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THINGS TO DO WITH KIDS IN WESTCHESTER ON FEBRUARY 20

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by Daily Kids Events Editor February 20, 2014

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Find fun things to do today with kids in the NYC area in our Calendar of Events




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free and low-cost things to do with kids in Westchester Find free and low-cost things to do with kids in Westchester today, February 20, including fun activities and events the whole family can enjoy. See what's going on today in Westchester's museums, galleries, and libraries for some educational fun; in the parks, for outdoor and nature activities; and in the theaters, for children's concerts and performances. Plus, get details and directions on any street fairs or holiday festivals happening February 20. For even more free and low-cost upcoming events in Westchester, check out our complete calendar of events.

Thursday Morning Storytime at B&N: The Toe Show - Barnes & Noble City Center
February 20, 2014 - White Plains

Join Toe, bookseller/entertainer extraordinaire, every Thursday morning for stories, singing and lively fun.

Little Cooks and Gardeners - Stone Barns Center
February 20, 2014 - Pocantico Hills

In this special class for preschoolers and their parents or caregivers, kids will get their hands dirty in the garden and the kitchen as they discover how food is grown, and how to make simple dishes at home. Sign up for one day or all three, and figure out ways to explore new foods and cooking techniques with your 3-5 year old. Each day will have a different theme and recipe. Register at stonebarnscenter.org.

Multilingual Mother Goose - Chappaqua Public Library
February 20, 2014 - Chappaqua

Children ages birth-5 years with an adult learn and share songs and rhymes in other languages. Registration required.

Madeline's Tea Party - White Plains Public Library
February 20, 2014 - White Plains

Storytime about the beloved character "Madeline," with juice, tea, and cookies.

President's Vacation Week Family Workshop: Painting with Scissors - Wave Hill
February 20, 2014 - Bronx

This afternoon, experiment with "painting with scissors," one of the technique used by French artist Henri Matisse to create his bold, vibrant, and distinctive canvasses. With fast-drying tempera paints and scissors, create colorful cut-outs to fashion into collages, just like Matisse. Program is geared to children between the ages of five and 10 with a parent or caregiver. Space is limited. Registration is required, online at wavehill.org, onsite at the Perkins Visitor Center, or by calling 718-549-320 x251.

Mid-Winter Recess Public Skating Sessions - Hommocks Park Ice Rink
Through February 21, 2014 - Mamaroneck

The rink will operate a public session from 11am-5:15pm daily Feb. 17-21.

Kids Drop Off - Presidents' Day and Mid-Winter Break Mini Camp - Sportime USA
Through February 21, 2014 - Elmsford

Drop your kids off for some FUN... Unlimited use of all in-house attractions: Lasertag, mini twister, bumper cars, Himalaya Coaster, XD motion theater, video games, billiards, soft adventure, ballocity, spider climb, batting cages, and more. Special activities include arts and crafts and movie time. Price includes morning snack, lunch, and afternoon snack. Half day options are also available (9am-1pm or 1-5pm). Trained staff supervise. Reservations required. Call 914-592-2111.

New York Transit Museum Holiday Train Show at Grand Central, Centennial Edition - Grand Central Terminal
Through February 23, 2014 - Manhattan

This popular annual model railroad exhibition features a multi-track layout and limited edition miniature replica of Grand Central inspired by the Terminal's 100-year history. This year's show is accompanied by displays of charming vintage model trains from the Museum's collection depicting notable train cars from railroading's past. Shop the Transit Museum Store for great Grand Central and subway gifts. Explore Grand Central with the Transit Museum's kid-sized scavenger hunts?just ask at the cash-wrap!

