September events calendar for kids in NYC

Check out our September events calendar for kids to find the best festivals, performances and more events for kids
Photograph: Courtesy Hudson River Park Trust
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The summer's out of reach, but there's no reason to sulk.There are so many amazing kids' events taking place throughout the city that your crew will be more than willing to swap the bathing suit for a cozy sweater (and pumpkin-spiced treat). Check out our September events calendar for kids and get ready to plan a fun outing with your whole brood.

Summer? Oh, we forgot all about you! See you next year. 

RECOMMENDED: Full NYC events calendar for families 

Don't forget to participate in fall's most anticipated activities: a trip to the best apple picking NYC has to offer, the most exciting fall festivals and fairs in the area and a pitstop at the ideal locales to go pumpkin picking near NYC.

(Psst, parents: We won't tell your kiddos that you're scoping out our back-to-school guide or the NYC school calendar 2018–2019.) 

September 2018 events calendar for kids

Fri Sept 30
Things to do

The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze

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There's nothing else quite like the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze for experiencing the magic and wonder of Halloween with your family. The attraction is set along the beautiful 18th century riverside landscape of Van Cortlandt Manor, and you can stroll along the Pumpkin Promenade to take in over 7,000 Jack O' Lanterns (all of which are hand-carved)! This delightfully eerie walk is also set to cool sound effects, synchronized light displays and an original soundtrack. Expect to see spiders and snakes, animals of all kinds on this spooky stroll. Be sure to get your tickets early—they sell out fast and required to gain access to the event! Also note that the tickets you purchase are for specific times. All ages.

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Courtesy Museum of Chinese in America
Things to do, Festivals

Mid-Autumn Moon Family Festival

icon-location-pin Little Italy
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Celebrate one of the most important holidays on the Chinese calendar, traditionally marked by farmers as the end of the fall harvest season. The event offers mooncake-tasting, moon-themed craft workshops, a scavenger hunt around the museum's galleries, a shadow puppet performance about the Moon Goddess Chang-Er and much more. Advance registration is highly recommended. All ages.

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Photograph: Courtesy Kristine Foley
Museums

Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day

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Nothing beats an afternoon wandering through galleries and stumbling upon cool artifacts. This fall, the Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day will allow visitors all over the country to do just that. Participating institutions across the U.S. (in all 50 states!) will offer free admission in honor of the 14th annual celebration, which aims to give everyone access to these fantastic venues. The theme for 2018 is “Women Making History.”  “Now, more than ever, we recognize the importance of Museum Day in making our country’s knowledge and culture accessible to everyone,” Amy Wilkins, chief revenue officer at Smithsonian Media said in a statement. “Given the strides women are making in society, our theme encourages participating museums and museumgoers alike, to celebrate and honor the female heroines that help shape the world around us.” Those lucky visitors who are in NYC have a lot to look forward to. Smithsonian Magazine partnered with Microsoft to create an original mixed reality experience, and the marquee will take place at The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.  To find a list of participating venues and to learn how to redeem this offer, click here or e-mail museumday@si.edu with any questions. Free access will be given to those who present a Museum Day ticket, which grants free admission for two visitors. All ages. 

Things to do

Queens County Fair

icon-location-pin Queens
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At this annual outdoor fest, kids will get a glimpse of farm life firsthand—or at least a wonderful re-creation of it. Pie-eating and corn-husking contests, hayrides, carnival rides, midway games, a Bavarian garden, German band, pig racing and the three-acre Amazing Maize Maze will make the big city seem far, far away to little ones. All ages.

