Check out these local activities and events for children and families scheduled during the month of July in Brooklyn. Whether you're looking to celebrate Independence Day, catch a kid-friendly show, or just enjoy the great outdoors, we've got all the information a Brooklyn family needs.
Happy Birthday, America!
Celebrate Independence Day with these nearby events.
"Eagle As Icon" is a presentation by an Audubon naturalist that teaches kids about our national bird, the bald eagle, and its role in shaping our nation's identity. July 3 and 4, 12-5pm. All ages. FREE. Prospect Park Audubon Center, Lincoln Road and Ocean Avenue entrance. 718-287-3400. www.prospectpark.org.
Kids can celebrate America's 234th birthday by picking up a quill pen and signing their John Hancock on a reproduction of the Declaration of Independence in a fun family event, Declare Independence. Afterward, they can make a fancy plumed hat. July 3-4, 1-4pm. Ages 3-12. FREE. Lefferts Historic House, Flatbush Avenue at Empire Boulevard. 718-789-2822. www.prospectpark.org.
For many years after, July 5 was a day for parades and fancy dinners to commemorate New York's emancipation. At Freedom Strut, kids read accounts of those days, decorate clothes as many folks did back then, and parade through the Lefferts Farmyard. July 5, 1-4pm. Ages 3 and up. FREE. Lefferts Historic House, Flatbush Avenue at Empire Boulevard. 718-789-2822. www.prospectpark.org.
With influences ranging from Yes and Deep Purple to the Beatles, it's no surprise that StarFish, the kids' band that hails from New Jersey and is comprised of all dads, gets parents grooving along with the kids. While the rock vibe will entertain adults, the lyrics relate to kids' concerns, like tree houses, time outs, homework, and parents who always say "No."
On Thursday, July 15 at 6pm, StarFish plays songs from its new CD, Enter Sandbox, at the Brooklyn Children's Museum. FREE with museum admission of $7.50.
On Saturday, July 17 at noon, Starfish performs at Bryant Park's Reading Room. FREE. For more information, visit www.worldsoundkids.com/starfish.
Puppet Theater at Kingsborough
Don't miss the acclaimed Arm-of-the-Sea Mask and Puppet Theater at Brooklyn's own Kingsborough Performing Arts Center. At the Turning of the Tide celebrates the Hudson River with scenes reflecting the river's rhythms, the invention of the steamboat, the settlement of river towns, fishermen, landscape artists, and the ongoing battle to keep the Hudson clean.
For over 20 years, the non-profit, five-member Arm-of-the-Sea company has presented its unique blend of the mythic world and everyday life, combined with elements of nature, art, science, poetry and politics, at cultural centers, festivals, and schools.
The hour-long At the Turning of the Tide takes place July 18 at 11am at Kingsborough's outdoor bandshell; in the event of rain, it will move across campus to the Performing Arts Center. FREE; reservations required. A pre-show music and movement workshop is for ages 5 and older. For more information: 718-368-5596 or www.kingsborough.edu/events.
Coney Island Bound
Get an up-close experience of the popular Boardwalk-bound Coney Island Nostalgia Train, made up of R1/9 Independent Subway System cars. This old-school Brooklyn tour begins with an excursion at the New York Transit Museum, where participants gain exclusive access to the exhibits and store before the museum opens to the public. Then it's "all aboard" the trains on the museum's platform level for a scenic, two-hour ride to Coney Island on tracks above and below ground. Visit the amusement park, take a dip in the ocean, and enjoy all the area has to offer, or stay on the train for additional rides. Baseball fans can skip the return trip to catch a Brooklyn Cyclones vs. Staten Island Yankees game, which starts at 6pm at nearby MCU Park. Saturday, July 31, 10am-5pm. Reservations recommended. $45, $20 ages 5-17 (includes New York Transit Museum admission but not Cyclones game). For reservations and information: 718-694-1867 or http://mta.info/mta/museum/index.html.
Little Picassos, ages 5 and under, can participate in an "Art Works" workshop at the Brooklyn Children's Museum's Totally Tots Art Studio this month, on the following dates: July 2, 9, 16, 23, 25, 30, 31. 11:30am-12:30pm and 2:30-3:30pm. Free with museum admission: $7.50 per person. Brooklyn Children's Museum, 145 Brooklyn Avenue. For more information, call 718-735-4400 or visit www.brooklynkids.org.
Meet the Nightlife
Thanks to a new permanent exhibit at Prospect Park Zoo, visitors can meet the "Night Shift" during the day. A group of nocturnal critters has joined the animals featured in the "Amazing Animals" section of the zoo, which includes an African brush tailed, South American prehensile, and a small group of Rodrigues fruit bats. All ages. Zoo admission: $8; $6 seniors; $5 children ages 3-12. Prospect Park Zoo, 450 Flatbush Avenue. For more information, call 718-399-7339 or visit www.prospectparkzoo.com.
Justin Roberts and the Not Ready for Naptime Players bring their high energy pop sound to a special concert celebrating the release of their new CD, Jungle Gym. A former teacher, Roberts has performed on the Today Show and Nick Jr. Concert is Saturday, July 24, at noon. $10 advance; $12 door. Highline Ballroom, 431 West 16th St. 212-414-5994. www.justinrobertsmusic.com.
Walking With Dinosaurs - The Arena Spectacular, based on the award-winning BBC television series, is now at Madison Square Garden. The show depicts the dinosaurs' evolution culminating in the severe climatic and tectonic changes that took place and led to the demise of many species. See interactions between dinosaurs, learn how carnivorous dinosaurs evolved to walk on two legs, and discover how the herbivores fended off their more agile predators - all in near-cinematic realism. July 21-25. Times vary. $35 and up. 866-858-0008. Madison Square Garden, 4 Pennsylvania Plaza (32nd St and 7th Avenue). www.madisonsquaregarden.com.