Things to Do With Kids in Manhattan on April 17

Find fun things to do today with kids in the NYC area in our Calendar of Events

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free and low-cost things to do with kids in Manhattan Find free and low-cost things to do with kids in Manhattan today, April 17, including fun activities and events the whole family can enjoy. See what's going on today in Manhattan's museums, galleries, and libraries for some educational fun; in the parks, for outdoor and nature activities; and in the theaters, for children's concerts and performances. Plus, get details and directions on any street fairs or holiday festivals happening April 17. For even more free and low-cost upcoming events in Manhattan, check out our complete calendar of events.

Invisible Inventions Workshop - Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian
Through April 21, 2018 - Lower Manhattan

What can we find when we look and listen? Explore Native American artist Julie Nagam’s work, “Our future is in the land: if we listen to it,” and illuminate your own hidden images and messages by creating simple circuits with paper and LEDs. Registration required.

Discovery Walk for Families: Statues and Monuments - Central Park
Through April 21, 2018 - Upper East Side

A kid-friendly adventure to discover the secrets and mysteries of Central Park’s most beloved children’s sculptures. Learn about some of the park’s most popular statues for children; Balto, Alice in Wonderland, Hans Christian Andersen, and more through guided activities. Space is limited, registration required.

'Cinderella the Musical' - The Players Theatre
Through April 22, 2018 - Greenwich Village

This beautiful musical by Michael Sgouros and Brenda Bell is based on the beloved classic fairy tale. Poor Cinderella, she works all day, has to deal with those awful step-sisters and then sleeps in the cinders. But, don't be too sad because Cinderella is one smart cookie. She'll make it to the Prince's ball and capture his heart.

In addition to the one-hour musical, the audience receives a special treat - interactive arts workshops prior to the performance. Here the audience learns about the original book and how it was turned into a musical. Then the kids and their families make their own crowns and magic wands to take home as a souvenir. Now when they watch the show, they are familiar with the art forms and themes represented in the production. The whole program (pre-show workshop and actual show) is approximately 2 hours long.

The Orchid Show - The New York Botanical Garden
Through April 22, 2018 - Bronx

The 16th year of this popular exhibition is designed by acclaimed Belgian floral artist Daniel Ost and will showcase thousands of dramatically displayed orchids in the Botanical Garden’s historic Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. One of the world’s leading floral designers, Ost uses flowers as a means of expression. His artistic creations will be tailored to the unique environment of the landmark Victorian-style Conservatory, complementing the architecture of the building while creating a transformative, dazzling spectacle of color, form, and texture.

Botanical Prints - Children's Museum of the Arts
Through April 22, 2018 - Greenwich Village

Celebrate Earth Day with CMA! Join museum educators and use colored pencil on scratch-foam to create your very own botanical prints that mimic the organic shapes of the natural world.

MOCAKIDS Storytime - Museum of Chinese in America
Through April 26, 2018 - Chinatown

Enjoy stories, finger-plays, songs, and more in English and Mandarin. Interactive songs, nursery rhymes, and arts & crafts will accompany this bilingual storytime. A lively 30-minute combination of fun activities and language exploration will enhance your young child’s word skills and vocabulary, both of which are important for a strong, growing reader. 

Story Pirates - Arthur Seleen Theatre at The Drama Book Shop
Through April 28, 2018 - Midtown

Using stories submitted by children, the Story Pirates create outlandishly funny sketches and mini-musicals. Whether it's following the adventures of a superhero baby, or reminiscing about disposable rain ponchos at a baseball game, the songs and stories explode with the creative energy that only a child could possess.

The Amazing Kreskin LIVE - Theatre Row – Lion Theatre
Through April 28, 2018 - Midtown

Watch a legendary mentalist read people’s thoughts and determine the suit and value of cards selected randomly by audience members. He'll even recite information written in secret by people of all ages. Be amazed by this true professional in business some six decades.

BKBXKids! presents: Destination: Everywhere LIVE at The PIT! - The Peoples Improv Theater
Through April 28, 2018 - Kips Bay

Broken Box Mime Theater celebrates storytelling beyond words with their weekly children's show, Destination: Everywhere! Set to contemporary music and guided by a speaking emcee, this hour-long collection of stories includes a tale of unlikely friendship with a giant, the multitasking troubles of a superhero on date night, and an intergalactic odyssey that won’t be complete without the audience’s help. Children age 3-8 and their families are invited to stick around after the interactive show to learn how to mime with the cast.

Tours for Fours: Art in Motion, Motion in Art - The Museum of Modern Art
Through April 29, 2018 - Midtown

Look, listen, and share ideas while you explore tools and techniques in modern and contemporary art during this kid-and-adult participation program. Tickets are distributed at the Education and Research Building reception desk starting at 10am. Tickets are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Programs often fill up, so plan to arrive a little before 10am. All participants must be present. This program is for individual families of up to two adults and up to three kids.

