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!
Open House - Riverside Montessori School
November 28, 2012 - Upper West Side
You will have a chance to tour the classrooms, meet teachers and the executive director, and learn about the Montessori philosophy. RSVP required: firstname.lastname@example.org.
'Legend of Zelda' - Theater at Madison Square Garden
November 28, 2012 - Midtown
Featuring dynamic and compelling video accompanied by a live symphony orchestra, "The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses" brings the world's most popular video game series to life. Enjoy original music spanning 25 years of adventure from the celebrated Zelda franchise, uniting music and visuals in a way never before realized.
"The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses" is the first ever video game themed concert to feature a complete four-movement symphony, showcasing the work of Nintendo composer and sound director Koji Kondo.
Yak Packers Early Childhood Art Making - Rubin Museum of Art Education Center `
November 28, 2012 - Chelsea
The Yak Packers look at, touch, and explore Himalayan art inspired by the museum's collection. Classes include play, storytelling, trips to the galleries, and art-making activities.
Facebook to Texting: Parent Your Child's Digital Life - Resources for Children With Special Needs
November 28, 2012 - Union Square
Social media can lead to increased inclusion and independence for your child with special needs. Participants will learn about the opportunities and necessary cautions of parenting their child's digital presence, including how to monitor internet, phone, and Facebook activity.
RAMMELLZEE In The Gallery Workshop - Children's Museum of the Arts
November 28, 2012 - SoHo
Inspired by the work of exhibiting artist, RAMMELLZEE, kids will work closely with media lab teaching artists to explore collaborative film-making. Workshops will employ various techniques including character design, set building, puppetry, and stop-motion animation.
80th Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting - Rockefeller Center
November 28, 2012 - Midtown
The king of Christmas tree lightings, the 80th Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting will make 30,000 energy efficient LED lights sparkle on Nov. 28, and will be on view until 11pm on Jan. 7, 2013. The lighting takes place at sundown amid live and taped performances. Performers this year include Trace Adkins, Mariah Carey, Ceelo Green, Victoria Justice, Chris Mann, Rod Stewart, and Il Volo.
Lecture by Paul Yellin, MD: Why Is Math So Hard? - West End Day School
November 28, 2012 - Upper West Side
Neuroscientists and educators are turning their attention to math, learning more about how people learn math and why it is difficult for so many. Dr. Yellin will share recent findings and provide practical recommendations for parents, teachers, and children.
Paul B. Yellin, MD, FAAP, is director of the Yellin Center for Mind, Brain, and Education. The Yellin Center is an educational evaluation, student care, and professional development practice in Manhattan that provides customized support for students and educators based on emerging knowledge in neuroscience. Dr. Yellin is also an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at New York University School of Medicine.
Spiders Alive! - American Museum of Natural History
Through December 02, 2012 - Upper West Side
The American Museum of Natural History announces Spiders Alive!, a new exhibition about the fascinating and complex world of spiders. For centuries, spiders have inspired mythmakers from Ovid to E. B. White to the creators of the eponymous superhero, but their actual role in diverse ecosystems around the globe is just as captivating. Among the most versatile animals on the planet, spiders inhabit every continent but Antarctica and are able to survive in environments that range from deserts to rainforests to crowded cities.
"Spiders Alive! continues a tradition of museum exhibitions that bring people, especially children and families, face-to-face with ambassadors from the natural world," says Ellen V. Futter, President of the American Museum of Natural History. "In this exhibition, as in previous popular presentations of live lizards, snakes, frogs, and butterflies, our visitors will meet some of the world's most exotic and fascinating creatures who have much to teach us about the diversity of life, the fragility of natural systems, and our own responsibility to study and steward life on Earth."
In Spiders Alive!, visitors will explore spiders' anatomy, diversity, venom, silk, and behavior including little-known defensive mechanisms such as mimicry and noise-making. In addition to live spiders representing 19 species, the exhibition will also include larger-than-life models of spiders, videos, a climbable spider model, and fossils.
