Kid On The Town
Culture For City Kids
Events Sept 21-28
The fifth-grade me is totally geeking out over cool/nerdy family-friendly events coming up: a huge maker faire extravaganza, opera among dinosaur bones, and square dancing! More dancing with modern legend Twyla Tharp, around Riverside Park, in a drained swimming pool and Latinx style at Carnegie Hall, the Children’s Museum of Manhattan and Lincoln Center. Celebrate Rosh Hashanah and Mid-Autumn Moon Festival. Visit some family-friendly museums on school vacation days – we’re planning on seeing Calder mobiles and the immersive Hélio Oiticica exhibition at the Whitney on Friday followed by an Autumn Equinox celebration and custom-designed ice cream bars.

What We’re Reading

The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: the Story of Dr. Temple Grandin

The first book in a new educational series about the lives of scientists, this illustrated rhyming tale shares Temple Grandin’s inspiring story. When young Temple was diagnosed with autism, no one expected her to talk, let alone become one of the most powerful voices in modern science. But her unique mind allowed her to connect with animals in a special way, helping her invent groundbreaking improvements for farm around the globe. Includes a complete biography, fun facts, a colorful timeline of events, and even a note from Temple herself.

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Free Trial of Handprints Art Class for Toddlers and Preschoolers

9:15 am
Rutgers Church ( 236 West 73rd Street)

Ages 16 months to 5 years are invited to a free trial of Rutger’s art class. Children are free to create and explore in our warm and friendly open studio space. Enjoy homemade playdough, easel painting, and a special project at the big table. Dress for a mess.

Also at 10:15 am.

High Holiday Candy Land Children's Experience

10:00 am–12:00 pm
Chabad Sutton (1076 First Avenue between East 58th & 59th Streets )
$25, $50/family

Celebrate the sweetness of Rosh Hashanah with Candy Land themed games, activities and characters.

Rosh Hashanah Family Service

10:00 am–11:30 am
92Y (1395 Lexington Avenue)

Sing, dance and welcome the new year in this meaningful and joyful service, filled with music, dancing and creative prayer. A soulful, energetic, and creative High Holiday experience with a live band, led by Rebecca Schoffer, Director of Jewish Family Engagement and Shababa. For families with children 0-7.


12:00 pm–10:00 pm
Brooklyn Bridge Park (John Street & Jay Street)

Explore an immersive photography village populated by 55+ shipping containers repurposed into galleries underneath the Brooklyn Bridge. Programming includes numerous hands-on workshops, tents with family-friendly photo activities, photo publishers, gear demonstrations, a community photo book store run by Red Hook Editions, tintype portraits by the Penumbra Foundation, a comic water balloon gladiator show and a beer garden with a range of food vendors from Smorgasburg and Brooklyn Brewery beers. Exhibitions explore immigration, American identity, climate change and other important themes.

Daily through Sunday.

Rosh Hashanah in Prospect Park

12:00 pm–4:00 pm
Prospect Park Boathouse & Audubon Center (101 East Drive)

Join Prospect Park Alliance during the Rosh Hashanah holiday for family-friendly activities at the Prospect Park Audubon Center, Lefferts Historic House and the Prospect Park Carousel. Enjoy nature education programs, Bird Nerds Game Hour, a nature walk and science project, carousel rides ($2/ride), potato sack races, spoon races, stilts and other old fashioned games.

Human Chess

4:00 pm–6:00 pm
Riverside Park, Soldiers and Sailors Monument (West 89th Street and Riverside Drive)

Every Thursday afternoon in September, watch or participate in life-size team sport chess.


Community Cowpokes with Hopalong Andrew: Tribeca

10:00 am–11:00 am
Whole Foods Tribeca (270 Greenwich Street)

Sing along with Hopalong Andrew, an award-winning musician and former NYC Urban Park Ranger who adapts classic cowboy songs to reflect life as an urban cowpoke. His 1-man band (guitar, banjo, harmonica, and suitcase drum kit) performances encourages participation and interaction, creating a fun and positive space for play, music and rhythm training, and vibrant social interaction.

