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 The Intrepid
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Find the best things to do with kids in NYC this week! There's much to do, including a trip to our favorite children's museums, fun free activities for kids and, of course, you'll want to enjoy these President's Day Weekend events as a family. Planning ahead? Don't forget to browse our complete fuide to the coolest spring break ideas!

(In search of more ideas? Book fun adventures—classes, tours and more—here.) 

Best things to do with kids in NYC Feb 18–22

Photograph: Courtesy Museum of the City of New York/The LOOK Collection/Gift of Cowles Magazines Inc./Kenneth Edie
Things to do

Jackie Robinson Family Day

icon-location-pin Museum of the City of New York, East Harlem
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During Jackie Robinson Family Day, the whole crew will get a glimpse into the life of a legend. Kids will go on a scavenger hunt throughout the exhibit and finish off the day with a grand-slam activity: arts and crafts. Little fans of America's pastime will make their own sports pennant and paper baseball to take home as a souvenir. Play ball! All ages. 

Photograph: Courtesy Lizz Kuehl
Restaurants, Bakeries

The ​City Bakery Hot Chocolate Festival ​

icon-location-pin City Bakery, Flatiron
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Cold weather might be swooping in, but there's no reason to fret. New Yorkers are about to embark on one of the best (and most delicious) events of the year—one that will surely provide the warm and fuzzies. That's right, friends: City Bakery's Annual Hot Chocolate Festival is back. Throughout February, the venue offers a tasty, distinct hot chocolate flavor each day, and you're not going to want to miss out. Mom and Dad, you'll be pleased to know that there are also 21+ options that'll add a little kick to your cocoa. Flavors will alcohol will be served beginning at noon, and all flavors are subject to change. If you want to make your delicious treat Instagrammable, be sure to use the hashtag #2019hcf when you post! Here are the list of can't-miss flavors: Feb 1: Happy Hot Chocolate Feb 2: Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate  Feb 3: Super Bowl Hot Chocolate  Feb 4: Milk Chocolate Hot Chocolate  Feb 5: Coconut Chai Hot Chocolate  Feb 6: Darkest Dark Hot Chocolate  Feb 7: Lemon Hot Chocolate  Feb 8: Creamy Stout Hot Chocolate  Feb 9: Hot Chocolate for Babe Ruth Feb 10: Ginger Hot Chocolate  Feb 11: Espresso Hot Chocolate Feb 12: Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate  Feb 13: Pear-Skin Infused White Chocolate  Feb 14: Love Potion Hot Chocolate  Feb 15: White Chocolate and Cherry Bitters  Feb 16: "Happy" Hot Chocolate  Feb 17: S-Morey Hot Chocolate  Feb 18: Chilipepper Hot Chocolate  Feb 19: Darkest Dark Chocolate #2  Feb 20: French Follies Hot Chocolate  Feb 21: White Cho

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Things to do, Literary events

Drag Queen Story Hour featuring Robyn

icon-location-pin Children's Museum of Manhattan, Upper West Side
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With a special emphasis on gender diversity and tolerance, Robyn will lead little ones through an exciting, interactive drag team story time at CMOM. Princess Robyn from Harlem will read different books to little ones, lead them in crafty projects and sing songs. Tickets are required. All ages. 

Photograph: Courtesy NYICFF
Things to do

New York International Children's Film Festival

icon-location-pin Various locations,
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This film fest for kiddos showcases approximately 100 features and shorts from around the globe and rounds out the experience with retrospectives, interactive workshops and filmmaker Q&As for families. This year, don’t miss the opening night with the premiere of The Boy Who Harness The Wind, cartoons such as Gordon & Patty, Heebie Jeebie Shorts, special talks about the future of virtual reality and so much more. 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. There are various times and locations. Please check the website for a complete lineup. Ages 3–18. 

