May events calendar for kids in NYC

Enjoy our May events calendar for kids! Your littles will dig these fun festivals, exhibits and events.

Photograph: Courtesy Filip Wolak
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See our May events calendar for kids to make the most of your summer in 2019! With warmer temperatures come exciting outdoor activities for kids, fairs, festivals and other great stuff to explore in your neighborhood. It's also just about time to enjoy local water parks and splash parks, so start scoping out your favorite spots nearby.

RECOMMENDED: See our full NYC events calendar for kids

Looking for fun ideas for indoor activities for kids? You'll want to explore our favorite underrated museums and children's museums!

May events for kids

Photograph: Courtesy Christopher Duggan
Theater, Children's

Olive & Pearl

icon-location-pin Ailey Extension, Hell's Kitchen
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In this imaginative theater performance, a young girl, Olive, spends her day playing with her loving Granny, Pearl, while discovering the meaning of home. As they go on imaginary journeys, they're joined by puppet friends such as a little mouse in a hole, a fish in a fishbowl, and a fairy in the fairy tree. The show is full of creative sensory experiences, silly moments and original songs that capture audiences. All 11:45am shows are relaxed performances. The March 16 performance will follow with a puppet workshop at 12:15. Ages 2–5.

Photograph: Nickolas Muray, courtesy the Brooklyn Museum
Museums, Art and design

"Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving"

icon-location-pin Brooklyn Museum | Brooklyn, NY, Prospect Park
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NYC can't seem to get enough of Frida Kahlo. After the success of the New York Botanical Garden's 2015 exhibition on the artist, the Brooklyn Museum will explore her life and work in "Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving." Patrons will be able to take a glance at paintings, drawings, photographs and other items, including clothing and cosmetics. This will be the first time that Kahlo's personal objects from the Blue House in Mexico City will be on display. Be sure to check out the family and kids' programming such as Stroller Tours (March 13 and May 10 at 10am, $25), Creativity Lab (April 14 at 5:30pm), Photography: Crafted Identity (Saturdays from 1:30–3:30pm, ages 14-17). All ages. 

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Photograph: Courtesy Queens Botanical Garden
Things to do, Sport events

Daffodil Dash 4k Fun Run

icon-location-pin Queens Botanical Garden, Queens
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Make a run for it (or walk calmly with a stroller in tow—no judgment) as the blooms begin to blossom at Queens Botanical Garden! Enjoy a 4k Fun Run, which supports the venue's educational programs. We'll catch you at the finish line! Registration is required for the 8am event (gates open at 6:30am). Learn more about participating here. All ages. 

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Theater, Children's

Family Theater Series

icon-location-pin BMCC Tribeca PAC, Tribeca
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BMCC Tribeca will delight audiences with a variety of performances in its Family Theater series. Catch a fan-favorite, The Magic School Bus, on March 23 at 11am (best for ages 5–12), or watch Chris Haughton's book come to life with Shh! We Have A Plan on May 11 at 11am (best for ages 3–8) as the quirky characters try their hardest to capture a bird perched in a tree. Learn more about family-friendly events here. Ages 3–11. 

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Photograph: Courtesy Pixabay + 12019
Things to do, Festivals

Sheep Shearing Festival

icon-location-pin Queens County Farm Museum, Queens
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Even farm animals need a little touchup in the hair, er, fur department. At the Queens County Farm's annual sheep shearing event, families will also be able to check out shearing and wool spinning demos, enjoy crafts, local food vendors, music and much more. All ages. 

