Things to Do With Kids in Manhattan on July 23

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, July 23, 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 July 23. For even more free and low-cost upcoming events in Manhattan, check out our complete calendar of events.

Family Program: The Amazing Elevator - The Skyscraper Museum
July 23, 2011 - Manhattan

Kids will discover the basic engineering principles that moved early elevators up and down and construct a pulley system of their own. RSVP by emailing

Family Program: Building Blue - The Skyscraper Museum
July 23, 2011 - Manhattan

Kids will design and build a Smurf-sized skyscraper village in honor of the NYC adventurers featured in Sony Pictures' "The Smurfs," in theatres July 29. RSVP by emailing

Mozart LIve - Symphony Space
July 23, 2011 - Manhattan

Hear "Mozart" play his own music along with the music of his friends, whom he has met through time and space, including George Gershwin, Duke Ellington, Puccini, Scott Joplin, and Beethoven.

Go Fly a Kite! - Governors Island
July 23, 2011 - New York

Governors Island and its refreshing harbor breeze makes for an excellent kite flying locale. The Governors Island Alliance will provide free kites to visitors to fly on the Parade Ground.

"Desperate Writers" - Union Square Theatre
Through July 23, 2011 - Manhattan

With the baby clock ticking and their home about to be sold out from under them, two writers are driven to desperate measures to get their script made in this laugh out-loud riot that pokes fun at the crazy film biz.

Hudson Square Children’s Art Studio - Children's Museum of the Arts
July 23, 2011 - Manhattan

Join CMA teaching artists for an afternoon of outdoor art-making featuring workshops in animation, fine arts, music, and collaborative installations.

Sesame Street: 'Bert and Ernie's Great Adventures' - Sony Wonder Technology Lab High Definition Theater
July 23, 2011 - Manhattan

Sesame Street's new claymation series features Bert and Ernie as they search for buried treasure, ride horses, swim with fish, help a penguin, run from dinosaurs, and cook up a mess.

Tech in the Plaza: Secrets of the Cell Phone - Sony Wonder Technology Lab
July 23, 2011 - Manhattan

Take apart a cell phone and learn to identify the many parts. Space is limited.

Spirit of Community Art Fair - Dwyer Cultural Center
July 23, 2011 - Manhattan

Enjoy a Saturday with the Spirit of Community and other local artists as they showcase art as a part of everyday life in an eclectic mixture of wearable and functional art.

'Alice: A New Musical' - June Havoc Theatre
July 23, 2011 - Manhattan

Cellar Door Stage & Erica Ruff Productions present "Alice: A New Musical" in Association with the 2011 Midtown International Theatre Festival. This production is the New York debut of the new musical, which had its first inception with Cellar Door Stage in Boston in 2009. It is the story of a young girl who runs away from her 13th birthday, only to discover that becoming an adult doesn't have to mean letting go of your childhood. Based on the book by Lewis Carroll, "Alice" takes the story a step further by integrating a mother's search for her inner child. Alice, having gone down the rabbit hole, must now figure out how to meet her mother halfway between becoming an adult and holding onto her childish imagination. The cast will feature Rachel Bahler (Mother), Joe Chisholm (Mouse/Tweedle Dum), Amanda Choate* (March Hare/Cook), David R. Gordon* (Catepillar/Mad Hatter), Lizzie Klemperer* (White Queen), Amanda Malyar (Frog/Footman/Doormouse), Ashley Mortensen (Sister), Cameron Perry (White Rabbit), Patrice Seibel (Duchess), Devon Stone (Cheshire Cat/Tweedle Dee), and Rocio del mar Valles* (Alice). The creative team for ALICE includes director Andrew Barbato, music director Brad Gardner, general manager Erica Ruff Productions, and production stage manager Angela Kiessel.

New Museum Block Party - Sara D. Roosevelt Park
July 23, 2011 - Manhattan

A day of educator- and artist-led projects and performances, including storytelling, beatboxing, and poetry readings. Activities include the Bowery Artist Tribute Scavenger Hunt, face painting, and arts and crafts projects. Visitors can also head over to the museum to participate in free interactive gallery tours (12:15-4:15pm, on the hour) of the current exhibition, "Ostalgia," and discover the reality and myth of Eastern Europe.

