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Spring break 2012: Things to do with NYC kids

Offerings at museums and other sights around town will keep your brood occupied during the public school recess, which runs from April 6 to April 15.

  • Celebrate Earth at BCM

  • 74DiMennaWinterBreak

  • Photograph: Elizabeth Green

    NYC Kid's Week

  • Swimming at the YMCA

  • Photograph: Antony Morales

    Liberty Science Center "Touch Tunnel"

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    Children's Museum of Manhattan

  • Transit Museum Sharin A Ride

Celebrate Earth at BCM

In addition to this week's multitude of free activities and mini-camps, a number of local institutions will host special activities during the public school spring break (April 6--15). Here are some of our favorites.

Best of the Arts Spring Festival at CMOM
Catch performances from Jody Oberfelder Dance Projects, Jennfer Muller/The Works and the Garth Fagan Dance Company at the Children's Museum of Manhattan. See cmom.org for a detailed schedule. Apr 7--15 10am--5pm (until 7pm on Saturdays). Children's Museum of Manhattan. $11. All ages.

Celebrate Earth! at Brooklyn Children's Museum
Leave it to New York's first LEED-certified museum to throw in some seriously eco-friendly programming in the weeks leading up to Earth Day. Through various hands-on activities and workshops, kids can get messy with clay art, experiment with heat transfer and even make projects out of recycled materials. See brooklynkids.org for a detailed schedule. Apr 9--14 9:30am--5pm (extended hours). Brooklyn Children's Museum. Free with museum admission: $7.50, children under 1 free. All ages.

DiMenna Children's History Museum's Family Learning Labs
Participate in a scavenger hunt around the museum, team up as a family to compete in an American History quiz show or create history-themed crafts. Apr 11--15 11am--5pm. DiMenna Children's History Museum. Ages 6 and up.

Kids' Week in the parks
Offered in all five boroughs, this free program introduces kids to the city's wetland ponds, woods, streams and other natural landscapes. The Urban Park Rangers present a different theme every day, with complementary activities including nature crafts and insect trivia. Apr 6, 9--13. Various times and locations in the five boroughs. (nycgovparks.org). Free. Ages 5 and up.

Liberty Science Center
Take your time crawling through the Touch Tunnel or exploring other exhibits—the New Jersey museum offers extended hours during the holiday. Special programming includes a program about seeing eye dogs and a special presentation about mathematician Archimedes. Through Apr 15. Hours vary. Liberty Science Center. $15.75, children under 13 $11.50. All ages.

The Transit Museum's Sharin' a Ride
A lively 30-minute original musical schools little ones in the history of NYC's mass transportation system, with special attention paid to eco-friendly details. Carbon Footpring Man and the Professor lead the show, singing, dancing and interacting with young viewers. Apr 10--13 at 11am, 1:30pm; Apr 14--15 at 1:30, 3:30pm. New York Transit Museum. $7, seniors and children ages 3--17 $4. Ages 4 and up.

YSplash Week
Aching for a taste of summer? Head to your local YMCA, where kids can receive free swimming lessons. Though the program is free, registration is required. Various YMCAs; see ymcanyc.org for a list of locations.

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