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 Jati Lindsay
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RECOMMENDED: See the best things to do with kids this weekend

Feb 29–Mar 01

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Photograph: Courtesy House of Fun / skynesher
Things to do

House of Fun

West Village Loft, West Village

Enjoy a bouncing extravaganza this weekend! The House of Fun will host a West Village pop-up with a variety of bounce houses (so wear a clean pair of socks), face painting options and hands-on science experiments. There will be three sessions per day, which run from 9am–11am, 11:30am–1:30pm and 2–4pm. Ages 2–8. 

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H Is For Haiku: A Treasury of Haiku from A to Z
Courtesy: Penny Candy Books
Things to do, Literary events

H Is For Haiku: An A to Z Compendium of Short Poems at Berl's Poetry Shop

Berl's Brooklyn Poetry Shop, DUMBO

Celebrate Leap Year with an all-ages poetry reading and poetry workshop on the Brooklyn Waterfront with H Is For Haiku: An A to Z Compendium of Short Poems at Berl's Poetry Shop (141 Front Street, Brooklyn). Composing haiku is a fun way to celebrate the joy of poetry—and to slow down and celebrate everyday moments in the city. All ages.

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Photography Workshop
Photograph: Maggie Pouncey
Things to do, Classes and workshops

Photography Workshop at Stories Bookshop + Storytelling Lab

Stories Bookshop + Storytelling Lab, Park Slope

Calling all those little Richard Avedons and Annie Leibovitzes out there: Haley Shibble is leading a photography workshop at Stories Bookshop + Storytelling Lab (458 Bergen St) that will explore how photography is used to tell stories. Participants will experiment with different cameras and techniques. Ages 5-8.

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Photograph: Courtesy Brooklyn Children's Museum
Museums, Science and technology

"Under the Canopy"

Brooklyn Children’s Museum, Crown Heights

After the successful run of "Survival of the Slowest,"—a traveling exhibit that explored evolutionary science from the perspective of nature's slowest creatures—the popular family attraction has decided to provide a glimpse into the rainforest, right from NYC. "Under the Canopy," takes a look at the ecosystem as a whole, as well the critters who populate it. In other words, get ready for more animal meet and greets (think snakes, lizards and other cool creatures)! The new exhibit in partnership with Little Ray's Nature Centres is guaranteed to be a hit because of a familiar face: Roger, The super-cute sloth from "Survival of the Fittest." All ages. 

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BKLYN Indoor Block Party
Photograph: Bob Krasner courtesy City Point
Things to do, Festivals

BKLYN Indoor Block Party

City Point, Downtown Brooklyn

It's the time of year to bring the fun indoors. BKLYN Indoor Block Party—which will be held at BKLYN STUDIOS in City Point (445 Albee Square West)—will delight visitors with so many cool things to do, including bounce houses, arts and crafts, LEGO projects, slime making, soccer, improv theater, Pokémon trading and a Beyblade tournament. Ages 1–10. 

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Courtesy: NYCIFF + Gutsy Animation
Things to do

New York International Children's Film Festival

Various locations, Hell's Kitchen

This annual tradition is like Sundance for the younger set:On weekends in February and March, little New Yorkers watch the best new animation, live-action, documentary and experimental films from France, Japan and other far-flung countries. Festivalgoers (and their parents) can also take part in workshops, filmmaker Q&As and, of course, vote for the winning flick. Please check the website for a complete lineup. Ages 3–18. 

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Photograph: Courtesy Rebecca Greenfield
Things to do, Exhibitions

Teknopolis

BAM Fisher, Fort Greene

Brooklyn Academy of Music's "Digital Playground" is back for another round of immersive art-tech installations.The venue is transformed into a massive gallery of cutting-edge exhibits from artists and inventors from around the world. The new collection includes virtual reality experiences, interactive films and much more. Entry is timed with 90-minute sessions during the day or two hours in the evening. Be sure to check the schedule, which varies by day, on the BAM website. Ages 6 and up.

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New York Botanical Garden
Lane Nevares
Things to do, Classes and workshops

Children's Gardening Program: Sprouts at the New York Botanical Garden

New York Botanical Garden | Bronx, NY, The Bronx

This six-week program lets children ages 3-5 (and their accompanying adult) explore nature up close by wandering through the greenhouses and winter gardens of the New York Botanical Garden. Your little Sprout will be able to touch, taste and grow different flora—every kid loves playing in the dirt! Ages 3-5.

