Timeout New York Kids

Make the most of your city

Museum programs for NYC families in August 2012

Get the most out of the last month of the summer break by catching eye-opening museum programs at city institutions.

  • Alley Pond Environmental Center Busy Bees

  • Alley Pond Environmental Center Busy Bees

  • Photograph: Molly Rosner

    Brooklyn Museum

  • Photograph: Molly Rosner

    Brooklyn Museum

  • Photograph: Palmyra Geraki and Ivy Harrison

    Center for Architecture

  • Photograph: Palmyra Geraki and Ivy Harrison

    Center for Architecture

  • Photograph: Vinnie Amesse

  • Photograph: Jack Deutsch

  • Photograph: Matthew Pinto for The Skyscraper Museum

    Skyscraper Physics at the Skyscraper Museum

  • Photograph: Matthew Pinto for The Skyscraper Museum

    Skyscraper Physics at the Skyscraper Museum

  • Photograph: Kate Wiener

    An educator leads discussion on Yayoi Kusama's Accumulations

  • Photograph: Desi Gonzalez

    Kids add line, shape, and color to images during Open Studio

Alley Pond Environmental Center Busy Bees

Though family museum programs in August are more sparse than in prior months, we're still pretty impressed by the effort to which city institutions have gone to offer cool workshops for city families all summer long. This month, you and the kids can take a creative "soundwalk" through Staten Island, learn all about transportation and city planning, study the stars and learn everything there is to know about honey, among many other museum programs. Just make sure to book a spot in advance if you need to. Happy August!

Stillspotting NYC for Families
Get to know the borough of Staten Island like never before at this event in conjunction with the Guggenheim's Telettrofono (or "soundwalk"), part of the stillspotting nyc program that explores architecture and urban planning in each of the city's boroughs. Aside from enjoying refreshments and activities, you and your budding architects will learn more about Antonio Meucci, the Italian inventor credited with the invention of the first telephone, on an informative, sound-filled walk through the neighborhood of St. George and along the shore. Sat Aug 4 2--4pm. Garibaldi Meucci Museum, 420 Tompkins Ave at Chestnut Ave (718-442-1608, garibaldimeuccimuseum.org). Free. Ages 6 to 10.

Target First Saturday: Caribbean Rhythms
This month's evening-long event fetes the lively sounds of the Caribbean. Kicking things off is a Haitian music showcase (5:30--7pm), followed by a dance performance (5pm), a drop-in carnival headdress--making workshop (6:30--8:30pm), an Afro-Caribbean dance workshop with live drum accompaniment (7:30pm) and, finally, a dance party with DJ-spun tunes accompanied by live percussionists. The on-site caf is open all evening to keep the kids' energy up. Sat Aug 4 5--11pm. Brooklyn Museum. Free. All ages.

Maker Weekends
When we first talked about the New York Hall of Science's new Maker Space back in April, it was offering only a limited number of scheduled workshops. We're happy to report that for four weekends in August, families can make use of the supercreative workspace on a drop-in basis, building buzzers, making ZOOB creations, building works of art from discarded keyboard keys and CDs, creating jewelry and watching special science demonstrations. Sat Aug 4, Sun Aug 5, Sat Aug 11, Sun Aug 12, Sat Aug 18, Sun Aug 19, Sat Aug 25, Sun Aug 26 11am--4pm. New York Hall of Science. Free with museum admission. All ages.

So Sew Tall at Skyscraper
Fashion, history and architecture come together at this creative workshop, where kids will learn about the Garment District factories and how they were designed, and check out the new exhibition . They'll also create their own unique factories, just like the ones that once produced the most women's wear in the country. Sat Aug 11 at 10:30am. The Skyscraper Museum. $5. Ages 7 and up.

