Best things to do with kids in NYC April 22–26
Dance off those Monday blues all April long with children's entertainer Dan and his 3-piece band. Dan, who likes to play a mix of original and classic kids' tunes as well as covers of family-friendly hits by big name artists like Queen and Pharrell, knows how to get his audience up on their feet, dancing, jumping and even crawling around—even grownups can't resist clapping. All ages.
School might not be in session, but that's no reason to be inactive. Chelsea Piers welcomes kids of all ages for half-day or full-day camps specializing in a particular area: Multi sports, including soccer and volleyball (ages 5–12), nina and parkour for the energetic jumping beans (ages 6–13), gymnastics for the Simone Biles fans (ages 5–12) and more. Explore all of the options here. This year's April full-day break camps include gymnastics and nina and parkour. Ages 3 and up.
If your kids can't resist playing games 24/7, we found the perfect place for them to spend their spring break. Brooklyn Game Lab (which also runs programs at a new, second location in Tribeca) offers a week of playing board games, creating new game rules and even game design, plus kids even get merit badges for their contributions. Learn more here. Ages 6–14.
Spend your spring getting artsy at CMA’s Spring Art Colony! At this weekly drop-off program, parents can choose from themes like Claymation, Paint Your World, Illustrating Stories and Photography for their budding artists. The April theme will have kids exploring their natural surroundings with "Re-Building with Nature." Ages 6–12.
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.
No school, no problem. Steve & Kate's new pop-up program, BREAK, is designed to keep kiddos entertained at various points throughout the year when class is not in session. Pint-sized attendees will find a variety of summer camp offerings featured in BREAK, as well as exclusive activities. The fee for each child includes snacks, lunch and hours spent at the venue. For a list of NYC Steve & Kate's BREAK locations, click here. Ages 5–12.
At NYC's annual Earth Day celebration in Union Square, tots (and their parents) can see live performances, participate in family-friendly DIY activities and watch as local environmentally conscious businesses put on various displays. In NYC, this event is an Earth Day tradition. All ages.
NYC Compost Project and the Staten Island Children's Museum are ready to help kids get their hands dirty. Stop by for the lasagna composting project, where little gardeners and enviornmentalists will learn what it takes to create a compost bin that is rich with nutrients. Ages 1–10.
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.
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.
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.
It's a balmy 80 degrees in the museum's 1,200-square-foot vivarium, which houses up to 500 butterflies living among tropical flowers. The free-flying butterflies often land on the shoulders of visitors, allowing tykes to come into direct contact with monarchs, zebra longwings, paper kites other species as they emerge from their chrysalises. Outside the vivarium, youngsters can watch a short film and read displays on the life cycle of butterflies, how to protect their habitats and what kinds of adaptations certain species have. All ages.
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.
We're longing for spring—warm temperatures, blue skies and, of course, flowers. Fortunately, the New York Botanical Garden is here to deliver with its annual Orchid Show. Visitors can expect a taste of Singapore right here in NYC thanks to the 2019 theme. "Singapore" celebrates the Asian "City in a Garden," and we're certainly adding it to our list of things to do. Be sure to take a look at the festival's programming, which includes an insiders tour for budding botanists, orchid care demonstrations and q&a session. Mom and Dad, if you're calling the babysitter for a night off, you might want to consider enjoying an Orchid Evening ($38) complete with cocktails, music and naturally, the beautiful display. Learn more about "The Orchid Show: Singapore" here. All ages.
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.
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.
Play with infrared cameras, fly a virtual jetpack, make robots move via gesture interface and so much more at "Bionic Me." The new exhibit at the New York Hall of Science gives visitors a glimpse into medical and industrial advances that have enhanced things for us humans. Learn more here. All ages.
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.
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.
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. Be sure to check out the family and kids' programming such as Stroller Tours (March 13 and May 10 at 10am, $25), Creativity Lab (April 14 at 5:30pm), Photography: Crafted Identity (Saturdays from 1:30–3:30pm, ages 14-17). All ages.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Drop in to draw, sculpt and collaborate in MoMA's Art Lab. Visitors of all ages can learn how artists are inspired by the natural world through a brand new multisensory installation, and then create and desig their own works using multiple mediums, including natural materials. All ages.
In this imaginative theater performance, a young girl, Olive, spends her day playing with her loving Granny, Pearl, while discovering the meaning of home. As they go on imaginary journeys, they're joined by puppet friends such as a little mouse in a hole, a fish in a fishbowl, and a fairy in the fairy tree. The show is full of creative sensory experiences, silly moments and original songs that capture audiences. All 11:45am shows are relaxed performances. The March 16 performance will follow with a puppet workshop at 12:15. Ages 2–5.
There's nothing like scoring tickets to a show in NYC. As the 2018-2019 lineup quickly approaches, the New Victory Theater—which gives families an opportunity to enjoy international performances—has provided a glimpse into what fans can expect when the curtains rise (dance, puppetry, circus acts, to name a few). Here's the new lineup: Machine de Cirque Opens Sept 28 Tinga Tinga Tales Oct 13–20 Beauty and the Beast Oct 26–Nov 11 Velocity Opens Nov 16 Circus Abyssinia: Ethiopian Dreams Opens Nov 30 Emily Brown and the Thing Jan 26–Feb 3 A Simple Space Feb 9-24 Ajijaak on Turtle Island Opens March 1, 2019 Fiesta Con Sonia De Los Santos March 15 & 16 The Nature of Forgetting March 23–31 SNAP Opens April 13, 2019 Silent Voices: Lovestate Opens May 2, 2019 Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days Opens May 10, 2019
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.
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.
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.