Things to Do With Kids in Manhattan on December 5

Find fun things to do today with kids in the NYC area in our Calendar of Events

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free and low-cost things to do with kids in Manhattan Find free and low-cost things to do with kids in Manhattan today, December 5, including fun activities and events the whole family can enjoy. See what's going on today in Manhattan's museums, galleries, and libraries for some educational fun; in the parks, for outdoor and nature activities; and in the theaters, for children's concerts and performances. Plus, get details and directions on any street fairs or holiday festivals happening December 5. For even more free and low-cost upcoming events in Manhattan, check out our complete calendar of events.

'Peter & the Wolf' with Isaac Mizrahi - Works & Process at the Guggenheim
Through December 10, 2017 - Upper East Side

Isaac Mizrahi directs, designs, and narrates Sergei Prokofiev's charming children's classic as Brad Lubman conducts Ensemble Signal and a cast performs choreography by John Heginbotham. This 30-minute story is about how Peter, against his grandfather's will, opens the park gate, ventures into the big green meadow, and ultimately manages to liberate the City from the scary wolf. 

New York City Children's Theater's 'Please Bring Balloons' - University Settlement
Through December 10, 2017 - Lower East Side

The award-winning theater company and arts education organization New York City Children's Theater is presenting its 21st season featuring "Please Bring Balloons." Conceived by David Kilpatrick, directed by Sara Morgulis, and back by popular demand, this show is an interactive, multi-sensory theater experience created for the youngest audience members. Based upon Lindsay Ward’s gorgeously illustrated children's book, the show is a fun and imaginative introduction to theater for toddlers.

Ugly Sweaters - Children's Museum of the Arts
Through December 10, 2017 - Greenwich Village

Design and create your own sculptural "ugly sweaters." Young artists will trace sweater templates onto cardstock and then decorate their "sweaters" with whimsical materials like pom-poms, fabric swatches, buttons, pipe cleaners, and more. 

The Grinch: Storytime and Crafts - Strand Book Store
Through December 10, 2017 - Union Square

He’s smelly, green, and has a heart that’s two sizes too small. The Grinch has arrived at the Strand! Join for storytime and crafts surrounding this Christmastime character.

Broadway Under the Stars - The Shops at Columbus Circle
Through December 11, 2017 - Upper West Side

Stop by the dazzling Great Room with its annual holiday display of twelve massive stars to take in Broadway talent, hosted by actor George Psomas (Fiddler on the Roof, South Pacific). Performances include:

November 20 – Home for the Holidays, Red Roses, Green Gold, and Miss Saigon
November 27 – Wicked
December 4 – Chicago, Waitress, Anastasia
December 11 – Sponge Bob Square Pants, Once on This Island, A Bronx Tale

Saturday Morning Show - Brookfield Place
Through December 16, 2017 - Battery Park City

Stop by Hudson Eats on Saturday mornings this fall for weekly family-friendly performances?. The fun includes interactive singalongs with Yellow Sneaker Puppets, magic demonstrations by Gary the Great, children's book readings and crafts, and more.


Story Pirates - Arthur Seleen Theatre at The Drama Book Shop
Through December 16, 2017 - Midtown

Using stories submitted by children, the Story Pirates create outlandishly funny sketches and mini-musicals. Whether it's following the adventures of a superhero baby, or reminiscing about disposable rain ponchos at a baseball game, the songs and stories explode with the creative energy that only a child could possess.

'Pluto Is Missing! A Not-So-Planetary Musical' - PIT Striker Mainstage
Through December 17, 2017 - Flatiron

Blast off into this family-friendly outer space comedy that uses humor, fantasy, music, puppets, and more to tell the story of Pluto, the tiniest planet in our solar system that was demoted to dwarf planet. Meet super-cool satellites, fun-loving gas giants, and a whole galaxy of other celestial oddballs on Pluto's journey to become a planet again.

'Interstellar Cinderella' - New York City Children's Theater, The Beckett Theatre
Through December 17, 2017 - Midtown

In this 50-minute show, Cinderella of the future is an engineer hoping to revolutionize space travel with a new invention. She's eager to show the prince her hyper warp speed engine at the space parade, but her evil stepmother tries to get in the way. Only Cinderella can make sure her dreams to be a star engineer come true. Children's singer/songwriter star Laurie Berkner and artistic director Barbara Zinn Krieger collaborate on this exciting family musical.

