Things to do with kids in NYC this weekend

Want to plan a family outing? Check out our list of things to do with kids in NYC this weekend and let the fun begin.
Photograph: Courtesy Museum of the Moving Image / The Jim Henson Company
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RECOMMENDED: See the best things to do with kids this weekend

Sept 22–23

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. 

Photograph: Courtesy NASA
Museums, Special interest

"Personal Space"

icon-location-pin Hell's Kitchen
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If you have trouble packing your suitcase before a trip, wait until you find out what astronauts have to bring when they head to outer space! During this year’s annual Space & Science Festival, the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum will host an exhibit, "Personal Space," dedicated to all of the personal items that astronauts bring along for the trip. Astronauts who will be featured in this exhibit include Mike Massimino, Dr. Ellen Baker and more. All ages. 

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Photograph: Courtesy Museum of the City of New York
Museums, Special interest

"Germ City"

icon-location-pin East Harlem
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If your kids won't cover their mouths when sneezing or refuse tissues, maybe "Germ City: Microbes and the Metropolis" will help them change their ways. MCNY's new exhibit will focus on the clash between NYC and disease and how it has shaped us in a variety of ways, from culturally to physically. Pieces include "Blood Mirror," Jordan Eagles' offering that's comprised of human blood, a 20th-century smallpox quarantine poster and New York City Health Department diphtheria pamphlet, among many other others. Don't forget to register for the Community Care Fair, a family event on Nov 18 from 11am–3pm, that will let visitors explore ways we care for one another by taking a look at paraphernalia, stories and more. All ages.  

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Things to do

Not-So-Scary Days at Bayville Scream Park

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This Halloween theme park in Long Island delivers screams on demand for your older kids, but for the little ones, we'd recommend their Kids "Not So Scary" Days, where things are brought down a notch. The experience offers less scary versions of their beloved nighttime haunted houses, and there are also no live actors present to give them nightmares! Visit the pumpkin bounce, Halloween Express train ride, pirate adventure mini golf and spooky tree-top adventure during your visit. All ages.

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Kids, Quirky events

The Amazing Maize Maze

icon-location-pin Queens
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No autumn would be complete without the Amazing Maize Maze at the Queens County Farm Museum! The American Maze Company builds a labyrinth every year that that stretches over several acres, with the length of the course often stretching two miles! Previous years’ themes have included a violin, a riverboat, a train, a farmscape and the largest living sundial. Be sure to check americanmaze.com for the full list of Amazing Maize Maze locations in nearby counties. Con-Ed will sponsor Maze by Moonlight on Oct 13 and 20 beginning at 4:30pm Ages 3 and up.

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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Museums, History

Black Citizenship: Meet Harriet Tubman

icon-location-pin Upper West Side
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Though Harriet Tubman might be a familiar figure to American children, there's all sorts of details of her amazing, heroic life that aren't always covered in school. Learn about how the underground railroad worked and about the lives of 19th century self-liberated individuals of African descent through a trained living historian. All ages.   

Photograph courtesy Diana Natal
Attractions, Farms

Fall Harvest Festival Weekends

icon-location-pin Midtown West
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Escape the concrete jungle for a crisp slice of autumn at Fishkill Farms. Every weekend from the second week in September through the last in October, the whole family can enjoy apple pickings, wagon rides, live music and fresh treats like cider, donuts, and homemade pies. Starting in late September you can even pick your own pumpkin. Stop by the farm’s grill for barbecue classics, and be sure to check out the farm store before you leave to pick up some maple syrup, honey, artisanal cheeses and more. All ages. 

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Art, Contemporary art

"Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power "

icon-location-pin Prospect Park
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Over 60 black artists from the mid-20th century are featured in this exhibit that explores the unjust treatment of African Americans from 1963 to 1983. Check out photography, abstract paintings, portraits, prints, and sculptures from this era. All ages. 

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Theater

Harlem Stage's September 2018 Programming

icon-location-pin Harlem
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Harlem Stage is kicking off a new season of theater, spoken word, music and more. Its focus coming into the fall will be presenting works from artists of color. Though the events in the lineup below are free, registration is required. Here's what's in store:  Open House on Sept 8 (3–6pm) Harlem Stage & Theater of War Productions Present Antigone In Ferguson (Tuesdays and Saturdays from Sept 13–Oct 13. For more information or to reserve your spot, visit the group's website. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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 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.

Museums

Rocket Park Mini Golf

icon-location-pin Queens
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The perfect activity for lovers of putt putt golf and rocketships! At Rocket Park Mini Golf, your golf ball will experience the same principles of physics (like the law of motion and gravity) that a spaceship employs. This nine hole golf course will teach kiddos (and adults alike!) important science concepts like escape velocity, gravitational assist and more. Ages 6 and up.

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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.

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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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.

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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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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. 

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. 

