Whatever you're looking to do with your family and kids-libraries, festivals, museums, arts & crafts-you'll find it in today's list of fun and educational activities for families and kids in Rockland. Check out the NY Metro Parents' calendar for upcoming events!
Adoptive Parents Support Group - Nanuet Hebrew Center
April 27, 2014 - New City
Jewish Child Care Association's (JCCA) Ametz Adoption Program hosts this monthly group is for singles and couples, before during and after the adoption process. Participants can learn, laugh, and socialize with each other as well as share the daily joys and challenges of parenting through adoption. The group is led by Ametz Adoption Program/JCCA social worker Marci Schwartz-Ruff, MSW and meets monthly through June. Adults and children are welcome. Childcare is also available.
Summer Spot Day Camp Open House - Rockland Country Day School
April 27, 2014 - Congers
The Summer Spot returns for its 15th season. Campers ages 5-14 will enjoy the 22 acre campus of Rockland Country Day School in Congers. Families are invited to stop by and learn more about this summer experience.
NJ Ballet's Cinderella - Bergen PAC
April 27, 2014 - Englewood
One of NJ Ballet's most popular productions for kids and families, this performance of Cinderella is a two-act romp through the well-known fairy tale in which wickedly funny stepsisters trip over themselves trying to act like ladies. Meanwhile, the hours of the clock come to life and dance and a pumpkin turns into a coach before your very eyes.
Party for the Planet - Bergen County Zoo
April 27, 2014 - Paramus
The Zoo hosts this annual celebration of Mother Earth. Families can check out exhibitors throughout the zoo or attend a special program in the Education Center. Learn about eco-friendly products, programs, and services available in our area. Admission to the zoo and all activities are free.
Community Cleanup - Blauvelt Free Library parking lot
April 27, 2014 - Blauvelt
Keep Rockland Beautiful hosts this annual community cleanup event in honor of Earth Day. Visit online to register in advance. Rain date May 3.
Community Cleanup - West Haverstraw Village Hall
April 27, 2014 - West Haverstraw
Keep Rockland Beautiful hosts this annual community cleanup event in honor of Earth Day. Visit online to register in advance. Rain date May 3.
Frogs! Hop to it for Earth Day - Tenafly Nature Center
April 27, 2014 - Tenafly
Families are invited to celebrate Earth Day at the nature center by learning about amphibians, cold blooded creatures that play an important role in wetland ecosystems as indicators of environmental health. After a short introduction, kids and their parents can meet several live frogs and a salamander. Then, take a short trek outside in search of some local species. Rain or Shine. Registration is required. Space is limited.
Birthday Birds - Tenafly Nature Center
April 27, 2014 - Tenafly
Children can help the nature center celebrate the first anniversary of the arrival of Mene, a barred owl. Kids can also meet Mitzi, another barred owl, and Ruby the red-tailed hawk. Learn their stories and how they joined the nature center's animal ambassador program. Rain or shine. Pre-registration is required. Space is limited.
'RENT: School Edition' - White Plains Performing Arts Center (WPPAC)
April 27, 2014 - White Plains
Based loosely on Puccini's "La Boheme," "RENT: School Edition" follows a year in the life of a group of impoverished young artists and musicians struggling to survive and create in New York's Lower East Side, under the shadow of HIV/AIDS.
This adaptation has been carefully done, working with the Larson estate to retain the dramatic intent of the groundbreaking rock musical, and consists of minimal changes to language and the removal of one song ("Contact") to make it appropriate for middle and high school students to perform.
Set in the East Village of New York City, "RENT: School Edition" is about falling in love, finding your voice, and living for today. Winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, it has become a pop cultural phenomenon, with songs that rock and a story that resonates with audiences of all ages.
Public Space Mission - Town of Ramapo Challenger Center
April 27, 2014 - Airmont
Just like the real astronauts, crewmembers will attend a briefing session and then select tasks to perform on the mission like Navigation, Medical, Communication, and Life Support. Small teams of space adventurers will conduct research, perform scientific experiments, and even deploy a probe. Tasks are detailed enough to feel real and challenging, simple enough for kids to do, and fun.
The Art of Video Games - Hudson River Museum
Through May 18, 2014 - Yonkers
One of the first major exhibitions to explore the 40-year evolution of video games as an artistic medium, "The Art of Video Games" focuses on the medium's striking graphics, creative storytelling, and player interactivity.
Organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the exhibition travels to the Hudson River Museum for its only appearance in the New York Metro area, from Feb. 15-May 18.
"The Art of Video Games" features the most influential artists and designers across five eras of game development, from early pioneers to the contemporary artists, who created some of the best games for 20 gaming systems that range from the Atari VCS to PlayStation 3.
Video games - a compelling and influential form of narrative art - use player participation to tell stories and engage audiences in the same way as film, animation, and performance. The exhibition features 80 video games selected with the help of the public to demonstrate the evolution of the medium. The games are presented through still images, video footage, and video interviews with developers and artists, historic game consoles, and large prints of in-game screen shots.