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Photograph: Courtesy Museum of the City of New York
Museums, Sport

"City/Game Basketball in New York"

Museum of the City of New York, East Harlem

If your kids love to shoot hoops, you won't want to miss "City/Game Basketball in New York," a new exhibit that explores the game as a whole and those in NYC who play it. Learn more about the game's MVPs, history and impact in our neighborhoods. All ages. 

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Photograph: Courtesy CMOM
Museums, Childhood

"Superpowered Metropolis"

Children's Museum of Manhattan, Upper West Side

Ahead of its move in 2021, the Children's Museum of Manhattan will premiere a Gotham-inspired interactive exhibit this Valentine's Day. "Superpowered Metropolis" introduces patrons to Zip, Zap and Zoom, our urban pigeon mascots who are here to help little ones with brain-boosting activities. As children wander through a scaled-down version of the city, they'll tackle missions that ask them to solve problems, think before they act and examine things from fresh points of view. Ages 6 and under. 

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Photograph: Courtesy New York City Transit Museum
Museums, Transportation

"Streetscapes & Subways: Photographs by Pierre P. and Granville W. Pullis"

New York Transit Museum, Boerum Hill

Take a step back in time to the start of NYC's transit system with photos from Pierre P. and Granville W. Pullis. This new exhibit provides a glimpse of the turn of the 20th century, when construction just began for the subway system. All ages. 

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Photograph: Courtesy "Survival: The Exhibition"
Museums, Special interest

"Survival: The Exhibition"

New York Hall of Science | Queens, NY, Queens

What would you do if faced with an emergency? This fascinating interactive exhibit explains the tactics needed to overcome real-life situations, from staying hydrated in the desert to withstanding extreme cold. After learning CPR, discerning the difference between edible and non-edible plants, to name a few scenarios, exhibit visitors can end their experience with a visit to the Adventure Zone Ropes Course and Zip Line. Ages 5 and up. 

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Museum of the Moving Image "Behind the Screen"
Photograph: Patrick Alvarado
Museums, Movies and TV

Moving Image Studio at the Museum of the Moving Image

Museum of the Moving Image, Astoria

If you go to the Museum of the Moving Image be sure to make time for the drop-in Moving Image Studio, a maker space with hands-on activities: Your little visual artist can make stop-animation films, play around with a green screen or make a flip-book, to name a few. Ages 4 and up. 

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Museums

Jeff Leatham's Kaleidoscope: The Orchid Show at the New York Botanical Garden

New York Botanical Garden | Bronx, NY, The Bronx

It's cold outside, but the greenhouses at the New York Botanical Garden are kept at a tropical temperature that's perfect for the thousands of orchids in bloom as a part of the annual Orchid Show. This year's stunning display comes from the mind of Jeff Leatham, the artistic director of the George V—that's the tony Paris hotel where Presidents and Prime Ministers stay when visiting the City of Lights. In Leatham's display, each gallery has a different color and effect: It's like walking through a Kaleidoscope. You can read more about the show here. All ages.

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Image: Courtesy Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History
Image: Courtesy Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History
News, City Life

"Worlds Beyond Earth"

We can't wait to see "Worlds Beyond Earth," the new show that will premiere at the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History on Jan 21. It celebrates the Age of Exploration we're living in right now—humans have only made it as far as the moon, but we have sent out probes and spacecraft to collect data and send it back to Earth. Think about it: Robotic explorers have been to the surface of the moon, and documented the icy and volcanically active surface of Jupiter's moon Io, and observed the showers of liquid methane on Saturn’s moon Titan. "Worlds Beyond Earth" transports you to the far corners of our solar system and beyond with detailed scenes drawn from scientific data. Plus, it's narrated by Academy Award-winning actor Lupita Nyong’o—the cosmos never sounded so good. This is the first new show to run at the Hayden Planetarium since Dark Universe," narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson, premiered in 2013.