"Titanic" - Westchester Broadway Theatre
Through February 23, 2014 - Elmsford

Original "Titanic" Broadway cast member Drew McVety will again set sail in the Tony Award-winning musical, which begins performances at WBT on Jan. 16. The production, a new intimate adaptation of Maury Yeston and Peter Stone's lushly scored musical about the doomed ocean liner, will run through February 23. Original cast member Don Stephenson, who portrayed Charles Clarke in the 1997 Broadway production of "Titanic," directs the new staging that uses a cast of 20 and projections to tell the epic story. Choreography is by Liza Gennaro ("Once Upon a Mattress," "The Most Happy Fella"). Ian Weinberger serves as musical director and conductor. Drew McVety will play Henry Etches; Kate Walbye plays Ida Strauss; with Adam Heller as J. Bruce Ismay; Donna English as Alice Beane; Phillip Hoffman as Edgar Beane; William Parry as Captain Smith; and Tony Award nominee Tom Hewitt ("Rocky Horror Show," "Jesus Christ Superstar") as Thomas Andrews. Completing the cast are Will Boyajian, Jonathan Brody, Sarah Charles, Xander Chauncey, Ben Estus, Jeremy Ellison Gladstone, Elizabeth Hake, John Langley, Benjamin McHugh, Patricia Noonan, Christian Palmer, Noah Plomgren, Celeste Rose, and David Studwell. Set design by Patrick Rizzotti; special projections are by Howard Werner; sound design by Jon Hatton and Mark Zuckerman; lighting design by Andrew Gmoser; Derek Lockwood is the costume designer; and Gerard Kelly is the wig designer; Victor Lukas is the Production stage manager; and Lisa Tiso is the Producer. The musical has a Tony-winning score by Yeston ("Grand Hotel," "Nine") and a Tony-winning book by the late Stone ("The Will Rogers Follies," "1776"). "Titanic" won 1997 Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical (Stone), Best Orchestrations (Tunick), Best Score (Yeston), and Best Scenic Design. As the original ad campaign for "Titanic" mused, the ship of dreams set sail from Southampton, England, on April 10, 1912, and in the spring of 1997, she finally arrived in New York. The massive production, with a large ensemble cast included Michael Cerveris, Victoria Clark, Brian d'Arcy James, and Martin Moran. The musical opened to strong critical notices at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, and later earned the Tony Awards for Best Book (Peter Stone), Best Score, Best Orchestrations (Jonathan Tunick), Best Scenic Design (Stewart Laing), and Best Musical.

Winter Farm Bingo - Stamford Museum & Nature Center
Through February 28, 2014 - Stamford

Pick up a copy of the new Winter Farm Bingo in the Bendel Mansion Museum Building and visit Heckscher Farm to see how the animals adapt to winter. Find five in a row to make BINGO and turn your sheet into our Front Desk for a prize. December 1-February 28, 2014.

Family Fondue Sundays - The Melting Pot of White Plains
Through February 28, 2014 - White Plains

Fondue dining allows everyone to enjoy good conversation, eat slowly, and savor each bite. Parents can enjoy three-course meal (salad, entree, and chocolate), and kids under 14 can have two courses (entree and chocolate), all for a fixed price every Sunday in February from 12-4pm. Visit meltingpot.com/white-plains/specials for details.

Saturday Winter Workshops - Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art (HVCCA)
Through February 28, 2014 - Peekskill

Every Saturday during February, join HVCCA's museum educator, Maureen McCourt, for educational workshops. Feb. 1: Make a Colorful Walking Stick; Feb. 8: Make a Make A Valentine's Day Collage; Feb. 15: Create a Personal Flag; Feb. 22: Make a Seed Bomb!

Yoga Classes for Adults - Greenburgh Nature Center
Through February 28, 2014 - Scarsdale

Get in shape, tone up, and breathe...feel more balanced and stress free. Classes are held indoors until spring. Bring your own mat. Call for more information and multi-class discount. No pre-registration or pre-payment required. Mondays, Feb. 3, 10, 17, and 24 at 7pm; Fridays, Feb. 7, 14, 21, and 28 at 9am.

A BILLION BRICKS: LEGO T-Rex, Turtles & Trains! - Stamford Museum & Nature Center
Through March 02, 2014 - Stamford

Bill Probert & I LUG (LEGO Users Group) NY returns for a fifth season with a LEGO? landscape of epic proportions. "BILLions" of bricks recreate the subterranean world of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and a prehistoric park with T-Rex and velociraptors. Subways, trains, roller coasters, and mine trams will chug, spin, whirl and speed across a multi-level imaginary world built completely of LEGO? bricks. Peek into the new underground portals as subway cars whiz by before your eyes. Custom-designed LEGO? houses will offer visitors a glimpse into the abstract and fantastic architectural potential of the LEGO? brick. December 14-March 2, 2014.

