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Drumfolk New Victory Theater
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The best things to do in NYC with kids March 2020

Looking for the best things to do in NYC with kids? March 2020 has plenty of options for families!

By Danielle Valente
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UPDATE: Events in NYC have been cancelled due to coronavirus. Some offerings on this list might be affected—if you're unsure, please call ahead to confirm.

It's time to check out the best things to do in NYC with kids—March 2020 is overflowing with family-friendly fun! 

RECOMMENDED: Full NYC events calendar

From new exhibits to events at your favorite family attractions, these options provide a little something for everyone. Plus, with the warm weather on the horizon, you'll want to start mapping out cool outdoor activities for kids. We'll grab the sunglasses. 

March events for kids

Photograph: Courtesy Mystic Seaport

1. Spring break ideas for families

Travel

These spring break ideas for families are easy to dream about—especially when school vacation’s not far off! If you’re looking to avoid too much time on the couch binging on Netflix, grab the crew and head out on any of these spring break getaways. 

Photograph: Courtesy Craig Chesek

2. "The Nature of Color"

Museums Natural history American Museum of Natural History, Upper West Side

What is color? How does it work? Why do diamonds look they way they do? Do some colors really make us sad? These and other heavy questions are addressed by "The Nature of Color," a new exhibition opening at the American Museum of Natural History. The family-friendly show features interactive exhibits that invite kids to play and experiment with the science of colors by way of an immersive color-changing room that responds to movement, a light lab, an interactive game show and more. All ages. 

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Photograph: Courtesy Shutterstock

3. 2020 Astronomy Night Series

Things to do Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, Hell's Kitchen

Come check out the cosmos right from the flight deck of NYC's beloved aircraft carrier. Beginning March 6, the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Musuem will host its free, after-hours monthly star-gazing program. Not only will visitors have access to high-powered telescopes, but they'll be able to enjoy other fun activities like talks with scientists and crafts. Advanced registration is required. Please note that the  2020 debut event will not feature telescopes and stargazing on the flight deck. See the lineup below! Doors open at 7pm. Ages 10 and up.   March 6: BEYOND ME, a Musical and Scientific Work in Progress April 3: ORIGAMI…In Space! May 1: Water on Mars June 19: Moonquakes Oct 30: Deep Field – Views from the Hubble Telescope Nov 6: 40th Anniversary Voyager 1/Saturn Flyby

1.0_Logo_01.25.2019
Photograph: Courtesy CMOM

4. "Superpowered Metropolis"

Museums Childhood Children's Museum of Manhattan, Upper West Side

Ahead of its move in 2021, the Children's Museum of Manhattan will premiere a Gotham-inspired interactive exhibit this Valentine's Day. "Superpowered Metropolis" introduces patrons to Zip, Zap and Zoom, our urban pigeon mascots who are here to help little ones with brain-boosting activities. As children wander through a scaled-down version of the city, they'll tackle missions that ask them to solve problems, think before they act and examine things from fresh points of view. Ages 6 and under. 

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midcentury buildings in NYC
Photograph: Shutterstock

5. Second Sunday Family Tours at the Guggenheim Museum

Attractions Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Upper East Side

These interactive tours of the Guggenheim's galleries are geared for hands-on learning. These family-friendly events that take place the second Tuesday of every month will unlock young minds, and will make this iconic museum become as familiar as a favorite playground. Every tour is structured around a theme: Color Fields, Is It Art? and Off the Canvas, to name a few. Online registration is required. Ages 5 and up.

Photograph: Courtesy "Survival: The Exhibition"

6. "Survival: The Exhibition"

Museums Special interest New York Hall of Science | Queens, NY, Queens

What would you do if faced with an emergency? This fascinating interactive exhibit explains the tactics needed to overcome real-life situations, from staying hydrated in the desert to withstanding extreme cold. After learning CPR, discerning the difference between edible and non-edible plants, to name a few scenarios, exhibit visitors can end their experience with a visit to the Adventure Zone Ropes Course and Zip Line. Ages 5 and up. 