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Photogrpah: Courtsy of the WIlliam Vale
Photogrpah: Courtesy of the William Vale Hotel
News, City Life

New rooftop "ice" skating rink at the William Vale

The William Vale hotel in Williamsburg just debuted a rooftop skating rink with million-dollar views of the Manhattan skyline.  The Vale Rink sits on the 23rd floor of the hotel, and could be considered one of the best spots for ice skating NYC kids and families love. Admission to the rink (including skate and locker rentals) costs $20 for adults, $12 for children 12 and under—another upside to the new spot.  But take note: This isn't an ice rink. The Vale Rink is a Glice rink with an ice-like synthetic surface developed in Switzerland. Glice has an icy shine that looks wintery, but the plastic doesn't melt—there's no puddling in the midday sun. More importantly, there won't be any wet pants or sopping socks on your little skaters. The William Vale Hotel set up tent lounge next to the rink where parents can relax with a grown-up drink, and where kids can go for an aprés-skate hot chocolate. It is open from 2–10pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays; 2pm–midnight on Fridays; noon–midnight on Saturdays; and noon–10pm on Sundays. Note that children 6 and under must have accompaniment on the ice and those 13 and under must have a guardian present; the smallest skate size 11 girls/9 boys. 

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Photograph: Courtesy Matteo Prandoni/BFA.com
News, Weird & Wonderful

Sloomoo Institute

New Yorkers take their immersive experiences quite seriously, and this fall promises a slew of sensory-filled adventures.  After indulging in creamy goodness at the Museum of Ice Cream's new Soho flagship, head over for a creative afternoon at Sloomoo Institute. This 8,000 square-foot entertainment hub, also in Soho, guarantees a slimy encounter like no other.  "We are all excited to bring the wonder and happiness of slime to the world in a large way,” says Karen Robinovitz, one of the three co-founders of the installation, alongside Sara Schiller and Toni Ko. “Our hope is that people of all ages will come to Sloomoo Institute and delight and evoke their inner child.” Sloomoo acts as an art exhibit and art class for kids, too. Visitors big and lil' will enter a black light cove with glow in the dark slime, let an EEG machine provide a sneak peek of your brain on slime and much more. For creative youngsters who love STEM project, this is one of the coolest fall activities for kids taking place this year.  Tickets are on sale ($38) and include an 8-ounce custom slime and other fun trinkets. For those who take their sliming super seriously, visitors can participate in a Sloomoo photoshoot (for an additional $30) where slime pours down on eager participants a la 90's Nickelodeon days.

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New York Botanical Garden
Photograph: Courtesy of the New York Botanical Garden
Things to do, Classes and workshops

Nature Explorers Program at the New York Botanical Garden

New York Botanical Garden | Bronx, NY, The Bronx

This introduction to the New York Botanical Garden takes toddlers and their caregivers through guided explorations of this incredible complex of greenhouses and plant habitats. Each hour-long session in the six-week Nature Explorers Program includes songs, stories and projects you can take home. (Note that the spring session starts April 22.)  Ages 2-3.

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The GIANT Room
Photograh: Courtesy the GIANT Room
Things to do, Play spaces

“Unseen Worlds” at the GIANT Room

The GIANT Room, Chelsea

Kids can give their imaginations a workout at “Unseen Worlds,” an interactive exhibition that mixes together science, art, design and technology. Visitors to the GIANT Room add to the display by going to the Open Studio and making projects inspired by the unseen worlds of bugs, microbes, yeast, bacteria and fungi. The GIANT Room in partnership with Cooper Union School of Engineering provides cool gear like a laser cutter, 3D printer, microscopes, solar panels, electronics and programmable LEDs! All ages.

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Photograph: Courtesy Children's Museum of the Arts
Museums, Childhood

"Inside Art"

Children's Museum of Manhattan, Upper West Side

This brand-new exhibit is bound to keep your children entertained for hours on end. Its name is quite literal, as little ones can crawl and climb life-size installations and sculptures. Ten renowned artists came together to make the impressive pieces, including a massive tabletop mystery puzzle, a “groundhog burrow” for humans and a spandex wall of tropical patterns to stretch and climb through. Ages 3–10. 

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Photograph: Courtesy Rock & Roll Playhouse
Things to do, Concerts

Rock and Roll Playhouse Kids Concert Series

Brooklyn Bowl, Williamsburg

This is one event parents might enjoy just as much as the kids...maybe even more so. Rock & Roll Playhouse is a family-friendly concert series that introduces littles to the greats—The Beatles, Queen, U2, to name a few—as the house band plays some of the most popular tunes. The weekend happening adds a few kid-friendly elements such as stories and crafts to make the program extra epic. All events in Industry City (Saturdays at 12:30pm) are free, but tickets are required. Shows at Brooklyn Bowl (Sundays at noon) are $12. Head to the event's website for a full lineup. Ages 10 and under. 

