Looking for fun and low-cost things to do with your kids this November in Brooklyn? We've hand-picked the best events from our calendar, including some rockin' kids' concerts and shows, family movie screenings, Thanksgiving-themed events, and the not-to-be-missed annual Children's Book Fair at the Brooklyn Museum.
For even more upcoming kids' events in Brooklyn and the NYC area, check out our full, searchable calendar.
Get Down with the Anna Banana Band
The quirky, New Wave-y Anna Banana Band delivers tunes such as "Dinosong," which includes a line about possibly getting a Barney tattoo, along with a collection of other original songs, combining different genres like rock, reggae, pop, folk, punk, and Latin music. Some songs call for the listener to sing along -- or roar. Other songs tell stories. In all, this is definitely a show the kids won't want to miss. November 5 at 1pm. FREE.
Brooklyn Public Library's central branch, 10 Grand Army Plaza. 718-230-2100. www.brooklynpubliclibrary.org.
Soul Street Company originated in Houston back in 1996 as a hip hop-inspired street dance troupe. Street dance is a high-energy style that moves to hip hop rhythms and combines break dancing, acrobatic trickery, and even gymnastics. The company's five members started out competing in contests and have graduated to working with rap music stars and performing for children at schools and outreach centers. For Breaking Backward, the troupe reflects on hip hop dance from the genre's inception decades ago to the present. Accompanying music includes, of course, lots of rap and hip hop, but also R&B and classical music. November 6. 2pm. $7.
Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts, 2900 Campus Road, Midwood. 718-951-4500. www.brooklyncenteronline.org.
Pingu, the adorable and mischievous animated penguin, brings down the igloo at Big Movies for Little Kids on November 7 at 4pm. $7.
Cobble Hill Cinemas, 265 Court Street, Cobble Hill. 718-596-9113. www.cobblehilltheatre.com.
Who Came First?
Somewhat obscured by the Thanksgiving hoopla is Native American Awareness Month, which lasts throughout November. Seriously, there wouldn't be a Thanksgiving had it not been for Native Americans who lived around Plymouth, who we know saved the pilgrims' hides by teaching them how to farm and catch turkeys. Brooklyn honors Native Americans with some classes and performances:
One is World Passport Workshop: Native New Yorkers, in which kids become familiar with the culture of those who lived in and around New York City before the European settlers. The Brooklyn Children's Museum's artifacts collection is vast and allows for a true hands-on experience. November 5 and 11. 2:30pm. Also at the museum, the MetLife Early Learner Performance Series presents Third Rail Projects: Walking in Two, led by Tom Pearson, whose heritage is Cherokee and Muskogee. Pearson will showcase contemporary and traditional dances often using hoops, all addressing themes endemic to Native American culture, such as identity and man's relationship with the natural world. Despite this event title bearing the terms "Early Learner," it is oriented to all ages, with something to be derived by everybody. November 20. 1pm. All ages. $7.50; free younger than 1.
Brooklyn Children's Museum, 145 Brooklyn Avenue, Crown Heights. 718-735-4400. www.brooklynkids.org.
Dance, songs, and drums figure large in Native American culture, and the Red Hook Dance Troupe combines all three in its performance of ceremonial and social songs and dance. November 10. 10:15am and 12:15pm. $7.
Kumble Theater at Long Island University, One University Plaza at Flatbush Avenue, Fort Greene. 718-522-4696. www.kumbletheater.org.
Keller Williams is a six-string virtuoso who's established his niche as a sort of one-man band. Normally he combines a distinctively staccato attack with styles that touch upon rock, reggae, electronica, jazz, and funk, and are often improvised-the kind of groovy stuff that has young adults in tie-dye and dreadlocks grooving like it's 1967. But these days Williams is exploring the kids' music scene, touring behind a children's record called, simply enough, Kids. The album is rife with bluegrass-inspired music, mega guitar chops, and lyrical content that doubles as humor and lessons in life. Among the choice cuts are "Take a Bath," "Car Seat," and "Because I Said So" (the latter also a Williams-penned children's book), all of which reveal that Williams knows the parenting road firsthand. November 19. 10:30am. $20 at the door; $15 in advance.
Brooklyn Bowl, 61 Wythe Avenue, Williamsburg. 718-963-3369. www.brooklynbowl.com.
Books of Wonder
Storytellers such as Maurice Sendak, William Steig, Ezra Jack Keats-all Brooklyn born and bred-complement their greatness as storytellers with illustrations and collage that deserve recognition as fine art. The Brooklyn Museum embraces the entire book with its fifth annual Children's Book Fair, where children can mingle with acclaimed local writers, among them Kate Hosford (Back to School) and John Rocco (Blackout); plus hear these authors and more than 30 others present read-alouds and sign copies of their books. The museum's Rubin Pavilion, on the first floor, has been transformed for the occasion and, of course, every book can be purchased. Games and food are also available, and there will be a performance of Prokofiev's interpretation of the folk tale Peter and the Wolf by the Brooklyn Conservatory Community Orchestra, plus some comedic theater by the Maestrosities. November 19. 12-4pm. All ages. $10; $6 students and seniors; free children younger than 12.
Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, Prospect Heights. 718-638-5000. www.brooklynmuseum.org.
Subway performers are a varied lot; in my many years in New York City, I have seen the kid who banged on compound buckets wind up in a Mariah Carey video and watched a hobo-ish character pour his soul into his slide guitar. Roger G. truly deserves to be part of the MTA's Arts for Transit project, in which the agency sponsors genuine talent and allows them to busk. Roger, for his part, has combined mime and dance into Get Electric with Roger G., an energetic show that grooves and moves with a celebration of force and motion. November 19. 1:30pm. All ages. $7; $5 children and seniors.
New York Transit Museum, Boerum Place and Schermerhorn Street. 718-964-1600. www.mta.info/museum.