Museum staff will be handling live arachnids for visitors to see up close, and the exhibition will focus on debunking spider myths, such as: spiders need gravity to build webs, all spiders neglect their offspring, and all spiders are poisonous to humans
Spiders are also important predators; without them, insect populations would explode. By one estimate, the spiders on one acre of woodland alone consume more than 80 pounds of insects a year. Scientists have identified over 42,000 species of spiders to date, and they believe that there are at least as many more yet to be discovered.
Among the live spiders visitors will encounter in this exhibition are the goliath bird eater, one of the largest spiders in the world, whose prey includes snakes, mice, and frogs; the western black widow, member of one of the few North American spider groups that can be harmful to people; the fishing spider, who senses prey by resting its front legs on the surface of the water; and the golden orb-web spider, which weaves a golden web that can reach more than 3 feet in diameter. Species from other arachnid orders will also be on display, including African whip spiders, whose whip-like feelers, up to 10 inches in length, help the animal find its way; the giant vinegaroon, which may spray a foul-smelling vinegar-like chemical from its abdomen if disturbed; and the desert hairy scorpion, the largest scorpion in America.
The exhibition is curated by Norman Platnick, curator emeritus in the Department of Invertebrate Zoology.
Thirty Years of Collecting: Treasures from Intrepid's Collections - Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
Through December 02, 2012 - New York Harbor
Thirty Years of Collecting: Treasures from Intrepid's Collections will showcase objects from the museum's collections related to the historic aircraft carrier Intrepid, Growler submarine, Concorde, and the space shuttle Enterprise. The exhibit will include nearly 30 objects, many of which will be displayed publicly for the first time, such as original helmets, uniforms, letters, photographs, books, and other items that will display the "humanity behind the hardware" of the vessels at the museum.
Thirty Years of Excellence: An Intrepid Museum Celebration - Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
Through December 02, 2012 - New York Harbor
Thirty Years of Excellence: An Intrepid Museum Celebration will trace Intrepid's historic journey from being transformed from an aircraft carrier into one of New York City's most iconic cultural institutions. A collection of nearly 40 items including artifacts, video footage, photographs, and other archival materials highlight the major milestones of the museum and its affiliated nonprofit organizations, including the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.
Studio School Tours and Open Houses - The Studio School
Through December 05, 2012 - Upper West Side
The morning tours give you an opportunity to see the teachers and students working together in the classrooms. You will receive an overview of the program and the Studio Approach, and have a Q&A session with the head of school. Studio parents will also be present to meet and greet you.
New 'China': Porcelain Art from Jingdezhen, 1910-2012 - China Institute Gallery
Through December 09, 2012 - Upper East Side
A new exhibition of modern and contemporary porcelain art from Jingdezhen, the renowned porcelain capital of China, will be on view at China Institute Gallery from September 21 to December 9, 2012. New "China": Porcelain Art from Jingdezhen, 1910-2012 will offer more than 45 works spanning over a century, including sculpture, paintings on porcelain, as well as vases and other objects. A fully illustrated catalog will accompany the exhibition.
New "China": Porcelain Art from Jingdezhen, 1910-2012 includes work by such noted contemporary artists as Zhu Legeng, Ah Xian, Zhu Dequn, and Wayne Higby, all of whom have studied in or traveled to Jingdezhen in Jiangxi province. Bridging traditional and utilitarian practices with pioneering techniques, the exhibition opens with a selection of modern work by artists who worked in the first decades of the 20th century. Most of the work in the exhibition is on exhibit for the first time in the United States.
Weekly Cooking Class - Taste Buds Kitchen
Through December 26, 2012 - Chelsea
Cook up a new and delicious culinary adventure each week in this signature weekly class. Recipes vary from savory to sweet and the class focuses on ingredients, tastes, techniques, and making new friends. This class is a great way to introduce new ingredients and flavors to your child. You'll be amazed at what your budding chef makes and eats. Class size is limited to 10 students. Starting with our youngest chefs at age 2 on up to our advanced teens classes, we have a weekly class for everyone.
Little New-Yorkers - DiMenna Children's History Museum at New-York Historical Society
Through December 30, 2012 - 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.
