School may be in session, but as NYC parents know, there are quite a few days off from school this fall. According to the 2019-2020 School Calendar from the NYC Department of Education, kids have off of school September 30-October 1 for Rosh Hashanah, October 9 for Yom Kippur, October 14 for Columbus Day, and various upcoming days in November. Juggling your work schedule with your little one’s school schedule can sometimes be a bit of a struggle, so we want to make sure that you have all of the resources that you need to plan for these school days off. There are plenty of options to turn a day off from school into a fun and educational experience, perfect for family bonding. If you’re wondering what to do with all of these school days off in the fall, we’ve rounded up a wide selection of options for you to check out!
Are you looking for day camps during this period of fall free time? We’ve got Day Camps for Kids in New York City During Rosh Hashanah Break!
The Bronx Zoo is always an excellent option for school days off! Regardless of how many times you’ve been before, the zoo is still an exciting, enriching place for kids of all ages. Explore the various exhibits, learn about animals, and enjoy the crisp fall weather as you walk around outside. Grab a snack or lunch at one of the cafes or food stands, and be sure to visit the Children’s Zoo. Tickets are $26.95 for kids ages 3-12 and $35.95 for adults. The Bronx Zoo is open 10 am-5:30 pm on holidays, including during Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Columbus Day.
NYC Public Libraries
New York Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library, and Queens Public Library offer tons of kid-friendly activities and events daily! Class topics include STEAM-related activities, arts and crafts, games, open play, Legos, homework help, and much more. There are also storytimes for various age groups and D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything and Read) sessions to promote the value of reading among kids. Head to your local library for these free, drop-in programs during the upcoming school days off!
The Creative Kitchen Kids Cooking Classes
The Creative Kitchen runs cooking classes for kids, hosted by Whole Foods Market! During Rosh Hashanah, there are two classes at the Upper West Side Whole Foods (808 Columbus Avenue) at 11 am and 4 pm on September 30. Then, on October 1, head to Whole Foods on the Upper East Side (1551 3rd Avenue) either at 11 am or 4 pm for more cooking fun! The Creative Kitchen also teams up with the Craft Studio (174 Duane Street) to host even more cooking classes, so check out the class on October 1 at 4 pm in Tribeca. Cooking classes are also offered on Columbus Day and Yom Kippur in October. A fun and delicious way to spend the day of school with your little one, these classes are also educational! They focus on kid-friendly themes and encourage kids to include more fruits and vegetables into their diets.
TLB Music Drop-In Play
If your little one is in kindergarten or first grade, or maybe you want to bring your real little one along who hasn’t started school yet, then TLB Music (266 East 78th Street) on the Upper East Side is the perfect place! While many indoor play spaces are designed for babies and toddlers, TLB Music’s drop-in play space is for ages 6 months to 6 years. The playroom features a clubhouse, slide for toddlers, slide for big kids, play kitchen, rock climbing mountain, soft blocks, books for beginners, ride-on cars, train table, mini cars, puzzles, and more! Drop-in play is open 7 days a week: Monday 9:30 am-5 pm (arrive no later than 4 pm), Tuesday- Friday 12:30 pm-5 pm (arrive no later than 4 pm), and Saturday-Sunday 9:30 am-1:30 pm (arrive no later than 12:30 pm). A single visit for non-members is $25. Looking for more opportunities for drop-in play? Check out our roundup of the Best Indoor Drop-In Play Spaces in Manhattan for Your Little Ones!
Pumpkin Picking In and Near NY
With Rosh Hashanah falling right at the end of September and into the start of October, this is the perfect time to kick off the new month with a trip to the pumpkin patch! While some pumpkin patches are a bit of a drive from Midtown Manhattan, others are under one hour away or one hour to an hour and a half! We’ve collected an informative list of Pumpkin Patches and Picking In and Near New York City, broken down by distance from Midtown Manhattan. Be sure to check if the pumpkin patch that you want to go to is open for the season, as some open a few days into October. Pumpkin picking is also a great option for Yom Kippur and Columbus Day!