Rent-a-Bucket - Teatown Lake Reservation
Through March 15, 2014 - Ossining

Love maple syrup? Buy a bucket of your own. Teatown will tap a maple tree and hang a sap bucket with your name on it. After filling the bucket, the sap gets turned into syrup in Warren's Sugar House. The $45 fee includes two tickets to the Pancake Brunch on March 15 and an 8-ounce bottle of award-winning, Grade A, pure maple syrup. Call the Nature Center at 914-762-2912 x110 to purchase a bucket.

My First Movies - City Center Cinema de Lux
Through March 15, 2014 - White Plains

Nationally renowned children's channel BabyFirst (babyfirsttv.com) with Phoenix Pictures bring the highly anticipated "My First Movies" to theaters across the east coast, transforming the movie theater into a joy- and music-filled movie playdate for tots, toddlers, and their parents! The fun and excitement begins Saturday Feb. 15 and continues Saturdays, Sunday and Wednesday mornings at 10am through Mar. 15. Ticket prices are $10.50 for adults and $8.50 for children.

My First Movies - Showcase Cinema de Lux Ridge Hill
Through March 15, 2014 - Yonkers

Nationally renowned children's channel BabyFirst (babyfirsttv.com) with Phoenix Pictures bring the highly anticipated "My First Movies" to theaters across the east coast, transforming the movie theater into a joy- and music-filled movie playdate for tots, toddlers, and their parents! The fun and excitement begins Saturday Feb. 15 and continues Saturdays, Sunday and Wednesday mornings at 10am through Mar. 15. Ticket prices are $10.50 for adults and $8.50 for children.

Inside the Artists' Studios: Small-Scale Views - Bruce Museum
Through March 16, 2014 - Greenwich

This exhibition features scale model constructions of artists' studios created by four artists -- Joe Fig, Richard Haas, Lori Nix and Jimmy Sanders -- who also work in painting, printmaking, and photography. December 14-March 16, 2014.

Dear Diary: Update All - Neuberger Museum of Art
Through March 16, 2014 - Purchase

With the advent of social networking and mobile communications, the diary has evolved from private medium to a forum for public consideration and collaborative thought, where the personal becomes a platform for social interaction, reflection, and activism. A new exhibition at the Neuberger Museum of Art addresses private versus public space, how we connect and interact, as the personal and private are merged with the public. "Dear Diary: Update All," will be on view at the Neuberger Museum of Art of Purchase College from January 4 through March 16, 2014. The exhibition of 20 international artists and 30 artworks explores how artists express their individual and collective identities, and the relationships among memory, document, and fiction. The mixed media exhibition presents work that uses online data, remembrance, handiwork, genetics, gaming, and Google to mark the discord, beauty, and banality that occur each day. According to Jacqueline Shilkoff, the Museum's Curator of New Media, Dear Diary will be "an exciting forum for ideas and interaction." Adding another dimension to the show, students from Purchase College, SUNY will be on site during Museum hours to engage in conversation with visitors about the exhibition as well as help them navigate the show and interact with the artwork. "The artists express an astounding range of poetic philosophical expressions," Shilkoff adds. Among the artworks in the exhibition is the installation "A Charge for Privacy" (2013), an electronic phone charging station created by Nick Briz, Paul X. Briz, and Ramon Branger. The work is intuitive, featuring the familiar routine of charging a phone battery and offering viewers to charge their phones. The artists, however, introduce a barrier: an agreement to the terms of use for this charging station. From this entry point, our digital history stored in our phones creates voluntary (and involuntary) representations of ourselves. Another piece, Editor Solitario (2011) by Colombian artist Oscar Munoz, focuses on the interrelation of images and memory, exploring the ephemeral and vulnerable nature of human life. It is a black-and-white projection onto a table depicting photographs: formal portraits and family snapshots, celebrity photos, painters' self-portraits, postmortem photos, and police sketches. An unseen subject extends an arm to place photographs on the table, removing some, exchanging others, pausing, covering, and quickly removing them. Munoz combines personal and cultural histories, merging found images of the living with found images of the dead in an ambiguous narrative of individual and national memory, loss, and hope. Other artists and collaborators in the exhibition include: Kannan Arunasalam, Chloe Bass, Nick Briz, Paul X. Briz, Ramon Branger, Victor Castro, Revital Cohen and Tuur Van Balen, Chris Collins, Eric Eberhardt, Zach Gage, Mark McKenna, Amanullah Mojadidi, Molleindustria, Oscar Munoz, Laura Splan, Aalam Wassef, YoHa with Matthew Fuller. Generous support for "Dear Diary: Update All" is provided by Marcy Kahn. Additional funding is provided by RBC Wealth Management, the Friends of the Neuberger Museum of Art and the Purchase College Foundation. The Neuberger Museum of Art will present various programs in conjunction with the exhibition.