Family Day: Personalized Prints

11:00 am–3:00 pm
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum ( 2 East 91st Street)

To celebrate New York Textile Month, explore stamping on various textiles. Also enjoy design activities and gallery bingo (and make you you check out the wallpaper immersion room).

Sibyl Kempson: 12 Shouts to the Ten Forgotten Heavens

12:00 pm–4:00 pm
Whitney Museum of American Art (99 Gansevoort Street)

Celebrate the autumnal equinox with free workshops and performances at the Whitney, part of a three-year iterative performance project by American playwright, director, and performer Sibyl Kempson marks each solstice and equinox occurring between March 2016 and December 2018. This Shout will begin with an artist-led workshop in the Lobby. Conjuring the aid of unidentifiable ancient visitors, participants will create doll beings that personify the cosmological forces of nature. The audience will then traverse the outdoor areas in front of the Museum, and venture to the High Line—a higher, golden land—over the course of the afternoon. Elaborating on last year’s autumnal themes of sacrifice, death, and reaping, this Shout further delves into animist narratives of the project’s ritual practice. Audience is invited to arrive at anytime; there will be three looped sojourns to another world on the hour at 1pm, 2pm and 3pm.

Dream Big, Princess: Mulan Screening

2:00 pm–3:30 pm
AMC Empire 25 ( 234 West 42nd Street)
$16.99, $13.99/ages 2–12

As part of the Dream Big, Princess ad campaign, Disney is screening favorite animated princess movies throughout the fall. This week, see Mulan from 1998, the tale of a Chinese princess warrior in disguise. Also at AMC Loews Kipps Bay and other theaters.

Daily at 2 pm & 6 pm through Sept 28.

Bryant Park Square Dance

5:00 pm–8:00 pm
Bryant Park (42nd Street & Fifth Avenue)

Do-si-do and promenade at a country dance party in the city with live music, a professional caller, dancing, countrified lawn activities including cornhole and trick-roping lesson), plus beer and wine and tasty grub curated by Hester Street Fair for purchase. Try the mechanical bull or the “bouncy horse corral” for little cowboys and cowgirls. Free cowboy hats for all.

Autumn Equinox Celebration

6:30 pm–7:30 pm
Grand Army Plaza Brooklyn (Flatbush Ave)

Mama Donna Henes, New York’s unofficial commissioner of public spirit, hosts a sunset celebration of the first day of fall. Bring kids, dogs, drums, percussions and plenty of spirit. Rain or shine.


Smithsonian Museum Day

All Day

As part of a nationwide event, get in free to several Manhattan museums including the family-friendly Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum (UES), The Morgan Library (Midtown East) and Jewish Museum (Fifth Avenue & 92nd Street). See our family museum guide for tips and info on exhibits.

Elmer the Duck

10:00 am–11:00 am
The Tank (312 West 36th Street 1st Floor )
$10/adults, $15/kids

Follow the adventures of a little duck on a crooked, little creek called Mallet’s Creek who has a bit of a quacking problem. Whenever Elmer tried to quack it always came out “ack, ack, ack.” In this puppet show featuring original music, puppetry and video Elmer proves to his silly duck sister Ellen that with a bit of help from the right teacher and practice, practice, practice he can learn anything. This interactive puppet show includes chance to test out shadow puppet skills with a post-show demonstration.

Also at 2 pm & Sunday 10 am.

Family Art Project: Wave Hill Ecology & Gallery Tour

10:00 am–1:00 pm
Wave Hill (West 249th Street & Independence Avenue)

From 10 am–1 pm, be inspired by the local hilly landscape that makes up the waves of Wave Hill. Use small items found on the grounds and sculpt with air-dry clay, rocks, sticks and moss, plus other up-cycled materials. Add water to create mini pools and invent your own mini ecological landscape system. At 12 pm, explore artwork on view in Glyndor Gallery on a family-friendly tour with a Curatorial Fellow.

