It’s the least wonderful time of the year again, the time when the bitter cold finally sets in and the holidays are all over and everything’s that particular shade of gray-tinged white that makes you look out the window and sigh. You might as well just stay inside and hibernate in front of the TV until spring shows up. But wait… we live in New York City! Surely, there’s something to do here, some reason to leave the house, even in the dreary days of winter, and before my boys’ butts become permanently rooted to the couch, I must to find something better for us to do. Here’s what I found so far:
The Old Standbys
Remember when you were little and you’d go out with your sled in search of the biggest hill you could find? Just because the Internet and video games exist now doesn’t mean that sledding stopped being fun. Grab a sled or two, bundle up the kids, and head to the nearest good-sized, snow-covered hill. Or if that’s not really your style or you’re “too old for sledding,” (which is nonsense), lace up some skates at a frozen pond or public skating rink, or hit the slopes for a day of downhill thrills.
When you first tell the kids that you’re taking them to a museum, they might seem less than thrilled. But they’ll love the Museum of the Moving Image. This Queens attraction is filled with fun exhibits about movies, television, video games, and beyond. But this isn’t just a “look, don’t touch” sort of place: You can also star in your own flip book, dub your voice over movie clips, and create a stop-motion animation. There’s also an exhibit containing an array of video game consoles you can play, though with so much other neat stuff to see, you won’t want to let the kids linger there too long. And there’s a reason to go back when the weather warms up, too: The museum is working on a permanent exhibit focused on Jim Henson and his Muppets that’s set to open later in the year.
They’re doing some renovations at the New York Aquarium, but it’s still open and there are still some fun exhibits to see. My kids are always big fans of the sea lion show; did you know that they bark sort of like dogs do? I like the penguins, myself: They’re just so cute! And for a different movie-going experience, check out SpongeBob SquarePants 4-D: The Great Jelly Rescue, a 3-D movie with added sensory effects to make you feel like you’re really there with SpongeBob and Patrick!
Eat, Drink, and Be Merry
There are also a couple of fun food-centered events coming up that should be worth checking out. In early March, there’s the Kids Food Festival at Bryant Park, featuring cooking demonstrations and hands-on classes, a scavenger hunt, and more. And before that, there’s something that will get the grown-ups out of the house: NYC Beer Week. This festival, which runs from now through the end of the month, features all sorts of fun beer-themed events, including dinners, tastings, and parties. It sounds like a good reason to line up a sitter to me!