Family Events in Manhattan
To ensure the best possible experience at community events and programs, please check with the host before attending in case details have changed.
- September 1: Creative Dream Playhouse, Creative Dream Parties, 25 Waterside Plaza, (212)447-7263, www.creativedreamparties.com. Lose your kids in this 3,000-square-foot play space for an afternoon of creativity and making new friends from all over the city. Let them enjoy nonstop playtime when they can whip up imaginary creations in the kids' kitchen area, set sail on the Playhouse's pirate ship, build a fort with blocks or make a masterpiece at the arts-and-crafts table. Registration by 6pm the previous night is required. Appropriate for children ages 2-6. 10am.
- September 5-14: The Dancing Fox: Wisdom Tales of the Middle East, Outdoor Garden at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, 111th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, (212)929-4777. Enjoy five enchanting tales from the shared folk traditions of Jews and Arabs, including the writings of Sufi mystics, along with fables and folklore of the region. Chairs are provided, but audiences may also bring blankets for closer seating in front of the chairs. Recommended for audience members 8 years and older. 7:30pm each day.
- September 6 and 7: Back-to-School Festival, Children’s Museum of Manhattan, 212 W. 83rd St., (212)721-1223, www.cmom.org. Summer is slipping away and school will be back in session soon. Before they have to board the bus, help your little pupils get their ducks in a row with a little fun thrown in at this two-day fest. Crafts, workshops, talks, and fun are on the program to prep your student for the classrooms. 10am both days.
- Through September 7: The ABC of It: Why Children's Books Matter, New York Public Library, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street, www.nypl.org. The main branch of the NYPL is playing host to an exhibit that celebrates the rich history of children's literature. View more than 200 items from the NYPL collection, from medieval European manuscripts and Hans Christian Andersen works to original drawings for The Wizard of Oz, a collage paper sample by Eric Carle and banned children's books from around the world. 10am each day.
- September 7: The Real World, Nelson A. Rockefeller Park, Battery Park City Parks Conservancy, 75 Battery Place, (212)267-9700, www.bpcpc.org. The Real World takes a fascinating look at playfully political sculptural installation The Real World by Tom Otterness, presents a bustling miniature society cast in bronze. 2pm.
- September 8: The Copernicus Complex with Caleb Scharf, American Museum of Natural History, 200 Central Park West, (212)769-5100, www.amnh.org. Though the concept of “the universe” suggests the containment of everything, the latest ideas in cosmology hint that the universe may be just one of a multitude of others— a single slice of an infinity of parallel realities. Renowned astrophysicist and author Caleb Scharf takes us on a cosmic adventure like no other, from tiny microbes under the Earth’s surface to distant exoplanets and beyond, asserting that the age-old Copernican principle is in need of updating. Appropriate for tweens and older. 7:30pm.
- September 10: What Counts in the College Admissions Process: Getting In and Getting the Most Out of College, The Yale Club of New York City, 50 Vanderbilt Ave., (877)OFC-INTL, www.optionsforcollege.com/yaleclub2014/. After successful talks at MIT, Wesleyan, Columbia, and other prestigious universities, learn what is needed and expected of your child for college admission, as well as how your child can not only survive their educational career, but make it work for them. 7pm.
- September 11-14: Dances Patrelle presents Romeo & Juliet, The Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College, 695 Park Ave., (212)772-4448, www.dancespatrelle.org. In celebration of Shakespeare’s 450th birthday, this evening-length revival of Romeo & Juliet features Francis Patrelle’s choreography, based on Shakespeare’s play and Prokofiev’s score. 7pm.
- September 13: Book Reading Event: The Blue Goblin by Donna Pisella, City Treehouse, 129A W. 20th St., Ground Floor, www.citytreehouse.com. Donna Pisella is a new author of a vibrantly illustrated children's book that promotes healthy eating through the Blue Goblin character, and encourages young readers to try new foods such as delicious green vegetables. Appropriate for young elementary students and younger. 10:30am.
- September 14: Bagels and Blox, The Modern Family Center at Spence-Chapin, 410 E. 92nd St., (646)539-2167, www.modernfamilycenter.org. Families with kids age 5 and younger are invited to join this event, where food, child care, and fun are all provided. Connect with other parents while your kids play! To register, call (646)539-2167 or e-mail email@example.com. 10:30am-12:30pm.
- September 15: Grand Opening, Ballet & Body, 325 E. 65th St., (646)852-6545, www.balletandbody.com, firstname.lastname@example.org. Stop by to the new dance facility opening in NYC. The company is expanding from their well-established location in Great Neck, Long Island.
- September 19: Salif Keita, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave., (212)570-3949, www.metmuseum.org. Salif Keita, longtime ambassador of Malian music, performs a rare acoustic set featuring a small ensemble of master Malian musicians performing on traditional instruments. Tickets to this event include museum admission. Appropriate for children ages 7 and older. 7pm.
