The best things to do with kids in NYC this week

The best things to do with kids in NYC this week including festivals, museum exhibits and other great events
Photograph: Courtesy K Corbin and J Sparks
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Enjoy the best things to do with kids in NYC this week! We're entering the last few weeks of summer (it's gone by so quickly!), and it's your last chance to make the most of your kid's summer vacation. Take plenty of day trips for kids from NYC and get inspired by our list of the family beach vacations and cheap family vacations. Staying in the city? Browse our list of the coolest kids' events happening right now below.

Best things to do with kids in NYC Aug 13–17

Photograph: Courtesy Stage Nine Exhibitions
Museums

"Animation Academy: From Pencils to Pixels"

icon-location-pin Queens
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Kids interested in animation technology should explore this fantastic exhibit, which includes opportunities for families to make their own stop-motion animated shorts and learn about things like storyboarding and creating animation drawings. The experience also includes animated characters like Gumby, the world's largest 3-D Zoetrope and a deeper look into the work of Chuck Jones (behind Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons). All ages.

Photograph: Courtesy CMOM
Art

"Art, Artists & You"

icon-location-pin Upper West Side
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The Children's Museum of Manhattan is putting little visitors in the driver's seat. “Art, Artists & You,” a combination of an art studio and exhibit, encourages children to explore the creative process with several main components: working on stop motion animation, crafting a model of a pet or contributing to a wall hanging. “We want visitors to consider what it means when art is made of familiar object and materials, and how they can use these everyday items to make something new that expresses their thoughts, aspirations, and personal perception of the world,” David Rios, Children’s Museum of Manhattan’s director of public programs and the exhibit’s curator, said in a statement. All ages. 

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Photograph: Courtesy Peter Kuper
Things to do, Exhibitions

"Underground Heroes: New York Transit in Comics"

icon-location-pin Boerum Hill
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We need a little levity while commuting, so why not get a chuckle with "Underground Heroes: New York Transit in Comics"? The New York Transit Museum just released this silly (yet all-too familiar) exhibit of cartoons—ranging from the 19th to 21st century—depicting rides through on the trains. All ages.   

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Museums, Childhood

H20 Boat Races

icon-location-pin Upper West Side
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Using recycled materials, children create their own miniature boats. Then they can test their designs to see if they actually float outside at the museum's Dynamic H2O exhibit and can compete to see whose boat is the fastest going down the stream. All ages.  

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Photograph: Courtesy Ripley's Believe It Or Not
Things to do, Quirky events

Ripley's Relic

icon-location-pin Midtown West
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Believe it or not, Ripley's has uncovered yet another way to blow visitors' minds! This time, museum-goers have the option to tackle a new immersive experience titled "Ripley's Relics." Here, they'll be able to tackle high-tech equipment (with the help of a guide) to uncover unusual symbols that were discovered right in the venue's home: Times Square. Think you have what it takes to crack the code? All ages. 

Things to do

Summer Streets

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Take away the taxis, Ubers and trucks and what do you have? A very quiet NYC street. During Summer Streets, the three-Saturday event turns seven miles of NYC turf into a car-free zone, but those empty streets certainly don't go to waste. The Brooklyn Bridge all the way to Central Park will be cleared of vehicles, creating a pedestrian paradise complete with food and entertainment. This year's offerings include Potting with the New York Botanical Garden (Aug 11), learning about the importance of Color Theory (all weekends), kite-making with Brooklyn Children's Museum (Aug 18), theater, music, dance, tai chi and so much more. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for outdoor art installations, too. Get the full list of events here. From Park Ave at 72nd St to Centre St at Brooklyn Bridge. All ages.

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Things to do, Exhibitions

Our Senses: An Immersive Experience

icon-location-pin Upper West Side
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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.

Museums

Rocket Park Mini Golf

icon-location-pin Queens
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The perfect activity for lovers of putt putt golf and rocketships! At Rocket Park Mini Golf, your golf ball will experience the same principles of physics (like the law of motion and gravity) that a spaceship employs. This nine hole golf course will teach kiddos (and adults alike!) important science concepts like escape velocity, gravitational assist and more. Ages 6 and up.

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Photograph: Courtesy Books Are Magic
Kids

Storytime at Books Are Magic

icon-location-pin Carroll Gardens
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Each Saturday and Sunday at 10:30am this enchanting independant kids bookstore in Cobble Hill hosts a storytime. 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. All ages.

Photograph courtesy Andrew Kelly
Museums

Science Playground

icon-location-pin 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. Ages 6 and up.

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Photograph: Courtesy LEGOLand Discovery Center Westchester
Things to do, Games and hobbies

Kid vs Grown-Up Build

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LEGO bricks are irresistible, no matter the builder's age. During a month-long extravaganza, LEGOLand Westchester will pit adults against kids to see who has more skills in the engineering department. The second Kid vs. Grown-Up challenge asks opponents to put their creativity to the test, ultimately to see who can create the ultimate masterpiece. The stakes are high, as a grand-prize winner will be announced at the end of the event, and he or she will be rewarded with a private build session and epic LEGO® trophy. Good luck! (Advanced ticket purchase recommended.) All ages. 

