Things to do with kids in NYC this Sunday

Discover the best family-friendly events for making the most of your Sunday with the kids

Photograph: Courtesy Rachael Elana Photography
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RECOMMENDED: See the best things to do with kids this weekend

Sunday, June 23

Photograph courtesy Randall’s Island Park Alliance
Things to do, Quirky events

Waterfront Festival

icon-location-pin Randalls Island Park, Randall's Island
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It's finally summer! Celebrate the vibrant waterfront of Randall's Island with this outdoor festival, which includes nature crafts and activities, face painting and music. Learning about science is made even more fun with a live bubble demonstration from Bubbledad (yes, you can expect some very large bubbles!), while the folks from Arm-of-the-Sea Theater promise to put on a spectacular puppet performance. All ages. 

Photograph: Courtesy Rachael Elana Photography
Things to do, Festivals

The Morgan Library & Museum Summer Family Fair

icon-location-pin The Morgan Library & Museum, Murray Hill
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Celebrate this beautiful season at The Morgan Library & Museum with the Summer Family Fair! Families will have the chance to make crafts related to current exhibitions, listen to a theatrical reading of Walt Whitman’s writing, take a tour and enjoy the Poetry Wall. Ages 3–14. 

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Photograph: Courtesy Books Are Magic
Things to do, Literary events

Family-friendly Pride Storytime

icon-location-pin Books Are Magic, Carroll Gardens
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The empowering podcast Girl Tales will team up with Books Are Magic for a Pride event at the end of June. Inclusive actors will perform A Real Boy by Rae Mariah McCarthy, which is transgender adaptation of Pinocchio. The storytime will also feature selfie opportunities in a photo booth and even a few surprise activities! Ages 6–10.

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Photograph: Melissa Sinclair
Things to do

Smorgasburg

icon-location-pin Multiple venues
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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. 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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Photograph: Courtesy Magic at Coney
Theater, Circuses & magic

Magic at Coney

icon-location-pin Coney Island Museum, 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. All ages.

Photograph: Courtesy Luna Park in Coney Island
News, City Life

Luna Park's new rides

'Tis the season for a hot dog at Nathan's and a few (hundred) rides on the Cyclone. Hop onboard a Stillwell Ave-bound F train and embrace the many Coney Island activities for kids that await.  Luna Park just hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Clockworkz and Atlantic Aviator, two new attractions that certainly deserve a spot on your summer bucket list. Dubbed as a "family thrill ride," Clockworkz is a 33-foot attraction rotates on a vertical axis while its arms swing in circular motions at 13 revolutions per minute. Riders will soar through the air as the clock's arms move in opposite directions. It's go-time, folks! Are you ready for a ride...or seven? Atlantic Aviator is equally as anticipated as Clockworkz, but perhaps better suited for the older thrill-seekers in your crew. Riders will have an experience similar to acrobatic airplane flight courtesy of loops, dips and speeds of up to 25 revolutions per minute. This will be a bigger than Clockworkz, too, reaching a total of 51 feet. 

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Photograph: Courtesy Etienne Frossard
News, Sports & Fitness

Free kayaking in Brooklyn Bridge Park

From now until August, park-goers are welcome to take advantage of kayaking (at no cost!) on Thursdays from 5:30–6:45pm and weekends from 10am–2pm. Venture to Pier 2 and get ready to float across the water. 

Photograph: Courtesy @CreatorsPlanetarium
News, City Life

Pop-up Planetarium

In search of the best summer activities for kids? Prepare for takeoff with a new intergalactic experience (no spaceship required).  EdTech enterprise Creators Tech recently launched a pop-up planetarium, a debut project on view at Crossing Art Gallery in Chelsea until July 7. Astronomy scholars of all ages will certainly want to explore the immersive STEAM activity before its departure. Attendees will be able to journey through three digital interactive spaces, work on creative activities, enjoy stories and of course, snap social media-worthy moments, all in the name of space exploration. Thanks to collaboration from educators, scientists and artists, young visitors will gain a new perspective on the planets. Arguably one of the most engaging aspects of the planetarium is the interactive black hole—the attention its drawn is just as strong as a real-life black gravitational force (and the photo ops are seriously stellar).  The gallery is open Monday through Sunday from 10:30am to 8:30pm. Head online for tickets, which are $25 for adults, $15 for teens and $10 for kiddos under 13.

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Photograph: Courtesy Angelito Jusay
News, City Life

Free Bryant Park activities

Le Carrousel Magique: Now you see it, now you don't! If you little ones have a burning curiosity to uncover what's hiding in the magician's hat, take them to the park's weekly magic shows for kids on Sundays from June 9–Aug 4 from 2–3pm. Loonie Louie, Silly Billy and other tricksters are on the list of performers! 

Photograph courtesy Andrew Kelly/NY Hall of Science
Things to do, Classes and workshops

Make It: One Block Challenge

icon-location-pin New York Hall of Science | Queens, NY, Queens
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A 3-inch block of wood might not seem like a lot, but with some imagination—and the right tools—even beginner woodworkers can build something cool. In this 90-minute workshop, children learn how to use pull saws, rasps, files, sand blocks, vice clamps and hot glue guns to transform their small blocks of wood into a new creation. Ages 7 and up.

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Photograph courtesy Andrew Kelly
Museums

Science Playground

icon-location-pin New York Hall of Science Playground, 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. Note that this feature is weather-permitting. The playground closes at 4pm in November. Ages 6 and up.

Photograph: Courtesy Books Are Magic
Kids

Story Time at Books Are Magic

icon-location-pin Books Are Magic, Carroll Gardens
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Each Saturday and Sunday, this enchanting independant kids bookstore in Cobble Hill hosts a story time. Authors read from their dazzling picture books, that can be incredibly funny, heart-warming, educational or all of the above. Be sure to check out all of the store's unique special events for children and young adult readers, too. Check out the lineup here. All ages.

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Things to do, Literary events

Staff Story Time at Greenlight Bookstore: Prospect Lefferts Gardens

icon-location-pin Greenlight Bookstore (Prospect Lefferts Gardens), Prospect Park
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Join the bibliophiles at Greenlight as they usher in a new generation of readers. Every Sunday, little listeners will enjoy either a classic story, new release, staff favorite or local wordsmiths' page-turner during this weekly storytime event for families. What better way to kickstart Sunday? All ages.  

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

'Superpower Dogs 3D'

icon-location-pin New York Hall of Science | Queens, NY, Queens
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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 Maria Baranova
Theater, Broadway

Be More Chill

icon-location-pin Lyceum Theatre, Midtown West
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It isn't always smooth sailing in high school, but what if you had the power to change those cringe-worthy moments? Jeremy takes the chance in Be More Chill...with some less-than-satisfying results. Ned Vizzini’s YA bestseller (which had a previous Off-Broadway run) will graduate to the Great White Way and dazzle audiences with upbeat music, neon-colored sets and feel-good moments. Get ready for a coming-of-age tale with an epic sci-fi flair. Ages 12 and up. 

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 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. 

Time Out says
Photograph: Courtesy Chianen Yen
Theater

NYU's New Plays for Young Audiences

icon-location-pin The Provincetown Playhouse, Greenwich Village
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NYU introduces three more works in its New Plays for Young Audiences series at the Provincetown Playhouse. Check out Popularity Coach (June 8–9), a play about two kids grappling with gender expectations and the price of popularity; Itzel: The Pirate Queen (June 15–16), a story of pirates, treasure and family; and Return to Sender (June 23–24), which tackles issues related to undocumented immigrants and migration through the eyes of a young boy. Ages 9 and up.  

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Photograph: Courtesy Unsplash + Cecilie Johnsen
Things to do, Classes and workshops

Rainbow Community Pride Flag

icon-location-pin Children's Museum of Manhattan, Upper West Side
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At the Children's Museum of Manhattan, little visitors get to take on the role of artists during Pride month. Pint-sized attendees are encouraged to help paint an enormous rainbow flag that will be accented with unique and vibrant objects. It's time to unleash the creativity during this drop-in workshop! All ages. 

Rendering of a green dinosaur
Photograph: Courtesy Wildlife Conservation Society
Things to do, Quirky events

Bronx Zoo Dinosaur Safari

icon-location-pin Bronx Zoo Wildlife Conservation Society | Bronx, NY, The Bronx
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Advertised as the "biggest, most realistic dinosaur ride in America," the new attraction shuttles families (with narration) through a wooded area packed with 40 ultra-realistic (read: gigantic) animatronic dinosaurs. One of the most notable features will certainly be the two towering Tyrannosaurus rex—as well as the vegetarian Omeisaurus that stretches an impressive 60 feet long. And to make things as realistic as possible, the Bronx Zoo teamed up with a paleontologist from the American Museum of Natural History—Don Lessem even served as an advisor on the original Jurassic Park! The experience is topped off with an ADA-accessible fossil dig area for kids to play in, plus some additional dino-themed activities around the zoo. All ages. 

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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 Sept 2, 2019 All ages. 

Photograph: Courtesy Oscar Williams
Museums, Science and technology

"Above and Beyond: The Ultimate Flight Exhibition"

icon-location-pin New York Hall of Science | Queens, NY, Queens
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The New York Hall of Science will take you out of this world when summer begins—and you don't even need to get out of Queens! In honor of the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, the museum is delving into aviation and aerospace. Visitors can expect a group flying experience via motion-sensing technology, a simulated wind tunnel test, theater presentations and more. This exhibition is presented by Boeing and produced by Evergreen Exhibitions in collaboration with NASA and the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. Learn more at nysci.org. All ages. 

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Photograph: Courtesy Alex Vail copyright BBC NHU 2017
Things to do, Film events

"Oceans: Our Blue Planet"

icon-location-pin American Museum of Natural History, Upper West Side
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Although the spotlight is oftentimes on the dinosaurs, the Museum of Natural History wants to give patrons a chance to experience life under the waves, too, not just on land during prehistoric times. Thanks to the new film, Oceans: Our Blue Planet, musumer-goers can journey with the OceanX research vessel Alucia as it uncovers what's lurking beneath the sea. This film will be shown daily in the Museum’s Samuel J. and Ethel LeFrak Theater in 2D at 11:30am and 4:30pm, and in 3D at 10:30am and 12:30, 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30pm. The schedule is subject to change. All ages. 

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

“T. rex: The Ultimate Predator”

icon-location-pin American Museum of Natural History, Upper West Side
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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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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 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. 

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Photograph: Courtesy Matt Shanley
Museums

Inside You

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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.

Things to do, Exhibitions

Our Senses: An Immersive Experience

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 of MacGillivrary Freeman Films.
Movies, Documentary

Apollo 11: First Steps

icon-location-pin New York Hall of Science | Queens, NY, Queens
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Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing with a screening of this 20 minute movie. The whole family will be amazed by the Apollo 11's story, as the filmmakers reconstruct the vessel's preparation, launch and return using never-before-seen footage. After the film, take your future astronauts to check out the museum's Search for Life Beyond Earth exhibition. 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/The LOOK Collection/Gift of Cowles Magazines Inc./Kenneth Edie
Museums, Sport

“In the Dugout with Jackie Robinson”

icon-location-pin Museum of the City of New York, East Harlem
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Batter up! NYC will mark the centennial of Jackie Robinson’s birth with a grand-slam exhibit. The collection of never-before-seen images, Look magazine spreads and personal memorabilia such as home movies will provide a glimpse into the life of the Brooklyn Dodgers MVP, all while exploring the media’s portrayal of the iconic figure. All ages. 

Spyscape
Photograph: Courtesy Scott Frances
Museums, Special interest

“DRIVEN: 007 x SPYSCAPE”

icon-location-pin Spyscape, Midtown West
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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 Bronx Museum of the Arts + Shyu Ruey-Shiann, Dreambox, 2012.
Museums, Art and design

"Useless: Machines for Dreaming, Thinking, and Seeing"

icon-location-pin Bronx Museum of the Arts, The Bronx
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In an age where we rely on some type of device to fulfill a task, a group of international contemporary artists take a step back. "Useless: Machines for Dreaming, Thinking, and Seeing," is an exhibit that will feature a variety of unique pieces that ultimately puts utility in question. All ages.  

