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.
Mon May 18 2015
Photograph courtesy Children's Museum of the Arts
This week's events will leave you without a single doubt that NYC is the best place to raise a family. Get in on the best exchibits from NYC museums, check out the coolest NYC parks and even head out on a family cruise for a great summer weekend getaway with the family when you're ready for a nice break with the kids.
Things to do with kids, May 25–29
Enjoy a full week of educational pre–Memorial Day festivities happening in Green-Wood Cemetery, including an evening illumination of soldiers’ graves (May 23) commemorating the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War. On the holiday proper, stand watch as reenactors and musicians march to Green-Wood’s Civil War Soldiers’ Lot, then find a grassy spot on a hill and settle in for the 17th annual concert by the ISO Symphonic Band, comprising some of the most talented wind, brass and percussion students in the city. Afterward, hop on a trolley ($15) for a minitour of Battle Hill and other highlights, led by historian Jeff Richman. Registration recommended. All ages.
Watch model trains travel through an outdoor display complete with a mini World's Fair Unisphere. Hop on the "express" for a ride through parts of the Garden at an additional fee of $5 per person, per ride. All ages.
A standard afternoon in Brooklyn Bridge Park becomes a unique interactive experience when Danish artist Jeppe Hein’s installation takes over the public space. Curious kids will love walking through three separate works, discovering quirky additions to the landscape like benches that twist and curve, a mirror labyrinth that lets visitors see double (or triple) and a grid of sky-high water jets that create sporadic walls of H2O rising up from the ground. Families wander from the Manhattan Bridge along the waterfront to Pier 6, and get their hands on works of art instead of just observing from a distance, so make sure to bring a camera—the crazy-awesome photo opportunities will be more than worth the trip. All ages.
At this weekly program, kids will explore various design problems and figure out how to come up with creative solutions using simple materials and hands-on building techniques. Little ones and their caregivers can join in on storytelling, design vocabulary and other hands-on activities. Ages 2–5.
The Public Theater continues its seasonal tradition of offering free Shakespeare productions at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. This summer, The Tempest takes the stage, starring the likes of Sam Waterston (Newsroom) and Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family). Ages 10 and up.
Hop on board the ferry to Governors Island, where CMA will be hosting free family art workshops led by in-house teaching artists all summer long. This season's activities will be inspired by the island itself, with projects showing the importance of nature and parks. Get ready to track down natural and recyclable materials, add to installations and interact with the environment. Meet outside Building 14 in Nolan Park. Ages 1 to 12.
- Price band: 1/4
Celebrate the week on the flight deck of this retired World War II ship. The museum hosts tons of events, from a military tug-of-war to hands-on booths. All ages.
- Price band: 1/4
Shhh: Your kids might actually learn something while having fun at this five-day educational celebration. Prominent minds from around the world will unite to discuss the brain, time, the origins of the universe and more. This year's fest will include a special series of events to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Einstein's theory of relativity. On Sunday, May 31, attend the Ultimate Science Street Fair in Washington Square Park for loads of fun, free demos and workshops, where kiddos will learn about extreme weather, robotics and outer space. Visit www.worldsciencefestival.com for a full list of events, including the Flame Challenge, where scientists compete to communicate complex topics so that an 11-year-old would understand them (this year the prompt asks, "What is sleep?"), the Cool Jobs panel ($30), special apprentice programs ($30) and Stargazing. Hurry, tickets for these events sell out quickly! All ages.
Madison Square Park hosts some of the best names in children music for a special series of free outdoor entertainment for kids and their families. Kicking off the series is Brady Rymer and The Little Band That Could (5/28), who will be followed every Thursday by other kid faves like lullaby-loving fiddler Suz Slezak (6/4), girl-rocker Audra Rox (6/11), the Woody Guthrie-esque Alastair Moock and Friends (6/18), high-energy kindie band Recess Monkey (6/25), quirky crooners Danny Weinkauf & his Red Pants Band (7/9), tot-friendly sing-a-long group Songs for Seeds (7/16), joyful songstress Suzi Shelton (7/23) and finally, an interactive JazzReach program, Yes Indeed!, introducing youngsters to American blues (7/30). All ages.
- Price band: 2/4
Explore this Upper East Side play space during a stellar outer space–themed party. Kids can romp around in various adventure areas, chow down on pizza and play interactive games. Space is limited, RSVP by May 23. Ages 1 and up.
The Google gods swoop down from their lofty Chelsea offices to give NYC kids an afternoon of awesome exhibits and STEM-related workshops. Joining the tech giants is one of our favorite museums, the New York Hall of Science, teaching kids about nano engineering principles using color-changing nano crytals, plus Teslab, using electronics, circuitry and soldering to make a robot glow in the dark and The High Line, demonstrating how a green roof works with a hands-on project. Ages 7 and up.
- Price band: 3/4
Kids will be transported back in time as they spend the night under the roof of the world's largest Gothic cathedral. Youngsters will search for clues in a scavenger hunt led by a court jester, help a princess under a magician's spell, and meet star-crossed lovers and a bashful knight. After some medieval singing, dancing and crafting, tots will be lulled to sleep by a resident storyteller. Bring a sleeping bag and an imagination. One chaperone must be on-site for every three children. Ages 6 to 12.
- Price band: 2/4
Enjoy challah like you've never had it before by making it yourself! Roll, squish, braid and mold your own personal loaf to take home. All ages.
Two Fridays per month this summer, the FAB Alliance hosts themed outdoor activities for kids in public plazas for music, art and more. Families can head to Putnam Triangle Plaza (May 8, June 12, July 10) or Fowler Square (May 29, June 26, July 24) to enjoy hands-on art workshops with local professionals, croquet games and jumprope, sidewalk chalk, FDNY safety training demos, hula-hooping and reading circles with the Brooklyn Public Library. Ages 4 and up.
- Price band: 1/4
Several New York City public-school students explored an exhibition devoted to the late Korean artist Nam June Paik that included such unique works as a life-size robot made from old-school TV sets to portray the evolution of robotics. Now the pupils become the artists, displaying their response to the exhibit through work of their own. Four schools collaborated on original pieces, which include an interactive origami-teaching robot and child-sized robot suits (worn by the students and shown in a video) and a robot family comprising a mom, dad, baby, butler and dog. All ages.
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