If Super Bowl Sunday is not the most important day of the year to you, score a goal with these FREE and cheap family-friendly suggestions for how and where you can avoid the Big Game entirely in New York City.
Visit a museum.
NYC museums are all open on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020. Take your pick.
Our NYC museum picks:
This museum in Flatiron just sounds like it’s a bore.
But it’s fascinating for all ages, since everything we do is based on math, from the tempo of music and dance to building skyscrapers and figuring out our taxes.
Exhibits are designed for fun and let you learn something, too.
And this is the only museum of math in the USA, so you’ll be spending the day with one-of-a-kind.
- The National Museum of Math, also known as MoMath, is at 11 East 26th St. in Chelsea.
This museum of broadcasting presents A Salute to Black Achievements in Television in February, including an interactive exhibit focusing on comedy, spotlight BET Network’s 40thanniversary, as well as family activities, education classes, and screenings featuring some of the most influential names in entertainment.
Entry to the exhibit and screenings are FREE.
Screenings feature some of the most influential names in entertainment including :
- Tyler Perry,
- Regina King,
- Tiffany Haddish,
- Wanda Sykes,
- Queen Latifah,
- Chris Rock,
- Will Smith,
- Kevin Hart,
- Eddie Murphy,
- Dave Chappelle,
- Flip Wilson,
- Keenan Ivory Wayans.
Visitors can view the influential programs that paved the way for future generations including episodes of:
- Everybody Hates Chris,
- In Living Color,
- The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,
- The Flip Wilson Show,
- Sanford and Son,
- The Bernie Mac Show,
- Tyler Perry’s Love Thy Neighbor,
- Living Single
The Black History Month exhubit opens Saturday, Feb. 1, through Sunday, March 1.
- The Paley Center for the Media is 25 West 52nd St. in Midtown
Hang out with the birds and bees.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s greenhouse complex was built in the 1980s to cultivate and display plants from environments around the world.
Specifically selected for its access to sunlight, this is one of the only places in New York City where you can see such a diverse collection of rare plants in bloom year-round. Now it’s under threat from rezoning in the neighborhood that will allow tall, sunlight-blcking high-rise buildlings.
Learn about the history of these iconic greenhouse buildings, the rare plants that thrive here, and why allowing the construction of massive towers would be catastrophic.
- The Brooklyn Botanical Garden is adjacent to the Brooklyn Museum. Make it a two-fer.
Bryant Park Winter Carnival
SuperBowl Sunday is the final day of the annual ten-day FrostFest, Featuring Bumper Cars on Ice, live entertainment at The Lodge, Silent Disco, an Igloo Experience, and more.
- Winter Carnival FrostFest events are a combination of FREE and ticketed.
See a Show
Our recommendation is the Thunderbird American Indian Dancers performing all weekend on the Lower East Side.
This is a knock-out group of Native Americans from a variety of tribes who live and work in the New York City area who perform traditional dances combined with storytelling.
Thunderbird American Dancers Dance Concert and Pow Wow includes:
- Storytelling by Matoaka Eagle (Santo Domingo/Chickahominy),
- Hoop Dance by Marie Ponce (Cherokee and Seminole) that will be set to flute music for the first time,
- Deer Dance (from the Yaqui Tribes of Southern Arizona) with Ciaran Tufford (Mayan/Cherokee) and Carlos Ponce (Mayan), and
- Grass Dance and Jingle Dress Dance (from the Northern Plains people),
- Stomp Dance (from the Southeastern tribes),
- Shawl Dance (from the Oklahoma tribes),
- Fancy Dance (from the Oklahoma tribes)
- Smoke Dance (from the Iroquois).
As the audience enters the theater, they will be serenaded by the Heyna Second Son Singers (various tribes). In the final section of the program, the audience will be invited to join in the Round Dance/Friendship Dance (in evening shows) and a Contest Dance (in matinées).
Tickets are just $15 for adults and a welcoming $1 for kids at the matinee. After every performance, the audience is invited on stage to participate in a Native American dance.
- At Theater for a New City, 155 First Ave on the Lower East Side.
- Purchase tickets here
Visit the future
This FREE exhibit in the Oculus transportation center downtown offers virtual reality tours of the city, exhibits on what we’ll be driving one day, and games that teach about the environment, even how regenerative braking works in electric and hybrid cars.
The only vehicles on display are toy-sized, lining one of the walls – very Instagrammable.
Stay home and binge watch Oscar-winning films
Each year, TCM (Turner Classic Movies) programs 31 Days of Oscar, with Oscar-winning films all day every day in February.
If you can wrestle the remote from the Big Game fan in the family, this is the blockbuster schedule for game day.
This year the theme is Oscars 360. Each of the featured films recognized by the Academy is connected to the following film by an actor or actress starring in both pictures, allowing for a span of movies across genres and generations.
The final film on March 2 completes the circle. Here’s looking at you, kid, with the TCM schedule for SuperBowl Sunday:.
(C. Aubrey Smith)
(Errol Flynn and Bette Davis)
(Olivia De Havilland)
(George Brent and Bette Davis)
This article was posted originally in 2015 and republished annually. Updated for 2020.
Evelyn Kanter also is the author of several NYC and Hudson Valley guidebooks, including my latest, 100 Things to Do in NYC Before You Die.