinavia, without enduring the long flight. Every activity at the Heimbold Family Children’s Playing and Learning Center has a Nordic theme. Ages toddlers and older; $15 per child; Sat. 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.; 58 Park Ave.; 212-779-3587.
17. Hangout at the Y: Let your little ones run, tumble, jump, climb and slide at the 14th Street Y’s padded playroom, so you don’t end up in your own padded room from stir-crazy-kid overload. Ages 6 months – 3 years; Trial class – $15, 5-class pass: Members $55 & Non-members $70; Sun., 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.; 344 East 14th St.; 212-780-0800.
18. “Just Drop-in” at the Guggenheim: If you’re looking to see an exhibit at the Guggenheim be sure to bring your little artist along for an afternoon of awesome art activity designed for kids on Sundays. Also take advantage of the Open Studios for kids. Ages 3-10; Kids under 12/Free, Adults/$25; Sun., 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.; 1071 Fifth Ave.; 212-423-3500.
19. Create your own cupcake: The hardest decision your child will make is choosing confetti, rainbow or plain vanilla icing. At TasteBuds Kitchen’s Cupcake Kids class you and your little pastry chefs can whip up from scratch or simply decorate your own cupcakes. Bowl licking is optional. Ages 2-6 years; $45 w/ caregiver; Sat. 9 a.m. – 10 a.m.; 109 West 27th St.; 212-242-2248.
20. Enjoy face painting and glitter tattoos at FAO Schwarz: Add a little sparkle and pizazz to your child’s weekend with a trip to FAO Schwarz when an in-house artist is on hand to create kid-safe body art. Warning – you may have to buy a new toy to match their new look. Ages 3 years and older; prices vary; Sun., 111 a.m. – 6 p.m.; 767 Fifth Ave.; 212-644-9400.
21. Get a little R&R at the J.C.C.: Enjoy a little Sabbath rest while the kids participate in arts and crafts, dancing, story time and more. Ages 0-6; Free; Sat., 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.; 334 Amsterdam Ave.; 646-505-4444.
22. Grab a pith helmet and explore: At the Discovery Room at the American Museum of Natural History kids hunt for animals, create a rock collection, assemble a life-sized skeleton and track earthquakes. Ages 5 years and older; museum admission kids 2-12/$12.50, adults/$22; Sat. & Sun., 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. & 2:15 p.m.- 5:10 p.m.; Central Park West at West 79th St.; 212-769-5100.
23. Visit an indoor farm: Leave plush furry friends at home (or in the stroller) and come snuggle with some live farm animals. At the Art Farm little ones get their own hay and other goodies needed to feed and interact with live animals. Ages 1 year and older; Kids/$15, Adults/$5; Sat. & Sun., 8 a.m. – 10 a.m.; 419 East 91st St.; 212-410-3117.
24. Sketch at the Met: If you give a child a pencil, chances are they’ll draw, and there’s no better place for this than the Met’s Start with Art program, where kids get to draw as they tour the museum and listen to stories. Ages 3-7; Pricing: museum admission of $25/adults, free/kids under 12; Sat. 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. & 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.; 1000 Fifth Ave.; 212-535-7710.
What’s your favorite weekend drop-in activity? Share the details in the comments.
Images courtesy of Children’s Museum of Manhattan, City Treehouse, Children’s Museum of the Arts, & TasteBuds Kitchen