Breastfeeding Support Group - 92nd Street Y
Through December 30, 2012 - Upper East Side
Breastfeeding is an evolving process that raises many questions and concerns. Meet with other moms, babies and a lactation specialist from 92nd Street Y Parenting Center to discuss topics such as the emotional ups and downs of breastfeeding, what happens when your milk supply is weak, how to juggle breastfeeding and work, and whether and how to supplement. Come when you can; no registration necessary.
Radio City Christmas Spectacular: The Rockettes Celebration! - Radio City Music Hall
Through December 30, 2012 - Midtown
This year's Radio City Christmas Spectacular celebrates 85 years of the Rockettes in New York. The show features dazzling dance numbers, beloved favorites, and breathtaking special effects. A new scene will be added this year, in honor of the 85th anniversary: a costume retrospective featuring the most interesting and unique Rockettes costumes throughout the decades. The show is interactive and inspired, and highlights the attributes that have made the Rockettes so engaging for so long.
'Falling' - Minetta Lane Theatre
Through December 30, 2012 - West Village
"Falling" boldly explores the dynamic and complicated reality of a family with an autistic young man. When a relative comes to visit, the entire family is thrown out of equilibrium, with everyone trying to balance what is best for the family and what is best for them. The play bravely speaks a truth about love and family and about hopes and dreams. It asks "How do you love someone who is difficult to love?"
Inclusive Weekend Classes - Children's Museum of the Arts
Through December 30, 2012 - 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 Valerie for more information at email@example.com. Each session accommodates 16 participants.
New York City Ballet Presents George Balanchine's 'The Nutcracker' - David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center
Through December 30, 2012 - Upper West Side
A rousing snowstorm sends a blizzard of ballerinas across the stage, sweeping you to exotic locales in the enchanting Land of Sweets. You'll meet marching toy soldiers, little Marie, and the valiant Nutcracker who saves her from the villainous, seven-headed Mouse King. Tschaikovsky's incomparable score is joined by hundreds of dazzling costumes, a one-ton tree that magically grows and grows, and a million watts of illuminated excitement.
'The Sound of Music' - Paper Mill Playhouse
Through December 30, 2012 - Millburn
One of the most beloved and inspirations stories of all time, this tale of love and courage is Rogers and Hammerstein's final triumphant collaboration. Based on the true story of the von Trapp family, this musical masterpiece has become a beacon of hope and joy for generations. Don't miss this holiday tradition for the entire family.
Sam Eaton Presents 'The Quantum Eye' Magic & Mentalism Show - Theatre 80
Through December 31, 2012 - Manhattan
In this longest running Off-Broadway magic show, Sam Eaton explores mentalism, magic, perception, and deception, mixing extraordinary ability, humor, and audience participation to make for a different performance every time.
'Dialog in the Dark' - South Street Seaport
Through December 31, 2012 - Lower Manhattan
This exhibit leads visitors through a series of NYC environments highlighted by city-centric scents, sounds, temperatures, and textures, all in complete darkness. Relying on blind and visually-impaired guides, exhibit goers will "see NYC" and visit many well known landmarks without the sense of sight while armed with an authentic walking cane. Imagine taking a rumbling subway to your favorite location or maneuvering the crossroads of the world in Times Square while not being able to see a thing. Rest assured, the sounds and the smells will all be there to greet you. But will that be enough to guide your safe passage? The experience will forever change your perception of what it means to be blind or have low vision.
Sha'Baby Shabbat - Romemu
Through December 31, 2012 - Upper West Side
Sha'Baby engages your child's special energy to warm him/her up for creating sacred time during Shabbat. Dancing, laughing, praying, and singing are all a part of this special Shabbat service.
Disney Theatrical Productions Presents 'Newsies The Musical' on Broadway - Nederlander Theatre
Through December 31, 2012 - Manhattan
Set in New York City at the turn of the century, this movie-turned-musical is the rousing tale of Jack Kelly, a charismatic newsboy and leader of a ragged band of teenaged 'newsies,' who dreams only of a better life far from the hardship of the streets. But when publishing titans Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst raise distribution prices at the newsboys' expense, Jack finds a cause to fight for and rallies newsies from across the city to strike for what's right.
