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Best free and fun things to do over spring break for kids 2013

We rounded up free events during spring break for kids in NYC, including the Macy's Flower Show and a performance art piece by Nick Cave at Grand Central.

  • Photograph: Rebecca Wolf

    Best free and fun things to do over spring break for kids 2013

    MARCH for the Earth

  • Best free and fun things to do over spring break for kids 2013

    Meet Jennifer Oxley and Billy Aronson

  • Best free and fun things to do over spring break for kids 2013

    Senator's Easter Egg Hunt

  • Photograph: Francine Daveta

    Best free and fun things to do over spring break for kids 2013

    Story Time: George O' Connor presents Poseidon: Earth Shaker

     

  • Best free and fun things to do over spring break for kids 2013

    The Free Marketplace

     

  • Photograph: Don Riepe/American Littoral Society

    Best free and fun things to do over spring break for kids 2013

    Jamaica Bay Origami

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    Best free and fun things to do over spring break for kids 2013

    Macy's Flower Show 

  • Photograph: Courtesy powerHouse on 8th

    Best free and fun things to do over spring break for kids 2013

    Story Time: Carin Berger

  • Best free and fun things to do over spring break for kids 2013

    Building Connections: K-12 Student Design Work

  • Photograph: Joshua Bright

    Best free and fun things to do over spring break for kids 2013

    Family Art Project: Up Pops Spring

  • Best free and fun things to do over spring break for kids 2013

    "Living in Sequence"

     

  • Photograph: Philip Greenberg

    Best free and fun things to do over spring break for kids 2013

    Ready, Set, Kindergarten!

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Best free and fun things to do over spring break for kids 2013

    "Topsy-Turvy: A Camera Obscura Installation"

Photograph: Rebecca Wolf

Best free and fun things to do over spring break for kids 2013

MARCH for the Earth

Spring break for kids could mean a vacation on some faraway beach or it could mean staying local and exploring everything the city has to offer. If you're planning on the latter, we found tons of free ways to keep kids busy during their time off from school, including Easter in New York events, book readings and the Macy's Flower Show. (This year, the dates for spring break are March 23 to April 2 for public school students). To make it even easier, we've organized the free events by date—scroll through to find free events for every day of spring break for kids. If these events aren't enough to tide your crew over until school starts up again on April 3, the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation will also be hosting free Kids' Week events from March 25 to March 29 at various city green spots around the city. Other great free ways to spend time during spring break for kids: Explore one of our favorite playgrounds, spend the day in Central Park or visit the Brooklyn Public Library's main branch.


RECOMMENDED: Spring break for kids in New York


Saturday, March 23–Sunday, March 24

MARCH for the Earth

  • Free

Celebrate the Vernal Equinox at the Queens Botanical Garden with a day of environmental service. Volunteers can help weed and plant in the Garden to prepare for the upcoming season, then participants will march to the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park Unisphere. Light refreshments will be served. Register to rforlenza@queensbotanical.org. Ages 5 and up.

  1. Queens Botanical Garden 43-50 Main St, at Dahlia Ave
  2. Sun Mar 23
More info

Meet Jennifer Oxley and Billy Aronson

  • Free

Jennifer Oxley and Billy Aronson, the creative team behind Nick Jr.'s "The Wonder Pets," stop by McNally Jackson to read from their new children's book, The Chicken Problem. Kids can listen to stories, work on art projects, and play with friends. Ages 3 to 8.

  1. McNally Jackson Books 52 Prince St, between Lafayette and Mulberry Sts
  2. Sun Mar 23
More info

MoMA Design Store Book Series: Joe McKendry

  • Free

RISD professor Joe McKendry reads his book One Times Square, which explores the story behind the landmark New York City area. Ages 7 to 16.

  1. MoMA Design Store 81 Spring St, at Crosby St
  2. Sat Mar 29
More info

Senator's Easter Egg Hunt

  • Free

In addition to abundant eggs for kids to hunt down, this popular annual fest hosted by state senator Marty Golden features music, games, prizes and other entertainment sure to keep kids excited long after the quest is done. Meet at Fillmore Ave and Madison Pl for Marine Park hunt; Bay Ridge hunt takes place at 79th St and Shore Rd. All ages.

  1. Shore Road Park Shore Rd, at Fourth Ave, 11209
  2. Sat Mar 29
More info

Story Time: George O' Connor presents Poseidon: Earth Shaker

  • Free

Brooklyn author and cartoonist reads from his graphic novel, Poseidon: Earth Shaker, which explores the mythology of the Greek god of the sea. O' Conner will also draw pictures for young artists at the reading. Ages 3 to 10.

