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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.

Thunderbird American Indian Dance Concert and Powwow

Thunderbird American Indian Dance Concert and Powwow Photograph: Lee Wexler

It's a beautiful week in New York. Bundle up for some ice-skating in the city or cruise some of the best hot chocolate joints to stay cozy. If you're dreaming of your next winter wonderland vacation, now's also the time to schedule that sweet family ski trip!

Things to do with kids, January 26-30


A-Maze 'N Shabbos

Kids can explore a life–sized Shabbat–themed maze while completing puzzles, doing craft projects and participating in game shows along the way. They'll learn about the historical significance of Challah bread, then try their hands at braiding techniques in a Challah–making workshop. Ages 2 and up.

  1. Jewish Children's Museum 792 Eastern Pkwy, at Kingston Ave
  2. Sun Feb 1 - Thu Feb 19
More info

"Sesame Street presents The Body Exhibit"

  • Price band: 1/4

Explore the way the body works with help from Elmo, Oscar and the rest of the Sesame Street crew. At Liberty Science Center's newest exhibition, kids get schooled by their favorite characters on how different body parts function and learn ways to stay healthy through fun, hands-on activities. The large, interactive exhibit takes youngsters through a re-creation of Sesame Street where they'll get a look inside Oscar's digestive system, pull the lever on a giant sneeze machine and shop for healthy food at Mr. Hooper's Store. Interactive video games, sign language challenges, shadow puppets, puzzles and more keep kids entertained and teach them a thing or two along the way. Little ones can even meet Elmo in person on select dates throughout the exhibition. Ages 2 to 8.

  1. Liberty Science Center 222 Jersey City Blvd, between Philip and Wilson Sts
  2. Until Sun May 3
More info


  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

This dystopian fantasy from London-based theater troupe Complicite asks the audience what life might be like if corporations were more powerful than countries. It's up to Lionboy, who happens to be able to speak to cats, to rescue his parents from the grasp of The Corporacy by embarking on a cross-continental journey. Along the way, the he'll encounter oddities including a floating circus, a hot air balloon, a pride of talented lions and a clever chameleon. Ages 8 and up.

  1. New Victory Theater 209 W 42nd St, between Seventh and Eighth Aves
  2. Sun Feb 1
More info

Thunderbird American Indian Dancers Dance Concert and Powwow

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

The oldest Native American dance company in New York, the Thunderbird American Indian Dancers puts on a show of dances, storytelling and traditional music at the Theater for the New City. Popular segments include the a caribou dance from the Inuit, a buffalo dance from the Hopi and a stomp dance originating in the Southeast. At the end, the audience can share the joy of the powwow during the friendship-themed Round Dance. Stick around after the children's matinee performances (Saturdays and Sundays at 3pm) to meet the members of the troupe and pose for photos with them. Ages 3 and up.

  1. Theater for the New City 155 First Ave, between 9th and 10th Sts
  2. Sun Feb 1 - Sun Feb 8
More info

"Hello from Japan!"

  • Price band: 1/4

Delve into the cultural traditions of Tokyo and explore two very different sides of the city when this interactive exhibit takes over the Children's Museum of Manhattan's lower-level gallery. Girst comes Kawaii Central, a bustling street in the Harajuku district, inviting little ones to sing karaoke, snap pics in a photo booth, serve up an imaginary Japanese meal and design cute mascots inspired by the kawaii style. After the colorful cityscape, seek solace in the Shinto shrine park, a beautiful natural area where they'll build bridges, crawl through a gorest, meet kami spirits and form dreams for the future at a wishing tree. Discover evern more about Japanese cuisine, art and national holidays via monthly family festivals supplementing the exhibit through May. All ages.

  1. Children's Museum of Manhattan 212 W 83rd St, between Amsterdam Ave and Broadway, 10024
  2. Until Sun May 17
More info

Winter Mini Camps at the Tiny Scientist

  • Price band: 2/4

Keep your experimental tots from going mad over winter break at this fun and educational science workshop at The Little Scientist. Kids will make their own snow and crystals, learn about heat and create small storms. Crafts like fractal artwork will demonstrate the symmetry of nature for youngsters. Sign-ups are available for half, full, or extended days. Ages 5 and up.

