There’s a lot to do this weekend with your family, whether you're planning a day trip that's close to New York City or are looking for the best things to do with kids in Manhattan this weekend. After all, weekends are the best because you get to spend time with your kids, so make the most of your time together and check out our picks for the best kid-friendly activities in Manhattan! From concerts and performances to museum exhibits, shows, crafts activities, seasonal events, and parades, you're sure to find something to do that keeps everyone happy and having fun. Look no further for ideas and plan your weekend in New York City with our guide that highlights the best family-friendly events happening in and around your neighborhood, including family fun in Central Park, the Lower East Side, the Upper West Side, Harlem, Midtown, the Upper East Side, Greenwich Village, Battery Park, Bryant Park, Sugar Hill, Tribeca, the Bronx, and Lower Manhattan.
RELATED: Get Great Weekend Activities in Your Inbox!
Squash Tournament of Champions
WHEN: Jan. 9-17, See website for days and times
WHERE: Grand Central Terminal, 100 E. 42nd St., Midtown
WHAT: One of the world’s top professional championships for men and women taking place for the 23rd year on a glass court in Vanderbilt Hall, surrounded by 450 reserved seats on three sides and free-standing room at the front wall.
WANT TO GO? $10 and up. 877-946-4868. http://grandcentralterminal.com/events.
Unicorn Cupcakes Class
WHEN: Saturday, Jan. 18, 9:00-10:00am
WHERE: Taste Buds Kitchen, 109 W. 27th St., 10th Floor, Chelsea
WHAT: Whip up oh-so-delicious cupcakes complete with sparkle ear, a unicorn horn, and a rainbow mane.
WANT TO GO? $45. 212-242-2248. tastebudskitchen.com.
MOCACREATE: Lunar New Year Museum Makeover
WHEN: Saturday, Jan. 18, 2:00-5:00pm
WHERE: Museum of Chinese in America, 215 Centre Street, Chinatown
AGES: 3 and older
WHAT: Transform the museum with colorful creations, which will be on display through the annual Lunar New Year Family Festival!
WANT TO GO? FREE with museum admission ($12; $8 for children, students, and seniors). 855-955-6622. http://mocanyc.org/visit/events/mocacreate_lunar_new_year_museum_makeover_1.
FREE Family Wellness Day
WHEN: Saturday, Jan. 18, 11:00am-2:00pm
WHERE: Highbridge Recreation Center, 2301 Amsterdam Ave., Washington Heights
WHAT: A day of fitness, health, and fun in the park, in collaboration with New York-Presbyterian Hospital.
WANT TO GO? nyc.gov/parks.
Just Kidding: The Forest Of The Witch
WHEN: Saturday, Jan. 18, 11:00am and 2:00pm
WHERE: Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway, Upper West Side
WHAT: When Karagoz, the hero of traditional Anatolian shadow plays, cuts the branches from a magical neighbourhood tree, he and his friend are transformed into a donkey and goat, learning the importance of nature and protecting the environment along the way.
WANT TO GO? $17. 212-864-5400. symphonyspace.org.
FREE Second Annual Lunar New Year Celebration: Year of the Metal Rat
WHEN: Saturday, Jan. 18, 4:00pm
WHERE: Abrons Arts Center, 466 Grand Street, New York
WHAT: Ring in the Year of the Metal Rat with a celebration for the Lower East Side community, featuring live performances, karaoke, and DJ sets.
WANT TO GO? 212-598-0400 . https://abronsartscenter.org/program/lunar-new-year-metal-rat/.
FREE Open Shabbat at JCC Harlem
WHEN: Saturday, Jan. 18, 2:00-4:00pm
WHERE: JCC Harlem, 318 W. 118th St., Harlem
WHAT: Join Open Shabbat, a free afternoon of programs for children and adults, including workshops in art, yoga, meditation, food, music, lectures, and more.
WANT TO GO? FREE. 2128651215. https://jccmanhattan.org/programs/open-shabbat-jcc-harlem-0.