Breakfast with Santa Sing-A-Long and Elfprov - Broadway Comedy Club
Through December 23, 2017 - Midtown

From Thanksgiving to Christmas, Santa is dropping by the Broadway Comedy Club every Saturday morning with elves. Each family will get personal time with Santa, eat a continental breakfast, enjoy a holiday sing-a-long and Elfprov, the interactive musical comedy from the North Pole.

Holiday Market - Union Square Park
Through December 24, 2017 - Union Square

An internationally renowned holiday market with unique gifts created by local craftsmen and artists. Expect to find exciting new sections like Little Brooklyn and Urbanspace Provisions, a warming station, a kid’s craft studio by partners at CMA, and live music.

Grand Central Holiday Fair - Grand Central Terminal's Vanderbilt Hall
Through December 24, 2017 - Midtown

The Grand Central Holiday Fair returns for almost six weeks with 40 artisans selling art and home goods; holiday-themed items; bath and body products; toys; and clothing and accessories for men, women, and children on the east side of Vanderbilt Hall. Since 1993, the Grand Central Holiday Fair has been a must-shop destination during the holiday season. Holiday Fair organizers make a concerted effort to present unique and local craftsmanship with a focus on American-made and handmade products with locally sourced materials or a socially conscious business model.

Columbus Circle Holiday Market - Columbus Circle
Through December 24, 2017 - Midtown

Shop for gifts, including artisan food and drink and designer jewelry, at this holiday market that pops up on the corner of Central Park for another year.

Breakfast with Santa - The Rink at Rockefeller Center
Through December 24, 2017 - Rockefeller Center

Treat your family to a beloved holiday tradition by enjoying pastries and eggs with Santa at Rock Center Café or The Sea Grill (prices vary). Take advantage of all the photo ops at this breakfast set amidst one of the season’s most iconic destinations.

Santaland - Macy's
Through December 24, 2017 - Midtown

An annual tradition for so many families, visiting Santaland at Macy's means entering a fantasy world of glittering pine trees, snow-capped mountains, twinkling lights, cuddly animals, and gingerbread cookies. The 13,000-square-foot Christmas Village is filled with holiday treasures, the biggest of which is Santa Claus himself. After meeting Santa, guests can buy a photo package with images taken by on-site staff. This year, visits are by reservation only.

Gingerbread House Workshops - Taste Buds Kitchen
Through December 27, 2017 - Chelsea

Parent and child pairs work together to design and decorate their very own gingerbread house. Enjoy endless decorating options, from frosted candy roofs to pretzel picket fences, and cheerful holiday tunes while sipping hot chocolate.

Community Cowpokes with Hopalong Andrew - Whole Foods Tribeca
Through December 29, 2017 - Tribeca

Catch a free drop-in music class with Hopalong Andrew every Friday this fall and early winter. He'll bring his guitar, banjo, harmonica, and suitcase drum kit to get babies and tots rocking to his modern adaptations of classic cowboy tunes. Audience participation and interaction is encouraged to help the littles learn music, rhythm, and social skills.

'A Christmas Carol' - The Players Theatre
Through December 30, 2017 - Greenwich Village

A lively musical adaptation of the classic Dickens tale. Follow along with Ebenezer Scrooge as he is visited by four ghosts; his old business partner Marley, the ghost of Christmas past, present, and future. See what happens when he gets a glimpse of his own future if he doesn't change his life.

In addition to the one hour musical, before the Sunday Family Matinee, the audience receives a special treat: interactive arts workshops prior to the performance. Here the audience learns about the original book and how it's turned into a musical while discussing the themes of the show. Then the kids and their families make a special art project and take it home as a souvenir

'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe' - St. Luke's Theatre
Through December 30, 2017 - Midtown

In this inventive and highly theatrical adaptation of C.S. Lewis' classic, two actors give a tour-de-force performance that's sure to delight children and adults alike. Through the magic of theatre, Peter and Lucy will take you to Narnia, where The White Witch has cast a spell that makes it always winter and never Christmas. See them meet Mr. Tumnus the faun and conspire with talking animals to save Narnia. Come face to face with Aslan the Great Lion, and cheer as Peter, Susan, Lucy, and Edmund courageously battle the forces of evil, discovering that love is the deepest magic of all. Open to everyone, most suitable for ages 5 and older.

Jason Bishop: Believe in Magic - The New Victory Theater
Through December 30, 2017 - Midtown

This kid-friendly master of illusion will magically make it snow, perform a disappearance onstage, and execute an amazing appearance in the audience.

