Every winter in NYC, there’s inevitably a day, usually right around now, when we moms–or moms-to-be–think we just might not make it through. Don’t worry, you totally will, we promise. In the mean time, here’s 10 indoor city spots that will help you and baby (or toddler or even baby-to-be) bide your time till warmer days arrive.
1. The Guggenheim. Not only is the art cool, but your toddler will enjoy running or toddling up the circular ramps. As an added bonus, there’s a blue horse painting by Franz Marc on permanent exhibition which your child may recognize from “The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse” and “Brown Bear, Brown Bear.” guggenheim.org
2. Your Local Baby Shop. We know you don’t need another baby toy. But NYC’s amazing baby shops might make you reconsider. Check out our list of 8 great baby shops in Manhattan and 8 great baby shops in Brooklyn, then chart your course. It’ll provide a hours of fun for your child and we bet you’ll walk away with something to provide hours more of fun at home.
3. The Subway. Take the L, then the G, then the 7 to the 4/5, and enjoy all the fun that simply riding on the subway provides for little ones. Read books and talk about how trains move, and practice numbers by counting the stops. mta.org
4. Bloomingdale’s. After enjoying your subway ride, head up to Bloomingdale’s on 59th Street. You don’t even have to walk outside, the subway exit takes you straight in. Head up to the children’s department to shop for stuffed animals, shoes and cute outfits. Then treat yourself and your little one to the famous 40 Carrots frozen yogurt on the 9th floor. bloomingdales.com
5. Broadway. Or the next best thing. It’s never too early to get your little into the NYC drama scene. Broadway show tickets can be pricey, so opt for a live performance that’s just for kiddos, like the NYU Skirball Center’s Big Red Chair Family Series which features child-friendly performances, both classic and experimental. The New Victory Theater also focuses on the younger set, with shows organized by age range, and some hitting as low as 3-5 years old. And check out Just Kidding at the Symphony Space for weekend activity ideas.
6. New York Transit Museum. Does your child like trains and subways? Take the 4/5 or F to Borough Hall and visit the Transit Museum. Your little one can drive the bus, fill the gas tank, conduct the train, and walk through turnstiles from the bygone eras when tokens were the norm and turnstiles were wooden, at this historical transit museum. mta.org
7. Brooklyn Museum. Teach your child about some of your other favorite artists or discover some of your own at Brooklyn’s famed museum. It’s also right next to Prospect Park so if you’re in the mood to brave the cold, you can take a beautiful walk (or sled!) afterwards. brooklynmuseum.org
8. Children’s Museum of Manhattan. Want a lot of fun with little work? Take your baby to the Children’s Museum of Manhattan on the Upper West Side. Interactive playgrounds, games and activities with rotating themes like Dora and Dr. Seuss will provide hours of fun, active play, entertainment and wonder. cmom.org
9. The American Museum of Natural History. Talk about wonder . . . can you say Dinosaur? The American Museum of Natural History’s dinosaur wing is a hit with babies and children. They will also enjoy the butterfly exhibit where they can see colorful butterflies eat fruits and land on their parent’s shoulder. Introduce them to all the amazing animals in the large mammal section, and talk about stars and space at the Hayden Planetarium. amnh.org
10. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Is it ever too early to step into an ancient Egyptian Pyramid? I think not. The Metropolitan Museum of Art has pyramids and tunnels to explore, statues to marvel at, and tons of paintings that your child will recognize from storybooks. Bring some of the learning from the museum back home with new books and educational toys from the museum’s shop. metmuseum.org
Photography by Evan Gubernick of 485 Creative.