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Veterans Day for kids in NYC

Honor America's brave vets—and keep the kids busy on their day off—with exhibits, classes and shows

Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/LaNola Kathleen Stone


Veterans Day falls on a Tuesday this year, but just because you don't get a long weekend doesn't mean you can't take full advantage of this holiday with the kids. After experiencing the patriotic fanfare of the Veterans Day Parade on Fifth Avenue—the largest Veterans Day event in the nation, by the way—you can hit up one of our favorite ice-skating rinks in New York City for families, take in one of the best museum exhibits for children or consult our list of fun kid-friendly activities celebrating Veterans Day. 

 

RECOMMENDED: Things to do in New York City this fall with kids

 

What is Veterans Day?

Veterans Day is a federal holiday that honors people who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. 

 

When is Veterans Day?
Veterans Day is on Tuesday, November 11, 2014.

Veterans Day events for kids

Veterans Day Parade

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Families can honor those who have served in the military at the annual New York City Veterans Day Parade, commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Korean War. Servicemen and -women and marching bands galore march up Fifth Avenue from 26rd Street to 53rd St. The parade also marks the beginning of the Marine Corps Toy for Tots Drive. Spectators are encouraged to bring playthings with them to the festivities—the toys will be collected at different spots along the parade route. All ages.

  1. Manhattan
  2. Until Tue Nov 11
More info

Textile Arts Center Veteran's Day Mini Camp

  • Price band: 3/4

Creative kids can spend their day off from school at either of Textile Arts Center's two locations at a hands-on day camp, where they'll explore subjects like sewing, weaving, embroidery, printing, felting and dyeing. After a full day of working on their project—with breaks for organized play time—little makers will take home a finished creation. Ages 5-11.

  1. Textile Arts Center Classes, Park Slope 505 Carroll St, Third and Fourth Aves
  2. Until Tue Nov 11
More info

"Tico Tales"

  • Free

Literally Alive children’s theater presents this bilingual adaptation of Costa Rican folktales uses music and storytelling to celebrate the traditions and culture of the Central American nation. Get to the theater one hour before showtime to make a rain stick and jam out with the musician who will perform live during the performance. Free. All ages.

  1. Players Theatre 115 MacDougal St, at Minetta Ln
  2. Tue Nov 11 - Sun Nov 16
More info

Taste Buds Kitchen Veterans Day Mini Camp

  • Price band: 3/4

Little chefs can spend their day off at this competitive cooking workshop inspired by Food Network cooking shows. Tots will participate in culinary games and contests all while learning new cooking techniques and expanding their palates. Ages 4-8 and 9-14.

  1. Taste Buds Kitchen Cooking Camps 109 W 27th St, between Sixth and Seventh Aves, tenth floor, 10001
  2. Until Tue Nov 11
More info

Puppetworks presents The Emperor's New Clothes and The Snow Queen

  • Price band: 2/4

This Park Slope puppet theater is presenting two Hans Christian Andersen classics for its fall season—The Emperor's New Clothes and The Snow Queen. Kids will be enchanted by the artful marionettes and lively music. Call ahead for reservations, which are suggested. Ages 3 and up.

  1. Puppetworks 338 Sixth Ave, at 4th St
  2. Sat Dec 20 - Sun Dec 21
More info

"Mac Conner: A New York Life"

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

McCauley ("Mac") Conner made a career in the publishing industry of New York by contributing artistic creations. The exhibition features Conner's hand-painted illustrations for women's magazines and advertising campaigns made after World War II. His colorful art demonstrated American values, style and culture. All ages.

  1. Museum of the City of New York 1220 Fifth Ave, between 103rd and 104th Sts
  2. Sat Dec 20 - Mon Jan 19
More info

Body Blast Off Mini-Camp

  • Price band: 3/4

On Veterans Day, curious kids can head to this Brooklyn science center for an eye-opening anatomy workshop. Little ones will learn all about the human body through various hands-on activities, like making model hearts and identifying their fingerprints. Ages 5 and up.

  1. The Tiny Scientist 1624 Eighth Ave, at Windsor Pl, 11215
  2. Until Tue Nov 11
More info

More Than Meets The "I"

  • Price band: 1/4

Budding scientists can indulge their curiosities at "More Than Meets The I" at the Brooklyn Children's Museum. The hands-on exhibition exposes kids to STEM (that's science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields with cool exhibits on moleculary biology, nanotechnology, robotics and 3D printing. There's also a science-themed reading area curated by the Brooklyn Public Library. All ages.

