Free things to do over spring break 2011 with NYC kids
Keep busy during the school recess without spending a dime.
Thu Mar 25 2010
Saturday April 16
FREE New York City Botanical Gardens
Sat Apr 16 10am--noon. Bronx River Pkwy at Fordham Rd, Bronx (718-817-8700, nybg.org). Travel: D to Bedford Park Blvd or 4 to Bedford Park Blvd--Lehman College, then take the Bx26 bus to Webster Ave; or Metro-North's Harlem Line local to Botanical Garden.
Literally stop and smell the roses by exploring the gardens' 250 acres of natural terrain. Admission is free from 10am to noon on Saturdays; special exhibits, programs and classes cost extra. All ages.
FREE St. Sebastian School Spring Craft Fair
Sat Apr 16 10am--3pm. St. Sebastian School, 39-76 58th St between Woodside and 39th Aves, Flushing, Queens (ssscraftfair.blogspot.com). Subway: 7 to Woodside--61st St.
Check out the Catholic school's first spring crafts fair, offering wares from local artists, jewelers, bakers and performers, as well as kids' activities and raffle prizes. All ages.
FREE Tours for Fours
Sat Apr 16 10:20--11:30am. 11 W 53rd St between Fifth and Sixth Aves (212-708-9480, moma.org). Subway: D, F to 47--50th Sts--Rockefeller Ctr; E to Fifth Ave--53rd St.
Parents and their four-year-olds tour MoMA's galleries. This month they'll focus on the theme "Earth, Sea, Sky: Nature in Art" as they explore the museum's collection. Tickets are distributed at 10am at the reception desk in the Cullman Education and Research Building (4 W 54th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves) on a first-come, first-served basis. Age 4 (younger siblings are allowed to tag along).
FREE A Closer Look for Kids
Sat Apr 16 10:20--11:30am. Museum of Modern Art, 11 W 53rd St between Fifth and Sixth Aves (212-708-9480, moma.org). Subway: D, F to 47--50th Sts--Rockefeller Ctr; E to Fifth Ave--53rd St.
Youngsters tour the museum's permanent collection and temporary exhibits. This month's topic, "Shape Up!," encourages them to focus on the importance of form and shape in artwork. Tickets are distributed at 10am at the reception desk in the Cullman Education and Research Building (4 W 54th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves) on a first-come, first-served basis, and include museum and program admission. Ages 5 to 10.
FREE Upper West Side Easter Egg Hunt
Sat Apr 16 10:30am--noon. Riverside Park, North Lawn, Riverside Dr at 79th St (646-872-9048, allsoulschristianchurch.com). Subway: 1 to 79th St.
Registration for this holiday hunt begins at 10:30am, when kids are divvied up into age-based groups for 15-minute hunts in Riverside Park. Raffles, prizes, crafts and candy sweeten the deal. Ages newborn to 10.
FREE Super Sbado: Quinceaera!
Sat Apr 16 11am--9pm. El Museo del Barrio, 1230 Fifth Ave between 104th and 105th Sts (212-831-7272, elmuseo.org). Subway: 6 to 103rd St.
During this month's complimentary fest, the Spanish Harlem institution honors the quinceaera, a special party to commemorate Latin American girls' 15th birthday. During the day visitors can check out exhibits, learn how to play the Puerto Rican cuatro (a mini-guitar with ten double strings), learn West African dance moves, rock out with husband-and-wife singers Abbasubi, make capias (handmade pins used as souvenirs at quinceaeras) or get dolled up in hats, gloves and crowns for a glamorous photo-booth session. All ages.
FREE Target Design Kids: Design Tales
Sat Apr 16 11am--1pm, 1:30--3:30pm. Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, 2 E 91st St at Fifth Ave (212-849-8400, cooperhewitt.org). Subway: 4, 5, 6 to 86th St; 6 to 96th St.
Kids can draw inspiration from Sonia Delaunay's colorful creations and write their own "instant poems," which they'll decorate with shapes and colors. Ages 4 and up.
