It’s raining again or it’s frigid cold, no one wants to go to the playground, and you need to entertain your kids for a whole day.
The beauty of New York City is you can get anywhere by subway and find cool stuff for the whole family in every borough.
So let’s pack every snack in town, a water bottle (the green one, not the blue one;)), a snack for you (don’t you always forget that?), a diaper bag, and let’s go for the adventure!
Free things to do in New York City with kids
Let’s start with free or low-cost fun around NYC for families with small kids.
We have so many amazing museums in New York! Kiddos love running around, and looking at dinosaurs and other animals at the Museum of Natural History With NY id you pay as you wish. The museum is on UWS, easy ride on the C or B train to 81st St. station. Brooklyn Children’s Museum has free admission on Thursdays 2 pm – 5 pm. The Museum of the Moving Image in Queens has lots of cool, interactive spaces, and has free Thursdays 2 pm- 6 pm. We had such a great experience at the Sugar Hill Museum in Harlem. It’s a bit far out, next to 155th St station on the C train, but worth the trip. They have storytelling every Saturday at 11 am and 1 pm, plus lots of cool things to do for your little one. It’s worth mentioning that NYC has a Culture Pass. If you have a library card from the Brooklyn Public Library, Queens Public Library, or New York Public Library (serving the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island), you can reserve free passes to 80+ cultural institutions across NYC. Check out the website to get more info. MOMA has an Art Lab for kids. Free with museum admission. It’s a hands-on space where kids can play with line and light, draw to music, create cut-outs, and more. Open Daily, 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. The Met opened a new art and science discovery and play space for kids ages 3–11 and their families. It looks fantastic! It’s free, it’s huge, lots of things to do for kids, and it’s indoors! Please check out the website for more info The 81st Street Studio
Almost every local library has weekly storytelling time and Lego time, check them out! It’s a great way to meet more moms, go out and read:) I spent hours, and I mean hours in my local Barnes & Noble, Brooklyn Library, and my local library.
Another cool thing to do is to explore CAMP stores. They have play spaces that you can go to completely for free. There is one next to Union Square, right on 5th Ave and 16th St. Another one is on UWS at Columbus Circle Mall, and one in Brooklyn in City Point.
Best things to do in New York with kids in the winter
The fun begins when you are willing to spend a little bit of money. New York City offers so many places to go!
One of the kids’ favorites is Slime Institute. There are things to touch, play, make and watch. Kids LOVE it.
I really enjoyed the trip to The Color Factory It’s an interactive space with 14 different exhibits, yummy treats, and lots of fun. another one full of color, food, and constant happy screams is The Museum of Ice Cream, It’s an indoor playground filled with free-flow ice cream.