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Photograph: Courtesy Ben Hider
Things to do

Spooky Pumpkin Garden

icon-location-pin The Bronx
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The blooms at NYBG are given a spooky touch during this seasonal extravaganza. The Everett Children’s Adventure Garden will transform into a Halloween hotspot with pumpkins, scarecrows, puppets and eye-popping pumpkin carving demonstrations. Guided activities will be held on weekdays from 1:30–5:30pm and on weekends from 10:30am–5:30pm. Giant Pumpkin Weekend (Oct 20–21 from 10am–6pm) and Spooky Pumpkin Nights (Oct 26 and 27 from 6:30–8:30pm) are other can't-miss Halloween happenings. Check out NYBG online to learn more about the offerings. All ages. 

Things to do

World Maker Faire

icon-location-pin Queens
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This wacky West Coast transplant displays unbelievable experiments that will have your little mad scientists in awe. Budding innovators are invited to craft and build by using the world around us as their inspiration. Allow the DIY Tesla coil kits that shoot lightning and the 3-D chocolate printing machine to inspire your kiddos' creations. Past lineups have involved running through a life-size mousetrap, watching a Coke Zero and Mentos mountain explode, shooting marshmallows, flying model drones and powering your own DIY rides. All ages.

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Things to do, Festivals

Atlantic Antic

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Atlantic Ave closes down for New York City’s largest street fair, now in its 44th year and featuring hundreds of amazing vendors. Expect children's activities, delicious food of all kinds, live performances and more! All ages.

Things to do

Little Red Lighthouse Festival

icon-location-pin Morningside Heights
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Manhattan’s adorable lighthouse fetes its special day with free tours, live music, theatrical performances, arts and crafts and fishing clinics along the Hudson. As always, families can listen to a reading of the 1942 children’s book, The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge by Hildegarde H. Swift, which prompted an effort to save the lighthouse when it was decommissioned in 1948 after the “gray bridge” (the George Washington Bridge) was built overhead. All ages.

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Photograph: Courtesy Mike Ratliff
Things to do, Festivals

Chile Pepper Festival

icon-location-pin Prospect Park
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Adventurous eaters descend upon the Chile festival, where taste-testing is reserved for the brave, to send off summer with a bang. Try some artisanal spicy snacks and desserts featuring products exclusively created for the festival (like chile chocolates). While you nosh, take the sizzling tunes from bands from all over the world while your kids enjoy fun activities. All Ages.

Photograph courtesy Ben Hider/NY Hall of Science
Museums, Science and technology

Cooking with Cover

icon-location-pin Queens
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New York families may be full of city kids, but life on the farm becomes a lot less mysterious with this special class from New York Hall of Science and Queens Night Market. Learn all about cover crops — the plants used to feed the soil after a cash crop as been harvested and the nutrients are depleted. Families also welcome to sample some foods made with cover crops like black eyed peas, pigeon peas and mung beans. All ages. 

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Photograph: Yvette I. Turner
Things to do

Medieval Festival at Fort Tryon Park

icon-location-pin Washington Heights
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Time-travel back to the Middle Ages and enjoy its ancient forms of fun. Wandering Fort Tryon Park's lush grounds, families can rub shoulders with performers and festivalgoers dressed in clothing typical of the era, listen to authentic period music, and watch the antics of jugglers and jesters. All ages.

Photograph: Courtesy Luna Park
Things to do

Halloween Harvest at Luna Park

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Head to Coney Island for some Halloween fun! The annual event kicks off mid-September and runs on weekends through October with kid-friendly activities and fall fun. Little ones can get their faces painted, ride ponies, participate in arts and crafts, magic tricks, karaoke, games, story time and dance. And no need to head to a farm to find your Jack O’Lantern—the park will have a pumpkin patch onsite. Head to Luna Park's website for more event information as its announced! All ages.

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Photograph: Courtesy Richard Termine
Theater

The New Victory Theater 2018/2019 Season

icon-location-pin 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

Watson Adventures
Photograph: Courtesy Watson Adventures
Things to do

Watson Adventures: Wizard School Scavenger Hunt

icon-location-pin Central Park
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Potterheads will be treated to a Harry Potter-themed scavenger hunt through the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Find art and objects that are reminiscent of the magical items scattered throughout the beloved series and learn about magicians, a sorceress, giants and creepy creatures of folklore. Ages 10 and up.

