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MUSEUMS EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS AND FAMILIES IN WESTCHESTER WEEK OF DECEMBER 31

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by Kids Events Editor

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Find fun things to do this week in the NYC area in our Calendar of Events

free and low-cost things to do with kids in Westchester Find free and low-cost things to do with kids at the museums in Westchester this week of December 31. Head to a children's museum for some fun and educational programs for your little ones, or bring the whole family to a museum exhibit for a fun cultural experience. Whether you live in Westchester or are just visiting during the week of December 31 check out these fun and cultural activities and events for some great ideas on how to keep the kids busy. For more free and low-cost upcoming family and children's events in Westchester, go to our complete calendar of events.

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Holiday Exhibit - Trains: Your Ticket to the Great Outdoors - Greenburgh Nature Center
Through December 31, 2012 - Scarsdale

A display of model trains, presented by the Westchester Model Railroad Club. See the model-sized scenic wonders of New England, upstate New York, and even the Greenburgh Nature Center. Grand opening Dec. 8 at 10am. Exhibit runs December 8-16, weekdays (except Friday, Dec. 14) from 9:30am-4:30pm; weekends: from 10am-4:30pm.

Craft-Tastic: An Exhibiton and Sale of Handmade Goods - Pelham Art Center
Through January 05, 2013 - Pelham

An annual artisan exhibit and craft sale featuring one-of-a-kind and affordable crafts and gifts, including ceramics, artwork, jewelry, glass, and furniture. Through Jan. 5, 2013.

Be an Artist Apprentice - Hudson River Museum
January 05, 2013 - Yonkers

Learn how create picture book stories inspired by the work of Caldecott Award winner Jerry Pinkney with Fashion Institute of Technology students who study with Eric Velasquez. Four days over two weekends; attend one or multiple sessions, and bind your story into a book. Today's program: An Animal. Work may be selected to be on view at the Museum's Education Center. For ages 9 and older (younger artists are welcome to collage). Art materials supplied.

Native Voices: New England Tribal Families - Stepping Stones Museum
Through January 06, 2013 - Norwalk

This exhibit is an introduction to Native Americans living in New England today. By visiting five different communities from northern to southern New England, visitors learn about Native American traditions and how modern families balance contemporary life with preservation of important cultural identities through stories and songs.

January Story Circle - Heroes - Hudson River Museum
January 06, 2013 - Yonkers

Circle round to listen as volunteers read folk and fairy tales illustrated by Jerry Pinkney. Today, "John Henry and Minty: A Story of a Young Harriet Tubman." Reader: C. Anthony Bannister, Storyteller.

Be an Artist Apprentice - Hudson River Museum
January 06, 2013 - Yonkers

Learn how create picture book stories inspired by the work of Caldecott Award winner Jerry Pinkney with Fashion Institute of Technology students who study with Eric Velasquez. Four days over two weekends; attend one or multiple sessions, and bind your story into a book. Today's program: An Animal. Work may be selected to be on view at the Museum's Education Center. For ages 9 and older (younger artists are welcome to collage). Art materials supplied.

Mutt-i-grees - Stepping Stones Museum
January 07, 2013 - Norwalk

Meet a real dog from PAWS, The Pet Animal Welfare Society, and learn about the uniqueness and desirability of shelter dogs. Make a pet-themed craft. Space is limited.

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.

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.

'Ice Age' to the Digital Age: The 3D Animation Art of Blue Sky Studios - Katonah Museum of Art
Through January 20, 2013 - Katonah

This unique interactive exhibition looks at the imaginative work of Greenwich, Connecticut-based Blue Sky Studios, a leader in the animation industry for over 20 years. Creator of such blockbuster films as the "Ice Age" series, "Robots," and "Rio," the studio prides itself on technical innovation, while retaining a strong narrative heart. '"Ice Age" to the Digital Age' will guide visitors through Blue Sky's entire process of creating computer-animated films: from initial concepts, storyboards, character design, background art, and three-dimensional modeling, to the highly technical work of animation, rigging, materials, lighting, special effects, and sound. In addition to final movie clips, the exhibition will feature rarely-seen original concept drawings, sculptural models, props, and digital stills. Interactive stations will allow visitors to sketch a scene or manipulate computer-generated images to better understand the innovative technology that brings the films to life. Katonah resident Chris Wedge, a co-founder of Blue Sky in 1987, believes that the secret to the studio's success is in its inventive process. In his view, the art challenges technology and technology inspires the art. The Museum will be turning all the galleries, including the Learning Center, over to this exhibit. There will be gallery talks with Blue Sky co-founder Chris Wedge and "Ice Age: Continental Drift" directors Steve Martino and Mike Thurmeier, as well as a calendar of programming in partnership with the Jacob Burns Film Center. Details about these programs are available at katonahmuseum.org. The exhibition will be on view from Sunday, September 16, 2012 through January 20, 2013.

All Aboard with Bill Probert and Friends III - Stamford Museum and Nature Center
Through January 27, 2013 - Stamford

Bill Probert will be making an encore performance with his All Aboard LEGO train exhibition. He creates visual puns, pastoral scenes with unexpected surprises, and urban scenes where railroad tracks, weeds, carefully-tended gardens, and busy streets blend seamlessly into one another. A special feature in this year's exhibition will be the addition of four creations from winners of the Stamford Museum & Nature Center's All Aboard competition. LEGO enthusiasts in four age categories from five-years-old and up will be submitting entries for inclusion in the exhibition. Through January 27, 2013.

Visions of Gingerbread: The Sweetest Architects IV - Stamford Museum and Nature Center
Through January 27, 2013 - Stamford

See creative confections, consisting completely of edible materials, from the area?s bakers, chefs and caterers. Returning favorites, along with new competitors, will show off their gingerbread skills. Visitors will be able to vote for their Fan Favorite." Through January 27, 2013.

Annual Holiday Exhibit - 'It Takes A Village' - Yorktown Museum
Through March 16, 2013 - Yorktown Heights

The museum's annual holiday exhibit takes you on a stroll down memory lane through miniature rural towns, farms, and village shops sprinkled with antique toys and foreign dolls. A French lithographed dollhouse, 1950's diner, and New England fishing hamlet are just some of the buildings that will be on display. On view through March 16, 2013.

Find fun things to do this week in the NYC area in our Calendar of Events


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