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New York Events

53 Ways to Keep the Kids Busy Indoors This January in New York

Boy and girl, in cute sweaters, sipping from white mugs

It may be freezing outside, but let’s face it: There are only so many days you can spend cooped up indoors before cabin fever sets in. We’ve put together a list of tot Shabbats, music classes, family-friendly performances, and lots of fun ways to celebrate Tu Bishvat – the Jewish holiday celebrating trees and the environment.

Brought to you in partnership with PJ Library in New York


Bronx | Brooklyn | Long Island | Manhattan | Queens | Staten Island | Westchester Rockland County 



Bronx

A Sense of Riverdale: Coming Together As a Community in a Fractured World
Join other Riverdale families for this community-wide event sponsored by Riverdale-area synagogues including family-friendly Friday night Shabbat services, a catered dinner, and activities for kids, teens, and adults. Featuring Rabbi Dr. Yehuda Kurtzer, Laura Shaw Frank, Rabbi Ethan Tucker, and Dr. Irit Offer Stark. Advance registration required.
The Riverdale Y, 5625 Arlington Ave
Friday, January 12, 5:15 – 9:30 p.m.



Brooklyn

Fridays @ 4  
Tot Shabbat for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers led by guitarist and singer Ora Fruchter, with singing, dancing, and stories. Free and open to all.
Union Temple of Brooklyn, 17 Eastern Parkway
Fridays, January 5, 12, 19 & 26, 4 – 5 p.m.

Family Shabbat Service & Dinner
Welcome Shabbat with singing, storytelling, and dancing, followed by dinner.  RSVP requested. All ages.
Bay Ridge Jewish Center, Fourth Ave & 81st St
Friday, January 5, 6:30 – 9 p.m.

ShaJam Fridays  
An interactive family Shabbat experience with singing, dancing, and stories. Best for ages 5 and under, drop-in. Free.
JCC Brooklyn – Clinton Hill, 309 Grand Ave
Fridays January 5, 12, 19 & 26, 9:30 – 10:15 a.m.
Saturdays January 6 & 13, 4 – 5 p.m.

Out of the Shabbox
A drop-in, cross-cultural, interfaith, arts-based Shabbat experience with music, movement, storytelling, and snack. Free.
Union Temple of Brooklyn, 17 Eastern Parkway, 4th fl
Saturdays, January 6, 20 & 27, 9:30 – 11 a.m.

Wee Jam
Drop-in class for babies and toddlers, with singing, dancing, stories, parachute, and bubbles. Choose from multiple times and locations.
Busy Bodies Brooklyn, 1004 Fulton St
Mondays, January 8, 15, 22 & 29, 3:30 – 4:15 p.m.
Edamama Cute Cuts & More, 568 Union Ave
Mondays, January 8, 15, 22 & 29, 9:30 – 10:15 a.m., 10:30 – 11:15 a.m. & Noon – 12:45 p.m.
JCC Brooklyn Clinton Hill, 309 Grand Ave  
Tuesdays, January 9, 16, 23 & 30, 10:30 – 11:15 a.m.

Sing N’ Sway in the Neighborhood
Songs, stories, and fun for kids ages 5 and under and their grown-ups led by Tkiya: The Jewish Community Music Initiative. Free.
Bay Ridge Public Library, 7223 Ridge Blvd
Friday, January 12, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Shabbat-a-BimBom
Child-centered Friday night Shabbat service followed by dinner. Services are free, RSVP and payment required for dinner.
East Midwood Jewish Center, 1625 Ocean Ave
Friday, January 12, 6:30 – 9 p.m.

FamilyLab: When You Wish Upon a Star   
A new, grassroots gathering for Jewish and Jew-ish families with children ages 8 and under. Celebrate the sensory, experiential ritual of Havdalah when we end Shabbat and begin the new week. All are welcome. RSVP required -limited space available. Free.
Clinton Hill – Address provided upon RSVP
Saturday, January 13, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Sing-Along Shabbat
Shabbat morning experience for families with children ages 5 and under including singing, guitar, puppets, and musical prayer followed by challah and grape juice. Free.
Bay Ridge Jewish Center, Fourth Ave & 81st St
Saturday, January 13, 10:45 – 11:45 a.m.

