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Family events at NYC museums in January and February 2013

NYC museums are pulling out all the stops for families this winter, offering everything from a primer in Surrealism to a workshop creating fragrances.

  • Courtesy the Jewish Museum

    Family events at NYC museums in January and February 2013

    Animals Illuminated Family Day at the Jewish Museum

  • Courtesy the Whitney Museum of Art

    Family events at NYC museums in January and February 2013

    "American Legends" Family Opening at the Whitney

     

     

  • Courtesy Bard Graduate Center

    Family events at NYC museums in January and February 2013

    "Circus and the City: New York, 1793–2010" at the Bard Graduate Center

  • Courtesy the New Museum, New York

    Family events at NYC museums in January and February 2013

    First Saturdays for Families: When You Travel

  • Courtesy Museum of Chinese in America

    Family events at NYC museums in January and February 2013

    Lunar New Year Family Festival at the Museum of Chinese in America

     

     

  • Peter Saul

    Family events at NYC museums in January and February 2013

    "Sinister Pop" Family Day at the Whitney

  • Filip Wolak

    Family events at NYC museums in January and February 2013

    Leave It to Chance: Surrealism 101 for the Family at the Morgan Library & Museum

  • Courtesy Museum of Arts & Design

    Family events at NYC museums in January and February 2013

    MAD Family Fun Day

  • Courtesy the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum of Art

    Family events at NYC museums in January and February 2013

    Family Tour and Workshop: "Gutai: Splendid Playground"

  • Courtesy Staten Island Museum

    Family events at NYC museums in January and February 2013

    Family Cicada Day: Opening Celebration

  • Courtesy the Historic Division of Mars

    The History of Chocolate with American Heritage Chocolate at the New-York Historical Society

Courtesy the Jewish Museum

Family events at NYC museums in January and February 2013

Animals Illuminated Family Day at the Jewish Museum

In January and February, right when parents need engaging indoor activities the most, NYC museums come to the rescue with family days, art-centric workshops and tours that expose kids to the city's most vibrant artists and exhibitions. Many are based on the city's best art shows, such as "Gutai: Splendid Playground," "American Legends: From Calder to O'Keeffe," and "Drawing Surrealism," while others celebrate cicadas, the Lunar New Year and even circus elephants. The number of interactive family programs during these two months really took us aback—and made us excited to share NYC museums' rich winter offerings with you.

Animals Illuminated Family Day

Among the offerings at this family day are stations where kids can create a golden illustration or animal crown inspired by the colorful manuscripts on view; a hands-on calligraphy session; and animal dress-up. Musician Father Goose (featured on many a Dan Zanes album) will be on hand to provide the boogie-down tunes. Ages 3 and up.

  1. The Jewish Museum 1109 Fifth Ave, at 92nd St
  2. Sun Jan 26
More info

"American Legends" Family Opening

Families are invited to a special bash to celebrate the Whitney's winter show of masters, "American Legends: From Calder to O'Keeffe." In addition to introducing the kids to some of the country's most iconic artists, you can join in on gallery-based activities, take in an art workshop and enjoy refreshments. Reservations are not required. All ages.

  1. Whitney Museum of American Art 945 Madison Ave, at 75th St
  2. Sat Feb 1
More info

Family Day: Carnival of the Elephants

This shindig at Bard Graduate Center is dedicated to the mighty (and mighty intelligent) elephant and its history in circuses, a theme that's explored in the accompanying exhibition, "Circus and the City: New York, 1793–2010." Kids will learn about pachyderms from a zoo expert and watch a shadow-puppet performance about an elephant that finds work in an NYC circus. Little visitors will also have a chance to create their own shadow puppet and nosh on healthy snacks. Reservations are strongly recommended at bgc.bard.edu or by calling 212-501-3011. Ages 6 to 12.

  1. Bard Graduate Center Gallery 18 W 86th St, between Central Park West and Columbus Ave
  2. Sat Feb 1
More info

First Saturdays for Families: When You Travel…

During this Saturday morning workshop, families will explore the exhibition "Museum as Hub: Walking Drifting Dragging," in which four artists document their journeys, including crossing a continent on foot and floating through the Arctic in the winter without any daylight. Kids will discuss their own favorite trips, then create a collection of documents of their own journey to the museum. Ages 4 to 14.