Getting Around: How Transportation Shapes the City
New York City is always on the move: pedestrians, subways, cars, bikes and buses fill the same small space yet somehow coexist. How does the design of the city affects its transportation and vice versa? Take your kids on a guided walk through East Harlem to see the streets and the people in it in a new light, then work with your family as a team to design a transportation master plan for the future New York City. Reservations required. Wed Aug 1, Sat Aug 4 1--3pm. Museum of the City of New York. Free. Ages 7 to 12.

Open Studio: Totally Stuffed
Taking the everyday objects--turned-art of the "Yayoi Kusama" retrospective as inspiration, families get busy creating stuffed fabric sculptures of their own. Once you're finished, you can add it to the studio's growing collection or take it home. Registration is not required. Sat Aug 11 1--3pm. Whitney Museum of American Art. Free with museum admission. Ages 4 and up.

Chinatown, A Walk Through History
Honestly, we wish all walking tours were as interesting as this rather brief but wonderfully informative jaunt through Chinatown. Families visit such spots as Columbus Park, Confucius Plaza, and a tiny street with Chinatown's oldest gift shop and its oldest teahouse, dating back to 1920, which served the bachelor community created by the Chinese Exclusion Act that banned immigrants from bringing their families over from China. The tour winds up at Kimlau Square, named for a Chinese-American member of the U.S. Air Force who died on a World War II bombing mission. Tourgoers will learn that he was deemed ineligible for U.S. citizenship despite having been born in the United States—just one of many fascinating and sometimes poignant history lessons the tour imparts. Advance registration is required. Sat Aug 4, 11, 18 1--2pm. Meet at the Museum of Chinese in America. $15, students and seniors $12, children under 5 free. All ages.

FamilyDay@theCenter: Building Bridges
Back by popular demand, this workshop lets budding architects get the inside scoop on these transportation necessities, then design and build their own model bridge. Advance registration is required. Aug 11 11am--1pm, 2--4pm. . Family of four $20. Ages 5 and up.

An Evening with the Stars
Astronomer Mark Freilich leads nighttime adventurers in an exploration of the universe, beginning with an indoor lecture and culminating with the use of a professional telescope outdoors. Families will learn about and look at specific characteristics of the mooon, the summer triangle, the summer Milky Way, the Red giant Antares, Scorpio and the double star Albiero. Sat Aug 18 8--10pm. Alley Pond Environmental Center. $12, children 7--12 $7. Ages 7 to 12. 

Story Pirates at El Museo del Barrio
Little ones and their parents will be treated to two interactive shows by city faves the Story Pirates, a musical sketch-comedy troupe that weaves tales written by kids into its hilarious performances. The Pirates are looking for local stories to use, so if your child has a yarn to spin, e-mail it to nicole@storypirates.org and put "El Museo Story" in the subject line. (Stories must be completely original, not use copyrighted characters (like Spidey or Hello Kitty) and must be in the words of the child: that is, no editing by adults.) The event is cosponsored by Disney and El Museo del Barrio. Sun Aug 19 at 11am, 2pm. El Museo del Barrio. Free.

Taste of Brooklyn Weekend
Encourage your foodie-in-training's experimentation by heading to the Brooklyn Children's Museum's annual, taste bud--pleasing event. Workshops run by local chefs and restaurants will let kids do the likes of learning all about ice cream, tasting vegan candy and confections, making healthy snacks from around the world and swirling frozen yogurt. Participants include Sun in Bloom, Tasty Kids, Brooklyn Swirl, Super Foxy Sweets and Annie Mae's Cheesecake. Sat Aug 25, Sun Aug 26 11am--4pm. Brooklyn Children's Museum. Free with museum admission. All ages.

Busy, Busy Honey Bees
Buzz around the Alley Pond Environmental Center where you'll meet the center's beekeeper, make candles from beeswax, taste honey, play bee-themed games and take in a storytime. Advance registration is required. Tue Aug 28 10--11:30am. Alley Pond Environmental Center. $16 per adult-child pair. Ages 4 to 10.

 

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