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10 Activities to Do with Kids in NYC When Schools Are Closed for Winter Break

10 Activities to Do with Kids in NYC When Schools Are Closed for Winter Break

While traveling is not the best option right now, you can still enjoy a winter staycation by exploring what's open in NYC.

It's been a crazy year and your kids have dealt with the stress and anxiety of this school year firsthand. They (and you!) deserve a fun and relaxing winter break, no matter what that looks like. NYC Public Schools are on Winter Recess from Dec. 24 through Jan. 1, and the public schools on Long Island, in Westchester, and in Rockland are on similar schedules. Here are the best things to do with kids in NYC when schools are closed for winter break. 

See NYC from Above at One World Observatory - Dec. 26, 27

One World Trade is one of the highest points in NYC and provides some of the most breathtaking 360 degree views. It is currently open on weekends and holidays from 11am-7pm. While you're there, you can take your kids for a walk through the 9/11 Memorial Pools to remember and reflect.


Meet and Greet with the Stars at Madame Tussauds - Open until 4pm through New Year's Day

We haven't been able to go to concerts to see our favorite stars since February. Book a "star-studded" experience with your favorite "celebrities," like the Kardashians, Taylor Swift, Chrissy Teigen, Jimmy Fallon, the royals, and even your favorite Marvel superheroes.

Walk in a Winter Wonderland at Central Park 

A stroll through Central Park is always a good idea, especially on a snowy winter day. The Central Park Zoo is open daily 10am-4:30pm.

Set Sail on Classic Harbor Lines

There are plenty of river cruises that will make you fall in love with NYC all over again, including themed ones! Bundle up and set sail any day except Christmas. 

Be Mesmerized by Luminaries at Brookfield Place

The Brookfield Place Luminaries display in the Winter Garden are up through Jan. 3 from 8am-10pm. The canopy of colorful lights suspended among the palms will mesmerize any visitor and feature motion activated, touch-less wishing stations. 

Skate the Iconic Rink at Rock Center

No Christmas season is complete without going ice skating at the Rink at Rockefeller Center. This year, reservations and lower capacity will allow for a less crowded, more magical experience under the tree! Open daily, 9am-12am. 

Take a Magical Journey at LuminoCity, every day but Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve

LuminoCity Festival at Randall's Island park is on display through Jan. 10 everyday besides Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. You'll walk through a 45-minute, narrative journey surrounded by mesmerizing lights and sculptures. 

Skate for Free at Bryant Park Winter Village - Monday-Friday, 11am-8pm; Saturday-Sunday, 10am-8pm.

Bryant Park's Winter Village is NYC's only free admission ice skating rink, and its surrounded by Holiday Shops! Enjoy a magical day or evening at one of NYC's most beautiful parks while its all decked out for the holidays. Don't forget to get a delicious hot cocoa and support some amazing small businesses. 

Skate the Skyline The Vale - Wednesday-Friday, 2-10pm; Saturday-Sunday, 12-10pm

The rink at Pier 17 has been replaced by Cabins this year (equally as cool), so if you're looking to skate over the NYC skyline, Vale Rink is the place for you. This rink on top of The William Vale in Williamsburg is 23 floors up and has a heated enclosure for when you want to take a warm break. 

Get Lost at the American Museum of Natural History

The most iconic museum in NYC—and arguably, the world—is open on reservation basis. The museum's annual Origami Tree exhibition is on display through Jan. 10. 

Have you completed our NYC Bucket List for Kids yet?

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