February: it kicks off with Lunar New Year, Valentine’s Day is smack dab in the middle, and lots of kids are off for a week in there for February break. And it’s Black History Month all month long. Get ready: there’s only 28 days to pack in the fun. From holiday celebrations and activities to free stuff to do around town and cool things you need to check out, here’s our list of fun things to do with kids in NYC in February.
Lunar New Year Celebration at the Queens Botanical Garden
Ring in the Year of the Tiger at the Queens Botanical Garden. Help bring good luck by cheering at the lion dance performances. Tag along for a compost tour and go on a winter scavenger hunt to explore the Garden’s colors and trees (and nab a goodie bag when you complete the hunt). Read and listen to stories at the Zodiac Animal Library, participate in the community art project, pick up a take-home craft, and bring home a lucky plant—jade plants, peace lilies, and other auspicious beauties—from the Lucky Plant Sale in the QBG Store. It's free admission, but advance registration is recommended. Note: All activities are outdoors and weather permitting. Schedule subject to change. Mask wearing is strongly recommended.
Sat., Feb. 5, Noon-3 p.m.
43-50 Main St.
Brooklyn Conservatory of Music Lunar New Year Celebration
Join the BKCM for a free afternoon celebrating the Year of the Tiger with traditional and contemporary Chinese music, crafts, calligraphy and much more.
The vibrant celebration will include presentations and activities curated by local cultural organizations and partners such as Tea Arts & Culture, Children's Chinese Book Garden and Chinese Theatre Works. BKCM faculty member Annie Chen (a vocalist, composer and bandleader originally from Beijing) will perform. Little ones can also enjoy storytime in Cantonese with Cantonese Mommy founder Michelle Huang and in Mandarin with Babyda’s Mandarin Story Time host Yijia Bu. The all-ages event will take place in-person, outside at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music’s Garden, so dress warmly (and wear a mask).
Sat., Feb. 5, 3-5 p.m.
Brooklyn Conservatory of Music
58 Seventh Ave.
Winter Fun at Randall's Island Park
Hop over to Randall's Island for a free day of winter fun. Enjoy the winter weather with hot cocoa and s’mores and take a shot at snowshoeing. (Kids sizes will be available.)
Sat., Feb. 5, 3:30-5 p.m.
North Entrance, Icahn Stadium, near Field 10
Celebrate Valentine's Day
Need some ideas on what to do day-of or leading up to this lovely holiday? Check out our suggestions of NYC Valentine's Day activities with kids here. (And yes, we can tell you where to get free chocolate.)
Learn About Little Heroes of Color
The Brooklyn Academy of Music developed this free online programming as part of its celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life and legacy last month, and it's available through February 13. Kids can learn about underrepresented historical figures, including artists, scientists, and activists, and create their own heroes through a virtual workshop and activities based on David Heredia’s "Heroes of Color" web series and books. There's also a tutorial on creating 'zines, and a look into the BAM Hamm Archives, which showcase influential Black artists and speakers who have graced BAM stages in the past, including Baba Chuck Davis, Marian Anderson, Frederick Douglass, Langston Hughes and Martha Redbone.
Through Feb. 13
See "Passage" Before It Goes
See (and walk through) this interactive art installation comprised of 20 circles of light that form a pedestrian tunnel in the Garment District. As you move through, each circle emits light and sounds, creating a transformative, playful experience in the heart of Midtown Manhattan. Created by Serge Maheu with fabrication and assembly by Félix Ménard, "Passage" will be located on the public plazas of Broadway Boulevard in the Garment District between 39th and 40th Streets through February 13th.
Take Bumper Cars in Bryant Park For a Spin
The bumper cars on ice are back at Bryant Park's Winter Village (where you can skate for free if you want.) Take a drive and a spin through February 27. Tickets start at $20 per person.
See Disney's The Soul of Jazz: An American Adventure
Coinciding with Black History Month, Walt Disney’s regional jazz exhibit, “The Soul of Jazz: An American Adventure,” will open at The National Jazz Museum in Harlem on Feb. 10. Kids will recognize Joe Gardner – the musician, mentor and teacher from Disney and Pixar’s “Soul” – on a tour as they discover the rich and surprising history of jazz. The exhibit was Introduced at The American Adventure inside EPCOT at Walt Disney World, and illustrates the many different cultures and creators who influenced this evolving genre. While in Harlem, the exhibit will include a unique collection of artifacts curated by The National Jazz Museum, including a player piano, a working 78rpm Victrola and Duke Ellington’s white grand piano. Additionally, there will be maquettes of characters Joe Gardner and Dorothea Williams, and virtual experiences via the Play Disney Parks app.
Tickets: Free. Tickets must be reserved in advance.
Feb. 10-Aug. 31, 2022
Thurs.-Sat., Noon-5 p.m.
National Jazz Museum in Harlem
58 W. 129th St.
24th Annual BAMkids Film Festival
Highlighting the best kids shorts and features from around the globe, the 24th annual BAMkids Film Festival returns with in-person and virtual imaginative shorts and free virtual workshops, performances, and more. This year’s festival highlights short films from around the globe that encourage kids to embrace their dreams, follow their hearts, and let their imaginations soar. Free activities offered as part of the festival in-person, online or both, include dance and circus performances, creative workshops, and the Young Filmmakers Showcase. In-person programs are for ages 5–11, virtual programs are for ages 3–11 and run on-demand, Feb. 5-13 at BAM.org.
Tickets: $10 /kids(13 & under); $14/adults, $9//members
Feb 5 & 6 starting at 9:30 a.m.
BAM Rose Cinemas
Peter Jay Sharp Building
30 Lafayette Ave.
Tickets: Full Festival Pass Pay-what-you-wish starting at $30 and Single Programs Pay-what-you-wish starting at $5
Broadway Week: Two-for-one Tickets
If you're comfortable heading back to the theater, this is a good time to do it. Broadway "Week" runs through February 13, and it's followed up by Off-Broadway Week, which runs February 14-28. Kid-friendly shows we've got our eye on: Wicked, The Lion King, Aladdin and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
Kids Week with NYC Parks
NYC Parks has got your back over mid-winter break, with free activities indoors and out happening all week long. There's Nature Crafts in Staten Island, a Geology Hike on the Upper East Side, a Nature Puppet Show in the Bronx, Campfire Stories in Fort Greene, a Bald Eagle Watch in Inwood Hill Park and much more! Search the Parks Department's site for events best for kids to find what's happening near you.
Parks throughout NYC
Visit Governors Island
We hope you've heard this escape from the city is now open year-round, and there's even a Winter Village with food trucks, games, an ice skating rink and more. If it snows, you can take to The HIlls with a sled. #epic (Heads up: you can bring the dog here on Saturdays now!)
Feature photo: Wikimedia cc
Drive Time: Winter Road Trips for Families
Fresh Air Fun: Winter Hikes & Walks for Families Near NYC