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Guggenheim New York
Photograph: Courtesy Guggenheim New York

7. Little Guggs at the Guggenheim Museum

Kids Classes and workshops Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Upper East Side

Start 'em young! The Little Guggs series on select Wednesdays and Sundays lets your tiny one explore the galleries with a guide, then create a work of art in the museum's studio. Storytime and snacks are included! Online registration required. Ages 2-4.

Russia! installation view
Photograph: David M. Heald/© The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation

8. Stroller Tours at the Guggenheim

Things to do Walks and tours Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Upper East Side

Wandering through galleries isn't always easy with a tot in tow, but the Guggenheim makes museum visits easier for new moms and dads—and even babies. On the second Tuesday of every month, a museum educator will lead Stroller Tours and take a group through current exhibits as little ones keep busy by playing with fun objects and trying out crafts. Whatever keeps them playing with the artwork! Online registration is required. Ages 24 months and younger. 

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Museum of Ice Cream
Photograph: Time Out/Ali Garber

9. The Museum of Ice Cream

News Weird & Wonderful

Ready your camera roll and prepare for a sugar rush: The Museum of Ice Cream is returning to NYC! The Soho flagship will open its pastel pink doors to sugary goodness on Saturday, Dec 14.  Read on for the scoop on the immersive experience (part playground, social media backdrop and sweet shop).

Photograph: Courtesy Matteo Prandoni/BFA.com

10. Sloomoo Institute

News Weird & Wonderful

New Yorkers take their immersive experiences quite seriously, and this fall promises a slew of sensory-filled adventures.  After indulging in creamy goodness at the Museum of Ice Cream's new Soho flagship, head over for a creative afternoon at Sloomoo Institute. This 8,000 square-foot entertainment hub, also in Soho, guarantees a slimy encounter like no other.  "We are all excited to bring the wonder and happiness of slime to the world in a large way,” says Karen Robinovitz, one of the three co-founders of the installation, alongside Sara Schiller and Toni Ko. “Our hope is that people of all ages will come to Sloomoo Institute and delight and evoke their inner child.” Sloomoo acts as an art exhibit and art class for kids, too. Visitors big and lil' will enter a black light cove with glow in the dark slime, let an EEG machine provide a sneak peek of your brain on slime and much more. For creative youngsters who love STEM project, this is one of the coolest fall activities for kids taking place this year.  Tickets are on sale ($38) and include an 8-ounce custom slime and other fun trinkets. For those who take their sliming super seriously, visitors can participate in a Sloomoo photoshoot (for an additional $30) where slime pours down on eager participants a la 90's Nickelodeon days.

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Photograph: Courtesy Aviator Sports + Dillon Clancy

11. Ice bumper cars at Aviator Sports

News Sports & Fitness

An amusement park staple is getting a wintry makeover.  If your little ones can't find their balance while ice skating in NYC, why not give ice bumper cars a try? They're making a Kings County debut, and deserve prime-time real estate on your winter bucket list.  Venture to Aviator Sports, the gracious host of Big Bounce America, for the super-cool experience. Taking a cue from the Winter Village at Bryant Park, one of Brooklyn's most popular family attractions will offer families (with kids ages 7 and up) a chance to enjoy a 15-minute session for $13 on a first-come, first-serve basis. Time to channel those Coney Island summer days, but with a few cold-weather modifications!  Before your bumper-car outing, here are a few things to note:  Sessions run on Fridays from 7:30–10:30pm, Saturdays from 2–5pm and 7:30–10:30pm and Sundays from 1–5pm. Aviator Sports states that there are 3 sessions per hour. Riders must be at least 7 years old, 36 inches tall and under 300 pounds.  Flat-toed shoes are required (no ice skates).  A parent or guardian's signature is required for riders who are under 18.  

Photograph: Courtesy New York City Transit Museum

12. "Streetscapes & Subways: Photographs by Pierre P. and Granville W. Pullis"

Museums Transportation New York Transit Museum, Boerum Hill

Take a step back in time to the start of NYC's transit system with photos from Pierre P. and Granville W. Pullis. This new exhibit provides a glimpse of the turn of the 20th century, when construction just began for the subway system. All ages. 

