The options for finding fun family activities in New York City are limitless. Below we've compiled the best of today's events. Whether your family prefers music and museums or theater and libraries, check out today's family activities in Manhattan. Making plans for next weekend? Take a glance at the NY Metro Parents' calendar!
Want to see what's going on next weekend or when you have those few days off? Check out the NY Metro Parents' calendar!
'Erth's Dinosaur Zoo' - The New Victory Theater
January 25, 2013 - Times Square
Work on your camo crawl because dinosaurs are coming to the New Vic. "Erth's Dinosaur Zoo" transports you to the Australian outback where a rugged ranger and trusty dino keepers introduce you to a menagerie of Mesozoic monsters from around the world. Manually operated by supremely skilled puppeteers, every frightful fiend and huggable hatchling responds instantly to the audience for an intimate and authentic encounter.
Meet a meganeura and learn about a leaellynasaura as the astoundingly life-like (and mostly friendly) creations meander, munch and make the theater their own prehistoric playground. Who knows? You just might find yourself over 65 million years and half a world away.
Thunderbird American Indian Dancers' 38th Annual Concert - Theater for the New City
January 25, 2013 - East Village
Thunderbird American Indian Dancers will hold their 38th annual Dance Concert and Pow Wow at Theater for the New City, 155 First Avenue, from January 25 to February 3, 2013. The troupe's appearances benefit college funds for needy Native American students. The company's Pow-Wows have been presented annually as a two-week event by TNC since 1976, with the box office donated to these funds. There will be dances, stories and traditional music from the Iroquois and Native Peoples of the Northwest Coast, the Southwest, the Plains, and the Arctic regions. Between 15 and 20 dancers will assemble for the event.
Highlights will include Storytelling, a Hoop Dance, a Caribou Dance (from the Inuit people of Alaska), a Buffalo Dance (from the Hopi people), a Grass Dance and Jingle Dress Dance (from the Northern Plains people), a Stomp Dance (from the Southeastern tribes), and a Shawl Dance (from the Oklahoma tribes). In the final section of the program, the audience will be invited to join in the Round Dance, a friendship dance.
After matinees, the cast will remain in the theater to personally meet the children attending and be photographed with them. This component of the show was inspired by the troupe's school residencies.
A Pow-Wow is more than just a spectator event: it is a joyous reunion for native peoples nationwide and an opportunity for the non-Indian community to voyage into the philosophy and beauty of Native culture. Traditionally a gathering and sharing of events, Pow-Wows have come to include spectacular dance competitions, exhibitions, and enjoyment of traditional foods.
Pageantry is an important component of the event, and all participants are elaborately dressed. Most dances are performed in the traditional Circle, which represents a unity of peoples. There is a wealth of cultural information encoded in the movements of each dance. More than ten distinct tribes will be represented in the performance.
Throughout the performance, all elements are explained in depth through detailed introductions by the troupe's Director and Emcee Louis Mofsie (Hopi/Winnebago). An educator, Mofsie plays an important part in the show by his ability to present a comprehensive view of native culture. Native American craft items will be displayed in the TNC lobby.
The Thunderbird American Indian Dancers are the oldest resident Native American dance company in New York. The troupe was founded in 1963 by a group of ten Native American men and women, all New Yorkers, who were descended from Mohawk, Hopi, Winnebago and San Blas tribes. Some were in school at the time; all were "first generation," meaning that their parents had been born on reservations. They founded the troupe to keep alive the traditions, songs and dances they had learned from their parents, and added to their repertoire from other Native Americans living in New York and some who were passing through. Within three or four years, they were traveling throughout the continental U.S., expanding and sharing their repertoire and gleaning new dances on the reservations. (A number of Thunderbird members are winners of Fancy Dance contests held on reservations, where the standard of competition is unmistakably high.) Members of the Thunderbirds range in professions from teachers to hospital patient advocates, tree surgeons and computer engineers.
