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Best things to do in NYC winter with kids - American Museum of Natural HIstory in New York City

Best Things to do in NYC with Kids During Winter

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Although the weather may be cold during the winter months, New York City is a vibrant and exciting city all year round. Here are our picks for the best things to do in NYC during winter with kids.

Ice Skating in NYC

Most visitors are familiar with The Rink at Rockefeller Center in the heart of midtown, and this is a well-known and festive place to ice skate. Because of its popularity, however, the wait to skate here can be one to two hours unless you are willing to pay a premium price for a VIP ticket with an assigned time. Fortunately there are other places that are also easily accessible and worth checking out.

Bryant Park

The Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park near 40th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues has a much larger ice skating rink than Rockefeller Center and admission is free. You still have to pay to rent skates, but usually the lines are short. There is also a lounge in the complex that offers a children’s menu and hot chocolate.

Wollman Rink in Central Park

Wollman Rink is a public ice skating rink located in Central Park where you can skate surrounded by the trees and green area of the beautiful park. To get there enter at W 59th St and 6th Avenue, and you can rent skates once you arrive.

Things to do in NYC winter with kids - Ice skating in NYC

Ice Skating at Wollman Rink in Central Park is one of the best things to do in NYC during the winter with kids.

Indoor Museums

Cold weather outside means it’s the perfect time to check out the best museums inside! One of the ones we recommend is the American Museum of Natural History on Central Park West at 79th Street. There are several permanent dinosaur exhibits, and kids find it fascinating to see the huge fossils. Another interesting area for families is the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life which includes a 94-foot model of a Giant Blue Whale, the largest animal alive today. Finally, don’t miss the self-guided Night at The Museum Tour where you can see the real exhibits from the Night at the Museum movies.

Read More>> Free Museum Days in NYC, San Francisco and Los Angeles

Sporting Events

If you have sports fans in your family then seeing a game at Madison Square Garden is an event to consider. For our winter trip we chose to watch a NY Knicks basketball game, and the NY Rangers have hockey games all through the winter months as well. So pick your favorite sport and get ready to cheer!

Broadway Shows

Seeing a show on Broadway is always a special experience, and it makes even more sense when the weather is cold. Some family favorite shows that are currently playing are The Lion King, based on Disney’s animated movie; Matilda, based on Roald Dahl’s children’s book; and the top one on our list — School of Rock, based on the movie with Jack Black and featuring new music by Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Read More>> Planning a Broadway Show Weekend in NYC

Kid-Friendly Shopping

Even if you can’t explore outside it is fun for kids to shop inside. Although some of the big New York toy stores like FAO Schwarz and Toys R Us Times Square have closed, there are other specialty stores that are fun for kids. In Times Square you can visit and have a chocolate feast at M&Ms World or Hershey’s Chocolate World, both at 48th Street near 7th Avenue. The Disney Store at 45th St has interactive experiences for Disney lovers such as magic mirrors with animated characters and New York-themed Disney items. For Lego and doll lovers, a large Lego Store and American Girl Place are located near each other by Rockefeller Center.

Read More>> Kid’s Favorite Shopping Spots in New York City

New York City is an amazing city any time of year, and if you are visiting during the colder months I hope these ideas help you make the most of your winter visit to the Big Apple.

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Susan is an enthusiastic traveler and mom to a 11 year-old boy and eight year-old girl. Originally from North Carolina, Susan is a Southerner at heart, although…

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