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Image: Courtesy Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History
Image: Courtesy Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History

13. "Worlds Beyond Earth"

News City Life

We can't wait to see "Worlds Beyond Earth," the new show that will premiere at the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History on Jan 21. It celebrates the Age of Exploration we're living in right now—humans have only made it as far as the moon, but we have sent out probes and spacecraft to collect data and send it back to Earth. Think about it: Robotic explorers have been to the surface of the moon, and documented the icy and volcanically active surface of Jupiter's moon Io, and observed the showers of liquid methane on Saturn’s moon Titan. "Worlds Beyond Earth" transports you to the far corners of our solar system and beyond with detailed scenes drawn from scientific data. Plus, it's narrated by Academy Award-winning actor Lupita Nyong’o—the cosmos never sounded so good. This is the first new show to run at the Hayden Planetarium since Dark Universe," narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson, premiered in 2013.

Photograph: Courtesy Museum of the City of New York

14. "City/Game Basketball in New York"

Museums Sport Museum of the City of New York, East Harlem

If your kids love to shoot hoops, you won't want to miss "City/Game Basketball in New York," a new exhibit that explores the game as a whole and those in NYC who play it. Learn more about the game's MVPs, history and impact in our neighborhoods. All ages. 

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Photograph: Courtesy Evan Joseph Images

15. Empire State Building's Reimagined Observatory Experience

Things to do Empire State Building | Manhattan, NY, Midtown West

NYC's most popular Instagram landmark underwent a renovation that is practically as breathtaking as its views of Manhattan. The $165 million reimagined Observatory Experience at the Empire State Building allows visitors to learn about all aspects of the iconic building: from the moment it was built to its place in pop culture today. Galleries focus on the construction, opening day and everything in between. Catch 70+ screens depicting the building's place in the NYC skyline, see if your favorite celebrity has made a visit and, of course, get a taste of King Kong! Giant ape fingers pierce the wall of a 1930s-themed office. Yikes! All ages. 

Photograph: Courtesy Children's Museum of the Arts

16. "Inside Art"

Museums Childhood Children's Museum of Manhattan, Upper West Side

This brand-new exhibit is bound to keep your children entertained for hours on end. Its name is quite literal, as little ones can crawl and climb life-size installations and sculptures. Ten renowned artists came together to make the impressive pieces, including a massive tabletop mystery puzzle, a “groundhog burrow” for humans and a spandex wall of tropical patterns to stretch and climb through. Ages 3–10. 

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Photograph: courtesy New York Transit Museum

17. Reign of the Redbirds at the New York Transit Museum

Museums Special interest New York Transit Museum, Boerum Hill

Reign of the Redbirds looks at the iconic subway cars that came to be known as Redbirds that first appeared in New York in 1959, and that were in kept in service until 2003. These workhorses evoke an era of great transformation in New York, and many of them met a poetic ending: decommissioned red cars were scuttled off the coast and helped anchor an artificial reef. Reign of the Redbirds is in the museum's atmospheric home in a decommissioned subway station under the streets of Downtown Brooklyn. Note: Museum is closed major holidays. $10, $5 ages 2-17, free 2 and under.

Photograph: Courtesy of the The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

18. British Airways Concorde at the Intrepid

Museums Military and maritime Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, Hell's Kitchen

Catch a glimpse inside the cockpit of the fastest commercial aircraft to ever fly across the Atlantic (at an impressive 2 hours, 52 minutes and 59 seconds). At the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, visitors are able to participate a new 20-minute experience of the British Airways Concorde, which provides insight into the plane's amazing technology. Please note visitors are required to climb stairs to board the Concorde. Ages 5 and up. 

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Museum of the Moving Image "Behind the Screen"
Photograph: Patrick Alvarado

19. Moving Image Studio at the Museum of the Moving Image

Museums Movies and TV

If you go to the Museum of the Moving Image be sure to make time for the drop-in Moving Image Studio, a maker space with hands-on activities: Your little visual artist can make stop-animation films, play around with a green screen or make a flip-book, to name a few. Ages 4 and up. 

