It is the hardest to plan activities for your children to do during the winter, especially toddlers. You can’t just take your toddler to the park due to the weather, which pretty much eliminates other outdoor options, such as the zoo, amusement parks, and botanical gardens. Older children love indoor activities like bowling, the arcade, and paintball, which aren’t exactly age-appropriate for a toddler. Luckily New York City has lots more options for toddlers that would prevent both of you from going stir crazy. Read on to find out some of the best places to go out with your little one during the winter:
Storytime at the Public Library
You know that I’m a huge advocate for public libraries, from my article Free/ Affordable Educational Tools for Toddlers. Libraries are great because they are free, open to the public, and are definitely kid-friendly with lots of programming for all ages. New York City truly has amazing library locations, including the Grand Army Plaza Library in Brooklyn, the New York City 42nd Street Library in Manhattan and the Central Library in Jamaica, Queens. But if you don’t want to make the trek all the way to a central branch, then you could check out your local public library. The local library is a go-to for my son and I during the cold weather because there are lots of activities, including toddler programming, kindergarten prep, and weekly storytime. Also, if you have a library card, you have access to Culture Pass, which can get you free admission to many museums all across New York City.
The Children’s Museum is a perfect experience for toddlers. I used to take my son to the children’s museum every week before he started school because it offers exhibits, an infant and toddler section, and special programming on weekends and holidays. You can even get free admission to all of the children’s museums through Culture Pass, just from having a library card. Brooklyn Children’s Museum offers pay-as-you-wish admission on Thursdays from 2 pm to 6 pm and Sundays from 4 pm to 7 pm. Staten Island Children’s Museum offers free admission on Wednesdays from 3 pm to 5 pm during the school year. Children’s Museum of the Arts has pay-as-you-wish admission on Thursdays from 4 pm to 6 pm.
When your toddler is bouncing off the wall (and on the couch!) at home, it is probably time for you to venture out. While a trampoline park is a bit much for a tot, a bouncy house is perfect for a little kid. BounceU is a great bouncy house franchise that has locations in both Brooklyn and Queens. The Brooklyn location is convenient for Manhattanites since it is just a few steps away from Manhattan via the N train. My son went to BounceU’s location in Brooklyn and he absolutely loved it! The best part is that parents are able to bounce for free and I got to do some bouncing as well with Joshua. Kid’N’Shape is a great location for if you don’t live in Brooklyn or Manhattan since it has locations in Queens and Staten Island.
Take The Subway
Toddlers are amazed by the simplest things in life. Even if you love the convenience of driving from place to place with your children, little kids have a soft spot for the NYC subway. Instead of falling asleep or fuzzing in their car seat, they would have so fun taking the bus and sing “The Wheels On the Bus” or taking the train and looking out the window to see above ground or underground. Of course, it is best to take your little subway trip when it isn’t rush hour. If you would rather not take your child for an actual subway trip, reenact your subway trip at the New York City Transit Museum, a museum that was created from a real-life subway station. My son and I went last month and he loved sitting in the vintage trains and especially driving the NYC buses! You can also go to the gift shop to buy a real-life subway train model (shoutout to the L train!) on your way home.
Play In The Snow
Little kids love nature. So when nature blesses us with a snow day, there is no better thing to do than to take your tot to the park to play in the cold white stuff. Unfortunately, Mother Nature hasn’t blessed us with a genuine snow day, since none of the snow that fell stuck. So I decided to experience a manufactured snow day with my son at Central Park’s Winter Jam. My son was able to go sledding and play in the snow at Winter Jam. He also wanted to go skiing and ice skating, but they did not offer ice skating and skiing was a lottery since it was so high in demand. Plus, he is only three years old! (Stop growing up so fast!) If you missed Winter Jam, you need to attend the event next year!
I hope that you enjoyed my post and enjoy these winter activities as much as we did.
Talk to you soon!