Exhibition: Oysters, Pearls of Long Island Sound - Bruce Museum
Through March 23, 2014 - Greenwich

Found in estuaries around the world, oysters are a favored delicacy for humans and play a valuable role in ecosystems and economies. These unassuming mollusks have sustained Native Americans, cleaned polluted harbors, provided critical habitat, and created waterside cultures. Explore the science and natural history of oysters, particularly the Long Island Sound's native Eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica. November 2 - March 23, 2014.

Cleve Gray's Threnody: Forty Years - A lamentation on the loss of life in the Vietnam era - Neuberger Museum of Art
Through March 23, 2014 - Purchase

Forty years ago American artist and abstract expressionist Cleve Gray was commissioned to create a site-specific painting for the inauguration of the Neuberger Museum of Art of Purchase College in 1974. Threnody (1972-73), the 22-foot tall, 250-foot long artwork in 28 panels, turned out to be an extraordinary project - a lament for the dead on both sides of the Vietnam War. At the time, college students across the country were demonstrating against the conflict in Vietnam, a war they felt to be unjust and inhumane. Gray saw the significance of the Museum's location on a college campus. An active anti-war advocate himself, Gray saw this as an opportunity to support the students and express his hope for humanity's spiritual and emotional healing. As part of the Neuberger Museum's 40th anniversary celebration, Gray's monumental artwork will once again be on view, in "Cleve Gray's Threnody: Forty Years," organized by assistant curator, Avis Larson. Generous support for "Cleve Gray's Threnody: Forty Years" is provided by the Friends of the Neuberger Museum of Art and Purchase College Foundation. Threnody features 28 contiguous panels installed in the museum's Theater Gallery, effectively converting it into a cathedral with tall vertical forms engaged in a "dance of death and life." "Threnody considers opposites - male and female, love and hate, conflict and peace," notes Larson. She points out that Threnody continues to have an impact on viewers forty years after it was first exhibited. "In many ways we are facing similar issues relating to war and the loss of innocent lives, in addition to the many other situations we have to confront here in the United States, such as gun violence." A "threnody" is a classical song of mourning, a lamentation. In 1975, when explaining the piece, Gray wrote: "I felt that tragedy had been manifested more intensely during those years and in the preceding decade than at any other time in American history. Iniquity, futile death, and destruction surrounded us with little relief. This sense of tragedy in the sixties and seventies insisted itself upon me as the subject matter for the walls I had been asked to paint in the Neuberger Museum, for I felt that the heroic space encompassed by these walls required a heroic subject." Threnody marked a turning point in the artist's investigation of a radically simplified, vertical image, and the large-scale calligraphic gestures that became the hallmark of his mature paintings. To prepare, Gray created several hundred color studies and over 100 figure studies over a period of about 18 months. About his approach to large-scale logistics, Gray wrote that he "had a 20' x 20' easel constructed...it had a hoist so that it could be raised to the vertical position." In addition, he used very large brushes, sometimes janitors' push brooms, and plastic swimming pools in which to mix his paints. Rhythmically spaced motifs in the 28 panels suggest a diversity of imagery, and most vividly, perhaps, a procession of solemn dancers. "The depiction of tragedy often requires an element of hope, so I chose a positive red for the central figure of the 'apse' wall. Unexpectedly but inevitably this figure became the climactic point of the room. In the midst of death it had to offer the hope of life, just as blood is both the palpitating fluid of life and the fleeting evidence of death." Larson believes that the reinstallation of Threnody "impresses upon us the need for humanity's spiritual and emotional healing as we now face the devastation of current wars and the loss of life on both sides. Threnody offers our students and the general public a place conducive to contemplation and meditation." Threnody is part of the Neuberger Museum's permanent collection, and has been exhibited from time to time, most recently in 2007, and before then, shortly after 9/11. On view from January 12 through March 23.

