Whether it’s in Manhattan or the rest of the boroughs, there is more than enough to keep your children busy in the first month of summer.
ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE DARK?
The Liberty Science Center kicks off summer with an illuminating new exhibit, In The Dark. Aiming to ease darkness anxiety in children, this interactive show will display how animals and organisms have adapted to cool, dim conditions for centuries. Learn about dark caves, deep forests and the unknown that is the ocean floor. In The Dark boasts interactive displays, walk-through dioramas and even a few creatures. Don’t miss the recreated nighttime forest, featuring glowing mushrooms and illuminated fungi.
Through June; free with museum admission. 222 Jersey City Blvd., Jersey City, N.J., 201-200-1000, lsc.org.
SUMMER AT SWINDLER
Swindler Cove Park is a natural gem in the heart of urban Harlem. Featuring a forest and one of NYC’s only saltwater marshes, families can catch up on their bird watching here. On June 2’s Family Day, the New York Restoration Project’s staff and educators will lead games, hikes and nature projects such as DIY birdhouses. Kiddos will also have the chance to meet and greet the animals that call the park home. Pick up some gardening tips while you’re there, as expert gardeners will be onsite for tutorials and questions.
June 2, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; free. 10th Ave. & Dyckman St., 212-333-2552, nyrp.org.
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION
Cobble Hill Cinemas’ Big Movies for Little Kids program is teaming up with the Children’s Museum of the Arts for their second annual student film festival. Aspiring filmmakers are welcome to view and gain inspiration from the short film submissions of their peers ages 4-18. Your kiddo can vote for their favorite, and the top three will premiere later in the month at the series’ annual Drive-In Movie Night on June 15. Children who didn’t submit will still get their directorial debut in the event’s animation booth!
June 4 & 15, 4 p.m.; $7, babies are free.
265 Court St., Brooklyn, 718-596-9113, cobblehilltheatre.com.
PREPARE TO BE A-MAZE-D
Summer is the season to get wet, so head to Coney Island for the Wildlife Conservation Society’s newest exhibit at New York Aquarium, A-MAZE-ING Water. This unique display, running through Labor Day, honors World Oceans Day. Kiddos and their companions will magically turn into a tiny, but important, drop of water and travel through a maze of waterways. Watch out for pollutants along the way! Every drop will eventually make its way to its desired destination: the ocean. This interactive exhibit is fantastic for broods to learn about bodies of water big and small.
Opens June 8; free with aquarium admission.
New York Aquarium, Surf Ave. & W. 8th St., Brooklyn,
LOWER EAST EGG-CITEMENT
Take the family to the Egg Rolls & Egg Creams Festival, sponsored by the Museum at Eldridge Street, dedicated to celebrating the Lower East Side’s Chinese and Jewish communities. Believe it or not, these two very different cultures value their deep-rooted traditions in the same way: by keeping ancient customs present while also adopting new ones. This free fest is full of music (toe-tapping klezmer), dancing (the tricks of Chinese acrobats) and art. Be sure to snag a quick language lesson in Mandarin or Yiddish! And of course, kosher egg creams and traditional egg rolls will be available for noshing.
June 10, 12-4 p.m.; free. Eldridge St. betw. Canal and Division Sts., 212-219-0888, eldridgestreet.org.
MADISON SQUARE ROCKS
This summer marks the big 1-0 for the free weekly Madison Square kids concert series. June features groovin’ groups like The Deedle Deedle Dees, Alastair Moock & Friends and Shine & The Moonbeams. We’ll be marking our calendars for Audra Rox, who promises to kick off the 10th anniversary in style. Be sure to check out the entire schedule for future performances by The Suzi Shelton Band, Recess Monkey and The Dirty Sock Funtime Band.
Begins June 12, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.; free. Madison Ave. & 23rd St., 212-538-1884, madisonsquarepark.org.
SUMMER IN THE SQUARE
Union Square Park’s free Summer in the Square series is the perfect way to spend your pre-weekend day with the family in the great outdoors. Bring baby out to the playground at 10 a.m. for Mommy & Me yoga classes hosted by Bija Kids. Children’s entertainment and activities begin at noon, ideal for picnicking. Or, take advantage of the free salsa, Zumba and hip-hop classes sponsored by the renowned Peridance Capezio Center beginning at 6 p.m. Each week winds down with a Music in the Square concert featuring rock, jazz, folk and international acts.
Begins June 14, Thursdays, 10 a.m.; free.
E. 14th St. & Broadway, 212-460-1200, unionsquarenyc.org.
In celebration of aquatic ecology, Central Park is hosting a free family fishing celebration. This catch-and-release event takes place at the now-flourishing Harlem Meer, stocked with largemouth bass, sunfish, pickerel and carp. The New York Microscopical Society will also host a microscope activity to investigate aquatic organisms. And for all the non-fishermen of the family, fishy arts & crafts will keep hands busy, along with storytelling from the Magic Goldfish.
June 23, 12-3 p.m.; free. Dana Discovery Center, 110th St. betw. 5th & Lenox Aves., 212-860-1370, centralparknyc.org.
ARTY BLOCK PARTY
The city shuts down 23 blocks of Fifth Avenue for the 34th annual Museum Mile Festival, a summer soiree unlike any other. Rain or shine, this is your chance to check out 10 of the city’s cultural greats: El Museo del Barrio, The Jewish Museum, The Guggenheim and The Met, among others. Enjoy performances from Sammie & Tudie’s Imagination Playhouse and Silly Billy. Mini-artists can partake in arts & crafts while face painting, magic shows and electrifying jugglers round out this evening of cultural fun.
June 12, 6-9 p.m.; free. 5th Ave. betw. East 82nd and 105th Sts., 212-606-2296, museummilefestival.org.
A PARTY FOR THE TROOPS
Were you or your spouse absent for your child’s birthday because of active military duty? If so, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum has an epic fiesta planned just for your fam! The Military Family Birthday Party is a special way to honor families who give so much to our country. This first-time celebration will include all the traditional b-day activities: balloons, singing, arts & crafts and, of course, yummy birthday cake. Kiddos and parents alike will also have the opportunity to meet other military families and swap stories.
June 21, 4-7 p.m.; reservations are required. 145 Brooklyn Ave., Brooklyn,
718-735-4400 x164, brooklynkids.org.
Tags: Brooklyn Children’s Museum, Cobble Hill Cinemas, Dana Discovery Center, kids, Liberty Science Center, MADISON SQUARE, Museum at Eldridge Street, Museum Mile Festival, New York Aquarium, Summer Guide, swindler cove park, Union Square
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