"Newsies" is inspired by the real-life Newsboy Strike of 1899, when newsboy Kid Blink led a band of orphan and runaway newsies on a two-week-long action against Pulitzer, Hearst, and other powerful newspaper publishers.
The stage version introduces several brand-new songs by the original team while keeping many of the beloved songs from the film, including "Carrying the Banner," "Seize the Day," "King of New York," and "Santa Fe."
New York TV & Movie Sites Tour - On Location Tours
Through December 31, 2012 - Manhattan
This tour showcases more than 40 locations from some of the most famous places seen on screen, including sites from "Friends," "Blue Bloods," "Seinfeld," "Enchanted," "Spider-Man," "I Am Legend," "Men in Black," and "The Devil Wears Prada."
Storytime and Singalong for Kids - Housing Works Bookstore Cafe
Through December 31, 2012 - SoHo
Join Beth and Amy for reading, singing, and dancing! Appropriate for kids 3 and younger and their caretakers. Only $5 per family at the door.
The Cultural Sunday Kidschool and Bar and Bat Mitzvah Programs - City Congregation for Humanistic Judaism
Through December 31, 2012 - Upper West Side
This class allow youngsters to connect to their Jewish heritage from a secular perspective. Two Sundays a month, children ages five and up 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.
Vital Theatre Company Presents: 'Pinkalicious, The Musical' - 45 Bleecker
Through December 31, 2012 - West Village
Pinkalicious can't stop eating pink cupcakes, despite warnings from her parents. Her pink indulgence lands her at the doctor's office with Pinkititis, an affliction that turns her pink from head to toe - a dream come true for this pink loving enthusiast. But when her hue goes too far, only Pinkalicious can figure out a way to get out of her predicament.
Playtime with Sammie and Tudie - Sprout San Francisco
Through December 31, 2012 - 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.
'The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe' - St. Luke's Theatre
Through December 31, 2012 - 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.
'The Little Engine That Could' Puppet Show - New York Botanical Garden
Through December 31, 2012 - Bronx
This classic tale is brought to life in a presentation by New York City-based puppet master Ralph Lee. The whole family can join the fun to get the determined train over the mountain.
'Flying Monsters' - American Musem of Natural History, LeFrak Theater
Through January 04, 2013 - Upper West Side
"Flying Monsters" is a new giant screen adventure about the awe-inspiring world of a group of reptiles who ruled the skies about 220 million years ago.
Produced by award-winning Atlantic Productions and distributed by National Geographic Entertainment, the film follows world-renowned naturalist Sir David Attenborough as he sets out to uncover the truth about the enigmatic pterosaurs, who, after insects, were the first creatures to fly. Attenborough, who wrote and narrates the film, works with scientists and engineers to try and understand how and why pterosaurs flew, traveling to New Mexico's "Ghost Ranch," Big Bend National Park in Texas, Lyme Regis in the United Kingdom, an ancient pterosaur landing site in Southern France, a fossil pit in Germany where near-perfect pterosaur specimens have been found, and China's remote Liaoning Province in search of answers.
How did creatures the size of giraffes with a wingspan of 45 feet fly through the air? The audience will be immersed in the world of the pterosaur and experience the enormous challenges these creatures faced to survive, let alone flourish, in prehistoric skies. The film will introduce viewers to Dimorphodon, the earliest known pterosaur with a complete fossil, Darwinopterus, which, with a lighter build than Dimorphodon, had a wingspan of 2.3-3.3 feet, Tapejara, which may have configured its body to sail across the ocean in search of prey, and Quetzalcoatlus, which, with a wingspan of 33-40 feet and an 8-foot-long beak, is the biggest known animal that has ever flown.
Flying Monsters 3D won a BAFTA award in 2011 from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in the Specialist Factual category, Best 3D Program at the 2011 Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival, and Best Science Film from the Association of International Broadcasting.
The film will screen at the museum through January 4, 2013.
Entrance to the museum is included in movie ticket price.