  1. Greenlight Bookstore 686 Fulton St, at South Portland Ave
  2. Sat Mar 29
More info

The Free Marketplace

  • Critics choice
  • Free

You won't want to miss this new Brooklyn-based market featuring live music, interactive workshops, artisan vendors and gourmet food trucks. And with a special area just for families featuring kid-friendly activities (like yoga and crafts), healthy treats and stroller parking, family shopping has never been easier. The market will also be collecting non-perishable food items and warm clothing for Far Rockaway and Coney Island families affected by Hurricane Sandy. All ages.

  1. FreeCandy 905 Atlantic Ave, at St. James Pl, 11238
  2. Sun Mar 30
More info

Jamaica Bay Origami

  • Free

Little ones can learn about the Japanese art of origami, like the word's origin in "oru" meaning "to fold," and "kami" meaning "paper." Then they'll use their new skills to create paper versions of the animals found in and around Jamaica Bay. All ages.

  1. Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Crossbay Blvd, at Broad Channel
  2. Sun Mar 30
More info

Macy's Flower Show

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Running for more than 60 years, Macy’s Flower Show has provided a showcase for the world’s diverse plant life and the work of the nation’s most renowned floral designers. At this year's show, themed around the flowers of south Asia, kids can check out colorful flowers, dance to a DJ, work on crafts and watch demonstrations. March 24th is Family Fun Day in the Kids' Department (on the 7th floor) where tots can listen to a reading of Susan A. Shea's "Do You Know Which Ones Will Grow?" (12pm), make a terrarium, decorate cookies, and get a balloon animal (2pm). All ages.

  1. Macy's Herald Square 151 W 34th St, between Sixth and Seventh Aves
  2. Until Sun Apr 6
More info

Story Time: Carin Berger

  • Free

Illustrator Carin Berger reads from her most recent project, Stardines Swim High Across the Sky, a collection of poems about animals, featuring Berger's three-dimensional collages, dioramas and shadow boxes. Ages 3 to 9.

  1. powerHouse on 8th 1111 Eighth Ave, between 11th and 12th Sts
  2. Sun Mar 30
More info

Building Connections: K-12 Student Design Work

  • Free

The Center for Architecture Foundation is hosting its annual exhibition of student work for the year. Check out what the K-12th grade students have created, from building models and sketches to photography, and discover the curriculum behind the Center's educational philosophy. All ages.

  1. Center for Architecture Foundation Summer@theCenter 536 La Guardia Pl, between Bleecker and W 3rd Sts, 10012
  2. Sat Mar 23 - Sun Mar 24
More info

Family Art Project: Up Pops Spring

  • Free

Spring has finally sprung! To celebrate, guest artist Moses Ros teaches young sprouts how make stamps and collages that pop up and grow, just like their favorite springtime blooms. Ages 3 and up.

  1. Wave Hill W 249th St, at Independence Ave, 10471
  2. Sat Mar 23 - Sun Mar 24
More info

"Living in Sequence"

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice
  • Free

Little superhero fans may be obsessed with Batman, but what they might not know it that Bob Kane, Bill Finger and Jerry Robinson created the Dark Knight of Gotham, along with Robin and the Joker, while sitting on a bench in Poe Park. At the "Living In Sequence" exhibit, kids will check out Batman's birthplace and learn about comic book illustrations from the golden age through the art form's modern iterations in the Bronx. Plus, on Saturday, February 16 kids can take part in games and coloring activities at the Bronx Heroes Jr. workshop (1–3pm). All ages.

  1. Poe Park E 192nd St, between Grand Concourse and E Kingsbridge Rd
  2. Until Sat Mar 30
More info

Ready, Set, Kindergarten!

  • Free

Little ones getting ready to start kindergarten can prep for their upcoming education with stories and activities designed to foster learning. In six sessions, tots and their parents will explore literature, science, math, music and more. Families will leave the sessions with free materials to continue the learning at home. Ages 3 to 5.

  1. Brooklyn Public Library, Central Branch 10 Grand Army Plaza, at Flatbush Ave
  2. Sat Mar 23 - Sun Mar 24
More info

"Topsy-Turvy: A Camera Obscura Installation"

  • Critics choice

Madison Square Park's newest work of public art utilizes one of the oldest photographic devices around: the camera obscura (the principle behind pinhole cameras), which inverts images and lends them a dreamy blur as it projects them. NYC artists Sandra Gibson and Luis Recoder's Topsy Turvy, which turns the Flatiron Building on its head, is a giant, cylindrical camera obscura that also warps these projections because of its shape. Three to five people can enter the walk-in installation at a time. All ages.

  1. Madison Square Park E 23rd St to E 26th St, between Fifth and Madison Aves
  2. Sat Mar 23 - Sun Mar 24
More info


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