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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!

RECOMMENDED: Best things to do this weekend

1

Travel to Tokyo without ever leaving NYC

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.

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2

Wander the scenic Wave Hill gardens at dusk

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.

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3

Stop and smell the flowers at NYBG's Orchid Show

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.

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5

Grab tickets to an award-winning kids screening

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.

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6

See perfect pirouettes from the School of American Ballet

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.

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7

Learn fancy footwork from a breakdancing crew

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.

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8

Catch a Kabaret featuring puppetry, juggling and magic

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.

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9

Jam out to Irish beats with the FunikiJam dancers

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.

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10

Get wowed by the Rockette's new Spring Spectacular

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.

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