The Thunderbird-TNC collaboration began in 1975, when Crystal Field directed a play called "The Only Good Indian." For research, Ms. Field lived on a Hopi reservation for three weeks. In preparation for the project, she met Louis Mofsie, and they made plans for a Pow Wow to celebrate the Winter Solstice. The event has continued annually to this day.
Print It - Children's Museum of the Arts
January 25, 2013 - SoHo
This drop-in class explores various types of printmaking, including block prints, monotypes, and silk screening.
Thunderbird American Indian Dancers' 38th Annual Dance Concert and Pow-wow - Theater for the New City
January 25, 2013 - East Village
It's the 50th anniversary of the founding of Thunderbird American Indian Dancers and the troupe will hold its 38th annual Dance Concert and Pow Wow at Theater for the New City, 155 First Avenue, from January 25 to February 3, 2013.
The troupe's appearances benefit college funds for needy Native American students. The company's Pow-Wows have been presented annually as a two-week event by TNC since 1976, with the box office donated to these funds. There will be dances, stories and traditional music from the Iroquois and Native Peoples of the Northwest Coast, the Southwest, the Plains, and the Arctic regions. Between 15 and 20 dancers will assemble for the event.
Highlights will include Storytelling by Matoka Eagle (Santo Domingo, Tewa), a Hoop Dance by Michael Taylor (Choctaw), a Caribou Dance (from the Inuit people of Alaska), a Buffalo Dance (from the Hopi people), a Grass Dance and Jingle Dress Dance (from the Northern Plains people), a Stomp Dance (from the Southeastern tribes), and a Shawl Dance (from the Oklahoma tribes). In the final section of the program, the audience will be invited to join in the Round Dance, a friendship dance.
'The Velveteen Rabbit' - DR2 Theatre
Through January 27, 2013 - Union Square
Based on the book by Margery Williams and adapted for the stage by Kevin Del Aguila ("Click Clack Moo," "Altar Boyz"), this wonder-filled production is a testament to the power of a child's imagination. With a little bit of nursery magic, three actors and their simple props transform into a wise old rocking horse, a cavalcade of mechanical playthings, a kind-hearted fairy, and of course, a stuffed rabbit who is transformed by the love of a young boy.
Beatrix Potter: The Picture Letters - Morgan Library & Museum
Through January 27, 2013 - Midtown
Beatrix Potter: The Picture Letters brings together for the first time twenty-two letters, including the famous Peter Rabbit letter, from important American private holdings as well as from three major institutional collections: the Morgan, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, and the Cotsen Children's Library at Princeton University. The letters will be supplemented and enhanced with more than eighty related items, including Potter's privately-printed "The Tale of Peter Rabbit" and other printed books, original artwork, manuscripts, and early children's toys and games inspired by Potter's stories.
'The Velveteen Rabbit' - DR2 Theatre
Through January 27, 2013 - Union Square
A joyous testament to the eternal power of a child's imagination, this classic tale comes to life for a whole new generation in a wonder-filled, interactive production created by Kevin Del Aguila. With a little bit of nursery magic (and a whole lot of audience participation), three actors and their simple props transform into a wise old rocking horse, a cavalcade of mechanical playthings, a kind-hearted fairy and, of course, a stuffed rabbit who is transformed by the love of a young boy.
Cinderella Brunch - The New York Palace
Through January 27, 2013 - Upper East Side
The New York Palace will begin serving a magical Cinderella Brunch on Saturday, Dec. 1. Featuring whimsical entrees and delights for all ages, the themed brunch will be offered on Saturdays and Sundays, 12pm-2:30pm.
As part of The Palace's enchanted Cinderella Brunch, Prince Charming will make special guest appearances each Saturday and Sunday to spread delight to diners of all ages. Guests can pose for a photo with Prince Charming and try on a special Cinderella slipper. Guests can enter a daily drawing to win four tickets to see Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Cinderella" on Broadway.
All Aboard with Thomas & Friends - New York Botanical Garden
Through January 27, 2013 - Bronx
Join Thomas and Driver Sam on a fun-filled, sing-along, mini-performance adventure by helping Thomas find his way from Knapford Station to Brendam Docks using teamwork, friendship, and discovery. Parents: bring your camera for a photo op with Thomas to capture the special day. Daily, Jan. 1-27.
