50 things to do in New York City with kids: Fall 2012
Our must-read guide to the season's best things to do in New York City with kids—festivals, shows, museum exhibits and more—is here.
Fri Sep 7 2012
Fancy Nancy the Musical
Queens County Fair
Photograph: Amanda I. DiRosa
"The RAMMELLZEE: Galaxseum" at CMA
Photograph: Marielle Solan
Fall Kids Fest
Photograph: Tom Callan
Photograph: Joan Marcus
Photograph: Kurt Christensen
Hurds Family Farm
Photograph: Courtesy New York Road Runners
ING New York City Marathon
NYC Chocolate Show
Photograph: Kathryn Kirk
Brooklyn Book Festival
Fancy Nancy the Musical
Dress up for Fancy Nancy the Musical
Based on the popular children's book series by Jane O'Connor, this new musical by Vital Theatre Company (the team behind other book-to-musical adaptations like Angelina Ballerina and Pinkalicious) tells the story of Nancy, who loves all things posh and glamorous. When her dreams of winning the lead in the school play don't exactly work out as planned, she has to find a way to accept her very unfancy role. Sat Sept 29–Mon Nov 12; various times. McGinn/Cazale Theatre. $29.50–$49.50.
Experience country life at the Queens County Fair
A reading of Charlotte's Web is about as close as most city kids have come to a blue-ribbon livestock and produce competition. But at this annual outdoor event, tykes get to glimpse country life firsthand—or at least a wonderful re-creation of it. Pie-eating and corn-husking contests, hayrides, pig racing, carnival rides, live music, craft and food vendors, and the three-acre Amazing Maize Maze may have tykes plotting a move to the country. Admission does not include maze entry, carnival rides and games, or various other fair activities. Sat Sept 22, Sun Sept 23 11am–6pm. Queens County Farm Museum. $8, children 12 and under $5.
Be inspired at CMA's "The Rammellzee Galaxseum"
Gracing the Children's Museum of the Arts walls this fall are works by Rockaway-born Rammellzee, a visionary street artist, emcee, and hip-hop lyricist and vocalist who broke down genre barriers as he expressed his personal ethos in myriad mediums. Resin frescoes, paintings, sculpture, and even costumes and comic books are in the mix to inspire the creators of the future. Opens Oct 4. Children's Museum of the Arts.
Party with us at Fall Kids Fest
We're once again partnering up with Madison Square Park for our annual free fall festival. Little ones can bound through the park, stopping at stations for seasonal activities, live concerts from KBC Kids and the Pop Ups, a sneak peak at the upcoming Bunnicula the Musical and book readings courtesy of the DiMenna Children's History Museum. After parading around in their adorable costumes, kids can pose for pictures in front of the Time Out Kids photo booth and pick a pumpkin to take home. Sat Oct 13 11am–2pm. Madison Square Park. Free.
Climb on retro buses at Atlantic Antic
Head to the designated children's area on Brooklyn's historic Atlantic Avenue (between Boerum Place and Smith Street) for pony rides, games and inflatable rides—plus a slew of vintage MTA buses. You'll also want to check out the fest's live bands and tasty eats—there's funnel cake, ice cream, hot dogs and plenty more to fill your plate. Make sure to stop by the Broadway Booth for free giveaways from popular shows, including Bring It On pom-poms and Peter and the Starcatcher bookmarks. Sat Sept 30 noon–6pm. Atlantic Ave between Fourth Ave and Hicks St, Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill and Brooklyn Heights. Free.
Get tickets to see Annie on Broadway
The beloved 1977 musical about a redheaded orphan and her dog is returning to Broadway (it was last seen on the Great White Way in 1997 for the show's 20th anniversary). The classic, which will be staged by James Lapine and feature Lilla Crawford (Billy Elliot) as Annie and Katie Finneran (Promises, Promises) as Miss Hannigan, is guaranteed to introduce a whole new generation of kids to tunes like "Tomorrow," "Hard Knock Life" and "You're Never Full Dressed Without a Smile." Previews begin Wed Oct 3; various times. Palace Theatre. $59–$152.
View beautiful foliage in the five boroughs
Whether in lush canopies overhead or strewn on the sidewalk, brightly hued crunchy leaves may be fall's most lavish gift; most turn colors in September. At many of the parks around the city, kids can ogle, collect and yes, even jump in lots of leaves. Best bets include the Ramble in Central Park, especially in late autumn, when the ginkgo trees seem to shed their leaves all at once, and Alley Pond Park's Tulip Tree Trail, which winds past tall versions of its namesake as well as sassafras trees.
Watch the ING New York City Marathon
Your kids may not be ready to run 26 miles, but they can have a ball watching others take on the challenge. See thousands of athletes race from Staten Island to Central Park and keep an eye out for celebrity entrants. For some of the best views, head to Fourth Ave between 94th St and Flatbush Ave or First Ave between 96th St and the Willis Ave Bridge in Manhattan. Or pack a picnic, poster board and markers, and make festive signs as you wait for the frontrunners to pass the finish line near Central Park. Sun Nov 4 at 9am. Various locations. All ages.
Develop your cocoa palate at the New York Chocolate Show
Tons of exhibitors, including Jer's Chocolate, Peanut Butter & Co. and Chocovision, will dole out samples of delicious desserts and dark, milk and white chocolate confections. Children can taste to their hearts' content and check out sweet activities in the Kids' Zone (chocolate crafts, meet-and-greets with celebrity pastry chefs and book readings). Fri Nov 9 10–7pm, Sat Nov 10 10am–7pm, Sun Nov 11 10am–6pm. Metropolitan Pavilion. Fri, Sun $40, in advance $35; Sat $50, in advance $40; all days children under 13 free (limit two children per adult). All ages.
Get literary at the Brooklyn Book Festival
The largest free book event in the city is back for its seventh year in Brooklyn Borough Hall and Columbus Park. In the tented Target Children's Area, kids ages one to nine can listen to readings by such authors as Selina Alko, reading her newest, B Is For Brooklyn; Marc Brown, the mind behind the Arthur book and TV series; and Paul O. Zelinsky, who'll share his latest, Z Is for Moose (That's Me). Tweens ages ten and up can meet-and-greet Young Adult literary talents such as R.J. Palacio (Wonder) and Jon Scieszka (Spaceheadz) at the Youth Stoop. Sun Sept 23 10am–6pm. Brooklyn Borough Hall and Plaza. Free.
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