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50 things to do with kids in the spring in New York City 2013

The season is just warming up! We've rounded up the best things to do with kids this spring including Sakura Matsuri and the reopening of the New York Aquarium.

  • Photograph: Fiora Watts

    50 things to do with kids in the spring in New York City 2013

    1. Attend Spring Kids Fest at Madison Square Park

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    50 things to do with kids in the spring in New York City 2013

    2. Take a spin on the rides at Luna Park

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    50 things to do with kids in the spring in New York City 2013

    3. Crawl into a scale model of a blue-whale heart at the AMNH

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    50 things to do with kids in the spring in New York City 2013

    4. Pretend to be prehistoric explorers

  • Photograph: Manuel Harlan

    50 things to do with kids in the spring in New York City 2013

    5. Get tickets to see Matilda on Broadway

  • Photograph: David Handschuh/NY Hall of Science

    50 things to do with kids in the spring in New York City 2013

    6. Revel in springtime at the interactive Science Playground

  • Photograph by Cinzia Reale-Castello

    50 things to do with kids in the spring in New York City 2013

    7. Look at thousands of blooms at the Orchid Show

  • Photograph: Grace Chu

    50 things to do with kids in the spring in New York City 2013

    9. Spend the day at the Tribeca Family Festival Street Fair

  • 50 things to do with kids in the spring in New York City 2013

    10. Sing along to original tunes by Laurie Berkner

  • Photograph: Daniel Avila/NYC Dept. of Parks and Recreation

    50 things to do with kids in the spring in New York City 2013

    10. Play old-fashioned street games

Photograph: Fiora Watts

50 things to do with kids in the spring in New York City 2013

1. Attend Spring Kids Fest at Madison Square Park

While spring break may already seem like a distant memory, spring in New York City is just getting started. The temperatures have warmed up, the flowers are blooming and it's looking like we can finally put away those winter jackets for good (fingers crossed!). The city is also abuzz with annual spring festivals (our favorites include Spring Kids Fest, Sakura Matsuri and the Tribeca Family Festival Street Fair), highly-anticipated concerts for families and other seasonal things to do with kids like fishing in Central Park and eating ice cream on the High Line. To help you plan your time between now and Memorial Day (the unofficial start of summer), we've put together an essential list of 50 things to do with kids this season. Happy spring!

Things to do with kids in the spring

1

Take a spin on the rides at Luna Park

  • Price band: 1/4

In a sure sign that summer's on the way, the rides at Luna Park at Coney Island open for another season of rollicking good times. (The area suffered innumerable damage due to Hurricane Sandy last fall and reopened earlier this spring.) In addition to the dozens of rides and games at Luna, don't miss the Scream Zone, a separate section which houses four new rides for brave (and big enough!) kids: two coasters, a spinning disc called the Zenobio, and the Human Sling Shot. Plus, a full service restaurant, the Cyclone Café offers sushi rolls as an alternative to the usual hot dog/candy apple/ice cream.

  1. 1000 Surf Ave, (at W 10th St), 11224
  2. Ongoing
More info
2

Crawl into a scale model of a blue-whale heart at the AMNH

  • Critics choice

The museum's iconic big blue whale got some company this spring with "Whales: Giants of the Deep," which comes to New York courtesy of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Visitors will experience a re-creation of a dive alongside sperm whales hunting for giant squid; listen to whale song; crawl through a life-size replica of a blue whale heart; and learn about the biology and behavior of whales and other marine mammals. Artifacts on view include an authentic 58-foot-long sperm whale skeleton; items that chronicle the relationshiop between humans and whales, including a New Bedford whaling log; and objects made from whale bones, such as weaponry and jewelry.

  1. American Museum of Natural History Central Park West, at 79th St, 10024
  2. Fri Apr 5 - Sun Jan 5
More info
3

Pretend to be prehistoric explorers

  • Price band: 2/4

Field Station: Dinosaurs, which opens for its second season on Friday, April 5, features 31 life-sized dinosaurs in total, built with sensors and facial-recognition technology that makes them move as visitors draw near. Daring kids will get a thrill from hearing a 15 foot tall T.rex roar in response to their excited shouts, but there are also activities geared towards the younger set. New this year: Families can watch the prehistoric creatures come to life on the big screen in Dinosaurs Alive 3D, catch two new live shows (Dino Whodunit and Dragons to Dinosaurs) in the spot's amphitheater and sing along to dinosaur-themed tunes during the dinosaur dance party. Ages 3 to 11.

  1. Laurel Hill Park, One Dinosaur Way, 07094
  2. Opens Apr 5
More info
4

Get tickets to see Matilda on Broadway

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Not since Billy Elliot has an English musical import been so hyped. And, sort of like that blockbuster, Matilda centers on a young person trying to find freedom and self-expression in the world of oppressive adults. We look forward to hearing Tim Minchin’s score for this family-friendly tale of a telekinetic schoolgirl, based on the Roald Dahl children's book. Ages 4 and up.

  1. Shubert Theatre 225 W 44th St, between Broadway and Eighth Ave
  2. In previews; opens Apr 11
Buy tickets
5

Look at thousands of blooms at the Orchid Show

  • Price band: 2/4

Join French botanist and artist Patrick Blanc as he presents “The Orchid Show,” now in its 11th year. Get lost in the stunning display of blooms and exotic plants, and don't forget to make a pit stop by the Shop in the Garden for your very own orchid to take home! This year, garden trees torn down by Hurricane Sandy are incorporated into the design. All ages.

  1. New York Botanical Garden Bronx River Pkwy, at Fordham Rd
  2. Until Sun Apr 21
More info
6

Spend the day at the Tribeca Family Festival Street Fair

  • Free

The gargantuan street fair, hosted by the iconic film fest, offers tons of thrills for city kids. Nestled between tried-and-true fare like snacks and face painting are some ultra-cool activity stations, including a video game hacking workshop from the Museum of the Moving Image and The Gazillion Bubble Garden, with wands of all shapes and sizes for everyone to use. Storytellers, puppeteers, and cast members from Broadway and Off Broadway shows perform on the festival's main stage throughout the day. As kids move from activity to activity, they can create a "VIP Pass" by stamping a booklet provided to them; at the end of the day, if your pass is filled, you get a special prize. All ages.

7

Sing along to original tunes by Laurie Berkner

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Offer

Making Books Sing is teaming up with well-known children's musician Laurie Berkner turn turn the book Wanda's Monster into an original musical. Five-year-old Wanda is convinced there's a scary monster in her closet, but Granny convinces her he's actually a kind (but shy) monster. The musical will feature all-new songs by Berkner, as well as her hit, "Monster Boogie." All ages.

  1. Theater Three 311 W 43rd St, between Eighth and Ninth Aves, third floor, 10036
  2. Fri Apr 19 - Sun May 12
Buy tickets
8

Play old-fashioned street games

  • Free

Kids take to the park for skateboarding clinics and ’60s and ’70s street games like stick ball, double-dutch and lemon-twist hula-hooping. Less athletically-inclined youngsters can groove to tunes compliments of Radio Disney and catch a performance by the Dance Theater of Harlem. Ages 5 and up.

  1. Thomas Jefferson Park First Ave, between 111th and 114th Sts
  2. Sat Apr 27
More info

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

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