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Theater, Circuses & magic

Machine de Cirque

icon-location-pin Midtown West
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Get ready to be amazed! Canadian traveling troupe Machine de Cirque just landed in town, and its members are ready to bicycle backward and upside down (no big deal). Follow these five daredevils as they tell the story of a crazy contraption that went, well, all over the place: They’ll fly sky-high, flip off of teeterboards and soar on swings, all accompanied by live percussion. You’ll be on the edge of your seat. Ages 8 and up.  

Photograph courtesy Hudson River Park
Things to do, Classes and workshops

Roving River Tricycle

icon-location-pin Chelsea
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Every Sunday, Hudson River Park's Roving River Tricycle will be traveling between Pier 25 and Pier 40. This touch tank on wheels is full of the small river critters that call the Hudson home. Kids are welcomed to get an up close look at these animals and even interact with some of them.

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Photograph courtesy Randall's Island Park Alliance
Things to do, Classes and workshops

Art on the Farm

icon-location-pin Randall's Island
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On Saturdays, Randall's Island Urban Farm invites the whole family to participate in art projects. Using inspiration from the farm life, create watercolor masterpieces, craft nature prints, and work on nature journals. All ages. 

Photograph courtesy Accomplice
Theater, Interactive

The Quest for the Seven Teeth

icon-location-pin Central Park
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In this outdoor, interactive theater experience from Accomplice, children are led on a magical journey through Central Park. Children embark on a quest to help the tooth fairy's cousin find seven missing teeth, along the way they meet a cast of colorful characters and work together to complete challenging puzzles all while exploring the park. Ages 6–11. For more information visit www.accomplicetheshow.com/kids.

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Photograph: Courtesy Museum of the Moving Image / The Jim Henson Company
Museums, Movies and TV

The Jim Henson Exhibition

icon-location-pin Astoria
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The Museum of the Moving Image finally unveils its new permanent exhibition on Jim Henson’s work. Head up to the second floor to find nearly 300 items from the Henson’s career in film and television, including sketches, storyboards, scripts, photos, costumes, behind-the-scenes video footage and 47 puppets (Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Elmo and Big Bird just to name a few). Kids can even try their hand at puppeteering on screen and designing their own puppet characters. All ages.

Photograph: Courtesy Hudson River Park Trust
Things to do, Festivals

SUBMERGE

icon-location-pin Hell's Kitchen
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Young explorers can dive into the world of marine science at Hudson River Park's NYC marine science festival SUBMERGE. Kids of all ages will love meeting real scientists and learning more about things like oysters, underwater robots, horseshoe crabs, knot-tying, whales, pollution and plankton (just to name a few). Check out hands-on activities and kid-approved science entertainment. There are also kayaking and fishing opportunities. All ages. 

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Photograph: Courtesy CMOM
Art

"Art, Artists & You"

icon-location-pin Upper West Side
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The Children's Museum of Manhattan is putting little visitors in the driver's seat. “Art, Artists & You,” a combination of an art studio and exhibit, encourages children to explore the creative process with several main components: working on stop motion animation, crafting a model of a pet or contributing to a wall hanging. “We want visitors to consider what it means when art is made of familiar object and materials, and how they can use these everyday items to make something new that expresses their thoughts, aspirations, and personal perception of the world,” David Rios, Children’s Museum of Manhattan’s director of public programs and the exhibit’s curator, said in a statement. All ages. 

Things to do, Quirky events

Farmhouse Family Day

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Children are invited to explore the oldest house in New York City on the third Saturday of every month, for free! This event offers seasonal activities like artifact investigation, scavenger hunts, gardening and other hands-on projects. Ages 4-10.