Photograph: Courtesy Children's Museum of Manhattan

20. Family Activities at the Children's Museum of Manhattan

Museums Childhood Children's Museum of Manhattan, Upper West Side

Every day at the Children's Museum of Manhattan is filled with activities that will entertain, delight and educate your youngest ones—it's like the best playdate ever, again and again. There are more than a dozen activities every day, from puppet shows to storytime to mural painting to Fantastic Fort Building. Check the calendar for the day's offerings, and look for special events like Drag Queen Story Hour. All ages.

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Photograph: Courtesy of The New York Botanical Garden

21. Drop-In Nature Exploration at the New York Botanical Garden

Things to do Games and hobbies New York Botanical Garden | Bronx, NY, The Bronx

The Everett Children’s Adventure Garden offers guided activities every day. Your little horticulturist can climb boulders for a better view of the landscape, navigate Beth’s Maze and see the lily pads at the Habitat Hub. Come back each season to the 12-acre garden and check out new programs featuring hands-on activities and take-home projects. All ages.

New York Historical Society. PBDW architect renovations
Photogrpah: Jonathan Wallen

22. Meet the Presidents at the New-York Historical Society

Museums History New-York Historical Society | Manhattan, NY, Upper West Side

A special permanent gallery at the New-York Historical Society dedicated to the country's Presidents includes a detailed recreation of the White House Oval Office: Here's your chance to even sit behind (a copy of) the Resolute Desk and pose for the cameras. All ages.

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Photgraph: Courtesy Diana Mangaser

23. Family Hours at the Swiss Institute

Art Arts centers Swiss Institute, East Village

On the second Saturday of every month, the Swiss Institute holds Family Hours from 10am-11:30am and becomes a families-only scene. Never mind that it's really Family Ninety Minutes: you and yours have the run of the place during this time. Children are invited to take part in hands-on activities led by an artist, and you're free to wander the galleries of the recently-opened modernist jewel box of a building—the midcentury structure was renovated by Seldorf Architects. How nice to chat about art without the worry of disturbing your more grownup neighbors. Free. Ages 4-12.

Dear Evan Hansen
Photograph: Joan Marcus

24. Dear Evan Hansen

5 out of 5 stars
Theater Musicals
Open run

In this captivating original musical, actual teenager Andrew Barth Feldman now plays the title role of a high school student thrust into social relevance after a classmate's suicide. (Jordan Fisher takes over the role on January 28.) Benj Pasek and Justin Paul's score combines well-crafted lyrics with an exciting pop sound, and Steven Levenson’s book gives all the characters shaded motives. Read the full review.

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Photograph: Courtesy NYC GO and Off Broadway Week

25. Gazillion Bubble Show

4 out of 5 stars
Theater New World Stages, Hell's Kitchen

Husband and wife duo Fan and Ana Yang have traveled world-wide to dazzle their audiences with their self-titled masterpiece, "bubble artistry." As lights flicker and music plays, prepare to catch some of the wonkiest looking bubbles you've ever encountered. Kids and parents alike will love how these soapy spectacles create a can't-miss experience. Ages 5 and up.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Photograph: Courtesy Matthew Murphy

26. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

5 out of 5 stars
Theater Drama Lyric Theatre, Midtown West
Open run

Theater review by Adam Feldman  The world of Harry Potter has arrived on Broadway, Hogwarts and all, and it is a triumph of theatrical magic. Set two decades after the final chapters of J.K. Rowling’s world-shaking kid-lit heptalogy, the two-part epic Harry Potter and the Cursed Child combines grand storytelling with stagecraft on a scale heretofore unimagined. Richly elaborated by director John Tiffany, the show looks like a million bucks (or, in this case, a reported $68 million); the Lyric Theatre has been transfigured from top to bottom to immerse us in the narrative. It works: The experience is transporting. Jack Thorne’s play, based on a story he wrote with Rowling and Tiffany, extends the Potter narrative while remaining true to its core concerns. Love and friendship and kindness are its central values, but they don’t come easily: They are bound up in guilt, loneliness and fear. Harry (Jamie Parker) is weighted with trauma dating back to his childhood, which hinders his ability to communicate with his troubled middle son, Albus (Sam Clemmett); it doesn’t help that Albus’s only friend is the bookish outcast Scorpius Malfoy (the exceptional Anthony Boyle), son of Harry’s erstwhile enemy, Draco (Alex Price). Despite the best intentions of Harry’s solid wife, Ginny (Poppy Miller), and his friends Hermione (Noma Dumezweni) and Ron (Paul Thornley), things turn dark very fast. Set designer Christine Jones and lighting designer Neil Austin keep much of the stage shroude

