Our list of 23 fun and low-cost things to do with kids in Manhattan this February includes Valentine's Day events, Chinese New Year festivals, Sesame Street Live, and more in Lower Manhattan, Chinatown, SoHo, West Village, Midtown, Upper East Side, Upper West Side, and Morningside Heights.
Grand Central Kicks Off Centennial Celebration
Grand Central Terminal, Midtown East
Did you know that Grand Central Terminal is turning 100 years old this year? The transport hub is integral to most New Yorkers’ travel at some point in the year, and even if you’re not one of the thousands of commuters who rush up and down its iconic hallways every morning, you’ve got to appreciate its gorgeous architecture and the delicious and diverse dining options. Grand Central is ready to celebrate its landmark “birthday” all year long, and it kicks off the party Feb. 1 with an all-day Centennial Celebration (FREE!) that will include exhibits, performances, celebrity guests, surprise visitors, and photo opportunities. The celebration continues through March 15 with a historical multimedia exhibition, Grand By Design: A Centennial Celebration of Grand Central Terminal (FREE!), which examines how the famous building has helped to shape New York and will determine its future.
Celebrate the Year of the Snake
The Chinese New Year is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays, and there are many ways to celebrate the Year of the Snake in Manhattan this month. See our roundup of 23 kid-friendly events in New York City, from Chinatown to the Upper West Side and beyond.
92nd Street Y, Upper East Side
The 92Y Parenting Conference is the perfect excuse to take some time for yourself, connect with other parents, and learn new things. A two-day event, the conference begins with lectures by renowned experts (Feb. 11) and concludes on the second day with a discussion and Q&A breakfast. Renowned experts such as Michael Thompson (pictured), Ron Taffel, JoAnn Deak, Susan Linn, and Lydia Soifer will share the latest research on child development and will talk about today’s parenting challenges, including specific lectures on how to raise your child with confidence and independence and how to raise a child in a commercial and digitized world. The discussion breakfasts (Feb. 12) will be broken up into a mom group and a dad group, with Dr. Thompson leading the men and Dr. Deak and Dr. Soifer leading the women.
Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show
Piers 92/94, Madison Square Garden
Dog lovers of the world, rejoice! The 137th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show comes to town this month. The dog show is America’s second-longest continuously held sporting event, just behind the Kentucky Derby, and this year the show is so big it is going to be held at two locations. During the day, more than 3,200 dogs, including 187 breeds, will be judged at Piers 92/94. The daytime program is a great opportunity for kids to find their favorite breed or bond with an individual dog they want to see up and close and personal. The evening portion takes place at Madison Square Garden and will include group competitions that eventually lead to the crowning of the coveted Best in Show.
Celebrate Valentine’s Day
Through Feb. 14
Check out 14 fun things to do with kids for Valentine’s Day, including craft workshops where they can create their own valentines, a V-Day family dance party, sweet cooking classes, and more, from the West Village to Morningside Heights and nearby in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens.
Symphony Space, Upper West Side
The Just Kidding series at Symphony Space is jam-packed with artists that never disappoint. This month, add The Not-Its! to that no-fail list. This group of kindie rockers from Seattle mix crunchy guitars and smooth, four-part harmonies for a show that is full of perfectly crafted pop gems about everyday kid stuff. Whether singing about the first day of school or the trials and tribulations of taking a bath, The Not-Its will have you on your feet in no time at all.
The Theater at Madison Square Garden, Midtown
Elmo, that fuzzy red muppet loved by toddlers and tweens alike, gets his chance to shine this month as emcee of Sesame Street Live: Elmo’s Super Heroes. In the show, Super Grover loses his “superness” and Elmo and the gang must help him restore his powers. The super team sings about fun healthy habits and discovers how exercise, rest, nutritious food, and good hygiene can help save Super Grover—and surprise! These habits will also turn kids in the audience into super heroes, too!
Florence Gould Hall, Upper East Side
Looking for a whimsical way to introduce your tots to the ballet? Bark! In the Park fits the bill pefectly. An all-new ballet choreographed by Chase Brock (Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark) with story and music by acclaimed children’s author Karen LeFrak, this production joins The Nutracker, Sleeping Beauty, and Peter & the Wolf in New York Theatre Ballet’s series of one-hour ballets for kids and their grown-ups. This performance follows two children and their overprotective nanny as they travel through Central Park searching for their beloved lost dog. Dancing seals, secretive snow leopards, and waddling penguins appear in the least expected places, and the children’s and nanny’s vivid characters light up the stage. Bark! is paired with the perennial favorite Russian folk tale, The Firebird.
A guide to kid-friendly museums in NYC
Annie Shines on Broadway
Search our full calendar of events for even more fun family activities in NYC and the metro area