Affordable Ice Skating at Aviator Sports and Events Center
Open 365 days a year, public ice skating at Aviator Sports and Events Center is a fun way to spend the day off! As the only ice skating rink in NYC that is open year-round, you can be sure that the ice is excellent for skating with friends and family. Bring out the winter coats, scarves, and mittens for winter in the fall! During Rosh Hashanah, Columbus Day, and Yom Kippur, the rink is open 11 am-3:45 pm. Adults are $12, and kids ages 11 and under are $10. Skate rentals are $6 a pair. 3159 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn.
Apple Picking In and Near NYC
Take a trip to a farm in or near NYC to pick fresh apples! Spend time as a family as you search the orchards for the perfect apples. Many of the U-pick farms also offer family-friendly activities, hayrides, and delicious apple cider donuts, among other sweets and treats! With the two days off for Rosh Hashanah, head over to one of the Best Apple-Picking Orchards for Families Near New York City to create memories, learn about how fruit grows, and enjoy a fall day on the farm.
Sol Dance Center Drop-In Dance Classes
Looking for an effective way to spend the upcoming school days off? Check out the drop-in dance classes at Sol Dance Center! Choose from Ballet for ages 8-12, Jazz I for ages 8 and up, Pre-Ballet for ages 5-7, Acro Gymnastics for ages 5-12, and Hip Hop Teens III for ages 13 and up during Rosh Hashanah. Various classes are also offered during Yom Kippur and Columbus Day, such as Pre-Hip Hop for ages 5 to 7 and Break Dance for ages 5-12. One-hour classes are $18 per class.
Battery Park City Parks’ Classes and Activities for Kids
Battery Park City Parks offer a series of classes throughout the fall for kids of all ages. On Monday of Rosh Hashanah, there are three basketball classes: Children’s Basketball for ages 7 and up, Children’s Basketball for ages 5-6, and Basketball for Preschoolers. There’s also Preschool Play and Parent and Baby Yoga! On Tuesday of Rosh Hashanah, there are chess lessons for kids, Gardening Club, soccer for various ages, Youth Sprouts Gardening, and much more. Other upcoming activities during Yom Kippur include Wednesdays in Teardrop, during which kids get to explore Teardrop Park through lawn games and dynamic art, and Kindie Rock at Preschool Play, which features storytime and sing-a-longs. Classes prices vary, but many are free!
Outdoor Movie Night
NYC Parks’ outdoor movie series, Movies Under the Stars, continues with The Secret Life of Pets 2 on September 30. After you head to an active and educational activity or event during the day, kick back and relax at this outdoor movie. Bring a blanket and a picnic, and remember to come early to claim a good spot! 6:45-8:45 pm, St. John’s Recreation Center, 1251 Prospect Place, held on the plaza behind the Recreation Center, Brooklyn.
Fort Tryon Kids: Pop-Up Playtime!
There are tons of NYC playgrounds to visit, but mix it up on Tuesday of Rosh Hashanah with Imagination Playground. The free session begins with a game or activity led by a trained Playground Associate. Afterward, kids get to explore the intriguing playground on their own. Imagination Playground is a space for kids to create, manipulate their environment, interact with their space, and work together with their friends. The challenges and necessary creative thinking skills that Imagination Playground develops are great for kids to learn both inside and outside of the classroom. 2-4 pm, 190th Street Subway Terrace in Fort Tryon Park.
The immersive, one-of-a-kind store for kids is back with a new theme: Travel CAMP! With your upcoming free time when school is out of session, head to CAMP to explore various parts of the world through interactive activities, learning opportunities, toys, games, and books — the CAMP experience is free! If you would like to add on additional activities for a cost, there are plenty to choose from on Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Columbus Day. Workshops include Musical Yoga with Yogie Land, African Safari Marshmallow Animals, Sensory Rice in a Bottle, Little Maestros, DIY Kinetic Sand, The Animals of NYC by Art Farm, and so many more! Prices vary, but they typically range from $25-$40 per activity. Be sure to grab a CAMP-themed sundae from the Canteen & Milk Bar on your way out! 110 5th Avenue, Manhattan.