RECOMMENDED: Spring break for kids
School's out for a whole week! Got plans? These exciting 2016 spring break activities for kids will keep 'em busy all vacation long. Be sure to cruise our list of 50 things to do with kids in NYC this spring, our easter for kids picks and more to make the most of your family time together.
Spring break activities for kids
Head to the John Street and Main Street sections of Brooklyn Bridge Park to enjoy a bevy of kids activities like games and crafts at this fun-filled family festival. Jump along to tunes at a dance party, decorate a replica of the iconic Brooklyn Bridge with flowers, climb the DUMBO boulders and play games on the new lawns beneath the Manhattan Bridge. Families will love the beautiful views of the city from this vantage point. Located at the corner of John and Jay Sts. All ages.
Youngsters can spend their days off from school learning the ABCs of musical theater through games, improv and dramatic play. Over spring break, they'll hone their acting chops, using the theme "A Secret Garden" (April 25), then welcome summer with "BA Strange Summer" (June 8), "A Silly Summer" (June 9) and "A Sticky Summer" (June 10).Families are invited to watch the last 20 minutes of the day. Early drop-off is available for an additional $10. Ages 6 to 11.
During spring break, head to Sugar Hill Museum of Art and Storytelling for workshops themed around the children’s book José: Born to Dance based on the life of dancer José Limon. Kids will work on paper maché building projects and design their own costumes as they act out theatrical stories based on creatures from the book. On the final day of the camp, kids will watch a musical performance by artists from Young Audiences and then walk over to the Dance Theatre of Harlem to check out a dance performance. Registration is required and income-based scholarships are available. Ages 3 to 8.
Celebrate the beginning of the spring season and enjoy a day of kid-friendly activities, crafts, and live music. Kids get to watch farmers shear a flock of sheep, learn about wool and pasture-raised sheep, check out professional weavers and spinners and try out carding, combing and felting wool. Also, follow the farmers and educators on tours and watch demonstrations. After the shearing is finished, help herd the sheep from the barnyard to the pasture. All ages.
This adaptation of the classic children's story features live music, dancing, and unique sets and costumes. Before each performance, tots can participate in a one-hour arts workshop (except Saturday shows, which are intended for adults and older kids), included in the price of the ticket. Ages 3 and up.
Parents, take your little one out for a relaxing Sunday event you can enjoy, too! The Roxy Hotel is hosting Sunday brunches along with screenings of favorite family movies like 101 Dalmations (April 10), Casper (April 17) and Flubber (April 24). While kids settle in for the movie, moms and dads can feast on the hotel’s buffet-style brunch featuring such treats as Belgian waffles and house-made doughnuts while listening to jazz music in The Roxy Lounge. All ages.
Former Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey clown Bello Nock directs and stars in a fun-filled show along with a talented troupe of circus performers. Tots will be wowed as Bello's gravity-defying hairdo withstands trampoline routines, bungee jumping, high-wire handstands and more. Ages 4 and up.
The PBS Kids TV series from The Jim Jenson Company comes to life for kids in this interactive exhibit that invites them to investigate, explore and discover the world of science. They'll visit Sid's home, school, playground and the Super Fab Lab and answer questions like "Which kitchen gadgets will sink or float?" or "How does a pulley work?" Little ones can even meet Sid himself when his visits the museum on select days this spring. Ages 3 and up.
Come get colorful at Holi Hai, the traditional Indian Festival of Colors. Wear white and purchase colored powder from stalls. Then have fun throwing the colored powder onto one another and getting messy! The powders represent happiness, love and the freedom to live vibrantly. Celebrate Indian traditions through bright colors, music, dance, food and festivities. All ages.
Australian artist Amanda Parer is debuting her popular public art installation in New York. Intrude, composed of five monumental rabbits each sewn in nylon, inflated and illuminated internally, has traveled to more than 19 major cities. The playful bunnies are a symbol for the ways in which humans can change and control the environment. All ages.
After you watch a screening of The Peanuts Movie at 12:30pm, come to this workshop inspired by Charles M. Schultz famous creations. Schultz first started the Peanuts universe as a comic strip. In this 45-minute workshop, kids will create their own character and comic strip to take home. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Ages 5 to 10.
Kids know that their NYC neighborhood is made up of streets, apartment buildings, and playgrounds, but now they'll learn how the place they call home came together thanks to the planning of many different people. They'll get inspired by cool artwork, then take on the roles of urban planners, artists, architects and visionaries and think about what goes into a happy and healthy 'hood. All ages.
Led by ringmaster Lucky Malatsi from South Africa, this exciting show features performances from back-flipping canines Olate Dogs, an Aerial Duet from Columbia and dancing elephants! The audience will be enthralled by the airborne motorcyclists from California and the amazing bicycle tricks from China and don’t miss the Ethiopian Pole Act and Caribbean Dance and Limbo from Trinidad and Tobago. All ages.
Head to Brooklyn Bridge Park for free chamber music concerts every Saturday all summer long. The day’s programs are announced at the beginning of each performance, so everyone is in for a surprise! Each 60-minute concert is followed by a Q&A session with the musicians. Be sure to arrive early, doors open 15 minutes before the performance and no reserved seating is available. Ages 5 and up.
Families can celebrate the diversity of Muslim cultures in America and around the world in this interactive exhibit. Explore gorgeous mosques and design your own buildings inspired by Muslim architecture, learn to say "My name is..." in 15 languages and create original artwork. Kids can exchange ideas and goods along trade routes, make music in the courtyard and even barter at an international souk! Live performances and demonstrations will supplement the exhibition. All ages.
Eataly invites smaller chefs (children 8–12) and their parents to its classroom for an exciting, fun-filled cooking class. Parent and child guests will learn how to prepare three dishes together with the help of resident Chef of La Scuola, plus they'll learn how to recreate the dishes for future meals at home.
Since the publication of Don’t Let the Pigeons Drive the Bus!, Mo Willems has been one of the most popular children’s book authors and illustrators. This exhibit features nearly 100 of his works, giving viewers an inside look at his artistic process. Some of the art on display includes drawings from his award-winning series, Knuffle Bunny and Elephant and Piggie. All ages.
Visit The Met's Ruth and Harold D. Uris Center for Education to check out the second annual Scholastic Art & Writing Award Exhibition. There, you'll see over 600 works on display from NYC teen artists and writers in grades 7–12. It's a great opportunity to view creative stuff from the city's young rising stars—they've all recieved the 2016 Scholastic Art & Writing Award (other recipients have included Andy Warhol, John Baldessari and Kay WalkingStick, to name a few). Opening reception March 11, 6–8pm free.
Learn how a very special group of dinosaurs evolved into the creatures we call birds today via the American Museum of Natural History's new exhibit "Dinosaurs Among Us." Expect to see life-like models (including a 23-foot-long feathered tyrannosaur named Yutyrannus Huali) and rarely-seen dinosaur fossils. All ages.
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.
The story of the legendary Latin baseball player and humanitarian Roberto Clemente comes to life in a kid-friendly bilingual musical. Young Bobby and his friends discover a secret—they have super powers! Little theatergoers will witness Clemente's leadership and courage in the face of adversity, all set to great music and complete with dance numbers, animations and puppetry. All ages.
Tots and their guardians are treated to a tour of the collections, a team activity and a crafting session. November’s theme is “Around the World,” in which kids explore how artists take inspiration from their surroundings. In December, kids will view work from artists who incorporate fantasy and magical themes, then discover the ways in which artists combine, transform and rearrange objects and ideas in January. In February, visit the “This Place” exhibition to learn about the connections between home and expression. Kids will observe symbols of powerful figures throughout history in March, explore ways in which artists gather ideas and inspiration from their communities in April and create wearable and usable art in May. Ages 4 to 7.
Archaeologist Howard Carter discovered the tomb of King Tut almost 100 years ago and now kids will get the opportunity to experience the excavation firsthand. This exhibition provides visitors with an in-depth look at the tomb of famed boy-king, Tutankhamun. Featuring replicas and reconstructions of the burial goods found in the tomb—created by Egyptian craftsmen and Egyptologists—the exhibition will make kids feel as if they’ve traveled 3,000 years back in time. Guests can go on an audio tour based on Howard Carter’s diaries, video documentaries, extensive texts and object descriptions. Additionally, the exhibition will include a series of lectures by Egyptologists and a gallery dedicated to the relationship between New York and King Tut. All ages.
