Break Out for February Break!
February 13, 2015

New York City’s February school break can be a challenging one to deal with. If you, as a parent, took time off during the December holidays, it may be too soon to take a week’s vacation from work. Also, family and friends who attend schools in surrounding states may in fact have school, so visiting them now isn’t ideal. And heading south at this time of year doesn’t always mean warmer climes.  
 
Fortunately, the city’s parks and tourist destinations offer a lot to do during this break, so contact other parents to arrange group play dates outdoors—hopefully even sledding on fresh snow if the forecast if everyone remembers to wear their pajamas inside out and backwards, flush an ice cube down the toilet, and sleep with spoon under their pillow!  Click here for our list of top sledding hills in the five boroughs
 
But if that hocus-pocus doesn’t produce, following are some fun activities themed around Valentine’s Day, the nineteenth century, U.S. presidents, and our rich African-American history.
 
Bronx
 
In celebration of Valentine’s Day, visit the tropical house in Wave Hill’s Marc Polo Stufano Conservatory to make stunning and fragrant Valentine’s cards!  Saturday and Sunday, February 14 and 15, 10 am to 1 pm.
 
Brooklyn
 
Enjoy Chinese folk performances, martial arts demonstrations, games for children, giveaways, and the Lion Dance at Sunset Park’s annual Lunar New Year Celebration. Saturday, February 21, from 12-3:00 pm
 
Manhattan
 
Generally off our beaten path—making February break a great time to go—the Merchant’s House has a number of fun events, including the Dark Days of Winter Candlelight Ghost Tour on Friday, February 20, at 6:30 pm, and an interactive tour that highlights a child’s view of life in nineteenth century New York on Saturday, February 21, at 3:30 pm.
 
Queens
 
If Wave Hill in the Bronx is too far afield for you, Queens also has Valentine’s event where children can make nineteenth century-themed cards at King Manor in Rufus Park.  Saturday, February 14, from 12-3:30 pm.
 
Staten Island
 
Here’s a wonderful theme: Combining history and nature, the Greenbelt Nature Center is hosting a tour titled “The Presidents Behind the Park.” Join urban rangers to hear quotes and participate in discussions surrounding the presidents who conserved parkland across America.  Tuesday, February 17, from 10:30-11:30 am. 
 
Citywide: Black History in NYC Parks
 
In addition, in recognition of Black History Month, the Parks Department beckons you to learn how New York City honors black history in our parks today.  Take time to visit African-American namesake parks, parks and sculptures honoring the African-American experience, the African-American burial grounds in southern Manhattan, and historic movements such as the birthplace of hip hop, the tree of hope, and the former Seneca Village area in Central Park near the West 81st Street.
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