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

Jan 26–27

Photograph: Courtesy T A Smith
Theater, Puppet shows

​Cinderella at PuppetWorks

icon-location-pin Puppetworks, Park Slope
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A classic fairy tale we all know and love is getting the marionette treatment at PuppetWorks. Watch Cinderella lose her glass slipper in artistic director Nicolas Coppola's adaptation of the Disney tale. The wooden puppets will bring the scenery from 18th-century France to life as  Jules Massenet's music echoes in the background. Reservations are recommended. Ages 3 and up. 

Photograph: Mariella Solan
Things to do

Winter Jam 2019

icon-location-pin Central Park, Great Lawn, Central Park
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Amid the messy streets and cold temps, we may sometimes forget that winter in New York is supposed to be awesome. (Seriously.) The Parks Department reminds us why we should love the colder months thanks to Winter Jam, its annual winter sports festival in Central Park. Families can learn or take part in snowshoeing, skiing and sledding. Bring your own snow sports gear or borrow the equipment on load at no cost, then while away the hours sipping hot chocolate and enjoying the outdoors during this ultimate snow day. The rain date for the 2019 event is Feb 2. Enter the park at 72nd St, as the festivities will take place in the Bandshell area. All ages.

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Photograph: Courtesy Bryant Park Corporation
Things to do

Read-to-Skate Story Time

icon-location-pin Bryant Park, Midtown West
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Bryant Park will keep the winter fun alive on Saturdays with the help of Cali Co Cat. Kiddos' favorite character will read the best stories in town, and afterward, littles have a chance to earn a free skating session on the ice rink. If you attend two story times and one New York Public Library program at the 42nd St location (and/or take out a NYPL book), you'll be entitled to a free skate. Have an adult who wants to get in on the action? Those youngsters who attend three story times will get a skating freebie for one adult, too. Bonus points? Free books are given out while supplies last. Learn more about the program and scoring those sweet deals here. All ages. 

Photograph: Courtesy Beth Levendis
Things to do, Literary events

Greenlight Bookstore Children’s Programming

icon-location-pin Multiple venues
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Get kids off on the right foot this new year by cultivating in them a joy of reading. With Greenlight Bookstore’s Saturday storytimes (11:30 am at the Fort Greene location; 1:30 pm at the Prospect Lefferts Garden store), children can enjoy books by exciting authors. Learn about the history of hip-hops — the music, art, and and culture that made it possible — through Frank Morrison's magnificently illustrated The Roots of Rap (Jan 12), or get lost in the imaginative world of cartoonist Tom Eaton's comics series Bug Zapper (Jan 26). Kids can also enjoy a particularly active storytime with VeroyogaNYC, which will combine books with actual yoga (Jan 19).

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Photograph: Courtesy The Morgan Library & Museum
Art

“Tolkien: Maker of Middle Earth”

icon-location-pin The Morgan Library & Museum, Murray Hill
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Bookworms will not want to miss The Morgan Library’s tribute to J.R.R. Tolkien. Those who visit this new exhibit will be able to get a first-hand look at the author’s original drawings, manuscripts, family memorabilia and artifacts that depict how his fantasy world came to be. All ages. 

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Things to do, Quirky events

Queens Museum Spooktacular

icon-location-pin Queens Museum, Queens
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Get a taste of Halloween in January with the Queens Museum's Spooktacular Family Fundraiser. You'll get chills during the Boneyard Boogie (the 2019 theme), which beckons ghosts and ghouls of all ages into its creey gallery for live music, scavenger hunts, face painting,  and other horrifingly fun activities. Why not kick off the year with this epic costume party? All ages. 

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Photograph courtesy Lincoln Center
Kids, Festivals

LC Kids

icon-location-pin Lincoln Center, Hearst Plaza, Upper West Side
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Every year Lincoln Center presents a phenomenal lineup of programming for kids of all ages. This years, wee ones (ages 0–18 months) can explore their surroundings with Rain, a sensory performance that includes touch and music, while slightly older babies (ages 6 months-36 months) can join a friendly environment for creative exploration with Pulsar. Highlights for big kids include Is this a Dagger? The Story of Macbeth (ages 8 and up), a retelling of the classic tale by a Scottish storyteller; You Me and the Space Between (ages 6 to 12), a performance about an inventive child that utilizes storytelling and choreography; Soundtrack '63 (ages 12 and up), a multimedia musical experience about music's relationship to social justice. A number of shows offer relaxed performances for neurodiverse audiences. Visit here for more details. 

Music

Jazz for Kids

icon-location-pin Jazz Standard, Flatiron
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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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Movies, Family and kids

Film Forum Jr. Spring Season

icon-location-pin Film Forum, West Village
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From mid-December through March, spend chilly weekend mornings at Film Forum's popular family-friendly movie series. Watch time-tested faves like It's a Wonderful Life (Dec 15 and 16), Charlie Chaplin’s The Circus (Dec 22 and 23), Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (Jan 19 and 20), The Muppet Movie (Feb 2 and 3), and more. Visit filmforum.org to view the complete schedule and grab your tickets. All ages.

FAP Butterfly Habitat Hats
Photograph courtesy Joshua Bright
Things to do, Classes and workshops

Family Art Project: Painted Papers and the Stories of Eric Carle

icon-location-pin Wave Hill, The Bronx
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Experience the beloved children's books of Eric Carle (The Very Hungry Caterpillar; Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See) in a brand new way. Wave Hill's storytellers share a few of the imaginative tales. Then it's the kids turn to create their own pictures using the same techniques the author used to bring his characters to life. Head by when the class opens, as admission is free until noon. Ages 3 and up. 

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Photograph: Courtesy LICM
Museums

“Sonic Sensation”

icon-location-pin Long Island Children's Museum, Long Island
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C'mon, feel the noise! The Long Island Children's Museum will feature a new traveling exhibit, “Sonic Sensation,” which explores sound in our everyday lives. This interactive experience allows young visitors to learn more about pitch, make a movie soundtrack and let it all out in the scream chamber. There will also be a variety of complimentary educational offerings to coincide with the exhibit. Learn more here. All ages. 

Things to do, Exhibitions

New York Boat Show

icon-location-pin Javits Center, Hell's Kitchen
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While parents might be content to peruse the boat selection at this annual event, younger attendees can enjoy life pretending to be on the high seas. The expanded Touch-a-Boat Tour includes 10 working vessels where kids can hop aboard and learn all about their favorite mode of floating transportation. Kids can even fill out their own "passport" as they travel from boat to boat. Don't forget to take a picture from behind the helm! All ages.

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Photo Credit: Tall Stories
Theater, Children's

Emily Brown and the Thing

icon-location-pin New Victory Theater, Midtown West
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Performers bring a popular picturebook to life and adds a musical twist at The New Victory Theater with this fun children's play. Emily Brown can't get some shut eye because The Thing, a unique creature, has lost his Cuddly and needs is back ASAP. It's up to Emily and her partner in crime, Stanley the Rabbit, to get it back. Ages 4–7. 

Photograph: Courtesy DreamWorks Trolls the Experience
Things to do, Quirky events

DreamWorks Trolls the Experience

icon-location-pin Midtown West

New York City is going to be treated to a dose of color thanks to "DreamWorks Trolls the Experience." When little visitors enter the 90-minute walkthrough exhibit, they'll fall in love with a bunch of exciting features. Poppy's Party Room will include augmented reality and 3D technology in the midst of musical fun. Before getting wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of Troll Village and playing in the life-size Caterbus, youngsters will want to hit the bright, imaginative Hair-We-Go Salon and Barbershop—which is sure to be an Instagram hit for moms and dads. This will be open until May 12, 2019 All ages. 

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Photograph: Danielle Valente
Things to do, Exhibitions

Hug Week NYC

icon-location-pin DreamWorks Trolls the Experience, Midtown West
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Hug it out with Poppy and friends at DreamWorks Trolls the Experience! When you visit the colorful venue during Hug Week (which coincides with part of NYC's Must-See Week), you'll be entitled to a buy-one-get-one-free ticket, a cool sticker and a tight squeeze from the main troll herself: Poppy. To make the offering all the more sweet, the experience will give away 2,019 tickets to neighborhood schools and charities. Note that "Trolls" is closed on Wednesdays. All ages. 

Photograph: Danielle Valente
News, Art

“Mickey The True Original Exhibition”

We certainly hope you have your party hats—er, we mean mouse ears—ready.  On Nov 8, “Mickey: The True Original Exhibition” opened its doors to New Yorkers, and this is one 90th birthday bash you won't want to miss.  “There are incredible installations where we will deep dive into the history of Mickey,”  says curator Darren Romanelli. “There will be a mix of archives that will be in direct dialogue with a curated assortment of contemporary artists that created specific works.” Get ready to experience Mickey like you've never seen him before! The exhibit will be open until Feb 10, 2019. 