Lunar New Year MOCAKIDS Author Meet & Greet: Michele Wong McSween
WHEN: Saturday, Jan. 18, 3:00-4:00 PM
WHERE: Museum of Chinese in America, 215 Centre Street, New York City
WHAT: Join author Michele Wong McSween for a meet and greet at MOCA! Michele will teach English and Mandarin words from her new bilingual book, Gordon & Li Li Celebrate Chinese New Year, where Gordon & Li Li learn about New Years' preparations, good luck foods, and special greetings for a happy and prosperous New Year. A special Year of the Rat bookmark craft and book signing will follow the reading! Best for children ages 3-5. Older and younger siblings welcome!
WANT TO GO? FREE with Museum admission ($12 adults; $8 children). 8559556622. http://mocanyc.org/visit/events/lunar_new_year_mocakids_author_meet_greet_michele_wong_mcsween.
Galli's: Snow White
WHEN: Jan. 4-19, Saturdays and Sundays, 2:00pm
WHERE: Galli Theater, 74 Warren Street, Tribeca
WHAT: Snow White is a young woman whose stepmother is jealous of her beauty. When the magical mirror on the wall says that Snow White is the fairest of them all, the stepmother makes a plan to get Snow White out of the castle and out of her life forever!
WANT TO GO? $20; $15 children. 212-731-0668. gallitheaternyc.com.
Stroller Tour Through History
WHEN: Jan. 5-19, Sunday, 1/5 and 1/19, 10:15-11:00am
WHERE: DiMenna Children's History Museum at New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park W., Upper West Side
WHAT: Grownups and their children (up to 3 years) explore America's past, present, and future in this lively and interactive tour. Singing, movement, texture exploration, and art-making in the galleries make for a memorable morning.
WANT TO GO? $25 per family. 212-873-3400. nyhistory.org/childrens-museum.
WHEN: Jan. 10-19, See website for days and times
WHERE: New Victory Theater, 209 W. 42nd St., Midtown
AGES: 9 and older
WHAT: Hear the stories of young refugees when CARTOGRAPHY asks what part we play in the lives of young people who set out into the unsure waters of their futures.
WANT TO GO? $17 and up. 646-223-3010. newvictory.org.
China Arts and Entertainment Group Ltd. and Shanghai Ballet Present SWAN LAKE
WHEN: Jan. 17-19, Friday and Saturday, 7:30pm; Saturday and Sunday, 1:00pm.
WHERE: David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center , 20 Lincoln Center Plaza, Upper West Side
AGES: 9 and older
WHAT: Shanghai Ballet comes to the David H. Koch Theater with its internationally prominent and critically acclaimed Grand Swan Lake.
WANT TO GO? $36 and up. 6467654773. http://davidhkochtheater.com/.
Felt Collages with Lucia Hierro
WHEN: Jan. 18-19, Saturday and Sunday, 12:00-5:00pm
WHERE: Children's Museum of the Arts, 103 Charlton St., Soho
WHAT: Using felt material and newsprint backdrops, create an animated mixed media experience.
WANT TO GO? FREE with museum admission ($13; free for children younger than 1). 212-274-0986. cmany.org/.
WHEN: Sunday, Jan. 19, 11:30am
WHERE: The Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Avenue, Upper East Side
WHAT: Jazz clarinetist Oran Etkin's recent release, Finding Friends Far From Home.
WHY WE LOVE IT: It's a playful tale told through instruments from Zimbabwe to China
WANT TO GO? $18. 2124233200. thejewishmuseum.org.
FREE Japanese Storytime for Little Ones
WHEN: Sunday, Jan. 19, 11:00-11:30am
WHERE: Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Fifth Avenue at 42nd St., Midtown
WHAT: Enjoy stories, songs, and rhymes. Ages 0-5.
WANT TO GO? 917-275-6975. nypl.org.