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Come From Away
Photograph: Matthew Murphy

27. Come from Away

4 out of 5 stars
Theater Musicals Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, Midtown West
Open run

One of the more unlikely musicals on Broadway this season, Come from Away is the tense but humane story of an airport in Gander, Newfoundland, where 38 planes and more than 6,000 passengers were forced to land on September 11, 2001. The book, music and lyrics are by the Canadian team Irene Sankoff and David Hein. Read the full review.

28. Aladdin

3 out of 5 stars
Theater Musicals New Amsterdam Theatre, Midtown West
Open run

Aladdin. New Amsterdam Theatre (see Broadway). Music by Alan Menken. Lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice. Book and additional lyrics by Chad Beguelin. Directed by Casey Nicholaw. With Adam Jacobs, James Monroe Iglehart, Courtney Reed. Running time: 2hrs 20mins. One intermission. Aladdin: In brief Disney unveils its latest cartoon-to-musical project: the tale of a boy, an uncorked spirit and an aerodynamic rug. Composer Alan Menken adds new tunes to the 1992 original soundtrack, and Chad Beguelin provides a fresh book. Reputed highlights include James Monroe Iglehart's bouncy Genie and the flying-carpet F/X. Aladdin: Theater review by Adam Feldman What do we wish for in a Disney musical? It is unrealistic to expect aesthetic triumph on par with The Lion King, but neither need we settle for blobs of empty action like Tarzan or The Little Mermaid. The latest in the toon-tuner line, Aladdin, falls between those poles; nearer in style (though inferior in stakes) to Disney’s first effort, Beauty and the Beast, the show is a tricked-out, tourist-family-friendly theme-park attraction, decorated this time in the billowing fabrics of orientalist Arabian fantasy. “It’s barbaric, but hey, it’s home,” sings the genial Genie (a game, charismatic Iglehart) in the opening song, and that’s the tone of Aladdin as a whole: kid-Oriented. As in the 1992 film, the Genie steals the show from its eponymous “street rat” hero (Jacobs, white teeth and tan chest agleam). The musical’s high point i

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The Lion King
Photograph: Courtesy Joan Marcus

29. The Lion King

4 out of 5 stars
Theater Musicals Minskoff Theatre, Midtown West
Open run

Director-designer Julie Taymor takes a reactionary Disney cartoon about the natural right of kings—in which the circle of life is putted against a queeny villain and his jive-talking ghetto pals—and transforms it into a gorgeous celebration of color and movement. The movie’s Elton John–Tim Rice score is expanded with African rhythm and music, and through elegant puppetry, Taymor populates the stage with an amazing menagerie of beasts; her audacious staging expands a simple cub into the pride of Broadway, not merely a fable of heredity but a celebration of heritage. Minskoff Theatre (Broadway). Music by Elton John. Lyrics by Tim Rice. Book by Roger Allers and Irene Mecchi. Directed by Julie Taymor. With ensemble cast. Running time: 2hrs 40mins. One intermission.

Frozen
Photo: Courtesy Deen van Meer

30. Frozen: The Broadway Musical

Theater Broadway St. James Theatre, Midtown West

For the first time in forever, Disney's "Snow Queen"-inspired movie about sisterly love and a talking snowman is coming to Broadway. Elsa, Anna, Kristoff and the whole gang will turn the St. James Theater into a winter wonderland full of songs from the original soundtrack. Expect phenomenal sets and stage-magic, plus a certain Oscar-winning song to get stuck in your head.

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