12/01/16 8:53am
Let the Holiday madness begin. Here's 12 way to keep sane and enjoy the month. Photo: Meredith Craig de Pietro

Let the holiday madness begin. Here are 12 way to keep sane and enjoy the month. Photo: Meredith Craig de Pietro

December is finally here. The days of breathtaking performances, dazzling snowfalls, and holiday cheer fill the month with magic. Here are 12 ways to enjoy the winter wonderland of NYC with your family, before the deep freeze of January forces you to hibernate in your home with just the TV remote to warm you. From free events to expensive new holiday traditions, there’s holiday cheer for everyone on this kids calendar.

Receive the ultimate gift from BAX: a free kids theater class. Photo: BAX

Receive the ultimate gift from BAX: a free kids theater class. Photo: BAX

1. Learn: Enjoy the gift of a free class. Many children in the audience of the Nutcracker or Miracle on 34th Street wish they were the ones onstage. Capitalizing on that allure are theater classes, ballet tutors and singing sessions. But if your child is 8 or older, they can attend Youthworks at BAX, a FREE program for kids interested in developing their own play, dance or original song or poetry performance. A mandatory orientation is taking place Saturday, Dec. 3 from 3-4:30pm at BAX. Then there is a six week Sunday rehearsal schedule resulting in a fully staged production with lighting, sound design, costumes and props at the end of January. BAX | Brooklyn Arts Exchange 421 Fifth Avenue, Park Slope. For children 8 + up. FREE.

Start a new holiday tradition with live theater. Photo: Works & Process/ Guggenheim


2. Go: Start a new holiday tradition. There are so many holiday events in NYC that come with a cost: Long lines to visit Santa, crowds at Rockefeller Center, and sold out Lincoln Center matinees. Luckily, there are experiences that are every bit as special that don’t come with as many tourists. Starting Dec. 3, bring the kids to see Peter & The Wolf with Isaac Mizrahi at The Guggenheim. Although you can check back for our longer review on Dec. 5, it’s a safe bet to buy the tickets now. The schedule is as follows: Dec. 3, 4, 10, and 11 at 2:30pm and 4pm, and Dec. 9 at 5pm and 6:30pm.  Peter B. Lewis Theater, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Avenue, New York For ages 5 and up. $40, $35 Guggenheim members. For the littler ones who may not be able to sit through a long performance, The Swedish Marionette Theater in Central Park has the perfect solution. The Three Bears Holiday Bash is a wonderful experience without the headache of a high-priced ticket. We’ve reviewed their shows before, but this holiday-themed fairy tale performance incorporates stories of Hanukkah, The Night Before Christmas, and Kwanzaa, making it a perfect for all your festivities. Swedish Marionette Theater, Central Park, W. 79th and West Drive. Through Dec. 30. Tickets are $7/children and $10/adults.   (more…)

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07/17/15 9:40am
Don't worry! The new Whitney Museum is spacious enough to handle the High Line crowds. Photo: Photograph © Nic Lehoux

Don’t worry! The new Whitney Museum is spacious enough to handle the High Line crowds. Photo: Photograph © Nic Lehoux

My fear of viewing art in between heads and limbs, and being shoulder to shoulder with scores of tourists has made me put off visiting the Whitney Museum of American Art’s new location. But last Saturday morning, my family and I decided to suck it up. When we arrived at the mammoth new building, a long line had already formed in front. Rumors swirled that Secret Service had closed the building to prepare for Malia Obama’s visit. Before I had a chance to start complaining and seething, the line moved and we were already inside Renzo Piano’s stunning, airy, air-conditioned building that is built for crowds. (more…)

10/02/14 9:52am

OctFunMap2014SMALLThere is a lot to love about October, whose major holiday asks its revelers to hand out candy and dress up as someone else, nothing more. Even if you can’t get into the spirit, it’s impossible not to admire the folks who do. And there is plenty to admire this month—21 events in fact, to pencil in using our October Fun Map. Open House New York is a chance to see the city from a different perspective, inside landmarks and futuristic buildings like the Urban Post Disaster House; registration is already open so save your spots or pony up for a pass that gives you access to sold-out tours. The 1981 cult classic film, Stations of the Elevated, which BAM screens mid-month, portrays another side of New York, back when graffitied subways roamed, and the 1,300 bands that will be in town for CMJ Music Marathon will bring fresh music to your stale playlists. We’re very excited about the chance to gorge on oysters during Brooklyn Crab’s Fall Oyster Fest, and the release of the anthology, Never Can Say Goodbye, will remind us all why we love this city. But really, it’s all about the costumes, so start brainstorming something more viral than Ebola, HallowMEME is coming up.


09/19/14 4:02pm
What child can resist balloon animals, even one cast in steel. Jeff Koons' "Balloon Dog (Yellow)" Photo courtesy The Whitney Museum of Art

What child can resist balloon animals, even one made of steel?  Jeff Koons’ “Balloon Dog (Yellow),” photo courtesy Whitney Museum

The Jeff Koons retrospective at the Whitney Museum (the last hurrah before the museum moves downtown) is four floors of surprises and astonishing sights. The artist is quoted in the museum’s family guide as saying, “If you follow your own interests, it can take you to a very magical place.” And with the blink of an eye, my kindergartener and I were transported to a land of shiny objects and floating toys.

There’s no doubt that Jeff Koons is one of the more divisive artists. (In August, a man vandalized one of the walls of this exhibit when he splattered his own blood in the shape of an X.) Many critics have dismissed the superstar artists’ work as vapid and expensive, so Koons is used to controversy. Surprisingly, in spite of being one of the most contentious living artists, his work is (mostly) child friendly. (more…)

08/01/14 10:46am

Attending a free concert or hitting the beach this weekend? Check out a few of our favorite longform stories from the past month while the band and crew set up on stage, or as you roll along on that looong train trip out to the Rockaways.
1. The Old-School Saint of Nouveau Bushwick

Bushwick Collective founder Joseph Ficalora (Photo by Aaron Adler for Narratively)

Bushwick Collective founder Joseph Ficalora is adorning Bushwick, one wall at a time. Photo: Aaron Adler for Narratively

You might have assumed it was all those newcomer hispters behind Bushwick’s burgeoning outdoor museum of street art, but you’d be wrong. The founder of the Bushwick Collective is a lifelong Brooklynite who hopes to beautify his neighborhood by curating street art, one wall at a time.

2. This New Public Art Project Would Like You to Push Its Buttons

The co-founders of The Poetry Society of New York have found a new way to share some of the city's eight million stories. Photo: PSNY

The co-founders of The Poetry Society of New York have found a new way to share some of the city’s eight million stories. Photo: PSNY

But wait—there’s even more public art to get excited about. Inspired by the Play Me, I’m Yours street-piano project, the co-founders of The Poetry Society of New York have joined forces with Governors Island to create the Typewriter Project, hoping to prove to people that they’re poets, even if they might not know it.

3. New York’s Mysterious Link to Pompei

Their origins are uncertain, but these possible Pompeian relics that enshrine Delmonico’s were installed after New York’s Great Fire of 1835, raising some interesting questions about where they may have come from.

4. One Day You Could Walk to Governors Island

When artist Nancy Nowacek realized that the distance from Red Hook to Governors Island was just about four city blocks, she decided to create a footbridge to the island. By hand.

5. Bernie Goetz, Squirrel Vigilante (more…)