Dual Annual Holiday Exhibit: "Hats Off To The Holidays" and "Toys Our Parents Played With" - Yorktown Museum
Through March 29, 2014 - Yorktown Heights

An exciting dual holiday exhibit ("Hats Off to the Holidays" and "Toys Our Parents Played With") featuring vintage toys, and hats used as the settings for miniature scenes. Many of the toys may be from your own childhood, so be sure to point them out to the younger generation and reminisce over the fun you had playing with them. Note how most of the toys on display do not have batteries and many are home made. Kids didn't need "store bought" toys or technology to have fun. The Hat scenes were created by the nationally known miniature artist, Carole Pruzan, and husband Neal. Explore the museum's five permanent exhibit rooms, gift shop, and research library Hours are Sat. 1-4pm & Tue and Thur. 11- 4 pm and by appointment. Visit yorktownmuseum.org for more information. On display Dec, 7, 2013 through March 29, 2014.

Migration Narratives - Pelham Art Center
Through March 29, 2014 - Pelham

The Pelham Art Center is pleased to announce a group exhibition of kinetic sculpture, installation, drawing, painting, and video narratives by six contemporary artists. Migration Narratives will be on view from Jan. 31-Mar. 29, 2014 with an opening reception and all age hands-on workshop on Friday, January 31 from 6:30-8pm. Admission is free and open to the public. This multi-media exhibition relates stories of individual transitions from one state of being to another. Lisa A. Banner is an independent curator and art historian who is a Visiting Associate Professor at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. Migration Narratives are the stories of individual transitions from one state of being to another. They are stories, or narratives, that mark and divine changes in life that take place along that trajectory from one place, physical and spiritual, to another. Historical Migration Narratives are the histories of freed slaves who moved north, away from what was known and binding - slavery, captivity, oppression - to something that was completely unknown and new - self-determination, discovery, and experimentation with life. When applied to contemporary life, this concept of a migration narrative reveals the personal histories of families and individuals, as they move through and across time, to new places. Immigration, a movement into a new place, like Migration, the movement of creatures from one habitat to another, is not determined by physical or political statements or borders, but by the inner need and determination to move, and change one's situation, be it internal or external, determined by self, or by nature. Artists who are new immigrants, first generation Americans, or reflective immigrants to a new way of life are expressive storytellers of such personal narratives. Their stories have a broad appeal. Monika Bravo, Erika Harrsch, Timothy Hawkesworth, Maria Noel, Eliana Perez, and Christopher Smith reflect differing ways of seeing these migrations of people through time, and through states of being. Their work is expressed in kinetic sculpture, installation, drawing, painting, and video narratives. About the Curator Lisa A. Banner is an independent curator and art historian who is a Visiting Associate Professor at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. She has published several artist interviews with Site95 Journal, in addition to extensive publications on Spanish Baroque art in Master Drawings, and a recent catalog of Spanish Drawings in the Princeton University Art Museum (Yale University Press, 2013). As an independent curator she has worked on shows for The Frick Collection, the Museo del Prado, and other venues. Banner has also been a Research Fellow at the National Gallery of Canada, and Samuel H. Kress Curatorial Fellow at The Hispanic Society of America. Recently, she curated several contemporary art exhibitions, including "Light Matter," and "Vital Signs: The Enigma of Identity" at the Pelham Art Center, as well as a series of installations in the Great Hall at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, and a forthcoming exhibition in the Schafler Gallery at Pratt Institute. Pelham Art Center, 155 Fifth Ave., Pelham, NY 10803. 914-738-2525. [email protected] Hours: Tuesdays-Fridays, 10-5pm; Saturdays, 10-4pm. Directions: Located five blocks from the Hutchinson Parkway exit 12, and two blocks from the Metro North Pelham stop. These events and programs are made possible, in part, by the ArtsWestchester with funds from Westchester County Government. Pelham Art Center also receives funding from: New York State Council on the Arts, A State Agency; Westchester Jewish Community Services; Nurses Network of America; Town of Pelham; Strypemonde Foundation; New York Multi-Arts Centers Consortium; New Rochelle Campership Fund; Bistro Rollin; Robin's Art+Giving; Nycon; Junior League of Pelham, Amani Charter School; Prospect Hill Lunchtime Enrichment; Yellowbook; Members; and Annual Fund Donors.