Photograph courtesy Lincoln Center
Kids, Festivals

LC Kids

icon-location-pin Lincoln Center, Hearst Plaza, Upper West Side
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Every year Lincoln Center presents a phenomenal lineup of programming for kids of all ages. This years, wee ones (ages 0–18 months) can explore their surroundings with Rain, a sensory performance that includes touch and music, while slightly older babies (ages 6 months-36 months) can join a friendly environment for creative exploration with Pulsar. Highlights for big kids include Is this a Dagger? The Story of Macbeth (ages 8 and up), a retelling of the classic tale by a Scottish storyteller; You Me and the Space Between (ages 6 to 12), a performance about an inventive child that utilizes storytelling and choreography; Soundtrack '63 (ages 12 and up), a multimedia musical experience about music's relationship to social justice. A number of shows offer relaxed performances for neurodiverse audiences. Visit here for more details. 

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Photograph: Courtesy The Morgan Library & Museum
Art

“Tolkien: Maker of Middle Earth”

icon-location-pin The Morgan Library & Museum, Murray Hill
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Bookworms will not want to miss The Morgan Library’s tribute to J.R.R. Tolkien. Those who visit this new exhibit will be able to get a first-hand look at the author’s original drawings, manuscripts, family memorabilia and artifacts that depict how his fantasy world came to be. All ages. 

Spyscape
Photograph: Courtesy Scott Frances
Museums, Special interest

“DRIVEN: 007 x SPYSCAPE”

icon-location-pin Spyscape, Midtown West
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NYC's museum dedicated to all-things espionage will soon shed some light on 007. The first James Bond exhibit in New York examines the creativity that went into bringing the movies to life. Car aficionados: You'll be pleased to know that Bond's Aston Martin DB5 will on display. There are also many interactive components to the exhibit: You can check out gadgets and gizmos in the Q's lab, get a behind-the-scenes look at how the Skyfall finale came to be and so much more. All ages. 

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Photograph: Nickolas Muray, courtesy the Brooklyn Museum
Museums, Art and design

"Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving"

icon-location-pin Brooklyn Museum | Brooklyn, NY, Prospect Park
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NYC can't seem to get enough of Frida Kahlo. After the success of the New York Botanical Garden's 2015 exhibition on the artist, the Brooklyn Museum will explore her life and work in "Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving." Patrons will be able to take a glance at paintings, drawings, photographs and other items, including clothing and cosmetics. This will be the first time that Kahlo's personal objects from the Blue House in Mexico City will be on display. Be sure to check out the family and kids' programming such as Stroller Tours (March 13 and May 10 at 10am, $25), Creativity Lab (April 14 at 5:30pm), Photography: Crafted Identity (Saturdays from 1:30–3:30pm, ages 14-17). All ages. 

Photograph: Courtesy Richard Termine
Theater

The New Victory Theater 2018/2019 Season

icon-location-pin New Victory Theater, Midtown West
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There's nothing like scoring tickets to a show in NYC. As the 2018-2019 lineup quickly approaches, the New Victory Theater—which gives families an opportunity to enjoy international performances—has provided a glimpse into what fans can expect when the curtains rise (dance, puppetry, circus acts, to name a few). Here's the new lineup:  Machine de Cirque Opens Sept 28 Tinga Tinga Tales Oct 13–20 Beauty and the Beast Oct 26–Nov 11 Velocity Opens Nov 16 Circus Abyssinia: Ethiopian Dreams Opens Nov 30 Emily Brown and the Thing Jan 26–Feb 3 A Simple Space  Feb 9-24  Ajijaak on Turtle Island Opens March 1, 2019 Fiesta Con Sonia De Los Santos March 15 & 16  The Nature of Forgetting  March 23–31    SNAP Opens April 13, 2019   Silent Voices: Lovestate Opens May 2, 2019   Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days Opens May 10, 2019

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Photograph: Courtesy Books Are Magic
Kids

Story Time at Books Are Magic

icon-location-pin Books Are Magic, Carroll Gardens
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Each Saturday and Sunday, this enchanting independant kids bookstore in Cobble Hill hosts a story time. Authors read from their dazzling picture books, that can be incredibly funny, heart-warming, educational or all of the above. Be sure to check out all of the store's unique special events for children and young adult readers, too. Check out the lineup here. All ages.

