7 Things to Do With Your Kids in N.Y.C. This Weekend
Our guide to cultural events in New York City for children and teenagers happening this weekend and in the week ahead.
‘ABOVE AND BEYOND: THE ULTIMATE FLIGHT EXHIBITION’ at the New York Hall of Science (through Sept. 8). Even if you’ve had your fill of summer travel, consider taking to the skies one more time at this aerospace-themed show, which ends its run in Queens this weekend. A centerpiece of the hall’s celebrations of the Apollo 11 moon landing, “Above and Beyond” incorporates all manner of technology, including virtual reality, to demonstrate what it might be like to enter an orbit around Earth, fly to Mars or pilot a supersonic aircraft. The more than 15 exhibits include a display that uses motion sensors and computer graphics to transform young visitors into virtual birds; a simulated elevator to space, which explains aerial phenomena along the way; an opportunity to design and race virtual fighter jets; and a timed challenge to remove space debris surrounding Earth.
FALL FEST 2019 at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music (Sept. 7, 2-5 p.m.). Whatever drummer your kids march to, they’ll probably hear something they like at this free autumn celebration and open house, which introduces both the conservatory’s private-lesson faculty and its group instruction for children ages 6 months to 6 years. (An R.S.V.P. is requested.) Each hour starts with a family singalong — when was the last time you all belted out a tune together? — followed by sample classes. Instrument making and an instrument “petting zoo” will be offered throughout the event, which also invites children 9 and older to join the school’s community ensembles for jam sessions in bluegrass, African drumming and jazz.
FIRST SATURDAYS FOR FAMILIES: COMPOSITE CAPACITIES FOR LOVE at the New Museum (Sept. 7, 10 a.m.-noon). This sweetly titled program draws inspiration from the young artist Diedrick Brackens, who weaves both personal and political history into his vibrantly colored tapestries. Geared toward ages 4 to 12, the free event will engage families in adding their own silhouettes to a large collaborative canvas that reflects the work in “Darling Divined,” Brackens’s show at the museum. Just as he incorporates the outlines of human figures into his art, which examines relationships and what it means to be black and gay in America, children will draw a communal mural that depicts different ways of sharing and expressing love.
MIGRATION CELEBRATION at South Cove, Battery Park City (Sept. 7, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.). At the same time that children are going back to school, many birds, butterflies and other creatures are heading south for the winter. This free program from Battery Park City Authority brings together some of those species and little humans for a festive blend of science and creativity. The fun starts with an art project, followed by a half-hour bird-watching and nature walk in which participants may see wild travelers like hummingbirds, various warblers and monarch butterflies. At noon, the charmingly offbeat band Lard Dog and the Band of Shy will add peppy pop music to the mix, with a concert that promises to help young listeners migrate all the way to the imaginary planet Belopio.
[Read about the events that our other critics have chosen for the week ahead.]
REVOLUTIONARY SUMMER: BLACK NEW YORK at the New-York Historical Society (Sept. 7-8, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.). Although colonial New Yorkers fought for freedom from British rule, their victory would bring no liberty to enslaved Africans, whose population in the city at the time of the Revolution was second only to that of Charleston, S.C. This program, part of the soon-to-end series Revolutionary Summer, explores what life was like for them and free black inhabitants. Children can meet historical interpreters like Joel Cook, who will explain the work of black sailors, and Nastassia Parker, who will discuss millinery and dressmaking, trades often pursued by free black women.
‘THE RINGDOVE’ at Bishop’s Green, the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine (Sept. 6-8, 7:30 p.m.). In a world filled with division and strife, where one group always seems to be questioning the rights of another, it may feel restorative to watch this gentle allegory from the master puppeteer and theater artist Ralph Lee and his Mettawee River Theater Company. Returning to their usual outdoor space — the performances will take place in Synod House if it rains — Lee and his troupe are reviving “The Ringdove,” which they first presented in 1988. The production, which incorporates Lee’s signature elaborate masks, draws on the ancient Indian texts of the Panchatantra to tell the story of a crow that befriends a rat after seeing it free a flock of trapped ringdoves. The pair then join a turtle and a gazelle to outwit a human hunter. With music by Neal Kirkwood and a script by George Sand and Kristine Haruna Lee (who is not related to Ralph Lee), the show demonstrates how four very different creatures can find purpose and hope by banding together.
RUPAUL’S DRAGCON NYC at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center (Sept. 6, 4-8 p.m.; Sept. 7, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sept. 8, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.). Whether or not they identify with the L.G.B.T.Q. world or have ever watched “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” young people will find plenty that is entertaining and educational at this three-day extravaganza. Billed as the “largest all-ages and family-friendly celebration of drag” — visitors 10 and under are admitted free with a paying adult — the event offers a kids’ zone on Saturday and Sunday, where, in the morning, those who aspire to be Jedi masters can take lightsaber training, and, in the afternoon, all children can enjoy several sessions of Drag Queen Story Hour. DragCon will also present a kids’ fashion show (Saturday, 4:15 p.m.); panels including Disney on Broadway (Friday, 4:30 p.m.), about the costumes and makeup for shows like “Frozen” and “The Lion King”; and two chances to boogie to the tunes of a very cool D.J.: RuPaul. (A full schedule is on the website.)
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