Timeout New York Kids

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Museum programs for NYC families in July 2012

Local institutions are a treasure for their exhibitions, but family museum programs are a great excuse to make art together, too.

  • Center for Architecture

  • Center for Architecture

  • Center for Architecture

  • Construction Weekend

  • Construction Weekend

  • Conversations with Anne at the Anne Frank Museum

  • Conversations with Anne at the Anne Frank Museum

  • Junior Science Club

  • Junior Science Club

  • Photograph: Vinnie Amesse

    Museum of the City of New York Family Workshop

  • Photograph: Zach Sultan

    New Museum Block Party

  • Photograph: Zach Sultan

    New Museum Block Party

  • Photograph: Zach Sultan

    New Museum Block Party

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

  • Photograph: NYC Department of Records/Municipal Archives

    URBAN FABRIC: Building New York's Garment District at the Skyscraper Museum

  • Photograph: NYC Department of Records/Municipal Archives

    URBAN FABRIC: Building New York's Garment District at the Skyscraper Museum

  • 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

Center for Architecture

Creativity-loving families have settled down in the right place: Kid-friendly museum programs around town are great ways to bond with your clan, learn about artists from across the globe and their work, and channel the artistic spirit as a family. July's family museum programs have just the creative sizzle you've been looking for to give your summer some cultural panache.

 

Tell a Tale
Families will learn all about the form and function of illuminated letters, intricate designs used to decorate text that date back to the medieval and Renaissance periods. Offered by the Cooper-Hewitt in conjunction with "Graphic Design: Now in Production," its summer exhibit on Governors Island, this workshop lets kids get to work designing a beautiful, custom-made illuminated letter. Sat July 7, Sun July 8 11am--12:30pm, 2--3:30pm. Governors Island, Building 110. Free. Ages 5 and up.

Target First Saturday: Keith Haring's New York
At this Target First Saturday, families will have one final opportunity to see--for free--the museum's Keith Haring exhibition, closing the following day. Along with the exhibition spaces and galleries that remain open until 11pm, the event includes live music (5--7pm), a dance performance by the Hip-Hop Dance Conservatory (6pm), a community sidewalk chalk-drawing project (5--8pm), a hands-on sculpture-making session (6:30--8:30pm; free tickets are available starting at 5:30pm), a painting competition (7--8:30pm) and a dance party with the legendary DJ Justin Strauss (8:30--10pm). Sat July 7 5--11pm. Brooklyn Museum. Free. All ages.

Reimagining the Waterfront
Learn about the East River waterfront in a family-friendly walking tour and exploration of the MOCNY exhibition "Reimagining the Waterfront: Manhattan's East River Esplanade." After discussing the relationship between the river, the FDR Drive and adjacent neighborhoods, participants will create their own proposals for the redesign of the city waterfront. Fri July 13, Sat July 21 1--3pm. Museum of the City of New York. Ages 7 to 12.

Trash Factory
NYC kids know a thing or two about recycling paper, glass and plastic, but they may not know that buildings can be recycled too. In this Saturday workshop, participants learn how architects, building owners and builders reuse and repurpose abandoned factory buildings, giving them a second life. Afterward, they'll create "trash factories" from recycled materials that they can reconfigure in ever-new ways. Sat July 14 10:30--11:45am. The Skyscraper Museum. $5. Ages 5 and up.

Conversations with Anne
This month's "conversation" with Anne Frank—a session in which an actor (played today by Robyn Frank) brings the courageous young writer to life in a performance, followed by a group Q&A and discussion—invites tweens and teens to delve into topics concerning the creative process, as sparked by Anne's interest in her father's photography. Encourage your kids to bring questions. Sat July 14 at 1pm. The Anne Frank Center USA. Free with center admission. Ages 9 and up.

Family Art Lab: Making Mountain Music
In this month's Family Art Lab, kids will get an introduction to chanting and ceremonial instruments in the museum's shrine room. Afterward they'll listen to Himalayan music, then fashion their own instrument out of recycled, natural or found materials. The workshop culminates in a musical parade where participants play music like that they've just heard with their new instruments. Sat July 14 2--4pm. Rubin Museum of Art. Adult-child pair $16. Ages 5 and up.

Hot Saturday Night Family Dance Jams
If you're family's in need of some summer groovin', head to the Children's Museum of Manhattan every other Saturday evening in July and August for two hours of music- and motion-driven fun. Each session features a different dance style: zumba with Equinox (July 14), square dancing with Pat Cannon Foot & Fiddle (July 28), hip-hop with Neil Fernando (Aug 4) and kung fu with Choy Li Fut Lion Dance Association (Aug 18). Sat July 14, 28 5--7pm; Sat Aug 4, 18 5--7pm. Children's Museum of Manhattan. Free with museum admission. All ages.

Junior Science Club: Reptiles and Amphibians
This workshop at the Staten Island Museum is a don't-miss event if your family's been considering the idea of a cold-blooded pet. Kids ages 8 to 13 will compare the attributes of snakes, lizards, turtles and frogs, and also learn how to care for them as pets. Parents are welcome to watch the fun. Sat July 21 10am--noon. Staten Island Museum. $8. Ages 8 to 13.

