Our guide to cultural events in New York City for families with children and teenagers.
ARTHUR ASHE KIDS DAY at the United States Tennis Association Billie Jean King National Tennis Center (Aug. 26, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.). Baseball has Little League, and football has Pop Warner, but what does tennis offer to capture the imagination of the sport’s youngest fans? As of this Saturday, it will feature Net Generation, a new initiative to bring training and participation to interested children. It will be introduced at Arthur Ashe Kids Day, the annual Queens family celebration that heralds the start of the United States Open. From 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., during the free Grounds Festival, children can learn tennis, test their agility, measure the speed of their serves, watch pros practice and hear musical talent from Radio Disney. At 1 p.m., a stadium show — tickets required — will feature more musical acts and the opportunity to watch players like Venus Williams and Roger Federer practice. (For an even earlier taste of tennis fun, the South Street Seaport District will host the U.S. Open Experience, with tennis clinics, music and player appearances, on Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.)
BATTLE OF BROOKLYN: ‘TALES AND TUNES’ AND COMMEMORATION at Green-Wood Cemetery (Aug. 26, 7-10 p.m.; Aug. 27, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.). It happened 241 years ago, but the Green-Wood Historic Fund makes sure that no one ever forgets it. And while Washington and his Continental Army didn’t win this Revolutionary battle — quite the contrary — they did flee across the East River and go on to fight another day. Contemporary families can now experience the conflict, far more pleasantly. At “Tales and Tunes,” on Saturday, historical re-enactors will offer war stories, campfires, dance demonstrations, live music and 18th-century-style food. Sunday promises more of the same, as costumed soldiers demonstrate weapons and tactics in “Life on the Battlefield.” At 12:30 p.m., young patriots can grab a flag and join the Regimental Band of the United States Merchant Marine Academy for a rousing march to the top of Battle Hill, Brooklyn’s highest natural point, for a memorial ceremony. (Sunday’s activities are free, but registration is requested.)
‘CASTLE IN THE SKY’ (Aug. 27, 12:55 p.m.; Aug. 28 and 30, 7 p.m.). Jonathan Swift imagined it, but the groundbreaking Japanese filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki sent it soaring onscreen: Laputa, an island that floats not in the water, but in the air. Gulliver and his travels aren’t featured here, though. This richly animated 1989 adventure focuses on Sheeta, a girl who literally falls from the sky and into the life of Pazu, a boy captivated by tales of the mysterious island. GKids and Fathom Events have revived the movie as part of their continuing Studio Ghibli Fest, whose screenings also include a program of international shorts. Sheeta and her magical amulet will entrance audiences in select cinemas on Sunday and Wednesday (the English-dubbed version) and Monday (in Japanese with English subtitles).
KIDS FOOD FESTIVAL at Oculus Plaza, Westfield World Trade Center (Aug. 26-27, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.). Everyone knows what children’s menus are like at restaurants: macaroni and cheese, chicken fingers, spaghetti. But don’t expect those at this annual event — or at least not in their typical forms. Founded by Cricket Azima, the principal behind the Creative Kitchen, a business teaching nutrition to young people, the Kids Food Festival offers games, activities, entertainment, recipe demonstrations and hands-on cooking classes from professional chefs (the only attractions that aren’t free). Imagine, for instance, concocting Gruyère and pineapple panzanella salad, or animal toast and watermelon pizza. Ms. Azima herself will teach how to make fresh fruit and vegetable salsa. Central to the whole weekend is the Balanced Plate Scavenger Hunt, in which young participants visit various exhibitors to have their paper plates stamped with the ingredients for a healthy meal. Ms. Azima hopes it will broaden their tastes — and whet their appetites for further food investigations.
‘MAKE IT MOVE!’ on the High Line at 16th Street (Aug. 26, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.). “It” will encompass many things: bodies, objects, the air, earthworms. This free program for children 12 and younger, sponsored by the High Line, will include investigating a mobile garden and worm bin; doing an art project with ArchForKids; constructing movable creations from the materials in the High Line’s Children’s Workyard Kit; and learning new dance moves. The schedule will also offer storytelling and performances by the Caribbean Vibe Steel Drum Band. (Registration is requested.)
‘THE PRINCESS BRIDE’ at Nitehawk Cinema (Aug. 30, 7:30 p.m.). The first title in a series called Fairy Tales, this film has much of what you anticipate in that genre: a highborn heroine, a love story, a royal engagement. But it also offers much that’s unusual: giant rodents, a six-fingered villain, a prince who isn’t worthy of marriage, and a servant who is. Families can watch it all unfold at this combination cinema-restaurant in Brooklyn, which is hosting this screening in honor of the movie’s 30th anniversary. Directed by Rob Reiner and rated PG, the film stars Robin Wright and Cary Elwes as its smitten but thwarted couple.
ROCKAWAY 31-HOUR SUMMER FESTIVAL at the Peninsula Community Library (Aug. 26, 10 a.m., to Aug. 27, 5 p.m.). Most young people don’t spend an all-nighter at a library until college, and when they do, it isn’t much fun. But this marathon isn’t about cramming for exams. Part of the Queens Library Is for Everyone Campaign, this free event will introduce families to the wide variety of programs the library offers during regular business hours. A sampling of activities for the young — which don’t necessarily conflict with bedtimes — include story time with the New York Police Department; interactive exhibits about sun, sand and surf on the boardwalk; sculpting with sand; an Uno card game tournament for teenagers; balloon twisting shows; back-to-school information and giveaways; a build-your-own skateboard workshop; and a Saturday evening movie double feature: “Finding Nemo” at 9 and, for the older and more intrepid, “Jaws” at 10:30.
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