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Theater, Circuses & magic

Magic at Coney!!!

icon-location-pin Brooklyn
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Calling all junior magicians! Illusionists, escape artists, mentalists, and close-up magicians from all over the world will descend on the Coney Island Museum for a full afternoon of mind-blowing tricks and feats. Expect to see plenty of card tricks, levitating objects and perhaps some stuff disappearing right before your eyes. Who knows—maybe someone from your family will have the chance to become to be part of the magic if they’re picked as an assistant for a particular trick. And then catch more magic on Monday nights when the Brooklyn Cyclones treat fans to a magic show during their home games this summer. Magic at Coney performances run noon to 2pm. All ages.

Photograph: Courtesy New York Botanical Garden
Things to do

Dig! Plant! Grow!

icon-location-pin The Bronx
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NYC is a great place to start a garden—you just need to know where to look. At NYBG's Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden, budding botanists can try their hand at a variety of activities and pick up important skills needed when navigating through the dirt. The "Dig! Plant! Grow!" program explores a variety of topics from Tuesdays through Sundays, including "Scent-sational Herbs" (June 19–July 15), "Pickle Me" (July 17–Aug 10), "Pollinator Pals" (Aug 14–Sept 9) and "Corn, Beans, Squash" (Sept 13–Oct 4). Make sure you head online to snag tickets for the session your kiddo wants to join. All ages. 

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Photograph courtesy Randall’s Island Park Alliance
Things to do

Get Hooked!

icon-location-pin Randall's Island
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Spend Saturday catching (and releasing!) East River fish. There will also be games, snacks and crafts for younger sibs or those less familiar with the sport. Afterward dance to the nautical-themed music of Funkinships. Ages 5 and up. Meet on the Southern Shore, south of 103rd Street Footbridge

Big City Fishing
Photograph: Courtesy Hudson River Park Trust
Things to do, Classes and workshops

Big City Fishing

icon-location-pin Tribeca
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For this aptly named program, Hudson River Park runs beginner lessons in multiple locations throughout the summer. Kids can learn the rod-and-reel basics, and get familiar with the types of fish that swim the local water—the program has an emphasis on river ecology and education. Ages 5 and up.  

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Photograph courtesy Noemie Trusty
Music, Music festivals

Live at the Archway

icon-location-pin DUMBO
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The Manhattan Bridge Archway is the place to be on Thursday evenings this summer, when this free 18-week performance series serves up swing dancing, world roots music, DJs and more. Kids can swing along with hot jazz by Shanghai Mermaid (Sept 6) or join performance artist Chiquita Brujita's fiesta (Sept 20). Visit dumbo.is to see the full schedule. All ages.

Photograph: Courtesy
Things to do, Concerts

Rock & Roll Playhouse Kids Concert Series

icon-location-pin Williamsburg
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This weekly family event lets little ones get creative with the help of some rock n' roll. The hour-long performances—which take place at Brooklyn Bowl, the Capitol Theatre and Industry City—cover the best of the best: Prince, Bowie, Grateful Dead and so much more. Head to the event's website to see the full schedule. 

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Photograph: Melissa Sinclair
Things to do

Smorgasburg

icon-location-pin Williamsburg
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The venerable epicurean extravaganza spends Saturdays in Williamsburg and Sundays in Prospect Park. No matter your preference, there's a little something for everyone. While kids can delight in sweets like fried cookie dough, those with a more expansive palate can opt for offerings such as seafood from Lobsterdamus, Boutros' pork shawarma tacos or PopdUp brewed teas, among seemingly hundreds of other dishes. 

Photograph courtesy Andrew Kelly
Museums

Science Playground

icon-location-pin Queens
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At the nation's largest science playground, tots learn about technology as they slide and seesaw, climb a giant spiderweb, romp in sand pits and wind their way around big trees. Be sure to bring shoes that can get wet—the water play area is a real highlight of any visit. Ages 6 and up.