Exhibition: TeaTime - An Exploration of Tea, its Objects, and its Relevance to our Culture - Clay Art Center
Through April 01, 2014 - Port Chester

Clay Art Center is pleased to present TeaTime, a national invitational exhibition, featuring functional and sculptural teapots by invited artists, and an exploration of tea and its relevance in a global culture. The exhibit, curated by Caitlin Applegate and Leigh Taylor Mickelson, will highlight the teapot and its ceremonies which are found worldwide, and will run from Feb.1 through Apr. 1, with an opening reception on Sat., Feb. 1, from 5-7pm. Admission is free. In addition, CAC will be hosting several programs to enrich the exhibition, including workshops, historical lectures, a panel discussion and several educational programs. The Shop at CAC will feature handmade works by CAC and invited guest artists. Featuring 70 contemporary ceramic artists, TeaTime will highlight the teapot and tea-set, whose forms and related ceremonies have inspired artists for centuries, and continue to be a valid form of expression in studios of contemporary artists today. Artists will explore tea traditions and redefine what tea is in our contemporary culture. What will bring the exhibition together is Tea - its rich history, its place in our lives, and its influence in contemporary ceramics. In conjunction with TeaTime, Clay Art Center will explore clay and its relationship to tea with its global pervasiveness, in a series of events and educational programs occurring throughout the duration of exhibition. Semester-long adult and children's classes and two shorter workishops will also be presented in conjunction with this exhibition. Clay Art Center is a not-for-profit ceramic art organization offering exhibitions, clay classes for adults and children, studio spaces for clay artists, and outreach programs in the community. It is located in the heart of Port Chester at 40 Beech Street, Port Chester, NY 10573. Gallery and SHOP hours are Monday through Saturday, 10am-4pm or by appointment. For more information, please contact Caitlin Applegate at [email protected] or 914-937-2047.

'Tornado Alley' - Maritime Aquarium
Through April 03, 2014 - Norwalk

This film invites the audience to follow along with a daring team of "storm chasers" as they work to understand the origins and evolution of tornadoes. Sean Casey, star of the Discovery Channel's "Storm Chasers" reality series, leads this mission to document one of Earth's most awe-inspiring events - the birth of a tornado. Through April 3, 2014.

Great White Shark - Maritime Aquarium - IMAX
Through April 03, 2014 - Norwalk

No other modern animal may command both fear and fascination as much as the great white shark ? but The Maritime Aquarium's new IMAX?film suggests, instead, that these predators mainly need help and respect. This film unravels the mystery of the creature by telling the true story of its role atop the oceanic food chain. "Our mission is to change people's attitudes toward the great white," said Steve McNicholas, co-director of the film. "It's not the menacing, evil predator it's made out to be. It's simply performing its crucial role at the top of the ocean's food chain. Great whites are not monsters any more than the polar bears or lions that we revere." The 40-minute film takes viewers around the world to great-white hotspots and examines the animals through the eyes of several people whose lives and work have become inextricably linked to the great white, including shark expert Michael Rutzen, who openly scuba dives among them. October 11-April 3, 2014.

Flight of the Butterflies in 3D - NY Hall of Science
Through April 11, 2014 - Corona

Join millions of real butterflies on an amazing journey to a remote and secret hideaway. Weighing less than a penny, the monarch butterfly makes one of the longest migrations on Earth. Follow the monarchs' perilous journey to the remote mountain peaks of Mexico in this 3D film. For the first time ever, witness the transformation from caterpillar to butterfly, inside a chrysalis, thanks to advanced MRI and micro CT scans. The award-winning production team, including Oscar-winner Peter Parks, followed the year-long migration cycle of the monarch butterflies, from Canada, through the United States to remote 10,000-foot-high peaks in the Sierra Madre Mountains of Mexico. The film has won numerous awards including the 2013 Grand Teton Award in the category of Best Immersive 3D/Large Format at the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival and awards at the 2013 Giant Screen Industry Awards, including Best Film, Best Cinematography, Best Film for Lifelong Learning, and Best Educational Program.

