Looking for fun and low-cost things to do with kids in Queens? We've hand-picked the best children's events from our December 2011 calendar, including performances of "The Nutcracker" and other holiday shows, craft activities that celebrate the season, and an amazing acrobatic display at Queens Theatre near the end of the month.
For even more upcoming family events in Queens and the NYC area, see our full, searchable calendar of events.
Holidays Around the World
In Holidays Around the World, the Queens Symphony Orchestra takes learning about music to a whole new level of fun. Music director Constantine Kitsopoulos plays host in this engaging, interactive concert featuring winter holiday music and projections from cultures across the globe. Featuring a special performance by 2011 Young Soloist Competition winner Angela Wee on violin. To order seats, visit the Revelations Series website at www.kupferbergcenter.org/revelations or call 718-793-8080. December 1 at 10:30am.
Kupferberg Center for the Performing Arts, Queens College, 65-30 Kissena Boulevard, Flushing. 718-793-8080. www.kupferbergcenter.org.
Wildlife meets art at Alley Pond Environmental Center, as children create Snowy Evergreen Banners to add a festive feel to their homes. Kids (ages 7-12) who love the snowy weather will love this event. The focus of this class is the beauty of winter as your child creates his or her very own snowy, evergreen tree banner to take home and enjoy for winters to come. The program includes a peaceful walk along APEC's trails and a cup of hot cocoa with coconut ice cream snowballs. The class is limited to eight participants. December 10, 10:30am-12pm.
Alley Pond Environmental Center, 228-06 Northern Boulevard, Douglaston. 718-229-4000. www.alleypond.com.
Whether you want to give handmade gifts this year or just enjoy getting the family together to make a seasonal decoration, drop by Wave Hill's Holiday Workshop Weekend to create gifts and decorations inspired by the gardens and galleries. Arrange fresh greens, pinecones, and other natural materials around a candle in a terracotta pot. Craft one-of-a-kind holiday ornaments using freshly harvested greens. Help your kids design and decorate a festive wreath. Learn the art of felting (transforming wool into dense, colorful cloth) as a family to create handmade felted soaps. Children ages 8 and older are welcome with an adult. Registration not required, but the event is first-come, first-served while supplies last. December 10-11. 11am-3pm. $8; $4 students and seniors 65 and older; $2 children ages 6-18; craft fees are $30 for candles and wreaths and $18 for felted soaps.
Wave Hill, 675 West 252nd Street, Bronx. 718-549-3200. www.wavehill.org.
Take a break from the holiday bustle to spend some time with Clara and her mysterious godfather, Herr Drosselmeyer. The Nutcracker stands tall among cherished seasonal classics, and there are plenty of performances around the city this month. Here are a few options close to home:
In performances at Flushing Town Hall, Tchaikovsky's classic music comes to life as Ballet for Young Audiences introduces children to the story of The Nutcracker. Audiences will visit the Enchanted Forest with its magical dancing snowflakes, and meet the wondrously beautiful Sugarplum Fairy in the Kingdom of the Sweets. December 11. 1:30pm and 4pm. Call for pricing.
Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Boulevard, Flushing. 718-463-7700. www.flushingtownhall.org.
Head over to the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center for another Nutcracker performance. Whether you prefer the epic, action-packed battle between the Gingerbread Soldiers (led by the Nutcracker Prince) and Mouse King with his army of mice, or the romantic, whirling waltzes in the Land of Sweets, there's a bit of holiday magic for every viewer. December 17. 3pm. $12.
LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, 31-10 Thomson Avenue, Long Island City. 718-482-5152. www.laguardiaperformingarts.org.
For parents looking for the perfect family-friendly version of The Nutcracker, the Kupferberg Center at Queens College has what you need. Entertainers are set to perform Brighton Ballet's original version of the classic in an appropriate-for-all-ages show without sacrificing the same dazzling Russian-trained dancers, exquisite costumes, and beloved music by Tchaikovsky that makes the show fantastic. December 18. 3pm. $18; $12 children ages 12 and younger.
Kupferberg Center at Queens College, 65-30 Kissena Boulevard, Flushing. 718-793-8080. www.kupferbergcenter.org.
Go for Golden
When the holidays are over, it's time for some end-of-December family fun. Golden Dragon Acrobats at Queens Theatre promises people-stacking acts, whirling life-sized hoop performances, and more. The troupe, which hails directly from China, is composed of death-defying acrobats, mesmerizing jugglers, and eye-popping contortionists. Consider it an after-holiday present and spend some time with this thrilling Chinese cirque in their only New York-area appearance. December 27-31. 2pm and 7pm. All ages. $32; $100 family four pack.
Queens Theatre, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Flushing. 718-760-0064. www.queenstheatre.org.