Photograph: Courtesy Filip Wolak
Things to do, Classes and workshops

Family Afternoon—Heart Strings

icon-location-pin The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Central Park
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To celebrate "Play It Loud"—an exhibit exploring over 100 instruments used by rock 'n roll legends—The Met will host a program that allows little ones to get their creative juices flowing. Thanks to the theme, "Heart Strings," junior rock stars can explore and create during this drop-in family offering. Learn more here. Ages 3–11. 

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Tyrannosaurus Rex, 4th floor halls
Photograph: Courtesy Craig Chesek
Museums, Natural history

“T. rex: The Ultimate Predator”

icon-location-pin American Museum of Natural History, Upper West Side
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Prepare to dig deep like a true paleontologist thanks to "T. Rex: The Ultimate Predator." The Museum of Natural History's new exhibit will give visitors a peek into how the massive creatures came to be. Patrons will get a good look at the new findings about the tyrannosaurs genus, with a special focus on our main man, the T. rex. Unlike what people may think—and what movies led us to believe—T. rex is simply one part of the species' 100-million-year evolution. Who knew that tyrannosaurs species actually include small, agile creatures? For real! All ages. 

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Things to do

El Museo del Barrio's Coquí Club

icon-location-pin El Museo del Barrio, East Harlem
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They say it's best to start learning a second language as soon as you can. That's why El Museo del Barrio invites its tiniest of patrons to enjoy a monthly bilingual program which features storytelling sessions, gallery projects, crafts and other fun things to do. Each month features a new theme: Afrodances in February, Coquí Cumpleaños in March,  A Carnaval of Colors in April and Colombia in May. Find out additional information about the program here. Ages 1–4. 

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Things to do

La Mama Kids

icon-location-pin Ellen Stewart Theatre at La MaMa E.T.C., East Village
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La MaMa Theater is opening the curtains and bringing the theater fun to kids. Through a variety of workshops and performances, little attendees will be exposed to a Shakespeare retelling, a dance workshop and much more. The schedule of events—held at 66 E 4th St— is as follows:  While You Are Out (March 23 at 2pm, March 24 at noon): Midsummer Night’s Dream meets puppets in this interactive experience where kiddies are encouraged to dress up as faries and woodland creatures.  Three Dolls (March 31 at 2pm, April 6 at noon, April 7 at 2pm): Three dolls prove the true meaning of friendship in this puppet show.  La MaMa Moves! Dance Workshop (May 18 at noon): Get ready to bust a move with choreographer Dan Safer Family Play Date (June 9 at noon): A family cabaret performance with elements of theater, dance and music.  Ages 4–12. 

Photograph courtesy Martin Seck
Museums, Art and design

A Closer Look for Kids: Places, Spaces, and Installations

icon-location-pin Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Midtown West
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Led by museum educators, this program allows kids to go on free tours throughout the museum and participate in activities where they’ll view modern masterpieces and contemporary art and try to find images of people on their own, together or in a crowd within the galleries. Tickets are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Meet at the Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education and Research Building at 4 W 54th St. Ages 5 to 10.  

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Rendering of a green dinosaur
Photograph: Courtesy Wildlife Conservation Society
Things to do, Quirky events

Bronx Zoo Dinosaur Safari

icon-location-pin Bronx Zoo Wildlife Conservation Society | Bronx, NY, The Bronx
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Advertised as the "biggest, most realistic dinosaur ride in America," the new attraction shuttles families (with narration) through a wooded area packed with 40 ultra-realistic (read: gigantic) animatronic dinosaurs. One of the most notable features will certainly be the two towering Tyrannosaurus rex—as well as the vegetarian Omeisaurus that stretches an impressive 60 feet long. And to make things as realistic as possible, the Bronx Zoo teamed up with a paleontologist from the American Museum of Natural History—Don Lessem even served as an advisor on the original Jurassic Park! The experience is topped off with an ADA-accessible fossil dig area for kids to play in, plus some additional dino-themed activities around the zoo. All ages. 

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