Kid-Friendly NYC in the Winter

Central Park. This photo was taken by my dad when he and my mom visited me in NYC for Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s The Gates exhibit (February, 2004).

I have always had a special place in my heart for New York City. Most people who met me after 1998 are not aware that I once seriously wanted to become a Broadway actress when I “grew up.” However, once that dream faded away, I still longed to one day move to NYC. This wish came true in my early 20’s when I was accepted to graduate school in Manhattan. I stayed in NYC for 2 1/2 fabulous years, which to this day remain some of the most special years of my life.

But, like Los Angeles, it has been many years since I lived in NYC and I am very much out of the loop when it comes to food, entertainment, and activities. Furthermore, I have zero experience with kids in the Big Apple. Which is why, when my friend Holly mentioned that she was spending a week in NYC with her husband and two small children over the holidays, I reached out to my New York friends for some recommendations on kid-friendly activities during the winter months. Here are their recommendations:

Central Park: check out their great website for list of playgrounds, activities, etc.

Wollman Ice Skating Rink: located in Central Park. Opened for the season on October 24, 2015.

Central Park Zoo: activities include “4-D” theater, penguin feedings, and sea lion feedings. Located at 64th St. and 5th Ave.

American Museum of Natural History: Open daily; located on the Upper West Side.

Children’s Museum of Manhattan: “Five floors of literature, science, media and art exhibits, and programs, in New York City.” Closed Mondays. Located on the Upper West Side.

GymMaze Playtime: “GymMaze Playtime is a safe outlet for your little one to let off steam in weather of all sorts. Children are supervised by 92Y coaches (minimum 2 per session) as they enjoy climbing, tumbling, running, jumping and more! Each drop-in/drop-off playtime session runs for about 70 minutes or until your little one is tuckered out!” Located at the 92nd Street Y on the Upper East Side.

The Art Farm in the City: “We are an eco-friendly and organic facility which teaches your children about nature, animals and how to better care for our planet. We also teach your children about responsibility through caring, loving and being in the company of animals. Our magical, USDA licensed, indoor petting zoo has a wide variety of animals including bunnies, chinchillas, guinea pigs, lizards, turtles, birds, tropical fish and more. You might even spot pigs, chickens, goats and sheep sometime!” Located on the Upper East Side.

Serendipity 3: Famous ice cream sundae shop located on E. 60th St. Featured in the movie Serendipity.

The Rink at Rockefeller Center: “In the heart of Midtown, steps from Times Square and the Theater District, The Rink at Rockefeller Center is a New York City tradition that everyone can enjoy. Whether you’re looking for a classic NYC ice skating session or reservations for one of our exclusive wintertime experiences, you are assured magical memories that you will cherish for years to come.” 5th Ave between 49th and 50th streets.

Holiday Train Show: located at Grand Central Station: November 14, 2015 – February 21, 2016. Free!

Children’s Museum of the Arts (CMA): located in the West Village; free drop in classes.

Jane’s Carousel: “The Carousel is located in the DUMBO section of The Brooklyn Bridge Park, on the East River, between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges. The Carousel is easily accessed from Park entrances at Dock Street or Main Street.” Closed on Tuesdays (“the horses need a rest”).

Imagination Playground: “Imagination Playground at Burling Slip, designed by famed architect David Rockwell, is an interactive, transformable space that prompts children to manipulate their environment and create a play space of their own with sand, water and loose parts. With giant foam blocks, mats, wagons, fabric, and crates at their fingertips, children have the potential to build and explore endless possibilities.” Near South Street Seaport.

New York Transit Museum: “The New York Transit Museum, one of the city’s leading cultural institutions, is the largest museum in the United States devoted to urban public transportation history, and one of the premier institutions of its kind in the world.” located in Brooklyn Heights.



What other kid-friendly activities do you recommended in NYC? Any activities specifically for rainy/snowy weather?

One thought on “Kid-Friendly NYC in the Winter”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *