RECOMMENDED: See the best things to do with kids this weekend
Saturday, Feb 24
This film fest for kiddos showcases approximately 125 features and shorts from around the globe each year, and rounds out the experience with retrospectives, interactive workshops and filmmaker Q&As for families. This year, don’t miss a special sneak peek at the second season of A Series of Unfortunate Events, animated features and shorts from Japan, Mexico and other far-flung cultures, and special talks about the future of virtual reality. Though a jury determines which director takes home the grand prize and other esteemed awards, young audience members can cast their votes in various categories. Ages 3 to 18. Various times and locations. Please check the website for a complete lineup.
Brooklyn Academy of Music's "Digital Playground" is back for another three weekends of immersive art-tech installations.The BAM Fisher Building is transformed into a massive gallery of cutting-edge exhibits from artists and inventors from around the world. This year's collection of exhibits includes a cascading 20 foot-tall wall of full-color LEDS called Light Orchestra, a chance to direct and act in your own film with Storymaker, virtual reality experiences, interactive films and much more. Entry is timed with 90-minute sessions during the day or 2 hours in the evening. Ages 6 and up.
Keep your kids busy during midwinter break with daily matinees of My Neighbor Totoro, plus drop-in art-making and animation projects inspired by the film. If you're a purist, you'll also enjoy Feb 24's screening, which will be in Japanese with English subtitles. All ages.
Kids with the week off can choose from a number of workshops over mid-winter break. Drop in on the afternoons to create colorful tapestries inspired by the clothing found in the museum's special exhibit Veiled Meanings: Fashioning Jewish Dress, from the Collection of the Israel Museum (Feb 18–20 and Feb 21–23, 1pm-4pm; ages 4 and up). Go on a simulated archaeological dig to find featured artifacts with Archaeology Monday (Feb 19, 3pm–5pm; ages 3–10). Preschoolers and their parents are invited to Art Explores, a program the involves exploring a current exhibit and then visiting the museum's art studio (Feb 20, 4pm–5pm; $10; ages 3-4). The vacation week ends with a special Purim-celebration, complete with costumes, puppets and a live concert from the Grammy-nominated band The Pop Ups (Feb 25 at 11:30am; $18; ages 3–8). Ages 4 and up.
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.
Families are invited to an afternoon of Shabbat programming and recreational activities at the 14th Street Y. Kids can jump in the pool for Family Swim time, play with inflatable games and participate in interactive dance and fitness classes. Upcoming themes include a Hanukkah Celebration (Dec 2), Family Fit Day (Jan 6), Tu BiShvat (Feb 3) and Spring Carnival (Mar 17). Be sure to stick around for a community art project. All ages.
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.