Also on Sunday.

Family Music Day: From Celtic to Classical

10:00 am–11:00 am
The DiMenna Center for Classical Music (450 West 37th Street)

In a special interactive family concert presented in partnership with Irish Arts Center, kids and adults can try orchestral and traditional Irish instruments, create art at the coloring station, make instruments to take home, and enjoy performances from members of Orchestra of St. Luke’s, students of Youth Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Darrah Carr Dance, and Irish Arts Center musicians.

Make It Rusty!

10:00 am–1:00 pm
High Line 14th Street Passage (Tenth Avenue & West 14th Street)

Discover how New York’s West Side has changed over time as you design and construct an industrial-inspired mix media garden sculptures that also changes. Also enjoy stories about the past and live performances by musical improv troupe the Story Pirates.

World Maker Faire New York

10:00 am–6:00 pm
New York Hall of Science (Flushing Meadow-Corona Park)
$25/students & youth, $35/adult, free/ages 2 & under

This huge annual family-friendly festival of invention, creativity and resourcefulness is part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely unique. Explore more than 750 projects and demonstrations including rockets, robots, arts & crafts, electronics, artisanal foods, woodworking, live music and more.

Also on Sunday.

Gallery Explorations

10:45 am–11:30 am
Whitney Museum of American Art (99 Gansevoort Street)
Free with museum admission ($22, $18/students & seniors, free/kids under 18)

Explore and learn about art together through lively discussion and fun gallery activities in short, interactive family explorations kid-friendly works on view. Tickets given out first come, first served at the desk outside the Hearst Artspace on Floor Three. Also stop by the Open Studio (10:30 am–3 pm) for art-making inspired by works on view.

Also at 11:45 am & 12:45 pm.

Design Kids & Follow the Line at Cooper Hewitt

11:00 am–3:00 pm
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum ( 2 East 91st Street)

As part of Museum Day Live, which provides free admission to cultural venues across the country, participate in design activities for all ages. Celebrate New York Textile Month by desigingn monsters using fabric scraps with guest designer Elodie Blanchard (11 am–12:30 pm & 1:30–3:00 pm). From 2:30–4 pm, join artist Shantell Martin for a design talk, demonstration, and drop-in drawing activity for all ages.

Fall For Arts & Kite Flight for Peace

11:00 am–4:00 pm
Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park ( Roosevelt Island)

In recognition of the United Nations General Assembly and International Peace Day, design and fly kites selecting stripes, colors, and symbols that represent personal ideas about peace and freedom. Also enjoy a kite-flying demonstration featuring kites of all shapes and sizes by American kiteflier and educator Archie Stewart, storytime with the Roosevelt Island branch Library and author Marie Letourneau will be joining us and hosting a story time session at 12pm of her book Argyle Fox and a talk about human rights by Venerable Chanda Ly, Khmer Krom monk and UN refugee and Bounthone Chanthalavong, President of Alliance for Democracy in Laos. Paint murals, participate in art workshops, try an African dance class, jump in a bounce house and listen to live music.

Harry Potter Storytime with Curated Care

11:00 am–12:00 pm
Strand (12th Street & Broadway)

Join Curated Care for a Harry Potter-themed storytime. Hermione Granger will lead mini muggles through an enchanting storytime featuring J.K. Rowling’s “The Wizard & the Hopping Pot” and “The Tale of the Three Brothers”. Enjoy interactive games, activities & spell-casting.

Also on Sunday.

Latino Arts Festival

11:00 am–5:00 pm
Children’s Museum of Manhattan (CMOM) (212 West 83rd Street between Broadway & Amsterdam)
Free with museum admission ($11, $7/seniors, free/ages 11 months old & younger)

Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month and Latinx Americans’ contributions to art and culture. Smell and taste the variety of colorful vegetables and herbs used to create sofrito—a staple in Puerto Rican and other Latino dishes and hear the story of Latin jazz composer Tito Puente, the Mambo King. Meet cartoonist Ivan Velez to create fantastical comic book characters and learn Afro-Colombian and Indigenous dances from Colombia dancer Melissa Escano.

