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The 5 Best Kid-Friendly Things to Do During the Holidays in NYC

The 5 Best Kid-Friendly Things to Do During the Holidays in NYC

You won't want to miss these holiday activities for the whole family in Manhattan!

There's never a shortage of fun to be had with kids in New York City—and the holidays are no exception! We searched the Manhattan and found the five can't-miss kid-friendly holiday activities for families, whether you're local or visiting from out of town. From holiday shows, including Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall and The Nutcracker on the Upper East Side, to ice-skating at Bank of America Winter Village in Bryant Park, to visiting jolly old Saint Nick at Macy’s Herald Square, you’re sure to find a holiday activity your kids will love! We can't wait to take our own children to see and do these iconic holiday experiences for families in Manhattan!


Bank of America Winter Village

WHEN: Through March 3, 2019; see website for hours.
WHERE: Bryant Park, 40th Street, between Fifth and Sixth avenues, Midtown
WHAT: In its 17th season, the iconic holiday experience will feature its beloved ice-skating rink, more than 170 holiday shop vendors curated by Urbanspace (through Jan. 2, 2019), and the debut of The Lodge, an après skate-style escape from the cold anchored by a festive cocktail bar and a luxury Champagne Bollinger bar, along with 12 new and classic restaurant concepts.
WHY WE LOVE IT: It’s the only free-admission ice-skating rink in NYC!
WANT TO GO? $20 skate rentals. 212-768-4242.

The Nutcracker

WHEN: Dec. 14-16; Friday, 6pm; Saturday-Sunday, 11am, 1pm, and 3:30pm
WHERE: Florence Gould Hall, 55 E. 59th St., Upper East Side
WHAT: From clockwork imps to a luminous owl that flies above the audience, mice dressed in polka dots and dancers dancing with huge chopsticks, this timeless, re-imagined classic bursts with energy and excitement.
WHY WE LOVE IT: This holiday ballet, danced to Tchaikovsky's beloved score, is set in Art Nouveau style circa 1907.
WANT TO GO? $27; $15 children. 212-679-0401.

FREE Santaland

WHEN: Through Dec. 24: daily, see website for hours.
WHERE: Macy’s, 151 W. 34th St., 8th Floor, Herald Square
WHAT: Guests visiting with Saint Nick will make a reservation in advance and spend less time waiting in line and more time getting ready for the holidays.  For those without pre-booked slots, Santa’s helpful Elves will be on hand to help make on-the-spot reservations, subject to space availability. New this year, customers who visit Macy’s Santaland Friday-Sunday only can opt to skip the Santaland village attraction via the Santa Express Lane and head directly to Santa.
WHY WE LOVE IT: The young and young-at-heart will be transported into a fantasy world of glittering pine trees, snow-capped mountains, twinkling lights, cuddly animals, and gingerbread cookies for a special visit with the one-and-only Santa Claus.
WANT TO GO? 212-494-4495.

Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes

WHEN: Through Jan. 1, 2019; see website for show times.
WHERE: Radio City Music Hall, 1260 Sixth Ave., Rockefeller Center
WHAT: A New York City tradition, the Rockettes will dazzle Radio City audiences once again this holiday season! The Christmas Spectacular brilliantly takes audiences on a gorgeously choreographed journey from Santa's workshop at the North Pole to the streets of Manhattan to a beautifully classic “Living Nativity.”
WHY WE LOVE IT: This quintessential NYC holiday event combines the old with the new!
WANT TO GO? $46 and up. 212-247-4777.

FunikiJam's Holiday Beat

WHEN: Through Dec. 30; see website for show times
WHERE: Actor’s Temple Theatre, 339 W. 47th St., Hell’s Kitchen
AGES: 3-12, adult
WHAT: When Bahjat wants to throw a holiday party that includes everyone, Captain Jam and the Agents of Jam take him on a globe-spanning musical adventure to complete Special Mission: HOLIDAY PARTY and throw the ultimate celebration.
WHY WE LOVE IT: FunikiJam’s HOLIDAY BEAT is New York City’s only off-Broadway show for kids this season to celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Diwali, Chinese New Year, and Shichigosan.
WANT TO GO? $30; 212-947-3499.

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Whitney C. Harris

Author: Whitney C. Harris is a freelance writer and NYMetroParents' Manhattan and Westchester calendar editor. She lives in Sleepy Hollow, NY, with her husband, a toddler, and a dog. See More

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