History Detective Briefcases for Families - DiMenna Children's Museum at New-York Historical Society
Through December 31, 2017 - Upper West Side

Celebrate the opening of the new exhibition 'Hotbed' with those who led the crusade for women’s rights 100 years ago. Meet suffragists who won the vote in New York in November 1917?three years before the 19th Amendment! Portrayed by Living Historians, the suffragists will share stories all about how they each contributed to the battle for the ballot. Ask about their early 20th-century wardrobe, learn how they marched in parades, and make a suffrage cockade.

'George Balanchine's The Nutcracker' - David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center
Through December 31, 2017 - Upper West Side

From Swan Lake to sugarplum fairies, the music of Tchaikovsky rings beautiful and clear in New York City thanks to this classic holiday performance. Watch stunning ballerinas flit across the stage in a magical world where mischievous mice besiege a battalion of soldiers and a blizzard leads to an enchanted Land of Sweets. 

Gulliver's Gate - Times Square
Through December 31, 2017 - Times Square

Artists from eight countries took part in building this fantastic miniature world, featuring cities from across the globe, all built to scale. You can also step back in time to see famous historical scenes and interact with the exhibit using a special key.

'Christmas Spectacular' Starring the Radio City Rockettes - Radio City
Through January 01, 2018 - Midtown

A New York City tradition, the Rockettes will dazzle Radio City audiences once again this holiday season! Combining the old with the new, the Christmas Spectacular brilliantly takes audiences on a gorgeously choreographed journey from Santa's workship at the North Pole to the streets of Manhattan to a beautifully classic “Living Nativity.”

Holiday Windows - Midtown Manhattan
Through January 01, 2018 - Midtown

Every year each of the big Manhattan department stores unveil bigger and better holiday windows, designed to draw in the crowds and get you into the holiday spirit. A tour of the windows is a fun holiday trip. Be sure to wrap up warm and wear comfortable shoes. Some are so popular expect to line up and wait (Macy's). The famous ones are of course Macy's, Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman, Lord & Taylor, Tiffany's and Henri Bendel but many of the big stores along Fifth Avenue also get in on the action. Opening times vary and are still TBA for some but most are unveiled in mid November. Check individual store websites for details.

Pride and Prejudice - Cherry Lane Theatre
Through January 06, 2018 - West Village

Primary Stages in association with Jamie deRoy presents Pride and Prejudice. Acclaimed writer and actress Kate Hamill (Bedlam’s Sense and Sensibility) will debut her playful new adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic romance.

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2017 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree (and Lighting) - Rockefeller Center
Through January 07, 2018 - Midtown

Bundle up and squeeze through the crowded sidewalks to see this year's towering Christmas tree. As always, it will be a sight to behold whether you're shoping, dining, skating, or just passing through Rockefeller Center. If you're keen on seeing the tree lighting, join tens of thousands to see the performances and lighting live, or watch it on TV (tune in to NBC). The annual tree lighting ceremony is on a first-come, first-served basis and starts at 7pm so try to get there early.

Millions: Migrants and Millionaires aboard the Great Liners, 1900-1914 - South Street Seaport Museum
Through January 07, 2018 - South Street Seaport

Learn all about 20th-century ocean liners, like Titanic and Lusitania, and the differences between traveling aboard as a first- or third-class passenger. Featuring both original and reproduced artifacts, this thought-provoking exhibit highlights immigrant life at the turn of the century.

'The Wizard of Oz' - Harlem Rep
Through January 13, 2018 - Harlem

The classic musical "The Wizard of Oz" is being performed by a multi-racial cast with a jazzy underscore and authoritative dramaturgy by representatives of the Yip Harburg Foundation.

'Addy & Uno' - Theatre Row
Through January 14, 2018 - Midtown

Uno has plenty of mathematical ability, but he also has a disability: autism. In this new musical featuring a cast of puppets and people, Uno gains the courage to enter his school’s math competition with help from friends who face challenges of their own: Addy has attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder; Melody is visually impaired; Seemore has hearing loss; and RJ uses a wheelchair. Addy & Uno is a heartfelt and hilarious journey celebrating hope, big dreams, and the beauty of differences. 

'Puffs, Or: Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic & Magic' - New World Stages
Through January 14, 2018 - Midtown West

Harry Potter fans who like to laugh will appreciate this lighthearted yet witty take on all that time spent learning spells and sorcery. "Puffs" is the story of some Hogwarts underdogs and how their experience at the magical wizarding school was a far cry from Harry's. As a special treat for parents and families, all matinee performances are appropriate for young children ages 8 and older.