  1. Brooklyn Children’s Museum 145 Brooklyn Ave, at St. Marks Ave
  2. Sat Dec 20 - Sun Jan 18
More info

Disney on Ice presents Frozen

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

It was only a matter of time: Finally, Disney on Ice will bring its rendition of the wintry mega-hit to the Barclays Center, just in time for the holidays. Alongside the beloved tale of Elsa, Anna, Olaf, Kristoff and his goofy reindeer Sven, Mickey and Minnie Mouse will host the performance and even invite old favorites like the Disney Princesses, characters from Toy Story, Finding Nemo and The Lion King to the ice. We can't think of a better way to gear up for snowman-building season! All ages.

  1. Barclays Center 620 Atlantic Ave, at Flatbush Ave, 11217
  2. Until Sun Nov 16
More info

"Guitar: The Instrument That Rocked the World"

  • Price band: 1/4

Come discover the evolution of this rockin' instrument through the centuries at this traveling exhibit from the National Guitar Museum. Kids can design their own guitar in a multimedia activity, play riffs on a virtual fret board and experiment with sound using different materials. Also, get a closer look at awesome items on display, including the world's largest playable guitar, the world's oldest electric guitar and a guitar inlaid with over 230 pieces of gold. Music fans will especially enjoy free, live performances by rock, jazz, blues, classical and kindie bands throughout the exhibition. See website for full schedule. All ages.

  1. Liberty Science Center 222 Jersey City Blvd, between Philip and Wilson Sts
  2. Sat Dec 20 - Sun Jan 4
More info

Automatic Studios Mini Camp

  • Price band: 4/4

Kids get to make a movie in a day at this creative workshop experience. Each group works together to write a script, work with lights, cameras, sound equiment, and even a green screen before editing together their final product for friends and family to see at the end of the day. Ages 8 to14.

  1. Automatic Studios Made in NY Media Center, 30 John Street, between Jay and Pearl Sts, 11210
  2. Until Tue Nov 11
More info

Big Apple Circus: Metamorphosis

  • Price band: 3/4

Gotham's favorite circus troupe kicks off an all-new sawdust spectacular for its 37th season, astounding families and young circusgoers with quick-chance transformation acts and enchanting illusions under the direction of Ringmaster John Kennedy Kane. You can duck under the Big Top to witness fearless trapeze flyers, gravity-defying acrobats, a mind-bending contortionist and a diabolo and foot-juggling team from no more than 50 feet from the action. Francesco the Clown and talented creatures including camels, horses and pups will also enter the ring, performing to tunes from the Big Apple Band. Kids get in free on Wednesdays (two-for-one offer, with purchase of adult ticket) for a two-hour show with intermission. Ages 3 and up.

  1. Damrosch Park at Lincoln Center W 62nd St, between Columbus and Amsterdam Aves
  2. Sat Dec 20 - Sun Jan 11
More info

Eloise at the Plaza Workshops

  • Price band: 3/4

The arrival of November means the holiday season is truly in full swing—celebrate with a host of festive Eloise-themed events at the Plaza. Whether you choose a beginner ballet class (Nov 11, 1–2pm), a pasta-making lesson (Nov 11, 3–4pm), a holiday etiquette course (Nov 14, 4–5:30pm) or a "Rawther Fancy" flower aranging class (Nov 25, 4–5pm), your little lady is sure to be delighted. Most events include expert instruction, refreshments and a favor. Reservations required.

  1. Eloise at the Plaza One W 58th St, at Fifth Ave
  2. Fri Dec 26 - Tue Dec 30
More info

"Somebody Come and Play: 45 Years of Sesame Street Helping Kids Grow Smarter, Stronger and Kinder"

Go behind the scenes with Elmo, Grover, Big Bird and other furry friends at the New York Public Library's Sesame Street exhibit. Somebody Come and Play: 45 Years of Learning on Sesame Street features a children's area full of books and games for young fans and scripts, scores and photos for older ones. There will also be film screenings and special family programming. All ages.

  1. New York Public Library for the Performing Arts 40 Lincoln Center Plaza, at 65th St
  2. Sat Dec 20 - Sat Jan 31
More info

Music Room for Kids

Kids can discover the music within at this hands-on exhibit at the Jewish Children's Museum. Little music-makers of all ages are encouraged to experiment with a range of instruments, including a finger chime and a giant xylophone. They'll particularly enjoy making all the noise they want (without fear of disturbing the neighbors) in the percussion center. Visit the Music Room on Sundays for an educational music workshop. All ages.