New York City Ballet Access Workshop for Children with Physical Disabilities
WHEN: Dec. 21-Jan. 25, 12/21, 11:00am-12:00pm; 1/25, 10:00-11:00am
WHERE: Samuel B & David Rose Building, 7th Floor, 165 West 65th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam, New York
WHAT: An exploration of the music, movement, and themes of some of NYCB's most treasured repertory.
WANT TO GO? FREE. 2128705636. https://nycballet.com/Educate/Access-Programs/Workshops-for-Children-with-Physical-Disabilities.aspx.
FREE Read to our New York Therapy Dog!
WHEN: Jan. 4-25, Saturdays, 10:30am
WHERE: New York Public Library - Webster Library, 1465 York Ave., Upper East Side
WHAT: Read to therapy dog Tugboat! Pre-registration required for each 15-minute slot.
WANT TO GO? 212-288-5049. https://nypl.org/locations/webster.
FREE Latin American Drumming
WHEN: Jan. 4-25, Saturdays, 11:30am
WHERE: Hamilton Grange Library, 503 W. 145th St., Upper Manhattan
WHAT: Using his collection of exotic instruments, percussionist Norberto Goldberg explores the tropical rhythms of Latin America, the Caribbean, and beyond, and demonstrates how these beats have shaped and been shaped by other cultures. Ages 2-5 years.
WANT TO GO? 212-926-2147. nypl.org/locations/hamilton-grange.
FREE R&R: Shabbat at the JCC
WHEN: Jan. 4-25, Saturdays, 2:00-5:00pm
WHERE: Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave, Upper West Side
WHAT: Make your Shabbat afternoon special and experience our community with workshops in art, yoga, meditation, food, music, lectures, film, creative art projects, spa experiences, and indoor and outdoor play.
WANT TO GO? FREE. 6465055708. https://jccmanhattan.org/r-and-r.
28th Annual Holiday Train Show
WHEN: Through Jan. 26: see website for schedule
WHERE: The New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx
WHAT: Model trains zip through an enchanting display of more than 175 New York landmarks, each delightfully re-created from natural materials.
WANT TO GO? Tickets start at $23 for adults and $10 for children ages 2-12; free for members and children younger than 2. 718-817-8700. nybg.org.
FREE Retro Video Game Day
WHEN: Jan. 3-31, Fridays, 3:30pm
WHERE: Grand Central Library, 135 E. 46th St., Midtown
WHAT: Have a blast with those old school 8, 16, and 32 bit consoles, games, and controllers you all love. All you have to bring is you and your skills!
WANT TO GO? 212-621-0670. nypl.org.
FREE Bilingual Birdies Mandarin Series
WHEN: Jan. 17-31, Friday 1/17 and 1/31, 11:15am
WHERE: New York Public Library - Seward Park Branch, 192 East Broadway, Lower East Side
WHAT: Bilingual Birdies will take families on a magical journey to learn words in Mandarin and explore fun new themes!
WANT TO GO? https://nypl.org/locations/seward-park.
Big Apple Circus
WHEN: Through Feb. 2: see website for showtimes
WHERE: Lincoln Center, 10 Lincoln Center Plaza, Upper West Side
WHAT: World renowned for its intimate one-ring and artistic style, Big Apple Circus is passionate about revitalizing the circus with unique and astounding human feats, innovative design, and technology.
WHY WE LOVE IT: All your classic circus delights in a climate-controlled Big Top tent with tiered seating, perfect for families with young children.
WANT TO GO? $45 and up; free for children younger than 3 (on lap). 212-721-6500. https://bigapplecircus.com/.
The Whodunit at the Met Family Scavenger Hunt
WHEN: Jan. 4-Feb. 19, Saturday, 1/4 and 1/18, 10:30am; Wednesday 2/19, 10:30am
WHERE: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave., Upper East Side
AGES: 9 and older
WHAT: In this mischievous mystery, kids and adults team up to search great works of art to expose a killer. For ages 10 and older.