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Photograph: Courtesy Derek Wang
Time Out Market

Puppetsburg at Time Out Market New York

Time Out Market New York, DUMBO

Start your Sunday mornings at Time Out Market New York! Not only will you have a chance to indulge in delicious brunch dishes (hello Clinton St. Baking Co.) but you can keep little ones preoccupied while you munch. Join the Puppetsburg crew on our fifth floor stage as the marionette entertainment kickstarts the day on a high note. With a new theme each week—such as "Farm to Table with Old McDonald," "The BEYONCE Show" and "Clementine Goes to Burning Man!"—we have a feeling you'll be as equally entertained as the kiddos. Bonus? Your youngsters will receive complimentary juice! Ages 6 and under.

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Photograph: Melissa Sinclair
Things to do

Smorgasburg

25 Kent, Greenpoint

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. This year, the new Pizza Cupcake and Fluffies Soufflé Pancakes (available Saturdays and Sundays) will be on hand to wow visitors! Note that admission to the food fest is free, but each vendor charges various prices. All ages. 

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Museum of Ice Cream
Photograph: Time Out/Ali Garber
News, Weird & Wonderful

The Museum of Ice Cream

Ready your camera roll and prepare for a sugar rush: The Museum of Ice Cream has returned to NYC! The Soho flagship will open its pastel pink doors to sugary goodness on Saturday,, and we're willing to bet that the immersive experience—part playground, social media backdrop and sweet shop—will steal the limelight from this weekend's Christmas events for kids. (Apologies in advance, Santa.)  There are a few things to know before embarking on the adventure. For one, you might be inclined to prop your kiddos in the interactive rooms—the rainbow walkway, an ice cream-themed subway car—but let's face the music. Your littles aren't interested in photo ops, no matter how adorable they might be. Truthfully speaking, kids are  going to want to play. If you have a youngster who's dying to jump into a world of sweets, pay close attention after the slide. More vigorous than it looks, the playground staple will transport visitors to the "melting caves," a dark yet luminous room that acts as a gateway to the best part of the experience: The playground. Expect swings, ice cream basketball and yes, even a pool. Instead of water, there are giant sprinkles, and you'll debate taking a dip.

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Photograph: Courtesy Joshua Bright
Things to do, Classes and workshops

Wave Hill's Family Art Project

Wave Hill, The Bronx

Every weekend, Wave Hill hosts an art workshop class catered to toddlers and families. Using the seasons, holidays and—of course— Riverdale's gorgeous grounds as a muse, the morning workshop tackles a variety of DIY projects. From painting and planting to coloring and sculpting, this offering is perfect for the creative kiddos in your crew. On Saturdays, arrive before noon to score free access to the venue. All ages. 

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Things to do, Classes and workshops

Children's Gardening Program: Sprouts at the New York Botanical Garden

New York Botanical Garden | Bronx, NY, The Bronx

This six-week program lets children ages 3-5 (and their accompanying adult) explore nature up close by wandering through the greenhouses and winter gardens of the New York Botanical Garden. Your little Sprout will be able to touch, taste and grow different flora—every kid loves playing in the dirt! Ages 3-5.

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Photograph: Courtesy Pixabay + LAWJR
Things to do, Walks and tours

Sugartooth Tours

Various locations, Hell's Kitchen

Get the scoop on all-things sweet. Sugartooth Tours, a local dessert tour company, explores different neighborhoods to uncover the tastiest treats throughout NYC, so bring your appetite. You'll want to explore the newest offering, Village to Village Cupcake and Cookie Crawl (Fridays, Saturdays at 3pm) but don't miss out on favorites like Bright Lights & Broadway Bites Dessert Tour (Saturdays at 11am, Sundays at noon), Sweeter Than Sugar Chelsea & West Village Dessert Tour (Saturdays and Sundays at 4pm) and more. Learn more online. All ages.  

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Music

Jazz for Kids

Jazz Standard, Flatiron

Introduce your kids to the joys of jazz at the Jazz Standard's weekly Sunday brunch program. The Jazz Standard Youth Orchestra, made up of talented youngsters between the ages of 11 and 18, provides the music including big band classics like “Cherokee” and “Billie’s Bounce." While your family taps their toes, chow down on a barbecue brunch from Blue Smoke. Doors open at 1pm. All ages.

