It’s already June. What happened to spring? It seems summer is already in full swing, the school year is wrapping up, and time is seeming to fly by at the speed of an Amazon Prime drone. As one mom at my son’s school recently said, “All of the end-of-the-year activities/festivities are slowly killing me.” Before you drop dead too, here are a few ways to slow down time and make some memories. Stargaze, go camping, sing loudly—and do it all quickly before autumn arrives.
GO: Enjoy A Starry Night
The World Science Festival, running through Sunday, June 3, 2018 is a six-day science celebration that features tons of fun activities for kids of all ages, from hand-on experiments to the chance to meet scientists, ask questions about aliens, and something called “The Flame Challenge.” Although most events happen around Washington Square Park and throughout several floors of NYU’s Kimmel Center, this year Brooklyn is in the mix. On Saturday, June 2nd at 7pm, kids will get the chance to stargaze in Brooklyn Bridge Park with telescopes. Also, a White House pastry chef will be on hand to discuss cooking and eating in outer space. Grab your picnic blanket and make a memory. FREE.
GO: Confuse Your Children
Art shows can sometimes be hard for young kids to digest, but for some reason kids across generations universally love the work of M.C. Escher. His optical illusions and confusing staircases speak to mesmerized children, who will spend hours deciphering the illogical designs. Escher: The Exhibition and Experience, running from June 8th, 2018 through February 3rd, 2019 in Industry City, will feature over 200 works from this artist/ mathematician. In addition to the works on display will be scientific experiments, play areas, and “immersive photobooths” for updating your Instagram. Tickets: Adults: $20, Teens: $13, Kids: $6. Industry City (34 34th Street, Building , Sunset Park.)
SEE: Get A Dose of Nostalgia
“Won’t You Be My Neighbor” may not really be for children, but for adults this bit of nostalgia may be a heartwarming event. I was never that into the Mr. Rogers TV show. It actually bothered me that he always changed out of a jacket into a cardigan when he walked into the house. Turn up the heat, already! But ever since reading Rogers’ moving message about looking for the helpers after any tragedy, I’ve come to see him as a childhood expert who devoted his life towards the emotional betterment of kids. He did an episode on divorce, for instance, and another on assassination after RFK died. This documentary may or not be great, but will probably be the equivalent of a long restorative hug, one thing that most kids (and parents) often need.
READ: Attend These Bookworm Events
Carolyn Federman, a food educator and a leader in the farm-to-table movement, has created a cookbook focused on seasonal, organic and local foods specifically for kid cooks! In New Favorites for New Cooks, Federman introduces young foodies to recipes like Melty Pesto Paninis, Sizzling Fried Rice, Sparkling Mint Limeade, and Chocolate Lava Cupcakes. On Saturday June 9th at 1pm, the author will be at Books Are Magic (225 Smith Street, Carroll Gardens). Bring the kids and then let them loose in the kitchen! FREE. I’ve always been a fan of Michael Ian Black as far back as The State, but I’m currently obsessed with his podcast, “How To Be Amazing,” where he proves his phenomenal interview skills as well as his sense of humor. I’m looking forward to the book launch on Sunday, June 10th at 2pm at Powerhouse Arena (28 Adams Street, Dumbo) for his new children’s book, I’m Sad, the sequel to I’m Bored, about a girl, a potato and a very sad flamingo. FREE.
CAMP: Go Glamping in the Wilderness
If the Collective Retreats campsites at Governors Island has you jonesing for camping experiences, maybe you’ll want to give Tentrr a try. Tentrr, the airbnb of camping, matches landowners with campers and includes everything from the enormous tents (which are already set up) to the bedding to the Adirondack chairs for lounging. Instead of throwing down $20 for a campsite, you’ll pay the premium price of around $120/ night, but the difference is everything is already all set for you to come and enjoy your camping experience. The firepit is full of sticks, an outdoor toilet sits off to the side, a kayak rests on the water, and the bed linens are freshly laundered (all for extra costs). Some tents even come with bunk beds. Who knows? Your family may actually be able to finally relax in the wilderness.
GO: Party with Young Thespians
Brooklyn kids’ favorite acting class, Treasure Trunk, is opening a new 700-square foot studio for kids classes and summer programs. From mini-musicals to Fairytale Sundays, this is a great entree to the arts for the preschool set. To celebrate the opening, they are throwing a party on Saturday, June 9th from 11am-3pm at the new space at 141 Atlantic Avenue between Clinton and Henry Street. Kids will be able to design their own superhero masks or royal crown, meet with teachers, play theater games, see the space and learn about all the upcoming classes and camps. Also, on hand, will be wine from Brooklyn Wine Exchange and desserts from One Girl Cookie.
GO: Sing Badadadada la bamba!
The BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn Festival concert series is a sure sign that it’s summer. The line up is always stellar, and if you have to stay in NYC for the blistering hot days, nothing beats listening to good music on a picnic blanket under the stars. It’s not just adults who get all the fun. One of the best concerts of the summer will be for families! The Bric Family Concert on Sunday, June 10th stars none other than Los Lobos, a rock and roll institution, and the first band to ever have a Spanish-language song hit number one on the charts. Introduce your kids to the beauty of “La Bamba” and dance the afternoon away. Prospect Park Bandshell. 2pm gates/ 3pm show. FREE.
RESIST: Keep on Protesting for the Kids
When you’re finished shaking your fist at the incompetence of those in charge who do nothing to prevent school shootings, it’s time to spend some time actively protesting. Lucky for parents, Party to Protect Our Lives, is throwing an event that is fun as well as makes a difference. On Saturday, June 16th, from 7pm-2am, dance your ass off in support of Moms Demand Action, a division of Everytown for Gun Safety. Performances from bands like Fielded, Crazy Pills, and Elliot & The Ghost will entertain, with the help of burlesque dancers, raffle prizes and flash tattoos. 100% of the proceeds will go towards supporting Moms Demand Action. Littlefield, 635 Sackett St. Gowanus. Tickets: $10- $15. Tickets are available here. 21 and older.
READ: Brief Summer Reads
If your summer reading list is long, maybe you’ll feel encouraged by speed-reading a few parenting articles before you dive into a novel. You can use this time for catching up on spring’s best parenting reads, like the idea of gender creative parenting, or this debatable article by a self-proclaimed Foster Child Conservative. If your brain feels too scattered for a five-minute read, you may be interested in The Science of Mommy Brain that says that “science doesn’t support the notion that a woman’s brain becomes somehow impaired or weakened by giving birth; in fact, the research seems to show the opposite.” Put that strong brain to use, and unpack what the hell happened to the 1500 missing immigrant children?
GO: Dream About Bey
Most people would consider Dreamgirls Beyoncé’s finest role. (I’m more partial to her follow up, Obsessed, a remake of Fatal Attraction she made with Idris Elba.) But Bey was nominated for a Golden Globe for her role of Deena Jones in Dreamgirls, and Kings Theatre is presenting a family friendly Dreamgirls adaptation that you hadn’t even known you were wishing for. Best of all, it stars four talented young girls. On Sunday, June 24th at 6pm, AbunDance Academy of the Arts, a non-profit based in Crown Heights, will present “DREAM, AbunDantly!”, inspired by the movie. In this version, the girls use “their platform to champion the fight against racism: segregation, police brutality and cultural appropriation.” Over 100 performers, ranging in age from 2 through 70 will bring the story to life. Recommended for audiences 5+ and up. Kings Theatre, 1027 Flatbush Avenue, Flatbush. Tickets: $50-$65 before June 17th and $65-80 after June 18th. Purchase tickets here.