RAMMELLZEE Fine Art Gallery Workshop - Children's Museum of the Arts
Through January 05, 2013 - SoHo
Experience RAMMELLZEE's unique world of neon color, edgy design, and vast imagination in this series of fine art workshops. To fully explore his vision, CMA Teaching Artists will introduce kids to a variety of mediums and techniques including illustration, painting, sculpture, and music.
Creatures of Light: Nature's Bioluminescence - American Museum of Natural History
Through January 06, 2013 - Upper West Side
This exhibition features the extraordinary organisms that produce light, from the flickering fireflies found in backyards across the Northeast to the alien deep-sea fishes that illuminate the perpetually dark depths of the oceans.
Rare among plants and animals that live on land, the ability to glow--that is, generate light through a chemical reaction--is much more common in the ocean, where up to 90 percent of animals at depths below 700 meters are bioluminescent, including many unknown to science. Like the crystal jelly whose glow led to a revolution in cell biology, these animals may hold important clues to essential questions, but scientists are in a race against time as habitats are increasingly threatened by pollution, overfishing, and global climate change.
Visitors will move through a series of re-created environments, from the familiar to the extreme, to explore the diversity of organisms that glow and how they do it; discover the variety of ways in which light is used to attract a mate, lure unsuspecting prey, or defend against a predator; and learn how, where, and why scientists study this amazing natural phenomenon. Throughout the exhibition, iPads featuring videos, infographics, photo albums, and animations will provide opportunities to hear directly from researchers about their work.
Starting in a local meadow on "a summer's night," where fireflies use unique patterns of flashing light to communicate with potential mates, visitors will descend into "a mysterious cave" in New Zealand to watch a fantastic spectacle of luminescent "fishing lines" strung by larval gnats (glowworms) to trap prey.
A unique interactive environment in "a sparkling sea" will introduce the brilliant light displays of Mosquito Bay on Puerto Rico's Vieques Island, where high concentrations of microscopic dinoflagellates, a type of plankton, create a halo around anything that moves through the water. Visitors will activate the bioluminescent bay as they move through this section.
"The night dive" will feature a large-scale, day-and-night interactive image of the Cayman Islands' Bloody Bay Wall, a remarkable coral wall that is home to both bioluminescent and biofluorescent animals, which glow only after exposure to light.
In "altered light," visitors will encounter the jellyfish Aequorea victoria, which combines bioluminescence with biofluorescence (in which an organism's molecules absorb blue light, then radiate it at a lower energy, longer wavelength) to emit flashes of green light. The protein found in its light organs, known as the green fluorescent protein (GFP), has become a critical tool in cellular and developmental biology, used for mapping neural circuits, observing cancer cells, and much more.
Borrowed Light will feature live flashlight fishes, which harbor bioluminescent bacteria in an organ under their eyes, and highlight symbiotic relationships.
"The deep ocean" will take visitors into the perpetually dark deep ocean, which comprises the vast majority of the planet's habitable space. A deep sea theater will reveal the diversity of animals that marine biologists have captured on camera, including female anglerfishes waving bioluminescent "lures" to attract prey and mates, and jellyfishes that light up like a flashing pinwheel when threatened.
Tunes with Tina - Bar on Fifth at Setai Fifth Avenue
Through January 06, 2013 - Midtown East
Singer/jazz pianist Tina deVaron will take center stage at this interactive weekend brunch where kids and parents are invited to sing along and request songs while enjoying a prix-fixe menu. September's theme is "Back to Broadway," October's theme is "Let's See Your Costume", November's theme is "Move with the Movies," and December's theme is "Here Come the Holidays."
'ELF: The Musical' - Al Hirschfeld Theatre
Through January 06, 2013 - Midtown
"ELF: The Musical" is the hilarious tale of Buddy, a young orphan who mistakenly crawls into Santa's bag of gifts and is transported to the North Pole. Buddy is raised unaware that he is actually a human, until his enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth.
With Santa's permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father and discover his true identity. Faced with the harsh reality that his father is on the naughty list and his step-brother doesn't even believe in Santa, Buddy is determined to win over his new family and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas.
