Our list of 7 fun and low-cost things to do with kids in Brooklyn this March includes shows by the Paper Bag Players, Ringling Bros. circus, Vanessa Trien, and more fun events in Crown Heights, Fort Greene, Manhattan Beach, Midwood, and Prospect Heights.
Read Across America Day
Greenlight Bookstore, Fort Greene
March is National Reading Month, and March 1 is Read Across America Day. Greenlight celebrates the latter with read-alouds of two of its favorite Dr. Seuss books: The Cat in the Hat and The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins. Participants will also make their our own wild and silly Dr. Seuss-ian hats. FREE!
Other great venues hosting special story times this month include: Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn Children’s Museum, and Powerhouse Arena.
Paper Bag Players Present Saddles and Sunshine
Kingsborough Community College Performing Arts Center, Manhattan Beach
The Paper Bag Players have been around for 55 years. They appeared on public television back in the ’60s and were the first theater for children to perform at Lincoln Center. The running theme has always been a combination of funny, vaudeville-inspired bits that are spoken and sung, with plenty of mime, sight gags, and slapstick. The group’s mission has always been child-centered, teaching the realities of life through entertainment, education, and the magic of theater. The Paper Bag Players’ current production is called Saddles and Sunshine, in which cowboys, ponies, and singing bowling pins are brought to life on stage in the group’s typical style.
Charlotte Blake Alston: Stories and Songs in the Oral Tradition
BAM Fisher Theater, Fort Greene
In West African culture, the griot is simultaneously a storyteller, historian, singer, poet, and musician with a back catalog of many traditional songs and stories that they must pull out of their cranium at a moment’s notice and perform flawlessly. Not everybody gets to be a griot, yet this very unique individual is what came to mind when I first learned about Charlotte Blake Alston. She delivers songs and stories in the oral tradition much like a griot does: animated, dramatic, and infused with spirit. Without having to rely on the printed page, the oral tradition allows its storytellers to use their whole bodies to convey meaning, dramatize, and breathe life into songs and stories that bespeak the experience of African and African-American culture. Accompanied by traditional African music, Alston infuses her audience with mythology, history, sense of moral purpose, and a strong cultural identity.
The Beauty of Ballet
Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts, Midwood
Children who are curious about ballet can get a glimpse into the field’s preparatory world at The Beauty of Ballet, a rehearsal/performance featuring students and faculty of the American Ballet Theater. The audience will watch a class where steps and training exercises are demonstrated and excerpts from famous ballets are performed. FREE!
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus Presents Built to Amaze!
Barclays Center, Prospect Heights
March 20—April 1
Being a parent in Brooklyn is a circus in itself, in which parents fret over where their kids will be going to school and which bars allow strollers and their occupants. Will you get that table at Buttermilk Channel on a Saturday night at 8? Doubtful, but a visit to the Barclays Center to see the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus present Built to Amaze! will help put your parenting woes into perspective. You need to witness ringmaster Andre McClain as he presents amazing performers who combine athleticism and bravery, risking their lives for entertainment. You’ll see basketball players atop unicycles, gravity-defying aerialists, ferocious tigers and marvelous elephants, dancing bears and poodles, and more. The story behind Built to Amaze! is how a circus actually gets put together, from the crates to the clowns and everything in between.
Vanessa Trien in Concert
Brooklyn Public Library, central branch, Prospect Heights
Singer/songwriter/educator Vanessa Trien and her band, the Jumping Monkeys, won a Parent’s Choice award for their most recent recording, Bubble Ride, and have amassed a dedicated fan following known as “Nessa Groupies.” Trien’s music is bouncy, animated, and written with movement in mind. Her songs appeal most to preschoolers who don’t mind doing the “Peacock Walk,” “Train Dance,” or “Bubble Ride.” Trien’s songs capture the curious themes that preschool kids seem interested in; those simple questions about life and the world around us that are innocent and often silly. Indeed, there’s plenty of silliness here wrapped up in the mostly acoustic (think mandolins, ukeleles, and guitars) music. FREE!
Brooklyn Children’s Museum, Crown Heights
Kids explore the egg-citing world of eggs by creating a special one of their own with sticky, gooey papier-mâché.
Find kid-friendly museums in NYC
Search for more fun family activities in Brooklyn and beyond in our full calendar of events