Timeout New York Kids

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101 things to do this fall with NYC kids

The season's best bets for families, from museum exhibits and concerts to books, movies and don't-miss events. Behold, cultural events for every single day, September 1 to November 30.


  • Bryant Park ice rink

  • Bryant Park ice rink

  • Bryant Park ice rink

  • Megamind

  • Farmer Jason

  • New York City Marathon

  • New York City Marathon

  • Radio City Christmas Spectacular

  • Radio City Christmas Spectacular

  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth

  • Toy Story 3

  • Toy Story 3

  • International Chocolate Show

  • Elf the Musical

  • Lord & Taylor's holiday window display

  • City Bakery hot chocolate

  • Justin Bieber

  • "Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera" at the Brooklyn Museum

  • "Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera" at the Brooklyn Museum

  • "Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera" at the Brooklyn Museum

  • "Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera" at the Brooklyn Museum

  • "Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera" at the Brooklyn Museum

  • "Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera" at the Brooklyn Museum

  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

  • Brain Puzzle at the American Museum of Natural History

  • Gustafer Yellowgold

  • Gustafer Yellowgold

  • Gustafer Yellowgold

  • Gustafer Yellowgold

  • Composter Jamie Broza

  • Disney's Tangled

  • Disney's Tangled

  • Disney's Tangled

  • Disney's Tangled

  • Disney's Tangled

  • Disney's Tangled

  • Disney's Tangled

  • Disney's Tangled

  • Mandy Moore

  • Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

  • Wintuk at Madison Square Garden

  • Spiderman: Turn off the Dark

Bryant Park ice rink

Mon 1 Sharpen your blades! Free ice-skating begins at Bryant Park.

Tue 2 Schools are closed for Election Day—go out and vote!

Wed 3 Get cozy at a performance of the New Victory Theater's toddler-oriented Egg and Spoon.

Thu 4 The Brooklyn Lyceum hosts KingCon, a comic and animation convention with lots of kid appeal.

Fri 5 The animated Brad Pitt flick Megamind kicks off the holiday kid-film season.

Sat 6 Clap your hands for singer-songwriter Farmer Jason; he'll be crooning alternative-country tunes in concert at Symphony Space.

Sun 7 Cheer on the New York City Marathon runners.

Mon 8 Catch one of the year's first performances of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.

Diary of a Wimpy KidDiary of a Wimpy Kid

Illustration: Jeff Kinney

Tue 9 Take the tykes to B&N or your local indie shop to pick up the fifth installment of Jeff Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Amulet, $14; ages 9 to 12) series, on sale today. In anticipation of the book, subtitled The Ugly Truth, we asked nine-year-old superfan Gabriel Magill what he hopes happens to the title character, Greg Heffley. "I'd like to see Greg shrink. Nobody would notice: Rodrick (Greg's older brother) doesn't notice anything. Their mom and dad took a vacation and Greg's friends are at summer camp. Greg was supposed to go too, but he tripped and fell on the DO NOT TOUCH button on the TV remote and before he knew it, he shrank. Greg would never be able to handle it (no offense, Greg, but I think you're pretty lazy). He would have to jump over TV remotes and run from bugs. I like all of the books, but my idea would make the series really interesting. I'd be impressed by Jeff Kinney if he wrote about that."

Wed 10 Disney on Ice presents Toy Story 3 at Nassau Coliseum—Lotso Bear and Ken join the cast.

Thu 11 The Veterans Day Parade travels down Fifth Avenue for the 91st time.

Fri 12 Sate your child's sweet tooth at the International Chocolate Show.

Sat 13 Restock your family's library at the Brooklyn Museum's Children's Book Fair.