Based on the 2003 movie Elf starring Will Ferrell, "ELF: The Musical" has become a New York holiday tradition.
Nybelwyck Hall: A Mansion in Miniature - Hudson River Museum - Glenview
Through January 08, 2013 - Yonkers
Nybelwyck Hall, a dollhouse representing Lilliputian life at its most luxurious, makes its appearance in Glenview, the Museum's 1897 river home. The 24-room, granite-and-mortar Glenview, and Nybelwyck, the 24-room dollhouse, share architectural features - a Great Hall and a double staircase that curves from the top floor down to the Hall. Nybelwyck's central facade is loosely based on the Hudson River estate, Staatsburg, the Ogden Mills House. The orange-and-green colors on its Victorian addition are reminiscent of Wilderstein, in Rhinebeck, the family home of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's personal secretary. Dollhouse enthusiast Mark O'Banks created Nybelwyck Hall over the course of a decade and looked to the wisdom of a ouija board to name his creation. The house is furnished with found objects in its 24 rooms, as well as rugs O'Banks designed. Among its 900 objects are minute musical instruments that play, doors with intricate locks that work, and a tiny dollhouse within the dollhouse's nursery.
Scandinavian Sing-Along - Scandinavia House: The Nordic Center in America
Through January 12, 2013 - Midtown
Scandinavia holds a treasure-trove of children's songs and games. Danish musician Vibe Normann will introduce children to English versions of these songs, play musical games, and perform a selection of songs in modern, jazzy arrangements. Come prepared to move, dance, imagine, and sing your heart out.
Vibe Normann is a Danish musician living in New York with a background in classical and Danish folk music. She has a special love for the Danish children's songs that she grew up with, and has performed all over the eastern United States. Normann will be accompanied by pianist Sean Wayland.
The Amazing Max and the Box of Interesting Things - Manhattan Movement and Arts Center
Through January 13, 2013 - Midtown
The Amazing Max and The Box of Interesting Things is a Magic Show with a mind of its own. Magician Max Darwin makes objects appear out of thin air, as the laws of physics are defied, and miracles are performed inches from spectators' faces. As the props onstage seem intent on surprising even the magician himself, this out of control show bursts with striking visual magic, comedy and juggling, and loads of audience participation. The Amazing Max and The Box of Interesting Things is the wackiest, most interactive, highest energy magic show for families on the market today.
Witness: The Art of Jerry Pinkney - Hudson River Museum
Through January 13, 2013 - Yonkers
In 100 books, Jerry Pinkney has turned his artist's eye and hand to the story - a classic, a folktale, a fable - and readers all over the world saw something new, something they wanted to read and to remember. Pinkney is the master of the American picture book. More than 120 watercolor illustrations by the artist, who lives in Westchester, will be on view in the first major overview of his career as a designer and illustrator in "Witness: The Art of Jerry Pinkney." The exhibition follows his 2010 award of the Randolph Caldecott Medal for "The Lion and the Mouse." The Hudson River Museum is the only New York showing for this exhibition on national tour, organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Pinkney has found it interesting to trace how the chapters of his life have knitted themselves into his art, touching on the cultural themes of the African-American experience. He uncovers, again and again, the energy in a small moment that surprisingly can change a life or turn an event in history. Most recently in his almost wordless adaptation of the Aesop fable, "The Lion and The Mouse," two creatures on a faraway African plain choose not the hard chase and bloody battle but, instead, exchange kindnesses. Fascinated with wildlife, Pinkney, in many books including "The Brer Rabbit" in "The Last Tales of Uncle Remus" shows us the human qualities of an animal as he shows us the animal in its natural setting. Pinkney, Philadelphia born and bred, and now a long-time New Yorker, has illustrated children's books since 1964, but it was not an easy path. Blacks were not expected to be able to forge careers in the art field. Trained as a commercial artist at a vocational school, he persisted and won a scholarship to the Philadelphia College of Art where his work took on the shading and detail for which he is now renowned, and he where he began to use color to convey mood and emotion. He has most often worked on children's books that celebrate multiculturalism and African-American heritage, as he took on the task of reshaping the perceptions of the stereotypes of blacks. He designed the first nine stamps of the US Postal Service's Black Heritage series. Art critics will look at the color of Pinkney's illustrations, the scarlet curve of Little Red Riding Hood's cloak, the golden blade of grass on the Serengeti plane. Sociologists will look at Pinkney the little boy, who without a visit to a museum or an art class, drew at home on the back of wallpaper samples. What the viewer will see though, in "The Art of Jerry Pinkney" is his wish: "It has always been my intent for my work to continue to breathe after publication. My hope is that (museum visitors) will believe that Jerry Pinkney cares deeply for people, making art, and visual storytelling." The exhibition includes a 96-page illustrated catalog that provides new scholarship into Pinkney's work in essays by the exhibition's co-curator Stephanie Haboush Plunkett, Dr. Gerald L. Early, and others. On view through January 13, 2013.
