The fun, kid-friendly events that New York City has planned this winter make it a great time for families to visit. Whether you’re here to celebrate the holiday season, catch a kids’ film festival or bring the brood to a scenic skating rink, there is no more magical place to be. Read on for our picks.
Attractions Holiday Train Show at Grand Central Terminal
The New York Transit Museum Gallery Annex & Store at Grand Central Terminal is back with its annual Holiday Train Show, whose new layout features Lionel trains traveling through a two-level, 34-foot-long miniature New York City and countryside scene. Vintage trains from the museum's collection, including New York Central models, and posters from the 1920s through the '40s will also be on display.
Attractions New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show
The Holiday Train Show at The New York Botanical Garden features painstakingly crafted miniatures of New York City's built environment, all made entirely out of plant parts. Seeds, bark, leaves and twigs are among the botanical resources employed to create the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge and other landmarks. Model trains navigate the familiar, fantastically rendered New York landscape.
Arts & Culture George Balanchine's The Nutcracker
It's likely you already know the story—and that no New York City holiday season is complete without seeing this production. The glittering classic, performed annually by the New York City Ballet since 1954, has become one of the City's signature family-friendly traditions. Expect to warm your spirit with visions of the Sugarplum Fairy and, naturally, the Nutcracker.
Attractions Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree
Rockefeller Center's celebrated tree lighting is a holiday-season staple. The colorful and towering tree is a sight to behold, and the lighting ceremony always features celebrity guests, musical performances and more. The tree can be seen from the ice-skating rink below and is a must-visit for anyone in NYC during the holidays.
Museums & Galleries Butterfly Conservatory at AMNH
Celebrate the annual return of this re-created tropical forest environment filled with over 500 live butterflies. The butterflies live in a magical summer-like environment, surrounded by tropical flowers and lush vegetation in 80-degree temperatures. It's the perfect exhibition on a cold fall or winter day, and great for children and adults.
Arts & Culture World's Largest Hanukkah Menorahs
Celebrate Hanukkah with the lighting of the world's largest menorah, at Grand Army Plaza (Fifth Avenue and West 59th Street, across the street from The Plaza hotel). This 32-foot-high, gold-colored, 4,000-pound steel holiday icon is a sight to behold. Every evening during the holiday, at 5:30pm, a candle will be lit. For the Sabbath, the lighting will be at 3:30pm on Friday and 8:30pm on Saturday.