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Jerry Acton, courtesy Audubon Society
Things to do

Great Backyard Bird Count

icon-location-pin Various locations,
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Start taking notes, New Yorkers. No matter where you're located in the five boroughs, no matter how old you are, the Great Backyard Bird Count is something you can join. Now in its 21st year, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society's online data survey invites interested participants to take watch during its annual event (Feb 15–18) to tally the number and types of birds seen throughout a 15-minute or more timeframe. Join bird watchers around the world in this celebration. Even local parks get in on the fun. To learn how to participate in the online survey, click here. All ages. 

Photograph: Courtesy Rebecca Greenfield
Things to do, Exhibitions

Teknopolis

icon-location-pin BAM Fisher, Fort Greene
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Brooklyn Academy of Music's "Digital Playground" is back for another round of immersive art-tech installations.The venue is transformed into a massive gallery of cutting-edge exhibits from artists and inventors from around the world. This year's collection includes 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.

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Photograph: Courtesy The Intrepid
Things to do

Kids Week

icon-location-pin Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, Hell's Kitchen
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During the Intrepid’s annual event, kids participate in fun programs and hands-on workshops while they’re off from school. This year’s focus is STEAM—science, technology, engineering, arts and math—and each day of the week features activities with different themes. Attendees can also look forward to guest appearances and live shows! All ages. 

Photograph: Courtesy CMOM
Things to do, Quirky events

Historic Presidential Thinking Hats at CMOM

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Kids can lead the country this Presidents Day...well, sort of. Head to the Children's Museum of Manhattan for a photo op at the mini president's desk where your kiddo can strike a pose in any historic hat—George Washington’s Tricorn hat, Abe Lincoln's tall crown top hat and so on. While they're sporting historic fashions, they'll be able to deliver executive orders that are most important to them! Sounds like a great way to get involved in our democracy. All ages. 

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Photograph: Courtesy The Intrepid
Things to do

Kids Week

icon-location-pin Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, Hell's Kitchen
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During the Intrepid’s annual event, kids participate in fun programs and hands-on workshops while they’re off from school. This year’s focus is STEAM—science, technology, engineering, arts and math—and each day of the week features activities with different themes. Attendees can also look forward to guest appearances and live shows! All ages. 

Photograph: Courtesy Koko NYC
Things to do, Classes and workshops

Inventor's Lab I - Simple Machines

icon-location-pin KoKo NYC Inventor's Lab, Park Slope
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For kids who never tire of building cool stuff, Koko NYC Inventor’s Lab after-school class lets kids learn about basic simple machines (inclined plane, wedge, lever, wheel and axle, screw and pulley), practice problem-solving techniques and even put their skills to work with their very own inventions. Ages 7–9.

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Photo courtesy Children's Museum of the Arts
Things to do, Classes and workshops

CMA Winter Art Colony: Midwinter Recess

icon-location-pin Children's Museum of the Arts, West Village
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In this weeklong camp young filmmakers and artists can find out what it takes to create their own animated movie. Kids learn how to develop characters, write screenplays, design their concepts and create storyboards before creating puppets and filming their stories. Other techniques the campers learn include how to record voice-overs, use cameras, and the basics of iStopmotion software. Ages 6–12. 

Photograph: Courtesy Staten Island Children's Museum
Things to do, Play spaces

Imagination Playground at the Staten Island Children's Museum

icon-location-pin Staten Island Children's Museum, Staten Island
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Wherever the Imagination Playground goes, we will follow. The interactive pop-up featuring large and small blue building blocks invites littles to build and create. Kids' imaginations will go wild when they stop by for its three-day run at the Staten Island Children's Museum. Ages 1–10. 

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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 Staten Island Children's Museum
Museums, Childhood

Black History Month at the Staten Island Children's Museum

icon-location-pin Staten Island Children's Museum, Staten Island
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The Staten Island Children's Museum will kick off Black History Month with a variety of hands-on programs and workshops celebrating culture. Junior chefs can experiment with Caribbean cooking on Fridays in February (3 and 4pm), an art workshop celebrating André Leon Talley and model Duckie Thot (Feb 19–21 from 11am–4pm), an exploration of the Underground Railroad, followed by a project (Feb 20 1, 2, 3 and 4pm) and a variety of other activities. Head online to see the full lineup for the the month. All ages. 

