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Columbus Day weekend 2013: Best things to do in NYC with kids

Fete the first three-day weekend of fall with cool concerts, fun fests and an annual parade, plus more great things to do in NYC on Columbus Day weekend 2013.

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    Columbus Day weekend 2013: Best things to do in NYC with kids

    Little Red Lighthouse Festival

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    Columbus Day weekend 2013: Best things to do in NYC with kids

    Open House New York Weekend Family Festival

     

     

  • Columbus Day weekend 2013: Best things to do in NYC with kids

    Family Day: Topiary Garden Dance

  • Photograph: Katherine Jamieson

    Columbus Day weekend 2013: Best things to do in NYC with kids

    Mister G at Symphony Space

  • Columbus Day weekend 2013: Best things to do in NYC with kids

    Pumpkin Day in McCarren Park

     

     

  • Courtesy the Japan Society

    Columbus Day weekend 2013: Best things to do in NYC with kids

    "Rebirth: Recent Works of Mariko Mori" at the Japan Society

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    Columbus Day weekend 2013: Best things to do in NYC with kids

    "The Butterfly Conservatory: Tropical Butterflies Alive in Winter"

  • Photograph: Richard Patterson

    Columbus Day weekend 2013: Best things to do in NYC with kids

    National Design Week

  • Photograph: Jena Cumbo

    Columbus Day weekend 2013: Best things to do in NYC with kids

    The Amazing Maize Maze

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    Columbus Day weekend 2013: Best things to do in NYC with kids

    Boo at the Zoo: Dragons and Dinosaurs

Photograph: Filip Wolak

Columbus Day weekend 2013: Best things to do in NYC with kids

Little Red Lighthouse Festival


Staying in town on the first three-day weekend of fall? Good news: There’s tons to do in NYC over Columbus Day weekend 2013, including big annual events like the Little Red Lighthouse Festival, Open House New York and the Columbus Day parade, an ode to Italian-American culture. Plus, gear up for awesome exhibit openings like the new Butterfly Conservatory show at AMNH, the Mike Kelley takeover at MoMA PS1 and “Rebirth: Recent Works of Mariko Mori” at the Japan Society. Click on each of the three days to see the rest of the best things to do in NYC over Columbus Day weekend 2013.

RECOMMENDED: Things to do in New York: Can't-miss October festivals

  1. Saturday
  2. Sunday
  3. Monday

Saturday, October 12

Little Red Lighthouse Festival

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Manhattan’s last remaining (and most adorable) lighthouse fetes its special day with free tours, live music, theatrical performances, arts and crafts, fishing clinics along the Hudson and as always, a reading of the 1942 children’s book, The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge by Hildegarde H. Swift (the “gray bridge” refers to the George Washington Bridge, built six years after Little Red in 1927, although it’s never actually named in the story!) Families can head to Washington Heights and climb up to the tippy-top of its beacon, just in time for fall foliage. All ages.

  1. Fort Washington Park Riverside Dr, between 155th and 179th Sts
  2. Sat Oct 11
More info

Open House New York Weekend Family Festival

  • Free

This annual festival held in conjunction with Open House New York offers families a slew of hands-on activities celebrating the city's architecture. This year, expect to build stained glass windows, gargoyles, boats, keys and more. Best of all: There's no preregistration required. All ages.

  1. AIA Center for Architecture 536 La Guardia Pl, between Bleecker and W 3rd Sts
  2. Until Sun Oct 13
More info

Family Day: Topiary Garden Dance

  • Free

Following a tour of the gallery, families can learn how 18th-century Brits used gardens for food, performance and even medicine, then make a mini topiary themselves. Kids can also learn to dance a minuet with Baroque expert Thomas Baired. Registration is strongly recommended at programs@bgc.bard.edu; price includes gallery admission and a healthy snack. Ages 6 to 12.

  1. Bard Graduate Center 18 W 86th St, between Central Park West and Columbus Ave
  2. Until Sat Oct 12
More info

Mister G

  • Price band: 1/4

Kids will rock out to the kindie artist's fusion of funk, reggae, jazz, and bilingual tunes at this concert, part of Symphony Space's Just Kidding series. Ages 2 and up.

  1. Leonard Nimoy Thalia at Symphony Space 2537 Broadway, at 95th St
  2. Until Sat Oct 12
More info

"Rebirth: Recent Works of Mariko Mori"

Japanese artist Mariko Mori's first NYC solo show in more than a decade explores the spiritual connections of man to the natural world and ancient cultures with 30-plus installations, sculptures, drawings and videos. Kids will be most impressed with the large-scale works, including the lit-up Ring, which will later take up residence above a Brazilian waterfall; Transcircle 1.1, a pastel-colored Stonehenge whose colors change in sync with planetary positions; and White Hole, a white, energy-generating spiral, the opposite of the famed Black Hole, developed with an astrophysicist. All ages.

  1. Japan Society 333 E 47th St, between First and Second Aves, 10017
  2. Until Sun Jan 12
More info

"The Butterfly Conservatory: Tropical Butterflies Alive in Winter"

  • Critics choice

It's a balmy 80 degrees in the museum's 1,200-square-foot vivarium, which holds up to 500 tropical lepidoptera. The free-flying butterflies often land on the shoulders of visitors, allowing tykes to come into direct contact with the ethereal creatures. All ages.

  1. American Museum of Natural History Central Park West, at 79th St, 10024
  2. Until Sun Jun 22
More info

National Design Week

  • Free

While families will have to wait until early next year to revisit the Cooper-Hewitt Naitonal Design Museum, its Harlem outpost, the Cooper-Hewitt Design Center hosts a weeklong series of drop-in programs for families, like hands-on workshops with fashion designer, publisher and television personality Todd Oldham or an interactive storytime with cool design books geared toward the preschool set. 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. Ages 2 to 12.

  1. Cooper Hewitt Design Center 111 Central Park North, at Malcolm X Blvd
  2. Sat Oct 4 - Sun Oct 12
More info

The Amazing Maize Maze

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Kids track down clues, solve puzzles and ultimately find their way out of the labyrinthine maze made of corn stalks. All ages.

  1. Queens County Farm Museum 73-50 Little Neck Pkwy, between 73rd Rd and 74th Ave
  2. Until Sun Oct 27
More info

Boo at the Zoo: Dragons and Dinosaurs

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

This Halloween celebration takes over the Bronx wildlife spot every weekend in October, as well as the weekend following Halloween. This year, it will overlap with the zoo's animatronic Dinosaur Safari adventure, which has been extended through Nov 3. Also new this year: a komodo dragon exhibit, which will open at the Zoo Center in time for the holiday. Following in the tradition of years past, kids can venture through the Museum of UnNatural Mysteries (located by the Somba Village; 11am–5pm); catch a magic show (noon, 2, 4pm) or a musical theater performance of Beasts of the Magical World (12:30, 1:30, 2:30pm); take in live music from Gigi and the Lend Me a Hand Band (11:30am, 1, 3pm); explore a hay maze (11am–5pm); learn about all kinds of creatures at the extinct-animal graveyard; check out demonstrations by professional pumpkin carvers (11am–5pm); and, of course, rock their outfits in a Halloween procession (noon, 2pm). Boo in the Zoo is free with zoo admission; Dinosaur Safari (10am–5pm) and the Museum of UnNatural Mysteries require the purchase of a Total Experience ticket. All ages.

  1. Bronx Zoo Wildlife Conservation Society 2300 Southern Blvd, at Fordham Rd, 10460
  2. Sun Nov 3
More info

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