Five featured games are available for visitors to play (Pac-Man, Super Mario Brothers, The Secret of Monkey Island, Myst, and Flower), which show how players interact with the virtual worlds, highlighting the innovative techniques that set the standard for many subsequent games.
"Video games are a prevalent and increasingly expressive medium within modern society," said Chris Melissinos, former chief gaming officer for Sun Microsystems, founder of Past Pixels, and guest curator of the exhibition. "In the 40 years since the introduction of the first home video game, the field has attracted exceptional artistic talent. Video games, which include classic components of art, offer designers a previously unprecedented method of communicating with and engaging audiences by including a new element, the player, who completes the vivid, experiential art form by personally interacting with the game elements."
Visitors to the exhibition are greeted by excerpts from selected games projected 12 feet high, accompanied by a chipmusic soundtrack by 8 Bit Weapon and ComputeHer, including "The Art of Video Games Anthem," recorded by 8 Bit Weapon specifically for the exhibition. An interior gallery includes a series of short videos showing the range of emotional responses players have while interacting with games.
The Smithsonian invited the public to help select the video games in the exhibition. A pool of 240 games was selected by Melissinos and an advisory group consisting of game developers, designers, industry pioneers, and journalists. More than 3.7 million votes were cast by 119,000 people in 175 countries.
"The Art of Video Games" is organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum with generous support from the Entertainment Software Association Foundation; Sheila Duignan and Mike Wilkins; Shelby and Frederick Gans; Mark Lamia; Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk; Rose Family Foundation; Betty and Lloyd Schermer; and Neil Young. Promotional support is provided by the Entertainment Consumers Association. The C.F. Foundation in Atlanta supports the museum's traveling exhibition program, "Treasures to Go."
On view through May 18, 2014.
Sunset Hike - Flat Rock Brook Nature Center
Through May 27, 2014 - Englewood
Take a 2-3 mile sunset hike along the trails and through the forest with a trail guide. These hikes are great for beginners, an easy workout, and a relaxing way to end your day. For adults and children ages 10 and older. No registration necessary.
Family Night Bounce - BounceU
Through May 28, 2014 - Paramus
Parents and kids (must be at least 24 inches tall) can enjoy a 2-hour bounce session on giant inflatables, including 1 hour in each of the giant bounce stadiums. All bouncers must wear socks. BounceU staff will supervise the event.
Adventures in Reading: StoryWalk® Outdoor Exhibit - Tenafly Nature Center
Through May 31, 2014 - Tenafly
Calling all nature lovers who love books! StoryWalk is an interactive outdoor exhibit that turns reading into an adventure along the trails without electronic devices. Hikers can read a nature-themed story while they walk in the woods. The story is designed for beginning readers but will appeal to all ages.
The nature center posts a new story, page by page, along a trail each season.
The StoryWalk Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT, and developed in collaboration with the Vermont Bicycle & Pedestrian Coalition and the Kellogg Hubbard Library.
Tea & Play - Green Meadow Waldorf School
Through June 02, 2014 - Chestnut Ridge
Parents of prospective students can talk to one of the school's early childhood teacher while their child plays nearby in a beautiful classrooms. Mondays through June 2 other than Oct. 14, Nov. 25, Dec. 23, Dec. 30, Jan. 20, Feb. 17, March 17, April 14, and May 26.
Story Time - Green Meadow Waldorf School
Through June 04, 2014 - Chestnut Ridge
Children ages 3-5 are invited to story time at the Waldorf School. Group meets every Wednesday through June 4 other than Nov. 27, Dec. 25, Jan. 1, Feb. 19, and April 16. Registration is required.
Storytime for the Little Ones - Barnes & Noble
Through June 11, 2014 - Nanuet
This storytime is recommended for tots ages 1-3, but all kids and parents are welcome to participate.
Gym Time - Congregation Sons of Israel
Through June 11, 2014 - Upper Nyack
Kids ages 2-4 can exercise and play with professional occupational therapist "Randi." To register, call 845-358-3767 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yoga for Kids - Congregation Sons of Israel
Through June 12, 2014 - Upper Nyack
Empower your children (ages 2-6) through a playful and integrative approach to yoga. To register, call 845-358-3767 or email email@example.com.
Shabbaba Shabbat - Orangetown Jewish Center
Through June 14, 2014 - Orangeburg
Families with children up to 5 years old are invited to this Saturday morning service with a musical format that encourages both kids and their parents to explore the spiritual aspects of Shabbat. The service ends with children joining the service for the concluding prayers, followed by a congregational lunch. Saturdays through June 14.
Tot Shabbat - Congregation Sons of Israel
Through June 28, 2014 - Upper Nyack
Tots ages newborn through 6 years can celebrate Shabbat morning as they learn, read stories, play games, enjoy grape juice and challah with Rabbi Abraham, and discover what Shabbat is all about. The program is followed by a free lunch for all.
Nature Story Time - Tenafly Nature Center
Through July 19, 2014 - Tenafly
Families with children ages 3-7 are invited to enjoy a nature-themed story and a visit from one of the nature center’s education animals. Kids will learn about the characteristics of the animal as well as their story and how they became part of the Nature Center. A new story and animal are featured each week. Animals may include snakes, frogs, turtles, owls and a hawk. Meet on the Visitor Center porch. In case of inclement weather the program will be moved indoors. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Saturdays through July 19.
