Family Saturday

10 Festive NYC Spots to Take Your Holiday Card Photos

Say “cheese” at these fun and very photogenic places around town.

Photo courtesy of WinterFest

It’s not too late to capture the perfect (and, let’s be honest, totally unrealistic) photograph of your kids or family for this year’s holiday cards. Here are 10 pic-ready places to take a million shots in hopes that one might actually be cute—and to have fun while you’re there.

1. How adorable will your kiddo look concentrating on a gingerbread house or train with frosting all over her fingers? We think pretty adorable! Make it happen at one of the GingerBread Lane workshops at the New York Hall of Science in Queens, which also boasts the world’s largest gingerbread village (more than 1,300 houses!).

Gingerbread Lane Holiday Photos
Photo courtesy of Gingerbread Lane

2. Take a family photo in front of the fireplace—a 19th-century fireplace, that is—at the Tenement Museum’s onetime-only All of a Kind Family Hanukkah event this Saturday at 10 a.m. You’ll meet author Emily Jenkins and hear her read her just-released holiday book of the same name; take a behind-the-scenes “inspiration” tour of an Orchard Street early immigrant apartment; and taste traditional Hanukkah treats from the Lower East Side’s history.

3. The tree in Rockefeller Center is gorgeous, but for an international flair, have the kids pose in front of the Origami Tree at the American Museum of Natural History instead. It’s decorated with more than 800 hand-folded paper ornaments with an oceanic theme, so expect whimsical sea creatures aplenty.

Origami Tree Holiday Natural History Photos
Photo by R. Mickens/©AMNH

4. Snap a photo of your young reader flipping through a copy of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol at the ever-charming Books of Wonder on 18th Street (bonus “aww” points if your kid holds the book upside down). At the bookstore’s Holiday Book Bonanza this Saturday, Susan Jeffers, author of The Nutcracker, Tony DiTerlizzi of The Broken Ornament, Mark Siegel of Oskar and the Eight Blessings, and others will read from their books and sign copies.

5. Photo ops abound at the Winter ONEderland at One World Observatory. There are the stunning views, of course, but on December 1, 2, and 8, Santa will be there, too!

ONE WORLD OBSERVATORY Santa Holiday Photos
Photo courtesy of ONE WORLD OBSERVATORY/Facebook

6. Most of the city’s outdoor ice-skating rinks are open for the season—and they make for excellent winter-themed photographic backdrops. The classic rinks—at Bryant Park and Rockefeller Center—are always great, but we also love the Rink at Brookfield Place for a bonus view of the Hudson River, and Brooklyn’s Lakeside Prospect Park for two outdoor ice pads surrounded by 500-plus acres of trees. If you can wait until December 14, an outdoor skating oasis will open on the Rooftop at Pier 17 in South Street Seaport and should be family-selfie heaven.

Ice Skating Winter Holiday Photos
Photo courtesy of Pier 17 NY

7. For you artsy parents: The grass in Andy Warhol’s painting Flowers will really make your dear daughter’s green eyes pop. Bring her—and children of all eye colors!—to the Andy Warhol Family Day at the Whitney Museum of American Art this Saturday,10:30 a.m–3 p.m. In addition to taking photos, you and the kids can create Pop Art of your own.

8. Catch your mittened, pom-pom-hatted little one peeking out from behind a pine tree (or, you know, throwing pinecones at his little brother) at the Christmas-tree maze inside WinterFest at the Brooklyn Museum. [Update, 12/5/18: Unfortunately, we can no longer recommend WinterFest. As other media outlets have noted—and as WSWD saw on a visit there—the organizers did not follow through on their original plans for the event. We hope that the pop up, now under new management, will improve.]

9. Trust us: The most authentic-looking, camera-ready Santa in town can be found at ABC Carpet & Home on Broadway (makes sense that this bastion of good taste picked the perfect Mr. Claus). This is the place to go for the classic on-Santa’s-lap shot.

10. For a more cynical holiday message, take your family portrait inside this Grinch elevator at Industry City.

Grinch Industry City Holiday Photos
Photo courtesy of Industry City

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