The best things to do on public-school kids' day off from school on Thursday, June 7
Make the most of the kids' latest random day off of school on Thursday, June 7, by checking out what's going on around town that day.
Fri Jun 1 2012
Don't let the kids' latest day off from public school on Thursday, June 7, catch you off guard. Read our list of family-friendly happenings going on around town, from summer reading kickoff events to paddling a kayak on the Hudson, and make a plan.
Celebrate summer reading
Public libraries across the city will be abuzz with young readers as they kick off their summer reading programs. Stop by Brooklyn Public Library's , featuring live music, a magic show and high-energy moves; the main , where tykes can make a collage out of cereal box scraps, learn about wildlife and more; and the Children's Library Discovery Center in Jamaica, Queens, where Magic Jim awaits with a beguiling show (1pm), followed by science activities, arts and crafts, live music from the Bilingual Birdies and face painting. Free.
No guitar experience is necessary for this introductory workshop at the NYC Guitar School. Future rock stars ages 8 to 11 learn how to hold a guitar and how the instrument's strings are numbered. Instructors even teach kids to play a song ("Yellow Submarine" or "Songbird") and a guitar riff. Participants end the session by writing a song together using the two basic chords they've learned. R.S.V.P. to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thu June 7 noon--1:30pm. New York City Guitar School, 251 W 30th St between Eighth and Ninth Aves (646-485-7244, nycguitarschool.com). Free.
Get your Ping-Pong on
Parents and kids primed for some volleying can sign up for a game of Ping-Pong with a Bryant Park attendant, who will arrange a match with another player upon request. Paddles and balls are provided free of charge. Thu June 7 11am--7pm. Bryant Park Reading Room. Free.
See an old TV show on the silver screen
Kids can zoom back in time to 1940 at a screening of a "Terry and the Pirates" episode. Your family will cheer for explorer Terry Lee as he ventures into the jungle and meets characters like the wicked Master Fang and a gang called the Tiger Men. Afterward, check out the museum's super-interactive "Behind the Screen" exhibit. Thu June 7 at 2pm. Museum of the Moving Image. Free with museum admission.
Introduce your kids to the joys of catch-and-release fishing in Central Park's Harlem Meer. Children can borrow a park fishing pole with bait in hopes of nabbing bluegill sunfish or chain pickerel. Thu June 7 10am--2pm. Central Park, Charles A. Dana Discovery Center. Free.
Journey to Mount Pom Pom
It's (almost) your last chance to catch the Children's Museum of the Arts exhibit "Misaki Kawai: Love from Mt. Pom Pom" before it closes on June 10. Little adventurers will visit colorful, furry creatures from another world in Misaki Kawai's fanciful installation. Afterward they can make a Mt. Pom Pom--inspired picture using strips of colored paper or visit the museum's Clay Bar to model a character of their own. Thu June 7 noon--6pm. Children's Museum of the Arts. Free with museum admission. Thursdays 4--6 pm pay what you wish.
Visit a city playground
Whether your child wants to splash in the sprinkler at Madison Square Park Playground or scramble on climbing structures at Indian Road Playground, there's an outdoor play space that will appeal to everyone. Consult our guide to the top 25 playgrounds in the city for ideas.
Meet a descendant of Little Miss Muffet
The Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre is a charming way to get kids hooked on theater. Its current production, Little Miss Muffet's Monster-Sitting Service, features Molly Muffet, a descendant of the well-known Little Miss Muffet, and the spider portrayed in the original nursery rhyme. Singing and dancing abound as this unlikely pair opens a baby-sitting service for baby monsters. Thu June 7 at 10:30am, noon. Central Park Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre. $8, kids under 12 $5.