In the Neighborhood: 4 Things to Do With Kids This Holiday Weekend

"Nova," Softlab's Holiday Installation at Flatiron Plaza.
“Nova,” Softlab’s Holiday Installation at Flatiron Plaza. Source:

Happy Christmas Eve! Here are 4 things to do with kids this holiday weekend AFTER the madness of holiday present exchanges and big family dinners. The city will still be decked in its holiday glory, and there’s plenty of it to enjoy with your family within walking distance of Waterside Plaza.

1.Take in the holiday lights at Flatiron and Madison Square Park

Empire State Building viewed from Madison Square Park.
Empire State Building viewed from Madison Square Park. Source: Madison Square Park Facebook

If you’re like most New Yorkers, nothing will tempt you to fight the crowds to see the holiday lights uptown, but you’ve got a gorgeous alternative nearby. Madison Square Park will still be in full holiday glory, and the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership’s 2015 Holiday Installation Nova by SOFTlab will let you look through a prism of shifting lights at some of the city’s most iconic landmarks nearby, including the Empire State Building and the Flatiron Building. See your city in a new way this holiday.

2. Walk over to the Grand Central Holiday Train Show

Grand Central Holiday Train Show
Grand Central Holiday Train Show. Source:

Holiday train shows abound in New York, which makes sense for a city with a subway system that never sleeps either. The Grand Central Holiday Train Show is the only one that you can walk to, going north from Waterside Plaza. Trains hold a special place in the hearts of many, and kids especially will be delighted to watch the model trains weave through the city’s iconic landscapes.

3. Show the kids the magic of the “Discovery of King Tut.”

The Discovery of King Tut
The Discovery of King Tut. Credit: Ernst vanDeursen Source:

Just a little north of Madison Square Park at Premier Exhibitions, kids can relive “The Discovery of King Tut,” the most magnificent find of ancient Egypt. With 1,000 meticulous reproductions of real treasures found in the famous boy-king’s tomb, and kid-friendly audio guides, your children will be able to experience this 3,000 year old wonder just as it was at its moment of discovery.

4. Laugh your heads off with Kids N’ Comedy Christmakwanzukah

 Kids 'N Comedy: Christmakwanzukah
Kids ‘N Comedy: Christmakwanzukah. Credit: Julia Slaff Source:

Gramercy Park is the unofficial comedy capital of the city but walking a little further west on 23rd street to Gotham Comedy Club, you’ll find the kid-friendliest comedy show of the season, Kids N’ Comedy Christmakwanzukah, an all-teen stand-up show about the good, bad, and ugly of Christmas, from terrible gifts to more. A perfect way to close out another holiday season.

Survived Snowmageddon? Treat Yourself at Momofuku Milk Bar Pop-Up at Madison Square Park!

Momofuku Milk Bar.
Momofuku Milk Bar. Credit: Momofuku/

So you survived the Snowpocalypse? Congrats! Now you have the perfect excuse to reward yourself with Momofuku Milk Bar‘s sinfully delicious desserts at the new pop-up version opening THIS Saturday, January 31, in our neighborhood’s Madison Square Park. In addition to the usual mouthwatering Milk Bar treats like Crack Pie and Birthday Cake Truffles, the pop-up shop is debuting two NEW hot drinks: cereal milk chocolate made with white chocolate and apple cider with miso butterscotch. We are so ready for this. Madison Square Park reports the pop-up will be open 10AM-8PM daily. There is no reported end date for stand yet (hint: don’t wait!).

5 Things To Do in Gramercy Park This Weekend (May 2 – 4)

Mad. Sq. Eats at Madison Square Park

Mad. Sq. Eats Photo: Benjamin Chasteen/

Today, everyone’s favorite neighborhood culinary market, Mad. Sq. Eats returns to Madison Square Park. Presented in collaboration with Urban Space, the pop-up market brings together New York City’s most popular eateries, such as Roberta’s and Red Hook Lobster Pound, in a great outdoor space–thankfully, the weather is finally nice enough to enjoy it! May 2 – May 30; 11AM-9PM. Madison Square Park (25th St. & Broadway). FREE to attend; food prices vary.

La Soiree at Union Square Theatre

la soiree
La Soiree. Photo: Max Gordon/Time Out New York

Union Square Theatre presents La Soiree, a playful “part-cabaret, part-circus” show that Time Out New York calls a “sexy razzle-dazzle of cabaret, vaudeville and neoburlesque.” Including performers from the acclaimed troupe La Clique, the inventive Off-Broadway show has traveled the world before coming to the New York stage. Apr. 24 – May 11; 7-10PM. Union Square Theatre (17th St & Irving Plaza). $49-$130.

6th Annual Kentucky Derby Party at Eleven Madison Park

Kentucky Derby Party, Eleven Madison Park Photo:

This swank soiree at the prestigious restaurant Eleven Madison Park presents the most stylish Kentucky Derby Party in the city with “mint juleps, Chef Daniel’s take on Derby-fare, and live music from The Crooners and The Brain Cloud.” Grab your best high-society hat and join the fun. Sat., May 3; 5:30PM – midnight. Eleven Madison Park (24th St & Madison Ave). Price varies.

The Brothers Booth at The Player’s Club

The Brothers Booth, Speakeasy Dollhouse.

The Brothers Booth, Speakeasy Dollhouse. Photo:

The long-running immersive theater group, Speakeasy Dollhouse presents their latest deliciously macabre theater event, The Brothers Booth, based on the rivalry between the infamous historical figures Edwin Booth and John Wilkes. The show is set in 1919, at the start of Prohibition, and participants are encouraged to dress the part to get into the mysterious spirit of the piece. May 3 – June 12; 8PM. The Player’s Club (16 Gramercy South.) $75.

Sketch Comedy at People’s Improv Theater

Sketch-comedy duo, Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting. Photo:

The Peoples Improv Theatre presents a full calendar of hilarious sketch and improv comedy shows every night this weekend, including new sketches from the acclaimed comedy duo Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting tonight. Fri., May 2; 8PM. Peoples Improv Theater (24th St btwn Lexington & Park Aves.). $5-10

“This Land is Your Land” at Madison Square Park

“This Land is Your Land” by Ivan Navarro at Madison Square Park. Source:

Currently on view at one of our favorite neighborhood parks, Madison Square Park, the winter 2014 Md. Sq. Art. site-specific art installation, Ivan Navarro’s “This Land is Your Land” takes one of ubiquitous symbols of the New York City skyline, the water tower, and uses it to explore the experience of immigration in America. As home to one of the most diverse communities in Manhattan, we feel especially compelled to highlight this playful and poignant work.

View of the three water towers that comprise Ivan Navarro's installation. Source:
View of the three water towers that comprise Ivan Navarro’s installation. Source:

The three water towers that comprise the installation are lit from within by neon reflections featuring words such as “me”/”we”, which seem to repeat infinitely due to the structure of the towers. Ivan Navarro, a Chilean artist based in Brooklyn, takes the title of the exhibition from the beloved Woody Guthrie folk song that speaks to the pull America has for immigrant populations; a truth never more so evident as it is in NYC. The exhibition is open Feb. 20-Apr. 13, 2014.