Photograph courtesy Filip Wolak
Things to do

Family Sundays

icon-location-pin The Rubin Museum of Art, Chelsea
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The museum opens up its doors every Sunday for family-friendly activities revolving around various themes (which switch each month). Not only do little ones get to explore their creativity and learn a bit more about particular topics, but they also can revel in the fact that they can take home their art after a day of working on a masterpiece. In May, the events are focused around the museum's The Power of Intention. After checking out the exhibition, the kiddos can experiment with oils and color to make an expressive original piece. Ages 3 and up.

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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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Dance, Ballet

Pasta!

icon-location-pin Abrons Arts Center/Henry Street Settlement, Lower East Side
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This kid-friendly dance performance has a spaghetti twist that'll make you say "Bon Appétit!" American Liberty Ballet's principal dancer, Joan Liu, commissioned this delightfully delicious show that combines classical ballet with wonky concoctions from a pasta-making chef. Prepare for a deliciously dazzling affair! All ages. 

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Theater, Puppet shows

PuppetMobile presents "Bessie’s Big Shot"

icon-location-pin Various locations, Midtown West
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No stage, no problem—the PuppetMobile comes to you! The CityParks' brainchild hits the road beginning May 1 for a spring and summer of performances, workshops and so on. This year, young audiences will be treated to Bessie’s Big Shot, the story of a cow who is willing to try any stunt in order to land a spot in the circus. Visit the City Parks Foundation online to learn when the PuppetMobile is making a pitstop near you! All ages. 

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Theater, Puppet shows

Puss in Boots

icon-location-pin Multiple venues
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Fergus Mundingle and his furry companion Puss are making their way to the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre for a performance of Puss In Boots. In this delightful puppet show, the feline snags a pair of shoes that takes him and his other half on a magical journey. Visit the City Parks Foundation page for any scheduling changes. 

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Things to do, Festivals

Queens International Children's Festival

icon-location-pin Jamaica Performing Arts Center, Harlem
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Join the annual Queens International Children's Festival, where families will enjoy free arts and crafts, music, dance and more! Participants in the Queensboro Dance Festival will show their moves and the Soul Science Lab will delight listeners with interactive stories. The whole crew will find something to love about this weekend event. All ages.

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Things to do, Classes and workshops

Free Family Art Making

icon-location-pin Rockefeller Center | Manhattan, NY, Midtown West
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Let kids channel their creativity with free art programs. Rockefeller Center and the Noguchi Museum will offer a series of free offerings as part of the Frieze Sculpture at Rockefeller Center installation. The schedule of projects is as follows:  April 28: Get the Scoop: Stories and Art from 10:30am–1:30pm, ages 2–11 May 12: 3D: Build Up! from 10:30am–noon, ages 4 and up May 26: Your Neighborhood: Public Art from 10:30am–12:30pm, ages 5–6 June 9: Figures: Strike a Pose from 10:30am–12:30pm, ages 7–11.  June 23: Get the Scoop: Stories and Art from 10:30am–1:30pm, ages 2–11 Register for the events on the Noguchi Museum website. 

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Museums, Childhood

“Justin Favela: Recuérdame”

icon-location-pin Sugar Hill Children's Museum of Art and Storytelling, Washington Heights
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Visitors will gain a deeper understanding of Mexican history and culture through a new perspective thanks to arist Justin Favela. His piece, "Recuérdame," recreates popular landscapes with a unique touch courtesy of piñata-cut tissue paper. There will be a variety of additional family programming in conjunction with "Recuérdame." To learn more, click here. All ages. 

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Attractions, Parks and gardens

"Brazilian Modern: The Living Art of Roberto Burle Marx"

icon-location-pin New York Botanical Garden | Bronx, NY, The Bronx
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The New York Botanical Garden found a muse for its new exhibit. Through a display of drawings, paintings, textiles and other media, the venue will pay tribute to the work of Roberto Burle Marx, a Brazilian artist and plant conservationist. To accompany the exhibit, NYBG will also host a variety of programs—live performances of Brazilian music and dance, poetry walks and more—that celebrate Marx's work. All ages. 

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