  1. The Tiny Scientist 1624 Eighth Ave, at Windsor Pl, 11215
  2. Until Fri Jan 30
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. Until Sun Jun 28
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

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 Jan 30
More info

MoMA Art Lab: Places and Spaces

  • Price band: 1/4

This interactive space at the MoMA allows visitors to discover places and spaces in modern and contemporary art, then design, draw, build and create landscapes, cityscapes, real places and imagined spaces. The lab is located at the Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education and Research Building, on the first floor. Ages 4–7

  1. Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) 11 W 53rd St, between Fifth and Sixth Aves, 10019
  2. Sun Feb 1 - Mon Aug 31
More info

Dinosaur Encounter at the Staten Island Zoo

  • Price band: 1/4

If your kids are too young to see Jurassic Park, pay a visit to some friendlier prehistoric creatures instead at the Staten Island Zoo's "Dinosaur Encounter," Eight life-sized, robotic dinosaurs—on loan from Field Station: Dinosaurs—educate and entertain kids with growling sounds and movements generated by motion detectors. Dilophosaurus and Triceratops welcome you, and pet dinosaur puppets teach children about everything from the Mesozoic Era to extinction. The exhibit offers little ones the chance to see and even touch living relatives of the dinosaur, like emus, chickens and snakes. These friendly dinosaurs are only visiting for the winter so hightail it over the the heated tent they call home before they head back to New Jersey. Ages 3–10.

  1. Staten Island Zoo 614 Broadway, between Colonial Ct and Glenwood Pl
  2. Until Wed Apr 1
More info

Little New-Yorkers

  • Price band: 1/4

The youngest NYC residents explore their city through storytelling, singing, and activites like playing with old-timey toys. In January, learn about one of the museum's characters, Cornelia Van Varick, and make a paper woven Turkish carpet (1/6, 1/9), then hear mythical tales from far-off places, starting with India's story of Tansen the great music magician (1/13, 1/16) then learn about Greek god Helios (1/20, 1/23). Discover how different animals became zodiacs on the Chinese calendar and celebrate the year of the goat by making fortune cookies (1/27, 1/30). Ages 3 to 5.

  1. New-York Historical Society 170 Central Park West, between 76th and 77th Sts
  2. Until Fri Jan 30
More info

One Hundred Books Famous in Children’s Literature

Little bookworms can take in some literary history at the Grolier Club, America's oldest bibliophile society. "One Hundred Books Famous in Children's Literature" showcases kid-friendly tomes beloved by readers big and small for generations—from time-honored classics like Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Winnie-the-Pooh and Grimm's Fairy Tales to modern favorites like Harry Potter. The collection includes a number of rare books and early or first editions, as well as a Latin schoolbooks dating back to 1658. Tots can page through reading copies of many of the books on display and families can wander through the exhibit, guided by a cell phone audio tour. All ages.

  1. The Grolier Club 47 E 60th St, between Madison and Park Aves
  2. Until Sat Feb 7
More info

Robot Swarm

Kids will marvel at the Museum of Mathematics' futuristic new exhibit, featuring more than 20 small, light-up robots. The 'bots zoom across the floor, interacting with museum-goers and communicating with each other thanks to high-tech motion control and positioning systems. Families can learn all about the exciting field of swarm technology in robotics and explore the mathematical rules that make the robots work. All ages.

  1. Museum of Mathematics (MoMath) 11 E 26th St, between Fifth and Madison Aves, 10010
  2. Until Mon Dec 14
More info

Yak Packers

  • Price band: 1/4

A drop-in program for young children, Yak Packers invites kids explore Himalayan art inspired by the collection through looking and touching. Among the fun your tot might encounter are storytelling, trips to the galleries, free play and art-making activities. Ages 2 to 4.

  1. The Rubin Museum of Art 150 W 17th St, at Seventh Ave, 10011
  2. Until Thu Jan 29
More info

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