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Photograph: Courtesy MCNY
Museums, Childhood

“A City for Corduroy: Don Freeman’s New York”

icon-location-pin Museum of the City of New York, East Harlem
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The Museum of the City of New York will pay homage to Corduroy's creator, illustrator Don Freeman, with the new exhibit, “A City for Corduroy: Don Freeman’s New York.” Expect a glimpse into the creative process of the 1968 story, as well as other popular work from the creator, including drawings, paintings and original sketches. All ages. 

Courtesy Jim Kay/Bloomsbury Publishing
Museums, Special interest

"Harry Potter: A History of Magic"

icon-location-pin New-York Historical Society | Manhattan, NY, Upper West Side
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Take a trip to Hogwarts—without leaving NYC! Potterheads can experience "Harry Potter: A History of Magic," a British Library exhibit that is coming to the New York Historical Society. Harry Potter: A History of Magic will open at the New-York Historical Society October 5, 2018 and will feature rare books, manuscripts and treasures from the British Library’s collections that relate to the myths and magic behind the series. Original drafts and drawings by author J.K. Rowling and illustrator Jim Kay will also be on display for the first time. All ages. 

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Courtesy Jim Kay/Bloomsbury Publishing
Museums, Special interest

Family Programs for "Harry Potter: A History of Magic"

icon-location-pin New-York Historical Society | Manhattan, NY, Upper West Side
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Ready your wands, young wizards: All-things magical and mystical are heading to the New-York Historical Society for the London transplant, "Harry Potter: A History of Magic," a can't-miss exhibit for history buffs and bibliophiles. Fans will be able to celebrate one of the most beloved characters in children's literature and explore a wide variety of artifacts, including work from J.K. Rowling's original manuscript, oracle bones dating back to the 1600s and even costumes from the Broadway play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. But a celebration of Harry and all that he means to us wouldn't be complete without a variety of family events. Here's a full lineup of what parents and kiddos can attend when the exhibit opens on Oct 5.  Hogwarts House Badges, Saturdays and Sundays from 1–4pm, free with museum admission, all ages.  Harry Potter Family Book Club, various dates from 4–6pm, $15, $12 members, ages 14 and under.  Writing Historical Fantasy with Writetopia Lab, Oct 21 2–6pm (ages 8–10) and Nov 3 2–6pm (ages 11-13), $125/student.  History of Magic Family Days, Nov 18 and Dec 9, free with museum admission, all ages.  Harry Potter Trivia for Families, Oct 14 at 2:30 pm, $25, $22 members, all ages.  Historical Hallowe'en, Oct 28 at 5pm, $20, ages 18 and under. 

Photograph: Courtesy Liberty Science Center
Museums, Childhood

"Doc McStuffins"

icon-location-pin Liberty Science Center,
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Little Dottie wants to follow in her mother's footsteps on the TV hit, Doc McStuffins. With the hopes of becoming a doctor, she practices her medical routines on her stuffed animals...who just so happen to come to life! Kids can channel their inner Doc McStuffins by checking in on fury friends in the ER, giving animals X-rays and more. This is a bilingual English and Spanish immersive exhibit. All ages. 

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

Unseen Oceans

icon-location-pin American Museum of Natural History, 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. All ages. 

Photograph: Courtesy Brooklyn Children's Museum
Museums, Childhood

“Science + You”

icon-location-pin Brooklyn Children’s Museum, Crown Heights
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Get those lab coats ready! Little ones can take on the role of scientists in the latest traveling exhibit at Brooklyn Children's Museum. "Science + You" is an interactive opportunity for visitors to explore health and nutrition. In the 1,200 square-foot-space, kids will be able to explore their findings at the Magnification Area, learn about the five food groups in the Test Kitchen and more. All ages. 

