Activities and Museums for Snow Days in New York!
When you wake your little ones up in the morning and tell them that there’s no school because of the snow, you’ll first see their face light up with excitement before they run over to the window to see the snowflakes fall. But then their next question will likely be, so what are we going to do today? With kids energized by the thickening layer of snow outside, a snow day certainly does not translate to a lazy day at home. If you’re looking for activities and museums for snow days in New York, we’ve got the round-up here.
There is just one caveat. Make sure that the museum you wish to attend is open and know that if we are in a blizzard most likely for safety the museum may be closed but once the snow is manageable the city is back to business in a flash.
Check out our top picks for activities and museums in all four NYC boroughs, and then get your winter gear ready for the next snowfall!
Psst…check out Pink Pier: NYC’s Seasonal Pink Paradise
Children’s Museum of Manhattan – Upper West Side
212 West 83rd St.
Tuesday-Friday, Sunday 10 am-5 pm, Saturday 10 am-7 pm
$15 Kids and Adults, Free for members and kids under age 1
Head over to the Children’s Museum of Manhattan for some educational, indoor fun! The museum offers several exhibits for little ones to get engaged, including one of our favorites, Art, Artists & You. Kids are encouraged to explore self-expression and identity by getting crafty and creative. Part art studio, part exhibit, little ones get inspired by artwork and then build their own 3D gingerbread house installations, paint mugs for hot cocoa, and make peppermint bath pods. If your kids are feeling energetic, check out Let’s Dance!, which introduces families to dance as a form of art, an expression of diverse cultures and traditions, and a healthy physical activity. PlayWorks is perfect for your newborns and tots for drop-in play and Art Lab programs, Adventures with Dora and Diego is a classic for your little explorers. Learning meets adventure at this museum, making it a great space for family fun on snow days.
The American Kennel Museum of the Dog – Murray Hill
101 Park Avenue
Tuesday-Sunday 10 am-5 pm
$15 Adults, $5 Kids under age 12, $10 Students and Youth ages 13-24
Do you have a furry friend at home? If so, your little ones will get a kick out of this museum celebrating dogs! Kids love the touch screen interactive table that allows them to explore the many dog breeds, and they certainly enjoy the Find Your Match feature. Families get to discover their dog look-alike through visual recognition software. Be sure to email your match to yourself to share later on Instagram. The library also has daily children’s programs, including breed crossword scavenger hunts, drawing guides, coloring pages, stories, and more.
Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum – Hell’s Kitchen
Pier 86, West 46th St.
Daily 10 am-5 pm
$33 Adults, $24 Kids ages 5-12, Free for members and kids ages 4 and under
Whether you’ve visited Exploreum Hall many times or have never been there before, the interactive hall geared towards families in the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum has all that you’re looking for in a snow day. Climb in an actual Bell 47 helicopter, navigate through a submarine, and steer the wings of an airplane. Parents and kids are encouraged to play together. There are also lots of exciting exhibits to check out or you can cozy up for a 3-D film at the Allison & Howard Lutnick Theater. And don’t miss out on the daily educational demonstrations!
The Skyscraper Museum – Battery Park City
39 Battery Place
Wednesday-Sunday 12-6 pm
$5 Adults, $2.50 Students, Free for Kids under age 12
Learn about the history of skyscrapers at The Skyscraper Museum. Check out the various structures that at one time held the title of the “world’s tallest building” and explore models of past skyscrapers. If the snow day happens to fall on a Saturday, then take advantage of the family programs. Upcoming programs include Wonderland Lantern, “Subway” Storytime, Architecture Valentines, and Supertalls of the Future. In each workshop, little ones get to learn and then create!
American Museum of Natural History – Upper West Side
Central Park West and 79th Street
Daily, 10 am-5:45 pm
$23 Adults, $18 Students, $13 Kids ages 2-12
An iconic museum for all ages, the American Museum of Natural History has activities and exhibits to keep your family engaged for hours. The Origami Holiday Tree is a must-see, and it stays up until January 12. Hop into the planetarium for a space show, watch the giant-screen film, and explore exhibits such as the Alaska Brown Bear, Blue Whale, and Tyrannosaurus Rex. The Discovery Room offers drop-in learning for little ones through hands-on, interactive activities. Kids get to create their own collection of minerals, skulls, or arthropods, track real-time earthquakes, and enjoy science & culture storytimes.
