SummerStage Family Days return for the 2013 season
The City Parks Foundation’s annual summer event series for kids brings (completely free!) arts programs to families around the city.
Fri Jun 14 2013
Photograph: Dominic Perri
Summerstage Global Family Day
Every summer, NYC kids and families take to the parks for sun, surf, sport and the City Parks Foundation’s SummerStage. The immensely popular two-month event series promotes arts education for little ones as part of their (generally adult-oriented) repertoire of concerts, comedy, film, dance and theater during the five Family Days. These multicultural alfresco spectaculars involve tons of performances by local musicians and international arts groups, plus activity booths for kids, photo ops with characters (Disney is sponsoring this year’s events), and circus acts as part of the season-long International Contemporary Circus Festival. Check out what’s on tap for the 2013 SummerStage Kids’ Family Days—bonus points if you attend all five!
SummerStage Family Days
Your brood can participate in Zumba and yoga classes, get their faces painted and groove to family soul band Shine and the Moonbeams' R&B and rock tunes before checking out a performance by Something Positive Afro Caribbean Dance Theater. Haitian-born DJ Hard Hittin Harry ends the evening with a kid-friendly set. All ages.
Families can marvel at a genre-bending performance by Spanish Harlem's KR3TS Dance Company, which fuses ballet, modern, jazz, hip-hop, salsa, merengue and African dance, then check out comedic jugglers the Gizmo Guys and magician-juggler Lucky Bob (you can even try out some of the moves yourself at a hip–hop dance workshop). A demo by Double Dutch Dreamz and a set by DJ Idlemind, the official BAM deejay, are on tap as well. Visit cityparksfoundation.org for more information. All ages.
There are tons of concerts for adults at SummerStage, but this show is geared to the peanut gallery. Headlining the Central Park mainstage's family day is a street-theater collaboration between the Carpetbag Brigade and Colombia's Nemcatacoa Teatro, blending Andean music, spoken word elements, acrobatic stilt walking, butoh dance and contact improvisation. Folksy songstress Elizabeth Mitchell, Caribbean percussion group Natural Expression Rhythm Band, and African diaspora arts groups ASE Dance Theater Collective and Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy round out the lineup. Nearby, the Radio Disney Road Crew will be entertaining the youngest set with a pirate and princess costume party, complete with photo ops alongside Pirate Jake and Princess Sofia. For a complete schedule, visit cityparksfoundation.org. All ages.
- Critics choice
Families won't want to miss "Invincible: A Tribute to the King of Pop," in which a Michael Jackson tribute artist brings to life such hits as "Dangerous" and "Thriller." Queens kids and parents can then jam to the Brooklyn-based PitchBlak Brass Band and Little Club Heads, which offers a family-friendly dance party. The evening winds down with a set by DJ Chris Love, who spins tunes from diverse genres (think hip-hop, motown, calypso and jazz). For more information visit cityparksfoundation.org. All ages.
This Family Day features Illstyle & Peace Productions, a multicultural dance company whose dances are rooted in hip-hop fused with tap, deejaying and beatboxing. Multi-lingual kids' crooner Robbi K and DJ Stormin' Norman, founder of the Sundae Sermon Festival, appear today as well. For more information, visit cityparksfoundation.org. All ages.
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