Navigating the Path to Parenthood Between Fertility Treatments and Adoption - Spence-Chapin Services
Through January 28, 2013 - Upper East Side
When faced with infertility, couples and singles are faced with more possibilities to build their families, but also more confusion, risk, and unknowns. For most families, the transitions between different paths to parenthood can be painful and unclear.
This will be a presentation and discussion focused on the emotional decisions involved in pursuing fertility work, deciding when to stop or when to keep going, how and when adoption can become a part of the conversation, and how thoughtful decisions and planning ahead can help make your journey to parenthood just a little bit smoother.
Little New-Yorkers - DiMenna Children's History Museum at New-York Historical Society
Through January 30, 2013 - Upper West Side
On Tuesdays and Fridays kids ages 2-4 can explore New York City through singing, stories, and activities. Each class will include story readings, time with historic toys, free exploration, a special Little New-Yorkers hello song, and time in the museum or a craft project, which will alternate each week. Some of the stories that will be featured include Larry Gets Lost in NYC, Don't Let the Pigeon Ride the Bus, The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge, New York from Above, and Knuffle Bunny.
The RAMMELLZEE Galaxseum - Children's Museum of the Arts
Through January 30, 2013 - West Village
The Children's Museum of the Arts presents the most comprehensive collection of works to-date by visionary artist and MC, RAMMELLZEE. Entitled The RAMMELLZEE Galaxseum, the exhibition will reveal the inner workings of RAMMELLZEE's artistic vision and trace his career trajectory which began in the 1970s as a pioneering "Wild Style" graffiti writer and hip hop MC and evolved in manifesto and medium to the far reaches of the imagination.
RAMMELLZEE's legend grew in a Tribeca loft known as the "Battle Station," where the artist conceived a new vision for the future – a self-made mythology, known as Gothic Futurism, with its own set of heroes and villains, which he called Recyclers and Trashers or more notably, Garbage Gods and Monster Models. For over 30 years, RAMMELLZEE inhabited the universe he created, building layer upon layer of legend and legacy.
The RAMMELLZEE Galaxseum showcases a visual encyclopedia of RAMMELLZEE's artworks including full-body life-sized costumes, masks, character frescoes, figurines, large scale paintings and video and audio recordings from some of his performances. Suspended from the gallery's ceiling are RAMMELLZEE's legendary letter racers, or car-like vehicles representing letters of the alphabet seeking to "break free."
In addition to his visual artwork, RAMMELLZEE is well-known for his contributions to hip-hop lyricism and vocalization, as illustrated in the documentaries Style Wars and Wild Style, as well as the hip-hop single Beat Bop, which was produced by Jean-Michael Basquiat and consists of a 10 minute narrative rap by RAMMELLZEE and K-Rob that is considered to be one of the most essential hip-hop recordings ever made.
11th Annual Holiday Train Show - New York Transit Museum Shop in Grand Central Terminal
Through February 10, 2013 - Midtown
The New York Transit Museum presents its Holiday Train Show at its store in Grand Central, with a brand new layout wherein model Metro-North and New York Central trains depart from a miniature Grand Central on their way North on a 34' long, two-level "O" gauge layout.
Vintage model trains from the museum's collection will also be on display joined by stunning New York Central railroad posters harkening back to Grand Central's heyday as the nexus of long distance and commuter train travel.
'The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe' - St. Luke's Theatre
Through February 23, 2013 - Times Square
Off Broadway Family Theatre presents an adaptation of C.S. Lewis' beloved tale from his Chronicles of Narnia series. In this creative adaptation, two actors play eight characters, both human and animal. Travel to Narnia through the old wardrobe with the four Pevensie children, and get swept into their journey to stand with the great lion Aslan against the evil White Witch. She has placed the land of Narnia under enchantment and now it is always winter, but never Christmas. Audiences will be drawn into the theater's "magic circle," where children and animals, fauns and mythical creatures come to life in this enchanting tale.