WANT TO GO? $39 adults; $31 kids ages 10-17 (includes Museum admission). 212-535-7710. metmuseum.org.
FREE Discovery Walks For Families: Harlem Meer
WHEN: Jan. 4-Feb. 21, 1/4, 1/19, 1/26, 2/1, 2/15, 2/18, 2/19, 2/21, 11:00am
WHERE: Central Park - Charles A. Dana Discovery Center, Inside the Park at 110th Street between Fifth and Lenox Avenues, Central Park
AGES: 5 and older
WHAT: Learn about how the area has changed over time, the plants and animals that live there today, and how the Conservancy cares for this complex ecosystem.
WANT TO GO? 212-860-1370. http://centralparknyc.org/events/individual-events/Discovery-Walks-for-Families-North-Woods-11-7-2015-1.html.
FREE Read-to-Skate StoryTime
WHEN: Jan. 11-Feb. 22, Saturdays, 11:30am-12:30pm
WHERE: Bryant Park, 40th Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues, Midtown
WHAT: Read and sing along with Cali Co Cat and earn a free skate rental!
WANT TO GO? 212-768-4242. bryantpark.org.
FREE Discovery Walk for Families: Shakespeare Garden
WHEN: Jan. 19-Feb. 23, 1/19, 2/1, 2/19, 2/23, 11:00am
WHERE: Central Park: Belvedere Castle, Central Park, mid-Park at 79th Street, Central Park
AGES: 5 and older
WHAT: Bring your whole family for a guided walk through Shakespeare Garden, which features flowers included in the writer’s great works.
WANT TO GO? 212-772-0210. centralparknyc.org/events/individual-events/Discovery-Walks-for-Families-Ramble-11-14-2015-1.html.
Weekly Powerful Meditation to Manifest Your Best Life
WHEN: Through March 8: Sundays, 6-6:30pm
WHERE: Bode NYC Upper Eastside, 173 E. 83rd St., New York
WHAT: A suggested donation of $10 benefits Super Happy Healthy Kids, a non-profit after-school program for New York City Public School children.
WANT TO GO? $10 suggested donation. 917-369-0032. http://superhappyhealthykids.com.
FREE imagiNATIONS Activity Center
WHEN: Jan. 1- March 16, daily, 10:00am-4:30pm
WHERE: National Museum of the American Indian, 1 Bowling Green, Lower Manhattan
WHAT: Visitors of all ages will explore Native scientific discoveries and inventions so ingenious many continue to affect the modern world.
WANT TO GO? 212-514-3700. americanindian.si.edu.
WHEN: Through April 24: select Saturdays, 9:30am (see website for dates)
WHERE: The Wetherby-Pembridge School, 7 E. 96th St., New York
WHAT: Welcome to Planet Play: our magical world of sensory learning, wonder and exploration for babies and toddlers ages 0-3 years. These 45 minute sessions encourage young children to explore the world around them through songs, music and movement in a wonderful sensory experience.
WANT TO GO? $15 per person. 646-569-5742. https://chickenshed.org.uk/nyc.
FREE Movies for Tots
WHEN: Through April 27: Fridays, 11am (no session Sept. 20)
WHERE: Kips Bay Library, 446 Third Ave., Kips Bay
AGES: Newborn to 5
WHAT: A short cartoon or movie suitable for a younger audience.
WANT TO GO?
T. rex: The Ultimate Predator
WHEN: Through Aug. 9, 2020: daily, 10am-5:45pm
WHERE: The American Museum of Natural History, 200 Central Park West, Upper West Side
WHAT: T. rex: The Ultimate Predator will introduce you to the entire tyrannosaur superfamily and reveal the amazing story of the most iconic dinosaur in the world through stunning life-sized models, fossils and casts, engaging interactives, and an immersive multiplayer virtual reality experience developed exclusively for this exhibition.
WANT TO GO? Free with admission: $23; $18 seniors and students; $13 for children ages 2-12. 212-769-5100.amnh.org.