Mastodons: Ice Age to Discovery - Hudson Highlands Nature Museum, Wildlife Education Center
Through September 28, 2014 - Cornwall
This little gem of a nature center in nearby Orange County hosts a special exhibit this year on mastodons, a cool subject for many kids. And at 2:30pm, young visitors can join a Museum Educator to�"Meet the (live) Animal" of the week. Exhibit runs each weekend through December.
Artillery Drills, Soldier's Camp, and More - Stony Point Battlefield State Historic Site
Through October 31, 2014 - Stony Point
Kids and their parents (and grandparents) can get a living history lesson and learn about the role Stony Point played in the American Revolution. Check out an 18th century Soldier's Camp with a resident blacksmith Saturdays 10am-4pm and Sundays 12-4pm. Hold your ears for an artillery drill featuring the battlefield's 6-pounder cannon Saturdays and Sundays at 3pm. And visit online for a schedule of special summer events including evening tours by lantern light, holiday celebrations, and Lighthouse Day. Battlefield tours are held Saturdays and Sundays at 2pm. All events are weather and staffing permitting. Call before your visit to confirm.
Dinosaur Safari: Mysteries Revealed - Bronx Zoo
Through November 02, 2014 - Bronx
Dinos are back at the Zoo, bigger and badder! The attraction includes a ride through the Cretaceous and Jurassic periods with more than two-dozen animatronic dinosaurs up to 40 feet long which move, snarl, roar, and spit. Board a paleontologist's wagon for a trip back in time. Dig for fossils at a field site and explore artifacts. Take a tour through the pre-historic world at Erth's Dinosaur Zoo.
Dinosaur Safari: Mysteries Revealed includes a ride through a two-acre area of the zoo, and highlights the physical or behavioral adaptations many share with species that are alive today.
This limited engagement runs through November 2, and will be included in the Total Experience Ticket. Special events will take place all spring and summer.
Tickets can be purchased in advance at bronxzoo.com.
Grasshopper Grove - Hudson Highlands Nature Museum Outdoor Discovery Center
Through November 16, 2014 - Cornwall
Grasshopper Grove is a natural play area for young children that encourages them to explore the outdoor world, get their hands dirty, and have fun. Children can hop from stump to stump, dance, sing and perform in the Adirondack lean-to, lie down on top of a hill and watch the clouds make pictures in the sky, read a story with Mom or Dad in the rustic gazebo, water and weed a garden, and construct roads in the sand and dirt pile. These simple activities strengthen eye-hand coordination and muscle development while fostering creativity, critical thinking, appropriate risk-taking, problem solving, and cooperation, which are all critical to healthy childhood development.
Grasshopper Grove follows a design developed in collaboration with Museum staff, board, parents and preschool students by one of the world's leaders in the field, Adam Bienenstock of Bienenstock Natural Playgrounds. Beginning with a half-acre of field surrounded by a rough stone wall and mature shag bark hickory trees, the area was graded to incorporate a low hill surrounded by a path, a dry stream bed and a higher hill offering a view of nearby fields and ponds.
Taking inspiration from the 'wild' areas of the Outdoor Discovery Center, where the Museum's Young Naturalist Preschoolers love to play, elements were added to the area that include a fallen oak tree for climbing, large boulders, a wooden gazebo and Adirondack lean-to and an area of 'loose parts' for building. A series of cedar troughs catch water flowing from an old fashioned hand pump into the dry stream bed.
Millennium Carousel - Bergen County Zoo
Through November 30, 2014 - Paramus
Take a spin on the park's carousel, where you can ride the likenesses of many of the animals you see in the zoo.
Jump and Glow Night - Bounce! Trampoline Sports
Through December 26, 2014 - Valley Cottage
Each Friday, Bounce! hosts Jump 'n Glow nights, where nearly everything in the giant trampoline playground glows in the dark thanks to lasers and black lighting. Guests can have fun and get fit on giant courts of interconnected trampolines, play slam dunk basketball on trampoline courts, play dodgeball, and jump into dual foam pits. Rock music, glow in the dark dodge balls, and glow in the dark hula hoops add to the atmosphere of fun.
Friday Night Black Lights - Monster Mini Golf
Through December 26, 2014 - Nanuet
Kids can stop by Monster Mini Golf on Friday nights for a special evening of golf, arcade games, and pizza for one low price. This unique venue features a monster-themed, glow-in-the dark miniature golf course as well as locally-themed artwork, animated creatures, and an interactive DJ who entertains the golfers throughout their stay.
Meet the Animals - Hudson Highlands Nature Museum's Wildlife Education Center
Through December 28, 2014 - Cornwall
Join a museum educator to meet the live "animal of the week" each Saturday and Sunday. Families can learn characteristics of the animal and how it came to live at the nature center. Afterward, check out the nature center's current Mastodon and Brook Trout exhibits. Nature Center hours are Friday through Sunday, 12-4pm.