Hit the ice at a skating party at Lasker Rink
Yes, we know: There's a chill in the air and, at some point, there will be snow on the ground, but that doesn't mean your family should stay home until spring arrives. This winter, there are tons of things to do with kids—everything from Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year's events to new museum openings, ice-skating parties, hot chocolate festivals and Broadway show pop-up exhibits. Read through our list of 50 great things to do with kids, then bundle up your crew and embrace the season.
Families can glide and twirl to soul music at the 16th annual Soul on Ice Winter Skating Party, a fund-raiser for figure skating in Harlem. Competitive figure skater Sharon Cohen founded the organization in 1997 to help young girls learn how to ice skate and to boost their confidence and leadership skills. In addition to rink time, the party will feature live music, snacks, activities, raffle prizes (including a Nintendo Wii and an iPod Touch) and a performance by FSH’s synchronized-skating team, Harlem Ice. All ages.
Trump Lasker Rink Central Park, enter at W 110th and Malcolm X Blvd (Lenox Ave), 10026
At Erth's Dinosaur Zoo, an interactive theater performance imported from Sydney, Australia, kids venture to the Australian outback, where they meet a collection of puppet dinosaurs both fierce and adorable. The large-scale, lifelike puppets (designed in collaboration with palaeontologists and using real fossil evidence) actually react to human contact for a totally realistic experience. Among the species on show are the carnivore Australovenator and the petite Leaellynasaura. Young dino-lovers even get to pet the prehistoric puppets after the show. Note: Kids under the age of six may be scared of the dinosuars. Ages 6 and up.
Subway: A, C, E to 42nd St–Port Authority; N, Q, R, 42nd St S, 1, 2, 3, 7 to 42nd St–Times Sq
New Victory Theater 209 W 42nd St, between Seventh and Eighth Aves
What better way to celebrate the life of the now-defunct Twinkie than an entire festival dedicated entirely to the yummy yellow pastry? Kids can create a table-top craft, learn the art of baking a Twinkie and even taste one that has been deep-fried. All ages.
In 2003, photographer Danny Goldfield set out to photograph one child from every country in the world, with the caveat that each child had to be living in New York City. Nearly a decade later, the artist's exhibit of 169 portraits is still growing—but the poignant collection of portraits already reflects the universality of childhood and captures the city's multinational character while envisioning a more harmonious future. His photos are on display at the JCC through the beginning of January. All ages.
In honor of its new programs for families, BAM will host a day of storytelling, puppets, performances, face painting and other activities sure to tickle your family's fun bone. Sketch comedy group Story Pirates will take ideas from kids (like flying cats and tickle monsters) and turn them into hilarious musicals, performed with puppets and wacky characters, while Urban Stages will present Blown Away By Poetry, a musical about Wendy Windstorm, who sneezes the poems out of Poetsville and must embark on a journey to get them back. Kids are also encouraged to come dressed as their favorite storybook character. All ages.