Timeout New York Kids

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Last chance to see favorite exhibits, shows and holiday displays

It's your last chance to catch some of the city's top activities—AMNH's Spiders Alive!, Broadway's Elf, Park Avenue Armory's The Event of a Thread and more.

  • Photo: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    "The Event of a Thread" at the Park Avenue Armory

     

  • Photograph: AMNH\Denis Finnin

    AMNH's "Creatures of Light: Nature's Bioluminescence"

  • Photograph: Anna Simonak

    The Grinch's Holiday Workshop at CMOM

  • "NYChildren"

     

  • Photograph: Alex Strada

    "Space Invaders" at the Lehman College Art Gallery

  • Photograph: Dominic Perri

    AMNH's "Spiders Alive!"

  • Photograph: Sun Productions

    Angelina Ballerina: The Very Merry Holiday Musical

  • Photograph: Bertrand Guay/Big Apple Circus

    Big Apple Circus: Legendarium

  • Elf the Musical

  • Photograph: Ida Mae Astute

    iLuminate: Artist of Light

  • Mummenschanz

  • 30th Annual Wreath Exhibition

  • City Harvest Gingerbread Extravaganza

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    NYBG Holiday Train Show

  • Origami Holiday Tree at AMNH

     

  • Rockefeller Center Tree

     

Photo: Caroline Voagen Nelson

"The Event of a Thread" at the Park Avenue Armory

 

As we welcome 2013, we're also getting ready to say goodbye to a number of our favorite museum exhibits, shows and holiday displays of 2012. A handful of them—16 to be exact—are getting ready to close, either for good or for the season, in the next two weeks. Read through our list and put some on your to-do list—it is, after all, your family's last chance to swing through the air at The Event of a Thread or learn about eight-legged creatures at the American Museum of Natural History's "Spiders Alive!"


Museum exhibits

Ann Hamilton, The Event of a Thread

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Installation artist Ann Hamilton blends elements of nostalgia, sound, movement and time in her latest exhibition at the Armory. As tots roam through a field of swings, live events will allow them to explore their memories and connect to others around them. All ages.

  1. Park Avenue Armory 643 Park Ave, between 66th and 67th Sts
  2. Until Sun Jan 5
More info

“Creatures of Light: Nature’s Bioluminescence”

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

AMNH's latest blockbuster explores the natural phenomenon of light-producing organisms, from summer's fireflies to aquatic creatures that live in the depths of the ocean. Visitors walk through a series of re-created environments—such as A Summer's Night (with glowing fireflies), Mysterious Cave (with luminescent "fishing lines" strung by gloworms) and A Sparkling Sea (a look at Mosquito Bay on Puerto Rico's Vieques Island)—that introduce them to the world's glowing wonders.

  1. American Museum of Natural History Central Park West, at 79th St
  2. Until Sun Jan 6
More info

"The Grinch's Holiday Workshop"

At CMOM's latest interactive exhibit, kids immerse themselves in the world of Dr. Seuss's The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, meeting facsimilies of Cindy-Lou Who and all the Whos down in Whoville, plus the adorable dog Max and his (initially) repugnant owner, the Grinch himself. In addition to a scavenger hunt and sleigh-driving, children can take part in various themed workshops throughout the run of the show, from Halloween mischief and Seuss storytimes to Who-Ville Mad Libs, arts and crafts, a community mural and even a cooking demonstration in honor of Thanksgiving. The book's core message that goodwill toward all is what the holidays are all about is reinforced at every turn. All ages.

  1. Children's Museum of Manhattan 212 W 83rd St, between Amsterdam Ave and Broadway
  2. Until Sun Jan 6
More info

"NYChildren"

  • Free

In 2003, while filling up at a gas station in Arizona, photographer Danny Goldfield met a Sikh man whose brothers had been victims of hate crimes. The man's mission to make the world a safer, more understanding place inspired Goldfield to embark on his own quest to foster more inclusive communities. He then set out to photograph one child from every country in the world, with the caveat that each child had to be living in New York City. Nearly a decade later, the artist's exhibit of 169 portraits is still growing—but the poignant collection of portraits already reflects the universality of childhood and captures the city's multinational character while envisioning a more harmonious future. All ages.

  1. JCC in Manhattan 334 Amsterdam Ave, at 76th St
  2. Until Thu Jan 3
More info

"Space Invaders"

  • Free

The latest space-invader show to hit the scene is not another celestial battleground affair, but rather concerns how artists "attack" the physical spaces of Lehman College Art Gallery in the Bronx, designed by the preeminent Bauhaus modernist Marcel Brauer. The set of site-specific installations is a great primer on the art form for kids, who'll be bedazzled by the imagination of the 18 artists whose works "appear to grow out of the structure, hang down, wrap around or peer out from under" the architecture, itself a thing of beauty. Kids' workshops will take place on-site on Saturday December 15, from 10:30 to 11:30am. All ages.

  1. Lehman College Art Gallery 250 Bedford Park Blvd West, between Goulden and Paul Aves
  2. Until Wed Jan 9
More info

“Spiders Alive!”

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Get up close and personal with more than 20 species of one of the world's most essential predators. "Spiders Alive!" lets you and your kids come face-to-face with live spiders from the museum's research collection (the largest in the world), learn about spiders' behavior and anatomies, and take a picture atop a giant arachnid model. Be sure to check out 15-minute presentations in which the museum's resident spider experts handle live tarantulas. All ages.