Also on Sunday.

LC Kids At The Atrium Season Launch

11:00 am–12:30 pm
David Rubenstein Atrium (Broadway between West 62nd and West 63rd Streets)

A season of free programming at the Lincoln Center Atrium kicks off with a story-and-music double feature. Listen to the rhythmic, say-along stories of beloved children’s book author Todd Tarpley then take a bilingual musical journey through Latin boogaloo, the 1960s musical and dance craze indigenous to the streets of Spanish Harlem with NYC band Spanglish Fly.

Trusty Sidekick Theater Company: We Are All Tourists

11:30 am–4:00 pm
Governors Island (Governors Island)
$20, 15% discount for 3+ tickets with code FAMILY

Alpha and Scout are searching for their friend and colleague, Lou. Could she be stuck in an alternate reality? Explore Governors Island’s breathtaking views and solve the clues to reunite these reality hoppers in an outdoor promenade theatrical tour experience for young people ages 8+ and their families.

One hour tours at 11:30 am, 12 pm, 2:30 pm & 3 pm.

Mid-Autumn Moon Family Festival

12:00 pm–4:00 pm
The Museum of Chinese in America (215 Centre Street)
$10, free/kids under 2

Explore the customs and traditions behind this harvest festival with a mooncake tasting, moon-themed arts and crafts, face painting, shadow play performances, stellar story time, and more family fun.

Twlya Tharp Family Matinee & Workshop

12:15 pm–3:00 pm
The Joyce Theater (175 Eighth Avenue at 19th Street)
$10-$121 (call box office for kids' discount)

In a program illustrating her broad artistic range, modern dance legend Twyla Tharp presents the world premiere of DYLAN LOVE SONGS, a piece exploring love’s give and take, set to the elegiac music of Bob Dylan. She also brings back two gems from the 1970s: THE FUGUE which derives its rigorous form from Bach’s “The Musical Offering,” and THE RAGGEDY DANCES, a quintet set to Joplin, Bolcom, and Mozart. This special family matinee features cookies for the kids during the intermission and a meet-the-artist session after the show. In a pre-show intergenerational dance class, free for ticket holders, learn a movement phrase from Tharp’s loose-limbed and playful THE RAGGEDY DANCES and ashort warm up from Tharp’s TREEFROG class. Open to all levels of ability.

Independent Visions Workshop: Color Me Happy—Scratch art painting

1:00 pm–2:30 pm
Scandinavia House (58 Park Avenue at 38th Street)

Inspired by Scandinavia House’s exhibition Independent Visions, which showcases the remarkable work of four Finnish women who worked and lived as artists at the turn of the 20th century, explore color combinations and create intense, bright scratch art works.

Brooklyn Americana Music Festival

2:00 pm–8:00 pm
Brookyln Bridge Park (334 Furman Street)

Enjoy abroad line-up of original and traditional country, folk, roots, blues, old time and bluegrass artists in a scenic setting.

New York City Ballet's Swan Lake

2:00 pm–4:30 pm
New York City Ballet (20 Lincoln Center)

Treat young ballet fans to this stunning romantic ballet featuring a gorgeous Tschaikovsky score, a sea monster sorcerer, modern Danish design, dazzling technical feats and lots of lovely swans.

Also Sunday at 3 pm and the following weekend plus evening performances (great date night option).