Film Screening: 'Lotte from Gadgetville' - IFC Center
July 23, 2011 - Manhattan

This 2006 film is a sweet and gentle-spirited crowd pleaser full of wacky contraptions, silly/happy songs, and a refreshingly un-cynical sense of humor. Lotte is a cheerful girl-dog who lives in the seaside town of Gadgetville, a village crazy about inventing. Every year there is a competition to show off the best homemade Rube Goldberg-esque machines, which Lotte's father Oscar always wins. But at this year's competition, the town is abuzz about the Japanese bee Susumu, who introduces Gadgetville to the concept of judo. After the town becomes obsessed with the sport, Lotte and her three friends try to help Susumu get back to Japan, where they plan to test their new skills in an international judo contest. This first feature-length animated film from Estonia was enormously popular in its home country, besting "The Incredibles" at the box office, winning the prize for best animation, and becoming something of a national treasure - the Estonian government even issued a Lotte postage stamp.

Through July 24, 2011 - Bronx

Create your own custom sunglasses.

'Play Dead' - The Players Theatre
Through July 24, 2011 - Manhattan

A new spirit-shaking Off-Broadway show inspired by "Midnight Spook Shows," an American institution from the 1930s to the 1970s, that draws audiences into an unknown haunted world full of frightful surprises and diabolical laughter. Audience members are surrounded by ethereal sights, sounds, and touches of the returning dead - all achieved by wry, suspenseful storytelling and stage illusions.

Hip N Hop Babies Free Drop-In Class - El Catano
Through July 25, 2011 - Manhattan

This 45-minute drop-in class brings music to life for little ones.

Green Currency: Plants in the Economy - New York Botanical Garden
Through July 31, 2011 - Bronx

Green Currency seeks to enrich visitors’ understanding of the important uses of plants through detailed depictions by some of the world’s most accomplished botanical artists. The exhibition, accompanying catalog, and audio tour feature 43 works depicting plants used in medicine, food, clothing, and shelter.

Maira Mondays - The Jewish Museum
Through July 31, 2011 - Manhattan

Explore the crazy world of lovable artist Maira Kalman and discover her playful paintings of dogs with hats, musical instruments, marvelous maps, and colorful buttons in this special series. Hear readings from her children's books, sketch, and play games in the galleries.

Just Drop In! - Guggenheim Museum
Through July 31, 2011 - Manhattan

Explore exhibition highlights through creative, interactive projects led by museum educators. For families with children ages 3-10.

Galli's 'Sleeping Beauty' - Galli Theater
Through July 31, 2011 - Manhattan

An uplifting remake of the original Grimm story. A witty king and his queen intentionally forget to invite the Thirteenth fairy to their first-born daughter Rose's birthday celebrations. As a result, the wicked witch curses the princess and her kingdom with a 100-year sleep and only the "right" prince can awaken her again.

Galli's 'The Little Mermaid' - Galli Seaport
Through July 31, 2011 - Manhattan

In this uplifting remake of the original Hans Christian Anderson story, a young mermaid gives up her life under the sea to gain a human soul and the love of a human prince. The wicked Sea Witch gives her human legs in exchange for her beautiful voice. But how can she now express her love?

The Little Explorers Club: Travel the World Together! - Rubin Museum of Art
Through July 31, 2011 - Manhattan

Children ages 3-5 explore a new terrain, from the tops of mountains to the depths of the seas. They'll pack their bags, share stories, inspect artwork, and create crafts from around the globe.

Family Story Tours - Rubin Museum of Art
Through July 31, 2011 - Manhattan

In this fun and interactive tour, kids ages 5 and up will listen to the stories paintings and sculptures tell and learn how the works of art were made.

The Yak Packers: Early Childhood Art - Rubin Museum of Art
Through July 31, 2011 - Manhattan

Children ages 2-4 and their adult companions look, touch, and explore together, then create projects inspired by Himalayan art.

"Sweet and Stinky" - New York Botanical Garden
Through August 05, 2011 - Bronx

Kids follow their noses to the Family Garden where they'll discover aromatic alliums such as onions and garlic, and herbs like basil and oregano, ripe for summer. Cooking demonstrations tickle taste buds, and green thumbs can pot herbs to take home. Through August 5.

Moey's Music Party - Cedar Hill in Central Park
Through August 11, 2011 - Manhattan

Every week is a different theme - children don sombreros for Fiesta Parties, cowboy hats for Wild West Parties, and tiaras and crowns for Prince & Princess Parties. Kids explore instruments that relate to each theme and each class features singing, dancing, bubbles, scarves, pompoms, and party favors.

Private Picassos Art Classes - Strand Bookstore
Through August 13, 2011 - Manhattan

Mini Matisse's will get inspiration through the artwork of fine artists and children's literature, then make masterpieces of their own.

'Brain: The Inside Story' - American Musem of Natural History
Through August 14, 2011 - Manhattan

Explore how the brain — a product of millions of years of evolution — produces thoughts, senses, and feelings; experience how the brain is continually changing at different stages of life; and discover how new understanding of the workings of the brain may help scientists repair and reverse declines in brain function. Through August 4, 2011.

