Best things to do with kids in NYC March 18–22
Spring is in full bloom—and there are so many things to do in spring with kids! As we pack our coats and gloves away for the season, breathe in some fresh air and stop to smell the flowers (and did we mention your radiators will finally stop clanging??), you’ll find that the city is simply buzzing with great activities. Looking for inspiration? We’re here to help.
Welcome the warm-weather season with a bunch of fun events in NYC's backyard—Central Park. The Conservancy kicks off the first day of spring with free activities throughout the park that all New Yorkers will love: birding basics (10am), fishing in the Harlem Meer (11am), chess tips (3pm) and so much more. For a full list of happenings, visit the Central Park website. Although the events are free, registration is required for some. All ages.
This super-sweet Instagram-worthy event will certainly inspire you to start your meal with dessert. The tasty weekend event returns to Long Island City and will be accompanied by 20+ vendors—10Below, Oddfellows Ice Cream, to name a few—and offer plenty of opportunities to try something as tasty as it is beautiful. Don't forget to snag some goodies from the free candy bar! Learn more about the sugar frenzy Dessert Goals here. All ages.
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.
Imagine what you could discover with unlimited access to the Guggenheim. Junior artists will find out during their spring break. The Museum's camp offering lets attendees explore permanent and special exhibits, then hone in on new techniques to create masterpieces of their own in a wide variety of genres. Call 212-360-4254 for more information. Registration is required. Ages 8–11.
The Cultural Services of the French Embassy and the French Institute Alliance Francaise present an arts festival specifically targeted to youngsters. This festival combines philosophy, music, magic, design and dance through a series of programs that incorporate work from a bevy of French and global artists. This year, families can sign their crew up for Malika Zarra: Musical Journey (March 10 at 2pm, free, ages 5 and up), Philosophy for Kids (March 24 at 2pm, free, ages 6 and up) and so much more. Learn more about the offerings here. Ages 5 and up.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Didn't realize math can inspire some LOL moments? Think again. MoMath will host the first cartoon math exhibit, featuring artists such as Bob Mankoff (aka New Yorker cartoon editor), Charlie Hankin, Sidney Harris and more. For those who are inspired by the funnies, there will be a cool caption contest looking for entrees. Learn more about the exhibit here. All ages.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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