Photograph courtesy Randall's Island Park Alliance
Things to do, Classes and workshops

Art on the Farm

icon-location-pin Randall's Island
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On Saturdays, Randall's Island Urban Farm invites the whole family to participate in art projects. Using inspiration from the farm life, create watercolor masterpieces, craft nature prints, and work on nature journals. All ages. 

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Photograph: Courtesy Daniel Avila/NYC Parks
Things to do

Summer Fun at Rockaway Beach

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There's no better feeling than the sand between your toes and the smell of the sea. Make your outdoor adventures even more exciting thanks to Summer Fun at Rockaway Beach, a new waterside program in conjunction with Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy, Queens Library and the Friends of Rockaway Beach. The area surrounding the Beach 98th St boardwalk was once empty, but now, it's home to fun lawn games, ping pong tables, a book share program, volleyball nets and more. If you need a little break after catching a few waves, this is a perfect way to relax and enjoy the wonders of this beach town. All ages. 

Big City Fishing
Photograph: Courtesy Hudson River Park Trust
Things to do, Classes and workshops

Big City Fishing

icon-location-pin Hell's Kitchen
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For this aptly named program, Hudson River Park runs beginner lessons in multiple locations throughout the summer. Kids can learn the rod-and-reel basics, and get familiar with the types of fish that swim the local water—the program has an emphasis on river ecology and education. Ages 5 and up.  

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

Unseen Oceans

icon-location-pin 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.

Live at the Archway
Tory Williams
Music, Music festivals

Live at the Archway

icon-location-pin DUMBO
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The Manhattan Bridge Archway is the place to be on Thursday evenings this summer, when this free 18-week performance series serves up swing dancing, world roots music, DJs and more. Kids can swing along to jazzy beats from the Blue Vipers on July 5, watch as various dance companies stun on July 26 and much more. Visit dumbo.is to see the full schedule. All ages.

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Photograph: Courtesy Hudson River Park
Things to do, Performances

Hudson RiverKids

icon-location-pin Chelsea
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Free family performances are happening all summer long at Piers 25 and 62 thanks to Hudson RiverKids (hosted by Hudson River Park)! See Kid Ace (June 4 and September 6 at 4pm), the Story Pirates (July 16 and 19 at 6:30pm), Alex and the Kaleidoscope Band (June 18, 21 at 6:30pm), Ramblin’ Dan and the Freewheelin’ Band (July 23, 26 at 6:30pm) and many more! See Hudson River Park's website for even more details. All ages.

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Museums, Military and maritime

Staten Island Children's Museum Blue Star Museums Program

icon-location-pin Staten Island
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The Staten Island Children's Museum is saying "thank you." From Memorial Day to Labor Day, active and reserve military personnel and their families will be able to receive free access to the museum thanks to the attraction's participation in the Blue Star Museums program. Whether you and your family are attending the ShopRite Kidz Cook Friday afternoon sessions or the Weekend Art Studios, this is certainly a wonderful and well-deserved token of appreciation. Check out what other museums are participating here. All ages. 

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Photograph: Courtesy Field Station Dinosaurs
Things to do

Super Stars of Science

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Field Station: Dinosaurs is taking full advantage of summer, and little paleontologists will reap the benefits. The weekly Saturday program, Super Stars of Science, will introduce visitors to a new guest each week. The schedule is listed below. All ages.  July 14: Cretaceous Kira Redzinak (STEM Enrichment Specialist)July 21: Robert J. Novins Planetarium Manager Amanda BoyleJuly 28: “Dino Don” Lessem (advisor to Jurassic Park and Disney’s Animal Kingdom)Aug 4: Chris Palmieri (Field Station: Dinosaurs & NBC Universal’s Sprout House Puppeteer)Aug 11: Mad Science’s “Magnetic Matt” CorderoAug 18: School of Rock Montclair’s Kevin MarchAug 25: Marc Rogoff (Geologist with NJ Dept. of Environmental Protection & NJ Earth Science Teachers’ Association)

Photograph: Courtesy New York Botanical Garden
Things to do

Dig! Plant! Grow!

icon-location-pin The Bronx
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NYC is a great place to start a garden—you just need to know where to look. At NYBG's Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden, budding botanists can try their hand at a variety of activities and pick up important skills needed when navigating through the dirt. The "Dig! Plant! Grow!" program explores a variety of topics from Tuesdays through Sundays, including "Scent-sational Herbs" (June 19–July 15), "Pickle Me" (July 17–Aug 10), "Pollinator Pals" (Aug 14–Sept 9) and "Corn, Beans, Squash" (Sept 13–Oct 4). Make sure you head online to snag tickets for the session your kiddo wants to join. All ages. 

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More fun things to do

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