Rhoda and the Fossil Hunt Premiere & Ice Cream Social

2:30 pm–4:00 pm
American Museum of Natural History (West 81st Street & Central Park West)
$30/adult, $20/child, includes museum admission & ice cream

See the premiere of a site-specific opera for family audiences based on the real-life experiences of Rhoda Knight Kalt and her trips to the American Museum of Natural History with her grandfather Charles R. Knight, the famous naturalist artist who was commissioned to create paintings and sculptures of prehistoric creatures. Join Rhoda as she goes on a hunt for missing fossils around the hall while learning about the interconnectedness of creativity and science. After the performance, meet the cast of the opera and the real-life Rhoda who inspired the opera. Have fun with dinosaur-themed kids’ activities and enjoy Haagen-Dazs ice cream at On Site Opera’s nearby rehearsal studio (165 West 86th St, 2nd floor).

Opera runs through Oct 15.

Dance Safari

5:00 pm–6:30 pm
Riverside Park (West 72nd Street & Riverside Drive)

Join a guided walk in search for site-specific dances choreographed for Riverside Park South by local dance groups. Wear comfortable shoes. A family favorite of ours.

Also on Sunday.

Danza Highbridge Festival

5:00 pm–6:00 pm
Drained Swimming Pool in Highbridge Park (Amsterdam & West 175th Street)

The United Palace of Cultural Arts’s annual dance festival in the drained swimming pool at Highbridge Park celebrates traditional and cultural dance styles. Featuring works by Arielle Rosales of House of Duende, Katie Drablos, Karla Puno Garcia, Milteri Tucker and Bombazo Dance Company, R.Evolución Latina and other local troupes.


Harlem Grown's Fall Harvest Fair

10:00 am–3:00 pm
Harlem Grown Urban Farm (118 West 134th Street)

Welcome fall at an urban farm’s harvest day, featuring squash, pumpkin, and leafy greens. Family friendly fun includes a scavenger hunt across three urban farm locations, cooking demos, arts and crafts and more.

Family Day Celebration on Governors Island: 10th Anniversary

11:00 am–5:00 pm
Governors Island (Governors Island)

All ages are invited to join African Film Festival, Inc. and the Trust for Governors Island for a day of free activities celebrating Africa and the diaspora including story-telling, double-dutch, dance and drum, needlepoint and short films.

Rolex Central Park Horse Show Family Day

11:30 am–2:30 pm
Central Park, Wollman Rink (West 63rd Street & Sixth Avenue,)

Horse lovers of all ages can enjoy free pony rides, face painting, interactive pony grooming stations, Arabian Horse presentations, equestrian demonstrations, dog agility demonstrations, a chance to meet Honor and Hamlet of Mini Horse Heroes, who are the two of the country’s smallest police horses, a hobby horsing competition, a Land Rover kids car course and more.

Atlantic Antic

12:00 pm–6:00 pm
Atlantic Avenue (Atlantic Avenue between Fourth Avenue and Hicks Street)

The largest street fest in New York City offers over 500 merchants and vendors and ten stages of musical performances. Enjoy pony rides, storytelling, and face painting and an entire block dedicated to family amusements. Sample food from around the world along with street fair favorites like funnel cake, sausage sandwiches, and roasted corn.

Autumn Moon Festival & Parade

12:00 pm–5:00 pm
Chinatown (Intersection of Division Street, East Broadway &Forsyth Street)

Celebrate love in Chinatown with cultural performances, live music, arts and crafts, food vendors and more festivities.

Fall Family Day at Carnegie Hall: Rhythms of Latin America

12:00 pm–5:00 pm
Carnegie Hall (57th Street & Seventh Avenue)

Let energetic rhythms guide you on a journey through Latin American music in Carnegie Hall’s Resnick Education Wing. Enjoy live performances, build handmade instruments, and sing and dance with professional musicians. Learn the rhythms and dances of bomba and plena from Puerto Rico, experience capoeira—a form of martial arts that combines music, dance, and acrobatics—accompanied by traditional Brazilian instruments and learn the Afro-Brazilian warrior stick dance maculelê. Enjoy a performance of the music of Colombia, Cuba, and Venezuela and learn salsa, joropo, and cumbia. Spend one-on-one time with master percussionists who will introduce you to the signature rhythms and instruments of four Latin American genres. Work with artists from Bash the Trash to build güiros (hollow instrument with rubbing stick) and bongos out of recycled materials, and join in on an interactive performance.