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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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Photograph courtesy K. Corbin, J. Sparks
Museums, Natural history

Unseen Oceans

icon-location-pin Upper West Side
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Travel deep beneath the Ocean's surface to discover what lurks in the dark, cold depths of the sea with this special exhibit. Visitors learn about the new, cutting edge technologies like robotics, satellite monitoring, miniaturization, and high-definition imaging that scientists use to explore the ocean's vast realm. They can also see some of the new discoveries, like a new island forming near Hawaii and the behaviors of deep sea animals. The exhibit features mesmerizing displays, like a floor-to-ceiling array of biofluorescent species (animals that absorb and re-emit light) and a virtual ride in a submersible.

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.

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Things to do, Exhibitions

Our Senses: An Immersive Experience

icon-location-pin Upper West Side
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Step inside the world of senses in this funhouse-like exhibtion at AMNH. There are eleven unique galleries in all. You’ll be able to explore how real our “reality” is (and what it’s shaped by.) And what our mind tells us through our different senses. Step into a room that tests your balance as the walls will appear to wave and ripple, through your feet tell you otherwise. Fly through a garden seen through the eyes of a bee or butterfly to learn how other animals experience flowers. Take a smell test and learn how what we think is one scent really is a symphony of different smells. There will also be a live presentation on why our senses are necessary for survival, how our senses are different from other animals and why human perception is unique. All ages.

Greenbelt
Photograph: Dorothy Reilly
Kids, Exhibitions

"From Farm to City"

icon-location-pin Midtown West
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During this family-friendly tour of the exhibition, tykes will learn about the island's evolution as well as its hidden history of farming, manufacturing and sports. Little ones will then commemorate the borough's storied past and present in a tile-making workshop, presented by the Staten Island's own Kreischer Brickworks and American Linoleum Manufacturing Company. Ages 7 to 12.

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Photograph: Courtesy Matt Shanley
Museums

Inside You

icon-location-pin Upper West Side
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The American Museum of Natural History’s exhibit explores the microbes, viruses, fungi and other organisms that live inside our bodies. According to the exhibit, our gastrointestinal tract is home to about 100 trillion bacteria and they can be affected by where we live, what we eat and what we touch among other factors. Learn about all about microbial genes and the important work they do to keep us alive. All ages.

Photograph: NARI WARD
Museums

"We the People"

icon-location-pin Upper West Side
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From the donations of many visitors' used shoelaces comes "We the People," an art installation by Nari Ward. From Feb 20–24, you can see the sculpture as it gets installed, and from February 20–26 you can post a sticky note on the museum's preamble wall to share how the words "We the People" make you feel. All ages.

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Frozen
Photo: Courtesy Deen van Meer
Theater, Broadway

Frozen: The Broadway Musical

icon-location-pin Midtown West
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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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Courtesy The Gazillion
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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wicked01
Photograph: Joan Marcus
Theater, Drama

Wicked

icon-location-pin Midtown West
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Based on novelist Gregory Maguire's 1995 adult variation on L. Frank Baum's Oz mythology, Wicked provides a prequel to the children's book and movie. The musical addresses complex themes, such as standards of beauty, morality and, believe it or not, opposition to fascism. Thanks to a witty book by Winnie Holzman (creator of ’90s cult angstfest My So-Called Life) and composer-lyricist Stephen Schwartz's robust score, Wicked soars. While children five and up are permitted in the theater, little ones might be afraid of the flying monkeys—we'd recommend this show for kids that are a tiny bit older. Ages 8 and up.

Time Out says
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
Theater, Comedy

Blue Man Group

icon-location-pin East Village
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Three deadpan, blue-skinned men with extraterrestrial imaginations carry this tourist fave, a show as smart as it is ridiculous. They drum on open tubs of paint, creating splashes of color; they consume Twinkies and Cap'n Crunch; they engulf the audience in a roiling sea of toilet paper. For sheer weird, exuberant fun, it's hard to top this long-running treat. Ages 5 and up.

Time Out says
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Theater, Musicals

Stomp

icon-location-pin East Village
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Ideal for kids who think banging on pots and pans (and garbage-can lids and buckets) is more fun than playing with the latest electronic toy, Stomp is a "percussion sensation" whose cast of aerobicized dancer-musicians makes lovely noise. If you're looking for an experience that will satisfy both a first-grader and a teen, this could be it. Ages 4 and up.

Time Out says
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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Photo: Courtesy Deen van Meer
Theater, Broadway

Broadway Bridges

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The goal of Broadway Bridges is simple: To have NYC high school students attend a Broadway play or musical before they graduate, at just $10 a show for tenth graders. Who could resist that?! How it works: Your New York DOE High School can simply register for $10 tickets (for 10th graders and their chaperones) for the performances below. Be aware that there are a limited amount of tickets available per show. Here are the additional details for how your school can get involved. Here are this year's participating shows:  Aladdin Anastasia Beautiful Chicago Come From Away Frozen King Kong Kinky Boots Mean Girls School of Rock Summer The Band's Visit The Lion King The Phantom of the Opera The Play That Goes Wrong The Prom Wicked This newly-launched program expects roughly 17,500 students and chaperones to head to a show this year. Tickets are purchased based on availability and coincide with the NYC Department of Education's academic calendar, according to Broadway World. To learn even more about how to participate in this offer, click here. 

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