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

“T. rex: The Ultimate Predator”

American Museum of Natural History, Upper West Side

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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Butterfly Conservatory at AMNH
Museums

The Butterfly Conservatory: Tropical Butterflies Alive in Winter

American Museum of Natural History, Upper West Side

It's a balmy 80 degrees in the museum's 1,200-square-foot vivarium, which houses up to 500 butterflies living among tropical flowers. The free-flying butterflies often land on the shoulders of visitors, allowing tykes to come into direct contact with monarchs, zebra longwings, paper kites other species as they emerge from their chrysalises. Outside the vivarium, youngsters can watch a short film and read displays on the life cycle of butterflies, how to protect their habitats and what kinds of adaptations certain species have. All ages.

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Crickets Children's Museum of the Arts
Photograph: Courtesy Children's Museum of the Arts
Museums, Art and design

Love Crickets, Save the Planet at CMA

Children's Museum of the Arts, West Village

Love Crickets, Save the Planet is like an art farm only with crickets, which makes it way cooler than an art farm. (Not to bag on ant farms, which are pretty great.) This site-specific installation by artists Jude Tallichet and Adam Chad Brody gives kids an intimate look at these amazing insects—a bug-eye's view of the world you don't always see. $13, pay-what-you-wish Thursdays from 4-6pm. All ages. 

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Photo Courtesy Cosmic Picture, Ltd.
Movies, Family and kids

'Superpower Dogs 3D'

New York Hall of Science | Queens, NY, Queens

The amazing life-saving dogs in this immersive 3D movie are like real-life PAW Patrol pups. Find out the remarkable stories of canines and their human companions who work hard everyday to rescue people in snowy avalanches and off the coasts of warm beaches. There's even a pair of Bloodhound brothers who are helping save endangered species in Africa. 45 minutes. All ages  

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Photograph: Courtesy of the The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
Museums, Military and maritime

British Airways Concorde at the Intrepid

Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, Hell's Kitchen

Catch a glimpse inside the cockpit of the fastest commercial aircraft to ever fly across the Atlantic (at an impressive 2 hours, 52 minutes and 59 seconds). At the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, visitors are able to participate a new 20-minute experience of the British Airways Concorde, which provides insight into the plane's amazing technology. Please note visitors are required to climb stairs to board the Concorde. Ages 5 and up. 

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Imagining Women Ann-Sophie Fjellø-Jensen NY Hall of Science
Photograph: Ann-Sophie Fjellø-Jensen
Museums, Science and technology

Imaging Women in the Space Age at the New York Hall of Science

New York Hall of Science | Queens, NY, Queens

This comprehensive exhibit includes vintage and current images of women as aviators and astronauts, looking at fashion, television, film, pop culture—even Barbie and LEGO astronaut dolls are included. You will see photographs of pioneering astronauts including Sally Ride, Mae Jemison and Ellen Ochoa. After seeing this show your little astronaut will shoot for the stars. Free with admission. All ages.

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Photograph: courtesy New York Transit Museum
Museums, Special interest

Reign of the Redbirds at the New York Transit Museum

New York Transit Museum, Boerum Hill

Reign of the Redbirds looks at the iconic subway cars that came to be known as Redbirds that first appeared in New York in 1959, and that were in kept in service until 2003. These workhorses evoke an era of great transformation in New York, and many of them met a poetic ending: decommissioned red cars were scuttled off the coast and helped anchor an artificial reef. Reign of the Redbirds is in the museum's atmospheric home in a decommissioned subway station under the streets of Downtown Brooklyn. Note: Museum is closed major holidays. $10, $5 ages 2-17, free 2 and under.

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Spyscape
Photograph: Courtesy Scott Frances
Museums, Special interest

“DRIVEN: 007 x SPYSCAPE”

Spyscape, Midtown West

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: Courtesy Evan Joseph Images
Things to do

Empire State Building's Reimagined Observatory Experience

Empire State Building | Manhattan, NY, Midtown West

NYC's most popular Instagram landmark underwent a renovation that is practically as breathtaking as its views of Manhattan. The $165 million reimagined Observatory Experience at the Empire State Building allows visitors to learn about all aspects of the iconic building: from the moment it was built to its place in pop culture today. Galleries focus on the construction, opening day and everything in between. Catch 70+ screens depicting the building's place in the NYC skyline, see if your favorite celebrity has made a visit and, of course, get a taste of King Kong! Giant ape fingers pierce the wall of a 1930s-themed office. Yikes! All ages. 

