Remember all of the fun of last winter break vacation? Probably not. The shoveling, the salting, and the mass transit disasters made for a very hectic week. Hopefully we’ll be free of blizzards this year and able to enjoy the fabulous activities our area has to offer. Here are some ideas…
Explore Our Area: Museums and Theatre
If your children love stories and music, grab breakfast or lunch and head to the theatre! This time of year many theatres cater to young audiences. In addition to productions of “A Christmas Carol” galore, some shows currently running are “Freckleface Strawberry”, “Angelina Ballerina: The Very Merry Holiday Musical”, “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe”, and “Pinkalicious.” These productions all have late morning or early afternoon show times to accommodate the schedules of young audiences. The best place to find information about these shows is the New York Times Off and Off –Off Broadway list. You can also check out the family show lineup at the Queens Theatre in the Park.
To get out for part of the day, try one of our local children’s museums. Manhattan has three: the Nitchen Children’s Cultural Center of Native America on the Upper West Side, the Children’s Museum of Manhattan also on the Upper West Side, and the Children’s Museum of the Arts located Downtown. If you’d like to travel to Brooklyn, try the Brooklyn Children’s Museum in Brower Park. Traveling out east? Try the Long Island Children’s Museum in Garden City. All of these museums are open during winter recess and have affordable admission rates. So whether your child would like to explore a tipi, learn about the history of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, or make figures with clay, you’ll definitely find something that grabs their interest.
If your child is interested in the history of New York City, try the Tenement Museum on the Lower East Side. Tours are available for those ages 5+, 8+ and 12+ and range from meeting the Tenement residents to learning about sweatshops and touring the apartments and neighborhood.
Have Fun Outdoors
Tuxedo Ridge at Sterling Forest is located off of Route 17A in Orange County. Snowtubing is the most popular activity here, but skiing and snowboarding are also available. Reservations are required a day in advance. Snowtubing sessions are held Friday-Sunday and are about $20-$25 per person. Lift ticket prices vary depending on age and days.
Mountain Creek in Vernon, NJ is about a 90-minute drive from Queens. It offers skiing and an all-mountain terrain park. Mountain Creek is open seven days a week, but hours are adjusted for the holiday season, so it is best to call ahead.
Bear Mountain State Park offers both hiking and an outdoor ice-skating. Skate rentals are available.
Fernwood in the Poconos has two snow tubing hills for kids to enjoy, plus a lot more.
Explore Other Parts of NY
Cold Spring Harbor, NY comes highly recommended from our Long Island Mamas. Check out their recommendations here.
Cold Spring, NY located in Putnam County is about 50 miles away. Historic homes, delicious restaurants, and antique and specialty shops line the streets. Check out visitor information here.
Close to Cold Spring is the town of Beacon. Like Cold Spring, the town features historic homes and quaint shops, but also boasts a decent gallery scene. Those interested in hiking can explore nearby Mt. Beacon. Visitor information can be found here.
In western New Jersey /Eastern PA along the Delaware River there are the towns of Lambertville, Frenchtown, and New Hope. Families will love exploring the charming streets of Lambertville. A quick walk across the bridge and you’re in New Hope. Drive 10 minutes west from New Hope and you’ll hit Peddler’s Village, an amazing cluster of shops, restaurants, and a family entertainment center. A 20-minute drive north from Lambertville will take you to Frenchtown, which offers more of the same. This area also boasts some decent wineries for a more adult-centered escape. The best thing about this area is that it can be conquered in one day, but if there are plenty of inns and bed and breakfasts if you’d like to make it an overnight. Hunterdon County visitor information can be found here. For information about New Hope, click here.