George Balanchine's The Nutcracker Tickets on Sale

12:00 pm–2:00 pm
Lincoln Center (65th Street & Broadway)

Get tickets early for the the lavish New York City Ballet Nutcracker that started it all in 1954 as good seats go quickly. Front of the First Ring is our favorite spots for shorter audience members. Box office opens at 12 for in person, online or phone orders. Pricey but priceless; though wait until your kid is able to sit very still and quiet for 2 hours.


1:00 pm–5:00 pm
Space Ibiza New York (637 West 50th Street)

An exclusive NYC nightclub is transformed into a unique kid-centric daytime party space where families together can groove to DJs and experience a nightclub environment in a safe controlled daytime setting. Includes dance lessons, dance contests, friendship bracelet making, a snack bar, demonstrations by the The CirKiz Dancers and a LED ROBOT performance by The Dream Lab fusing alien science to human bodies.

Prospect Park Alliance Harvest Festival

1:00 pm–4:00 pm
Lefferts Historic House (452 Flatbush Avenue)

Celebrate the harvest at Lefferts Historic House, built by a Dutch family in the 18th-century farming village of Flatbush, features a working garden, historic artifacts, period rooms and exhibits. Harvest, cook, and eat potatoes from the garden, challenge friends and family to potato sack races, play with traditional tools, toys and games, and engage in historic activities such as candle making, sewing and butter churning.

Rubin Family Sundays: Sugar & Spice

1:00 pm–4:00 pm
Rubin Museum of Art (150 West 17 Street)

Make sculptures out of sugar and spice, inspired by chalimidi, a sweet rice flour dish made during the Hindu festival Vinayaka Chaturthi. During this early September festival, chalimidi is offered to one of the most popular Hindu deities, Ganesha, the elephant-headed “Remover of Obstacles.” Try to spot him holding a bowl of sweets in the Museum’s galleries.

Lard Dog 'Dreamers' Album Release Show

2:30 pm–4:00 pm
Joe’s Pub at The Public (425 Lafayette Street at Astor Place)

Celebrate the release of their new album ‘Dreamers’ by Lard Dog & The Band of Shy, known for their unique blend of nerd rock and catchy sing-song jingles, flavored with a bit of total absurdism.


Bryant Park Spelling Bee

6:00 pm–7:30 pm
Bryant Park (42nd Street & Fifth Avenue)

Watch an al fresco spelling bee in lovely Brant Park. Must be 21+ to enter.


3Doodler’s Powerpuff Yourself Workshop

4:00 pm–6:30 pm
3Doodler Creative Lab (89 Fifth Avenue Suite 802)

Create and bring to life in 3D your own Powerpuff Girls-inspired characters and develop your own superhero skills with the world’s first 3D pen at a Powerpuff Yourself workshop hosted by 3Doodler to celebrate the launch of the 3Doodler Start Powerpuff Yourself Pen Set & Activity Kit,


The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show

10:00 am–11:00 am
DR2 Theatre (103 East 15th Street )

A menagerie of 75 lovable puppets bring beloved Eric Carle stories to life including The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse, Mister Seahorse, The Very Lonely Firefly, Brown Bear, Brown Bear and, the star of the show, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. This critically acclaimed production has toured five countries after debuting in Australia.

Through Feb, 2018
Thursday 10 am
Friday 10 am & 12 pm
Saturday 10 am, 12 pm, 2 pm &4 pm
Sunday 10 am, 12 pm & 2 pm

MOCAKIDS Storytime

3:30 pm–4:30 pm
Museum Of Chinese In America (215 Centre Street)
Free with museum admission ()

Interactive songs, finger-plays, nursery rhymes, and arts & crafts accompany a bilingual storytime in English and Mandarin. Everyone from native speakers to those seeking their first exposure to a new language are invited.

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