Make Toys for Shelter Animals
Turn donated clothing, towels, and recycled materials into toys, beds, and blankets for animals in shelters. No previous skills necessary. RSVP required. All ages. Free.
Shorefront YM-YWHA, 3300 Coney Island Ave
Monday, January 15, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Family Havdalah  
Say goodbye to Shabbat, welcome the new week, and celebrate Tu Bishvat, the Jewish New Year for the trees, with songs, glow sticks, crafts, stories, and snacks. Free.
Bay Ridge Jewish Center, Fourth Ave & 81st St
Saturday, January 20, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Sunday Morning Songs, Play, and Snacks  
Celebrate Tu Bishvat, the birthday of the trees, with songs, stories, open play, and snacks. Entertainment provided by Tkiya: The Jewish Community Music Initiative. Best for families with children ages 4 and under. Limited space available, RSVP strongly recommended. Free.
Busy Bodies Brooklyn, 1004 Fulton St
Sunday, January 20, 10:30 a.m. – Noon

ShaJam Singalong
An interactive family Shabbat experience with singing, dancing, stories, parachute play, bubbles, and a celebration of Tu Bishvat, the Jewish holiday celebrating trees and the Earth. Free.
JCC Brooklyn, North Williamsburg, 14 Hope St
Saturday, January 27, 4 -5 p.m.

PJ Library Tu Bishvat Party  
Celebrate the birthday of the trees with family yoga, storytime, crafts, and snacks. For families with children ages 5 and under. RSVP requested. Free.
Union Temple of Brooklyn, 17 Eastern Pkwy
Sunday, January 28, 3 – 5 p.m.


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Long Island

Breastfeeding Support Group 
Nursing circle facilitated by a lactation consultant and the Parenting Center of the Mid-Island Y. Gliders, water, and snacks available. RSVP requested. Free.
Buy Buy Baby – Huntington, 350 Walt Whitman Road, Huntington Station
January 4 and 18, 9:30 – 10:30 a.m.

Family Shabbat Service
A participatory, family-friendly Friday night Shabbat service with Makom NY. Free.
Bethpage Worship Center, 600 Broadway, Bethpage
Friday, January 5, 7:30 – 9 p.m.

Parenting Center Lecture: Five Steps To A Healthy New Year
Learn five things you can do on a daily basis to make you and your family healthier in 2018. RSVP requested. Free.
Mid-Island Y JCC Parenting Center, 45 Manetto Hill Rd, Plainview
Tuesday, January 16, 8 – 9 p.m.

Tot Shabbat
A monthly Shabbat celebration for families with babies, toddlers, and preschoolers, with singing, dancing, a Torah parade, crafts, and dinner. RSVP requested. Free and open to all.
North Shore Synagogue, 83 Muttontown Eastwoods Rd, Syosset
Friday, January 19, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Family Open Mic Night 
Kids and adults can share their hidden talents and perform — family acts encouraged. Snacks and light dinner provided. Free.
Merrick Jewish Centre, 225 Fox Boulevard, Merrick
Saturday, January 20, 5:45 – 6:30 p.m.

Bim Bam Shabbat for Families with Young Children  
Family-friendly Shabbat service followed by dinner, entertainment for the kids, and schmoozing time for the adults. RSVP requested.
Huntington Jewish Center, 510 Park Ave, Huntington
Friday, January 26, 5 – 6:30 p.m.

Bagels & Blox – Celebrating Trees & Nature  
Celebrate Tu Bishvat, the Jewish New Year for trees, with free play, crafts, food, music and movement, stories, and bagels. Best for ages 1 – 6 accompanied by an adult; siblings welcome. RSVP requested. Free.
Temple Judea of Manhasset, 333 Searingtown Rd, Manhasset
Sunday, January 28, 9:30 – 11 a.m.


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Manhattan

Downtown

Community Shabbat & Dinner
A community Shabbat gathering with dinner and music. Free.
Tamid: The Downtown Synagogue at The Chapel, 209 Broadway
Friday, January 5, 6 – 7:30 p.m.

Tot Shabbat With Songs, Dance, and Stories
A family Shabbat morning experience puppets with songs, dance, prayer, and stories led by Ora Fruchter, followed by grape juice and challah. Best for families with children ages 5 and under, RSVP requested. Free.
JCP Downtown, 146 Duane St
Saturday, January 6, 10 – 11 a.m.

PAUSE/PLAY: Family Fit Day  
A day of family fitness activities including a bouncy house, giant slide, family swim, yoga, games, crafts, and dancing. The day will end with a disco dance party hosted by the New Shul. RSVP requested.
14th Street Y Theater, 344 East 14th St
Saturday, January 6, 2 – 6 p.m.

KOMPOT: Deli Books
A new, interactive play followed by a hands-on workshop for Russian Jewish families with children ages 2 – 8. Advance registration requested.
Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Pl
Sunday, January 7, 11 a.m. & 2 p.m.