Sandbox Programs - Central Park Playgrounds
Through August 19, 2011 - Manahttan

Select Central Park playgrounds will feature music, dance, and storytelling programs for children ages 3 and up. Go online for locations.

Theatreworks USA Presents 'The Yellow Brick Road' - Lucille Lortel Theatre
Through August 19, 2011 - Manhattan

An all-new salsa- and merengue-infused musical inspired by "The Wizard of Oz." Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis at the theatre box office starting one hour prior to show time.

'Spanish Paradise: Gardens of the Alhambra' - The New York Botanical Garden
Through August 21, 2011 - Bronx

The lush gardens and poetic vistas of the Alhambra — the legendary Moorish palace and fortress in Granada, Spain — are re-imagined in a large-scale, multipart exhibition.

Colors 'a la Cart' - The Morgan Library & Museum
Through August 27, 2011 - Manhattan

Families are invited to explore a collection of natural dye sources, centuries-old dyeing recipes, and paints made from natural dyes in this program presented in collaboration with the exhibition "Illuminating Fashion: Dress in the Art of Medieval France and the Netherlands."

Meaningful Maps - Rubin Museum of Art
Through August 27, 2011 - Manhattan

Families will use a treasure map to search for hidden secrets throughout the museum, learn about the kinds of maps people make in the Himalayas, create their own maps, and plot a path to one of their favorite places.

'Pinkalicious, The Musical' - Manhattan Movement & Arts Center
Through August 28, 2011 - Manhattan

In this one-hour musical, 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.

Game Days - West Harlem Piers Park
Through August 31, 2011 - Manhattan

Enjoy free game equipment, including lawn bowling and a giant tic-tac-toe board.

Story Time & Kitchen Play Date - Taste Buds
Through August 31, 2011 - Manhattan

In this drop-in program, kids can enjoy a free storytime at 4pm, then color a masterpiece or get cooking (choose from three unique recipes each week; $20 per culinary creation).

Spanish Storytime - Ottendorfer Public Library
Through August 31, 2011 - Manhattan

An interactive storytime for speakers of Spanish, English, or both. Children and caregivers are encouraged to participate.

'Happy Feet' 4-D Experience - Madame Tussauds New York
Through August 31, 2011 - Manhattan

Journey to Antarctica to meet a lively colony of Emperor Penguins faced with a diminishing food supply. Mumble sets out on an adventure to appeal to the better nature of humans and tries to reason with them to stop stealing the fish. Using courage and bravery, the banished Mumble soon realizes that his toe-tapping talent isn't a burden, but a gift to be treasured - and his dancing feet may ultimately save his endangered colony.

Tar Beach - 14th Street Y
Through August 31, 2011 - Manhattan

Can't make it to the beach? The Y's rooftop will be open for sunbathing and relaxing. Bring your own towel, sunscreen, and bottled water (no other food or beverages permitted).

"Flowers to Fruits" - New York Botanical Garden
Through September 02, 2011 - Bronx

Nature exploration activities teach kids about pollinators that help flowers become fruits. Make a Nature Field Notebook and discover the diversity of flowers and pollinators inhabiting the Everett Children's Adventure Garden. Create a pollinator puppet, pot a plant, and visit the pond to spot frogs, turtles, and other wetland wildlife. Through September 2.

Mary Poppins - New Amsterdam Theatre
Through September 04, 2011 - Manhattan

See the magical Broadway version of the classic film.

"Sing a Song of Freedom: The Story of Emma Lazarus and the Statue of Liberty" - Ellis Island Immigration Museum
Through September 04, 2011 - Manhattan

A half-hour play dramatizing how the writer's poem "The New Colossus" transformed the beloved Statue of Liberty into a symbol of welcome.

Cirque du Soleil Presents 'Zarkana' - Radio City Music Hall
Through September 04, 2011 - Manhattan

This epic spectacle features 71 international artists and follows Zark, a magician on a quest to find his lost powers. Along his journey, audience members are plunged into a fantastical and suspenseful world inhabited by surreal and mesmerizing creatures who perform highly-acrobatic feats to original live music and interactive multimedia elements.

The Berenstain Bears Live! in 'Family Matters: The Musical' - Manhattan Movement & Arts Center
Through September 04, 2011 - Manhattan

Watch Mama Bear, Papa Bear, Sister Bear, and Brother Bear as they sing and dance their way through a few life lessons. Face painting and photo opportunities with the Bears follow each performance.

