With the holiday season upon us and winter break from school near, we asked a few of our dads for suggestions on what to do with their children in and around NYC during this time of the year. Here are some of their suggestions, and if you want more check out our summary of fun winter activities for kids.
MTA Holiday Nostalgia Rides
The MTA is continuing it’s annual tradition of Holiday Nostalgia Rides on vintage trains. Having grown up in the city, I always think this means the cars will be covered in graffiti and I’ll be mugged by a guy named Fleabag Jimmy, but no! Vintage subway cars from the 1930s will roll out along the A, C, D and F lines on Sunday afternoons during the holidays. My 5-year-old daughter loves going on these cars at the Transit Museum and it’ll be great for her to see them in action as we schlep around the city doing our Christmas shopping. Rumor has it that the MTA’s infrastructure is also from the 1930s, but you already knew that.
Skating and window shopping
We love to ice skate during this time of year and are fortunate to be near so many thrilling ice rinks in NYC. Our favorite is Wollman Rink in the middle of Central Park with it’s expansive ice rink, sweet skyline views, and warm hot chocolate when you’re ready for a break. We also love Bryant Park’s Ice Skating Rink because of it’s convenient location and if you own your own skates, it’s free admission. Plus, the surrounding Winter Village is fun to walk around before or after our family skate.
Another favorite winter break tradition is doing a Department Store Window Walking Tour. First, we get large cups of hot chocolate. Then, we stroll from Barneys to Bergdorf Goodman to Saks. Saks has an amazing and free light show on their building that’s entertaining for the kids. It’s also right next to the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree so that’s a mandatory stop on our tour as well. This year we plan to make a pit-stop in FAO Schwartz now that our favorite toy store has reopened in a new location at Rock Center.
Every year during the holiday season, we go to the New York Hall of Science to see Gingerbread Lane. It is the biggest collection of gingerbread houses. Sometimes you can even meet the baker who created all of these gingerbread houses and have a talk with him.