Hanna and the Moonlit Dress
An interactive musical about the magic of a good deed adapted from the classic Israeli tale “Hanna’s Sabbath Dress.” Best for age 2 – 8. Advance ticket purchase recommended.
14th Street Y Theater, 344 East 14th St
Saturdays & Sundays, January 20 – February 11, 11 a.m. & 1 p.m.

New Families, New Traditions
Drop-in family program with the Yellow Sneaker music group and its puppets. Free.
Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Pl
Sunday, January 21, 10:30 a.m.

The Knish War on Rivington Street – Author Storytime
Storytime and book signing with author Joanne Oppenheim. Learn about a crazy knish competition on the Lower East Side and taste knishes from Yonah Schimmel Knish Bakery. Buy tickets online or at the door.
Museum at Eldridge Street, 12 Eldridge St
Sunday, January 28, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Midtown

Shabbat Central  
A warm, accessible Shabbat experience for families with children ages 5 and under with songs, prayer, movement, stories, and fun followed by a light meal.. Free.
Central Synagogue Community House, 123 East 55th St
Saturday, January 20, 9:30 – 10:30 a.m.

JCC Brooklyn Family Field Trip: A Sick Day with Morris McGee   
A puppet show adaptation of the PJ Library book, A Sick Day for Amos McGree performed by the Jerusalem-based Train Theater group. Come early for a pre-show activity organized by JCC Brooklyn. RSVP requested. $20/pp
New Victory Theater, 42nd Street Studios, 229 W 42nd St
Sunday, January 28, 4 – 5 p.m.

Upper East Side

 

Picture This!  
A gallery program with activities, art, and a PJ Library story followed by creating original art in the art studio and a snack. The program concludes with a concert featuring David Weinstone & The Music for Aardvarks Band. Best for children ages 4 – 10 years accompanied by an adult.
The Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Ave
Sunday, January 21, 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

David Weinstone & the Music for Aardvarks Band
Dance to popular tunes featured in music classes across the five boroughs along with songs celebrating nature and New York City. Best for families with children ages 2 – 6. Buy tickets online or at the door.
The Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Ave
Sunday, January 21, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Upper West Side

SAJ Pela  
Parents and children explore Shabbat, Jewish, and American holidays and values through storytelling, song, dance, movement, and creative play. Best for ages 4 and under, drop-in. Choose from multiple days and locations. Sponsored by SAJ – Society for the Advancement of Judaism). Free.
St. Agnes Library, 444 Amsterdam Ave
Friday, January 5, 11 – 11:45 a.m.
SAJ, 15 W 86th St
Saturdays, January 6, 13, 20 & 27, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Book Culture, 450 Columbus Ave
Tuesdays, January 9, 16, 23 & 30

PJ and Play Storytime  
Warm up with stories, crafts, a snack, and playtime on an indoor playground.
Congregation Rodeph Sholom, 7 West 83rd St, btw CPW & Columbus
Saturday, January 6, 4 – 5 p.m.

Infant/Child/Adult CPR (Non-Certification)
Learn how to prevent, recognize, and treat respiratory and cardiac emergencies and choking in infants, children, and adults. Designed for parents, caregivers, personal trainers, teachers, and counselors. $100
JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave
Tuesday, January 16, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Infants & Young Children Family Shabbat Dinner
Celebrate Shabbat with an interactive sing-along, Shabbat blessings, and dinner along with other neighborhood families. Advance registration required.
JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave
Friday, January 19, 5:30 – 7 p.m.

PJs and Havdalah
Say goodbye to Shabbat and look forward to the week ahead with a family-friendly Havdalah ceremony along with art, songs, and stories. Best for families with children ages 5 and under. RSVP requested. Free
B’nai Jeshurun, 270 West 89th St
Saturday, January 20, 4:45 – 5:45 p.m.

Challah for Hunger Community Baking Experience  
Monthly community challah-baking experience for families with children ages 6 and under. Participants braid two challahs — one to take home and one to give away, followed by stories, songs, and snacks. RSVP requested. Free.
Congregation Rodeph Sholom, 7 West 83rd St, btw CPW & Columbus
Saturday, January 20, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m.

PJ Library Explor-a-Story  
New and expanded monthly storytime exploring Jewish holidays and traditions through songs and stories. best for ages 4 and under. Free.
JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave
Monday, January 22, 3 – 3:45 p.m.

Tu Bishvat Celebration
Celebrate the birthday of the trees with planting, sensory play, and art with natural materials. Best for ages 4 and under. Free.
JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave
Tuesday, January 31, 3:15 – 4 p.m.