In The Dark: Animal Survival Strategies - Bruce Museum
Through April 13, 2014 - Greenwich

In this immersive, entertaining, and family-friendly exhibition, people of all ages will discover how animals, including humans, adapt to living in the dark. The show features natural dioramas of caves, deep soil, nighttime forest and desert, along with mechanical, electronic and digital interactives. This exhibition is organized by the Cincinnati Museum Center. January 25-April 13, 2014.

Touch A Jellyfish - Maritime Aquarium
Through April 20, 2014 - Norwalk

The Maritime Aquarium is turning conventional beach wisdom upside down, by inviting its visitors to do something they've been told not to do all their lives: touch a jellyfish. This special exhibit will let visitors safely touch live moon jellyfish, one of the most common species in Long Island Sound. Open weekends, holidays and school vacation weeks January 18–April 20.

Exhibition: Six Ladders - Katonah Museum of Art
Through April 21, 2014 - Katonah

Bright swaths of vibrant colors transform the Katonah Museum of Art's exterior in its newest outdoor exhibition, "Six Ladders," by artist Andrea Lilienthal. Lilienthal created a series of giant bamboo ladders for the Museum's stately Sculpture Garden that are whimsical and enigmatic; their brilliant colors electrify the natural surroundings. Five ladders, with their cheerful colors and playful patterns, lean against the Museum's enormous spruce trees in various positions and at different angles. On the building's facade, a sixth, 30-foot ladder extends just short of the roofline - its form and ribbons of color energizing the wall and lending sculptural dimension to the flat expanse. Each of the ladders are hand-constructed from sturdy commercial bamboo, harvested in China, and painted with high-gloss outdoor enamel paint from Holland. Their surfaces are smooth and reflective, in contrast to the course-textured tree bark. According to Katonah Museum of Art Curator Ellen Keiter, "These are not functional structures - their bottom rungs are too high to mount and the ladders fail to reach the top of their intended destinations. These are instead beautiful works of art; Andrea Lilienthal responds to the inherent geometry of ladders and the repetitive rhythm of their rungs. She finds beauty in their simple, minimalist construction." "Lilienthal's ladders instill a sense of wonder and suggest that seemingly unreachable goals can be attained," she says. Keiter explains that bamboo is a hollow-stemmed, woody plant that "bows, sways, and splits, so slight imperfections, even substantial cracks, add distinctive character to each ladder. No two ladders are painted the same, yet their similarly saturated hues coalesce into a lively visual harmony." She adds, "The bands of luscious color wrap around the bamboo like candy confections, and bright confetti patterns alternate with stark black-and-white designs. A causal link exists between the artificial colors and the natural bamboo. On one ladder, Lilienthal painted white rings around the growth nodes of the bamboo; on another, the nodes demarcate the lengths of painted blue and orange sections." Says Lilienthal: "These magnificent and mysterious trees [at the Katonah Museum of Art], whose tops are not even visible, dwarf the people and furniture below. In response to their super scale, I chose the ladder, a form with human scale and multiple readings: utilitarian ancient, mythic, and universal. The severe and stately trees support the bamboo ladders in an implied partnership; rooted and stable, the trees assist the ladders in their attempt to ascend. But ultimately, how do you mount an 80-foot Norwegian spruce tree? My answer was to climb it with imagination, affirming our connection to the natural world." Lilienthal has used bamboo in her artistic practice for several years. In earlier installations, she aligned multiple painted, wrapped, or taped bamboo poles along a wall - works awash in color, but still relatable in size. However, her current exhibition at the Katonah Museum of Art is in keeping with the majesty, diameter, and spacing of the giant spruce trees. Adding to the intrigue of this exhibition are enlarged photographs of the Garden's spruce trees displayed in the Museum's two west windows adjacent to the lone 30-foot ladder. On first impression, the images appear as reflections. In this way, Lilienthal reinforces the relationship between the ladders and the trees while further playing with the viewers' perceptions and expectations. Historically, ladders carry rich and universal associations. In many faiths and fables, ladders are a symbol of ascent, of travel, of reaching upward. In modern times, they represent progress and growth, allowing us to reach higher than we would otherwise be able to go. Ladders symbolize elevation: from darkness to light, from ignorance to knowledge, and from the material to the spiritual. They are featured in art from prehistoric cave paintings to contemporary times. Jacob's Ladder, the metaphysical passage between heaven and earth, is mentioned in the first book of the Bible, and is represented in such disparate media as Renaissance paintings and popular video games. There is a popular African-American spiritual, "We Are Climbing Jacob's Ladder," Eric Carl's beloved children's picture book, "Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me," and innumerable colloquialisms regarding "the ladder of success." On view through April 21, 2014 during Museum hours: Sundays: 12-5pm; Tuesdays through Saturdays: 10am-5pm. Closed Mondays.