DiMenna Children’s History Museum at the New York Historical Society – Upper West Side
170 Central Park West at Richard Gilder Way (77th Street)
Tuesday-Thursday 10 am-6 pm, Friday 10 am-8 pm, Saturday 10 am-6 pm, Sunday 11 am-5 pm
$22 Adults, $13 Students, $6 Kids ages 5-13, Free for kids ages 4 and under
Dive into history at the DiMenna Children’s History Museum as the snow builds up outside! Learn about New York and America through character-based pavilions, interactive exhibits, digital games, and the Barbara K. Lipman Children’s History Library. There are also scavenger hunts, books, education staff on hand to answer your questions, and an 18-minute long film of NYC’s history. And the well-known Holiday Express is back this holiday season, through February 23, reimagined to celebrate the 100th birthday of Busytown author and illustrator Richard Scarry. Kids get to see the artwork of Scarry’s characters and check out the railroad and trains. There’s even an “I Spy” scavenger hunt specifically for the exhibit. Be sure to share your DiMenna experience on Instagram with #nyhistorykids!
Taste Buds Kitchen – Chelsea
109 West 27th Street, 10th Floor
Times vary per class
Prices vary per class
The family cooking classes at Taste Buds Kitchen need to be booked in advance, so if you see snow in the forecast, register for a class. Known to bring caregivers and kids together through the joy of food, Taste Buds Kitchen offers a unique way to spend your snow day. Upcoming workshops include Gluten-Free Sprinkle Donuts, Sushi & Dumplings, Gingerbread House, Pretzel Twists, and Pancake Mini Muffins. The family classes are designed for ages 2 to teen, so be sure to note the age group when you book your class.
CAMP – Midtown
110 5th Avenue
Sunday-Friday 10 am-8 pm, Saturday 10 am-9 pm
Store experience is free, additional cost for activities
The classic family-experience store, CAMP is perfect for a fun-filled snow day. The current theme is Behind The Magic Door is Toy Lab Camp. Families get to test (and shop) for the best toys of the season. Little ones will love playing with the new and unique toys that CAMP has to offer. In addition to the store experience itself, CAMP has a variety of activities, including art, cooking, yoga, crafts, and lots of DIY activities. Pop into the store when school’s out for the snow!
Grab your snowsuits, mittens, and hats, and get ready for some snowy fun! There are many spots in Manhattan to go sledding. Some of our favorites are Pilgrim Hill and Cedar Hill in Central Park, East River Park, Inwood Hill Park, and Morningside Park. Make sure you tuck in your little one’s gloves into their sleeves to keep the snow out, and conquer the NYC hills as a family.
Max Brenner’s Hot Chocolate & More – Union Square
Monday-Thursday 9 am-1 am, Friday-Saturday 9 am-2 am, Sunday 9 am-12 am
Grab a bite to eat at Max Brenner, a cozy and delicious spot for a snow day. Treat yourself to a mac n’ cheese skillet or s’mores pizza. There’s even a Kids Menu so your little ones can indulge in mini versions of Max Brenner classics. The Winter Menu features winter-themed desserts that are right up any foodie’s alley! And if you’re craving a warm cup of hot cocoa after playing in the snow, Max Brenner offers several flavors of rich hot chocolate for all ages to enjoy, including marshmallow, peanut butter, oreo, salted caramel, Belgian, hazelnut, and original chocolate.
There’s nothing like ice skating as the snowflakes fall down around you. Making for a magical, winter wonderland, you’re going to want to take plenty of family photos this snow day. Grab your skates and head to some of our Manhattan ice skating faves: Wollman Rink, Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park, and Rockefeller Center!
Brooklyn Children’s Museum – Crown Heights
145 Brooklyn Ave.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 10 am-5 pm, Thursday 10 am-6 pm, Saturday-Sunday 10 am-7 pm
$13, Pay as you wish on Thursday 2-6 pm and Sunday 4-7 pm
The educational museum for little ones and their caregivers has a wide range of programs and exhibits to keep you busy (and warm!) on a snow day. World Brooklyn is designed to foster a greater understanding and appreciation of world cultures found in Brooklyn. Little ones get to play in kid-sized shops and take on roles of shoekeepers, bakers, grocers, designers, performers, and builders. Totally Tots is perfect for your real little ones to explore through sensory play, using water, sand, music, blocks, and more. For your mini scientist, Neighborhood Nature introduces kids to life sciences and the many ecologies found in Brooklyn’s backyard.
