Our guide to cultural events in New York City for families with children and teenagers.
‘EVERYTHING ABOUT A DAY (ALMOST)’ at TADA! Youth Theater (July 8 through Aug. 3). This hourlong musical revue really spotlights just about everything — that is, if the 24 hours in question are being experienced by someone in the same age range as the TADA! actors: 9 to 17. Conceived and written by Emmanuel Wilson, with contributions from numerous composers and lyricists, the show, first staged in 2004, features funny and fast-paced numbers on subjects both timeless (quizzes, crushes, cafeteria seating, sibling rivalry) and 21st-century. A personal favorite: “Oops, Gotta Go!,” in which electronic rumormongering transforms a classmate’s minor illness into a fatal one.
212-252-1916, Ext. 5; tadatheater.com
FAMILY ART PROJECT AND WALKS at Wave Hill (project, July 8-9, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; walks, July 9, 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.). Mimicking nature and exploring it directly are both on the agenda at this serene public garden in the Bronx. In “Wet Felting Florals,” the artist Crystal Gregory will teach children wet felting, a technique that uses sudsy water and tufts of wool roving to make compressed pieces of felt. The result: blossom-filled fabric scenes inspired by Wave Hill’s flowers. In Sunday morning’s walk, Summer Birding, recommended for ages 10 and older, the naturalist Gabriel Willow will point out the garden’s avian residents and their habitats. He will also conduct the afternoon’s Family Nature Walk, a discovery stroll through the grounds for visitors 6 and older.
HUDSON RIVERFLICKS: ‘THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS’ at Pier 46 at Charles Street (July 7 at dusk, about 8:30). While children enjoy this free movie and free popcorn in Hudson River Park’s Family Fridays series, they won’t have to wonder what their animal companions back home are doing: The PG-rated animated “The Secret Life of Pets,” released last summer, unveils it all, and small viewers will probably be delighted that that behavior includes human-style naughtiness, like playing loud music, eating forbidden food and sneaking out. The plot focuses on Max (voiced by Louis C.K.), a dog whose life is disrupted by the arrival of another household pooch (Eric Stonestreet). The story also includes more dogs, a cat, birds, a guinea pig, a fish and lizards, but according to the review by the New York Times critic A. O. Scott, it’s the militant rabbit (Kevin Hart) that steals the picture.
MATH METROPOLIS at the Plaza at 28 Liberty (July 9, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.). Some children regard summer as a perfect time to escape from math, but this free event aims to lure them to escape right into it. On Sunday, rain or shine, the National Museum of Mathematics will take over this downtown Manhattan space to encourage young people to stretch their minds — and sometimes their muscles — in entertaining challenges. Opportunities will include exploring mazes, designing roller coasters and using math formulas to create and merge shapes. The MIND Research Institute is to help participants solve puzzles in symmetry and topology with their bodies and rope, and the Financial Life Cycle Education Corps has planned games of chance that teach money management. The Julia Robinson Mathematics Festival, a fair within the fair, specializes in leading groups to tackle problems. Tim Chartier will perform mathematically themed mime, and John Chase will demonstrate that math and physics activity otherwise known as juggling.
STETTHEIMER SUMMER MONDAYS at the Jewish Museum (July 10, 1-4 p.m.; through July 31). Most children have probably never heard of the artist, feminist and writer Florine Stettheimer (1871-1944), but that doesn’t mean that they won’t respond to the vibrant hues, whimsical shapes and playful interactions in her paintings and theater designs. In this series of drop-in art workshops on the next four Mondays, the museum invites visitors 3 and older to investigate its show “Florine Stettheimer: Painting Poetry” and use her work to inspire their own. This Monday that will mean making colorful, imaginative scenes with mixed media and found objects.
VINTAGE BUS BASH AND OTHER ACTIVITIES on Governors Island (July 8, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.). The New York City buses on Colonels Row on Saturday aren’t going to move — but they will take you on a journey. Expect to be transported to bygone eras and earlier triumphs of engineering by three models from the 1950s and one from 1971. Presented by the New York Transit Museum and the city’s Department of Buses, the free display includes the city’s first air-conditioned transit bus and its first with sliding windows. Children can climb aboard all of them, as well as take part in other island fun: The It’s Your Tern! Festival (noon to 4 p.m., South Battery) celebrates a common island species with a scavenger hunt, crafts and bird-watching tours; and the Children’s Museum of the Arts Free Art Island Outpost (weekends, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Nolan Park) offers outdoor art-making workshops.
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