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The best things to do in NYC with kids this week

Look no further for the best things to do with kids this week including festivals, concerts, museum exhibits and more.

Spring has sprung, and with it some cool events around NYC. Check out our list of kid-friendly festivities below, including Earth Day for kids events. While it's rainy this week, be sure to visit our favorite NYC museums and keep busy with awesome indoor activities.

Things to do with kids, April 20–24


"Life at the Limits: Stories of Amazing Species"

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Prepare to be amazed by the sophisticated strategies and unique adaptations animals and plants use to survive, from elephant seals that can hold their breath for two hours to beetles that defend themselves by shooting explosive chemicals at their enemies. This educational and engaging gallery includes both live animals and models, as well as videos and interactive features. All ages.

  1. American Museum of Natural History Central Park West, at 79th St, 10024
  2. Until Sun Jan 3
More info

"Nature's Fury: The Science of Natural Disasters"

  • Price band: 2/4

If Hurricane Sandy has taught New Yorkers anything, it's that no one is safe from the forces of nature. Though we often hear news of earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, tornadoes and tsunamis obliterating areas around the world, many were shocked that a place like NYC could be hit by such a massive storm. Now families can learn more about these natural disasters through an interactive exhibit that lets kids bone up on the geological causes, the risks to humans, coping in the aftermath and how to predict future destruction. Hands-on activities invite visitors to monitor earthquakes around the world in real time, manipulate an earthquake fault, generate a virtual volcano, stand at the center of a roaring tornado and check out an interactive map of NYC during the hurricane in 2012. All ages.

  1. American Museum of Natural History Middle School Institutes Central Park West, at 79th St, 10024
  2. Until Sun Aug 9
More info

"Pixelated: Sum of Its Pieces"

Explore perception in the digital world at the Children's Museum of the Arts' new spring exhibition. "Pixelated: Sum of Its Pieces" is composed of works by various emerging and mid-career artists, including Omar Chacon, Christian Faur, Al Souza and Devorah Sperber. The works on view consider the intersection between art and technology; while some have been created using computers, others are handmade. Kids can let their imaginations guide them as they examine various pieces of art from different distances and viewpoints. Among the exhibit are paintings made with wax and bubble wrap, sculpture constructed with found objects and digital installations. Stop in for hands-on gallery workshops inspired by the exhibit including mega collages, found-object frames, rolled-paper mosaics and Minecraft masks, all led by one of the museum’s Teaching Artists. Ages 6 and up.

  1. Children's Museum of the Arts 103 Charlton St, between Greenwich and Hudson Sts, 10014
  2. Until Sun May 3
More info

Jack and the Beanstalk

  • Price band: 1/4

Help Jack find the Giant at this fresh re-telling of the classic English fairytale. The beloved adventure returns to the Swedish Cottage stage for the first time since 2008, bringing young audiences up a magical beanstalk in a 45-minute show with a revision of the original script and a live actor who will interact with the marionettes in fun new ways. Ages 3–9.

  1. Central Park Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre west side, at 79th St
  2. Sun Apr 26 - Sat Aug 22
More info


  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Not since Billy Elliot has an English musical import been so hyped. And, sort of like that blockbuster, Matilda centers on a young person trying to find freedom and self-expression in the world of oppressive adults. We look forward to hearing Tim Minchin’s score for this family-friendly tale of a telekinetic schoolgirl, based on the Roald Dahl children's book. Ages 4 and up.

  1. Shubert Theatre 225 W 44th St, between Broadway and Eighth Ave
  2. Until Thu Dec 31
Buy tickets

Earth Day in Union Square

  • Free

At New York City's annual Earth Day celebration in Union Square, tots can watch live performances, watch eco-friendly vehicles tear up the runway, and check out displays and demonstrations by local environmentally conscious businesses. Stick around for the after-work concert (3-7pm). All ages.

  1. Union Square 14th St to 17th St, between Broadway and Park Ave South
  2. Until Wed Apr 22
More info

The Earth and Me

  • Price band: 1/4

The Shadow Box Theatre invites families to celebrate Earth Day Teach with a beautiful performance that combines song, dance, puppetry and music, plus teaches tots how to live in harmony with Mother Earth. All ages.

  1. Symphony Space 2537 Broadway, at 95th St, 10025
  2. Mon Apr 27 - Thu Apr 30
More info

Night Lights at Wave Hill

  • Price band: 3/4

Wave Hill celebrates its 50th anniversary throughout the month of March, welcoming visitors to explore the grounds at a time when they are normally closed. Under cover of darkness, families can take in The Lightening, an enchanting animated installation of light and sound by artist Chris Doyle, in the Aquatic Garden. There will also be additional art from Doyle in the Glyndor Gallery. Purchase tickets in advance for a $2 discount.

  1. Wave Hill W 249th St, at Independence Ave, 10471
  2. Sun Apr 26 - Sun May 24
More info

Big Green Theater Festival

  • Free

Professional actors and directors mount plays written by fifth-graders in the fourth annual edition of this eco-conscious festival. The program doubles this year in honor of its fifth anniversary, bringing performance to two Bushwich public schools.

  1. The Bushwick Starr 207 Starr St, between Irving and Wyckoff Aves
  2. Until Sun Apr 26
More info

Jazz & Colors

This installment is only the second annual Jazz & Colors, but last year's kickoff edition was such an obvious success that the fest instantly seemed like an NYC fixture. The premise is simple: 30 jazz bands spread across the full expanse of Central Park to muse on a predetermined set of autumn- and New York–themed standards. But to really understand the effect of this ambulatory feast, you have to turn up and plot your own course. Bring your folks, your kids, your tourist friends—this is an NYC experience for everyone. Performers this year include Wayne Escoffery, Doug Wamble, Joe Alterman, Marika Hughes, Arturo O'Farrill, Kim Thompson, ELEW and many more. See jazzandcolors.com for the complete schedule.

  1. The Metropolitan Museum of Art 1000 Fifth Ave, at 82nd St, 10028
  2. Until Fri Apr 24
More info

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