Telling Tales in Art - The Museum of Modern Art
Through April 29, 2018 - Midtown

Look, listen, and share ideas while you explore tools and techniques in modern and contemporary art during this kid-and-adult participation program. Tickets are distributed at the Education and Research Building reception desk starting at 10am. Tickets are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Programs often fill up, so plan to arrive a little before 10am. All participants must be present. This program is for individual families of up to two adults and up to three kids.

'The Number On Great-Grandpa's Arm' - Museum of Jewish Heritage
Through April 29, 2018 - Battery Park City

A Living Memorial to the Holocaust that features an 18-minute film and original artwork created for the film by acclaimed artist Jeff Scher. When 10-year-old Elliott asks his 90-year-old great-grandfather, Jack, about the number tattooed on his arm, he sparks an intimate conversation about Jack’s life that spans happy memories of childhood in Poland, the loss of his family, surviving Auschwitz, and finding a new life in America. Elliot and Jack’s tender exchange is woven with historical footage and hand-painted animation to tell a heartbreaking story of Jewish life in Eastern Europe before and during the Holocaust. 

New York City Children's Theater presents 'The Little Red Fish' - The Lion Theatre at Theatre Row
Through April 29, 2018 - Midtown

When Jeje is finally allowed to accompany his grandfather to the library, he brings his pet fish in a bowl along with him. But after the fish disappears into a book, Jeje must dive in and travel through the adventure-filled pages to follow his friend. Puppet Kitchen, the team behind the puppetry in last year’s family hit The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show, has created a brand new puppet adventure for you and your family.

Family Sundays: Treasures From The Earth - The Rubin Museum
Through April 29, 2018 - Chelsea

Drop into the Education Center for some art-making, a family exhibition tour, and a thematic gallery search. The activity involves tucking your worries away in an envelope and sealing it with a blossoming, folded lotus to symbolize a fresh start.

Ornaments and Other Refrigerator Magnets - Children's Museum of the Arts
Through April 29, 2018 - Greenwich Village

Through her exploration of the human inclination to decorate, embellish, and adorn our surroundings, Ellen Harvey has created an immersive installation featuring large-scale works that apply ornamentation to scenes from both city life and nature.

Speakin' Spanish at the Upper West Side with Bilingual Birdies - St. Agnes Library
Through April 30, 2018 - Upper West Side

All of the bilingual musicians play guitar, percussion, lead puppetry routines, and finish with a bubble dance party! Select from Spanish, French, or Mandarin. There will be instruments and fun props for children to use in the classes.

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StoryDance Playgroup - Downtown Dance Factory
Through May 03, 2018 - Tribeca

Walking tots and preschoolers are invited to take part in story time, a craft, dance games and activities, plus free play time. It's a great way for grown-ups to introduce their children to the wonderful world of performing arts in a nurturing and creative environment.

RSVP required. Space is limited. 

Big Umbrella Festival - Lincoln Center
Through May 06, 2018 - Upper West Side

The Big Umbrella Festival is the world’s first month-long festival dedicated to performing arts programs for children on the autism spectrum and their families. Over the course of five weeks, the festival will offer a wide range of experiences, including three original interactive theater productions made for your family, as well as relaxed performances across the Lincoln Center campus. It will also feature a symposium and professional development opportunities for artists, arts professionals, and presenters interested in creating a learning community around neurodiversity and the arts.

'Pinkalicious: The Musical' - Theater at Blessed Sacrament
Through May 13, 2018 - Upper West Side

Pinkalicious can't stop eating pink cupcakes despite warnings from her parents. Her pink indulgence lands her at the doctor's office with Pinkititis, an affliction that turns her pink from head to toe - a dream come true for this pink loving enthusiast. But when her hue goes too far, only Pinkalicious can figure out a way to get out of this predicament.

Second Sundays Dig Drop-In - The Jewish Museum
Through May 13, 2018 - Upper East Side

Kids discover a passion for ancient artifacts in the museum’s simulated archaeological dig. RSVP Recommended.

PJ Library Storytime - JCC Manhattan
Through May 14, 2018 - Upper West Side

Celebrate Jewish holidays and traditions through explorations, songs, and wonderful PJ Library books.

Art Explorers - The Jewish Museum
Through May 15, 2018 - Upper East Side

Preschoolers and their adult companions can explore Scenes from the Collection, the museum’s new collection exhibition, through themed tours and engaging gallery activities, followed by a visit to the museum’s art studio.

Not Your Typical Story Hour - 92nd Street Y
Through May 17, 2018 - Upper East Side

Look at books with your child, listen to stories, create an art project, and dance to the music with Petra as part of this imaginative, interactive story time. You can even bring your lunch to enjoy as part of the class.