16th Annual Holiday Train Show - Transit Museum Gallery Annex & Store, Grand Central Terminal
Through February 04, 2018 - Midtown

Kids can watch in awe as little Lionel trains roll along a 34-foot-long, two-level track that looks just like a mini NYC with a nearby countryside. The scenery even includes its very own North Pole. Plus, parents will love spying vintage trains from the Transit Museum’s collection.

'The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show' - DR2 Theatre
Through February 04, 2018 - Gramercy Park

A theatrical recreation of Eric Carle’s beautifully imaginative stories, The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show, features a menagerie enchanting puppets during a magical 60-minute show that faithfully adapts four of Carle’s beloved books for the stage. This new edition of The Very Hungry Caterpillar includes the world premiere of Brown Bear, Brown Bear celebrating its 50th Anniversary, 10 Little Rubber Ducks, The Very Lonely Firefly, and, of course, The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Studio PSK: Polyphonic Playground - The Museum of Arts and Design
Through February 11, 2018 - Columbus Circle

Sonic Arcade: Shaping Space with Sound is a multi-component exhibition featuring interactive installations, immersive environments, and performing objects that explore how the ephemeral and abstract nature of sound is made material. The Polyphonic Playground feature, a project by Studio PSK, is an abstract, monumental, climbing frame with swings, a slide, and monkey bars. Affixed with pads that emit electronic sounds and a warm blue glow at the lightest of touch, the piece will act as a giant 3D synthesizer for anyone who interacts with it. MAD has invited experimental choreographers to activate the piece, while engaging visitors to do the same.

Rise and Ride the Holiday Express - DiMenna Children's Museum at New-York Historical Society
Through February 23, 2018 - Upper West Side

Get an early train fix with your little one at the beloved exhibition Holiday Express: Toys and Trains from the Jerni Collection, read fun train tales, and enjoy coffee and breakfast treats, available for purchase from the Parliament Espresso & Coffee Bar.

Holiday Express: Toys and Trains from the Jerni Collection - DiMenna Children's Museum at New-York Historical Society
Through February 25, 2018 - Upper West Side

Discover the wonder of hundreds of toy trains, figurines, and miniature models from the renowned Jerni Collection at this annual holiday exhibition. Immersive scenes and displays captivate children and adults as they hearken back to a bygone era in our shared transportation history. Holiday Express begins at the West 77th Street entrance, where trains appear to roar through the museum with the help of four large-scale multimedia screens, and extends through the first floor.

Gazillion Bubble Show - New World Stages / Stage 2
Through February 25, 2018 - Midtown West

Got bubbles? Families will get a kick out of watching bubbles expand, float, and take over the room at this Gazillion Bubble Show featuring so much more than soap spheres. Help celebrate the show in its tenth year of eye-catching, pop-able, reach-out-and-grab-them fun. Show runs more than 60 minutes without an intermission. Lasers and strobe lights are part of the performance.

Public Ice Skating - Wollman Rink
Through February 28, 2018 - Central Park

Ice skating out in the crisp city air with an amazing view of the Manhattan skyline is a classic NYC winter experience. And Central Park's famous rink is a tourist favorite, but completely worth doing even if you are a local. There is also a skating school, a hockey program, and birthday party offerings on the ice. Check out the nearby carousel for $3 a ride in between skates. 

Bank of America Winter Village - Bryant Park
Through March 04, 2018 - Midtown

The park becomes a winter wonderland with an outdoor ice skating rink (free entry!), a European inspired open-air market for holiday shopping, rinkside dining, and even an observation deck full of games and art supplies.

Earthflight - The American Museum of Natural History
Through March 08, 2018 - Upper West Side

Narrated by Academy Award-winning actress Cate Blanchett, Earthflight is a totally immersive experience, taking the audience on an incredible flight across the world on the wings of birds. Filmed across four continents and 11 countries, with revolutionary aerial techniques and state-of-the-art 3D cameras, viewers join a variety of different avian species on their seasonal journeys. The audience will discover the fascinating science of flight and how birds maneuver simultaneously in flocks a million strong, navigate across whole continents, and collaborate with other animals to find food.

R&R Shabbat Diversity Day! - JCC Manhattan
Through March 17, 2018 - Upper West Side

Make your Shabbat afternoon special and share in the community with art, yoga, and meditation workshops, creative art projects, music, food, and spa experiences, plus indoor and outdoor play. Program offerings for both children and adults.