  1. American Museum of Natural History Central Park West, at 79th St
  2. Until Sun Jan 6
More info

Family-friendly shows

Angelina Ballerina: The Very Merry Holiday Musical

  • Price band: 2/4

Katherine Holabird's lovable, rosy-hued mouse dances into the holiday season in this new take on the original play. When faced with a cancelled holiday dance pageant, Angelina and her friends must get creative to save the show. All ages.

  1. McGinn/Cazale Theatre 2162 Broadway, at 76th St, fourth floor
  2. Until Sun Jan 13
More info

Big Apple Circus: Legendarium

  • Free

Lincoln Center's outdoor performance area comes alive each fall and winter when it plays host to the Big Apple Circus. Expect clowns, jugglers, aerialists and lots of acrobats at this year's show. As always, all seats are within 50 feet of the ring.

  1. Damrosch Park at Lincoln Center
  2. Until Sun Jan 13
More info

Elf

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 2/4

If your kids were too young to enjoy the 2003 Will Ferrell film Elf, then introduce them to the holiday comedy in its brand-new Broadway incarnation. The story follows Buddy, an orphaned babe who's raised at the North Pole by the big man in red (played by George Wendt) after he crawls into Santa's bag one Christmas Eve. The real winter wonderland, though, is that of New York City—which you'll see as Buddy galavants around town as an adult, making stops at Central Park and Rockefeller Center. All ages.

  1. Al Hirschfeld Theatre 302 W 45th St, between Eighth and Ninth Aves
  2. Until Sun Jan 6
More info

iLuminate: Artist of Light

  • Price band: 3/4

America's Got Talent dance crew iLuminate brings their light-up suits and jaw-dropping dance moves to a new stage with their show, "Artist of Light." Through multimedia projections, light and movement, "Artist of Light" tells the story of Jacob, a young artist whose magical paintbrush is stolen by a bully. Jacob must fight to save his town without the help of his lucky tool. Ages 5 and up.

  1. Duke on 42nd Street 229 W 42nd St, between Seventh and Eighth Aves
  2. Until Sat Jan 5
More info

Mummenschanz

  • Price band: 2/4

Still original after all these years (40 to be exact), the surreal troupe uses a variety of everyday materials to churn out fantastical, puppet-like theater performances. The show is devoid of words, and instead creates a visual feast by transforming shapes and abstract forms into surprising characters and expressive masks. Ages 6 and up.

  1. Skirball Center for the Performing Arts 566 La Guardia Pl, at Washington Sq South
  2. Until Sun Jan 6
More info

Holiday displays

30th Annual Wreath Exhibition

  • Critics choice
  • Free

This multifaceted display of door hangings features 43 unconventional wreaths—the creations of fine artists, metal workers, horticulturalists, designers and more—representing themes that range from simplistic (nature) to specific (the recent impact of Hurricane Sandy). Expect to see the likes of pistachio shells, bicycle tubes and even Chinese takeout containers as you make your way through this innovative display of holiday cheer. All ages.

  1. Arsenal Gallery in Central Park 830 Fifth Ave, at 64th St, third floor
  2. Until Thu Jan 10
More info

City Harvest Gingerbread Extravaganza

  • Free

You may not be allowed to nibble on the confectionary edifices featured in Le Parker Meridien's third annual gingerbread-house exhibition, but you can gawk at the sugary sculptures, created by local culinary kings. This year's theme is "Landmarks Around the World," so expect to see recognizable buildings and sights in gingerbread form. For just a buck (which will be donated to City Harvest, an organization that helps feed people who are homeless), you can vote for your favorite and automatically be entered to win a five-night stay at the Parker Palm Springs. Hey, this is the season when wishes can come true! All ages.

  1. Le Parker Meridien 119 W 56th St, between Sixth and Seventh Aves
  2. Until Thu Jan 3
More info

Holiday Train Show

  • Critics choice

Some 150 landmarks featured in NYBG's popular diorama are made entirely out of plant-based materials such as twigs and acrons. Little locomotives zip along their tracks against a backdrop of diminutive sights that kids should recognize, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty among them. Tickets must be purchased in advance. All ages.

  1. New York Botanical Garden Bronx River Pkwy, at Fordham Rd
  2. Until Sun Jan 13
More info

Origami Holiday Tree

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

More than 500 handmade origami ornaments adorn the holiday season's craftiest Christmas tree. This year's theme is "Museum’s Collections," so keep your eyes peeled for baubles representing exhibits and creatures from the AMNH’s trove, including lemurs, spiders, monkeys and even crows. All ages.

  1. American Museum of Natural History Central Park West, at 79th St
  2. Until Sun Jan 6
More info

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

  • Critics choice
  • Free

An annual pilgrimage here never fails to remind us why we love New York City in December. A chance to gawk at this year’s behemoth, decorated with 30,000 LED bulbs and a Swarovski crystal star is well worth the fighting the crowds. The tree lighting ceremony will take place Nov 28.

  1. Rockefeller Plaza Fifth and Sixth Aves, between 48th and 49th Sts
  2. Until Mon Jan 7
More info


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