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5 Best Family-Friendly Winter Activities & Destinations

Warm up with your family this winter at one of these five kid-friendly events happening in and around New York City. By Carly Petrone.

(credit: Facebook/NYICFF)

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Bring the entire family to the New York International Children's Film Festival. This four-week event kicks off February 27th, and will screen over 100 of the best new films from around the world. The best part? For each ticket purchased, NYICFF will donate $3 back to your PTA. With jury members like Geena Davis, Susan Sarandon, and Gus Van Sant, this festival is giving a real voice to young filmmakers ages 3-18. Make sure to sign your kid up for the Winter Film Camp, (Feb 16-20) where youngsters in grades K-9 can learn filmmaking from start to finish using hands-on animation techniques. With screenings, events, and parties happening through March 22nd, it's the perfect way for the whole family to enjoy the movies – as told by kids themselves. Check website for showtimes, theater locations, and ticket prices.

City Bakery Hot Chocolate
(credit: Siobhan Wallace)

More: NYC's 5 Best Cups Of Hot Chocolate

Kids and adults will want to head to City Bakery this month because their annual Hot Chocolate Festival is in full swing. Parents can sip on delicious flavors like Espresso Hot Chocolate, Beer Hot Chocolate, and Chili Pepper Hot Chocolate while the kiddos can go on a tasting adventure with fun flavors like Banana Peel Hot Chocolate, Ode to the Polar Bear, and Sunken Treasure Hot Chocolate. Don't forget to add a giant marshmallow for an extra dollar and use the hashtag #HCF2015 to capture your chocolaty memories online.


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Get out of the city and onto the slopes at Camelback Mountain Resort in Pennsylvania. With the fresh powder just two hours away, it's a great place to ditch your subway pass for a ski pass. Did we mention this place has the largest snowtubing park in the country? Teach the kids how to ski or snowboard before heading down one of twelve beginners' trails or show off your skills along an expert run. Take a break at the lodge or surprise the family with a trip to the waffle cabin, where everyone can go crazy with all the different toppings. Sign up for ½ day CamelCare Adventurers class (for kids ages 3-5) or take a private ski or snowboard lesson. Take advantage of this winter weather!

Culinary Kids Week

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Celebrate food with Chef Carla Hall during her Culinary Kids Food Week at the New York Botanical Gardens. From February 16th-22nd, you can take part cooking demonstrations, activity stations, workshops, and much more. Bring your dancing shoes and learn timeless farm and kitchen folksongs or search for edible fruits, spicy stems, and other plant parts growing inside the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory during the Tropical Treasure Hunt. Kids can even try on a chef's jacket and start cooking in the kitchen play space during Kids Kitchen Corner. Chef Carla Hall will kick things off with a cooking demo on Monday, Feb 16th at 1 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for seniors/students, $10 for children ages 2-10, and free admission for children under 2. Open from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Brooklyn Children's Museum

More: Best Winter Family Fun Activities In Brooklyn

Head over to the Brooklyn Children's Museum for a day of learning that the whole family can take part in. The Museum's latest exhibition, From Here to There, experiments with hands-on activities to make learning about gravity, friction, and the laws of motion fun. If you've got a toddler on your hands, lead them to Totally Tots – a colorful, whimsical world where kids are in charge. Those under 18 months can explore the Baby Hub, a vibrant oasis filled with bright colors, playful shapes, and padded structures that provide a safe place to practice crawling, standing, and taking first steps. Check out the Sensory Room where children with special need can engage and explore their senses or stop by the Neighborhood Nature area and find out what creatures live in the freshwater pond, a saltwater beach, an urban woodland, and a community garden. It's also a great time to stop by as the Museum celebrates Black History Month. There's so much to do in so little time! Museum is open from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday. Admission is $9, free for members.

For the latest on all of the Tri-State's events and happenings, follow us on Twitter!

Carly Petrone is a freelance writer living in New York City.


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