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Photograph: Courtesy Jeff Kavanaugh
Theater, Children's

Sesame Street Live! Make Your Magic

icon-location-pin Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, Midtown West
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Elmo loves tricks, illusions and hijinks, but he can’t quite master the art of magic himself...until he elicits the help of his friends. When Sesame Street Live! Hits 34th Street, the fluffy, red Muppet discovers his own capabilities in the inspiring story, Make Your Magic. For an additional fee, families can enjoy a character meet-and-greet where they will pose for photos, test their scavenger hunt skills and enjoy magic tricks before the show. All ages. 

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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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. 

Photograph: Courtesy South Street Seaport Museum
Things to do, Play spaces

South Street Seaport Museum miniMATES Winter Season

icon-location-pin South Street Seaport Museum, Financial District
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Tiny tots can get a taste of martime culture at South Street Seaport's miniMATES open play—the perfect spot for mini New Yorkers to deep dive into the subject—and fun activities.  The immersive experience for kiddos lets them enjoy story times, crafts, sing-alongs and other interactive means while learning about all-things boats and ships. Ages 18 mo–4 years. 

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Photograph: Courtesy Jam with Jamie
Things to do, Classes and workshops

Jam with Jamie at Hatch NYC

icon-location-pin Hatch, East Village
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Let's get rockin', tots! The party entertainer behind Jam with Jamie invites little ones to a 45-minute jam session featuring classic songs, today's hits and other beloved tracks. Jamie is at the ready with props and instruments such as shakers, so your kiddos will have plenty of opportunity to get involved in the fun. Ages 0–3. 

Photograph: Nickolas Muray, courtesy the Brooklyn Museum
Museums, Art and design

"Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving"

icon-location-pin Brooklyn Museum | Brooklyn, NY, Prospect Park
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NYC can't seem to get enough of Frida Kahlo. After the success of the New York Botanical Garden's 2015 exhibition on the artist, the Brooklyn Museum will explore her life and work in "Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving." Patrons will be able to take a glance at paintings, drawings, photographs and other items, including clothing and cosmetics. This will be the first time that Kahlo's personal objects from the Blue House in Mexico City will be on display. 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. 

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©AMNH/D. Finnin
Museums

A Night at the Museum Sleepover

icon-location-pin American Museum of Natural History, Upper West Side
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Spend the night with dinosaurs, underwater critters and more creatures who inhabit the Museum of Natural History. Once the doors are locked, kids can roam the venue, taking in beloved exhibits and participating in cool adventures (flashlight required). Who wouldn't want to tuck in under the 94-foot whale? A night at the museum is (literally) the stuff movies are made of! Ages 6–13.

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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 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 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. 

Photograph: Courtesy Scott Frances for SPYSCAPE
Museums, Special interest

SPYSCAPE Spy School

icon-location-pin Spyscape, Midtown West
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Think your kid has what it takes to crack the code? Thanks to SPYSCAPE's newly opened Spy School, you'll have a budding FBI agent on your hands. Students in middle school through college are invited to the afternoon program that allows them to make and break WWII codes in themed Encryption mission, detect lies in Deception booths and much more. “We’re thrilled by the success of SPYSCAPE in New York City, and delighted to be able to offer this experience for free to students,” Ian Oldaker, COO of SPYSCAPE New York said in a statement. “We have had a lot of requests for this kind of program and we’re excited about creating new educational offerings as we continue to grow.” Spy School is free with a valid student ID, but attendees t must be accompanied by a paid ticket holder. We'll catch you there...or will we? Middle school–college.   

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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 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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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.

Time Out says
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: 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 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.  

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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. 

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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