PAUSE/PLAY - The 14th Street Y
Through March 17, 2018 - East Village

All are welcome in the community for a day of relaxation and renewal. From family yoga and story time to whiskey tastings and open swim, PAUSE/PLAY events feature activities for the whole family. And each month, you can spend time with local rabbi's at 'Rabbi's on the Rocks.'

Ocean Odyssey - National Geographic Encounter
Through March 31, 2018 - Times Square

This newly opened, immersive entertainment experience takes families on a simulated underwater adventure to witness Pacific Ocean life firsthand. It's an interactive journey across a 60,000-square-foot marine attraction to meet sea lions, humpback whales, and great white sharks. Catch sight a stunning coral reef and other awe-inspiring sights and sounds thanks to an incredible visual effects team and award-winning designers and sound engineers. This walk-through experience lasts approximately 90 minutes. Buy tickets online for a reserved entry time. A portion of proceeds supports the National Geographic Society's nonprofit work in conservation, exploration, research, and education.

Sea of Light - South Street Seaport
Through March 31, 2018 - Seaport District

Sea of Light installation will be like no winter light show you have ever seen before. Explore a fully immersive sensory adventure of light and sound activated by proximity and touch. 

Ice Skating Season - The Rink at Rockefeller Center
Through April 01, 2018 - Midtown

The new season opens with this ceremonial first skate hosted by the reigning Olympic Ice Dance Champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White. Youth skaters of Ice Theatre of New York and Figure Skating in Harlemwill join for this celebratory session. 

The Rink at Rockefeller Center is always the first New York rink to open each year and is open to the public daily from 8:30am-12am, from Columbus Day to Easter. First designed as a temporary attraction, The Rink has evolved into one of the city’s most legendary landmarks and one of the most visited sites in Manhattan.


StoryDance Playgroup - Downtown Dance Factory
Through May 03, 2018 - Tribeca

Walking tots and preschoolers are invited to take part in story time, a craft, dance games and activities, plus free play time. It's a great way for grown-ups to introduce their children to the wonderful world of performing arts in a nurturing and creative environment.

RSVP required. Space is limited. 

Jazz for Kids - Jazz Standard
Through May 27, 2018 - Kips Bay

The Jazz Standard Youth Orchestra (JSYO) will get families grooving every Sunday throughout the school year at Jazz Standard's popular JAZZ FOR KIDS brunch. Talented musicians between the ages of 11 and 18 dish out jazz classics such as "Cherokee," "How Insensitive," and "Billie's Bounce," as family audiences devour the goods off Blue Smoke's southern barbecue lunch menu. Babies welcome!

The Butterfly Conservatory: Tropical Butterflies Alive in Winter - American Museum of Natural History
Through May 28, 2018 - Upper West Side

The butterflies are back! For the 20th year, families can hang with as many as 500 fluttering butterflies at the museum's 80-degree warm vivarium full of tropical flowers too. The insects come from farms in Australia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Florida, Kenya, Malaysia, and Thailand and species include iridescent blue morpho butterflies, scarlet swallowtails, large owl butterflies, and green birdwings.

Sacred Spaces: The Road To … and the Tibetan Buddhist Shrine Room - Rubin Museum of Art
Through October 15, 2018 - Chelsea

Featuring artist Ghiora Aharoni’s series “The Road to Sanchi” and two video works by artist Arthur Liou, the exhibition engages time as a medium and challenges viewers to consider the sacred and think about their own experiences with meaningful journeys. These installations continue the exhibition’s focus on devotional activities in awe-inspiring places.

Aharoni’s series of sculptures reimagines vintage taxi meters, now obsolete, from India. Video screens embedded in the meters capture the artist’s rickshaw rides in India to sacred sites for Hindus, Jews, Muslims, and Buddhists. Each sculpture, whose form simultaneously references a time capsule and the silhouette of a stupa, becomes the oculus of a pilgrimage. 

The videos “Kora” and “Saga Dawa,” created by Arthur Liou, explore aspects of Tibetan Buddhist ritual and celebration as they take place in the breathtaking environment around Tibet’s holiest mountain, Mount Kailash.

Visitors can take a pause inside the Tibetan Buddhist Shrine Room, an immersive installation inspired by traditional Tibetan household shrines. They are also invited to write letters to future museumgoers in a dedicated area in the gallery.