The Gruffalo on Stage
Kingsborough Performing Arts Center, Manhattan Beach
London’s Tall Stories Theatre Company is renowned for its unique ability to bring theater to life using the kind of dynamic shifts—it’s theater to the extreme and that kind of “Physical Theater” (as termed by Tall Stories) really works for a story like Julia Donaldson’s The Gruffalo. The story addresses something kids know full well: nightmares, monsters, things that go bump in the night, and trying to make friends (imagined or otherwise) with the scary thing that is actually just a reflection of the hallway light in the bedroom window. Imaginary friends are part of childhood, and The Gruffalo follows a mouse as it scares off its predators with a tall tale of an imagined monster, until it comes face-to-face with the beast. Does mouse overcome its fear? This production offers a great story with some true-to-the-word fantastic theater.
Brooklyn Academy of Music, Fort Greene
For nearly 20 years, there’s been a wave of musicians creating tunes for babies, toddlers, and kids. Some of it’s folksy, some mines the trans-global sound paradise, while others sound like British Invasion and garage rock bands, with lyrics about staring a bully in the face. Head to KindieFest for a day of groovin’ to live jams of six of the best family music bands in the business. If you’re interested in learning how to manage an artist, how to record an album, or any other aspect of being part of the family entertainment business, check out the two-day family music conference happening April 26-27, before KindieFest’s concert for the general public.
Cherry Blossom Festival
Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Crown Heights
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden truly blossoms to life with the onset of spring, and one of garden’s first warm weather event is the Sakura Matsuri, otherwise known as the Cherry Blossom Festival. It marks the end of Hanami, the Japanese tradition of reveling in all things cherry blossoms. If that means actually rolling around on the mat of cherry blossom petals, then so be it. Learn about the culture of the “land of the rising sun,” basking in nature’s glory. Like at previous Sakura Matsuri events, there will be plenty of Manga artists, sword fighting, Taiko drumming (those enormous drums that are 6-feet wide), Japanese pop music and traditional fare, and more. Will there be some ninjas hiding behind trees or Sumo wrestlers falling on Bonsai trees? Stop by to find out.
Search for more fun and low-cost family activities in the NYC area in our full calendar of events