Looking for fun and affordable things to do with your kids in Manhattan this March? Click through for our roundup of the best local family events of the month, including two new family-friendly Broadway shows, the NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade, a colorful new exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History, and more.
The 2012 New York International Children's Film Festival will span seven NYC theaters and present more than 100 of the best children's films from across the globe. Don't miss it!
Ballet for Beginners
New York Theatre Ballet (NYTB) concludes its family-friendly Once Upon a Ballet series this month with James Sutton’s Sleeping Beauty at Florence Gould Hall. The hour-long production is the ideal introduction to ballet for children ages 3-8. Based on the original ballet by Marius Petipa, NYTB’s Sleeping Beauty features an enchanting set by Gillian Bradshaw-Smith, alluring costumes by Sylvia Nolan (resident costume designer for the Metropolitan Opera), and the classical music of Tchaikovsky. Set in a tiny and magical kingdom beneath the roots of a lush, giant tree, the ballet tells the story of Princess Aurora, the evil spell cast on her 16th birthday, and the gallant prince who breaks the curse with a kiss. A cast of 14 dancers brings to life one of the most beloved fairy tales of all time.
Opens March 15
In the age of Occupy Wall Street, what could be more fitting than a new Broadway musical about the younger, underclass generation taking its place and fighting to right injustice? This month, Disney Theatrical Productions brings the beloved 1992 film Newsies to the Great White Way. Set in New York City at the turn of the century, Newsies is the rousing tale of Jack Kelly, a charismatic newsboy and leader of a ragged band of teenaged ‘newsies,’ who dreams only of a better life far from the hardship of the streets. But when publishing titans Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst raise distribution prices at the newsboys’ expense, Jack finds a cause to fight for and rallies newsies from across the city to strike for what’s right. Newsies is inspired by the real-life Newsboy Strike of 1899, when newsboy Kid Blink led a band of orphan and runaway newsies on a two-week-long action against Pulitzer, Hearst, and other powerful newspaper publishers. The stage version introduces several brand-new songs while keeping many of the beloved songs from the film, including "Seize the Day," "King of New York," and "Santa Fe."
The world's largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade is always a sight to see. This year, the NYC festival celebrates its 251st anniversary in signature style, with a vibrant display of Irish bands and performers. It will begin at 44th Street and march up Fifth Avenue past St. Patrick’s Cathedral at 50th Street, up past the American Irish Historical Society at 83rd Street, and end at the Metropolitan Museum of Art at 86th Street. FREE!
Have some music with your matzos at a Passover Palooza, when Mama Doni and her band will perform "funky music with a Jewish twist" as you tour the Streit’s Matzo Factory, sample macaroons and matzo granola, check out a Jewish book fair, and vie for festive prizes. (And the best part: It's all FREE!)
Opens March 21
From the team that brought you Lombardi on Broadway comes Magic/Bird, a true tale of one of the fiercest rivalries in sports history—that of Basketball Hall of Famers Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Larry Bird. These two stellar athletes battled for multiple championships and the future of their sport as they reinvigorated the NBA and electrified the nation. In the end, they turned their rivalry into one of the most famous friendships in professional sports. The play transports audiences into the heart of their match-up through both live actors and classic NBA footage. (90 minutes; no intermission.)
Opens March 31
Get Your Glow On
If your kids are the type that think backyard fireflies are magical (and really, who doesn’t?) just wait until they catch a glimpse of the glowing deep-sea creatures featured in Creatures of Light: Nature’s Bioluminescence, a new exhibit opening at the American Museum of Natural History that aims to demystify all creatures of light. Kids will be able to move through re-created environments to explore the diversity of organisms that glow. They’ll also learn how light is used in each organism’s life and why scientists study this natural phenomenon.
March 2 marks the 108th birthday of the late, great rhyme-master Dr. Seuss. After you hit the movie theater to see Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, honor the legendary wordsmith the old-fashioned way throughout the rest of the month -- by cracking open a good book! We’ve put together a roundup of some splendiferous story hours where you can do just that.
For even more upcoming family events in NYC and beyond, head to our full, searchable calendar of events.