Photo: D. Hurst/Alamy

Sun 14 Buddy comes home to New York City: Elf the musical opens on Broadway, which is good news for all those looking for something beyond NYC's standard seasonal fare (The Nutcracker, The Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Wintuk and Irving Berlin's White Christmas). Based on the 2003 holiday comedy Elf, this musical promises to temper any corniness with honest-to-goodness humor. The story centers on Buddy (played in the movie by Will Ferrell), a boy who crawled into Santa's sack as a baby and grows up at the North Pole. Years later, Buddy heads back to Manhattan to find his real family. While Broadway director Casey Nicholaw (The Drowsy Chaperone) kept the story similar to that of the flick, there is one big change: In the film, Buddy is raised by Papa Elf (played by Bob Newhart), but in the stage version, Santa Claus will be the one and only father figure. As of press time, the casting hadn't been announced, but the show's aesthetic is firmly in place. The sets will "romanticize New York a bit," says Nicholaw, adding "fluffy edges" and over-the-top sparkle to a number of already dazzling city landmarks, including Central Park and Rockefeller Center. "We run around so much that we don't get to see how amazing this city is at Christmas," says Nicholaw. "Buddy opens our eyes to that."—Jacqueline Burt

Mon 15

It's that time of year: Lord & Taylor unveils its holiday windows.

Tue 16

Brrrr...the cold weather is setting in. Warm up the family with hot chocolate at City Bakery .

Wed 17

Invest in ear plugs: Justin Bieber rocks the Izod Center today.

Thu 18 "Charles LeDray: workwork workworkwork," a fascinating exhibition of miniatures, debuts at the Whitney Museum.

Norman Rockwell: Behind the CameraNorman Rockwell: Behind the Camera

1948 SEPS: Licensed by Curtis Publishing: Indianapolis Indiana

Fri 19 Hit the first showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, and then go to see "Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera" at the Brooklyn Museum. Although their scenes often appear too ideal to be real, Rockwell's paintings of wholesome Americana were based on photos featuring the artist's friends as models. These images will be displayed with the paintings they inspired, inviting kids to bask in the joys of a simpler world—at least for a few minutes.—Julia Edelstein

Brain: The Inside StoryBrain: The Inside Story

AMNH/R. Mickens

Sat 20 Groove to Gustafer Yellowgold at Symphony Space. Or explore "Brain: The Inside Story" at the American Museum of Natural History. Touching on everything from how brain cells help us move to breakthroughs in reversing brain damage, the new exhibit includes an eight-foot model of the cerebellum and a human-size homunculus with body parts that are proportionate in size to how much brainpower they use. Interactive highlights for kids include a three-dimensional "build-a-brain" puzzle that illustrates the different parts of our gray matter. Before leaving, remind tykes to look up: On the ceiling, a giant replica of a nerve cell maps the path of electric impulses between various brain synapses.—Dan Avery

Sun 21 Invite your creative tweens to learn about radical changes in art at "On Line: Drawing Through the 20th Century," an exhibit opening today at MoMA.

Mon 22 Shop for unique tree ornaments and other gifts at the Grand Central Holiday Fair.

Tue 23 Manhattan dad and composer Jamie Broza releases I Want a Dog, his first new kids' album in five years.


Courtesy of Disney Enterprises Incorporated

Wed 24 The latest Disney princess is sure to become a fan fave: Mandy Moore voices Rapunzel in the new flick Tangled.

Thu 25 It's Thanksgiving! Get the turkey cooking, and gawk at the floats in the parade.

Fri 26 Score bargains at Black Friday sales all over the five boroughs.

Sat 27 Head to Sony Wonder Technology Lab for a free kids' screening at noon; be sure to make a reservation in advance.

Sun 28 Ooh at the acrobats in Wintuk, playing its final season at Madison Square Garden.

Mon 29 Get into the holiday spirit at the annual Winter's Eve celebration at Lincoln Square.

Tue 30 With fingers crossed, take a seat in the Hilton Theatre for a preview of Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark, a collaboration between Julie Taymor, Bono and the Edge.

Click here to download a printable PDF calendar.

September | October | November

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