Forrest Bess: Seeing Things Invisible - Neuberger Museum of Art
Through May 18, 2014 - Purchase

Self-described "visionary" artist Forrest Bess (1911-1977) is a unique figure in the history of American art. He eked a meager living fishing and selling bait by day in Bay City Texas, while, in his free time, he read, wrote, and painted prolifically. He created an extraordinary body of mostly small-scale canvases rich with enigmatic symbolism based on symbols he saw in his dreams. Bess drew meaning for these symbols from various disciplines such as medicine, psychology, anthropology, and philosophy, eventually formulating a theory, which he referred to as his "thesis," that the unification of male and female within one's body could produce immortality. Despite his remote location, Bess gained recognition in the New York art community, showing his work between 1950 and 1967 with the prominent artist and dealer Betty Parsons. "Forrest Bess: Seeing Things Invisible" is organized by the Menil Collection, curated by Assistant Curator, Clare Elliott, in collaboration with contemporary artist Robert Gober, expanding on a project he created for the 2012 Whitney Biennial. It will feature a selection of over 40 paintings, along with rare works on paper and selected letters, and will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue. At the Neuberger Museum the exhibition is organized by Chief Curator Tracy Fitzpatrick. Through May 14.

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.

'Art at the Core' - Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art
Through July 27, 2014 - Peekskill

HVCCA's 2013-2014 exhibition features works that lend themselves to narrative interpretations. The selected artists employ traditional art materials as well as new technology, video, and performance to look to art as addressing the very core of our everyday lives, our "weltanschauung." In an increasingly fast-moving era, and as explored in "Art at the Core," the world of art and culture bridge artistic disciplines - painting folds into sculpture, sound, light, video, and performance. Performance, enhanced by installation and often video, asserts itself as an art form, not in the narrative traditions of opera with its stage design, but in a contemporary format that defies traditional descriptions. The eclectic selections from the works of the 23 artists exhibited at HVCCA, bring about a show that is riddled with complexities, manifesting diverse approaches to identity, society, culture, and materiality, and dedicated to the intersection and melding of life and art. See more at hvcca.org/current-exhibitions/#sthash.R8DPX2vt.dpuf. On view through July 27, 2014.

Meerkats - Maritime Aquarium
Through December 31, 2014 - Norwalk

Meerkats are members of the mongoose family that live in social ?mobs? in the Kalahari Desert, in the southern African nations of Botswana and South Africa. No mere cats, meerkats are fascinating for living in structured but cooperative societies, including a foraging strategy where adults take turns standing guard upright on their hind feet, watching for predators, while the others eat. The meerkats? exhibit offers opportunities for climbing, digging and exploring, with several feeding locations to keep them on the alert for incoming crickets. A viewing bubble lets visitors pop up right among the meerkats.

Toy Boat-Making Workshop - Maritime Aquarium
Through December 31, 2015 - Norwalk

Visit the toy boat-making area on weekends for a fun 20-minute boat-building project. Build and decorate a toy sailboat to take home as a special keepsake of your visit. Saturdays and Sundays year-round.

Africa: From the Desert to the Sea - Maritime Aquarium
Through December 31, 2015 - Norwalk

Explore the aquatic wonders of Africa, including amazing fish from the Nile River, the lakes of Africa's Great Rift Valley and the Red Sea. Species highlighted include exotic air-breathing lungfish that can survive for a year if their waterhole goes dry, and colorful cichlids and coral reef species that shine in shimmering rainbows.

Born to Be Wild - Maritime Aquarium
Through April 03, 2024 - Norwalk

Academy-Award winner Morgan Freeman lends his voice to this film which follows orphaned baby orangutans and elephants, and the people who rescue and raise them for eventual release back into the wild. Through April 3,2014.

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