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23 things to do with kids over the NYC school holidays

NYC schools are closed on September 23 and 24! If your family isn't celebrating the Muslim or Jewish holidays, hit up these fun events

Photograph: Courtesy TAC/ Amanda Ketcham

For the first time ever, NYC schools are closed for all Muslim and Jewish holidays this year! That means your youngsters won't have class on September 23 for Yom Kippur or on September 24 for Eid al-Adha, giving families the time they need to celebrate together. For those who don't celebrate these holidays, we've rounded up a list of the best things to do with kids on their days off. Check out cool exhibits at the best museums for children, go apple picking or have a nice dinner with the whole gang at one of the 50 best family restaurants in NYC.


Automatic Studios Mini Camp

Kids get to make a movie in just one or two days at these creative workshop experiences. 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.

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11 Nov 2015

Pre–Maker Faire Pop-Up in the Park

Can't make it to the fun-filled Maker Faire over the weekend? Families can nerd out before the main event during a special pop-up event in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park over the school holiday! Snag free admission to the New York Hall of Science's Science Playground, meet some of the makers and get in on hands-on activities and cool demos. Access the pop-up via the park path, south of NYSCI. All ages.

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Until Thu Sep 24

"Alice: 150 Years of Wonderland"

After a century and a half, the original Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland manuscript has made its way from the British Library in London to NYC, where it sits surrounded by original drawings and letters, rare editions, vintage photographs and other mementos from the story’s early days. Fans will adore seeing Sir John Tenniel’s colorful pen-and-ink illustrations, Carroll’s personal puppet theater and the desk used by Alice Liddell (the story’s namesake), which holds a letter she wrote to her father when she was 10. In the gallery, catch screenings of the first Alice film adaptation (from 1903) and hang out in reading areas to page through copies of the manuscript. Ages 4 and up.

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Until Sun Oct 11

TADA! One-Day Camps

Youngsters can spend their days off from school learning the ABCs of musical theater through games, improv and dramatic play. On Rosh Hashanah, they'll explore themes like "Start It Up!" (Sept 14) and "Something to Step About" (Sept 15), then Yom Kippur and Eid al-Adha bring autumn motifs like "Swirling Leaves" (Sept 23) and "Fall Flavors" (Sept 24). Families are invited to watch the last 20 minutes of the day. Early drop-off is available for an additional $10. Ages 6 to 11.

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25 Apr 2016

Celebrate Fashion Week at CMA

CMA is closed on Wednesday, but will be open from 11am–6pm on Thursday, September 24. Fashion-forward tots can have their own New York Fashion Week celebration at this workshop where they’ll design trendy fabric bracelets or bow-ties in fun patterns and colors. They’ll also get to work on mood boards and sketches of ideas for their very own fashion line. All ages.

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Until Mon Sep 28

Muslim Arts Festival

Spend Eid al-Adha celebrating the traditions of the Muslim culture through unique live performances and presentations at CMOM's themed bash. Discover the colors, patterns and shapes found in Muslim mosques during the 3D Mosque Architecture Experience (10am), then learn about the whirling Dervish dance through storytelling and movement by author and illustrator Demi (12:30pm). In the afternoon, add your creative touch to a collaborative Wishes for the World sculpture, with help from artists Saks Afridi and Qinza Najm of BOLO (2pm). NYC Schools chancellor Carmen Farina will be in attendance, and the event will kick of brand-new exhibit, "America to Zanzibar: Muslim Cultures Near and Far," opening at CMOM in February 2016 All ages.

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24 Sep 2015

"If You Lived Here, You'd Be Home"

CMA is closed on Wednesday, but will be open from 11am–6pm on Thursday, September 24. Printed maps have provided the information we needed to understand our surroundings since long before Google was giving us directions on our iPhones. The artists featured in the Children's Museum of the Arts' fall exhibit incorprates elements of cartography and mapping into detailed multimedia works, including collages, prints, paintings and drawings. Many used their imaginations as the first cartographers did, to wonder what lies beyond certain physical boundaries, and kids can now take a crack at interpreting the meaning behind the unique diagrams. The artistic expressions of personal identity, political ideas and culture will serve as great inspiration for visitors, who get to add their personal touch to a large-scale world map on the museum wall. Ages 5 and up.

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Until Fri Jan 1

NYICFF Film Camp

Young cinephiles who want to try their hand at the craft can get in on a crash course during school breaks. Kids get to conceive, write, storyboard, construct sets, shoot and produce a mixed media animated short film using techniques like claymation, pixelationa and cutout animation. In September, put an animated twist on an ancient Greek myth (Sept 23–24), and come November, explore the topic of Mad Science (Nov 3, 11). With help from Dragon frame stop-motion software, they'll be confident in the quality of their work, and they'd better—the films made during camp will be available for viewing on the Festival website! Ages 5–10.

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11 Nov 2015

"NYC and Me: A Little Bite of the Big Apple"

CMOM is closed on Wednesday, but will be open on Thursday, September 24th! This new interactive gallery for kids captures the sounds, sights, flavors and soul of New York! Little ones can take over the Big Apple's sidewalks, streets, parks, public transportation and more by driving taxis and police cars, building mini skyscrapers, running an international food cart and even imagining they're the mayor.

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18 Jan 2016

Textile Arts Center Mini Camp

Creative kids can spend their days 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.

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Until Thu Sep 24
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