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Growler patrol flag, 1962–1963  Collection of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. Gift of Duane Heatwole.
Courtesy Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
Things to do, Exhibitions

"A View From the Deep: The Submarine Growler & The Cold War"

icon-location-pin Hell's Kitchen
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History buffs of all ages can experience the fascinating past of the Growler, the only nuclear missile-launching submarine open to the public, without climbing the vessel's steep stairs or walking through its narrow passageways with this free new exhibit. Learn all about the Growler's place in Cold War history and about the naval officers that operated the complicated, state-of-the-art sub. All ages.

Photograph: Courtesy Peter Kuper
Things to do, Exhibitions

"Underground Heroes: New York Transit in Comics"

icon-location-pin Boerum Hill
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We need a little levity while commuting, so why not get a chuckle with "Underground Heroes: New York Transit in Comics"? The New York Transit Museum just released this silly (yet all-too familiar) exhibit of cartoons—ranging from the 19th to 21st century—depicting rides through on the trains. All ages.   

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Things to do, Exhibitions

"Impractical Jokers: Homecoming"

icon-location-pin Midtown West
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Ready for a few laughs? Well you're in luck. The masterminds behind the popular TV series Impractical Jokers are coming back where it all originated. This exhibit gives fans an up-close and personal look at costumes, props and even secrets behind the show. Make sure you're on your A-game: There will be a few interactive impractical surprises on display throughout the exhibit. All ages. 

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Things to do, Exhibitions

"Relational Undercurrents: Contemporary Art of the Caribbean Archipelago"

icon-location-pin Midtown West
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Sugar Hill's latest multimedia exhibit—filled with paintings, photographs, sculptures and more—draws on inspiration from the Caribbean. The museum joined forces with Columbia University's Wallach Art Gallery and asked Tatiana Flores to curate the materials to showcase the work of over 80 different artists. All ages. 

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Photograph: Courtesy Ripley's Believe It Or Not
Things to do, Quirky events

Ripley's Relic

icon-location-pin Midtown West
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Believe it or not, Ripley's has uncovered yet another way to blow visitors' minds! This time, museum-goers have the option to tackle a new immersive experience titled "Ripley's Relics." Here, they'll be able to tackle high-tech equipment (with the help of a guide) to uncover unusual symbols that were discovered right in the venue's home: Times Square. Think you have what it takes to crack the code? All ages. 

Disney's Aladdin 
Photograph: Cylla von Tiedemann
Theater, Musicals

Aladdin

icon-location-pin Midtown West
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This adaptation of the Disney classic tops the rest with its kiddie-crowd-pleasing laughs and upbeat music. Charming street urchin Aladdin brings his exotic world to Broadway along with beloved songs like "A Whole New World" and "Friend Like Me," plus several new tunes, which come to life onstage through music composed by Alan Menken and lyrics penned by Howard Ashman and Tony Award winner Tim Rice. Kids will be dazzled by the color-drenched production and awe-inspiring special effects, like a confetti cannon and fireworks. Ages 6 and up.

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Theater, Musicals

The Lion King

icon-location-pin Midtown West
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Disney's Tony-winning show continues to dazzle at the Minskoff. Any child who hasn't yet seen it must catch director Julie Taymor's wildly imaginative puppet spectacle. A cast of 46 sings the Elton John–Tim Rice score, which tells the story of Simba, a cub destined to be king of his pride. The vibrant costumes, singalong-worthy music and unbelievable sets can't be beat. Ages 6 and up.

Time Out says
Photograph: Courtesy NYC GO and Off Broadway Week
Theater

Gazillion Bubble Show

icon-location-pin Hell's Kitchen
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Created by Fan Yang, 16-time Guinness-record holder for blowing the biggest soap bubble, this show is an ode to airborne orbs. In the newest incarnation of the show, Yang's son, 20-year-old Deni Yang, takes over, presenting magic, lighting effects and bubbles—giant bubbles, walls of bubbles, helium bubbles and bubbles within bubbles. Ages 5 and up.

Time Out says
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