RECOMMENDED: Veterans Day for kids in NYC
Honor those who have served for our country and sneak in some of our favorite things to do in the fall on the kids' day off! Kick off a great Veterans Day for kids at the annual Veterans Day parade, then hit up the best museums for children and get in on film and acting workshops. Don't forget about all the awesome free things to do with kids on offer throughout the city to keep the school holiday cheap!
Veterans Day for kids
Families can honor those who have served in the military at the annual New York City Veterans Day Parade, a.k.a. America's Parade. Servicemen and -women and marching bands galore will march up Fifth Avenue from 26th Street to 52nd St as more than 600,000 spectators look on. In honor of the 200th anniversary of the the National Anthem, which was penned in 1814 by Francis Scott Key, this year's parade theme is "Land of the Free/Home of the Brave." Arrive early to grab a seat for the traditional opening ceremony and wreath laying at the Eternal Light Monument (next to Madison Square Park) at 10AM. All ages.
At a very young age, kids are taught that germs are "yucky" and should be eliminated, but now they'll find out that there's much more to those tiny microorganisms that live on and inside our bodies. In this special exhibition, the Museum of Natural History invites families to take a closer look at the 100 trillion bacteria and viruses that make up our microbiome, demonstrating how the microbes can help make vitamins, digest food, pump up our immune system and even affect moods and behavior. Kids can get hands-on with interactive displays, showing where the bacteria live, how we interact with them and beyond. Ages 6 and up.
Kids get to make a movie in just one or two days at these creative workshop experiences. Each group works together to write a script, work with lights, cameras, sound equiment, and even a green screen before editing together their final product for friends and family to see at the end of the day. Ages 8 to14.
Every parent has seen their kid's eyes light up as a flick like Toy Story or Up unfolds on the screen. Now, families can get a look at how Pixar's movie magic comes together thanks to a behind-the-scenes exhibit created in partnership with Pixar Animation Studios. The original artwork of genius illustrators—from films including Wall-E, Brave and The Incredibles—shows youngsters how their favorite characters developed over time, how the designers trigger our emotions and beyond. In the museum's immersive Process Lab, families will explore the design process through colorscripts, storyboards, sculptures and interactive stations like an 84-inch touch-screen table. Hit up a Design by Hand workshop led by creative staff from Pixar and don't miss screenings of Luxo Jr., a short film from 1986, or a Q&A with John Lasseter (Nov 12). Ages 5 and up.
Celebrate 100 years of Disney's family-friendly films with more than 50 of the most beloved characters from Frozen, The Lion King, Toy Story, Finding Nemo and more. Watch as Mickey and Minnie Mouse and beautiful princesses glide across the ice to tunes from the classic films in this memorable skating spectacular. Take your seats early to make sure you don't miss the Disney Magic of Healthy Living pre-show, when little ones are invited to get their heart pumping by dancing in the aisles with the costumed stars. All ages.
This exhibition displays more than 100 artifacts from the RMS Titanic ship and allows visitors to tour replicas of the cabins. Upon entering the exhibition, visitors will be given a boarding pass as they assume the role of passengers aboard the Titanic. They'll tour through a chronological journey showcasing the ship’s construction, life on board, the moments of impact and sinking, as well as the present-day efforts to recover and conserve the wreckage. Visitors will get to touch an “iceberg” to feel the freezing temperature of the water at the time the ship sank. All ages.
It's not polite to play with your food—unless, of course, it's in the name of charity. During the contest's 23rd anniversary, families can gaze at towering structures built from cans of food by leading architecture and engineering pros, who compete for such titles as Best Meal and Best Use of Labels. Once the winner is decided at the end of the contest, all cans are donated to City Harvest to benefit hungry New Yorkers. Families can be a part of the action by bringing their own canned goods to the exhibition space. Ages 2 and up.
At this exhibit, visitors can play with beloved Nickelodeon characters Dora and Diego in games that encourage animal conservation and environmental awareness. Kids can explore different interactive play areas including Isa’s Flowery Garden, Journey to the Purple Planet, Tico’s Nutty Forest, the Animal Rescue Center, a Rainforest Maze and the Pirate Piggies’ Ship. Ages 3 to 10.
Gotham's favorite circus troupe kicks off its 38th season with a brand-new production, transporting families to the Roaring 20s when ships, planes, trains and automobiles transformed travel as we knew it. Under the direction of Ringmaster John Kennedy Kane, the professional performers will wow young circusgoers with acts inspired by far-flung places like Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and South America. Duck under the Big Top to witness fearless aerialists, gravity-defying acrobats, impressive jugglers and silly clowns perform alongside talented ponies and pups, accompanied by live tunes from the seven-piece Big Apple Circus Band. Families with special needs can attend autism-friendly shows (Oct 28–29, Nov 17). On select days, grab two-for-one tickets for a 75-minute show with no intermission. Ages 3 and up.
This exhibit educates visitors on modern-day South Korea. Kids can learn about the worlds "most wired country" through learning experiences highlighting South Korea's culture, traditions, stories, diverse pastimes and everyday life. The exhibit features Korea K-Pop Stars Studio where visitors can perform onstage with K-Pop stars, Animation Studio where kids can view a stop-motion animation station and draw an animated story and Taekwondo Studio where kids can learn martial arts techniques. Guests can try authentic Korean food in the restaurant, try on a hanbok and learn to do a traditional bow in the Apartment, learn how to speak and write Hangul in the Classroom and draw an ancestor to honor at the Hanok Guest House. All ages.