Cabin fever got you or the kids down? Bundle up and go out on the town! The city’s tourism arm, NYC & Company, has curated the perfect day out just for you and the family with its new NYC Winter Outing program. For the first time, its signature programs will overlap—Restaurant Week through February 8, Broadway Week through February 10, and Must-See Week (i.e., museum and local attractions) through February 10. These options are not just for out-of-towners, it’s a cost-effective opportunity for locals to get out and experience the city’s offerings, too.
“NYC & Company for the first time has aligned these signature programs in order to counter what we’re referring to as ‘FOGO’ or the fear of going out, especially in the winter, and to encourage visitation to our countless world-class restaurants, Broadway shows, attractions, tours, and performing arts at a value,” says Chris Heywood, Senior Vice President of Global Communications at NYC & Company.
This is a great opportunity for families seeking kid-friendly activities, while staying within a budget. There are a number of great museums, attractions, tours, and Broadway shows to see with the family, as well as prix fixe lunch and dinner meals to enjoy at hundreds of restaurants throughout the city.
“Families should make the most of 2-for-1 tickets to countless activities at a value! There is no time like the present, and these programs are the destination marketing organization’s way of giving back to locals and attracting even more staycations and overnight visitation. It’s truly a great opportunity to get out and explore the five boroughs—there are participants in each—from tried-and-true favorites to lesser-known destinations. Extra perk—there are shorter lines in the winter, which is great for guardians with restless kids,” Heywood adds.
Families seeking a winter outing can browse participating shows, attractions, and restaurants through NYC and Company’s website, nycgo.com, and use the “favoriting” tool to save a list of and access links to book tickets and reserve tables. You can choose your own outing or take a look at the sample outings that were specially curated with particular interests in mind.
“NYC & Company’s editorial team considered participating attractions, tours, performing arts, restaurants, and Broadway shows and with their expert, insider knowledge of New York City’s varied offerings, identified options well suited to families with children spanning various ages. Our organization is familiar with speaking to the needs of families of all age ranges, including parent(s) and grandparent(s) with teens, tweens, and young kids—thanks to an ongoing partnership with Nickelodeon— and consistently taps a robust network of member organizations citywide for their family-friendly offerings. Combined with our own in-house market research, we’re able to pinpoint varied interests across demographics,” Heywood says.
The sample itineraries, or “mini-itinies,” are helpful for families that are not sure where to being when looking at such a vast list. You can make your decision based on the age of your kids. There are several Broadway shows that are considered “kid friendly,” like “Aladdin” (a lively adaptation of the Disney movie), “Anastasia” (based on a film about a real life duchess), “Frozen” (an adaptation of the popular Disney movie about royal sisters), “King Kong” (based on the iconic movie), “Lion King” (a moving adaptation of the Disney movie) and “Phantom of the Opera” (with music and suspense, it’s currently the longest running show on Broadway). The convenience of the “mini-itinies” makes for a low-stress outing—lunch and dinner at a restaurant, a show and attraction grouped together with varied interests in mind.
There are fun themes like Old School, Glam, Like a VIP, and Go Big or Go Home. Either theme could appeal to families depending on the age of the kids. “Walk on the Wild Side” is a fun, winter outing itinerary intentionally curated for families to enjoy. By combining the Bronx Zoo, Sarabeth’s (a restaurant with a kid-friendly menu splashed in animal print décor), and modern classic “The Lion King” on Broadway, the tiniest New Yorkers and visitors can enjoy a taste of wildlife in the concrete jungle.
Beyond this curated itinerary, families are encouraged to mix and match any of nearly 400 participating restaurants, 24 Broadway shows, and nearly 60 attractions, tours, and performing arts to create their own, ideal New York City winter outing. With so many options, there is no need to stay inside your apartment all winter. Take advantage of the deals, and go out on the town. Bring the kids and have the type of New York experience that out-of-towners dream about.
Shnieka L. Johnson is an education consultant and freelance writer. She is based in Manhattan, where she resides with her husband and son. Contact her at shniekajohnson.com.