  1. Jewish Children's Museum 792 Eastern Pkwy, at Kingston Ave
  2. Until Thu Nov 27
More info

Boroughrama

Head to the Museum of the City of New York for a (friendly) battle of the boroughs! On two Tuesdays in November, kids can peruse the large-scale panoramic photos of NYC landmarks and everyday places in the new exhibit "Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao's New York: Assembled Realities." Then, they can rep their favorite borough by crafting a collage. No RSVP required. Ages 6–12.

  1. Museum of the City of New York 1220 Fifth Ave, between 103rd and 104th Sts
  2. Sun Nov 30
More info

"What's Up, Doc? The Animation Art of Chuck Jones"

  • Price band: 1/4

Chances are, the iconic cartoon characters of your childhood were brought to life by animation director and artist, Charles Martin "Chuck" Jones. Discover the origins of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Wile E. Coyote, Road Runner and more—all brought to life by the creative genius during a successful career that spawned over 300 animated films. A new Smithsonian traveling exhibit exploring Jones' process, inspiration and more will debut at NYC's own Museum of the Moving Image, before moving on to thirteen more cities. Re-visit the Looney Tunes in 23 of his animated films, view a documentary and peek into his animation process via original sketches, storyboards, photographs, an interactive experience and more. All ages.

  1. Museum of the Moving Image 36-01 35th Ave, at 37th St, 11106
  2. Sat Dec 20 - Sun Jan 18
More info

Liberty: A Monumental New Musical

  • Price band: 3/4

Young New Yorkers will learn about their city's history in this new musical directed by Evan Pappas. Fourteen-year-old Abigail Shapiro (of How the Grinch Stole Christmas at Madison Square Garden) stars as the titular Liberty, a young and determined French immigrant who arrives alone in the New York Harbor in 1884 and is forced to find her way in her new home.

  1. Theatre 80 80 St. Marks Pl, between First and Second Aves
  2. Until Tue Nov 25
More info

Canstruction

  • Critics choice
  • Free

It's not polite to play with your food—unless, of course, it's in the name of charity. During the contest's 22nd anniversary, families can gaze at towering structures built from cans of food by leading architecture and engineering pros, who compete for such titles as Best Meal and Best Use of Labels. Once the winner is decided at the end of the contest, all cans are donated to City Harvest to benefit hungry New Yorkers. Families can be a part of the action by bringing their own canned goods to the exhibition space. Last year, nearly 100,000 cans of food were constructed into pop art masterpieces, feauring some kid-themed favorites like Despicable Me and Batman. Ages 2 and up.

  1. Brookfield Place Winter Garden 220 Vesey St, at West St, 10281
  2. Thu Nov 20
More info

"The Butterfly Conservatory: Tropical Butterflies Alive in Winter"

  • Critics choice

It's a balmy 80 degrees in the museum's 1,200-square-foot vivarium, which holds up to 500 tropical lepidoptera. The free-flying butterflies often land on the shoulders of visitors, allowing tykes to come into direct contact with the ethereal creatures. All ages.

  1. American Museum of Natural History Central Park West, at 79th St, 10024
  2. Sat Dec 20 - Mon May 25
More info

Marvel's Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N.

  • Price band: 2/4

Superheroes-in-training are granted special S.H.I.E.L.D. access to the offical Avenger's S.T.A.T.I.O.N. (Scientific Training and Tactical Intelligence Operative Network) headquarters. Visitors can examine top-secret intelligence files and classified studies and experiments that delve into the origins of the powerful Avengers. View Captain America's Birth Pod, Loki's Scepter and other sacred artifacts, then get behind the controls of Iron Man's suit and see how you measure up against Captain America's physical abilities at this immersive exhibition. All ages.

  1. Discovery Times Square 226 W 44th St, between Seventh and Eighth Aves
  2. Sat Dec 20 - Sun Jan 4
More info

Radio City Christmas Spectacular

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

You'll get a kick out of this holiday stalwart, which—after 86 years—still features Santa, wooden soldiers and the leggy, spunky Rockettes. In recent years, new music, more eye-catching costumes, and advanced technology were introduced to bring audience members closer to the performance, including last year's debut, a number called "Snow", in which the decor, costumes and technology transform the stage into a white wonderland. All ages.

  1. Radio City Music Hall 1260 Sixth Ave, at 50th St
  2. Sat Dec 20 - Wed Dec 31
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