Caribbean Garden at The New York Botanical Garden - The New York Botanical Garden
Through February 24, 2013 - Bronx
Take refuge from winter by retreating to Tropical Paradise - a showcase of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory's permanent collection, including orange-yellow crotons, fuchsia bromeliads, and rosy-red hibiscus. You'll feel like you are on vacation without leaving New York.
View The Beauty of Paradise: A Photographic Tour during regular Garden hours. See a photographic display of tropical paradises around the world. Learn about plants and flowers found in tropical climes through a display of exceptional photographs from the prestigious International Garden Photographer of the Year Contest, of which the Botanical Garden is the US partner. Access additional details about the displayed photographs via your smartphone.
Inside the cozy Discovery Center in the Everett Children's Adventure Garden, kids of all ages can take a closer look at the differences between tropical and temperate plants in Tropical Discoveries and Wintertime Wonders. Pot up a specimen plant to take home and compare its characteristics with foliage in your neighborhood; make bark rubbings, count tree rings, and head back into the winter garden with a field notebook to discover the vital sparks of life that lie just below the surface of this quiet season. On view January 19-February 24.
Please confirm hours on the day of your visit by calling 718-817-8700.
Inclusive Weekend Classes - Children's Museum of the Arts
Through February 28, 2013 - SoHo
An opportunity for children with physical disabilities ages 7 and older and their able-bodied siblings or friends to participate in a drop-off art class together.
This program is intended to make the museum's art-making accessible to all needs and provide an opportunity for siblings to spend time with each other and with peers who have similar experiences.If a child with a physical disability doesn't have a sibling to attend the session with him or her, the child may bring along a friend instead.
Each session offers a new workshop that is designed to meet the needs of the participants. This program is staffed with CMA teaching artists and a licensed occupational therapist(s).?This program is based on a class-like model in which the teaching artists and the OT work to facilitate the group experience, with a keen eye towards the special needs of the participants;?if your child requires dedicated one-on-one attention you should consider bringing a paraprofessional or other adult to help facilitate your child's experience.
Parents are encouraged to drop off their children, though they are welcome to stay if they wish or remain close by in another part of the museum.
To sign up for a session, discuss your child's needs with the program director in advance of the session. Contact Rachel for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vital Theatre Company Presents 'Show Way' - McGinn/Cazale Theatre
Through March 03, 2013 - Upper West Side
Based on the Newbery Honor-winning book by Jacqueline Woodson and illustrated by Hudson Talbott, this new musical, with music and lyrics by Tyrone L. Robinson, a book by Melody Cooper, and direction by Melissa Maxwell, follows one girl in modern-day Brooklyn as she explores her family's past. As seven generations of women pass on the family tradition of the "show way", or a secret quilt to freedom, from slavery to today, they also pass on their strength and determination to be free.
In "Show Way," Toshi Georgiana looks for a beloved family heirloom. As she searches, the generations of women who came before her, from slaves who sewed paths to freedom to civil rights marchers, pass on their stories, and teach Toshi to reconnect with the past and celebrate the possibilities of the future.
The "Show Way" cast includes David Andino, Ashley Lynette Brown, Adiagha Faizah, Norma Hernandez, Christine Lee, Danea Robinson, and Donnell E. Smith. The crew includes Director Melissa Maxwell, Set Designer Kyle Dixon, Costume Designer Amanda Jenks, Lighting Designer Josh Bradford, Musical Director Mike Pettry, and Production Stage Manager Emily Rolston.
Free Baby Play Group - Franciscan Community Center
Through March 12, 2013 - Upper West Side
This free baby class for parents and caregivers meets on Tuesdays from 10am-12pm. It will include toys, music, and relevant topics for discussion. Come out of the cold and make some new friends.
