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8 Things to Do With Your Kids in N.Y.C. This Weekend

Category: Art & Culture,Arts

Our guide to cultural events in New York City for children and teenagers happening this weekend and in the week ahead.

‘BEPPO THE CLOWN’ at the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater (through Oct. 7). It’s hard to imagine the highly serious and often somber Swedish film director Ingmar Bergman as a creative force behind a children’s production, but this puppet show traces its origins to his life. In 1942 Else Fisher, who later married Bergman, wrote, directed and choreographed “Beppo the Clown,” a pantomime that he produced. The story also became a children’s book, “Story of Beppo,” which the Swedish Cottage in Central Park has adapted for the centennial of Bergman’s birth. Written and directed by Cinna Vester, with the assistance of Charlie Del Risco, the show combines handmade marionettes, actors, narration and music to relate the adventures of the clown, a shy fellow who leaves the circus on a quest to gain courage — with a little help from his friends. (Reservations are advised.)
212-988-9093, cityparksfoundation.org

‘CHARLOTTE’S WEB’ at the B.M.C.C. TriBeCa Performing Arts Center (Oct. 6, 11 a.m.). Many children’s books have dealt successfully with love and friendship, but sacrifice and death, too? E. B. White proved how well it could be done with “Charlotte’s Web,” his 1952 novel about Wilbur, the pig who’s saved from the slaughterhouse through the heroic efforts of Charlotte, a selfless spider. Now TheaterWorks USA, one of the most eminent professional companies producing shows for young people, returns to the New York stage with this newly revamped adaptation. In addition to a script by Joseph Robinette, it features original bluegrass accompaniment.
212-220-1460, tribecapac.org

FALL FAMILY DAY at the Museum of the Moving Image (Oct. 7, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.). From a stern, stiff-postured eagle to silly, squiggly jellyfish, this celebration on Sunday in Queens will honor Muppets and puppets, and all that they can do on film. Revolving around “The Jim Henson Exhibition,” a permanent installation, the festival will offer drop-in activities, including a scavenger hunt; continuous screenings of “Jim Henson’s Tales of Muppetland,” a compilation of memorable fairy tale clips; and making paper-bag puppets. Preschool visitors can enjoy “Under the Tree,” Spellbound Theater’s immersive puppet show about the wonders in a girl’s backyard. The full schedule, on the museum’s website, also comprises “Muppets Most Wanted” (2014), a crime caper film, and a Sam Eagle tribute, consisting of clips starring that fiercely patriotic bird. And for those who may want to emulate Henson, Brooklyn Puppet Conspiracy will lead two hourlong workshops: a project to make jellyfish puppets and learn about their live counterparts, and a performance program on how to move and voice puppets on camera.
718-777-6888, movingimage.us/familyday

HONEY & HARVEST WEEKEND (Oct. 6-8, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.) and SPOOKY PUMPKIN GARDEN (through Oct. 31, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.) at the New York Botanical Garden. From Saturday to Monday, this urban oasis will put the spotlight on some of the most industrious workers in the entire Bedford Park neighborhood of the Bronx: honeybees. At the Edible Academy, the garden’s recently expanded educational campus, children can talk to beekeepers, try out their protective attire and equipment, examine a hive and sample honey and honeycombs. The weekend will also pay tribute to the fall harvest with live music and activities that include mixing herbs to make flavored popcorn; learning family recipes in culinary demonstrations; and watching Adam Bierton, a master pumpkin carver, practice his art. More jack-o’-lanterns await, along with welcoming scarecrows, at the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden, which has undergone a seasonal transformation to become the Spooky Pumpkin Garden. There, curious visitors can explore a Victorian playhouse to learn about bats, put on shows with puppet creatures, and pot up and take home a plant that Morticia Addams might have admired: a black coleus.
718-817-8700, nybg.org

JUST KIDDING: MICHAEL & THE ROCKNESS MONSTERS at Symphony Space (Oct. 6, 11 a.m.). Michael Napolitano, musician, father and leader of this band, encourages all children to wear costumes for this performance — and he isn’t just kidding. So if your little ones are already hankering to dress up for Halloween, here’s their chance. The show, which opens the season of the Just Kidding entertainment series at Symphony Space, will feature songs from the group’s new party album, “Monster’s Ball,” which should get everyone in the mood for trick-or-treating. And though Mr. Napolitano, founder of Preschool of Rock — he’s now also directing his talents toward older children — is indeed a rock ’n’ roll kind of guy, don’t be surprised to hear traces of hip-hop and country, too.
212-864-5400, symphonyspace.org

NEW YORK TRANSIT MUSEUM BUS FESTIVAL at Bridge Plaza, Brooklyn Bridge Park (Oct. 7, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.). First stop: 1930. That’s the date of the debut of Bus 1263, a.k.a. Betsy, a double-decker and the oldest vehicle at this free celebration of vintage mass transit. Young visitors can board and explore that model and others, including Bus 3100, a prototype from 1956, one of the first in the country to be air-conditioned, and Bus 2185, which sustained extensive damage on Sept. 11 and was restored and painted red, white and blue. At the festival’s education station, children can use boxes, tape and markers to construct buildings, buses and bus stops for a large-scale city to play in toward the end of the day.
718-694-1600, nytransitmuseum.org/busfest

WINGS OVER WAVE HILL DAY at Wave Hill (Oct. 8, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.). Monday is Columbus Day, but this public garden in the Riverdale section of the Bronx will invite children to discover travelers that are far less controversial: raptors, or birds of prey. Many are on seasonal journeys, and the naturalist Gabriel Willow will host a migration information station, where young visitors can learn about the birds. They can also see them in action. At 1 p.m., Brian Bradley, from the organization Skyhunters in Flight, will discuss the art of falconry and present a Eurasian eagle-owl, a gyrfalcon and other species in an activity at which they excel: winging over Wave Hill. And if children have to miss Monday’s festivities, they can still honor raptors on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., when the garden’s family art project will focus on making bird puppets or wind socks for an aerial parade.
718-549-3200, wavehill.org


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