Today’s Virtual Spring Break destination is New York City. Check out all of the museums you can visit virtually, color art from MoMA, and even catch a Broadway show.
It is spring break week here in Ann Arbor. But, with stay at home orders in place, no one can travel for the spring break. So we are holding a Virtual Spring Break visiting a different destination or themed set of destinations each day. Be sure to check out our Virtual Spring Break article which will link to each place we have visited and include upcoming destinations.
Watch a Broadway Show
Broadway HD is currently offering a free live stream of a 1993 production of Oklahoma! featuring Hugh Jackman (although it is from a London theater and not Broadway). They are also offering a free 7 day trial subscription. Start your trial and pick a musical to watch. Or, check out one of the Family-Friendly shows available. I am leaning towards Puffs, Peter Pan, or Cats.
Newsies: The Broadway Musical is available on Disney+, although it was filmed in Hollywood.
Visit a Museum
Several NYC museums offer ways to visit virtually.
- Guggenheim Musem – Visit via Google Arts & Culture using Street View, or visit their Digital Collection in the Bloomberg Connect app (iOS or Google Play)
- Intrepid Air & Space Museum – Visit via Google Arts & Culture
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art – Visit on Google Arts & Culture, on Khan Academy, and more
- Visit the 9/11 Museum – They have create a page of ways to visit virtually. Note this will be a more somber experience for your children.
- Virtual Tours of Statue of Liberty Museum & Ellis Island – As a bonus it will be a lot less windy than the day we visited.
- American Museum of Natural History – Check out their Explore Now page for ways to experience the museum from home. They are on Google Arts and Culture, offer Live video guided hall tours, and app and more. They even have classes on Khan Academy and Coursera and quizzes on Kahoot. After visiting, check out Night at the Museum on Video.
Artist Louise Lawler studies artwork on display. She previously presented an exhibition of tracings from photographs of art on display at Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and made them into a book. With the coronavirus quarantine, she is making 12 of these tracing available for download for children and adults to print and color. Check out the pictures made by children of MoMA staff.
Outdoor Time – visit Central Park
Central Park is a wonderful place for families to explore in New York City. We loved visiting Central Park when we were in New York City. My daughter loved climbing over the rocks. We rented a remote control boat for her. We also saw a wedding photography session.
Get outdoors and take a walk through a nearby park and pretend you are surrounded by the city. Sail a toy boat – make your own boat pond with a kiddie pool, plastic storage container, or even a sled (yes I’ve done that).
I was hoping for a virtual visit to the Central Park Zoo, but I did not find any webcams. However, you can make your own zoo. Grab small animal toys and stuffed animals and have fun creating a zoo.
But, you can visit The Bronx Zoo on the Animal Planet show The Zoo. I was able to stream it in my browser without a sign in.
New York City has classic sports venues and teams. Being born in the NYC suburbs, my home teams are the Mets and the Rangers. On our trip in 2017 we were able to fit in a Mets game although the Rangers were out of town.
I was hoping to find virtual tours of Yankee Stadium and Madison Square Garden, but I had no luck. I found a Virtual Vault for the Mets featuring their 1969 Miracle Mets team. But, sports fans can also find classic games on line. The Ringer has a list of 40 Classic Sports moments mostly from the last 30 years, a number of which take place in New York. From their list:
- Jeremy Lin’s first game against the Lakers for the New York Knicks
- 2003 ALCS Game 7 Red Sox at Yankees
- 1994 Pacers at Knicks Playoff Game
- Mike Piazza’s Home run after 9/11
- 1994 Devils at Rangers Game 7 Eastern Conference Finals
- 1996 Big East College Basketball Finals – Georgetown vs Connecticut at Madison Square Gardens
I have to question leaving off the 1986 World Series Game 6 with Bill Buckner’s error allowing the winning run to score. Tennis fans can also look for old footage from the US Open.
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My daughter did not know that today was New York City day when she woke up. I found her reading When Did the Statue of Liberty Turn Green and 101 Other Facts about New York City. We bought it at the Statue of Liberty.
- Eloise at the Plaza
- A Cricket in Times Square – Check out this companion Literature Guide with a printable lap book for an imaginary tour through New York and followup questions on the book
- From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
So many movies are set in New York City. I tried to pick a few family-friendly films where the city is highlighted rather than just a film set in New York City.
- Newsies – on Disney+
- National Treasure (also features Washington DC & Philadelphia) – currently streaming on Netflix, on Disney+ April 30
- The Muppets Take Manhattan – Free with commercials on Amazon Prime
- Night at the Museum – Airs tonight (March 29) on Starz
- Annie – 1999 TV Movie on Disney+
- Mr Popper’s Penguins
For families with older kids, I also recommend:
- Sleepless in Seattle – I now most of it doesn’t take place in New York but it features the Empire State Building
- You’ve Got Mail
We discussed how there are a number of films that are set in New York, but don’t really feature the city: Spiderman (most of them), Avengers, Ghostbusters, and more.
New York City Food
When I asked my husband and daughter for their idea of New York Food, they had two suggestions – pizza and a deli. A couple of other food options that I thought of are: bagels, New York style cheesecake, Manhattan Clam Chowder, and hot dog vendors.
We have several local options for these foods that are offering both delivery and curbside service:
- New York Pizza Depot (NYPD) – We recommend trying their garlic knots in addition to the pizza.
- Zingerman’s Deli – Zingerman’s is always a great choice. Have them make your favorite sandwich (maybe a Reuben) or pick up the groceries to make your own deli sandwiches. Their Bakehouse also offers bagels, which are on my list below.
- 24th Cheesecakerie (Ypsilanti location only) – We really enjoyed their cheesecake, although the ones we had were not New York cheesecake.
Of course, you can make many of these items at home. Remember if you are making a pizza, New York style is round and thin crust.
I love making cheesecake, but I did not stock up on that much cream cheese so we are going to have to skip that.
If you have hot dogs, they are easy to make and favorites of many kids (but not mine).
How are you spending your virtual day in New York City?