- September 20: Do We Want the World-- of Sound, Sight, Taste, and More-- to Add to Us?, Aesthetic Realism Foundation, 141 Greene St., (212)777-4490, www.aestheticrealism.org. Flutist Barbara Allen and educator Robert Murphy demonstrate to children 5-12, the thrilling meaning, purpose, and beauty of the senses. 11am-12:15pm.
- September 20-27: Morningside Lights, Miller Theatre (at Columbia University), 2960 Broadway, www.morningside-lights.com. The third annual event organized by Columbia University’s Miller Theatre delivers a week’s worth of all-ages creative workshops in which families can design and craft their own lanterns, then showcase their work in a twilight procession through Morningside Park on September 27, 8pm. This year’s theme, “Odysseus on the A Train” calls for vibrant lanterns inspired by Homer's epic tale. Appropriate for families with children ages 8 and older. Event times vary.
- September 21: Lantern Floating for Peace, Hearst Plaza at Lincoln Center, W. 65th St. at Columbus Ave., www.bealightforpeace.org. Kids of all backgrounds can take part in a modern Shinnyo-en Buddhist lantern ceremony by building, decorating and floating their own creations on Lincoln Center's Paul Milstein Reflecting Pool. While similar ceremonies are held annually in places like Japan and Hawaii, it’s only the second annual event for NYC, where the theme “Be a Light for Peace” honors peacemakers on the United Nation’s International Day of Peace. Appropriate for ages 5 and older. 1pm.
- September 25: Secular Rosh Hashanah Service with Children’s Program, Holiday Inn, 440 W. 57th St., (212)213-1002, www.citycongregation.org. The City Congregation for Humanistic Judaism hosts a cultural Jewish service with concurrent children's program. Tickets are available online. 10:30am.
- Opening September 26: The Old Man and The Old Moon, New Victory Theater, 209 W. 42nd St., (646)223-3010, www.newvictory.org. A harmonious band of college buddies turned actor-musicians, present the whimsical fable of an old man tasked with restoring liquid light to the old, leaky moon— told through upbeat, indie-folk tunes, puppetry and shadowplay. The imaginative troupe of eight brings storytelling to another level, imparting bits of wisdom to young audiences as they follow along on the man's journey to the End of the World in search of his missing wife. Appropriate for ages 7 and older. Through October 13. Times vary.
- September 27: Strut Your Mutt NY, Hudson River Park at Pier 84, West 44th Street, www.nycgovparks.org. Now in its fifth year, Best Friends Animal Society's community dog-walk is back. Flaunt your furry friends along this 1.8-mile stroll, the proceeds of which will benefit local animal-rescue shelters and the Best Friends Animal Society. After the walk, there will be a festival with dog treats and amenities like massages and yoga for your pet, in addition to human-oriented refreshments. All ages welcome. 2pm.
- September 28: Baby Loves Disco: Fall Into Disco, Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker St., www.lepoissonrouge.com. Boogie alongside diaper-clad munchkins at the popular dance party for tykes. A DJ spins family-friendly tracks from the ’70s and ’80s, while you teach your little ones moves from the era. Face painting, temporary tattoos, crafting, snacks, and more round out the afternoon. Appropriate for families with children ages 6 months to 7 years. Noon-3pm.
- September 28: Apples and Honey in the Big Apple with the Mama Doni Band, Museum of Jewish Heritage: A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, 36 Battery Place, (646)437-4202, www.mjhnyc.org. Celebrate the Jewish New Year with a reggae-rock performance by the Mama Doni Band beginning at 2pm. Also on the program are holiday-themed crafts, and family-friendly tours of the museum's galleries. Appropriate for all ages. 1pm.
- September 30: Autumn Skies Telescope Party, American Museum of Natural History, 200 Central Park West, (212)769-5100, www.amnh.org. Explore autumn skies, visit the Andromeda Galaxy, and a double open cluster in the constellation of Perseus, and finish in the Dome with a sneak peek of the upcoming lunar and solar eclipses. Participants are encouraged to bring binoculars. A limited number of binoculars will be available to use at the event. Weather permitting. 6:30pm.
All Month Long
- Through September 13: Mulan the Musical, The Ellen Stewart Theatre at La Mama, 66 E. 4th St., (212)279-4200, www.ticketcentral.com. China’s world-renowned female percussion group, The Red Poppy Ladies, perform the inspiring journey for the entire family of Mulan. Enjoy the 1,600-year-old Chinese folktale of a young girl’s bravery. Times vary.
- Through September 14: Compounding Visions, Museum of Mathematics (MoMath), 11 E. 26th St., www.momath.org. This exhibit, featuring the artwork of Ryan and Trevor Oakes, combines art and math in perceptual drawings, mathematical sculptures constructed with pipe cleaners and algorithmic watercolor paintings. Appropriate for ages 6 and older. 10am each day.
- Weekends Through September 28: NYC and the Civil War, Governors Island, Hosted by the New-YorkHistorical Society, 170 Central Park West, (212)873-3400, www.nyhistory.org. Installed within a 19th-century home previously used by military officers on Governors Island's Nolan Park, this special summer exhibition features photographs, newspapers and works of art curated by Student Historian Teen Leaders. Times Vary.