New York Transit Museum – Downtown Brooklyn
99 Schermerhorn St.
Tuesday-Friday 10 am-4 pm, Saturday-Sunday 11 am-5 pm
$10 Adults, $5 Kids ages 2-17
Learn all about the history of NYC transit on the next snow day. The 18th Annual Holiday Train Show runs through February 23. Kids get a kick out of this miniature electric railroad, featuring some of New York’s most famous and magnificent landmarks. The museum also offers programming geared towards kids, such as Transit Tots, where tots join for transit-themed stories and hands-on activities. Check out the various happening in the Discovery Room, including puzzles, books, and crafts for little ones, as well as the Family Workshops that get the whole family involved in hands-on, transit-themed learning.
Storytime at Brooklyn Public Library
Hours vary per location
Pop into your local Brooklyn Public Library for storytime! This free programming is a great way to spend an hour or two engaged in learning and creating. There is always lots going on at the library, from crafts to stories to games for all ages. After cozying up for a read-aloud at the library, head back under the covers at home for a movie or nap as the chilly snow continues to fall!
Sledding isn’t limited to Manhattan; Brooklyn boasts some of the best hills in the city. Grab your single sleds, family sled, and all of your winter gear to stay warm. Then head to a Brooklyn sledding spot in either Prospect Park, Fort Greene Park, or Owl’s Head Park. Each of these parks have perfect hills for all sledding levels, from your daring bigger kids to your little ones who actually want to stay on their sled!
Brooklyn also has great spots for ice skating on a snow day. If your little ones are ready to brave the cold, head to Prospect Park for outdoor skating fun. But if you still want the skating experience without the freezing cold, Aviator Sports and Events Center also has an indoor ice rink. While the rink certainly isn’t warm, it isn’t as cold as skating in the snow.
LARK Cafe – Flatbush
1007 Church Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11218
Monday-Friday 7 am-5 pm, Saturday-Sunday 8 am-5 pm
Don’t feel like cooking on a snow day? Pop into LARK Cafe for delectable food and fun! There’s a play area for kids and plenty of kid-friendly classes and events. Upcoming events include Larry May Sing Along, Sing along with Debbie Deane, and Lavender Blues Sing Along. If you’re looking for a musical snow day, LARK Cafe has all the sing-alongs you need to sing your heart out. Menu favorites for kids are the grilled cheese, OVENLY cookies, and DOUGH Doghnuts.
Winter at Domino Park – Williamsburg
300 Kent Ave.
The lively summer destination is just as vibrant in the winter, and it’s especially beautiful with a coat of snow! Bring your family for Winter at Domino Park, which features holiday, family-friendly programming. Activities include concerts, performances, a Toy Drive, Mulchfest, and a Holiday Tree Stand. Amidst these planned events, the park is also a playground for fun in the snow. Just be careful, as sidewalks and surfaces tend to get slippery. And Tacocina is open year-round, so grab a yummy taco before you leave.
City Owlets Play Cafe – Hunter’s Point
10-42 Jackson Ave., Long Island City, Queens, NY 11101 ]
Monday-Thursday 9 am-5 pm, Saturday-Sunday 8:30 am-12 pm
$25 1-Day Pass, 2nd Child is $10
This play cafe offers drop-in play for little ones. The colorful playspace is full of everything that a kid needs to get their imagination going! There are also drop-in classes, including Amazing Athletes, Twinkle Toes Ballet, Messy Art Lab, and more. City Owlets Play Cafe provides a cozy space for little ones to explore, play, and learn on a snow day. And if your kids love their experience, consider purchasing a membership.