"The Magdalene: A Musical Play" - Theatre at Saint Clement's
Through September 04, 2011 - Manhattan

A contemporary musical about Mary Magdalene and her powerful relationship with the man known to the world as Jesus Christ. This ultra-progressive story is inspired by the recent discovery of alternative biblical gospels - "The Gnostic Gospels." In this passionate musical about religion and sacrifice, Mary and Yeshua are destined to become husband and wife, and face together the dangerous and corrupt powers of the time - the Roman Empire and the church - battling not only new religious ideas, but also the opposition to empowering women.

Harlem Meer Performance Festival - Charles A. Dana Discovery Center
Through September 04, 2011 - Manhattan

Now in its 18th summer, the Central Park Conservancy's Harlem Meer Performance Festival features the best in local, established, and emerging artists in the genres of jazz, Latin, gospel, blues, and world music. Some chairs are provided, or bring a blanket and picnic lunch to enjoy the music from one of the Park's nearby lawns.

'Harry Potter: The Exhibition' - Discovery - Times Square Exhibition
Through September 05, 2011 - Manhattan

Experience the amazing craftsmanship of more than 200 authentic costumes and props from the Harry Potter films displayed in settings inspired by the films sets. While touring through the exhibition space, discover iconic items such as Harry's original wand and eyeglasses, the Marauder's Map, Gryffindor school uniforms, and costumes worn at the Yule Ball.

'Portraits of Flight: Celebrating 100 Years of American Naval Aviation 1911-2011' - Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
Through September 05, 2011 - Manhattan

The museum, along with the American Society of Aviation Artists (ASAA), celebrates 100 years of American Naval Aviation with a new artistic exhibition that includes 24 paintings.

'Farm to Table' - New York Botanical Garden
Through September 05, 2011 - Bronx

Introduce youngsters to the source of favorite foods through play in the Everett Children's Adventure Garden. They'll play farmer and see real plants under a "windmill," and a "barn," complete with hay, then pretend to harvest fruits and vegetables, using them to "cook" yummy recipes at the nearby "cafe." Through September 5.

Hudson River Park's Big City Fishing - Pier 46
Through September 05, 2011 - Manhattan

Beyond learning to fish, the program also provides participants with a firsthand opportunity to learn about the Hudson River environment. Participants will view plankton through microscopes, examine live specimens of fish caught that morning, and identify local species. Rods, reels, bait, and formal instruction are provided. Catch and release only.

'Angelina Ballerina The Musical' - Dicapo Opera Theatre
Through September 11, 2011 - Manhattan

Angelina and friends perform all types of dance, including hip-hop, modern dance, the Irish jig, and ballet, to impress a famous visitor.

The Ohmies: 'Morning Wish Garden' - Peter Jay Sharp Theater
Through September 25, 2011 - Manhattan

Dance, stretch, and giggle with Bella Butterfly and Carlin Caterpillar on their journey to wake up Mr. Sun. Along the way, The Ohmies lead the audience in a series of yoga-inspired dance exercises as they make new friends and shake off their worries. For tickets, call Ticket Central at 212-279-4200 or visit

FIGMENT Sculpture Garden - Governors Island
Through September 25, 2011 - New York

See 17 amazingly creative, interactive, and sustainable sculpture projects on display.

‘Curious George: Let’s Get Curious’ - Children's Museum of Manhattan
Through September 25, 2011 - Manhattan

Explore the neighborhood where Curious George and the Man with the Yellow Hat live. Encounter new challenges, materials, and ideas and learn like Curious George - through direct experience and problem-solving! Based on H.A. and Margret Rey's classic stories and the PBS KIDS® television series, feed children's natural curiosity as they explore early science, math, and engineering through hands-on play.

Sundae Sermon - Morningside Park
Through September 25, 2011 - Manhattan

Harlem's feel-good music and film series features a wide array of acclaimed international and local NYC DJ's spinning positive vibrations by way of soulful house, disco, classics, Afro-beat, Latin tunes, and more. There is dancing for all and activities for children, including face painting, hula hoops, and ball games.

The Great Summer Zoofari - A LEGO Wildlife Expedition - Bronx Zoo
Through September 30, 2011 - Bronx

LEGO Master Builders have created a safari of LEGO block wildlife sculptures that will be on display throughout the Wildlife Conservation Society's Bronx Zoo. The expedition brings to life the challenges faced by wildlife due to habitat loss and threats to their survival, and aims to imspire visitors to help build a future for wildlife. Each guest will be given a complimentary Zoofari passport to help them plot their adventure through the zoo and guide them to each of the LEGO displays. Participants can stamp their passport at each of the six stations located throughout the park as they enjoy all of the LEGO creations including a tiger, Chilean flamingos, a gorilla mother and child, penguins, a giraffe, and Khansi spray toads, while learning about the real animals and WCS's work to save wildlife and wild places around the globe. There will be a Build Zone construction area and interactive activities where visitors will be able to construct their own LEGO wildlife sculptures and take part in the construction of a mystery mural. Guests can work with LEGO Certified Professionals on one weekend each month of the program. Wildlife Theater shows, crafts and activities with the Museum for African Art, and conservation learning stations will keep the whole family busy. Through September 30.

