Rain, sleet, or snow—no matter what’s keeping you indoors in NYC, sitting home or in a hotel room with kids can get really old, really fast. These are some of my family’s favorite ways to have a full day out and about indoors in NYC.
A Day at the Museum
Wee ones have plenty to play with and interact with at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum. Little learners can’t get enough of the dino bones, the planetarium, and special exhibits at The American Museum of Natural History. Creative Kids can grab some pencils and a notebook and get inspired at The Whitney or MoMa. The Museum of the City of New York has a scavenger hunt available at the welcome desk that keeps kids engaged while you explore. At least once a year, we read "From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler" (a favorite from when I was a kid too!) and do a tour of The Met, checking out the pieces and places Claudia and Jaimie see while camping out during their stint running away from home.
Sample Cuisines at an Indoor Food Hall
A favorite family activity of ours on a day it’s not so great to be outdoors but we just have to get out of the house is to check out one of NYC’s many indoor food halls. We scope the space, then choose dishes to share from different stalls so we get the chance to sample a little bit of everything. Some favorites include Downtown Brooklyn’s DeKalb Market, Sunset Park’s Industry City (which also has shopping and an indoor arcade), Essex Market on the Lower East Side, Chelsea Market, and the brand new Citizens Manhattan West.
Oh, Sugar Sugar
Our downtown neighbors at Cricket’s Candy Connection have offered us a special discount to share: use the code DANRIE15 for 15% off when purchasing tickets at cricketscandyconnection.com/tickets. Take your sweet tooth for a tour through their hands-on edible slime studio, candy kitchen, lickable fingerpaint gallery, chocolate chamber, accessories arcade, lollipop lounge, and candy shoppe. Luckily the space is large enough for the little ones to run off some of that sugar high!
Catch a Movie and a Meal
Alamo Drafthouse is a family-friendly movie theater chain with three location in NYC that serve food and snacks (and cocktails for the over-21 crowd), all while you recline and enjoy a current blockbuster or the occasional throwback release. Check their schedules for special kid-friendly showings where the lights don’t go all the way down, the volume is a little softer, and making noise and squirming around isn’t frowned upon.
Get Lost in The Strand
The Strand is one of New York City's most famous independent bookstores. Opened in 1927, it currently carries more than 2.5 million used, new, and rare books or, famously, “18 miles of books.” Their kids’ section is robust and features a good spot to sit and read together as a family.
Bowl at Melody Lanes
Brooklyn’s historic Melody Lanes offers bowling (with optional bumpers for the little ones that pop up on their turn), an arcade, a snack bar, and a rowdy atmosphere that can turn any day into a party.
At Melody Lanes, there’s no shortage of good times to be had each and every time you bowl with us. Located here in Sunset Park, we’re a family-run center offering the locals of Brooklyn and beyond 26 lanes, arcade games, league play, and a variety of different weekly specials.
Catch a Show at the Rock and Roll Playhouse
Check out the Rock and Roll Playhouse schedule and catch a show made for kids, with music grownups love.
Performing songs created by the most iconic musicians in rock history, The Rock and Roll Playhouse band offers its core audience of families with children aged 1-7, games, movement, stories and most importantly an opportunity to rock out. It allows parents to enjoy the music they love while little fans are encouraged to explore their creativity and have fun!