Timeout New York Kids

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Adventures in BK & an impressive CMOM exhibit

Reporting back from a wonderful Memorial Day weekend: The Brooklyn Flea is definitely worth shlepping to from Manhattan. I had the best scoop of strawberry ice cream (courtesy of Blue Marble) that I've ever tasted, browsed for antiques, and had I not just filled up on brunch at  NoNo Kitchen in Park Slope, would have gobbled up what looked liked the best tacos in NYC. The kids around me were sweating, so if you go this Sunday with your tots, remember to bring water bottles and sunscreen and to take breaks to relax in the shade.

The telectroscope is also fun, but maybe not worth a deliberate trip, unless your kid has a particular affinity for tunnels or you have friends in London who'll wave to you. 

But here's something that is worth seeing: the Children's Museum of Manhattan's new exhibit, "Adventures with Dora and Diego."  Yes, it's annoying that it's tied into a TV show, and I didn't quite get—outside of the obvious funding purposes—why Dora and Diego were necessary elements. Kids will be intrigued by seeing familiar characters, but what about those kids who aren't allowed to watch the show? In my opinion, parents should be able to take their kids to a museum without having to field pleas for more TV time.

But if you ignore the boob tube factor,  you have a fabulous new floor where little kids (and even grade-schoolers) can play endlessly. I was there last weekend—for the museum's annual family benefit—and was impressed by a number of interactive displays. In one section, kids get to pretend they're veterinarians. There's a real scale where they can weigh stuffed animals, and screens where they can hold up animal x-rays to the light. They can also listen to various species' heartbeats.

The back of the exhibit is all about fiestas, and features a number of fun, albeit random, toys. Kids can plant felt flowers, work at a faux fruit stand, play a xylophone (they can press a button if they want background music), and pick up an actual telephone to listen to voicemail RSVPs from Dora's friends. If your kid is as obsessed with using the phone as most of the tots I know, he's going to love this part.

A bridge, made with foam bricks that kids can knock down and build back up, connects Diego's "animal rescue" area to Dora's party zone. Constructing the bridge is a natural way for kids to play together—and make friends. The exhibit will be up as long as the Dora and Diego craze continues, according to Executive Director Andrew Ackerman. So go check it out now, before (pure speculation here) "Adventures with The Mighty B! "  replaces it.

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