Harlem

SAJ Pela  
Monthly drop-in storytime exploring Shabbat, Jewish and American holidays and values through storytelling, song, dance, movement, and creative play. Best for ages 4 and under, drop-in.
JCC Harlem, 318 W 118th St
Friday, January 26, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.


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Queens

 

Tot Shabbat
A Shabbat morning experience for families with young children, including songs, stories, games, puppets, and age-appropriate prayers. Free.
Astoria Center of Israel, 27-35 Crescent St
Saturdays, January 13 & 27, 10:30 -11:30 a.m.

Junior Congregation
Shabbat morning experience for elementary school-aged children with prayers, songs, and other activities. Free.
Astoria Center of Israel, 27-35 Crescent St
Saturdays, January 6 & 20, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Community Havdalah: Arts Night
A musical Havdalah, followed by an exploration of Hebrew writing and calligraphy with craft projects for kids, and an expert-guided project for adults. Wine, cheese, and kids’ snacks included. RSVP requested.
Astoria Center of Israel, 27-35 Crescent St
Saturday, January 13, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

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Staten Island

 

Community Recycling Fair & Tu Bishvat Plant Sale
Celebrate Tu Bishvat, the Jewish New Year for the trees by learning how to protect the environment with recycling and composting, and buy some new plants for your home.
Jewish Community Center of Staten Island, 1466 Manor Rd
Sunday, January 28, Noon – 3 p.m.


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Westchester

Disney Shabbat
Come dressed as your favorite Disney character for this special family Shabbat service. RSVP requested. Free.
JCC Harrison, 130 Union Ave, Harrison
Friday, January 5, 6 – 7:30 p.m.

Gan Shabbat Services
An interactive introduction to Shabbat for preschoolers and their families, with songs, stories, and prayers followed by kid-friendly refreshments.
Bet Torah Nursery School, 60 Smith Ave, Mt. Kisco
Saturday, January 6, 10:30 a.m. – Noon

Havdalah Under the Stars   
Say farewell to Shabbat with a family-friendly Havdalah service and singing led by Tkiya: The Jewish Community Music Initiative, followed by pizza. RSVP requested.
Greenburgh Hebrew Center, 515 Broadway, Dobbs Ferry
Saturday, January 6, 5 – 6:30 p.m.

Tu Bishvat Yoga & Planting
Plant seeds for spring and do some kid-friendly yoga to celebrate the Jewish New Year for the trees. Sponsored by Shalom Baby of Northern Westchester. Free.
New York Sports Club, 80 Rt. 6, Somers Commons Center, Baldwin Place
Tuesday, January 9, 9:30 – 11 a.m.

Bim Bam Shabbat  
Celebrate Shabbat with singing, stories, challah, and ice cream led by the staff from Ramah Day Camp in Nyack. RSVP requested. Free.
Penny Lick Ice Cream Company, 580 Warburton Ave, Hastings-on-Hudson
Friday, January 12, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m.

Ruach Tot Shabbat   
Celebrate Shabbat with the rabbi and cantor, including a Shabbat-themed activity, songs, stories, and blessing over grape juice and challah. Best for ages 3 – 8. Free.
Greenburgh Hebrew Center, 515 Broadway, Dobbs Ferry
Friday, January 12, 5:30 – 6:15 p.m.

Tot CJL-Celebrate Tu Bishvat
Learn about Jewish holidays through art, food, and music. For families with children in pre-K and younger. RSVP requested. Free.
Temple Israel of Northern Westchester, 31 Glengary Rd, Croton-on-Hudson
Sunday, January 28, 9:30 – 10:30 a.m.

Family Tu Bishvat Celebration  
Celebrate Tu Bishvat with crafts, stories, and snack. Sponsored by Pleasantville Community Synagogue, hosted in a private home, address provided upon RSVP. Best for families with children in pre-K and younger.
Private home, Pleasantville – Address provided upon RSVP
Sunday, January 28, 9:15 – 10:45 a.m.


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Rockland County

Tot Shabbat
Welcome Shabbat with stories, songs, activities, and snacks. Free.
Temple Beth Shalom, 760 Route 6, Mahopac
Saturday, January 6, 11:15 a.m. – Noon

Shalom Kids Play Group
Open play and adult schmooze time with snacks. For families with children ages 5 and under. RSVP requested. Free.
Temple Beth Shalom, 760 Route 6, Mahopac
Sunday, January 21, 10 a.m. – Noon

Bim Bam Shabbat   
Celebrate Shabbat with singing, stories, challah, and ice cream, led by the staff from Ramah Day Camp in Nyack. RSVP requested. Free.
16 Handles, 170 S Main St, New City
Friday, January 26, 3 – 4 p.m.

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