Top Things to Do with Kids in Brooklyn this January

Find the top things to do this month with kids in the NYC area in our Calendar of Events

Want fun and low-cost things to do with your kids in Brooklyn? Get all the details on the best local events for kids and families happening in January, from Clifford on stage to MLK Day events, Winnie the Pooh's birthday party, a Chinese New Year celebration, and some rocking kiddie concerts.
For even more upcoming family events in Brooklyn and the NYC area, check out our full (searchable!) calendar of events.


Clifford the Big Red DogPuppy Love

It's hard not to be smitten by an overgrown (25-foot-long), smiling red dog-make that a Labrador-and his human and canine pals. The formula that makes Norman Bridwell's classic children's books and the resultant PBS cartoon series featuring Clifford work is simple: combine stories that draw from genuine early childhood experiences with lovable characters and more than a hint of warmth and humor. Now you can bring the family to a musical version starring the loveable pup, Clifford the Big Red DogTM - Live! True fans know that Clifford wasn't always big: Bridwell's first Clifford book, published in the mid 1960s, introduced the pooch as the runt of his litter before being adopted by the Howard family and growing big on their love and kitchen scraps. This live musical brings a new story to the stage, with plenty of memorable songs and fun choreography. The themes, as always, are the timeless values of sharing, respect, and cooperation. January 8. 2pm. $10.

Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts, 2900 Campus Road, Midwood. 718-951-4500.



Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.King for All Days 

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. knew social injustice when he saw it. Following the example of his role model, Mohandas Ghandi, King faced Jim Crow and the racism of "Southern values" with the fighting powers of love, respect, and secular humanism. On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, listen to his 1963 speech, look at his image, or at least think of him. Donate an article of clothing that might help someone in need, or attend a tribute to him. Families will find several opportunities to participate in such activities on the three-day weekend that marks MLK Day:

The Brooklyn Children's Museum hosts Celebrate the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., which introduces young elementary schoolers and tweens to Dr. King and the broader picture of the civil rights movement. Simultaneously, Let's Join Hands, another museum event, combines arts and crafts and a study of different cultures with an emphasis on tolerance and peace. January 14. 2:30-3:30pm. $7.50.

Brooklyn Children's Museum, 145 Brooklyn Avenue, Crown Heights, 718-735-4400.

The Brooklyn Museum has teamed up with WNYC for the past few years in presenting its Martin Luther King Day Commemoration, which features notable speakers and music and dance performances featuring Brooklyn artists of national recognition. January 15. 3-5pm. $12; $8 seniors and students; free for children younger than 12.

Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, Prospect Heights. 718-638-5000.

The Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) hosts the 26th Annual Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Past events have included a cappella singers The Persuasions and the Reverend Timothy Wright Memorial Choir (Wright was a major gospel recording artist). Speakers always include a politician or two and a keynote speaker who addresses a major tenet of King's beliefs. January 16. 10:30am-5pm. FREE.

Brooklyn Academy of Music, 30 Lafayette Avenue, Fort Greene. 718-636-4100.



Winnie the Pooh and friendsSilly Old Bear...

Celebrate Winnie the Pooh and his creator, A. A. Milne, at "Happy Birthday, Winnie the Pooh!", where you can sing Happy Birthday, listen to cherished Winnie the Pooh tales, and create your own teddy bear-inspired craft to take home. January 18. 11:30am-12:30pm and 2:30-3:30pm. $7.50 museum admission.

Brooklyn Children's Museum, 145 Brooklyn Avenue, Crown Heights. 718-735-4400.



Chinese New Year of the dragon

Dance Like a Dragon

Learn about the Chinese New Year -- in the Chinese zodiac, we are beginning the Year of the Dragon: a mythical symbol of power and control of water, rainfall and hurricanes. Learn the Dragon Dance and create a paper dragon of your own to take home. January 21, 1:30-2:30pm. $7.50 museum admission.

Brooklyn Children's Museum, 145 Brooklyn Avenue, Crown Heights. 718-735-4400.




The Phantom TollboothAll Puns Intended

It's fun to brag about how much Brooklyn culture shapes the world. A prime example is The Phantom Tollbooth, the classic children's book equally appreciated by adults, that was written and illustrated by two renowned Brooklynites: author Norman Juster and illustrator Jules Feiffer. Juster is an architect by training with a love for puns, oddball colloquialisms, and weird phrases. For Juster, writing was an avocation, but when he and Feiffer hatched The Phantom Tollbooth in the early 1960s, Juster's penchant for language yielded a book that surfaced in classrooms and bedrooms across the world. The story follows Milo, a child bored with everything who, in a dream, receives a package containing a toy tollbooth. Upon driving through this supposed gift in his toy car, Milo is transported into the Kingdom of Wisdom, where people and places have names that make literal meanings out of idioms. This month, Big Movies for Little Kids presents the 1970 movie adaptation directed by the great animator Chuck Jones-the genius behind Looney Toones. January 23. 4pm.

Big Movies for Little Kids at Cobble Hill Theater, 265 Court Street, Cobble Hill. 718-596-9113.



The WiyosTraditionalists

In music business lingo, Americana refers to a genre that reprises and reinvents American music from the late 1800s through the first half of the 20th century. The strand that links Americana artists is a concentration on the music of the 1920s and 1930s, a particularly fertile time when country, blues, and jazz were evolving as distinct styles and coalescing in various ways to become modern country, rock and roll, R&B, and their many hundreds of subgenres. The Wiyos expertly mine the Americana territory, dressing like newspaper boys in the '20s, playing unplugged period-correct instruments, and enlivening their performances with Vaudevillian humor. As popular children's entertainer Dan Zanes knows, Americana makes for perfect kids' music, and this special children's concert will undoubtedly feature a kazoo solo or two. January 28. 1pm. All ages. FREE.

Brooklyn Public Library, Central branch, 10 Grand Army Plaza, Prospect Heights. 718-230-2100.



Hot Peas N ButterMore than a Side Dish

Hot Peas 'N Butter is a five-man band that knows just how powerful and engaging music can be for children, especially when approached in an interactive, multicultural, and, to borrow a term from progressive education, "experiential" way. At its core are Danny Lapidus and Frank Cotto, both veteran NYC performers and composers. Their songs, often in Spanish, are full of international rhythms and percussive flavors, with inspiring lyrics about dreamy places to visit and the joys to be discovered in life. Their videos appear with regularity on Nick, Jr. and Noggin, testimony to their upbeat appeal. This live appearance will hardly be a sit-down affair. January 29. 2pm. $7.

Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts, 2900 Campus Road, Midwood. 718-951-4500.