'The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show' - DR2 Theatre
Through May 20, 2018 - Gramercy Park

A theatrical recreation of Eric Carle’s beautifully imaginative stories, The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show, features a menagerie enchanting puppets during a magical 60-minute show that faithfully adapts four of Carle’s beloved books for the stage. This new edition of The Very Hungry Caterpillar includes the world premiere of Brown Bear, Brown Bear celebrating its 50th Anniversary, 10 Little Rubber Ducks, The Very Lonely Firefly, and, of course, The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Jazz for Kids - Jazz Standard
Through May 27, 2018 - Kips Bay

The Jazz Standard Youth Orchestra (JSYO) will get families grooving every Sunday throughout the school year at Jazz Standard's popular JAZZ FOR KIDS brunch. Talented musicians between the ages of 11 and 18 dish out jazz classics such as "Cherokee," "How Insensitive," and "Billie's Bounce," as family audiences devour the goods off Blue Smoke's southern barbecue lunch menu. Babies welcome!

Central Park Discovery Walk for Families: Towering Trees - Charles A. Dana Discovery Center
Through May 28, 2018 - Central Park

Take a hike through the North Woods and learn how to tell a maple from an oak. Discover how trees - from seeds and leaves to logs - contribute to the health of an urban park woodland community. Bring your family for a guided walk and discover why Central Park is a sanctuary for plants, animals, and humans alike. Learn about the architecture, landscapes, and ecosystems of the Park through hands-on exploration using Discovery Kits – rugged backpacks filled with kid-friendly binoculars, field guides, and hand lenses. Pre-registration required as space is limited.

'The Snowy Day and Other Stories by Ezra Jack Keats' - St. Luke's Theatre
Through May 28, 2018 - Midtown

A play that celebrates the wonder of childhood in the city: the excitement of a fresh snowfall, the delight of whistling for the first time, the awe in finding a special treasure. Four of Keats' best stories are brought to life, including Whistle for Willie, Goggles!, and A Letter to Amy. Singing, live action, humor, and shadow puppets make the 60-minute show fun for all.

Gateway Storytime in the Discovery Room - The American Museum of Natural History
Through June 18, 2018 - Upper West Side

Swing by the museum on a Monday morning for an engaging story time with plenty of interactive learning. Space is limited and tickets are distributed on a designated single-file line outside the 81st Street Planetarium Entrance between 9:45am and 10:15am on a first-come, first-served basis. Any remaining tickets will be distributed from the Discovery Room itself.

'Neverland: Peter Returns' - Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater
Through June 24, 2018 - Central Park

This Halloween adventure featuring favorite characters Hansel and Gretel dives into the children's lifelike dreams full of music and dancing with Central Park and the Belvedere Castle as the beautiful backdrop. This time, the brother and sister pair encounter lovable characters such as amazing mermaids, adorable monsters, swashbuckling pirates, charming vampires, and a fabulous witch.

'Chalk' - Kraine Theater
Through August 11, 2018 - East Village

A playful and poignant homage to classic silent-film era comedians, Chalk invites audiences into a hand-drawn world where imagination is made real and anything can happen.

Autism Spectrum Tour: The Discovery Squad - American Museum of Natural History
Through September 01, 2018 - Upper West Side

Families with members on the autism spectrum can attend a 40-minute tour led by specially trained guides, then spend some time exploring the Discovery Room before the museum opens to the public.

Children ages 5–9 will discover the dioramas in the Jill and Lewis Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals, which offers a snapshot of the plants and animals native to North America. They will then plunge into the ocean to explore the dioramas in the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life. Children ages 10–14 will take a trip through the David S. and Ruth L. Gottesman Hall of Planet Earth to explore the planet we live on and the forces that create volcanoes, earthquakes, and rock formations.

Space is limited and advance registration is required.

Access+Ability - Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Through September 03, 2018 - Upper East Side

This powerful new exhibit displays products, projects, and services developed by and with people with disabilities—physical, cognitive, and sensory—that expand their ability to lead independent lives and engage more fully in the world. The Access+Ability exhibition features more than 70 works, from adaptive clothing and eating implements that assist with daily routines to apps and “smart” technologies that aid in social interactions and navigating the environment. A variety of interactive elements will be installed throughout the exhibition to engage visitors, underscoring the importance of prioritizing users throughout the design process.

Hester Street Fair 2018 - Hester Street Fair
Through October 27, 2018 - Lower East Side

In its seventh year, the Hester Street Fair is part food court, part flea market, with rotating vendors in more than 60 spots almost every warm-weather weekend. Peruse handmade goods, creative products, and artisanal food, or participate in one of many workshops taking place. Weekly themes include Ice Cream Social, Tech, Vintage, and Harvest.

Gazillion Bubble Show - New World Stages
Through November 18, 2018 - Midtown

Allow yourself to be washed away in a bubble tide or perhaps even find yourself inside a giant bubble. Experience mind-blowing bubble magic, spectacular laser lighting effects, and momentary soapy masterpieces that will make you smile, laugh, and feel like a kid again. 

'The Wizard of Oz' - Harlem Rep, Tato Laviera Theatre
Through November 24, 2018 - Harlem

The classic musical "The Wizard of Oz" is being performed by a multi-racial cast with a jazzy underscore and authoritative dramaturgy by representatives of the Yip Harburg Foundation.