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Photograph: Courtesy: Robert Gerhardt and Denis Y. Suspitsyn
Museums, Art and design

"Andy Warhol: From A to B and Back Again"

icon-location-pin Whitney Museum of American Art, Meatpacking District
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Take a look back at Andy Warhol's iconic pieces—portraits, pop and photo silkscreen paintings and other pieces of work—during the Whitney's retrospective that highlights all aspects of his career. During Family Day (Dec 1 from 10:30am–3pm), kids can create their own artistic gems inspired by the late icon. Check the museum's website to see when its Open Studios (Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30am–3pm in November and December, minus holidays) will dedicate its weekly kids’ project to all-things Warhol. All ages. 

Photograph: Courtesy Robb McCormick + Liberty Science Center
Museums, Science and technology

“International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes”

icon-location-pin Liberty Science Center,
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Do you have your magnifying glass ready? You'll need it! Liberty Science Center is taking a step back in time with its latest exhibit, “The International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes," which allows visitors to explore science and technological advances from the late 1800s, decipher the inner workings of forensic specialists today and go through clues to uncover an exclusive mystery! All ages. 

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Photograph: Courtesy Children's Museum of the Arts/Will Ellis
Museums, Special interest

“A Way With Words: The Power and Art of the Book”

icon-location-pin Children's Museum of the Arts, West Village
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There’s no arguing that books are an artform—especially when visiting the Children Museum of the Arts’ eccentric exhibit. In “A Way with Words,” books are transformed into sculptures, paintings and other works to emphasize their importance and history. Museum staff guide young bibliophiles through a craft inspired by the pieces on display. All ages. 

Photograph: Courtesy NASA
Museums, Special interest

"Personal Space"

icon-location-pin Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, 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 Museum of the City of New York, 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.  

Things to do, Exhibitions

Our Senses: An Immersive Experience

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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.

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Photograph: Courtesy Matt Shanley
Museums

Inside You

icon-location-pin American Museum of Natural History, 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.

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Things to do, Exhibitions

"Impractical Jokers: Homecoming"

icon-location-pin Staten Island Museum, 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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Art, Contemporary art

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

icon-location-pin Brooklyn Museum | Brooklyn, NY, 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. 

Photograph: Courtesy NYC GO and Off Broadway Week
Theater, Comedy

Blue Man Group

icon-location-pin Astor Place Theatre, East Village
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  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

icon-location-pin New World Stages, Hell's Kitchen
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  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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Photograph: Courtesy Hunter Canning
Theater, Off Broadway

Puffs, Or: Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic

icon-location-pin New World Stages, Hell's Kitchen
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Love Harry Potter? This one's for you. If you're a fan of witchcraft and wizardry, Puffs will take you back to that certain school, only this time the focus isn't on Harry—it's on the other kids who aren't destined for an epic story...but they'll certainly provide plenty of laughs along the way. All matinee showings of Puffs are family-friendly. All ages. 

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Theater, Musicals

Stomp

icon-location-pin Orpheum Theater, East Village
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Stomp takes percussion to a whole new level. A small cast of characters makes use of atypical objects—wooden polls, push brooms—to create a unique musical experience. A catchy rhythm, impressive dance moves and laugh-out-loud moments prove why this Off-Broadway show is such a crowd pleaser, even if there isn't any dialogue. Your kiddos might be inspired to take household items and start a jam session of their own! Ages 4 and up.

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Photograph: Courtesy The Amazing Max
Theater, Circuses & magic

The Amazing Max

icon-location-pin Theater at Blessed Sacrament, Upper West Side
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Max Darwin, also known as The Amazing Max, uses his bag of tricks to entertain audiences of all ages. Little ones will get to go on stage and become a part of the magician’s interactive routines while he makes the grownups laugh with silly hijinks. Add high-energy fun and enchanting magic and you’ll quickly see why Max has earned his moniker. Plus, the whole family will be able to meet Max in the lobby after the show! Ages 3 and up.  

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Photograph: Credit New York Transit Museum
Things to do

Holiday Train Show at Grand Central Terminal

icon-location-pin Grand Central Terminal, Midtown East
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  Commuting in the winter can be quite a challenge. Between cold temperatures, howling winds and a dusting of snow, getting to and from NYC isn't always easy. However, The New York Transit Museum's model train exhibit at the Grand Central Gallery Annex & Store makes the venture a lot more tolerable. Lionel trains will travel along two 34’ long “O” gauge model train layout, where onlookers will start off in a mini Grand Central and follow along as the route heads toward the North Pole as work from Ebony Bolt is displayed throughout the exhibit. Sounds like a fun way to kill time while you're waiting for your 6pm home, right? All ages.

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