FREE Poetry & Popcorn with James Stevenson
Say Apr 16 at 11am. Poets House, 10 River Terr at Murray St (212-431-7920, poetshouse.org). Subway: A, C, 1, 2, 3 to Chambers St.
Prolific New Yorker illustrator and children's author James Stevenson has written many poetry books with corn in the title (Popcorn, Sweet Corn, Just Around the Corner). Today he'll share these pieces and show kids his drawing process while they munch on—what else?—popcorn. Ages 4 to 10.
FREE Meet the Author: Darren Farrell
Sat Apr 16 at 11am. Greenlight Bookstore, 686 Fulton St at South Portland Ave, Fort Greene, Brooklyn (718-246-0200, greenlightbookstore.com). Subway: Q, 2, 3, 4, 5 to Atlantic Ave; D, N, R to Pacific St; C to Lafayette Ave; G to Fulton St.
The Brooklyn author-illustrator reads from and signs copies of his first book, Doug-Dennis and the Flyaway Fib, the story of an adorable sheep who eats all of his best friend's popcorn and concocts an ever-growing lie to cover it up. Ages 3 to 8.
FREE Kids Storytime at McNally Jackson
Sat Apr 16 11:30am--12:30pm. McNally Jackson, 52 Prince St between Lafayette and Mulberry Sts (212-274-1160, mcnallyjackson.com). Subway: N, R to Prince St.
Resident storyteller Yvonne Brooks (Meet the Goat Kids) hosts a themed storytime followed by a guided arts-and-crafts session. Ages 3 to 8.
FREE Habana Works Earth Day Expo
Sat Apr 16 noon--5pm. Habana Outpost, 757 Fulton St at South Portland Ave, Fort Greene, Brooklyn (718-858-9545, habanaworks.org). Subway: C to Lafayette Ave.
The popular eco-eatery hosts an afternoon of family fun, including a market of green vendors and composting workshops courtesy of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. All ages.
FREE It Takes Two
Sat Apr 16 noon--2pm. Books of Wonder, 18 W 18th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves (212-989-3270, booksofwonder.com). Subway: F to 14th St; L to Sixth Ave; N, Q, R, 4, 5, 6 to 14th St--Union Sq.
It's a double dose of husband-and-wife author teams: Eileen Rosenthal and Marc Rosenthal present their book I Must Have Bobo!—in which a boy and his cat must learn to share their favorite stuffed animal—followed by James E. Ransome and Lesa Cline-Ransome, who will share Before There Was Mozart, the story of Joseph Boulogne, a West Indian musical prodigy. Ages 3 and up.
FREE Science Fair
Sat Apr 16 noon--4pm. Scholastic Store, 557 Broadway between Prince and Spring Sts (212-343-6166, scholastic.com/sohostore). Subway: D, F to Broadway--Lafayette St; N, R to Prince St.
Keep the kids' brains active during the break with this fun and entertaining science session, where they'll be amazed by Elastic Power, Fizzy Foamy Science and other demonstrations. They'll have no idea how much they're learning! Ages 4 to 10.
FREE The Bunny Hop
Sat Apr 16 noon--3pm. Clove Lakes Park Playground, 1180 Clove Rd at Beverly Ave, Staten Island (718-816-5558, nycgovparks.org). Travel: From the Staten Island Ferry, take the S62 bus to Clove Rd.
Tots can bounce between games (think sack races and relays) and activities like face painting and crafts. As part of the festivities, your brood can also make headgear to sport in an Easter bonnet parade. All ages.
FREE Egg-stravaganza at the Staten Island Children's Museum
Sat Apr 16 noon--4pm. Staten Island Children's Museum, 1000 Richmond Terr at Snug Harbor Rd (718-273-2060, statenislandkids.org). Travel: From the Staten Island Ferry, take the S40 bus to Snug Harbor.
The Snug Harbor cultural institution and HealthPlus welcome the springtime holiday with an egg hunt and themed activities (don't miss a hop in the moon bounce). Kids are encouraged to show up in creative hats and bunny costumes for a chance to win prizes. Ages 1 to 10.
