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50 things to do with kids in New York City in spring 2014

Spring is in the air! Get outdoors for free family festivals, new museum exhibits and other great things to do with kids in New York City this spring.

  • 50 things to do with kids in New York City in spring 2014: Annual Island-Wide Butterfly Count


  • Photograph: Nicole Craine

    50 things to do with kids in New York City in spring 2014: "Beyond Rubik's Cube"

  • Photograph: Prospect Park Alliance

    50 things to do with kids in New York City in spring 2014: Prospect Park Arbor Day Celebration

  • Photograph: Vandamm Studio© Billy Rose Theatre Division

    50 things to do in New York City with kids in spring 2014: "Jazzed! The Changing Beat of 125th St at CMOM"

  • Courtesy Public Art Fund

    50 things to do with kids in New York City in spring 2014: "Clouds"

50 things to do with kids in New York City in spring 2014: Annual Island-Wide Butterfly Count



Annual Island-Wide Butterfly Count

  • Free

Join the Staten Island Museum staff as they count butterflies all across the island. Bring a pair of bincoculars to help you spot the butterflies, and keep track of the ones you find! Meet at Snug Harbor at 9am. All ages.

  1. Snug Harbor Cultural Center 1000 Richmond Terr, between Snug Harbor Rd and Tysen St
  2. Until Sat Jun 28
More info

"Beyond Rubik's Cube"

Liberty Science Center is feting the 40-year anniversary of the Rubik's Cube with an interactive, 7,000-square-foot installation where kids can play with the 26-foot-tall Groovik's Cube, which is so big you need three people to work it; check out robots that solve the puzzle faster than people can; play a kid-friendly game called Cube Match; and contribute to a collaborative mural. They'll likely be inspired by the artifacts—rubber bands, paper clips and wood blocks—Hungarian-born Emo Rubik used to come up with the iconic 3-D invention in 1974. All ages.

  1. Liberty Science Center 222 Jersey City Blvd, between Philip and Wilson Sts
  2. Until Mon Jun 30
More info

"Jazzed! The Changing Beat of 125th Street"

  • Price band: 1/4

In partnership with the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, CMOM explores the Harlem Renaissance from the 1920s through the 1940s with historic artifacts, archival film footage and interactive stations broken into three main sections. First, kids can explore a mock jazz club, where they'll listen to Ella Fitzgerald and test out a 1930s-style microphone; then, head into a theater devoted to tap legend Bill "Bojangles" Robinson and try out some of his signature moves on a staircase. Afterward, there'll be a ballroom that features the music of Duke Ellington. Daily live performances and workshops accompany the exhibit. Stay tuned for more information for opening weekend festivities on May 24-25. Ages 4 and up.

  1. Children's Museum of Manhattan 212 W 83rd St, between Amsterdam Ave and Broadway, 10024
  2. Mon Dec 22 - Wed Dec 31
More info

"Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs"

By virtue of dinosaurs' size, diversity and the fact that they disappeared from the planet such a long time ago, there's hardly a child who isn't fascinated by them. But this show is all about pterosaurs, the fascinating flying relatives of dinosaurs that are, if anything, are even more enchanting than their earth-bound contemporaries. Young visitors will learn that these almost mythical creatures, who came into being about 220 million years ago, were a super-diverse bunch, ranging in size from that of a sparrow to the enormity of Tropeognathus mesembrinus, a pterosaur with an astonishing wingspan of 25 feet. (A scale model of the latter will hover above the entrance to the exhibition space.) They'll also discover the similarities between pterosaurs and other flying vertebrates, such as birds and bats, in an interactive area that looks at the evolution and aerodynamics of flight. Kids will even have a chance to "fly" a pterosaur, for a firsthand look at what life in prehistoric times was like from the sky. Rare fossils, as well as replicas and casts of fossils, on view to let paleontologist-in-training in on how scientists know as much as they do about these amazing animals. All ages.

  1. American Museum of Natural History Central Park West, at 79th St, 10024
  2. Mon Dec 22 - Sun Jan 4
More info


  • Free

Every spring, an installation takes up residence in the southeast corner of Central Park, and this year’s, by Swiss artist Olaf Breuning, is among the most kid-friendly yet. Its six polished blue aluminum clouds, rendered as though a child had drawn them, seem to float in the sky thanks to steel supports. Their surreal presence will no doubt set the stage for a play-filled romp in the park. All ages.

  1. Doris C. Freedman Plaza Fifth Ave, at 60th St
  2. Until Sat Aug 23
More info

Arbor Day Celebration

  • Free

In this celebration of trees and wildlife, kids can learn about all the different trees in the Prospect Park landscape, and indulge in arbor-themed games and crafts. All ages.

  1. Prospect Park Audubon Center enter at Ocean Ave, and Lincoln Rd
  2. Until Fri Apr 25
More info

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