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50 things to do with kids in NYC this spring

Catch spring fever with festivals, museum exhibits, concerts and more fun things to do with kids in NYC this spring

Photograph: Courtesy Beverly Acha

After this winter's arctic chill and endless snow, we're more than ready for the arrival of spring. As the mercury slowly but surely rises, there are lots of family-friendly ways to celebrate the season. Visit one of the 25 best playgrounds in New York City, go for a romp in one of the 13 best parks for families or take refuge from April showers at one of the coolest NYC museums. For more fun ways to thaw out, check out our list of the best things to do with kids this spring. It's packed with including kiddie concerts, craft workshops, museum exhibits and nature festivals. Click through each page for 50 ways to welcome spring!

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Travel to Tokyo without ever leaving NYC

  • Price band: 1/4

Delve into the cultural traditions of Tokyo and explore two very different sides of the city when this interactive exhibit takes over the Children's Museum of Manhattan's lower-level gallery. Girst comes Kawaii Central, a bustling street in the Harajuku district, inviting little ones to sing karaoke, snap pics in a photo booth, serve up an imaginary Japanese meal and design cute mascots inspired by the kawaii style. After the colorful cityscape, seek solace in the Shinto shrine park, a beautiful natural area where they'll build bridges, crawl through a gorest, meet kami spirits and form dreams for the future at a wishing tree. Discover evern more about Japanese cuisine, art and national holidays via monthly family festivals supplementing the exhibit through May. All ages.

  1. Children's Museum of Manhattan 212 W 83rd St, between Amsterdam Ave and Broadway, 10024
  2. Until Sun May 17
More info

Wander the scenic Wave Hill gardens at dusk

  • Price band: 3/4

Wave Hill celebrates its 50th anniversary throughout the month of March, welcoming visitors to explore the grounds at a time when they are normally closed. Under cover of darkness, families can take in The Lightening, an enchanting animated installation of light and sound by artist Chris Doyle, in the Aquatic Garden. There will also be additional art from Doyle in the Glyndor Gallery. Purchase tickets in advance for a $2 discount.

  1. Wave Hill W 249th St, at Independence Ave, 10471
  2. Sun Apr 26 - Sun May 24
More info

Stop and smell the flowers at NYBG's Orchid Show

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

The New York Botanical Garden explodes into a tropical floral extravaganza for the 12th annual Orchid Show. Take in the thousands of blooms on display, and don't forget to make a pit stop by the Shop in the Garden for your very own orchid to take home. All ages.

  1. New York Botanical Garden Bronx River Pkwy, at Fordham Rd, 10458
  2. Until Sun Apr 19
More info

Discover different cultures at CMA's family festival

Explore the creative side of Persian culture with this cultural festival at the Children's Museum of the Arts. Families will enjoy live music, dance and theater, as well as storytelling and arts & crafts workshops. All ages.

  1. Children's Museum of the Arts 103 Charlton St, between Greenwich and Hudson Sts, 10014
  2. Sun Mar 22
More info

Grab tickets to an award-winning kids screening

  • Price band: 1/4

This film fest for kiddos showcases 100 new features and shorts from around the globe each year, and rounds out the experience with retrospectives, interactive workshops and filmmaker Q&As for families. Though a jury determines which director takes home the grand prize and other esteemed awards, young audience members (ages 3–18) can cast their votes in the short-film category. And Mom and Dad get the chance to vote for the winner of the Parents Awards. The $60 Super-8 membership buys advance notice of the programs and first dibs on tickets; otherwise, look for news of the 2015 lineup in January. Ages 3 to 18.

  1. Various venues
  2. Until Sun Mar 22
More info

See perfect pirouettes from the School of American Ballet

  • Free

The world-famous School of American Ballet brings kids a memorable introduction to the world of leotards and pink tutus. During the 45-minute presentation, members of the SAB will answer questions like "How do ballerinas dance on their toes?" and "How do dancers spin and turn without getting dizzy?" They'll also illustrate how talented students become classical dancers and perform excerpts from The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, and The Sleeping Beauty. Ages 4 and up.

  1. Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts (at Brooklyn College) 2900 Campus Rd, at Hillel Pl, 11210
  2. Until Sat Mar 7
More info

Learn fancy footwork from a breakdancing crew

  • Price band: 2/4

Got a little one who's always entranced by subway performers? Bring 'em to this breakdance showcase at Symphony Space's Just Kidding series, where, unlike on a moving train, there's zero chance of him or her getting hit in the head by a foot. Ages 6 and up.

  1. Leonard Nimoy Thalia at Symphony Space 2537 Broadway, at 95th St
  2. Until Sun Mar 8
More info

Catch a Kabaret featuring puppetry, juggling and magic

  • Price band: 2/4

Well-known cabaret club, Metropolitan Room presents a just-for-kids series featuring a roster of professional performers who specialize in puppetry, juggling, magic and music. The Sunday afternoon variety shows will wow parents and kids alike with creative storytelling, live musical performances (including a bilingual singer) and impressive puppetry, juggling and magic skills. Advance purchase recommended. All ages.

  1. Metropolitan Room 34 W 22nd St, between Fifth and Sixth Aves
  2. Sat May 16
More info

Jam out to Irish beats with the FunikiJam dancers

  • Price band: 2/4

Throughout the month of March, the early-education and entertainment playgroup FunikiJam is hosting St. Patrick's Day–themed parties, classes and live shows at their five NYC locations. Kids should show up in their best green getups and prepare to have some fun dancing, clapping and singing along to original cross-cultural jams and some Irish tunes by the FunikiJam performers. The kindie-pop group will bring families in on the action, giving them a chance to play instruments and tell stories during their high-energy, interactive performances. Capacity is limited and reservations are required. Various times and locations, call ahead for showtimes and venue information. Ages 3–10.

  1. Various venues
  2. Until Sat Mar 28
More info

Get wowed by the Rockette's new Spring Spectacular

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Witness the legendary Rockettes take the stage for a new spring performance evoking the vibrant energy of New York City and the magic of the spring season. Through unique puppetry, exciting dance numbers, original music and state-of-the-art technology, families will fall in love with the Big Apple all over again as they embark on a virtual-reality tour of the city, visiting iconic locations along the way. Listen for familiar voices lent to the large-scale puppets—Bella Thorne brings the Alice in Wonderland statue to life in a whimsical Central Park scene, and Whoopi Goldberg voices Lady Liberty herself. Also keep an eye out for celebrity cameos by famed New Yorkers such as Carmelo Anthony, Donald Trump, Martha Stewart and Henrik Lundqvist. Ages 8 and up.

  1. Radio City Music Hall 1260 Sixth Ave, at 50th St
  2. Until Thu May 7
More info

  1. 1–10
  2. 11–20
  3. 21–30
  4. 31–40
  5. 41–50

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