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New York families now have a number of unique options when it comes to exploring the city's myriad museums and galleries. Several new art enrichment programs have been successfully launched in recent years, lending families an opportunity to experience art from different perspectives and have fun in the process.
Not every worthwhile midtown theater event takes place on the Great White Way. Sometimes you have to trek a little bit north-eastward to catch one of the most family-friendly, albeit girl-slanted, shows in town.
Although Mardi Gras isn’t on the calendar until February, the spirit of Carnival appears nightly under the big top, in Big Apple Circus’ new production, Carnevale!
Cassius Clay rolls a flaming torch down his chest, and then nonchalantly inserts it in his mouth (Clearly, this would be in the "Don’t try this at home" category). A little later, three masked men on stilts dance to Caribbean music, making moves from eight feet up that I wouldn’t try on the ground. We’ve seen limbo dancers, colorfully-costumed dancers re-enacting 18th-century life in Bridgetown, and barely-costumed dancers shaking and leaping to every form of music known to Barbados in the past 300 years.
Little girls will be awestruck this fall as they explore the unique world of American Girl Place New York, opening on Fifth Avenue, Saturday, November 8. The 43,000-square-foot retail and entertainment site is designed to reflect American girls both past and present.
The American Museum of Natural History's Arthur Ross Hall of Meteorites has the drama of science, not Hollywood, but it's not one speck of primordial space dust less dramatic for that. What meteorites tell us about the origins of the Earth, our Sun, and the history of the solar system is a narrative laced up and down the line with the acute drama of nothingness and existence.
Before you announce to the kids you’re on the way to a museum, ask them if they’d like to hear a cool story about dinosaurs or go on a treasure hunt and take home their very own art project. Then subtly mention the location is a brand-new fun gallery with its own children’s space and fun stuff to buy in the shop. When you arrive at the newly opened Dahesh (rhymes with “Marakeesh”) Museum, at 580 Madison Avenue, between 56th and 57th Streets, you can then casually drop the word “museum”, and by this point, your kids won’t even care.
You’re never too old — or too young — for magic, a fact that producer Michael S. Chaut must have realized six years ago. Chaut, a magician and producer of Magical Nights, Inc., produces both Monday Night Magic weekly at the Soho Playhouse, and Magic Matinee every Saturday and Sunday afternoon at Jekyll & Hyde restaurant, in the West Village.
At the Goudreau Museum, the formula adds up to fun. Founded over 20 years ago by the late Bernard Goudreau, an engineer and mathematics teacher, the museum has served as a haven for both students and teachers with an interest in mathematics.
The New York Transit Museum, housed in a decommissioned subway station in Brooklyn, had no air conditioning or heat when it closed for renovations two years ago. Climate control is still spotty, but the spiffed up museum is much more comfortable now; it even sports a computer resource center, a vast improvement over the olden days of 2001, when the entire museum staff shared just two phone lines. For most visitors old and young, the highlight of the newly renovated museum is the display of vintage subway cars that you can board.
As city students began the new school year last month, the curtain went up for another year of Theater for a New Audience — known best by its acronym TFANA — and the educational programs it runs throughout the boroughs, especially those in Queens (former Districts 24, 25 and 30).
With a new cast, the tender, coming-of-age story, Summer of the Swans, the new Theatreworks/USA production that enjoyed a successful summer run at the Lucille Lortel Theatre, opens the company’s regular season of weekend performances, October 11, at the Auditorium at Equitable Tower.
Now that summer is fast becoming past and the rush of the new school year has taken over, how easy it is to forget that the outside world awaits. Before packing memories of outdoor fun as you would another school lunch, plan a trip to the Audubon Center in Greenwich where it is now peak hawk-watching season.
Peter Applebome always imagined himself as a Little League dad, but when his son, Ben, developed an interest in the Boy Scouts, Applebome followed him, and in 1999, they became members of Troop 1 in Chappaqua. Over the next three years, Applebome found himself river rafting in the rain, cheering for Ben during a snow-less Klondike Derby, eating mystery one-pot stews by a soggy campfire, and learning to love the array of offerings — some traditional, others more subtle — of the Scouting life.
While the Brooklyn Children’s Museum is moving forward into the 21st century, with a major expansion planned, it is also going back in time to the Cretaceous Period with its new exhibit, Dinosaurs!
It’s called The Grownup’s Guide: Visiting New York City With Kids, but you don’t have to be a visitor (you don’t even have to be a grownup) to take advantage of this incredibly comprehensive resource guide to New York City.
A quick glance around Barnes and Noble easily confirms it: Baseball appeals warmly to sophisticates. Writers like George Will and Roger Angell have repeatedly turned their attentions to the sport, examining it to death in social, economic and political terms, constantly trying to nail down its lasting fascination, and always, somehow, failing to say what's really on their minds about it — that baseball is fun.
With three decades of educating and entertaining children under its belt, the Children's Museum of Manhattan is now at that poignant time of its existence when it's older than some of the parents who bring their kids there. The chances are excellent that many of today's parents romped through the museum themselves as youngsters — and there's no reason not to expect, in 20 years' time, to see them coming back with their kids again, with grandchildren in tow.
He was at a crossroads in his musical career. She had great ideas about developing music for children. Luckily, they were both at the right place at the right time. When Puerto Rican-born Luis Antonio (Louie) Miranda met Joy Suarez at Cleopatra’s Needle, a jazz restaurant on the Upper West Side in 1995, “I was debating what I should do. I didn’t want to continue traveling with the band I was with, and Joy had great ideas about music for children,” Louie says. That meeting was the start of Jerry Joy Music.
Who knew suburban motherhood could be so hip and fun? Laura Wilker and Betsy Cadel, authors of KidSavvy Westchester: A parents' guide of information & inspiration (Suburban Goddess Press, $17.95), are happy to report that Westchester is an ideal place to raise young children.
“You go first.” “No, you. Please, I insist.” Deciding who would take the first plunge may have been the most difficult part of our trapeze experience. But once we were up on the platform, we weren’t about to turn back. We came to Trapeze School New York (TSNY) expecting a one-of-a-kind experience — and that it was. With a few minutes of preparation, we ascended the 23-foot ladder to our jumping-off point. We weren’t about to just hang around. We were about to learn some new tricks.
Once a landfill, the grass at Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens is far from perfect, with its innumerable bumps and bare patches, its crabgrass and dandelions. The park's location is beautiful — on Vernon Boulevard, right on the East River, with Manhattan as a backdrop. But with its urban setting and less-than-manicured lawn, it may seem like the wrong place for a sculpture exhibition about suburbia. It's not; in fact, there couldn't be a more ideal venue in all New York.
This tour highlights a few of the many Greenwich Village houses and haunts where children's book authors and illustrators have lived and worked.
Even with Lower Manhattan only a short ferry ride away, the borough sometimes seems miles from New York. But get ready for a surprise: Staten Island does have things to do.