Family Fun: It's a Pile Up!
After viewing the Accumulation sculpture series at the Whitney's new Yayoi Kusama retrospective exhibit, parents and kids will get busy creating art inspired by the avant-garde sculptor, transforming everyday objects such as clothing and furniture into entirely new entities. Registration is recommended but not required. Sat July 21 10:30am--12:30pm. $10 per family (includes museum admission). Whitney Museum of American Art. Ages 6 to 10.

FamilyDay@theCenter: Explore Governors Island
For a change of pace, this month's Center for Architecture Foundation family day is not a workshop but an exploratory tour through sites on Governors Island. Participants will make stops at the maritime spot's forts and Victorian houses, learning about the island's past and the plans for its future. The tour meets at the Governors Island ferry terminal to take the 11am ferry to the island; the tour finishes up at 1pm. Families can bring a picnic or buy food on-site, and everyone is encouraged to stick around afterward to enjoy island offerings like bike rental and mini golf. Preregistration is required; click here to register. The rain date is July 22. Sat July 21 10:45am--1pm. Battery Maritime Building, then Governors Island. Family of four $20, additional guests $5 apiece. Ages 5 to 13.

Monoprints & Stamps
Kids (and parents) who may not appreciate art's useful side will change their minds at this Cooper-Hewitt Governors Island workshop, which teaches basic monoprinting and stamping techniques. Participants will come up with their own inspired graphic designs, then embellish tees and totes with them that they can take home afterward. All materials are provided. Sat July 21 11am--12:30pm; Sun July 22 11am--12:30pm, 2--3:30pm. Governors Island, Building 110. Free. Ages 5 and up.

New Museum Block Party
The downtown bastion of all things avant garde is hosting its sixth annual afternoon of family-friendly performances and artist-led workshops in neighboring Sara D. Roosevelt Park. Kids can find out about the vibrant history of LES poets and artists in the Bowery Artist Tribute, compose and develop art inspired by the exhibition "Ghosts in the Machine," create a handmade book using images from the New Museum Digital Archive and take part in a collaborative project with artist Nicols Paris. While you're there, pick up free tickets to the museum and take a guided tour of "Ghosts in the Machine," which explores the relationships between humans, art and machines, afterward. Sat July 21 noon--5pm. Sara D. Roosevelt Park and New Museum of Contemporary Art. Free. All ages.

Super Sbado!: Block Party and Afro-Caribeean Hip Hop Performance
Join El Museo del Barrio's annual block party, on 104th Street between Fifth and Madison Avenues, for a late afternoon/early evening of kid-friendly fun. Opening the event is an interactive performance by the Welfare Poets (4--4:30pm), cultural activists who fuse hip-hop with musical styles from Cuba, Jamaica and Puerto Rico to convey the message of hope. At 5pm, break-dance groups start warming up for a B-boy and B-girl competition at 6:30pm, while a dance troupe leads workshop-style classes in break-dancing and salsa, among other dance genres (4:30--5:30pm). A free-play area with hula hoops and chalk drawing, plus a photo booth and family art-making activities, are offered throughout the evening, copresented by the Museum for African Art. Don't forget to stop by the museum itself; the galleries are open to visitors until 6pm. Free. All ages. Sat July 21 4--8pm. El Museo del Barrio, and 104th St between Fifth and Madison Aves. Free. All ages.

Sound and Shadow Play
One of just four workshops accompanying the Czech Center's "Orbis Pictus: Play Well" exhibition that let visitors experience the show on the weekend features several of the artists whose work is on view, including Michael Delia and Peter Nikl. Kids can join them in creating dynamic interplay between the light and audio elements of some of the exhibit's interactive installations. Sat July 28 3--5pm. The Czech Center. Free. All ages.

All About Construction Weekend
If you've got a kid who's fascinated by construction sites, don't miss bringing him or her to this workshop. Families will join members of the Construction Industry Advancement Program of New Jersey in exploring big machines like backhoes, engaging in fun activities and even learning about careers in the industry. Hey, it's never too early to start the "I want to be" conversation. Free handouts are in the mix as well. Note: The program takes place in the LSC parking lot. Sat July 28, Sun July 29 10am--4pm. Liberty Science Center. Free. Ages 3 and up.

Skyscraper Physics
Have you ever wondered how buildings stay upright? This hands-on workshop lets kids investigate the miracles of physics, such as the forces of tension and compression used by architects and engineers in the erection of the world's tallest buildings, through a series of experiments and demonstrations. Preregistration required by Friday, July 27, at 5pm. Sat July 28 10:30--11:45am. The Skyscraper Museum. $5. Ages 8 to 12.

Activist New York
New York City hasn't always been a safe, great place to live. Since the city's beginnings in the 1600s, everyday people in our town have been standing up for what they believe in. At this MOCNY workshop, families will explore the "Activist New York" exhibition to meet some of the men and women who have fought to improve the quality of life for city residents. Then participants will brainstorm ideas for how to make to make the city even better, and will design and produce their own activist button. Sat July 28 1--3pm. Museum of the City of New York. Free. Ages 7 to 12.

 

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