Big Apple Circus - Lincoln Center Damrosch Park
Through January 13, 2013 - Lincoln Center
The Big Apple Circus presents Legendarium, where you will experience the nostalgic thrills of bygone big tops and get a first-hand view of beauties, daredevils, and clowns from another era.
Travel back to when circus traditions were born and witness incredible acts that would have had the villagers chattering for days.
The courageous mid-air flips and catches of a man on the trapeze, a captivating contortionist whose flexibility is as impressive as her steadfast poise, an agile, adept acrobat and her strapping suitors, a swaying wire act of sure-footed strength and stability!
The dizzying delights of a daring inventor in his tumbling, twirling hoop, the stunning, soaring beauty of a pair on aerial straps and a woman held aloft by hanging silks, a jaw-dropping juggling tango team performing to passionate rhythms!
Bicyclists whose spinning wheels turn smooth and speedy stunts, majestic horses with graceful gaits and playful pups with teasing tricks, and what circus would be complete without bumbling clowns who bring the spirit of timeless comedy?
It's all led by an affable ringmaster and the great Big Apple Circus Band playing the iconic songs of yesteryear. So run away with the Big Apple Circus and relive big tops of old in a memorable one-ring show for the ages!
Holiday Train Show - New York Botanical Garden
Through January 13, 2013 - Bronx
Marvel at the charming model trains and New York City landmark replicas, stroll the spectacular grounds, and decorate (and eat!) gingersnaps.
Within the enchanting setting of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, model trains zip over bridges and past replicas of New York landmarks made of plant parts such as nuts, bark, and leaves. Show favorites include the original Yankee Stadium, Statue of Liberty, and Brooklyn Bridge. The Artist's Studio provides an insider's look at how the replicas are constructed as you get up close to G-gauge trains.
'Angelina Ballerina The Very Merry Holiday Musical' - McGinn/Cazale Theatre
Through January 13, 2013 - Upper West Side
Based on the characters created by Katharine Holabird and illustrated by Helen Craig, the Angelina Ballerina The Musical creative team returns with book and lyrics by Susan DiLallo, music by Ben Morss, and direction and choreography by Sam Viverito.
Preschool Art Class - Arts in Action Studio
Through January 22, 2013 - Upper West Side
Founded and directed by Angela Tripi-Weiss, who provides a unique, sequentially-structured fine art education.
Preschool artists will embark on an exploration of how they feel while creating laughable long lines, silly sassy shapes, fabulous forms, and colossal kaleidoscopes of colors using many of the art materials that artists use to express themselves.
These classes are designed to expose your child, ages 3 to 5, to a variety of fun art materials, and the many exciting ideas and concepts that artists employ while creating their own art. They will tell their own visual stories through art based activities that foster fun, and an understanding of concepts of line, shape, form, and colors in a fun filled way.
Afterschool Art Class - Arts in Action Studio
Through January 23, 2013 - Upper West Side
Founded and directed by Angela Tripi-Weiss, who provides a unique, sequentially-structured fine art education. Arts in Action teaches a visual language as a means of communication that's fun to learn.
'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.
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.
Spy: The Secret World of Espionage - Discovery Time 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.
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.
Our Global Kitchen: Food, Nature, Culture - American Musem 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.