R&R @ the JCC - The JCC In Manhattan
Through March 23, 2013 - Upper West Side
R&R Saturdays are free at the JCC. Make your Shabbat afternoon special and share in your community. Workshops, art, yoga, meditation, food, music, study sessions, film, creative art projects, spa experiences, and both indoor and outdoor play. There are programs for both children and adults. All are welcome.
Spy: The Secret World of Espionage - Discovery Times Square
Through March 31, 2013 - Times Square
Spy: The Secret World of Espionage is a new exhibition launching in May at Discovery Time Square. This interactive exhibition is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to step inside the real world of intelligence, showcasing real items from the actual vault of the CIA. Encounter real stories and actual gadgets revealed for the first time ever from the CIA vault. Experience what it's like to be a spy firsthand by creating your own disguises, altering your voice, and navigating laser beams. Plus, gain exciting new insights into how intelligence really works: how science and technology play a major role, and discover how the men and women who do this kind of work shape the course of history every day.
Playtime with Sammie and Tudie - Sprout San Francisco
Through March 31, 2013 - Upper East Side
Playtime with Sammie and Tudie is a 'mommy and me' style class. The interactive class includes themed week such as ducks, butterflies, teddy bears, fish, and dinosaurs. Great for ages 1 to 3 1/2 years. Come by the class once or buy a multiple class package. Monday and Wednesday 10:30am.
Film Forum Jr. - Film Forum
Through March 31, 2013 - Lower Manhattan
A new Sunday matinee series of classic films for kids and their families beginning Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013 at 11am. The series will run for 13 Sundays, January 6 through March 31; all tickets will be $7.
Programmed by Bruce Goldstein, Film Forum's Director of Repertory Programming, Film Forum Jr. will introduce children (ages 5 and above) and teenagers to silent and sound classics, as well as modern classics. All movies will be shown in glorious 35mm prints or equally glorious DCP (no Blu-rays and no DVDs).
Film Forum Jr. will kick off with the 1956 French classic THE RED BALLOON. Turn your kids on to the joie du cinema français, as petit garcon Pascal Lamorisse and mind-of-its-own balloon rouge share dialogue-less adventures through the old Belleville section of Paris. One of the most celebrated short films of all time, and winner of the Grand Prix at Cannes, THE RED BALLOON will be presented in the miracle of “Balloon-O-Rama.”
GERALD MCBOING-BOING, winner of the 1950 Academy Award for Best Animated Short, will screen with THE RED BALLOON. Adapted from a story by Dr. Seuss and produced by animation legend John Hubley, GERALD MCBOING-BOING is the story of a little boy who speaks through sound effects instead of language. A GERALD MCBOING-BOING sound-alike contest will follow the show.
Full schedule available at www.filmforum.org/ffjr
Harry Potter: The Exhibition - Discovery Times Square
Through April 07, 2013 - Times Square
Back by popular demand, this stop in New York City will serve as the exhibition's return to North America after a yearlong international tour. Since it was last here in 2011, the exhibition has been updated significantly with artifacts from the film series, including the final film.
The 14,000-square-foot experiential exhibition includes dramatic displays inspired by the Hogwarts film sets and authentic costumes and props from the films. Fans will have a firsthand view of hundreds of artifacts displayed in settings inspired by the film sets including the Great Hall, Hagrid's hut, the Gryffindor common room, and more.
In addition to the hundreds of original props and costumes from the Harry Potter films displayed during the exhibition's first time in New York, original artifacts from the series finale, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, will be on display for the first time, including a new vignette dedicated to the epic battle of Hogwarts.
Magnificent Trees of The New York Botanical Garden - New York Botanical Garden
Through April 14, 2013 - Bronx
Larry Lederman, landscape photographer and member of NYBG's Board of Advisors, has spent years walking the garden grounds to observe and photograph trees and vistas in all seasons and at all times of day. Lush images featuring their diversity and visual impact are on view in the gallery space.
