holiday Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center in New York City (NYC with kids for the holidays)

There is never a bad time to take kids to New York City — but things are especially magical during the holidays. If you are planning to visit NYC with your family this winter season, here are some things you do not want to miss!

The Rockettes

NYC is known for its shows, but nothing may be more famous than the Radio City Rockettes! From November 17 through January 1, enjoy the dazzling Christmas Specular. It’s a world of enchantment at the iconic Radio City Music Hall, with breathtaking displays of music and dance. Kids — and grown ups — of all ages will be in awe of this classic holiday classic performance!

Ice skating

Nothing is more festive in New York City than ice skating during the holidays! Rockefeller Center may be the most famous place to skate, but there are lots of places in NYC where your family can lace up their skates!

Bryant Park

Winter Village at Bryant Park features a 17,000-square-foot ice-skating rink. Admission to the rink is free, and skates are available for rent. If skating isn’t your thing, starting in January of 2024 you can buy tickets for bumper cars on ice!

Rockefeller Center

One of the most famous skating rinks is under the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. The Rockefeller rink offers skating, lessons, and rink-side chalets you can rent out for 50 minutes and enjoy food and beverage while you warm up.

Wollman Rink

Recently renovated Wollman Rink is now open for the 2023/2024 season! The rink is located in the middle of Central Park. Children under 3 are free, and each child ticket includes a ticket for a non-skating adult.


New York is famous for its pop-ups and immersive hands-on experiences. While they are very unique and very fun, they can also be costly and typically have a no refund policy, so make sure you talk to the whole family before you commit. Here are some cool options to try out.

Museum of Ice Cream

I scream, you scream… well, you know how it goes from here. This creative play place includes a three-story indoor slide, a sprinkle pool, and unlimited ice cream. You will also learn about the history of ice cream and can pick up your own scoop at their adorable gift shop.

Color Factory

Color Factory has 14 immersive art exhibits that feature the colors of New York. You will learn about how some colors got their names and even take a test to see which color suits you best. There is some reading involved, so this may be best suited for slightly older kids. 

Sloomoo Institute

Yes, parents that’s right — it’s slime and it’s here to stay. Sloomoo Institute is a mecca for the slime enthusiast and those seeking a sensory play experience. The space includes interactive activities like the “slimey mirrors” — a room where you can transform into a slime creature and play with slime vats that have different texture and scent combinations. Each ticket includes access to a DIY bar where you’ll design a custom 8-ounce slime to take with you.

Genius Gems

Genius Gems features the world’s largest collection of magnetic tiles. Visitors will have the opportunity to complete challenges for tokens, which they can then exchange for prizes! You can also create your own magnetic tile to take home. This truly is a fun experience for all ages! Genius Gems also has a small cafe and private room that can be rented for groups or parties.

Holiday windows

The holiday windows of New York City are a main attraction for locals and visitors alike. At Thanksgiving time, department stores transform their large windows into magical stories that are dazzling and breathtaking. The best part? It’s free!

You can start at Bloomingdales (59th and Lexington) and walk west to Bergdorf Goodman (59th and 5th), then down 5th Avenue to Saks Fifth Avenue (50th and 5th) and on to Macy’s (34th Street between 6th and 7th).

Hot chocolate

There is no shortage of exceptional hot chocolate in NYC! Try the frozen hot chocolate at the famous Serendipity 3, the hot chocolate made with a chocolate ganache at Daily Provisions, Levain’s French Valrhona hot chocolate, or the classic housemade hot chocolate at Breads Bakery. A warm cup of cocoa is the perfect way to cap off a day with the kids in New York City during the holidays!

Allison Margolies
Allison grew up in Massachusetts and after living for over a decade in New York she moved back and now lives in Needham, MA with her husband, daughter (born in 2014) and dog Noodle. Allison has a Masters in Public Administration and currently works in the healthcare industry. Allison is passionate about the work she does especially with third party reproduction and helping others create their own families. Allison volunteers for the Boston Children's Hospital League where she serves on their board. When not working she can be found traveling, reading or eating too many french fries.