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New York Historical Society. PBDW architect renovations
Photogrpah: Jonathan Wallen
Museums, History

Meet the Presidents at the New-York Historical Society

New-York Historical Society | Manhattan, NY, Upper West Side

A special permanent gallery at the New-York Historical Society dedicated to the country's Presidents includes a detailed recreation of the White House Oval Office: Here's your chance to even sit behind (a copy of) the Resolute Desk and pose for the cameras. All ages.

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Photograph: Courtesy NYC GO and Off Broadway Week
Theater

Blue Man Group

Astor Place Theatre, Downtown
4 out of 5 stars

  A sea of toilet paper, neon paint splashes and three blue men have kept audiences laughing and amazed in this long-running Off-Broadway hit. Stand by as these other-worldly fellows learn about the environment around them...and make a bit of noise in the process (largely thanks to the large tubs of paint). You'll laugh, you'll catch one of the group members in the audience and you'll love the wonky happenings throughout the performance. If you catch a show in the first row, wear the poncho—chances are you're going to get splattered with something! Ages 5 and up. 

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Photograph: Courtesy NYC GO and Off Broadway Week
Theater

Gazillion Bubble Show

New World Stages, Hell's Kitchen
4 out of 5 stars

Husband and wife duo Fan and Ana Yang have traveled world-wide to dazzle their audiences with their self-titled masterpiece, "bubble artistry." As lights flicker and music plays, prepare to catch some of the wonkiest looking bubbles you've ever encountered. Kids and parents alike will love how these soapy spectacles create a can't-miss experience. Ages 5 and up.

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stomp listing
Theater, Musicals

Stomp

Orpheum Theater, East Village
Open run

This shrewd garbage heap of clog dancing, prop comedy and chest-thumping percussion spins out impressive (if numbing) variations on vaudeville by way of English punk.

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Photograph: Courtesy Rockefeller Productions
Theater, Children's

Paddington Gets in a Jam

DR2 Theatre, Gramercy

The U.K.'s most popular marmalade-loving bear is making his way to NYC this winter. Catch Paddington in a Jam, a production from Jonathan Rockefeller, in Union Square. The creator of The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show brings Paddington's journey to life on stage—which is perfect for those who can't resist the famed character's movies and stories. Although audiences might be inclined to have some jam during the performance, note that food is prohibited in the theater! Ages 3–8. 

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Photograph: Courtesy New York City Children's Theater
Theater, Children's

Taste The Clouds

The Flea Theater, Tribeca

Expose your tots to the NYC theater scene one show at a time. The perfect intro for the younger set, Taste The Clouds is a 30-minute interactive performance from Hit the Lights! Theater Co. that uses puppetry and live music to tell the story of a little girl who puts her imagination into overdrive. If your kiddos are fan of the picture book Taste the Clouds by Rita Marshall, this theatrical adaptation is a must-see! Ages 2–5. 

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Photograph: Courtesy Mikiodo
Theater, Children's

Show Up, Kids

Kraine Theater, East Village

After stints in California and the U.K., it's only fitting that Show Up, Kids returns to NYC. This interactive performance will elicit the help of the audience entirely when Peter's main act is a no-show! Theater-goers will get their say in plenty—plots, props, characters, costumes—during this improvised laugh-out-loud experience! Ages 3–10. 