The Great Summer Zoofari - Bank of America Explorer Zone - Bronx Zoo
Through September 30, 2011 - Bronx

Hands-on activities and educational displays teach visitors about the tools of conservation. Visitors will learn how field scientists track animals in the wild with camera traps, how gorilla conservationists use data to determine which habitat areas to safeguard, and facts about animal diets. At the lunch tray station, kids can try their hand at preparing "lunch" for gorillas, tigers, and bears. Free with zoo admission. Through September 30.

The Great Summer Zoofari - Disney Vacation Club Adventure - Bronx Zoo
Through September 30, 2011 - Bronx

Immerse yourself in the wonders of the wild. From animal mask decorating to storytelling from the savanna, plus meet Camp Safari Mickey. At the Dancing Crane Pavilion. Free with zoo admission. Through September 30.

Kayaking On the Hudson - Riverside Park South
Through October 10, 2011 - Manhattan

Join the Downtown Boathouse for 20 minutes of instruction, then explore the Hudson River first-hand. Participants must wear proper attire and know how to swim.

Young Sprouts Gardening - Children's Garden, Nelson A. Rockefeller Park
Through October 25, 2011 - Manhattan

Tots will plant seeds, water the garden, and pick (and eat!) fresh greens and vegetables that are all organically grown without pesticides or harmful chemicals. Picture books and simple crafts help celebrate the marvelous sensory experience of being in a garden.

Preschool Play - Robert F. Wagner Jr. Park
Through October 26, 2011 - Manhattan

Sing, listen to stories, and play with other toddlers, parents, and caregivers on the grassy lawn.

Art + Games - Nelson A. Rockefeller Park
Through October 27, 2011 - Manhattan

Spend an afternoon in the park playing unique lawn games, using everything from parachutes to hundreds of asteroid-balls, and making creative art and craft projects under the sun.

Children's Basketball - Nelson A. Rockefeller Park
Through October 28, 2011 - Manhattan

Basketball with adjustable height hoops for kids of all sizes, plus fun drills to improve your skills. 3:30pm for ages 5-6; 4:30pm for ages 7 and older.

Drop in Playtime - The Art Farm in the City
Through October 31, 2011 - Manhattan

All ages can drop in for animal time, arts snd crafts, and creative play in the playroom. Drop off available for ages 2½ and up.

"Imaginocean" - New World Stages
Through November 09, 2011 - Manhattan

A new family musical adventure, created and written by Emmy and Tony Award-nominated actor John Tartaglia, "Imaginocean" follows the undersea adventures of a group of fish friends who uncover a treasure map that leads them to learn about themselves and ultimately uncover the treasure of each other's friendship.

"Rap Guide to Evolution" - Soho Playhouse
Through December 17, 2011 - Manhattan

Writer and performer Baba Brinkman performs his clever reworkings of popular rap singles as well as his own originals to illustrate natural selection, sexual selection, evolutionary psychology and much more.

Grandparent/Grandchild Program - New York City Police Museum
Through December 27, 2011 - Manhattan

Grandparents and grandchildren are invited to participate in activity play in the Junior Officers Discovery Zone.

"Frogs: A Chorus of Colors" - American Museum of Natural History
Through January 08, 2012 - Manhattan

More than 200 live frogs are shown in their re-created habitats from around the world. The exhibition explores the evolution and biology of these amphibians, their importance to ecosystems, and the threats they face in the world's changing environments. Interactive stations invite visitors to activate recorded frog calls, view videos of frogs in action, and test their knowledge about frogs.

'The NYPD Motorcycle Squad: A Century of Service to New York City' - New York City Police Museum
Through January 09, 2012 - Manhattan

Celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Motorcycle Squad. See vintage department-used motorcycles, including a late 1940s-model classic Red Indian Motorcycle and a late 1960s model silver Harley.

Sam Eaton Presents 'The Quantum Eye' Magic & Mentalism Show - Theatre 80
Through December 31, 2012 - Manhattan

In this longest running Off-Broadway magic show, Sam Eaton explores mentalism, magic, perception, and deception, mixing extraordinary ability, humor, and audience participation to make for a different performance every time.