The New York Botanical Garden is home to more than 30,000 trees, some in woodland, some in groves, and some standing in solitary majesty. Magnificent Trees is lavishly illustrated with photographs by Larry Lederman and accompanied by descriptions by Todd A. Forrest, Arthur Ross vice president for horticulture and living collections at the garden. An authority on the diverse species present across the 250-acre landscape, Forrest details their fascinating histories -- from their vital role in Native American life and culture to their function in neutral territory during the Revolutionary War. Lederman captures their grandeur in hundreds of stunning images and portrays their diversity with photographs that reveal the trees in myriad fascinating perspectives: in landscape views that convey the garden's genius loci; portraits illustrating the architecture and profound visual impact of select trees; remarkable details of flowers, fruit, leaves, and bark; and impressionistic images, abstract in character yet beautiful in composition.
Shababa™ Saturday Mornings with Karina - 92Y
Through May 25, 2013 - Upper East Side
Celebrate the joys of Shabbat with the Shababa™ community in this intergenerational family Shabbat experience including singing, art projects, playground visits, holiday themed celebrations, and more. Saturdays, ongoing, 10:30am-12pm.
Shababa™ Saturday Club - 92Y
Through May 25, 2013 - Upper East Side
Let your child explore and expand their connection to Shabbat, Jewish holidays, and Jewish values in a warm, informal communal setting. The staff will engage them through creative and traditional approaches. Saturdays, ongoing, 10:30am-12pm.
Manolo Valdes Monumental Sculptures - The New York Botanical Garden
Through May 26, 2013 - Bronx
Drawing inspiration from the natural landscape of the Botanical Garden, seven towering sculptures by acclaimed Spanish artist Manolo Valdes showcase the relationship between art and nature.
Jazz for Kids - Jazz Standard
Through May 26, 2013 - Gramercy
The Jazz Standard Youth Orchestra (JSYO), which includes about 25 talented musicians between the ages of 11 and 18, burns through jazz classics while listeners enjoys Blue Smoke's brunch menu (lunch menu, kids menu, and full bar are also available). Jazz Standard donates $1 from each kid's menu item sold to Spoons Across America.
The Cultural Sunday School, Kidschool, Preschool, and Bar and Bat Mitzvah Programs - City Congregation for Humanistic Judaism
Through June 02, 2013 - Upper West Side
Two Sundays a month, tots and teens have fun exploring Jewish history, traditions, holidays, culture, and ethics. The innovative Bar/Bat Mitzvah program involves classes and an individual mentored journey to discover roots, connections, and beliefs.
Our Global Kitchen: Food, Nature, Culture - American Museum of Natural History
Through August 30, 2013 - Upper West Side
Food is the one thing that unites every culture, race, and generation: over one billion people work in agriculture and every person eats. Food is used as a social ritual, a holiday tradition, a symbol of comfort, a gift, and an excuse to catch up with friends. The curators of this exhibition hope it will encourage visitors (both grown ups and kids) to examine a thing we all do everyday -- eat! -- and think about everything that goes into that act more consciously. The exhibition touches on a lot of serious issues such as the scarcity of food predicted for the future, alternatives to avoid that shortage, and childhood obesity.
’Twas the Night Before Christmas: A Holiday Reading With NBC New York's Anchor Pat Battle - Church of the Intercession
Through December 23, 2013 - Manhattan
One of New York's longest running family holiday traditions is the annual recitation of Clement Clarke Moore's 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, this year read by News 4 New York's anchor Pat Battle, at historic Church of the Intercession. Lantern procession, wreath-laying at Moore's grave site and reception immediately follow at Trinity Church Cemetery & Mausoleum, located across from the church.
Pat Battle joined NBC New York in April 1996. She serves as co-anchor for “Weekend Today in New York” and is one of the station’s New Jersey correspondents. Battle’s reports focus on issues affecting the Garden State, as well as breaking news of the day.
Clement Clarke Moore (1779-1863) was the son of Dr. Benjamin Moore, the sixth rector of Trinity Parish. In 1822, as a Christmas present for his six children, Moore wrote the poem also known as “A Visit from St. Nicholas” that became a cherished classic. Moore is buried at Trinity Church Cemetery & Mausoleum, which is located across from The Church of the Intercession.