10 New York City Holiday Activities for Families
10 New York City Holiday Activities for Families

During the holidays, New York City is magical. From viewing Fifth Avenue holiday window displays, taking pictures on Santa's lap and ice skating right here at StuyTown, there are many events and activities the whole family can enjoy. Here are our picks for the holiday season:

1. The Ride: Holiday Edition
When: Now – January 6th, 2019

The weather outside may be frightful, but inside The Ride, everyone can experience New York City inside a tour bus, equipped with “technology galore and floor-to-ceiling glass with side facing VIP seating making the streets of New York the stage.” The Ride celebrates the magic and wonder of the holidays with entertaining hosts, seasonal music, videos and dazzling holiday performances all set against the backdrop of NYC. (Plus, book now and save 20% with code: RDHOLIDAY.)

2. The Ice at StuyTown
When: Now – March 3, 2019

The Ice at StuyTown brings the joy of winter to your backyard. Entertain your family and friends with group programs (including curling, broomball), skating lessons, youth hockey clinics, birthday parties and more. Visit iceatstuytown.com to purchase season passes and find more information. (Please note that the rink is only open to residents of the Peter Cooper Village Stuyvesant Town community with proper ID, and their guests.)

3. FAO Schwarz at Rockefeller Plaza
Open now

Yes, FAO Schwarz is making a comeback in the Big Apple -- three years after closing the famed Fifth Avenue store. The toy store officially opened at 30 Rockefeller Plaza on Friday, November 16. The new location features magicians, costumed performers and more. Plus, the store features the famous floor piano from Tom Hanks’ movie, Big.

4. New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show
When: Now –  January 21, 2019

With nearly a half-mile of track hosting over a dozen large-scale model railway locomotives, the enchanting setting of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory “showcases more than 175 scaled iconic buildings and structures such as the Brooklyn Bridge, Yankee Stadium, and the Statue of Liberty under thousands of twinkling lights.” One World Trade Center and the historic Battery Maritime Building along with two vintage ferry boats will make their debut in this year’s show. We recommend using public transportation; New York Botanical Garden is easily accessible via Metro-North Railroad and by subway.

5. Saks Fifth Avenue Light Show
When: Now - January 2, 2019

Starting in mid-November, major department stores like Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue will transform their window displays into extravagant holiday scenes. This year, Saks Fifth Avenue has a ten-story-tall light show, Theater of Dreams. The window animation and light show, located between 49th and 50th Street, will continue throughout the holiday season until January 2, 2019. (Tip: The best viewing is from Rockefeller Center.) After you take in the beautiful light show, tour all the beautiful holiday displays throughout NYC with friends and family.

6. Holiday Central Santa Photo Ops at StuyTown
When: November 29th and 30th from 2-8pm

Ready for the annual photo op with St. Nick? Bring the whole family to the Ice Rink Tent for an opportunity to get your holiday portraits taken with Santa. The event includes hot chocolate and cookies. Complimentary for StuyTown residents only.

7. StuyTown Christmas Tree Lighting and Festivities
When: December 1 at 6pm

Meet up on the Oval Lawn as we light our all-new community Christmas Tree. The family-friendly event will feature face painters and balloon artists with music provided by Mozart for Munchkins. Hot chocolate, hot apple cider, and holiday cookies will be available. Complimentary for residents and their guests.  No Reservations Required.  Rain or Shine.

8. Menorah Lighting at StuyTown
When: December 2 at 6pm

On the first night of Hanukkah, meet up on the Oval Lawn for the annual lighting of the community Menorah. Presented by Cantor Shayna Postman, the festivities will include musical accompaniment and sing-a-long. Free hot chocolate, coffee, and jelly donuts will be available. Complimentary for residents and their guests.  No reservations required. Rain or Shine.


9. Winter Family Fair
When: December 9, 2–4:30pm

Grab your family and head over to the Morgan Library and Museum for the Winter Family Fair. In addition to seeing the original manuscript of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, kids will get to meet Dickens, Scrooge, Cratchit, and the Ghosts of Christmas Present and Past as well as strolling musicians, magicians, and street fair entertainers. There will be a theatrical reading and craft stations. (Appropriate for ages 3–14.
Tickets are free with museum admission. Please call (212) 685-0008 ext. 560 or e-mail tickets@themorgan.org for information.

10. Celebrate Kwanzaa at the American Museum of Natural History
When: December 29, 12pm–5pm

The American Museum of Natural History has been hosting one of the country’s largest Kwanzaa celebrations and will host its 39th annual festival on December 29. The festival features live performances, film screenings, and a local artisan marketplace and fun giveaways. This year, Black Comics Collective hosting a live drawing performance inspired by the seven principles, and Oyu Oro Collective performing music and dance from Afro-Cuban traditions. Click here for more information. Everyone is welcome.