  1. New Museum of Contemporary Art 235 Bowery, at Prince St
  2. Sat Feb 8
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Lunar New Year Family Festival

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Take advantage of MOCA's full range of offerings during this Year of the Snake–themed event. Kids can try out the art of lion dancing (noon), hear stories about the lunar new year, watch performances by Chinatown's Red Silk Dancers (3, 4pm) and tour exhibits. Michele Wong McSween, author of the Gordon and Li Li books, will be on hand to meet young readers (1pm). All ages.

  1. Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) 215 Centre St, between Grand and Howard Sts
  2. Sat Feb 8
More info

Leave It to Chance: Surrealism 101 for the Family

The Morgan Library offering is an immersion into the world of Surrealism, currently in the spotlight in its new show "Drawing Surrealism." Families will explore Surrealist techniques developed by such artists as Dalí, Miró and Magritte, with a combination of games and art projects, among them automatic drawing, collage, frottage (rubbing a drawing tool over a rough surface), decalcomania (transfering designs to another surface, like decals) and collaborative chance drawing. Ages 6 to 12.

  1. The Morgan Library & Museum 225 Madison Ave, at 36th St
  2. Sat Feb 15
More info

Moon Over Manhattan: Celebrate the Lunar New Year

The Asia Society fetes the Year of the Snake with live performances from electronic group the Shanghai Restoration Project and jazz singer Zhang (1:15–2pm) and a lion dance and kung fu demo (2:20–3pm), and arts-and-crafts activities all afternoon long. All ages.

  1. Asia Society 725 Park Ave, at 70th St
  2. Sat Feb 15
More info

MAD Family Fun Day

This year's Museum of Arts and Design bash, its biggest family event of the year, is inspired by the museum's exhibition "The Art of Scent" and designed to heighten consciousness about the science of olfaction, the complexity of the sense of smell and the art of perfume creation. In the International Flavors and Fragrances lab, kids will learn such concepts as top, middle and bottom notes, then choose and layer scents to make (and also name) their own fragrances. Tours of the museum are included in the workshop price. All ages.

  1. Museum of Arts & Design 2 Columbus Circle, at Broadway
  2. Sat Feb 22
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Family Tour and Workshop: "Gutai: Splendid Playground"

Don't miss this chance to tour "Gutai: Splendid Playground," the new installation in the Guggenheim's rotunda, with two Japanese artists with ties to the Japanese avant-garde arts collective Gutai. Matsutani Takesada and Horio Sadaharu will lead families in a participatory, Gutai-esque art workshop after illuminating the playful show, which itself is chock-full of interactive treats. Ages 4 to 12.

  1. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 1071 Fifth Ave, at 89th St
  2. Sat Feb 22
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Family Cicada Day: Opening Celebration

Families are invited to learn about all things cicada, from why some bugs have a 17-year life cycle to why they're back this spring, at this opening day fete for the exhibition "They're Baaack! Return of the 17-year Cicadas." On the roster are a Jr. Science Club installment (10am; reservations recommended), gallery workshops including cicada headgear and origami sessions (1–4pm), a cicada talk (2pm), a stop-animation puppet show called Cicada Princess (1:30, 3pm) and a cicada raffle at the gift shop. All ages.

  1. Staten Island Museum 75 Stuyvesant Pl, at Wall St
  2. Sat Feb 22
More info

Presidents in Residence!

  • Price band: 1/4

Keep busy during the midwinter break with a week-long celebration of the country's commanders-in-chief. Tots will search for presidential clues on a museum-wide scavenger hunt, create an election button and slogan for their future campaign, and compete in a Presidents' quiz for the whole family. All ages.

  1. New-York Historical Society 170 Central Park West, between 76th and 77th Sts
  2. Sat Feb 16 - Tue Feb 19
More info

The History of Chocolate with American Heritage Chocolate

Families get a chance to smell, see, make and taste colonial hot chocolate at this workshop with American Heritage Chocolate educators, who'll be grinding cacao beans and mixing in spices like nutmeg and red pepper as they heat up samples kids can try. All ages.

  1. DiMenna Children's History Museum 170 Central Park West, at Richard Gilder Way (77th Street)
  2. Mon Feb 24
More info


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