6 Things to Do with the Kids in New York City During Christmas Break

Christmas break = fun, presents, and holiday food, but it also means no school. You’ll be staring down long cold-weather days with the kids, and I bet you’re starting to sweat it (all the new toys can only take you so far). I’m giving the sitch some advance thought so I have a few tricks up my sleeve. Here’s my list of things to do — let me hear what’s on yours, too!

Moomah craft

Let your kids create a winter log cabin at Moomah in Tribeca.

Make a cool craft at Moomah

We do a lot of easy, homespun crafts, so I decided to take a look around for a cute one to do over the holidays. A real project, rather than the usual I-make-it-up-as-I-go BS. I looked. And I looked some more. But, I have to say, I was freaking intimidated by most of what I saw out there. I just cannot see myself doing all of the necessary prep — buying tons of special materials, measuring and cutting, even sewing for God’s sake. So screw it. Let’s go to Cafe Moomah instead, where I can pay for a genius, way-creative project that someone else has come up with! (Check out the cool winter log cabin above — impressive, huh? ) All of the materials are there for you. And there’s staff on hand to help direct the kids. And there’s good coffee.

Take the kids to see MOMENTUM at the New Victory Theater

Live music, dance moves, cool visual effects — sounds awesome! It runs through January 2 and is suitable for the whole fam. Buy tix here.

Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes (photo: Kevin @ Closet Cooking)

Make dinner with the kids

On the menu: Sloppy Joes from Dinner: A Love Story. At dinnertime, I am usually shooing the kids out of the kitchen so I can focus and get food on the table ASAP. But during the holidays, when we don’t have to stick to such a strict dinner-bath-book-bed sked, maybe I can loosen up a little. I know they’d love to help make a dinner from A to Z, and this looks like an easy recipe to try the “cooking with kids” thing out with.

Hit a museum during free museum hours

NewYorkology has a great, updated list of museums and cultural institutions that have free or pay-what-you-wish days and times during the winter.

Big Apple Circus

Go see the Big Apple Circus

I’ve heard for ages how great the Big Apple Circus is; now may be the time to try it out. Mommy Poppins says this season’s show is fun and “fast-paced… with one surprise after another.” Also, that it’s small and intimate. I think the kids would love it.

Blue Bell ice cream

(flickr photo: jonny.hunter)

Head to Hill Country Barbecue

In case you missed it, I’m from Texas. And I can tell you Hill Country Barbecue is the real deal — the dry-rub brisket and sausage from legendary Kreuz Market in Lockhart never disappoint. Lots of sides, a huge open space, and Blue Bell Ice Cream for dessert (yep, it’s made in Texas) make it a super-easy lunch spot with kids. Weather permitting, you can let them romp for a few minutes before or after in the not-too-far-away playground in Madison Square Park.

Have fun!

Other ideas for cold-weather fun:

Children’s Museum of the Arts

Brooklyn’s BounceU

The Polar Express 4-D Experience at The Bronx Zoo

(Sloppy Joes photo, Closet Cooking)


3 Responses to “6 Things to Do with the Kids in New York City During Christmas Break”

  1. 1 Paula/adhocmom December 23, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    I’ve been wanting to go to Moomah for ages. . is June too young? She’s almost 3.

  2. 2 Holly December 27, 2010 at 12:38 am

    Great list! Happy holidays.

  3. 3 Melisa December 27, 2010 at 9:48 am

    Thanks, Holly! Happy holidays to you, too.

    Paula — Magnolia was 3 when I first took her. There’s usually one pretty simple activity — M. made a placemat and she was able to do it on her own. You can scan the list of current activities on their site, and you could call ahead, too, to ask if there’s a craft that they think would be good for an almost-3-year-old. They also have this room called the Funky Forest — here’s a link:


    It’s pretty cool, and I’m sure June would like it. Also, they have appealing snacks. I say go for it! And let me know how it turns out.

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