New York Hall of Science, photo via Time Out
New York Hall of Science – Corona
47-01 Corona, Queens, NY 11368
Monday-Friday 9:30 am-5 pm, Saturday-Sunday 10 am-6 pm
$20 Adults, $15 Kids
Your little scientists will love spending their snow day at the New York Hall of Science! With endless interactive activities and exhibits, the museum keeps families entertained all day. Don’t miss out on Gingerbread Lane 2019, which ends on January 12. The exhibit is the record-holder of the Guinness World Records for the largest gingerbread village. Solar Cat is another family-favorite, which features a giant, 140-watt cat-shaped solar panel that teaches visitors about renewable energy. Preschool Place is perfect for your tots to discover and build, and Scattered Light is always a popular sight, as the design changes when sunlight shifts around the building.
Queens has beautiful hills in its parks that are transformed into wintery, magical scenes when the thick, white blanket of snow covers them. If you’re looking to spend your snow day in the snow, then head to Astoria Park, Crocheron Park, Kissena Park, Forest Park, or Juniper Valley Park with your sleds. The vast range of hill heights and steepness make for a sledding adventure perfect for the whole family!
Museum of the Moving Image – Astoria
Wednesday-Thursday 10:30 am-5 pm, Friday 10:30 am-8 pm, Saturday-Sunday 10:30 am-6 pm
$15 Adults, $9 Kids ages 3-17, $11 Students, free admission Friday 4-8 pm
Explore the history of the moving image and the technology present today at the Museum of the Moving Image. Behind the Screen is a hands-on, family-friendly exhibit that features over 1,400 artifacts, such as mind-bending optical toys to a real Chewbacca mask from the Star Wars films. Families can make stop-motion animations, add sound effects and music to famous movie scenes, and star in a personalized flipbook. There are also drop-in workshops on Saturdays and hands-on workshops during school recess.
Lace up your skates for ice skating at Flushing Meadows Corona Park! The World Ice Arena features a huge space for skating, perfect for families to skate together. Embrace the winter season as you bundle up for your skating adventure. And if your little ones have never skated before, take the time to teach them on the next snow day.
Like the other NYC boroughs, the Bronx also has prime sledding spots. Check out the hills at Claremont Park, Crotona Park, Ewen Park, Shoelace Park, and Franz Sigel Park. Ewen Park is one of our favorites because it has stairs for climbing back up the hill. It’s known as one of the best sledding spots in the city as its long and steep. But keep in mind that if your little ones have never sled before, then another park with a smaller hill might be a better option, especially since the Ewen Park hill can get crowded.
Van Cortlandt House Museum – Van Cortlandt Park
Tuesday-Friday 10 am-4 pm, Saturday-Sunday 11 am-4 pm
$5 Adults, $3 Students, Free for kids ages 12 and under, Free/by donation on Wednesday
Explore the cozy and educational house museum in the Bronx for indoor fun. Go on a self-guided tour as you learn all about the deeply-rooted history of this historic Bronx house. Kids can even do a pre-visit guide and activity sheet to prepare for their trip in history. Little ones especially love the Welcome Center Shop, featuring traditional toys, greeting cards, postcards, soaps, pillows, towels, candlesticks, and plenty of yummy snacks. If you’ve been meaning to check out this historic site, then check it off your bucket list on the next snow day!
Holiday Train Show at New York Botanical Garden – Fordham
2900 Southern Boulevard
Tuesday-Sunday 10 am-6 pm
Admission varies per weekday, weekend, and activity
A must-see every holiday season, the Holiday Train Show at New York Botanical Garden is a great option for a snow day. Kids love watching these trains in action among a display of more than 175 famous NYC landmarks. All Aboard with Thomas & Friends is a Holiday Train Show program that engages little ones in a sing-along mini-performance. There are various dates throughout January to catch the show. And kids also love the Evergreen Express, which invites them on board for train-inspired fun in the Adventure Garden. Activities include a child-sized train, botanical crafts, and sing-alongs.
Wave Hill – Riverdale
4900 Independence Avenue
Tuesday-Sunday 9 am-4:30 pm
$10 Adults, $6 Students, $4 Kids ages 6 and up, Free for members and kids under 6
Wave Hill always has family-friendly programming and activities, and snow days are no exception! Family Art Projects occur on weekends, engaging little ones and their caretakers in an educational opportunity and craft. Check out the snow-covered gardens, visit the art exhibits, and grab a bite to eat in the cafe. There are also walks and tours if you are looking for a more guided experience at Wave Hill.