Timeout New York Kids

Make the most of your city

50 things to do in New York City with kids: Fall 2012

Our must-read guide to the season's best things to do in New York City with kids—festivals, shows, museum exhibits and more—is here.

  • Photograph: Courtesy the Bard Graduate Center Gallery

    "Circus and the City: New York, 1973-2010"

  • Photograph: Joshua Bright

    Wave Hill Honey Weekend

  • Photograph: Carol Rosegg

    A Christmas Story, the Musical!

  • Brooklyn Bridge Walk and Festival

  • Stillspotting NYC

  • Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum


  • Photograph: MoMA Design Store

    MoMA book store

  • Photograph: Adam Hume

    Carnegie Hill Orchestra

  • Photograph: David Rosenzweig

    Riverdale Riding

  • Photograph: D. Finnin

    Butterfly Conservatory

Photograph: Courtesy the Bard Graduate Center Gallery

"Circus and the City: New York, 1973-2010"

Circus and the City: New York, 1793 -- 2010 at the Bard Graduate Center

Discover the history of the big top in "Circus and the City: New York, 1793–2010"

A new exhibit at the Bard College Graduate Center examines the oft-controversial public spectacle of circuses and their relation to the development of entertainment in New York City. Kids can ogle more than 200 artifacts—including posters, photographs and costumes—that illustrate the stories of figures such as John Bill Ricketts, who staged the first circus in New York, and the legendary P. T. Barnum. Opens Fri Sept 21. Bard Graduate Center Gallery. $7, students and seniors $5, Thursdays 5–8pm free.

Wave Hill Honey Weekend

Buzz like a bee at Honey Weekend

Get ready for a sticky-sweet time at Wave Hill's Honey Weekend. Become a family of bees as you make wings, antennae and pollen cups during the Be a Bee workshop (Sat Sept 8, Sun Sept 9 10am–1pm) or take an educational tour of the gallery (Sat Sept 8 at 1pm). Families can also watch a honey extraction demonstration (Sat Sept 8, Sun Sept 9 2–4pm) and then taste the toothsome treat (Sat Sept 8, Sun Sept 9 noon–4pm). Sat Sept 8, Sun Sept 9 10am–4pm. Wave Hill. Free with grounds admission.

A Christmas Story, the Musical!

Witness Ralphie licking a freezing pole in A Christmas Story, the Musical!

Almost 30 years after Peter Billingsley played Ralphie, the teen obsessed with getting a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas, the actor is coproducing a Broadway musical based on the cult-classic movie. Auditions for the modern-day Ralphie have been taking place over the last few weeks and we're excited to see which lucky boy gets to play the iconic role. The show is playing a limited run, so make sure to get tickets early. Mon Nov 5–Sun Dec 30. Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. $49–$143.50.

Brooklyn Bridge Walk and Festival

Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge

In an effort to raise awareness of low-income New Yorkers' gaps in education, income and nutrition, United Way invites families to participate in a 1.5-mile walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. The Live United Bridge Walk culminates with a festival in Cadman Park Plaza, complete with live music, specialty food trucks, and kid-friendly activities like parachute games and face painting. Sat Sept 29 at 9:45am. Foley Square. Free.


Get to know the Bronx at Stillspotting NYC

The final edition of the Guggenheim's Stillspotting series—an audio-based interactive project in all five boroughs—takes place in the Bronx's Joyce Kilmer Park (with the initial meeting place at the Bronx Museum of the Arts). Participants ages 7 and up use ipods and mp3 players to download a narrated audio tour for Audiogram, which the Guggenheim calls "a theatrical group hearing test designed for the South Bronx" and "a unique interpretation of a conventional audiogram through an experience that connects science with humor and the element of surprise." If all this sounds confusing, not to worry: A special family orientation complete with instruction, listening practice and refreshments at the Bronx Museum of the Arts on Saturday, October 13, at 11am will demystify the project and get kids excited to embark on the experiential adventure. Sat Oct 13, Sun Oct 14 at noon, 1:30pm, 3, 4:30 and 6pm. Bronx Museum of the Arts. $12.


Tour a Brooklyn farm house

Take the family on a tour through the oldest building in New York City—originally part of a farm used by the Dutch West India Company—and enjoy cider pressing, quilting workshops, live music and old-fashioned games at the first annual Breukelen Country Fair. Sat Sept 22 1–6pm. Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum. $5, children ages 3–12 $3, children under 3 free.

MoMA book store

Settle in for a story at the MoMA Design Store

The newly expanded children's section of the MoMA Design Store is worth a visit any day of the week (we're super-impressed with the amount of creative products for kids they have), but even more so during this fall's series of book signings and readings. Six authors will stop by on different Saturdays between September 15 and December 1 to read to little bookworms and work with them on creative projects. First up is Kate Hosford (Infinity and Me) on Saturday, September 15, at 11am. Other authors include Elliott Kreloff (Bigger Than Daddy) on September 29; Laura Ljungkvist (Follow the Line to School) on October 13 and Marion Deuchars (Let's Make Some Great Fingerprint Art) on November 17. Sat Sept 15–Sat Dec 1; various Saturdays. MoMA Design Store. Free.


Listen to the spooky PhilharMONSTER

Carnegie Hill Orchestra and ISO Symphony, two of NYC's InterSchool youth orchestras, perform a spooky classical concert in anticipation of Halloween. The young musicians, ages 8 through 12 (Carnegie Hill Orchestra) and 12 through 19 (ISO Symphony), will be decked out in scary costumes and will play under the direction of a ghostly conductor. Sun Oct 28 at 4pm. Symphony Space. $15.

Riverdale Riding

Take a horseback riding lesson

Kids can learn to ride English or Western style from the experienced instructors at the Bronx Equestrian Center, or take a guided family trail ride through the park. At Kensington Stables in Brooklyn, steering and posting in a trot are just two of the skills children learn during private lessons.

Butterfly Conservatory at AMNH

Get close to tropical butterflies at AMNH

"The Butterfly Conservatory: Tropical Butterflies Alive in Winter" returns to the museum's 1,200-square-foot vivarium, where it's always a balmy 80 degrees. The 500 free-flying Lepidoptera, from blue morphos to scarlet swallowtails, often land on the shoulders of visitors, allowing tykes to come into direct contact with the ethereal creatures. Opens Sat Oct 6. American Museum of Natural History. Suggested donation $25, seniors and students $19, children ages 2–12 $14.50.

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