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Aladdin
Theater, Musicals

Aladdin

New Amsterdam Theatre, Midtown West
Open run
3 out of 5 stars

Aladdin. New Amsterdam Theatre (see Broadway). Music by Alan Menken. Lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice. Book and additional lyrics by Chad Beguelin. Directed by Casey Nicholaw. With Adam Jacobs, James Monroe Iglehart, Courtney Reed. Running time: 2hrs 20mins. One intermission. Aladdin: In brief Disney unveils its latest cartoon-to-musical project: the tale of a boy, an uncorked spirit and an aerodynamic rug. Composer Alan Menken adds new tunes to the 1992 original soundtrack, and Chad Beguelin provides a fresh book. Reputed highlights include James Monroe Iglehart's bouncy Genie and the flying-carpet F/X. Aladdin: Theater review by Adam Feldman What do we wish for in a Disney musical? It is unrealistic to expect aesthetic triumph on par with The Lion King, but neither need we settle for blobs of empty action like Tarzan or The Little Mermaid. The latest in the toon-tuner line, Aladdin, falls between those poles; nearer in style (though inferior in stakes) to Disney’s first effort, Beauty and the Beast, the show is a tricked-out, tourist-family-friendly theme-park attraction, decorated this time in the billowing fabrics of orientalist Arabian fantasy. “It’s barbaric, but hey, it’s home,” sings the genial Genie (a game, charismatic Iglehart) in the opening song, and that’s the tone of Aladdin as a whole: kid-Oriented. As in the 1992 film, the Genie steals the show from its eponymous “street rat” hero (Jacobs, white teeth and tan chest agleam). The musical’s high point i

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Photograph: Courtesy Matthew Murphy
Theater, Drama

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Lyric Theatre, Midtown West
Open run
5 out of 5 stars

Theater review by Adam Feldman  The world of Harry Potter has arrived on Broadway, Hogwarts and all, and it is a triumph of theatrical magic. Set two decades after the final chapters of J.K. Rowling’s world-shaking kid-lit heptalogy, the two-part epic Harry Potter and the Cursed Child combines grand storytelling with stagecraft on a scale heretofore unimagined. Richly elaborated by director John Tiffany, the show looks like a million bucks (or, in this case, a reported $68 million); the Lyric Theatre has been transfigured from top to bottom to immerse us in the narrative. It works: The experience is transporting. Jack Thorne’s play, based on a story he wrote with Rowling and Tiffany, extends the Potter narrative while remaining true to its core concerns. Love and friendship and kindness are its central values, but they don’t come easily: They are bound up in guilt, loneliness and fear. Harry (Jamie Parker) is weighted with trauma dating back to his childhood, which hinders his ability to communicate with his troubled middle son, Albus (Sam Clemmett); it doesn’t help that Albus’s only friend is the bookish outcast Scorpius Malfoy (the exceptional Anthony Boyle), son of Harry’s erstwhile enemy, Draco (Alex Price). Despite the best intentions of Harry’s solid wife, Ginny (Poppy Miller), and his friends Hermione (Noma Dumezweni) and Ron (Paul Thornley), things turn dark very fast. Set designer Christine Jones and lighting designer Neil Austin keep much of the stage shroude

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Perfect Monster
Photograph: Photo credit: Chad David Krause
Theater, Children's

How to Eat Like a Child… from TADA! Youth Theater

TADA! Theater, Flatiron

A kid’s guide to being a kid with numbers such as "How to Torture Your Sister," "How to Beg for a Dog" and "How to Stay Home from School" The hilarious TADA! production featuring kid actors was first staged in 1984. All ages.

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Wicked
Photograph: Courtesy Tristram Kenton
Theater, Musicals

Wicked

Gershwin Theatre, Midtown West
Open run
4 out of 5 stars

This musical prequel to The Wizard of Oz addresses surprisingly complex themes, such as standards of beauty, morality and, believe it or not, fighting fascism. Thanks to Winnie Holzman’s witty book and Stephen Schwartz’s pop-inflected score, Wicked soars. The current cast includes Jackie Burns as Elphaba and Amanda Jane Cooper as Glinda.

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Mean Girls
Photograph: Courtesy Joan Marcus
Theater, Musicals

Mean Girls

Open run
4 out of 5 stars

Theater review by Adam Feldman  Teenage girls rule in the tart but sweet new Broadway musical Mean Girls. But their system of high-school government is far from a democracy: It’s a reign of terror, angst and mall fashions, where popularity is arrogated and then ruthlessly enforced. Having spent her childhood being home-schooled in Kenya, nature and math enthusiast Cady (Erika Henningsen) is initially confused by the rigid caste system of her new school in Chicago. She tries to be nice, but the ruthlessness of American teenage culture brings out Cady’s predatory instincts. She reverts to the mean. A canny crossbreed of Heathers and Hairspray, the musical has been adapted by Tina Fey from her own 2004 cult movie, and updated to reflect the new realities of smartphones and social media. Fey is one of the sharpest comic writers in America, and the show remains, in some sense, her vehicle: an auto de Fey, burning with bookish anger at the limits young women place on each other and themselves. (Her film role as a pushy calculus teacher is amusingly evoked by Kerry Butler, who also plays the other adult women.) But this version of Mean Girls is not just a copy of the original. The most famous lines from the screenplay are here, but Casey Nicholaw’s energetic staging wisely breezes past them; the newer jokes get bigger laughs, while the score—by Jeff Richmond and Nell Benjamin—successfully builds on Fey’s knowingly corrective tone. (“This is modern feminism talkin’,” sings a high-