FREE GetGreen South Bronx Earth Fest
Sat Apr 16 noon--4pm. St Mary's Park, corner of St. Ann's Ave and 146th St, Bronx (getgreensouthbronx.wordpress.com). Subway: 2, 5 to 149th St--Third Ave.
In addition to all-ages art projects, a recycled-clothing fashion show, and hip-hop and dance competitions, families can take in information about recycling, sustainability and other green initiatives in the neighborhood. All ages.
FREE Sesame Street: Wild Words and Outdoor Adventures
Sat Apr 16 at noon. Sony Wonder Technology Lab, Sony Plaza, 550 Madison Ave at 56th St (212-833-8100, sonywondertechlab.com). Subway: N, R to Fifth Ave--59th St; E to Fifth Ave--53rd St; F to 57th St.
Elmo, Big Bird and the rest of the gang welcome Debra Messing, Jimmy Fallon and Meredith Viera for a fun adventure that sneaks in lessons about vocabulary, nature and numbers. All ages.
FREE Introduction to Bird Watching
Sat Apr 16 noon--1:30pm. Prospect Park Audubon Center, Prospect Park, enter at Ocean Ave and Lincoln Rd, Brooklyn (718-287-3400, prospectpark.org). Subway: Q, Franklin Ave S to Prospect Park.
Did you know that Brooklyn's largest park is home to more than 250 species of birds? We didn't either. Take a nature tour with your children and learn fun facts about these cosmopolitan avians. All ages.
FREE Butterfly Boogie
Sat Apr 16 at 1pm. Brooklyn Public Library, Central Branch, Grand Army Plaza at Flatbush Ave, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn (718-230-2119, brooklynpubliclibrary.org). Subway: Q to Seventh Ave; 2, 3 to Eastern Pkwy--Brooklyn Museum.
Central Park Zoo's Wildlife Theater troupe performs the lepidopteron-themed show The Tale of Flutterby and Piggle, about the friendship between a monarch butterfly and the plant that sustains him. All ages.
FREE Easter Egg Orienteering
Sat Apr 16 at 2pm. Prospect Park Picnic House, enter park at Prospect Park West and 3rd St, Brooklyn (718-287-3400, prospectpark.org). Subway: F to Seventh Ave; 2, 3 to Grand Army Plaza.
The traditional Easter-egg hunt becomes a lesson in survival skills when the Urban Park Rangers teach kids how to use a compass to search for clues as they track down the colored prizes. Ages 5 and up.
FREE Handiwork: Crafts and Tasks from the Past
Sat Apr 16 2:30--3:30pm. Lefferts Historic House, Prospect Park, enter at Flatbush Ave at Empire Blvd, Brooklyn (718-287-3400, prospectpark.org). Subway: Q, Franklin Ave S to Prospect Park.
It may be hard for your little ones to imagine a life before Wii and texting, but they can get a taste of pre-tech life at the park's centuries-old Dutch farmhouse, where volunteers demonstrate doll making, building whirligigs and other activities from the 1800s. Ages 6 and up.
FREE Children's Yoga Class
Sat Apr 16 3:30--4pm Usha Veda Yoga, 1104 Manhattan Ave between Clay and Dupont Sts, Greeenpoint, Brooklyn (ushavedayoga.com). Subway: G to Greenpoint Ave.
Kids get an outlet for all their excess energy during this workshop. They'll learn mudras (hand gestures), breathing techniques, poses and mantras (sounds and songs) to develop coordination and flexibility. Their imagination also gets a workout with games like yoga freeze dance, vinyasa sequences, obstacle courses and partner work. Donations accepted. Ages 5 to 10.
FREE Storytime at Book Culture on Broadway
Sat Apr 16 at 3:30pm. Book Culture, 2915 Broadway at 114th St (646-403-3000, bookculture.com). Subway: 1 to 116th St--Columbia University.
Every Saturday, booksellers lead storytime in Book Culture's Children Room. Expect to hear a mix of new and classic tales. Ages 2 to 6.
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