We've hand-picked the most fun things to do with kids in Manhattan from our September 2011 calendar of free and low-cost family events. See the kid-friendly side of Andy Warhol in a new exhibit at the 92nd Street Y; celebrate the legendary Ezra Jack Keats at the Jewish Museum's new exhibit; catch a release party for The Jimmies' new CD or Brian Selznick's highly anticipated new children's book, "Wonderstruck"; and get your kids cooking at the NYC Wine & Food Festival, which kicks off at the end of the month.
In honor of the 10th anniversary of September 11, check out the Run to Remember on Governors Island below, and also see our list of the best memorial events for families in the city this month.
Meet Mario the Magician, who performs silly and surprising tricks alongside the jazz quartet Sleight of Hand Band, at Lincoln Center's Meet the Artist Saturdays. Inspired by Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, and Vaudeville-style theater, Mario the Magician's show is at once ridiculously silly and meticulously crafted. Mario will perform a variety of magic tricks accompanied by his Sleight of Hand Band, a four-piece jazz combo led by Chris Donohue. September 3 at 11am. FREE. David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center, 61 W. 62nd Street. 917-605-0662.
Run to Remember
At the third annual World Trade Center Run to Remember, which takes place on Governors Island, participants can run or walk in honor of those who lost their lives in the attacks on September 11, 2001. The event features three different races: a 5K for serious competitors, a 3K family fun run/walk, and a children's fun run (various distances based on age). Proceeds benefit organizations associated with September 11-related services. September 4, 9:30-11am start times. $35 in advance; $40 on event day. Governors Island (take the free, seven-minute ferry from the Battery Maritime Building at 10 South Street; see www.govisland.com for ferry schedule).
A Different Side of Warhol
Perhaps best known for his pastel-colored images of celebrities like Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe, master artist Andy Warhol (1928-1987) also created 80 original paintings especially for children in 1983. These paintings-colorful, strong images of things like trains and toys-will be on display during the 92nd Street Y Children's Warhol Festival, hung low on the walls, at a level comfortable for young viewers. While the paintings have been shown before, 92Y is the first organization to offer free art workshops alongside the exhibit. Over three consecutive weekends in September, kids can use some of the same techniques and principles that Warhol used-silkscreening, making patterns with rubber stamps-to transform the ordinary into works of art. Exhibit runs September 6 through October 4; FREE. Workshops on weekends beginning September 10, 12-4pm; FREE with advanced registration. A silkscreening studio will be open Saturdays and Sundays, 12-4pm; FREE. 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Avenue. 212-415-5500.
Keats' Colorful Collection
The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats, opening at the Jewish Museum on September 9, is the first major U.S. exhibition to pay tribute to the Brooklyn-born, award-winning author and illustrator Ezra Jack Keats (1916-1983). Keats's beloved children's books include Whistle for Willie (1964), Peter's Chair (1967), and The Snowy Day (1962), which was published at the height of the civil rights movement. Winner of the prestigious Caldecott Medal, The Snowy Day became a milestone, featuring the first African-American protagonist in a full-color picture book. Also pioneering were the dilapidated urban settings of Keats's stories (picture books had rarely featured such gritty landscapes before). The exhibition includes more than 80 original works, from preliminary sketches and dummy books to final paintings and collages for the artist's most popular books. Also on view are examples of Keats's more introspective but lesser-known output inspired by Asian art and haiku poetry, as well as documentary material and photographs. On view September 9, 2011 through January 29, 2012. 11am-5:45pm Friday-Tuesday; 11am-8pm Thursdays. $12; $10 seniors; $7.50 students; free children under 12. The Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Avenue. 212-423-3337.
Prepare to be Wonderstruck
Bestselling children's author and Caldecott Award-winning artist Brian Selznick will release his highly anticipated new book this month. Wonderstruck (Scholastic) is the story of two kids trying to find their place in the world. The book is a breathtaking combination of text and pictorial storytelling in which two New York-based stories-one set in 1977 and told in words, the other set in 1927 and told through pictures-weave together into a single narrative. Celebrate with Selznick at three launch parties:
Wonderstruck Launch Party: Selznick will greet fans, introduce his book, and sign copies. September 13, 6-8pm. FREE. Books of Wonder, 18 West 18th Street.
A Wonderstruck Evening with Brian Selznick: The author will talk about his writing process and how he relays his captivating stories through art and words. Following a Q&A session, Selznick will sign copies of his new book and take photos with fans. RSVP at 212-389-3800 or firstname.lastname@example.org. September 14 at 7pm. The Scholastic Store, 557 Broadway.
Thalia Kids' Book Club: Author Brian Selznick: Selznick will talk with tweens about the innovative literary and visual style of his newest adventure story. September 20 at 6pm. $15. Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway.
Get Practically Ridiculous
Help "kindie" rockers The Jimmies celebrate the release of their new album, "Practically Ridiculous," at a World Record Release Party featuring a concert, fancy piñata, macaroni necklace-making, hamster petting zoo, and the chance to be in a new Jimmies video. September 17, 12-2pm. $5. The National Underground, 159 E. Houston Street.
The fourth annual Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival features dozens of gourmet-themed events. Presented by Food & Wine magazine, the festival, which benefits the Food Bank for New York City and Share Our Strength, includes something for all the eaters in your family.
Some of our favorites are in the Kids Get Cooking category (of course!), like Cake Decorating with Duff Goldman and Charm City Cakes, Sushi Rolling Class with Jeffrey Baruch, Pancake Party with Clinton St. Baking Co., Creative Kitchen with Cricket Azima (author of Everybody Eats Lunch), and Spice it Up with Chef Sue Torres.
And we bet more than a few of the grown-ups in your home will enjoy SWEET, held at 82 Mercer in Soho, where pastry chefs and bakeries from across the city will showcase their most scrumptious desserts.
Among the culinary rockstars who will be speaking, attending, and hosting workshops are Jacques Pépin, Marcus Samuelsson, Emeril Lagasse, Paula Deen, Giada De Laurentiis, Tyler Florence, Anne Burrell, the Neelys, Geoffrey Zakarian, and Shea Gallante.
Festival runs September 29 through October 2. Event prices range from free to $500 (most are below $100). A complete line-up of events taking place all around NYC is available at www.nycwineandfoodfestival.com.
For even more upcoming family events in the NYC area, check out our full Calendar of Events