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Things to do with kids in NYC this weekend

Looking for things to do in NYC with your brood? Hit up these fun weekend-long happenings

Photograph courtesy Cooper Hewitt
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

October 10–11

"Pixar: The Design of Story"

Every parent has seen their kid's eyes light up as a flick like Toy Story or Up unfolds on the screen. Now, families can get a look at how Pixar's movie magic comes together thanks to a behind-the-scenes exhibit created in partnership with Pixar Animation Studios. The original artwork of genius illustrators—from films including Wall-E, Brave and The Incredibles—shows youngsters how their favorite characters developed over time, how the designers trigger our emotions and beyond. In the museum's immersive Process Lab, families will explore the design process through colorscripts, storyboards, sculptures and interactive stations like an 84-inch touch-screen table. Hit up a Design by Hand workshop led by creative staff from Pixar and don't miss screenings of Luxo Jr., a short film from 1986, or a Q&A with John Lasseter (Nov 12). Ages 5 and up.

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Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum , Upper East Side Until Thursday December 31 2015

Gone Batty! Live Bat Encounter

Catch these creepy meet-and-greet over Columbus Day weekend, when various species of bats stop by the New York Botanical Garden. Families come face-to-face with the nocturnal critters, including the endangered Rodrigues bat from Mexico and the Malayan flying fox. Kids will find out how these creatures keep our environment healthy. All ages.

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Monday October 12 2015

“Superheroes in Gotham” Opening Weekend

Since their introduction in the 1930s, superheroes have inspired kids through comic books, games, television and movie screens—even the Broadway stage. This exhibition tells the story of superheroes in NYC, ranging from the birth of comic book superheroes to their transition to radio, TV, film and more, including New York Comic Con. During opening weekend, kids get to design their own wrist cuffs (a superhero's costume isn't complete without them!) and jump in on hero training sessions to practice defense and attack skills. They'll decorate a super plane and fly it across the New York skyline, too! A special family guide will lead you gang through the exhibit in search of six special heroes, then make sure to snap a photo with the super-cool Batmobile! All ages.

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New-York Historical Society , Upper West Side Until Tuesday December 29 2015

Hansel and Gretel’s Halloween Adventure

In this spinoff of the classic fairy tale, the brother and sister duo find themselves in New York City on Halloween night, where they meet a band of whimsical characters. As they explore Central Park and Belvedere Castle, they'll encounter pirates, mermaids, monsters, vampires and witches! The production features handmade marionettes by the master puppetmakers of Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre. Ages 3 to 9.

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Central Park Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre , Upper West Side Until Saturday October 31 2015

National Design Week at Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum

Throughout National Design Week, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum hosts a weeklong series of drop-in programs for families. There will be events each day such as the Target Family Design Festival (10/10 & 10/11) where kids can join in on a scavenger hunt and storytelling, the Teen Design Fair (10/13) where teens learn about design careers and educational opportunities and the Target Design Kids Family Programs (10/17) where kids work on design projects. Be sure to reserve a spot online well in advance, as workshops are likely to fill up faster than parents will pull out their Tim Gunn impressions. See the website for the full schedule, which should be announced in the coming weeks. All ages.

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Cooper Hewitt Design Center Until Saturday October 17 2015
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