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51
Dear Evan Hansen
Photograph: Joan Marcus
Theater, Musicals

Dear Evan Hansen

Open run
5 out of 5 stars

In this captivating original musical, actual teenager Andrew Barth Feldman now plays the title role of a high school student thrust into social relevance after a classmate's suicide. (Jordan Fisher takes over the role on January 28.) Benj Pasek and Justin Paul's score combines well-crafted lyrics with an exciting pop sound, and Steven Levenson’s book gives all the characters shaded motives. Read the full review.

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Come From Away
Photograph: Matthew Murphy
Theater, Musicals

Come from Away

Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, Midtown West
Open run
4 out of 5 stars

One of the more unlikely musicals on Broadway this season, Come from Away is the tense but humane story of an airport in Gander, Newfoundland, where 38 planes and more than 6,000 passengers were forced to land on September 11, 2001. The book, music and lyrics are by the Canadian team Irene Sankoff and David Hein. Read the full review.

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53
Photograph: Courtesy Jeremy Daniel
Theater, Children's

New Victory Theater's 2019-2020 Season

New Victory Theater, Midtown West

The NYC theater scene is gearing up for a kid-friendly lineup. During the 2019-2020 season at the New Victory Theater, families will be able to hang with their favorite picture-book fishes, listen to Aesop's fables and much more. The schedule, which is available on the theater's website, is as follows:   The Pout-Pout Fish: Oct 12–20 for ages 4–7 Aesop's Fables: Nov 1–2 for ages 7 and up  RE:PLAY: Nov 15–Dec 1 for ages 6 and up  42 FT–A Menagerie of Mechanical Marvels: Dec 6–Jan 5 for ages 5 and up  Cartography: Jan 10–19 for ages 10 and up Riddle of the Trilobites: Feb 7–23 for ages 6 and up  Drumfolk: Feb 28–Mar 15 for ages 7 and up  Treasure Island: Mar 20–29 for ages 8 and up  Magic Shadows: Apr 3–19 for ages 5 and up  Snow White: Apr 24–May 4 for ages 7 and up  Jabberbabble: May 9–17 for ages 4–7 Fierce 5: May 30–June 14 for ages 9 and up 

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Photograph: Courtesy Elizabeth Shrier
Things to do

Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park

Bryant Park, Midtown West

Every year, Bryant Park transforms into a winter village complete with an outdoor ice skating rink right at the center. Shop from local vendors selling food and drinks and get an early start on those holiday wish lists. Wonderful pop-up shops for kids and families abound, as well as eateries with sweet and savory cusines from around the globe. Holiday festivities are scheduled from the opening day, as Oct 31 will welcome kiddos for Tricks and Treats from 4–6:30pm. Later in the season, little ones can visit Santa from Dec 14–22, so tell your crew to start brainstorming! All ages.

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Photograph: Courtesy of The New York Botanical Garden
Things to do, Games and hobbies

Drop-In Nature Exploration at the New York Botanical Garden

New York Botanical Garden | Bronx, NY, The Bronx

The Everett Children’s Adventure Garden offers guided activities every day. Your little horticulturist can climb boulders for a better view of the landscape, navigate Beth’s Maze and see the lily pads at the Habitat Hub. Come back each season to the 12-acre garden and check out new programs featuring hands-on activities and take-home projects. All ages.

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Theater

The Little Mermaid

Players Theatre, Greenwich Village

Michael Sgouros and Brenda Bell bring the Disney classic to life Off-Broadway at the Players Theatre in the West Village. In this Literally Alive Family Theatre production, journey alongside our beloved mermaid, Ariel, as she learns about a whole new world—from falling in love with a prince to making sacrifices when she's no longer under the sea. Catch an arts workshop one hour before showtime on Sundays. Ages 5 and up. 

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