At a very young age, kids are taught that germs are "yucky" and should be eliminated, but now they'll find out that there's much more to those tiny microorganisms that live on and inside our bodies. In this special exhibition, the Museum of Natural History invites families to take a closer look at the 100 trillion bacteria and viruses that make up our microbiome, demonstrating how the microbes can help make vitamins, digest food, pump up our immune system and even affect moods and behavior. Kids can get hands-on with interactive displays, showing where the bacteria live, how we interact with them and beyond. Ages 6 and up.
Set in some of Brooklyn’s coolest playgrounds, this popular community festival celebrates all things puppet! Spin art, games and arts and crafts for $2–4, $5 tote bag decorating and $4 bounce-house access are just a few of the cool activities on offer. There’ll even be a few costumed Star Wars characters in attendance, plus Tuffy Tiger, a bright orange puppet that helps pre-K–through–second-grade students discover the world around them through song and dance. All ages.
NYSCI is holding daily screenings of this inspiring film by National Geographic Studios and narrated by actor and pilot Harrison Ford. Immerse yourself in the world of flying as you watch how aviation has affected travel through a journey to 95 locations in 18 countries depicted with beautiful aerial and nature photography. All ages.
Every parent has seen their kid's eyes light up as a flick like Toy Story or Up unfolds on the screen. Now, families can get a look at how Pixar's movie magic comes together thanks to a behind-the-scenes exhibit created in partnership with Pixar Animation Studios. The original artwork of genius illustrators—from films including Wall-E, Brave and The Incredibles—shows youngsters how their favorite characters developed over time, how the designers trigger our emotions and beyond. In the museum's immersive Process Lab, families will explore the design process through colorscripts, storyboards, sculptures and interactive stations like an 84-inch touch-screen table. Hit up a Design by Hand workshop led by creative staff from Pixar and don't miss screenings of Luxo Jr., a short film from 1986, or a Q&A with John Lasseter (Nov 12). Ages 5 and up.
Practice your “bass face” and get ready for some killer guitar solos—a rockin’ new musical based on the 2003 feature film School of Rock makes its Broadway debut in November! The show follows Dewey Finn, a failed musician posing as a substitute teacher at a refined prep school, as he shirks typical teaching practices to pass on his love of rock ‘n roll to his students. Regular NYC kids got the chance to jam out during open auditions for the show, and now they’ll hit the stage with Alex Brightman—the energetic actor tasked with filling Jack Black’s shoes in the role of Dewey—to perform music from the movie, plus new tunes written by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Ages 8 and up.
Kids who love their fairytales will jump at the opportunity to play a prince, princess, king or queen in Galli Theater's Fairytale Spring Camp. Warm-up, movement and theater games will keep the kids busy, plus they'll get to act out a fun fairy tale together. At the end of the week, the little ones will get to participate in a show for friends and family. English camp runs Apr 25–29 9:30am–2:30pm; German camp runs Mar 29–Apr 1 9:30am–1:30pm; French camp runs Apr 25–29 9:30am–2:30pm. Ages 4–10.
At "Street of Ships," families can expect to see art and artifacts relating to 19th century happenings at the Seaport, plus visitors will learn about the current restoration of the Museum’s 1885 sailing cargo ship called Wavertree—it's considered to be an archetype of the ships that made the area a major hub of global trade. All ages.
Little Red Riding Hood gets a modern update in this puppet show featuring handmade marionettes. The show follows the story of Little Red, a city girl obsessed with her smartphone, who takes a journey from New York City to the country to deliver cupcakes to her grandma. Along the way she meets a band of characters including Wulfric the Wolf, a creature with a serious sweet tooth. Ages 3 to 9.
This exhibition displays more than 100 artifacts from the RMS Titanic ship and allows visitors to tour replicas of the cabins. Upon entering the exhibition, visitors will be given a boarding pass as they assume the role of passengers aboard the Titanic. They'll tour through a chronological journey showcasing the ship’s construction, life on board, the moments of impact and sinking, as well as the present-day efforts to recover and conserve the wreckage. Visitors will get to touch an “iceberg” to feel the freezing temperature of the water at the time the ship sank. All ages.